Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Chocolate chip cookies with oats

Cookies com pedaços de chocolate e aveia / Chocolate chip cookies with oats

I made these cookies last week and the inspiration was something very simple: while I was grabbing a can of chickpeas in the cupboard to make a soup, I saw the jar of oats right next to it, and thought that I hadn’t baked cookies in a very long time. Some more searching through the bags, jars and cans and I found some very good dark chocolate begging to be used.

It is a simple cookie but the bitterness of the chocolate really makes it. There is not a lot of oats in the recipe, but I do feel virtuous eating my cookies and thinking that they have a little bit of goodness in them, from the oats and from the chocolate. These days, isolated and feeling blue, thinking positive is one of the things I try to do the most.

Chocolate chip cookies with oats
slightly adapted from Donna Hay

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (44g) rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (116g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated and a dough forms. Fold through the chocolate pieces.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for about 14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 28 cookies

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia, limão siciliano e passas

Days ago I was thinking (again) of certain ingredients and why they are so hated: aside from coconut and cilantro, I can’t think of anything that divides people as much as raisins do – at least here in Brazil. Every December there are hundreds of memes on Facebook and Twitter of either people saying how much they hate raisins and begging others not to add them to the Christmas dishes or people saying how much they love them, “please add raisins to everything”. It is crazy. :)

I like raisins and have nothing against them, but have to say I prefer them on sweet dishes rather than savory ones. In cookies they work beautifully and here, combined with lemon and oats, make them even more delicious.

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies
own recipe

¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (58g) light brown sugar, packed
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (120g) rolled oats
1 cup (150g) raisins – use golden raisins if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub sugars and lemon zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and beat until creamy and light – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the oats at once and mix on slow only until a dough forms. Stir in the raisins.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 20

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lime nutmeg snickerdoodles and Christmas gifts

Lime nutmeg snickerdoodles / Snickerdoodles de limão e noz-moscada

This is the time of the year when my colleagues and friends with kids tell me that they have to buy Christmas gifts for their children’s teachers, and since the kids have so many teachers these days they have to buy tons of presents. This is when I suggest them to make cookies or brownies, to wrap them up beautifully and there, gifts are ready. :)

These snickerdoodles may be a good idea for a holiday gift: starting with a traditional snickerdoodle recipe, I swapped the baking soda and cream of tartar for baking powder – since not everyone has cream of tartar around or wants to buy it – and added a touch of lime and nutmeg (instead of the most common cinnamon). The cookies turned out delicious and they smelled amazing while in the oven – you might have to bake an extra batch for your neighbors. :)

Lime nutmeg snickerdoodles
own recipe

Dough:
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 limes
½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To roll the cookies:
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub sugar and lime zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and beat until creamy and light – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients at once and mix on slow only until a dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

To roll the cookies: in a small bowl, rub sugar and lime zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Stir in the nutmeg. Roll 2 leveled teaspoons of dough per cookie into balls and then roll the balls through the sugar. Place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 35

Friday, September 1, 2017

Brown butter rye choc chip cookies - another great recipe with rye flour

Brown butter rye choc chip cookies / Cookies de manteiga queimada, centeio e chocolate

My confessed love for the fine rye flour has been resulting in several great recipes in the past months, and it makes me really happy that my dear and lovely reader Ellen from the U.S., together with several other readers of my Brazilian blog have been enjoying one of them: the soft rye bread I posted a while ago.

It is my favorite recipe made with rye – and it does taste exceptionally good paired with the sardine rillette, it is like they were made for each other. However, the bread has been closely followed by the cookies I bring you today: the combination of the nutty rye flavor with brown butter and dark chocolate is one the most delicious out there – trust me. ;)

Brown butter rye choc chip cookies
own recipe

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (160g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) fine rye flour – the one I mentioned on this post
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (131g) light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped or in chips – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Start by making the brown butter: place the butter in a small saucepan (avoid using dark nonstick since that way you will not be able to see the color of the butter clearly). Cook over medium heat until butter is golden and smells nutty, swirling the saucepan around a few times – butter can burn very quickly, to keep an eye on it. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool completely.

Now, the cookies: preheat the oven to 150°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Place brown butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until creamy and light in color – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the recipe making. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix only until a dough forms – do not overmix. Stir in the chocolate pieces. If day is too hot, refrigerate dough for 30 minutes before baking.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the papers with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 23

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Peanut cinnamon amaretti and no time for blogging

Peanut cinnamon amaretti / Amaretti de amendoim com um toque de canela

My days have been pretty busy lately, and I guess that some of you already know that given my disappearing from the blog. :)

However, I wanted to stop by quickly today and give you a recipe that I simply adore - and that is also quick to put together: the amaretti I make by replacing the almonds with a very Brazilian ingredient, peanuts, and adding a touch of cinnamon. Let’s call this an Italian-Brazilian cookie (I do like to mix and match countries in my kitchen). :) They go wonderfully with coffee and tea, and are also delicious broken into smaller pieces and sprinkled on top of ice cream.

Peanut amaretti
own recipe

2 ½ cups (250g) peanut meal (finely ground peanuts)
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 large egg whites (56g)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut meal, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the egg whites and the vanilla and mix until a dough forms.

Roll 2 teaspoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets 2.5cm (1in) apart. Press down slightly with your fingers. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool in the sheets over a wire rack.

Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 35

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies / Biscoitos de laranja, centeio e noz-moscada

Today’s post is about how much I love the Internet and it is probably the 15th time I tell you that. :)

I had been testing recipes with rye flour, but was not very happy with the results: when I made breads, for example, it was fine, but for cookies, muffins and cakes the flour was too thick and the baked goods were not as light as I wanted them to be. So I decided to put the rye recipes aside for a while.

Months later, while browsing one of my favorite Instagram profiles, I learned about a food store that sells spelt flour (which is hard to come by here in Brazil) and there I found a different type of rye flour, called “fine rye flour” – I bought it and retested all the recipes I had made before, and the results were wonderful!

One of those recipes is for these slice and bake cookies, deliciously fragrant from the orange and nutmeg: the rye flour lands them a nutty flavor and a beautiful color.

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies
slightly adapted from Deb’s recipe

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) fine rye flour*
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
2/3 cup (93g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, rye flour, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place sugar and orange zest and mix them together until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and mix until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe.
Beat in yolks, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients and mix only until a dough forms – don’t overmix.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the fridge). Cut into 5mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, 12-14 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

* for the cookies to be light in texture, make sure the rye flour you use is finely ground

Makes about 50

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Clementine spiced cookies

Clementine spiced cookies / Biscoitos de tangerina e especiarias

I think one can say I am addicted to baking cookies – as you have probably noticed already – and for a good while now slice and bake cookies have been my favorites: they are easy to make and the uncooked dough can spend some time in the fridge or in the freezer waiting for the right moment to be baked.

Even though the dough can be kept for a good while before baking, I hardly ever keep it that long: I prefer to bake lots of cookies at once and eat them and also share them with my family and friends – a “spreading joy” operation, let’s say. :)

These cookies, deliciously fragrant from the tangerine zest and with a kick from the spices, will make your kitchen smell like heaven. The almond meal makes them quite delicate and tricky to be transported, so for a bit firmer – but still wonderful – cookies omit the almond meal and use a total of 175g all purpose flour.

Clementine spiced cookies
slightly adapted from Annie Rigg's breathtakingly beautiful book

1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (25g) almond meal
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 2 clementines
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 pieces of crystallized ginger, cut into small dice

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Put zest and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and using the mixer beat ingredients together until creamy and light in color. Beat in the honey and vanilla. Turn off the mixer and mix in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula just until a dough forms – do not overmix.

Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper; shape into a log. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap the dough log and cut into 5mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Gently press a piece of crystallized ginger in the center of each cookie. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 30

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Chocolate chip, crystallized peel and cranberry cookies + a hug as a gift

Chocolate, crystallized peel and cranberry cookies / Cookies com gotas de chocolate, laranja cristalizada e cranberries

As the year started and I got back from my week off, I started working on things around the house, maybe trying to clear my mind as I cleared the cupboards and the closet, I don’t know. :)

As I checked the ingredients in my cupboard, I found a bit of crystallized orange peel left from my holiday baking and right next to it I saw a jar of dried cranberries – I immediately thought of putting them together in cookies, and added a bit of dark chocolate for balance. The cookies tasted great and I turned them into a gift for a colleague who is going through hard times now – I hope she felt a bit better with the cookies and the big hug I gave her then.

Chocolate chip, crystallized peel and cranberry cookies
slightly adapted from BBC Good Food

225g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
80g light brown sugar
80g demerara sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
120g dark chocolate chip or chunks
50g crystallized orange peel, chopped
100g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars together until creamy and light. Beat in the vanilla extract and egg. On slow speed, beat in the dry ingredients and mix only until incorporate. Stir in the chocolate, crystallized orange peel and cranberries.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the papers with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 25

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rum nutmeg snowballs and handling cookie dough on a hot day

Rum nutmeg snowballs / Bolinhas de noz-moscada e rum

Weeks ago, while I was putting together the list of recipes I wanted to bake to give as gifts to my friends I saw these cookies on one of Martha’s digital magazine issues (the subscription that was a real bargain). So I decided to make that money count and use the recipe – the cookies looked adorable after all, and the flavor combo sounded delicious.

However, I was baking the cookies on a very hot day, so it was a nightmare trying to shape the dough into crescents – by the time I had finished shaping two cookies the whole dough was going soft. So I put it back in the fridge for a while and decided to turn the crescents into balls – snowballs, for that matter. In the end it was a good decision: cookies looked pretty and tasted great. Win/win situation. :)

Rum nutmeg snowballs
slightly adapted from Queen Martha

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg – do not pack it in the spoon when measuring it
¼ teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (170g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (70g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons white rum (Martha uses brandy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For rolling the cookies:
½ cup (70g) confectioners' sugar, sifted

Whisk together flour, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add rum and vanilla; beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Divide dough into 2 disks; wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Working with one disk at a time (keeping the other refrigerated), scoop 1 leveled tablespoon of dough per cookie and roll into a ball. Arrange 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets.
Bake until golden on the bottom, 16-18 minutes. Transfer cookies on sheets to wire racks; let cool 5 minutes. Working in batches, carefully toss warm cookies in confectioners' sugar, then transfer to racks and let cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Dust with more confectioners' sugar before serving.

Makes about 42

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Winter snowball cookies to kick off this year's Christmas series

Winter snowball cookies / Bolinhas de neve de chocolate e amêndoa

My favorite time of the year has arrived – it is December! \0/

Last week I decorated my Christmas tree and scattered Christmas decorations around the house – that made me feel absolutely happy. I see golden candles and snowmen when I go to the kitchen for a glass of water and the big Santa Claus hanging on my door salutes me every morning before I go to work: it definitely feels like Christmas already.
A couple of days ago my husband and I were at the mall and Christmas songs were being played there – it seemed to be the very same songs my mother used to play at this time of the year when I was a little girl. I had tears in my eyes remembering her, but some of those tears were tears of joy because of how much I love the holiday season.

My Christmas series starts today with these delicious and light in texture snowball cookies – they are really easy to make and placed in a plastic bag tied with a beautiful ribbon can become a very nice gift.

