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Week 26 of 52: Chocolate crinkles

The Man expressed a desire for chocolate crinkles, and his wish is my command! I haven’t really tried making crinkles before, and I’ve always enjoyed eating them. I even have chocolate crinkles in my great cookie quest, and I’m going to use that recipe from Joy of Baking. I’ve tried three different types of cookies already, and I felt up to the challenge of a new recipe.

I mixed up the dough early in the morning, using Goya Dark Chocolate Buttons, then left it to chill in the fridge. After lunch, I took the dough out and started the process of shaping it into balls. Here is where I ran into a big problem: the dough was too hard. It might have been the temperature of the fridge, but it was hard to get some of the dough to form into balls. I first used a teaspoon, but it was deforming so I used an ice cream scoop instead.

This is how the cookies looked fresh out of the oven. If you will notice, some of them remained ball-shaped. I lengthened the baking time of the next two batches by around 2-3 minutes, but some of it still came out ball-shaped. Whatever the shape, though, it tasted just as good as I thought crinkles should taste.

Here are more or less all the cookies yielded, minus a couple for taste testing.

And here’s a close up. The taste is really amazing, and I doubt that these cookies will survive uneaten for more than a couple of days. I’m not sure if the effort of making it myself is worth it, I might just as well buy ready-made from the store. This one is richer in taste than commercial crinkles.

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 24 of 52: Chocolate cut-out cookies

To be honest, I would have wanted to try more vegetable dishes but I finally ran out of veggies to use. It’ll have to wait until my next grocery run, when I can restock on those veggies.

My daughter has been requesting to make cookies with me for the longest time, and I figured that this is a good time as any. I’ve tried cut-out cookies before, but this time I wanted to try chocolate cookies. I decided to use this very simple recipe I found on Allrecipes.

I used the box of Hershey’s cocoa powder I bought earlier, and my daughter got to try out a set of cheap new cutters I had, along with the rest of the cutters we used before. I had to do a bit of distracting to get her to wait for the dough to finish resting in the fridge. I also encountered a bit of frustration trying to roll out the dough, as it kept sticking to the rolling pin. I eventually gave up and just slapped the dough flat with my hand.

Here she is, happily cutting out shapes.

I didn’t make any frosting, mostly because I’m lazy. Instead, I gambled on putting the decorations directly into the dough before baking them. I used some tiny M&M’s and some leftover heart sprinkles from Valentine’s. It didn’t turn out so bad. Some of the M&M’s cracked after baking, but the rest stayed intact and embedded in the cookie without the need for frosting.

She took a turn decorating too.

It turned out surprisingly good! I think it has to do with the quality of the cocoa powder. It was very chocolate-y, and not very sweet. Very reminiscent of brownies, come to think of it. My husband commented that it might be a bit overcooked because the surface is hard and crunchy, and he prefers the chewiness of the chocolate chunk cookies that I make. Next time, I’ll shorten the baking time to preserve some of the chewiness.

Finished cookies, cooling on the rack.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 6 of 52: Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s

I had been planning to make cookies to give out for Valentine’s, and this recipe for sugar cut-out cookies from TheKitchn seem perfect. Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t seem to like me. I mixed up the dough, and refrigerated it as instructed. After an hour, I rolled it out to start cutting shapes out. Or at least, I tried to. The darn thing kept sticking to everything! I’m sure I dusted everything with flour, but still.. Anyway I ran out of time, so I covered the dough in cling wrap, shoved it in the fridge, and waited for the next day.

The next day, I took it out of the fridge and tried again. It was too hard! I had to wait for it to soften up a bit, and by then, it was just the same as the last time! At this point, I just gritted my teeth. Instead of the rolling pin, I just used my palm to slap the dough flat. I used my really nice heart cutters to make batches of heart cookies, and some of my animal cutters to make one batch of bears, cats, bunnies, and butterflies.

Here’s a batch of hearts and animals cooling on the rack:

After cooling completely, I set about making the icing to decorate the cookies with (after trying out one or two of the more burnt cookies to check the taste). It isn’t my first time making icing (I made buttercream icing before), but it’s my first time making Royal icing. I followed this simple royal icing recipe from The Joy of Baking, which warned me that royal icing dries fast!

