Chocolate Black Cat Macarons

October 31, 2022

So here it is Halloween! I can hardly believe. Once again, I’ve taken a break from blogging since Easter. Last year I did have a good excuse – major home renovation. This year? I got nothing. I won’t even try. But perhaps you will forgive me when you take a peek at these divine, spooky sweet Chocolate Black Cat Macarons I’ve whipped up for Halloween 2022! These sinful little delights boast a crisp outer shell surrounding a lusciously chewy center filled with a silky, dark as your soul, decadent chocolate ganache.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I mean, think about it…You get to dress weird, drink booze and eat candy for dinner. In fact, all of that fun stuff is encouraged. How could you go wrong on such a day! Our modern holiday of Halloween, actually has Irish origins. Today’s celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun-god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our Halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. I’ve posted some great Halloween recipes in past years ranging from the historically based traditional recipes such as:

Soul Cakes (Traditional Halloween/ Samhain)

Yeasted Irish Barmbrack Bread (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

Irish Tea Barmbrack with a Whiskey Honey Glaze (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

To the more whimsical offerings such as:

White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes

As well as some wonderful boozy libations to kick your celebrations into high gear:

Fireball Cider Cocktail

Or this Roasty Toasty Cocktail

A few year’s ago I managed to combined whimsical and boozy altogether in my Halloween treats with these adorable – I mean terribly frightening Itsy-Bitsy Tipsy Spider Cupcakes.

or how about these Black Velvet Frankenstein Cupcakes

A couple of years ago, I had a howling good time making these little rascals:

Reese Cup Werewolf Cupcakes

I loved making these boo-tiful Spooky Ghost Cupcakes!

And last year’s offering was these diabolically delicious <a href="http://<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iLOaolI8Fgc&quot; title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>Malted Chocolate Devil Cupcakes!

So yeah, I’m breaking out of the cupcake mold this year by going with these Black Cat Macarons!

Macarons can be notoriously finicky to make. I was definitely worried that the trick might be on me when I set out to make these, but I had taken efforts to get everything right. My egg whites were aged overnight, my bowls were wiped squeaky clean and I had sifted, pulsed in a food processor and sifted again. I had thoroughly read the recipe several times over. I found watching this video from Sugar Geek Show was also very helpful as far as my batter folding technique.

Truth be told, I didn’t get these to come out perfect the first time. My shells were cracked. Could’ve been I didn’t let them age enough to form the proper skin. Could’ve been I over mixed. Not sure. Yet, I persisted and Voila! So don’t despair ya’ll. Macarons are difficult, but not impossible! I think they are without a doubt worth the effort. And the good news is that even the ones that don’t look purty, still taste delicious!

All right, now that you’ve done all your prep work, get ready to make some amazing bakery quality level Chocolate Macarons! Now I realize I didn’t give you much time to get these done for Halloween – seeings how today is actually Halloween and this recipe calls for aged egg whites. But think of it this way, you will be more than ready to make these spooky macarons next year, or you could just leave the ears and kitty faces off and still be able to enjoy these fabulous treats. The choice is yours. I suppose if you are a real rule breaker you could just make these without aging the egg whites – but you didn’t hear that from me! I did make these Baileys & Coffee Macarons once and did not use aged egg whites. They came out just fine but from what I hear, aged egg whites are the preferred ingredient. But what the heck- Halloween is the perfect time for being naughty! Bake up a batch of these tricksy spooky darkly delicious Black Cat Macarons before the sun sets today! Happy Halloween ya’ll!

Chocolate Black Cat Macarons

  • Servings: 18
  • Difficulty: moderate - attention to detail required!
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Sugar Geek Show – design inspired by Posh Little Designs

Ingredients:

For the Shells:

  • 50 grams almond flour
  • 114 grams powdered sugar
  • 7 grams cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 57 grams egg whites aged overnight in the fridge and brought to room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 28 grams granulated baker’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the ganache filling:

  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 2.5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Royal Frosting:

  • 1 Tablespoon meringue powder
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 120 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • green and black gel or powdered food coloring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 320ºF and line a 1/2 baking sheet with parchment paper and a macaron template or a macaron silicone baking mat as I did.

Sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and almond flour, twice if not blended.

Pulse the mixture in a food processor 8-10 times to make the almond flour mixture even finer and texture and to blend the ingredients together. 

Whip the egg whites on low to frothy consistency and slowly add the sugar in thirds.

Once the egg whites turn white and you can see some lines forming in the surface from the whisk, add cream of tartar, whipping on medium until soft glossy peaks form.

Add the vanilla to the meringue during the soft peak stage. Then continue whipping on medium-high until you get stiff peaks that start gathering and bunching on the inside of the whisk.

