Category Archives: Cookies

Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookies

Oh it’s soon to be Valentine’s Day!  The day devoted to showing our love for each other, through sweet cards and kisses, flowers and chocolate.  I for one, have been dropping hints about my favorite chocolate all week long.

Heart Sprinkle Cookies via SweetRevelations

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s around here if these Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookies didn’t make an appearance.  They’ve been a Valentine’s tradition in our family since I was a wee one myself.  They always arrived in our lunch boxes during Valentine’s week and mom usually sent enough along for the whole class.   I can’t really think of a time that she missed it, even as we entered high school and college.  As a matter of fact, they still made an appearance when I was newly married with young children at home.  That’s mom though, still baking those sweet, sprinkle specked childhood favourites, even when we’re all grown up.

Do you see how my love of baking and passing on these sweet traditions for my own family got started?  I mean, doesn’t that just say love right there?!   It’s these little things, like simple cookie traditions that are the real gifts during special holidays.   Because what mom gave to us, essentially, was her time.   Each year, without fail, the way she made things in the kitchen for us communicated her love for us.  And now, when we share them with our own children, we get to feel all those good feelings all over again.   And isn’t that better than a box of chocolates?

Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookie via SweetRevelations

These are a very simple buttery, tender sugar cookie recipe, with the addition of some lemon extract, and colourful sprinkles.  The ingredient list is fairly basic, which means you probably have everything you need to make a batch today!   As baking recipes seem to become more complicated these days, I’m reminiscing about all of the simple, and sweet, recipes of generations past.   I often like to add my own flair to recipes that have been passed on to me, but for this time, I think simple is best, and I’m leaving moms just as they should be.    Sometimes less is more, you know?

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It’s always great to give people a special treat for Valentine’s Day, but even better when you put your time and love into it.   And maybe a few sprinkles.  Get the kids into the kitchen this week-end and start your own baking story.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Renee

xo

 

Heart Shaped Sprinkle Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375°

  1.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and lemon extract.  Mix in the flour mixture just until combined.  Barely mix in the sprinkles.  Wrap and chill the dough for 1/2 hour.
  2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut heart shapes with a 3 inch heart cutter and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-8 minutes.   Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.  Cookies can be made ahead and freeze very well.

 

 

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Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies {Featured Post}

Happy holiday cookie baking everybody!

I recently shared a recipe post over at Hello Creative Family, all about Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies.  This is a dream cookie dough mix for busy bakers during the holidays!  It’s a super versatile, delicious, buttery dough, that can mixed into 4 different cookie flavours, and the best part is, that the dough can be made well ahead of time.   Just follow this link to the recipe here:

http://hellocreativefamily.com/easy-icebox-shortbread-cookies-recipe/

Check out the recipe and start your holiday baking off right!

Happy cookie baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Back-To-Basics-Easy-Icebox-Shortbread-Cookies-Recipe

 

 

 

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Better Ginger Cookies

This week I’ve decided to showcase one of my earlier recipes, with a kind of rewind.  Mom’s Ginger Cookies make their appearance at every family get together.  I had them at my wedding.  I sold them in the bake shop.  It’s hands down my most favourite cookie, the recipe that literally ignited my love for baking and all things sweet.  Just the smell takes me home instantly.  Perhaps it has to do with the hours spent with mom in the kitchen, rolling cookies in sugar.  My innocent seven year old self, standing on a chair beside her, taking in her love and kitchen knowledge like a sponge.  The music was always playing loudly while we worked, moms foot tapping away.  The same scene still holds true for my baking today.

 

ginger cookies- SweetRevelations

I originally posted the recipe using butter and dark brown sugar.  But I’ve got to admit, that this is one of those times that mom was right, and the recipe really tastes best as originally written, with shortening and white sugar.   The shortening produces a better cookie in this instance, that has a nice rise, a slightly crispy first bite, with a tender, chewy center.  I’ve kept the crystalized ginger in there too, not one of moms additions, but it adds just an extra zing that is drool worthy!

ginger cookie - SweetRevelations

 

This is one of my go to recipes around the holidays, because these cookies are easily made ahead and frozen, with absolutely no compromise to taste.  They are an excellent addition to dessert trays, and a sweet and spicy hostess gift, best delivered in a pretty holiday tin.  I almost always have a batch in my freezer.  Truth be told, I love to dip these frozen gems in hot tea.  Mom froze baked goods to keep us out of them, but I sneaked them just the same, and developed a love for frozen cookies and bars.  I’m guessing many of you did the same.

We’re heading full swing into holiday season every body.  This is one cookie tradition that is best left untouched.  Thanks mom.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Ginger Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 325°

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

 

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well.  Slowly add dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Mix just until flour is combined.  Stir in crystallized ginger.   Shape into 1″ balls and roll in sugar (no need to flatten).

2.   Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2″ apart.  Bake for 14 minutes (exactly!).  Cookies will still be soft when they come out of the oven.  Leave cookies on pan for 2 minutes then move them to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  1. For larger, bakery style cookies, roll into larger balls.  Simply increase your baking time by a few minutes.  I often make 2″ balls when baking for gifts.  I increase my baking time to approx. 18 minutes with the 2 minute rest on the cookie sheet.
  2. This recipe is easily doubled, even tripled.
  3. The cooled cookies freeze very well, for a few weeks.
  4. These cookies make the BEST s’mores!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cranberry, Orange and Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti is by far my favourite afternoon pick me up with tea.  I don’t bake it much in the summer, but as soon as fall rolls around it’s in the oven pretty much weekly.

biscotti sweetrevelations

When I owned the bake shop, I would make an enormous batch every Christmas Eve.  I always tied a clear bag that was full of biscotti, with some gorgeous Christmas ribbon, and gave it to my customers as they picked up their Christmas baking.  As a way of saying thank you for their patronage each year.  I keep a jar of Biscotti in the cupboard at work too.  I’m all for sharing!   Anyone is welcome to come and grab a piece with their afternoon tea.   It’s kind of like my way of spreading love.

Cookie love.  Chocolate-y, orange-y, crunchy cookie love.

biscotti sweetrevelations

The recipe is incredibly versatile.  I load chocolate chips, cranberries, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, and nuts in them.  Whatever I have on hand at the time.  This particular version has dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and almonds.  I also, always add orange bakery emulsion or orange zest to the recipe.  It adds just a slight citrus note that makes each crunchy bite even more amazing.  Another fabulous combination includes almonds, white chocolate and dried apricots.  The combinations are endless!

biscottisweetrevelations

Don’t be intimidated by Biscotti.  It couldn’t be any simpler.  The dough only bakes for about 30 minutes.  After that, it’s sliced up into those delicious dipping fingers and left in the oven for the rest of the night.  Other recipes usually call for a double bake, but I slice it up and put it back in the oven and turn the oven off.  Overnight, or several hours later when the oven has cooled down, the Biscotti are nice and crisp.  When I get up, I can throw them in the cookie jar and get on with my day.

One in hand, of course.

Happy Biscotti baking and coffee dipping friends,

Renee

Cranberry, Orange and Chocolate Chip Biscotti

*adapted from a recipe by Julie Van Rosendaal

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp orange bakery emulsion or orange zest
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the butter, sugar, eggs, orange juice, orange emulsion and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir just until combined – avoid over mixing. Add the almonds, cranberries and chocolate chips and gently fold in.
  2. I prefer my Biscotti pieces to be about 6-7 inches long.  Place all of the dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  With dampened hands (essential),  shape the dough into a rectangle about 6 inches wide and 12 inches long.  It should be just under an inch thick.  Do the best you can, you can’t go wrong here.  Similarly, if you prefer smaller cookies, shape the dough into two logs,  2-3 inches wide and  1 inch thick.  (You should be able to fit both on one same sheet.)
  3. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then carefully transfer the whole piece to a cutting board and cut on a slight diagonal into ¾-inch slices with a sharp or serrated knife.
  4. Place the Biscotti back on the cookie sheet, this time laying each piece on its side.  Put it back in the oven, and turn the oven off.  Leave overnight or for several hours without opening the door.   In the morning, you will have crispy Biscotti waiting for you! Store in a cookie jar for several weeks, if they last that long.

 

 

 

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Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

chocchip

I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

cookie

All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

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Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

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Love Cookies

You know the saying, that as you get older, you open your mouth and your mother comes out?   I would’ve sworn on my life as a teen that this would never happen to me, that it couldn’t, wouldn’t be how I would parent.  Speed ahead 30 years later and lo and behold I was blessed with three amazing children of my own and I’ve seen my mother in a whole new light.

I should say to her, thank you for loving us as deeply as you did and I’m sorry for all the trouble I gave you.

Oh, and you were right.

top

Mom scratch baked for us every single week-end.  Tunes always blaring in the kitchen, she made the best meals and treats.   I have vivid memories of standing on a chair and helping her roll dozens of cookies in sugar.  These Love Cookies were a regular during our childhood.  They aren’t really cookies, they’re made in bar form, and I’ve never seen another recipe similar.  Waiting for the glaze to set while they were still warm was a killer but mom usually cut a little warm piece off for us.

When I make these now, I often eat a piece or two (sometimes a row!) right after it’s been glazed.   It takes me right back to that little kitchen of my childhood, and to mom, within minutes.

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These are full of walnuts, cinnamon and raisins.  They are baked on a sheet pan and topped with a sweet glaze while still warm.  When the glaze sets, it leaves a gorgeous crackly layer on top.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’m pretty sure of the Love in the name.

Thanks mom. xo

loveslice

Do you have a recipe that takes you right back to your moms kitchen?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy Spring!

Renee

 

Love Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, divided
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1.  In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter, raisins and 1 cup water.  Mix well.   Combine baking soda and remaining tbsp water and stir until soda dissolves.  Add to the raisin mixture and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add the walnuts and set aside.

2.  Mix flour and baking powder and add to the raisin mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Spread onto 10 x 15 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-27 mins until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Watch carefully at 25 minutes as these can over bake quickly.

3.  In a small bowl combine the milk, tbsp of melted butter, icing sugar and vanilla.  Whisk any lumps out and spread over cookies while still warm.

 

 

 

 

 

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Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

I’m enjoying the last few days of hustle and bustle around here as we get ready for the holidays.   Lots of baking to do, lots of presents to wrap and all of the other preparations that go along with it.  All three kids are in the house at the moment and I love every minute of it.

bisc

Without a doubt, baking Christmas Biscotti is on my list of things to do.  When I had the bake shop I gave a ribbon wrapped bag of biscotti to every customer that came in on Christmas Eve.  Even now I like to attach a little bag to the presents I give out.  It’s a great little gift and something that can be prepared well ahead of time.  This one is a Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti.  A twice baked batch of crunchy chocolate goodness full of Lindt Bittersweet chunks and drizzled with melted White Chocolate.  Sprinkle some crushed candy cane on top and catapult yourself right to the top of the nice list!

bisc 3

 

This recipe is super chocolatey without being really sweet.  These are definitely dunkers and I would put them in the extra-crispy category too.  I always have some flavour of biscotti in the house and I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a piece or two with my tea after dinner.

Come to think of it, I usually keep a piece or two in my lunch bag too.  And I often snag a piece to have with my coffee when I’m driving the boys to the hockey arena.

Geez Louise, I have a slight cookie and coffee addiction it seems.

bisc 2

 

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday, wherever you may be.  I feel very lucky to have the time at home with my family and friends ~ and you!   As always, thank you for another great blogging year.  Your comments and support continues to amaze me.

Blessings for a great 2015!

Renee

 

Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Biscotti

*adapted from David Lebovitz- David does not use butter in his recipe, you can certainly omit it.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz. white chocolate for drizzle
  • crushed peppermint candy canes to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Mix the chocolate chunks in by hand.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the biscotti mix into two logs directly on the cookie sheet (you can just form one wide log if you want long cookies -about 6 inches wide).  The logs should be 1.5 inches high and about 3 inches wide.  If you wet your hands slightly it’s easier to form and smooth out the dough.  Make two even logs.

3.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees.  Let the biscotti cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.   Transfer the dough to a cutting board and cut the biscotti into slices (3/4 inch wide).  A serrated knife works best.  Place the cookies upright back on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2 and inch between each cookie.  Bake them for an additional 30 minutes until crisp.

4.  Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie.  Drizzle the cooled biscotti with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with candy canes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Gingerbread Snowmen Cookies

Happy Saturday everyone!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know that my job during the day is working in a classroom with 9 of the most amazing children.  They’re all so different and have taught me some sort of lesson about myself or life in general.  I truly enjoy being with them each day.

snowmanwithwords[1]

The past few weeks in our room have been all about the holiday season and the magic of winter.  We recently did a snowman art project and I thought it was so cute that I copied it in cookie form for them.  They were pretty impressed and I was too~ it was incredibly easy!  How cute are these snowmen cookies who are gazing up at the snowflakes falling from the sky?  Pretty whimsical and a great gift idea or classroom party snack.

Did you know that you can place a fondant decoration on top of hot cookies right out of the oven and they will mold perfectly on top?  Nothing else required!   The longest part of the cookie prep is making the fondant decorations for the top.   After that, things move pretty smoothly.

First off, here are the items you need:

pieces[1]

  1. Gingerbread recipe (see below)
  2. Round cookie cutter
  3. White, blue and orange fondant
  4. Fondant roller
  5. Black sugar pearls – I used 4 mm
  6. Card stock with snowflakes painted on (if you’re giving the cookies as gifts)- I used white food colour gel and the back of a paintbrush

 

Start by rolling out your cookie dough and using the cookie cutter to cut out all of your cookies.  Place them on trays in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.  Use the fondant roller to roll out the white fondant (a bit of Crisco on the counter top stops it from sticking).  Use the same cookie cutter to cut out as many white circles as you have cookies.  Place them under some Saran or a fondant mat to keep the fondant from drying out (single file).  Meanwhile, start the scarves.  Roll out the blue fondant and cut two strips for the scarf, using a knife to cut the end tassels.  Put a little bit of water on your finger and rub it on the bottom side of the scarf to help it adhere to the white fondant (very little water is needed).  Place the scarf on the white circle as shown in the picture below.  Cut the corners to keep the snowman round.

pieces 2[1]

Roll out the orange fondant and cut out some carrot noses with a knife.  Keep all fondant under the Saran to keep it from drying out.  Now you can start baking and assembling!  As soon as the cookies come out of the oven start placing the snowmen on top.  Once you’ve covered the whole tray of hot cookies with the fondant rounds, you can start pressing in the black pearls for the mouth.  Carrot noses will stick on with just a smidge of water.

collage[1]

Tah dah!!  Looks great right?  For packaging I simply placed a cookie on a piece of blue cardstock with some little white dots (I had some snowflake sprinkles to add too) and then in a cellophane wrap.  I must tell you that the cookies were a big hit although they need to be handled with care as the noses can be fragile.  When I do them again I will move the noses down just a hair so that they aren’t sticking out as much.

finished[1]

And that’s it.  A fun baking project that you can do with your own children or just to give to the very special children in your life!

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Now go forth and create my little snowflakes!  Use your imagination and have fun!

Renee

 

Gingerbread Cookies

*Martha Stewart

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  •  2 teaspoons ground ginger
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 /2 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  •  3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  •  1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in spices, salt, eggs and molasses.   Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into circles with a 2.5″ cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm or ready to use.
  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, about 8 minutes. Cover immediately with fondant tops.

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Happy New Year! {Kahlua Marshmallows}

Well here we are toe to toe with 2014.   It’s been a crazy year in our house and a busy year in blog world too.  I’m sitting here with a cup of dark hot chocolate munching on these yummy treats thinking about what’s ahead.

kahlua3

It’s been a year full of first experiences for me.  I started exercising and ran my first race.  I was published in the launch issue of a national magazine for the first time.  I hand finished some furniture for our home.  I started a new job that brings me immense joy.  I volunteered in my community.   I learned that putting yourself out there can be exhilarating and heartbreaking all at the same time.

kahlua

I learned to truly appreciate you too, dear readers.  The sheer love of good food connects us all over the world.   Your comments and questions help this become a better place.  Help me become a better baker, blogger, writer.  Your patience with me through some long silences has really been appreciated.

