Tag Archives: cookies

Mojito Cookies.

I’ve mentioned before how I love being a part of such a wonderful community of fellow bloggers.  We support each other when times are tough and band together to celebrate the good times.  This is one of those good times.

My friend Krystal of Mrs. Regueiro’s Plate is going to have a baby, and we’re all getting together virtually to throw her a shower!  We were asked to make Cuban or Filipino inspired dishes in her honor.  I love to sit back and relax with a mojito so I decided to make them in cookie form.  Krystal has lovingly nicknamed the baby “Cookie” and since she is Team Green, I thought these would be a perfect fit for the happy occasion.

Krystal (and Eric), I am so excited for you and cannot wait to “meet” your little cookie.  I know you will be fantastic parents!  “Cookie” sure is a lucky little girl or guy.  While we may not have met in real life (yet!!), I am so honored to be a part of your virtual circle of friends and thrilled to be able to celebrate this awesome occasion.  Congrats and well wishes to you both!

Be sure to head over to Krystal’s blog to leave her some love, and check out Joelen’s blog for the roundup of all of the delicious food from our virtual party!

Mojito Cookies – slightly adapted from The Culinary Chronicles

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Mint Leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • Zest of one Lime
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Rum Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • ~2 Tbsp. Lime Juice

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse together the sugar and mint leaves until well combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix with a whisk then set aside.

Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of the food processor with the mint sugar.  Pulse until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg, lime zest, 1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice and rum extract.  Pulse until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add the dry ingredients in two batches, pulsing in between and scraping the bowl as needed.

Using a cookie scoop, place dough balls onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack.

While cookies are baking, place the powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Add enough lime juice to the powdered sugar until you reach your desired icing consistency.  Drizzle the icing over the cookies.  Top with additional lime zest if desired.

Heart Smart Double Thumbprint Cookies for a Cause.

So, remember last year when I did this?  Well, I’m doing it again!

Last March, my mom received her life-saving heart transplant, and while it’s been a long road to recovery, I’m proud to say that she is making great strides!  I’m so thankful that Mom is still here with us, and that she has a second chance at life.

So again in her honor, I’m sending out a call for help.  Last year, I raised $28 for the American Heart Association.  This year, I’d love to at least double that!   But I can only do that with a little help from my friends….

You may be wondering, “What can I do to help?” Well, it’s quite easy actually.  All I ask is that you make and blog a heart healthy recipe between now and March 25 and send me an email with the link at thejeyofcooking@gmail.com In your post, please include a link back to this post, in order to help spread the word and make my donation even bigger!

“But what if I don’t have a blog?  I’d still like to help!” If you’re not a blogger, you can still participate.  Just take a picture of your dish and send it to me along with the recipe to the same address.

I’ll donate $1 for every entry received, and I’ll post the roundup on March 30th, the one year anniversary of Mom’s transplant.  Here are some resources to get you started:

Thanks in advance for your help!

Heart Smart Double Thumbprint Cookies – adapted from Heart Healthy Living

  • 1/4 Cup Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Egg Substitute (or 1 Egg)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Cup White Flour
  • 1 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Seedless Raspberry Preserves, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and oil on medium-high for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix until combined, then add egg substitute and vanilla.  Add flours gradually.

Shape the dough into 3/4 inch balls.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, place two dough balls side by side with one side touching.  Press thumbs into each ball to form an indentation.  Using your fingers, taper the bottom of the cookie to form the point of the heart.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  While the cookies are still warm, fill each indentation with the preserves (I used a baby food spoon to help spread).  Cool completely before serving.

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French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache.

I’ve never been to France, nor am I certain that I’d ever even had a macaron before I made these.  So what caused me to put these airy little cookie sandwiches on my Eleven in ’11 list (an item that squeaked in just time and a list that I failed miserably at)?  To be honest, I’m not really sure, but once they started popping up all over the blogosphere, I had to see what all the fuss was about.

They’re an incredibly finicky cookie… If you overmix or undermix the batter, they won’t develop their infamous feet, which out of the four batches I made, only about 15 cookies actually developed.  If the eggs haven’t been aged enough, they’ll be flat and they’ll crack.  If you attempt to peel the fragile baked cookies from the parchment before they’re ready or touch them in the wrong place (as I did with over half of them), they’ll break into a million little pieces.

