Cookies


There are only two weeks left for COOKIES in the Modern Baker Challenge. Just two weeks. I want to know where all my Mondays for cookies went. I have at least 4 more I want to make. Guess I better get busy.

This past week I made two cookies – thinking it was the last week of May {I have been a week ahead in dates for the past month…..}

    Pine Nut Macaroons

Pine nuts are not something I usually bake with. They are the edible seeds of some pines and often harvested for food among many Amerindians of the Southwest. They are soft and delicious. It takes a lot of labor to harvest the nuts so they can be pricy. But they were good in this little almond cookie which only called for 4 ounces of the little seeds. I made 1/2 of the recipe which resulted in 16 cookies. They are very easy to make – nuts, almond paste, sugar and eggs are all you need. After only 18 minutes we were munching on this sweet little nugget.

Since I was in cookie mode I also made the Macadamia Shortbreads.

The great thing about shortbreads, at least Malgieri’s, is the fact that you don’t have to do anything except put the dough together (in a food processor), empty the mix into a pan and press down gently. That’s it. No rolling. No shaping. No scraping. I LOVE making his shortbread cookies. Oh, and they taste good, too!!! The cookies come out of the pan a little soft but Nick said to slice them and then let them cool and they would crisp up. And they did. Nice a crispy and buttery and nutty. Oh, Yeah!!

Now that I know I have another week left I can get some more of the cookies done. I tell you, this retirement thing is great – except sometimes you lose count of the days!!!

The Macaroons are on page 302 and the Shortbreads on page 292 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker. I also found the shortbread recipe HERE!!

One more week of cookies for Modern Baker Challenge then on to CAKES!!! Oh, My! Put the scales AWAY!!!!!

Check out the other cookies at The Modern Baker Challenge.

Tweeles! Yes, Tweeles. Or at least that is the pronunciation of the word. Tuiles are very thin wafer cookies named for and curved like the tuiles, or tiles, that line the rooftops of French country homes, particularly those in Provence. They can be sweet and served with ice cream or any custardy dessert or they can be savory made with cheese. Malgieri’s are sweet and made with almonds and lemon. Or, in my case, orange.

Malgieri calls for lemon zest but I had used my last in the Lemon Loaf. Orange was just fine with the almond. You can drop small teaspoonfuls on parchment or on a greased cookie sheet. There is a BIG difference in how they turn out.

The cookie on the right was on parchment, the left one on a greased sheet. AND the left one had a tad more dough than the right one. The plain cookie sheet gave me a thinner cookie.

If you want them curved you HAVE to place them HOT onto a curved object, such as a rolling pin, {if you want really curvy tuiles use a small round object, or shape them into small bowls for ice cream} or they will not curve without cracking. TRUST ME!! I ended up with lots of flat cookies and broken cookies. But the broken ones didn’t go to waste. On top of Lemon Curd Ice Cream they were just right!!!

The recipe for the TUILES is on page 288 of Nick Malgieri’s the Modern BakerAnd stop by the home of The Modern Baker Challenge for more cookies!

How would you like to live a Fit and Spicy Life? I know I would? And this past week or so I did – virtually – through Mellissa’s foodie blog – A Fit and Spicy Life. Mellissa’s blog was my ‘assignment’ for April’s The Secret Recipe Club. And, as usual, I found a blog full of tasty treats and interesting entrees.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to some of Mellissa’s recipes.


For breakfast one morning we had:

      Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

If you like pumpkin and all the spices that go with them then these muffins are right up your alley. Filled with cinnamon and nutmeg they are sweet and spicy. Especially warm from the oven. 1/2 of the recipe resulted in 12 regular muffins and 10 minis. Perfect!!

    3 cups sugar
    1/2 cup oil
    1/2 cup applesauce
    4 eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla
    3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour {I used half AP flour and half Whole Wheat}
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp nutmeg
    2/3 cup milk
    1 15oz can of pumpkin
    1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray muffin tins with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.
Beat together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl until well mixed.
Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl
Mix the milk, pumpkin, and applesauce in another bowl.
Add the flour mixture in 1/3’s to the wet sugar oil, vanilla and egg mix.
Add half the milk and pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the rest of the milk and pumpkin.
Stir in the chocolate chips
Add batter to muffin tins until about 2/3 full
Bake for 20 minutes

Good breakfast.

