Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies

August 1, 2014

IMG_8303

Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies! Were so many delicious words ever strung together? I mean you just know these cookies have got it all going on. I love anything malted, salted tells me I’ll get my sweet/salty fix, and buttered popcorn? I can barely contain myself! And my reaction to the words “buttered popcorn” doesn’t even register next to the husband’s. Oh my Lordy in heaven! He loves him some popcorn. I am not kidding you that our popcorn popper is in high use nearly every night. In all honesty, he wants popcorn about 4 -5 times a week. Well, let me re-phrase that…he eats popcorn 4-5 nights a week. I think he wants popcorn every single day of the year! So you can just imagine the fabulous wife points I got when I sashayed on out of the kitchen and sidled up next to him with a plate full of these stunners in my hands! And it’s not just the idea of them that is good. You know how sometimes you get an idea of a flavour combination that you think will be killer but when you actually make it, it kind of falls short? Not happening here. These cookies are really quite remarkable and unique. Each bite delivers a crispy crunch as well as a malted chewy chocolatey blast. And when you a get a bite that just happens to have that little extra buttery surprize popcorn piece, well it’s nothing short of sheer bliss!

IMG_8246

I initially came across this recipe in one of my all time favourite cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman. I had taken note and was planning on baking up a batch of those cookies. But Deb hadn’t added malted milk balls to her version. Then I saw that enhancement to the Smitten recipe over at Sift and Whisk. I really love malted milk balls so their addition certainly made it a winner for me. The only problem I had with the Sift and Whisk version was that it called for using microwave popcorn. Uh-ohh! That was a deal breaker. I really do not like microwave popcorn and as much as the husband loves popcorn, even he would turn his nose up at the microwave variety. Call us crazy. Whatever…There really is a big taste difference between microwave and stove top corn, so much so that we sort of consider it a different animal altogether. I know microwave popcorn is supposedly easy. But really…how hard is it to pop up some corn with a glug of good old oil right on top of your stove? We actually have a Whirley-pop stove top popcorn popper that has a hand-crank on top to allow you to stir the corn kernels while they pop. Yup, if you stop by and wander into my kitchen, I’m pretty sure you’ll see it in permanent residency on my stove top. (remember…the husband is popping corn about 5x a week). But if you don’t have that level of specialty popping equipment, don’t despair. Just grab any old big pot with a lid, and shake it a bit while the kernels are popping. It is so much tastier than that old microwave stuff. And don’t even think to ask my husband about the differences in popping oil, you know olive oil vs. coconut oil vs. peanut oil, unless you’ve got awhile because he can go on and on about it. Consider yourself warned…But anyway, back to these Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies.

IMG_8270

Bottom line is that you’ve just got to make them. I can honestly say, it is one of the few cookies I’ve ever seen my husband eat more than two of at a sitting. Remember, he likes those fruit desserts and couldn’t really care less about chocolate (shock, horror). But he came back to the cookie jar several times the evening these babies showed up. Actions speak louder than words so that should tell you something!

IMG_8291

Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: sift and whisk &  The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter, melted
  • 1¼ cup (155 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (109 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (100 grams) roughly chopped malted milk balls
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make popcorn. Pour the oil over the bottom of a large dutch oven that has a lid or a Whirley-pop stove top popcorn popper. Add the popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and heat it over medium- high heat. Once you hear the kernels beginning to pop, keep agitating or stirring the pan until you no longer hear the popping noise. Pour the melted butter over the popped corn and then sprinkle with the salt. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and separate out any unpopped or partially popped kernels. You should have about 4 -4 1/2 cups of popped corn.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add egg and vanilla. Beat for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until egg is totally mixed in. With the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually add flour mixture, and stop mixing when there is still a little flour visible.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Fold the buttered popcorn into the dough taking care not to crush the popcorn completely. When popcorn is almost evenly distributed, add chopped malted milk balls (even the dust!), and fold into the dough.

Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing each dough ball at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of each dough ball with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges turn light brown.

Allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will deflate a little once they come out of the oven, and will end up thin, with crispy edges and chewy centers.

Enjoy!

Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 

 


Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 5, 2014

IMG_5120

Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. I really don’t know if I need to elaborate on this one… I mean, I don’t know about you, but they had me at Salted & Malted. Nothing more need be said. But then those delicious pair of words are followed by Nutella. And it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. It goes on to read Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie! Have Mercy!

