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    Entries in cookie (6)


    Double Chocolate Oriolos Rose's Alpha Bakers

                                                           double chocolate oriolos

    Hmm, two surprises with my second bake as an alpha baker from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Baking Bible'. One: why is this cookie entitled "double chocolate" when the "chocolate" comes in one form from cocoa? Two: Never would I have guessed that such an unassuming cookie could be so feather light in texture.  

    The light texture of the double chocolate oriolos cookie is bordering on ethereal, it disappears in a cloud of buttery cocoaness (not a word but should be)... pair with milk or better still an icy cold kahlua milk shake. 

    Three:  ok I didn't mention a three... but I skinned my walnuts today, now this might not rock your boat but for me it was an "ahhh haaaa" moment. Many times I've skinned hazelnuts by roasting in the oven and rubbing the heated nuts between a clean tea towel to the remove the brown skin, but I had never thought of doing it with walnuts until I read Rose's recipe. The bitterness: it stops the bitterness you sometimes get when baking with walnuts. 

    That's how the recipe starts, skinning your walnuts. 

    Cubed chilled butter is processed through cocoa, walnut, sugar mixture until absorbed. 

    The resulting dough was divided into three parts. Chilling is an important step in this recipe to ensure your cookies keep their shape.  

    Working with one disc of dough at the time and keeping the remainder chilled, I divided and rolled 12gram balls of dough. On your lined baking sheet you press each ball with a flat bottomed glass/tumbler that has been sprayed with cooking spray and dipped in granulated sugar.  

    Brush away any excess sugar on your tray with a soft brush before going into to bake.

    Yes, they might look unassuming but these cookies are a taste/texture treat. I made a double batch as I promised step son Dan that I will make him bourbon pecan butter balls with a pulversied batch of these cookies. 

    Would I bake again?: Yes

    Would I make any changes?: Goodness, maybe a pinch of salt to accentuate cocoa flavour... but I think if you are looking for a plain cocoa biscuit/cookie these are pretty perfect as they are.

    How it works; now I've joined the fabulous existing alpha bakers, once a week I will post about what I have baked from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Baking Bible'. This won't include the recipe due to copyright and publisher restrictions however, I will be posting how it went and photos of making/baking the gorgeous baked goods.

     The Baking Bible

    Happy Baking :) 

    Liquorice Lovers!! here is your ice-cream recipe

    Pink drizzle isomalt how to... isomalt drizzles pretty and versatile sugar finish. 


    Frosty the Snowman Cookie

      Frosty the Snowman Christmas cookie; fondant, jersey caramel and coconut top a chocolate sugar cookie

    Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul,
    With a corncob pipe and a button nose
    And two eyes made out of coal.
    Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,
    He was made of snow but the children
    Know how he came to life one day.
    There must have been some magic in that
    Old silk hat they found.
    For when they placed it on his head
    He began to dance around.
    O, Frosty the snowman
    Was alive as he could be,
    And the children say he could laugh
    And play just the same as you and me.

    A touch of retro today with a 'Frosty the Snowman' cookie... a present for my husband Mark who has been grumbling about "you never make a snowman". Mark does love a snowman, I'm sure something to do with the fact that he has never actually seen snow!!

    To keep with the retro theme Frosty's round tummy & the snowballs are made from a Mark's favourite childhood lolly 'Jersey Caramels'. With a fudge like texture it was easy to shape and roll into small balls, I dipped the balls in melted white chocolate and rolled them in desiccated coconut to form the snowballs.

       jersey caramels being rolled into snowballs

    I am feeling the time pinch and it's just about my last post for the year. For those who haven't seen my earlier posts; for the first seven months of 2011 I'll be assisting my husband setting up his landscaping business 'Mark Paxton Landscapes' and will only be able to blog sporadically. I'm sure there will be months in that time frame where I'll be able to do more and times when I won't, like "June" tax time!! 

    But for now "Happy Baking" :)


    Martha Stewart makes Cookies App Review

                  variations of Martha Stewart's chocolate crackle cookies


    UPDATE: February 9th.... please note the glitch in the text display with the Martha Stewart make Cookies App has been fixed. Plus more cookie recipes were added with the last update. We can presume at this stage cookies will be added to the app at regular/holiday intervals :) Don't forget to sync your ipad! 

    As a self declared Martha Stewart fan (or insert "fanatic" perhaps?), I just had to get the 'Martha Stewart Makes Cookies' app for ipad! 


    welcome screen "Martha Stewart Makes Cookies" ipad app

    Pros; well it's "'fun and gorgeous", but I guess you want to hear about the features... 

