Tag Archive for Cookies

Caramel Shortbread

Of course you can eat dulce de leche by the spoonful on its own, but it is also nice in baked goodies. The sweet and sticky dulce de leche complements the crumbly, buttery classic shortbread very well, making it a lovely indulgent baked goodie.

CaramelShortbread2

Caramel shortbread
Slightly adapted from “Desserts – James Martin”

1 can dulce de leche
250 g butter, room temperature
150 g sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g cornstarch
300 g flour

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 20×30 cm baking tin with baking parchment.
Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flours, mix with the butter-sugar mixture. Gently knead the dough until it comes together into a ball.
Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared tin. Scoop the dulce de leche on top and spread out to an equal layer. Crumble the remaining dough over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes. The caramel should bubble up a little between the dough and the top of the dough should be golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then cut into squares. Finish cooling in the tin.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. This recipe makes them. Try it, you’ll love them too.

OatmealRaisinCookies2

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (about 12 – 16)
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

The last trick to getting a really thick, chewy cookie is to chill the dough before you bake it. You can scoop it and then chill it, or, if you’re like us, scoop it, freeze them and store them in a freezer bag so you can bake them as you wish. I find they’re always thicker when baked from the cold — only a couple extra minutes baking is needed.

115 g butter, softened
125 g brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
95 g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
120 g rolled oats
120 g raisins

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, stir this in. Stir in the oats and raisins.
To make the cookies extra thick and chewy, you need to chill the dough. Either chill it and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies on a tray and chill the whole thing. Or scoop them, freeze them and bake them if you want cookies (takes a few minutes extra baking).
Preheat the oven to 175C. Place the cookies about 5 cm apart on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Take them out when golden at the edges, but still a little undercooked on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.

Dutch Food: Coconut Macaroons

Easy cookies with only a few ingredients. They are lovely coconutty, very sweet, slightly airy, and chewy.
Traditionally these are baked on edible paper, but I’ve also tried it without, because edible paper is not widely available. Baking them on baking paper worked fine, but you did need to be careful to peel them off. In a normal sized oven you can bake them in 2 batches (leaving the batter for the second batch in the bowl on the counter), or use 2 baking sheets and bake them at the same time. Because of our small oven, I had to bake them in 3 batches, which wasn’t ideal. The batter for the 3rd batch started to split because it was left standing for too long, it came together quite well after a bit more stirring, but the cookies baked less well than the other 2 batches, so I would advice to make a smaller amount of batter if you have a small oven.

Because I already was working with coconut, I decided to try and make coconut butter. You make it by grounding up coconut in a processor for about 5 minutes, or until lovely smooth and creamy. It sounded delicious, but it was really disappointing. You need an enormous amount of coconut for only a little butter, and it didn’t even taste nice. It was very greasy and chalky, a bit like I was eating santen (creamed coconut), not pleasant at all. I also tried making coconut whipped cream, which wasn’t a success either. I just couldn’t get it to fluff up. So from now on I’ll stick to making coconut cookies and using coconut milk.

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

125 g dessicated shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 egg whites
125 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
Edible paper

Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with edible paper.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, keep mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, whip until well mixed. Add the coconut and fold through.
Use 2 teaspoons to make walnut-sized dollops on the edible paper. Space them about 5 cm apart. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, till light brown and cooked.
Leave to cool, then break the edible paper around the macaroons. Store in an airtight container.

Variation: use ground almonds instead of coconut

Single serve microwave chocolate chip cookie

I’m not really trustworthy around chocolate chip cookies. I am a healthy eater and usually have enough self-control to not over-eat, but chocolate chip cookies are the exception to the rule. I just cannot stop after one cookie. The solution: I don’t buy the cookies, so I cannot eat them. But, some days you just need something soothing and comforting and chocolaty…. Buying cookies then ensures you eat them all. Baking something (kinda) healthy isn’t a solution either, because you want it now, and not after the time it makes to mix up a batter and bake it. The solution: make a single serve microwave chocolate chip cookie. It is fast to make, indulgent, oozing with chocolate, deliciously chewy, and will calm down your cravings.

Single serve microwave chocolate chip cookie (1 cookie)
From Yummy magazine

1,5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
2 tsp milk
a few drops of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chocolate chips (plain, milk or white)

Mix sugar and brown sugar. Add milk, vanilla and salt, mix again. Add flour, mix until just incorporated. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Form into a cookie on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on medium for 1 minute, then check for doneness. Continue cooking in 10 second intervals until desired consistency is achieved. The exact time you need to cook the cookie for is highly dependant on your microwave, it took mine almost 2 minutes before I had a nice, chewy cookie. The cookie will continue to cook a little further when you take it from the microwave. It will also be very, very hot, so leave to cool for a bit before eating.

Strassburger rosettes

A lovely simple cookie that is versatile as well. It has a fine crumb, buttery flavour and a nice crumbly texture. You can make different shapes (I made rosettes), serve them plain, sandwich them with jam or buttercream, or dip them in chocolate.

Because both the powdered sugar and the cake flour are very fine powders, they tend to blow quite a bit, dispersing it all around the kitchen. By mixing by hand first, or starting on a low speed until the powder is mixed a bit with the wetter ingredients reduces this, but to completely prevent it you need to cover your mixing bowl with a clean teatowel (or something similar). I prefer to bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time, piping the second batch already on baking paper, sliding off the first batch on a cooling rack when finished baking and sliding the baking paper with the second batch on the baking sheet to bake that batch. This is because I only have 1 baking sheet, and because my oven heats quite irregularly so with 2 sheets in it, it will be even more impossible to get an even bake.

Strassburger Rosettes

Strassburger rosettes (lots, about 2 baking trays)
Slightly adapted from “The Professional Pastry Chef – Bo Friberg”

225 g butter
150 g powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2/3 tsp vanilla extract
375 g cake flour
up to 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray.
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electrical hand mixer until light and creamy. Add the eggs/yolk one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding the next one. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour and cardamom and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Scoop into a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle. Pipe small rosettes on the baking tray by squeezing the piping bag while holding it vertically quite close to the baking sheet and stop squeezing when you have a nice flat rosette. You only need about 1 cm room between them, because they don’t spread much.
Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until pale golden. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating (optional) and storing in an airtight container. The cookies will keep for a few days, but if you want to fill them, do so on the day you want to serve them to prevent sogginess.

Dutch food: Stroopwafelarretjescake

Why would you make something with dry, plain and boring biscuits if you can make it with rich, caramelly, flavoursome stroopwafels? Arretjescake is a traditional Dutch treat, originally made with biscuits, sugar, fat for deep-frying (either beef fat or something plant-based) and cocoa powder, although the exact ingredients are different according to the region, and the same kind of cakes are made in other countries as well. It is not a cake in the traditional sense of the word, and it has to firm in the fridge instead of being baked. It became popular in the Netherlands after the recipe was in a promotional booklet from an oil/fat/margarine factory. The “Nederlandsche Oliefabrieken (NOF) Calvé-Delft” used the booklet, made in comic book style and figuring Arretje Nof as the main character, to promote the use of their products (hence the name of the cake).

I had to search quite a bit for a recipe, because I wanted one that used real chocolate for taste. I also wanted it to contain no eggs, because I was to serve it to a company with some kids present (which can’t safely eat raw eggs, just as pregnant woman, the elderly and immunocompromised people cannot). I also did not want to use beef fat because I was not sure if there would be any vegetarians present, and I dislike the use of margarine-like products so I did not want to use plant-based hard fat for deep-frying as well. But to keep it authentic I wanted to use some kind of hard fat, so I used extra virgin coconut oil. It worked great and gave the whole thing a tiny, mild flavour of coconut. I loved this, and haven’t heard from anyone that didn’t like it, but when you are an intense coconut hater I can imagine that even this tiny bit of coconut flavour is too much. Futhermore I chose a recipe that did not use extra sugar, because using stroopwafels instead of biscuits makes it already sweeter than it would normally be.

It is definitely best to serve this cake in tiny portions because it is so rich, and either directly from the fridge or only about 15 minutes left on room temperature, because it tends to melt quite fast. The fast melting can be a nuisance, but also makes it extra tasty because it makes the cake extra melt-in-the-mouth. Because of the liquid in the chocolate mixture, the stroopwafels get softer and almost melt into the chocolate mixture, and the sweet and creamy chocolate and the caramelly stroopwafels combine perfectly. If you want to make this in advance, you can. Just make sure you cover it well and keep it in the fridge, it should last for a few days.

Stroopwafelarretjescake

Stroopwafelarretjescake
Inspired on a recipe from Dr. Oetker 1000 Die besten Backrezepte

100 g dark chocolate
200 g milk chocolate
75 g coconut oil
100 g cream
8 g (1 packet) vanilla sugar
400 g (1 packet) stroopwafels

Prepare a muffin tin (20×26) or a cake tin (25×11) by lining it with cling film. Use a muffin tin when you want to serve the arretjescake in small squares (as I did), use a cake tin when you want to serve it in slices.
Chop both chocolates and place it with the coconut oil and the cream in a heat-proof bowl. Place this above a pan with boiling water to melt everything au bain marie. Stir occasionally and take from the heat when molten. Add the sugar and mix well.
Start by placing a layer of stroopwafels in the tin. Cut them according to the size of your tin, I used 2 stroopwafels cut in halve and a whole one placed in the middle. Alternatively you can use mini-stroopwafels or chop up the stroopwafels and place a layer of this in the bottom of the tin. Pour over a thin layer of the chocolate mixture. Place another layer of stroopwafels, then again pour a thin layer of chocolate on top. Repeat until you’ve used up both the stroopwafels and the chocolate mixture.
Place the stroopwafelarretjescake for at least 5 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight. Use the cling film to release it from the tin after cooling, cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Dutch Food: Sprits cookies

Spritsen are traditional Dutch cookies, that have been baked in the Netherlands from the 16th century onward. Their name (spritzen is German for spouting) comes from the fact that the biscuits are formed by spouting them with a sprits-spout, although nowadays usually a piping bag is used. They are crisp, crumbly and buttery and are eaten either plain, or half covered in chocolate.

Sprits

Spritsen
From “Blue Band Kookboek Gebak”

200 g butter
125 g fine sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar (8 gram)
1 egg
pinch of salt
300 g flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a baking tray.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla sugar together. Add the egg and mix until incorporated and the batter is fluffy. Add the salt, flour and baking powder and mix until incorporated. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star shaped tip. Pipe zigzags (like on the photo) on the prepared baking tray, spaced about 5 cm apart to allow for spreading. Alternatively, pipe circles of about 4 cm.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool for 30 minutes on the tray, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Dutch Food: Boterkoek

Boterkoek (literally butter cookie bar) is a much loved pastry in the Netherlands. It is a flat and round, and made with lots of butter (hence the name). Because it is very rich, it is best to serve small portions. And because butter gives this pastry not only its name, but also its flavour, it is best to use a very good butter.

Boterkoek

Boterkoek
From “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

125 g butter
100 g fine sugar
1 packet of vanilla sugar (8 gram)
pinch of salt
150 g flour

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt together. Stir through the flour until a rough dough forms, then knead by hand until the dough is smooth. Wrap in cling film, then leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
Grease a 24 cm boterkoek tin (or springform). Preheat the oven to 200C.
Take the rested dough. Press it out into the tin. Use a blunt knife to decorate the boterkoek with a pattern (optional) and brush with a little cold water. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Leave to cook the boterkoek in the tin, then carefully remove it.

Dutch Food: Stroopwafels

Stroopwafels are very famous Dutch cookies. They consist of two waffles filled with a caramel/syrup (hence the name “syrupwaffles”). You can buy them in different sizes at supermarkets, bakeries and special market stalls, which also sell large warm waffles to eat immediately, and bags of waffle scraps (also called crumbs, either with or without syrup) to munch on.

Stroopwafels were first made in the beginning of the 19th century in Gouda. A baker used leftover dough and cookie scraps to make new cookies by sticking it together with syrup. Because these cookies were made with leftovers, they were quite cheap, and therefore were called poor peoples cookies for a time. The cookies became more and more popular, so they could not be made with leftovers any more. That was when bakers started to use waffles, like they do for stroopwafels nowadays. From 1870 onwards stroopwafels weren’t made exclusively in Gouda any more.

The recipe below makes stroopwafels that taste very similar to the ones you can buy in the Netherlands. When you’ve just made them they are quite crisp which isn’t very stroopwaffly, but when you keep them they will get a bit softer. They are delicious as a cookie with a cup of coffee or tea, and if your waffles are large enough you can place them on top of your steaming cup, which will warm them up and make them even more delicious.

For this recipe you need a waffle iron. I wrote about how to find them in my post about kniepertjes.

Stroopwafels

Stroopwafels (16 cookies)
Adapted from Rudolph’s Bakery

240 g flour
95 g sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
80 g butter
1 egg

250 g sugar
40 ml cooking cream (stabilized/thickened cream, 15% fat)
40 g sugar syrup
pinch of cinnamon
225 g butter, cubed

Mix flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add butter and rub in until crumbly. Add the egg, mix and knead to a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the waffle iron. Divide the dough in 32 equal bits, roll them into balls and then flatten them slightly. Take one of the dough disks, place in the waffle iron and close it. By pressing the iron the waffle will be larger and thinner, but when you press to much holes will appear, so find a balance in pressing. Bake until golden, this takes about 1 minute, depending on your waffle iron. Take the waffle from the iron, place it on a cutting board and cut with a round cutter (optional, I didn’t do this). Repeat until you’ve cooked all the dough disks.

Place the sugar in a large pan and add just enough water to moisten it. Place on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and starts turning to caramel, swirling occasionally. Meanwhile, place cream and syrup in another pan and warm together. Pour the cream-syrup mixture on top of the caramel and leave to boil until the caramel is dissolved. Take care, this mixture is very hot and will bubble up. Take from the heat, add the cinnamon and gradually add the butter while stirring. Leave to cool until it has a spreading consistency. Take care, because it will keep hot for quite a long time and because it is very sticky, it makes nasty burns.

Take one of the waffles, take a dollop of the caramel with a palette knife and spread it on the waffle. Place another waffle on top and press to spread out the caramel. Repeat with all the waffles. You can keep them for a few days in an airtight container.

Puff pastry cookies

When we were in Spain, one day we came by a small bakery that smelled incredibly delicious, so we had to go in and buy all sorts of delicious pastries; these pastries were one of them. I’m not completely sure that it is a Spanish specialty, they did not have written signs next to the products in that bakery and due to the language barrier we couldn’t find out how the pastries were called. And I didn’t see this pastry at the other bakeries we visited. I guess they are best described as related to palmiers. They are made from puff pastry that is baked in an oven while covered with something heavy, so that it cannot rise. When they are cooked, they are uncovered, brushed with egg white which acts as a glue, and then sprinkled with sugar and almond shavings, after which they are baked uncovered a little longer to toast the almonds and slightly melt the sugar. They taste delicious, are lovely thin and crisp, sweet from the sugar and the almonds give extra flavour and texture. Make sure you use all butter puff pastry, this has the best flavour, which is very important for a simple pastry like this. There are no other ingredients that can cover the yucky taste of puff pastry made with margarine. If you want to make these cookies extra special, use home-made puff pastry. Variation tips: add some vanilla, cinnamon, or other spice(mix) to the sugar, use other sliced nuts like hazelnut, or use whole pine nuts. These are best eaten quite fast after baking, are delicious as a snack with a cup of tea or coffee, but are also a great addition to desserts.

Puff pastry cookies

Puff pastry (pre-rolled shop bought)
Egg white
Granulated sugar
Almond shavings

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Have another baking sheet or baking tin ready that fits on top of the first one.
Place your puff pastry on the lined baking sheet. You can leave the puff pastry as it is, we get our puff pastry in the Netherlands as smallish squares that make a nice, generous cookie, but you can also cut your puff pastry in strips, squares, ovals, whatever you like. Another option is breaking larger sheets after baking. Place the second baking sheet on top of the first one, with the puff pastry in between. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. The pastry should stay flat, but get crisp and golden brown.
Take the baking sheet from the oven. Set the second baking sheet aside. Brush the puff pastry with egg white as a glue, then sprinkle very generous with the sugar and top it with some almond shavings. Place back in the oven (uncovered) until the almond is nicely toasted and the sugar is slightly molten. This should take about 5-10 minutes, make sure you keep an eye on it to know when it is ready. Place the cookies on a rack to cool (goes quite fast since they are thin) and serve as soon as possible.