IMG_5106

I was instantly confident that this would be the recipe that I would make for World Nutella Day. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

World_Nutella_Day_Final_m-300x207

I love Nutella. Although I missed adding a submission to Nutella Day last year. (Total brain freeze…I have no excuse) I have contributed a couple of truly tasty Nutella laden recipes in years past. There was my exquisite Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

IMG_1065

and my delightful Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers.

IMG_5014_2

I think these Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies are a great way to jump back into the game.

IMG_5100

Morgan over at Host the Toast came up with these gems back in December. What a masterpiece! They literally have it all, silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips all rolled up in a crunchy chewy salted cookie. (Yup…its got the salty/sweet thing covered as well!) They are an absolute breeze to make and as I’m sure you can imagine, are certainly quite easy to eat. (Ahem…probably a bit too easy judging from the fit of my britches…) I can’t get enough of these little devils! Get yourself addicted today!

IMG_5128

Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from Host the Toast

yield: 27 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup malted milk powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup Nutella
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup caramel bits (or baking caramels cut into tiny pieces)
  • Flaky Sea salt, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended.

Cream together the butter and both sugars in a separate bowl until completely smooth.

Add the Nutella to the butter mixture and mix until fully combined. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until it all is just incorporated, but don’t over-mix.

Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits until evenly distributed. I like to refrigerate cookie dough for an hour or so before baking. It helps to keep it from spreading too quickly in the oven resulting in a very thin cookie. However, this step is optional. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop ( holds about 2 tablespoons) scoop dough and drop onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheets, spacing them out about 2½ inches apart and away from the sides of the sheet. You may have to do multiple batches– don’t try to squeeze them all in.

Sprinkle dough with flaky sea salt.

Bake 10-13 minutes. Remove from the oven. They will still be very, very soft. Leave them on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, or until they are solid enough to eat.

Enjoy!


Baileys, Cacao Nib & Oatmeal Cookies

March 8, 2013

IMG_1525

Oh Baileys! Why do you have to be so delicious! You just seem to go great in everything! And these little cookies are no exception. Baileys, chocolate chips, cacao nibs and oatmeal, what a fantastic line-up. These cookies are really some thing special. They are a bit crispy yet also chewy and bursting with the decadent flavours of Bailey’s and chocolate.

IMG_1442

I was lucky enough to have baked these up the night before our most recent snow storm. So I was able to spend my “snow day” nibbling on these little gems and washing them down with big steaming mugs of Scáiltín. Lucky me!

IMG_1776

Now you might be wondering what a “cacao nib” is. I know I sure was when I first ran across this recipe. Cacao Nibs are tiny chips of the roasted cocoa beans, essentially raw chocolate. They are not sweet, but taste rather nutty and perhaps a bit like chocolate, but more like a roasted coffee bean.

IMG_1496

They add great texture and interesting depth of flavour to baked goods. I’ve seen them listed as ingredients in various recipes out in internet land, but had no idea where to find them. I think I finally found them in a kitchen specialty store, though I have since been told that Whole Foods carries them. And of course, there is always Amazon. Worse case scenario, make these cookies up for St. Patrick’s Day without the nibs. I’m sure they’ll still be an excellent and tasty source of energy to keep you going strong through all of your celebrations. When you are able to find Cacao Nibs, make up another batch.

IMG_1410

Baileys, Cacao Nib & Oatmeal Cookies

recipe from: Violets and Cardamom

yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (equal to 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup Old Fashioned oats, ground or whole
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Nibs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Irish creme liqueur

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Add the egg and beat for another minute.

Add the vanilla and Irish Cream and beat until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Fold in the remaining ingredients making sure everything is mixed well. The dough should be pretty firm.

Scoop out the dough and place on either a parchment covered cookie sheet or on a greased cookie sheet. Make sure to space them out well as they do spread.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden on the outside. Let cool on cookie sheet for five minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!


Kanilsnúðar (Cinnamon Snails) & Iceland in December

January 8, 2013

IMG_8937

Happy New Year Everyone! The busy holiday season is finally over and I guess everyone is starting to get back into their old routines. Our holiday season was made particularly hectic due to our decision to go on a spur of the moment trip to Iceland. We had always wanted to visit Iceland and had briefly looked into flights, hotels etc., but it had always been a bit on the pricey side. When we arrived back from our October Ireland trip, I had read an article which claimed that this winter, visitors to Iceland would be much more likely to see the Northern Lights due to the current cycle of increased solar flare activity. That’s when I checked flights on a lark and found that not only were flights cheaper, but all of the hotels seemed to be running off-season special rates. I must admit, a few times I did think “Who the heck goes to Iceland in December?! Are we nuts?!”

