Tag Archives: Cookies

Hermit Bar Cookies on NewlyWife

Hi friends! Just popping in to say I’ve got another post up on the NewlyWife blog: Hermit Bar Cookies. Click on over and check out these autumn-inspired bar cookies filled with molasses, dates and walnuts.

On another note, I’ve been assigned the baked goods for our family’s early Thanksgiving dinner this Saturday. I’ll be making rolls and two desserts, and since I’ll need to do most of the prep and baking ahead of time, I’m thinking of making these Martha Stewart dinner rolls. After making the dough, you can shape and freeze it. Then you defrost it for two hours and bake them. Does anyone have any experience with freezing uncooked bread dough?

As for desserts, I’m going to make a pumpkin pie and this French Apple Tart from Baking with Julia. I’ve had a little trouble lately with my pie dough shrinking while baking, so I’ve been reading lots about pie dough technique and watching videos in hopes of getting it right. Do you have any tips or techniques for achieving a perfect pie crust?

 

Molasses Ginger Cookies

molasses cookies

Hello, dear readers! I’ve been M.I.A. the last couple weeks, but I didn’t forget about sharing the Molasses Ginger Cookies recipe with you that I mentioned in this post. I’d like to blame my absence on spending lots of time cooking in the kitchen, but the truth is far less tasty (though still interesting): jury duty, a French class, and a copyediting class. And there’s been quite a bit of fun on the weekends to keep me busy: a family reunion, a ski trip, and my middle sister’s baby shower coming up this weekend.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s feeling busy right now, so I give you a cookie recipe that so simple that there’s really no excuse for not making them. You don’t even need an electric mixer: just mix the wet ingredients together, stir together the dry ingredients, and combine them both. Chill the dough for an hour and before you know it you’ll have  a very tasty cookie dough ready to be baked into chewy, fragrant Molasses Ginger cookies.

molasses cookies  and cookbookThis recipe is an old family favorite and comes from my mom’s Sunset Cookies cookbook. As you can see from the photo above, the cookbook has been well-used over the years and contained recipes for all our family favorites.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

¾ cup canola or safflower oil
¼ cup dark molasses
2 eggs
1¼ cups sugar, divided
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Make the Molasses Ginger Cookies

In a large bowl, stir together the oil, molasses, eggs, and 1 cup of the sugar until well mixed.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, stirring until well combined. Chill dough for at least one hour or until the next day.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place remaining ¼ cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll dough balls in sugar and place 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on baking sheet for five minutes, transfer to rack and let cool.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about one week.

 

Step-by-Step: Poppyseed Buckwheat Wafers

It’s been said that you haven’t really read a book until you’ve read it twice. I’m going to use that logic to justify blogging about these Poppyseed Buckwheat Wafers again. Just as you glean new insights when you read a book a second time, I hope to give you new insight into making these lovely little cookies by providing step-by-step photo instructions. Enjoy!step1_620px step2_620pxstep3_620pxstep4_620pxstep5_620pxstep6_620px copystep7_620pxstep8_620pxstep9_620pxstep10_620pxstep11_620pxstep12_620pxstep13_620pxstep14_620pxstep15_620pxstep16_620pxstep17_620pxstep18_620pxstep19_620pxstep20_620pxstep21_620px

Make the Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers

Recipe from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce (p 84)

Wet Mix:
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks (reserve whites)

Dry Mix:
1½ cups buckwheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Finish:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Egg whites from egg yolks above

  1. Measure the cream and egg yolks into a small bowl—no need to whisk—and set aside.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, squeeze the butter into the flour. After the butter is mostly blended in, add the cream and egg yolks. Continue squeezing the mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and, using the palm of your hand, smear the dough to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a log that is 8 inches long and 1¾  inches wide, flouring the dough and work surface as needed. Chill the logs for 2 hours. If the dough is more lopsided than round, you can gently roll the dough again after 15 minutes or so.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and poppy seeds and pour onto a plate. Brush one log very lightly with the egg whites. (I find it easiest to stand the log on one end as I brush it.) Roll the log in the poppy seed mixture until it is covered. Repeat this process with the remaining log and chill while the oven is heating up, or wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
  5. Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Slice the logs into ?–inch wafers. Arrange the wafers on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The wafers should be dark golden-brown, with a darker ring around the edge, and smell quite nutty. Cool the cookies on a rack and repeat with the remaining wafers.
  7. These wafers are best eaten the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Poppyseed Buckwheat Wafers from “Good to the Grain”

Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers


Until recently, buckwheat was for me A Food of Novels—Levin eats buckwheat porridge in Anna Karenina—and A Food Others Cook —buckwheat crepes are served in the French stall at the Farmer’s Market. Buckwheat belonged in another territory, and that territory was not my kitchen. It’s not that I was averse to buckwheat flour; I simply never had the occasion or desire to use it.

