View all posts filed under 'Favorite Cookie Recipes'

Cherries for the Fourth — and Beyond

Thursday, 30. June 2011 5:26

Rasberry-Cherry Crumble Bars. You can't eat just one. Trust me.

Fourth of July might be the ideal time to celebrate the last of the season’s fresh cherries with a bang.

Those sweet, crunchy orbs come and go all too soon, don’t they?

But Payson Fruit Growers has a way to let you enjoy them all year-round.

Founded in 1964, the farmer-owned business processes tart cherries that are grown on local farms in the Payson, Utah area. Recently, I had a chance to sample some of their products.

Some of the tart Montmorency cherries are turned into Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate ($18 for 1 quart). The thicky, syrupy concentrate is fabulous for adding to smoothies or to pan sauces for duck, pork or chicken.

Make your own tart cherry soda.

I stirred two tablespoons into 8-ounces of carbonated water, then garnished with fresh cherries and a rosemary sprig to make a refreshing summer soda. It’s super fruity and not overwhelmingly sour. But if you like it sweeter, you can add a tablespoon or two of simple syrup.

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Category:Favorite Cookie Recipes, Fruit, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (14) | Author:

Chocolate Chunk Cookies — That Even Opposites Can Agree Upon

Tuesday, 14. June 2011 5:25

Bread flour makes these chocolate chunk cookies extra tender.

It’s a good thing that opposites attract.

We often joke that my husband is the Nasdaq to my “flatline.” His personality tends to be more volatile than mine, which is fairly even-keeled.

And when it comes to cookies, he favors a soft, cakey texture to my fondness for crisp and chewy.

So, when Harvard-educated pastry chef Joanne Chang of Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe came out with a recipe last year for chocolate chip cookies that promised to be chewy with the addition of bread flour in the dough, I was intrigued whether it would somehow satisfy both my husband’s likes, as well as my own.

The recipe, “Chocolate Chunk Cookies” is from Chang’s cookbook, “Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook includes more than 100 recipes from her bakery, where 1,500 customers come to get their sweet tooth fix every day.

The dough calls for both milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate. I used a sample of Taza Semi-Sweet Baking Squares that I had recently received. Unlike other chocolates, Taza’s products are processed minimally and made from stone-ground beans. The result is chocolate with a much rougher texture, but deep flavor. The baking squares are earthy, with a noticeable acidity and slight bitterness. An 8-ounce container is $10.50.

Taza's rough-hewn baking chocolate squares.

It comes in a resealable can.

The dough is a mix of all-purpose and bread flour, along with both granulated and light brown sugars, and plenty of butter. Chang recommends letting the dough firm up in the refrigerator for at least a day before baking the cookies to let the ingredients meld, which is what I did.

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Category:Chefs, Chocolate, Favorite Cookie Recipes, General | Comments (17) | Author:

Crisp-Chewy Fruity Cookie Squares

Tuesday, 26. April 2011 5:25

Buttery, sugary and filled with plump black currants and lemon zest.

There are times when I’m decidedly old-school.

I prefer a paper wall calendar — the big kind with pics of the Eiffel Tower or Berkeley Breathed characters  on it — to keep track of my appointments rather than my smart phone.

I like to hold a real book in my hands, not a Kindle.

I like to plop myself on the couch on Sunday mornings with the many sections of the New York Times stacked by my side, not an iPad with various newspaper apps loaded onto it.

And there are times when I just want a simple buttery cookie with nothing more than good ol’ dried fruit in it.

Old-school, but oh-so wonderful.

That’s just what “Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares” are. The recipe is from “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies” (Artisan), of which I received a review copy last year, by Berkeley’s doyenne of baking, Alice Medrich.

With turbinado sprinkled on top, these are kind of like a sugar cookie sandwich with a filling of your favorite dried fruit, such as prunes, apricots, cherries, dates, cranberries or even dried ginger. Medrich recommends a combo of ginger and cranberries for the winter holidays. I used some especially plump, dried black currants, which I toted back from Quebec last year.

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Category:Favorite Cookie Recipes, Fruit, General | Comments (23) | Author:

Crunchy Wonderful Cereal Cookies

Tuesday, 22. March 2011 5:26

Cereal in cookie form.

After getting a chance to make my own custom blend of cereal at Me & Goji, the New Hampshire artisanal cereal company, I enjoyed the crunchy, varied mix over creamy yogurt and just plain out of hand.

I also adored it in these cereal cookies.

I found this recipe for “Cornflake Cookies” on the wonderful blog, BakingBites, which is all about tantalizing baked goods recipes and the low-down on nifty baking gadgets.

According to Nicole Weston, creator of BakingBites, the use of cereal in cookies originated in the 1930s and skyrocketed in the 1970s.

These cookies have the melt-in-your-mouth quality of Mexican wedding cakes, but are far crisper.

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Category:Favorite Cookie Recipes, General | Comments (19) | Author:

Fancying a Fancy Cookie

Wednesday, 9. February 2011 5:28

Homemade cookies that looked like they came from a fancy bakery.

You will be after getting a gander at these beauties.

But trust me, they only look fancy as if they came fresh from some chic bakery, where you must have paid a fortune for them.

They’re actually quite easy to make in your home kitchen.

“Walnut Acorn Cookies” is from the new “The Gourmet Cookie Book” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I recently received a review copy. The wonderful book spotlights the best cookie recipe of each year, spanning from 1941 through 2009. for a total of 68 recipes in all.

This particular recipe hails from the December 2000 issue of the new defunct magazine. These buttery cookies with a tender, crumbly texture from finely chopped walnuts in the dough, are formed into an acorn-like shape.

Decorate them with just finely chopped walnuts, if you like.

Although the recipe says it makes 4 dozen cookies, I found it made more like 2 1/2 dozen.

Once baked and cooled, one end of each cookie is dipped into melted chocolate, then finely chopped walnuts for a beautiful presentation. Take care when dipping the cookies; a gentle hand is needed or else they may break.

Instead of walnuts for a few of the cookies, I decorated them instead with nifty Callebaut Pearls, which come in both dark chocolate and white chocolate. These are small, crunchy spheres that resemble individual Rice Krispies coated in chocolate.  Use them to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies and donuts.  Though, truth be told, they’re pretty darn tasty just eaten by the handful straight from the bag.

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Category:Chocolate, Favorite Cookie Recipes, General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (21) | Author: