Browsing articles tagged with "12 weeks of Christmas Cookies - SamanthaMenzies.com"
Dec 14, 2011
Samantha Angela
11 Comments

Kifle with Hazelnut Liqueur

How about some more Christmas Cookies, hmm?

kifle

It’s week 12 of the 12 weeks of Christmas cookies and I decided to go with a cookie that I found in my mom’s old recipe folder dated from December 2004.

I remember her coming home one day and talking about these delicious cookies called kifle that one of the other teachers brought in to school one day. (I can’t for the life of me remember whose recipe they were how typical of me to remember more about cookies than people.) I think they are an Eastern European Christmas cookie but I don’t quite know for sure. I do know that my mom raved about how fantastic they were and told us that she was going to make them as soon as she got the recipe from her friend.

kifle

I don’t know why I have such a vivid memory of her baking these cookies. Maybe because she hardly baked. Maybe because she talked up these cookies so much that I was more than excited to taste them. Maybe it was the way that she indulged in them and savoured them like each bite was worth a million dollars.

I might go out on a limb and say that these were her favourite cookies. But I can’t be sure. I never got the chance to ask her.

kifle

 

Kifle with Hazelnut Liqueur

The original recipe called for brandy or rye in the filling but I used Frangelico instead to play up the nuttiness of the cookie. Feel free to use brandy or rye if you so desire.

makes about 30

Dough

2 c flour
1/2 lb. butter
1 egg yolk
3/4 c full fat sour cream
icing sugar for finishing

Combine the flour and butter together in a mixer until fluffy. Add the egg yolk and sour cream and mix by hand until it comes together into a soft dough.

Divide dough into 3 parts, sprinkle each part with a bit of flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Meanwhile, prepare the nut filling.

Nut Filling

1/2 c ground walnuts
1 egg white
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 shot of hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico (or brandy or rye)

Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Assembly

On a well floured surface, roll out one third of the dough to about 4” wide and whatever length will give you a 1/8” thickness. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into isosceles triangles with a base of about 2”-2.5”. Re-roll any excess dough and repeat.

Just like this cool drawing:

cutting kifle

Spread about 1 teaspoon of the nut filling onto each triangle and roll like a croissant.

Place on greased cookie sheet about an inch apart and bake 20?30 minutes or until a very light golden colour.

Roll in or dust generously with icing sugar.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 11: Pumpkin Raisin Muffin Bars
Week 10: Momofuku Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
Week 9: Flaky Butter Tarts
Week 8: Lime Curd Sablés
Week 7: Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies
Week 6: Macaroons
Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

11 Comments
Dec 7, 2011
Samantha Angela
5 Comments

Pumpkin Raisin Muffin Bar

So let’s talk breakfast!

I eat it daily. End of discussion.

Addendum: On Christmas I follow the ‘no breakfast’ school of breakfast philosophy.

breakfast

A lot of people have a nice family breakfast on Christmas morning. It sounds like so much fun too. The smell of hot coffee, the family gathered around the breakfast table for an intimate meal of pancakes or waffles discussing their newly acquired presents before the day full of larger family gatherings commences. Or at least that’s what I imagine it would be like.

I know that any nutrition professional or remotely healthy person would probably disagree with this philosophy, but when I wake up on Christmas morning my train goes from:

“Sweet baby Jesus, it’s Christmas!!!!” to
“Presents!” to
“Mmmmm… I’m going to eat so many good desserts today” :- d

Even my thoughts skip breakfast entirely…right to dessert. And once I start thinking about dessert then my appetite for breakfast has gone right out the window.

I think that this recipe strikes a nice balance between breakfast and dessert and would probably make a tasty, quick Christmas breakfast with a cup of warm coffee or tea. Just enough to sweet satisfy my craving until after Christmas dinner.

I made these pumpkin bars loosely based on a recipe for a gooey chocolate chip pumpkin bars. But since I didn’t have chocolate chips I used raisins and, of course, it didn’t turn out gooey. They had the texture of a muffin with a nice pumpkin pie flavour and a sweet chew from the raisins.

