Tag Archives: cookies

Iced cookies or edible art?


opHopefully you are already sold on these cookies after seeing photos of them here.

They are incredibly easy and fun to make. My daughter and I spent quite a few weekends and school holidays making these. She loved decorating them and have now taken to designing what our next creation would be. (Which may or may not involve creating custom cookie cutters via Cookie Cutter Kingdom who 3D prints cookie cutter designs!)

After deciding what the cookie will be, she will plan the colours required to go with them, and the relevant consistency of the icing. For example, white for outline and flooding; red for flooding; grey for outline etc.

Once you’ve prepared the dough, it can be frozen, saving you one step in your weekend activity.
Just seal them tightly with cling wrap and freeze in sealed bags with a clear label. That way it’ll be easy to defrost the cookie sheets.

Simply defrost in the fridge, cut with cookie cutter into desired shapes and bake. Let cool completely on racks before you start decorating them.

Ingredients

  • 300g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 5g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 2g (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 226g unsalted butter (I use Westgold), room temperature
  • 140g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp Princess Emulsion (omit if you can’t find this in the baking stores)
  • 3 and 3/4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture in 2 batches and beat until just incorporated.
  4. Divide the dough in half.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, very lightly dust the dough with flour and roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper until about 3cm thick.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  7. Cut cookies with your preferred cutter. Gather scraps and repeat steps 5 and 7.
  8. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 175 degrees C. Bake the cookies, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until just golden, 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
  9. Meanwhile, make the icing: Sift the icing sugar and meringue powder into a large bowl. Beat in 6 tablespoons water with a mixer on medium speed until soft, glossy peaks form.
  10. Take the required amount of icing and add desired icing colours. Add water bit by bit (or with a spray bottle) till you reach a consistency like runny honey. This is the ‘medium’ consistency and best used for outlining and flooding.
  11. Fill piping bags with icing and decorate to your heart’s content!

Come fly away with me~

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle Cookies


I turned one of my earlier Brownie recipes into a cookie! To be honest, these were inspired by the many versions of the same on Instagram lately, and for fear of missing out, I followed suit. Henceforth known as #fomocookies.

These are quick to make too!

Makes 20 – 22 cookies

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate (70% best chocolate, I used Valrhona), chopped
  • 60g unsalted butter, cubed (I use Westgold)
  • 45g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground instant coffee powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (about 55g each)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt flakes, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Place the dark chocolate and butter into a medium sized heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
  2. Heat on a medium-low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, coffee powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the brown sugar and eggs on medium speed, until thick, doubled in volume, and light caramel in color (about 4 minutes). Add in the melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate. Continue to whisk until well incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Set the mixer speed to medium and add in the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then, add in the water. Continue to whisk until homogenise. The dough should be fluid, and form a thick flowing trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour. (Not any longer or it will be too hard to scoop.)
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius. Line three large baking trays with baking paper.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough evenly onto the prepared cookie sheets. The dough should be soft but will hold its shape when being scooped. If not, leave in the fridge for a further 15 minutes. Place 6-8 scoops on each cookie sheet with plenty of room to spread. Drop the sheets against the kitchen bench to slightly flatten the cookies. Sprinkle over a little of the flaked sea salt.
  8. Bake the cookies for a total of 11 minutes. To make crinkles (method is according to Sarah Kieffer), you’ll have to do the following steps:
  • Set a timer for 11 minutes of baking. Place sheets in.

  • After 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet half-way around. Lift and drop the sheet against the oven rack to deflate the cookies. A small circle of crinkles should be visible on the outer edge of the cookies. Close the oven door and allow the cookies to rise again.

  • 2 minutes later, again lift and drop the tray against the oven rack to deflate and further crinkle the cookies. They will be very visible (I was so excited when I saw these!) Bake for another 2 minutes.

  • Repeat one more time of lift and drop, and bake one last 2 minutes.

  • The cookies should be flat with plenty of crinkles. They should be just firm around the edges and set in the middle.

Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on their trays for 10 minutes, then to a wire rack to cool further.

6 recipes/ideas to start your amazing journey with Paneton French Bakery’s new chocolate pastry


If you have ever tried making short crust pastry, you would know that while it isn’t very difficult (at least when compared to making puff pastry), it does take a bit of time to make and rest before you can roll it out for baking. Add to that my preference for a chocolate shell to go with a dark chocolate ganache – I end up making far fewer tarts than other desserts.

