These fabulous cookies made with a fabulous waffle-mold are incredibly addictive to eat! The recipe stems fromPierre Hermé's book 'Desserts'.The cookie dough is like any other great butter cookie recipe only it has a bit more saltiness to it, which makes it very very addictive to eat. I usually make two logs: one that I bake, and the other that I keep refrigerated to eat raw cookie dough from time to time. Embarrasingly so. But I promise you, you will do the exact same thing when you make them!
The waffle-mold was sent to me by Silikomart, and you can find products like these on kookwinkel.nl, among others. It can also be used as a chocolate mold, which is very handy too. I pressed the cold, unbaked dough into the mold and 15 minutes of oven later, they came out perfectly! Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside for the moment. Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is soft and smooth. Add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, followed by the salt, and continue to beat, scraping the bowl as needed, for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light, pale and fluffy. Add the yolks and beat to incorporate. At this point, the mixture should be light, creamy and satiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, working with a large rubber spatula, fold in the sifted dry ingredients, taking special care not to overwork the dough.
- Divide the dough in half and, working on a smooth surface, such as marble, mold each half into a log with a diameter of about 1 ½ inches and a length about 8 inches. The dough is going to be baked inside muffin tins, so you might have to adjust the thickness of the logs to the size of the tins: the logs should be about ¼ to ½ inch slimmer than the muffin cups. Wrap each log in a double thickness of plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Set out one or two muffin tins.
- Unwrap one log and, using a sturdy chef’s knife, slice the log into ⅓- to ½-inch-thick cookies. Put one slice of dough in each cup of the muffin tins. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are just firm. These cookies are meant to be pale don’t let them brown: it’s okay if the bottoms are lightly browned, but the tops should remain uncolored. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
If you think that celebrating a pet's birthday is over the top, look away!Because I celebrate it every year! You probably think I'm some crazy cat lady by now, but I assure you nothing went too far. There's nothing wrong with buying a cake to celebrate, some toys for the birthday-cat, and giving him some extra love and attention on the day we got him 8 years ago :)
His name is Kizzy and he's an European short haired cat. He sleeps 20 hours a day and only gets up to ask for attention or food, but I love him very dearly. He has a gorgeous coat of fur and is super soft. He loves it when you pet or comb him, but never try to pick him up! He and his adopted brother don't get along very well, but he always stays kind (unike his evil brother-cat).
I bought a meringue-topped cherry pie from my favorite bakery here in Maastricht. So delicious!
Tell me, would/do you celebrate your pet's birthday? :)
* I've got some lovely responses via email! Keep 'em coming, I love reading them!
Halloween is by far the best holiday for decorating cakes and cupcakes. The possibilities are endless: spiders, graveyard, ghosts, witches, candy corn, owls, nightmare before christmas... and spiderwebs! I bought these beautiful webbed cupcakes liners, and I decided to make a spiderweb as topping. It's a very easy method: you just swirl 2 or 3 rounds with flexible (almost liquid) frosting and use a toothpick to line a star. That's how you create a spiderweb-effect. I used a chocolate frosting with a white web, as I looooove chocolate frosting on a vanilla cupcake! Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The paper spiderweb cupcake liners. It's best to use a light-colored, no pattern cupcake liners
to bake the cupcakes in. That way you can see the spiderwebs best.
Spiderweb Cupcakes: cupcake recipe from 'The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook'
Ingredients: makes 24 cupcakes, but you can halve if you want to
- 1 ½ cup self-rising flour
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar (I always use less sugar with this recipe, as I find them too sweet otherwise)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually to the butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk mixed together with the vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Chocolate Frosting: recipe from 'How To Be A Domestic Goddess'
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or in a bowl over hot water. (I went for the latter; smallest chance of failing)
- Let cool a little, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla and syrup.
- Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and a little hot water, blending until smooth.
- When you’ve got the texture right - thick enough to cover but supple enough to spread, adding more sugar or water as required - you can ice the cakes.
* For the teeny tiny bit of white frosting, I used store-bought kind as it is clear white. Just add a tablespoon or two of milk to the white frosting, this will make it more subtle and liquid to work with. Pipe two or three circles on the chocolate frosting and use a tooth pick to make a star. This will create the spiderweb-effect.
It's pumpkin season! As Halloween is nearing and we're experiencing the beautiful season of Fall, we are also consuming loads and loads of pumpkin puree. Pumpkin latte at Starbucks? Check! Pumpkin soup? Check! Pumpkin Spice Cookies? Check! Check! By the time Fall is over, I am usually sick of pumpkin puree! So I'm only baking 1 pumpkin recipe this year to avoid that. And boy, did I choose the perfect recipe! It's actually a normal sugar cookie recipe, with the addition of pumpkin puree, but it turns the cookies into a whole new recipe! Really loved these. Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies: MarthaStewart.com
Ingredients: makes around 24
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ¼ cups packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
- Transfer 1 ½ cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 ½-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
How wrong is it that I'm paying more attention to the birds-napkins than the cookies? ♥
I'm sending you off into the weekend with this Fall recipe: an Apple Flower Tart. The layers of apple slices are arranged to look like a rose. Indeed, it was an apple rose tart that inspired this recipe. Truth be told, my version is a failed recipe. I initially wanted individually roses in the tart. But my rose-making skills proved to be far behind so I went for something easier. But definitely not any less lovely. Rating: 4 out 5.
Ingredients for pastry cream:
- 400 ml full-fat milk
- 100 ml sweet white wine (such as Riesling or Muscati)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Ingredients for apple topping:
- 5 apples, any kind, cored but unpeeled
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup granulated syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350C. Pre-bake your tart crust for 10 minutes.
- For the cream, mix the flour with the sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Add egg yolks and a little milk. Stir to a smooth pulp. Pour the remaining milk and wine. Boil the cream and let it cool. Optionally, you can use some instant cream or vanilla pudding.
- Half the apples, and slice them very finely. Make a sugar syrup by putting the water and sugar in a pan above high heat. Let it come to a boil. when it boils, leave it like that for a minute or two. Then, lower the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the apple slices in a bowl. Let the apples soak in the sugary syrup for 5 minutes.
- Spread the pastry cream in a pre-baked tart, and arrange the apple slices looking like the inside of a rose, starting from the outer side of the tart. Don't throw the syrup away! It's delicious to drink straight up or mix in a drink.
- Bake the tart for 30 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature before cooling it in the refrigerator - it tastes best when it's cold.
Something amazing about this tart is that it uses white wine in the pastry cream recipe! White wine!