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Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Salted Butter Breakups Food always tastes better when it’s shared. But here’s the dilemma: Would you actually want to share a super-sized butter cookie that contains the perfect balance of flavors – not too sweet and not too salty – and the perfect balance of textures – crispy on the outside and delightfully soft and chewy on the inside? Its name, Salted Butter Breakups, indicates that this big delicious cookie is meant to be broken up and shared. Bake one up to share with friends or succumb to temptation and eat the entire sweet glory all by yourself. You choose.

Salted Butter Breakups
Adapted from From Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

INGREDIENTS
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sel gris or kosher salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
3 to 5 tablespoons cold water
1 egg yolk, for the glaze

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Drop in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal – you’ll have big, pea-size pieces and small flakes. With the machine running, start adding the cold water gradually. Add just enough water to produce a dough that almost forms a ball. When you reach into the bowl to feel the dough, it should be very malleable.

2. Scrape the dough onto a work surface, form it into a square and pat the square down to flatten it a bit. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for about 1 hour (or as long as overnight).

3. When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

4. Remove the dough from the fridge and, if it’s very hard, bash it a few times with your rolling pin to soften it. Put the dough between sheets of plastic film or wax paper and roll it – or pat it – into a rectangle that’s about 1/4-inch thick and about 5-x-11 inches; accuracy and neatness don’t count for a lot here. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet.

5. Beat the egg yolk with a few drops of cold water and, using a pastry brush, paint the top surface of the dough with the egg wash. Using the back of a table fork, decorate the cookie in a cross-hatch pattern.

6. Bake the cookie for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is golden. It will be firm to the touch, but have a little spring when pressed in the center – the perfect breakup is crisp on the outside and still tender within. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookie to cool to room temperature.

Serving: If fun is what you’re after, bring the breakup to the table whole and let everyone break off pieces big and small; if order suits you better, break the cookie in the kitchen and serve the pieces on a plate.

Storing: The baked cookie will keep in a container for about 3 days. You can make the dough up to 3 days ahead and keep it in the refrigerator, or you can wrap it airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months. Don’t brush the dough with egg wash until you’re ready to bake it.

Makes 4 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES:
1. Sel gris means gray salt in French. It is a coarse-textured flavorful salt harvested in France.

2. My husband liked the salty bite this cookie had, so the next time I make this cookie, I will try adding 1 teaspoon of salt instead of the 3/4 teaspoon that I used.

3. I baked the cookie for about 30 minutes. Because I thought the edges were the tastiest part, next time I will bake it a little bit longer to get more of the crispy browned-butter flavor throughout.

4. Although the cookie can be stored in an airtight container for a few days, it loses its crispiness. It’s best when consumed within a couple of hours after baking.

5. This cookie alone makes an easy dessert, but if you accompany it with some fresh seasonal fruit, such as peaches or berries, it becomes a fabulous dessert treat.

ENJOY!

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Thumbprint Cookies The combination of having a summer cold, a craving for something sweet to eat, and not wanting to go out in the drizzling rain prompted me to get out the butter and fire up the oven. Ever since I bought some thumbprint cookies coated with nuts at a bakery, I’ve been craving them. Somehow, while under the influence of cold medications, I groggily managed to find a thumbprint cookie recipe and make the cookies. There’s nothing better than a spot of hot tea to ease a cold and chase away a rainy day, unless of course, you bake a buttery cookie coated with crunchy nuts and filled with tart jam to accompany that cup of tea!

Thumbprint Cookies
Joy of Baking.com

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup ( 130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (100 grams) hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup jam

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand-mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3) minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until combined. (If the batter is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30 minutes.)

4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into 1-inch (2.54 cm) balls. Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll into the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1-inch apart. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

5. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Notes:
To toast the nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 – 10 minutes. The nuts are done when when they are light-golden brown in color and fragrant.

If you are planning to store these cookies, I like to bake them without the jam. Just reduce the baking time by a few minutes. These cookies can be stored for about a week. Fill the cookies with jam the same day as serving.

Makes about 20 cookies

Linnell’s Notes:
1. This recipe is very adaptable. You can add nuts or withhold the nuts. You can choose any flavor of jam that you want. I used red current jam, since that is what I had in the refrigerator.
2. The next time I make these, I will make them larger in size and increase the baking time accordingly. I want them to be a chunkier type of cookie, rather than small dainty cookies.
3. To make the indentations in the dough, I pressed the rounded bottoms of either my 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon or my 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. They created very nice wells for the jam.

Enjoy!

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spiced chocolate krinkle cookies

Add a little spice to your life and tantalize your taste buds with one of these cookies. At first bite, you’ll discover a rich chocolate flavor with a touch of sweetness, but then, as you’re about to swallow this little bit of naughtiness, a warm and spicy sensation floods your mouth. Ground ginger, freshly-grated ginger, and cayenne pepper provide the cookie with a surprising “afterglow.” A perfect treat anytime, but especially on a cold and rainy day like today!

