Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever.

I know, everybody says that, but I really mean it. These are, these have to be, the best chocolate chip cookies, ever. Crispy around the edges, chewy and chocolaty in the middle, and thin, oh so thin.

The only way someone doesn’t love these, is if they prefer thick cookies instead, which, in that case, makes their opinion invalid, since they’re obviously crazy. Besides, you know you can just press two thin cookies together to get a thick one. Right?

My “secret” formula has been adapted from Alton Brown’s famous, “The Thin” recipe, and is fairly foolproof. The only real variable is the baking time, since we all scoop slightly different amounts. Mine took about 12 minutes, but if you make yours a little bigger, or smaller, that time will change.

And yes, of course you can add nuts to yours! I’m a walnut guy from way back, but decided to go sans nuts for this video. Speaking of nuts, you’re nuts if you don’t try this very simple, and amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 32 Chocolate Chip Cookies (depending on size):
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon of fine table salt)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) very soft unsalted *butter (be sure the butter is room temp, and very, very soft!)
*I used a high-quality European-style butter, and recommend you do the same. Cheaper butters will have more water content, which can affect the fat ratio, and thickness of your cookie.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Bake at 375 F. for about 12 minutes
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Peach Financiers – Because French Bankers Hate Dirty Money

There are many different techniques used for making financiers, but as usual, I’ve chosen the easiest one. I would have been happy to try those other more complicated versions, but fortunately, I enjoyed this one so much, there’s no need.

I mention in the video that these are called “financiers” because they’re rich, and look like gold bars (if you use the traditional rectangular molds). Well, apparently that’s not quite right.

Word on the “rue” is that there was a bakery next to the Paris stock exchange that made these small almond cakes so bankers could enjoy them on the way to work, without getting their fingers dirty. I assume this is accurate, since I read it in the YouTube comments.

Anyway, not only is this an easy recipe, but it works beautifully with pretty much any summer fruit. Berries are popular, as are other stone fruits. Just don’t use too much. It’s merely a garnish, and adding too much could effect the texture and cooking time. I hope you give these delicious peach financiers a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 12 small cakes:
3 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal (or finely ground almonds)
3 tablespoons flour
3 oz unsalted butter (6 tablespoons), toasted to a golden-brown
12 small sliced of peach
- I used mini-muffin pans, so you'll have to adjust your time if you used regular muffin tins, or other molds.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 400 F., then top with fruit, and continue baking until browned, about 10-12 minutes.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Gingersnap Cookies – Hot, Hot, Sweet

I always tell people I’m not a cookie eater, but I guess that depends on the cookie, since when it comes to these gingersnaps, I can’t get enough. As soon as these cool, I chain-eat them until they’re gone; but that’s not my fault. I blame the amazing spicy-sweet flavor, and irresistible texture.

Speaking of irresistible texture, I’ve got some homework for you. You’re going to have to make batches of these to find out your own optimum baking time. I know, it’s hard work, but you need to somehow find a way. 

Depending on the exact size of your dough balls, and how crispy, or chewy, you want these, the baking times will vary from 10 to 15 minutes. As far as ingredients go, the crystalized ginger is technically optional, but not too hard to find (check the bulk section), and it really gives the cookies that extra kick of ginger flavor and heat. 

Obviously, you can also adjust the spices to suit your tastes, but don’t make these too mild. They’re called “snaps” for reasons other than their texture. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 50 to 60 cookies (depending on size):
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
12 tablespoons room temp unsalted butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
- Bake at 350 F. for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on desired texture.
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Russian Tea Cakes – A Great Holiday Cookie by Any Other Name

As the old joke goes, these Russian tea cakes might not be Russian, but at least they’re not cakes. No one knows exactly how these came to be known as Russian tea cakes, but nevertheless, they are quite delicious, very simple to make, and visually ideal for holiday entertaining.

And when I say “easy,” I mean really easy. You dump everything in a bowl, and mix it with your hands until combined. Professional pastry chefs will lose their minds, since we’re forgoing their precious “cream the butter and sugar” step, but the final product is identical, no matter which technique you use.

