Classic NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie seems to be never ending. Some of the best desserts though come with patience, persistence, and motivation. We can thank Ruth Wakefield for creating this national wonder by accident at her Toll House Inn back in the late 1930s.

Cookies

Making the cookie dough is the effortless and straightforward part. The challenge is waiting 24 to 36 hours while the dough rests in the fridge and you anticipate it’s completion. It’s just like marinating meat where it really makes a difference when you taste the juicy tender cuts. Don’t settle for the ready to bake “instant” cookies found in the refrigerated aisles of grocery stores. Rather, treat yourself to a quality freshly baked homemade dessert. One that you’d probably have to pay an exorbitant price if purchasing from the elite bakery with 1,000+ Yelp reviews around town. Pair your warm, irresistible cookie with some creamy ice cream and take it as an opportunity to practice mindfulness as you bask in the fruits of your efforts. Mind you, this product is far from actual fruits but there is a time and place for everything and occasionally it is the time for you.

Classic NY Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 1 ½ dozen cookies
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour (8 ½ ounces)
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour (8 ½ ounces)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature (2 ½ sticks)
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar, packed (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (8 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 ¼ lb good quality dark chocolate chips/discs (Ghirardelli or Guittard) (3 1/3 cups)

Directions

  1. Sift cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition. Add in vanilla bean paste and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix until dough just comes together. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  3. Press plastic wrap against the dough covering it completely, and refrigerate for at least 24-36 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Take 3 ½ ounces of dough and roll into a ball (about the size of a golf ball) and place 6 mounds of dough on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with fleur de sel or sea salt. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes. Rotate baking tray 180 degrees halfway through.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then move to a rack to finish cooling. Store in air tight container for up to 3 days or freeze for a few months.

Tips:

-Highly recommended to sprinkle the cookies with fleur de sel (sea salt) towards the end. It is part of the little touches that will make these cookies different than your average recipe.

-Resting the dough for 36 hours is hard! Most times we want instant cookies but the wait will be worth it. This allows for the gluten in the dough to loosen up and allows for the dough to absorb all the liquid leading to a firmer dough that will cook more evenly.

-Instead of dark chocolate you can split it up with half milk chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate for a different variation.

-If you don’t have cake or bread flour, you can substitute all purpose flour. Bread flour with its higher protein flour allows for a chewier cookie and cake flour with its lower protein flour allows for a softer cookie.

Adapted from NY Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

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French Macarons

Macarons

I recently bought some edible rose buds from Chinatown and love using them every chance I get. We had a Valentine’s Day bake sale coming up and I figured, why not make some macarons? It was a good opportunity to make them considering we just had an exam aka post exam stress-relief. Macarons themselves are not difficult to make. It definitely takes practice though to become familiar with all of the steps required and getting used to using the scale for measurements. With practice you’ll be on your way to success. Bake these macarons whether it’s for Valentine’s or even just to treat yourself (because you know you deserve it).

For ideas on other flavors of macarons to make check out my previous posts on Chocolate, Green Tea, Lemon, Pineapple, or Pistachio macarons. You can also go the extra step and make a Macaron Tree if you’re having any special events!

Macarons

Printable Recipe

Makes: 35 macarons (1 ½″)

Ingredients:

  • 110 grams almonds or almond flour (~ 1 cup)
  • 200 grams confectioner’s sugar (~ 1 2/3 cup)
  • 100 grams egg whites (3-3 1/2 eggs- no need to age)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar (~1/4 cup)
  • pinch salt
  • food coloring (optional)

**Highly recommend to invest in a scale (cheap on Amazon) and measure out the ingredients in grams- I have used both methods and my success rate is always higher using grams**

Directions:

