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Chocolate-Stuffed Cookie, Take 1

15 Nov

So there’s a lot of talk about cookies stuffed with crazy things.

I’ve seen it all over the internet and beyond….

All the pictures I’ve seen kinda make me drool. A lot.

I guess the only solution was to try my hand at a stuffed cookie.

All I had on hand was leftover chocolate ganache from icing those lovely pear cupcakes I made….remember those?

I made a basic recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough, except left the chocolate chips out.

Scooped the dough into balls, flattened said balls, and placed a single scoop of chilled ganache goodness in the centre. Topped it with another flattened cookie ball, and pressed them together. I made the three of them a family.

Chilled those guys for about 20 minutes….

Placed them in the oven and waited patiently.

They came out all unsuspicious and ho-hum looking.

They could have gone undercover; could have been secret agent cookies.

*Side note* I totally just got pumpkin batter all over my keyboard. No laptop while baking. Lesson learned.

Pumpkin batter, you say? Well….stay tuned.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, secret agent cookies. Normal cookies. You take a bite. BAM! Chocolate. In the centre.

Try it! You can make secret surprise cookies too.

Just take your favourite cookie dough recipe, and stuff it with something amazing.

I may or may not attempt to stuff mine with other goodies now that I’m addicted. Stay tuned for this as well.

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Maple Cashew Oatmeal Bars…AND Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”

9 Nov

These should ACTUALLY be called, “Guilt-free oatmeal raisin cookie dough bars.”

Ok I’ll explain.

Well there’s not much to explain. Somehow, all of these delicious, nutritious and wholesome ingredients combined taste exactly like oatmeal raisin cookie dough.

Ask me how long I’ve been wanting to make this recipe. Go ahead. I dare you.

SO VERY LONG!

Ask me why I couldn’t make it.

My food processor, although undeniably cute, is dwarf sized….rendering it utterly useless for most food processor tasks.

Ask me who made this recipe possible.

My awesome chef: Beth

Beth recently splurged and gave the restaurant a brand spanking new food processor…or “robot coupe” as we say. This, my friends, is the greatest thing she has ever done. This guy chops a box of mushrooms in seconds. He grates a wheel of Asiago cheese like nobody’s business. He has made our lives so much easier. We love him.

Our old food processor was just not meant to be used in a restaurant. He was getting tired, finicky and very loud. You also couldn’t use it unless you held the bowl in place.

Ask me what happened to it.

Beth gave it to meeee!

Yipeee!

So here we have it. A simple and nutritious way to pig out on something that should be bad for you…but isn’t!

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Black and White Snickerdoodles

25 Oct

Yes, those are my boots in the picture.

Now….how the heck did something so wonderful come to exist? I know this is what you are wondering. I know you’re also wondering who on earth is responsible for such a thing.

Well, yours truly of course. I am guilty as charged. I did this. I breeded two amazing cookies together. I did it. Me.

The reasoning behind it, however, is slightly lackluster. In fact, I’m ashamed to say it stemmed from laziness.

It was my day off. I wanted to bake for you….I did. I wanted my laundry to be done, my floors to be swept, my bathroom and kitchen scrubbed as well. I just didn’t feel like it.

I’ve been wanting to make black and white cookies for ages. I’ve also had snickerdoodles on the brain thanks to a young dishwasher making me reminisce about baking snickerdoodles in family studies as well as food and nutrition class, with her entertaining renditions of school life.

I didn’t want to make both. The recipe for the black and white cookies was also way too big and demanded lots of steps that I didn’t want to do.

Solution? Combine the two.

This was the perfect compromise.

The taste: no compromise. The cinnamon is perfect. The chocolate and vanilla icing are super sweet. But they all go surprisingly well together. You should try this.

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Pistachio Shortbread

8 Oct

I overdo things sometimes.

Ok…all the time.

Like stay up too late because there’s just too much stuff that I want to get done.

Like take on too many jobs at once and end up having to multitask like the wind.

Reach for just one more cookie of the chocolate chip variety.

Put just one more Winners purchase on my credit card.

Ok ok, so what did I do this time?

Well. You love shortbread, right? Why do you love it? It’s just simply….good. That’s the thing. It’s simple. And good.

Butter, sugar, flour. The end.

I had to do more. I put toasted pistachios in there.

I drizzled it with a rosewater icing.

Delicious? Yes!

However, as I ate a piece of yummy shortbread goodness….something inside me wished that I had left them plain.

