30 Days 30 Cookies: Dark Chocolate Coconut macadamia

Today marks the half way point of this project! I’m already further than I thought I would get. I’ve mentioned it before but when it comes to projects for myself I have a tendency to rush through or just completely abandon things when I want them for myself. 15 more days to go hopefully I can keep up this momentum.

Today is also my 14 year dating anniversary with my robot. I’m so very lucky to have someone that supports my in everything that I do. I mean I can’t imagine that someone wouldn’t be supportive of his wife pursing baking but he does it so effortlessly. When we met in high school all I wanted to do was become a pastry chef, there were times when I didn’t think that would be possible, and even then he would tell me we would figure it out. He supported me when I was working crap hours and making no money but I was loving what I was doing. He supported me when I made the difficult decision to leave the industry because I wanted more out of life than work. Today he lovingly supports me baking cookies daily and any time I have to deliver a massive wedding cake somewhere he’s my helper. I’m truly lucky.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 6 oz Macadamia nuts (toasted)
  • 6 oz Dark Chocolate chips
  • 5 oz coconut

Process

  1. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, scrape it down.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, scrape down after each addition, making sure they are fully combined. Add the vanilla.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the egg mixture, scrape down to make sure there are no pockets.
  4. Fold in the chocolate, nuts and coconut.
  5. Scoop your cookies and bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes, rotating halfway through.

30 Days 30 Cookies: Madeleine

Another cookie I haven’t attempted since pastry school. Technically I think these count as a mini cake but either way dip it in chocolate, serve with coffee and call it a day. The only down side to these cookies is you really should prepare the batter the day before and allow it to rest so they will come out denser. 

I used the recipe that I wrote down in pastry school; which is where I was taught to let the dough rest overnight and to turn off the oven during baking, cooks are a superstitious lot sometimes. When I was looking up other recipes for these, I didn’t see anything to indicate that you need to let the dough sit overnight or turn off the oven but that is the way that a quacking Frenchman taught me and I know that it works so that is what I do. My pastry chef instructor was a bit of a goofy guy, he would randomly quack during class, but he was also very serious about his craft.

I also want to make a comment regarding the pan for these cookies. You can get these pans and any specialty cooking store (such as Sur La Table or even Amazon) but I’m going to be honest I bought my pan for $1.50 at Daiso (a Japanese dollar store). I wasn’t sure how great the pan would be but I used it for this project and it held up and my Madeleine can out lovely.

Ingredients 

  • 250 g Flour
  • 12 g Baking Powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 75g Milk
  • 200g Butter (melted and cooled)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Vanilla To taste

Process

  1. Sift the flour with the baking powder and lemon zest.
  2. Whip the eggs with the sugar on high; once light and fluffy add the honey, milk and vanilla. Once the milk is added stop the mixer.
  3. Fold in the flour, zest and baking powder mixture.
  4. Allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Butter and flour your mold. Using a pastry bag fill each cavity 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake at 425 for 3-4 minutes (just until the dome forms) then shut off the oven and do not open the door for another 3-4 minutes. Cookie should be light and spongy.
  7. Enjoy and think of France.

30 Days 30 Cookies: Magic Middles

Can I tell you about this cookie? I think the reason I’m so excited about this cookie is that I don’t have to make them weekly anymore. I first encountered these cookies when I worked for a classic american bakery in Del Mar. I’ll admit when I worked in the bakery I wasn’t as much of a fan of these because they required assembly and there is a vast difference between making a small batch in your home kitchen and making 100+ cookies in one go. These deliciously rich cookies are chocolate on the outside and have a sweet peanut butter center, while I normally eat my cookies with a cup of coffee these are so rich you might want a glass of milk.

Ingredients

  • 14 oz Peanut butter
  • 6 oz powdered sugar
  • 8 oz butter
  • 4.75 oz Peanut butter
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 8 oz Brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ tsp heavy cream
  • 15 oz Flour
  • 3 oz Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Crystal sprinkles (for decoration)

Process

  1. Filling Cream together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping after each addition. Add the vanilla and cream.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Continue mixing until smooth. Set aside dough and cover with plastic wrap as the dough dries out quickly.
  5. To assemble: Flatten chocolate dough portions into disks. Portion the peanut butter filling on top of one disk and top with another. Enclose the edges and smooth out with your fingers. You’ll want to keep the assembled cookies covered to avoid drying and cracking.
  6. Dip in crystal sprinkles
  7. Bake at 325 for 9-11 minutes, rotating halfway through.

30 Days 30 Cookies: Peanut butter Cookies

I can’t believe I thought I had covered all the classic cookies! I opened my cabinet yesterday and realized I had a full jar of peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies are one of my most favorite cookies. I especially love how easy they are to throw together, I think this recipe is full of flavor without being too rich. In fact I bet these would be great with some chocolate ice cream and made into an ice cream sandwich. That might be another treat for another day.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz butter
  • 10 oz Peanut butter
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 7  oz Brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 14.75 oz Flour
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ¼ tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Process:

  1. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping after each addition. Add the vanilla.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Continue mixing until well combined.
  4. Bake at 375 for 11 minutes.