  1. Prep two baking sheets with parchment paper and draw your desired circle size. You can use a bottle cap or print out a template and trace it.
  2. If you don’t have almond flour, blend the almonds in a food processor until very fine. Add in the confectioner’s sugar and pulse until incorporated. Sift the mixture using a sieve into a medium bowl and set aside. Add any large pieces that don’t go through the sieve back to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl and whip at medium speed, until foamy.
  4. Mix in the granulated sugar and salt and whip for 3-6 minutes until stiff peaks form. If you lift the whisk, the peaks should remain standing and will look shiny and smooth.
  5. Add any food coloring at this point (I took a toothpick, dipped it in the pink gel food coloring, and wiped it into the mix). Blend until the color is distributed.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to fold your almond-sugar mixture into the stiffened egg whites. You won’t expect it to come together at first but after 40-50 strokes (it’s really important to keep track!), the macaron mixture should look like the consistency of lava. If you spoon up the batter and drop it back into the bowl, it will take about 10 seconds to incorporate itself back in. Watch this 1-minute video here if you are unsure of how to complete this step; it will be well worth it.
  7. Spoon your batter into a large piping bag (18″) fitted with a large circle tip (1/2″). Don’t overfill your bag or it will be harder when piping the macarons.
  8. Pipe the macarons onto your templates. Don’t fill the whole circle because the macaron batter will spread by a small amount.
  9. Pick up the pan and drop it onto the counter about 2-3 times to get rid of any air bubbles which can cause your macarons to crack.
  10. Preheat the oven to 300 F°. Let the macarons dry for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in an undisturbed area before baking them. You will know when they are ready when you touch the top of the macaron and it doesn’t stick to your finger.
  11. Bake the macarons for about 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Tips:

-I use a macaron silicon mat that I place underneath the parchment paper and use as a template when piping. After I pipe one sheet of macarons, I quickly slide the silicon mat out so I can use it for the next sheet.

-Sprinkle some crushed edible rose on top and color the batter with pink gel food coloring to make the macarons pictured.

-For more tips check out the Ten Commandments on Macarons here

Macarons

Chocolate Ganache

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and set over the saucepan (should not be touching the water).
  2. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Set aside until cooled and thickened while mixing occasionally.

Tips:

-The ganache can take about 30 minutes to thicken at room temperature. It is important to stir it frequently so that no clumps form. You can refrigerate it for a few minutes so that it can thicken faster.

Macarons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie For One (Or Two)

Chocolate Chip CookieHave you ever craved a cookie but didn’t want 20 extra cookies staring at you after you’ve satisfied your stomach’s needs? Or maybe you just want a quick treat after studying all day long? And above all, a dessert that doesn’t turn your whole kitchen upside down. Finally, a soft and chewy cookie recipe for one! Or two…. If you’re really feeling generous and kind that is. It took some self control to take a picture of this cookie without tasting it first, but it survived haha.

You can be creative with this cookie and put M&Ms inside instead. You can also bake it in a mini cast iron skillet and serve it with a scoop (or a few scoops) of ice cream on top. Make it your own & enjoy this personal cookie for one!

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie for One (Or Two)

Printable Recipe

Makes: 1 large 7-inch cookie

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon whisked egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons chocolate chips, divided

Preheat: 350 Fº

Directions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, 1 tbsp egg whites, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, flour, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
  3. Fold in 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips. Shape the dough into a disk and place onto the prepped baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of chocolate chips over the dough and push them in on top. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 Fº. You want it slightly undercooked which is the secret to a soft and chewy cookie.
  5. Remove the cookie and place on a wire rack to finish cooling or eat it warm with a cold glass of milk.

Tips:

-For the tablespoon of eggs, you can also just whisk a whole egg and use a tablespoon from that if preferred. I just happened to have egg whites left over and used those in the cookie.

-Use a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips for more variety. You can even sprinkle some sea salt on the cookie before baking it.

Adapted from Cooking Classy

 

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve been on the search for a satisfying chocolate chip cookie that is irresistibly chewy, soft, and complete with a large glass of cold milk. A glass of milk with cookies is like eating cake with icing, so much so that I might as well include milk in my list of ingredients haha. I’ve made this recipe twice during Thanksgiving because it was that good and found myself making it again yesterday, despite having to study for an exam. I froze a few to stave off any cravings I may have during the next few weeks for these cookies, who I know will be calling my name.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you need to destress or procrastibake to avoid that monster of a exam that you’ll be facing in a week, then take a break. Give these cookies a chance, you’ll be delighted.