You’ll love the pistachios all up in there, getting their nutty groove on like they own the place.

The full plate of shortbread that I brought to work and found empty at the end of the day tells me they were definitely good.

Maybe I’m just hard to please.

Plain?

Fancy?

Your choice.

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Carob Almond Biscotti

25 Sep

Raise your hand if you’re a chocoholic.

Mom….your hand had better be raised.

Women are supposed to love chocolate. More than…ahem…activities that shall remain nameless.

As for myself, I like chocolate, yes. VERY much. Do I love it? Meh. It takes a lot more than chocolate to get my motor running.

Maybe it’s because I still don’t consider myself a woman. Not even a lady. Not yet anyway….maybe one day.

But wait. Would I want to live in a world without chocolate? Never. I couldn’t do it. I like chocolate. It makes things really, really tasty. I like the option of chocolate.

So what about those that can’t eat chocolate? Oh, they’re out there. Poor people. Poor people who can’t eat chocolate chip cookies, or brownies, or dip strawberries in it. I’ve come across a few. Living their lives, chocolate free….some even alcohol free. OH the humanity.

Carob. That is the alternative for chocolate. It’s what these poor saps have to turn to. At least, that’s what I thought. Until I actually TRIED carob. Um…..delicious!

Carob is naturally sweet, chocolate-like when roasted, contains as much Vitamin B as asparagus or strawberries; as much niacin as lima beans, lentils, or peas; and more Vitamin A than eggplant, asparagus, and beets. It also contains Vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, small amounts of iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and nickel. It contains protein and is a good source of fiber. Compared to chocolate, carob is three times richer in calcium, has one third less calories and SEVENTEEN times less fat. TAKE THAT chocolate….pffff!

I’m addicted, and I’m baking up a storm with it. I used it in some banana bread,

“chocolate” chip cookies,

and now, in powdered form: carob almond biscotti.

Oh, I also used Marcona almonds. They’re of Spanish origin; shorter, rounder and sweeter than your average almond. But no biggie.

Let’s just say I’ve been eating way too many-a-biscotti these days. This recipe doesn’t contain butter though, so, I’m pretty ok with it.

Biscotti is so much easier to make than I had originally imagined years ago. I always like to have some on hand. Perfect for giving away too.

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Homemade Graham Crackers

21 Sep

I like to do things the hard way when it comes to food. I spend several hours making food for my lunch, packing my lunch and snacks for work, even though I work at a restaurant….we serve food there…

If I want a cookie, I’ll bake one, no store-bought nonsense. Same thing applies for cake, ice cream, dips….well…you get the idea. If there is a way to make it myself, I will. I don’t trust anyone else with my food. Is that weird? I don’t care. I’m already weird.

I was exploring a strange but exciting and well stocked bulk food store the other day and stumbled on a bag of graham flour. There was no question about it; the graham flour was coming home with me. What was I going to do with it? Oh come on now…there is no mystery here.

Graham crackers: an essential element in anyone’s childhood. So versatile. Simply, good.

My chef Beth asked a good question…what IS a “graham” anyway? My answer…ummm….lemme get back to you on that. I did some research. “Graham” flour was named after the person who created it. It’s not so much about the type of flour, but rather about the grinding process. The wheat is separated into three parts. The endosperm is ground finely to create white flour, the bran and the germ are ground coarsely. ┬áThe three are then mixed together, thus creating the slightly coarse textured “Graham” flour.

This recipe for honey graham crackers is perfect. It has a crisp texture, with the slightest hint of chewiness in the centre. You can really taste the honey and it is a GOOD thing.

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Lavender-Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 Sep

I realize that I am the one who named these cookies to begin with, but I’d like to rename them “Big Fuss Cookies.” They were a big pain in my well-cushioned rear end, let me tell you! Allow me to explain:

There have been many a blog folk making a fuss about the chocolate chip cookie recipe of Jacques Torres, a famous pastry chef. Several claimed it was the best they’ve ever had. I for one, only have eyes (or stomach in this case?) for chocolate chip cookies. SO, when someone claims to have come up with the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe, there is nothing I can do; the recipe has to be made. No ifs, ands or buts.

The recipe was sooo not the kind of recipe I like to follow. For someone who likes to bake, I sure hate to do things the careful way, like remember to leave butter out at room temperature every time I want to bake something, or leveling the flour when you measure. For this recipe I had to do crazy things, like sift flour, and chill the dough! For 36 hours! You heard me….36.

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