Tag Archives: cookies

Holiday cookies

Mexican chocolate cookies

Mexican chocolate cookies

I’m taking a snow day today.  No one will miss me — in fact, with the storm warning, I think everyone else is doing the same thing.  Which is great, because I can look forward to curling up on the couch with Nuclear Structure from a Simple Perspective and getting my theory chapter FINISHED.  Well, mostly, anyway.

(What, you came here for the food? Nuclear structure is much more interesting. No — seriously. Stop laughing. I mean it.)

Lemony gingersnaps

Lemony gingersnaps (at night)

The thesis is looming. It’s due in two months — a little sooner than I expected, because it’s hard to get five professors in the same place at once. A few of them seem to be allergic to this town, but hey, I’m not complaining. I have a DATE. A scarily soon date, upon which the equivalent of a book is due.  So posts will be slim in the coming months, but I’ll come back after that with ideas and pictures and maybe even a blog makeover, or a move to a server of my own.  For now, I’m just glad the cookies I made for the holidays turned out, so I can leave you with a little something to celebrate with.

Gingersnap dough is kind of ugly (but addictive all the same).

Gingersnap dough is kind of ugly (but addictive all the same).

Both of these cookies are variations on recipes from Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking.  My brother gave us a copy for Christmas last year, and I’ve had good luck with the cookie recipes thus far.  These are no exception. The gingersnaps are soft, fragrant, and chewy, and are the best molasses-based cookie I have found so far. The Mexican chocolate cookies are cute and seductive, all in one go.  They have a rich chocolatey flavor with subtle hints of cinnamon and chile, and even the uncooked dough is addictive.  So what are you waiting for — a snow day?  Go make cookies, because frankly, it doesn’t feel like a holiday until you’re covered with powdered sugar and coming down from a serious sugar high.

I’m trying out a new recipe format. If you hate it, tell me!

Mexican Chocolate Cookies and Lemony Gingersnaps

Continue reading


Filed under baking, chili, chocolate, cinnamon, cookies, ginger, holiday, lemon

Corona cookies

Corona cookies

Corona cookies

You came here expecting Thanksgiving recipes, didn’t you? Well … I don’t have any new ones. In fact, we’re not doing a traditional thanksgiving dinner at all, so I won’t have any to share this year. We’re cooking chicken, and yorkshire pudding, with potatoes and gravy and oh, maybe a cherry pie. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just make a batch of these cookies.

Prep work

Prep work

See, Thanksgiving at our house is always an international affair. I’m usually the only one who actually grew up with the turkey and stuffing and the occasional helping of that spectacular tin can-shaped cranberry (only at Grandma’s house, of course — my parents made the real stuff, which really isn’t that hard to do), so I figure sticking with the spirit of the holiday is the best way to go. To me, that means my guests should feel at home somehow. For a lot of people at my table (including James), a “proper” roast (like the menu above) is the best way to ensure that. Hence the chooks.

But I’m here to talk about cookies.  For those of you who are already thinking about holiday cookies, try these, but replace the orange with lime zest, skip the cinnamon, replace the liquor with lime juice, and throw in 1 t. of vanilla. Sprinkle pretty sea salt (Hawaiian red, in this case, from TJ’s) over the top. And there you have it — cookies faintly reminiscent of a day at the beach, beer in hand, which I could seriously go for after weeks and weeks of bone-chilling weather.

(Alternatively, you can use lemon or orange zest and play with spice combos, like the original recipe states. I prefer the juice to the liquor — the cookies turn out a bit better texture-wise, in my opinion).


Filed under baking, dessert, limes, olive oil

Buttery biscuits for Anzac Day

Buttery golden deliciousness

I’m a little bit tardy with this post, but I’ve been a bit lazy in the kitchen of late. Yesterday was Anzac Day, which is kind of like the Australian version of Veteran’s Day here, and since I will take any excuse I can get to make Anzac biscuits, I figured I’d share them with all of you, as well.

Mmm, golden

Anzac biscuits are kind of funny. They have a little bit of a mad scientist quirk, they’re “healthy” (because they’re made of oats, of course), and don’t call for eggs at all, which makes them a cinch to modify for vegans. During World War I, when these biscuits were first made, eggs were difficult to come by, so people had to find something else to bind their baked goods. It turns out that golden syrup does the trick. Golden syrup, for those of you who haven’t tried it, is sweet, buttery, golden (duh), and delicious cane syrup, and really should be in your kitchen if it isn’t already. It’s finally available in the international section of most supermarkets, so it really isn’t hard to find. I use it in a lot of my cookie recipes, just because the flavor is that much better.


The thing I can’t quite figure out about this (or any) Anzac biscuit recipe is the mad scientist bit I mentioned before. One key step involves dumping the baking soda in a bit of boiling water. When you do this, you get a tame little explosion of carbon dioxide, resulting from the interaction between the sodium bicarbonate and the hot water. As I understand it, this leaves you with sodium carbonate, which will once again break down into carbon dioxide and water provided you have sufficient heat (~1000°C, according to Wikipedia!). It seems like any further leavening really won’t happen in the oven. So what exactly is the point? Anyone have an idea? It seems to be fairly standard in any Anzac biscuit recipe I’ve come across…

Continue reading


Filed under Australia, baking, butter, coconut, cookies, dessert, golden syrup, oatmeal

Grown up cookies

Olive oil cookies

I never would have thought to make these cookies just a few years ago. I was a chocolate chip girl, fully devoted to “my” oatmeal chocolate chip recipe, straight from the Quaker Oats carton (shhhh, don’t tell!). But then I started getting into Spanish cuisine, thanks to Penelope Casas, who convinced me that olive oil could be sweet and luxurious all at the same time. When you start to learn about a new culinary tradition for the first time, you learn to accept the unexpected, and go ahead and give whatever odd combinations you might try a shot, without prejudice or expectation. More often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


I call these grown up cookies because they have a slightly complex undertone, thanks to some good Australian olive oil and a bit of my homemade Meyer lemon liqueur (made of vodka, Meyer lemon peel, and time). They’re really simple, fairly quick, and best with a bit of good wine or a cup of hot coffee. And if you want soft cookies, these are not for you. But try them, regardless. Hey — olive oil’s good for you, right? (As if you needed an excuse.)

Continue reading


Filed under baking, blood oranges, cinnamon, cookies, dessert, Meyer lemons, olive oil, stories

Cookie monster


On a rainy spring day, there is nothing better than warm chocolate chip cookies. The molten chocolate nuggets encased in soft, buttery sweetness just makes the world seem a bit better somehow, and fill the house with that intoxicating scent of vanilla and warmth.

Wet ingredients

As I type this, it’s pouring outside, and doesn’t seem like it’ll let up for the rest of the weekend. But that’s ok — I love rainy weekends, when I have the luxury of staying inside and watching the rain streak my windowpanes and wash the world clean. I make a point of reveling indoors, with hot chocolate and data analysis and baking all going on at the same time somehow. Though perhaps this time I’ll just sit in my lovely citrus-colored armchair and pick out seeds for my soon-to-be-real garden, or read a book or two.


Or perhaps I’ll make another batch of these cookies. These were one of the many projects I took on last week, and oh, they were good. We baked half the batter on the weekend, and froze the rest, but even that didn’t last long. We were making toaster oven cookies all week, and couldn’t help but sample bits here and there. The frozen dough tastes just like the little nuggets you might find in Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, except these have a slightly more exotic kick.


See, I like to play with spices, and this recipe is a case in point. We have a small container of ground wattleseed, which is an Australian spice with a coffee-like flavor and rich brown color that is often used in sweet recipes like this. I decided to tweak the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe (thanks for the recommendation, Rachael!) with the spice, just to see what would happen. And, well, it’s pretty damn good. Is it worth going out and ordering wattleseed for this? No, probably not — espresso powder, as recommended in the original recipe, would probably have pretty much the same effect. But if you already have some in the house, or just want to experiment with a new ingredient, go for it. I certainly won’t stop you.

Continue reading


Filed under baking, chocolate, dessert, wattleseed