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Here’s to you my friends.  To a new year full of firsts. More joy, highlights and surprises.  Be kind to one another.   Step out of your comfort zone.  Forgive someone.

I wish you all the best in 2014.

Happy New Year!

Renee

xo

kahlua1

Kahlua Marshmallows

Note:  The recipe that follows is for the marshmallows only.  I piped the marshmallow kisses on a baking sheet for regular marshmallows as well as on top of shortbread cookies that I dipped in chocolate. A must try!

*adapted from marthastewartweddings.com

  •                                         3 tablespoons cornstarch
  •                                         3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  •                                         Vegetable oil cooking spray for pans
  •                                         1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  •                                         1/3 cup Kahlua for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
  •                                         1 cup granulated sugar
  •                                         1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Mix cornstarch with confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Coat two rimless baking sheets with cooking spray.  Dust with cornstarch mixture to cover completely; shake off excess. Sprinkle gelatin over the Kahlua in a mixer bowl. Let stand to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup water and the granulated sugar in a small pan over medium-high heat, stirring, until dissolved. Place a candy thermometer into syrup; wipe sides of pan with a wet pastry brush if crystals have splattered up. Boil, without stirring, until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove from heat; add to softened gelatin. Hand-stir with the whisk attachment a few seconds to cool; place bowl on mixer stand. Whisk on medium-high until soft peaks form and mixture holds a shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the vanilla .  Transfer mixture to a pastry bag with a round tip and pipe kisses on baking sheets.  Let stand at room temperature until set.

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Kahlua French Macarons

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am…*ahem*…brutally stubborn sometimes.

Case in point: this week-end I tried my hand at French Macarons.

I tried 4 batches.  I read up on every trick, tip and egg white dance needed to achieve perfection.

They were terrible.  It was a bad scene.  My son told me to stop telling the macarons “this is getting personal.”

Five ingredients.  How hard can this be??  Maybe not hard, but finicky.

I’m not trying to scare you off, please try these yourself.  They are worth every bite.  And, my appreciation of each bite is all the more glorious for the work that has gone into learning how to make them.

I can’t wait to share them with my Valentine.

French Macarons

*From the Giver’s Log

* I sprinkled mine with just a whisper of pearl luster dust just after I piped them.

  • 2 egg whites, take eggs out of the fridge the day before and let them rest on the counter for 24 hours, critical step
  • 4.5 oz of sifted powdered sugar
  • 2.5 oz almond flour, as fine as you can get it, pulse for a few seconds in a spice grinder if needed
  • 1.5 oz of granulated sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar

1.   Whisk almond flour and powdered sugar together in a bowl and set aside.

2.   Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks forms.  Slowly add the granulated sugar.  Whip, on high for approximately 6-8 minutes until stiff peaks form.  I added gel food colouring just at the end and whipped for a few more seconds until thoroughly mixed in.

3.  Fold the flour mixture into the egg white mixture.  As fellow blogger Tartlette says, fold for 50 strokes, no more.

4.  Put mixture into piping bag with large round tip.  If the mixture does not start slowly oozing out the bag, it hasn’t been folded enough.

5.  Pipe 1 inch dollops on parchment lined baking sheet.  There should be no “hershey’s kiss tail” at all, it should immediately flatten.  This is how I knew I had finally been successful!  Let them sit for one hour.

6.  I baked mine at 295 degree’s for approx 12-14 minutes.  Some bake at 350 degrees with the oven door propped open.  You have to find what method works for you.  Let them cool on the baking sheet.

7.  Fill with Kahlua Ganache.  Enjoy every last bite.

Kahlua Ganache

*adapted from Martha Stewart

  •      3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Callebaut))
  •      1/2 cup heavy cream
  •       1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
  •       1 tbsp Kahlua  
  1. Heat cream and Kahlua in a saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbling at the sides, not boiling.  Pour cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring often.  Pipe on to cookies once cool.

The Macaron Printables are from the Giver’s Log.  They also have fabulous tips for newbie Macaron makers like me.

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