Monday, December 31, 2012

Soft & Sparkly Molasses Cookies

Best Soft Molasses Cookies

This is not a top posts/recipes/photos/food/12 of 2012 post. Instead, I have for you the best soft molasses cookies. I made these cookies on a lazy afternoon in Texas while everyone was out. As they baked, the cookies filled the kitchen with the sweetest of smells. They were pretty much the perfect ending to my holiday cookie making.

Best Soft Molasses Cookies

I have no hesitation in making this claim to the best soft molasses cookie. These cookies are sweet and spiced, fat and puffy with the prefect chew. And the demerara sugar adds a pleasant crunch.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Brown Butter, Chocolate Chunk, Hazelnut, & Orange Cookies

Chocolate Chunk, Hazelnut, Orange Cookies

I'm sorry this is not a peppermint recipe. So many gorgeous peppermint desserts have popped up over the past month or so--these cupcakes, these sandwich cookies, this cake--all sporting the loveliest swirls and specks of red/pink/white. So pretty and likely so delicious to all the peppermint lovers out there. But, it's just that, well, I just really don't like peppermint.

So, I'm sorry. Instead, I have orange infused, nutty, brown butter cookies with hefty swirls of chocolate. A holiday cookie dream, I'd say.

Chocolate Chunk, Hazelnut, Orange Cookies
Cute, round, chubby little roasted hazelnuts.

Hazelnuts get peeled (rather easily thanks to this how-to), roasted, and chopped. Butter gets browned, toasty, and nutty. Chocolate stays whole--we want big swirls of chocolate. This is a time of giving and generosity, hence, no skimping on the chocolate. Seriously.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apple Crumb Tartlets with Speculoos Crust

Apple Speculoos Tart

Sometimes I just need to get away, need a break from the usual, a change of scenery, some new views, that sort of thing. So I am very happy to be in Texas for a couple of weeks. I've had leisurely mornings and wine infused evenings. I've made cranberry jam and buttermilk cake and learned how to use Dad's new smoker.

Looking out and seeing pasture and horses and trees and little else relieves me. I love being able to sit on the porch or walk around outside and hear no cars or other city sounds. Or head to Denton square and wander around with a friend. And plan a slew of cookies to bake. Dale arrives on Sunday. And thank goodness because I am in dire need of good coffee. Plus, he's pretty good company.

Apple Speculoos Tart

Before I left Atlanta, I was determined to bake some tartlets and a chocolate cake. The cake will come later. For now, I have these tartlets for you. They came out of an urging for apple pie. I do love apple pie--warm and comforting and fulfilling.

Sometimes though, I want a little crumble in place of the pie crust. Since I'd made speculoos a day or two earlier, I decided to incorporate them via a cookie tartlet crust. Because how could that be bad?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Speculoos (Biscoff cookies)

Speculoos Biscoff cookies

Well. That was crazy. Thanksgiving happened and then the end of the semester, with all its papering and examining and such, came in quick succession. I spent weeks sitting in front of my computer. I forgot what I looked like with makeup on. I ran out of lazy clothes. I made mustache-shaped sugar cookie pops. I drank too much coffee and ate Biscoff spread from a jar. It was highly attractive. Mildly insane. Hopefully successful. But mostly, I'm glad it's over. Back to real things. Cookie things. We like these things.

Speculoos (or Biscoff cookies) are delightfully crisp, slightly spiced, and super buttery. You can enjoy them in both cookie and spread form (the aforementioned addictive spread is also known as cookie butteromggg). They are simple and straightforward delicious. Awesome on their own or sandwiching peanut butter or vanilla butter cream or, dare I say, cookie butter!? That'd be a cookie on cookie on cookie situation. My kind of situation. And plus, they'd be totes adorbs in a festive bag, tied up with a little bow, and tucked in a stocking.

Speculoos Biscoff cookies