That was until last week, when I received a pre-birthday gift from Sam: Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce. (Yes, this is the same Kim Boyce of Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie fame.) In Good to the Grain, Boyce introduces home bakers to a gamut of whole-grain flours, ranging from the familiar (whole wheat, oat, corn) to the obscure (teff, amaranth, kamut). Though the flours are whole-grain, the recipes are not designed to be healthy—they are designed to taste good. Looking beyond the ubiquitous all-purpose flour unveils a palette of new flavors and textures to incorporate into your baking. And lucky for us, Kim Boyce experimented with these whole-grain flours and perfected dozens of recipes, including these Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers.

Buckwheat flour is dark in color, and as I mixed the dough with my hands, I had flashbacks to making mud pies as a kid. Even the texture of these cookies is sandy, but it’s a sandiness derived from sugar, as with sables or shortbread. Butter, eggs and heavy cream create a buttery, rich flavor that is perfectly balanced by the nutty, earthy buckwheat. After the dough is shaped into logs, it is rolled in poppy seeds and sugar. Slice and bake all the cookies at once, or slice off a few at a time for freshly baked cookies all week long.

Make the Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers

Recipe from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce (p 84)

Wet Mix:

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 egg yolks (reserve whites)

Dry Mix:

1½ cups buckwheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Finish:

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Egg whites from egg yolks above

  1. Measure the cream and egg yolks into a small bowl—no need to whisk—and set aside.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, squeeze the butter into the flour. After the butter is mostly blended in, add the cream and egg yolks. Continue squeezing the mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and, using the palm of your hand, smear the dough to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a log that is 8 inches long and 1¾  inches wide, flouring the dough and work surface as needed. Chill the logs for 2 hours. If the dough is more lopsided than round, you can gently roll the dough again after 15 minutes or so.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and poppy seeds and pour onto a plate. Brush one log very lightly with the egg whites. (I find it easiest to stand the log on one end as I brush it.) Roll the log in the poppy seed mixture until it is covered. Repeat this process with the remaining log and chill while the oven is heating up, or wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
  5. Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Slice the logs into ?–inch wafers. Arrange the wafers on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The wafers should be dark golden-brown, with a darker ring around the edge, and smell quite nutty. Cool the cookies on a rack and repeat with the remaining wafers.
  7. These wafers are best eaten the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Pecans, Dried Apricots and Dried Sour Cherries

chocolate chunk cherry pecan apricot cookieI am grateful for cookies.

I am grateful for cookies not just because they taste good but because it was cookies that drew me into the kitchen when I was a child. On the weekends my sisters and I baked cookies: oatmeal, chocolate chip, almond thins, chocolate crinkle. I grew to love baking, and soon that love for baking turned into a love for cooking.

Cookies were a staple of my childhood, but I haven’t baked many cookies recently. When I set out to make two batches of cookies yesterday, I felt giddy. Cookies! Warm, homemade cookies! Dipped in a glass of cold milk! I was a kid again.

These cookies are a jazzed-up version of the classic chocolate chip cookie. Dark chocolate chunks replace the traditional chips, and a combination of sour cherries, apricots and pecans simultaneously add sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy flavors and textures. I especially love the combination of sour cherries and dark chocolate chunks. If you don’t have the exact mix-ins, bake them anyway with whatever you have on hand—you can’t go wrong.

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
9 ounces good bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces
¾ cup (4½ ounces) quartered dried apricots
1 cup (5 ounces) dried sour cherries
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans

Preparation:

Put racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate, apricots, cherries, and pecans.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 12 minutes total. Cool cookies on sheets on racks for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool.

Recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook (p 662).