Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s website to link to.  Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

These are great little summer cookies. There is just a little bit of flour in these and I think a non-gluten flour like almond flour or coconut flour could be used instead making these a gluten-free treat!

The main dry ingredient is unsweetened shredded coconut.

You start with a simple mix of brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. This is all melted together…

…and poured in with your other ingredients which include a lot of lime zest.

Then it’s just a matter of mixing everything together.

These are very similar to the Chocolate Florentines I made quite some time ago. I revisited that entry before baking these and the tips I mentioned there came in handy, particularly the tip about making the cookies small because they spread out so much while baking.

So I started out using a teeny tiny cookie scoop.

One thing I noticed with the first batch that went into the oven was that some didn’t completely flatten. There would be this weird mound in the middle. I never ran into this problem with the Chocolate Florentines.

So for the next tray I smooshed them a little with my fingers before baking. This worked – no more middle mounds!

After baking, the cookies are almost immediately transferred to a rolling pin to cool – this gives them an interesting curved form, like a Pringles potato chip.

It doesn’t take them long to cool – just five minutes or so.  They are pretty greasy from the butter, although they do dry out after 20 minutes or so.

I experimented with some bigger portions and while I didn’t experience the same problems as I did with the Chocolate Florentines, the resulting cookies did end up too big and a little unruly.

I formed some of the bigger ones over tartlet pans to create little cups. I loved the way they turned out!

I will say that smaller is definitely better for this recipe. Unless you’re going to make bowls like I did above, stick with a teaspoon-sized portion of dough.  This will yield individual cookies that are about two-inches across, which is perfect for how sweet they are.

These taste a lot like candy but the coconut and the lime really come through.  They are very brittle but then become quite chewy as you chew them.  They were okay by themselves, but they were absolute dynamite paired with some vanilla ice cream. I would argue that this is the only way these tuiles should be eaten! Crunchy, sweet, and citrus-y paired with creamy vanilla ice cream – I have not had a better summer treat!

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[You can find this recipe on Martha’s website right here – please let me know if you make them and what you think! Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

These have the makings of a great little summer cookie but they are, in the end, quite underwhelming. I think a light, buttery citrus-glazed cookie is a fantastic idea but these fail to deliver. Very ‘meh’.

Pretty easy recipe with simple butter cookie ingredients plus items for a super-simple lime glaze.

Have I mentioned here how much I love zesting citrus? Oh, I have? Have I included a photo of beautiful citrus zest here before? Oh, once or twice, I have? Well, here’s another.

The cookie dough comes together very easily and it is shaped into a rectangular log that is chilled thoroughly. A lot like the Icebox Butter Cookies, only square-shaped this time.

Using parchment paper really helped me shaped the dough with flat sides. Now getting all the corners to be 90-degrees was another matter entirely.

Once I had the log shaped I wrapped it in parchment paper and then wrapped and sealed it in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Then, into the fridge.

After chilling, it is just a matter of slicing the individual cookies. I was rushed here and it shows. I am disappointed in myself for this. It’s the little things that matter in baking – the attention to detail. My cookies were not evenly sliced and did not bake evenly and it was my haste during this step that led to that. Patience is not something I’ve had in large supply lately.

You can really see how difficult it was for me to get a rectangular log with square corners in this shot of the individual cookies pre-bake. This was hard! I’d get three corners squared but then the fourth would always elude me. Trying to square it would cause a different corner to go round.

Then it is just a matter of baking them, letting them cool, and preparing the glaze which is essentially powdered sugar and lime zest and water.

So a very easy recipe with some tricky parts. I thought about trying to raise the oompf factor on these somehow, like making them into sandwich cookies or making a thicker frosting for the tops. I also think they’d be great with any citrus flavor – lemon, grapefruit, or orange.

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[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s site to link to. Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

These are great!

The dough comes together fairly quickly; nothing too complicated here.

Into the dry ingredients go butter and mascarpone cheese.

And what you get is a nice, soft, buttery dough.