      *********************

Dinner found us eating Risotto and Fish. To be exact we had…..

      Foil Packet Fish with Tomato Corn Relish
    1 teaspoon coriander seeds
    1 cup fresh parsley
    1 cup fresh cilantro
    1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    Salt
    1 can of corn, drained
    1 heirloom tomato, chopped {I used sun dried tomatoes since Tomato season is no where near!}
    Mahi Mahi (or any other white fish) {I used VERY fresh Catfish, it was swimming that morning!}

Preheat a grill to high the oven to 350.
Toast coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium high heat, tossing, about 3 minutes.
Crush the seeds and add to the food processor with the parsley, cilantro, ginger, vegetable oil, salt and 1 tablespoon of water.
Toss the corn and tomatoes with 3 teaspoons of the herb mixtures in a bowl and season with salt
Tear off foil sheets for each piece of fish. Please fish in center and top with herb mixture while placing tomato and corn relish on the sides of the fish. Fold up foil packets, but leave room for circulation.
Grill Bake the packets, covered, until the fish is cooked through, 10 – 15 minutes. Place a foil pack on each plate and open very carefully!

Talk about easy, and tasty, and quick. And no dishes to clean afterward if you leave the fish in the pouch. I loved the play of the ginger with the sweetness of the corn and the herb mix was just perfect with both the fish and the veggies. When summer comes along and we can actually find DECENT tomatoes I want to try this one again.

Along side the fish we enjoyed…

      Leek Bacon and Pea Asparagus Risotto

    2 leeks (use just lower half)
    12 cups chicken broth vegetable broth
    4 slices bacon
    2 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
    1 cup dry White Wine
    3/4 cup frozen peas chopped asparagus
    1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan
    1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    Salt and Pepper to Taste

Finely chop leeks and bacon
In a saucepan bring broth to a simmer over medium heat
In a large skillet cook bacon until crispy, add leeks and cook until softened
Add rice and cook about a minute, ensure it is coated
Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add broth in 1/2 cup to 1 cup intervals and stir until absorbed, waiting about 2 minutes between additions for a total of about 30 minutes
Stir in peas asparagus after final addition of broth
Remove skillet from heat and stir in Parmesan, cover and let stand 2 minutes.
Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper
Serve remaining Parmesan on top of the risotto

I really liked the sweet crunch of the asparagus in the risotto. I had only used it because I couldn’t find the peas and I needed to use up the last of the asparagus. It is simply too good to waste. I am glad I couldn’t find the peas!! I have been making more risotto since I found out how easy it can be. It was always a dish that scared me. I mean, really, making risotto at home?? YES!!! And this one was delicious. The vegetable broth added another layer of flavor.

For dessert I made…

      Peanut Butter Surprises

You can find the recipe on Mellissa’s Blog. I’ll let you visit her and find out what the surprise is.

There are lots more recipes I want to try from Mellissa but they will have to wait.

Hop on over to the other SRC members’ blogs and see what fun they had exploring their ‘assigned’ blog. And if you want to join in the fun just visit The Secret Recipe Club. You could have a great time with your ‘assignments’!!



Cookies are easy. Easy to make. Easy to store. Easy to eat (sometimes too easy!). These little cookies are no exception

These little cookies have a slight orange taste, due to the orange extract and orange zest. It is faint but there. I think next time I will add a little orange oil to bring the taste out more.

These are on page 295 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker

Visit the other Challenge Bakers for their ‘moments’.

Today may not have been the best day to bake meringues.

We had 5″ of rain last night and it IS still pretty damp outside.

Still….I wanted to use up some of the gazillion eggwhites in the freezer so I decided I wanted meringues.

Malgieri’s recipe was supposed to be Espresso Walnut Meringues but I was all out of walnuts. His variation was to use pecans and cinnamon. Good choice.

