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Cookies

Aug 162016
 
Black Forest Cookies

Black Forest Cookies

I must have an insanity gene somewhere. It’s often hidden under various guises but at times I see it raising its head. Why else would I take my teen’s favorite favorite favorite cookies and turn them into black forest cookies? I know she likes her chocolate cookies to be left alone! I know because she has told me this on many occasions when I don’t leave chocolate cookies alone. But what can you do against the power of the insanity gene when it threatens to take over?

It took over! The insanity that is. I love black forest cake. She loves black forest cake! And she is going back to school. And Creative cookie exchange is celebrating the end of summer. What better way to say adieu to summer than celebrate cherries. The short season cherries that are here now and gone in a blink. But if it would be celebration after the cookies are baked, I wasn’t sure. But I still went ahead and baked a batch, convincing myself that in case of teen tantrum over cookies, I can always promise to bake her favorite next day.

Black Forest Cookies

These black forest cookies are gooey with delightful maraschino cherries inside. You could add in some cherry liqueur for the real black forest cake flavor but I had to proceed with caution. Making Black forest cookies was entering dangerous enough zone, making a cookie with liqueur which she totally hates was not going to happen. There are only so many things food bribes can solve! So no liquer in mine. I did want to make these with amarena cherries, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Black Forest Cookies

Told you about my insanity gene before? Yah! I went to my Husband’s bar cabinet and “stole” his Italian maraschino cherries for this recipe. For those who don’t know he is the “in house” mixologist. Makes some creative drink and gets the party rocking. Back to my stealing! This recipe and my idea now better work, because I have broken the chocolate code and I have stolen! From my own spouse! What kind of a woman am I!!

What? Are you still here? Reading? You must as bad as I am or you are one of nutty food blogger friends who understand these compulsions 😉

Black Forest Cookies

Anyhoo.. glad to report, they both approved – of the cookies, Not the stealing. I was told to replenish the bar with maraschino cherries again between mouthfuls of cookie chewing. The teen approved the cookies with a little cream Chantilly on the side! Talk about plated desserts!

Summer is almost over, and we have cookies to remember it by! Hint: a lot of these cookies could be made and frozen, to pull out a slice of summer in February!

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

 

Black Forest Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Ingredients

  • 1 C Butter ( 2 sticks)
  • 1 1/4 C Sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/2 C Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 21/2 C Dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C Maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. With a paddle attachment of your stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar first, until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and mix until fluffy. Add in one of the eggs, blend it in before adding the other. Scrape the sides of the mixer.And mix again.
  2. Add the cocoa powder gradually in two to three batches and combine until well blended.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add that to the mixer. Blend until just combined. Do not over stir or over beat.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and the cherries.
  5. Drop on to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper using a small icecream scoop or a spoon ( about one Tablespoon measure..)
  6. Bake in a pre heated oven at 350* for 10 minutes.

Notes

This recipe makes about 36 to 40 drop cookies. You can make cookies bigger by using a bigger scoop.

I think these cookies need a bit of hand rolling after you drop them for that perfect round shape. So I always roll them after portioning out.

http://dev.spiceroots.com/black-forest-cookies/
Mar 222016
 
Lemon Hamantaschen

Lemon Hamantaschen

Spring Traditions ! Everyone has them. All cultures across the world have a festival or a holiday to celebrate in spring. The warming up of the earth, reawakening of the forests, trees and rebirth of flowers and leaves. The promise of things to come and the lengthening of the days just fills people with hope.

Lemon Hamantaschen
For my family the traditional spring holiday is the Navreh, the New Year. However we don’t have any cookies associated with the holiday. There is lot of food, a lot of family time, and new clothes. But sadly no cookies! So I borrowed the idea of Lemon Hamenstachen from the Jewish Holiday, Purim. Purim is considered to be one of the most fun Holidays in Judaism. And who better to teach me the ins and outs of a traditional Jewish cookie than my friend, Abbe who is the author of This is How I Cook  a creative and unique blog. Read her fun post on Hamantaschen and get interesting facts about the origin of the cookies and how not to make them. And don’t miss Abbe’s Yiddish dictionary at the end of her post. It’s FUN.

Lemon Hamantaschen

Abbe demonstrating the shaping of the Hamentaschen

I mentioned to Abbe on Facebook that my next cookie on ‘to make’  list was the Hamantaschen and she immediately invited me over to make a batch with her. We spent an afternoon baking all kinds of Hamantaschen including the traditional poppy seed one. Abbe made the poppy seed filling as I was cutting the cookies! Like magic it appeared on the counter for filling! YUM. Then she taught me how to shape them. And then, folks, we made the most delicious savory hamantaschen. Actually Abbe did. I was just waiting for them to bake and then to eat.

Lemon Hamentaschen

Armed with the technique, I decided to make  lemon hamantaschen, with lemon curd as the filling. Which meant, I needed to start with making a batch of luscious lemon curd and had to keep it hidden even from me. You know how it goes when a thing like lemon curd awaits in the fridge.

Lemon Hamantaschen

So the lemon curd was made and everything was ready to go when I saw another friend Laura Kumin post a recipe for her Apricot Hamantaschen.  I immediately fell in love with the buttery flaky looking hamantaschen Laura posted and wanted to give it a try. Laura also has  a step by step instructions on shaping the hamantaschen on her blog.

Since I am a last minute person, I didn’t give Laura’s recipe a try because the dough needed chilling and I was nearing the posting deadline. But I have bookmarked it to be used soon. For lemon hamantaschen I used the recipe Abbe taught me and it worked like a charm. It is an oil based recipe, hence really easy to work with as you don’t have to keep the dough chilled.

Lemon Hamantaschen

We all associate cookies with “The” holidays in December, but spring holidays are a great time for cookies also! Whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, or something else, we’ve found some great traditional cookies from around the world for you!

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Lemon Hamantaschen #CreativeCookieExchange

Lemon Hamantaschen #CreativeCookieExchange

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 tsp milk/ water if needed
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • Filling
  • Lemon Curd ( Recipe follows soon)

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  2. Put the eggs, oil, vanilla essence, lemon zest and sugar into a food processor, followed by the dry ingredients and pulse to make a quick and smooth dough.
  3. If the dough is a bit dry add some water or milk. In colorado, I always have to add extra moisture
  4. Heat the oven to 350* F.
  5. Lightly flour a work area and roll out the dough . Roll it out as thin as you can ( 1/4th to 1/8th of an in)
  6. Cut rounds with a 3 in cookie cutter. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Collect the scraps of dough and re roll and cut again, until all the dough is rolled and cut.
  8. Keep the cut out circles covered at all times so that they don't dry out. They will be difficult to shape if they dry out.
  9. Place 1 tsp of lemon curd in the center of each circle.
  10. For shaping, I suggest you visit Laura's blog and see the step by instructions because pictures speak louder than words can.
  11. once you have filled and shaped all cookies, bake them at 350* F for 20 minutes
http://dev.spiceroots.com/lemon-hamantaschen/

Sep 222015
 
Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

Are they cookies? Are they Brownies? Is it a cheesecake? These were the questions floating around the living room. No one was asking me, but the guessing game was on. Sometimes I let them wonder without telling them what I am up to. Seeing me make a batch of cookie dough, whip up cream cheese with eggs and mix a batch of eggs and chocolates, the spouse and the offspring were trying to guess what I was making. Usually I finish my baking before the kid gets home, so she can come home to a fresh batch of goodies and enjoy them before heading out for the next activity of the day. But some times life happens and I end up baking well after dinner time. This was one such day.

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

So I let them wonder and kept working. The batch of brownies came out, the house was smelling brownie like and  people were waiting for it cool down when I layered it with cheesecake and topped with the chocolate chip cookie dough. It might have raised some eyebrows but by now they have gotten used to some unique type of creations every once a while. So in anticipation they waited and finally after much patience for waiting for the photos to be taken, they ate a few of these Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars with some milk. Patience pays in cookies!

I minimally adapted the recipe for Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars from the Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake recipe from  Handle the Heat . I used a brownie recipe that works for me, and used the idea for the bars from Tessa’s blog.