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat: 350 Fº

Directions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cut the butter into slices and place in a medium skillet over medium heat. As the butter begins to melt, whisk constantly for several minutes until it starts to smell nutty and you see brown bits forming on the bottom. You now have browned butter. It will add a different dimension to the cookies with it’s nutty aroma.
  4. Remove from heat immediately and set aside in a separate bowl to cool.
  5. Beat together the cooled butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  6. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and greek yogurt on low speed, until incorporated for about 10-15 seconds. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. This will prevent you from over mixing the dough, which will cause a stiff cookie.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill for an hour in the refrigerator. Don’t skip the chilling step, you’ve already made it this far.
  8. Roll the cookie dough in balls about 3 tablespoons of dough each and place on the prepped baking sheet.
  9. Sprinkle as much or as little sea salt as you like on the cookies before placing in the oven. Bake for 9-11 minutes at 350 Fº.
  10. Remove the cookies and place on a wire rack to finishing cooling.

Adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen

Tips

-For more variation, you can use both milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips, adding ¾ cup of each. Even better, you can use chunks, mini chips, or whatever type of chocolate you desire.

-The longer you refrigerate the dough, the better the flavor of the cookies.

-This recipe can be made without a mixer or electric beater for ease and convenience as well.

-Underbaked cookies are the secret to having soft and chewy cookies the next day so be careful not to go over the 9-11 minutes.

-You can freeze this dough for up to 3 months. Roll into balls and place into freezer friendly bags. To bake, simply place on a baking sheet and bake as directed adding a minute to the bake time.Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lavender Honey Shortbread Cookies

Lavender cookies

Just recently, I was at a farmer’s market that had everything from local honey to farm fresh eggs. It was a local event held on someone’s farm where they invited other farmers to come and share their produce. One of the highlights was getting to see the miniature ponies and even a 3 day old calf on the property (animals not for sale though)!

We passed by a lavender stand that had everything lavender themed- essential oils, laundry spray, hand cream, you name it. The last product that the vendor showed me was culinary lavender. Once I heard the word “culinary”, a lightbulb turned on in my head and I started brainstorming of recipes to use it with.  A quick Google search revealed that lavender can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, such as shortbread cookies or even a lavender rub for a pot roast. I decided to make the lavender shortbread cookies and loved them!

These lavender cookies are simple and fragrant delicious bites. Dangerously addicting.

Printable Recipe

Lavender Honey Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lavender buds, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat: 350º F

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar, honey, and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the lavender, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  2. Add in the flour and salt and mix until well combined, taking care not to over mix.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes or until firm. Roll out to about ¼ inch thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can also place the dough on parchment paper and shape it into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Freeze for 30 minutes and the remove the dough and cut into slices.
  4. Place the cookies on a sheet and bake at 350º F for 7-8 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from My Fancy Pantry

Tips:

-If you used cookie cutters for this recipe, you can place the baking sheet of cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes so that they firm up and maintain their structure when baked.

-To get your butter to room temperature faster if in a rush, you can slice the stick of butter and spread it out on a plate. The greater surface area will allow the butter to soften quicker.

What recipes have you used lavender in?

 

Treat Yo’ Self Thursdays: Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

There’s always that one ingredient that you’ve been wanting to use in a recipe, but have been putting it off for a long time. In my case, it was Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses. I bought them, because they were a unique flavor of the Hershey’s Kisses yet I didn’t know what to make with them! Last weekend, I finally decided to check them off my list and make thumbprint cookies. These buttery cookies are essentially a shortbread made with butter, sugar, and flour. The egg yolks and baking powder add to the chewiness, while the salt and vanilla/almond extracts enhance the flavor.

