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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Recipe II

Posted by booksncooks on May 6, 2011

Last year, I had a semi-successful attempt at making Barefoot Contessa’s Jam Thumbprint Cookies, a sweet vanilla cookie with coconut flakes and a jam center. While 8 cookies came our beautifully (and tasted amazing), the recipe just didn’t go right for me. The dough was too crumbly, I’m guessing because the butter wasn’t at the correct temperature. The couple that came out were fantastic, so I chalked it up to an error on my part, and put the recipe back in the stack to make again at a later date.

Recently, I was cleaning out the kitchen and noticed 3 half-empty jars of jam in the fridge. Forgetting about last year’s failure and my hope of remaking the recipe, I made Southern Living’s Thumbprint Cookies – an almond cookie with a pecan crust. These were equally as good as Ina’s, a slightly sweet butter cookie with the spark of flavor from the jam. I did have a similar problem with the dough being crumbly, again contributing it to the temperature of the dough. I solve the problem this time, by warming the dough slightly in my hands, while rolling them into balls.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Recipe II

Adapted from Southern Living’s Best Loved Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies (p. 46)

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 c. jam, one flavor or multiple flavors

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy, another 1-2 minutes. Lower speed and add egg yolks and almond extract, until just combined. With the mixer on low-speed, sift in flour and salt.

Cover and chill dough for an hour.

Just before removing dough from fridge, preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Lightly beat eggs whites and spread chopped pecan pieces on a plate or in a small bowl.

Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1-inch balls. If the dough won’t stick together, warm it slightly in you hands. Flatten slightly, dip in egg white, and then dip/roll in pecans. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or so in between each cookie. Just before putting into oven, press the center of each cookie down with thumb or knuckle, making a small indentation.

Bake 14-16 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Once on wire racks, while cookies are still warm, press centers again and fill with jam.

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Quick & Easy Palmiers: Cinnamon & Cardamom

Posted by booksncooks on March 23, 2011

Quick & Easy Palmiers: Cinnamon & Cardamom

I have a new favorite cookie recipe – this is it. I think I made it three times in one week (once for work and twice as a dessert for a friend’s house). Sweet and crunchy, they look impressive but are so incredibly easy to make. Four ingredients and requires just a mixing bowl, rolling pin, and knife. Can’t get easier. These were wonderful alone, but it would also be fantastic with ice cream or along side a mousse or pudding.

The original palmier recipe came from Ina, but I made some pretty substantial modifications to it. I felt that 1 c. was just way too much sugar, as there was quite a bit of sugar that didn’t get absorbed into the puff pastry dough. I also played with the flavorings in the sugar, trying out cardamom, which I liked even better than the cinnamon. The flavor was just slightly sweeter but still more subtle than the cinnamon (hence, I used 1 tsp. of cardamom instead of 1/2 tsp. called for in the cinnamon palmier recipe). This flavor was such a hit, I look forward to trying out some other flavors!

Cinnamon Palmiers, Heavily adapted from Ina Garten

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2/3 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cardamom Palmiers, A Books n’ Cooks Original, inspired by Ina Garten

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2/3 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix 1/3 c. sugar, salt, and either 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or 1 tsp. cardamom. Set aside.

Sprinkle a large cutting board with 1/3 c. sugar. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto sugared board. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon/cardamom mixture over puff pastry, so that the pastry is completely covered. It’s alright if you have a little left over. Just set it aside.

Using a rolling pin, lightly roll out puff pastry until measured 13×9 inches and sugar is pressed into pastry. As you’re rolling, feel free to add the extra sugar, if any lightly-sugared spots pop up.

Lay the puff pastry lengthwise. Fold one end to the center, and then the other. The puff pastry will look like a book. Again, fold each end toward the center. You should have 4 layers of pastry folded on both sides. Use a sharp knife in a sawing motion (don’t press down!) to slice the puff pastry into 1/2 to 3/4-inch pieces. (I got about 16 cookies out of each puff pastry sheet.) Place on prepared cookie sheets, cut side up. If the cookies don’t stand up straight, bend them slightly at the center.

Bake 6-8 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize. Flip, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the making sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on February 13, 2011

I’m don’t normally crave sweets. I’ll eat a cookie or try a piece of cake, but it’s not often that I want to have seconds. However, if you give me a plate of french fries or a bowl of potato chips, it’s another story. I love the saltiness and will eat more than my fair share of fries and chips. Anyway, these cookies are the exception to the rule – they’re sweet and they stayed soft, even a couple of days after baking them. I have one and keep going back for me.

I did make these cookies twice, and adjusted the recipe slightly. The original recipe called for 3 c. flour, 2 c. white chocolate chips, and 1 c. coarsely chopped pecans. I found that the dough was just too crumbly, and the chocolate chips and nuts were not well mixed into the dough. The second time, I used a little less flour and half the recommended quantities of chocolate chips and nuts, and found the ingredients were all incorporated into the dough much better. These changes are reflected in the recipe below.

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Southern Living’s Best Loved Cookies, p. 10 (also online here)

Makes 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked oats
  • 1 c.  white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans (or slivered almonds)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on high-speed until light and fluffy, about a minute. Add sugars slowly until well combined. Lower speed to low, and add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla. Slowly add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour, with the mixer still on low-speed, until jut incorporated. Add oats, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts – either with the mixer on low-speed or by hand using a wooden spoon.

Using tablespoons or an ice cream scoop, portion dough onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 12 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Molasses Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on November 30, 2010

My dad’s birthday is coming up, and he’s not usually big on presents. If his kids call him, he’s usually happy. However, Dad is like a big kid and loves getting surprises in the mail (especially if I send it to his office). These cookies were Dad’s birthday surprise – something he doesn’t get very often, slightly crunchy on the outside but still nice and soft. Dad got three little bags of these molasses – some for eating and some for freezing. Sooo… HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!

According to a comment on GroupRecipes, these cookies can be made in the food processor instead of a stand mixer, and can also be frozen and prepared as slice-and-bake cookies (roll into a log, 2 1/2 inches thick, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil, and freeze for up to 6 months). I didn’t try it, but if you do, please let us know how it works out!

Molasses Cookies

Adapted from GroupRecipe’s Starbucks Chewy Molasses Cookies

Makes 18 large cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 ts. ground ginger
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. (light or dark) brown sugar
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/4 regular unsulphured molasses
  • granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour a little granulated sugar (maybe 1/4 c.) in a small bowl or salad plate.  Set aside

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on high-speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Lower speed to medium and add egg and molasses. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat at high-speed until mixture no longer looks curdled, about 1 minute.

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger into wet mixture. Beat on low-speed until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Use a 1/4 c. ice cream scoop or measuring up to portion out dough.

Hint: Spray ice cream scoop or measuring cup with vegetable

spray if the dough is sticking to the scoop/cup.

Roll the dough into a ball, and then roll each ball in the plate of sugar. Place on baking sheet, 4-5 inches apart, as the cookies spread quite a bit. Flatten each ball slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are firm to the touch. If baking more than one baking sheet at a time, rotate the baking sheets mid-way through.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Espresso-Infused Nieman Marcus Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on June 27, 2010

I’ve been ridiculously busy lately, as I’m trying to finish school this summer. The stress of it all makes me cranky and anti-social – I haven’t wanted to talk on the phone at all lately, I’ve wanted to spend my Friday nights in my pjs with a movie or a fun book… The more I have to do, the more stressed I get, and the less I want to work on any of it.

Since my poor dad has been missing his Sunday morning phone calls (that would be my favorite study time), I want to make sure that I sent him something more than a card for father’s day. When we were growing up, he would grumble that father’s day was a just a Hallmark holiday, but he still wanted it to be recognized with a card, an extra chore done around the house, or a big pile of cookies. So Dad, I hope you enjoyed these (I heard they didn’t last long!) Happy Father’s Day, Dad!  Love you!

Espresso-Infused Nieman Marcus Cookies

Adapted from Nieman Marcus Cookies

Yields 4-5 dozen cookies

Note: When I was looking for a way to cite the original recipe I adapted from (it came in a handmade recipe book from a family member), I stumbled across the true recipe for Neiman Marcus Cookies, which in fact, is infused with espresso powder (the one I have actually has shaved chocolate and twice the ingredients). I guess I’m not as original as I thought.  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs. espresso powder
  • 2 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/3 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend oatmeal in a food processor until ground into a fine powder. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Lower speed on mixer and slowly add in remaining dry ingredients – your mixer will be working over time so do not add all at once.

When dry ingredients appear to be well mixed in, add espresso powder and chocolate chips, again with the mixer running. Turn off mixer and with a wooden spoon, make sure no flour/oats and chocolate are sitting at the bottom of the bowl. If so, incorporate that the best you can.

Use (heaping) teaspoons to portion out dough onto prepared baking sheet, setting cookies about 2 inches apart (they’ll spread a little). Bake 10 minutes.

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Cappuccino Crinkles

Posted by booksncooks on May 12, 2010

One of the things I think everyone should have in their recipe book is a dessert  that doesn’t require flour. Fine Cooking’s Dark Chocolate Crackles have saved by butt more than a few times when I forgot to visit the baking aisle at the grocery store. Light and chocolaty, they were always a crowd pleaser. Now, I add these Cappuccino Crinkles to my list of desserts that don’t require flour. These are a bit more bitter and have just a hint of that wonderful coffee flavor.

Cappuccino Crinkles

Adapted from Better Homes & Garden’s New Cookbook

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbs. instant coffee
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 c. low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar

Make the Dough: In a stand mixer set to medium speed, beat the butter for a minute, just to soften it up. Add brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee, baking soda, and cinnamon, beating until combined. Add egg whites and yogurt, again beating until combined.

Scrape down the bowl and then add flour, 1/2 a cup at a time – you’ll probably only need 1 1/4 cups. The batter will be thick and quite sticky. If you add the last 1/4 cup of flour, be warned that it will probably end up mostly at the bottom of the bowl.

Refrigerate the batter for 3 hours.

3 hours later… Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour granulated sugar into a bowl. Roll truffle-sized balls (about a teaspoon of dough, which will still be sticky) and coat with sugar. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are firm and tops are beginning to crackle.

Allow to cool a few minutes on a baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on April 29, 2010

Yes, you read the title of this post correct…. this recipe popped up in my Facebook updates page, compliments of Fine Cooking. I was curious and craving something sweet, so here you go. A half batch of these cookies, even cooking them one at a time, took only 15 minutes to make. The texture did remind me a lot of waffles. There were a little crunchier than normal oatmeal cookies, but received rave reviews from friends.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

Found on Fine Cooking, from the book Dessert Express by Lauren Chattman

Makes 1-2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. plus 2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Heat waffle iron. With 5 heating settings, mine was set to 3.5.

Whisk together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, whisking together.

Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, drop dough, one cookie at a time, onto waffle iron. Cook for 1-1/2 – 3 minutes, depending on the heat of the waffle iron. At my setting, it took about 2 minutes until the light went out. The cookies were nicely browned.

Using a fork and thin spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Continue baking cookies until finished, reapplying the cooking spray as needed.

With a half a batch and a small ice cream scoop, I got 8-9 cookies.

Posted in Cookies, Fine Cooking | Leave a Comment »

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on April 26, 2010

I was so very excited to make these Jam Thumbprints for the latest Barefoot Bloggers pick, but so sad with how they came out. Don’t get me wrong, the 8 that turned out were sooo good, but my dough didn’t turn out correctly. I ended up with a crumbly mess. I delayed this post in hopes that I’d be able to give the cookies another shot, but never got around to it. My best guess was that the temperature of my butter wasn’t quite right. If anyone has made them, can you share the secret to your success?