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars

The theme this month for the Creative Cookie Exchange  is Layered Bar Cookies–if you like crispy, crunchy, chewy, creamy or gooey layers packed into one cookie you have come to the right place!! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

 

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake BarsYou can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of our bloggers have made this month:

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars #Creative Cookie Exchange

Cookie Dough Brownie and Cheesecake Bars #Creative Cookie Exchange

Ingredients

    For the brownies
  • 1 1/4 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the cheesecake layer
  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For Cookie dough
  • ¼ C unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

    Make the Brownies
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
  2. Melt the butter then add sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mix until the mixture is smooth. It will look gritty and thick. Allow to cool before adding the eggs.
  3. Once the mixture is cool to touch, stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Mix until the batter looks shiny then add the flour and stir until the flour is completely mixed in. Do not over mix.
  4. Spread the brownie batter into the pan and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. You want to remove it before they are completely done as they will bake again with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Remove and let cool for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Make the cookie dough
  7. Beat the butter, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and milk in the stand mixer. Once the mixture is fluffy, stop the mixer and gradually add the flour and mix with a spatula until combined. Add in the chocolate chips. Mix and remove from the mixer, set aside in another bowl.
  8. The cheesecake layer
  9. Clean and dry the mixer bowl and then add cream cheese and sugar and using a paddle attachment, mix until well combined and smooth. Add in the salt and beat in the eggs one at a time and combine until just mixed in completely.
  10. Pour this over the now cooled brownie. Spread the cookie dough batter on top the cheesecake. You could alternately scoop out small cookies from the dough and place them on the cheese layer like I did.
  11. Bake at 325°F for 40 to 50 minutes. The cheesecake will set and cookie dough will look a light brown. Allow to come to room temperature before letting it cool in the fridge overnight or at least a few hours. Cut into desired shapes.
http://dev.spiceroots.com/cookie-dough-brownie-and-cheesecake-bars-creative-cookie-exchange/

Jul 202015
 

chocolate chip cookie bowls

Dear Pinterest,
You sometimes fill me with misery. I must break up with you. It’s you, It’s not me. And I say that with all dignity I can muster up after an unhappy (disastrous) project. Many such projects if I had kept a count. So as beautiful as you look, and as enticing as you are – It’s over between us. Yes, you have been very useful when I have tried to look for inspiration and most of the projects have turned out ok. But it’s the projects that look nothing like you showed that hurt the most. And for those I can’t forgive you.
I have much to thank you for. Take for example all the time you make vanish because I am checking things that I, in my wildest dreams would not even think of undertaking – like building the fish aquarium from scratch. Or the times when I think I can finally undertake the DIY projects in my bathroom because you make them look and sound fabulously easy. Sadly the husband always says No and I am left dreaming And then I am on to make some more time vanish with you. Really! It’s like magic.
But you have given me a lot more grief than you will ever care to acknowledge. Take for example these chocolate chip cookie bowls. They were supposed to look like this! See this?  That’s how they were supposed to look.

But instead looked like this:-

chocolate chip cookie bowls

 

What do you have to say for yourself? I am ending this right now. It’s over between you and me!

And while you are at it, do tell people that this project is not really worth the time, though it tastes good. Also tell them that If they have a willing teenage helper who wants to really bake the cups, go ahead. Otherwise, they should just make some chocolate chip cookies and fill in some ice cream into them and call it an ice-cream sandwich. They will thank you and not break up with you. I am saving you some heart ache.

chocolate chip cookie bowls

Oh I am adding this disaster to your boards. After all YOU did make me make these. And good bye!

Oh yes, before the final Good Bye – be sure to tell people to check how awesome cookies with ice-cream ACTUALLY look like – Here is a list for your kind information!

I was supposed to send my chocolate chip cookie cups to this event:-

The theme this month is Ice Cream Cookies–any kind of cookie that works well with ice cream in any form–could be an ice cream sandwich, could be the perfect cookie garnish! If you are dying to beat the heat with a fun ice cream creation involving cookies, we’ve got you covered! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. Please be patient though, as this month Laura is off to Italy and will not be checking email quite as often!

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Disclaimer – Pinterest is actually not human! So don’t go looking for him. He is not even a He.  Even if you have had temporary lapse of reasoning like I do, just don’t do it. Most of the times – he/she/it is nice!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the reverse side of a mini bundt pan (the outside) with a pan spray.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and the vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix it until combined.
  3. Roll out dough on generously-floured surface to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut 4-1/2 in. circles from dough.. Drape each circle over each of the reverse side of the bundt pan, pressing to form smooth surface.
  4. Bake 12 minutes or until cookie cups are firm and golden brown. Cool on pan on cooling rack 10 minutes. Loosen bottom edges of cookies from pan using small spatula. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely. Wash, dry and spray pan; repeat with remaining dough.