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

If you are looking for a quick yet great looking cookie recipe, then you are in the right place! Within less than an hour, you can be sitting down and relaxing with a glass of milk and of course, these wonderful Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies.

After making this recipe, I was inspired to make a detailed post with explanations on making the perfect shortbread cookie with the ratio and different variations that you can make use of. Keep an eye out for this upcoming post in the future!

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Printable Recipe Here

Total Time: 40 minutes    Makes: 20-24 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • red food coloring, 3-4 drops
  • 20-24 Peppermint Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Directions

Preheat: 350 F°

  1. Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until well incorporated. If the dough is to sticky to roll into balls, add another ¼ cup of flour and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (about the size of a tablespoon) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  7. Use your thumb or  the end of a cap to make a well about ½ inch deep in the top of each dough ball.
  8. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then reform the wells in each of the cookies by pressing down on them again.
  9. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and the heavy cream. Stir every 20 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  10. Add 3 drops of red gel food coloring to the chocolate and mix well.
  11. Fill each cookie with about a teaspoon of the red chocolate using a piping bag or a spoon.
  12. With the remaining chocolate, drizzle it onto the cookies using a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off.
  13. Press one peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow it to cool for an hour until set and hardened. You can also put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes for quicker results.

Recipe Adapted from Lecremdelacrumb

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Tips

*For some more pictures you can visit Sally’sBakingAddiction recipe to see the process in action.

*To form the indentation in each cookie, you can be creative in what you use whether it be a cap of chapstick or the end of a teaspoon measuring spoon.

*You can change this recipe by replacing the peppermint kiss with a chocolate one or even eliminating the Hershey’s kiss altogether. Other variations include filling the cookies with caramel, jam, or brownies.

*Your dough should not be sticky like toothpaste when forming the 1 inch balls. Refrigerate it for about an hour if it is.

*If the dough cracks when you are making the indent, try to smooth it out. A few cracks are fine, because they will later be covered with the drizzled icing.

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

What is your favorite thumbprint cookie recipe?

Green Tea, Lemon, & Pineapple Macarons

Macarons

The sweet life of macarons. They are stunning for photography and even more satisfying to eat. One bite leads to another and before you realize it, they have all disappeared. And once they have disappeared, you go back to craving them. And find yourself waiting innocently in line to choose wild, tangy, or fruity flavors to satisfy your needy stomach. And then the whole cycle happens again. With macarons costing about $3 each, there are only so many that you will be willing to buy. It’s a pretty clever technique as they price them so that you buy a few that invite you for a second visit in the near future.
Macarons
Ready to make your own Laduree style macarons at home? It is challenging for a first try, but going through that struggle will only make the success of your buttercream-filled green tea macarons that much more delicious. Some of my past attempts include Nutella (my first success), pistachio, and peppermint flavored macarons. My ultimate creation with these was making a macaron tree, which I made as a pre-wedding gift for my best friend. Today we can add matcha green tea, lemon, and pineapple to that list! Keep posted as I will be experimenting with more adventurous flavors such as popcorn and Milano.

General Macarons Recipe *Modifications to make the other flavors- green tea, pineapple, lemon- will follow the recipe*

Printable Recipe Here

Makes: 25 macarons

Ingredients:

  • 110 grams almond flour (~ 1 cup)
  • 200 grams confectioner’s sugar (~ 1 2/3 cup)
  • 100 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs)
  • 50 grams white granulated sugar (~¼ cup)
  • pinch salt
  • food coloring (optional)

**Highly recommended to invest in a scale and measure out the ingredients in grams**

Directions:

