Tag Archives: Cookie Exchange

COOKIE EXCHANGE – Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bars

Need something different for this year’s cookie exchange?  Who doesn’t love a buttery shortbread filled with dense chocolate?  Our Chocolate Schmear Filling was created to mimic the filling in the famed Ebbingers Black Out Cake, a favorite of Brooklyn natives.  The bakery is long gone but the filling isn’t.

Chocolate Crumble Bars

These Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bars retain a rich, deep chocolate flavor over a rich buttery crust. (Last time we offered them to 8 friends, the entire batch was eaten in one sitting.)

A fan of sweet and savory took this recipe and finished it with a light sprinkling of fleur de sel, flaked salt.   You can also dress it up with some raspberry jam or chopped nuts. Or try this recipe with our Almond or Cinnamon Schmear filling. Just be certain to make enough to leave for Santa.

FROM A FRIEND – Almond-Chocolate Spritz Cookies with Orange Blossom Water

This delicious recipe, a twist on the holiday cookie favorite, was recommended to us by Cindy Mushet, its creator.  Cindy is an expert baker, cooking teacher and author of The Art and Soul of Baking.  (Her book won a 2009 International Association of Culinary Professional Award.) She graciously offered us the use of some of her recipes.

 A few tips on making these delicious cookies. Orange blossom water is an old world flavoring especially popular in French butter cookies.  Its flavor can overpower so only a small amount is used to add a floral note. Vanilla extract can easily be substituted.

Almond Chocolate Sprtiz Cookies

Make sure to use soft butter and almond paste at room temperature.  This makes the dough pipeable.  We used a cookie press and found the dough easy to pipe. For added taste and eye appeal, Cindy suggests you drizzle a few ounces of melted chocolate over the filled cookies.  For the recipe, click here.

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Pignoli Cookies

Almond Macaroons and Pignoli Cookies

At this time of the year, we receive the most requests for a good Pignoli Cookie recipe. And this is the one we recommend, an elegant Pignoli Cookie or Almond Macaroon that is light and tender. We like to savor just one with a dark cup of espresso or a touch of vin santo

This recipe for Pignoli Cookies bakes into nicely puffed rounds.  You add only as much egg white as needed to make a smooth yet firm paste.  (Three large egg whites does the trick for us.)  Bake the dough in small mounds on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  One trick to get them to release easily from the paper is to pour a tablespoon of water under the paper as soon as the cookies come from the oven.  Some steam is released helping you lift the cooled cookies off the paper. (A nice flat spatula works well too.)

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Rustic Macaroons

Rustic Almond Macaroons

Not all macaroons are made with egg whites.  These rustic beauties are bound with egg yolks, which give them a tender bite. Letting the formed cookie dough sit for a few hours gives them time to crust over.  Once baked, the cookies develop a thick, crisp exterior and soft golden center.

Portioning and forming dough for rustic macaroons.

Pinching macaroon dough before baking.

The team at the Malverne Pastry Shop in Malverne, NY make these for many trade shows and special events we attend.  They are irresistible and addictive.  Here is the Rustic Macaroon recipe.

Rustic Almond Macaroons

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Filled Hazelnut Sandies or Linzer Cookies

What are the most popular cookies on your holiday cookie tray?  In our house, these hazelnut sandies would be the first to disappear. First there is the double dose of hazelnut in the form of praline paste and ground hazelnuts to add a depth of flavor.  Then there is the crisp texture, always appealing to cookie fanatics.  Then the appealing Linzer cookie shape to catch the eye.  And a generous dusting of powdered sugar elevates this cookie to top billing.

Dusting the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.

Filled Hazelnut Sandies

This recipe is one of many provided to us by commercial bakers who use American Almond Products.  We scaled down the recipe to a manageable size although you might have to double the batch to make enough for all your fans.

Click here for the Filled Hazelnut Sandies recipe.

Cinnamon Desserts for the Holidays

Cinnamon Galaxy Cookies

Thanks to Betty Miller and her team of sweets-loving bloggers for writing about cinnamon sweets for the holidays.   If you’re looking for a treat to send as a gift, check out her site 100 Cafe Street.  (The Cherry Blossom Cupcake would make a few people we know very happy.)

We appreciate Betty’s interest in a couple of our favorite recipes.   (Kids love these crispy sugar cookies with the kick of Cinnamon Schmear.)  These would be perfect additions to the Santa Cookie Plate. Or, on second thought, something for the Elves to nibble while preparing for his arrival!

Father’s Day

Logo for BlogGive a round of applause to the Dads in your life this month with something home made. Cherry season arrives shortly and our homey cherry cobbler with a hint of mint and an almondy crust is sure to please. Or surprise him with a flaky palmier spiked with cinnamon. Reading the daily Wall Street Journal will be so much more sweet.

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Cherry Mint Cobbler with Almond Biscuit Crust

Cherry Mint Cobbler Almond Biscuit Crust

Cherry Mint Cobbler with Almond Biscuit Crust

 Almonds and cherries go well together in part perhaps because they are related botanically. Members of the genus prunus – along with peaches and plums – almonds and cherries share that distinctive almond extract note. (You’ll find it within the cherry pit, which is used in Eastern Europe to make a flavoring extract.)

With this in mind, we have little trouble coming up with a summer cherry cobbler with a rich almond paste biscuit crust. The mint adds some freshness to the cherry syrup but can be omitted if desired. When making the biscuit topping, be sure to flatten the dough to a thickness of 3/4-inch or less. You want there to be as much filling as crust on top. And some people might like a thinner crust. (Bake the biscuits on a baking sheet and used for strawberry or peach shortcake.) And don’t rush baking the cobbler. You want the topping puffed, nicely browned and cooked through.

Cherry Mint Cobbler Recipe

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Cinnamon Palmiers

Cinnamon Palmiers

Cinnamon Palmiers

Palmiers or elephant ears are addictive puff pastry cookies, crunchy and caramelized with granulated sugar. A generous layer of Love’n Bake Cinnamon Schmear gives them an added dimension.

Use purchased puff pastry following the package instructions for thawing them. We’ve found that heating the Cinnamon Schmear briefly in a microwave helps make it more spreadable, especially if you prefer a thinner layer of filling. For a more even appearance, you can flip the pastries once they have baked half way. (We found this an unnecessary step but share it for those who might be interested.)

Cinnamon Palmiers