Posts Tagged ‘Cookies’

A Shower for My Sister

June 6th, 2012

Strawberry cheesecakes

Later this summer, my little sister is getting married.  I started planning her shower back in the early spring, playing around with Pinterest, reading dessert cookbooks, and flipping through magazines.

Macarons

The theme came together quickly – lipstick & lingerie – with the guests contributing to the bride’s visit to MAC and a pile of frothy underthings.  We spent the day before the shower getting primped and pampered, just like a bridal party should.

Sugar cookie wedding cakes

The food was where I had the most fun.  My grandma, an amazing baker, pulled off the shortbread wedding cakes seen above.  I ordered macarons from the lovely Bake Lethbridge, and everything else played into the fresh spring feel of the shower.  My favourite treat was also the easiest to put together – a tray full of bruschetta and goat cheese on baguette slices.  Half were a traditional tomato bruschetta; half were a summery strawberry bruschetta.

Desserts Garter from mom Party snacks

It was a wonderful afternoon, and I can’t wait for the big weekend.

The Cookiepedia

September 7th, 2011

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Cookies

Who doesn’t like cookies?  They’re the perfect snack – compact, sweet and just the thing with a cold glass of milk.  We all have our favourites – chocolate chip, coconut macaroons, sugar cookies with pink icing…  The possibilities are really only as endless as your imagination.

A few weeks ago, I received a review copy of Stacy Adimando‘s new cookbook, The Cookiepedia.  Inside are 50 recipes for classic cookies, divided into six easy-to-navigate categories: buttery, chocolaty, fancy, fruity, spicy and nutty.  The book has a funky, retro vibe, with bright, cheerful graphics and big colour pictures of each of the cookies.  The recipes are easy to follow, perfect for the beginner baker, but adaptable enough for the creative cook.

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Cookies

In the interest of giving the book a proper review, I shared the cookbook with my mom and we set to baking on the weekend.  First up were the “Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink” cookies, picture above.  They’re basically a chocolate chip cookie, but with the addition of extra sweet and salty add-ins.  Mom’s version featured corn chips, pretzel chunks, chocolate chips, unsalted peanuts and a super special ingredient – chunk of leftover Christmas toffee-almond squares, discovered in the bottom of the deep freeze.  These cookies were amazing – chewy and cruncy, salty and sweet, all in each mouthful.  The recipe is on page 23 of the cookbook – buy a copy or visit your library to check it out.

Green tea cookies

The weekend’s second batch of cookies were something a little different – buttery green tea cookies made with matcha powder.  The recipe suggests dipping each cookie in a sugar/ginger mix before baking.  I decided to go with a gingery drizzled glaze, instead.  These are a great cookie for a mid-afternoon break from work.  They give you a little boost that gets you through the rest of the work day, and you can’t help but smile when you see the brilliant emerald green colour of the biscuits.

Green Tea Cookies (adapted from Stacy Adimando’s The Cookiepedia)

3/4 cup icing sugar
4 teaspoons matcha powder (medium grind)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp softened butter
3 egg yolks
1 3/4 cups flour
pinch of salt

3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp cold water

With an electric mixer, cream together the icing sugar, matcha powder and butter until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure even blending.
Add the egg yolks and blend again.
Add the flour and salt 1/2 a cup at a time at low speed.  Depending on the heat of the day, the dough may be crumbly, or come together in a nice ball.
Remove the dough from the bowl.  With the heat from your hands, shape it into a round, flat disc.  Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, roll it out  to 1/2 an inch thick.  Cut it into shapes using cookie or biscuit cutters and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are just starting to turn golden.  Cool on wire racks.

For the glaze, mix together the icing sugar, ginger and water with a whisk until smooth.  It should be thick enough to drizzle slowly – if it’s too thin, it won’t set solidly on the cookies.  To thicken, add a bit more sugar; to thin, add a few drops of water.
Once the glaze is the right consistency, drizzle with the whisk over the cooled cookies and allow to set.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

December 23rd, 2010

Boxing Day coffee and biscotti

I haven’t done much in the way of Christmas baking this year.  I had plans to make shortbread, gingerbread, sugar cookies, maybe even some chocolate bark, but none of those came to pass.  The one thing I’ve managed to get in the oven is a double batch of biscotti.  I like to give these cookies as gifts and I also like having enough around so that I can enjoy a nice slow coffee break on the mornings when I don’t work.  My two no-fail recipes come from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking book.   She’s a cookie goddess – I’ve never had a recipe of hers fail.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes.
Add the eggs and continue to mix on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes until very smooth.
Mix together the dry ingredients, then slowly blend into the creamed mixture.
Stir in the almonds and cranberries by hand.
Turn the soft dough out onto the counter and form into a log.
Split the log in two, then flatten out each half on the baking sheet until it’s about an inch and a half thick.
Bake for 15 minutes then remove from oven to cool for 30 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
Slice the logs into 3/4 inch pieces and arrange cut-side-up on the baking sheet.
Bake for another 15 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before packing in an air-tight container.

Cape Breton Oatcakes

March 17th, 2010

Oatcakes

I love oatcakes.  There’s just something so comforting about their chewy, grainy, buttery goodness.  While searching online for a recipe that would give me a biscuit close to the ones I ate out in Halifax, I came across a recipe from Natalie MacMaster, the Cape Breton fiddler.  It’s close enough to my grandma’s recipe, but these come out thicker and chewier.

I’ve made a few adjustments to Natalie’s ingredients, because I was trying to make them as dense and oaty as possible.  Next time (and there will be many next times) I’ll try using some brown sugar to make them even more moist.  With the size I’ve made my biscuits (about 3 inches across), this recipe makes about a dozen.

1/2 cup margarine (room temperature)
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together the margarine, butter and sugar using a mixmaster.
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the boiling water until it dissolves.
Mix the water into the creamed mixture.
Slowly stir in the flour, oats and salt.
Continue to stir until a soft ball forms – this may take a bit of kneading by hand.
Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thinkness, then cut out rounds with a crinkled biscuit cutter.
Arrange oatcakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes at 375 °F.
Once they’re baked, let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a cookie rack to cool completely.

Madeleines

June 8th, 2009

Madeleines

For my birthday, I got a gift certificate from my favourite Lethbridge store – The Sous Chef. This fabulous little downtown shop stocks everything from Portmeirion porcelain dishes and gorgeous German glassware, to high-end knives and pans and every kitchen garden you could ever need. I’d been thinking about buying a madeleine pan for a while, and finally had an excuse to do so.

This makes enough for 24 Madeleines – 2 pans worth, in most cases.

2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
zest of one orange
1 cup icing sugar

Stir together flour and baking powder, set aside.
Beat eggs and orange zest together for 5 minutes.
Gradually mix in icing sugar, then beat for another 5 minutes.
Fold in the flour mixture, then the melted butter, mixing until smooth.
Spoon the batter into greased Madeleine forms – about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 8 minutes at 350°F or until the edges are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes sit in the pan for at least 2 minutes before flipping them out onto a cooling rack.
Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

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