Category Archives: Favorite Cookie Recipes

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

A load of chocolate plus a little espresso combine to take these cookies over the top.
A load of chocolate plus a little espresso combine to take these cookies over the top.

These cookies are truly, madly chockablock with chocolate.

And that’s never a bad thing, is it?

“Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies” is from the new cookbook, “100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen, with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, and More” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

This sweet collection is by Sarah Kieffer, celebrated creator of the award-winning, The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Among the 100 tantalizing recipes are “Chocolate Basil Brownies,” “Raspberry Rye Cookies,” and “Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze.” There’s even an entire chapter on “Pan Banging Cookies,” using the technique she perfected that went viral. It involves banging the tray of cookies periodically as they bake in the oven, flattening them and creating concentric ripples that leave them crisp on the edges with soft centers.

“Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies” don’t require that kind of work. They also don’t need an electric mixer to make.

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Baking Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies With My New Helper

Baking Martha Stewart's Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies with The Tiny Chef.
Baking Martha Stewart’s Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies with The Tiny Chef.

Everyone needs a sous chef in their life, right?

Meet mine.

He may be small, but he’s big on heart. He sure knows his way around a kitchen, too. He’s even eaten at Alinea before I have! So jelly.

Yes, I’ve joined the cult of The Tiny Chef. If you’re not yet acquainted with this little culinary cutie who just loves to cook at his teeny stove with button-burners and quench his thirst from a sewing-thimble cup, then you are missing out. Press his tummy, and he even talks. How could I resist? I call him an early Christmas present to myself. Given this crazy year, I’m pretty sure I deserve him, too.

Chef has a sweet tooth just like me. So, of course, the first thing we had to make together were cookies.

He started leafing through a copy of the new “Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy. He took his time pouring over the more than 100 recipes for treats such as “Chocolate Mint Wafers,” “Pumpkin Snickerdoodles,” “Iranian Rice Cookies,” and “Pink Lemonade Thumbprints.”

In the end, he settled on “Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies.” I think it’s because he loves butter. I also think it’s because these cookies get especially pretty crinkly surfaces because the dough balls are first rolled in granulated sugar, then in confectioners’ sugar.

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Roasted Pecan Blondies

Toasted pecans plus roasted pecan oil make these blondies extra delicious.
Toasted pecans plus roasted pecan oil make these blondies extra delicious.

Let the holiday cookie baking begin.

On the nuttiest note, of course.

Because these “Roasted Pecan Blondies” not only sport a heap of toasted pecans, but roasted pecan oil, as well.

The result is a golden blondie with that coveted papery top of a brownie, a wonderful chewy texture, plenty of dark chocolate, and a robust rich nuttiness.

This recipe was created by San Francisco’s The Bojon Gourmet. It was originally made with hazelnuts and roasted hazelnut oil for the artisan oil company, La Tourangelle, a family-tun company that started in France but now also has offices and a production facility in Northern California.

La Tourangelle Roasted Pecan Oil, made from pecans roasted in cast-iron kettles before being pressed and lightly filtered.
La Tourangelle Roasted Pecan Oil, made from pecans roasted in cast-iron kettles before being pressed and lightly filtered.

Best yet, the blondies can be made gluten-free, if you’re so inclined. I took the option for using all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour instead. I also added a few more pecans because I love nuts in bar cookies, so the more, the merrier.

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Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies That Can Be Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free or Vegan

Buckwheat, which is gluten-free, gives these cookies a dark gray-brown hue.
Buckwheat, which is gluten-free, gives these cookies a dark gray-brown hue.

Now that I’m trying to consolidate and minimize my trips to the grocery store, I have been on a quest to clean out my freezer of miscellaneous flours to create more space for other things.

You know, like tubs of ice cream. Kidding. Sort of.

So when I spied this recipe for “Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies,” I knew it would help me use up a bag of buckwheat flour languishing in the deep-freeze.

The recipe is from “Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats” (The Countryman Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Angela Garbacz, the owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, NE.

What makes this cookbook especially intriguing is that every recipe has suggested ingredient swaps so you can make it easily gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan, if you prefer.

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Claudia Fleming’s Honey Madeleines

Dainty madeleines flavored with honey and browned butter.
Dainty madeleines flavored with honey and browned butter.

When my mom suffered a stroke years ago, the only thing she wanted to eat for a long time was — inexplicably — lemon meringue pie.

When my elderly aunt was hospitalized last year, the only food that could comfort her was — surprisingly — madeleines.

Say what you will about the women in my family, but there’s no denying they like their sweets.

I readily admit I take after them, too.

When I would visit my aunt in the hospital, I’d pick up madeleines from a French bakery to take to her for a real treat. Because believe it or not, even though I bake up a storm at home on a regular basis, madeleines were not something I’d ever made.

Wanting to surprise my aunt, I bought madeleine pans this year. I was going to bake her some fresh to deliver in person. But then COVID-19 crushed those plans mercilessly.

As I wait out shelter-in-place until it’s permissible to drive an hour to visit someone her age again, I decided to break in my pans with a madeleine test-run.

I found the perfect recipe in the newly reissued classic cookbook, “The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern” (Random House) of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by the incomparable Claudia Fleming, the former pastry chef at New York’s landmark Gramercy Tavern.

Originally published in 2001, the book became coveted not only by home-cooks, but top pastry chefs. If the latter prize it so much, you know it’s got to be worth having in your collection, too.

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