Archives for posts with tag: cookies

So my current obsession is macarons. I think it’s safe to say that over the last couple of years macarons have replaced cupcakes as the sweet du jour. My gal pal Dag gave me Hisako Ogita’s I Heart Macarons a couple of years back. At the time, I didn’t experiment, in part because I am allergic to almonds, and figured that I would never get to taste the fruits of my labour. A few weeks ago, my pal Jaime asked if I had ever made macarons. I knew then that they were not an easy baked good to master, but I decided to try my hand at it. And that’s when the obsession began. My first attempt was a failure. Big time. The texture was wrong. I wasn’t really sure how to fold the almond flour into the meringue. The dough was really thick and wasn’t easy to pipe. I was dissatisfied. I watched some youtube videos of people making macarons, and tried the recipe again. I didn’t have much success, and decided to abandon the recipe and dig out the I Heart Macarons cookbook. I read it cover to cover. Determined not to let the macarons beat me, I spent the next couple of days reading macaron blogs – and there are many. My favourite one thus far is Brave Tart  – I read the ten commandments and followed the advice. My next attempt was reasonably good, though I still didn’t attain the perfect consistency – I felt like the inner bit of the shell was still a bit too sticky. I didn’t bother with a handmade filling; I want the macarons to be perfect first. Nutella was a good substitute. I’ll be back at it this week. Once perfect, I’ll share any tips I have.

 

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I haven’t had a chance to bake for the last couple of weeks (other than a botched attempt at making my own granola). I am a big fan of oatmeal cookies. I came across this recipe and tried it immediately. These cookies are quick and easy to make, and the results are delish!

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
(recipe adapted from Alicia Silverstone)
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups brown sugar
2 t cream of tartar
2 t baking soda
1 t fine sea salt
2/3 c maple syrup
1 cup canola oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 t cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl mix together the oats through to the salt. Stir in the maple syrup, oil, vanilla and spices. And then combine the cranberries/raisins, pepitas and coconut. Use your hands to shape dough into tablespoon sized balls. Place balls onto a prepared cookie sheet, spaced 2″ apart and slightly flatten the balls with your hands. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are slightly golden. Let cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 24 cookies.

Over the weekend, my pal Eva got married to her beau, Warren. Their wedding was absolutely gorgeous and their adoration of each other clear for all to see. It was, in a word, lovely. I was lucky that E&W entrusted me with the honour of making chocolate ginger cookies as their wedding giveaways. I adore these cookies and have been making them for quite a few years. They can be a little labour intensive, but the results are worth it. The plan was to be able to give three cookies to each guest, packaged in a super cute turquoise coloured takeout box. I did the math and realized that this would mean about 500 cookies – I always bake extra to be safe and to allow for quality control (read: taste testing). I assembled the ingredients, and got my bake on. Two things I have realized when baking large quantities of this recipe: peel and freeze your ginger facilitating easy grating and chop your chocolate in advance. I baked about half of the cookies and then prepped ingredients for a day of baking with Eva. She wanted to help, which was fantastic. As is obvious, I love baking. I also love when other people want to bake, and when people appreciate baked treats. Eva and I spent a morning happily baking, and managed to get the rest of the cookies baked. These cookies do freeze well, and can be defrosted just before packaging. I missed out on the packaging party, but I did love the results. I hope the wedding guests enjoyed their treats.

Here is the recipe, adapted from Martha Stewart:

  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup  molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Directions

  1.  Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more (overnight works well).
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 – inch balls;  roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.