cookie recipe

Biscotti With Dried Cherries

by Anne Maxfield on December 18, 2014

Accidental Locavore Finished BiscottiIt’s a holiday tradition for the Accidental Locavore and her friend Laura to get together and make edible gifts. We always try something new and alternate between savory and sweet. Just as traditionally, every year Laura’s father asks us why we’re not making biscotti again. This year, with some of our leftover ingredients, I made him a batch based on a Martha Stewart recipe. They’re pretty simple and just need some time to bake and cool. This made about 30 cookies:

 

  • 1 3/4 cups dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup Amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur), plus more if needed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Accidental Locavore Forming BiscottiHeat cherries and liqueur in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries have softened, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. If you need more add enough liqueur to make 2 tablespoons.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the 3 eggs, one at a time. Add reserved cherry liquid and the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in cherries and pine nuts.

On a lightly- floured surface, divide the dough in two. Shape each half into a 12 1/2 by 2 ½” log. Flatten logs to 1/2“ thick. Transfer to the baking sheet.

Bake 35 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks to cool, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2″ slices. Transfer pieces to racks, laying them on their sides. Set racks on baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes; flip them and bake 8 minutes more. Let cool until crisp.

Accidental Locavore BiscottiOptional chocolate: melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (30 second intervals). Paint a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of the biscotti, or just dunk them in and coat one side. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I’m not a dunker of things into coffee or tea–something about crumbs at the bottom of the cup never appealed to me, so there are a lot of cookies I prefer to biscotti. These came out fine and Frank, the biscotti lover in the family, thought they tasted great (and would I please make another batch). We’ll have to wait till after the holidays to see what Laura’s father thought of them. I substituted pine nuts for the almonds Martha called for, but did soak the cherries in Amaretto. Dried cranberries would also work instead of the cherries.

 

 

 

 

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Meringue Cookies With Chocolate and Cornflakes

by Anne Maxfield on December 11, 2014

Accidental Locavore Chocolate Cornflake CookiesAs part of all my Thanksgiving prep, the Accidental Locavore had bits and pieces of a lot of leftover food. With all good intentions, I saved most of them, hoping to re-purpose later. Perusing through Saveur, this simple cookie recipe, with only five ingredients, would put the egg whites I saved to good use. It makes about 2 dozen cookies, and as long as you have some sort of electric mixer, is quick and easy.

  • 4 egg whites (from large eggs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cornflakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 300°. Line two baking sheets with parchment (or a Silpat). Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites while slowly adding the sugar. Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (you should be able to remove the beaters and the peaks stay up-no Viagra needed). Fold in the chocolate, cornflakes and vanilla.

Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of batter about 1″ apart on the baking sheets.

Bake until crisp and just slightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Meringue CookiesMy verdict: My first attempt at meringue and they were delicious! I forgot how much I like it, and learned that Frank isn’t a big fan (oh well, more for me). The cornflakes were an interesting touch, but the next time I make them, I might try using Rice Krispies for a more subtle crunch, or possibly break up the cornflakes just a little. I baked these using the convection setting on my oven to make sure they would dry out properly. I also used parchment instead of the Silpat, because it’s less to wash (and I forgot about the Silpats until I started writing this). If you’re storing them, put them in a paper bag or leave them out. Plastic bags will make them soggy and sticky. Now that I’ve done my first meringues, could a bûche de Noël be the next big baking project? Stay tuned.

 

 

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On the Trail of The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies-Ever!

by Anne Maxfield on November 21, 2013

Accidental Locavore the Competition CookiesAt the recent trip to the BlueStar range factory in Pennsylvania, the Accidental Locavore had the best chocolate chip cookies ever! It could have been the result of a superior oven, but hopefully they can be duplicated even in my less-than-stellar one. This makes about 24 4” cookies. Important: the butter and eggs need to be at room temperature.

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2+ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small bowl, add the flour and baking soda and stir until well combined. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and both sugars. Beat on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, vanilla and salt. Beat until well-mixed, about a minute. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Accidental Locavore Chocolate Chip Cookies IIOn baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough, about 2” apart.

Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the middle, about 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: My first batch of chocolate chip cookies was good but certainly not the best ever. I felt that they tasted a little too much of sugar and that may have been because my butter wasn’t soft enough. My cookies were also a little overcooked, making them generally crispy, rather than having the contrast.  I think the key here is to use really good butter (Plugra) and to have that and the eggs at room temperature. Good vanilla and chocolate chips are important. Surprisingly, the recipe I got from Ann at BlueStar is for salted butter. The second batch, with (salted) butter and eggs at room temp was much better, almost as good as the original! Now, it probably is just a matter of not having as good of an oven-sigh…

 

 

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5 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

by Anne Maxfield on March 8, 2012

Accidental Locavore Coconut Macaroons on a PlateMy friend Leslie makes these coconut macaroons all the time.

She introduced these to me and when I found out how easy they were, I demanded the recipe.

It’s better if you remember to take the eggs out ahead of time, but they’ll be fine either way.

Dipping them in chocolate is so unnecessary but so good! Takes about 45 minutes, mostly baking time and makes 20 to 22 cookies.

5 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (one bag)
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (one can)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (optional for dipping)

Accidental Locavore Coconut Macaroons BakedPreheat the oven to 325°.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4″ diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

To coat them with chocolate: Melt about 4 ounces of good quality bittersweet chocolate in  a double boiler, or on a plate in a microwave in 30 second blasts. When the chocolate is melted dip the macaroons in the chocolate, or paint the bottoms with chocolate, let the excess drip off into the pan. Place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet, or on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper to cool. Enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Coconut Macaroons With ChocolateMy verdict:  It’s always amazing how something so simple can be so good! Adding the chocolate isn’t necessary but it makes them even better, so why not? If you ever need a quick dessert to bring to something, this is it.

 

Save the extra yolks and use for mayo or hollandaise sauce.

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