Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chocolate RumBalls. Careful, they may burn going down :)

This recipe is for Chocolate RumBalls. It's a little different from my regular recipes in that this one has liquor and does not require baking*.

* Roasting of nuts will be required.

The ingredients list is pretty simple but open to interpretation. You can substitute various components for your own preferences.

1 tbsp Unsalted Butter.
2 tbsp Honey (could also substitute with Corn Syrup).
1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
1 1/2 cups Roasted Pecans (Choose your preference for type of nut).
2 1/2 tbsp Cocoa.
1/4 to 1/2 cup Rum (Choose your preference for brand of Rum, I like London Dock and Appletons for cooking. Add more Rum for a stronger flavour).
1 1/4 cups Shortbread Cookies (Use home made or store bought).
1 cup Icing Sugar.

The first step is to roast the nuts for eight minutes at 350F. This will release the flavour from the nuts.

While the nuts are roasting we can crumble the shortbread cookies to serve as the cookie base for our RumBalls. Setting your food processor to pulse will do the best job, we don't want to create shortbread paste. Once completed poor the crumbles into a mixer bowl.

Now with the pecans roasted we can put them through the food processor (let them cool for a moment before adding to processor). Combine the shortbread crumble, nuts, 1/2 cup of icing sugar, and cocoa in the mixer bowl. Once mixed we may add the wet ingredients (honey, vanilla extract, butter, and Rum).

Mixing thoroughly place the resulting batter into the fridge until cool (this will take a few hours).

Removing the batter from the fridge begin rolling one inch balls, placing them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

To help seal in the flavour you may roll the completed balls in remaining 1/2 cup of icing sugar (or substitute with cocoa powder).

Its amazing how fast these disappeared before I could take a picture.

I hope you enjoyed this cookie! :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chocolate Crinkle: Funny name, serious chocolate.

The Chocolate Crinkle is a ball cookie, best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. The cookie gets its name from the cracked surface pattern seen once the cookie is baked.


16 oz Chocolate
8 tbsp butter
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups icing sugar (or cocoa powder)

This cookie has a four stage preparation:

1) Chocolate Preparation:

Melt butter over a hot water bath (boil water in one pot, place pot for butter & chocolate inside this pot to melt ingredients). Once melted slowly add in chocolate, stirring until ribbony consistancy achieved.

2) Mixing Dry Ingredients:

In a mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly. Now we add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder). Make sure to fully combine all ingredients.

3) Rolling Balls:

Roll about a tbsp's worth into a ball, then reroll the dough ball in the icing sugar or cocoa powder.

4) Baking :)

Pop the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 C. The surface will crack once cooked.

When fresh the centers of each cookie will be doughy or fudge like, to replicate this effect once cooled just pop them in a microwave for a few seconds.

Hope you enjoyed this cookie! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sweet abomination no! Their Windows cookies!!!

For a hardcore UNIX user like myself, these cookies were the hardest to make. Unlike their name sake however I've thoughtfully included the source ;)

Ingredients list:
Strawberry, Blueberry, and Lemon Jam.
3 1/2 cups flour.
1 1/3 cups cornmeal.
3/4 teaspoon salt.
2 1/4 cups unsalted butter.
1 1/2 cups sugar.
3 large eggs.
Green food colouring.
1 tsp Lime Juice.

Mix the cookie base of butter and sugar until completely combined. Then slowly add in eggs, flour, salt, and cornmeal. The cornmeal is the secret to this recipe, it provides the pastry with an unexpected flavour.

The dough is spread out on to a cookie sheet. To make removing the cookies from the pan easier you may place a sheet of parchment paper on the pan bottom, then apply butter. Keep aside 1 cup of dough. This will be used later on to create the window bars on the cookies. Bake the cookie base for 20 minutes at 350F, the top should be just becoming golden brown.

While your waiting for the cookie base to bake you can prepare the jam toppings. I used store bought jams, to make these easier to spread I used a table spoon to break up any large chunks of berries. To create the Green jam for the Windows symbol I took aside 1 cup of the lemon jam/spread and mixed in Lime juice and several drops of green colouring.

With the cookie base ready I take a paring knife and score the basic flag shape. This will make it easier to perform the final cuts later on.

Take a spoon, and great patience, I start the process of spooning a small quantity of jam into the proper colour positions for the symbol. Once this is complete I take my saved dough and place it into a piping bag. Using the piping bag draw the window frame around the jam and perimeter of the cookie. Once done, place the cookies into the oven for another 20 minutes at 350F.

When the cookies are done you may use a paring knife to carefully carve out your cookies from the pan.

Hope you enjoyed this cookie! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Brownies should never be boring!

Ever need to figure out something baked to bring along to a friend's gathering?

My standard fall back is to whip up a quick batch of Brownies, nothing too special beyond the common boxed mix you may pick up at your local grocery store.

Now this is all good and greatly accepted by many people, however its not too difficult to notch it up a bit :)

My simple approach is to creatively use butter cream frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar

Do not melt the butter. Use an electric mixer or blender to whip the butter until creamy. Then add the cream and vanilla. With these ingredients mixed begin adding icing sugar, mixing the entire time. If you add too much sugar (frosting becomes too dry) just pour in a little more cream and mix again.

Using this base frosting you can mix in various food colourings to produce an artist's palette, and use the Brownies as a canvas.

Here are a few samples:

If you choose to carve up your batch of Brownies you can try out other creative frostings, such as making Tetrominoes.

I hope these samples provide you with some inspiration to make your next batch of Brownies exciting :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Apple Cookies

First Post!

This is my first post to my new blog on cookies. I've been sharing my hobby with friends for the last while and have got to point that posting the odd photo on Facebook is not enough.

A fair warning; most of the cookies I make are 'geeky', deal with it, I'm a programmer :P

For my first cookie I will be making a simple cutter cookie (a cookie that you cut into shapes using a cookie cutter):

The Cookie Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2.5 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp magic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
Mix thoroughly all ingredients in a bowl, then once combined, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Once the dough is firmed up it will be ready for rolling. Sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface and use a standard rolling pin to roll the dough (the flour prevents the dough from sticking to the pin and/or surface).

Next choose a shape you want to make. In my case I chose to make the an Apple. I used a 7cm diameter round cutter to make the initial circle, then a smaller 5cm diameter cutter to carve the bite out, reusing it as the leaf. For the leaf to attach on properly I just cut a notch out with a paring knife and trimmed the bottom to form the apple shape. Yes, to make three dozen took a long time :)

The next step after forming all the cookies was to bake them in the oven on 375F for about 20 minutes (until they turned golden brown).

Once I had made about three dozen cookies I decided that I would glaze them in one of four different colours.

The Icing:
  • 2 whole egg whites
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice.
The final result was a very light cookie with a soft icing glaze. On completing this batch I questioned my choice of using lemon zest to flavour the cookie batter, cinnamon and a small amount of apple juice may have been more in theme... the nice thing with these cookies is that I can always modify the recipe next time I make them.

Hope you enjoyed this cookie! :)