    It's easy to choose any of the cookies with the apps intuitive navigation methods; either scroll sideways through the images and "touch" to make your selection, or use the selection wheel to dial a flavour/type of cookie and of course you can always go old school and type the cookies name or ingredient into the search box.


    scroll sideways then touch to select 

    dial a choice with the selection wheel

    Helpful pre-set timers are built into the recipes to aid with preparation and baking times.

    setting the timer for 11 minutes for beating meringue

    Ready to share; Loved the recipe you just baked? You can share any recipe through email, Twitter and on Facebook with a touch of a button.

    share a recipe

    emailing a recipe, the full recipe arrives in your inbox complete with small colour image of the cookie.

    Other main features include a dozen short videos showing a cookie being made or technique, shopping list and the ability to bookmark favourites. The new recipes featured and twists on classic recipes are delightful.

    Cons; first up the price at $7.49 (US) or $9.99 (AU) is high for an app. I'd definitely like more packaging ideas (the same two come up over and over again) and more recipes!! If you already own Martha Stewart's Cookies book or are a Martha fan you will find a lot of familiar territory covered; traditional shortbread, sugar cookies, mexican wedding cookies, and yes... biscotti. No metric!!

    There is a small programming glitch (that I'm sure that will fixed in an update) that blurs the third line of each cookies intro page. 

    double blur on third line of all the cookie intro pages

    Personally, I'm loving this app for the share and timer abilities, ease of use, the twists on Martha's classic cookies plus the gorgeous photography. This app would suit Martha fans and those ipad carrying people that are new to cookie baking. Whilst there is room for improvement, for a first app it's fantastic and I'm looking forward to future Martha Stewart apps. 


    'Martha Stewart Makes Cookies' app from the iTunes store

    In the 'Martha Stewart Makes Cookies' app you will find a variation of the classic Martha Stewart 'Chocolate Crackle' cookies, this one containing ground almonds... with only a half cup of wheat flour this recipe would be ideal to convert to gluten free.

    Chocolate-Almond Crackles using Martha Stewart Makes Cookies for iPad

    8 ounces (225 grams) bittersweet (dark eating chocolate), finely chopped

    1 cup blanched almonds, toasted

    ½ cup all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    ½ teaspoon coarse salt

    ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

    1 cup packed light-brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 cup confectioners’ sugar 

    1 Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring. Let cool slightly.

    2 Pulse almonds in a food processor until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.

    3 In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in chocolate. Reduce speed to low, and add almond-flour mixture. Cover and chill 1 hour.

    4 Preheat oven to 175 celsius (350°). Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat, then in confectioners’ sugar. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until surfaces crack, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

    Coloured Sugar: I made coloured batches of icing sugar by whirling icing sugar and either powdered food colour or gel paste colour in the food processor. You do get tiny dots of intense colour with both powder or gel. I wanted them to match the flavour variations I had planned....

    I made one batch of these Chocolate-almond Crackle cookies and rolled them in white icing sugar.
    Then I made a batch of the traditional Chocolate Crackle cookies from Martha Stewart's website. I divided that dough in half adding a 1/2 cup of chopped dried blueberries to one half (rolled in blue) and 2 teaspoons of raspberry liqueur to the other half to be rolled in the pink.

    *note if you are using the recipe for Chocolate Crackle cookies from Martha's website there is one step missing that is included in the cookie book. Roll your cookie dough balls in granulated/white sugar before rolling in icing sugar... this step ensures a pristine finish for when you need to package your cookies as gifts.

    Happy Baking :)

    you might also like Martha's Baking Handbook review

    today's main photo Daniel Paxton-Zahra


    Pearl Glaze Edible Paint

    pearl glaze by bakery crafts

    Pearl Glaze is a pre-mixed pearl lustre dust paint by Bakery Crafts. A fabulous product for cake decorators to carry with them for those emergency touch ups and for the home baker that occasionally wants to add a little shimmer to their cakes & cookies.

    Use alone to add a pearly shimmer or Pearl Glaze can also be easily coloured with any of your existing gel paste food colours allowing you to create colour palettes of choice.  

    here americolor electric pink gel paste is added to pearl glaze to create different shades of pink

    Pearl Glaze is best applied in several lights coats to your dry fondant/modelling paste/royal icing, allowing 30 minutes to dry between each coat to get the full effect. 

    Happy Baking :)

    Pearl Glaze is available from cake decorating stores and online from Cakestuff (New Zealand), Cakes Around Town (Australia) Riches and Realms Ebay store (Australia), Bakers Nook (US) Sorry UK I haven't as yet found a supplier online for you. 


    Raspberry Marshmallow


             Mini Raspberry Marshmallow Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


    Every Christmas I put a few Cadbury Marshmallow Santa's in my husbands Christmas stocking,

    but I was late shopping for them at Christmas & they were sold out. There was my husband Mark on Christmas morning shaking his stocking upside down to see if his marshmallows were caught up somewhere in there! Hope this makes up for it sweetheart, raspberry marshmallow made just for you.

    The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's vanilla marshmallow. Fabulously easy recipe, the suggested serving is 16 marshmallows, I get 32 to 40 from it. 

