I mentioned in the last post that I was excited about three things this week. One of those is tonight’s Live Organize Your Kitchen with Evernote hangout with fellow Ambassador and food blogger, Brandie Kajino. The other was cookie swaps.
Specifically, the annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I do enjoy participating in it every year. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s organized by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Food bloggers all over the country sign up and donate their sign-up fee to Cookies for Kids Cancer. We get matched with three other food bloggers and we have to make a new-to-us cookie recipe and send a dozen of them to our matches. In return, we receive three different batches of cookies to enjoy. It’s a lot of fun, because who doesn’t like to get cookies in the mail? If you want to join the cookie swap next year, go here to sign up on the mailing list.
This year, I got a delightful selection of truly diverse and delicious cookies.
Check out Lynn and Katie at:
The cookies I decided to make were chocolate shortbread, based off a recipe I got from The View from the Great Island. I decided to go double chocolate, though not dark, and add in a bright citrusy flavor with a bit of Grand Marnier and orange zest. And then, while I was at it, why not a bit of crunch with some chopped pecans? I love orange and pecan together.
So here’s my revised recipe. Enjoy!
Chocolate Orange Pecan Shortbread
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
- the zest of one orange
- Pulse the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until well-mixed. Add in the butter, Grand Marnier and orange zest until the dough just comes together. Add in the chocolate chips and pecans and pulse a few more times until they are incorporated.
- Dump the dough out onto a piece of cling wrap. Shape it into a log, wrap it securely and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap it, and slice it into half inch slices with a sharp knife.
- Put the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. They'll still be a bit soft at the end.
- Let them cool and then enjoy!
© Have Fork, Will Eat
I’m resisting the urge to embed videos of Bring It On into this post. It’s difficult for me, because you know how I feel about pop culture references. I love them so much.
And also, it really is cold here. Those of you in warm climates just don’t know my pain. For the rest of you, I’m just gonna put this here…
And for bonus dipping action!
I was very excited to learn about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year. I love getting mail from random strangers, I love cookies and I love the food blogging community so everything about it appealed to me, including the opportunity to donate to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.
I decided to make a recipe I’ve had in my Evernote recipe notebook for years but never got around to making, an Algerian treat called “Bousou La Tmssou” or some variation of that. These are adorable little things made very simply with powdered sugar, ghee (clarified butter), flour and orange blossom water. Continue reading →
This is one of those weeks that just calls for tiny m&m cookies. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it’s excitement from my Skillshare class starting this week. Maybe it’s end-of-the-year stress. Maybe it was half a bag of tiny M&Ms sitting leftover on my counter and a half bottle of Amaretto out on the bar. Who’s to say, really?
The point is, there are two things currently in my house that we should all strive to emulate. Continue reading →
You know what I like about these bars? Everything. They were easy to make, very fast, tasty, they made the house smell delicious and they are a perfect fall treat for noshing on with a good sized mug of hot cocoa and whipped cream.
They came about because I was sitting home alone, bored, getting over a cold and therefore in sore need of some comfort food. I didn’t want the usual sort of snack–cookies, brownies, etc. Or more honestly, I didn’t have enough chocolate on hand for the usual snack. Instead, I sifted through the 300 or so recipes in my Evernote cookbook tagged with “dessert” and found a recipe for pecan pie bars.
I didn’t have pecans…but I did have a Costco-sized bag of almonds. Plus I knew that with a bit of extra cinnamon thrown in, the bars would basically be like eating candied almonds atop a shortbread crust. And yep, that’s pretty much what they are. Delightfully, they’re not too sweet at all–so they won’t push you into sugar shock if you eat one or two with a good helping of my homemade cocoa. Continue reading →
I can hear the battle raging on inside of Cookie Monster’s head already: “It look like a cookie. But it not a cookie. But it have chocolate chip like cookie. But it scone. But it round like cookie. How it not cookie? Cookie Monster like cookies. Cookie Monster not Scone Monster. To eat or not to eat scone cookie? That is the question.”
The story behind these scones is pretty simple. Last night I wanted to bake something with chocolate in it. I didn’t want to make another batch of chocolate chip cookies. So instead I made something that looked like a chocolate chip cookie instead. I don’t know what to think about this. Granted, it’s a very good scone. Airy, fluffy, sweet, delicious, easy to make. Vanilla-y with little morsels of semisweet chocolate. Everybody loves them. But I’m starting to wonder how bad my obsession with chocolate chip cookies has gotten if I start making little cookie clones out of other types of food. First the chocolate chip cookie pie and now scones? Maybe I’ve given scones low self esteem, made them the Jan to the chocolate chip cookie Marsha. I mean, maybe it’s always, “Cookie, cookie, cookie!” What’s next? Will my other baked goods start making up fake boyfriends, maybe a George Glass of Milk, to try and convince me of how wanted they are? What should I do about this? How should I put this poor pastry out of it’s misery?
