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Entries in Cookies (169)

Wednesday
Mar302011

Maple Madness: Vermont Maple Cookies with Maple Buttercream and Canadian Bacon Recipe

Fact: Vermont Maple cookies are pretty awesome.

But, you know, that's not to say that they can't be made better with the addition of two things that make pretty much everything better: frosting and bacon. When paired with the fact that this enables you to eat two cookies, at once, with frosting and bacon, pretty much puts us all at the point of awesome overload. Here's how you do it.

Vermont Maple Cookies with Maple Buttercream and Canadian Bacon

For the cookies

For the frosting and garnish (frosting adapted from this recipe)

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, best quality
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • To garnish: 3-4 slices Canadian bacon, glazed with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and baked until very crispy, and crumbled

Procedure

  1. Bake cookies and let cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolkson high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil, and cook until it registers 240 on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.With the mixer running, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream, until completely incorporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Continue beating until bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, until thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more.
  4. Turn over one of your cookies and place a healthy dollop on the bottom. Sandwich a second cookie, bottom-side down, on top. Sprinkle the exposed frosting sides with crumbled bacon. Enjoy.
Wednesday
Mar302011

Maple Madness: Vermont Maple Cookies Recipe for Serious Eats

When it comes to baking with maple, Grade C (or sometimes Grade B; see note, below) is anything but average.

It's is the deepest, darkest, most assertively maple-flavored grade of syrup you can get; while it can be a bit strong for, say, topping your pancakes (that's Grade A territory), the higher-octane stuff lends a rich, almost caramel-like maple flavor to baked goods. These simple drop cookies, adapted from a recipe I discovered in a vintage Vermont baking pamphlet at the Maple Museum of New England, are an ideal recipe to let the maple flavor shine.

They're great on their own, or if you want to double your pleasure, sandwich two with a smear of buttercream.

Note: As I learned on this website, Grade C Maple Syrup is no longer used by USDA. Grade C Maple Syrup is now designated USDA Grade B Maple Syrup. However, while in Vermont last week, I still saw a lot of maple labeled Grade C. If you can't locate Grade C maple syrup, simply choose the darkest Grade B variety you can find.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Mar152011

Scouting Sweetness: Girl Scout Cookie Sandwiches

It's true: more often than not, no matter what you're talking about, frosting will make it better.

But cookies in particular benefit highly from adding frosting--because then they become a cookie sandwich, which as we all know is basically society's way of granting us permission to eat two cookies, at once, with frosting, and not be judged.

And as cookies go, it is my learned and esteemed opinion that every type of Girl Scout Cookie is improved by being served in sandwich form--even the Lemon Chalet Creme cookies, which, if you want to get technical about it, are kind of already sandwich cookies.

Here's a simple recipe for Girl Scout Cookie Sandwiches--you can use whatever type of Girl Scout Cookies, and whatever type of frosting you'd like, with a pretty certain guarantee of sweet success.

Girl Scout Cookie Sandwiches

Makes 1 sandwich (easily duplicated)

  • 2 Girl Scout Cookies
  • 2 teaspoons (or more, or less, to taste) frosting

Suggested pairings: Peppermint frosting with Thin Mints; Vanilla buttercream with just about any variety; cream cheese frosting with Lemon Chalet Cremes or Samoas; Peanut butter frosting with Tagalongs or Do-Si-Dos; caramel or chocolate frosting with the classic shortbread cookies.

  1. Place a dollop of frosting on top of one cookie (if it's a type that has a defined top and bottom side, such as Thin Mints, apply to the overturned bottom side).
  2. Place the other cookie, bottom-side down, on top of the frosted half to form a sandwich.
  3. Repeat with as many cookies as you'd like to make into sandwiches. Enjoy.
Wednesday
Mar092011

Berry Delicious: Cranzac Cookies Recipe a la David Lebovitz

Cookies are just so cute when they pretend to be health food. Case in point: the ANZAC biscuit (ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and both places share ownership of the cookie). On the surface, its oaty, nubbly appearance looks rather virtuous--but one bite will tell you the butter, sugar, and golden syrup-filled truth.

David Lebovitz makes them even better in his brilliant (and beautiful) book Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by adding cranberries to the mix, which add a pleasing little zing of flavor; I made them better still with the addition of a dollop of buttercream on top. Don't worry, they still have oats, so they're still totally healthy. You're welcome.

CakeSpy Note: I made these for a David Lebovitz-themed meeting of my cookbook club--to check out what other people made, check out Kairu's flickr stream!

Cranzac Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup (or honey)

To top: About 1 cup vanilla buttercream frosting or cream cheese frosting of your choosing

Procedure 

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together oats, brown sugar, flour, coconut, cranberries, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the water, melted butter, and syrup or honey until the dough is cohesive and moist.
  3. Using your hands, shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets and lightly flatten them with your hand. They should have about 1 inch of space on all sides to allow for light spreading.
  4. Bake, rotating the tray halfway through baking, until the cookies are golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets til firm, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
  6. Once cool, top each with a dollop of frosting, and if you'd like, a cranberry piece on top for added cuteness.
Tuesday
Mar012011

Awesome Overload: Homemade Samoas With Peanut Butter

I know, I know. You probably went into the sweetest sort of sugar shock when I posted those Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies.

But I want to know that there's a way to make them even awesomer.

It's true. And it involves peanut butter.

While appointing my Samoas with chocolate on top, out of the corner of my eye a jar of peanut butter caught my eye, and a little lightbulb went off in my head.

And I'm happy to report that yes, adding a dollop of peanut butter to the coconut-topped Samoas, and then finishing it off with a Hershey's kiss or big dollop of chocolate topping is extremely delicious.

