Everything but the kitchen sink cookies

INGREDIENTS:

makes nine 6-inch cookies 

  • 2 1/4 cups (320 gr) AP flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 2 tspn finely ground Turkish coffee
  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (120 gr) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (200 gr) white sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbspn dark molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbspn cream or milk
  • 1 Tbspn vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of mix-ins: 1 cup each of pretzels (chopped), Butterfingers (chopped), marshmallows, dark chocolate chips

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk to combine the AP flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and finely ground Turkish coffee. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugars and mix until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the molasses to the butter and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and vanilla extract. In two stages, beat in the flour mixture on low until thoroughly combined. Fold in the mix-ins.
  4. Scoop the dough into large rounds onto the prepared cookie sheets, about two cookies per half-sheet baking pan. Leave ample room between each cookie. Dip your fingers in water and lightly spread out and press the dough into a circle.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Note: If you don’t have Turkish coffee, substitute with finely ground regular coffee and a pinch or two of ground cardamom.
Note: This recipe can support up to four cups of mix-ins. Feel free to mix in anything you can think of or have in your cabinets: potato chips, nuts, dried fruits, chopped candy bars, cereal, last year’s Halloween candy, next year’s Halloween candy…. The sky’s the limit!

Dark Chocolate Chip and Currant Biscotti

INGREDIENTS:

makes ~60 cookies according to Lebovitz (I got ~40)

  • 350 gr AP flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 100 gr white granulated sugar
  • 100 gr dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried currants

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Whisk to combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, white sugar, dark brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium high for about five minutes, until the batter has considerably thickened.
  4. Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture.
  5. Add and gently mix in the chocolate chips and dried currants.
  6. On a lightly-floured surface, divide the dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a log about three inches in diameter, and transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, allowing a few inches in between the logs because they will spread in the oven. Wet your hands lightly with water and smooth the outsides of the dough logs.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through baking, until the logs are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Decrease the oven temperature to 150 degrees C.
  9. Transfer the logs to a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the logs into ~3/4″ pieces. Transfer the pieces, cut-side up back onto the lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake the cookies again for 15-20 more minutes, rotating once half-way through baking. Remove cookies and let cool on a wire rack. Cookies will continue to harden when cooling.  Store in an airtight container.

Chai Tea Sandwich Cookies

Vanilla cardamom cookies
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 heaping Tbspn ground cardamom (or more, if you want extra spicy cookies)
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tspn vanilla
  • vanilla sugar, optional (recipe found below)

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom, and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium.
  3. Mix in the egg and vanilla to the fluffed butter and sugar.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients in two batches and mix until combined.
  5. Wrap the dough in 2-3 separate portions in parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling:
Darjeeling tea filling
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4-5 Tbspn loose leaf Darjeeling tea
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup veggie shortening
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine milk and Darjeeling tea.  Bring to almost a boil.
  2. Remove the milk from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Return the milk to heat and simmer until the liquid reduces by about a half or more.  Let cool.
  4. In a mixer, beat butter and shortening for about 2-3 minutes on medium.
  5. Add milk tea and gradually mix in powdered sugar.
  6. With mixer on high, beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Baking and assembling:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Take one portion of dough out of the freezer at a time. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper or on a floured surface until about 1/4″ thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
  3. Place prepared dough on a pan with a silpat or sheet of parchment paper. If using, sprinkle each piece with vanilla sugar.
  4. Bake cookies for ~15-18 minutes, rotating once half-way through.
  5. Remove cookies and let cool.
  6. Fill a pastry bag with the filling and pipe a small amount on a cookie.  Sandwich the filling with another cookie and gently press down.

for vanilla sugar:

  1. Fill a clean jar with sugar.
  2. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar in the jar.  Mix.
  3. Bury the vanilla bean in the sugar as well.
  4. Seal the jar tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week until the sugar absorbs the vanilla fragrance.

Fortune Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

makes about 12 – 18 fortune cookies

for basic recipe:

  • 4 Tbspn unsalted butter
  • 150 g (¾ cup) sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 60 g (½ cup) all-purpose flour

for matcha-orange blossom cookies:

  • 1 Tbspn matcha powder
  • ½ tspn orange flower water

for brown butter cookies:

  • ½ tspn almond extract

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. If making brown butter cookies, cook the butter until the solids have dropped to the bottom and begin to brown. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, but don’t let the butter resolidify.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, egg whites, and flour. For matcha cookies, add the matcha powder and orange flower water. For brown butter cookies, add almond extract instead. Whisk until the mixture thickens and is well-combined, with no more lumps. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 150° C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silicone mats. Have ready a coffee mug and a muffin tin, for shaping and cooling the cookies, and paper fortunes. Working two cookies at a time, spoon a small, scant Tbspn of batter for each cookie onto the silicone mat, leaving a few inches in between. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter into a thin circle.
  4. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few seconds. Place a fortune on the cookie, fold the cookie over in half, press the edge together lightly to seal. Then, using the edge of the mug, indent the cookie in half on the folded side of the half-circle, bringing the ends together. Place in a muffin tin to cool.

Note: for the fortunes, I used 8-pt Times New Roman font, which turned out to be a good size.