P1000263

But I’ve got to tell you, it is fantastic!. We LOVED it! Actually, I probably should tell you it’s dreadful, cause we are definitely going back and I don’t want to let too many folks in on the secret. Sure, it is chilly, though not awfully so. It hovers right around freezing but the temperatures are often accompanied and shall we say enhanced by ever-present, kicking winds. There is also not a great deal of daylight. Although you will find 24 hours of daylight if you visit in July, in December it got light around 10:45 a.m. and was dark again around 4 p.m. Such limited daylight definitely forced us to plan out what we wanted to do during  the day and get to doing it before it was dark again. And we did get in quite a few adventures. We went horseback riding at Hestheimar Horse Farm.

P1000240

Icelandic Horses were initially introduced to the country by Norwegian Viking settlers and the breed has remained pure for about 1000 years. These sturdy and hardy horses are very friendly and personable. They have an extra gait called a tölt which is essentially a fast walk. Tölting is a pleasure! Very smooth, much more comfortable for the rider than a trot.

IMG_0940

Super Jeep next to a crater created when Eyafjallajökull volcano erupted a couple of years ago.

We went on a Super Jeep tour of Þórsmörk (Thor’s Forest) with South Iceland Adventure Company (Thanks so much to Magnus, our guide) and saw waterfalls, and hiked through gorges, mountain passes and around on a glacier.

P1000271

P1000330

P1000346

Inside a glacial ice formation.

We chilled out at the Blue Lagoon. Not the one from the 80’s with Brooke Shields, but a surreal geothermal pool and Spa located in a lava field in Grindavík about 40 minutes from Reykjavik. No description from me will do it justice. It really is other worldly. But let me just say… imagine a huge hot tub in the middle of a lava field with a swim up to wine/beer bar located in the center. Are you getting the picture?

P1000602

P1000616

We went Snowmobiling with Mountaineers of Iceland on Langjökull glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland. Very exciting, but even with the copious layers of thermals I was wearing, it was the absolute coldest I’ve ever been in my entire life! Though what would you expect, we were traipsing about on a huge slab of ice!

P1000732

We stayed at Hotel Rangá. This gorgeous, cozy hotel, which is located out in the country (hence no light pollution), about two hours from Reykjavik, caters to folks hoping to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights and will give you a wake up call should you desire if the elusive lights do make an appearance. (seems like they mostly show up around midnight to 2 a.m.) We were actually lucky enough to see the Aurora put on a great show.

P1000459

Northern Lights and a meteor from the Geminid meteor shower which was happening on the same night!

P1000561

P1000541

What is the food like you might ask. As you can imagine, the seafood is really outstanding! My husband, who is allergic to seafood, was not left wanting. There were plenty of non-seafood options available for him to choose from. One of his favourite meals of the trip was reindeer meatballs. All that being said, one of the most popular “restaurants” in Reykjavik, really isn’t a restaurant at all. It is a hot dog stand called Bæjarins Beztu which has been selling hot dogs or pylsur to Icelanders and tourists alike since 1935. Apparently Icelanders LOVE hot dogs and claim that theirs are the best in the world. Indeed, The Guardian designated Bæjarins Beztu as the “best hot dog stand in Europe”. Of course we made a beeline for the place as soon as we arrived in the city (as well as paying it a couple more visits while we were there). We weren’t disappointed! They serve some excellent hot dogs. These dogs have lamb added to the usual pork and beef and are smothered with ketchup, mustard, raw onion, crispy onion and a spicy remoulade. Delicious!

P1000644

P1000750

We are already planning our trip back this year and yup, in December! I’m sure at this point you are wondering if we are ever going to talk about the Kanilsnúðar recipe I’ve dangled so temptingly before you. So I’ll get right to it. Icelanders are really into Christmas. Christmas music plays non-stop. All the houses are completely decked out with lights. Everywhere we went, shops, bars, you name it, had Christmas cookies out for all to enjoy. I think I first tasted a Kanilsnúðar at the Heistheimar riding stables. It reminded me of a Snickerdoodle, but better, much more exotic and with a fun shape. Then I was able to find a bag of these darling little snails, the first of many bags consumed on the trip, in a local market and my obsession began.