Add 1/3 of your almond mixture to the meringue. Fold your spatula under the batter and around the edges and then cut through the center until almond flour is mixed in. Continue with the rest of the almond flour and folding until homogenous. (see video)

Gently press the spatula on top of the batter while you turn the bowl to take out some fo the air from the meringue. Continue folding around the outside edge until the batter forms a ribbon and moves like lava. 

Your meringue is ready when it forms a ribbon off the spatula and the batter that settles almost dissolves all the way back into the rest of the batter but still leave a bit of a line. 

Place the majority of the batter in a piping bag fitted with a 1/4 inch piping tip – like a Wilton #12 or Ateco #802. Place a tiny bit of the batter in a separate piping bag fitted with a small round tip. This will be to add the ears to your macarons.

Pipe small rounds about 1″ in diameter on the macaron template.

Go back and using the second piping bag fitted with the small tip add the triangle ears to the top edge of every other macaron round, being sure that the ears level with the height of the round batter.

Drop the pan onto the table 5-6 times from about 5″ above the table to release bubbles. Use a toothpick to remove big pockets of air trapped under the surface. Use a very small amount of water on your fingertip to smooth any rough spots. 

Allow to dry, uncovered until a crust forms on the surface. About 30 minutes – 2 hours or until a dry film develops over the surface of the cookie. For humid areas put a space heater nearby to help dry the cookies faster. 

Bake at 320ºF for about 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned. If not quite brown baked, bake for an additional 1 minute. Cooled cookies should pull away from the parchment paper without sticking. If they do stick, they were not baked enough.

For the Ganache:

Place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl and microwave for one minute. Let sit for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Heat for another 15 seconds if not fully melted. Place into the fridge for 20 minutes then whisk until smooth. It should be the texture of peanut butter.

For the Royal Frosting:

Combine water and meringue powder in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add extract and whisk on medium high for about 2-3 minutes.

Mix in powdered sugar until combined.

The icing will be very thick. Add warm water a few drops at a time until the icing is the consistency of toothpaste. 

Divide the thick toothpaste like icing into 2 bowls

Add black food coloring to bowl 1 until desired colors are achieved.

Mix well. 

Transfer finished black icing to a piping bag and seal closed.

Add green food coloring to bowl 2 until desired color is achieved. 

Mix well.

Transfer finished green icing to piping bag and seal closed.

For Assembly:

Once shells have cooled, evenly pipe rounds of ganache into the center of the bottom of each macaron shell. Top with “earred” shells to create a sandwich.

Decorate top “earred” shell with royal frosting to make cat’s eyes and whiskers. Or use mini M&M’s for the eyes as I did. You can draw the pupil on with food safe markers and stick the eye to the macaron by adding a small dot of royal frosting on the back.

Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Black Cat Macarons:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Food Processor

Simple Baker Silicone Baking Mat for Macarons

Oxo 3-in-1 Egg Separator

King Arthur Flour Almond Flour

Ateco disposable piping bags

King Arthur Baking Company Black Cocoa– This is how I got the deep dark color of the macaron shells without using food color

Vanilla Bean Paste

Wilton Icing Colors – Gel will not thin icing


Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 11, 2022

Ok, so while we’re talking cookies…like you know, those cookie recipes that I wanted to share before the Christmas holiday, ‘cept didn’t….Today I have a truly tasty treat to share with you. And I guess the good news is that although I often bake them for Christmas, just like my Vermont Maple Shortbread, these darlings are delicious year round. So, drum roll please… may I present: Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies! Packed full of three different types of chocolate chips and topped with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, these chocolate chip cookies are crisp and chewy, sweet and salty perfection!

Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes around in your head and thinking ‘Good Lord Woman, we know how to make a chocolate chip cookie!” I’d wager you are correct. But hear me out – You don’t know how to make these chocolate chip cookies and let me tell you, they are da bomb!

Well, I guess you might know how to make them, that being said. This recipe is from the New York Times originally. I really just decided to add a blend of chocolate chips to the mix rather than the solely 60% dark chocolate that they indicated. I also decided to change the size. The Times had recommended making really large cookies, batter scooped out in the size of large golf balls! That makes for one big cookie. Not a skillet cookie mind you, but still…I use a medium cookie scoop for these little gems.

These cookies are pretty easy to make but do require a bit of planning both time wise and ingredient wise. You do have to keep in mind that there is an overnight (24 hour) chill involved and instead of good ole all purpose flour you use a combination of cake and bread flours. But believe me, the effort is so worth it. And another fun thing you can do with this recipe is keep that 24 hour rested dough in the fridge for up to 72 hours. This will let you scoop out dough for batches of fresh baked cookies over several days. Hold on. I said, Fresh baked cookies. Every day. I bet everyone will want to weekend at your place once the news of your hospitality gets out!

Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 48 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: New York Times

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour 
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt 
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar 
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs , room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 5 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 5 oz. white chocolate chips
  • Flaky Sea salt for sprinkling over top

Directions:

Sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until very light. This will take about 5 -6 minutes and please do not cut this time short. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed until just combined. Seriously, as soon as the four is just combined turn the mixer off. This should only take 5 – 8 seconds. Mix the blend of three chocolate chips into the dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, scoop out dough balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. (For instructions for larger cookies, see below) You do not need to leave any space between them. Sprinkle the dough balls with flaky sea salt. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 -36 hours. (If you would rather not scoop out the dough balls ahead of time, you can just press plastic wrap onto the dough and pop the whole bowl into the fridge. Then when you are ready to bake you can portion the dough. I prefer to scoop while the dough is at room temperature. Once it is refrigerated it is definitely a bit more of a challenge to scoop.)

Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the chilled cookie dough to the baking sheet, leaving about 1″ between cookies. Bake until golden brown, about 8 – 11 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

***I will sometimes make up a batch of the dough and once it has chilled in the refrigerator for 24 hours, I remove the dough balls and place them in gallon freezer bags. The dough keeps well for 1 – 2 months. When ready to bake, remove the desired amount of dough balls and bake as usual. You may need to add 1 minute or two to the baking time if baking from frozen.

***If you would like to make big cookies, scoop our 3.5 oz of dough, the size of a large golf ball. When ready to bake, make sure you give them plenty of room to spread out on the baking sheet, probably only getting 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Salted Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

Chiptastic Chocolate Chip Blend – King Arthur Baking has a ready made blend of chocolate chips which includes milk, semisweet and white. I make my own blend which is white, semisweet and dark chocolate. Love dark chocolate around here. But I thought you might want to know about this time saver.


Vermont Maple Shortbread

January 6, 2022

Happy New Year ya’ll! Hope it has gotten off to a great start for everyone. How are those resolutions going so far? Well I’m here to tempt you with a fantastic recipe for Vermont Maple Shortbread! Who doesn’t love the decadent taste of buttery shortbread? And this shortbread adds the irresistible flavor of maple into the mix. Yup it is just bursting with maple goodness! Maple sugar has replaced regular granulated sugar in this recipe and the finished cookies are also brushed with a slick of maple syrup once they are hot out of the oven for good measure. Maple lovers will go wild I tell you!

And this shortbread doesn’t only taste amazing, it isn’t too hard on the eyes either. How adorable are these little snowflakes?

Now I had hoped to share this recipe with you before Christmas. I actually made several batches of this shortbread with my usual round of Christmas cookies. Alas time got away from me, so I figured it would be better to go ahead and share it right now, you know when folks were trying to lay off the sweets. I just want to see how strong your dieting commitments are. Just kidding! Although I often bake this shortbread around Christmas, it is delicious year round. I usually bake it in an adorable Nordic Ware snowflake pan (check out the links below – King Arthur Baking has a big sale on this pan right now!), but you can also simply bake it in a 8″ round cake pan. It won’t have the fancy embossed snowflakes on it, but it will taste just as good. So without further ado, here you go!

Vermont Maple Shortbread

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Baking Company

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tablespoons (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature, at least 65°F
  • 3/4 cup (117 grams) maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (113 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  • scant 2 tablespoons (28 grams) maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Melt a tablespoon of butter and brush it onto the bottom and sides of a shortbread pan. Alternatively rub soft butter onto the bottom and sides of an 8″ round pan.

Beat together the remaining 15 tablespoons butter, maple sugar, salt, and flavors until well blended.

Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix in the flour to form a smooth, cohesive dough. The dough will be crumbly at first, but will come together as it’s mixed.

Fold in the chopped nuts.

Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic and set aside. Press the second half into the prepared pan.

Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes.

Bake the shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface is a light golden brown, and the edges are a darker golden brown.

Remove the shortbread from the oven, and immediately turn it out onto a clean work surface. Gently brush the shortbread with the maple syrup (you want to be careful not to brush away the pattern if you used a shortbread pan).

Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the shortbread while still warm into 8 equal wedges and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Repeat the bake with the remaining half of dough.

Store the shortbread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Vermont Maple Shortbread:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Le Creuset Silicon Pastry Brush

Nordic Ware Snowflake Shortbread Pan Ya’ll! As of today (1/6/22) King Arthur Flour has this Snowflake Shortbread Pan on sale for $9.99! What a steal!

Pure Vermont Maple Sugar

Cooks Maple Extract

LorAnn Vanilla Butternut flavor


St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Roundup!

