Tag Archives: cookie
Here at Culinary Tertulias, December is a synonym for edible gifts!
To start this series, I wanted to make something with chocolate and spices, Christmas-y but not overly so. I also wanted a quick and easy cookie, because I had to take SOMETHING to a meeting with friends. I found this recipe at King Arthur’s Flour and I immediately knew it was the one to make – I love shortbreads and I had all the ingredients!
I used two things that may be a bit tricky to find outside the US: allspice and pumpkin pie spice. To make this recipe, you will need one teaspoon of spices – you can use a mix of ground ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
You will need:
1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/3 cup (28 g) Dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp mixed spices – I used ½ tsp allspice and ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice, but you can also use a mix of ground ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 and 3/4 cup (200 g) all-purpose flour
Start by lining 2 8-inch square pans with aluminum foil, leaving some excess to help you remove the shortbreads, and grease them well. Pre-heat your oven.
This is a recipe that is stirred by hand, which sounds hard – it’s actually pretty quick and easy, if the butter is properly softened!
With a spatula, mix the butter, salt, and sugar. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, spices, and baking powder. Mix well. Add the flour and mix just until you can’t see any more white specks.
Divide the dough into both pans – use the spatula to smooth the surface and prick it all over with a fork. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Use the excess aluminum foil as handles to remove the shortbread from the pans and immediately cut the shortbreads into squares. Cool them on a wire rack.
When they are completely cool, place in a cute box or bag and spread the cheer! 🙂
Have you ever read a recipe, thought it would be easy to make, knew it would be tasty, pinned it, aaaaand…… never remembered to do it? Always, right? 😀 To continue the Chocolate Tertulias, I decided to finally make these cookies, which are basically little round brownies!
These are not only delicious, they’re also very easy to make: you don’t need to soften the butter and you only use one pot! I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate, so I used a70% cocoa one. It was very tasty, but next time I’ll use one with 80% cocoa, or stronger. Even if you don’t like bitter chocolate, I don’t think this recipe would work with milk chocolate – it’d be way too sweet!
115 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
115 g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
190 g (1 cup, packed) dark or light brown sugar
25 g (2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine sea or table salt
45 g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
130 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
115 g (2/3 cup) chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped into chunks
In a pot that fits all ingredients, melt the butter and the chocolate. You can use a water bath, or do what I did and melt everything over the lowest heat on the smallest burner of the stove, stirring constantly and being careful not to let the chocolate burn.
With a silicone spatula, mix the two kinds of sugar into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs, one by one. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter − yes, I do mean sift it! 😀 − and mix. Sift the flour over the batter and mix just until you don’t see any white specs. Now all you have to do is add the chocolate chips!
Cover the pot with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for about half an hour. Use a cookie scoop or make small balls (mine were about 1 Tbsp of dough), place them on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between them, and bake in a preheated oven. The original recipe said to bake for 11 to 12 minutes, warning that they would be soft. I did this on the first batch, letting them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. This gave the cookies a really brownie-like texture. On the second batch, I baked for 15 minutes, and found the texture to be closer to a normal cookie − and I liked them even better that way!
Freezer: As with most cookies, you can freeze the balls of dough in a plastic wrap-covered baking sheet. When they are fully frozen, transfer them into a Ziploc bag. To bake, take them straight from the freezer to the oven, baking for a couple extra minutes.
(If you don’t know why I call these “Phoebe’s Cookies,” stop reading this and go watch Friends, season 7, episode 3)
There’s no better way of finishing the Christmas Tertulias than with Phoebe’s grandma’s cookies! 🙂 I had wanted to try these ever since I first watched that episode, in 2000 something. When I moved to Uruguay, I finally looked up the recipe and tried it. In fact, I’ve made these cookies so many times that I had to search the blog files to make sure I hadn’t posted them yet! 😀
And the most important thing is: you can still make them for Christmas! Did you forget to buy stocking stuffers? Phoebe’s Cookies to the rescue! Your children need to leave some cookies for Santa? He’ll like these better than any store-bought cookie! 🙂
I wanted to follow the original recipe strictly, for the pictures, but I ended up making a tiny alteration: I swapped ½ cup of walnuts for ½ cup of chocolate chips, because I had chopped more nuts than necessary. 😀
200 g butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips – If you can’t find real chocolate chips (aka not the gross hydrogenated fat, ewww), just chop some normal chocolate bars! I used 1 ½ cups of mini chocolate chips, 50% cocoa.
1 cup of walnuts, chopped (measure, then chop) – as I said before, I used 1 ½ cup.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar for approximately 3 minutes, until it’s creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing a little more.
In a bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this mixture to the stand mixer in thirds. The original recipe said to continue using the stand mixer to incorporate the flour mix, but I prefer to do this step using a silicon spatula, to make sure I don’t overwork the dough. It takes a little muscle strength, but I think it’s worth it! 😀
When you can’t see flecks of flour in your dough anymore, it’s time to add the chocolate chips and the nuts. Use a silicon spatula to mix it well.
As I still don’t have a cookie scoop, I had to shape them by hand. My suggestion: sit in front of the TV/computer, put on an episode of your favorite show, and shape! It will take a while. 😀 The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of dough per cookie, but I thought they turned out too big, so I only used ½ Tbsp per cookie.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, leaving approximately 2 cm of room between them. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the sheet and let them cool on a rack. When they are COMPLETELY cooled (it may take a while if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!), place them in a nice box or jar and they’re ready to be gifted! 🙂
Tip: If you’re using the same baking sheet to bake multiple batches, cool it before adding the second batch, so that the cookies won’t spread too much in the oven. I usually remove the baked cookies (and the parchment paper, obviously) and place the sheet under running tap water for a few seconds, until it’s cool enough for me to touch it with my bare hands. Then, I dry it with a cloth and it’s ready for the second batch!
Freezer: If you don’t want to bake the entire batch on the same day, flash freeze the dough balls on a tray. When they are completely frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag – they’ll last up to three months in the freezer. To bake, place the frozen balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake for a few extra minutes! It’s that easy! 🙂