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Entries in Cookies (178)

Saturday
Aug272011

Sweet Imprints: Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Pop quiz! What's delicious?

A. Thumbprint cookies.
B. Chocolate
C. Peanut Butter and Jelly
D. All of the above

The answer is D, and even further, they're better when all put together, at once. Case in point: buttery chocolate thumbprint cookies filled with peanut butter and jelly! A twist on several classics, I recently made these and based on how quickly they got eaten, I'd say that they were a big (sweet) success.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons light cream

Procedure

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Set to the side.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Stir in the sugar and vanilla until incorporated.
  5. Add the cream, mixing until it forms a stiff dough.
  6. Break off a piece of dough and roll into a ball about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Using your hand, gently flatten (it's ok if they crack lightly on the sides) and using your thumb, press an indent in the center. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each cookie. In the center of each cookie, put either a small dollop of peanut butter or jelly. I alternated both, and even put both peanut butter and jelly in a few.
  7. Bake until lightly browned (since the dough is fairly dark, look for a dull finish on top) and firm to the touch, 18-24 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Monday
Aug152011

Gad-Zukes: Zucchini White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe for Serious Eats

August is prime time for zucchini. And such proliferation means that means that after you're done making healthy summer pastas, salads, grilled vegetables and wholesome stir-fry dishes, you'll still have plenty left over to make dessert.

You could make zucchini bread, or even better, zucchini cake—but for a lighter bite with a zingy citrus burst, why not try White Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies? These drop cookies are simple to make, and offer a sweet summery variation on the usual chocolate chip cookie. Many zucchini-based sweets call for shredded zucchini, but for this recipe, I prefer to dice and lightly sauté it in brown sugar and butter. The zucchini absorbs the sweet, rich flavor of the sugar and butter, adding moist, chewy flavor bursts throughout the cookie, which are gorgeously complemented by sweet white chocolate.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Thursday
Jul212011

Fortune Teller: Homemade Fortune Cookies Recipe for Serious Eats

Fortune cookies are so bossy, always telling you what the future holds, often in a weird and enigmatic way. But with National Fortune Cookie Day being July 20 (sorry I'm late), there's a sweeter option. Choose your own destiny by baking your own fortune cookies: this way, you can stuff them with any kind of fortunes you want. And as a bonus, they're surprisingly easy and quick to bake, and the lightly sweet, vanilla-scented homemade version tastes vastly superior to commercial varieties.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Jun282011

Sweet and Salty: Peanut Butter Potato Chip Cookies Recipe for Peanut Butter and Co.

Looking for cookies to serve during your July 4 festivities? Bake this cookie that creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth, of the sweet-savory kind.  The sweet drop cookies are nicely contrasted by the saltiness of the chips, but get a fascinating flavor dimension from the nutty Smooth Operator peanut butter. One bite and even doubters will be singing a new story.

Note: I found that you can also get extra flavor-points by using The Bee’s Knees peanut butter, which adds pleasing mellow end-note from the honey mingling with the brown sugar.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Peanut Butter & Co's website!

Sunday
Jun122011

Danny Boy: The Danny Macaroons from Joyride Truck, NYC

While vending at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this weekend (if you're reading this on Sunday, the 12th, it is still going on today, 11-7!), there was a sweet street vendor set up nearby to offer snacks to the crafty guys and dolls selling in the park: Joyride Truck, which, to the best of my observation, is a sort of mobile fro-yo truck, coffee purveyor (and distributor), and...best of all, they have cookies.

Naturally we were intrigued by the "Danny Macaroons", which is not merely the name of the product but of the local company from which they buy the cookies as well. The fact that they shared a first name with Mr. Spy, plus the fact that they came in flavors like German Chocolate, Roasted Almond, Bailey's, and Salted Caramel, made them a fairly easy sell.

A Salted Caramel was purchased and given to Mr. Spy for expert analysis; here were his thoughts:

The caramel top was crunchy, which was nice, because my general complaint with macaroons is that they can tend toward being too chewy. The flavor was nicely balanced, with the sweet coconut getting a nice rich and salty counterpart in the caramel.

