A TRIO OF COOKIES

As you may remember, I have a blog dedicated exclusively for cookies (click here), but it does not include recipes. It is a venue to document my path through cookie decorating. Come to think of it, check out my 3D macs that were published yesterday...) When I try a new, blog-worthy recipe, it will be shared right here. Today I offer you three recipes, all from bloggers I follow and love. They are listed in chronological order, the last one I made last weekend.

SPRITZ BARS
(from Helen Fletcher)

I made these cookies in October last year, and they were a huge hit. The instructions in Helen’s site are super detailed, and you’ll end up with little cookies that look very professional, uniform in size, the type of bake that makes me think of a certain tent of my past. For the full recipe, visit this post. I just love the use of Swedish pearl sugar.

CREAM CHEESE SUGAR COOKIES
(by Tanya Ott)

When Tanya raves about a sugar cookie, I listen. She knows her cookies well… The addition of cream cheese tames the sweetness and gives it a wonderful texture. She mentioned they hold the shape well – notice the recipe does not call for leavening agents – so I put it to a harsh test, using a patterned rolling pin. As you can see, the recipe passed the test with no issues! This batch was made in November last year, right after Tanya blogged about it (for the full recipe, click here)

The cookies would be perfect without any adornment, but I could not resist brushing a little pink luster dust and then some pearl. Just because…

TOFFEE SANDWICH COOKIES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM FILLING
(from Josette, TheBrookCook)

If you read Josette’s post about it, you’ll understand why I jumped on making them right away. I was intrigued by the use of Toffee bits in the dough. Works like a charm. And the combination of cookie plus brown butter buttercream is outstanding. Make them, you won’t be disappointed. I changed the decoration to a drizzle of chocolate, but check her version for the authentic recipe (click here).

These three blogs are a constant source of inspiration for me,
and I am sure they will be for you also!

ONE YEAR AGO: The Many Faces of Brownie Cupcakes

TWO YEARS AGO: Olive Oil Brioche

THREE YEARS AGO: Coconut and Lime Macarons

FOUR YEAR AGO: Flank Steak Carnitas

FIVE YEARS AGO: Sesame and Poppy Seed Sourdough

SIX YEARS AGO: Pecan-Crusted Chicken from Southern at Heart

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Cauliflower-Celeriac Purée

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Chestnut Brownies and a Blog Award!

NINE YEARS AGO: Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots

TEN YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday: Heirloom Tomatoes Steal the Show

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Pain de Provence

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Golspie Loaf, from the Scottish Highlands

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF IS BACK!

Americans who love the show will be very happy because Netflix is releasing each episode just a few days after they air in the UK. I was lucky enough to watch the opening show in London, but now I have to be patient and wait from Tuesday to Friday to indulge.  This year the group of contestants seems surprisingly young.  Or, does that mean I am getting so old that I noticed the trend? Hard to tell, but I have the feeling that in other seasons the ages were a bit more widespread. Still, they picked a bunch of folks with interesting personalities so it should be fun to watch. I decided to bake some of the challenges this year, and will start with the signature from episode 2, Biscuits. The theme is deceptively simple: make 12 chocolate-covered biscuits. I went Japanese with my interpretation. Matcha cookies with a miso-caramel filling. Coated with tempered dark chocolate.

CHOCOLATED-COATED MATCHA COOKIES WITH MISO CARAMEL
(inspired by Japanese Patisserie)

100 g all-purpose flour
150 g cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
75 g  granulated sugar
113 g softned butter (1 stick)
2 egg yolks
3 g matcha powder
for caramel:
160 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoons corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
200 g granulated sugar
50 g miso paste
to coat and decorate cookies:
500 g dark chocolate, tempered
100 g white chocolate, gently melted and placed in piping bag
sprinkles of choice (I used edible golden stars)

To make the cookies, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.

Beat the sugar with the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until creamy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, then the matcha powder and beat until fully combined.

Gently fold in the flour mixture to form a crumbly dough. If the dough is too dry, sprinkle a few teaspoons of cold water, a little at a time until it forms a dough that adheres when you press portions with your fingers. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.  

Heat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the dough, using as little flour as possible on the work surface, to a thickness of around  1⁄4 inch (6mm). Stamp out rounds with the cookie cutter. Roll the scraps again and cut rounds of the same size, but use a smaller cookie cutter to remove most of the central part, so that you can form a barrier for the caramel to be poured inside (as shown in the composite picture). Place the top portion over the circles that will form the base, prick the surface with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for around 12 minutes until set but not browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the miso caramel, place the whipping cream into a microwaveable bowl and warm gently for 30 seconds. Put the corn syrup, water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently, until it turns into a dark, golden brown caramel color.   Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the warm cream, stirring constantly. Once the cream is fully incorporated, stir in the miso paste. Allow the caramel to cool and then scrape into a piping bag. Add the caramel to the center of the baked, and fully cooled cookies. Refrigerate several hours up to overnight.

Temper the dark chocolate using your favorite method. Dip each cookie in the tempered chocolate, then drizzle melted white chocolate to decorate. Add sprinkles of your choice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Best component of this recipe is definitely the miso caramel. I could enjoy it by spoonfuls, staring at the trees in our backyard, daydreaming… Come to think of it, a drizzle over vanilla ice cream sounds pretty amazing also. Matcha is a flavor that not everyone is fond of. I like it because it cuts through excessive sweetness and since the caramel is obviously quite sweet, it pairs well with it. If you prefer a less sharp and assertive cookie, omit the matcha powder, add some vanilla or lemon zest. But please do try the miso caramel, it goes more or less along the lines of salted caramel, but more subtle in its savory nature.

After coating the cookies in tempered chocolate, avoid the temptation to put them to dry over a rack. They might stick to the rack, so the best way is to carefully lay them over parchment paper once the excess chocolate drips away. This tip is a courtesy of the one and only Philip, from Phil’s Home Kitchen… And since I mentioned him, stop by to see his recent takes on the technical challenges of this GBBO season with a click here and here.

ONE YEAR AGO: Queen of Sheba

TWO YEARS AGO: Brunch Burger

THREE YEARS AGO: Mango Salsa with Verjus

FOUR YEARS AGO: Raspberry Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Brownies

FIVE YEARS AGO: Scary Good Pork Burgers

SIX YEARS AGO: Review of exercise program Focus25

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

NINE YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

TEN YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers