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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category


Hazelnut Macarons - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Macarons have become so trendy that you see them in every bakery, specialty food store, and blog post. They are the new cupcake, and with good reason. They are a perfect French cookie, light and rich at the same time with so many flavor choices. My only objection is the price per cookie at all these places. You can make them at home so easily, I urge you to try it once. I love the macarons at Miette in San Francisco, and the recipe is in their cookbook.

Macarons

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup hazelnuts

3 egg whites, room temperature

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Filling

Grind the nuts by pulsing in a food processor or spice grinder with the powdered sugar until they have reached a fine sand consistency, but not so long that they start getting paste-like. Remove to a bowl.

Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they reach stiff peaks. Fold the dry ingredients in thirds into the egg whites with a spatula.

Pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets in 1 inch circles spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. Let the sit at room temperature for 2 hours to develop the shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, until set. Allow to cool on the baking sheets completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 3/4 sticks butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 egg yolks

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and heat to 238 degrees. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until they are light and fluffy. Add the sugar syrup a couple tablespoons at a time until it is all incorporated. Allow to cool while continuing to whip. Once the combination has reached room temperature, add the vanilla and the butter in pieces.

Raspberry Buttercream

Add 1/4 cup raspberry jam to half the recipe of vanilla buttercream above. You can use more and strain out the seeds if you wish. Just add a little water and strain. If it’s too runny, you can cook it down.

Hazelnut Macarons - Meatballs&Milkshakes

To Make Chocolate Macarons

Add 1/2 cup cocoa with the sugar and leave out the cream of tartar. Use chocolate buttercream.

Hazelnut Macarons - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

These crunchy chocolate mint cookies are a riff on Thin Mints, and I suppose if you dipped them in chocolate instead of drizzling, they would be exactly alike. I’ve always been a big fan of Thin Mints, and I will definitely be making these again. They’re a great addition to your holiday cookies, but they’ll be good all year long as well.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks butter

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 egg

6 ounces dark chocolate

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cream

Combine the flour, salt, and cocoa in a bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the extracts. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients in two halves, and beat until just combined.

Remove to two pieces of plastic wrap, and create 2 inch logs out of the two halves of dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to a couple days.

Slice the logs into 1/4 inch slices and adjust into rounds. Place and inch apart on parchment or silpats on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets.

Melt the chocolate, butter, and cream together until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cookies and allow to harden by placing cookie sheets in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Chewy Ginger Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

These chewy ginger cookies are really gingery from three kinds of ginger, and you can make them crispy if you bake them longer. They are also apparently great with peanut butter slathered between to make a cookie sandwich. It’s not the holidays until we have some spice cookies around the house.

Chewy Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 stick butter

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger or chocolate covered crystalized ginger

1/2 cup raw sugar

Whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. In a bowl of a mixer, whip together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add egg, molasses, vanilla, and grated ginger. Add flour mixture slowly, and beat until just combined. With the mixer off, stir in the crystalized ginger.

Roll into 1-1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment covered baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Flatten a little and sprinkle the top with raw sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until they start to crisp on the edges but are still soft in the center.

Chewy Ginger Cookies - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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I found this recipe on Serious Eats and I couldn’t wait to try it because I love milanos. I know, they’re probably not that good for you and have tons of things in them that I can’t pronounce, but I love them. And that’s even more reason to try this recipe. It was also the first time I used my new kitchen scale, which was rather exciting.

Unfortunately, the texture wasn’t exactly the same. No nice little crunch, but the flavor was pretty similar. If you’re not expecting them to taste like milanos, they’re totally yummy. SO, let’s just call them sandwich cookies. They’re quite tasty and the chocolate filling hardens up nicely so they’re not too messy. Try them out. Just don’t expect them to taste exactly like milanos.

