Category Archives: Cookies

Sesame Honey Lace Cookies

Sesame Honey Lace Cookies

Sesame Honey Lace Cookies

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and despite being a mother for 4.5 years now, I still always pause for a moment when Marc asks me what I would like to do for the day.  You see, I still think of my mother and my mother-in-law when Mother’s Day rolls around.  I forget that I am part of the celebration now too.

Sesame Honey cookie ingredients

The short list of ingredients

So to celebrate moms everywhere, here is a recipe for a light, deliciously sweet cookie that is a perfect pairing for afternoon tea.  These cookies are thin, crisp, and have a delicate, lacy structure.  They are a pretty golden color and taste of honey.

Lots and lots of sesame seeds

Lots and lots of sesame seeds

Make sure to use an excellent quality honey as it is the predominant flavor in these cookies.  When you place them on the cookie sheets, make sure to space them wider than you think you need to.  They spread a lot.

Cookies ready for the oven

Cookies ready for the oven

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sesame Honey Lace Cookies

From The Gourmet Cookbook

Ingredients:

1 cup confectioners sugar

3 tbls unsalted butter

3 tbls honey

2 tbls water

1 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup flour

Pinch of salt

To Make:

In a 1 1/2 quart heavy sauce pan over moderately high heat, combine the confectioners sugar, butter, honey, and water and bring to a boil.  Stir and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in the sesame seeds, flour, and salt.  Let cool to room temperature.

Position oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.  Set the oven to 350F and allow to preheat.  Have ready two large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.

Scope out level 1/2 teaspoons of dough, roll each scoop into a ball.  Place each ball about 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets.  The cookies will spread a lot so better to space them further apart. Bake until the cookies are flat and golden, rotating the baking sheets half way through, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the cookie sheet and let cool.  The cookies will crisp as they cool.

To Serve:

Serve at room temperature, as a complement to afternoon tea.

Serve room temperature.  Cookies will keep, kept in an air tight container, for 3-5 days.

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Chocolate Mint Brownie Thins

Chocolate Mint Brownie Thins

Chocolate Mint Brownie Thins

First, I would like to offer a warm hello to all of our new readers.  We were “Freshly Pressed” on WordPress the other day and got a lot of traffic.  We hope that everyone sticks around!  We love to read all of the comments, ideas, and suggestions about the blog that others have.

The cast of characters

The cast of characters

And now, it is time for more cookies!  I really love cookie season because I love any excuse to bake (and eat) butter and sugar-laden treats.  Last night I got the urge for something chocolate.  Since it was already late I knew I needed something relatively quick (no long rests in the refrigerator) and easy.  These cookies fit the bill.

Melted chocolate goodness

Melted chocolate goodness

These are rich and chocolatey cookies with an unusual chewy/crispy texture.  The recipe describes them as the top layer of a brownie and that is exactly what they are like.  If you could skim the very top crackly layer off of a pan of brownies, you would have these cookies.  They deliver all the chocolate punch of brownies but they are lighter and less of a commitment.  The addition of a little bit of mint extract makes them very festive.  Of course, if you wanted pure chocolate, you could omit the mint and use chopped nuts instead of peppermint candies on top.

Spreading the dough

Spreading the dough

A couple of notes to make baking these easier.  First, the thinner you spread the dough, the thinner and crispier the cookies will be.  This makes the cookies great for eating, but challenging to get off the pan.  I found that using a very thin, flexible spatula (like an offset spatula that you would use to frost a cake) helps to get the cookies off the sheet in one piece.  Also, the original recipe says to bake the cookies for 7 minutes.  My oven probably runs a bit cool but I found I needed to go to 10-11 minutes in order to get cookies to the appropriate state of crisp.

Cookies ready for baking

Cookies ready for baking

Chocolate Mint Brownie Thins

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:

6 tbls butter, cut into pieces

2 ounces good quality dark chocolate (at least 72% cacao), chopped

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

3 tbls plus 1 tsp all purpose flour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp mint extract

pinch of coarse salt

Crushed peppermint candies, for garnish

To Make:

Position your oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease two baking sheets and set aside.

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium, microwave safe bowl.  Microwave the chocolate and butter using medium power until almost melted (about 1.5 minutes).  Remove from the microwave and whisk until completely melted.  Add the sugar and egg and whisk until smooth (about 1 minute).  Add the flour, extracts, and salt and stir until just combined.  Set the batter aside and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Scoop teaspoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheets, spacing them so you get about 12 per sheet.   Using the back of a large spoon, spread the dough into thin circles, about 2 inches in diameter.  Top with the crushed candy.  Bake in the oven, one sheet at a time, until the edges are darkened and the centers are nearly set, 7-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes.  Using a thin spatula, remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Serve:

Serve with milk.  Makes 2 dozen.

