Archive for the ‘cookies’ Category

Cookie of the Year: 1941 – Cajun Macaroons

October 5, 2011

Quite awhile ago, I was given The Gourmet Cookie Book. As someone who loves to bake, but isn’t really prone to do anything fancy with cookies – this cook book excited me. It has the best recipe from Gourmet magazine from 1941 through 2009 – a huge variety of cookies ranging more than 50 years. Surely there were some recipes in here that would get me baking more than just chocolate chip.

The cookie book itself is lovely – full of full page photos of beautiful cookies, with a nice description of each cookie and what was happening in the world at the time of it’s publication. It also includes adorable notes helping clarify recipes that may be a bit lost in the translation 50 years later, or that are made easier by modern appliances. Things like “”Soda” is baking soda.” and “Rather than working the almond paste with a wooden spoon, use a food processor.”

After more than a year of this cookbook sitting on my shelf with little more than “Yeah, we really need to make some of those…”, I’ve decided I’m not going to make some of the recipes: I’m going to make ALL of the recipes. I’m not nuts – I’m not going to set a time limit for myself. But I am aiming to get each recipe made at some point – and I’m going to make them all in order.

Much to my surprise – the very first recipe listed was for Cajun Macaroons. It certainly doesn’t *sound* like a cookie from 1941. I first envisioned something… spicy? Perhaps with nuts and/or coconut? No, these little cookies weren’t much more than almond cookies with a lot of egg white.

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Hidden Treasure Cookies

November 12, 2010

Hidden Treasure Cookies

Every now and then, I find a recipe that screams “MAKE ME NOW!”. This one, sadly, was found when I had an oven that didn’t work. But I’m very happy to have had it be the very first cookie made in my brand new oven. These cookies were awesome. I say that as someone who is a huge huge fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combination – and really, if you aren’t as well, I don’t think we should be friends. Peanut butter and chocolate is just too good to deny.

These cookies did it all right. A nice chocolate exterior that hides the yummy, creamy, and extra sweet peanut butter on the inside. I held off to make these until we were having a few friends over – and sent the rest with Adam to work. I’m glad, because otherwise I may have eaten them all on my own. Oh were they good.

I made absolutely no changes to the recipe, so I’ll just link to the original in the blog Baking and Mistaking. A few of my notes:

  • I only got 25 cookies out of this recipe. I think next time I’ll up the peanut butter portion – as I couldn’t get more than 25 little balls out of the 3/4cup peanut butter/sugar mix without it crumbling.  There was more than enough chocolate to go around though, so some of the last few were enormous chocolate overload cookies.
  • Be very gentle when forming these. If you’re not careful, the peanut butter crumbles and you have a bit of a mess.
  • And also be gentle when squishing them down. Next time I think I’ll squish them by hand as they cracked a bit when I used the glass.

My friend Betsy also made these, and here is her thoughts on the very same cookie.

Now what are you waiting for – go make them yourself!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

September 2, 2010

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White chocolate is not one of my favourite things. It’s generally too sweet and blah and is just no comparison for real chocolate. Typically I like my cocoa dark and even slightly bitter.

Yet somehow, when it’s in chip form nestled into a buttery cookie with some salty macadamia nuts it just transforms itself. It goes from being blah to just perfectly creamy and wonderful and it brings out all of the best parts of macadamia nuts (already fabulous on its own) and really melts into the butter of the cookie itself. MmmMm. (more…)

Black Forest Sandwich Cookies

December 29, 2009

IMG_4671

Over the summer, there was a point where I had an excess of cherries. Far too many for Adam or I to just eat, and even after making these yummy  bars, we had lots and lots. I ended up making a nice batch of Black Forest Conserve – and while it was amazingly rich in chocolate-cherry flavour, I was never quite sure what to do with it. It ended up much thicker than I’d anticipated, so it didn’t really work as an ice cream topping as I’d originally envisioned. It was also far too sweet (in my opinion) to be used simply as a jam for sandwiches, though I suppose it would work for a fairly decadent scone/toast topping.

The first jar we opened largely went unused, and only recently did I think of a good idea for what to do with the rest of it: a layer for a cake, preferably chocolate. But… the trouble with making a big cake is that then? You have to eat it. And one cake in a house with two people is not the best plan. So, alas, this yummy not-quite-a-jam-but-not-an-ice-cream-topping has spent the past few months just sitting in storage, waiting to be used.

My mother-in-law to the rescue – she planned a Christmas Day Brunch (an annual tradition) and asked if I could bring a few types of cookies. I made her favourite again (Madeleines), and then had a vague chocolate-sandwich-cookie-with-conserve idea. I debated many options, but came up with something that I thought was quite good.

A big thanks to Deb over at Smitten Kitchen for this recipe for homemade oreos (which I must try again sometime with the intended cream filling):

Homemade oreos, dough form

No – I didn’t bake them this crowded. I made up a batch of the cookie dough, shaped it into cookie form and froze it before baking. It worked out quite well – when it was time to bake, I baked them from frozen just a few minutes longer than the recipe called for and then sandwiched the black forest ooze between two layers and done! The chocolate cookies served as a perfect combo for the black forest flavour, and the resulting cookies were full of pure yum.

The cookies themselves are quite crunchy upon first baking, which for some reason I wasn’t quite expecting, but the textures worked well together. After a few days (yes, we ended up with lots of leftovers – so much food at this brunch!) the cookies that were left got a bit soft as they soaked up the inner layer, but the soft version was just as enjoyable. I wouldn’t keep them more than a week (not that they’d last that long).

Triple Ginger Cookies

December 28, 2009

A few weeks ago I had a great Saturday of relaxation and baking. After a relaxed trip to the local farmer’s market followed by a nice brunch with friends at home, I was in the mood to bake some cookies. Emily hung out and helped (and took some awesome photos with her awesome camera – Yay Emily!). We tried to stick with things we had everything on hand for, and these ginger cookies fit the bill. We happened to have all three types of ginger on hand (even the crystallized ginger!), and I’m so glad we did. Definitely the best ginger cookies I’ve ever tasted. They  puffed up nicely and were soft, not crunchy like the standard ginger snaps. A really great cookie for a cold winter day, especially when paired with a cup of tea of cocoa. They did keep quite well too, staying soft and yummy for quite awhile after baking.

We made no changes to the Epicurious recipe, so no point posting it here. Full recipe can be found here.