back!

I’m baaaack!! Haha sooo I got lazy and also really tired at nights in Japan so sorry.. I didn’t blog at all!! Also I didn’t always have internet connection. ¬†Anyway, I figured I could just post the pictures later with nice descriptions and it would be the same… ūüėõ ¬†So.. hopefully I’ll post those soon!

Sadly I have to return to school in 4 days though.. boooo.  I will proceed to lounge on my couch watching TV until that time.

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 1:53 am  Comments (1)  

Christmas Cookie #4: Praline-filled Almond Cookies

IMG_1305 by you.

Soo I just realized that I hadn’t typed this recipe up yet, and I’m still trying to pack for my Japan trip!! ¬†Our flight is 7:45 am tomorrow morning….. meaning we have to leave our home at like 5:30! Ack. ¬†Therefore, for now, there will be no recipe… sumimasen! ¬†But, hopefully I will post it later after I get back. ¬†For now, know that these are actually “Student Biscuits” in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion cookbook. ¬†I made a smaller version of them, and instead of chocolate chip filling, I used my coffee hazelnut praline¬†cream I got from Paris.¬†

The cookie is a wonderfully moist and chewy… with lots of almond flavor to pair with the butter. ¬†Yum!!

IMG_1303 by you.

Oh yes…and as a heads up, I will try to post during my trip to Japan! ¬†Our itinerary is Tokyo, then Takayama, Osaka, Hakone, and back to Tokyo. ¬†Watch out for pictures of sights and more importantly…eats!

And one last Happy Holidays to all!

Published in: on December 25, 2008 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Cookie #3: Triple Chocolate Cashew Crisps

IMG_1337 by you.

Yayy Merry Christmas! ¬†I will attempt to finish up my cookie posts today…
This was the third cookie in my assortment. ¬†The cookie is actually pretty great, considering I usually like the thick and moist chocolate chip cookies. ¬†But, after I had City Bakery’s thin and chewy chocolate chip cookie in NY, I found a new light! ¬†These cookies aren’t “crisp” as in they will break in half if you bend them… but the outside is crisp and still pretty chewy when you bite into it. ¬†Buttery and delicious.

The only unfortunate thing about these cookies is that I realized how I don’t really like cashews in baked goods as much as I like other nuts… to be honest, I don’t even know why I had this half used bag of cashews in my house! ¬†I just found them in the freezer and wanted to use them up, so I found this recipe from Claudia Fleming’s “The Last Course.” ¬†Next time, I would probably make this with a different nut hehe… ¬†I also had white chocolate to use up, and thought they would go great with the cashews, so I turned her recipe into a triple chocolate one. ¬†Yum yum.

I actually at first tried to roll them into logs and cut slices like I usually like to do with other Christmas cookies… but alas, my rolls were too large in diameter and they spread like CRAZY… so I had to take my slices and divide them in half. ¬†It was a big mess. ¬†I’d say, just stick to rolling teaspoonfuls.

Recipes usually say they make way more cookies than they actually do… In this case, it says 10 dozen small cookies. ¬†I dunno if it ACTUALLY makes 10 dozen, b/c I didn’t count mine. ¬†But, I do know, that it made a heck of a lot of cookies!!! They didn’t seem to end…… Mainly b/c you have you shape them so small since they spread so much to make the thin chewy cookie. ¬†So just be prepared! ¬†You will be making lots and lots of cashew crisps.
IMG_1335 by you.

Triple Chocolate Cashew Crisps
Adapted from Claudia Fleming’s “The Last Course”
Makes about 10 dozen small cookies

2 1/2 cups toasted cashews
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 oz.) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
4 oz milk chocolate, chopped
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1. ¬†Preheat oven to 350¬ļF. ¬†Bake nuts until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  In a food processor, finely grind 1/2 cup of cashews with 1 tbsp flour.  Add ground nut mixture to remaining flour and mix in salt.  Corasely chop remaining 2 cups of nuts.

 3.  With an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and orange zest and beat well to combine.  Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

4.  In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 tsp walter.  Add mixture to butter mixture and beat to combine.  Add flour mixture in two batches, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Stir in chocolate and remaining cashews.  Refrigerate dough for a couple of hours or overnight.

5. ¬† Preheat oven to 325¬ļF. ¬†Form heaping teaspoons of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. ¬†Bake cookes until golden brown, about 15 min., rotating sheets halfway. ¬†Store in airtight container.

Published in: on December 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm  Comments (1)  

Christmas Cookie #2: Macadamia Brittle Cookies with Fleur de Sel

IMG_1331 by you.

So here’s cookie #2 in my assortment… And might I add, it is probably my favorite! I should probably leave it last to be posted, but I felt like it was just THAT good that it must be posted next!

What you do is cook sugar until it is nice and caramelized, toss in toasted macadamia nuts, and spread it out on a baking pan and let it cool. ¬†Then you take this wonderful macadamia brittle and grind it up in the food processor to become wonderful caramelized sugary bits in your cookie. ¬†Just beat butter, sugar, mix in flour and this nut mixture. ¬†Refrigerate, and shape. ¬†What I did for my cookies was roll it out and cut it with a knife into slices. ¬†With the leftover bits I formed them into oval shapes. ¬†I realized after I had done this though, that there was no salt in the recipe! Or vanilla! ¬†I was devastated… cookies with nuts and butter must have salt, at least! My macadamia nuts were salted, but tasting the dough (see, dough tasting really CAN be useful for quality control), it didn’t taste nearly salty enough. ¬†But that’s when I remembered what a great ingredient fleur de sel is! ¬†So, I whipped out my little container of fleur de sel that I got from King Arthur Flour, and sprinkled liberally all over the cookies. ¬†It worked perfectly!

I thought I overbaked one batch, but it actually tasted wonderful. ¬†So don’t be afraid to keep¬†baking until very golden brown to ensure maximum caramelization and flavor! ¬†

IMG_1323 by you.

After baking, I took leftover wafer chocolate that melts easily in a disposable decorator’s bag in the microwave, snipped off the tip, and drizzled liberally.

And that’s how you get one of the best buttery, thin, crisp, nutty, caramelized cookies ever!

IMG_1330 by you.


Macadamia Brittle Cookies with Fleur de Sel
Adapted from “Christmas Cookies from the Whimsical Bakehouse” by Kaye and Liv Hansen
Makes 6 to 7 dozen cookies

For the praline:
8 ounces (1 3/4 cups) macadamia nuts 
2/3 cup sugar

Line cooking sheet with parchment paper. Put aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On a sheet pan, toast macadamia nuts for 8 minutes or until fragrant. When the nuts are cool, coarsely chop them, and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, cook sugar over moderate heat. Shake the saucepan 2 or 3 times until the sugar melts, then cook without stirring until the sugar becomes dark caramel colored. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of the toasted macadamia nuts (reserve the remaining nuts). Pour the praline nut mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet and let cool completely.

For the cookie dough: 
Praline mixture 
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Fleur de sel, to sprinkle 

Break apart the praline into pieces and grind into a food processor. Add the remaining toasted macadamia nuts. Continue grinding until medium fine.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add flour and the praline mixture. Mix. Divide dough into two disks and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.

Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness, and cut into strips, or triangles, or whatever shapes you would like.  Sprinkle liberally with fleur de sel, and refrigerate to let the dough harden again.

Preheat oven to 325¬ļF, and place cookies an inch apart onto parchment lined cookie sheets. ¬†Bake for 8 minutes, or until very golden brown. Let the cookies cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt separately (by microwaving in plastic disposable decorator’s bag if possible):
1 cup cocoa wafer chocolate
1 cup white wafter chocolate

Snip ends off of bags, and drizzle the cookies with the chocolate. Refrigerate to set.  Store in airtight container.


IMG_1329-2 by you.

Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 5:34 pm  Comments (2)  

ahhhh! chocolate, to the rescue

I can feel the impending doom…
My MCATs are at 8am tomorrow.. eek!!

Fortunately, I have managed to find comfort and relief in chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut forms. My brother recently returned from San Francisco, where he visited Recchuiti per my request! Being the kind and chocolate-loving brother that he is, he brought back the Black box, a box of burnt caramel almonds, and a jar of Recchuiti burnt caramel sauce. YUM!! We are in the midst of devouring all these things, especially that burnt caramel sauce, which was served warm over rich, creamy Haagen Dazs vanilla ice-cream and topped with toasted crunchy almonds. And yes, it was wonderful.

PLUS, I made a cake for my brother (to be posted later!) and we’re also enjoying my jar of Fauchon’s coffee-hazelnut spreading cream I got when I was in Paris this spring.

Hmm, I guess it all seems slightly excessive now that I’m writing about it. I sorta feel like the often talked about little kid in the candy store…..except I’m a BIG kid, with a lot of expensive gourmet sweets. AND IT’S AWESOME!

In other news though, in efforts to NOT think about my MCATs and freak out unnecessarily, I really wanted to start volunteering and doing more things for the Obama campagin. After tomorrow, I won’t have to worry about studying anymore (well, until school starts……), so I’d love to start being more involved in the campaign efforts. So far, I’ve only gone around to try to register voters once, and I’m itching to get more involved… Does anybody have any good ideas or experiences with how to do this using baked goods?? I haven’t had enough experience with this, so I’m not really sure what is effective or what people are receptive to…but it’d be super cool (plus delicious) to incorporate baked goods into trying to get people to vote for Obama!

Anyway, hopefully I’ll post happy thoughts after my exam is done. Can’t wait…

Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blake Bakes

I forgot to post about this earlier… but I am a contributor on BlakeBakes.com, brought to you by the wonderful Blake of BlakeMakes.com. ¬†It’s really a lot of fun, so I hope you enjoy my two posts so far, and everyone else’s too! ūüôā

Emily Bakes: Mexican Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Emily Bakes: Grand Marnier Tofu Cheesecake

Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment