Thursday, December 11, 2008


Makes 30 to 40 small cookies
3/4 to 1 cup hazelnuts or almonds
3/4 to 1 cup (16oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh brewed espresso, room temp.
2 dry espresso coffee grounds
Bake nuts in 350 oven until toasted. Wrap in towel and remove the skins. Grind nuts and chocolate in seed grinder. Save a handful of nuts and chocolate to add to dough. Set aside. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs in a bowl, add cooled espresso and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl and add to cream mixture. Mix until blended. Fold in nuts and ground chocolate. Add dry espresso coffee. Mix dough with hands or in a food processor. Divide dough in half. Place two 14? long rolls on oiled sheet pan. Space about 2 in. apart. Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes or until brown. Let cool on rack or in the refrigerator. Cut slices at a 40 degree angle and place in an upright position back on the cookie tray and return to oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool. Store in an air tight container until served.

Hersheys Mini Kisses Peanut Blossoms

HERSHEY'S MINI KISSES Peanut Butter Blossoms
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S MINI KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates

Instructions:1. Heat oven to 375°F. 2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to peanut butter mixture, beating until well blended. 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. 4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place 3 chocolates on top of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.
(recipe and picture courtesy of Hersey)

Melting Moments Cookies

Melting Moments Cookies Recipe:
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (30 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (110 grams) powdered (confectioners) sugar, sifted
Melting Moments: In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
When dough is firm, form into 1 inch (2.54 cm) balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 12 - 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle about half of the confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar onto the bottom of the pan and then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Put the remaining sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and then sprinkle the tops of the cookies (or you can just roll the cookies in the sugar).
These cookies store very well. Place in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper and they will keep a couple of weeks.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Slice and Bake Ginger Waffers

(picture & recipe from Gifts from the Christmas Kitchen)
Yield: Makes about 4-1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup light molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour
1. Beat brown sugar, butter and molasses in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, ginger, orange peel, salt, cinnamon and cloves; beat until well blended. Stir in flour until well blended. (Dough will be very stiff.)
2. Shape dough into 2 logs, each about 1-1/2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. Wrap each log in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 5 hours or up to 3 days.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Variations: Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate, or drizzle cookies with a glaze of 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Or, cut cookie dough into 1/8-inch-thick slices and bake. Sandwich melted caramel candy or peanut butter between cooled cookies.

Christmas Cookies - continues

Choco-Coco Pecan Crisps Cookies
makes about 6 dozen cookies
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecan ( in this recipe I used walnuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup flaked coconut

cram sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, pecans cocoa and baking soda in small bowl until well blended, add to creamed mixture, blending until stiff dough is formed. Sprinkle coconut on work surface. Divide dough into 4 parts, shape each part into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, roll in coconut until thickly coated, Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate until firm, for one hour or up to 2 weeks for longer storage. ( the cookies can be freeze up to 6 weeks)
Preheat oven to 350F , cut rolls into 1/8 inch thick slices, lace 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets with parchment, bake 10=13 minutes to until firm, but not overly browned. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Semolina Cookies

Black sesame seeds (kalangi) adds a nice aromatic flavour to the cookies


1 kg of Semolina flour
320 gm of granulated sugar
300 gm of sweet butter
2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground mahleb (found at Middle Eastern Stores)
1/4 cup black sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 cup rose water
1/4 cup orange flower water
½ cup warm water

1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in sugar, continue stirring to dissolve sugar. Do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly,
2. Measure flours into a large bowl. Add melted butter, spices, and sesame seeds; stir slowly for about 10 minutes to thoroughly blend ingredients. And the Semolina soaks all the butter sugar mixture and turns to crumbly texture. Cover and let it rest for an hour or two.
3. melt the yeast in ½ cup of warm water, and when its ready add it to the mix and start kneading so it incorporate and mix well , add 2 tbsp of rose water and orange blossom in a small bowl, and dip your hands in the flavored water and knead the dough , if more liquid needed add more of the flavored water. Cover and let it rest for 3-4 hours, it will rise slowly.
4. Prepare 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough into small balls, and using the palm of your hand to roll the dough into a 5 inches long rope and I inch thick, make a wreath shaped cookie, pinching the ends together. Place on a baking sheet. When you have filled a baking sheet, cover the cookies with a clean towel and leave it on the table overnight to rest the dough.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake cookies in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Note: Mahleb is a Middle Eastern spice made from ground black-cherry pits. Used to flavor baked goods with a subtle, sweet/nutty taste, can be found at Middle Eastern Stores.
as well as Rose water and orange blossom, also come see me at the Downtown North Bay Farmer's Market

Cardamom,Saffron & Dates Klisha with Semolina Cookies

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cookies

A tray of Christmas Cookies
from left Lebanese Kaak made with Semolina Flour and spice.Orange ginger cookies with white chocolates. Choco-Coco-Walnuts cookies.Melting Moments.Peanut Kisses.Espresso Almond Biscotti