Chocolate Rugelach

Happy finals week! For everyone on the quarter system, it’s probably spring quarter finals coming up, so good luck with studying! My classmates and I have realized that at this point in our careers, our finals are less about rote memorization and more about being able to use clinical reasoning, so I’m pleased to say that finals aren’t nearly as stressful as they were back in undergrad, when most if not all the exams consisted of regurgitating information.

In any case, since I’m not spending all my waking time studying, I made these delicious rugelach with my baking buddy, Shelby, on Friday night! We have also both realized that our ideal Friday night is spending it baking together and going to sleep at a reasonable hour. We may be getting old…

But in any case, we made these delicious Jewish pastries, and adjusted a recipe from the King Arthur Flour bakealong. We weren’t too keen on using nuts and raisins as the filling, so we just used the filling from this recipe on Just a Taste. We made the individual cookies smaller than the original recipe called for, so this recipe makes 48 smaller cookies, rather than 36 large ones. These turned out extremely well! The cookies were flaky, and bursting with chocolate with a touch of cinnamon. They also look quite nice, which is always a bonus. Here’s the recipe!

Chocolate Rugelach

Makes 48 cookies

Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Just a Taste

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

6 oz cream cheese (we used reduced fat)

1/3 cup sour cream

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

6 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped or processed in a food processor

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions

Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream in a stand mixer or by hand. Beat in the salt and sugar, then stir in the flour until a soft, sticky dough forms. Divide the dough into 6 portions (or 2 or 3 and then you can just divide again later), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until the dough is firmed up but not rock hard.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and prepare baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 6 equal sections. Shape one section into a circular disc, then roll out into a circle about 1/8 inch thick.

Brush the melted butter on the rolled out circle, getting it all the way to the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate and press lightly into the dough.

Cut the circle into 8 wedges, then roll the wedges from the wide part of the wedge inwards towards the point of the wedge. Place with the tail end tucked under onto the parchment, to prevent it from unraveling while it bakes.

Repeat with the remaining 5 portions of dough.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the rugelach are a lovely golden brown color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (or eat them warm from the pan!) Enjoy!

Print

DSCN9045

Such a pretty swirl inside!

Advertisements

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

My family often gets together with my cousin’s family for holidays, and a few years ago my aunt made these delicious cookies for our Christmas get-together. I loved the cookies, and my aunt gave me the recipe, but I just never got around to making them until a few weeks ago. A big thank you to my wonderful aunt for this delicious recipe!

These cookies are bursting with chocolate, and the powdered sugar coating gives them that nice crackly top appearance. These cookies are gooey, chewy, and completely delicious. They do require some chilling, but it’s only a couple hours, just so the dough firms up enough that they don’t spread out into pancake cookies in the oven. Definitely worth the wait! Here’s the recipe!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Makes about 50 cookies

Ingredients

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar (for coating)

Directions

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a medium bowl in 30 second intervals at 60% power. Stir in the oil and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the the chocolate mixture. Mix until well combined.

Chill for at least 2 hours, up to a couple days.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Scoop about 2 tsp of dough (I used a small size cookie scoop) and roll into balls, then roll in the powdered sugar. Flatten slightly and place on a baking sheet a couple inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the tops are crackly and almost set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for a few minutes before removing from the pans. Enjoy!

Print

DSCN8936.jpg

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Happy Friday! I have a wonderful recipe today, inspired by the gray skies and rainy days of Seattle. The cherry blossoms bloomed, we had a couple sunny and nice days, and now the rain and clouds are back to remind us that summer’s not quite coming for another few months. However, the poor weather outside means that I’ve been in the kitchen! I made some caramel shortbread last week with my baking buddy Shelby, and it inspired me to make one of the things that’s been on my list for a couple years now-millionaire bars!

I have no idea what the origin of the name millionaire bars is, but they’re basically homemade Twix bars. There’s a shortbread cookie layer on the bottom, soft caramel in the middle, and the whole thing is topped with chocolate! I personally like dark chocolate better than milk, so that’s what I used. A lot of recipes for this that I found just called for storebought caramels for the caramel layer, but I wanted to make it from scratch (plus I didn’t want to make a grocery trip just to buy caramels). I generally don’t like caramel, but mostly due to the sticky taffy texture, and the caramel we made for the shortbread caramel cookies tasted more like toffee and it was nice and soft without sticking too much to your teeth, so I took that caramel recipe for these bars and it was wonderful! It’s not super sticky or hard, so it does tend to squish out of the bars a little bit, but you still get a nice toffee caramel flavor in each bite. After mixing and matching a few recipes and some improvisation, here’s what I came up with!

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Makes 1 8×8 pan

Ingredients

Shortbread:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

Caramel:

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 tbsp heavy cream

Chocolate

8 oz dark chocolate

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line an 8×8 baking pan with greased aluminum or parchment paper. Cream together the butter, sugar, and flour until a course mixture forms. Press the shortbread mix into the pan and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool before pouring the caramel over the shortbread.

To make the caramel, melt the butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan until bubbles form, then remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Set aside to cool and thicken about 10 minutes, before pouring over the cooled shortbread. Spread the caramel evenly, then set aside to cool while you make the chocolate.

To make the chocolate layer, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, then pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly. Place the bars in the fridge to set for at least an hour, then slice into bars. Serve and store at room temperature so the chocolate isn’t rock-hard. Enjoy!