Note: Often I will suggest allowing your cookie dough to rest in the fridge before baking, that’s not the case here. The cookies are a bit heavy so throwing them in the oven as soon as the dough is prepared is a good idea. If you want to put your dough in the fridge so you can bake off fresh cookies later I would just pull them out and allow them to come to room temperature while your oven preheats.

Sometimes what I like to do because I find it difficult not to throw chocolate into a recipe is I will melt some chocolate and dip the cookies half into chocolate. You could also throw mini chocolate chips in to make them a little different but really these peanut butter lovelies don’t really need much help in the flavor department. You could also roll the cookie dough into little balls, and when they come out of the oven you could put a chocolate kiss in the middle of each one! This recipe is so basic that really you could have fun with the variations. If chocolate isn’t your favorite thing you could make an imprint when the cookies come out of the oven and fill them with your favorite preserves or jelly. The possibilities are endless, everything might not work but you never know until you try it.

30 Days 30 Cookie: Double Chocolate Cookies

How do you make chocolate chip cookies even better? Add more chocolate of course. It was quite a busy week and weekend so if I needed anything it was more chocolate. I had the great pleasure of creating a 3 tier cake for my tia and uncle celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. As I near my 14th dating anniversary with my robot (married 5 years in may) I think I would be so lucky if I got to spend 50 years with him. I wonder what these next years have in store for us because this year was already packed between buying a house and getting a puppy. I’m grateful I have a partner that is so supportive of my hobbies ( I suppose its difficult to not be supportive of a house full of cookies.) 

On to the cookies, the dried cherries in these cookies cut through the sweetness of the chocolate giving you a nice balance, and these cookies are so easy to whip up that they would make a great addition to any holiday cookie platter.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (room temp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups ap flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 oz dark chocolate (chopped or you can just use chips)
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla. Mixing until well combined, scrape down.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Add chocolate and cherries.
  6. Portion out your cookies and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and enjoy!

Normally I enjoy my cookie with a hot cup of coffee but with the chocolate and cherries in these guys I wonder if a glass of wine would be more appropriate?

30 Days 30 Cookies: Nutella Drops

This might be shocking but I’m not a huge fan of Nutella, good thing my darling robot adores it. When I came across this recipe I knew I wanted to try it.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ C cocoa powder
  • ¼ C ground hazel nuts
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp Nutella spread

Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the yolk and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and pinch of salt. Add to the butter mixture scraping down to ensure that everything is well mixed.
  4. Add the ground hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
  5. Scoop out tablespoons of the dough and roll into balls with your hands. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula to create the indent in each (I sprayed mine with pan spray so it didn’t stick).
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Once the completely cool fill those bad boys with your favorite hazelnut spread!

If you are like me and Nutella is not your jam you can omit the ground hazelnuts and the cookies will still hold their shapes, you can fill these with really anything you’d like if a chocolate cookie base ganache or even raspberry preserves could be heavenly.

30 Days 30 Cookies: Black & White

Now this is an exciting cookie for me! This is the first time I’m making and eating this cookie. I can’t believe its taken me this long considering they are covered in chocolate glaze but I’ve never really seen them out in the wild but they are apparently a pretty iconic cookie!

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz Butter
  • 3 oz Shortening
  • 10 oz Sugar
  • 2 each Eggs
  • 1 ea Yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon extract
  • 15 oz Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz Heavy cream

For the glaze:

  • 6 oz Corn Syrup
  • 4 oz Water
  • 2# 8 oz Powder Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 4 oz dark chocolate

Process:

  1.       Cream the butter, sugar and shortening until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape down.
  2.       Add the eggs one at a time, scraping after each addition allowing to fully incorporate. Add the extracts.
  3.       Meanwhile combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4.       Alternate adding the flour mixture with the cream to the butter mixture. Scraping down after each addition.
  5.       Portion out your dough into 12 cookies, I’ve used a larger ice cream scoop here.
  6.       Tap down your dough with something flat, I used the bottom of my measuring cup, before baking.
  7.       Bake at 310 F for 18-20 minutes, rotating half way through.
  8.       Allow to cool completely.

Glaze

  1.       Bring 4 oz of water and the corn syrup to a boil. Whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  2.       You’ll want to use the glaze immediately. Turn your cookie over to glaze the flat side of all your cookies.
  3.       While the white side dries add the chocolate to the remaining white glaze mixture; stir until smooth. Spread the chocolate glaze on the other side of the cookie. Note: If your glaze begins to harden you can pop it in the microwave for a little bit.

I’ll admit that the glaze was a little too sweet for me. I ended up using some of my left over dark chocolate ganache from the Langue de chat for the chocolate side. My mom always told me if I didn’t like something about my baking just cover it in frosting so I guess that stands.

30 Days 30 Cookies: S’mores Cookies

Today is a wonderful day because today is Becca’s birthday. Becca and I have worked at a number of kitchens together, we work well together because while I’m shy and introverted she is an extrovert, I feel like she sort of just adopted me and I’ve been along for the ride ever since. We met working at a cupcake bakery, there were times where we saw each other more than our spouses because we worked crazy bakers hours together.  One thing that she cannot get enough of is S’mores. She loves any dessert that combines graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. (side note: Becca is originally from Massachusetts where they apparently eat sandwiches with marshmallow fluff?! Then again that’s not the weirdest thing she’s told me about the East coast. I mean they call blinkers directionals. ) This cookie project has given me inspiration to try out recipes of my own. So in honor of Becca’s birthday I decided to make S’mores cookies.