Spiced Chocolate Krinkles
From The Sweet Spot by Pichet Ong

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil
1 ounce (28 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (2 ounces/54 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond flour or coconut powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup (3¾ ounces/106 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (2 ounces/55 grams) confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
1. Put the oil, chocolate, both gingers, the cardamom, cayenne, and salt in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl if necessary, and cool completely.

2. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.

3. When the chocolate mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the egg, sugar, and vanilla extract and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture until well incorporated. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk, and wrap tightly in the plastic. Chill until hard, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.

4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off a piece of dough, form it into a 1/2-inch ball, roll in the confectioners’ sugar until well coated, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, putting the coated balls 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

6. Bake the cookies until the tops look cracked and are dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Linnell’s Notes:
1. An easy way to peel fresh ginger is to scrap off the “skin” with a teaspoon.

2. The cookbook author noted, “Don’t be tempted to make these cookies bigger. They look more appealing when small and the flavors and texture are best enjoyed in a single bite.”

3. My cookie dough turned out to be more loosely formed than a dough. I attribute this to using an extra large egg. The dough did firm up a bit after chilling it for a couple of hours.

4. To prevent the dough from sticking to my hands while rolling it into balls, I repeatedly wet the palms of my hands with water. Keep a small bowl of water nearby.

ENJOY!

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peanut butter oatmeal cookies

Two peanut butter oatmeal cookies lay temptingly before you. Each contains 13 ingredients. Which one will you reach for – the light-colored cookie that is deliciously thick, chewy, and on the healthier side or the divinely dark and crunchy one that not only has butter in it, but is loaded with chocolate as well? Tough decision. After making the two different recipes and tasting the cookies, I concluded that I liked them both, but for health’s sake and for ease of preparation, I’ll be making the light ones more frequently.

Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from passtheplate.blog

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce (regular works too)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Couple dashes cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1½ cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, beat together peanut butter, sugars, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.

4. Drop tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

5. Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I did not use quick-cooking oats. I could have pulsed my old-fashioned oats in a food processor to turn them into quick-cooking oats, but I decided to leave them whole.
2. These cookies supposedly only have 73 calories each!

Jose’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Epicurious

Ingredients:
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated

Directions:
1. In a food processor pulse 1 cup oats until ground fine.

2. In a large bowl stir together ground oats, remaining 1/2 cup whole oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and beat in vanilla and peanut butter. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and gradually beat in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips and grated chocolate, beating just until combined. Chill cookie dough, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.

4. Preheat oven to 325°F.

5. Form rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly.

6. Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until just pale golden. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes approximately 60 cookies.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Grating the 8 ounces of chocolate was a lot of work. A large chunk of chocolate would have been easier to grate than the thin chocolate bars I used. If you have a grating disc on your food processor, that might also work. Chocolate should be at room temperature for hand-grating, but frozen for machine-grating.
2. I only baked half of the cookies. The remaining dough I froze for future use.

ENJOY!

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Severed Finger Cookies

Long dirty fingernails punctuate irregularly-shaped fingers. An extreme paleness gives them a ghostly appearance, while thick red puddles form around their severed ends. Strewn across an old chopping block, the fingers suspiciously point to a nearby meat cleaver and to a handwritten note that says, “For Dessert.”

Severed Finger Cookies
Recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Raspberry jam

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla, then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Using your hands and working quickly, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape. Place the fingers about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Stick a sliced almond on one end of each for the fingernail. Use a table knife to make three crosswise knuckle marks in the middle of each cookie.

3. Bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the jam over low heat until it reaches a saucy consistency. Once liquefied, remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl; dip the severed end of each cookie into the sauce.

Makes about 50 cookies

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I made the dough the night before, took it out the next morning, and let it sit on the counter for a little bit, until it was pliable enough to shape.

2. I covered my cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3. Sort through the sliced almonds before you begin and put “nail-worthy” ones in a small bowl. This will make the assembly of the “fingers” faster. Carefully press the sliced almonds onto the dough fingers. If you press too hard, you can break the almond slices. However, if you do not press them into the dough well enough, they fall off after the cookies are baked. A few almond slices fell off my cookies, but I just stuck them back on with a dab of jam. It created the look of “bloody cuticles.”

4. These are sturdy and not delicate cookies. They seemed a little dry to me, so the next time I make these, I will make the fingers a little smaller and adjust the baking time. Their texture makes them good cookies to dunk, though!

5. After 15 minutes in the oven, take a look at the cookies. The cookies won’t be golden at this point, but you do need to keep an eye on the thin almond slices. They can darken or burn quickly, so don’t set the timer for 25 minutes and walk away.

