Tag-Archive for ◊ cookie ◊

07 Nov 2019 Paddington Cookies (Marmalade Bars)
Marmalade Bars, Paddington Bear’s favorite.

What rock have I been hiding under? Up until a few hours ago, I had no idea that Paddington Bear loves marmalade. A quote from Paddington Bear himself,  “A wise bear always keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat in case of emergency.”

My enlightenment came when I offered one of these cookies (previously known as “Jam Slices” to my daughter). My daughter took one bite and said, “The kids (my grandkids) will love these.” Whaaa? I gave her my ‘You’re crazy’ look and deadpanned “They have marmalade on them”.  She then gave me her ‘You’re crazy’ look and said, “They love Paddington Bear and Paddington Bear loves marmalade. They’ll love these cookies.”

It was not on my radar that Marmalade might make a comeback by way of the children of Millennials! With high hopes, I quickly renamed these cookies “Paddington Cookies”! I hope that they are a hit with the younger set as well as the older set.

The original recipe is from The Food Network’s “Holiday Cookie Cookbook”. I made two changes to the recipe and refined the method, so the FN’s “Jam Bars” are now much improved and have a much cooler name.

Paddington Cookies (Marmalade Bars)

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons/6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Finely grated zest of one orange
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons marmalade
  • A few tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla and orange zest.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just combined (the dough will be very soft and a bit hard to work with in the next step).
  6. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and put 2 pieces on each prepared baking sheet. Shape each piece into a 12-by-1-inch log, about 3 inches apart.
  7. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, press a 1/2-inch-deep indentation down the middle of each log. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  8. Scoop the marmalade into a piping bag or into the corner of a Ziplok bag. Cut the corner of the bag off. Slowly squeeze the marmalade out of the bag, carefully filling the indentations. If you need more marmalade, no problem. Just refill bag and pipe onto cookies as needed.
  9. Place pans in preheated oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Let bars cool completely on the baking sheets, then transfer the logs to a cutting board and slice crosswise into 1-inch-wide cookies.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

18 Sep 2019 Cafe Mocha Pinwheels

I love cookies! These are fun, a bit different, striking, and feature grown-up flavors of mocha and espresso. I found the original recipe in the Taste of Home publication, ‘Fall Baking 2019’. After my first try, following the recipe perfectly, I changed the recipe a bit. I added more flour to one portion of dough (after the dough is divided) to make both doughs even (why didn’t TOH do the same?). Also, as the mocha flavor was strong in the original recipe and the espresso was loosing out, which I found to be unacceptable, I upped the espresso! The resulting cookie is crisp, pretty, and full flavored.

Making the pinwheels is the tricky part, so let me help with that a bit. One, don’t stress. Two, on a large piece of parchment paper, roll the first dough out to a rectangle of only the approximate size. Don’t be a slave to the ruler, it doesn’t matter that much! Three, using another piece of parchment paper, roll the second dough into approx the same size as the first rectangle of dough. Four, put one dough on top of the other dough and remove the top piece of parchment paper. Five, now trim and patch and press to fit! If you have extra dark dough, put it where there’s some extra pale dough, and vice-a-versa. Keep working at it until all the dough is used and more-or-less on top of one another. Five, gently roll over the two doughs with a rolling pin to make the doughs stick together and to remove any lumps or air pockets. Six, roll up tightly and slice as per the directions below. You’ll have beautiful pinwheel cookies!

Café Mocha Pinwheels

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (Hershey’s is fine) (50 grams)
  • Additional 50 grams flour (about 1/3 cup)
  • Additional 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and espresso powder to combine. Gradually beat flour mixture into creamed mixture.
  4. Divide dough in half. Beat cocoa into half of dough. Beat additional flour and additional espresso powder into other half of the dough.
  5. Divide each color into 2 portions.
  6. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, about 1 hour.
  7. Roll each portion into a 9×7-in. rectangle, approx. (Roll on parchment paper to make the whole job a lot easier.)
  8. Place a chocolate rectangle on top of the coffee rectangle. Fussy cut and finagle to shape dough into rectangles of matching size and shape.
  9. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side, and using parchment paper to help with the rolling. Mold the dough into a smooth roll. Securely wrap dough in plastic wrap; repeat with remaining dough. Freeze 1 hour or until firm.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap and cut dough crosswise into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. 
  11. Makes 4 dozen large cookies

Freeze option: Place wrapped logs in an airtight container; return to freezer. To use, unwrap frozen logs and cut into slices. If necessary, let dough stand 15 minutes at room temperature before cutting. Bake as directed.