I THINK meringue cookies are supposed to be crispy. Mine were a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. That Wasn’t a Bad Thing!!

I did find the recipe on line at The Biscuit Pusher and she points out a mistake that I didn’t catch. While the ingredients call for 1 cup sugar the directions state,


    “Increase the speed to medium-high and whip in 1/2 cup of the sugar….”

And look though I did I never did find out what to do with the other 1/2 cup. Of course since I didn’t read the directions all the way through ayway I added a full cup of sugar!!

You can find this recipe on page 282 of the Modern Baker. And check with members of the Modern Baker Challenge to see their meringues.

This week, the Baking with Julia pick is an old Jewish treat – RUGELACH.

Made with a cream cheese based dough it is a rolled up ‘cookie’ which is rolled in a sugar cinnamon filled with nuts and fruit and Lekvár, a thick jam or fruit butter. I had never heard of Lekvár so I looked it up.


    “Lekvár is a very thick, sometimes coarse jam of pure ripe fruit. Lekvar is of Central and Eastern European origin.”

After reading that I KNEW I would never find that here in Podunk, LA., so I was thankful there was a recipe in the book to make it. Two recipes, actually, one for prune and one for apricot.

While these were sweet and tasty these would not be a go-to cookie for me. Not because of the dough (which can be tricky to work with) but because of the dried fruit. Not a fan. But The Hubs liked them (but he likes Fruitcake, too!) so I would make again for him.

It was really easy to make the apricot Lekvár: boil some dried apricots until soft, puree with brown sugar and amaretto liquer. THIS is where I went wrong. I used Creme de Almond instead and a little bit TOO much. The alcohol taste was a little overwhelming.
Ah, well! We learn from our mistakes. But they were pretty!!!

The recipe is from Contributing Baker Lauren Groveman and is on page 325 of Baking with Julia which is a compilation of recipes from the PBS show of the same name.

Our hosts this week were Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker. You can find the recipe on their blogs {and some lovely pics of the rugelach}. And after visiting them you can stop by the Baking with Juliaweb page and see other lovely cookies.

And if you want to join in the fun, you can do that, too.

Cookies!! Fingerfood!! A little bite of sweet when you don’t need a BIG bite!!

    Honey Peanut Wafers

How about a little bite of sweet with honey roasted peanuts and honey. A simple little wafer cookie with plenty of honey flavor.

Ingredients:

    1 cup flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup honey
    1 large egg
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 1/3 cups (about 6.5 ounces) honey-roasted peanuts, finely chopped (but not ground)

Directions:
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

Combine the flour and baking soda on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.

Gently whisk together the sugar, honey and egg in a medium mixing bowl, trying not to create any foam or froth. Then whisk in the butter.

Add the flour mixture; use a large, flexible spatula to incorporate it. Then add the chopped peanuts and mix well to distribute the nuts evenly throughout the dough.

Drop tablespoon-size pieces of the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 4 inches apart. Flatten each mound of dough with the tip of a water-moistened finger (to keep it from sticking). {I didn’t flatten one sheet and they came out the same as the flattened.}
Bake both sheets of cookies for about 5 minutes, then rotate them top to bottom and front to back. (If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, use a third baking sheet to insulate the cookies as they bake on the bottom rack.) Bake for 5 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are evenly golden.

Slide the silicone liners or parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies. As soon as you can pry the cookies off the mats, rinse the mats and repeat the baking process. The cookies should be cooled completely before storing.

When the cookies were still warm, they were nice and chewy, but as they cooled they crisped. Equally good both ways. Theis one can be put together lickity split when you just have a few minutes to make cookies. Dangerous, I know!!

I am putting in the recipe because I found it already on the net HERE. The recipe is in Malgieri’s the Modern Baker on page 280.

Other MB members have made them:

    Gaarp
    Abby and it was her pick so her post is on the MB Challenge site!
    Lisa

And if you want to join in to finish up cookies {and then Cakes beginning in June} just stop by the Modern Baker Challenge Home Page.

There is a in my Kitchen.


There has to be because these cookies just DISAPPEARED!!!