If you make them, let me know what you think.

Pumkin Muffin Bars

Pumpkin Raisin Muffin Bars

inspired by In Good Taste

Ingredients

2 c all-purpose flour
1 T pumpkin-pie spice
1 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 t vanilla extract
1 c canned pumpkin puree
1 c raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of a 9×9 baking dish with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed of an electric mixer. Once smooth, add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Don’t overmix.

Fold in the raisins. Spread batter evenly into the baking dish. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan before cutting.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 10: Momofuku Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
Week 9: Flaky Butter Tarts
Week 8:
Lime Curd Sablés
Week 7: Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies
Week 6: Macaroons
Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

5 Comments
Nov 30, 2011
Samantha Angela
6 Comments

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Today’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies recipe comes from Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. I’ve heard lots of good things about her recipes and how they’re really creative but work with the most blue-collar ingredients like her compost cookies, which I had been hoping to make, and crack pie.

I was really excited to bake these cookies but after having done it, to be honest, I don’t think I will make them again. They weren’t as amazing as I hoped. They were too big, too crisp, too chocolaty (if that’s even possible), and too salty.

Or maybe I will try making them again but change things up a bit like cutting back (way, way, waaaaay back) on the salt in the recipe and bake them for a little less time since mine came out crisp rather than chewy. I would also make them smaller; I’m not sure if that would affect their texture but their current size is unreasonably large and it only takes about a quarter of a cookie to be fully satisfied in the chocolate department.

One thing I did like about the cookies was the chocolate crumb. It’s a nice change in texture to have that extra toothsome crunch compared your standard chocolate chip cookie which has lacks that variance of texture. I’d like to try making chocolate chip cookies with this crumb instead of chocolate chips. The crumb recipe is a keeper.

Anyway, if you’re interested in trying them out for yourself, I won’t stop you. If you like a big, crisp, chocolatey cookie with a hefty salt content then these are for you.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies

Makes 10 to 15 cookies
From Christina Tosi via Bon Appetit

Ingredients

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces 55% chocolate, melted
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 recipe Chocolate Crumb (below)

Directions

Cream together butter, sugar, and corn syrup with a mixer on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and melted chocolate, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute (do not overmix).

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add the chocolate crumbs and mix on low speed just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup, portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, 4” apart. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature–they will not bake properly.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 18 minutes. If after 18 minutes, the cookies still seem doughy in the center, give them another 1 minute in the oven, but not more.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Chocolate Crumb

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

2/3 cup flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Heat the oven to 300F.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and stir until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.

Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly soft when taken out of the oven and they will crisp up as they cool. Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 9: Flaky Butter Tarts
Week 8:
Lime Curd Sablés
Week 7: Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies
Week 6: Macaroons
Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

6 Comments
Nov 16, 2011
Samantha Angela
10 Comments

Lime Curd Sablés

I have been finding it easy to forget that daylight savings time is over. The sun goes down at 5:00 in these parts and it is pitch black by 6. I forgot about this last night when I headed out on a 9 mile run at 4:20pm. I realized at mile 4 that it was getting dark a hell of a lot faster than I was able to run which meant that I would end up running in the dark on an unlit road with no shoulder. Not exactly my smartest moment (But at least I was wearing blue! Normally I wear black, like some sort of runner in mourning).

On the plus side, my desire to get home before nightfall got my motor running and I was able to crank out 9 miles in 1:22, (ie. 9 minute miles). I was stoked with my time and, to be honest, not all that tired when I finally got home. In the dark.

Other things I’m proud of: no sweets eaten today! Perhaps because my sweet tooth was satisfied by the sweet and delicious baked beans I made for dinner? I’ll write more on them later.

And speaking of sweets, I didn’t even eat any of these bad boys. . .

DSCF7589

. . . because I actually made them a few weeks back.