March 10, 2021

Oh my goodness ya’ll…St. Patrick’s Day is only 7 days away. Tomorrow I will be starting my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. Yup, I’ll be sharing one lovely Irish-y recipe everyday with you, right up to the big day Wednesday March 17th! Now I think managing to publish one recipe daily for seven days straight is a pretty impressive feat. But, a few years ago I was completely mad and used to start on March 1st and do a new recipe each day until March 17th. That is why you can find over 100 delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes on my blog. If you’d like to take a peek at my past St. Patrick’s Day posts, you can click Runcible Eat/Recipes up at the top navigation bar and scroll down to the St. Patrick’s Day category. That’s where you’ll find them! And stay tuned here for my latest additions this year. Today I thought I might inspire you with some of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day dishes from years past. We’ll start it off with some bread:

And here are some drool worthy mains:

I wouldn’t want to forget the sides:

And take a peek at these decadent desserts:

And last but not least…something to wash it all down with:

Is your mouth watering yet? Quite the galleries of goodies if I do say so myself. And there are many more recipes to be found on my blog as well as seven new ones starting tomorrow! Don’t miss out!

P.S. I tried to get links to the recipe added to the pictures, but with my limited skills, was unable to make it work. You can find links to the pictured recipes in the gallery captions. Sorry ’bout that!


Mimosa Butter Sweetheart Cookies

February 12, 2021

So are ya’ll thinking about Valentine’s Day yet? I was way ahead of the game this year, that is for me anyway! May I present my Valentine’s Day treats – Mimosa Butter Sweetheart Cookies! What we got here is a crisp and light butter cookie which has been jazzed up with the addition of some champagne, orange juice and the perfect dollop of decadent chocolate raspberry jam. These little devils are addictive! And if you make them, it forces you to open a bottle of champagne and once it is open…you absolutely have to finish it. Hurray! Mimosas all around!

The Husband, who conveniently also happens to be my Valentine, generally doesn’t like any chocolatey super sweet sugar bombs that seem to be all the rage for this holiday.  Which is totally unlike me. That is exactly what I would want. Truth be told…in a the shape of a cupcake if all were going my way. Just saying…He, on the other hand, prefers fruit forward desserts such as this lovely Cashew Crusted Blackberry & Lime Tart:

Or these Luscious Lemon Squares,

And then there was that Poached Pear Tart with Lemony Cream.

One year, I was even clever enough to combine what he loves, a good Gin & Tonic, and what I love, cupcakes by making  Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes:

This year’s offering, Mimosa Butter Sweetheart Cookies, was pretty sly on my part as well. I really like cookies and was able to not only add some of his favorite jam into the mix with these, but was also able to get some champagne on deck.

The Husband and I do love our champagne! Though truth be told, when we first started dating, he told me he didn’t like champagne. I tell you, it stopped me in my tracks! I was pondering whether or not it was a deal breaker. Turns out, he had only ever had cheap champagne. When he got a taste of the good stuff, he realized his mistake. Whew! What a relief!

So Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Crack open a bottle of champagne (the good stuff) and whip up a batch of these delightful little Valentine’s Day nibbles. Rich and buttery, crisp and citrus-y with just the right amount of chocolate raspberry zing, they go great with a cup of tea or a glass of the bubbly! You won’t be sorry!

Mimosa Butter Sweetheart Cookies

  • Servings: approximately 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Taste of Home: Mimosa Butter Cookies + inspiration from their Sweetheart Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup champagne
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons of Jam ( I used homemade Chocolate Raspberry Jam)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter, confectioner’s sugar, orange zest and salt until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.

Mix juice and champagne together.

Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with juice mixture, beating until just combined after each addition.

Transfer cookie dough to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 2-in. circles, 2 in. apart onto parchment-lined baking sheet.

Using the rounded end of a spoon or spatula, make small indentations in the center of each cookie.

Fill with about 1/8 teaspoon of your favorite jam.

Bake until edges are just starting to brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool on pan 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Enjoy!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Mimosa Butter Sweetheart Cookies:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Ateco Disposable Decorating Bags

Prepworks Pocket Zester


German Rolls

December 5, 2019

IMG_0569Today I’d like to kick off the holiday cookie season by bringing you the recipe for a very unique cookie – The German Roll. Only slightly sweet, coated with a dusting of walnuts, this little delicacy is almost more bread-like than any cookie I’ve nibbled before. I was introduced to them by one of my best friends, John Richards.

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John was my “Man of Honor” when I married.

John’s grandmother would make these every year for Christmas. It was love at first bite for me! Each year I would send some of my Christmas cookies to Ohio with John when he went home for the holidays and then he would return with some of these elusive German Rolls for me.

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These cookies, pictured with the blue linens, were actually made by John’s Gramma in 2012.

