Tag Archives: cookie

Biscoff Brownies

23 Sep

I have been hearing so much about Biscoff spread lately! I’ve seen about a bazillion Biscoff-themed pins on Pinterest. And this came on the heels of the BF gently telling me that Biscoff, a.k.a. Europe’s favorite cookie with coffee, is vastly superior to whatever cookies I mistakenly brought home from the grocery store. So when I realized that this Biscoff spread existed and was created out of the same cookie that is Europe’s and the BF’s favorite cookie with coffee, I thought a Biscoff dessert would be appropriate.

I was craving chocolate, so Biscoff Brownies sounded perfect. But here I am using the word “Biscoff” a dozen times in a row, and I didn’t even use actual Biscoff in this recipe. I’m a fraud! I used a knock-off “cookie spread” from Trader Joe’s. And let me tell you, it was delicious.

Look at those Biscoff swirls!

I may try to use this brownie recipe either on its own or with other spreads, like Nutella. The brownies are so ooey-gooey and mushy and fudgy — my favorite kind of brownies. The original recipe called for 3 eggs, and I only had two, so I substituted 1/4 cup homemade applesauce for the third egg. Maybe that’s what made it extra gooey. Just in case, I will definitely make it with applesauce from now on. Also, the original recipe called for vanilla extract, and I just now realized that I completely forgot to put it in. I didn’t even notice. But do with that information what you will.

They’re so good! There may or may not be a hole cut into the middle of the brownie dish right now… I like the gooey center pieces so I avoid the edges. I’m going to go off to have another brownie while I research other Biscoff recipes now. Cheers!

Mmm... chocolatey gooey goodness

Biscoff Brownies adapted from Unsophisticook

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or give it a coating of baking spray.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar, salt and cocoa powder.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well, and then whisk in the applesauce and chocolate mixture until well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until well combined. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Melt Biscoff Spread in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the brownie batter. Use a clean butter knife to swirl the Biscoff Spread into the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. When you jiggle the pan, the center of the brownies should be firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Twelve O Eight, Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Lemon-Glazed Ginger Cookies

19 Mar

I haven’t been baking much lately, even though I’m supposedly a “Bake-aholic,” so I decided to stop being lazy and try something new. The original recipe for these delicious cookies was in one of my Martha Stewart holiday cookie magazines. I edited it slightly, using fresh ginger rather than candied ginger, and I thought they came out great. They’re more of a cake-like cookie, and the cookie itself isn’t very sweet, but it meshes perfectly with the super-sweet lemon glaze.

First, I prepared my ginger, because I used fresh ginger, and I figured it would take a while. But trust me, fresh ginger is worth it! It’s not that it even tastes way better than ground ginger spice, it’s just totally different. I used a flat grater to grate about 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger. Tip: Freeze your ginger first!! It will grate sooooo much more easily, it won’t be as messy, and you won’t lose any of the flavorful juice.

I whisked to combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and set it aside.

In a separate bowl, I combined 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter and 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar. Then I beat it with the hand mixer on medium for about 3 minutes, until it was a bit fluffy. I added in all that ginger I grated up and beat the mixture for another 2 minutes. Then I beat in 1 egg and 2 tablespoons vanilla until well combined.

I Need 3 Hands
I reduced the speed of the mixer to low and added the flour mixture a little at a time, beating until just combined.

Cookie Batter
The dough was much stickier than I expected, so I divided into two sections, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and left it in the fridge overnight.

So the next day, I came back, set the oven to 350 F, and got to work on the dough. I wasn’t going to try to roll the dough out and use cookie cutters, because we all know what happens when I try that alone, so instead I rolled it into a log and sliced it into rounds. To do it this way, it actually works better to be almost frozen because then the knife doesn’t mush it while you’re trying to cut it. And I’ll be honest here: one of the dough sections wasn’t cold enough, it mushed like crazy, and I ended up molding little flattened balls of dough onto the parchment paper with very sticky hands. This dough is sticky enough that if I had one, I would probably use a mini ice cream scooper or a melon baller to drop rounds instead.