These Lime Curd Sablés fall in the realm of “good” cookies, like the TK Chocolate Chip cookies of last week. The cookie itself was tasty: sweet, tart, and buttery. I found the lime curd to be slightly bitter, so I will probably cut back on the zest next time I make them, though when sandwiched between the cookies I didn’t taste much of that bitterness.

Also, I will double the recipe because it only made twelve cookies. Twelve! I mean, these aren’t simple drop cookies. It is hardly worth the effort of chilling, rolling, cutting, and filling required for just a dozen cookies that I can probably eat in one sitting.

When I piled the finished cookies onto a small salad plate, which they hardly even filled, I told Matt in despair, “this is all we have! we have to ration them!”, as if it were a zombie apocalypse and we were on our last supplies of food. Cookies are a big deal chez Menzies.

DSCF7585

Lime Sablés

Makes 12 sandwich cookies
From Une Garmine dans la Cuisine

For the Lime Curd

1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (~3 limes)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Combine sugar, eggs, lime zest, and juice in a saucepan, and set over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken and holds the mark of the whisk, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until well combined. Strain mixture through a sieve into a glass bowl. Lay plastic directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill 3 hours or overnight to set the curd.

For the Cookie

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons pure lime extract
Lime Curd

Place flour, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Add butter, and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add lime extract, and pulse just enough to mix.

Transfer the dough to a clean work surface, and flatten, forming a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic, and transfer to refrigerator; chill until very firm, at least 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 325F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles. Place circles on the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart.

Bake until just golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble the sandwiches, place 1 teaspoon key lime curd on the underside of half of the cooled squares. Top the curd with the remaining squares to form little sandwiches. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, and serve.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 7: Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies
Week 6: Macaroons
Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

10 Comments
Nov 9, 2011
Samantha Angela
11 Comments

Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies

I like these cookies.

They’re soft, chewy, slightly crispy on the outside, and, all around, they’re good.

. . . but not as good as the Winning Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Cookies. The Thomas Keller cookies have a nice soft texture but there’s something about the other cc cookie recipe that I like better. Maybe I’m just partial to the extra bulk and crunch of the nuts?

Granted, I took these to a birthday/housewarming party and they got rave reviews.

But in the Menzies household we’re a little more particular about our cookies:

Me: Do you like these cookies?

Matt: They’re okay. Not as good as the ones with the nuts. They’re good.

Me: But what if you had never tasted the ones with the nuts? Would you like these?

Matt: If I never tried the other cookies before I would say that these ones are really good.

Me: But not “sooo good”? Or “Awesome”?

Matt: No. They’d be “really good”.

Me: But now?

Matt: They’re just good.

So there you have it folks. The relative deliciousness rests on whether or not you’ve made the chocolate chip hazelnut cookie before. Maybe start with this cookie to wow people and then the next time you bake for them you can really knock off their socks with the Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Cookies

DSCF7667

Thomas Keller Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes twenty-one 3” cookies.
Source

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 ounces 55% chocolate*, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
5 ounces 70 to 72% chocolate*, cut into chip-sized pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

*The original recipe called for both 55% chocolate and 70% chocolate. I couldn’t be bothered so I just used some good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

If you cut up the chocolate into chips yourself put them in a fine-mesh basket strainer and shake to remove any chocolate "dust" (small fragments)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter on medium speed until fairly smooth.

Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary.

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the dough with a spatula to be sure that the chocolate is evenly incorporated.

Shape dough into balls the size of golf balls. Arrange the cookies 2′” apart; do not press down, they will spread during baking.

Bake for 5-6 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets and bake another 5-6 minutes or until the tops are no longer shiny.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 6: Macaroons
Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

11 Comments
Oct 30, 2011
Samantha Angela
5 Comments

Macaroons

coconut macaroons

I love macaroons. They’re coconut, a flavour which I adore, and they have this great chewy texture which I love.

I made these macaroons one night when I wanted to make a cookie but I had no butter or eggs in the house. My options were limited.

These only take about 5 minutes to whip up and 20 minutes to bake. I over-baked mine a bit because they were smaller than normal macaroons and I didn’t adjust the baking time accordingly. Plus, my oven is a notoriously fast baker.

