Desserts/Pastries

Flourless Chocolate Chip Biscoff Cookies + King’s Hawaiian Winner!

Flourless Chocolate Chip Biscoff Cookies

You probably won’t believe me but I actually don’t eat sweets regularly. Not that I don’t want to—but even I try to practice some self restraint. 🙂

But there are times when that little sweet tooth just aches from some goodness. And that’s when I quickly grab a spoon and reach into the kitchen pantry for my jar of Biscoff Spread.

Biscoff Spread (also known as “cookie butter”) is a creamy spread that has the consistency of smooth peanut butter and has chopped up bits of Speculoos Cookies in it. The flavor is reminiscent of gingerbread, which you may recall, I am just crazy about!

Flourless Chocolate Chip Biscoff Cookies

A few months ago I went on a quest to put Biscoff Spread in everything possible. Oh it was a glorious time….

One of the creations that came about were these cookies that were a spin off of my old flourless peanut butter cookies. They’re quick, easy and have a slightly crispy texture. This is also a great recipe for kids to use.

And now for the winner of our King’s Hawaiian Giveaway! Drum Roll please………….

CONGRATS Sarah who said she would fix up some delish Breakfast Sandwiches with her King’s Hawaiian Products…..SUPER ONO! Sarah, please check your email for instructions.

THANK YOU to everyone who participated! And a HUGE MAHALO NUI LOA to our friends at King’s Hawaiian!!!

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Flourless Chocolate Chip Biscoff Cookies
Makes approximately 1½ Dozen

Ingredients:

1 Cup Biscoff Spread, or cookie butter spread
½ Cup Sugar
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With the exception of the chocolate chips, mix all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the chilled dough into rounded tablespoons and place on the sheet a few inches apart. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

**Although this cookie dough does not add in flour, it is not a gluten free recipe due to the ingredients in the Biscoff Spread/Cookie Butter Spread.

Desserts/Pastries

Nutella Pinwheel Cookies

Nutella Pinwheel Cookies

Dear Santa,

Do you like Nutella?

Surely, you must. You seem like a guy with good taste.

After all, Mrs. Claus is quite the catch.

Nutella Pinwheel Cookies

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy these Nutella Pinwheel Cookies I’ve set out for you. Hopefully it will give you that little sugar boost to finish all of your deliveries on Christmas Eve.

xoxo,

Nam

ps. And if you happen to have an extra iPad around, I know of a certain blogger who would happily put it to use. Thanks 🙂

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Nutella Pinwheel Cookies
Makes 4 dozen

8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large egg yolks
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Nutella, divided

In a small, bowl stir together the flour and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined.   With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture.  Mix until it forms a soft dough.  Transfer the dough on to a lightly floured surface.  Shape in to square and divide it in half.  Transfer each half to a sheet of plastic wrap.  Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Unwrap one half of the dough and place on a piece of lightly floured parchment paper.  Cover with a sheet plastic wrap and roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness, about 10″x8″ rectangle.

Remove the plastic wrap.  Using an off-set spatula,  spread half (1/4 cup) Nutella on to the dough leaving a 1/4-inch edge all around.    Using the parchment as a guide, roll the dough starting from the longest side, in to a tight log.  Wrap the parchment around the log and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.  Repeat with the remaining half.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unwrap the log and slice into approximately 1/3-inch  slices.  Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet 1-2″ apart (I can fit 15 cookies on a 12×15-inch baking sheet).  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden around the edges.  Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes.  Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store cookies in an airtight container for 1 week.

From The Gallery Gourmet

Desserts/Pastries

Pistachio Biscotti

Pistachio Biscotti

 

 

The other day I paid nearly $4 for a small, almond biscotti to dunk into my drip coffee. Sure, it was good—but pricey!

 

 

Pistachio Biscotti

 

 

My cheapness motivated me to get my lazy butt into the kitchen to bake up my own batch. Not to mention, at a fraction of the cost of what I spent for just one cookie!

My sis suggested I use Alice Waters’ version as it stays the most true to traditional biscotti since there is no butter in it. I did, however, make a few tweaks to it—opting for pistachios instead of almonds and dusting the tops with raw sugar. And, of course, dipping half of the batch in chocolate. YUM.

 

 

Pistachio Biscotti

 

 

This base recipe also has so much potential for other delish flavoring such as orange zest, dried cranberries and other fruits….so many options! And with the holidays quickly approaching, a tin full of these biscotti would make a wonderful gift.

No more overpriced biscotti for this gal!

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Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients:
1½ Cups Roasted Pistachios, toasted, unsalted, and roughly chopped
2¼ Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1½ Tablespoons Raw Sugar
3 Eggs, at room temperature
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
6 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.  In a mixer, beat together eggs and granulated sugar until the mixture forms a ribbon. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated and then fold in pistachios and lemon zest.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, form the dough into two 3-inch wide loaves.  The dough will be quite sticky. Wet your hands with water and smooth the loaves. Sprinkle the tops with the raw sugar. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from the oven.  Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and let the loaves cool on racks for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut ½ inch thick cookies on a diagonal. Place the cookies back on the sheet and continue baking on each side for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Once the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip one side of the biscotti into the chocolate and allow to cool on the baking racks.

Adapted from Alice Waters’: The Art of Simple Food

Desserts/Pastries

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies….it’s Aloha Friday!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Happy Aloha Friday, Friends!

Since Wednesday, I’ve been blaring my Hawaiian-Island jams just willing the weekend to come faster.

