Category Archives: Cookies

Macarons

Basic Macarons
Adapted from recipe in Donna Hay Magazine Issue 59 Oct/Nov 2011

1 1/4 (200g) cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 cup (120g) almond meal
3 eggwhites, at room temp
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
Food colouring

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit).
Sift the icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the eggwhites and food colouring in an electric mixer and whisk on high for 30 seconds.
Add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Fold through the almond meal mixture in two batches until smooth.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 1 1/2cm plan nozzle and pipe 4cm rounds onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
Lightly tap trays.

Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until a “skin” forms on top of the macarons.
Reduce temperature to 130 degrees Celsius (260 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake macarons for 17-18 minutes or until crisp on the outside and moist in the centre.
Allow to cool completely on trays.
Spread half the macarons with your chosen filling and sandwich the remaining macarons.

Makes 24.

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Pink Ribbon Sugar Cookies and Kitchen Sink Cookies

I have to be honest, I think these pink ribbon cookies look odd. They tasted fine though, as did the kitchen sink cookies, and have helped raise $129 so far for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The pink M&Ms are sold in selected IGA supermarkets this month.

sugar cookie recipe
kitchen sink cookie recipe

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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Sugar cookie recipe by Martha Stewart. Queen Royal Icing mixture. Happy birthday Jennifer!

I’m pretty happy with the way these turned out, it was my first time using royal icing to decorate cookies. I need a little more practice with piping but I can see decorated sugar cookies popping up on various occasions in the future.  The cookies’  flavour is quite plain so I might try a chocolate version next time.

Tips on using royal icing from those in the know:

Sweetopia
From Marriage to Motherhood
Bakerella

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Homemade Graham Crackers

Graham crackers aren’t found on supermarket shelves here like they are in North America. I remember the crackers always seemed to turn up in novels I read as a youngin’ – especially The Baby-sitters Club Series. The BSC girls always had the coolest stuff, like Graham crackers and scrunchies.
Most Australians have never had a s’more, and in fact this was my first. I think we should change that, one Graham cracker at a time. I had to improvise, I used a microwave as I didn’t have a camp fire handy.

 

Homemade Graham Crackers
Adapted from recipe By Martha Stewart 
Makes 20

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter, brown sugar, and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. Roll out each piece between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper into rectangles a bit larger than 9 by 6 inches, about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using a fluted pastry wheel, trip the outermost edges or each rectangle, and divide into three 6 by 3-inch rectangles. Pressing lightly, so as not to cut all the way through, score each piece in half lengthwise and crosswise, to form four 3 by 1 1/2-inch crackers. Stack parchment and dough on a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove two sheets of dough from freezer. Pierce crackers using the tines of a fork. Transfer to large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, rotating halfway through, until dark golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer crackers to wire racks to cool completely.

Cook’s Note: Crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. 

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Homemade Oreos

This weekend saw sewing, crocheting and baking. I worked on my first quilt, added to the rainbow blanket and made a batch of homemade Oreos.

A few notes on the Oreos:

* I use Van Houten brand cocoa.
* I roll the dough into balls weighing about 2o grams each. That’s about the size of a large marble – what we called a boulder marble as kids.
* I bake the cookies for about 8 minutes so they are still fairly cakey.
* The cookies will puff up a little as they bake and flatten as the cool.
* The filling calls for shortening – I use melted Copha.
* The recipe makes about 14 filled cookies per batch.

Speaking of Oreos, check out these Oreo stuffed cookies and these brownie-covered Oreos!

What did you do this weekend?

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Snickerdoodles

Funny name but seriously yum. Almost unheard of here in Australia, but I’m yet to meet and Australian who didn’t love them after a cookie or two. I’ve made these quite a few times now, the dough is pretty quick and easy to whip up. Rolling the balls of dough in the cinnamon and sugar is the most time-consuming aspect of the recipe, but it’s worth it! The recipe makes a fair few cookies so you’ll have plenty to share, even if you sample a cookie or eight. Aim for a little crisp on the edges and cakey in the middle.

Snickerdoodles
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes three dozen 3 to 4-inch cookies. Your mileage will vary by the size scoop you use.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tbsps (2 stick or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tbsps ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400°, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. At this point, I chilled the dough for an hour (or you can overnight) before scooping it, because I otherwise found it too difficult to scoop into balls and roll but the original recipe doesn’t find this step necessary.

Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop* to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. In theory, they can be stored in an airtight container up to one week, but I say good luck with that.

* Martha recommends a size 30 (1 1/4 ounce) ice cream scoop but I used a size 40 (3/4 ounce) and they came out 3 to 4 inches across, or plenty huge.

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Holiday Baking and Crafting

The Christmas tree is finally coming down and work is back to normal. I’ve been back at work for a week but a few more days off would be nice.

This holiday season I followed Pip’s instructions and made some crocheted Christmas baubles. I picked up the glass baubles from Lincraft after Christmas for less than 50% of the usual price.
I think I paid $3.50 for 10.

I made cranberry and white chocolate cookies from this mixture in a jar given to us by my aunt and uncle. My aunt bought it from a market somewhere around Sydney but there is no branding or label on the jar, just hand written baking instructions inside.

I think I made three batches of these kitchen sink cookies over the Christmas season, and ate more of them than I could count.

I wish every day could be like Christmas!

 

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
2 cups Christmas M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, butterscotch chips and chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

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Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookies

I love Christmas M&Ms – I love all the colour-themed M&Ms! Hubby brought me back some milk chocolate, dark chocolate and almond Christmas M&Ms from the US. My friend Karla also picked up a packet of milk chocolate Christmas M&Ms while shopping here in Sydney. Thanks guys! Some of the M&Ms are still in my candy jar and of course I made kitchen sink cookies with the rest. And these were possibly the best batch yet. (Yes, said that before!) Another batch might be whipped up before the end of 2010.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
2 cups Christmas M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, butterscotch chips and chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

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Snickerdoodles

These cookies were made for NYE celebrations. I don’t think any of them lasted to see in 2010.

I used a recipe found on Smitten Kitchen, which is an adapted Martha Stewart recipe. Here is the adapted recipe I used, and the original. 

Snickerdoodles
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes three dozen 3 to 4-inch cookies. Your mileage will vary by the size scoop you use.

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
16 tbsps (2 stick or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar, plus about ¼ cup extra
2 tbsps ground cinnamon, plus more if needed

Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit/200° Celsius. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or baking paper; set aside.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 ½ cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine.

Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 8 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack.

Snickerdoodles
Recipe by Martha Stewart

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tbsps (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tbsps ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small (1 1/4-ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

From Holiday Cookies 2005

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Cookie Dough Truffles

Oh. My. Goodness. “To die for!” is how co-worker Yasmin described them. Hubby says they are “da bomb”. The truffles are basically a cookie mixture with sweetened, condensed milk replacing the usual eggs. Balls of the mixture sit in the freezer for three hours or so, until you take them out and dip them in melted chocolate.

You only need to eat one of these at a time. I promise, one is enough! I ate two to make sure. Or was it three? Either way, sugar overload.

Thanks to Alicia for pointing out this recipe!

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