Tag Archives: cookies

Cinnamon-Cocoa-Pecan Rugelach

11 Nov

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It’s about time I post a recipe here. I have been so busy out and about, road tripping to make pie in Vermont and hang out on a farm, and experimenting with letting others, namely Blue Apron, do the grocery shopping for me.

I am back in the groove now with a recipe for RUGELACH! Perfect for the upcoming holiday season. These darling cookies fit the bill for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah. But really, they are delicious any time of the year.

Actually, I made the dough for the rugelach way back in August and stuck it in my freezer, intending to bake them off for the Jewish high holiday, Rosh Hashanah. Alas, life got busy and I never got around to making them.

So, three months later, I finally pulled the rugelach dough from the freezer, placed it in the refrigerator to thaw, and set to work rolling, filling, and shaping the cookies. I have been known to keep pie doughs and pizza doughs and apparently rugelach doughs in my freezer for months on end, which is not ideal or recommended, but hey, they always turn out tasting dang good.

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I wrote about rugelach a few years back, and it is high time for an update. Continue reading

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Anyway Icebox Cake

25 Dec

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Who knew whipped cream and cookies could become cake and frosting overnight?! The cookies soften as the whipped cream works it’s magic. Amazing.

This is now my secret-weapon-cake for when I’m short on time (aka I have a party to attend immediately after a big final).

You could mix in some jam between the layers, or some pudding, or Nutella or peanut butter. I just kept it simple with cookies and cream. Ginger cookies felt right for the season.

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This would be a great summer cake, too, because there is no need to turn on the oven. *Imagine* Berries with shortbread and whipped cream, or peaches with a drizzle of bourbon-caramel and cream. très bon!

Anyway Icebox Cake

Wafer cookies (I used Anna’s ginger thins), about 40 wafers, or 1.5 5.25-oz packages

Heavy cream, about 2 cups

Powdered sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons

Vanilla (Citrus Zest would be nice, too!), about 1 teaspoon

With an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the cream until it begins to thicken and the whisk leaves a trail. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the cream is thick, nearly doubling in volume, and forms medium-firm peaks.

On a flat plate, arrange 5 cookies side by side in a circle, and place 1 cookie in the center.

Spread with about 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making about 7 layers of cookies. You can choose to end with a layer of cream or end with a layer of cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, the cookies will have softened, acting like regular cake. So easy. So good.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

29 Oct

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There has been a lot of pumpkin around these parts lately. Last week, I ate a pumpkin-laden something or other every single day. This week, I’ll be cooling my pumpkin jets, but just because I am taking a pumpkin break doesn’t mean you should…

These oatmeal cookies are magical because the only “glue” holding them together is 1 egg and 1/2 cup pumpkin puree. No butter, no oil. Just pure pumpkin goodness. Reminiscent of a trail mix cookie, every bite is full of something oaty, fruity, doughy, and chocolatey. Who else is with me in that they love the softness of a chocolate chip once it has been baked into something?! So tempting to pick out all of the chips from the cookies!

You know when you make something with pumpkin puree and always have leftover puree to finish off? These cookies are perfect for using up that last 1/2 cup of puree. You could also swirl some puree into hot cereal

Don’t like pumpkin? Try using mashed bananas instead!

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Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Sally’s Baking Addiction

makes about 12-15 cookies

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup granulated and 1/4 cup dark brown)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used chopped, dried figs and dried blueberries)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, chocolate chips, and dried fruit. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined (I like to use my hands at the end!). The dough will be very thick.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and slightly flatten to the shape you want your cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Cookies stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days in an airtight container.

Co-op Food + Lemon Ginger Molasses Pinwheel Cookies

1 Mar


I come home from a good sweaty yoga sesh only to find myself munching on a frosted chocolate cake. Oh, living in a co-op. Food is EVERYWHERE at every hour of the day. I come home to a huge hotel pan of chocolate cake, to the smell of homemade granola just out of the oven, to waffles wafting throughout the house, to cookies and flan and pie.

Aside from all of the sweet stuff, I come home to dinner every night at 7pm. Salads and roasted veggies and grains and beans and meats and cheese. To something new and exciting. To soups, stews, and casseroles. Comfort food, health food, vegan food, ethnic food.

Fresh baked bread. Fresh baked bread made with wheat gluten instead of flour: an accidental miracle. Snack shift. Oh, snack shift. Brownies, salsa, midnight madness.

Here is a photo of a typical co-op meal made by moi:


Mini grilled cheese bites (with a rosemary butter), balsamic roasted asparagus with sautéed chard, couscous salad with chickpeas, roasted bell peppers, olives, onion, and peas, and a spring mix salad with citrus (blood oranges, cara cara oranges, and grapefruit), cranberries, and feta cheese. Oh yes, and lemon ginger molasses pinwheel cookies as well as vegan sugar cookies for the vegans.
And here is a picture of a strawberry streusel coffee cake that I made last week (recipe from JoytheBaker):

Buttermilk Biscuit Bonanza:

A Whole Lotta Breaded n’ Baked Chicken:

With the gargantuan amount of food that a cook makes for the house (I live with 60 people, some other co-ops have only 20 people, and some 160 people), it can be difficult to take nice photos because everything is made in large, industrial pots and pans, and I am usually rushing to finish cooking so I do not have a moment to photograph in nice lighting before someone devours the food.

