Category Archives: Cookies

On the 8th night of Chanukah: Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

On the eighth, and final night of Chanukah I gave my true love Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares. Reminiscent of peanut butter cups, but way better because of the crunchy, salty pretzel crust. And, the best part is that they don’t have to be baked!stacked upThis recipe was given to me by my friend Mrs. Dolphin. I’ve granted her this nickname because she shares numerous traits with porpoises. Dolphins are very social animals and excellent communicators. They are friendly, clever and natural performers. Mrs. Dolphin enjoys a very busy and complicated social life. She is charismatic, fun loving and was born to be on the stage. She is very organized and excels in creative problem solving. squares on white boardMrs. Dolphin found this recipe in the food section of the Ottawa Citizen. It was inspired by Trisha Yearwood’s No-Bake Chocolate-Pretzel-Peanut Butter Squares. (Yes, the country singer Trisha Yearwood. Did you know she has a show on The Food Network?)  I took the recipe one step further and made the top layer more lavish, with a marbleized bittersweet and white chocolate topping, because really, we all need more fancy in our lives!what you'll need

making crustpressing crust into panchocolate toppingMarbleizing looks very impressive but it’s simple to do. Here is a video showing you the technique. The video is from my The Ultimate S’mores post, but the method of creating a marble pattern is still the same.

marbelizing chocolate toppingjpg

Click here to print recipe for Mrs. Dolphin’s Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares.

Perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. The awesome drip coffee stand is from Restoration Hardware. I bought it for my husband because his plastic Melita cone offends my aesthetic sensibilities. with drip coffee

On the 7th night of Chanukah: Florentines

On the 7th night of Chanukah I baked my true love Florentines. Thin, crispy, lacy, delicate and just drop dead gorgeous! I will warn you that these cookies are a bit of a pain in the ass to make. They require a candy thermometer and you will need to temper the chocolate for them, but they are so pretty (and delicious), that I think they’re worth the effort. on wire dish 5 x 5Ever since I watched Anna create these on her show “Bake with Anna Olsen,” I became obsessed with making them. I have made similar lacy cookies with oats , but these are something totally different.what you'll needThese are essentially an almond cookie. Sliced almonds get coarsely crushed. rolling almondsHoney, cream and sugar are cooked until they reach 244°F.cooking batterThe almonds get mixed into the batter and then the cookies are formed and baked. flattening cookiesmaking perfect circlesThe baked cookies are quite fragile, so they get a coating of melted chocolate on one side, to give them some extra strength. brushing florentines with chocolateThe cookies can then be embellished further, by placing the wet chocolate side of the cookie onto a chocolate transfer sheet. This is an acetate sheet embossed with cocoa butter and powdered food colouring. Once the chocolate hardens, you peel the cookie off the sheet and the design transfers to the chocolate, producing a stunning pattern. They come in a wide variety of designs. There are many different online sources for them.peeling florentine off chocolate transfer sheet

Click here to print recipe for Florentine Cookies.

florentines on slate tile with wire dishThe possibilities are endless with Florentine cookies.

Emily, at a counter space created Potato Chip Florentines.

Sarah at strawberryplum made Pistachio, Orange and Honey Florentines.

Stella over at bravetart crafted Cocoa Nib Florentines,

On the fourth night of Chanukah: Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookies

On the fourth night of Chanukah, I baked Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookies for my true love. Crispy at the edges, chewy in the center, filled with abundant pockets of gooey chocolate and topped with a light sprinkling of coarse sea salt to balance the sweetness. stacked on white cake stand 2I can’t take credit for creating these fabulous cookies. That place of honour goes to Ashley of the wonderful blog “Not Without Salt.” I blogged about these cookies before, when I first made them in 2011. I don’t usually blog about the same recipe twice, but I wanted to share them again, in case you missed them the first time around. (Plus, my original photos did them no justice!) They’re that good! If you’re not a baker, but still want to try them, Ashley sells them in a cookie mix.

Since that time I have tried many other chocolate chunk cookies, but I have yet to find another recipe that is as outstanding as this one. What makes this recipe unique is the use of 3 kinds of sugar. White sugar makes the cookies crisp, brown sugar contributes to their chewy center, and  coarse Turbinado sugar gives them a delicate crunch. Are you still sitting there reading? Let’s bake!what you'll needI have tried making these cookies with regular supermarket chocolate chips, and they are quite good, but if you are making them for someone you really want to impress, thank, or just say, “I love you”, make them with Valrhona Guanaja Feves. (those big chocolate oval discs in the photo above). They are pricey and you need to buy them online, but they are worth it. Slightly bitter, with hints of fruit, coffee and molasses, this is a complex, big flavoured chocolate. mixing doughThe larger chocolate chunks create majestic pockets of gooey chocolate, so if you’re into that sort of pleasure, go for the good chocolate! Personally, I don’t care for warm from the oven cookies. I much prefer them frozen. I have trained my family and friends to love them that way as well, so when they come to visit, everyone heads straight for the freezer to see what’s freshly baked (and frozen!). cooling on parchment paper 2 625 sq

Click here to print recipe for The Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookie.

stacked on white cake stand 1

 

On the third night of Chanukah: Macadamia Coconut White Chocolate Shortbread

On the third night of Chanukah I baked Macadamia Coconut White Chocolate Shortbread cookies for my true love. cookies and milk for the kidsThis is a Martha Stewart recipe, from her lovely Cookie Book. Her recipe used coconut and macadamia nuts, but I added white chocolate to mine. These tropical shortbread cookies are buttery and crumbly, everything a good shortbread cookie should be.

Certain foods just belong together. I learned about the magic combination of white chocolate and macadamia nuts many years ago when I worked at The David Wood Food Shop in Toronto. I was pregnant at the time and consumed a very large quantity of pastry chef Daphna Rabinovich’s Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip Cookieswhat you'll need

mixing doughI find it much easier to roll out the dough right after I make it, before chilling. Roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper. Then stick it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before cutting it into shapes. rolling dough between 2 sheets of parchmentI love these fluted square cookie cutters. They remind me of Nice cookies from my childhood. cookie cutters

Click here to print recipe for Coconut Macadamia White Chocolate Shortbread.

cooling 625sq

 

 

On the second night of Chanukah: Oat Pistachio Cookies

stacked cookies 625 sqOn the second night of Chanukah I made my true love Oat Pistachio cookies. I have been wanting to make them ever since I saw these cookies on Natasha’s beautiful blog, Butter Baking. Based on the traditional English cookie, The Hobnob, they are an oat based digestive cookie, coated in chocolate.

Buttery, crumbly and a bit chewy in the center, they are the perfect cookie to have with tea at bedtime. Some people even like to dunk them in their tea. I have never understood the appeal of this. Why would you take a perfectly good crunchy cookie and make it soggy?cookies and milkI decided to amp up the crispy factor by adding some finely chopped pistachios to the dough. Their delicate nutty flavour is a great partner for oats and whole wheat flour. mise en placeThese cookies call for Golden Syrup, which helps with keeping the texture a bit chewy. Golden Syrup is quite common in the U.K. It is not exactly the same as corn syrup, but if you can’t find it, corn syrup is ok as a substitute. I actually found it at Walmart!scooping tablespoons of doughflatten doughready for blanket of chocolateA coating of bittersweet chocolate takes these buttery, crumbly cookies to the next level.spooning on chocolate

Click here to print recipe for Oat and Pistachio Cookies.

spreading chocolate