You halve the dough and flatten into two discs, wrap, and chill.

These are then rolled out into the sheets from which you’ll cut the crisps. It wasn’t easy for me to roll it out – the dough cracks and sticks, at least it did for me. The thinner the dough, the better, I think, so I would recommend making four smaller discs and really rolling them from the center out with as much strength as you’ve got.

The smaller discs would yield smaller sheets as well, so you wouldn’t have to trim the edges before putting them on a pan to chill in the freezer.

After chilling in the freezer, you prepare the dough sheets for cutting and baking.  They are brushed with an egg wash, cut into angular pieces, and then sprinkled with caraway seeds and course salt.

Into the oven they go and it’s smooth sailing from here. They bake up so nicely, getting golden brown around the edges.

These are certainly a savory “cookie,” but would still make for a great dessert item. They remind me a lot of pumpernickel bread because of the caraway but they also have such a rich, buttery flavor that are solidly in the “treat” category for me. You can also get a bit of the tang from the mascarpone cheese.

The texture is flaky and crisp on the outside. The thinner the crisp, the crispier it is. The thicker it is, the more like a dense cookie it is.

The recipe makes a lot of them too, so be sure you’ve got a bunch of people to share them with. I was kind of shocked at how many you end up with. And after a day or two they aren’t as good, so eat them up quickly.


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[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s site to link to. Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

I baked these ages ago and cannot entirely recall the process. I should not allow so much time to pass between baking and writing these posts.

Good news is, it wasn’t that complicated a recipe although it was time-consuming. A simple butter cookie dough, shaped and wrapped in parchment and chilled and then sliced and baked. That last sentence could be the entire post.

You start with ingredients.

The ingredients are mixed into dough, which is halved.

Half of the dough is mixed with finely chopped pecan pieces. There’s also a chocolate option or pistachio in the MSBH.

The doughs are rolled into logs, which is easy if you use a gentle touch and work quickly in order to keep the dough from getting too soft.

The logs are rolled in sanding sugar (for the plain dough) and more fine pecan pieces (for the pecan dough).

Then the logs are wrapped in parchment paper and placed in empty paper towel tubes before going into the fridge (“icebox”) to chill. The paper towel tubes are an ingenious way of keep the bottoms from going flat while chilling. That was a great tip, Martha.

After chilling, the logs are de-tubed and unwrapped and sliced into the individual cookies.

These go on to a parchment lined baking sheet and into the oven.

And that’s that.  These are not the greatest cookies – nothing to write home about and a lot of work for how ho-hum they are. You could easily fancy them up, however, by working with different add-ins or making unique designs by folding/rolling together different types of doughs.

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Pignoli Cookies

[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s site to link to. Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

Hold the phone, this might be my new favorite recipe from the MSBH! This is certainly now my favorite cookie recipe from the MSBH. They don’t look like much, but boy oh boy, they taste like a million bucks.

You start with almond paste, confectioner’s sugar, and regular sugar. This is mixed in a mixer until loosely combined and crumbly.

Then you add egg whites and vanilla and mix together into a smooth paste.

You use a spoon to portion the dough/paste and drop into a bowl of pine nuts (pine nuts are the “pignolis” from the name of the cookie).

I used a spoon to cover the rest of the dough blob with pine nuts. The dough is crazy-sticky, but once the smooth pine nuts stick on to it, it’s quite easy to handle. These then go on to a parchment-lined baking pan.

And then into the oven to bake. Then on to a cooling rack to cool. They are very easy cookies!

I have never baked with pine nuts before, that I can recall, and I am so impressed with them. They pair perfectly with the almond and sweet flavors in this cookie.

These taste sublime. They bake up kind of like a macaron – very light, crisp on the outside, with a tender, airy, slightly chewy middle. They are not sweet at all at first but instead has a deep (but not overpowering) almond flavor that you smell before you taste. The pine nuts add a soft crunch and subtle nutty flavor. And then the sweetness hits, at the end, in a perfect amount. My definition of a perfect cookie!