IMG_8896

Once I got home, I looked about online and was able to find a couple of recipes. The one I really wanted to make called for the ingredient “Hartshorn” which I had never heard of. Further internet research revealed that Hartshorn is a rather old-fashioned leavener also known as Baker’s Ammonia. It is supposed to make baked goods rise higher than baking powder and make them extra crispy. I read that it was available in most Scandinavian shops. These establishments are a bit thin on the ground in Virginia, so I checked the King Arthur Flour site and sure enough they had it, so I placed my order. (If you would like to make these cookies without the Hartshorn, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for the 1/2 teaspoon Hartshorn called for. This is said to yield similar results, but I did not try it.) For those of you who do manage to procure some Hartshorn, don’t freak out when you mix the cookie dough up. It will have quite a whiff of ammonia about it, but it goes away once baking is complete. I was quite happy with my little “cinnamon snails”.

IMG_8952

They are great with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or as an afternoon snack. My husband likes them because they are not overly sweet, a quality which he seems to prefer in a cookie. I’m sure they have secured a permanent place in our Christmas cookie repertoire because they will always be a pleasant reminder of our dreamy first trip to Iceland.

IMG_8902

Kanilsnúðar (Cinnamon Snails)

recipe adapted from: Jo’s Icelandic Recipes

yield: approx. 12  cookies

Ingredients:

  • 175 grams flour
  • 100 grams  unsalted butter  plus 1 Tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp hartshorn powder (baker’s ammonia) * or 1/2 tsp. baking powder and baking soda
  • 60 grams sugar
  • 1 egg
  • healthy pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (or extra if you’re really into cinnamon)

Directions:

Mix cinnamon and sugar together until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Place flour and hartshorn, sugar and salt in food processor. Pulse to mix. Cut cold butter into 1″ cubes and scatter over  the flour mixture. Pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse little pebbles. Remove flour/butter mixture from food processor and place in bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and knead mixture until it just comes together to form dough. Pat dough into square shape and wrap with plastic wrap.

Place wrapped dough in the refrigerator for a couple of hours at least.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Flatten the dough quite thin and roll out evenly. Try to keep it an approximately square or rectangular shape.

Brush dough with melted butter.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over top of dough.

Roll the dough up into a roll, then slice into approx. 1 cm thick slices.

Arrange slices on a cookie sheet and bake at about 200°C (392 ° F) until golden brown.

Enjoy!

***********************************************************************

 


Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 30, 2012

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies! My husband’s new favourite cookie, though he had a hard time choosing between these and the Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies I made a few weeks ago. And my husband isn’t really a cookie person. Or a big chocolate fan (go figure…). He is all about the fruit desserts. You know, cobblers, crisps, crumbles and pies. But when I made a batch of these cookies, he didn’t just eat the one to be polite. Well…maybe it started that way. But then I saw him reach for a second! Believe me, that doesn’t happen too often with him and cookies. So you know these cookies are particularly irresistible!

I had been looking forward to making these ever since I saw them on one of my favourite blogs, Buns in My Oven. They are right up my alley, two kinds of chocolate chips, chocolate syrup and malted milk powder! They simply have it all! Karly had baked these as a bar dessert, rather than cookies. It seems she tried to do them as cookies but was having trouble with them spreading too thin and burning on the outside before the inside was done. So she baked them in a pan and they came out wonderfully. I was all ready to try to make them as a bar dessert as well, but noticed that the recipe called for a 7 x 11 inch pan, which I didn’t have. I had my 9 x9 inch pan ready to sub in, when some wild hair took over and I reached for a baking sheet instead and decided I’d try the cookie version. Since it looked like these cookies had a tendency to spread too thin, once I had the dough all mixed up, I popped it into the fridge for about 30 minutes. Then I scooped out the chilled cookie dough and baked it for 12 -14 minutes. The cookies came out great! Mind you, these cookies are a bit thin, but not too thin. And they have a wonderfully chewy texture. Not to mention they are really delicious! And currently my husband’s reigning favourite cookie. Something tells me I’ll be baking many more batches. In fact, my husband has already asked for more. Amazing! Bake some for yourself today.

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe slightly adapted from: Buns in My Oven

yield: 34 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, malted milk powder, chocolate syrup, and vanilla for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix well.

Stir in the chocolate chunks and chips.

Refrigerate cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step, otherwise you will find that the cookie dough will spread too quickly.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and place about 1″ apart on prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 -14 minutes.

Cool on the pan for a few minutes then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!


Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

August 3, 2012

I’m back into the cornmeal again. I can’t help it. I just love the stuff! So when I saw that Dorie Greenspan had a recipe for Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies in Baking From My Home to Yours, I just couldn’t resist trying it out. I mean, I’m definitely a fan of rich, buttery, melt-in-your mouth shortbread. And we’ve already discussed my obsession with cornmeal, so it is no surprize that I was really intrigued by these cookies.