Cookie Dough Rounds
So once they were all lined up on a pan lined with parchment paper, I put them in the oven for about 14 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Once they were slightly golden around the edges, I pulled them out and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Looking at cookies through the grimy window of my oven.Cooling the Cookies
While they were cooling, I mixed up the lemon glaze. This was so delicious that I followed it exactly like the original Martha Stewart recipe. First I cut a lemon in half and juiced one half of it to get about 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Then I took that same half and grated the peel on the flat grater — just like I did for the ginger — to get about 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest.

Zesting a Lemon
I whisked to combine 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, the lemon juice and zest, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 1/2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. It was pretty easy to get this nice and smooth, and ohmygosh it was so good. I was dipping my fingers in it the entire time I was baking. I will be putting this lemon glaze on everything.

Glaze IngredientsLemon Glaze
Then I just took my lemon glaze and put it on top of my cooled ginger cookies. The whole drizzling thing was just not working for me.

Drizzling Was Not Working
So instead I just spooned it on top in big blobs and let it run to cover the whole top of the cookie.

Glazing a CookieGlazing
For the second half of the batch, I set up a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and then rested a wire rack on top of it. I set the cookies on the wire rack and glazed them there, so that the excess glaze could run off the sides and be caught by the pan below, instead of pooling unattractively around the cookie. This gave the cookie a really nice look. I was in a hurry (when am I not?), so I popped the cookies in the fridge so the glaze would set more quickly. But it would harden enough to be transportable in probably half an hour.

Lemon-Glazed Ginger Cookies

 

How Sue Sees It:
– I suggest storing these in an airtight container with wax paper between layers of cookies. Martha says they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days. I think throwing away cookies after only 2 days is ridiculous.
– I ran a little short on the lemon glaze near the end, and I tried to quickly whip up a second batch with some of that lemon juice that’s in the plastic lemon bottle. DO NOT DO THIS. It was disgusting and I threw it away.
– Line anything going into the oven with parchment paper and everything else with either parchment or wax paper. Then you can just throw away the mess.
– You can add food coloring to the glaze if you want. It looks kind of freakish and a bit less appetizing, but I dyed some of it green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Double Chocolate Cookies

19 Dec

What’s better than chocolate? More chocolate!  A good chocolate cookie is hard to come by, but these are pretty delicious.

I whisked to combine (you know I don’t sift) 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I set that aside and dumped 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips and 1 stick of butter into a glass bowl. I melted them in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth.

Dry Ingredients
I poured the chocolate and butter mixture in a large mixing bowl and added 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I beat it with the hand mixer on medium until it was well combined. I switched it down to low speed and slowly mixed in the dry ingredients.

Chocolate Mixture
The batter was really runny and difficult to work with, so I put it in the fridge for a little while. I wanted uniform-sized cookies, so instead of spooning them onto the parchment-paper lined cookie sheet, I rolled the dough into balls and placed them about 2 inches apart. (An ice cream scoop would work great — I probably should get one of those.) I did have to bake them in multiple batches, and chill the dough again in between preparing trays.

Chocolate Dough Balls
I baked them for about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through. I pulled them out when they started to crack on top. They looked beautiful arranged in a circle on my red snowman platter, and judging from the number of tiny children who kept grabbing them off the table at the party I took them to, they tasted great too!

Double Chocolate Cookies

How Sue Sees It:
– If I make these again, I would melt only half the chocolate chips. I would leave the other half whole and stir them into the batter at the end to make chocolate-chocolate chip cookies.
– Tip: If you drop the batter when it’s room temperature or warm, the cookies will spread quickly while they bake and be thinner and more crunchy. If you chill or freeze the batter first, it won’t spread as much, and they will be thicker and less crunchy.
– These cookies are nice and flat, so they would be ideal for decorating. Try making a few stencils of holiday shapes and then sprinkling confectioners sugar on the cookie using a fine sieve. It would make for a cute snowman or Christmas tree outline.

Snowflake Cookies

16 Dec

It has been unusually cold in North Carolina, with temperatures in the 30s and snowfall in early December! Very strange, but also a perfect setting for these gorgeous snowflake sugar cookies.

Of course, after my notorious Cookie Fail, I relied heavily on Betsy’s cookie expertise for this batch of cookies. We started with a basic sugar cookie recipe.