Or, as Mr. Spy put it, “The Caramel was strong in that one.” And, most importantly, it lived up to its name—Mr. Spy (who some call Danny, as it is his name) said that he was proud to share a name with this cookie.

Find them online at dannymacaroons.com.

Tuesday
Jun072011

Pass the Torchetti: Torchetti Cookies from Cle Elum Bakery, WA

The other day, I found myself in a magical land called Cle Elum.

Now, don't ask me how to pronounce the name of the town--but do ask me what I ate there, because I did find a magical place called Cle Elum Bakery.

I ate something called Torchetti, that's what. This is a traditional Italian cookie which I learned more frequently goes by Torcetti, which means "little twist"--which, you know, describes them pretty well. Physically they resemble Berlinerkranser or Calabrian Love Knots, but texture and taste-wise they are different; where aforementioned cookies are crumbly and buttery, these biscuits are more hearty and sturdier in texture with the addition of yeast, more like lightly sweet biscuits than butter cookies.

As I learned from this segment,

The recipe itself is very old, indicated by the use of yeast, not baking powder, for leavening.  These cookies are from the Piedmont region of northern Italy.  Turin, Piedmont's capital, was also Italy's first capital.  The city preserves remarkable architectural and cultural treasures.

They're a very nice snacking cookie, no matter what you want to call them or how you want to spell it.

Of course, if you can't make it up (or over?) to Cle Elum, you can try this recipe (adapted from Taste of Home):

Torchetti (or Torcetti)

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Additional confectioners' sugar

Procedure

  1. Place flour in a large bowl; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and 2 cups of the crumb mixture; beat until well blended. Gradually beat in remaining crumb mixture.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 3-4 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down; divide into six portions. Shape each portion into twelve 6-in. ropes, about 1/4-in. thick; roll in confectioners' sugar. Shape each rope into a loop. Holding both ends of loop, twist together three times.
  4. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Roll warm cookies in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks. 

 

 

 

Monday
Jun062011

Stuff It: Sugar Cookies Stuffed With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe for Serious Eats

Nomsies!Here's the thing. Chocolate chip cookie dough makes delicious things even more delicious. Including other cookies.

Case in point: sugar cookies stuffed with chocolate chip cookie dough. This baking experiment proves that yes, stacking two cutout cookies sandwiched with a dollop of chocolate chip cookie dough bakes up something delicious, and, in case you didn't notice, it's basically like eating three cookies at once. Triple threat of sweet deliciousness.

Note: You can either make these cookies as cutout cookies, or make more free-form rounds with your sugar cookie dough. The free-form method will result in fatter cookies (pictured at top); the cutout method will result in slightly slimmer cookies with a bulging mound of dough in the middle.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
May292011

Give me More: Sweet Love for Alfajores by Sabores del Sur of California

Not long ago, via Foodbuzz, I received a parcel of goodies from Foodzie, a cool service that will send you a monthly parcel of unique food finds from around the nation. A fun way to get to know some new products.

But by far and away, the item in the parcel that captured most of my sweet little heart was the Alfajores made by Sabores del Sur, in the SF Bay area.

Here's their description of the sweet treats: "filled with creamy dulce de leche caramel and dusted with white powdered sugar, these South American treats have been described as "little bites of heaven".

Of course "little" might not be the right word in this case, because the ones in this parcel were a mouthful, hefty crumbly sugary cookies sandwiched with a generous filling of dulce de leche (I think it's Spanish for "addictive-as-crack"). 

