Yikes! It’s the last day of January and in order to avoid total embarrassment… here is the last cookie to complete my 12 Days of Cookies list. I give you the stupid easy, childhood favorite- Rice Krispy Treats! Wait, do not roll your eyes and […]
This month’s Food52 Baking Club pick is Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery Book. A gorgeous, very heavy (a workout just lugging it around) opus on all things delicious. My copy has languished on a shelf for quite some time but this gave me a reason to […]
Day 2 of 12 days of Cookies. I am off to a slow start having posted the first cookie days ago. But I promise, this cookie will make up for the wait. Once again I found a delicious treat in Ottolenghi’s dessert book, Sweet. Yep, my new fav. I am a sucker for shortbread and their Yo-Yos are just that, buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread cookies. They didn’t stop there, the cookies are then paired with a luscious buttercream to make an absolutely delicious sandwich cookie. Perfect for a holiday cookie platter.
The cookies are made with custard powder, an English invention. A thickening agent like cornstarch, custard powder has anatto added which gives the cookies their beautiful color. The powder gives the cookies their sandy texture. The addition of annatto to the powder gives the cookies a lovely yellow orange hue. I found Bird’s Custard Powder at a local Indian supermarket, but cornstarch can be used instead.
The dough comes together quickly. Dry ingredients are sifted into a bowl and butter cut into it. The mixture starts out very dry and crumbly but after adding the vanilla and increasing the speed of the mixer the dough comes together nicely.
Use a tablespoon ice cream scoop to measure out portions of dough. Roll each scoop into a smooth round ball and then smoosh each with a fork.
I have a confession to make. I couldn’t find rhubarb so I substituted strawberries instead to make the buttercream. The berries give the buttercream both flavor and color and make very striking sandwich cookies. No wonder they call these cookies Yo-Yos. Can’t wait until rhubarb is in season.
and to get you into the holiday baking mood….Mariah
- 1 small stalk rhubarb, trimmed, washed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 4 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 1 cup, plus 2 tbs confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/3 cups, plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour Plus 1 tbs for dusting
- 1/2 cup custard powder can use cornstarch
- 1/2 cup, plus 1 tbs confectioner's sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract use 1/2 tsp if using cornstarch
- See link for directions
This holiday season I am determined to post a Twelve Days of Cookies list and I will only stand a chance if I start now. This month Food 52 Baking Club is featuring Ottolenghi’s book Sweet authored with Helen Goh, his dessert partner in crime. […]
I love cookies and every year I look forward to baking holiday cookies to share with family and friends. The process for which cookies end up in my annual holiday platter starts..well, the day after Christmas. Throughout the year I keep an eye out for […]
I can’t resist perusing the racks at airport bookstores. Even though I always carry an Ipad, book or magazine, I still stop and browse. While waiting for my flight to Nashville I flipped through a copy of People Magazine that at the end had an interview with Stella Parks of Serious Eats. Her recently published book BraveTart, an homage to iconic American desserts, was already on my radar of course. The article included a recipe for Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies. They looked and sounded delicious. Trying to be as stealthy as possible I took out my phone and quickly snapped a shot of the recipe, mission accomplished I tucked my phone back in my pocket and left to catch my flight.
A bake sale to benefit a bird and butterfly sanctuary directly in the path of that ridiculous wall Trump wants to build was the perfect opportunity to make Park’s Honey Roasted PB Cookies. The recipe called for processing honey roasted peanuts for a minute until finely chopped. Uh-oh, I don’t think so, a minute in a food processor does not result in finely chopped nuts more like pulverized nuts. Quick, to my laptop to fire off a tweet to Stella Parks..please clarify. A couple of minutes later..yay, a response- “should be like flour, length of time variable depending on your processor”. First hurdle cleared. Surveying the recipe I noticed some of the ingredients had weights, some didn’t. Auugh! This started my rant to the hubster on the inconsistencies in the recipe.
Me yelling: Why would you put the weight for butter but not the flour? WTH! This is silly! And the finely chopped nuts, that wasn’t right! Wow, and she writes for Serious Eats?! Boy, this book has been getting a lot of press!
Hubster hears: blah, blah, blah, BLAH and nods sympathetically (I’m sure)
I continued to grumble. After making the dough I decide to look for the recipe online, lucky for me the page for her Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies is available on Google.
I ATE HUMBLE PIE. My rant was misplaced. The recipe in the book contained weights for every ingredient and the description for the peanuts was to grind them until they were fine, like flour.
So naturally I did what anyone would do in this situation..I started to complain about People Magazine and how they messed up the recipe. Moral of the story-do not depend on a celebrity gossip magazine for a recipe. It also gave me an excuse to add BraveTart to my cookbook collection.
I still didn’t grind the peanuts enough which I believe changed the texture of the cookie…hesitation as I was fixated on the finely chopped verbage. The cookie did not spread like a traditional cookie and ended up looking like little cracked hockey pucks. I’m guessing too much flour (no weights-grrrr) I was looking for a flatter classic looking cookie ironically like the picture in People magazine.
