Tag Archives: cookies

Gluten-Free Almond Thumbprint Cookies 

Halloween is over and Christmas is less than 2 months away ! Seriously ? Where did the time go ? And I am doing two Christmas Fairs in about 2 weeks ! This is my first time ever selling my cookies and baked goods ! I am super excited but nervous at the same time. How should I set up my table ? How much should I bake ? Am I going to have enough time ? Ahhhh……..My daughter told me the other day, “mom, don’t worry, just chill and do it and you will be fine ! ” OK, let’s take a deep breath and get organized, I can do this, I can do this ! Oh, and of course I can’t forget about my blog ! I wanted something that’s quick and easy…..How about thumbprint cookies ? Shortbread cookies filled with fruity jams, simple but absolutely delicious ! I made a gluten-free version this time by using ground almond. They are best to be consumed on the day you make it, so I would suggest making smaller batches. Although these cookies have less butter, they are still very rich and tasty ! Thanks to the high fat content of almonds. I totally need to eat a few of them to help me relax ! …..Wish me luck on my craft fairs ! And come visit me if you live around Richmond,B.C. ! 

Makes about 16 cookies

  • 90 g unsalted butter, soften 
  • 90 g icing sugar, plus more for dusting 
  • 240 g ground almond 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • Jam of choice
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF
  2. Cream butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer or wooden spoon 
  3. Add vanilla, then ground almond and salt, mix until combined
  4. Roll into one inch balls, place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart 
  5. Make an indentation with your thumb in the middle of each ball (It’s normal for the dough to be slightly cracked)
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes 
  7. The indentations will flatten, gently press the middle again with the end of a wooden spoon while they are still fairly hot and soft 
  8. Let cool, then spoon jam in the middle. (If the jam is too cold to spread, you can warm it up in a hot water bath)
  9. Dust with icing sugar 

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Maple Cookies for Canada 150 

Yesterday was the last day of school and my son just graduated from elementary school ! Time really flies ! It seems like my little boy has turned into a young man overnight. I still remember his first day of preschool. He was a little scared and worried and so was I. 10 years later, he has become a positive, energetic young man eagerly entering a new stage of his life. I am 10 years older, still a little worried about what’s ahead of him. I encourage him to be kind and genuine, and try his best in everything he does. At the same time, I feel that I am growing and learning together with him, how to be a better person, a better mother……I found this quote for him and myself from Dr. Seuss, ” You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so….. get on your way !” ……Okay, it’s time to get back to baking, otherwise I am going to cry….in a happy way.

This year is very special for all Canadians, it’s Canada 150th birthday ! There are celebrations all over the country. In our area, we have the Steveston’s Salmon Festival, concerts, ship boarding, fireworks and lots of food of course ! It’s going to be so much fun ! I am showing my Canadian spirit with these Maple Cookies ! Not only are they in the shape of a maple leaf, they are made with maple syrup ! Happy Birthday Canada !   

Makes about 16 depending on size

For the cookies 

  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 120 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 1 g salt 
  • 120 g unsalted butter (slightly softened)
  • 60 g sugar 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 60 mL maple syrup 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  1. Sift together both flours and salt, set aside 
  2. Using a wooden spoon, mix butter and sugar until blended 
  3. Add egg yolks and vanilla, then maple syrup
  4. Mix in flour mixture, then transfer onto a table or counter and knead gently until dough just come together 
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F
  7. Roll dough flat to about 0.5 cm in thickness 
  8. Cut with cookie cutter, place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper 
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes 
  10. Cool completely before icing 

For the icing 

  • 45 g meringue powder
  • 500 g icing sugar, sifted 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 90 – 120 mL warm water
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 10 mL corn syrup 
  • Gel food colouring
  1. Mix meringue powder with about 45 mL of water, let sit for a few minutes 
  2. Stir in vanilla and corn syrup 
  3. In another bowl, mix icing sugar and salt together 
  4. Whisk in meringue powder mixture using an electric mixer or a hand whisk 
  5. Slowly add in more warm water until shiny and desired consistency (thicker for outlining and thinner for filling)
  6. Add gel food colouring 


Classic Madeleines 

Madeleines are something that have been in my mind for a long time. These elegant looking mini cakes are so buttery and tasty. They are not difficult to make, you just need a little patience as both the batter and the molds have to be chilled before baking. And yes, you do have to buy the Madeleine pan to get that shell-liked shape, but for about $20-$30, it’s worth it. Well, I guess that’s from a baker’s point of view ! My kids often tell me I spend too much on my baking stuff, but hey, these are my toys, plus I don’t buy expensive clothes, handbags or jewellery like other people do ! Most importantly, I am doing something that makes me happy ! And when mom is happy, everyone’s happy ! 