Shortbread is pretty easy to make. You just have to remember a couple of key points. The first is, don’t over beat the butter. While you want the sugar and butter blended, you don’t want to beat it until it becomes light a fluffy. The second thing to remember is that once you add the flour to the butter, mix them together quickly and gently, stopping as soon as the flour is incorporated. Once you’ve gotten the batter all mixed up, Dorie Greenspan suggests that you place the shortbread dough in a gallon ziplock bag and then roll it out in the bag. I must say, this suggestion is just brilliant! It was so much easier and much less messy than any of the methods I have tried before. I made the shortbread dough up on one day, refrigerated it overnight and then baked it on the following day. Pretty straight forward.

How did the Cornmeal Shortbread turn out? Fantastic! I can honestly say this is the BEST shortbread I have ever eaten! It has all of the rich buttery goodness of usual shortbread, along with the sandy texture. But the bit of cornmeal added to the mix gives this particular shortbread some extra crunch. Plus the lemon zest adds a really fresh zing. My husband, who isn’t really a shortbread fan… Wait! What?! Really, it’s true. In fact, when I mentioned I was making shortbread cookies he grabbed his throat and acted as if he was desperate need of water. You know like he had been traipsing around the desert for a week. Shortbread is soo dry, he gasped. Hmmm….But after he tasted these cookies, he agreed that they are the best he has ever tasted. So good, he is now even rethinking his previously held stance on shortbread cookies I know you might still be a bit skeptical about cornmeal in a shortbread cookie. I don’t blame you, I was too. And you probably shouldn’t trust me. You’ll just have to try them for yourself. You’ll see I was right. Well what are you waitin for? Get to baking!

Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

recipe from: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Yield: 32 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions:

Sift the flour, cornstarch and salt together into a bowl, then whisk in the cornmeal.

Working in the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment or the whisk, or use a hand mixer. Add the butter and extract to the bowl and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is very smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated.

Using a rubber spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10″ rectangle that’s 1/4″ thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.

Baking:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board and using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2″ squares, or the size you desire. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 300°F. Bake the shortbreads for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads should be set and only just tinged golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to room temperature.

Enjoy!


Margarita Cookies

June 28, 2012

So I just caught Jose staring at me again. Really. I’m just sitting here minding my own business and my old friend, Mr. Cuervo, just won’t leave me be. Well, maybe it’s actually like my eyes keep going to him. Hmmm… perhaps it’s a reflection of the kind of day I’ve had. I was in the Target (need I say more…) and unbeknownst to me, it was “take your shrilly shrieking kids shopping with you” day. Yeah, you know what I mean. The good Lord hasn’t blessed us with children yet, so I’m not sure about this theory, but I think the folks to whom those little pterodactyls belong eardrums have already toughened up…or perhaps split. Maybe there is some sort gene that clicks on once you’ve become a parent that involves a personal sound dampening field. I don’t know, but they don’t seem to hear them wailing their way up and down the aisles like a banshee choir. Those of us without the little buggers at home are a bit more sensitive to their cacophony of sounds and react accordingly by reaching for the tequila.

That being said, I do really seem to be craving something citrus-y, sweet and salty. Maybe I should just give in and whip up a Margarita, right now at a mere 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s a thought…be then again, perhaps I could be a bit more crafty about my alcohol consumption – mind you, not that I have a problem or anything – still appearances must be kept up, if you know what I mean. I think I’ll just grab that bottle of Cuervo Gold and make up a batch of Margarita Cookies. Everyone has a little coffee/cookie break in the middle of the afternoon right? Nothin wrong with that!

These cookies have  a medicinal quality about them. They contain that most special of nerve soothing ingredients, namely tequila. And they are also delightfully filled with lime and orange flavours and coated with sanding sugar and Maldon sea salt. Yum! Salty sweet shortbread-like cookies! They really hit the spot. Definitely improved my outlook on life in general. Perhaps these cookies mood boosting properties were enhanced somewhat when I sampled a shot or two of the tequila before mixing it into the recipe. Hey! Every good cook tastes things along the way. Am I right? Anyway, I think you’ll find these cookies quite refreshing! Give them a try today and avoid Target as best you can.

Margarita Cookies

recipe from: Smitten Kitchen

yield: 40 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons tequila
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • Grate zest of half an orange
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Coating:

  • Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt

Directions:

Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Smitten Kitchen note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, move the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you'd see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.] (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Enjoy!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,776 other followers

%d bloggers like this: