January 20, 2020

Year of the Rat Cookies

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!!   Happy Lunar New Year!!

January 25 marks the start of the Year of the Rat.  To celebrate I made these rat decorated sugar cookies.  No fancy cutter needed; I just used a heart one and royal icing to form the shape of the rat.  

Wishing you health, happiness and good fortune this year.

January 2, 2020

Raspberry Meringue

If you've ever been to Yotam Ottolenghi's eponymous restaurants in London then these Raspberry  Meringues will be no stranger to you.  You can't help but notice how the pink, billowy clouds of goodness stand out among all the other baked goods on display.  I distinctly remember being mesmerized by them the first time I visited the Westbourne Grove location many years ago.  Back then I never even bothered trying the meringues; call it a temporary lapse in judgement.  Now, years later, I'd finally gotten around to making a copycat version for myself and I was so pleased with the results.    

It all came about because I was in search of a dessert that was elegant, light and refreshing for a dinner I recently hosted. I had a ton of egg whites sitting in my fridge just waiting to be used and pavlovas immediately popped in to my head.  The meringue dessert topped with fresh whipped cream and berries sounded like just the ticket.

I turned to my friends at Cook's Illustrated and found their recipe for pavlovas.  As I was whipping up the Swiss meringue an image of Ottolenghi's fruity meringues popped in to my head.  Fortuitously I also had a bag of Trader Joe's freeze dried raspberries in my cupboard.   Bingo!  Combine the two and you get a very legitimate replica to the original.

December 19, 2019

2019 Holiday Cookie Box

I don't know about you, but I am utterly exhausted from all the holiday candy making and baking.  I blame this year's shortened time frame between Thanksgiving and Christmas.   For four weeks straight I was either making pounds and pounds of cashew toffee or various holiday cookies.  It was a frenzy of activity so you can't blame me for relishing some down time until 2020.

Here's what I gifted to my friends:

Chocolate Crinkle (America's Test Kitchen) - a classic that is always a crowd pleaser
Zimtsterne (The Daring Gourmet) - gluten free and dairy free
Ginger Molasses (Amanda Frederickson) - mine came out flatter than hers, but they still taste great!
Walnut Snowballs (America's Test Kitchen) - my all-time favorite Christmas cookie
Brownies (Bravetart) - the BEST recipe hands down and a guarantee of the shiny top crust
Pinwheel Icebox (America's Test Kitchen) - slice and bake are super easy and convenient
Clotted Cream Shortbread (Rodda's) - the best shortbread that holds it's shape beautifully

Paper Mart boxes.

Season's Treatings to All!!!

December 16, 2019

Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Stars)

I've got several friends who are gluten and dairy intolerant so it can be challenging to find Christmas cookies that meet those criteria.  Fortunately for me these Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Stars) fit the bill perfectly! 

After a google search I found this great recipe from Daring Gourmet.  The cookies are made with only a few ingredients but they pack a punch: almond flour, confectioners' sugar, egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and salt.  These German treats remind me a little of macarons, but are so much easier to make.   Plus, I love that you can easily tint the meringue topping any color you'd like.  

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