Coconut Macaroon

  • Coconut Macaroons

    Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in egg whites and almond extract.

Drop coconut mixture by the tablespoon 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 5: Wildberry Dream Cookies
Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

5 Comments
Oct 26, 2011
Samantha Angela
11 Comments

Wildberry Dream Cookies

I’ve been feeling nostalgic for Norway lately.

image

I know I make it sound like I spent half my life there when really it was only a week vacation but I fell in love with Oslo and the beauty of Norway, even in the middle of winter.

The astronomical cost of everything there and long and cold winters are more than made up for by the friendly people, the beautiful scenery, and the very high quality of life.

I really do just want to run away there right now.

Oslo ParliamentNaerofjordFjordOslo

When Matt and I were staying in Geilo we stayed in an apartment there so we were able to cook our own meals. This proved to be extremely practical because the cost of food was through the roof.

One thing that we picked up on one of our many grocery store trips was, naturally, a box of cookies called Skogsbærdrøm Cookiene which roughly translates to Wild Berry Dream Cookies (according to google translate, of course).

Wildberry Dream Cookies

I really liked these cookies. They had dried fruit in them as well as white and milk chocolate. They were loaded with deliciousness.

One morning while drinking tea with cookies and watching Norwegian news I was “reading” the side of the cookie package. A lot of Norwegian words are incredibly similar to English so it didn’t take me long to decipher that the recipe on the outside of the package was a recipe for the cookies was a recipe for the cookies inside!

My first instinct was “Sweet! Jackpot!” and I immediately ripped the side of the cookie package off and tucked it into my luggage. I would be making these at home for sure.

My second instinct was “Who the hell puts a recipe for their cookies on the cookie package??”

Norwegians do. They’re good people.

I typed up the recipe in Google Translate to make sure that I got everything right. Suprisingly, my own Norwegian to English translation was pretty much on the ball. I’ve held on to the recipe since March but hadn’t made this cookies until recently when my urge to go on vacation back to Norway was strong.

They were just as good as I remembered.

Related Norway Posts:

Norway in March
Norway Travel: The Food
Exploring Norway by Train, Boat, and Bus
Active Pursuits in Norway
Homecooked Meals


DSCF7506

Skogsbærdrøm Cookiene

The recipe in Norwegian, for fun. Scroll Down for English.
(ca 20 store cookies)

4 dl hvetemel
1 dl havremel
150 g smor/margarin
1 1/2 dl sukker
50 ml farinsukker
1 1/2 ts bakepulver
1/2 ts salt
1/4 dl sirup
1/2 dl eplemos
1/2 dl vann
40 g torkede blåbær
40 g torkede tranebær
40 g rosiner
100 g hvit sjokolade
60 g lys sjokolade

1. Bland mel, smore, sukker, bakepolver, og salt slik at det blir som små brødsmuler. Tilsett så sirup, eplemos, vann, og rør til en deig. Bland til slutt inn bærene og sjokoladen.

2. Rull deigen forsiktig i en lang rull, ca 5-7 cm i diameter. Legg deigen i kjoleskapet i ca 30 min. Skjær deigen i skiver (ca 1 cm tykke) og legg skivene på en plate med bakepapir.

3. Forvarm ovnen til 400F senk så temperaturen til 350F og stek cookiene i 10-15 min – midt i ovnen. Avkjoles på rist.


DSCF7504

Skogsbærdrøm Cookiene – Wild Berry Dream Cookies

(makes 20 large cookies)

These cookies are very sweet, slightly crispy, and loaded with chocolate and dried fruit. The recipe is a bit funny because the volume measurements are metric (and not even standard) but with a few tweaks you can figure it out.

