Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cookies’

pumpkin-cookies2.jpg

Some people like crunchy cookies, other likes soft, chewy cookies- I like both, but today I’m standing up for cakey cookies. Perhaps these would be better named as cake bites, since the dough is looser than normal cookie dough and the resulting texture is more like a cakey pumpkin blondie than a cookie, but the shape and size beckon me to continue to refer to them as cookies. The fact is, in order to make the cookies taste enough like pumpkin to merit their title, you have to moisten the batter with so much pumpkin puree that there’s no way this cookie could come out chewy, let alone crunchy.

pumpkin-innards.jpg

pumpkin cookie innards

Since the recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin puree and most cans are over 14 oz, use the extra for mini pie fillings, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, or freeze it in a ziplock bag to defrost when you want to make these cookies again- it won’t be long. Enjoy!

close-up.jpg

Pumpkin Cake Bites (Soft Pumpkin Cookies)

Makes 40 small cookies

  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white or milk chocolate chips (or both)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat or lightly grease it.

2. Mix first seven ingredients (the dry ingredients) in a small bowl and set aside. Combine butter and sugar in another bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy and lightened in color, about 5 minutes.

3. Beat in egg, then stir in pumpkin puree. Add dry ingredient mixture all at once and stir until just combined. At this point you can fold in white or milk chocolate chips if you;re making drop cookies, or if you;re piping the cookies, add the cookie dough to a pastry bag fitted with a tip at least 1/2” wide. Drop or pipe cookies onto baking sheet and if you piped the cookies, place one chip, white or milk, in the center of each cookie.

pumpkin-cookies.jpg

4. Bake in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be fairly firm to the touch, but not dry, and they should only be barely browned on the top and bottom. Move to a rack, cool, and enjoy! Cookies keep in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

-M : )

Read Full Post »

no-egg-pecan-pinwheels.jpg

pretty pecan pinwheels!

As I continue with my baking kick, my mind turns to cost. What ingredients can I cut out and still have a great cookie? Butter? No way. Sugar? Not in a million. Flour? Fat chance. Eggs? Hmm….And that’s where we begin.

In nearly every traditional cookie recipe, eggs lend texture, flavor, rise, and even sheen. But what if you’re secure in the ability of butter, sugar, and flour to add texture, pecans and warm spices to add flavor, and the layers created by the careful combining of butter and flour to create rise? Then you’ve got yourself a great cookie recipe. These Chinese Five Spice Cookies are not only fun and easy to make, but also resourceful. Change the filling to cinnamon, sugar, and currants, or fig jam and chopped almonds-any way you make these, they’re flaky and delicious.

pinwheels-cutting.jpg

Eggless Chinese Five Spice Cookies

Makes 25 cookies

Dough:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, in small cubes, chilled

3-4 tbsp cold water

1/8 tsp salt

Filling:

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp chinese five spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet or use a silpat to line one.

2. Mix the salt into the flour. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, quickly incorporate the butter into the flour, until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter is still cold. If butter begins to warm, place mixture in the freezer for 5 minutes and begin again. Add just enough cold water to make a rough dough that stays together. You should be able to see butter streaks in the dough. Wrap in plastic and set in the fridge for 10 minutes to relax the gluten you may have developed in mixing and to allow the butter to cool.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Unwrap dough, lightly flour a flat surface, and roll out dough to a rectangle (about 12” x 8”), making sure it’s 1/4” to no less than 1/8” thick.

5. Sprinkle filling on top of the dough to make a thin, even layer and roll lengthwise until you’ve created a log. Place in the freezer to firm up for 10 minutes.

6. Slice the log into 1/4” to 1/2” slices, depending on how big you’d like the cookies, using a sharp knife. Place cookies flat on the baking sheet and into the oven, for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on a rack and enjoy!

