cookies

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

Posted by on Mar 4, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

Cat Tongue Cookies! NO CATS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE COOKIES.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

I first heard about these cookies on the Great British Bake Off, where they were used as part of another recipe. My curiosity was piqued.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

I am trying out a lot more French recipes. This seemed like a good, basic one to try… even though I HATE piping things. Did I say hate? I meant LOATHE.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

That said, this recipe wasn’t too awful in that regard. The dough wasn’t a big sticky mess. I used a gallon Ziploc bag and cut the corner off, the old basic method, and that worked just fine.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

The end result reminded me a lot of the old American stand-by, Nilla Wafers. Nothing fancy by themselves, but crisp and refreshing. They would be easy to dress up by dipping them in chocolate, Nutella, jam, whatever–if you want.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

I thought they were just fine by themselves, with my cats lurking close by–tongues intact.

Bready or Not: Cat Tongue Cookies (Langues de Chat)

Consisting of just 5 ingredients, these are very straightforward and deliciously crisp vanilla cookies. Make the piping process easier by penciling guidelines onto parchment paper.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cookies, french
Servings: 32 cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • parchment paper
  • piping bag or gallon Ziploc

Ingredients

  • 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment. Use pencil to draw 3-inch lines spaced several inches apart in rows upon the paper, then flip over so the pencil lines still show through as guides.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar (1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons) until smooth. Beat in egg whites one at a time until batter is light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla followed by flour. Dough might be stiff.
  • Put about half of dough into a Ziploc bag (then cut off corner) or a piping bag with a medium star tip. Squeeze out dough onto the lines on parchment.
  • Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until edges are starting to brown. Move to cooling rack. Pipe and bake remaining dough, reusing parchment.
  • Store in a sealed container. Good dipped into chocolate or spread with Nutella--or all by itself.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    Posted by on Feb 26, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

    Basic Scottish shortbread is one of the awesomest things in the world. It’s also a blank canvas for variations beyond count. Chocolate chips and a jolt of espresso add extra oomph to this new spin!

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    Pride O’ Scotland Shortbread was one of the first recipes I considered ‘mine’ as a teenager. It became the one thing I made each year for our family’s Thanksgiving potluck.

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    Appropriately, it’s also something I made for my husband the very first day I met him when I was 18. (Yes, he was an almost total stranger. Yes, I welcomed him with shortbread. Because that’s what I do.)

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    I considered the recipe sacrosanct the past two decades… and then I got an idea. Chocolate. Espresso powder. It had to be good, right? Or would it be a crumbly mess?

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    Yes indeed, it turned out to be delicious. No, it remained as cohesive as ever. Yay!

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    Espresso powder is fantastic along with chocolate; I include it in most every brownie recipe. The coffee flavor doesn’t come in strong (I actually hate coffee), but it make the chocolate taste bolder and more nuanced.

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    Bready or Not Original: Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

    My original Pride O' Scotland Shortbread, now with additional caffeine! Espresso powder and mini chocolate chips add extra oomph to buttery, tender triangles of shortbread.
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: Scottish
    Keyword: chocolate, coffee, cookies, shortbread
    Servings: 16 pieces
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • two basic 9-inch pie plates

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter softened, 2 sticks
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

    Instructions

    • Place flour, sugar, espresso powder, and salt in mixing bowl; add butter, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix with fingers until dough holds together, then fold in the mini chocolate chips. Once chips are distributed, divide dough into two balls and press each ball into a pan. Flatten evenly with palms and prick surface all over with floured fork. Slash into wedges.
    • Bake for 17 to 22 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven. Immediately cut again following slash marks and carefully run the blade around the edge of the crust to loosen the shortbread.
    • Let shortbread cool. Cut again along slash marks and the crust, then remove wedges to eat. Shortbread keeps in sealed container for several days.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      Posted by on Feb 5, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

      Last month I shared my recipe for Almond Sable. This time I present another French (from Brittany, to be specific) take on shortbread: Sable Breton!

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      These cookies are much more straightforward than the previous recipe. The ingredients are shortbread basics: butter, sugar, flour.

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      What sets this apart is, foremost, that it is not as sweet as its counterparts across the channel.

