Tag Archives: Cookies

What Do You Put In Your Easter Baskets?

At lunch the other day, my mother reminded us that Easter is coming early this year. WHAT? Sure enough, I pulled out the calendar and Easter Sunday falls on March 31st. Last year, rather than make up baskets of candy for my DH and mom, I made Iced Sugar cookies.

Easter Cookies instead of Candy

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

This was the absolute first (and probably last) time that I will undertake such a long, drawn out project. I should say though, it was fun and I was quite pleased with the outcome. These are just the cutest cookies I’ve ever made. I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart and the FoodNetwork Magazine, morphing the two together. I probably should have rolled out the dough a touch thicker, it was a fragile final product. The royal icing was a challenge, as I’d never done this before. It took driving all around town to several places to find the meringue powder. I used just plain ‘ole liquid food coloring from the supermarket to tint the icing. I piped it using simple sandwich baggies with the corners snipped.

I was on my feet for most of the day and my back was aching! Normally, if I know I’m going to be in the kitchen standing for periods of time, I put on my walking sneaks. I was so excited to get this ball rolling that I was in my bare feet and didn’t think about it until it was too late. But it was a blast and both DH and mom were impressed, they thought I bought them at a fancy bakery.

 

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Mac Nut Shortbread Cookies Again For Mom

A little whiles back, I made Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies for my Mother.  Well, I did it again! These are a favorite at Mom’s house as well as our own.

This round, I made the cookie log a bit larger (about 2″ X 3″ or so, too big in my opinion though), which means more chocolate too!  They freeze beautifully for an additional coupla dozen cookies later on down the road.  I mean, if you’ve got the cookie dough all put together, just slice n’ bake what you can eat in the next few days and save the rest.

ENJOY!

 

ATK’s Almond Biscotti

I may have made mention from time to time that I watch just about ALL of the cooking television shows that I can find.  I really like America’s Test Kitchen and I also subscribe to their magazine, Cook’s Illustrated.  I was watching an episode “From an Italian Bakery”, were Julia makes Biscotti, we love those!

So, I’ve done a copy&paste of the recipe to share with you all.

 

Almond Biscotti

Makes 30 cookies

*The almonds will continue to toast while the biscotti bake, so toast the nuts only until they are just fragrant.

1 1/4 C. (6 1/4 ounces) whole almonds, lightly toasted

1 3/4 C.  (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs, plus 1 large white beaten with pinch salt

1 C. (7 ounces) sugar

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Vegetable oil spray

 

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Using ruler and pencil, draw two 8 by 3-inch rectangles, spaced 4 inches apart, on piece of parchment paper. Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, ink side down.
  2. Pulse 1 cup almonds in food processor until coarsely chopped, 8 to 10 pulses; transfer to bowl and set aside. Process remaining 1/4 cup almonds in food processor until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; process to combine, about 15 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to second bowl. Process 2 eggs in now empty food processor until lightened in color and almost doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. With processor running, slowly add sugar until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Add melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla and process until combined, about 10 seconds. Transfer egg mixture to medium bowl. Sprinkle half of flour mixture over egg mixture and, using spatula, gently fold until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and chopped almonds and gently fold until just combined.
  3. Divide batter in half. Using floured hands, form each half into 8 by 3-inch rectangle, using lines on parchment as guide. Spray each loaf lightly with oil spray. Using rubber spatula lightly coated with oil spray, smooth tops and sides of rectangles. Gently brush tops of loaves with egg white wash. Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  4. Let loaves cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer loaves to cutting board. Using serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay slices, cut side down, about 1/4 inch apart on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 35 minutes, flipping slices halfway through baking. Let cool completely before serving. Biscotti can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 month.

I followed this recipe to the tee, so why did my cookies come out so flat?  I just don’t know.  Neither do I know why they came out tasting, well, just blah, nothing.  I even tried to improve the flavor by drizzling some Vanilla flavored Candy Melts® over the tops, NOPE!  Sorry Christopher Kimball, this one was a dud.

WAIT!

Very Chocolate-chocolate-macadamia nut cookies

Before I finish our Christmas story, I just had to share this!  I’ve had this recipe for quite awhile from the Hershey’s Kitchens, Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies, made with the Auntie twist.  I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and chopped Macadamia Nuts, unsalted please.  I like these chips over other brands mainly because they’re bigger.  I’m not a fan of walnuts, I much prefer using local pecans (yes they grow loads of nuts here in the middle of the desert) or macadamias from by home state of Hawaii.

This recipe is different, you don’t cream softened butter and sugar, but just dump and mix, EASY!  I use the convection setting on my oven and use my 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop and bake for 15 minutes, perfect and oh so yummy!

ALOHA!

Let The Festivities Begin!

It’s just not a holiday, any holiday without some baked goods!

Enjoy!

Aloha

Let’s Talk More About …

Dark Chocolate Macaron

… our Whole Foods Expedition. Now that I have my feet back under me after that Dark Chocolate Macaron, Oh My!  I feel faint again!

Whole Foods Cookie Case

Well, there was another case right across the aisle filled with cookies, Italian style cookies to be more specific.

Whole Foods Italian-style cookies

Since DH and I are at the last few days of our diet, I mean our new way of looking at food (for now anyways) … why not have a couple of cookies.

Whole Foods Cakes and Tarts

Then, wait, there’s another case that has cakes and tarts and mini-cakes and mini-tarts and…

OOHHH!!

I’m overwhelmed … I need to sit down for a moment, maybe munch on a little something, then I’ll feel better… I’ll be right back…

 

I Don’t Think I’ll Be Making These

I can’t really talk well just now. DH took me shopping way over on the far East side of town. There’s a Whole Foods that opened up back I think it was in January, but we just never made the time.

As I always do, I took snapshots (after having gone to the Customer Service folk and asking them if it was okay) of some of the different items that we don’t see out in our neck of the desert.

In the cake case, I spied macarons! I had yet to try one…

I went to the moon and back again!

Dark Chocolate Macaron

Dark chocolate and I didn’t share! A little pricey at $3.39 EACH!  Is that too costly do you think? Well, either way, it was a small piece of heaven in my hand and one was quite enough to jumble my mind for a few hours. I never understood this whole ohing and ahing  thing over this meager cookie. I do now and it’s a good thing  that Whole Foods so far away from us!

Dark Chocolate Macaron