The only tricky thing here is the baking time, since there are so many variables. Things like the size of the dough balls, whether you use a silpat or parchment, how light or dark the sheet pan is, etc., can all effect the final time significantly.

I think this cookie tends to get under-cooked, and some recipes call for as little as 12 minutes at 350 F. I like these fairly golden, so I get that nice brown-butter flavor, and that took me about 20 minutes or so, which is why I gave such a wide range. Start checking at 15 minutes, and proceed from there.

Thanks to their snowy appearance, these “cakes” would be perfect for your holiday dessert spread, don’t feel like you have to wait for a wedding, or for some Russians to come over for tea. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes about 28 to 32 Russian Tea Cakes:
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
1/3 packed cup powdered sugar (plus much more to coat finished cookies)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (very lightly toast nuts in dry pan first for best results)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Roll into just slightly larger than 1-inch balls, bake at 350 F. for 15 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

So... I really love sprinkles (I've found that this is a common trait among baking bloggers). I'm that person who always reaches for the sprinkle covered donut (is it donut or doughnut?), who drowns my sundaes in sprinkles, who chooses funfetti over vanilla or even chocolate, who always says "yes!" to "do you want sprinkles on that?" (not that I get asked this very often :P). I love the pop of color sprinkles can add to any dessert.


This recipe is definitely one that is going in my go-to recipe collection. It's fairly straightforward to make. The cookies turn out soft and chewy with a nice touch of fluffy frosting on top. And in addition to being tasty, they're nice to look at. You can use whatever color of food coloring for the the frosting and the sprinkle mix of your choice to decorate the tops. With all the dreary winter weather lately, I find that a rainbow sprinkle covered sweet, like these frosted sugar cookie bars, can really brighten up the day :).


Frosted Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars
adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Bar Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)

Vanilla Frosting
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream or half-and-half or milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt, optional
food coloring
extra sprinkles for decoration


Bar Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with foil leaving an overhang (to easily lift bar cookies out of pan after baking). Spray foil with nonstick spray. Set aside for now.

Cream butter with sugar in mixing bowl. Mix in egg and egg yolk. Add vanilla extract. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, repeat 2 more times until all wet and dry ingredients are combined. Fold in rainbow sprinkles.

Spread the batter in the foil covered baking pan. Bake bar cookies for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Let cool on wire rack before decorating with frosting.


Vanilla Frosting: Combine softened butter with powdered sugar. Add cream and vanilla extract. If using unsalted butter, consider adding the pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness. Add more powdered sugar or cream if too thin or thick respectively. Tint with food coloring (1-2 drops for pastel color).

Spread frosting over cooled bar cookies. Decorate with extra sprinkles. Cut into squares, wiping knife off on paper towel between cuts. Enjoy!

Makes 16 bars

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Chocolate Energy Bars – Looking Good Maybe Too Good

If you compare these chocolate energy bars to similar fruit/nut bars sold at the store, I think they taste better, are nutritionally superior, and probably cheaper to make at home. The only problem is they look so good.

These look like fudge brownies, and so it does take a millisecond for the brain to process that they’re not going to taste like fudge brownies. Having said that, they really are delicious, and satisfying in a non-decadent, but still chocolaty way.

Try your hardest to find Medjool dates, but if you can’t, any dried date should work, as long as it’s soft and sticky enough. If the ones you’re using seem too hard and dry, simply soak them in water until they soften up a bit.

Beyond the advantages I’ve described already, you also have the freedom to use any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits you’d like. There’s about a million ways you can go, and I expect to hear about any particularly brilliant combinations. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!





Makes about 12 Chocolate Energy Bars:
2 cups chopped, pitted Medjool dates
2 cups raw cashews
1 cup raw or roasted unsalted almonds
3/4 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Guittard Cocoa Rouge)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoon cold espresso coffee or water,
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon fine salt)
very small pinch cayenne



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