    I used the recommended tin size in 23x23 cm (9 x 9 inch), the resulting marshmallow is 4cm high (1.57inches). Next time I'll use a lasagne pan for a thinner sheet of marshmallow, but if you like it thick keep to the original size. 

    I flavoured mine with raspberry puree and a little orange liqueur and split the marshmallow horizontally before cutting into shapes.

    Start by spraying a 23x23 cm (9x9 inch) cake tin with cooking spray and line with plastic wrap leaving a 5 cm (2 inch) overhang so later on you can lift the finished marshmallow from the tin.


    20 grams unflavoured gelatin (3/4-ounce)
    1/2 cup chilled seedless raspberry puree (made by pressing fresh/frozen raspberries through a fine sieve)
    2 cups sugar
    2/3 cup light corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon  salt
    3 tsps Orange Liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
    pink or red food colouring *optional
    Can of cooking spray to oil everything the marshmallow will touch!!
    Equal parts cornflour (corn starch) and pure icing sugar sifted together.

    Put raspberry puree in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, sprinkle over gelatine and let stand for 10 minutes.
    In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan on medium high heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for one minute.
    Remove from heat and with your mixer on high pour the boiling syrup slowly down the side the mixer bowl into the gelatine and raspberry mix. Mix on high speed for 12 minutes. Add the orange liqueur, mix until blended. At this point decide whether you want to boost the colour with pink or red food colouring, I used a few drops of Americolor Electric Pink. 
    Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray and quickly transfer marshmallow mix from mixer bowl to your lined tin.
    Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray, cover marshmallow and let sit for 2 hours.
    Oil a cutting board with cooking spray. Carefully lift marshmallow from pan, remove plastic wrap and place on board. Cut into desired shapes with a knife sprayed with oil or oiled cutters and toss marshmallows in sifted cornflour/icing sugar mixture, store remaining marshmallows in an airtight container for up to three days. 
    Tomorrow ideas on what to do with your remaining marshmallow... I had a lot left over to play with.

    Caramel Cheesecake Ice-cream Sandwich

    Caramel Cheesecake Ice-Cream sandwiched between white chocolate and macadamia cookies.
    43cel (109F); probably not the ideal day to bake cookies & churn ice-cream, but hey, I like to live dangerously!
    Poor churn and freezer struggled with the heat and we were all like little kids with ice-cream dripping down our arms as we ate them ;)
    I used canned caramel (Mark & Daniel do have a "thing" for it) in the ice-cream, but by all means you can swap it for any thick caramel dairy based sauce.
    1 cup milk
    1 cup thickened cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence/extract
    125 grams  (4.4ounces) Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
    3 large egg yolks
    2/3 cup (130 grams)  white sugar
    1 can Nestle top 'n fill (Dulce de Leche)

    Open caramel can and remove 1/3 of the caramel to a small bowl, set aside. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the milk, remaining 2/3 of the can of canned caramel & cream to the boil.  Remove from heat. 
    Using heat proof bowl in a stand mixer or a hand mixer beat the cream cheese, egg yolks & sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
    Gradually pour the milk mixture into the whipped mixture, make sure you keep mixing so the eggs don't end up scrambled. 
    Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stir constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon. 
    Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook.  At this point stir in the vanilla extract.  Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold.
    Transfer the cold custard to your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Whilst it is processing stir your reserved canned caramel until smooth. Once the ice-cream has churned fold/swirl reserved caramel. Store in a covered container in the freezer until ready to fill the sandwiches.
    White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies
    Makes 8 (10cm/4in) cookies for 4 large ice-cream sandwiches
    2 cookie trays lined with non-stick baking paper

    1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1 large egg, room temperature
    1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
    1 cup flour
    1/4 tsp bi-carb (baking soda)
    1/4 tsp salt
    heaped 1/4 cup of chopped white eating chocolate
    heaped 1/4 cup of chopped raw macadamia nuts
    Beat the butters & sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium until smooth, add egg & vanilla, beat until combined.
    In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda & salt.
    Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then mix in white chocolate & nuts.
    Pre-heat oven to 175c (350F). 
    Use an *ice-cream scoop to scoop 4 balls per tray, flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Chill the trays in freezer for 15 minutes.
    Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes, turning tray once during baking. Cool on cooling rack.
    Once cool, sandwich caramel cheesecake ice-cream between 2 cookies, repeat until all four sandwiches are complete. Wrap in plastic wrap & store in the freezer.
    *No ice-cream scoop or can't fit trays in your freezer?? 
    Alternatively you can after mixing in the nuts and chocolate form the dough into a disc, flatten, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Divide dough into 8 portions, roll into balls, place on trays, flatten slightly with the palm of your hand and proceed with baking in a pre-heated oven.
    cookie adapted from David Lebovitz The Perfect Scoop