woensdag 23 februari 2011

Moving day for this blog....

Time for me to move this blog to a new address....
All the posts have been moved to my new blog, so what are you waiting for?

Come visit me over at The Baking Bluefinger!

zaterdag 5 februari 2011

Banana Nutella Maple Syrup Bread for World Nutella Day (one day late)

Only pics for now, extended blogpost will follow on Monday!

Twitter Avatar February - James Beard Refrigerator Spice Cookies

Last year a couple of my blog friends were having fun on Twitter with their avatars: they would pick a bread and everyone would post that bread as their avatar for that month. This year the theme is chefs and I decided to join in on the fun. Nancy came up with the great idea of each of us picking a different chef for each month. Everyone chooses one recipe by that chef, takes a photo of the dish and uses that photo as our avatar for that month.

February's avatar chef is James Beard, chosen by Nancy. The recipe I chose is Refrigerator Spice Cookies, its in 'American Cookery' (1972) by James Beard, but it can also be found here.

These cookies reminded me a lot of Speculaas, I divided the dough into three and baked 2 portions. The third portion can be found in my freezer, waiting for a surprise visitor ;) I taste-tested one cookie, it reminded me a lot of Speculaas. Most cookies found their way to work where they were devoured by my colleagues, the rest are at my parents house waiting to be eaten by my dad.

Next month's chef is Emeril Lagasse, chosen by Margaret

Refrigerator Spice Cookies
(American Cookery by James Beard)
Yield: 5 dozen cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups sifted AP flour
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375o F.

Cream the butter, then cream in the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Combine with the butter mixture until well blended.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts and form rolls that are approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll them up in wax paper or aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator or freezer until firm, about an hour.

With a sharp knife, slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Place on cookie sheets and cook until lightly browned at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

donderdag 20 januari 2011

Taking a little break

Due to exams for school my schedule is quite busy, so I'm taking a little break from blogging.
I hope to be back - up and running - in February!

zondag 2 januari 2011

Christmas Cookies: Toblerone Shortbread Cookies

I met Andrea of Family & Food & Other Things on Twitter thanks to Di's Virtual Cookie Exchange. We were tweeting about the cookies we were baking when she mentioned that she baked Toblerone Shortbread Cookies. Of course I was completely enamored with the thought of using one of my favorite chocolate bars in a cookie. Andrea was kind enough to send me the link to the recipe and I happily baked up some cookies. These were a huge hit and will most definitely be on my cookie platter next year too!

Toblerone Shortbread Cookies
Makes 28 cookies
adapted from salt and serenity

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup + 2 tablespoons icing sugar
¼ cup cornstarch or rice flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces of toblerone chocolate bar, chopped into ¼ inch chunks

Preheat oven to 350 º F.

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Sift in icing sugar and beat again until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl often. Sift in cornstarch or rice flour and blend in. Sift in all-purpose flour and salt
and mix just until dough comes together. Dough will be soft. Mix in vanilla
extract. Gently mix in toblerone chunks.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1 ½ inches across) scoop cookies
onto parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies. You
should be able to fit 12 cookies on a 12 x 18 inch cookie sheet.

Bake on the middle rack for 9 minutes. Rotate sheet and bake another 9
minutes, until bottom of cookies are lightly browned. Remove from cookie
sheet to cool on a rack.

zaterdag 1 januari 2011

Christmas Cookies: Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

This year I wanted to include some Biscotti to my cookie platters for Christmas and I was on the lookout for a simple, tasty biscotti. I ended up using this recipe that I found over at The Busty Baker.

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
adapted from La Dolci Vita
Makes 30 cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add whole egg, followed by egg yolk, beating until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla extract. Add flour mixture, beating until ingredients come together to form a slightly stiff dough (holds together when pressed between your fingers and isn’t too sticky).

Divide dough between the two baking sheets. Shape each half of dough into a log that measures 9-inches long and 1 ½ inches wide. Press dough down to flatten slightly.

In a small bowl mix together cinnamon and sugar for topping. Brush each dough log with the beaten egg and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until biscotti is golden and firm to the touch.

Remove from oven, but keep oven on. Let baking sheets cool on wire racks until biscotti is cool enough to handle. With a serrated knife, cut logs into ½-inch wide diagonal slices. Place biscotti cut side down on baking sheets and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. Place back in oven and bake again until pale golden, about 10 to 15 minutes.