Winter snowball cookies
slightly adapted from The Italian Baker

Cookies:
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, sifted
¾ cup (75g) almond meal
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (105g) icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Amaretto

To dust the cookies:
1 cup (140g) icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, almond meal, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and icing sugar (the 105g) until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mix in the vanilla and the Amaretto. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Roll 1 leveled tablespoon of dough per cookie into a ball and place 2.5cm (1in) apart onto the prepared sheets. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the bottom edges are golden.
Remove from the oven, cool on the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the cookies from the paper and roll them into the icing sugar, coating them generously. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 48

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Oatmeal dulce de leche choc chip cookies and some teary days

Oatmeal dulce de leche choc chip cookies / Cookies de aveia, doce de leite e gotinhas de chocolate

I don’t know why, but I have felt very sensitive in the past few days – I even thought it was PMS, but no.

I saw a photo of a father playing with his two little girls in a destroyed bathtub – someone posted it on Facebook – and cried my eyes out. I was not having a very good day, and when I saw those kids playing in a place completely destroyed by war I felt so insignificant… My problems were nothing compared to that.

Then I watched Michelle Obama’s amazing speech last night and the tears came down hard – wow, that woman touched my heart in so many ways! My husband was in the kitchen making dinner and he was like “what happened? Are you OK?”, and I was just watching Michelle being fantastic.

Minutes ago, as I reached for this recipe and started writing down the post, I thought of my nephew and how much he enjoyed these cookies: it was a matter of remembering him eating them and bam, there came the waterworks. Lately, actually, everything related to him makes me cry: as I spend time with him, watching him discover the world, I think of my mom and of how much she would enjoy sharing these moments with us. My nephew is a very smart kid – he has long conversations with us, even though we don’t understand everything he says – and he is very tender and sweet – I get kisses and hugs all the time, plus he sometimes calls me “mom”. I get emotional every time I think of her and of how much she would love her grandson if she was around. I have cried often lately, sometimes they are tears of joy and sometimes they are tears of sorrow. I guess that is life, right?

These are Martha’s oatmeal raisin cookies that got turned into something a bit different: as I grabbed the ingredients to bake them, I saw the dulce de leche left from making the molten cakes I posted days ago. So I added a very generous dollop to the batter – cutting back a bit of the sugar – and replaced the raisins for chocolate chips, since dulce de leche and chocolate go so well together.

The cookies turned out fabulous and if you don’t believe me take my nephew’s word for it. ;)

Oatmeal dulce de leche choc chip cookies
slightly adapted from the goddess Martha S.

2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks/226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (130g) packed light-brown sugar
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (150g) dulce de leche
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 cups (240g) rolled oats
1 cup (165g) chocolate chips – I used ones with 53% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter with both sugars, and beat until light and creamy. Beat in the dulce de leche and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until just combined. On low speed, mix in the oats and chocolate chips.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool completely in the pans.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 28

Friday, June 10, 2016

Nutty butter cookies and a wandering mind

Nutty butter cookies / Cookies de paçoca

As I was driving home from work days ago, in the middle of a massive traffic jam, I started listening to The Wallflowers and that led to a trip down memory lane: in the far, far away year of 1996, I spent months listening to Bringing Down the Horse, a CD I bought because I fell in love with One Headlight the minute I heard the song for the first time.

So there I was, driving in the rain listening to 6th Avenue Heartache (my second favorite track of that album), and my mind wandered a bit and I thought about the music video clip, so beautiful, directed by David Fincher, one of my all-time favorite directors.

One band, one song, one video clip, one favorite director.

One good thing leading to another, like my purchase of a huge jar of peanut butter leading to a bunch of recipes made with it, like the super easy fudge I posted the other day and these cookies. These cookies are delicious – the oats are toasted in butter before being added to the cookie dough and that, combined with the demerara sugar that I decided to use instead of the granulated one, gives the cookies the most delicious caramel flavor (and I added a bit of whole wheat flour to help with the nuttiness of the whole thing).

Nutty butter cookies
slightly adapted from the always fabulous Martha

¾ cup (170g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened – divided use
1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (67g) demerara sugar
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
½ cup peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (70g) whole roasted salted peanuts

Melt ¼ cup (½ stick/56g) of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats, and cook, stirring, until toasted, 5-7 minutes. Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together remaining ½ cup (113g/1 stick) butter and the sugars until pale and creamy. Add egg, and beat until combined. Add nut butter and vanilla, then beat on medium speed until well combined.
Add oat mixture and peanuts, and mix on low speed until combined. Add flour mixture, and mix just until combined.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool completely in the pans
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 28

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia com cranberries e amendoim

One quick look at the blog’s recipe index and one can quickly learn that I love oatmeal cookies – I have made them in many different ways, with many different add on ingredients, and they are always a crowd pleaser (not to mention are great to have on hand for a snack between meals).

There are many recipes on this blog, and today I bring you another – these are delicious, and the salty and crunchy peanuts go very well with the sweet and tender cranberries. I highly recommend you bake these if you like oatmeal cookies like I do – and the peanuts and cranberries can be swapped by other nuts and dried fruits – , but I feel the obligation to tell you that of all the oatmeal cookies on this blog the ones I made for last year’s Christmas series are my favorites. :)

From a cookbook I haven’t used much and I hope to change that – fingers crossed here for the cold weather to finally come our way.

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies
slightly adapted from this cookbook

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (88g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch table salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 ¼ cups (112g) old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup (85g) dried cranberries
½ cup (70g) whole salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until creamy and light in color, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, mixing well, and then add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add them to the butter-sugar mixture along with the oats and mix on low just until combined. Add the dried cranberries and peanuts. Mix on low briefly until well distributed.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges but still soft. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 22

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Port cookies to celebrate Leo

Port cookies / Biscoitinhos de vinho do Porto

My days are still super busy, and I hope things slow down a little in the weeks to come, but I am still making super quick recipes at home (and there are days I don’t make anything at all) and I am also still writing very short posts, as you can see. :)

However, there is one thing I could not leave aside, which is the fact that my beloved Leonardo Di Caprio, or “Leozinho”, as I call him, has finally won an Oscar, after so many years watching less worthy actors take home the award (not to mention the wonderful performances that were not nominated). The Internet almost collapsed and I jumped on my bed (and there were people a lot less subtle than me). :)

So congrats to Leo! And because of that I am posting cookies – not any kind of cookies, but cookies made with wine, because it is time to celebrate. \0/

Port cookies
slightly adapted from Rita Lobo

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (25g) almond meal
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, chopped, room temperature
¼ cup (60ml) Port wine
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
icing sugar, for dusting the cookies

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place flour, almond meal, granulated sugar and salt and mix on low speed to combine. Add the butter and mix on low speed until a dough begins to form. Drizzle the wine and vanilla over the mixture, mix again on low just until a dough forms, but avoid overmixing.

Roll 1 leveled tablespoon of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets 2.5cm (1in) apart. Gently flatten each ball. Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, transfer sheet to a wire rack and dust the hot cookies with the icing sugar. After 5 minutes, slide the paper with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely.

Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes about 42

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mocha slice cookies, for someone that now loves coffee

Mocha slice cookies / Biscoitos mocha

These delicious cookies, another great recipe from Martha, are called mocha slice cookies, but they could easily be called “in search of lost time cookies” – after years of not drinking coffee (36, to be more precise) and avoiding each and every coffee flavored sweet I bumped into, I got a new job with completely different dynamics from the previous one (a job I had for ten years) and the new routine made me reach for a cup of joe on a regular basis, for I worked so many hours a day it was either having some coffee or sleeping over the keyboard.

I discovered that I love coffee. :)

Because of that, I have been going through my books and bookmarks, searching for the coffee desserts and baked goods I ignored over the past years, and these cookies were one of them – the mixture of coffee and chocolate is one of the most celebrated ones, and not for nothing.

I forgot to roll the cookie logs in sugar before slicing and baking them, but after trying the cookies I thought they were sweet enough without the extra sugar coating.

