Tag Archives: Cookies

Breadcrumb Cookies…Holiday Edition

I realize Christmas has come and gone, and I also realize (as of today!) King’s Hawaiian has had my recipe for Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Macadamia Nuts and Holiday Sprinkles posted on their blog for well over a week now, yet I haven’t blogged about it.  I wanted to share the recipe with you all, dear readers, but was waiting until it was posted on their blog.

How it escaped me that it had been posted, I’ll never know.  But, it’s all good!  I’m going to share now!

King's Hawaiian Breadcrumb Christmas Cookies!

King’s Hawaiian Breadcrumb Christmas Cookies!

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“Dorthy’s Cookies”… a.k.a Chocolate Crinkles

Although winter in Minnesota is usually quite harsh—piles of snow deeper than I am tall, and temperatures that would make even an Eskimo cringe— this particular winter has been anything but normal. Its the end of December and it is nearly 40 degrees outside…at 10 pm! I’m not complaining…no sir-ree…in fact, I wish every winter was as mild!
Not everyone agrees with me, though.  Most people that live in Minnesota look forward to the snow and the cold, and all the “joys” that winter brings. Snowmobiles, snowshoes, skis and snowboards… all useless. But, with the absence of snow, it seems there is also an absence of Christmas Spirit.

Christmas is only a few days past, and already businesses have taken down their lights, trees are no longer shining, and parents are wishing the holidays would fly by so they could send their kids back to school.
I suppose I also associate snow with Christmas. A part of me wished for a white Christmas (although, a very small part). And that same part of me was (maybe) disappointed when it didn’t turn out that way.  Christmas just isn’t Christmas unless it’s white outside.  It’s also not Christmas without Dorthy’s Cookies.

Dorthy's Cookies

You see, Dorthy was a little, old lady—one of my grandma’s friends.  She had one of the kindest hearts, an amazing love for her family, and an incredible talent for baking.  Dorthy was always baking something for someone, and she was famous for her chocolate cookies.  My mom told me she called them macaroons (which they weren’t), but I don’t remember that.  For as long as I can remember, my family always just called them “Dorthy’s cookies”, and they were a hot commodity.  She would pass them around at church and often give pails of them out as gifts.  I remember one of the last times I saw Dorthy, she was attending my cousin’s wedding.  She wasn’t in good health but she had a smile on her face and lots to say (Dorthy also had the gift of gab).  Earlier in the morning the little kids at church had celebrated their First Communion and she told me she had baked 12 pails of cookies so each kid could have one.  That’s just how Dorthy was.  She loved everyone and showed that love with cookies—fudgy, chocolate cookies, rolled in powdered sugar…to be specific!

Every year, Dorthy’s cookies made an appearance on my family’s cookie tray.  And every year, they were scarfed down as soon as they were set out.  That is, until Dorthy passed away.  Once she was gone, so were the cookies.  My family had the recipe, and apparently my aunts tried to make them…but they never turned out the same.  Then, one year I asked mom for the recipe.  It was scribbled down on a dirty little note card.  The directions were very vague and the ingredients were smudged.  No wonder they never turned out!  I tried finding them online, but had no luck.  Then, one day, around Christmastime 2009, I was using “stumbleupon”…and as I clicked the button, Dorthy must have been smiling down on me.  There were her cookies!  They were called Chocolate Crinkle cookies and apparently were actually Betty’s cookies (Betty Crocker).

I was so excited.  I called mom and told her I’d be making Dorthy’s cookies for Christmas. That night I mixed the batter together and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  The next day I baked them…and they were perfect!  Christmas was complete!

It’s funny how a cookie can mean so much to a family, but it’s true.  They really do.  And this year was no different.  In fact, a couple weeks ago, as I was mixing up the dough (a double batch) my sister stopped over.  When she saw the dough being mixed, her eyes got huge!  She begged me to bake a pan early, so she could have a couple.  One pan turned to two pans, and then my brother stopped over…and they were gone as soon as I took them out of the oven.

These cookies are definitely something special…

Aside from putting the cookies on the cookie plate this year, I also included a package of them in the gift baskets I made for my family.  I even got my niece involved, and she helped roll them in the sugar.

We celebrate together on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas day I recieved a text message from my brother that said:  “I ate all of the cookies you made by myself.  Please make me more.”  …and that makes me smile.  I’m sure Dorthy would be happy too!

Find Dorthy’s recipe HERE.

Macarons for My Husband

I love macarons!  I’m not talking about those coconut things people always make for Christmas either. Those are Macaroons, and they are okay, sure, but they don’t even hold a candle to the French Macaron!  The french macaron is a dainty, chewy little piece of heaven.  After one bite your life will be changed.  You will never want another cookie again!  You think I’m kidding, I’m sure, but I most definitely would not kid about Macarons!  They are my favorite cookie because they taste so yummy but also because they are a pain the ass to make.  Is that weird?  I don’t know.  I love the challenge.

So often when you make macarons something goes wrong.  The tops crack and they look weird with no feet or the shells get a funny bump on the top of them.  The shells might look grainy or maybe the cookie isn’t as chewy as it should be. I’ve tried so many ways to make macarons and I think I have finally found what works for me.  I really liked BraveTart’s recipe.  It works for me and even allows me to throw in extra ingredients too.  I often forget to add the salt (oops) but I haven’t noticed that it affects the taste or the success of the macaron.

The Recipe: (adapted from BraveTart)

4 ounces (115g) blanched almonds or almond flour, or whatever nut you like
8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
5 ounces egg whites (144g), temperature and age not important*!
2 1/2 ounce (72g) sugar
the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2g) salt

*I find that using egg whites that are a couple days old and brought to room-temperature give me the most consistent results.  I’ve used fresh whites that were still chilled before too.  Sometimes they work great, most of the time my shells crack.   I also noticed that after I pipe the macarons,

letting them sit for about an hour really helps to prevent cracking.  The meringue gets a little dry and this helps the macaron keep its beautiful smooth top (and bottom).

I bake them at 300 degrees and hope for the best.  Usually I sit by the oven watching them for the first minute.  I can usually tell if they’ll crack or grow little feet by then.  This is what you want to see:

See how the shell is rising? There is a little fluffy part at the bottom? That fluffy part is what you want, it's called the "feet"

So the other day Piyush told me that he wanted some macarons.  We made a deal.  If he cleaned the cat litter box, I would make him any flavor macarons he wanted.  He loves chocolate ganache so he chose for me to make him chocolate macarons with dark chocolate espresso ganache.  They were delicious but the coffee flavor was way too strong for me.

I made the basic macaron recipe and added a couple spoonfuls of cocoa powder to the almond flour.  I didn’t add any food coloring to the shells because I figured the cocoa would give it a decent tint—and I was out of brown food coloring.  I made the ganache by melting chocolate with some espresso and heavy cream on a double boiler.

They didn’t turn out as smooth and pretty as I would like but right in the middle of mixing everything up I got some phone calls and had to figure out our home insurance stuff, so the macarons were neglected when they needed me the most.

Gosh, owning a home is a lot of work and it’s confusing too.  We changed insurance companies and whoever I spoke with at the mortgage company last month gave me the wrong department and fax number to have the new binder sent to.  We called a few times to verify everything was received and  that our new insurance company was on file and we were assured it was all correct.  WRONG! Although they received the binder and had it on file, the department that needed it never received it so our previous insurance company was paid a tremendous amount of money for a policy that didn’t even exist anymore.  We had to get the refund and figure everything out.  Annoying!  It’s fixed now and I’m glad that we realized what happened before we leave the country next month!

Piyush, happy to be eating Macarons after work!

Oh, the other thing about Macarons… even if the shell cracks and they don’t look as pretty as you’d like, they still taste better than anything you’ve ever tasted!