serious cookies

November 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Cookies, Dessert | 8 Comments
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Seriously, go make these cookies, now!

Many thanks to Megan for posting these World Peace cookies.  Megan, they are awesome.  Seriously, I’ve made them twice in the past week…and I want more.

Continue Reading serious cookies…

Tricks and Treats

October 31, 2009 at 10:29 am | Posted in Dessert | 5 Comments
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Happy Halloween!

treats

To celebrate I made these caramel apples and

peanut butter sandwich “cookies”.

The caramel apples were fun to try and tasty to eat.  I decorated with melted chocolate and Reese’s Pieces.

The Peanut Butter Sandwich “Cookies” were inspired by a couple of friends.  These are a great combination of sweet/salty-creamy/crispy!  Thanks M and G!

treats bite

Peanut Butter Sandwich “Cookies”

  • chocolate chips
  • peanut butter
  • Saltines crackers
  • Crisco shortening

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, stir in 1 tsp of shortening (this makes the chocolate smooth and thin).  Spread some peanut butter between two Saltines crackers.  Dip into the melted chocolate.

Technique for dipping sandwich crackers:

  1. Drop cracker into the bowl of melted chocolate.
  2. Using a fork, flip it over until chocolate covers the cracker.
  3. Lift the cracker out of the chocolate with the fork and carefully shake.
  4. Lay on a cooking rack to dry.

Have a safe night everyone!

vanilla bean madeleines

April 25, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Dessert | 9 Comments
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madeline-top-cut-small

I first tried these cookies about 4 years ago.  My kids and I were at Starbucks and I saw this little package containing three cookies.  “Perfect, one for each of us” I thought.  At first bite I became an instant fan of these little buttery cake-like cookies.  They are, simply put, a classic.

We were back at Starbucks again this morning, and we dutifully picked up a package of madeleines.  My daughter reminded me of the madeleine cookie tray that had given to me a couple years ago.  It had been sitting in the back of the baking supply cupboard collecting dust…until today.

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I found this recipe, fabulous!  Now I’m dreaming up different flavored madeleines.  This was my first attempt, vanilla bean, and I couldn’t be happier.

Vanilla Bean Madeleines (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
Pam for baking
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar

Special equipment: A metal madeleine baking pan, regular size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) – you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick – you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume – approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony.  Add the vanilla beans and vanilla (just until mixed).

Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.

Using a small cookie scoop, fill the mold about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake the madeleines for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes about 2 dozen regular madeleines.

madeline-side-up

Snickerdoodles

September 2, 2008 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Dessert | 14 Comments
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I’m a full time working mom and am still enjoying my baking!  Okay, maybe the blogging has dropped off a bit, and exercising…but I’m doing my best.  And I don’t even know how to “do better” at the moment.  All I know is one day at a time.

So today I managed to work a full day, relish my kids’ first day of kindergarten, get them to soccer practice, and still have time to make cookies!  (Yes, I have a great hubby who helps out a lot).

Snickerdoodles (because kids should have milk and cookies waiting for them at home, right M?)

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl beat butter until creamy.  Add about half of the flour, the 1 cup of sugar, the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Beat until combined.  Beat in remaining flour.  Scoop batter onto plastic wrap.  Shape into a long log.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Cut pieces.  Roll pieces into circles.  Combine the 2 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Makes about 2 dozen.

From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook c. 1989

Today I slipped a little note card into their lunchboxes.  Tomorrow my kids will have some homemade cookies.  I’d say that’s doing better!

Here’s a photo from this morning.  I am fortunate to be working at the private school that my kids are attending.  The elementary and secondary students share a campus, so my office is a stones-throw away from the kindergarten wing.

If there is an ideal for me to go back to work full time, this is it.  I am doing teacher support.  It’s my dream job.  I am loving it.

Lemon Cookies

March 14, 2008 at 10:28 am | Posted in Dessert | 11 Comments
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I don’t know why my grocery store doesn’t carry meyer lemons or hempmilk, but I’m getting slightly frustrated. This afternoon I loaded my kids in the car and we headed off to Gene’s Fine Foods…maybe they would have hempmilk. 20 minutes later we arrived to find no hempmilk, but they did have meyer lemons and kid sized shopping carts.

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Who knew a trip to the grocery store could be so much fun! (Sorry for the blur, I took this with my phone).

Those Black and White Cookies were crying out for a lemon icing…and so I made…

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Lemon Cookies (with meyer lemon)

for the cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

for the icing:

  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • 1 T water

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine milk, lemon juice and vanilla.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Mix in flour mixture, alternating with milk on low speed. Mix until smooth.

Scoop out batter onto a silpat lined baking sheet, about 6 to a sheet as they do spread. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 11-13 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool two minutes on a tray and then transfer to a cooling rack.

While the cookies are baking, mix the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest and water. Once the cookies have cooled slightly, spread the icing over the cookies.

lemon-cookie-side.jpg

Black and White Cookies

March 13, 2008 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Dessert | 7 Comments
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After making the Cinnamon Babka, Couch Cubicle suggested I try a marble rye. Maybe someday. But for now here’s the Black and White Cookie. I found this recipe on Epicurious, one of my favorite online recipe sources.

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Black and White Cookies (makes about 15 cookies)

For the cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

for the icing:

  •  2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together milk, lemon juice and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and milk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Scoop out the cookie batter and place on a silpat lined baking sheet. These spread slightly, so make sure to leave room. I got 6 on a standard size tray. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 11-13 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Frost these while they are still warm, the frosting goes on so evenly and smoothly.

While the cookies bake, cream together the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.

After letting the cookies cool slightly, spread the white frosting over the entire top of the cookie. Let the white frosting set and then spread the chocolate frosting. If the chocolate frosting gets too firm, heat it in the microwave until it is smooth.

black-and-white-top-sm.jpg

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