Mocha slice cookies
from Martha

1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
¾ cup (68g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
pinch of table salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder – I used 1 Nespresso capsule (Volutto), about 1 tablespoon
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup (60g) cocoa nibs

Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle; mix on medium until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in cocoa nibs.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the fridge). Cut into 6mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake until centers are set, 10-12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 55

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tara’s great chocolate chip cookies

Tara's great choc chip cookies / Os deliciosos cookies com gotas de chocolate da Tara

As much as I like making different things in the kitchen, there are certain recipes – the classics, if you will – that I keep coming back to: a good crème caramel, a chocolate mousse for when people come over for dinner, brownies to cheer friends up, and chocolate chip cookies, the ones I saw on American movies as a teenager.

I wasn’t so thrilled with the last batches of chocolate chip cookies I made, and because of that I did not even shared the recipes with you: some of them lacked flavor, some spread like crazy on the baking sheets and turned out as flat as a sheet of paper… Disappointments. But the ones I bring to you today are the complete opposite: they taste delicious, look beautiful and the dough is super easy to make – you don’t even have to wait for the butter to soften. These cookies are exactly what I wanted when I set out to make them – sheer perfection. I shared them with my family and some friends and all I heard was compliments – now I feel like sharing the recipe with you, for it is such a huge success. I have Tara O’Brady to thank for – not only has she a published a beautiful cookbook but has also restored my faith in chocolate chip cookie recipes. :)

Tara’s great chocolate chip cookies
barely adapted from Tara O'Brady, via Apt. 2B

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, chopped
3 ¼ cups (455g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon table salt
1 ½ cups (262g) light brown sugar, packed
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g (10oz) semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa
flaky salt, to finish – I used Maldon

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over the lowest heat possible, stirring occasionally. Take care that the butter does not sizzle or bubble which means it's losing moisture. Cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt. Set aside. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and whisk in the sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just combined. Stir in the vanilla. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir in the dry ingredients until barely blended. When things are still looking a bit floury, stir in the chocolate until all of the ingredients are just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into balls using 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie and arrange them on the prepared pans, leaving 5cm (2in) between each cookie. While baking each batch, keep the remaining dough in the fridge. If you don’t want to bake all the cookies at once, refrigerate the dough balls loosely covered, overnight.)

To bake, sprinkle each cookie with a bit of sea salt and bake until the tops are cracked and cookies are golden, especially around the edges, 15-18 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then slide the paper off the sheet onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 38

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Eggnog biscotti

Eggnog biscotti / Biscotti de eggnog

It might have taken me a while to get started with the Christmas series, but once I did I was perfuming my house with spices for hours on end – my husband took a look at the kitchen counter and said: “wow, you are really inspired!” :)

These biscotti are super simple to make and might even receive other flavors if you are not that crazy for nutmeg, maybe some citrus zest? I guess they would be amazing with orange and Cointreau, for instance. The original recipe called for eggnog in the glaze, so I adapted it a little to avoid using raw eggs in the biscotti.

Eggnog biscotti
slightly adapted from here

Biscotti:
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup (133g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon rum
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (120g) icing sugar
generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
about 1 tablespoon whole milk

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.

Biscotti: in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in vanilla, rum and nutmeg. Beat in eggs one at a time. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients and mix just until a dough forms (mine was too soft to shape, I added 1 tablespoon of flour).
Divide dough in half and shape each half in a log about 15x5cm (6x2in). Place the logs about 7.5cm (3in) apart onto prepared sheets and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes – leave the oven on. Line another large baking sheet with baking paper.
Slice biscotti into little less than 2cm (¾ in) slices. Place slices onto prepared sheet and bake fo 10 minutes. Turn all slices carefully, and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet over a wire rack.

Glaze: whisk butter, sugar and nutmeg until mixture starts to get creamy. Add milk gradually, whisking until drizzable consistency. Drizzle biscotti with glaze and set aside until glaze is dry, about 20 minutes.
Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days – without the glaze they last even longer.

Makes about 25

Friday, December 18, 2015

Almond gingerbread puffs

Almond gingerbread puffs / Bolinhas de amêndoa e gingerbread

I work for a Swiss company, and some of my coworkers have discovered how much I love sweets – every now and then I get Lindt chocolates, which make my days a lot sweeter. :)

I have to say that I love getting food as gifts – I believe that food = love, and I love giving food as gifts, too, especially at this time of the year. Cookies are easy to make and to package, most people like them therefore they are the perfect present. These almond puffs taste delicious and they get more intense as days go by, especially if kept in an airtight container, but they might not last that long. :)

Almond gingerbread puffs
slightly adapted from the always wonderful Delicious magazine

1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (140g) almond meal
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
generous pinch of ground cloves
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Amaretto (optional)
about 3 tablespoons icing sugar, for dusting the cookies

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, flour, spices and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and honey until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and the Amaretto. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until a dough forms – it mixture is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of water and mix again.

Using leveled 2 tablespoons of dough per cookies, roll balls and place them onto prepared baking sheets 2.5cm (1in) apart. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Sift icing sugar over the cookies and return them to the oven for 2 more minutes. Cool on sheets over a wire rack.

The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 30

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gingerbread pepper cookies

Gingerbread pepper cookies / Cookies de gingerbread com pimenta do reino

So you know that I decided to bake for the Christmas series, got carried away and made cookies beside this cake – I have to tell you, without false modesty, that the cookies turned out wonderful! Soft, packed with oats and perfumed with spices, they were a hit with my family and also my coworkers.

I used to take my baked goods to work all the time in the past, but this was the first time I baked for my new coworkers and I did not know if the girls would like the cookies – they loved them and now I want to bake more delicious things for them.
Gingerbread pepper cookies
slightly adapted from the wonderful and beautiful Home Baked: More Than 150 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Goodies

200g all purpose flour
150g rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cointreau (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, pepper and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and Cointreau. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until combined (do not overmix).

Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop drop portions of dough per cookie onto prepared sheets, spacing 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on sheet over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the paper onto the rack and cool completely.

Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

Makes about 28

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saffron lemon cookies and Claire Danes

Saffron lemon cookies / Biscoitinhos de limão siciliano e açafrão

Those of you around here for a while know how much I enjoy movies and TV awards – I root for my favorites, hate it when the ones I find untalented and undeserving win and usually go to sleep at 2 in the morning. :)

For a couple of years I saw Claire Danes take home lots of awards for her role in Homeland and I did not quite understand why: I like her, I find her a talented actress and very versatile, too – who doesn't love Angela Chase? –, but those were the years she was going against Glenn and Mireille, and those two certainly deserved taking the awards home – I was rooting for them for Damages and The Killing are deep favorites of mine.

Now that I have started watching Homeland – and got completely addicted to it – I understand all the fuss: Claire is really amazing in it! If at first I did not understand all the awards, now I say “keep them coming!” :)

I’m OK with my favorites not winning as long as the ones who do actually deserve the awards, and now I see that is exactly what happened with Claire Danes; in September my heart will be divided for I would love her to win, just as much as I would love Viola Davis, Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright – I haven’t watched season 3 of House of Cards yet but I am sure she’s fabulous in it.

As for these cookies, they look plain but they have a very special ingredient in them: saffron (which was the name of a character’s dog in Damages). :) I don’t use it very often for it is an expensive ingredient, but I could not resist trying them in cookies along with lemon and almond – they were delicious! The almond meal gives the cookies a wonderful texture that is why I recommend this recipe even if you don’t have saffron around: I am sure that cardamom would be beautiful here, or nutmeg, for instance.

Saffron lemon cookies
slightly adapted from the beautiful and delicious Annie Bell's Baking Bible: Over 200 triple-tested recipes that you'll want to make again and again

1 cup (100g) almond meal
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 egg
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
20 saffron filaments, ground and mixed with 1 ½ teaspoons boiling water – let it cool before using

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla and saffron infusion. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until a dough forms. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Roll 2 teaspoons of dough per cookie into balls and place 5cm (2in) onto prepared sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto the wire and cool completely.

Makes about 45

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