What a rewarding experience it is to cook here. I get everything delivered (no grocery shopping necessary) and I get to cook with a variety of ingredients that come in seasonally. I can experiment and people will eat my experiments and compliment me, yay!

We even bought and entire cow to be more “green” and to save money for the house. We also recently switched to having all-organic Straus milk and yogurt in the house. Our eggs are organic, too.

While cooking for and living with 60 college students can be tough at times, it is nice to have a “family” to eat dinner with every night.

Oh, and here is the recipe for the Lemon Ginger Molasses Pinwheel Cookies. These cookies require a bit of time just because the dough has to be refrigerated a few times and rolled out and rolled up and cut. Worth it. I taste real ingredients and I taste something sweet, satisfying, and soothing for my body.

Alice in Wonderland, the movie, is coming out next weekend, and these cookies would be great to make if you are hosting a “mad hatter” themed party in honor of Alice. They’ve got that Treshire Cat vibe going on.

Lemon Ginger Molasses Pinwheel Cookies
From CookingLightyield: 40 cookies, serving size: 1 cookie

Ingredients

  • Ginger dough:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground allspice
  • Lemon dough:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

1. To prepare ginger dough, place 1/4 cup butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add molasses and egg yolk; beat until well blended. Weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6 ounces flour, ginger, and next 4 ingredients (through allspice); stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

2. To prepare lemon dough, place 5 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended (about 3 minutes). Add egg white; beat until blended. Beat in rind and vanilla. Weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6 ounces flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

3. Unwrap ginger dough. Roll ginger dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 8 1/2–inch rectangle (3/16 inch thick); chill 10 minutes. Unwrap lemon dough. Roll lemon dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 9–inch rectangle (3/16 inch thick); chill 10 minutes. Carefully stack ginger dough on top of lemon dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one long edge. Starting with the long side without a border, roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion. Seal edges (do not seal ends of roll). Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

5. Unwrap dough. Cut with a sharp knife into 40 slices (about 1/4 inch thick). Reshape rounds, if necessary. Arrange slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350° for 8 to 9 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 81
Fat: 2.8g (sat 1.7g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 1.1g
Carbohydrate: 13.1g
Fiber: 0.3g
Cholesterol: 12mg
Iron: 0.6mg
Sodium: 33mg
Calcium: 9mg

Oh My Gah…Rainbow Cake!!!!!!!!!!

31 Dec


Yesterday I spent the day making magic in the kitchen with the infamous Linda—chef extraordinaire, queen of the kitchen, best home-cook ever! I grew up going to Linda’s house every week for Friday night dinner. She would prepare fresh baked challah bread, a homemade soup made with fresh veggies (always a different soup each time, always delicious), and then a big main course with sides galore. And for dessert—fruit, little cookies or cakes, and tea.

I really cherish those days when our families came together and enjoyed a good meal, chatting about politics and gossiping about all of the shenanigans happening in the neighborhood. Now all of the kids are older and our dinners happen less often, but when they do happen, I cherish them.

I arrived at Linda’s house yesterday with a big bag full of tart shells, sprinkles, almond extract, parchment paper, butter, aprons, and a few other miscellaneous essentials. She provided the rest.

We went to work, and our first project was to conquer one of my favorite childhood treats, RAINBOW CAKE, also known as seven layer bars.

Rainbow cake is really just almond cake with jam spread between each layer and a nice smooth layer of chocolate on top. The food coloring and sprinkles are just for aesthetics, but as Linda and I both agree, “you eat with your eyes.”


Eeeeee these are just so darling. I want to start a rainbow cake delivery service!!!!! I think that could be quite successful, don’t you? Everyone’s got a food truck these days, maybe I will start a rainbow cake truck and gallivant through different neighborhoods, putting smiles on faces.

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Ok, while I’m dreaming in LaLaLand, you should go ahead and start baking already. Once you have your cake batter, you just divide into three, drop some food coloring, spread into pans and bake, cool, and assemble. The hardest part about this recipe is the assembly, but don’t let that scare you. Enjoy the process because the end product will just make you plotz (Yiddish word for “burst” or “explode”) from so much deliciousness.

After Linda and I made the rainbow cakes, we moved on and made an apple tart with apples from her tree, and we baked challah bread (topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and black cumin seeds) and sticky buns. Our little friend Ezra enjoyed helping us sprinkle the seeds over the challahs!


This was the most fun that I have had in a while. Thanks Linda for always inspiring me to make magic.

Rainbow Cake
(aka seven layer bars)
Recipe inspired by SmittenKitchen

makes about 5 dozen bars, or more (or you can just leave it as a cake)

4 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) can almond paste (I used a 7-oz package and it worked just fine)
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 drops red food coloring
25 drops green food coloring
1 (12-oz) jar apricot preserves, heated and strained (I used raspberry preserves and did not strain them)
4-oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)

Optional: sprinkles

Special equipment: a small offset spatula, a heavy-duty stand mixer if you have one; a hand-mixer should work as well.

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan (we decided that a cookie sheet may have been easier) and line bottom with wax paper, leaving a little overhang on 2 ends, then butter paper.

2. Beat whites in mixer fitted with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed until whites hold stiff, slightly glossy peaks. Transfer to another bowl.

3. Switch to paddle attachment, then beat together almond paste and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add butter and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until combined well, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add flour and salt and mix until just combined.

 4. Fold half of egg white mixture into almond mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly (we found it a bit strange to be folding egg whites into a really thick batter, but it worked fine).

5. Divide batter among 3 bowls. Stir red food coloring into one and green food coloring into another, leaving the third batch plain. Pour green batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with offset spatula (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). (If you own multiple pans, you can bake 2 layers at a time. We baked our green and white layers at the same time).

6. Bake your layers 8 to 10 minutes, until just set. (It is important to undercook. They’ll look like they’re not done, but a tester does come out clean).

7. Using paper overhang, transfer layer to a rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Bake the remaining layer (s) in same manner as above. Transfer to a rack to cool.

8. When all layers are cool, invert green onto a parchment or wax-paper-lined large baking sheet. Discard paper from layer and spread with half of preserves. Invert white on top of green layer, discarding paper. Spread with remaining preserves. Invert red layer on top of white layer and discard wax or parchment paper.

9. Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a large baking pan. Chill at least 8 hours (We chilled for 2 hours and were just fine. The reason for chilling so long is so that the preserves can really get pressed down and incorporated into the cake layers).

10. Remove weight and plastic wrap. Bring layers to room temperature.

We decided to use one layer of chocolate on top instead of one on top and one on the bottom. Do as you please…***NOTE: If you want chocolate on both top and bottom, use 7-oz of chocolate and melt it 3.5-oz at a time.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Keep chocolate over water. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave, just stir it every 30 seconds).

11. Trim edges of assembled layers with a long serrated knife. Quickly spread chocolate in a thin layer on top of cake, and sprinkle with sprinkles! Chill, uncovered, until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. ***NOTE: If you are doing two layers of chocolate, spread your top with chocolate, refrigerate uncovered for about 15 minutes, invert, and spread your next layer with chocolate. Now you can add sprinkles. Chill.

12. Cut lengthwise into strips, Cut strips crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide cookies. Or, just leave the cake as a cake and cut slices as you please!

  • Do ahead: Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 2 weeks. They’ll keep even longer in the freezer.


Lemon Cornmeal Biscotti with Cranberries and Walnuts

28 Dec

These cookies are addicting. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot just have one. I think it is impossible.

I call them biscotti but they are softer and chewier than the typical hard and crumbly biscotti. Whatever the name, these little guys are so so so so so darn good! I believe that this may be my favorite type of cookie batter to lick the bowl with. Mmm, so buttery and lemony and comforting!


And using my new KitchenAid mixer makes everything so much easier; I can just plop my ingredients in the mixer and it does all the work for me.

This recipe makes a LOT of biscotti, I was overwhelmed and froze half of the cookies for my family to eat when I go back at school.

Here is a link to an interesting article about twice-baked cookies, mandelbrot vs. biscotti.

With a twice-baked cookie, you first make your dough, roll it out into several long logs, bake, slice, and bake again.


I chose to add lemon zest, walnuts, and cranberries (I added golden raisins and dried blueberries, too!), but feel free to add in whatever you like: chocolate chips, pistachios, hazelnuts…

I also really like the texture that the cornmeal lends to the cookie. Soft, chewy, with a little added cornmeal crunch! Very nice.

Lemon Cornmeal Biscotti with Cranberries and Walnuts

makes a LOT of cookies, I would guess about 6 dozen

2 sticks cold butter, cubed
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups cornmeal

zest of 2 lemons
dried fruit combo, about 1 cup
toasted nuts, about 1 cup

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar unitl nice and smoothe and fluffy. Add your eggs one at a time.

Combine the rest of your dry ingredients and add them to your butter, sugar, egg mixture. Stir in the lemon zest, dried fruit, and nuts.

Divide the dough into 6 even pieces. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll each piece into a nice, even log. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I ran out of parchment so I just lightly greased the cookie sheet).

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets at least once. Take the logs out of the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Using a serated knife, slice your logs into individual cookies and place the cookies cut side down. Bake for another 15 minutes or so, you will have to watch them.

This make a LOT of cookies, which are great for freezing, storing, or giving as gifts!