I’ll guess I’ll be sticking these back in the pile to make at a later date.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Adapted from Barefoot Contess’s  Family Style

also found on Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs. water, for egg wash
  • 7 oz. sweetened flaked coconut
  • Blackberry jam (or any other type, as long as its jam and not preserves)

Make the Dough: In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. Add vanilla. With the mixer on law, sift in flour and salt. Mix only until dough just starts to come together.

Flour a board or counter and dump dough onto board. Roll together into a flat disk (here’s where my crumbly mess created problems for me!

Refrigerate: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and make egg wash.

Make the Cookies: Roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls (about 1 oz. each if you were to weigh them). Dip each ball in egg wash and then roll in coconut. Placed balls on prepared baking sheet. With the top of your finger, make a little indentation or dip in the top of the cookie. Drop 1/4 tsp. of jam into each indentation.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until coconut has browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Posted in Barefoot Contessa, Cookies, Food Network | Leave a Comment »

Raisin Nut Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on April 7, 2010

Cassandra of Foodie with Little Thyme chose this Barefoot Blogger’s recipe. These cookies are some of the lightest, fluffiest oatmeal cookies I’ve ever had. The one big change I made to the recipe was using walnuts instead of pecans, only because I didn’t have enough pecans, and wanted the full nutty experience. Enjoy!

Raisin Nut Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics

also on Food Network

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. dark brown sugar, lightly packed (I used light brown)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (I used large eggs)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 c. old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 c. raisins

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Toast nuts on a baking sheet, baking for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool in a small bowl. Then line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

Lower speed and add eggs and vanilla.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, a little at a time. Wipe down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

When thoroughly combined, add the oats, raisins, and nuts, mixing until combined. Using a spatula, make sure these ingredients have been mixed throughout.

Drop dough onto prepared baking sheet, using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop.

Bake 12-15 minutes (mine took 15-16 minutes), until lightly browned. Allow to cool for a minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Posted in Barefoot Contessa, Cookies, Food Network | Leave a Comment »

Compost Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on March 9, 2010

I’ve been in a mood to clean lately – get rid of the junk around the house that we don’t use or want any more, stuff that’s been sitting around for a while. I decided to take that into the kitchen today, cleaning out the fridge and some of the cabinets. While this recipe didn’t make as big a dent in the baking/snack stash as I would have liked, but luckily, the cookies came out tasty – I’ll definitely be using up stuff with this recipe again soon!

Compost Cookies

Idea found on David Lebovitz‘s Blog

Recipe Adapted from the Amateur Gourmet,

original recipe by Christina Tosi, courtesy of Regis & Kelly.

Makes about 24 huge, flat cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (I used 1 c. all-purpose flour and 3/4 whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 c. sweet baking ingredients such as chocolate chips, buts, Raisenettes, Cocoa Krispies, etc. (I used a mixture of milk chocolate and dark chocolate Hershey kisses and a Bubble chocolate bar, chopped)
  • 1 1/2 c. snack food, such as chips or pretzels (I used pretzels)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corns syrup on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Mixture should be light and fluffy.

Scrape down sides and add eggs and vanilla on low-speed, beating until just combined.

Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 10 minutes. The mixture will become a pale white color and will double in size as the sugar fully dissolves.

After 10 minutes, lower speed and add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until just combined, about a minute.

Scrape down sides of the mixture, and again on low speed, add your baking and snack ingredients, beating until combined. Be sure to scrape sides of the bowl, making sure there is no untouched dough at the bottom.

Using a 1/4 cup scoop, drop cookie dough onto prepared cookie sheets – leave lots of room because they spread a LOT (I did 6 on one cookie sheet). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. (This step is necessary – the cookies will end up flattened out if you don’t refrigerate them!)

Preheat oven to 400F. Take plastic wrap off baking sheet and bake, 9-11 minutes until cookies are slightly puffy and tops are cracked.

Let cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a plate or tupperware.

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