I’ll have to eat it. It’s the only way. Continue reading →
I’ll say that one more time: double chocolate chip almond cookie pie. Cookie pie. Cookie pie. Cookie pie.
This is a beautiful dessert, in so many ways. First of all, it contains some of the most important ingredients known to man: chocolate, double chocolate, almonds, butter, pie crust. All it’s missing is pork…and you could remedy that buy adding in crumbled bacon and/or using lard in your pie crust. Just something to consider. Secondly, it solves that terrible, gastronomical conundrum that is, “What do I want for dessert? A cookie or a slice of pie?” Welcome to the future, my good hungry friend! Who needs flying cars? You can have cookie pie. That’s two desserts in one. It’s like a culinary double rainbow. Plus, it offers twice the opportunity for supplemental dairy. I mean, pie needs to have one of two things to go with it: ice cream or whipped cream. Or ice cream and whipped cream. And cookies need milk. So you could have a slice of cookie pie with some whipped cream and a glass of milk. Boom. Done. Third, think of all the neatly paired colloquialisms you could make. “Any way you slice it, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!” And uh…um….ok, well maybe that’s the only one. Finally, this dessert is extremely easy to make, even for those of you who are baking-phobic. And do you know what you get at the end of this easy process? Flaky, buttery pie crust, crunchy top and a nice thick layer of chocolate in the middle. It makes a great alternative to the usual whipped chocolate or fruity pies. And if you’re tired of eating pumpkin after Thanksgiving and Christmas, then I believe this one is calling your name. Continue reading →
As I’ve probably mentioned before, I tend to bake when I get restless. Judging from most of my blog entries, I get restless a lot. But there’s also the fact that I like to have a little something sweet in the evenings and instead of opting for a couple cookies made by some questionable elven folk, I prefer to satisfy my sweet tooth with a couple small creations of my own. One, because as we established, I’m already restless and it’s something to do, and two, because I’m very much in a place where I prefer to know exactly what’s in my food and to eat food that’s…well, recognizable and pronounceable.
So the other night, I had one of these moments. A little voice in my head said, “Bake something,” which I figure is better than a little voice in my head telling me to “burn things.” Hopefully, anyway. And after looking through my pantry, which is getting a little low on things–like eggs–, and then flipping through my Evernote cookbook, I finally settled on a classic: sugar cookies.
Like I said in the grilled cheese sandwich post, Fall totally revs up my need for comforting foods and sugar cookies are one of them. While chocolate chip cookies are my absolute no-exceptions favorite cookie of all time, sugar cookies hold a special spot. When I was a kid, my mom used to make sugar cookies at Christmas and I would help…so that I could steal bits of the raw dough and eat them while watching my sister play Super Mario Bros. The 80s were a magical time indeed. So I love them because of that memory but to be honest, I don’t like to bake them often because one, they often require a lot more time and rolling and whatnot and two, they don’t have chocolate on them.
Well this recipe addresses both of those points. Both. Continue reading →
Sometimes, I get the urge. The urge to merge wet and dry ingredients. The urge to stir.
One of the reasons I cook so much is because I get easily bored and then I have to find something to do. I have books to read, movies to watch, house to clean, dog to keep from drooling everywhere…but it’s not the same. I prefer to be cooking. And since I can’t cook two dinners a night, I end up baking something. It calms me. I listen to music (mostly Motown) and bop around in my kitchen. Sprinkle a little of this, a pinch of that, an estimated teaspoon of something or another, a handful of chocolate chips…or four.
This is pretty much what happened last night. I cleaned the kitchen after dinner, sat down on the couch to relax, opened up Evernote, saw a recipe I’d recently collected, got off the couch, went back to the kitchen, made sure I had brown sugar, went back to the living room, got my laptop, went back to the kitchen and began to bake. These are the days of my life. Continue reading →
I'm all thumbs today
You know what you shouldn’t do when baking something, especially for the first time? Read the line in the recipe that says to place the cookie dough on “buttered or cooking parchment- lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets” and think, “Well, I hate to butter a pan, I’ll use baking spray instead.”
This is really dumb for two reasons. One, cooking spray ≠ butter ≠ parchment paper. Two, if there’s a half pound of butter in your cookie dough, you probably don’t need even to butter the baking sheet at all. But hey, let’s say you haven’t eaten much that day and you just have an absolutely Stupid Moment and think it’s a good idea to apply baking spray to a cookie sheet before laying your nicely molded cookies on it. Let’s say this moment continues for about 20 minutes and culminates in you scratching your head as you see that your cookies have spread out to the point that they’re practically deformed and in no way resemble the cute little round “thumbprints” you intended. Then, minutes later (how many minutes, I won’t say), the light bulb in your head suddenly goes off in an epiphany of knowledge, fireworks boom, morning dawns and the nine choirs of angels belt out in heavenly voice: why the hell did I do that? I know better. What was I thinking? Duh.