I’ve never found their like. I have googled “German Rolls, German Christmas Cookies,” you name it, to no avail. Totally mysterious! I really wanted to get the recipe, so I asked John if his family would be willing to share. He was sure that they would, though he cautioned me that he thought the recipe might be somewhat difficult to recreate. You know, it was once of those recipes that had been passed down for years. One that the family matriarch had mastered; one that they could literally nail in their sleep. But to an outsider, it was full of inaccurate measurements like “a tablespoon” which didn’t mean the standardized tablespoon, but a particular wooden spoon that their husband had carved for them when they first married. And truly subjective instructions like “just mix it up until the dough looks right”. So, although we loved these cookies, we were a bit intimidated and took no action, but kept the idea of making them on the back burner.

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It has been several years now since we lost Cecilia Batya,  John’s Gramma. Today is actually the anniversary of her passing. You might have assumed she was German, you know what with the cookies being called “German Rolls”, but no. Cecilia, born Cecelia Smocer, was from Slovakia.

Cecelia picking flowers similar to those in her wedding veil

She immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of nine and settled into a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. There she met and married Joseph Batya.

Cecelia and Joseph just before they were married

They had six children,

The family

The Batya Clan

followed by a dozen or so grandchildren and many great and great-great grandchildren by the time she passed at the age of 98 years. Cecelia learned the recipe from her mother, Bubbha. It is thought that she may have gotten the recipe from one of the German women in their local church, St. Hedwig. From what we hear, many folks in the town requested that Cecelia and her mother bake these cookies not only for Christmas but also for weddings and other celebrations.

Cecelia and Bubbha

Cecilia brought this recipe with her as the family migrated further west into Cleveland after the coal mines closed. She taught her three daughters Marguerite, Antoinette and Kathy how to make these German Rolls along with many other of the traditional Slovak dishes like Kolache and Bobalki.

The three sisters in Cleveland

John & his sister Heather have now taken on the Christmas cookie making mantle for the Batya clan and were determined to make German Rolls this year. Their Aunt Antoinette had written the recipe down for me several years ago, so we all got together one afternoon to give it a whirl. Now what I will say is this is a strange recipe! It taught me quite a lot! First of all, we had to find cake yeast. Apparently many stores only stock it around Christmas time and we knew that this recipe might take several times to master, so our efforts had begun in early November. No cake yeast in sight. Literally a cake yeast free zone. So I got busy trying to figure out the conversion so that I could use dry yeast. Scalding the milk was the next thing that I pondered. I was under the impression that when an old time recipe contained this step that it wasn’t really necessary. I thought that it was done in the days before pasteurization to make sure there wasn’t any bacteria present. Turns out, that when making a yeast bread, scalding the milk is actually an important step. The whey protein in milk can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising properly. Scalding the milk deactivates the protein so this doesn’t happen. It makes the milk a better food source for the yeast, so you get a quicker rise and fluffier product. The dough is smoother and retains moisture much better.

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And then, just when you think the rest of the recipe would be straight forward, you are instructed to wrap the cookie dough in a cheese cloth, submerge it in water and wait for it to float. What! I have never come across this in any other recipe. So I looked around online to see if I could find anything about this proofing method. I was able to find this reference from a book by Andrew Whitly entitled “Bread Matters”. He states that “an original method of judging proof is given in a famous Russian Cookbook and household manual from the 1860’s called “A Gift to Young Housewives” by Elena Molohkovets.” She wrote:

“After molding the dough made with fine flour, you may put the loaves in a bucket of water (the temperature of a river in summer) where they will lie on the bottom until they are fully proofed. When they float to the surface, put them straight into the oven…..Incidentally if you are proofing bread on the table, you can put a small test piece of dough into cold water; when it rises to the surface, you can put all your loaves into the oven.”

Weird right!!! But we did it and achieved flotation! Here is the photographic proof of the proofing!

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Success! From what I understand, if the dough doesn’t float, you are done for. Mission accomplished!

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We were quite happy with these little gems. And having made them ourselves, appreciated them all the more. I’m telling you, a German Roll (or two or so…) is absolute perfection with a nice cup of tea.

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So were these cookies exactly like Cecilia’s? Well they were very close. I don’t doubt that she was smiling down on us with great amusement as we tried to fill her cookie baking shoes, which of course, can not ever be done. Cecilia was such an amazing woman. The true matriarch of the Batya clan and very much beloved, she cemented the family together. We won’t see her like again. By recording her recipe for these German Rolls we have been able to capture some sweet memories and a tradition will continue to endure for new generations to come. We think Cecilia would definitely approve!

Cecelia toasting us all (1)

Cheers!

 

***If anyone out there reading this is familiar with these cookies – I would love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment.

