All posts tagged “cookies

Peppermint Cookies_Katherine Sacks
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Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

I love our new life in Berlin, but I’m so thankful for this holiday trip back to the US and the time I’ve been able to spend time with my friends and family in New York, Philadelphia, and Virginia. But my traveling has kept me busy, which means our Christmas cookie baking didn’t really kick into gear until this morning. We kept it simple with just a few variations, including these chocolate peppermint beauties I’ve been wanting to try out. I saw these cathedral cookies a few weeks ago and I’ve been stuck on trying out the idea with peppermint candies ever since. The sablé cookie is sandy and just salty enough to offset the sweet minty candy, a really nice addition to the cookie plate. We also tried it out with ginger candies, and the technique would really work with any hard candy. Butterscotch? Cinnamon drops? Yum.

Whether you make these for a last minute Christmas treat or save them for after the New Year, I hope you enjoy. I’m headed to California in the morning to visit more family and friends (with a bag of cookies in tow) and am really looking forward to a festive end to the week. Wherever and however you are celebrating, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! Read More

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Homemade Thin Mints

Homemade Thin Mints As I made the move to Berlin, my StarChefs workmate Emily also made a move, to Snooth Eats, where she’s running the editorial coverage. The website features great wine tips along with an interesting mix of recipes, food news, and cooking knowledge, so it was easy to say yes when she asked if I would contribute some how-to recipes. As you can probably tell from this site, I love to write and test recipes, so it’s exciting for me to have another venue to do it for.

My first contribution are these delicious “Thin Mint” style cookies. It’s a recipe I started playing around with when I worked at Bastide in Los Angeles; the final course of our tasting menu was a sweet bite that we bagged and gave as a take-home treat. We made a variety of cookies and sweets, but these mint cookies were one of my favorite items.

The cookie is a slightly sweetened pate brisée, which gives a nice flaky bite. I add mint extract to both the cookie dough and chocolate covering, so they end up super infused with minty flavor. To make your own batch, check out the recipe and baking tips on Snooth Eats. I think they’d make a fabulous addition to Easter basket treats!

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Rugelach

Rugelach Recipe, Christmas Cookies

My holiday season isn’t complete without baking several batches of cookies to share with loved ones. Although I’m away from my family this year, I was lucky enough to see both my Mom and Dad, and TH’s parents, in the month before I left the US. My mother and I baked up a storm, working through four different cookie recipes in order to send out some early holiday cheer.

It was fun to try some new recipes with her; the gingersnaps were delicious, a less sweet cranberry-orange cookie would be excellent for crackers, and the raspberry-walnut swirls were very pretty. But just like every year, my favorite was the rugelach. In part, it’s because we’ve been making these cookies since I was a kid. We aren’t Jewish—my mother originally found the recipe in an international cookbook—but the traditional Hanukah cookies have become my quintessential holiday cookie. And it’s hard not to love the flaky, buttery dough, wrapped around whatever delicious filling you choose.

Growing up we always used a combination of cinnamon and toasted walnuts for our filling, but for our latest version my mother and I chose a delicious fig jam. The jam caramelizes slightly in the oven, making a sweet, slightly sticky filling that is beautiful inside the tender dough. Topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, they are my perfect Christmas treat.

Rugelach
Servings: 4 dozen cookies
1 cup butter, cubed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
¾ cup sour cream
Powdered sugar
½ cup jelly 

In a medium-sized bowl, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or two forks until coarse crumbs form. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sour cream together, then add into the flour mixture. Mix until just blended. Divide into three portions, flatten each into 1-inch disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove one portion of dough from the refrigerator and let it warm for several minutes. Dust the dough lightly with powdered sugar and roll out between two pieces of parchment paper or non-stick baking mats into a 1/8-inch thick circle. Spread the jelly in a thin layer over the surface of the dough. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 16 wedges, and roll the wedges up, starting at the wider end. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining dough. When cookies are lightly browned, remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar to finish.