You see, in a former life, I think I must have been Hawaiian. For years I’ve been immersed in the Polynesian culture and have spent the good part of 8 years with hula and producing lū’aus. You can ask any one of my former students and they can confirm what a hot mess I became the weeks leading up to large shows or the annual lū’au. But you know what? I wouldn’t have traded a moment for anything in the world.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

So you can imagine my overwhelming joy and delight when my sister enrolled my niece, Maya, into a hula school (hula hālau). Trust me, I’ve been heavily “hinting” for all the little ones to join a hālau for years, but Maya so far, is the first. Hālaus are more than just a dance school. They are communities that not only instruct on dance but also pass on culture and values.

My baby girl was in her very first lū’au this past Sunday—and I cannot express how much overwhelming pride I had that day for her. Sure, I had to resist every cell in my being from jumping in to take charge of one aspect or another—hey, I’m somewhat of a control freak. But I was just so happy.

Check out Maya (3rd from left) with the other little keiki girls. Adorable, right?

My sis asked if I could bake a little something to donate towards the bake sale. I enlisted the help of my older two nieces and we made a TON of these delish White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies. Totally appropriate, right?

We made a few tweaks from batch to batch on the recipe and I believe, found the ideal proportions. Chewy, crispy and chopped full of nuts and chips.

Maya

Isn’t she just a sweetheart? Now if we can just get her little brother (my god-bebe) Lucas into classes……

Aloooooha!!!!!!!!

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes approximately 1½ Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour, plus 1 Tablespoon
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
¾ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg plus 1 Egg Yolk
1 Heaping Cup White Chocolate Chips
1 Heaping Cup White Macadamia Nuts (roasted and unsalted), roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 14 -15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Allrecipes

Desserts/Pastries

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you add oats to a cookie, it becomes totally healthy.

Right?

Or am I having one of my delusional moments again?

Though with 3 cups of oats in these Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, they could almost double as a granola bar!

That settles it….I’m still calling them “healthy”. So please, don’t burst my bubble.

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Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Quaker Oats via Bakergirl
Makes approximately 20 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) + 6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and set aside.
Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, then add to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
Scoop dough into rounded tablespoons and place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down to flatten each dough ball. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until done (these won’t look done at first glance, they’ll have a gooey, dough-y looking centers that sets when they’re cooling, so I baked mine until they were crispy & brown around the edges. You can always poke them with a toothpick if you want to be sure). Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Desserts/Pastries

Mojito Cookies……Havana is Calling.

Mojito Cookies

 

 

I know I should be a little more humble about this but…….

I make amazing Mojitos.

As in so freaking good, you would think you were being whisked away to the streets of Havana.

 

 

Mojito Cookies

 

So when I saw that my beloved neighborhood Cuban patisserie, Azúcar offered mojito cookies, I felt compelled to try my hand at making some!

Using a sugar cookie base from Baking Illustrated , I incorporated a “mint sugar” I made and fresh lime zest to give that bright kick that mojitos are so known for.

 

Mint Sugar

 

Chewy, crispy, slightly sweet, and minty.

 

 

Mojito Cookies

Now if there was only some subtle way I could sneak the rum into them…….. 🙂

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Mojito Cookies
Makes approximately 2 dozen
Adapted from Baking Illustrated Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon salt
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened but still cool
1 Cup Granulated Sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling dough
1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
1½ Cups Loosely Packed Mint Leaves, washed and thoroughly dried
1 Tablespoon Lime Zest
1½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

In a food processor, pulse one cup of granulated sugar and mint leaves until the leaves have been ground down and combined with the sugar (see photo).

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream the butter, the mint sugar, and the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg, lime zest and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Place the ½ cup sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Fill a medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip your hands in the water and shake off any excess (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that the sugar sticks to the dough). Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball between moistened palms, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, moistening your hands as necessary and spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Butter the bottom of a drinking glass and then dip the bottom of the glass in the remaining sugar. Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of the glass until they are about ¾ inch thick, dipping the glass in sugar as necessary to prevent sticking (after every 2 or 3 cookies).

Bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and their center are just set and very lightly colored, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 3 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Desserts/Pastries

Reese’s Pieces-Peanut Butter Cookies

Reese’s Pieces-Peanut Butter Cookies

E.T. was the first movie that I have actual memories of watching.

And I’m not embarrassed to admit…..it scared the BEJESUS out of me. No joke.

Sure, to some, he may be a cute little extra-terrestrial that was just trying to phone home. But to a 4 year old, he was a scary little creature scampering about and hiding in stuff animals.

No bueno.

Reese’s Pieces-Peanut Butter Cookies

But you know what, that little guy had some great taste in candy—–Reese’s Pieces to be exact. Lately, my co-workers have fallen into some Reese’s Pieces kick so I took it upon myself to make last week’s “Smart Cookie Award” with these delish peanut butter candies.

By tweaking my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe (courtesy of Cooks Illustrated) with a hefty amount of Reese’s Pieces, my co-workers were super happy campers!

And although I can’t say for certain, I’m pretty darn sure, E.T. would approve. 🙂

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Reese’s Pieces-Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

2½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Reese’s Pieces Candy

Adjust oven rack to low center position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.

In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add candies and stir gently until just incorporated.

Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into large balls, placing them 2 inches apart on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Gently flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a glass. Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges, but not top, 10 to 12 minutes (they will not look fully baked). Cool cookies on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 7 days.