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Entries in Cookies (35)


Dark Chocolate, Almond, & Raspberry Rugelach

'Tis the season for holiday baking, and have I got something for you. This month, the theme for First on the First was rugelach,  a Jewish pastry filled with nuts and fruit preserves. These beauties have been on my bucket list for a while and I'm so glad that I finally had a reason to make them. When searching for the right recipe to use, I decided to go for a non-traditional route. Instead of the typical walnuts, I chose to use almonds. How can you go wrong when you wrap almonds, dark chocolate, and raspberry preserves in a pillow of soft cream cheese dough? Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or anything else, these cookies would be a great addition to your holiday table. 

For the Dough:
8 ounces Cream Cheese
2 sticks Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Flour

In a food processor, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Pulse again to combine. Add the flour and pulse the dough until it comes together in a soft ball. Divide the ball into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an our or overnight. Dough can also be frozen for about 3 weeks.

For the Filling:
1 cup Seedless Raspberry Preserves
1 cup Finley Chopped Dark Chocolate  
1 cup Almonds, finely chopped
1/4 cup Cinnamon Sugar (about 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon)

On a floured surface, roll out one of the discs of dough to about a 1/8-inch thick round. Cover with about 1/2 cup of preserves. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces (as if you are cutting a pizza). Sprinkle on the nuts and chocolate, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. With a knife, make a small slit in the wide end of each piece of dough. Roll the dough up, starting at the wide end, until the pointy end is tucked under the cookie. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper and lightly greased. Brush the tops with a small amount of heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the other disc of dough. 

SOURCE: Zoe Bakes



Pumpkin Gingerbread Biscotti

Pumpkin biscotti

Oh, hello! Sorry I've been neglecting my little ol' blog lately. I wish I could say I've been busy doing something fun, but really, I've just been trying to get a handle on my new schedule. Balancing work, coaching, and life has been a little tricky, but swimming is ending very soon, so I'll have some time to get back in the kitchen and get back on a somewhat regular posting schedule. To get myself started, I made biscotti the other night. It's been on my list of things to try for a long time now, and I just happened to have exactly enough pumpkin puree in my fridge leftover from another recipe just waiting to be used; It was as if the stars had aligned! The hands-on time for these cookies is minimal, but they do bake for quite a while, so be sure you have at least an hour and a half to devote to them before you start the recipe. My only complaint is that I should have left my cookies in the oven a bit longer than I did. They ended up being slightly chewy rather than crunchy like biscotti should be. However, they tasted wonderful dipped in tea {just as I'm sure they would taste great with coffee}. 

1 Egg
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Freshly Grated Ginger (I used dried ginger)
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 cups Flour
4 ounces Chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
3 tablespoons Chopped Pecans 

Whisk together the egg, sugar, and baking powder on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until the mixture falls into ribbons when you lift out the whisk. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, salt, and vanilla and whisk until blended. Carefully fold in the flour. On a greased baking sheet, shape the dough into a flat log about 3" wide by about 8" long. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees. Let the dough cool down for 15 minutes before cutting it into 1/2 inch slices. Put the slices on the baking sheet and bake for another 30 minutes, flipping the cookies over half way through. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Melt the chocolate (in the microwave or over a double boiler). Dip half of each biscotti into the chocolate and sprinkle the pecans on top. Lay the cookies on wax paper until the chocolate hardens. Makes about 10-12 biscotti. 

