Lemony Almond Macaroons

Servings: 25 cookies
Preheat: 325
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Source: Real Simple, April 2009

A delicious light cookie
Great for Passover

Ingredients: 

1 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large egg whites

Directions: 

Heat oven to 325° F.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut, almonds, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.
Mix in the egg whites- (whisk them- per Carol).
Drop mounds of the mixture (each equal to 2 tablespoons) onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1½ inches apart.
Bake, switching the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Valentine’s Day Share-My-Heart Cookies – Feb. 11th, 2016

Servings: 8 servings; makes two 9 1/2- to 10-inch cookies, plus leftovers ( 16 smaller hearts)
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: fast
Source: Deb Lindsey, Washington Post

Use heart cookie cutter

Ingredients: 

FOR THE COOKIES

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
1 cold large egg yolk
1 tablespoon ice-cold water
Sanding sugar (optional)

For the Frosting
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 Cup heavy cream

Directions: 

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies: Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Scatter the pieces of butter over the mixture and pulse until they are cut in and the mixture looks grainy.

Lightly whisk together the yolk and water in a small bowl; add to the food processor a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When incorporated, process in 10-second pulses until the dough forms clumps and curds. Pinch the dough, and it should hold together; if it doesn’t, pulse a few more times.

Turn the dough onto a work surface (not floured), divide it in half, shape each piece into a disk and put each disk between sheets of parchment or wax paper. One at a time, roll the dough out into a round, turning it over frequently and peeling away the paper often. Try to get a circle that’s 9 to 10 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick (a little thicker is fine). Slide each of the rounds, still between the papers, onto a baking sheet (you can stack them). Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour.

When you’re ready to bake, position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Have a few large baking sheets at hand.

Peel away the top and bottom pieces of paper on each round and then replace them. (If you don’t peel them first, the dough may buckle during baking.)

Use a pencil to draw a large heart on the top paper of each circle, then use a sharp knife to cut the dough around the heart. Lift off the paper, remove the excess dough (reserve the scraps) and slide the hearts, still on the bottom pieces of paper, onto separate baking sheets. (While they are baking, gather the scraps together, reroll them, chill and then use heart-shaped cutters to make additional cookies; bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes.)

At this point, If you don’t plan to ice the cookies, you can sprinkle them with sanding sugar, if you’d like.

Bake the large hearts for 19 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes, until they’re dull-looking, a little crinkled, set around the edges and almost firm at their centers. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes, then carefully slide them, paper and all, onto racks; cool to room temperature. (smaller hearts – 10 minutes)

Frosting
Bring heavy cream to boil. Then pour it into a heatproof bowl that contains the chopped chocolate. Stir until combined and thick. Cool Ganache and spread.

Fig Newtons, Made at Home

Servings: 30 cookies
Preheat: 325
Prep Time: 
Source: Food 52 Blog

This recipe grew out of a need to satisfy cravings for my favorite childhood cookie. I knew that if I went to the store and simply bought a package of Fig Newtons, I would probably be disappointed, as taste memories always seem to be more vibrant than the food that inspired them.

But I had a hunch that homemade Fig Newtons might just live up to my nostalgia-fueled expectations — and boy, did they ever. Soft and slightly chewy with the pleasant pop of tiny fig seeds in the filling, these figgy lovelies manage not only to outshine the cookie that inspired them, but they’re also good enough to make new memories.

Ingredients: 

For the cookie dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of one orange

For the fig filling

1 pound dried figs, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup water

Directions: 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl and set aside. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest and beat until combined. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Scoop the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the figs and water in a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and allow the water to boil until the figs have absorbed it. Transfer the figs to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is completely smooth.
Preheat the oven to 325? F. Place a large piece of parchment on your work surface and flour it liberally. Divide the chilled dough into 4 pieces, place one piece on the parchment, and return the other 3 to the refrigerator.

Shape the piece of dough into a rectangle, then roll the dough, stopping frequently to make sure it isn’t sticking to the parchment, into a long rectangle (about 4 inches wide by 12 inches long). Be vigilant about lifting and reflouring the dough as you roll to prevent sticking.
Scoop the fig filling into a pastry bag or a plastic zip-top bag with one corner cut off. Pipe the filling in a 1-inch strip down the center of the dough rectangle. Fold one side of the dough over the filling, then the other. Press down on the seam to close it.

Using the parchment, flip the cookie roll over, seam-side down. Transfer it gingerly to a baking sheet and refrigerate while you repeat this step with the other 3 pieces of dough. Bake the logs of dough for about 16 minutes or until the dough is no longer tacky and has begun to brown around the edges.
While the cookie rolls are still warm, cut them into 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookies. Immediately place the cookies in a single layer inside a plastic zip-top bag and close the bag. This seems counterintuitive, but in order to keep the cookies soft, like the real thing, they need to steam.

Cool the cookies completely. Remove them from the bags and place in an airtight container. They can be kept, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chips

Servings: Makes 24 Cookies ( upto 3 dozen)
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 
Source: Excerpted from The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook. Excerpted by permission of America’s Test Kitchen.