I set out to make a batch of icing, hoping that it will last for the entire batch of cookies. I halved the icing, and put a drop of red food color on one to make pink icing. The other half I left white, and that’s the one I started with. My improvised icing bag (which is just a plastic sandwich bag) didn’t like it very much, and the icing kept splattering around the piping tip. I wasn’t able to use the white icing very well, and iced only about ten cookies total. I wanted to cry!

I firmed up my heart and told myself that I have the pink icing still, and it was actually a bigger half than the white. I also have some nice colorful heart sprinkles, which will help me spread out the pink icing. I changed the crappy sandwich bag with another plastic bag supposedly for making ice. It actually made all the difference! Things went pretty well after that, and I finished all the cookies in no time. The icing dried fast primarily because the day was amazingly hot.

Here’s a representative of the cookies I made:

I especially liked the face on the white icing heart, because that’s exactly how I felt after I wasted most of the white icing. The bunny turned out cute too, especially with those sprinkles. My daughter loved the taste apparently, as she ate 3 or 4 of the smaller cookies straight! I haven’t tasted any of the iced ones yet, but the plain cookies were pretty interesting. I can clearly taste both the almond extract and the lemon zest.

Happy Valentine’s day, everyone!

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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The great cookie quest!

I am in love with cookies, soft and chewy cookies in particular. I have recently attempted to bake cookies myself, in search for Mrs. Fields-esque melty and flavorful chocolate cookies. I’m quite lucky in my first attempt, and now I’m ready to move on to other types of cookies. Here’s a list of links I saw from my RSS feeds that I will attempt soon.

1. Chocolate Chunk Cookies – This is the one I made, and the recipe is from Home Cooking Rocks.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2. Sugar cut-out cookies – Who doesn’t like cookies in cute shapes? These cookies look like they are absurdly easy to make. The author even has a scaled down version for 3 dozen cookies (the original makes 8-12 dozen!). The nice part here is the sheer amount of customization you can make with decoration and shape. The bad part? It’s made of really just sugar and butter.

Sugar Cut-out Cookies

Photo credit: TheKitchn

3. Brown Sugar Cookies – A “healthier” version of the sugar cookies, since brown sugar and whole wheat flour is used. It can also be shaped and decorated like the Sugar Cut-out Cookies above, although here the author recommends a cream cheese frosting. The only difficulty I see here is the molasses, as I’ve never handled that before.

Brown Sugar Cookies

Photo credit: TheKitchn

4. Chocolate crinkles – Crinkles! Who doesn’t like crinkles? It’s almost ubiquitous, yet rarely can you find really good quality chocolate crinkles. This looks to be a good and simple recipe to try.

Chocolate Crinkles

Photo credit: Joy of Baking

5. Oatmeal cookies – The presence of the oatmeal makes this a nice and crunchy cookie. And healthy too!

Oatmeal Cookie

Photo credit: Joy of Baking

6. Cookie additives – Lastly, here’s a good list of things that you can add into your basic cookie recipe, without interfering with the actual cookie. Adds a whole dimension to cookie baking!

 

You may note that there’s one kind of cookie I didn’t include, especially when it’s the Christmas season. I really don’t like gingerbread cookies, mostly because of the spices. I find the taste a little jarring, and not really enjoyable to eat. I don’t intend to ever make those.

Do you have a cookie recipe to recommend? Please leave links in the comments section, I will very much appreciate it!

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Cookies and chicken

Success!! I’ve baked my first attempt of chocolate cookies and it was a success! I absolutely love cookies and these cookies came out exactly the way I want it: crunchy and crispy on the outside and chewy and melty on the inside. My recipe comes from Home Cooking Rocks.

There will definitely be more repetitions of this recipe in my kitchen!

In other news, I’ve finally tried the correct recipe for the chicken and peppers dish I had before, except this time I didn’t include peppers because I ran out. For some reason, the presence of the sesame oil made the chicken look like it’s not cooked. It tasted wonderful though. Here’s the bento it came in. Notice it comes with a new kind of furikake. It’s an egg-and-nori type I bought from Landmark Supermarket at Trinoma.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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