Nutty, elegant tahini cookies.
Nothing beats the high of discovering a favorite new treat at a bakery or restaurant.
And nothing stings like the blow of finding out the establishment has decided to take it off the menu.
We’ve all been there, right?
When Food Gal reader Kristy W. discovered that her favorite tahini cookies had been yanked from the bakery case at the new Manresa Bread in Campbell, she was beside herself.
So what did she do? She asked yours truly if I could somehow get the recipe.
Well, Kristy, your wish is my command.
No fat — yet with an explosion of ginger goodness.
I am often put off by the word, ”nonfat.”
It usually means non-flavorful, non-satisfying and non-worth-it.
That’s why I approached with trepidation the recipe for “Nonfat Gingersnaps” in the new Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake (Food52 Works) (Ten Speed Press) by Kristen Miglore, Food52’s creative director, of which I received a review copy.
The cookbook comprises more than 100 recipes that are touted as game-changers. Indeed, they span from a “Brazilian Carrot Cake” recipe in which raw carrots are blitzed in a blender with eggs, oil and sugar for the batter” to “No-Stress Pie Dough” in which the cubes of butter are pinched into the flour before adding cold water to “Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake with Superfluffy Frosting” that uses avocado in the batter, and almond milk and brown rice syrup in the frosting for a cloud-like Cool Whip-texture.
So many people embrace nonfat because of health concerns. But every chef will tell you that fat equals flavor. It also provides satiation. Just consider how much more full you feel — and for far longer — if you choose full-fat yogurt over nonfat, not to mention the added calcium you get.
As I read over the recipe, visions of awful Snackwells nonfat cookies popped into my head. But I knew that if the recipe was published in a Food52 book, it must be good. Moreover, if it was a recipe created by pastry chef extraordinaire David Lebovitz, well, then it had to be superb.
Yup, those are little bits of mushroom on those cookies.
Yes, mushrooms in cookies.
Not those kind of mushrooms, people. But Candy Cap mushrooms.
If you’ve never had Candy Cap mushrooms, you are missing out on one of the most captivating ingredients around.
Elusive Candy Caps grow in the wilds in the Bay Area. But their growing season is so short, and the mushrooms so perishable, that you find them mostly sold in dried form.
What makes them so prized is their fragrance and flavor. Think maple syrup on steroids — with a hint of curry on the finish that lingers on and on. In fact, bake with them and your kitchen will smell enticingly of maple for days. Eat an ample enough of them in a dish or baked good, and you will have the scent of maple syrup even exuding from your pores, which, heck, is way better than garlic, right?
These brownie-like cookies have a hidden center of caramel.
Taking time out to spend special moments with friends and family may be the best thing about the holidays.
But a close second surely is all the cookies to indulge in at this time of year.
“Holiday Cookies” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, is all about this festive sweet time of year. The book is by food stylist and recipe developer Elizabet der Nederlanden of Berkeley, with photography by the talented Erin Scott of Berkeley.
You’ll find everything from “Gingerbread Cookies” to “Chocolate-Stenciled Shortbread Rounds” to “Saffron Pistachio Biscotti.” Beyond cookies, there are also confections such as “Apple Cider Caramels” and “Matcha Chocolate Bark with Berries and Coconut.”
“Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season” by Elisabet
“Dark Chocolate Cookies with Caramel” is especially fun because these brownie-like cookies hide a center of caramel inside. It’s achieved easily enough by rolling the cookie dough around an unwrapped, purchased caramel candy.