After a lot of practice, we got in a good rhythm: Betsy is good at rolling and cutting, and I’m good peeling and placing on the pan. I usually am not big on purchasing specific kitchen tools that do fancy things because I think most baking can be accomplished with basic kitchen items, but I will say that the large spreader from Pampered Chef came in handy. It’s designed to be used to spread icing on large cakes, but it worked really well to slide delicate snowflake shapes off the counter top and get them to the baking pan. Just flour it a little and it works like a charm.

Sugar Snowflake Cookies
After baking and cooling about 6 dozen cookies (yes, it took forever), I set about with decorating (which took another forever).

We whipped up a batch of royal icing and added some whitening cream to make it extra-white, instead of kind of a dull, unappealing cream color. Betsy loaded it into an icing bag with a tiny tip for me, and I got to work. Royal icing hardens into a solid layer when it comes in contact with air. It takes a few hours for it to harden completely, but it gets difficult to spread evenly within minutes. So working relatively quickly, I did one cookie at a time. To make sure I got a neat overall cover, I first traced the snowflake outline and then filled it in. I held it still with a wooden skewer so I could move a little more quickly. Then, using a pair of tweezers, I added light blue sugar pearls. Play around with different patterns and get creative — it’s fun!

Tracing a snowflake outlineFilling in with icingAdding the pearl decorations

I made two different patterns with the white icing. Then we made another batch of royal icing and colored it with light blue dye and a little bit of whitening to lighten it to the right shade. I decorated another 2 dozen cookies with the same patterns as the white cookies, but with light blue icing and white sugar pearls.

While I worked on those, Betsy decorated the rest of the cookies with sugar sprinkles. For a dozen cookies, she used a paintbrush to coat each cookie with a layer of piping gel, which only looks disgusting. Then she poured silver pearlized sugar on top, and that’s it! Quite simple.

For another dozen cookies, we wanted them to be blue, but the blue pearlized sugar was way to bold next to the light blue royal icing. So Betsy mixed a little blue food coloring into the piping gel and then decorated it the same way — paint it on the cookie and then cover with silver sprinkles. It gave a very pale blue shine, almost like glass, underneath the silver sprinkles. Very subtle and beautiful!

After the white cookies hardened completely, Betsy used a large paintbrush (you could also use a blush brush or kabuki makeup brush) to dust on some silver pearl dust. It’s like using glitter makeup with a slight sparkle to it — it’s barely noticeable but adds a nice little sparkling sheen to the cookie.

Snowflake Cookies

So this was a relatively short post compared to the others, but don’t think this is a relatively short process. Cutting cookies takes longer than filling a bunch of cake or cupcake tins, and decorating cookies like this — especially with a complicated cookie shape — takes a long time. All in all, this took us about 6 or 7 hours. And that doesn’t count the packaging and presentation time.

When I got home, I loaded 6 cookies — one of each decoration type — into clear plastic bags I picked up at Michael’s, twisted the top closed, secured it with tape, and tied it with a blue ribbon. They made adorable gift bags!

Snowflake CookiesSnowflake Cookies

Royal Icing

15 Dec

Royal icing is that icing on top of sugar cookies that hardens to where it won’t smudge at all. But it’s great because it’s not like a plastic texture — it’s still chewable and not crunchy. It’s great to use for decorating and gifting cookies because as long as you give it a day to harden, nothing will harm your decorations. You can also use it as a glue to attach decorations.

Here’s a basic recipe for you:

In a medium bowl, we added 1 large egg white (Betsy separated it for me — I ain’t got skills like that). I added 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (look for it on the spice aisle). After Betsy sifted 1 cup confectioners sugar, I added a little at a time, beating the mixture with a hand mixer until it formed soft peaks.

The icing dries quickly once it comes into contact with air, so you really should use it immediately. If you can’t, cover it with a wet cloth and leave it on the counter (not the fridge) until you’re ready to use it. It will last up to 12 hours this way.

You can add food coloring to it to make whatever color you want. If you want it to be white, I definitely suggest adding whitening cream because when it’s plain, it’s a little too grossly cream-colored to make nice cookies. Just don’t add to much or it might get too watery and drip off your cookies.

Snowflake cookie with royal icing and blue sugar pearls

Happy decorating!

P.S. If raw eggs freak you out, there are a million other royal icing recipes on the web that use meringue powder and water instead. Just Google search it and you’ll find one!