Faux Milanos

3/4 ounce cornstarch

8 ounces flour

4 ounces butter

3 1/2 ounces sugar

2 ounces corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

14 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 ounce powdered milk

1 egg and 2 extra whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 ounces cream

pinch of salt

Combine the corn starch and flour in a bowl. With a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, powdered milk, and half the vanilla extract. Mix for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the whole egg and combine. Add half the dry ingredients and combine. Add one of the egg whites and combine.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and combine. Add the remaining egg white and combine. Transfer to a piping bag (or a ziploc with the corner cut off).

Pipe the dough into 1/2 inch wide, 2 inch long cookies. They will work best if you can make it as thin as possible, so keep the tip close to the cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 300 degrees or until they start to brown. Let cool.

Melt the chocolate with the cream and remaining vanilla extract and pinch of salt in a double boiler or just in a bowl (I sometimes even use the microwave). You can pipe the chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie or just spoon it carefully on. Place another cookie on top, making sure to match them for size. Let them cool at room temperature or in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

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Almost everyone loves chocolate chip cookies. And there are almost as many favorite recipes for them. I’ve been baking my way through the Flour Bakery Cookbook, and have made the peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chip hazelnut cookies, double chocolate cookies, and raspberry blueberry muffins. My apple oat muffins were also based on Flour’s good morning muffins. I haven’t been disapointed yet in any recipe (although my attempt at the coffee cake was disastrous….it overflowed the pan I was baking it in, but fortunately I had a cookie sheet below.)

These cookies are just the right blend of crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. If you’ve only made tollhouse cookies (like Joanne Chang did before she created this recipe), you really should try them. There’s nothing like some early morning baking to make the house smell good all day.

Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

9 ounces semisweet chocolate

3 ounces milk chocolate

Cream together the butter and sugars with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat together for a couple minutes.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate and stir. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet on low speed and just until it is mixed through. Let it rest in the fridge overnight.

Place 1/4 cup balls on a cookie sheet a couple inches apart and flatten slightly with your hand. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until they are browned on the edges and still soft in the middle. Let cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.

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So, I went a little nuts with the baking last weekend because I was baking for the New Music Bake Sale in Brooklyn. I made two kinds of cookies and some banana bread, and it was tons of fun. I realized after the fact that I should have made my gougeres since they are probably the most popular thing I’ve ever made. Oh well. You’ll just have to wait for those.

I’ve been slowly baking my way through the Flour Bakery cookbook, and so far I haven’t really been disappointed in anything. These peanut butter cookies are no exception. They are a little more cakey than I probably would prefer, but then again, most peanut butter cookies get that way because of the texture of peanut butter when baked. I definitely have to agree they are delicious and I would definitely make them again. They are just the right amount of sweet and salty, and fresh out of the oven they are amazing.

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 jar chunky peanut butter (1 3/4 cups)

2 2/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter and sugars for 5 minutes with a hand mixer until smooth and light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the bowl and then add in the peanut butter and combine.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and don’t over beat. Refrigerate overnight.

Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten into discs. Using a fork, make cross-hatch marks on top (the traditional peanut butter cookie decoration).

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until they start to brown around the edges. Let cool on a rack.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies are a favorite around the apartment, and I think this may be the winning recipe. I was planning on giving the whole batch to Gareth to take on his trip this week, and I somehow kept to the plan. But I think I’m going to have to make them again soon, because the one I ate hot from the oven was just delightful. The original recipe is based on one from Flour Bakery (I’m still baking my way through their book), but I had to make a couple changes because I didn’t have enough raisins. I think they may be even better.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 stick butter

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oats (not instant or quick cooking)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons dried currants

Combine the butter and both sugars in a bowl and cream together with an electric mixer. Make sure you use room temperature ingredients so they combine properly. Add the egg and beat together.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the raisins, chocolate chips, and currants and stir together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix together. If you can, let the dough rest in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.

Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten. Place on a silpat with enough space between because they will spread out. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until they start to brown around the edges. Let cool.

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