  1. Blend the almonds finely in a food processor. Add the confectioner’s sugar and blend until very fine.
  2. Sift the almond-sugar mixture about 2 times into a medium bowl and place on the side for use later. If you have any large pieces, food process them again until they are smooth.
  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk at medium speed, until foamy.
  4. Mix in the granulated sugar slowly until stiff peaks form. If you lift the whisk, the peaks should remain standing and will look shiny and smooth.
  5. Add food coloring at this point. I took a toothpick, dipped it in the gel food coloring, and then wiped it into the mix.
  6. Use a spoon to fold your almond-sugar mixture into the stiffened egg whites. About 40-50 strokes works. Be careful not to overmix it!! It should look like the consistency of lava. If you spoon up the batter and drop it back into the bowl, it will take about 10 seconds to incorporate itself back in. Watch a video here if you are unsure of how to complete this step; it will be well worth it.
  7. Put parchment paper on your baking sheets and draw your desired circle size. You can use a bottle cap or print out a template and trace it.
  8. Spoon your batter into a piping bag fitted with a large circle tip. Pipe the macarons onto your templates.
  9. Pick up the pan (about 12 inches high) and drop it onto the counter about 2-3 times to get rid of any air bubbles.
  10. Let the macarons dry for about 30 minutes-1 hour in an undisturbed area before baking them. You will know that they are ready when you touch the top of the macaron and it doesn’t stick to your finger.
  11. Bake the macarons at 300 F for about 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  12. Make your desired filling (recipes will follow).

Tips

  • use a measuring scale for all the ingredients for accuracy!! Baking is a science and with improper measurements, the macarons may not turn out to your standards.
  • for more help, visit SouthernFatty for step by step pictures and a printable template

Matcha Green Tea Macarons

  • Add 2 tsp of matcha green tea powder to the almonds after you have food processed them
  • Check out ThirstyforTea’s wonderful post on making green tea macarons for more pictures and tips

Matcha Green Tea Buttercream:

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Beat the butter on high until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar and matcha powder and beat until incorporated.
  3. Add milk while beating for another 3 minutes.

Adapted from OhSweetDay

Pineapple Macarons

  • Add orange food coloring at step 5

Pineapple Curd Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup pineapple juice, canned
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients, other than the butter, together in a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Keep on whisking until it starts to simmer. It will start to thicken and you will start to see bubbles on the top.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Let it cool and place in the refrigerator while you wait. Cover with plastic wrap that is touching the curd so that no skin forms on the top.

Adapted from MissHangryPants

Macarons

Lemon Macarons

  • Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and yellow food coloring at step 5

Meyer Lemon Curd Filling 

*makes about 1 ¼ cups; double it to fill a 9 inch pie

Ingredients

  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Zest the lemon over a medium sized bowl. Place a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
  2. In a medium pan, heat up the lemon juice, sugar, and butter. Still until the butter has melted.
  3. Stir together the eggs and egg yolks in another bowl.
  4. Once the lemon juice mix starts to warm up, pour it slowly into the eggs while whisking quickly.
  5. Pour it all back into the pan and cook it until it starts to thicken. Mix it with a wooden spoon frequently. If you see white bits floating, those are pieces of egg whites which you will strain out later.
  6. Once it has thickened, strain the mixture into the bowl with the zest.
  7. Stir the curd frequently to let the steam and heat out. Allow it to cool and then refrigerate it until ready for use.

Adapted from DavidLebovitz

Macarons

Now sit back and enjoy your hard work, because you deserve to relax! You can choose to eat the macarons by themselves or pair them up with another dessert, such as vanilla bean ice-cream.

Macarons

What are some other ways that you have enjoyed your macarons?

Samoa Cookies aka Caramel Delites

samoa cookies

Samoa Cookies: those famous Girl Scout ‘Caramel Delite’ cookies that most people scramble for whenever the Girl Scouts start selling cookies & then crave once the season is over. Why wait for one of these cookies when you can learn how to make them for whenever you please?

These have been on my Ultimate Food Bucket List for a long time and I’m very happy that I finally got to attempt them. Although the total time spent making these was around 3 hours, it was well worth it and I am planning to make them again soon. I have no doubt that you will love them as much as I did!