Makes about 22-24 

  • 120 g unsalted butter + 30 g for greasing tray, melted 
  • 90 g all-purpose flour 
  • 90 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 3 g baking powder 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 g vanilla sugar or granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • 15 mL lemon juice 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • Icing sugar for dusting 
  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan or microwave, cool slightly 
  2. Brush madeleine moulds with about 30 g of melted butter, coat with flour, tapping off excess
  3. Place coated pan in freezer for at least one hour 
  4. Sift together flours, baking powder and salt, mix in sugar, set aside 
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat together eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until frothy, about 5 minutes 
  6. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture 
  7. Gently mix in 120 g of melted (and cooled) butter, 2-3 tablespoons at a time until just blended 
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight 
  9. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F
  10. Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mould without spreading it out
  11. Place madeleine pan on another large baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes until edges are golden 
  12. Cool in moulds for a few minutes then completely on rack 
  13. Dust with icing sugar, best to eat within 2 days 

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman, “How to Bake Everything” 

Tools and Books 


  
Chicago Metallic 26631 12-Cup Nonstick Madeleine Pan

How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking

You can get the Madeleine pan and the cookbook through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 

Orange Coconut Macaroons (Gluten-Free)

The weather is finally getting a little warmer, even though there are still days that feel more like fall or even winter ! Warmer weather means I can make ice-cream again, yeah ! It is actually very easy but one problem I have, is figuring out what to do with the leftover egg whites. I usually use them to make meringue cookies. This time, I used them for something else. I added a little twist to my old recipe and made these lovely Orange Coconut Macaroons !  With the chocolate drizzle, they are so good ! Looking back at some of my old posts, I feel a little embarrassed about the pictures I took (but back then I thought they were very good….lol). To be honest, to me, taking food photos is actually much harder than making the food itself.  My kids said the macaroons in some of my pictures look like sushi ! Like these two…….

Well, I guess they were right, they do kind of look like little rice balls, don’t they ? 

Makes about 18-20 cookies

  • 200 g unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 2 egg whites (about 70g)
  • 50 g granulated sugar 
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 45 mL freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 60 g semi-sweet chocolate (for drizzling)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F
  2. Mix together coconut and orange zest, set aside
  3. In an electric mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar until frothy (about 3 minutes) 
  4. Add vanilla and orange juice, whisk until blended
  5. Fold in coconut mixture
  6. Scoop about one tablespoon each and place on cookie trays lined with parchment paper
  7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden
  8. Cool completely
  9. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, drizzle on top of macaroons

Rose Water Sugar Cookies 

I’ve never been good at drawing. Really, if you ask me to draw something right now, it’s going to look like it was drawn by a six years old ! That’s why I admire people, including my daughter, who has the talent to draw. Her pictures are always full of creative ideas and her characters are very lively. Like this one here….Coffee and Tea are having a battle ! 

And this one, which she drew last week at her art class, illustrates people taking photos of the beautiful Cherry Blossoms.

And yes, thanks to the Cherry Blossoms, otherwise we wouldn’t even notice that Spring is here! The weather is still rainy and pretty cold…….To help “spring” our spirits back, I made these Rose Water Sugar Cookies ! The rose water gives the cookies a nice floral flavour, but you don’t need very much. I decorated the cookies two ways, with coloured sugar and with royal icing. (This is the time when I really wish I am as artistic as my daughter, so I can make my cookies prettier !) 

People often wonder what I do with all the goodies I made. I mostly share them with friends and family.  But this time, I wrapped them up nicely and sent them to my kids’ school for their annual Spring Fair ! Being able to share them and help raise money for our school feels fantastic ! Happy Spring everyone !

Makes about 3-4 dozens 

For the cookies 

    • 360 g all-purpose flour 
    • 3 g baking soda 
    • 2 g salt
    • 120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 180 g granulated sugar 
    • 1 egg + 1 egg white for brushing 
    • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
    • 30 mL lemon juice 
    • Zest of 1 small lemon 
    • 5 mL rose water
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sift together flour,baking soda and salt, set aside 
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy 
  4. Add 1 egg, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and rose water, mix until blended 
  5. Mix in flour mixture, 1/3 at a time  
  6. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is formed
  7. Roll out to about 0.3 cm in thickness 
  8. Cut with cookie cutters (You can collect the dough scraps all together and re-roll, cover unused dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap)
  9. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper 
  10. If decorating with coloured sugar, brush top with egg white, sprinkle with sugar, then bake for 8 minutes. If decorating with royal icing (see recipe below), bake first for 8 minutes, cool completely, then decorate. 

