Bitterkoekjes (Almond Macaroons)

This was my first time attempting this traditional Dutch sweet treat. Traditionally it calls for bitter almonds, which is hard to find here in PDX.  I used almond paste and decreased the amount of white sugar in the recipe.  I love chewy cookies, and it’s hard to replicate once you’ve had the perfect cookie.  There is the stale “chewy”, the kind of chewy only grocery store cookies can deliver.  Then there is the chewy that is life changing…the first layer is lightly crisp–and I mean delicately crisp; second layer is the moist and heavenly chewy part.  I worship the man who discovered the magical combination of egg whites and sugar…after all, that is the heart of this cookie.  Trust me guys, if I were a chewy cookie, I would strive to be THIS ONE.

INGREDIENTS:

Almond paste              1.25 lbs

Egg whites                    3.5 eggs

Granulated sugar        1 cup

Powdered sugar          1 cup

Salt                                 1/4 tsp

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix room temperature almond paste and egg whites in a blender until mixed well.
  2. Add granulated sugar and salt and mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, and mix well.
  4. Using a silpat mat (non stick baking mat) on top of a baking tray, drop by TBSP onto surface.
  5. Bake at 340 for 11 minutes, rotating at the half way point.
  6. Cookies should be golden brown.
  7. **Cool completely on silpat mat before removing cookies!!!**  This is key.  If you try to remove them while they are still hot, the cookies will break apart.  Once cooled, you can easily peel the cookies off the mat with no tearing.
  8. Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies.

**Makes killer ice cream sandwiches!**

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Melt Cookies

Melts in your mouth, for real.

Melts in your mouth, for real.

I wanted to make cookies really bad the other night.  So, my son and I went to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients.  While shopping, we picked up the usual suspects for the C-5 cookies: butter, sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips and cranberries.  We walked passed the refrigerated section and noticed the ready made cookie dough section.  One tube of chocolate chip cookie dough was cheaper than the 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips we were going to buy.  I NEVER buy ready made dough, but for some reason, this sounded like a good idea at the moment…and it was cheap!  So we put everything back on the shelf and settled for the tube of dough (I will be nice and not mention the brand name).  The next day, I baked the tube of dough and…you guessed it…it was awful.  This was actually the first time in my life that I was not happy with what came out of my oven.  My son and my boyfriend liked them, but even dipped in milk I was not impressed.  It did not satisfy my cookie craving at all.

The next day, I went back to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a real cookie.  A “Trisha” cookie, as my boyfriend put it!  This time, I flipped through my mom’s recipes and found an oldie, but goodie.  This recipe came from the “cookie business” vault, when my mom, my sisters and I used to sell cookie baskets to offices.  It was one of the more delicate cookies and I definitely ate my share of the broken ones!  It’s lighter than a shortbread cookie, believe it or not.  So grab a glass of milk and a couple of these suckers and ENJOY!

Ingredients:

Butter                         1 block

Vegetable oil            1/2 cup

Sugar                              1/2 cup

Brown sugar             1/2 cup

Peanut Butter            1/2 cup

Egg                                     1

Vanilla                              1 tsp.

Flour                                  1 and 1/4 cups

Baking Powder         1/2 tsp.

Baking Soda                 1 tsp.

Salt                                    1 tsp.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, oil, both sugars until incorporated.  Mix in peanut butter, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture, mixing well.  Do not over mix.
  4. On a greased cookie sheet, drop dough by teaspoon fulls about 2 inches apart.
  5. Flatten in a criss-cross pattern with fork dipped in sugar.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, turning pan at the half way point.
  7. When cookies are a deep golden brown, remove from oven.
  8. Let cool on the pan for a minute or two.  Cookies will break easily if taken off the pan too soon.
  9. Remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield:  about 3 dozen cookies.

The C-5 (Crispy Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookie)

Best fricken cookie ever...

Best fricken cookie ever…

I don’t know about you, but I love a good, crispy cookie.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional chewy types (I have one favorite chewy cookie recipe in particular that I will share with you later…), but the crispy ones always get me.  My mother, my younger sister, and I had a little cookie basket company in Hawaii.  It was seasonal, usually during Christmas and my mom and I baked cookies like crazy.  I remember coming home from school and after dinner, my mom and I would start baking into the night.  We worked our asses off and for some strange reason it never really bothered me.  I actually enjoyed it!  In my home, I only have two cookies that I bake all the time, even though I have a ton of tried and true cookie recipes.  The C-5 is one of them.

Ingredients:

Butter                                      2 sticks

Sugar                                      3/4 cup

Brown Sugar                         3/4 cup

Egg                                              1

Vanilla Extract                     1 Tbsp.

Flour                                           2 and 1/4 cup

Salt                                             1/2 tsp.

Baking Powder                   2 tsp.

Baking Soda                       1 tsp.

Chocolate Chips                12-16 ounces

Dried Cranberries               8-12 ounces

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 parts.  Mix well.
  6. Add your favorite chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate) and dried cranberries.
  7. On a baking sheet, drop dough by tablespoon full, about an inch and a half apart.
  8. Press down gently with sugar to flatten slightly (about 1/2 inch thickness)
  9. Bake 7 minutes, turn, then bake 5-7 more minutes or until golden brown.  (ovens vary)
  10. Cool on cookie sheet.  Cookies should be crisp all the way through.

*substitutions and additions may include:  butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, carob chips, dried blueberries, dried cherries, your favorite nut(s)*