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Filed under Baked goods, Bars and Brownies, Cookies, Dessert, Recipes

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookie season is in full swing.  Thing 1 and I had a great time making the first batch of Christmas cookies last Sunday and I will be making these this coming weekend.  In the meantime, when I get a hankering to whip up a batch of cookies on a weeknight, this peanut butter cookie recipe is one I reach for again and again.

Mmm, sugar, butter, and peanut butter

Mmm, sugar, butter, and peanut butter

First, it is super simple to put together.  The dough doesn’t need to be refrigerated before rolling so the cookies come together quickly.  They are easy to decorate (a must when you are talking about Christmas cookies).  And they taste just like peanut butter cookies should… buttery and full of peanut flavor, with a texture that is soft but a little crumbly.

Peanut butter balls

Peanut butter balls

Putting a tray of these together only takes about a half an hour so if you find you need to make an emergency batch of cookies for your next holiday party, this is the recipe for you.  It is easy enough that it makes a great project to do with budding chefs.  Kids love to roll the dough and to use the fork to flatten the balls.  And of course they are excellent to decorate.

Dressed and ready for the oven

Dressed and ready for the oven

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Clueless In the Kitchen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

To Make:

Combine butter, peanut butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Beat until combined.  Add in the egg and beat until smooth and creamy.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.

Scoop out the dough with a teaspoon.  Roll into 1″ balls and place on foil lined cookie sheet, approximately 2″ apart.  Use a fork to flatten each ball, making a criss-cross pattern.  Since it is Christmas, feel free to decorate the cookies with chocolate candies, sprinkles, cinnamon candies, etc.

Bake in at 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven but don’t over bake.  They will firm up once they cool.  Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before you remove them from the cookie sheet to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Serve:

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.  Store in an air tight container for 3 days.

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Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Creme

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Creme

I went on a crazy baking spree early in December.  I churned out batches of cookies, candies, fudge, bars, and other delicious goodies.  I took things to parties, gave some away, and we ate some (okay, a lot).  When I woke up from my sugar-induced holiday stupor the other day, I realized,with some amount of panic, that we were almost out of Christmas goodies… and with Christmas less than a week away.

Molasses goodness

Clearly that would not do.  I refuse to have my first Christmas with Thing 1 old enough to know what is going on be without delicious treats.  I knew I had to do something and before you can say advent calendar, I was back in the kitchen whipping up my third batch of these cookies.  The first two batches were whisked away to parties, despite the longing glances from Marc and Thing 1.  They were such a hit that it was only fair for me to make a batch for us to enjoy.

Making the cookies

And enjoy we have.  I think the gingerbread is just right… not too sweet, not too spicy, crispy on the edges and soft in the middle.  The lemon creme is a perfect complement.  Make them small for bite-sized treats, a little bigger if you want a heartier cookie.  It is helpful if you let them chill in the fridge a little before eating so the creme can firm up.  Of course, if you are anything like us, devouring them as soon as they are put together tastes pretty awesome too.

Little balls of gingerbread heaven

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Creme

The folks at McCormick have really outdone themselves with this recipe.  I adapted it slightly

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses (I like robust or blackstrap)

1 egg

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 tsp lemon extract

zest of 1 lemon

To Make:

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl.  With a mixer set on medium speed, beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add molasses and egg and beat well.  Gradually beat the flour mixture until well mixed.  Press the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).  The firmer it is, the easier it is to handle so don’t skimp on this step.

After chilling, pull off pieces of dough and roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter.  I used a melon baller to make my dough balls uniform in size (I also made them a little smaller than 1 inch).  Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.  If you oven is anything like mine, turn the cookies half way to ensure even browning.  Remove to wire racks to let cool completely.

To make the cream, mix the remaining butter, cream cheese, marshmallow cream, extract, and lemon zest until well blended.  Spoon 1/2-1 tbls of cream on the flat side of a cookie and top it with another cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling.  Place on a tray and refrigerate 30-60 minutes to firm up the cream.

To Serve:

Makes 30-40 whoopie pies, depending on size.  McCormick suggests rolling the finished cookies in chopped peppermint candies.  While I think this looks pretty, peppermint, lemon, and gingerbread really don’t work for me.  If you think this sounds like a good combination, then go for it.

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Filed under Baked goods, Cookies, Dessert, Recipes