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Cheesecake Thumbprints

[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s site to link to. Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

These are easy (I just noticed I’ve been choosing a lot of easy recipes lately) and taste fine. Nothing too exciting going on with these.

You make a simple cheesecake filling first with cream cheese, sour cream, and a few other ingredients. Instead of using the called-for vanilla, I used King Arthur Flour’s Fiori di Sicilia which is vanilla with a hint of citrus. This brightened up the taste of the filling a lot and I can’t imagine making it any other way. I love this stuff.

This filling is just a matter of mixing everything together in the mixer. Super easy. It chills in the fridge for 30 minutes.

The cookie dough is also very easy, requiring few many ingredients and simply combining them (creaming method) in the mixer.

You roll tablespoon-sized portions of dough into balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Then you make the imprints with your finger or a spoon. I found a measuring spoon worked great.

The cookies are then baked about half-way. They lose the impressions as they puff up, so you pull them out and remake the indentations again before putting them back in the oven to finish baking.

A word of caution – the warm cookies will yield quite a bit when you remake the indentations, so use a gentle touch. If you push too hard, the cookies will be too thin in the center and will finish quite dark.

The cookies cool completely.

Then it’s back onto the baking sheet. You spoon in the filling prior to putting them back in the oven so that the cheesecake filling can bake and set.

The filling bakes quickly and sets up just like cheesecake.

I’m not super impressed with the cookie, nor with the cheesecake filling. They taste fine, nothing specific to complain about, but they are ho-hum. I think adding a little dollop of jam filling (like the raspberry/almond filling in these cookies) on top of the cheesecake would liven these up tremendously, not to mention improve upon the boring white-on-white color. The citrus flavor from the Fiori di Sicilia was a bright note. The combination of the cookie and cheesecake in my mouth can only be described as “blobby.” I didn’t like it much.

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[I could not find this recipe on Martha’s site to link to. Here’s why I don’t include the recipes in my posts.]

These are great and pretty quick despite a few of the more tedious steps in the recipe. Seriously, I am sometimes like, What the hell, Martha? with some of these recipes.

Like the first step, which is to take some whole spices (allspice, pepper, cardamom, and so on) and put them in your automatic spice grinder and grind them up. You know, in your spice grinder. That you probably own and use a lot. Because there’s no other way to acquire ground spices.

At the beginning of this bake-through project I would have considered buying a spice grinder and doing just that. But I’m older and wiser now and opted to just take a picture of the whole spices and then I used the ground versions I bought at the store. I just guessed at the amounts and probably used more than the whole spices would have yielded, but in the end things worked out just fine.

The wet ingredients include molasses, which is one of my favorite baking ingredients.

The wet and dry are mixed together with the mixer – it’s a very easy cookie recipe.

This dough is rolled into balls and the balls are rolled in sugar.

Those go onto a baking sheet.

And then you smoosh them a bit.

Next is another one of those “oh geez” steps, but I can see how it might improve your cookie results. You place the unbaked cookies in the freezer (I had to do some rearranging to fit both sheets in the freezer) and let them get firm and then your remove them and let them come to room temperature.  I know, I know.

And then you bake them.

They turn out really pretty and I think the freezing-then-thawing does help with that.

The filling is a simple mixture of cream cheese and apple butter.

This stuff is great and I had a lot left over so you better believe my morning bagel breakfasts just got a lot more exciting.

Next step, assembling the cookies sandwiches.

A little extra apple butter is spread on top of the cream cheese mixture.

These. Are. Fantastic. I think they’d be perfect in October at the first hint of autumn weather. They are divine.  The cookies have a crisp, sugary bite that changes to chewy, with a rich, spicy molasses flavor.  The fillings are perfect – tart apple and creamy cool tang from the cheese. Under-bake the cookies just a teeny bit and keep the cream cheese mixture as thick as you can to make them easier to bite into. Gah, they’re so good!

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