holiday cookie 2.0

Another week – another holiday cookie.

This time – think chocolate.  And molasses.  And espresso.  Oh … and lemon.  Yep.  No lies.  This is my take on a chocolate-ginger cookie.

You’ll remember that I am addicted to Edgar’s chocolate-ginger cookie.

A thin, chewy, little goodie … seriously addictive.  It can be a problem.  A real problem.

I think I whipped up this batter hoping for an Edgar-type cookie.  I was wrong.  And so my initial reaction – wasn’t a very positive one.

And then I tried the finished product the following day.

Wowzers!  That’s one good cookie.  Completely different from the original inspiration – but worthy of being baked and passed among friends, co-workers, or through a cookie exchange.

The original recipe didn’t have the espresso.  But I figured that it wouldn’t hurt the cookies.  And I am quite pleased with the final result.  Feel free to omit it if you aren’t a coffee person … but really … it’s pretty darn awesome.  Give it a try.

Oh yeah … you should know.  This cookie has a glaze on it.  That’s were the lemon fits into the recipe.  Picture it: chocolate ginger espresso base topped with a lemon glaze.  Sigh.  Not only tasty … but pretty too.

chocolate ginger espresso cookies

ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour, sifted

1/3 c. cocoa powder, sifted

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp espresso powder

1 tbsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2/3 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 c. dark molasses

1/4 c. chocolate chips, melted and cooled

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, espresso, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, stirring every once and a while.  Set it aside and allow it to cool.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, using your paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar.  It’ll become fluffy.  Beat in the egg, molasses and melted chocolate – scraping the sides as needed.

Add the flour in 3 additions – keeping your mixer on its slowest speed.

When fully incorporated, divide the batter in 3 and shape into disks, wrapping each disk in plastic wrap.  Allow to chill for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready – preheat your oven to 350 F.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk at a time.

Grab your cookie cutter – I used a 1-inch round shape, however the original recipe from baked explorations used a 4 or 5-inch round.  Your choice.  Or use a fun shape in honour of the holidays!  The size will determine how many cookies you end up with – I got at least 8 dozen (I stopped counting), but the original recipe yielded 36 cookies…

With your cookie cutter in hand, cut the dough into shapes, and transfer to the cookie sheets.  Re-roll the dough scrapes and cut out more cookies.  Repeat with the remaining two disks.

These cookies do not spread when baking, so you should be able to get about 20 cookies per sheet.  Bake for 6 minutes (if 1-inch round, 7 minutes if bigger).  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now… if you’re like me, you’ll want to taste one of these cookies while it’s still warm.  You can.  But I don’t recommend it.  You’ll wonder why I like this cookie so much.  So just wait.  I promise … it’s worth the wait.

Make the glaze.

lemon glaze

ingredients:

1 1/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted

1 egg white

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a large enough bowl, whisk everything together (large bowl because powdered sugar goes flying when whisked!).  Whisk until smooth.

Dunk the tops of each cookie into the lemon glaze.  Shake any excess glaze off the cookie, then place them on the cookie sheet to allow to harden (about 30 minutes).

Now you can eat one.  And now you’ll taste the goodness.

They’re even better the following day.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.  Now we all have a new recipe for our repertoire.

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wanna toffee break?

I heart it when I find a recipe and just can’t wait to try it. I mean, seriously, isn’t it great when you flip through a recipe book (or are surfing the inter-webz) and you find that one recipe that gets your taste buds going and your hands itching to pull out all those ingredients?!!

That’s how I felt about this recipe. That’s how I like to pick my recipes… sigh.

I’m back to the happy baker’s recipe book (well, she’s just so darn happy… and so am I, so why not right?)… Erin baked an (i’m not boy crazy) toffee maple shortbread… just the thought of maple and toffee together made my mouth water. There was only one thing… I didn’t have any maple extract. And I really try to stay away from imitation extract when possible… so I swapped out the maple for some vanilla. Am I ever happy that I did!!!

The shortbread ended up being nice and crunchy, with the surprise of the toffee bits (which luckily didn’t overwhelm the buttery base), and the vanilla was just a nice subtle compliment. I think I have a winner. AND I am totally inspired for my holiday baking (I know… it’s only May and I’m already thinking Christmas baking… sad, but true): cherry-chocolate shortbread. Yep. That’s right. I bet you can’t wait for me to share those with you eh? Well… knowing me, I’ll be making them sooner rather than later… I do need to test them out right?

If you’re in the mood for a delicious cookie (which I might add would go GREAT with ice cream and freezes well), turn on your oven and whip these together. Totally worth it. I promise.

Toffee Vanilla Shortbread
ingredients:
3/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. toffee baking bits

Preheat your oven to 300 F. Spray your 8-inch square baking pan with some non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer (using the paddle attachment), beat together the butter and powdered sugar; increasing the speed to medium, you want it to get like and fluffy.

Add the vanilla extract and the salt. Continue to beat together.

Lower the speed of the stand-mixer and stir in the flour and toffee pieces.

Erin’s recipe says not to over mix… I took that to mean that the batter should come together and be as smooth as possible (given toffee bits).

Once the batter has come together, put it in your square pan and gently pat the dough out (get it nice and even); I used my fingers… just wet them a little and the batter will spread nicely.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Place your pan on a wire rack and allow to cool before cutting them into squares.

note: you’ll notice that I use my zester as my guideline for cutting my squares… I was able to get over 2 dozen shortbread’s out of this recipe… and they were evenly cut and sized! Gotta love that trick :0)

a “melt in your mouth” kind of cookie…

Day 3. Completely different flavour from the first two. I started off this week with a day of chocolate, followed by a day of vanilla. The use real butter blog then offered me something a little different… lime metaways. Delicate and sweet, these cookies are a real punch of lime covered in powdered sugar. They were one of the cookie doughs that needed to be chilled – but they did live up to that little extra effort (and premeditation).

Lime Meltaways
ingredients:
12 tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 c. powdered sugar
2 limes, zest
2 limes, juice (about 3 tbsp)
1 tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp vanilla salt
2/3 c. powdered sugar (for dusting)

With your hand mixer, cream the butter and 1/3 c. of sugar together until fluffy. Add the lime zest, juice and vanilla. Continue to beat the batter (fluffy fluffy fluffy).

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch and salt together.

Add the dry mixture to the butter and beat on low speed until just combined.

Roll the dough into two 1 1/4 inch logs (I rolled mine on top of wax paper) and then wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to chill at least 1 hour. I chilled mine in the freezer overnight.

When you’re ready to bake…

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line your cookie trays with parchment paper. Place the 2/3 c. of powdered sugar into a large Ziploc bag.

Take the chilled logs out of the freezer and allow to soften just a bit (because of the over night freeze I left mine out on the counter for 60 minutes). Slice the logs into 1/4 inch rounds. Place the rounds on your baking sheets, about an inch apart (they don’t expand while baking). Bake for 15 minutes – barely golden. Remove from the tray and set on a wire rack for 3 minutes. At 3 minutes, pop them into the powdered sugar and toss to coat (don’t get too rough, otherwise they’ll fall apart).

Return the cookies onto the rack and allow to cool completely (I placed parchment paper under the rack to catch the excess powered sugar).

The dough will freeze – and can keep for 2 months. Or they’ll keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container once baked.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Try this one… people will be instantly impressed when they see these little treats… and they melt in your mouth, just like their name promises.