Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Bake 52 Week 34: Glazed Lemon Cookies

August 22, 2012

I love tart things.  However, when it comes to lemon-flavored baked goods, I think it’s hard to find the perfect balance between perfect and overwhelming.  I was really unsure where these cookies would fall on the scale.

It was another easy recipe week (I’m loving these simpler, less time-consuming recipes lately!).  Again, no off-the-wall ingredients (unless you count cream cheese 😉 ).  There is a 2 hour chilling time, but these were easy to whip up first thing in the morning, and then let chill while we had breakfast and got ready for the day.

They baked up nicely, though the recipe said to let them bake for 13-16 minutes, or until the edges started turning brown.  After 20 minutes in the oven and no sign of brown edges, I just took them out, hoping that they’d be OK.  Thankfully, they were!

In the past, I’ve opted for alternate recipes when frosting or glaze calls for cream cheese.  Since this one called for only 1 TB of cream cheese, I decided to stay true to the recipe.  I’m glad I did because the lemon and sugar pretty much drown out the cream cheese flavor for me, so it wasn’t a problem.

As for whether these cookies were too overwhelming for me…NO!  They were SOOOO yummy!  The cookie itself had a nice lemon flavor to it, but more subtle.  The glaze is where the flavor really stood out, but just enough to give you the full lemony impact without going over the edge.  The only problem for me?  Heartburn.  At T-minus I-can’t-believe-this-baby-still-isn’t-here, pretty much everything I eat gives me serious heartburn.  Now that baby is here (and since I’m writing this prior to baby day, it’s kind of weird to know that she WILL be here by the time this recipe is posted!), I’m going to have to make these again so I can enjoy them just a little bit more.

And to top it off, I think the presentation of these cookies, while very simple, is quite pleasing.  The glaze spread perfectly and they just looked pretty!  This was a great pick by Michelle….check out her blog for the recipe!

Bake 52 Week 26: Black and White Cookies

June 27, 2012

I have been baking ahead in anticipation of our big baby day (I always go early, so better to be prepared even though we’re really praying for full-term this time!), and it’s a good thing because our computer crashed in the meantime, so I’m glad for a handy phone app and already typed up recipes! I have no excuse for the lack of pictures though.

These cookies looked really fun, but I admit some trepidation over the fact that I get really annoyed when I see a picture of a perfectly frosted cookie in a cookbook and then try to replicate that myself. I guess I’m just messy with frosting. But really, the worst part was that no matter how far apart I spaced the cookies on the baking sheet, they spread out and baked right into each other, so none of them turned out nice and round and smooth on the edges. They just weren’t pretty. Oh well.

It almost pained me to even frost the cookies…I ate one plain and it was soooo yummy! Putting chocolate on something so wonderful was hard.  And once they were frosted (which turned out to not be as hard a job as I thought it would), they no longer beckoned to my taste buds, so I didn’t try a totally finished product.  The kids ate them up and enjoyed them, and Joseph said they were good, but carried a pretty subtle flavor….I think he would have liked something with slightly more kick. He took what was left to work and the concsensus there was that as far as presentation goes (in spite of their lack of a pretty shape) these were pretty impressive.  However, most seemed to be a little underwhelmed with the flavor….not bad, just too mild.

If you want to try them out, the recipe and detailed instructions are on Janet’a blog!

Bake 52 Week 23: Coconut Macaroons

June 6, 2012

This week’s pick was pretty quick and easy–my kind of recipe! Just a handful of ingredients and steps and you have yourself a cute little cookie.  I’m not a big coconut fan though. It’s more a texture thing than a taste thing….and yet, I can manage to burn through an entire box of Samoas by myself in no time flat.

I shaped a few of these cookies in haystacks and dipped the bottoms in chocolate, trying to match the picture in the book. They didn’t turn out so hot. My haystacks weren’t very pretty and when I tried to dip them in the chocolate, they kind of suctioned themselves to the bottom of the bowl and the tops would fall off when I tried to pull them out. I finally resorted to just spreading some chocolate on the bottom and calling it good. The rest were just the little round ball cookies and they were a breeze.

Had these been more of a regular cookie with ground up coconut to add flavor, I think I would have liked them. But the whole cookie was coconut, which was just too much for me.

Emily was this week’s host, and even though these aren’t cookies I’d ever make for myself, they are simple and pretty and I will likely make them again to share with friends.  Check out her blog for the recipe!

Bake 52 Week 20: French Macaroons

May 16, 2012

This week’s host was Betsy, and she chose French Macroons. They were a tad pricey, due to the need to use almond flour, but not so much that they wouldn’t be worth making for a special occasion. The end result is a cute little sandwich cookie.

The recipe itself was pretty simple….it takes a little time, simply because the formed cookies need to sit for an hour or two before baking, but nothing was very complicated.  One step I forgot when making my cookies was to smooth out the tops, which resulted in cookies that resembled a part of the female anatomy. Joseph had fun trying to come up with a more approrpiate name for how they looked. They were apparently a big hit at the office, whether due to taste or appearance, I don’t know 😉

Well, OK….it was due to taste.  I probably shouldn’t insult the all-male-but-two office that Joseph works in.  The final result was a cookie with a slightly crisp outer shell and a dense chewy middle.  I was surprised by the texture, but found it to be quite pleasing.

