Tag Archives: holiday baking

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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Spring for Alice Medrich’s Saucy Cranberry Maple Pudding Cake

Cranberry cake to make any day a holiday.

Spring cleaning so often turns up a belt you haven’t seen in ages or a pair of shoes buried in the back of the closet you forgot you even bought.

For me, it also means finding stashes I’d overlooked in the freezer.

Cranberries, for instance.

Every winter holiday season, I always freeze an extra bag or two of fresh cranberries so that I can have their bright sweet-tart goodness around just a little bit longer.

Recently while rifling around the freezer, I came upon just such a bag. Thank goodness, too, because it made it so easy to bake up a pan full of “Saucy Cranberry Maple Pudding Cake.”

This homey dessert is featured in the new “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts” (Artisan Books) by Bay Area baking expert Alice Medrich. The cookbook, of which I recently received a review copy, is full of fuss-free desserts such as “One-Bowl Vanilla Cake” and “Chocolate Pudding Pie.” I especially love the lists of easy tips, such as “10 Ways to Flavor Whipped Cream” and “Things to Do with Gingerbread.”

Imagine a giant moist, tender cornbread muffin baked atop a cranberry compote. That’s what this cake is like.

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