2017 Christmas Treat #2 – Black Pepper and Citrus Shortbread

I’m a big fan of shortbread. I greatly appreciate true artisanal shortbread – buttery, the slightest bit crumbly, melt in your mouth goodness. So this recipe takes the simplicity of the shortbread and modifies the flavor with the addition of freshly cracked black pepper and whatever citrus you have on hand. So I present to you, Christmas Treat #2. This is a straightforward recipe with a few ingredients – my favorite type. I used the zest of 2 tangerines and some lemon emulsion. I’ve talked about emulsions vs extracts before. Extracts are alcohol based, emulsions are water based. Alcohol evaporates […]

2017 Christmas Treat #1 – Curry Leaf and Dry Mustard Cheeselets

  This is a tradition in our house at Christmas time, and it is Christmas time isn’t it. Well you know what that means (trumpets blaring in the background) – The 12 Treats of Christmas! (in a booming voice). This is Treat #1. I changed the name from Cookie #1 to Treat #1 because I want to bring you a bigger variety of treats (there is a reason that the word “eat” is in treats?!)  While this is not an entirely new recipe it is one that supports the message I always try to deliver in my cooking classes – […]

“Caffins” – March Break Baking Activity!

    It is March break and all the kids are off – but you know that. If you didn’t go away, you probably have them all with you in the house. So keep them busy by getting them to make their own batches of these “caffins” (cake + muffins). I couldn’t think of what else to call these rich and delicious treats. I made them small enough that you could eat one or more and not feel guilty, but deliciously satisfied Blueberries and lemons, they make me look forward to the next season. Spring is after all, only a […]

2016 Christmas Cookie #12 – World Peace Cookies (by Dorie Greenspan)

  Christmas Cookie #12 – World Peace Cookie by Dorie Greenspan. A perfect way to finish off the 12 cookies and think of the beauty and joy this season brings to us. This is mostly her writing of the recipe from her blog, with my comments in italics. She explains it beautifully and I could in no way come close to her expertise in recipe writing. That said, all the comments in italics in the recipe below reflect my experiences when making this cookie. I did roll this into a log shape using the technique I learned in school (see […]

2016 Christmas Cookie #11 – Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

I really have a soft spot for sugar cookies, but not the crispy kind, I like them soft and chewy. Don’t get me wrong, if they are the crispy kind, I just need some coffee to dunk them in and then I’m fine – yes, I’m a dunker. But when I get them like this, I could sit there and finish the batch. And I’m really into desserts although I love to make them. That’s why I have my wife and daughter… and son-in-law – the biggest chocolate lover you have ever met. But this is Christmas Cookie #11 – […]

2016 Christmas Cookie #10 – Chocolate Christmas Cookie

Okay, it’s a couple of (maybe one) day left for Christmas. I have two cookies left to meet my 12 cookies objective. You know as an ex-banker it’s all about meeting targets! So I came across this recipe from the LA Times, a contest winner by Deborah Pappalau, which I just knew I had to make when I saw it,  Now I didn’t make the original recipe – but only because I couldn’t locate the ingredients quickly enough to make them before Christmas. But, I will search these out, I think I know of a store that specializes in Mexican food items, and […]

By |December 23rd, 2016|Cookies, Food Blogs, Recipes|1 Comment

2016 Christmas Cookie #9 – Triple Ginger Sandwich Cookies

For this cookie (and really any spice cookie) you need the freshest spices. If your spices have been sitting around for a while – lets say for one year or so, then toss them and pick up some new ones. Small quantities only, remember it’s only a bargain if it gets used. This is nice dough and I used the large Ziploc freezer bag to press and roll the dough (a la the technique from Dorie Greenspan in Christmas Cookie #1). When it had firmed up, I cut open the bag and cut shapes out of the flattened dough. For this […]

2016 Christmas Cookie #8 – Bourbon Chocolate Balls

These are a favorite of mine. Mainly because I always have cake scraps in my freezer that can be used as the base. The latest came from experimenting with various sizes of cake tins – you can’t just double a cake recipe, baking is a science. It’s balance that causes a cake to rise. Some tins are too big for the quantity of baking powder or baking soda, the amount of eggs you use etc. I never did like science – way too disciplined for me. I’m more of a free spirited Chef I think. This is Christmas Cookie #8 […]

2016 Christmas Cookie #7 – Twice Baked Shortbread

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are some recipes that just by reading them you can tell you have a winner. This is another one of those. I’ve adapted it from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert cookbook. Her technique of letting the dough rest in the pan for at least two hours or overnight as well as double baking the shortbread – yes like biscotti, yields a marvelous treat. This is buttery, crunchy shortbread – Christmas Cookie #7 – Twice Baked Shortbread. It’s funny how your tastes change as you get older. I was never a fan […]

2016 Christmas Cookie #6 – Spiced Date, Nut and Cheese Palmiers

Ah, cold butter, flour and ice water to bring it all together, just a pinch of salt, and yes that’s the recipe for puff pastry. That most favored, sought after and versatile of dough’s. I’m a big fan of this and when you have the time to sit around waiting for layers to form really it’s mostly sitting around waiting for the dough to rest, I highly suggest making this from scratch. I know, I keep promising to show you how to do this but there are numerous sites out there that have done a great job of it.  One […]