-M : )

Read Full Post »

palmiers1.jpg
Aw, they look like hearts… Good thing v-day’s coming up!
Palmiers are the biggest trick in the book. They not only require two ingredients, frozen puff pastry and sugar, but maintain their addictive crunch for days after they’re baked. Using a silpat makes clean up especially easy, but the puff pastry has enough butter in it, and the sugar retains pliable enough out of the oven, to ensure easy removal of the cookies from the baking sheet even without pre-greasing.
A recipe really isn’t necessary for these scrumptious cookies, as they’re really a cinch, but here we go. Enjoy!
Palmiers (i.e. Mini Elephant Ears)
Makes 20 cookies, but can be easily multiplied
1 4” x 7” sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for dusting
flour, as needed, for rolling
Method
1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat baking mat. If you’re not using a silpat, leave the baking sheet ungreased.
2. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured flat surface until it is less than 1/8” thick and sprinkle heavily with sugar. The layer of sugar should be nearly as thick as the layer of puff pastry dough.
3. Fold both ends (lengthwise) into the middle so they meet. Repea, doubling over your last fold. Fold in half lengthwise, so you have a log, roll in sugar, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
4. Slice cookies with a very sharp knife, each should be about 1/4” thick. Place cookies down on the baking sheet or silpat so you can see their layers (i.e. lay them flat) and sprinkle again with sugar. Bake 10 minutes, or until they turn light golden. The bottom will be a darker golden than the top- that’s what you’re looking to see. Cool on a rack. These cookies are best once completely cool, when they’re at their crunchiest. Yum!
-M : )

Read Full Post »

pecan-meringues.jpgpecan-cookies-3.jpg

Ok, so I guess I’m on a baking kick. Its just that D and I have a few friends coming over to watch football tonight and tomorrow night, and I couldn’t help but bake some goodies to munch on during the game. I made both palmiers (recipe in part deux) and chocolate-dipped pecan meringues (recipe below). I am particularly fond of cookies that are easy, cheap, and can be made small, and these two recipes match all the criteria.

Not only do smaller cookies take less time to bake, they are also a wiser bet for satisfying your guests and making sure that your baking doesn’t go to waste (and frankly, your feelings don’t get hurt). Bigger cookies require the guest to contemplate the size of their appetite, normally an evaluation that takes place after a meal. If you want your baking to be put to good use (i.e. chomped and digested) then make those cookies smaller! Smaller cookies means more cookies to enjoy, and fewer people saying no to trying one. No one’s going to need to consult their diet commandments to eat one. All the pleasure in a couple fewer bites, that’s all. You can even feel good having seconds. And trust me, you’ll want more than one.

What I love about these cookies is not only that they’re easy and liked by all, but also that they have a certain adult quality about them. Its that almost-burnt flavor, that caramelized, brown sugar taste that deepens and balances the sweetness. They are crunchy, light, and even great without being dipped in chocolate, white or dark. Serve a few in a bowl with some raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, add a little whipped cream or ice cream, and you have a more formal dessert. Whether you share them with friends while watching football or enjoy them crushed into ice cream, cuddled up with a good book, enjoy!

Chocolate-Dipped Pecan Meringues

Makes 25-30 1 1/2” cookies

1/2 cup pecans

2 egg whites

pinch salt

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/8 cup white chocolate chips

1/8 cup dark or milk chocolate chips (your choice)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees and lightly grease baking sheet, or better yet, use a silpat baking mat on top of the baking sheet.

2. Pulse pecans in a food processor (preferably a small one) until coarsely ground. Take care not to over pulse, or else oils will release and coarse texture will be lost.

3. Whip eggs whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form and add sugar slowly, while continuing to beat whites. Beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Immediately fold in pecans, taking care not to deflate the egg whites (the sugar does help to stabilize them, though).

5. Drop or pipe about a tablespoonful of batter onto baking sheet or mat, and leave 1” of room between cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 285 degrees. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden all over. Cookies will still be slightly soft to the touch, but they will harden as they cool out of the oven, yielding a crunchy texture.

6. While cookies cool, melt the chocolates in separate dishes in the microwave. Dip bottoms of the cookies in melted chocolate once completely cool and firm and place them on wax paper, then in the fridge, so the chocolate can harden.

Note: white chocolate-dipped cookies will not need to be refrigerated to harden, but the milk or dark chocolate-dipped ones probably will.

Enjoy!

-M : )

Read Full Post »