Archive for: Cookies
Biscoff spread is a peanut butter-like spread made of sweet and spicy speculaas cookies. It has a buttery, brown sugar flavor with a hint of gingersnap to it. The spread is growing in popularity and is more and more widely available (it’s sold as Speculoos Cookie Butter at Trader Joe’s). It’s great to spread on graham crackers, put on top of toast, drizzle over hot waffles or simply eat with a spoon. You can also bake with it, using it in recipes where Nutella or peanut butter are featured to add a different flavor.
The recipe for these Biscoff Spread Cookies is similar to my recipe for peanut butter cookies, although I used the brown sugar spread instead of a nut-based one. The cookies have a tender and slightly cakey texture to them, and the brown sugar flavor of the spread comes through well, though they’re not strongly flavored cookies. I rolled mine in sugar before baking to add a little extra sweetness and lend some texture to the exterior of these treats, too. That tender, cakey texture comes from the fact that this is a cookie-based spread, rather than a nut-based one. The speculaas cookies that make up the spread (even though there is a fair amount of fat in the spread) dry out these cookies slightly in a way that Nutella or peanut butter would not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just makes the cookies more unique.
These cookies are excellent with coffee and tea, and they keep very well when stored in an airtight container for a few days. Don’t skip the sugar coating when you’re shaping your cookies or the finished product will be a little bit too plain. If you want to dress them up even more, they make great ice cream sandwiches with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.
Slice and bake cookies are a type of cookie that is formed into a log that you can cut into individual rounds and place on the baking sheet, as opposed to “drop cookies” that are hand shaped and dropped into small mounds on the baking sheet before baking. The term “slice and bake” is often applied to the ready made logs of dough that you can buy in the grocery store, which are easy for anyone to bake off in just a few minutes, but cookies of this type are a great option for baker who prefer to do things from scratch, too. This is because this type of cookie dough can be prepared well in advance and stored in the freezer until you are ready to bake them off. On the short end of the spectrum, you might only need to chill the dough for an hour to firm up the dough enough to slice it easily before baking the cookies. On the longer end, you might want to keep and extra log or two ro your favorite dough in the freezer so that you can always have homemade cookies at your fingertips when you need to bake something. Most doughs will keep for months, if not longer, when well wrapped and stored in an airtight container. The other advantage to freezing the dough is that you don’t need to make the whole batch of cookies at once. If you only want two or four cookies (as a snack for yourself or you and a friend/loved one), you only need to bake that many and can save the rest of the dough for the next time a craving strikes.
Slice and bake cookies can be made in all different flavors, just as other types of cookies can be. This is a popular technique to use for shortbread and butter cookies, where the thin slices can help to produce crisp, tender cookies. The slices also give the cookies a uniform look, which makes them a great candidate for being dipped in chocolate or otherwise dressed up when compared to homier-looking drop cookies.
A few slice and bake recipes to get you started, so you can stock up the freezer with dough in advance and be ready to bake whenever fresh cookies are called for (which, in my experience, is very often):
Coconut and cashews aren’t two flavors that I would have put together off the top of my head, but when I ate a piece of a chocolate bar that combined these two elements, I realized that the two make for an excellent flavor combination. Both the coconut and the cashews have a slight sweetness to them and their fairly mellow flavors blend together easily. The coconut adds some chew while the cashews add some crunch, so when they both show in in the same cookie recipe, you end up with a very addictive finished product.
Coconut Cashew Cookies have plenty of shredded coconut and a generous amount of lightly toasted and salted cashews in the cookie dough. The cookies smell like toasting coconut when they’re in the oven, and you are left with cookies that have a great texture – crispy edges and chewy centers – when they are finished baking. The coconut helps the cookies stay moist and tender, so they cookies will loose a little of their “just-baked” crispness after a day or so and take on a slightly chewier texture, but they’ll still have a crunchy element from the buttery cashews.
I often use roasted and salted nuts when I bake and these cookies are no exception. The cashews are slightly crisper after being roasted and have a nuttier flavor to them. The added salt makes them a little more distinct and adds a subtle sweet-savory element to the cookies. You could also stir in a handful of chocolate chips or white chocolate chips if you really need a chocolate fix, but I think that these cookies are great as-is and will be going into the rotation of cookies I make regularly!
Thomas Keller’s beautiful cookbooks are often through of being coffee table books more than actually cookbooks. This could be attributed to the fact that the photography in the books, whether The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon or Ad Hoc at Home, is stunning, but it can also be attributed to the fact that the recipes tend to be very detailed and often time consuming. This is for good reason, as that attention to detail in the recipes is what guarantees a great result, but it can put otherwise busy home cooks off of trying the recipes.
Fortunately, even a busy cook has time to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and I’m using Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Ad Hoc cookbook to illustrate this fact. The cookies have an ingredient list that looks similar to that of your average chocolate chip cookie, with a few small exceptions. First, the cookies use muscovado sugar, a very dark brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor, to add both flavor and moisture to the cookies. Second, the cookies use cold butter rather than softened butter, which gives them an extra a hint of tenderness. Finally, the cookies use two kinds of chocolate chunks in them rather than chocolate chips – and they use a lot of chocolate to ensure that there is enough delivered in every bite. I made them as directed, but couldn’t resist throwing in a little vanilla extract to the mix, too.
The cookbook promises that these cookies will be crisp on the outside and chewy in the center, with a lot of chocolate in every bite. They live up to expectations. When the cookies are still a bit warm from being in the oven, they have a great contrast of crisp exterior and chewy interior. After the cookies have been stored for a day or so in an airtight container, they loose a little of that crispiness and take on a nice chewy texture overall. Crisp or chewy, they still have lots of chocolate, butter and brown sugar in every bite which makes for one very good chocolate chip cookie.
Cookies n’ cream will probably always be one of my favorite ice cream flavors, one that I reach for every once in a while for because – let’s face it – vanilla, chocolate and oreo cookies is a great flavor combination. It’s a flavor combination that can be great in all kinds of different desserts, too, not just in ice creams. I’ve used it in scones, pound cake and even in brownies. This time, I used the cookies n’ cream concept in cookies.
These very chocolatey cookies are made with cocoa powder (you can use natural or dutch process, both will work) are crisp around the edges, while being more tender in the center. They are packed with dark chocolate, white chocolate and lots of chopped Oreo-type cookies. I actually used the Vanilla Bean Jo-Jos – Oreo look-a-likes from Trader Joe’s in these – so feel free to use a different brand of cookie if that is what you have available. The finished cookies have a great combination of textures and flavors, from the rich dark chocolate to the creamy white chocolate, the crisp chocolate wafer pieces and the sweet vanilla cream bits.
These cookies are great when they’re fresh out of the oven, but they will keep well for several days in an airtight container. If you really want to take the cookies n’ cream factor over the top, use two of these to sandwich some cookies n’ cream ice cream for a delicious homemade ice cream sandwich!