From Taste of Home, ‘Fall Baking, 2019’ (but has been posted elsewhere on the internet since 2016).

31 May 2019 Madelienes

Madeleines. What are they anyway?  Almost a cookie but really a slightly dry cake?  Yes, that’s right! No frosting? Nope, but they are often dusted with powdered sugar… No caramel swirl? Never! No bits of chocolate? Not usually… And what’s with that lump on the back? Gotta have a lump in the back! Sooo…, what’s the big deal? Madeleines are super plain, super dry, and super yummy, I love them! Madeleines are popular tea cakes in cafes around the world. The world loves them!

Madeleines are French tea cakes, but thought of as a cookie, and are instantly recognizable with their scalloped shell shape that is ribbed on one side and smooth, but with a hump, on the other. Direct from the oven these buttery cakes have wonderfully crisp edges, tender crumb and are best eaten right away, although they will keep in a tin on the counter for 3-4 days. A dusting of powdered sugar is all that they really need, although some brush still warm Madeleines with a tangy lemon glaze.  Starbucks dips tips of their Madeleines into chocolate.

Madeleines are quite easy to make, but you’ll need to purchase scalloped Madeleine molds to get started. The molds are available in different sizes and materials, but you’ll probably find non-stick pans to be the easiest to use.

I have tested out many recipes over the years.  This one is from Epicurious, but with changes to cooking times, method, and ingredients (I doubled the lemon zest, upped the vanilla, added in some baking powder, reduced the oven temperature and reduced the baking time).

The recipe below makes 24 Madeleines.

Madeleines

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (usually from one medium lemon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
  • 5 oz (10 tablespoons, 1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus extra to brush in molds)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Extra melted butter to brush on pans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush each madeleine mold with melted butter (use the additional butter, not the 5 oz needed for the batter!)
  3. Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer just to blend
  4. Beat in vanilla, lemon zest, and salt
  5. In another bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt and then add gradually to butter-sugar-egg mixture.
  6. Gradually add melted and cooled butter to mixture, beating with electric mixer just to blend
  7. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered madeleine mold
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and there is a visible hump in the middle of each madeleine.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Repeat with remaining batter. Recipe makes 24 standard sized madeleines
  11. When cool, dust with powdered sugar. If necessary dust with powdered sugar again just before serving.

Note: Batter can be made one day ahead. Refrigerate batter and baked on day two.

Variation: replace lemon zest with orange zest and add 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom to the flour mixture.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! I hope you find someone wonderful to share these special treats with 🙂

04 May 2019 Apricot-Coconut Bars

Feel like baking this weekend? Try these! They are delicious, one of my favorite bar/tray bake recipes. The bars are buttery, crisp, jammy, and coconut-y all at the same time. The dozen or so diced dried apricots sprinkled on top of the apricot jam boost the apricot flavor appreciably.

I’ve been making these bars for at least a decade. The original recipe was made with raspberry jam (and no diced apricots, obviously), but I think my apricot jam version with the addition of diced dried apricots takes the cake…, the bar…, the tray bake!

Apricot-Coconut Bars

1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut, divided use

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats

¾ cup apricot jam

10-12 dried apricots finely diced

  1. Prepare a 9×13 pan by lightly greasing bottom and sides or lining with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan until golden. Stir constantly and watch carefully OR spread onto a baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor blend flour, brown sugar and salt. With motor running add butter pieces gradually then blend until a dough begins to form.
  5. Add 1 cup of toasted coconut and all of the oatmeal to dough in bowl, mix lightly but thoroughly, approx. 2-4 short bursts.
  6. Reserve ¾ cup of the dough and set aside.
  7. Press remaining dough into bottom of a prepared 9×13 inch baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle chopped dried apricots over dough.
  9. Spread jam evenly over dried apricots and the dough layer (It might help to heat jam briefly in the microwave to make it easier to spread).
  10. Crumble reserved ¾ cup of dough over jam.
  11. Sprinkle reserved ½ cup coconut over top of bars.
  12. Bake in middle of preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  13. Cool in pan.
  14. Lift entire slab out of pan, transfer to cutting board and cut into bars of desired size and shape.
  15. Bars can be made 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!