Search The Garden of Eden

bloglovin

Follow Me on Pinterest

All of the content and images featured on The Garden of Eden are © Darcy Eden 2011-2014 unless otherwise stated.  If you post an image of mine on your blog/website, please link back to The Garden of Eden and credit me accordingly.  Thanks! 

Images that are not my own are credited as such.  If I have either failed to credit accurately or someone wishes an image to be removed from this blog, I will gladly comply.

Entries in Cookies (9)

Tuesday
Nov262013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This is an unconventional post on the eve of Thanksgiving.  We are heading to Philadelphia to spend Thanksgiving with Rob's side of our family so I am not caught up in the prep work that usually leads up to the holiday.  It's quite nice to have an empty fridge and no anxiety about the upcoming holiday!

My Dad just celebrated a birthday and I never know what to get him (as is the case for all of the men in my life).  This year I kept it simple and baked his favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  Since freshly baked cookies are always the best, I baked off half the batch and froze the rest of the dough and gave him the frozen dough.  With a note detailing baking instructions on the freezer bag or tupperware, the recipient can have cookies straight from the oven any time (and can bake just 1 or 2 at a time).

A note about these cookies.  I first attempted to make them considerably smaller than the suggested 1/4-cup size scoop per cookie (I was making mine more like 1 tbsp per cookie).  When I baked those, they were quite flat and crisp.  When I stuck with the recommended 1/4-cup size, the cookies turned out much better.  It may be the altitude, but I'm guessing its the tried and true method of from Flour

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe adapted just slightly from the Flour Bakery Cookbook
Yield = About 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup (245 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Preparation

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  If you use a hand-held mixer, this will take about 10 minutes.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula to release any clinging butter or sugar.

2.  Beat in the eggs on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the bowl and the paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

3.  In a separate, medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add the raisins and toss to combine.  On low speed (or with a wooden spoon), slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.

4.  For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3-4 hours) before baking.  When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  Drop the dough in 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart.  Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand or the back of the spoon.  I was tempted to make these balls smaller, but don't - they turn out best when the dough balls are 1/4-cup in size.

6.  Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center.  Be careful not to overbake!  Soft, chewy centers are what you want with these cookies.  Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack.  

7.  The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  The unbaked dough can also be portioned off into the balls (like in step #5) and then frozen in an airtight container or ziploc and baked off as needed!

Sunday
Apr212013

Pistachio Shortbread

Recently, I've been in a cookie slump.  It started with an attempt to bake some gluten-free cookies that were a crumbly (and odd-tasting) mess.  Next was the homemade Thin Mints during Girl Scout cookie season.  They weren't bad, but they weren't great and they didn't hold a candle to the real thing.  

But yesterday, I perused the newest issue of Bon Appétit and the recipe for Pistachio Shortbread caught my eye.  I've been looking at pistachio ice cream recipes (does anyone have a favorite?) but they all want you to use pistachio paste and while I know I can make it myself, that extra step is really dissuading me from moving forward.  

If you, like me, need a pistachio fix, look no further than these cookies.  A few pulses in your food processor, an hour in the refrigerator to chill, and 15 minutes in the oven and you'll have a delicious cookie.  These have a strong pistachio flavor, aren't too sweet, and are quite pretty with the flecks of green pistachio throughout.

Pistachio Shortbread
Bon Appétit May 2013    

  • 1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios (about 4 1/2 ounces) (be sure the pistachios are unsalted - I buy mine in the bulk section of Whole Foods or Sprouts or online at nuts.com)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
     
  • Preparation
    1.  Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground but not a paste, about 30 seconds. Add flour, sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla; pulse until mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. With machine running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons ice water (a crumbly dough should form; do not over-process).  My dough appeared to still be too dry so I added another 1/2 tablespoon and it was fine -- before you add more water, try to get the dough to clump together because it is probably moister than you think.

    2.  Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment paper and pat into a rectangle. Top with another sheet of parchment and roll out to a 12x8-inch rectangle (the neater the edges of your rectangle, the less likely you are to end up with funky-shaped edge cookies like I did - see photo above). Transfer dough (in parchment paper) to a baking sheet and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

    3.  Place rack in middle of the oven; preheat to 350°. Remove top sheet of parchment paper from dough and discard. Cut dough lengthwise into 8 equal strips, then each strip crosswise into quarters, forming 32 rectangles (I think I probably ended up with about 40 cookies because of my mishapen rectangle). Place rectangles on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart.  Note that the cookies almost double in size during baking.  I ended up baking the cookies in two batches, two trays at a time because I made smaller cookies and spread them out.

    4.  Bake shortbread until golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 14-18 minutes (the original recipe said 18-20 minutes, but I checked my first batch at 15 minutes and they were done). Transfer to wire racks; let cool.

    Shortbread can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

    Saturday
    May122012

    Double Stuff Oreos

    The last four weeks were a whirlwind of house hunting and negotiating, a wonderful weekend in Chicago, a (very hot) trip to Boston for the marathon, and a visit from a dear friend and her boyfriend who we met for the first time.  Between all of that, life in general, and work (oh, yes, that -- I do have a job), I feel like I've been largely absent from cooking and blogging and doing things at home that I love.  The glorious spring weather we have had is a contributing factor... I just feel guilty being inside!

    A major contributing factor to feeling overwhelmed is that we are under contract (!!) on a home.  If all goes well, we'll be home owners in mid-June.  When I think about cooking, I now see myself in our new kitchen and cooking in our current place just isn't as enticing.  The prospect of owning our own home is both amazing and terrifying.  I don't want to share any details about the house until things are official, but below is a glimpse at a lovely little something from the backyard.

    Thankfully, S's birthday party this weekend snapped me out of my house dreaming and back to reality - I promised to bring dessert to the party and the clock was ticking until party time.  Initially, I offered to make Rhubarb Buckle.  If you love rhubarb, you must make Ali's version of Rhubarb Buckle.  Seriously.  It is a must.  We made it during the aforementioned trip to Chicago and I had four pieces in a 24 hour period.  Are you judging?  If so, just wait until you make it! 

    You know what else is dangerous?  These Double Stuff Oreos.  Looking at my photos, these look more like whoopie pies than Oreos.  If you look at the photos on Smitten Kitchen, the cookies are much flatter and thinner.... I was worried that the cookies would flatten considerably during baking, but they didn't.  Next time I make these, I'll press them down more before baking.  I do, however, stand by my change to make fewer cookies but to add more filling.  The filling really complements the intense chocolate flavor (with a touch of saltiness) of the cookies and I think the cookies as a whole benefit from just a little more filling.

    If you have a cookie thief in your household, beware!  I had to stop Rob not only from eating the cookies, but also the frosting.  Under the guise of helping me spread the filling, I caught him sneaking tastes of both.  Consider yourself warned!

    Double Stuff Oreos
    Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen

    Yield = 20 sandwich cookies

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate wafers:
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
    1 large egg

    For the filling:
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
    1/4 cup vegetable shortening
    2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Preparation

    1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
    2. In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar.  While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter and then the egg.  Continue processing or mixing until the dough comes together in a mass.
    3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart.  With moistened hands, flatten the dough.  Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking.  Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
    4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla.  Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
    5. To assemble the cookies, use either a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip to pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie or use a butter knife (I used a knife and it worked well).  Apply filling to half of the cookies and then apply any remaining filling to the cookies until you use all of the filling.  Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the filling.  Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie.  Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched. 

    Sunday
    Apr082012

    Midnight Cowboy Cookies

    One of the oddest things about the internet is how you can become friends with someone you haven't ever met in person. I was e-introduced to Jackie at dessertification by my dear friend Sarah - Jackie and Sarah went to college together. I love reading about her creative desserts and thoroughly enjoy her wry sense of humor... and I suspect that if we went shopping together, we'd have an excellent time and purchase many similar items!  Hopefully we'll meet in person at some point.

    Rob sneakily depleted our frozen cookie dough supply and I wanted to mix things up a bit on the cookie front when I refreshed it. I've been on a chocolate chip cookie kick for awhile and these were a delicious discovery - I love that the dough base is peanut butter, and that with each bite you taste chocolate and pecans. These are crunchy and seriously addictive.  I'm psyched we now have a stash of these in the freezer.

    Midnight Cowboy Cookies
    Recipe from dessertification as adapted from Holiday Baking
    Yield = approximately 4 dozen

    Ingredients
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp salt
    1 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 cup vegetable shortening
    ¾ cup sugar
    ¾ cup light brown sugar
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1 cup old-fashioned oats
    2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
    1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

    Preparation


    • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    • In a stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar for approximately 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and then beat the eggs into the wet ingredients one at a time until fully combined.

    • Using a low mixer speed, combine the flour mixture with the wet ingredients. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut until just combined.

    • Make tablespoon-sized balls of dough (I use a melon baller) and place them at least 1" apart on the baking sheets. At this stage you can also freeze the dough balls for baking at a later time. Bake the cookies for approximately 15 minutes, until the edges are just turning golden brown.

     

    Friday
    Mar162012

    Jim Lahey's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Rob's grandmother spends her summers in Bridgehampton and it was on a visit to see her when I first had a Tate's Bake Shop chocolate chip cookie.  You can find Tate's cookies all over, but the original bake shop is located in Southampton... and like a Range Rover and a popped collar, these are a staple at picnics and beach outings in the Hamptons.

    These cookies remind me of Tate's.  They are thin and crispy - I tried baking them two different ways (first immediately after mixing the dough and then after freezing the dough) and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference in the thickness of the cookies.  My go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe from Alexandra Cooks produces soft, chewy cookies and I love them; however, these cookies, particularly if you like your chocolate chip cookies on the crispy side, are delicious. 

    Jim Lahey's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Active time = 20 minutes
    Recipe from Jim Lahey via the March 2011 Bon Appétit 

    Ingredients
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 large egg, room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

    Preparation
    Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until well combined, 2–3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients, reduce speed to low, and mix just to blend. Fold in chocolate chips.

    Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2" apart. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature, or freeze cookies for up to 2 months.