Cupcake Friday Project

A one-woman test kitchen meets nano-bakery

Category: cookies (page 2 of 9)

Slow burn sriracha peanut butter cookies

Slow burn sriracha peanut butter cookies

In an effort to keep some of my favorite people stocked up, I’ve been baking cookies every month, and now that I’ve baked some of my favorites, I’m exploring new territories. And you know how much I love sriracha!

I’ve seen this recipe around a lot, and adapted mine from The Sugar Pixie. I used a commercial brand sriracha instead of some from my homemade stash because mine tends to have a stronger fresh pepper flavor, whereas the commercial stuff has more kick—I also find the thicker consistency is better for baked goods.

So who is this cookie perfect for? Anyone who enjoys the traditional peanut butter cookie, but also likes things with a kick! I almost thought I hadn’t used enough sriracha when I sampled a cookie … however, 30 seconds in to chewing I was awarded with a pleasant slow burn that lasted for the rest of the cookie. Success!

Unfortunately, Ray is allergic to peanut butter, so he didn’t get to try any, but he did say they smelled amazing while they were baking. So now my plan is to make the recipe again, using either homemade almond or cashew butter so he can try some.

If you don’t want 5 dozen cookies (yeah, that’s a lot), this recipe cuts in half pretty easily. Enjoy!

Slow burn sriracha peanut butter cookies

Yield: Approximately 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 eggs
4 tbsp sriracha
1 tsp vanilla
Approximately 2-3 tbsp of sugar to dip the cookies in before baking
Granulated sugar for dipping dough balls into.

Directions

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Using a standmixer, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat to combine.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.

Add the sriracha, 1 tbsp at a time so you can taste to check the heat. The suggested 4 tbsp in this recipe creates a nice, slow burn about 30 seconds into the bite, but it isn't too spicy.

Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing to combine. The dough should be a little tacky, but not wet.

Chill the dough for an hour.

Once the dough is finished chilling, heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking silicone.

Scoop the dough with a medium cookie scoop and shape into 1-inch balls. Dip the tops into the extra granulated sugar.

Arrange on the cookie sheet sugar-side up, then, using a fork, press into the dough balls twice in a criss-cross pattern to flatten them.

Bake for 8-9 minutes until golden, then cool on wire racks.

http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/05/slow-burn-sriracha-peanut-butter-cookies/

Green tea latte sugar cookies with crystallized ginger

Green tea latte sugar cookies
I made the original batch of these cookies a few months ago and was delighted by the end result. The green tea (I specifically use matcha—it works best since it’s finely ground, and the color is lovely) flavor is distinct, but not overpowering, and the tiny bites of ginger you get throughout simply elevate the entire cookie.

So, with my first batch being incredibly popular with friends and family alike, I knew I had to make them again, especially since Spring has sprung. From the color to the delicate flavor, these green tea latte sugar cookies are perfect for the season.

And just a quick note on matcha … yes, it’s expensive. However, do not use the kind of matcha that would be consumed during a high tea. Instead, I bought a bag off Amazon that was affordable, but probably isn’t as pure as the more expensive teas. The flavor works just fine in the cookies, and who knows … it might make a tasty latte. I just haven’t tried it yet!

Green tea latte sugar cookies with crystallized ginger

Yield: 30-50 cookies, depending on the cookie cutter

Ingredients

3 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp matcha
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking silicone.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and matcha in a bowl. Set aside.

Using a standmixer, cream the cold butter and sugar into light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the egg to the butter and sugar and mix to combine.

Add the almond extract, mixing to combine.

Gradually add the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary. The dough should be slightly tacky and a little crumbly. If it still feels wet, add more flour, 1 tsp at a time.

Gently mix in the crystallized ginger.

Scrape down the bowl one more time and place the dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Once the dough has chilled, prepare your work surface to roll out the dough by scattering it with flour.

Roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thick.

Use your cookie cutters to cut out shapes, placing them on the prepared cookie sheets. Once a sheet is full, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Once the cut out cookies have had time to chill on the pans, take them out and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cool fully on a wire rack.

http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/04/green-tea-latte-sugar-cookies-with-crystallized-ginger/

Orange and cacao nib shortbread

Orange and cacao nib shortbread

Another shortbread recipe to delight your senses! Two weeks ago I shared my beloved kalamata olive and black pepper shortbread recipe, and here is another variation on the cookie.

I was gifted organic cacao nibs by a foodie friend, and the shortbread was the perfect place to use them. I gave them a few light pulses in the food processor to make sure they weren’t too chunky (want to keep these cookies delicate), and then because I love citrus and chocolate so much, I added orange zest to the mix.

Now, cacao nibs are not the same as chocolate … they’re definitely not as sweet, but I think they really work in this shortbread. They keep things sophisticated, and I’m always a fan of a classy cookie.

Orange and cacao nib shortbread

Yield: Approximately 60 shortbread bites

Ingredients

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup chopped cacao nibs
Zest of 1 orange

Directions

Prepare the dough ahead of time, because it will need to chill for at least 1 hour before you shape the shortbread, though I suggest 12-24 hours if you're especially busy.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.

Add egg yolk and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure an even mixture.

Slow add in the dry ingredients at a medium-low speed.

Fold in the cacao nibs and orange zest.

The shortbread dough should be fairly easy to handle, but if it's a little sticky you can dust your hands with flour before handling.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it gently to bring it together.

Divide into two portions and roll them both into logs, about 1.5-inches in diameter. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After chilling your dough logs thoroughly, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking silicone.

Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap, and use a sharp knife to slice the bites into rounds, about 1/4-inch thick.

