Category Archives: cookies

Pumpkin Biscotti

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Christmas is tomorrow  and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

What is fast to bake and delicious to eat? Biscotti. I love all kinds of biscotti but this pumpkin version from King Arthur Flour has fast become one of my favorite holiday treats. (OK, I seem to love all holiday treats but this one is right up there on the top of my list). Try them for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree.

PUMPKIN BISCOTTI

4 tablespoons softened butter, salted or unsalted2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 cups all purpose flour

Colored sugar for sprinkling (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened butter, sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  • Beat in the egg and pumpkin purée.
  • At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.
  • Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Divide it in half, and shape it into two 10″ x 2 1/2″ logs. Pat the logs into long rectangles, and smooth their tops and sides.
  • Sprinkle with the decorative sugar if desired, pressing it in gently.
  • Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.
  •  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. 
  • Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. 
  • Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 40 to 45 minutes, until they’re starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Turn off the oven, crack the door open a couple of inches, and let the biscotti cool right in the oven.
  • Remove the biscotti from the oven when they’re completely cool. Store airtight at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 30 to 40 biscotti

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Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Cinnamon Bun Pin Wheels

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Christmas is just three days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Warm cinnamon buns bursting with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans are the perfect morning treat. But who says these flavors have to be saved for breakfast? Not King Arthur Flour; these cinnamon bun inspired cookies are the ultimate holiday indulgence. They are the perfect compliment to your holiday baking and they taste pretty darn good when served slightly warm.

I’ve even been known to keep a roll of the dough in the freezer so I can bake up a fresh batch when the mood strikes. And why not? It is the holiday season after all!

CINNAMON BUN PIN WHEELS

VANILLA DOUGH

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

CINNAMON DOUGH

¼ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

 

To make the vanilla dough:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. 
  • Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To make the cinnamon dough:

  • In a saucepan combine the sugar, honey, salt, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon.
  • Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly. 
  • Transfer the cinnamon mixture and the toasted pecans to a food processor, and process until smooth.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the pecan mixture and flour to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To shape the cookies:

  • Place parchment or waxed paper on your work surface and dust it lightly with flour.
  • Lay the vanilla dough on the parchment and roll it into an 18″ x 12″ rectangle. Set it aside.
  • Using more parchment paper or waxed paper, roll the cinnamon dough slightly smaller than the first, into a 17 ½” x 11 ½” rectangle.
  • Place the smaller piece of dough on top of the larger piece of dough, using the parchment to transport.
  • Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log, with no gaps.
  • Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment, and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on a clean work surface. Let it thaw for 15 minutes, or until it’s soft enough to cut. 
  • Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into ¼” slices. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, place it back in the freezer briefly. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  • When cool, store airtight, at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.
  • Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Frangelico Crinkles

Christmas is just four days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

For me, nothing says Christmas more than plates of freshly baked cookies.  Traditional sugar and gingerbread cookies are nice but in order to add an element of surprise to my cookie plates I always make sure I include one or two new types each year.  However, as much as I love chocolate, I usually shy away from chocolate based cookies since their presence on the cookie tray is often overpowering.  This year I stumbled upon a chocolate cookie that sounded too good to resist.  Combining the amazing flavors of dark chocolate and hazelnut, these Frangelico crinkle cookies from Mary Lee’s Desserts in Vienna, Virginia were too decadent and enticing to pass up.  The sophisticated flavor combination makes this a very adult cookie.  As an added bonus you can freeze them so they can be made ahead of time and brought out for any cookie giving occasion that pops up.

Don’t let the batter like dough scare you.  Once it sits in the refrigerator it firms up and the result is a dough that is the perfect consistency.

FRANGELICO CRINKLES

 
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
12 ounces top-quality dark baking chocolate, chopped
6 Tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  •  Heat a few inches of water in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Combine the chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl that is large enough to sit over the saucepan.  Heat just long enough for them to melt, stirring to incorporate.  Remove from the heat.
  • Whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand in a mixing bowl until the mixture has lightened in
    color.
  • Add the cooled chocolate mixture, vanilla extract, cream, and liqueur, stirring to incorporate, then
    gently and gradually fold in the flour mixture to form a soft dough.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.  Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the
    sifted confectioners’ sugar on a plate.
  • Shape a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball, then roll to coat completely in the confectioners’ sugar.  Repeat to use all of the dough, spacing the dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  • Bake one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes; the cookies will be puffed and cracked but soft in the center.  Do not over bake.
  • Remove from the oven.  Cool for 2 minutes on the sheet; transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before serving or storing.
YIELDS:  36 cookies
The cookies may be stored in an airtight tin for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Twenty Five Days of Cookies:

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Christmas is just five days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Here’s another one of my holiday favorites.  These bite sized cookies from King Arthur Flour are easy and fun for kids to make while being sophisticated enough for even the most refined of adult palates.  I rolled my cookies in shredded coconut but finely chopped nuts would work just as well.  The cookie filling is jam so you can be flexible and use whichever flavors you prefer.  For a colorful contrast I used strawberry and apricot but fig, blueberry, and pineapple preserves are also good.  Perhaps you need to make a double batch and experiment.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until very light.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.
  • Break off bits of dough and roll between your hands to form 1 inch balls.  Dip the ball in the egg whites then roll in the coconut.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Use our thumb to form an indentation in the top of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Fill the thumbprint with jam, using about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.