400 ml flour
100 ml oatmeal
150 g butter
150 ml sugar
50 ml brown sugar
1- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 ml light corn syrup
50 ml apple sauce
50 ml of water
40 g dried blueberries (~1/2 c)
40 g dried cranberries (~1/2 c)
40 g raisins (~1/2 c)
100 g white chocolate (~1/2 c)
60 g milk chocolate (~1/4 c)

1. Combine flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until you get small crumbs. Pour into a separate bowl and add the syrup, apple sauce, water. Stir to form a dough. Mix in the berries and chocolate at the end.

2. Roll the dough gently into a log, about 5-7 cm in diameter. Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 min. Cut dough into slices (about 1 cm thick) and place the slices on a plate with baking paper.

3. Preheat oven to 400F, then lower the temperature to 350F and bake cookies for 10-15minutes – in the middle of the oven. Cool on wire rack.


This recipe is part of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 4: Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies
Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

11 Comments
Oct 19, 2011
Samantha Angela
11 Comments

Speculaas: Dutch Spice Cookies

It’s Week 4 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and. . .

. . . I may have found my new favourite cookie.

Yeah, I’m going to go out there and say it. The homemade oreos and winning chocolate chip cookies have some serious competition from these bad boys:

Speculaas

I love spiced cookies—spiced anything really. Lemon is good. Fruit is fine. Those light and fluffy desserts are okay. Rich, flavour-packed sweets? I’ll take two. Or 4. …actually just give me all of them

These cookies fulfill my spice cravings and they are loaded with lots of flavour. They’re perfect for baking in the fall and winter. They’re made for Christmas, quite literally.

Speculaas koekjes are the Dutch version of gingerbread. Sometimes you can find them here shaped as windmills and called Dutch windmill cookies (Voortman makes some, but they got nothin’ on the homemade version). They are traditionally baked in celebration of December 5th, St. Nicholas’ Eve, in the Netherlands.

Speculaas are usually baked in wooden cookie moulds (often shaped like the man of the hour, St. Nick himself), but I don’t even own cookie cutters, so I went with the “slice and bake” option.

This recipe made 120 crisp, spicy, twoonie-sized cookies. 120. Matt and I ate them all in less than a week.

Did I mention I was getting a little soft around the edges?

Damn you delicious cookies.

speculaas

Speculaas Koekjes (Dutch Spice Cookies)

These cookies just may be my favourite cookies ever. They’re slightly crisp and full of flavour and very very addictive. I got this recipe from a website dedicated to St. Nicholas with tonnes of different versions of cookies from different countries. You should check it out.

makes about 10 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
3 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 t salt, scant
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t ginger

Directions

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until you get a stiff dough.

Shape the dough into 4 logs 1.5” in diameter and chill, covered, for several hours or overnight. (This helps to develop the flavour or the spices in the dough). Slice and the cookies and cover them with granulated sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1cm or so apart.

Bake the cookies at 350º F. for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden (if they’re soft, that’s okay. They will firm up when cooled). Let cool on a rack before eating.

speculaas


This recipe is being linked up at Meal Planning Magic the host of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 3: Poppy Seed Filling
Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

11 Comments
Oct 12, 2011
Samantha Angela
10 Comments

Poppy Seed Paste

It’s Week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies !

This week I knew that I wanted to make something with poppy seed filling. I had a deep craving for the sweetness of poppy seed paste.

I couldn’t find any of the canned stuff at Zehrs so I opted to make my own from scratch. It turned out phenomenal. I could hardly stop eating the stuff. I have to hand it to my secret ingredient which made the poppy seed paste taste so good:

Pink Grapefruit zest.

I was planning to make an Eastern European style poppy seed bread, but in the spirit of the 12 weeks of Christmas cookies I tried to turn the loaf into cookie-sized buns filled with poppy seed filling.

Mini Poppy Seed Buns
Mini Poppy Seed Buns

Mini Poppy Seed Buns
Mini Poppy Seed Buns

Good idea, in theory. In actuality they were meh. (I’m at a loss for adjectives today)

I liked that the dough wasn’t too sweet so it balanced well with the sweet poppy seeds. Too bad it ended up being too tough for my liking—perhaps because the dough-to-filling ratio was small? Naturally, I ate them anyway. I pounded back 5 in a row before my 9 mile run on Monday morning. Somehow, cookies make the best fuel.