Royal Icing

    • 45 g meringue powder,sifted 
    • 500 g icing sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    • 90 – 120 mL warm water
    • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
    • 10 mL corn syrup 
    • Gel food colouring
  1. Mix meringue powder with about 45 mL of water, let sit for a few minutes 
  2. Stir in vanilla and corn syrup 
  3. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, start mixing icing sugar and salt at low speed 
  4. Add meringue powder mixture 
  5. Slowly add in more warm water until shiny and desired consistency (thicker for outlining and thinner for filling)
  6. Add gel food colouring 

This recipe is also part of the Canadian Food Creatives’ round up. Our topic this month is “Bring On Spring” !  Be sure to check out the links below for more Spring recipes from other Canadian Food Bloggers. You can also find them on social media using the hashtag #CDNFoodCreatives. Many thanks to Melanie Maxwell at The Refreshanista for hosting. 

 

 

 

Checkerboard Cookies 

Making these checkerboard cookies may seem complicated, but once you made the dough, it’s pretty easy. It’s a fun recipe to get the kids involved. They can help measure and assemble. They can also make them in other patterns, like pinwheels or stripes. It’s like playing with clay or play dough, and they can learn about math and geometry at the same time !  (Another reason for me to bake more, yeah !) You can freeze the dough logs for up to 1 month, so you can have freshly baked cookies whenever you want ! 

Makes about 16 checkerboard cookies

For the vanilla dough

  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150 cake and pastry flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate dough

  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 140 g cake and pastry flour
  • 10 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

You will also need 1 egg white for assembling cookies

  1. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until no more lumps
  2. Add egg yolk and vanilla, mix until blended
  3. Add flour and salt (and cocoa powder for the chocolate dough) all at once, mix with the wooden spoon, then transfer onto a table or counter and gently knead dough together (just work until ingredients are mixed in)
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  5. Knead dough until pliable
  6. Roll out 2/3 of each dough to about 0.8-1 cm in thickness 
  7. Cut into 0.8-1 cm wide strips and assemble into checkerboard pattern, brush egg white between pieces to help sticking 
  8. Roll out remaining 1/3 of each dough to about 3 mm in thickness
  9. Brush with egg white and wrap sheets around checkerboard logs 
  10. Trim off excess dough.
  11. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours  
  12. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325ºF 
  13. Cut cookies and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  14. Bake for 8-10 minutes 

Notes: The dough scraps can be re-rolled, but not more than twice or it may crack. You can also gather them together, roll into a log and make some marble cookies! 

Originally recipe by Chef Marco Ropke at the Vancouver Pastry Training Centre 

Heart-Shaped Meringue Cookies 

My daughter wrote me this poem couple years ago for Valentine’s Day and it’s been on the wall beside my bed. I thought I would share it here. Valentine's poem

“What is love?  What is special?  It’s Mom
No matter what she is, I love her
No matter what she looks like, I love her
With a balance family, she is the Best Mom Ever! “

This is definitely the sweetest poem I’ve ever read ! My daughter is such a lovely girl.  She is creative, funny, outgoing, but also very sensitive. I love her so much ! Of course I love my son too, but I guess it’s unlikely a twelve year-old boy would write his mom a poem….. 😁 To treat my two little sweethearts, I made these heart-shaped meringue cookies.  They are light, crunchy and super easy to make.  

Makes about 16 cookies

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 30 g granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
  • red food colouring (I use icing colours) 
  1. Preheat oven to 225°F
  2. Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until frothy
  3. Add food colouring
  4. Increase speed to high and slowly add in sugar
  5. Whisk until a stiff peak is formed
  6. Transfer into piping bag with star tip
  7. Pipe onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, depending on size of cookies, they should be dry to touch
  9. Turn off oven and leave cookies in oven for at least 2 hours to dry
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely

Note : When baked, the cookies will turn golden slightly, changing the colour of them  

Heart-Shaped Meringue Cookies

Before baking

Heart-Shaped Meringue Cookies

After baking