Say it With Cookies

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...cookies! Etc. Etc.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 12


...nothing chocolatey today -- only green and red for christmas spirit! Thank you again Anna Pavlova for being such a light and fluffy dancer, and also for inspiring such a delicious dessert!

Thanks Kamini for doing all the heavy lifting!


4 egg whites
1 C sugar (get superfine or grind in food processer or blender)
1 t vinegar
1/2 T cornstarch

Beat eggs until medium. Start adding sugar, a bit at a time. Beat until whites are very stiff. Spread meringue in a circle on parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 250 for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn oven off, let meringue cool inside.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and your fruit or other topping of choice (tangy fruit is good).

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 11

Peanut Butter Cups

These are irresistible! Take your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe (I used Martha Stewart's and it seemed pretty good.) Then bake them in the mini-cups. When they come out of the oven, pop a Reese's into the center. YumYum!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 10

Chocolate Cake 'n Cups

This year is all about budgeting -- budgeting for time and energy that is! Today, I tried out another premade cake mix. You can buy it here (among other places).

I thought it was easy to prepare and a cute idea. Unfortunately, the chocolate flavor was very mild. Some people may like it, but I like my chocolaty-ness to be a bit bolder. For $10 though, you get two chocolate cakes and some cute cappuccino cups that I will be using in the future for drinks with my favorite gadget the handpresso (more on that later!).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 9

Chocolate Phantoms

A great cookie using my favorite nut -- the macadamia nut. They are super chocolately and have a distinctive texture (not a lot of flour). They are called phantoms, because they tend to quickly disappear. They seem to live up to their name....

3/4 C macadamia nuts (not salted -- if salted, then rinse under hot tap water and recrisp for 5 min in 350 oven)
3.5 oz dark chocolate
1 T unsalted butter
2 T flour
1/8 t baking powder
1 egg
1/4 C sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2/3 C semisweet chocolate chips

Melt dark chocolate and butter (I use the microwave method, stirring regularly, but you could also use stovetop/double boiler). Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well blended. And melted chocolate and blend lightly. Add flour mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Use two teaspoons to drop batter onto cookie pans. Make cookies small, and mound high. These cookies are sticky -- you may need to use wax sheets or silicone. Bake 10 minutes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 8

Chocolate Creme Brulee

Well, not everything can be perfect!

This was my first attempt at making creme brulee (with chocolate of course) and I had a feeling it might be a bit tricky. I have not successfully made the perfect crispy outer shell yet. Above is my best attempt. Below is burning, smelly globs of sugar, that I had to blow out like birthday candles. Apparently you have to be a bit gentle when wielding the torch -- and not just torch the bejesus outta these things.

Here is the link to the recipe I used from Cooking for Engineers. The only addition was several ounces of chocolate heated into the cream.

And tips for the perfect creme brulee from the blogosphere?!?

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 7

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips

girl cousins


Christmas tree

sticky fingers

french lessons and origami

best cookie dough cookies

= perfect afternoon

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 7

Chocolate Cupcakes

I had actually made these earlier in the year, then taken them to a Christmas party where they disappeared in a flash. So I thought they deserved to me made again.

Cupcakes from a mix at the grocery store are usually not very good. Grocery store icing, in particular, is really fakey tasting. I saw that Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) sold a prepackaged cupcake mix. I thought it would be interesting to try -- in between the grocery mixes and handmade.

The cupcakes come out nice -- they taste homemade. You can buy the mix here or at Crate and Barrel.

My only advice is that the box says it makes 12 cupcakes. In my mind, it makes more like 15 or even 18 cupcakes. My cupcakes overflow-ith -- and still I threw some batter away. Also I had left-over icing. So plan on 15 -18. And that is a good thing. Because the batter calls for 1 stick of butter and the icing for 2 sticks of butter. That is 3 sticks of butter for 12 cupcakes. I am not doing any math there! Will. not. do. math. I am shutting my eyes -- and taking a big bite of chocolate cupcake!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 6

Chocolate Shortbread with White Chocolate Sauce

The appeal of these cookies was getting to make one cookie with two types of chocolate. Plus I get to dip chocolate into chocolate? Nuff said!

I borrowed the recipe from this blog's biggest competitor -- the 12 Days of Cookies from the Food Network. I had to take a closer look at what they're doing over there at that Food Network place. Of course, I realize they may be doing a teensy bit better than me in terms of branding, name recognition, and blog traffic. But are their recipes really up to my high standards?!? :)

In this instance, they done pretty good. Alex Guarnaschelli, whoever that is, is officially invited to my cooking club's cookie exchange. The chocolate/chocolate idea is genius. :) Here is the link to the recipe. As you can see from the photo, I jazzed it up by using cookie cutters instead of the pan. I know; I am very advanced.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twelve Days of Cookies, Day 5

Chocolate Bundt Cake

This is an old recipe given to me by my grandmother. She likes to randomly go though her desk and stuff and send me things -- twenty year old pictures and clippings, etc. So one day the recipe for this cake appeared. I can tell its old even by the ingredients -- its a dump cake from back in the day when 'ladies' were excited about new products like Betty Crocker, and they made 100 different recipes using cake mix. But I gotta tell ya, it was easy, and it tastes good. So no complaints here!

Here is picture of the recipe, so I don't have to type it out:

In the introduction, it says you may have used your bundt pan to make "gelatin salads and meat loaves." What?!? I have never made either of those with my bundt pan. Eew! Although I don't know the year of this clipping, apparently you could get 10 cent waffles and 89 cent lamb.