So were they worth all the trouble?  Yes.  They were pretty darn delicious.  They were crunchy like a meringue on the outside and chewy like a marshmallow in the middle.  Would I make them again?  Maybe, if there was a special occasion or I had lots of extra time to kill.  And they gave me an excuse to finally use the package of chocolate sea salt I had picked up at a spice boutique on a trip to Tampa last year.  And the chocolate ganache filling?  To. Die. For.

But really, don’t be intimidated by macarons.  Yes, they were a pain in the ass but if you have the patience to be precise, it’s a rewarding experience with a tasty outcome.

French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache – adapted from Up Your Flavor and tips from a Twitter conversation with Katie of Epicurean Mom

  • 7 Egg Whites, aged 2-3 days at room temperature, divided into 3 whites and 4 whites
  • 1 3/4 Cups Almond Flour
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped
  • Chocolate Sea Salt, for garnish*
  • 4 oz. Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

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

Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, add the water and sugar and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and a syrup has formed.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place 3 egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and whip at medium speed until medium peaks form.  Slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl, then increase speed and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form.

Using a spatula, stir 4 egg whites and the vanilla seeds into the flour/sugar mixture until a smooth paste forms.  Fold in one third of the whipped egg whites then gently fold in the rest.  Be sure not to overwork the batter.  It should be smooth and shiny.

Place batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip.  Pipe batter into 3/4 inch rounds (about 3 swirls), one inch apart on the parchment paper.  Lightly tap the baking sheet on the counter in order to settle the batter.  Sprinkle the tops with chocolate sea salt.  Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

While the cookies are resting, combine chopped baking chocolate and heavy cream in a small bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes, in 1 minute increments, stirring after each minute.  Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Place macarons into the oven and place the handle of a wooden spoon in the door in order to vent.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, then allow to cool completely before removing cookies from the parchment, then transfer to a wire rack.

Match up similarly sized cookies and spread the bottom of each with chocolate ganache.  Sandwich together and store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

* To make your own chocolate sea salt, combine 1 Tbsp. coarse sea salt and 1 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder in a plastic sandwich bag.  Rub the outside of the bag between your fingers to coat the salt with the cocoa.

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies.

I don’t do a lot of Holiday baking.  I like to bake, but I don’t like having a lot of extra treats laying around the house.  Cases in point:  I made Pretzel Fudge and they taunted me every time I opened the refrigerator door.  So, I packaged it up and shipped them off to a friend.  I made Caramel Chex Party Mix and the recipe made two large plastic containers worth.  So, I packaged it up and brought it to a family Holiday party.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I participated in a ginormously scaled cookie swap, and that that cookie swap didn’t go entirely as planned.  While I was bummed about not receiving all of cookies meant for me, it paled in comparison to what happened to my friend Kim.  Long story short, the blogger who received her cookies is (putting it lightly) a major not-so-nice person and had some not-so-nice things to say about all of the cookies she received.  I have some choice words for her too, but my parents read this blog  (Hi Dad!) so I’ll keep them to myself for now.  Kim is one of the nicest people I’ve never met (we’re internet buddies), and I was really saddened to hear what had happened.

So once Kim and I realized that our experiences with the cookie swap were less than stellar, we decided to swap with each other.  I loved making these cookies since they’re so cheery and festive (they sparkle!), and I hope Kim loves them too.

Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies – slightly adapted from Mommy Hates Cooking

  • 6 Peppermint Candy Canes, finely crushed (I used my food processor)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Stick Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Red Food Coloring (I use Wilton Gel Colors)
  • Red Sparkling Sugar

Combine the crushed candy canes, sugar and powdered sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), cream together the shortening and butter.  Add the peppermint-sugar mixture and mix again until well combined.  Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts, then gradually add the flour and salt.  Mix well.

Add food coloring until you achieve the color you want.   Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Once dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375.  Add sparkling sugar to a shallow dish and set aside.

Using a cookie scoop (or rounded tablespoon), roll dough into small balls and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.  Roll the dough in the sparkling sugar until covered.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  Cool completely before serving.