Notes

Recipe source ;- Wilton

http://dev.spiceroots.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-bowls-creative-cookie-exchange/
Jun 162015
 

Cherry and Chocolate chip  Scones

A quaint English cafe, scones with jam and clotted cream and some tea to sip. That’s how I had imagined my first tryst with the scone. It did happen exactly like I had imagined, only the quaint English cafe was right here in my neighborhood.
I still go there, to drink a cup of tea and eat some scones and to chat with the Gentleman who owns the place. I don’t really remember what he says, for I always am engrossed in his oh so British accent! I only hope that if he ever asks me a question I am able to gather enough wits to answer.
In all of my visits to this cafe, I have always thought about asking him for a recipe for their scones. Someday, when I am not too smitten with the accent I might actually ask. Until then, there is always Mark Bittman and his classic scones. The recipe works like a charm.

Cherry and Chocolate chip Scone

I love that these scones are not overly sweet and that the recipe comes together quickly. It is a simple recipe, but be careful to not overwork the dough.  I took liberties with the recipe and made it like an American scone – with fillings and cut like a wedge. But it does not have as much sugar. So a best of both scone world’s!
Tara, is our wonderful host for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange. The theme this month is Chips, Chunks or Bits! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. Please be patient though, as this month Laura is off to Italy and will not be checking email quite as often!
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones #Creative Cookie Exchange

Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones #Creative Cookie Exchange

Ingredients

  • 2 C All Purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 egg
  • ½ heavy cream
  • 1/2 C pitted and dried cherries
  • 1/4 C Semi sweet Milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment .
  2. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and the sugar in a sifter and sift three times. Add the butter and using a fork mix the butter in until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Alternately you may pulse it in the food processor.
  3. Add the egg in and then the cream, cherries and chocolate. Mix lightly to form a slightly sticky dough.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice. Gather into a ball and press down to form a thick circle and cut into 8 wedges. Just like cutting a pie.
  5. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.Serve warm with jam and tea.

Notes

Recipe source :- Mark Bittman

http://dev.spiceroots.com/cherry-and-chocolate-chip-scones-creative-cookie-exchange/

Mar 172015
 

 

Matcha and White chocolate cookies

White Chocolate- the sophisticated, velvety, luscious derivative of the cocoa powder making process is our theme this month.  Rich and fatty, ivory white and elegant looking white chocolate. I did not want to undermine its flavors by mixing it in as chips into cookies. So I thought about using it on top of a matcha cookie.  It is after all St. Patrick’s day. The lingering sweetness from the matcha when matched with the buttery flavors of the white chocolate makes for a good combination. I sent these to my hubby’s work and this time the reactions from people were mixed. A few of the tasters were not a fan of the matcha. That’s understandable. It takes a while to develop a liking for matcha .

Matcha and White chocolate cookies-4

But the tasters who liked the matcha cookies, liked them very much.  They said it felt like having a cup of tea with a chocolate cookie. I will take that! Matcha is also a tea that you in fact use whole. You don’t just use the tea leaves and then discard them. You use the powdered form of the tea and you drink/eat everything. It has a vegetable like first taste, which quickly turns into notes of sweetness.

Matcha and White chocolate cookies

Tea grade matcha is ground on a stone mill into a fine powder. Look at the color it imparts. I think this green is luscious for St. Patrick’s day.

Matcha and White chocolate cookies

 

White chocolate is seriously underrated as a baking ingredient–it complements so many other flavors so nicely, like citrus, spices, berries, winter squash, etc. So if you want to see all the ways white chocolate can be used to make terrific cookies, you have come to the right place! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

 

Matcha and White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • For the Cookies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1.5 Tbs Matcha powder
  • 1/2 C White chocolate to melt and coat

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven to 350*F.
  2. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, matcha and salt.
  3. Beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in two - three batches. Once the dough forms, remove it from the bowl and gather into a ball.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough. Using a lightly floured round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place about 1 inch apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake for 15- 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the white chocolate and spoon it on the cookies once they are cool. If there is some chocolate remaining, add some macha into it and drizzle some green lines on top of the cookies.
http://dev.spiceroots.com/matcha-and-white-chocolate-cookies/