We started our testing by swapping in our flour blend for the all-purpose flour in a standard Toll House cookie recipe. It was no surprise that these cookies had problems: They were flat, sandy, and greasy. We’d discovered during our baked goods testing that gluten-free flour blends simply can’t absorb as much fat as all-purpose flour can, so cutting back on the butter helped to minimize greasiness. Less butter, along with some xanthan gum, also helped alleviate the spread issue, so the cookies didn’t bake up so flat. As for the sandiness, we knew from our gluten-free muffin testing (see Chapter 1) that fixing this problem required a two-step approach. The starches in our blend needed more liquid as well as more time to hydrate and soften, so we added a couple tablespoons of milk and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. This resting time also had a secondary benefit: It gave the sugar time to dissolve, which led to faster caramelization in the oven. And that meant a cookie not just with deeper flavor, but also with a chewier center and crisper edges. Finally, we wanted our cookies to be less cakey and more chewy. We realized creaming the butter, as the original Toll House recipe directs, was aerating the butter too much. Melting the butter instead, and changing the ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar, gave our cookies the right chewy texture. The extra brown sugar also gave our cookies a more complex, toffee-like flavor. Bite for bite, this was a chocolate chip cookie that could rival the best versions of the classic. Not all brands of chocolate chips are processed in a gluten-free facility, so read labels carefully.

Ingredients: 

8 ounces (13/4 cups) ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
2 1/3 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
7 1/2 ounces (11/4 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: 

1. Whisk flour blend, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in large bowl until well combined and smooth. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture with rubber spatula and mix until soft, homogeneous dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be sticky and soft.)

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 2 soup spoons and working with about 11/2 tablespoons of dough at a time, portion dough and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

3. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cookies are best eaten on day they are baked, but they can be cooled and placed immediately in airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

Nutty Chocolate Shortbread Wedges

Servings: 16
Source: fine cooking #23
Yields twelve or sixteen wedges.

Adding an egg yolk to this shortbread gives it a softer, less sandy texture.

Ingredients
FOR THE SHORTBREAD:
1/4 lb (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temp; more for the pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 oz (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
1/4 tsp table salt
1 lg egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 oz (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour

FOR THE GLAZE:
3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (a generous 1/2 cup)
1 oz (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
1/2 cup (2 oz.) coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted and cooled, or chopped pistachios

Directions
MAKE THE SHORTBREAD: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Scrape the bowl. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating on medium until just combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until the dough begins to clump together, about 1 minute. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, scattering the pieces of dough evenly. Using your fingertips (lightly floured, if necessary), pat the dough onto the bottom (not up the sides) of the prepared pan to create an even layer. Bake until the top no longer looks wet and the dough just barely begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes.
SHORTLY BEFORE THE SHORTBREAD IS DONE, MAKE THE GLAZE: Melt the chocolate and butter on the stove or in a microwave. Stir until smooth. When the shortbread is done, transfer the pan to a rack. Pour the warm glaze over the shortbread and, using an offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Scatter the nuts evenly over the glaze and gently press them in. Let cool completely until the glaze is set. Remove the shortbread from the tart pan and cut it into 12 or 16 wedges. Serve at room temperature.

Orange Butter Cookies

Servings: 4 doz
Preheat: 350°
Source: NY Times
Adapted from “The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread” by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree (Wiley, 2008)

Ingredients
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup cake flour or more all-purpose flour (cake flour gives a finer texture)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 packed tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 lg egg plus 2 lg egg yolks, at room temp
FOR THE ICING (SEE NOTE):
1 orange
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 Tbsp whole milk
2 drops almond or vanilla extract
Pinch fine salt.

Directions
1. Position two oven racks in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk flours, baking soda and salt together. In a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and orange zest at medium speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl frequently. Add egg and mix. Add one egg yolk and mix. Add remaining egg yolk and mix. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined.

3. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto parchment, leaving more than 1 inch between cookies. Press each one down lightly with 2 fingers to flatten to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Leave any ridges and valleys on top of cookie intact, but smooth the edges.

4. Bake about 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through. Cookies should be pale but baked all the way through. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool before storing in airtight containers up to 1 week.

5. When ready to serve, make icing: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Peel orange, being careful to remove only outer orange zest, and cut into thin strips. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute; drain. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons milk. Whisk in more milk if needed to make mixture thin enough to spread. Add extract, salt and zest, and whisk to combine.

6. Place cookies on a rack and drizzle icing over each one (make sure there is some orange zest in each spoonful). Icing will settle into cookie crevices; let harden.

Note: Instead of icing, cookies can be sprinkled with coarse crystal sugar before baking.

Crunchy Seed Cookies

Servings: —
Preheat: 375°
Cook Time: 13 min
Source: Alice Medrich
Awesome cookies, exactly as the author’s saying – “noisily crunchy, light, addictive”. The recipe is by Alice Medrich. I just used a bit more seeds since the stated amount wasn’t quite enough.

Ingredients
1 tbsp black sesame seeds or poppy seeds
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
¼ cup coarse raw sugar, such as Demerara

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp bourbon

Directions
Center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the seeds and coarse sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda,and salt in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly.

With a spoon in a medium bowl or with a mixer, mix the butter with the granulated sugar until smooth and well blended but not fluffy. Add the egg and bourbon and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.

Using a small ice cream scoop (or just a tablespoon), measure out the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Press each ball into the seed mixture on both sides, flattening the ball to about 1/2-inch thick. Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet spacing them 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies, in batches, for about 14 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned, rotating the baking sheet from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the baking sheet or just the parchment on rack to cool. Cool completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an air-tight container for at least 2 weeks.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Servings: 2 doz
Preheat: 350°
Be sure to bake these cookies on a cookie sheet, not a rimmed baking sheet ; otherwise, they’ll bake too slowly, the dough will spread, and the cookies won’t retain a nice, round shape.

Ingredients
8 1/2 oz. (1 3/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 lb. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar; more for coating
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again. With the mixer on low speed, slowly blend in the flour mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into a bowl of granulated sugar and roll to coat; then set the coated balls 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center, 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 1 minute before transferring them to a rack to cool.
The cookies can be stored an airtight container for up to 3 days.