And then you make a second batch of cookies. A week later. Because you were too tired/annoyed at yourself to make another batch of them that night. Continue reading →
Cookies Anonymous 12 Step Program:
- Admit that you are powerless in the face of your sweet tooth.
- Come to believe that a Cookie can restore (what’s left of) your sanity.
- Make a decision to turn your life over to Cookie.
- Make a fearless gastronomical inventory of your stomach.
- Admit to Cookie that you have wronged the Cookie.
- Be ready to rid yourself of culinary defects, like tasteless health food and store-bought cookies.
- Ask Cookie to remove your shortenings—er, shortcomings.
- Make a list of all the Cookies you have harmed and be willing to make amaretti.
- Make amaretti whenever possible.
- Continue to take gastronomical inventory. Stock up on flour and butter.
- Seek to improve your conscious contact with Cookie, praying for the knowledge of Cookie’s will for us and the power to carry it out.
- Have a scrumptious awakening, carry this message to other addicts. Bake, eat and be merry. Continue reading →
Recipe from Joy of Baking
Well, I feel joyous. What about you?
I have a pumpkin.
I have named him Jack. Jack the Pumpkin King. This has everything to do with my obsession with the Nightmare Before Christmas and absolutely nothing to do with anything normal.
Jack and I met this afternoon. I had just hefted the box containing our second-to-last (how sad!) farm share goodies onto the counter, opened it up and began pulling out the lovely produce contained therein. A couple more leeks, some celery, some potatoes….and then he caught my eye. I tried to pretend like I didn’t notice at first but really, how could you not? He was the greatest looking guy in the room–er, box. That nice round body, that firm smooth skin, that orange glow…
There was a pumpkin in our farm share. Continue reading →
We report, you decide.
So I know I keep saying that I hate to bake, and yet I keep baking things. I really don’t like baking. But I really do like baked goods. And last night, I was bored. Boredom + want dessert = make cookies. Cookies are my favorite baked good of all time. And after I spent a long summer testing out a bazillion different methods and recipes, I finally nailed down a perfect basic chocolate chip cookie. I can churn out a batch in an hour. I have this down pat. And when the method is followed correctly, it makes perfect, round, soft, moist little cookies. In fact, I actually make all sorts of cookies with it. The base is a great delivery mechanism for all sorts of add-ins but chocolate chips are my favorite.
However, this time I thought I’d do something a bit different. Not drastic, but different. I said to myself, how about you throw in a little bit of cinnamon, since it is fall after all. And then other me said, hell, why not just toss in some pumpkin pie spice? It has everything. It’ll work. Trust me. Then I thought, sure. She looks legit.
So I did it. Josh loved them. And I have it on email record from several co-workers that they are “the best cookies I have ever made.” And these people know their cookies. So there you go. Continue reading →
So this post is a shout out to Jill, of U-M’s Family Medicine Dept., who very sweetly gave me a book on cookies. No, no, the book on cookies. Better Homes and Gardens’ Ultimate Cookie book to be precise. 500 cookie recipes. Five. Hundred. Cookie. Recipes. Right now at this very moment, Cookie Monster himself is attempting to break down my front door. (“Cookies are a sometimes food” my butt).
So as a thank-you to Jill, I decided to (have Josh) pick a good looking recipe out of the book and make it, so that Josh could bring it in and Jill et. al could enjoy the deliciousness of the gift. And because thank-you notes are better dipped in chocolate and banana. Continue reading →
These were pretty quick to make and fabulously easy, which I appreciate. They were also very light and fluffy and soft, partially because I only had about half the granulated sugar I needed for the recipe, so I substituted powdered sugar for the other half (1 3/4 c. packed powdered sugar per 1 cup of granulated sugar needed). If you want a crispier cookie, use just the granulated sugar that the recipe calls for.
These cookies are like lemony clouds of deliciousness, if deliciousness were a cloud….wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Not that it’s ever stopped me before. Continue reading →
I just wanted to post pictures of cookies.
Similar to the ones here, only with dark brown sugar, half cake flour/half regular flour, 1.5 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup oatmeal and 10oz milk chocolate chips. The cinnamon is a must; it adds such a great undertone to the oatmeal and chocolate.
I told Josh that I would make him cookies tonight and I did—I made cookies based on my chocolate chip granola bar recipe. They have everything the bars do–oatmeal, chocolate chips, cinnamon, coconut and walnuts (okay, not everything; there’s no honey or oil).
Continue reading →