Print

 

Snickerdoodles

Happy first day of spring quarter! After a week in beautiful California (still sunny enough for me to develop great swimsuit tan lines, even on rainy and “cloudy” days), I’m back in Seattle for the start of another quarter. Over break I did a lot of sleeping, baking, eating, swimming (in an outdoor pool!!), and lounging around reading or watching Netflix. I also got to teach swim lessons and coach swim conditioning with my sister, which is always super fun! But anyway, back to the baking.

One of the things I made was my new favorite snickerdoodle recipe, adapted from Averie Cooks. I like this recipe because it uses brown sugar, and I adapted it to add some cinnamon in the cookie dough itself, as well as the cinnamon sugar topping. These cookies are super soft with a slight chewiness, and I just love the cinnamon sugar flavor. I’ve tried making these and skipping the chilling, and they taste fine that way, but they are definitely easier to roll in the cinnamon sugar coating once the dough is chilled, and they hold their shape better and have a thicker, chewier texture. So I’d recommend chilling, but it’s not the end of the world if you skip that step. Anyway, here’s the recipe!

Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Averie Cooks

Makes about 3 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.

Cream together the butter and sugars until a smooth paste forms. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Cover an chill for an hour, or overnight.

When ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚F and remove the chilled dough from the fridge. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl. Roll small balls (about 2 tsp each, I used a medium sized OXO cookie scoop and divided each scoop into two cookies) and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar topping. Flatten slightly and place a couple inches apart on baking sheets.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, until puffy and just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes before transferring to racks or plates to cool completely. Enjoy!

Print

DSCN8838

Chocolate Digestive Cookies

Spring is coming! We had a gloriously sunny weekend here in Seattle, and it’s got everyone feeling great! Never mind that it’s finals week, the sunshine just has the incredible power to boost everyone’s mood, and I love it. I actually got the chance to try snowshoeing for the first time this weekend, and it was amazing! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the snow was glittering. When the Pacific Northwest has sunny days, it is truly beautiful and I’m glad I get to experience it while going to school here.

IMG_0302

Now for the cookies. Ever since my family visited Europe a few years ago and brought back digestives for me to try, I’ve wanted to try and make some of my own. I tried a recipe a couple years ago which was rather unsuccessful, but I tried this one I found over at Serious Eats and it’s a winner! The only thing I changed was to use semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup), rather than chopped chocolate.

These cookies turned out crispy and delicious, with a wonderful chocolate coating! Since I really didn’t change the recipe, go check it out here. Enjoy!

 

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Aloha from Hawaii! My family is fortunate enough to be taking a vacation on the glorious island of Kauai, and it could not be more wonderful. We’re enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery, glittering ocean waves, a warm salty breeze and the sun! I hear it was a white Christmas back in Seattle but I’m perfectly content to have spent my Christmas snorkeling and lounging by the water.

However, I do love holiday cookie recipes, so here’s another one that I tried out before we left! I adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart, increasing the cocoa powder and using natural instead of Dutch-processed. I used candied ginger chips instead of grated fresh ginger, and I also increased the amount of sugar, since otherwise the dough was a little too bitter from the molasses. I loved the combination of ginger and chocolate, and these cookies turned out wonderfully chewy, and when they were warm from the oven the insides of the cookies were still gooey, and combined with the melty chocolate chips they were amazing. The crackly tops and the sparkly sugar make these cookies nice and festive for the holidays, although I would welcome these any time of the year! Here’s the recipe I used.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes about 40 cookies

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp natural cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup unsulfured molasses

¾ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

½ cup candied ginger pieces

2 tbsp granulated or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (I ended up using both)

Directions

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and molasses until well combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined, then add the chocolate chips and candied ginger. Mix until the chips and ginger are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Cover and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight. When ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 325˚F. Using a small cookie scoop (about 1 tbsp of dough per cookie), scoop out the dough and roll into a ball, then roll in the granulated or turbinado sugar. Flatten slightly and place on cookie sheets about 1 ½ inches apart.

Bake for 8-9 minutes, until cookies have nice crackly tops, then remove from oven and allow to cool a couple minutes before removing from cookie sheets and transferring to racks or plates to cool completely. Enjoy!

Print

Siri’s Biscotti

Happy Holidays everyone! I just finished all my finals (and hopefully passed all of them…) and am back in sweet, sunny California! After Thanksgiving break, my house got in the holiday spirit with decorations, and I started craving some holiday themed treats. This is a recipe I got from one of my former roommates, whose ultimate frisbee nickname is Siri, so I call them Siri’s biscotti. I’ve made this recipe a few times now, making some adjustments along the way, and these come out wonderfully every time! I really like the original combination of mix-ins, which is white chocolate, dried cranberries, and pistachios, especially since they add a little pop of red and green to make these holiday-themed. I can also think of many other combinations that would be delicious, like chocolate and orange zest, or maybe butterscotch and pecans if I’m feeling adventurous.

I tend to cut the biscotti relatively thick and don’t bake them till they’re super crunchy, but you can increase the baking time a little bit or slice them a little thinner for crispier cookies. These have been very popular with my friends and family, and they also hold up well to give as gifts. Here’s the recipe!

Siri’s Biscotti

Makes about 30 cookies (thick cut)

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in the vanilla and eggs until fluffy. Stir in the salt and baking powder, then add the flour and mix until well-combined. Mix in the cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pistachios until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Divide the dough in half and form each into a flattened log about 3” wide and 9” long. Place on the parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Use a large knife to slice the logs into diagonals about 3/4” thick (or 1/2” if you want crispier cookies). Lay the cookies cut side down on the parchment, return to the oven and bake for 7 minutes, then remove, flip over, and bake for another 7 minutes, or until desired crispness. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Print