6. I used cherry jam instead of raspberry jam. I strained the jam for cherry chunks before heating it. I also microwaved the jam instead of putting it in a saucepan. It just seemed simpler to do that.

7. I put a wire rack over a piece of waxed paper. After dipping the severed ends of the cookies into the jam, I put them on the rack. Any sticky jam drops fell onto the waxed paper.

Enjoy these Halloween cookies!

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Want to know my secret to baking sweet and delicious treats and not gaining weight? The answer is simple: I give my baked goods away. Being on a mother-of-the-groom diet, I sample only one tempting serving and then pack up the rest for my husband to take to work. Today’s batch of Raspberry-Cherry Crumble Bars will be tomorrow’s staff treats. Oh, but these delicious crumble bars will be a little bit more difficult to give away. Tart cherries mixed with sweet raspberry jam and sandwiched in between a buttery oatmeal crust and topping are sorely testing my willpower. These easy-to-make bars are proving not so easy to give away!

Raspberry-Cherry Crumble Bars
From the So Sweet! cookbook by Sur La Table

Dough:
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups old-fashioned or quick oats (not instant)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Filling:
1 (16-ounce) jar good-quality seedless raspberry jam
1 cup dried sour cherries
Confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and position an oven rack in the center. Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with foil across the bottom and up the two long sides, then lightly coat with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola-oil spray.

2. To make the crumble dough, place flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed until evenly mixed (or place in a food processor and process for 5 seconds). Add the cold butter and mix on low speed until the mixture looks like wet sand and starts to form clumps, 5 to 6 minutes (or process for 45 to 60 seconds, pausing to scrape down once with a spatula).

3. Divide the dough in half. Pat one half into an even layer in the prepared pan. Set the other half aside. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a rack and cool for 20 minutes. Leave the oven on.

4. Make the filling by emptying the jam into a medium bowl and stir well to break up any lumps. Add the cherries and stir until well-mixed and all the cherries are coated with jam. Spread evenly over the cooled crust, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly over the filling.

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

6. To serve, run a thin knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen any dough or filling. Lift the cookies out by using the foil as handles and place on a cutting surface. Cut into 3 by 1-inch bars. Just before serving, use a  fine mesh strainer to lightly dust the confectioner’s sugar over the cookies.

Makes 36 bars.

Linnell’s Notes
1. It is important to line the baking pan with foil. It helps to lift out the finished product after it has cooled, which makes it easier to cut. Make sure to butter, oil, or spray the foil.

2. Tart cherries are the same as sour cherries.

3. The jam I bought came in an 18-ounce jar instead of a 16-ounce jar. I added the whole jar to the recipe without negative consequence.

4. I did not feel the need to dust the bars with confectioner’s sugar. The bars were perfect as is.

Enjoy!

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Other than me, my husband’s favorite nut is the cashew. After one bite of these buttery, crunchy, cashew cookies topped with a creamy browned butter frosting, he’ll have to decide which nut rules his heart. Which will it be . . . the baked or the baker?

Browned Butter Cashew Shortbread Cookies
Recipe from Land O’Lakes

Cookie Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped cashews

Frosting Ingredients:
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons fat free half & half or milk

Directions:
1. Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter just begins to turn golden brown (7-11 minutes). The butter will get foamy and bubbly. Immediately remove from heat.

2. Pour 1-1/4 cups browned butter into small bowl; pour remaining butter into another small bowl. Refrigerate both bowls of browned butter until cool (1 hour).

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Combine 1-1/4 cups cooled brown butter, brown sugar, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour. Beat until well mixed. Stir in chopped cashews.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1-inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

6. Combine remaining browned butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Beat at medium speed, adding enough half & half for desired frosting consistency, until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled cookies. Top each with cashew half.

Makes 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Make sure to use at least a 2 quart saucepan to brown the butter. The butter will foam up as it is heated and you don’t want it to spill over on your stove top.

2. Cool the bowls of hot browned butter on the counter top before placing them in the refrigerator. You don’t want to lower the temperature of your refrigerator by placing something hot into it.

3. By the time I measured out all the other ingredients, the large bowl of browned butter had cooled sufficiently in the refrigerator to be used in the dough.

4. I used unsalted butter and salted cashews, because that is what I had on hand. I favor low sodium food, so the cookies tasted fine to me. For those of you who like food a little saltier, go ahead and add a pinch of salt to the dough mixture.

5. If the dough is too sticky to shape into balls, place it in the refrigerator for a while. Also, keep a small bowl of water nearby. Wet your hands with water before rolling the dough balls. The water helps to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

6. Because these are butter-rich cookies, I used parchment paper to cover my cookie sheets. Remember you can reuse parchment paper. After the cookie sheets have cooled, wipe down the parchment paper with a wet paper towel. Let dry and store paper on top of cookies sheets in your cabinet.

Enjoy!

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