Place the shortbread bites onto the baking sheets, with at least an inch in-between each one.

Chill the full baking sheets in the freezer for 5 minutes (this will help keep them from spreading too much).

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. (If baking two trays at once, make sure you switch the top and bottom trays around half way through the baking time)

Leave the shortbread on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/04/orange-and-cacao-nib-shortbread/

Kalamata olive savory shortbread bites

Kalamata olive savory shortbread bites

I love kalamata olives. I can eat them straight from the jar, daintily spitting out their pits as I reach for the next one. This amuses Ray.

I came across this recipe for savory shortbread a couple of months ago, and decided that I would divide the base dough (without olives or pepper) into 3 portions, adding a new mix-in to each. Essentially, why have 60 shortbread bites of ONE flavor when you can have THREE?

Well, of that experiment, I found 2 winners, one being the kalamata olive and black pepper. These are the perfect bites to put out as appetizers … they stand on their own, or can be accompanied by jam or cheese. And I love how they melt into your mouth with their buttery and salty goodness. Yummmmm.

Definitely give yourself time to make these. My best results come from letting the dough chill at least 12-24 hours. This works well when you don’t have a lot of time: you can make the dough and shape the logs one night, and then bake them the next.

Another quick note: because the recipe calls for a single egg, it’s pretty hard to scale down. My advice if you don’t need 60 shortbread cookies of ANY flavor:

• Make the base dough and flavor it with all your add ins, or divide the base dough and flavor with different add-ins per portion;
• Decide what you’ll be baking now, wrap well, label, and chill in the fridge.
• Take the remaining dough portion(s), wrap twice (nice and tight…don’t want air getting in), label and tuck into the freezer for later.
When you’re ready to break out your shortbread reserves from the freezer, simply take the portion out, unwrap, slice, and bake … you’ll just need to add 1-2 minutes onto the baking time.
Now you have NO excuse for never having shortbread around the house!

Kalamata olive and black pepper savory shortbread bites

Yield: Approximately 60 shortbread bites

Ingredients

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup well-drained, pitted and finely minced kalamata olives

Directions

Prepare the dough ahead of time, because it will need to chill for at least 1 hour before you shape the shortbread bites.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Stir in the pepper and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.

Add egg yolk and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure an even mixture.

Slow add in the dry ingredients at a medium-low speed.

Fold in the minced olives.

The shortbread dough should be fairly easy to handle, but if it's a little sticky you can dust your hands with flour before handling.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it gently to bring it together.

Divide into two portions and roll them both into logs, about 1.5-inches in diameter. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After chilling your dough logs thoroughly, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking silicone.

Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap, and use a sharp knife to slice the bites into rounds, about 1/4-inch thick.

Place the shortbread bites onto the baking sheets, with at least an inch in-between each one.

Chill the full baking sheets in the freezer for 5 minutes (this will help keep them from spreading too much).

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. (If baking two trays at once, make sure you switch the top and bottom trays around half way through the baking time)

Leave the shortbread bites on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/03/kalamata-olive-savory-shortbread-bites/

Finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe: Round 2

Serious Eats Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Photo courtesy of Taylor Fisher, since I forgot the photograph the cookies myself!

 In January, I tried Saveur’s chocolate chip cookie recipe and found that the dough prep process was more than I wanted to deal with. See, when I think of chocolate chip cookies, I think of simplicity. I think of a grandmother whipping up cookies with her grandkids.

That said, for this round of searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I still didn’t find the simplicity of process. But, in this case, Serious Eats’ chocolate chip cookie recipe marries science with process … and I’m a total nerd for science.

I made very few changes to Serious Eats’ recipe, though I skipped the addition of sea salt at the end and upped the chocolate from 8 oz to 16 oz (I like chocolate!). How did these cookies add up?

Pros
• Excellent flavor
•  Great texture … they maintained their chewiness for days

Cons
• This recipe is a bit process-intensive … melt the butter, brown the butter, whisk in an ice cube, etc. It might turn some people off.
•  Like the Saveur recipe, this cookie also lacked salt, which surprised me since it contains double the amount.

While these were pretty tasty cookies, they’re not what I would consider “ultimate” chocolate chip cookies. That said, I might go through the science of cookie article again and try to make some of my own tweaks.

Do you have a suggestion for a chocolate chip cookie recipe for me to try? Send it my way via emailFacebook, or in the comments!

Finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe: Round 1

Saveur Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are near and dear to my heart because they’re one of the first things I remember learning how to bake. And, hello, they’re delicious?

I used to follow the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip morsels bag, but within the last 5 years, I started using a variation of the chocolate chip cookie recipe from New Best Recipe. I’ve been pretty happy with it, however, the last few times I baked the recipe my results were not up to par. The cookies had way too much crunch, and sometimes were dry. So I’ve decided to start the hunt again for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I tackled Saveur’s recently published chocolate chip cookie recipe after seeing another food blogger have good results. Here’s a breakdown, in pros in cons.

Pros
• Tasty
• Keep well
• I like the emphasis on bittersweet chocolate

Cons
• The process of dividing the dough, chilling it, layering it with the chocolate, then rolling it out again is needlessly fussy
• The process made more of a mess within my workspace
• The recipe was lacking salt … I don’t need my cookies to be a salt lick, but even after increasing the salt from 3/4 tsp to 1 tsp, they were still a little bland

I may try the recipe again, omitting the dough prep process, and upping the salt a little more (maybe even sprinkling some sea salt on the dough before I bake it). But for now, this is not my ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Do you have a suggestion for a chocolate chip cookie recipe for me to try? Send it my way via email, Facebook, or in the comments!

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