Tag Archives: Christmas Cookies

Speculoos Townhouse Cookies

let it snow 1If you’ve ever tried the joy that is cookie butter, then you know the flavour of a Speculoos cookie. Speculoos (or sometimes spelled speculaas) is a Belgian cookie. Imagine a gingersnap on steroids. Bolder and much more aggressive than typical gingersnaps,  Speculoos cookies are brimming with dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, white pepper, ginger, and cardamom.

Of course, you can buy ready made Speculoos cookies, so why would you want to make your own? Um, giant townhouse speculoos cookie snow globe! Need I say more? Can you imagine a more adorable holiday centerpiece?with a bowWhen I started researching for this post, I emailed my Belgian friend Brigitte to ask her for her mom’s authentic Speculoos cookie recipe. I figured every Belgian grandmother has her favourite recipe and I’d use that as my starting point. Apparently, her mom has a speculoos cheesecake recipe, a speculoos ice cream recipe, but no speculoos cookie recipe. She never saw the need to make her own. So, I turned to the King Arthur baking website and found a promising recipe. Brigitte helped me make them. While they were good, Brigitte said that they really didn’t taste like the speculoos cookies she ate growing up.

I tinkered with the recipe and came up with my own version. While they’re not exactly like the storebought, they are very delicious!spicesAs soon as the dough is made I divide it into 2 pieces and roll each half between 2 sheets of parchment paper, to a 1/4 inch thickness. Then I freeze the dough for about 30 minutes before cutting it into shapes. So much easier to roll soft dough.cutting housesThe townhouse cookie cutters are from coppergifts.comicing housesI also made a batch of my favourite Thick and Chewy Gingerbread dough to create some trees for my landscape. tree cookies

Click here for the recipe for Speculoos Cookies.

star tree topper

Salty and Sweet Peanut Butter Cookies

milk-and-cookiesI suppose the last thing anyone needs 3 days before Christmas is another holiday cookie blog post or cookie recipe. I am sure that by now you have all put up and decorated your tree, bought and wrapped your gifts and mailed your holiday cards. All your desserts are baked and wrapped well, tucked away in the freezer for the weekend. I know that some of you keeners have even set the table for the big feast on the 25th!

If you’re all set for the holidays, then just put your feet up, enjoy the photos and file this recipe away for mid-January, when your resolve to stay away from butter and sugar crumbles like a… well, like a peanut butter cookie! what-youll-needIf you are scrambling for some last minute cookies to share, this one is perfect. The dough comes together very quickly. Julia Moskin over at New York Times Cooking created these cookies. She was trying to recreate the beloved peanut butter cookie from City Bakery in Manhattan. These cookies are far from the typical peanut butter cookie you may be familiar with.

Made with unsalted peanut butter, cultured butter and brown sugar, they amp up the traditional peanut butter cookie. The texture is crunchy on the outside and sandy and crumbly in the middle. They just melt in your mouth. They are topped with a combo of coarse sea salt and coarse sanding sugar for that perfect sweet-salt balance. scooping-cookiesLeave these cookies nice and round. No need to  flatten and cross hatch with a fork. salt-crystals-on-cookies-1

Click here to print recipe for Salty-and-Sweet-Peanut-Butter-Cookies.

I’m thinking Santa would love these with a cold bottle of milk!cookies-tied-to-milk-bottles

Ginger Crinkle Cookies

cookies-and-milkI was introduced to these cookies last summer by my friend Lanie. At first I thought it was kind of strange that she made ginger cookies in August. I have always associated cinnamon and ginger with winter. But that was before I sandwiched two cookies around a scoop of salted caramel ice-cream. Home run!!ready-to-bakeThese ginger crinkle cookies are rolled in coarse sanding sugar before baking to give them a crunch. The crispy exterior yields to a chewy center thanks to a judicious amount of molasses. This recipe comes from The Kosher Palette Cookbook. The original recipe calls for rolling the balls of dough in granulated sugar. I wondered if coarse sanding sugar would be better so I tested both. I really preferred the look and more pronounced crunch of the coarse sugar.testing-2-kinds-of-sugartesting-2-kinds-of-sugar-all-bakedI have made these cookies several times since this summer. The last time I made them I used chilled coconut oil in place of the butter, for a dairy-free cookie. I used a refined coconut oil (also called expeller pressed) which is almost flavourless. This is what you want for such a highly spiced cookie. You would not want the flavour of coconut to compete. ready-for-the-ovenrolling-in-sugarcookies-on-woven-cloth

Click here to print recipe for Ginger-Crinkle-Cookies.

2-stacks-of-cookies

 

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 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