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German Rolls

  • Servings: full batch 68 - 72 cookies, half batch 34 -36
  • Difficulty: moderate. yeast rise involved. will teach you new techniques!
  • Print

recipe from: The Batya Clan

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Crisco
  • 1 Cup scalded milk (heated to 180° F)
  • 1 ounce of Cake yeast (10.5 grams or 3 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp of dry yeast)
  • 6 Cups all-purpose flour ( add up to 1 additional cup as needed)
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the coating:

  • 4 Cups ground nuts (walnuts are traditional, but pecans or whatever you prefer)
  • 3/4 Cup sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with Parchment paper or lightly grease it.

Place four cups of the nuts of your choice in a food processor and pulse a few times until ground. Add 3/4 cup sugar and pulse to combine. Place in bowl and set aside.

Scald milk by heating to 180° F. Scalding deactivates the whey protein found in milk. This protein can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising properly. Allow milk to cool to lukewarm (between 98° – 105° F). Add yeast to milk and stir to dissolve.

Mix flour and crisco together, as you would do for pie dough. You can do this by hand, or in a food processor. Add sugar and salt to the mixture. If dough seems too rich, add up to one cup of flour to firm it up.

Add yeast mixture and beaten eggs to flour mixture. Mix well, until a smooth dough is achieved. No serious kneading is necessary. Again, this can be done by hand, or in a stand mixer.

Fill a large dough rising bucket or Dutch oven or bowl half-full of cool water.

Form dough into a large ball and place in the center of a cheesecloth (or you can use a flour sack kitchen towel). Twist the ends of the cloth loosely around the ball and place it in the water. Add more water to almost cover dough ball.

Soak the dough in water until it becomes boyant, about 1 1/2 hours but no longer.

When ready, put hand under dough ball and undo the cloth, letting the water drain a bit. Flip dough gently onto a large platter.

Drop hearty tablespoons of dough (I used a Tablespoon (size#40) cookie dough scoop – link below- so that all the cookies are uniform) onto the nut/sugar mixture. The dough will likely be sticky, but if you coat it a bit before rolling a shaping,and use a light touch, it works pretty well.

Roll into approximate 8″ strand. Tie it into a loose single loop knot, leaving enough dough (about 2″ at each end) to wrap around the strand one wore time. bring one end around and down through the center and the other end around and up through the center.

Transfer the German Rolls to a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 15- 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Enjoy!

***I’m told by the Batya clan that these cookies freeze well!

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for German Rolls

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

SAF Instant Yeast

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

Cheesecloth


Baileys Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 11, 2019

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Here we are, with St. Patrick’s Day only 6 days away. That means it is time for me to start my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. Yup, I’ll be sharing one lovely Irish-y recipe everyday with you, right up to the big day this Sunday March 17th! Now I think managing to publish one recipe daily for seven days is a pretty impressive feat. But, a few years ago I was completely mad and used to start on March 1st and do a new recipe each day until March 17th. That is why you can find over 100 delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes on my blog. If you’d like to take a peek at my past St. Patrick’s Day posts, you can click Runcible Eat/Recipes up at the top navigation bar and scroll down to the St. Patrick’s Day category. That’s where you’ll find them! And stay tuned here for my latest additions this year. I’m going to kick this whole thing off with this lovely recipe for Baileys Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Soft and pillowy, these cookies are a bit more cake-like than your traditional chocolate chip cookies due to the addition of cream cheese and cornstarch. Another thing they’ve got on your average chocolate chip cookies is that these little devils are infused with Baileys. And let me tell you, that decadent Baileys flavor is very prominent. An what flavor is more evocative of Ireland…you know I mean besides Guinness…oh and whiskey. But then again whiskey is in the Baileys, so there you go.

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Folks absolutely love Baileys. In fact, on December 3rd, 2007, the manufacturers of the beloved liqueur, announced the sale of the billionth bottle of Baileys since it was first introduced. A billion is a lot right? But you’re probably thinking, yeah but Baileys has been around for ever. They’ve had a lot of time to get to 1 billion. You’d be wrong. Baileys wasn’t introduced until 1973! Hard to believe! Baileys was the first Irish Cream to go on the market as well. There have certainly been plenty of  imitators since then, but Baileys continues to rule supreme.

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And a little birdie just told me that the Baileys folks have introduced Irish Cream flavored chocolate baking chips! The chips are at a few select retailers right now but will roll out nationwide ahead of Easter this year. If you just can’t wait, you can also get ahold of them on Amazon. I have provided a link below.

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But back to the Baileys Chocolate Chip Cookies we have today. The Baileys is in the batter, not the chips. And Oh my does it pair so well with those rich chocolate morsels. So easy to make and even easier to scarf down with a cold glass of milk…or maybe a nice cup of coffee spiked with a bit of Baileys. Don’t worry, I’ll never tell!

