Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too!

 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

 

Craftsy Writer

Entries in Cookies (157)

Sunday
Dec232012

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies for Christmas

Cookies

One of the most wonderful things about a recipe is all the places it can go.

Take, for instance, a recipe for two-tiered Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies that appeared in a women's magazine in the early 1980s. How could the recipe developer have known what a role this recipe would end up playing in the Spy family's lives?

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

After all, it was this recipe that struck the fancy of my mother (you know her as SpyMom) and intrigued her enough to bake a batch. And the whole family loved them. They were buttery and lightly crumbly but so soft and just ever so slightly chewy in the center, and the walnuts and pistachio and chocolate just worked so perfectly together. We all loved them so much, in fact, that the next year, she made them again. And the year after that. A tradition was born.

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

But somewhere along the line--was it when her children went to college, moved away, began having their own lives?--the cookies stopped being made. Every year someone (usually me) would lament the fact that they were missing from the festivities, but year after year, they did not make an appearance.

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

But this year, we brought the recipe out from hiberation. SpyMom found the handwritten recipe and told me that this was during her "penmanship phase", when she would stay up at night practicing perfect penmanship, trying to will her handwriting into something more perfect than it was. 

Pistachio Cookies

Since then, her handwriting has reverted back to its old, slighly messier, but in my opinion, more charming form.

But how wonderful to encounter this little slice of the past, complete with doodlings (mine? My little sister's?) and speckled with baking debris from years past. 

I baked the cookies while my parents were out, and when they returned, my mother shrieked. Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies"What?" I cried out, thinking that perhaps she'd seen a mouse. But no. "They're just like I used to make!" she said. And I may be getting a bit flowery here, but I think that she and my dad both had a little moment, thinking sweet memories. And that made me extremely happy, in turn. 

How's that for season's sweetings?

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

Makes about 24

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 package (3 3/4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding (NOT sugar-free)
  • 6 ounces (half a bag) semisweet chocolate chips, plus 20-30 chips for garnish
  • confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease them.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla; blend until creamy. Add the flour mixture in 3-4 increments, mixing until a stiff dough forms. Remove 1/4 of the dough to a separate bowl; add the walnuts.
  4. To the remaining dough, add the pudding mix and stir until completely combined. Fold in the 6 ounces of chocolate chips.
  5. By rounded teaspoonfuls, form the green dough into balls, and place 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Using the back of a teaspoon or a floured drinking glass bottom, gently flatten the tops of these dough rounds. 
  6. Grab the small bowl of walnutty dough. Form the dough into marble-sized pieces, and place a ball of this dough on the top of each pistachio dough mound. Sort of like a two-part snowman. 
  7. Place a single chocolate chip on top of each of the cookies, pressing gently to make sure it will stay in place.
  8. Bake in your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until set. It's going to be hard to see if they have become golden on the bottom, so mainly just look for a matte finish and an ever so slight golden color around the bottom edge. Remove from the oven and let cool on the rack for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar.
Monday
Dec102012

Cake Mix Biscotti Recipe

Biscotti

I have a strange fascination with "doctored" cake mix creations. I love the idea that you can break the rules, so to speak, by using the mix in a way different than its simple intended purpose. In particular I love the recipes that have a finished product that is not cake at all, but cookies or pancakes or bars--it feels like the sweetest sort of kitchen science. So when I was leafing through a book called Complete Cake Mix Magic: 300 Easy Desserts Good as Homemade, I gravitated right toward the cake mix biscotti recipe. 

While the recipe in the book is for a hazelnut biscotti, I decided to go all holiday on this business and bake up some peppermint chip cake mix biscotti instead. Of course, this decision was also fueled by the fact that I had a bag of Andes brand Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips (I haven't seen them in many stores so there's the amazon link) which I thought would be festive and cute to use. 

Let's do this thing.

I also used a smaller box of cake mix than suggested in the recipe, so I scaled the rest of the ingredients down. The resulting biscotti weren't completely beautifully shaped, but gosh, were they tasty. Nice and buttery, like a condensed yellow cake with a crunchy crust, the smattering of mint chips gave the cookies a very nice, rich yet refreshing creamy mint finish on the tongue. Not such a bad thing.

Biscotti Biscotti

Cake Mix Biscotti

Makes about 18

  • 1 package (9 ounces) Jiffy yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Andes peppermint chips

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, flour, egg, and butter. Beat on low speed for 1 minute or until well blended. Fold in the peppermint chips until incorporated. Divide the dough in half.
  3. On a prepared baking sheet, shape the dough into a 10 by 3 inch rectangle that is 1/2 inch deep. Or you can make two shorter logs of dough, but make sure they have plenty of space as they will spread. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut each rectangle into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices on their side on baking sheets. Bake, one tray at a time, for 10 minutes. Turk slices over and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until crisp and golden. Cool for 1 minute on baking sheets, then remove to wire racks and cool completely.
Sunday
Dec022012

Do This: Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark Cookies

There really is no reason to improve sugar cookies, because they're already perfect.

But...sometimes even a perfect food likes to get festive for the holidays.

So recently, when I was baking some sugar cookies (because, you know, I was hungry), I thought: why not add a heaping handful of this peppermint bark that Willamette Valley Confectionery sent me? 

Willamette Valley Confectionery

While of course the bark and the cookies were both good on their own, I figured it might taste good to try them together.

Peppermint Bark Cookies

And so, I did.

And when the cookies baked up, they were a wonderful thing to behold. They were awfully pretty, with chocolatey peppermint hued thingies poking through the creamy coloring of the cookies.

But they were even better to put in your mouth.

You know how sugar cookies are awesomely buttery all over, soft on the inside, and lightly crunchy on the outside? Well, add an essence of peppermint to the whole thing, but a nice one, not a toothpasty one. A refreshing minty hint paired with all that buttery flavor? Oh my, were they ever a joy to munch and crunch upon.

So really, this is a long and poetic way of giving you a good cookie tip. Coarsely chop about 2 cups' worth of peppermint bark and fold it into your favorite sugar cookie batter before baking. I'm pretty sure you'll thank me.

Peppermint Bark Cookies

Here's the recipe I used.  

Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Bark

Adapted from Pop Rocks Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) butter
  • 2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, again beating till well-combined. The mixture may look a bit curdled; that's OK.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the wet ingredients, and beat until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Fold in the pieces of peppermint bark. Reserve some pieces to press on top of the cookies (they look cuter that way).
  3. Drop the dough in round blobs onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. They should be a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, a bit smaller than a golf ball. Using a cookie scoop (or, if you have one, a small ice cream scoop, one that will hold about 2 level tablespoons of liquid) makes this task extremely simple. Leave about 2 inches between the dough balls, as they'll spread as they bake. Let the cookies chill (on the sheet) in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking. They'll be nicer looking than mine, which I didn't let chill and they spread quite a bit.
  4. Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 12-14 minutes, or when they are just starting to brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Wednesday
Nov282012

Almond Tuiles with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tuiles

If you're busting with sweet curiosity like I am, you're probably looking at the photo above and thinking: "what exactly are those thingies?".

Those lumpy little things are in fact a rather exquisite and refined cookie known as the Tuile.

Now, to say "Tuile", I have a cue to indicate how you should pronounce it. It rhymes with "wheel"; now, say it in your Frenchiest voice. 

Tuile of fortune

I googled "translation of tuile" and the resulting word was "tile". Perhaps this refers to the gentle shingle-like appearance the almond bits give the cookies? Whatever the meaning, these tiles are tastier than your typical siding or bit of caulked home decor.

The recipe was adapted by Alice Medrich (who you may recall I interviewed a while back) who adapted a recipe from The Essential James Beard Cookbook: 450 Recipes That Shaped the Tradition of American Cooking, with olive oil incorporated (you know how I love olive oil and sweets!). Here's what she has to say about it:

Tuile

Crispy crunchy and elegantly thin, these almond cookies were adapted from a recipe by James Beard, using California Olive Ranch Arbequina olive oil instead of butter, and with the addition of a bit of lemon zest and extra salt for a contemporary balance of flavors. Classic tuiles are cooled over a rolling pin to resemble the roof tiles they are named for, but you can skip that step and make them flat if you like, or use my shortcut for making curved tuiles.

Anyhow. As a tuile newbie, I found this recipe decidedly user-friendly. The olive oil makes them seem fancy, so if you have foodie people to impress this holiday season, definitely bring these cookies on. Gently sweet, they'd be just as at-home on a cheese plate as they would paired with ice cream. Now that's versatile.

The recipe below has my notes in BOLD. 

Ingredients Add Almonds Batter Cookies Cooling

Almond Tuiles with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Makes about thirty 3- inch cookies I got 24 but mine were more like 3.5 inches

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons (60 g) California Olive Ranch Arbequina extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar  
  • 1 ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4  (30 g) sifted* (before measuring) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup  (90 g) sliced almonds

*if you measure with a scale, there is no need to sift flour before measuring

Equipment:

  • Baking sheets
  • Heavy-duty foil (optional)
  • A rolling pin or cylinder for shaping ( optional)

Procedure

  1. Grease baking sheets with olive oil, or line them with foil, dull side facing up, and grease the foil.
  2. Mix the olive oil, sugar, grated zest, salt, and eggs whites together thoroughly (I used a whisk).  Add the flour and stir until well blended. Stir in the almonds.  Let the batter rest for while the oven heats or for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Drop teaspoons of batter 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.  Use the back of the spoon to smear the batter into a 2 ½ inch round. Bake, watching carefully, for 12-16 minutes, until the tuiles are deep golden brown at the edges and paler golden brown in the center. (If the cookies are not baked long enough, they will not be completely crisp when cool.) I was able to fit 8 cookies per sheet.
  5. As soon as you can push a slim metal spatula under the cookies without destroying them, transfer each cookie to a rolling pin (for curved cookies) or a cooling rack.  If using foil, you can simply slide the foil sheet onto a rack to cool flat, or (for curved) tuiles, grasp the edges of the foil when the sheet comes from the oven (without touching the hot pan or the cookies) and roll it into a fat cylinder, gently curving the attached cookies like potato chips (I think: cannoli shells!).  Crimp or secure the foil with a paper clip. When cool, unroll the foil carefully and remove the tuiles. Flat or curved, tuiles are always easiest to remove from the foil when they are either very hot or completely cool. Do not let them cool too much or they will crack when shaped. I found that it was easiest to bake one sheet at a time for this reason. I used a piece of foil around the round dowel-y part of several wooden spoons to curve them - I found that the curve around a rolling pin was awkward and they tended to break when cooled because they didn’t stack as well as the more curved, cannoli-shell esque ones.
  6. Repeat until all of the tuiles are baked.  To retain crispness, put the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool.  May be stored airtight for at least 1 month.
Monday
Nov262012

Holiday Magic Cookie Bars with a Shortbread Crust

Magic Cookie Bars

It's been days, absolutely days, since the Thanksgiving feast, and you're looking awfully skinny.

Luckily, we have officially entered Christmas Cookie Season, so it won't be hard to remedy this situation. My esteemed sugary suggestion? Holiday Magic Cookie Bars with a Shortbread Crust. 

Baked

Now, if you already know what a Magic Cookie Bar (or 7-layer bar, or Hello Dolly Bar, etc) is, then you know that these decadent bar cookies, made with a buttery graham crust topped with a slurry of condensed milk, nuts, chocolate and/or butterscotch morsels, and coconut, are pretty much heaven on earth.

But there's always room for more magic, right? 

Yum

I got the idea for these bars when I spied Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels (have you ever seen them? I hadn't!) in the grocery store, accompanied by recipe cards. Naturally I thought the bars would look adorable all dressed up for the holidays, and considering I still had a ton of shortbread from Walker's Shortbread (who sent me samples, and with which I've already made one of my new favorite things, Million Dollar Shortbread Bars), I decided to do a recipe mashup. 

Shortbread

And I can now report that yes, the bars get even better when you swap the graham crackers for crushed-up shortbread cookies in the crust. This magical union of shortbread, butter, and all of the delightful toppings makes for a sort of no-holds-barred extreme richness on all sides that will make your mouth and soul happy.

Let's go!

These are an ideal morsel for a cookie exchange or holiday party, as they're decadent to eat and festive to look at, too. As for the coconut haters? Sorry, but they're just not the same without!

Here's the recipe, adapted lovingly from "Yuletide Layer Bars" by Nestle Toll House.

Crust Pour Sprinkle Ready to bake Done!

Holiday Magic Cookie Bars with a Shortbread Crust

Makes about 24 - Active time 10 minutes, total time 1 hour 30 minutes, includes cooling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • Shortbread crumbs (about 2-3 boxes' worth of Walkers Shortbread (I used this kind); less for a thinner crust, more for a nice fat crust)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used a mix of almonds and walnuts)
  • 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • One bag Nestle Toll House Holiday Morsels
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Melt butter in a 13x9" baking pan in oven; remove from oven. Sprinkle shortbread crumbs over the melted butter; stir well, and press onto bottom of the pan (it might get hot, so press with a sheet of waxed paper or the back of a rubber spatula). Sprinkle the nuts and coconut (make sure they are evenly distributed). Gently, so it doesn't disturb your carefully laid-out toppings, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over top in an even layer. If you need to distribute the milk, tilt the pan rather than stirring, as the crust might be torn up if you are too vigorous. Sprinkle the morsels on top.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing into bars with a very sharp knife.
Sunday
Nov042012

CakeSpy Undercover: Grandma's Cookies, St Charles MO

Grandma's cookies

I need to tell you about a place called Grandma's Cookies.

At this magical place in a charming suburb of St Louis, MO, they specialize in--well, cookies.

But here's the thing. The cookies are only about 60 cents each! Well, less than 70 cents each. I forget exactly how much. And they're a pretty good size. In a world where cookies are regularly up to and sometimes even exceed $3.00, this made me like them from the get-go.

Grandma's cookies

And after reviewing the offerings, the unique formation of the chocolate chip cookies made me like them even more. The chocolate chip cookies almost looked like little sun hats: A cookie base, with a cookie lump on top. Oddly, none of the other cookie flavors shared this formation, they were just kind of flat cookies. I'm sure they were good but I zeroed in on the cool (and more bulky) looking chocolate chip cookie. 

Grandma's Cookies, St Charles MO

Look at how it looks in my hand!

Grandma's cookies

Alternate view!

Grandma's cookies

And look how it looks bitten into!

Grandma's cookies

Dude, this cookie was good. And not just "good for 60 cents" good. It was genuinely good. The unique formation gave it a particularly chewy and nearly gooey center, but the edges were crispy. The chocolate chips were ably met by the brown sugary buttery cookie base, and when they came together in my mouth, I felt a moment of pure magic.

A very good cookie indeed. If you find yourself in this charming part of the world, please go there. And buy a baker's dozen of these cookies. It won't even cost that much!

Grandma's Cookies, 401 S. Main Street, St. Charles MO; online here.

P.S. Like the pictures in this post? I took them on my new Intuition phone, part of the Midwest Savvy Gourmets program from Verizon!  Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Wednesday
Sep052012

Simple but Sweet: Very Nice Cutout Biscuits Recipe

Very nice cutout cookies

Sometimes, you need an over-the top cream-filled and sprinkle-studded dessert.

Well, this cookie is not for that time. This cookie should not be loved any less because of that, however: the fact is, it's a perfectly simple but sweet snacking cookie. In fact, I might go so far as to call it a biscuit, because for some reason I can't shake the idea of pairing these sophisticated treats with English tea.

Very nice cutout cookies

What more can I say about this biscuit? It's the perfect building block for a sandwich cookie or an ideal cookie to garnish an ice cream dessert; it would be wonderful dressed up with a dipping in chocolate and would be a very nice complement to a pot de creme. 

Very nice cutout cookies

Of course, lightly crunchy and not overly sweet, they make a fine snack all on their own, too. 

No, it's not a showstopper. But this versatile cookie is a good one to have in your back pocket. They're not difficult to make, and the recipe yields a TON of cookies  if you use approximately 1.5-inch cutters. Keep it on file!

Very nice cutout cookies

Pleasant Biscuits

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated cinnamon
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Procedure

  1. Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed.
  4. Add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Place each dough disk between 2 clean, large pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more.)
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.
  8. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting out shapes.
  9. Cut out cookies and transder to the prepared baking sheets.
  10. Freeze the baking sheets for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Gather up the scraps, reroll and cut out more cookies.
  11. Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature. Makes many cookies (like 80 1.5-inch round ones).
Friday
Aug312012

Sweet to Eat: Stracciatella Truffle-Stuffed Cookies Recipe

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

Now that I've got your attention, let me tell you about something I made.

Recently, Lindt sent me a bunch of samples of their products. White chocolate and stracciatella truffles, in particular. Cool. I like their little Lindt Balls. OK, the technical name is "Lindor Truffles", but I kind of like my name better. But to clarify, even though my chosen name of Lindt Balls sounds like "lint balls", the chocolate variety is much more delicious. Trust me. 

I think Lindt wanted to see what I'd bake up with their treats, or possibly do a review on my site. Well, I don't need to review because I already know I love to stuff my face with these little morsels. Proof:

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

But as for baking with them--after eating several of them straight from the wrapper, I thought "I have an idea". I happened to have on hand a fairly dense cookie dough which I was using to make Hamantashen, and I thought "I wonder what would happen if I stuffed these truffles in that dough?". 

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

So I cut out some dough rounds and wrapped them around the chocolate balls. I tried to seal them off, but it seemed like a little white chocolate seeped out of most of them. Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

In general, though, they all retained enough white chocolate to give the cookies a highly delicious flavor. The cookie dough was fairly dry, but the baby-chocolate chip studded white chocolate centers were moist, and they are seriously an ideal cookie to pair with milk.

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

Go ahead and try them -- I'd be willing to bet that you and your friends will do some serious damage to the batch.

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

Stracciatella Truffle Stuffed Cookies

Makes 18 or so

  • 3 cups  flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 24 white chocolate or Stracciatella Lindor truffles (why do you need 24 for a recipe that makes 18? Well, you might get hungry while baking!!)

Procedure

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Set to the side.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with each addition. It's gonna look kind of curdled. Don't panic.
  3. Add the dough a little at a time, mixing on low.
  4. Press the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for an hour or so.
  5. Near the end of the cooling period, line 2 sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  6. On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. You don't need to be too fussy about this though.
  7. Cut out 3 1/2 inch circles using a cookie cutter or the floured rim of a glass. Gather scraps and re-roll as needed.
  8. Place a truffle in the center of each cutout, and gather the dough around it and press it together on top, sort of like a hershey's kiss shape. Try to ensure no holes or openings (this will minimize filling dripping out).
  9. Place the filled dough balls on the prepared sheet, leaving 1.5 inches or so around each cookie.
  10. Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper for 12-15 minutes. 
  11. Let cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tuesday
Aug142012

Political Cookies: Democratic Cookery, 1971

Century 21 cookies

If you've ever been plagued with the pressing question of what democrats ate in 1971, there is a book for you: Democratic Cookery, published in 1971 by the King County Democratic Central Committee.

While many delectable dinner ideas await you in this book (Elva's Veal Roast from Mr.s Lawrence O'brien, wife of chairman, Democratic National Committee; Sweet and Sour Spaghetti from Mrs. David Ceccarelli, wife of Washington State Representative), I skipped right to the desserts.

Yes We Cake

But what to make first?

The goof-proof fudge? The Sea Foam Candy? TheCapirodata (a white-bread pudding bake from Della Montoya, wife of Joseph M. Montoya, Senator from New Mexico)?

Or perhaps, being a modern woman, I should go for the straightforward "Dessert", which includes detailed instructions on properly defrosting and displaying a Sara Lee Poundcake?

After much debate, I decided to go with the Century 21 Cookies, which sounded like a taste for a brave new (democratic) world. This recipe came from Betty Merril, wife of John Merrill, Washington State Representative. And I think that regardless of political affiliation, most will agree: these cookies are simple to make, pleasing to the palate, and delightful with milk.

Of course, if you want to get political with your cookies, there's this...

Pastry politics

Century 21 Cookies

  • 1/2 cup margarine or shortening (or, if you're feeling very 2012, butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Procedure

Cream well shortening, sugar and egg. Sift together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla. Roll pieces the size of a walnut into balls and place on greased tin. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a drinking glass which has been buttered and dipped frequently in granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

Monday
Jul232012

Sarabeth Levine's Chocolate Chubbies Cookies Recipe 

Chocolate Chubbies Cookies

BroDawgs and Dawgettes, I am totally serious. I am going to give you the recipe for the sweet morsels of heaven pictured above. It was a gift given to me from Sarabeth Levine, the Sarabeth behind the New York City chain Sarabeth's, which she had received from Soho Charcuterie, which I am in turn giving to you. You are so very welcome.

But before I do that, I think you might be interested in a little history about Sarabeth and her marvelous company. You can click here for a post specifically detailing some interesting facts about Sarabeth--I find her history fascinating, and think you will too.

Here's what Sarabeth has to say about 'em:

In my opinion, these are the moistest, most intensely chocolate chocolate chip cookies in the world. These are based on a recipe given to me many years ago from the SoHo Charcuterie, a restaurant that helped establish that Manhattan neighborhood as the place to go for anything chic and trendy, from art to food. For the best-looking cookies, a 2-inch ice-cream scoop is a must.

Sarabeth's

Chocolate Chubbies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes
  • 9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups (5 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 ¼ cups (4 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts

Procedure

  1. Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two-half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put the butter in a wide heatproof bowl, and melt the butter over the hot water in the saucepan. Add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate, stirring often, until melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cooled slightly but still warm, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Whip the eggs in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the eggs are foamy and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla. Whip until the eggs are very thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the tepid chocolate, making sure it is completely incorporated. Change to the paddle attachment and reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts, making sure the chunky ingredients are evenly distributed at the bottom of the bowl. (Do not turn the dough out onto the work surface because the chocolate dough makes a mess.) The dough will be somewhat soft.
  4. Using a 2-inch ice-cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 ¼ inches apart. Bake the cookies immediately-if you wait, they won’t be shiny after baking. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are set around the edges (if you lift a cookie from the pan, the edges should release easily, even if the center of the cookie seems underdone), 17 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely on the baking pans. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, with the layers separated by parchment paper, for up to 3 days.)
© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.