Want to try it yourself? Simply follow the recipe I posted on Serious Eats, but after topping the cookies with your coconut mixture, add a teaspoon of peanut butter and then top with either hershey's kisses or a dollop of the chocolate topping called for in the recipe. Easy as pie! I mean, cookie?

Saturday
Feb262011

When Life Gives You Lemons: Very Lemon Drop Cookies Recipe

Some sweet recipes dumb down lemon flavor, overcompensating with sugar to make up for the tartness of the lemon. Not these cookies. Sure, they're plenty sweet, but by using lemon juice, rind, liqueur, candies, and even lemon curd to top them, they've got so much lemon that non-lemon lovers need not apply. But if you do love lemon, then pucker up and get ready to chow down on these sweet-tart treats. Get bonus sweet-sour points by garnishing with pixie stix powder, but it's not necessary; pearl sugar is pretty too.

Lemon Drop Cookies

20 to 24 cookies, depending on size

  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup tart lemon candies
  • Optional: lemon curd, pixie stix, or pearl sugar for topping

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the lemon rind, butter, and sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the lemon juice, lemon liqueur, and water; beat well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, and beat until incorporated, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the lemon candies.
  7. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, drop mounds of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Be sure to leave 2 inches around each cookie, for spreading.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just golden on the edges. Let cool, and if desired, top each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd. 

 

Monday
Feb212011

Scouting Sweetness: Homemade Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies for Serious Eats

Once upon a time, Girl Scout Cookies were made by hand, by actual Girl Scouts. They were then sold door to door to teach the girls lessons about marketing and goal-setting.

These days, while the aim is still true—the proceeds go to a good cause—the Tagalongs*, Thin Mints, and Samoas are made commercially, making for confections that arguably fall into "don't confuse the experience with the product" territory.

The solution? Do buy cookies from those earnest young Scouts. But also make a batch of your own for a delicious home-baked treat. Start with these Tagalongs: slightly fatter and more substantial than the Scout version, you'll enjoy each chocolatey, peanut buttery, shortbready bite.

Not into Tagalongs? More of a Thin Mints fan? Make Thin Mints instead »

* In some regions, Tagalongs are packaged under the name "Peanut Butter Patty." Different licensed bakeries that supply the Girl Scouts call the same cookies different names. Wiki up on it here.

For more lore, and the recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Feb152011

Power Moves: The Power Cookie by Capers

I feel like we need to talk for a minute about one of my favorite "feels like health food" cookies: The Power Cookie. This beauty is the invention of Capers Markets (a Whole Foods partner in Canada), but luckily, here in Seattle we are close enough that they are readily available in Whole Foods stores. 

You may be tempted, upon looking at it, to think that this oaty, nutty, seedy, granola-y looking vegan (yes, vegan!) lump is kind of healthy. But you'd be wrong. It's delightfully full-of-fat, sweet but not overly so, and feels very indulgent. 

As BFF blog Everybody Likes Sandwiches says, 

The cookies are filling and with all of that good stuff crammed in, I certainly wouldn’t be adverse to calling these a breakfast cookie! While the ingredient list is long, these are simple to put together and they bake up really well too. If you don’t have applesauce on hand, but you do have an apple, just make your own sauce. One large apple should do it.

and -- even MORE awesome -- la belle Sandwich lady has come up with a "Bakery Hack" and made up her own version of the Power Cookie recipe! Since I've had the good fortune of trying her delicious baking, I would say that you could take this one on with confidence.

To find a Power Cookie, visit Whole Foods locations in Seattle or Vancouver (probably in-between, too); to try the recipe, visit Everybody Likes Sandwiches.

Thursday
Jan132011

Footloose and Butter and Dairy Free: Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Are you scared of vegans? Well, really, you shouldn't be. Because really, they're a lot like the rest of us. They just don't eat things with butter or milk or eggs. Or, you know, burgers or bacon.

But you know what? Vegans do like cookies. And when Melisser Elliott passed through Seattle to sign and promote her splendid book The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets and More , I made some vegan peanut butter cookies to sweeten the afternoon.

And you know what? Turns out that the vegan cookies were very delicious, and the vegans were very friendly. No need to be scared. Try it at home and see for yourself:

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes like 24

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth, no-stir type)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (it's in most grocery stores)
  • 1 egg replacer of your choice (options here)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Procedure 

  1. Mix sugars, peanut butter, Earth Blance and egg replacement in large bowl.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  5. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls.
  6. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.
  8. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.
Thursday
Dec232010

Rule of Thumb: Thumbprint Cookies Recipe from Cake Gumshoe Alana

Hi, my name is CakeSpy. And as a professional sleuth of sweetness, I just want to give you fair warning: if you give me a secret family recipe, I will share it.

Oh, just kidding. Clearly this recipe, from Cake Gumshoe (and buddy) Alana isn't a big secret, otherwise she wouldn't have given me a recipe card along with the tin of yum she delivered last week, brimming with soft molasses cookies and (my favorite!) jam-filled thumbprints.

And I'm totally passing on the recipe to you, sweet readers. 

Alana's No-Longer-Secret Family Recipe for Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 8 ounces raspberry jam

 Procedure

  1. In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla until smooth. Sift together f lour and salt and then work into batter. Chill  dough for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375. Form dough in 3/4 inch balls.
  3. Beat egg whites in a bowl with a fork til slightly bubbly.
  4. Roll the balls in the egg whites, then in the chopped nuts.
  5. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven and press the back end of a wooden spoon into the centers of the cookies to form a small indent.
  7. Return cookies to the oven; bake for 8 more minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and fill with a generous dab of jam. Let cool.

 

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