Category Archives: Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal, Blueberry, White Chocolate & Salted Cashew Cookies

Yes, that is a mouthful. I was in Trader Joe’s when I suddenly got struck by an idea to make this cookie. I have a surplus of oats in my pantry and was thinking of ways to use it up, and this cookie just sort of came to me.

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Austrian Raspberry Shortbread

I have a confession to make- I hate making shortbread, shortcrust pastry, pâte sucrée….anything with a high butter content that requires rolling out. The key is to chill the dough very well so that the butter will stay cold when you roll it out but I almost always end up handling it too much and getting most of it plastered to my board or counter. I’ve also tried the method of pressing the dough with my fingers into the baking dish, but that almost always results in uneven pastry. I mean, I can make pastry but it not my forte.

So imagine my utter delight when I came across this recipe for Austrian Raspberry Shortbread. At first glance it seemed that the recipe included some sort of grated cheese (?!?!) but upon closer inspection I realized that it was grated frozen shortbread dough. I read on and on and realized that this was the answer to all of my butter-based pastry problems. WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA! Make the dough, freeze it and then run it through your food processor with the grater attachment and simply pour the grated dough into a pan. Whoever came up with this method should get a freakin’ James Beard Award.

So here’s the step by step:

Cut frozen dough into small enough chunks to fit through the feed tube of your food processor

Grate the frozen dough in food processor

Take half of the grated dough and sprinkle it evenly in a 9 x 13 baking pan lined with parchment or foil

Drizzle 1 cup of raspberry jam over the grated dough (I know I know it looks like ketchup!)

Sprinkle remaining grated dough over the jam and resist every urge to press down – leave it alone!

Golden brown fresh out of the oven…

Sift powdered sugar over the top immediately after taking out of the oven

After letting it cool completely, chill in the fridge for an hour or so which makes it easy to cut the shortbread into clean bars

Box them up and take them to work so you don’t end up eating all of the shortbread

This recipe has opened up a whole new world for me. Next time I need to make any shortbread crust or base I will use this method. Since you don’t pat down the grated dough, there is a lightness that you don’t find in other shortbread, although the pound of butter is definitely obvious. It’s one of the most addictive things I think I’ve ever made. Be warned!

Recipe is here.

HAPPY 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh lordy, it’s embarassing how long it’s been since I last posted. I traveled a bit for the holidays (to see family and to spend New Year’s in San Francisco) and now I’m literally having heart palpatations at work due to the enormous volume of things that need to get done now! Although I vow to post more in 2008, I have to keep this one short.

Since I never posted about my Christmas cookies, I’ll put the photos up in this post. I made some soft gingerbread stars, dark chocolate and pistachio biscotti, apricot thumprints and spoon cookies- a recipe that I’ve been eyeing for over two years and that Molly actually blogged about so nicely that I feel I don’t have to go into detail…..except to say please try to make these if you can. They are as delicious as she describes, and even better two or three days after you’ve made them.

Spoon cookies

So I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and here’s looking forward to more good eating in 2008!

More to come, and thanks for being patient (insert cricket chirping sound here).

Chocolate Sandwich Cookie

As tempted as I am to try all of the gorgeous, multi-layered cakes and intricate pastry recipes found in my many cookbooks, I find that people react most strongly to the simple, traditional desserts. I could spend a lot of time making something fancy, and often want to in order to challenge myself, but my friends request things like brownies or chocolate chip cookies most of the time. Although I’d love to perfect a French Apple Tart with an elaborate fanned top, when given a choice between that and something simple, the people in my life want the latter. What’s a girl to do?

I mean, who do we all cook for anyway? I guess the selfish person in me wants to say, “Me!” since I want people to eat what I want to make for them. But of course nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing someone truly relish something you’ve created. So I guess it’s a little of both. Most times, I’m hard pressed to make yet another chocolate chip cookie (boring!) but when I see the smiles of my friends when they eat one, I figure I could make them more often.

Well, here is a cookie that fills both needs. It certainly isn’t a complicated recipe, but it does take a bit of time to shape, bake, fill and put together these little chocolate sandwiches. My friends love them because they remind them of Oreos, but these, my dear readers, are so much more. Each chocolate cookie is moist and tender since it’s made with brown, not white, sugar. When slathered with a vanilla buttercream icing and sandwiched with another cookie, it transcends any Oreo you’ve ever eaten. I make them small so you can just pop one in your mouth. Part brownie, part sandwich cookie- these are simply delicious.

I love making them because it does take some time, patience and a steady hand. The dough comes together in a second since you simply melt the butter with the brown sugar, add chocolate until it melts, then add the dry ingredients- you can do it all in one pot. It’s very slick but easy to manage- I level off a perfect measuring teaspoon with some, then nudge it out with the edge of a butter knife to form a little half-moon. After about 7 minutes in the oven, they come out only slightly bigger than when they went in. After cooling, I just set up an assembly line of sorts and pipe the icing onto each half, make the sandwich and let the cookies sit out until the icing is truly set.

These travel extremely well – so next time you get a request for a traditional cookie, I highly recommend these. Of course, if you don’t want to share, they’re the perfect thing to have with a cup of coffee on a Sunday afternoon…………

Recipe here.