I ended up smushing each cookie like old fashioned PB cookies. I will definitely try these again but next time I will grind the nuts longer and weigh my flour and use the book, lol. They are YUMMY and besides I still have half a jar of honey roasted peanuts! Below is the recipe from her book, BraveTart.
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) AP flour
- 1.25 cups (6 ounces) honey roasted peanuts
- 1.25 cups (10 ounces) creamy peanut butter
- 1 cube (4 ounces) unsalted butter, soft bt cool (65 degrees use an instant thermometer)
- 1.5 cups (10 ounces) granulated sugar
- 3/4 t kosher salt or half that amount if using regular table salt
- 3/4 t baking soda
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, straight from fridge, well beaten
- 3 T milk (1.5 ounces)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Sift flour into bowl of a food processor (scoop and sweep method if not using a scale)
- Add peanuts and pulse until fine (approximately 1 minute) almost like flour
- Combine peanut butter, butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
- Mix on low speed to moisten then increase to medium and beat until soft and light ab out 3 minutes
- With mixer running add the egg in 2 additions, mixing untile ach is incorporated
- Reduce speed to low and add peanut flour, followed by milk, mixing to form a very soft dough
- Divide into 34-2 T (1.125 ounce) portions
- Arrange on parchment lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart
- Bake until the edges are firm and just beginning to brown but cookies are still puffy and steamy in the middle about 16 minutes
- Cool on baking sheet until cookie is set about 10 minutes
- Store in airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.
I wonder who came up with thumbprint cookies? Was it intentional or a happy accident? A baker grabbing a cookie sheet only to find she (he) had inadvertently stuck her thumbs in the cookies and thought, well heck might as well fill it with some jam. […]
For as long as I can remember, I have loved graham crackers. I can still picture myself as a kindergartener fidgeting in my chair, hands clasped on my lap (trying to look angelic of course), waiting for snack time, a carton of milk and graham crackers. […]
I was going to post last week right after the Super Bowl but I needed to recover from the crazy finish before penning a full critique of the game, the commercials and of course the food (best part) I was munching on. I admit, I was rooting for the Atlanta Falcons and for a while I thought just maybe the underdog might win. In the end it was not meant to be, Brady and Belichick worked their magic and pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback in history. What a game.
I volunteered to bring munchies and dessert to my friend Sarah’s house for the game. Since Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts are my “flavor of the month” munchie that was an easy choice. For something sweet I found a recipe on Epicurious for Apricot Orange Bars that sounded so scrumptious I jumped at the chance to make them. A shortbread crust topped with apricot jam and finished off a delicious almond crumb topping, yep, making them.
The recipe is straight forward. The shortbread crust is made first by creaming the butter & sugar, adding the dry ingredients and mixing only until it just comes together. 1 cup is reserved for the crumble topping. The dough is very easy to work with. It was a bit tricky incorporating the almond paste into the dough for the crumble. I ended up putting the mixture in the freezer for about 10 minutes and lightly pulsing it in my food processor to create a uniform crumble and break up the almond paste (a trick I picked up from another bar cookie recipe). I also decreased the almond extract in the crust, 1 teaspoon seemed like a lot so I used half and it was fine. An hour seemed like a long time to bake these but then I thought you aren’t pre-baking the crust so it is probably fine. It was. In fact I was cautious and pulled the pan out a little early and it probably could have used a couple more minutes. There are 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier in the filling, a hefty amount. It does give the filling a nice punch but surprisingly isn’t overbearing. My friend Stephanie, an avowed hater of Grand Marnier, liked these bars quite a bit..so there you go.
- Recipe from Epicurious.com
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 3 tablespoons orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (packed) almond paste (from 7-ounce roll), crumbled
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan; line bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper, extending over sides. Butter parchment. Mix preserves and orange liqueur in small bowl; set aside.
- Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in almond extract. Add flour and salt; beat just until blended. Transfer 1 cup of dough to another small bowl; add crumbled almond paste and mix with fingertips until small clumps form. Mix in 1/4 cup sliced almonds; set aside for topping.
- Press remaining dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Spread preserves mixture evenly over. Using fingertips, coarsely crumble topping over preserves, then sprinkle 1/4 cup almonds over. Press topping lightly into preserves.
- Bake shortbread until top and crust edges are golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool completely in pan on rack. Using parchment paper as aid, lift shortbread from pan. Cut shortbread into 4 equal strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 8 small bar cookies. (Can be prepared ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.)
They are really delicious and easy to make. You can find almond paste at most supermarkets. Do not mistake marzipan (which is sweetened) for almond paste. These bars were a hit at the Super Bowl party regardless of which team people were rooting for and they’re lovely looking too. Win-Win.
P.S. Props to AirBnB for their commercial, awesome. Budweiser’s and Audi’s equal pay (GoAudi). I liked Cam Newton’s Big Game Buick, Melissa McCarthy’s Kia and Squarespace’s John Malkovich for chuckles.