And no wonder because they are delicious. Chewy! Chocolatey! Sweet! Did I mention Chocolatey?

Not only do they have Bittersweet Chocolate in them…..

…they also have Milk Chocolate! I can totally go with that! This IS a chocolate chip cookie after all!!! And I wouldn’t change a thing about them. {Okay, I MIGHT add pecans sometime.}

These are on page 285 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker

Don’t you just love that name??

Shelby’s site is just as interesting as her blog’s title. Interesting because it has such a great mix of recipes. From Bread to Venison, from decadent to healthy (Weight Watchers), you can find it all on Shelby’s site. And so so many I wanted to try. Unfortunately life got in the way and I ended up with only time to try two. So I made the choices good ones.

“Keeping Grumpy Happy” was the title of the post containing Italian Bread using a Bread Machine. It is a free form loaf that starts in the bread machine. The machine does all the work, you get all the taste. Since we are allowed to modify recipes I decided to make…

    Asiago Italian Bread

    4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    1 1/3 cups warm water
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1 cup freshly shredded Asiago Cheese {this is all I added to the mix}
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon water
    2 tablespoons cornmeal

{BTW! I cut the recipe in 1/2 so the bread DID have a lot of cheesey flavor!!}

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of bread machine in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press start.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves and place seam side down on a cutting board generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife. Gently shake the cutting board to make sure that the loaves are not sticking. If they stick, use a spatula or pastry knife to loosen. Slide the loaves onto a baking sheet with one quick but careful motion.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

I was afraid that a whole cup of cheese would be too much, but it turned out to be the perfect amount. I like to be able to actually taste the cheese in a cheese bread. Good plain, buttered, or toasted!!


    ************************

Despite the fact I had several ‘meal’ recipes picked out I only got to dessert – Traditional Peanut Butter Cookies. According to Shelby,


    “The peanut butter cookie recipe comes from “Feeder’s Digest” which is a cookbook that was put together by locals in the Dekalb-Hermon Senior Citizens club back in 1974.”

Don’t you love the older local cookbooks put together by schools and churches, etc. I have several myself and can always find something to make from them.

These are definitely traditional but definitely tasty. They are traditionally flattened with a fork but I chose to just scoop some and let them flatten on their own.


    1 c. granulated sugar
    1 c. brown sugar
    1 c. crisco
    1 c. peanut butter
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2-1/2 c. flour

Mix together well. Roll in balls. Flatten with fork and bake at 375 for 8 – 10 minutes.

1/2 of the recipe gave me 26 cookies. I baked two sheets worth but had a little dough left over so I threw in a few chocolate chips. PB and Chocolate = TASTY!!

These cookies were made as part of a Baking Gals post. Shelby is one of hundreds of bakers who supply goodies to our troops overseas!! GO Shelby!!

NOW!! About those recipes I wanted to make – I will get to them….


And that’s just some of the deliciousness from Shelby. Y’all really need to visit with her!!!

BTW Shelby was my ‘assignment’ for February’s Secret Recipe Club. Once a month we are given a blog to bake/cook from and then blog about our cooking adventures. It is a wonderful way to find new blogs and wonderful recipes.



If a picture is worth a 1000 words I don’t need to say anything else!!!

What you see is one of Malgieri’s bar cookies in the cookie section of the Modern Baker.

The bars start off with a buttery shortbread crust….

….which is gently pressed into a 9″ x 13″ pan.

While the dough is baking you mix together your brown sugar, eggs, sugar, coconut, pecans, and chocolate pieces. {Malgieri calls for 12 ounces of cut chocolate, but I used chocolate chips.} This mix is spread over the baked but not cooled crust…

…and baked for about 20 – 25 minutes until the filling is set. {Have to say, mine never did ‘set’ until if chilled them.} The ‘slab’ is then cut into 2″ squares – which is all you need because they are SO rich, and devoured!!


I know several of the Modern Challenge Bakers have already made these so check them out and visit The Modern Baker Challenge – Cookies.

And if you want to join in the fun, contact us.

This recipe is on page 277 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker.

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