I tried to redeem myself by using the tiny bit of leftover poppy seed paste as filling for shortbread thumbprint cookies.

Poppy Seed Thumbprints

Matt really liked these, but I thought the poppy seed flavour was lost to the overpowering taste of the buttery shortbread cookie. Plus, they turned out rather hideous and something I would not want to serve to guests.

In the end, I gave up and ate the last of the poppy seed paste with a spoon.


Poppy Seed Paste/Filling

(makes ~1.5 cups)

This recipe is really versatile and great for festive seasons. You can use it in hamentaschen (Jewish Purim cookies), makowiec (Polish poppy seed roll), kifli (Hungarian croissants) among other things. Or you can eat it with a spoon like me.

Please use pink grapefruit zest and don’t sub with any other kind. It really makes the flavour here.

Ingredients

1 cup poppy seeds
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 3/4 of a pink grapefruit
1/3 cup raisins
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Grind the poppy seeds in a spice or coffee grinder.

Heat the soy milk, sugar, zest, ground poppy seeds and raisins in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk starts to simmer turn the temperature down to low.

Cook on a low simmer until the seeds absorb all the soy milk and the mixture becomes a paste. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Stir in the the lemon juice and vanilla. Remove from heat to let cool completely before using.


    This recipe is being linked up at Meal Planning Magic the lovely host blog of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 2: Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

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Oct 5, 2011
Samantha Angela
10 Comments

Cinnamon Bun Cookies

It’s Week 2 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies !

Do these cookies look familiar?

Cinnamon Bun Cookies

I knew I couldn’t fool you.

Remember last week when I made those soft, pillowy cookies that accidentally turned out to be awesome? Well this week I used the same cookie recipe but changed up the flavours for a tasty variation.

That’s the nice thing about the pillow cookie- it’s certainly versatile.

The flavour of the cookie and it’s cake-y consistency made me think of a cinnamon bun, so I decided to roll with that flavour profile.

I mixed cinnamon sugar with melted butter and brushed it on top of the original pillow cookie, let it cool, and voila, the Cinnamon Bun Cookie variation was born.

Next time I make this, I will increase the amount of cinnamon in the cookie dough for even more cinnamon bun-y taste.

Truthfully, I prefer the coconut variation to this one. But every single one of these cookies was eaten, and I wasn’t complaining.

Cinnamon Bun Cookies


Cinnamon Bun Cookies

(makes 18 large cookies)

Ingredients
Cookie
½ lb salted butter
1½ c dark brown sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp ground cinnamon (I would use a full tsp next time)
pinch ground cardamom
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 ½ c AP flour

Topping
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions

Melt the butter for the cookies and allow to cool.

Cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk. Whisk in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and spices. Add the baking soda, baking powder and flour.

(Note: For the most accurate measurement of the flour, lightly spoon it from the container into the measuring cup and level off the flour even with the top edge of the measuring cup using the back of a knife. Don’t use the measuring cup to scoop the flour out of the container.)

Mix until just incorporated – the dough will be wet and sticky.

Scoop cookie dough and using wet hands form into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet (don’t press down on the balls, you want the cookies to have that pillowy dome shape).

Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. The cookies should still be very soft and look underbaked. Let them cool on a rack before topping.

While the cookies are cooling mix the sugar in a small bowl with the cinnamon and stir until combined. Add the melted butter and stir creating a sludge-like consistency. Brush the cookies with the thick cinnamon mixture.

Allow the cookies to cool before eating.


    This recipe is being linked up at Meal Planning Magic the lovely host blog of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.
    12 weeks of christmas graphic

Prior Posts:

Week 1: Soft & Pillowy Coconut Frosted Cookies

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Samantha Menzies
  • e-mail: samanthaamenzies@gmail.com
  • Samantha Menzies is an opinionated young firecracker who just happens to enjoy distracting web surfers with chronicles of her mildly entertaining daily pursuits.

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