Yields: 5 dozen cookies

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Meringue Drops

Christmas is just six days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Egg whites and sugar. It doesn’t get much easier than these cookies that can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion.  For Christmas I’ve doctored mine up with a bit of red and green food coloring, added some colored sugar and they are good to go.  I’ve experimented with different flavorings as well.  Vanilla is always tasty but I found some creme de menthe in pantry used that to make mint ones.  In the past, I’ve also used orange or lemon extracts as well.  Which ever flavor you decide to use, they are sure to be a hit.

MERINGUE DROPS 

 
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 cup super fine sugar
1 teaspoon extract of your choice
coarse sugar and food coloring if desired
  •  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  •  In a clean, non-plastic bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until frothy.
  •  Add the salt, cream of tarter, and food coloring if using and beat until blended.
  • Gradually add the sugar until completely incorporated and stiff peaks begin to form.
  •  Add the extract and beat until completed incorporated and no streaks remain.  Continue beating until the peaks are shiny.
  • Using a small dough scoop, tablespoon or a pastry bag, place tablespoon sized portions of the meringue mixture on the prepared cookie sheets.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  Without opening the door, turn off the oven and allow to sit for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the cookies are completed cool and crisp.

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies

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Christmas is just seven days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

For me, nothing is more New England than real maple syrup so when I’m longing for home this holiday season, this is one of my go-to recipes. The recipe is adapted from Cuisine At Home and brings together the rich buttery flavor of shortbread with toasty pecans and of course, maple syrup. With its sweet and nut filled filling, these bars are reminiscent of a maple flavored pecan pie. If you prefer and it is readily available, feel free to substitute maple sugar for either or both of the brown sugars. You can also use toasted walnuts instead of pecans. Regardless of which nut or sugar you use, be sure to use real maple syrup in the filling. Anything else is simply not acceptable. So bake up a batch of these tasty bars today and celebrate the start of a new season.

MAPLE PECAN SHORTBREAD BARS

For the crust:

12 sticks unsalted butter plus more for the pan, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

1 cup pure maple syrup

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly coat an 8 inch square baking pan with softened butter; line the pan with parchment paper then coat the pan, sides and parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray. Dust the pan with flour, shake out the excess then set aside.
  • To make the crust, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the flour and salt and mix until completely incorporated.
  • Press the dough into the prepared pan making sure the crust reaches the corners.
  • Chill the pan in the refrigerator for 1/2 an hour.
  • Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  • To make the filling, using an electric mixer, beat the syrup, sugar, eggs, bourbon, vanilla and salt in a medium sized bowl until frothy.
  • Stir in the nuts until combined.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and bake until brown and set, 35-40 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges and corners of the pan to loosen the bars.
  • Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Yields: 9 bars

Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

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Christmas is just eight days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Coconut oil seems to be everywhere these days. From beauty products to elixirs that will solve all of your health woes, coconut oil is one of the latest health trends. My own cabinets are filled with health and beauty products whose main ingredient is coconut oil and I’ve eaten my share of baked goods that contain it as well. . But until recently, I’ve never actually cooked with the oil itself. I decided to take the plunge with these super easy and tasty cookies from the Averie Cooks website.

I read quite a bit about the different forms of coconut oil then studied the shelves in my local grocery store before taking the plunge and buying my first jar. Because I was going to be using the oil in baked goods, I was most concerned about its consistency since it was taking the place of butter. I finally settled on a jar from The International Collection oil company since at least in the jar it looked solid enough for baking. And it was. Although a bit softer than room temperature butter, the oil creamed together nicely with the brown sugar the same way a butter or vegetable shortening does. (Here’s a hint: if your coconut oil is too soft and runny, simply refrigerate it for a few minutes until it begins to harden to your desired consistency).

Because coconut oil does have a soft consistency, the cookie dough does need to be refrigerated for at least two hours, or up to several days, after the cookies are formed before they can be baked. If you don’t do this, the cookies will spread too much.

And the verdict? Well, with copious amounts of rich dark brown sugar, these cookies have a hint of vanilla and coconut flavor the aforementioned oil, so they are just as good as they promise. So go ahead and bake up a batch–or two since they are so good–today.

DARK BROWN SUGAR COCONUT OIL COOKIES

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsulphered mild to medium molasses
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the coconut oil, egg, brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed to cream until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the vanilla and molasses, beating just to incorporate, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add in the flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt,  mixing until just combined.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, form mounds that are 2 heaping tablespoons in size.
  • Place dough mounds on a large plate, and slightly flatten each mound.
  • Cover with plastic wrap  and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the dough on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops have just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. They will firm up as they cool.
  • Allow the cookies to sit for 15 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields: 15 cookies

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