Samoa Girl Scout Cookies Adapted from JustaTaste 

Printable Recipe Here

Makes: 60 cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut Topping Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 15 ounces store bought soft caramel (or homemade)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (can also substitute milk or semi-sweet)

Directions     

For the Cookies:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy in a bowl with a mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time to the creamed butter. Mix between each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined and the dough starts to form larger pieces.
  5. Divide the dough in half, pressing it together to compact it into two disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).
  6. Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.
  7. Cut out as many cookies as you can using two different sized cookie cutters (or a doughnut shaped cookie cutter OR any circular shaped top).
  8. Place the cut-out cookies on a Silpat or parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the cookies are a light-golden color. Transfer to a wire-rack to cool.

For the Coconut Topping:

  1. Spread out the shredded coconut on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 350 F oven until toasted, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and so they do not burn.
  3. Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set aside.
  4. Melt the caramels, milk, and salt in a double boiler by placing them into a heat safe bowl or saucepan set over a larger saucepan of simmering water.
  5. Stir until the caramels are completely melted and remove from the heat.
  6. Mix in ¾ of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a bowl.
  7. Carefully spread the remaining ¼ cup of caramel on top of the cooled cookies. Press on some of the coconut mixture and let the cookies cool for about 30 minutes. (If the caramel cookie mixture cools or hardens, just put it back on top of the double boiler and warm it until it is spreadable)
  8. Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  9. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place onto parchment or waxed paper.
  10. Use a piping bag to drizzle the tops of the cookies with chocolate. Set aside to cool and then enjoy!

Tips:

-If you do not have a piping bag to pipe the chocolate, you can also use a ziploc bag and snip off a tiny piece of the corner

-When toasting the sweetened coconut in the oven, be sure to stir them frequently as they burn easily and quickly!

Samoa Cookies: Step by Step

samoa cookies

Cutting out the cookies using two different sized circle cookie cutters

samoa cookies

Cookies waiting to be covered in caramel!

samoa cookies

Caramel, milk, & sugar about to go onto the stove using the double boiler method (place pot over a larger pot of simmering water and also make sure that it does not touch the water)

samoa cookies

Samoa Cookies: Before (still delicious at this stage, be careful of who you allow to taste test haha)

samoa cookies

Samoa Cookies: After (definitely do not leave these out of your eyesight!)

samoa cookies

One Word: Yum!!!

 

Have you ever attempted to make any of the other Girl Scout cookies? Have you ever made samoa in a different baking style than cookies (such as cakes, ice-cream, etc)?

Hazelnut Acorn Cookies

Hazelnut Acorn Cookies

There are times when you see something and just have to buy it. Or you may stay thinking about it only to come back hours later to buy it. That was my case with my acorn cookie cutter. I saw it at World Market and figured I would just come back later for it. What happened instead was that I went to a few stores next door and ended up coming back for the cookie cutter before I went home. No regrets. Hakuna Matata.

I loved making these cookies because I didn’t have to use the royal icing, which always takes forever to dry. We were going to visit one of our neighbors before she left for the holidays and so I figured it would be the perfect occasion to use my acorn cookie cutter. Later on, while jogging around my neighborhood I noticed many acorns on the sidewalk and so I picked up a few to use as decor for when I would make these cookies. Enjoy these as they will be the perfect addition on your dessert table for Thanksgiving!

Hazelnut Acorn Cookies 

Printable Recipe Here

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups cups finely ground hazelnuts, divided
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces chocolate candy coating/ chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition
  3. Mix in the vanilla and hazelnut extract
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder
  5. Add 1 cup of hazelnuts to the flour mixture
  6. Gradually add this to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until smooth
  7. Add the cream and beat until well-incorporated
  8. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up till overnight
  9. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  10. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside
  11. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with your cookie cutter
  12. Place the cookies on the prepared sheets and bake for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned
  13. In a microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate candy coating and dip the top half of the cookies
  14. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of hazelnuts over the top half
  15. Add some chocolate coating to a plastic ziploc bag or piping bag and design as you wish
  16. Store in air-tight container for up to 5 days

Recipe from the All American Cooking magazine

Hazelnut Acorn Cookies