Chinese Almond Cookies

Macau Almond Cookies

Makes 1 dozen medium-sized cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond powder

3/4 cup mung bean flour

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tsp almond extract

2 Tbsp water

flour, for prepping cookie mold

Equipment:

mixing bowl

almond cookie mold

pastry brush

cookie sheet lined with parchment

Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients together until you get an evenly mixed cookie dough. The dough will look crumbly and on the dry side, but should stick together when you firmly press the crumbs together.

2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Dust the inside of the mold generously with flour using a pastry brush. Take care to get into all the nooks and crannies of your mold design. Stuff the mold with the correct amount of dough until it is just full. Press the dough in firmly.

3. Give the mold a hard and deliberate smack against a durable, edged surface to release them. Use one hand to hold the mold and your other hand to catch the cookie, or use the release technique I used when making mooncakes. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies look just set on the outside. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool while still on the hot baking sheet. Let the cookies cool completely before serving. Happy Chinese New Year!!

Ginger Shortbread

From David Leibovitz, who seems to have gotten it from the Edmonds Cookery Book (1908)

Yield: 18 to 24 bar cookies

Original pan: 20 cm x 30 cm rectangular pan
What I would use: 8 in x 8 in brownie pan, lined with parchment paper (hanging over the edge so you can pull the shortbread out of the brownie pan), sides buttered

INGREDIENTS:

Cookie base

4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons, 125g) unsalted butter, room temperature (it should be very soft)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
1 1/2 cup (210g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger

Icing

2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75g) butter, salted or unsalted
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or palm syrup)
3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground dried ginger

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Butter a 13-inch rectangular tart pan or another pan (see headnote.)

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand in a large bowl, make the cookie base by creaming the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger.

3. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until well-combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead it until the dough is relatively smooth.

(If necessary, dampen your hands to add a bit of moisture to the dough, if it’s dry.)

4. Press the dough into the prepared pan and flatted the surface, then bake the dough for 20 minutes, until it’s light golden brown.

5. Five minutes before the dough is done, making the icing by heating the 2 1/2 ounces of butter and golden syrup in a small pan, then mix in the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon ginger, stirring until smooth.

6. When you take the pan out of the oven, pour the warm icing over the cookie base. Let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and slice while still slightly warm.
Note: The only substitutions I could imagine that might work for this recipe might be honey, since it has the same viscosity to golden syrup. Rice syrup is another possibility. If you do try it with another liquid sweetener, please share your results in the comments.

Tea Biscuits

Adapted from KAF.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon coconut flavor OR lemon flavor OR orange flavor
OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
OR 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
  3. Mix all the ingredients, by hand or mixer, until a well-blended, cohesive dough forms; this will take about 2 minutes at medium-low speed in a stand mixer.
  4. Drop the cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet (a teaspoon cookie scoop works well here), leaving 1″ between them; these cookies won’t spread much when they bake.
  5. Use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/4″ thick, making a cross-hatch design.
  6. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until just browned on the bottom. The tops will not brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.
  7. Yield: 22 cookies.

Snickerdoodles

If you’re not familiar with these, they are basically sugar cookies with an attractive cinnamon sugar crackle coating.

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.

Makes 18 cookies

INGREDIENTS:

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs

TOPPING:

2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in kitchenaid. Add eggs. Add dry ingredients. Roll into 2 in balls.
  4. Mix topping ingredients together in separate bowl.
  5. Roll cookie dough balls in topping mixture. Place on silpat lined cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 14 min.
  7. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Stars

Ingredients:

1 lb unblanched almonds
5 egg whites
dash salt
2 c sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon rind

Directions:

  1. Blend almonds in blender. Do not use food grinder because it makes the nuts too oily.
  2. Beat egg whites with salt until they hold a soft shape, then add in confectioner’s sugar. Beat until mixture holds stiff peaks when you lift up the beater.
  3. Stir in cinnamon and grated lemon rind.
  4. Take 1/3 of the egg white mixture and place in a separate bowl to use later as a glaze.
  5. Fold the almonds into the remaining 2/3 of the batter and mix thoroughly.

NOW:

  1. Take half the mixture at a time, and pat to a thickness of 3/8 in on a board or pastry cloth, lightly sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.
  2. If mixture seems sticky, dust your hands with confectioner’s sugar.
  3. Cut with small star cutter and place on greased cookie sheet (or nonstick sheet with silpat).
  4. Brush the tops of each cookie with a generous coating of the reserved egg white mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated 300 F oven for 20 min or until the edges begin to get firm.
  6. BAKING DOES NOT CHANGE THE COLOR of these cookies.
  7. Take the other half of the batter and repeat the operation.
  8. Makes approximately 5 dozen small cookies.

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie

Did you hear the one about the (choose one) Neiman-Marcus, Mrs. Field’s etc. chocolate chip cookie recipe?

This story has been making the rounds for going on 5 years now, and shows no signs of dying down. It seems someone — usually a friend of a friend of the person telling the story — contacted some famous retailer, by phone (or at the store) for their “secret” chocolate chip cookie recipe. Told the charge would be “two-fifty,” this person said to charge it to their credit card. Later they discovered the actual charge was $250.00, and then and there they decided to “tell the world” the “secret” recipe, to get even.

Well, it’s a funny story, but completely untrue. Neiman-Marcus will gladly let you in on the secret of their chocolate chip cookies at no charge. One good thing has resulted from this story, however; the following chocolate chip cookie recipe. This version comes from Janet Matz of Norwich, Vermont, a good friend of King Arthur, who got it from “a friend of a co-worker of a friend.”

2 cups (1 pound) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups rolled oats
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups chopped nuts
1 8-oz. semisweet chocolate bar, grated
2 bags (12 ounces each) chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a blender or food processor, grind oats until they’re a fine powder. Add oats, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda to butter/sugar mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts, grated chocolate and chips.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (a medium-sized cookie scoop makes short order of this job). Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes approximately 12 dozen cookies.

NOTE: I make this recipe all the time, it’s AMAZINGLY DELISH!

Scottish Macaroon Bars (Made with Potato)

This recipe is: Gluten Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan

Scottish Macaroon Bars

INGREDIENTS

4 oz potato, preferably Idaho© Russet (you need a dry potato)
1 lb (16 oz) powdered sugar (more or less as needed)
dark or milk chocolate for dipping (use good quality chocolate, no Hersheys)
finely shredded coconut for coating
Boil the unpeeled potato until ready.

DIRECTIONS

Drain, peel and mash the potato and allow to cool completely.

Begin adding some powdered sugar, about half a cup at a time.

Don’t fret if the mixture becomes gooey, because it will.

Just keep adding the sugar and mixing well, and soon it will have a fondant texture.

Add enough sugar so that it comes together and is very stiff.

If you’d like to make a pink version (I made half the batch pink for Valentine’s Day) just add a drop of red food coloring.

Prepare a cookie sheet (which will fit into your freezer) with waxed paper or a Silpat.

At this point, you can roll the macaroon mixture into small balls and flatten them, or for the traditional style, shape it into a rectangle on the sheet and then place in the freezer for about 4 hours or longer.

Prepare the coconut, by placing it on a cookie sheet in a preheated 300 ºF oven for 5 minutes.

Stir the coconut and continue to monitor closely as it will turn brown very quickly.

Remove from the oven when it’s a nice brown color;
cool and mix with an equal amount of untoasted coconut.

Place in a plate which will be a good size for dipping the macaroons.

If you made a rectangle shape of macaroons, cut them into your preferred size and shape.

Keep in the freezer until ready to dip.

When you are ready to finish the macaroons, melt the chocolate.

Dip each piece into the chocolate, and immediately coat with the combination of shredded coconut.
Place on a tray to set.

Once the chocolate has hardened, there is no need to freeze or refrigerate the macaroons.

Keep in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tin, and consume within 7 to 10 days
(the last part shouldn’t be a problem)!

Recipe here: http://christinascucina.com/2014/02/scottish-macaroon-bars-and-idaho-potato.html