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      I also recommend that you use a kitchen scale to get that European-style precision–along with actual French butter. President-brand is expensive but widely available, even where I am in Arizona.

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      These cookies are downright pretty, too, with a crosshatched pattern and an egg yolk wash. They are perfect alongside a cup of coffee or tea!

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      Modified from the original at Mon Petit Four.

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      Bready or Not: Sable Breton (French Shortbread)

      This French version of shortbread cookies is gorgeous to behold, and delicious to eat. Measurements are provided in grams as well as standard American measurements; a food scale is helpful here for precise measurements. Use salted French-import President butter, if possible; one stick is 198 grams, meaning a smidgen more of another butter will provide the perfect amount--plus, the end taste will be more like the French original! If making with unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to compensate. Recipe makes about 22 cookies.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: cookies, french
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • parchment paper
      • small cookie cutter
      • food scale

      Ingredients

      • 200 grams salted butter 1/2 cup plus 5 Tablespoons, President butter recommended
      • 120 grams white sugar 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon
      • 3 egg yolks divided
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 280 grams all-purpose flour 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons, plus more if needed to dust work surface

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone mat.
      • Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add two egg yolks and vanilla extract. Add flour until just incorporated.
      • Lightly flour work surface and hands. Using rolling pin or hands, press dough to about 1/4-inch thickness.
      • Use a small round cookie cutter on dough. Transfer rounds to cookie sheet, spaced out a bit. Use a fork to scratch a crosshatch pattern in the top, like a hashtag with more lines.
      • Beat remaining egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush tops of cookies with yolk.
      • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are a consistent golden color. Transfer to a rack to completely cool.
      • Store in a sealed container.
      • OM NOM NOM!
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      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      Posted by on Jan 29, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

      Ultimate Chocolate Cookies! Say that in a gravelly announcer-guy voice. ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE COOKIES!

      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      These are loaded with chocolate–melted into the dough and with bonus chocolate chips, too! Oh yeah, and cocoa!

      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      The addition of espresso powder (or instant coffee) amps up that chocolate flavor, too. If you don’t keep that around for your cookies and brownies, it’s a good habit to start.

      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      I mean, amping up chocolate flavor is DEFINITELY a good thing.

      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      You might even say it makes things… ultimate.

      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      Modified from AllRecipes Magazine February/March 2015.

      Bready or Not: Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

      These cookies are a must for chocoholics! Note that the cookie dough needs to set for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. Makes 50 teaspoon-sized cookies.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: chocolate, cookies
      Author: Beth Cato

      Ingredients

      • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 1 bag, divided
      • 1 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup cocoa powder Dutch process or regular unsweetened, sifted
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
      • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
      • 1/4 cup white sugar
      • 2 eggs room temperature
      • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant-coffee granules
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      Instructions

      • On the stove top or in a microwave, melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, warming until smooth. Set aside to cool.
      • In another bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
      • In a big bowl, beat together the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, scraping bowl to make sure everything is combined. Follow up with espresso powder and vanilla, then the melted chocolate. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips.
      • Cover mixing bowl and let dough stand for about 30 minutes so that the chocolate can set.
      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Use a teaspoon scoop to place dough spaced out on parchment-covered cookie sheet or seasoned stoneware.
      • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let set on stove about 10 minutes before moving cookies to a rack to completely cool.
      • Store in sealed containers at room temperature. Cookies may crisp up more after 1 day, but keep quite well.
      • OM NOM NOM!
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      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      Posted by on Jan 1, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

      Let’s welcome 2020 in grand style: with French shortbread called almond sables!

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I’ve made a lot of shortbread in my day. All varieties. This is shortbread that’s gone up in level. It tastes fancy. It’s a French recipe, so that’s only appropriate, right?

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I highly recommend you use President-brand unsalted butter for this recipe. My recipe is actually modified from a version they used in advertisements. However, you can use other butters, just make sure you use unsalted and only 7 ounces. That means you’ll chop off a tablespoon from the standard American butter stick.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I made these cookies twice to get the recipe the way I wanted it. I used salted butter the first time, and the cookies tasted noticeably salty. Not just to me, but to other eaters as well.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      Because these cookies have such few ingredients, the few that are present really have a chance to shine. They are buttery, mildly nutty, with a soft, sandy texture.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      I liked using my fluted cookie cutters for these–that way the sugar coating has more nooks and crannies to cling to!

      Recipe modified from a President butter advertisement.

      Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

      These French-style shortbread cookies taste delicate and refined. Note that the dough needs at least a few hours to chill prior to baking. Modified from a recipe by President Butter.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: French
      Keyword: cookies, shortbread
      Servings: 20 cookies
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • small cookie cutter
      • parchment paper

      Ingredients

      • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 7- ounces President unsalted butter softened, or substitute other unsalted butter
      • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
      • 3/4 cup white sugar divided
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 vanilla bean or substitute 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 1 egg yolk

      Instructions

      • Toast the almonds prior to beginning cookies. Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Spread almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes; turn off oven.
      • Measure out flour in a small bowl.
      • Use a food processor to grind almonds to a fine crumb; don't process for too long or it'll turn to almond butter. Mix almond crumbs with flour.
      • In a big bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and salt, until smooth again. Add vanilla bean (or equivalent) and egg yolk. Gradually work in flour mixture. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead 3 or 4 times to form a cohesive ball.
      • Place dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and compress dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Enshroud in plastic wrap. Transfer to fridge to set, at least 2 hours but as long as 2 days.
      • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line large baking sheet with fresh parchment paper.
      • Roll out dough to closer to 1/4-inch thickness, then set aside top parchment sheet. Use a small round cookie cutter to cut dough, placing rounds spaced-out on sheet pan. Re-roll dough scraps to use up the rest, adding a touch of water, if necessary, to bring dough together again.
      • Bake until edges are just turning golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Measure out remaining 1/2 cup white sugar in a bowl. Use a spatula to dip warm cookies into sugar to coat top and sides. Place on rack to cool cookies completely.
      • Cookies keep well in sealed container for up to 3 days.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        Posted by on Dec 4, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        These Fruitcake Cookies turned out gorgeous AND delicious, but could’ve been a total disaster.

        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        I completely rewrote a base recipe for these cookies before I even got to the kitchen. Once I started combining ingredients, I realized I had a major problem.

        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        I had too little dough to hold my fruit and nuts. Uh oh! If I continued as planned, they would not be the slightest bit cohesive.

        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        So, I winged it. I added more flour, more brown sugar, another egg. The dough became cohesive. I baked the first batch. They stayed cohesive.

        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        Whew! The cookies were saved. Not only saved, but absolutely delicious. The combination of ingredients brings all the best elements of fruitcake without all the fuss.

        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        Want more fruitcake? Here’s my recipe for Mini Loaves–which wouldn’t be ripened by Christmas, unfortunately–and also another Fruitcake Cookies recipe, this one like oatmeal cookies. I also have a recipe for brownies that uses candied cherries¬†and one that uses candied orange peel in delicious scones. Keep in mind that a lot of fruitcake ingredients can be found for fabulous clearance prices after Christmas, so bake up these recipes in the new year! Good food shouldn’t be confined to one season.

        Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

        The fruit listed in the ingredients is a suggestion. Customize these cookies however desired, to not exceed 2 1/2 cups. The result is a crisp, chewy cookie packed with fruit and nuts (but not too packed). Be sure to include the almond extract; that small amount adds some major oomph. Makes 40 cookies using a tablespoon scoop.
        Course: Dessert, Snack
        Keyword: cookies, holiday
        Servings: 40
        Author: Beth Cato

        Ingredients

        • 1/2 cup golden raisins
        • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
        • 1/4 cup dried apricots finely chopped
        • 1/4 cup dried dates finely chopped
        • 1 cup candied cherries coarsely chopped
        • 1 cup walnuts and/or pecans, coarsely chopped
        • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/2 stick, softened
        • 1/4 cup shortening
        • 1/2 cup white sugar
        • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
        • 2 eggs room temperature
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.
        • Combine fruit and nuts with 1 cup of flour, coating everything. This will prevent the fruit from sinking as the cookies bake.
        • Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars. Add the eggs with the vanilla and almond extract. Stir in the remaining flour with the baking soda and salt.
        • Stir in the fruit/nut/flour mixture until just combined.
        • Drop dough by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

        OM NOM NOM!

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