Cue Paneton French Bakery. Their short crust pastry has always been, in my view, an exemplar of pastries.  When they released the ready-rolled chocolate pastry, I felt as if a weight has lifted off my shoulders – I can finally make tarts quickly!!! I then went about challenging myself to see how many things I can make using this gem! Here are my 6 recipes/ideas, for now 😉

1. Chocolate tarts – Solomon’s Gold 70% smooth dark chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream

The pastry is not very sweet and it serves as a very good base for any dessert tart. Here are my favourites:

– Solomon’s Gold 70% smooth dark chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream

– Solomon’s Gold dark orange chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream and Fresh As Freeze dried mandarin segments

– Forty Thieves‘ salted macadamia butter with chocolate ganache

– Forty Thieves‘ cacao hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache

Makes 10 individual tarts

Ingredients:

  • 500g roll of Paneton French Bakery Chocolate Pastry,
  • 300g Solomon’s Gold smooth dark chocolate or dark orange chocolate, chopped into small pieces in a heat proof bowl
  • Forty Thieves nut butters
  • 375ml Lewis Road Creamery double cream
  • Decorations – Valrhona crisp pearls, batons, Fresh As Freeze dried fruits, Solomon’s Gold cacao nibs

Instructions

    1. Thaw pastry overnight in the fridge.
    2. Carefully unroll the pastry to prevent any breaks (but it is ok if it breaks! Just push it back together)
    3. Using a sharp knife, cut out squares or circles of pastry to fit your tart mould.
    4. Push the pastry into the moulds carefully, be sure to mend any breaks. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
    5. Blind bake in 180C oven for 9 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
    6. Make ganache by heating cream in a pot till just starting to boil, then pour over the the chocolate pieces.
    7. Let is sit for a minutes for the chocolate to soften, and then mix it till the mixture becomes glossy and thick.
    8. If using nut butter, add a dollop onto the baked shells before the next step.
    9. Pour ganache into individual tart shells, and decorate!

2. Ice cream bowl – individual dessert bar

Here the pastry is shaped into a bowl (I used the Wilton’s cookie bowl mould ) and used to serve up Kohu Road Cookies and Cream ice cream. Perfect with a tray full of garnishes for you to decorate to your heart’s content. Halzelnut praline, freeze dries raspberries and Manuka honey, Valrhona chocolate crisp pearls and batons…hmmmm

3. Ice cream sandwich with Kohu Road Cookie and Cream

Scoop the ice cream into a flat container and refreeze to solidify the ice cream again. Cut out rectangle slices of ice cream and sandwich them between rectangular shaped pastry cookies.

4. Biscuits with Fresh As freeze-dried powders

J made some rocket ship and butterfly biscuits here with cookie cutters. We then dipped them into melted chocolate, followed by a sprinkle of Fresh As freeze dried raspberry powder. The acid tang was sooo good with the bitter pastry biscuit.

5. Tim tam cheesecake

Instead of lining the whole mould with the pastry, place a disc of it on the bottom of the mould. Bake and after cooling, pour in your favourite no-bake cheesecake filling (see my Tim Tam cheesecake) and let it set in the fridge.

6. Chocolate soil

This is as simple as baking the chocolate pastry and then crumbling them in a food processor or by giving them a good bash in a zip bag with a rolling pin. Sprinkle over or on the sides of desserts and voilà you have a Masterchef style dessert 🙂

Hope this gets you going with your adventure using Paneton’s Chocolate Pastry!

Spiced cookies


In my quest to put together a series of basic recipes, I came upon this cookie recipe from my formative years. It looked simple enough, here I made only one change – using Valrhona cocoa powder instead of ordinary ones. V cocoa is totally irresistible and gives an addictive cocoa aroma not found in others. The difference is entirely noticeable, worth every cent.

Ingredients
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp valrhona cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

Instructions
Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
Add golden syrup and egg and mix until combined.
Sift in flour, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon and baking powder.
Mix until the dough comes together.
Roll out on a floured board to about 3mm thick.

Demonstration by J:

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Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes as desired.

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Lift carefully and place on a baking sheet. Don’t eat them yet!!

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Bake at 175 degrees C for 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Quak quak, oink oink, moo moo!

Hazelnut cocoa nibs cookies


Today J helped me with some freezer cookie dough. These are the ones I always have in the freezer, to be whipped out in a second when cookies are called for in short notice.

You can replace the hazelnuts with other nuts you like: pistachios, macadamias or cashews.

Ingredients
1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup valrhona cocoa powder
2 tbsp Frangelico (hazelnut liquor)

Method

Combine the butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer, and beat on high for 1 minute until it is smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and frangelico liquor.

Beat in the chopped hazelnuts and cocoa nibs.

Add all the flour and cocoa powder in. Beat on low speed until the flour mixture is well incorporated.

Scoop half of this dough and place onto cling film. Roll into a log and freeze for at least 2 hours before slicing. You can keep this for up to 3 months. Scoop the rest of the dough onto another piece of cling film to form a second log.

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like so…

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius.

Use a sharp knife to cut the cold dough into 0.5cm thick slices.

Place cookies on baking paper-lined cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and let them rest on the sheets for about 1-2 minutes further before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!