Archive for cookies

Alfajores – Cajeta Shortbread Cookies

Posted in Dessert with tags , , , , on March 26, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

May I present you with the most irresistible crumbly buttery cookie filled with gooey cajeta (dulce de leche).  Pair with a cup of coffee for a mid-afternoon snack.  Ahh, perfection!

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks (1.5 cups) unsalted good-quality butter, softened (since I am very impatient, I placed my cold butter in a mixing bowl, cut it up in small chunks, and placed it in the oven at 180 degrees for about 5 minutes.  Just don’t let it melt– you want it soft.)
  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cajeta or dulce de leche

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix butter and sugar until creamy with a whisk. Add vanilla.
  3. In second bowl, mix flour and salt.
  4. Add butter mixture to flour.  Mix together with your hand (or with a fancy mixture if you have one)
  5. Roll into a log and cover with plastic wrap/parchment paper. Place in freezer for 30 mins.
  6. Cut log in thin circles. Place in cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 11-15 minutes, depending on thickness.  Cookies should barely be brown on the outside, white in the middle.
  8. Let cookies cook completely.  Place a teaspoon of cajeta in middle and top with another cookie.  Dust with powdered sugar.
  9. Try not to drool during the process.
  10. Enjoy!

Lollipop Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Fondant Swirl

Posted in Dessert, Party with tags , , , on October 3, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I made these lollipop sugar cookies for my little nice’s 3rd birthday party. Although they were really fun, I wouldn’t recommend making them. The fondant swirl was a bit labor intensive..and much too sweet.  I ended up making only 3 fondant swirl cookies, and the rest were regular sugar cookie lollipops with a pink sugar glaze.  Much easier and tastier too. But, I would recommend these as a project where the kids can make their own. As long as the fondant is already made (which is really not all that hard), the kids will have fun making molding and shaping their swirl cookie.

Sugar Cookies Ingredients: (Adapted from AllRecipes)

  • 1 1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 c. flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Cream sugar and butter. Add vanilla.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time.
  3. Mix with dry ingredients.
  4. Form a ball, and place in freezer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut round pieces.
  6. Place in baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Place a lollipop stick in the middle, and pinch sides to cover stick.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 400 6-8 minutes. Cool completely.

Glaze, or “glue” Ingredients:

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp flavored coffee creamer, or regular milk
  • 3 drops of red food coloring
  • Cream cheese (optional)–makes it much tastier

Add a thin layer to sugar cookie, then top with fondant swirl.

Marshmallow Fondant Ingredients:

  • 1 bag marshmallow
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 big bag powdered sugar

Fondant Directions:

  1. Combine marshmallow, water, and vanilla in saucepan.  Melt marshmallow.
  2. Place melted marshmallow in big bowl, and add 1/2 the bag of powdered sugar.
  3. Butter your hands (to prevent sticking) and knead the fondant. Add more sugar until it’s like play dough consistency.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, color fondant with food coloring (knead in until fully mixed), and swirl fondant over glazed cookie.

Pistachio Crumble Cookies

Posted in Dessert, Party with tags , , , on October 3, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

These are similar to “mexican wedding cookies”, but are made with pistachios instead of walnuts…which I love!  Since there were made for a kid’s birthday party I also added colorful sprinkles to the top. I also made some into lollipops but had a hard time making them stay in place. But they are just as cute in little muffin liners.

Ingredients: (Adapted from Joyofbaking.com)

  • 1 c. Butter, soft
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c. pistachios, crushed
  • More powdered sugar, for dusting on top
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients until it comes together. Roll into small balls about the size of golf balls.
  2. Place in baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Place balls in freezer for about 15 minutes
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
  5. When slightly cooled, dust powdered sugar and sprinkles on top.

Nutella Creme Brulee & Meringue Cookies

Posted in Dessert with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

This was my first time tasting creme brulee, and if I’m honest, it was not my favorite. But to be fair, I don’t like classic flan much either, which is very similar except for the different styles in caramel.  But I had to try it anyways.  Don’t get me wrong, it was good, its just not really my thing. I think it’s the “egginess” of the custard. If I can taste the egg it kind of turns me off, although I think it’s more psychological.

Anyways, I decided to add some nutella to some of them, and I did like it a lot better, probably because I couldn’t taste the egg as much. Next time I am going to make creme brulees with a similar recipe I use to make my cream cheese chocolate flan…now that is irresistibly delicious! But in the meantime, if you like classic creme brulee or chocolate creme brulee, here is the recipe.

Tip: If you are making nutella creme brulee, I suggest you add a bit of instant coffee, it really helps bring out the chocolaty taste.  If you are making a classic creme brulee, I suggest you add a bit of either orange or lime zest when you heat the cream, and then strain. It will make it that much better.

Ingredients: (Adapted from Alton Brown)

  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean)
  • 1 c. sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks (save the egg whites to make meringue cookies, see below!)
  • 2 tbsp nutella (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee (optional)
  • Boiling water (for water bath)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Heat cream (and nutella) in saucepan
  3. Combine 1/2 c. sugar and egg yolks and whisk until creamy and pale yellow.
  4. Add the vanilla to the eggs.
  5. Slowly add the hot heavy cream while stirring.
  6. Pour the custard into 6 small ramekins
  7. Place the ramekins in a water bath (the water going 1/2 way up the ramekins) and bake for 35-45 minutes (adjust time if making one big creme brulee).
  8. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  9. When ready to serve, sprinkle a spoonful of sugar on top of the custard and, either using a torch of placing under your broiler for a minute or two.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!

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Meringue Cookies Topped with Nutella and Pistachios

This was also my first time trying meringue cookies, made with the egg whites (leftovers from the creme brulee), sugar, and vanilla.  By looking at the ingredients I didn’t think these would taste very good, but I was curious anyways.  And I must say, I am surprised.  I don’t think they would be my cookie of choice, mainly because I found them a bit too sweet, but nonetheless they were surprisingly good. They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. Top them with a bit of nutella and crushed pistachios and they will be irresistible.

These cookies turned out a bit flat, but that’s because I whisked the egg whites by hand. If you have a mixer, these will be ridiculously easy. If not, it will give you a great arm workout!

The recipe I used was one I found at Joyofbaking.com.

Enjoy!

Cheryl’s Chewy Cookies

Posted in Dessert with tags , , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Just a word of caution: these are the most addictive cookies I have ever tasted. This recipe is a Cheryl Naugle original (Mark’s Mama). I have been attempting to make these for the past four years, and have never really been successful (mostly because I can’t follow directions); but this time I came pretty close.

Moms always know what to do to make their kids feel better after a no good day.  Growing up these were Mark’s favorite treats his mom made (and still are). So when Mark was feeling a little down I knew this was just the thing to make, and it worked! His entire attitude changed as soon as I took these out of the oven. So if you want to cheer someone up, make a peace offering with someone, or want to get the attention of a certain boy the following recipe is your secret weapon.

These cookies are also extremely quick & simple to make, but you have to make sure to follow a few tips to get them right. Just be careful to pack in the brown sugar, and not pack in the flour. Although the batter will only take you a couple of minutes to prepare, the difficult task, however, is knowing when to take these out of the oven.  Cook them a minute less and you will be eating them with a spoon. A minute too long and they won’t be soft and gooey in the center.  The trick is to take these out when they look almost done. The center will look slightly undercooked, but they will set once they are cooled. And finally, share with your neighbors so you don’t end up eating all of them…cause trust me, you will be tempted!! It takes a Chewy expert to get these perfect, but as long as you come close enough they will still be the best cookie you put in your mouth.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. shortening or 1 1/2 sticks of butter, @ room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. flour, sifted (do NOT pack the flour. If you don’t want to sift take a spoon and sprinkle flour on to measuring cup for correct measurement)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (or a combo of semisweet, dark, peanut butter chips…etc.)
  • 2/3 c. chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Cream shortening and (packed) sugar until creamy. Add vanilla. Incorporate eggs, one at a time.
  2. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
  3. Add chocolate chips and nuts
  4. In greased medium cookie sheet (15 x 10) spread mixture evenly
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for about 12.5-14 minutes. Do not overcook. Cookies will look like they are not done, but they will continue to set once they are out of the oven.
  6. Do not cut until completely cooled.

** Cookies should have a caramelized crust on the top. The center may still look like it’s not done, but once it’s cooled it will set.

Note: At sea level these were cooked at 13 minutes.  You may need to adjust depending on your location…do a google search if you’re not sure.