I think it’s only right that S’mores remind me of her, besides being her favorite desserts S’mores make me think of summer and bon fires on the beach. When we used to have days off together we would meet in the morning and go for walks on the beach (especially when pokemon go first came out). We’d drink our morning coffees, catch water pokemon and just enjoy the beauty that is Southern California. Our schedules don’t match up quiet like that anymore but we still make time for each other. In fact when I was stressed about all I had to do this week (very large cake order, thus the various lists I mentioned in a previous post) she surprised me by making me a double batch of buttercream, because she’s that considerate (any caker understands what a help this is). The past fives years of friendship have meant the world to me.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows.

Process :Preheat the oven to 375.

  1.       Cream the butter and sugars in your mixer until the light and fluffy.
  2.       Slowly add the vanilla and eggs, remember to scrape your bowl after each addition to make sure everything is incorporated.
  3.       Meanwhile in a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and graham cracker crumbs). Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and eggs until just combined. You’ll want to stop your mixer and scrape down again.
  4.       Add the chocolate chips and the mini marshmallows. Drop onto lined baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes. 
  5.       Enjoy with your best friend!

30 Days 30 Cookies: Cappuccino Cookies

I’m finding it difficult to write anything this morning. My morning coffee isn’t really doing much today, I think I might be coming down with a cold or something.

When I originally sat down and began researching recipes for this project I wanted to try out cookies I had never made before, so I went through cookbooks that have been sitting on my shelf untouched. I get cook books as gifts and I’ll read straight through them like one might read a novel, but I don’t always make everything in them. I was pretty intrigued by these cappuccino cookies when I saw them in the cookbook, the recipe is fairly straight forward and I think it’s possible you might have everything you need for these in your kitchen already.

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope of instant cappuccino
  • 1/2 tbsp hot water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ Cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 oz white chocolate (original recipe calls for chopped pieces I just went ahead and used chips)
  1. Empty the instant cappuccino into the how water and stir to make into a paste.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down.
  3. Add the yolk, vanilla and cappuccino paste. Scrape down.
  4. Sift the flour and salt together. Add to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Wrap your cookie dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 60 minutes in the fridge.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375
  6. Unwrap the cookie dough and roll is out between two parchment sheets to about 1/8 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutter and bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  7. While the cookies cool place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water. Stir to melt. Spoon a bit of  the white chocolate over the cookies you and smooth it out over the cookie.
  8. Enjoy!

30 Days 30 Cookies: Langue de chat

Langue de Chat

This week is really busy, but it seems like I say that every week. On top of my full-time office job I still take cake orders, mostly friends and family but sometimes I branch out. As I approach a week that seems overwhelming I begin making lists. Lists for everything, list of ingredients that need to be purchased, lists of prep work that needs to be done and enviably lists of ideas of items I want to try when “I totally have some free time”. This project is still in its very early stages but so far it has been a great form of self-care. How often do we stop and make time for the things we want to do? More often than not I will find myself lamenting that I never have time to do the things that make me happy. I don’t have time for video games, or crafting, or baking but somehow, I have time to binge watch full seasons of American Horror Story. I’ve begun putting this project first. I tell myself I must sit down and try to write. I make the time. I get up a little earlier and sequester myself in my crafting room.

Stepping away from all your typical cookies today’s creation Langue de chat (cat tongue cookies)! I haven’t made these since pastry school, but I really should make them more often. They’re deliciously light with just a touch of ganache (or maybe a lot depending on my mood) and are a perfect companion to a cup of tea or coffee.  You might recognize them as the cookies that Pepperidge Farm calls Milano. When I still lived at home my mom would put on a pot of coffee or tea and we’d each have two. It was the ultimate way to unwind after a long day of classes or work.

Ingredients

  • 125 grams butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 75 grams of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 grams Flour (sifted)
  1. Whip the butter with the whisk attachment. You’ll want to keep whipping it until its basically white and looks like lotion.
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla to the butter and warm the bowl with a torch.
  3. Mix on high while adding the eggs one at a time. Make sure that they are incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment and mix the flour in on low.
  5. Put your batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round pastry tip. ( Mine didn’t come out very pretty and I think it’s be cause I didn’t use a tip I just cut off the end of the pastry bag.) Pipe into baton shapes.
  6. Bake at 375 until the edges are golden brown, roughly 12 minutes.

Ganache Filling

One of my favorite things in the world is fresh Ganache. Once you make it you’ll want to put it on everything and you really can and should! For this recipe I just used a 1:1 ratio of Dark chocolate to Cream.

  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 oz of heavy cream
  1. Melt chocolate partially.
  2. Bring the cream to a boil.
  3. Pour boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Allow to cool and pipe between your cookies~!
  5. Maybe call your mom or someone special, enjoy two cookies.