Tag-Archive for ◊ cookies ◊

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).

08 Sep 2019 Pumpkin Spice Biscotti
Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

It’s that time of year. Let the fall baking commence! I’ve started with these: Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti, my entry for my cookbook club’s ‘Pumpkin Dessert Showstopper Challenge’ last year (sometimes we act like we are contestants on the mythical ‘Great American Baking Show’!).

These biscotti have a subtle pumpkin spice taste, are crunchy around the edges, and somewhat soft and cake-y on the inside. I really should put the word biscotti in quotes since these are not traditional: they are not teeth shattering-ly crunchy, they don’t contain nuts or almond extract, and with the two non-traditional drizzles with a shower of cinnamon-sugar, they are also showstoppingly pretty 🙂

You won’t find this recipe anywhere else on the web. I started with another recipe (regretfully, I don’t remember where I found the original recipe), upped and re-mixed the spices and added the three toppings.

NOTE: When I made these biscotti last year, Caramel Chips (not to be confused with Caramel Bits) were available everywhere. This year I couldn’t find them anywhere (have they been discontinued?) so I substituted Butterscotch Chips for the Caramel Chips.

If you like my version of ‘biscotti’, check out my recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti, also on this website 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

  • 3 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour (400 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

To decorate

  • white chocolate and caramel chips, not combined, melted separately (it’s okay to sub Butterscotch Chips for the Caramel Chips, see the NOTE above)
  • Cinnamon-Sugar mixture
  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and pumpkin and beat to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Batter will be slack, and a bit worrisome because it’s so hard to work with, but it will be fine (it might be easier to refrigerate dough for a few hours to make it easier to handle, but this is not necessary).
  6. On the prepared baking sheet, spoon dough into two logs about 2″ wide by 12+” long (they will spread). Using moistened hands, shape and smooth the dough.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 40-60 minutes, or until firm and hollow sounding when tapped. Remove from oven and allow to rest on the pan for at least 10 minutes and up to a few hours
  8. Remove logs to a cutting board and using a serrated knife at an angle, cut into 1-inch slices. Return slices to rack over a baking sheet, with cut side down, and bake 15-30+ minutes, or until biscotti loses it’s cake-y feel.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  10. Melt chocolate. Coat one side of biscotti with either caramel chips or white chocolate. Let dry.
  11. Turn biscotti over and drizzle with the chocolate (caramel or white) not used in previous step
  12. Before the drizzled chocolate hardens, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  13. After chocolate hardens shake off excess cinnamon sugar
  14. Store airtight. Freezes well.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Be sure to stop by again for the Gingerbread Biscotti recipe after devouring these!

03 Jul 2019 Italian Butter Cookies

Italian Butter Cookies

I love these cookies. Not the ones in the package. Not the ones from the bakery. These cookies. Made at home. With butter.

I’m sure you’ve all seen these cookies. I swear they are in every bakery and often overlooked because they look at bit plain and basic, and even, in some bakeries, a bit dry and floury. The cookies often appeal to kids though, probably because of the rainbow sprinkles.

This cookie will appeal to kids and grown ups, because it’s not floury, it’s not dry. It’s very buttery and very vanilla and very delicious.

The cookie is pretty straightforward, made from everyday pantry staples plus a package of rainbow sprinkles, but putting the cookies on the baking tray does require a piping bag and tip. It’s an extra step and extra clean up, but it’s not an Italian Butter Cookie without it. The other tricky part is knowing when to take the cookies out of the oven. Do not overbake or underbake. Watch the cookies carefully, look for a very light golden browning So deep breath, you can do it! The results will be worth it.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

1 egg, at room temperature

2 ½ cups all purpose flour (313 grams)

½ teaspoon baking powder

Rainbow sprinkles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • With an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and optional lemon or almond extracts.  Beat at medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg and milk and combine thoroughly.
  • Mix the baking powder into the flour and then slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Beat until a dough forms.
  • NOTE: This dough should be piped right after it’s mixed.  Don’t let it rest for too long or refrigerate, as the dough will become stiff and more difficult to pipe.  If the dough does become too stiff to pipe, add a few drops of milk to loosen it. Fit a pastry bag with an extra-large French or open star pastry tip.  Fill the bag with half of the dough.
  • Pipe the dough into rounds about 2-inches in diameter.  Space the cookies about 1-1/2 inches apart as they do flatten and spread slightly. 
  • Sprinkle cookies rounds with rainbow sprinkles.
  • Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes, or until they are light golden brown on the very edges and have very light brown bottoms! This is the hardest part of making this cookie: do not under bake the cookies and do not overbake. Do not allow cookies to brown beyond a very light golden brown on the outside edges and bottoms.
  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Depending upon size, makes 24-36 cookies. I’ve started doubling this recipe. (Cookies freeze well.)
20 Jun 2019 Summer Berry Bars

Have you ever made a cover recipe? I’ve made enough of them to figure out that cover recipes are usually a pretty good bet! My daughter saw this cover and said she wanted me to make them for July 4th because of the red, “white” and blue colors. So I tried them, and they were GOOD! They will be on her July 4th dessert buffet.

Mix and match the berries to your preference. Basically, you will need 5 cups of berries. Strawberries usually don’t bake up too well as they tend to release too much liquid and also take on a bit of ugly gray tinge, so don’t use too many strawberries, maybe one cup max. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and even pitted and halved/quartered cherries will all work.

There is no need to top these bars with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but… 🙂

Note that these bars need to rest overnight in the refrigerator before serving, so plan accordingly.

Summer Berry Bars

3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups (267 grams) granulated sugar, divided use

1 tablespoon (3 grams) lime zest (OK to sub lemon or orange zest)

1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder

¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt

1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 large egg (50 grams), lightly beaten

1½ tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch

2 cups (260 grams) fresh raspberries

1 cup (147 grams) chopped fresh strawberries

1 cup (160 grams) fresh blackberries

1 cup (170 grams) fresh blueberries

3 tablespoons (15 grams) fresh lime juice (OK to sub lemon juice or orange juice)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, zest, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender—or a food processor—add butter to flour mixture and process or cut in butter until pea-size pieces remain.
  4. Stir in egg until blended and mixture is crumbly.
  5. Reserve 1½ cups dough and refrigerate until needed in step 11.
  6. Press remaining 3½ cups dough into bottom of prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. In another large bowl, stir together cornstarch and remaining ? cup (67 grams) sugar.
  9. Gently fold in berries, citrus juice, and vanilla until combined.
  10. Scatter berry mixture over prepared crust.
  11. Crumble reserved 1½ cups chilled dough over berries, pressing the dough to form small clumps before scattering over berries.
  12. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes more. Let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
  13. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and cut into bars.
  14. Store bars in refrigerator.

So, off to the farmer’s market! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!