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Baileys Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies - depending on how you scoop them
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Tutti Dolci

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp Irish Cream
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and cream cheese in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until smooth; add sugars and continue to mix until creamy.

Beat in egg, then add Baileys and mix in until combined.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; taking care to mix just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips, cover dough, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out the batter and place 2″ apart on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the scoops slightly.

Bake for 12 minutes, until the tops and edges are just turning golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Baileys Chocolate Chip Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Useful links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Baileys Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Series 5 Qt. Stand Mixer

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

Baileys Original Irish Cream Baking Chips – These are not actually used in this recipe, but I promised you the link – so here it is!

 


Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

March 15, 2017

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Oh my goodness, St. Patrick’s Day is nearly here! Today I’ve got a great little treat to share with you – Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies! Yes siree, now we’re cooking with gas! Absolutely scrumptious buttery shortbread cookies, shot through with Pistachios and lashings of Baileys Irish Creme and then dipped in  Bailey’s laced Chocolate and dusted with more pistachios.

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Be still my heart! How could anyone resist these tempters?

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These boozy little devils will be welcome at any Patrick’s Day celebration and they’re portable so you can take ’em on the road with you – down to the local parade and then out to the afters parties.

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You definitely want to make sure you keep up your strength throughout the day’s festivities. These decadent little dickens are just the thing to keep you going. And if you’re in a sharing mood, no doubt you’ll be quite popular. Bake up a batch today.

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Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: 46 - 2 1/2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe slightly adapted from: Recipes From a Pantry

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 gram (3.5 oz) caster sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 4 Tablespoons Baileys
  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) all purpose flour
  • 125 grams (4.40z) rice flour
  • 5 Tablespoons pistachios, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

For the chocolate/pistachio glaze:

  • 150 grams chocolate (your choice – dark, milk or a blend)
  • 2 Tablespoons Baileys
  • 5 Tablespoons Pistachios (finely chopped)

Directions:

Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream them together until light and fluffy. Mix in the orange juice and Baileys. Add the flours, chopped pistachios, salt and spices and continue to mix until a soft dough forms. If the mixture is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl and seems too sticky to handle, slowly add flour by the scant Tablespoon just until it comes together.

Divide the dough in two and flatten each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C/Gas 3)

Remove one of the dough discs from the fridge and roll int out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4″ thick. Cut cookies with sharp cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reshape, roll and cut any excess dough until it is all used. Place cut trays of cookies in fridge to keep cool until you are ready to bake them.

Bake shortbread for 12 -15 minutes, or until they are light golden brown.

Let the cookies cool on the tray from 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cookies are cool, combine the Baileys and Chocolate and slowly melt over a double boiler. Dip half of each shortbread cookie into the chocolate mixture. Shake the excess chocolate off and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios. Set cookies aside until chocolate hardens. (Too speed this process, you can place cookies in the fridge.)

Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Norpro Silicone Pastry Mat

Norpro Nut Chopper

Norpro Scalloped Cookie/biscuit cutters

Bob’s Red Mill White Rice Flour

 


Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies

October 14, 2016

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Sorry…Did someone say Bacon…Bourbon and Peanut Butter in one little cookie? And it is salted! Whaaaat?!! Can you do that? Yes indeed you can and that is just what I did here. These naughty boozy little cookies are completely amazing. With gooey peanut butter, smoky bacon, rich chocolate and silky smooth bourbon (Knob Creek is our favorite) all enhanced with a perfect sprinkling of flaky sea salt, how could they be anything other than oh so decadent and sinfully delicious! Wonderful with a glass of milk or maybe with another shot of bourbon for an indulgent nightcap.

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These cookies would be perfect for tailgating, a very welcome treat for any adult trick-or-treaters you might encounter and certainly keep these in mind when those Super Bowl parties fire up!

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Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: The Endless Meal

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ⅓ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • Maldon Sea Salt for Sprinkling over top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings and set aside to cool. Once cool, crumble the bacon, remove (eat) any chewy bits.

Beat the butter and reserved bacon drippings in a large bowl with a mixer on until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the peanut butter until combined, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and light brown sugar and mix until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and bourbon and beat until light and fluffy, about two more minutes.

Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed, until just combined.

Stir in the crumbled bacon and chocolate chips

Form the dough into 1″ balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle Maldon flaky sea salt over the dough balls. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator and let cookie dough rest overnight. If you are rushed for time, you can simply let the cookies chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, though I think an overnight rest results in a more flavorful cookie.*

Once you are ready to bake. Place cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking tray 2″ apart. Bake for about 8 minutes for chewy cookies, 10 for crispier cookies.

Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

* You can also freeze the cookie dough balls at this point. Once the dough is frozen you can remove it from the baking tray and store in a ziplock bag. When you are ready to treat yourself to a cookie or two (or so…) remove from freezer and bake as directed above, but add two minutes to the overall baking time.

Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Key Lime Sparkler Cookies

September 23, 2016

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So wait…..is summer really over? I know yesterday was technically the first day of Fall but it still feels pretty summery around here. Actually, it finally feels what I dream summer will feel like but rarely does here in good old swampy Virginia. A typical summertime day around here involves an oppressive haze of thick soupy humidity laden air sitting on top of ridiculously elevated temperatures. But yesterday and today, the first two days of Fall, feel pretty idyllically summery. Hmmm…. Well, before the temperature actually does fall around here, let me get in one more summer time taste treat…Key Lime Sparkler Cookies.

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There is a burst of refreshing lime flavor in every single bite of these light and tender tea cookies. Quite similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes, these little buttery cookies pack quite a mouth-puckering tart punch followed by a sweet shower of sugar. Sweet & Sour – what a divine flavor combination!

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Now there are a few ingredients involved here that may give you some pause. Don’t fret, there is an easy work around for most of them. The first thing you may ask is – do I really need to use Key Limes or can I use regular old limes. Most of the limes you find in the local grocery store are Persian Limes or Mexican Limes. They are a good deal bigger than a Key Lime. However, Key Limes are known for their aromatic and much more…well…limey taste.They are more intense in flavor than your ordinary lime. That being said, they are also much more expensive and filled with many more seeds, making them a bit more difficult to work with. Truth be told, I resorted to a bottle of Key Lime Juice, which I keep handy for a certain cocktail that we love. However, if you don’t have access to Key Limes, or bottled Key Lime Juice, using regular limes in this recipe will be just fine. The second ingredient that you might find odd is Lime Oil. I do have a link for where you can purchase lime oil at the bottom of the post. It is a great thing to have on hand especially if you love that zingy lime flavor. However, you can just use the zest from one or two limes in a pinch. Again, it won’t give you as intense a lime flavor, but it will still be quite tasty. Rounding out the trio of strange ingredients here is the Citric Acid or Sour Salt. Citric Acid is found naturally in citrus fruits and is widely used as a flavoring agent and is often used in canning. Again, you can just leave this out, but know that you will be sacrificing a bit of that blast of lime flavor. I do have a link for purchasing it online, but many stores that have canning supplies also sell Sour Salt. I think I have seen it in Target as well as Walmart.

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Once you’ve assembled all your ingredients, these cookies come together easy peasy. So light, so buttery and tender and wow what a citrus punch! Perfect with a cup of tea or a gin & tonic – to each his own. And although I find lime to be a particularly summery flavor, I’m a big fan anytime of year. These cookies would also be delightful for Christmas. (Maybe replace that white sanding sugar with red or green for a festive holiday look.) But whatever you do, if you are a lime fan at all, plan to make up a batch of these amazing little gems!

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Key Lime Sparkler Cookies

  • Servings: 60 - 62 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Key Lime Juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon lime oil (don’t have lime oil? Use the zest of one lime instead)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid)* OR 1/2 teaspoon Tart & Sour Flavor ( I like that limey flavor – so I used 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. of Citric Acid)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For the Coating:

  • 1/8 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid*) – ( I used 1/4 teaspoon Citric Acid)
  • 1 cup glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white edible glitter (optional) – if you don’t have edible glitter you could also try sparkling white sanding sugar.

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking powder till well blended. Beat in the lime juice, lime oil, sour salt (citric acid), and the egg. Blend in the flour thoroughly.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls (I used a teaspoon cookie scoop), and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake the cookies in the top third of a preheated 350°F oven for 14 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are browned on the bottom. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack.

Mix together the sugar coating ingredients in a pan or bag (a simple brown paper lunch sack works great here!). Gently shake and roll the still slightly warm cookies in the sugar till coated. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then repeat, coating again with the sugar. (If you’re freezing the cookies, you may choose to recoat the cookies in sugar once they’ve been removed from the freezer, before serving.)

*Sour salt (citric acid) is what gives the cookies their sour bite—if you want less tang, use just a pinch. Or if you are a limey fan, add a bit more!  I actually used 1/4 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon of citric acid in the cookies – which is 3x what this recipe calls for, as well as 1/4 teaspoons citric acid in the coating – doubled the recommended amount- and I thought my cookies had that perfect zing!

Enjoy!

Key Lime Sparkler Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats(www.leaandjay.com).

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Key Lime Sparkler Cookies:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice

lime oil – Here is a link for a 3 pack of lime, lemon & orange oil or you can purchase a single bottle of the lime oil here.

White Edible Glitter – or White Sparkling Sugar

Citric Acid

Small Cookie Scoop (2 3/4 – 2 tsp. /#100) or King Arthur Flour has this one.


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