Though you may not have heard of alfajores before, they are quite popular--even ubiquitous--in South America. There are many different variations depending on what country you visit. Per Wikipedia:

In most American alfajores there are two layers of cake, and a filling in between. In Argentina its basic form consists of two round sweet biscuits joined together with mousse, dulce de leche or jam and coated with black or white chocolate (many alfajores are sold in "black" and "white" flavours) or simply covered with powdered sugar. There's also one variation, called "Alfajor de nieve", that instead of having a white or black chocolate coating, it has a "snow" coating. The "snow coating" consists of a mixture of egg whites and sugar. Peruvian alfajores are usually coated in powdered sugar, as seen in the picture, and are filled with manjar blanco. Most alfajores come packaged in aluminium foil, in Mexico they are made with just coconut, and are normally a tri-color coconut confection, in Nicaragua, they follow more in the lines of the Canary island type of alfajores and are made with molasses and different type of grains including corn, and cacao similarly to most chocolate bars, though hand-made are just as accessible and generally packaged in plastic wrap or wax paper.

Certainly Sabores del Sur are worth seeking out (check out their site, or find them on Foodzie), but if you prefer to make your own, check out this recipe via RecipeGirl.com or this recipe for Pisco-infused alfajores on this very site.

Saturday
May282011

Get Shorty: Lavender Shortbread Recipe from Tania of Love Big Bake Often

What's better than shortbread? Not much. But this simple sweet takes beautifully to added flavors, including herbs--as evidenced by this delicious recipe for Lavender Shortbread. I first sampled this when Cake Gumshoe Tania (look at her blog here) brought some to an event at the store, and -- joy!--she was also kind enough to offer the recipe. The only warning? This buttery stuff is addictive!

Lavender Shortbread

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 2 1/4 cups flour

 Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter an 8x8-inch pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add zest and lavender; mix well.
  3. Add flour and mix til fully incorporated.
  4. Press dough into your prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden around the edges and with a dull finish on top.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into pieces, still in pan; let cool completely before removing.
  7. Enjoy, ideally with a cuppa'.

 

Tuesday
May242011

Taste The Magic: Rainbow Cookies Stuffed With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe

Recently, I received this cry for help via email from reader Anne:

Dear CakeSpy,

I have a big problem.  Sunday is my 30th birthday and as is tradition, we will have a Bake-Off! Birthday Bake-Off is pretty much the greatest idea I have ever had: maximum dessert variety and no having to awkwardly stare off into space while people sing happy birthday and all I'm thinking is how we are wasting precious seconds that could be used for eating frosting.  But, the dilemma.  I have no idea what to make this year.  Now that there are internets, there are just TOO MANY awesome recipes and I can't decide on one.  You are the connoisseur of carbs - what would YOU make??


-Clueless in Cleveland

Now, Clueless in Cleveland, I will tell you, I thought about this for a long time. I went outside and took a walk, knowing that the answer would come to me. And then it did:As a majestic unicorn whizzed by, I thought to myself: "It must involve rainbows, and magic."

And from then on, the answer was easy:

1. Take the most colorful recipe I could think of, which is definitely Rainbow Cookies (now, to get the recipe I'm going to have to urge you to buy my book, because that's where the recipe is, but I'll tell you now that it's not so very different from these cookies).

2. Add magic. And how better and more reliably can one add magic than by adding cookie dough to the mix?

And so, with that sweet epiphany in mind, allow me to present the new Best Thing Ever:

Rainbow Cookies Stuffed With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. 

Here's how you do it.

You'll need:

  • 1 batch rainbow cookie dough (similar enough to this recipe that you could make it work by tinting the dough many colors)
  • 1/2 batch chocolate chip cookie dough (bake the rest normally, or use it to stuff cupcakes, you follow your bliss)

Note: if you are uneasy about the cookie dough not baking fully and the whole egg thing, use a chocolate chip cookie dough that does not use eggs, or that uses egg replacer.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. So, you've got your rainbow cookie dough all ready to go. Now, slice it into fairly thin coins--like, 1/8 inch thick. Lay them on your prepared baking sheet with about 1 inch in between rounds (they won't spread too much).
  3. On the center of each round, place a small dollop of chocolate chip cookie dough.
  4. Place a second coin of rainbow cookie dough on top. If it cracks between color segments, use your fingers to smooth it back into place. Gently press the sides down so your chocolate chip cookie dough doesn't ooze out.
  5. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until rainbow cookies have a dull finish on top. 
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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