My own taste buds were rather turned off by the buttercream icing when I licked the beater (I used the recipe suggested by the book), but the cookies helped temper the overwhelming butter flavor. I’m not sure I’d use this buttercream recipe again…I wasn’t really a fan. It didn’t ruin the cookie, but I think next time I’ll experiment with something different.

Because I have leftover almond flour, I think I’ll make another batch of these up and freeze them for later. I’ll probably make up a smaller batch of frosting and only sandwich half of them….I think I’d really enjoy these cookies on their own.

If you’d like to give them a whirl, hop on over to Betsy’s blog for the recipe!

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Bake 52 Week 12: Palmiers

March 21, 2012

You know a recipe is going to be good when the it directs you to roll the dough out not on a lightly floured surfaced, but a lightly sugared surface!  I had hight hopes for this one!

This week’s pick was Palmiers, a cookie I had not heard of before.  When I read that it is make using puff pastry, I was a little stressed out.  All I’ve ever heard about pastries is that they are difficult to master.  I had no preconceived notions that I would pull this recipe off like a master, but making the puff pastry turned out to be easier than I anticipated.

It is a bit time consuming:  mix, chill, roll, chill, roll, chill, roll, chill, bake.  BUT, I was so happy to read that this dough can be made ahead and either refrigerated or frozen.  Palmiers just scored some bonus points!

I had to laugh because, as usual, I didn’t read the recipe very thoroughly ahead of time.  Most of the time, recipes will call for butter to be softened…and I never plan ahead to set it out and have it softened by the time I’m ready to bake.  I was so on the ball this time and set my butter out first thing in the morning, only to find later that this recipe calls for the butter to be chilled.  Dang it!

I also had to laugh because I secretly chuckle at Amanda and her obsessive use of a ruler in her baking.  I’m mean really….can’t you just eyeball it?  Well, guess who pulled out the ruler this time?  Yep….me.

Whenever a recipe tells me to roll the dough out in a certain shape, it’s almost a guarentee that mine will roll out in a completely different shape.  This time was no exception, but by the time I got through all the rolling required, I had the square down pat and my ruler to verify that it was the right size.  It’s possible that it might make an appearance in future recipes, though I should probably buy a new one dedicated soley to baking because I can only imagine the number of germs on my household ruler from all the grubby hands that touch it on a regular basis.  I’m sorry for laughing at you Amanda….I’ve learned that there is satisfaction to be found in having perfectly measured baked goods.

I did cheat a bit on the last chilling session required for the puff pastry.  The hour was growing late and I didn’t want to be up until midnight making cookies.  So, I put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and called it good.  The last rolling was kind of brutal on me….that darn dough would NOT roll out bigger than a 6×6 square.  It took some coaxing, but it eventually cooperated.

After the dough is rolled, it chills in the freezer for 20 more minutes and then you cut the cookies.  The recipe suggests baking for 15-20 minutes and then flipping the cookies over. Mine baked for 25 minutes and were still pretty squishy, but I managed to finally flip them. Here they are, drowing in butter in the oven.

Then, they are supposed to baked for 5-10 more minutes until crisp. Mine went for almost 15 more minutes and the only thing getting crisp was the edges, so I finally took them out. The book does not show a completed picture, so I had to look online to know if mine looked the way they are supposed to…..and I’m pretty sure they don’t.

I’m curious to see how everybody else’s look to know if I’m way off base or not.  It was quite late when I finished and the smell of all that butter had my stomach feeling a little overwhelmed, but I sacrificed and had a bite before going to bed.

Because it was so late, I left the second half of the dough in the freezer for another day.

I really enjoyed the process of making these cookies, as I’ve never ventured into anything even close to this.  However, I was not a big fan of the cookie itself.  I wish it had been a bit sweeter and not so buttery….it seemed that all of the sugar from that final rolling dissolved into the butter and the flavor was lost.  I doubt I’ll make this particular recipe again, but I’m glad to have the first attempt at puff pastry out of the way so that I’m not too intimidated to try other recipes that use it.

Bekah was this week’s host….check out her blog for the recipe!

 

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Bake 52 Week 8: Peanut Butter Cookies

February 22, 2012

When I saw that my cute neighbor Jen picked peanut butter cookies for her week to host, I was excited.  Who doesn’t love a good cookie recipe?  I don’t bake peanut butter cookies with much frequency, but I was looking forward to making something a little more basic this week and hoping that maybe a great new cookbook would give me some tips to keep my cookies from baking up flat.

I failed on that front.  Mine turned out flat.  I even added extra flour after the first batch came out of the oven.  Still flat.  To be fair though, I did alter the recipe from the original, so maybe that played a part (we’ll blame that even if it really is due to user error 😉 ).

As I’ve stated in the past, I think it’s a sin to put nuts in baked goods. If you want to ruin a baked good in the blink of an eye, put nuts in it. Apparently, the Test Kitchen chefs think it’s a sin to not load peanut butter cookies up with nuts. I’ll give them a pass this one time, given that they are peanut butter cookies. But nobody in my house would eat them with nuts, so not only did I use creamy peanut butter, I omitted the cup full of chopped peanuts. And even if they were flat, they were YUMMY! I need to try my stand-by peanut butter cookie recipe soon so that I can decide which I like best.

If anybody has any tips for me on how to make my cookies come out of the oven with a little more dimension, I would love to hear it!

For this week’s recipe, visit Jen’s blog!