Green Apple Jasmine Sorbet Sandwiches with Chocolate Snaps

INGREDIENTS:
Green Apple Jasmine Sorbet

  • 1 1/4 lbs granny smith apples, cored and chopped (leave peel on!)
  • 1 cup + 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup pearl jasmine tea leaves
  • a pinch of powdered green food coloring (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Combine the apples, 1 cup of water, sugar, salt, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover loosely, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the apple chunks are very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the remaining 3/4 cup of water to a simmer and brew the tea leaves. Let steep covered.
  3. Once the apples are tender, remove the pot from heat and add the tea and tea leaves into the pot. Cover tightly and let cool at room temperature.
  4. Once cool, press the contents of the pot through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the apple peels and tea leaves that are left behind.
  5. If a smoother sorbet is desired, puree the strained apple sauce in a food processor with the powdered green food coloring, if using, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  6. Once chilled, freeze the sorbet base in your ice cream maker of choice. Once churned, you may want to let the sorbet harden further overnight in the freezer.

Note: now’s the time to break out the good quality green tea–the better the green tea you start with, the better this sorbet will taste.

INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate Snaps

  • 1 1/2 cups (210 gr) AP flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbspn (75 gr) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 1/8 tspn salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz./112 gr) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbspn (125 gr) sugar
  • 1/4 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer with the paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter and sugar, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  4. Mix in the prepared flour in two to three additions. Press together into a dough, wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your desired shapes. Keep the dough cool as you work with it.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating once halfway through the baking.
  8. Once done, remove from oven and let cool briefly before removing the cookies from the baking sheet and placing them on a wire rack to continue cooling. Cookies will continue to harden as they cool.

Chocolate-covered Jam Sandwich Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
makes 20 – 24 cookies

  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour
  • 12 + 1 Tbspn butter, softened
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (28 gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • jam or marmalade
  • 89 g (3 oz) dark chocolate
  • 89 g (3 oz) heavy cream

METHOD:

  1. Combine the baking powder, salt, and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer bowl, cream 12 Tbspn of butter for 2 – 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and powdered sugar and continue to beat for a few minutes more.
  4. Add the egg and beat well.
  5. Add the flour mixture in three stages, mixing just until combined.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 180˚ C. Prepare baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats.
  8. Roll out the cold dough on a lightly floured surface to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 1¾-inch cookie cutter, cut out small rounds. Reroll the leftover dough and continue to cut out cookies. Place cookies on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes if the dough is no longer cold.
  9. Bake each sheet for 15 minutes, rotating once half-way through the baking time. Cookies are done when the edges begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. To assemble, spread a small amount of jam on a cookie and sandwich with another one.
  11. Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a bowl.
  12. Combine the heavy cream and remaining 1 Tbspn of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and pour on top of the chocolate. Let sit for a minute, and then whisk until smooth.
  13. Dip the cookies in the chocolate ganache, shaking gently to remove the excess, and let dry on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat for at least 2 hours until the ganache has firmed up and is no longer liquid.

Peach Froyo and Basil Snickerdoodle Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS:
makes 10 – 12 three-inch sandwichesfor peach frozen yogurt:

  • 2 medium peaches, ripe
  • 3 Tbspn (38 g) + ⅔ cup (133 g) sugar
  • 1½ cups (345 g) whole milk
  • 2 Tbspn (15 g) tapioca starch
  • 4 Tbspn (57 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (134 g) light corn syrup
  • 1¾ cups (367 g) Greek yogurt

METHOD:

  1. Peel and pit the peaches. In a food processor, roughly puree the peaches, leaving very small peach bits in the puree. Measure out ¾ cup (165 g) for peach puree and stir in 3 Tbspn (38 g) of sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 Tbspn (43 g) of milk with the tapioca starch to make a slurry. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining (302 g) milk, (133 g) sugar, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, bring the milk mixture to a boil and let boil for 4 minutes, being very careful not to let the milk boil over.
  5. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the starch mixture.
  6. Return the saucepan to medium heat and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  7. Gradually whisk the milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the Greek yogurt until smooth, then stir in the peach puree.
  8. Cover the yogurt base and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. After freezing, let firm in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.

for basil snickerdoodles:

  • 3 cups (383 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tspn cream of tartar
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (300g) + 2 Tbspn (25 g) sugar
  • 14 g fresh basil leaves, very finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tspn ground cinnamon

METHOD:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter, 1½ cups (300 g) sugar, and chopped basil leaves in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the flour mixture, beating on low just until the flour is incorporated. Cover the dough and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190° C. Prepare cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicon mats.
  6. Combine the remaining 2 Tbspn (25 g) sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using about one heaping Tbspn of dough, form a ball and roll the ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  7. Place the dough balls on the cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Do not flatten.
  8. Bake each sheet of cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. 9. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to let cool briefly. After about 2 or 3 minutes, use a spatula to remove the cookies from the tray. Place the cookies on a wire rack and let cool completely.
  9. for assembly. Remove the peach frozen yogurt from the freezer and let soften briefly. Scoop a spoonful of frozen yogurt onto the bottom of a cookie and top with another, pressing gently. Freeze until firm.

Note: I highly recommend seeking out good cinnamon that packs a spicy kick for these cookies because it will make all the difference.