SOURCE: Lovin' From the Oven


French Macarons with Nutella Buttercream 


During the summer of 2008, Joel and I took a European vacation which brought us to Paris. We met up with a friend while we were there and as we were walking down Champs-Elysées, she said we couldn't leave without stopping in to Ladurée for a treat. I remember seeing little sandwich cookies in a case with a line of at least 4 people deep waiting to get their hands on them. I had no idea what the big deal was about them. We left without even getting close enough to see the flavors that they were selling. Needless to say, until I had a blog, I had no idea what French Macarons were. However, they have been popping up all over the internet recently, and I've become a bit curious. A few weeks ago, Joel and I went up to Toronto for the day and while we were there, we discovered a cute little macaron boutique and decided to see what the fuss was all about. I immediately had a case of sticker shock when I saw the price--$2.50 for a cookie the size of a half-dollar?! Since I felt odd charging 1 single cookie, we bought a sampler pack of 6 different flavors, gave them a try, and was immediately surprised by how delicious they were! So, when I was assigned to Carrie's Sweet Life for the Secret Recipe Club style recipe swap this week, I knew right away that I was going to try this recipe for French Macarons, which she got from Martha Stewart. When I started the recipe, I was a bit annoyed with the sifting and piping. I was able to get enough for 12 regular sized sandwiches and 4 mini ones out of the batter. It seemed like an awful lot of work for such a small amount of cookies. However, when I took the pan out of the oven and discovered that my macarons had "feet", I was beyond excited and couldn't wait to give them a try. I whipped up a nutella buttercream instead of the Swiss meringue buttercream that Carrie made, and piped them onto the cookies. I made Joel try one first, and he told me they were perfect. He was right! I am impressed that they turned out as good as they did for my first time making them. I would love to try them again with different flavor combinations. Thanks, Carrie, for finally giving me a reason to give this recipe a try!

For the Macarons:
1 cup Confectioners' Sugar
3/4 cup Almond Flour
2 large Egg Whites, at room temperature
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1/4 cup Superfine Sugar (I made my own by buzzing regular sugar around in a food processor)

Pulse the confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift the mixture through a sieve 2 times. Preheat at the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium heat until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low and add the superfine sugar. Increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip. and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, dragging the pastry tip to the side of the rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap the bottom of each sheet on the work surface to release any trapped air. Let the piped batter stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating half way through, until the macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees. Let the macarons cool on sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. If the macarons stick, spray water under the parchment on the hot sheet--the steam will help release the macarons. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon of filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment paper, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months. 

For the Nutella Buttercream Filling (from Tracey's Culinary Adventures):
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
1/4 cup Nutella
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 tablespoon Milk
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and nutella until combined. Add the vanilla, milk, and confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is just about incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is smooth.  


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (2)

Pb chocolate chip cookies

I'm a sucker for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Unfortunately, Joel does not share that love of mine. The other day in school, one of my resource students was talking about different kinds of cookies that she likes. All of that talk about cookies made me want to get in the kitchen and bake some--particularly peanut butter chocolate chip. I have posted another peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe in the past, which I love, but I wanted to try something different. Enter this recipe from Hezzi D's Books and Cooks…which was perfect, because I was assigned to Heather's blog for this week's SRC Style Recipe Swap! Not only did these delicious cookies take care of my cookie craving, but it made enough for me to share with my students! So thank you, Heather, for making my students happy, which in turn makes me happy!

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 3/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by the rounded teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart from each other. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes for a soft, chewy cookie. Bake for 13-15 minutes for a crisp, golden brown cookie. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Reeses pb cookies

I had a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Chips hanging out in my pantry, which was dangerous, because one day last week, I came home from work, opened the bag, and started eating them by the handful. Yes, that's right, I do things like that…don't judge! Anyway, after the 2nd handful, I decided that I'd better use the rest to make cookies, because otherwise, I would have felt guilty. Lo and behold, there was a cookie recipe right on the bag, so I gathered all the ingredients and started to make them, cutting the recipe in half, since I ate some of the chips already. The dough made 2 dozen cookies, so I froze half of the dough balls and baked the other half. These cookies were great! Perfectly chewy, yet somewhat crunchy around the sides, and full of peanut butter chips, which were my favorite part! The recipe below reflects the whole recipe, the way that it was written on the bag.

2 cups Flour
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder (I used Dark)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) Butter, softened
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 2/3 cups Peanut Butter Chips (10 ounce bag)

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Drop by the rounded teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes (Do not over-bake; cookies will be soft and will buff out while baking, but flatten when cooling). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

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