Ferrero Rocher Cookie

Happy year of the dog everybody!

Chinese New Year is the time when you visit your friends and relatives, very often those you only see during this time of the year, and got “interrogated” by them =.=.  Gift plays an important role in Chinese culture, so you never go empty-handed! If you pay attention to TV commercials enough, you may notice that many of the most popular gift items among Hong Kongers are, interestingly, not Chinese produces. Kjeldsens Cookies, Almond Roca, Sugus, Ferrero Rocher… just to name a few. Ferrero Rocher is particularly popular in Hong Kong for its golden package, a color Chinese people love for it symbolizes wealth.  I’m not a superstitious person, but I do like their creamy, nutella-like centres!

And…. Surprise, surprise! They are equally nice when made into cookies!!


Ingredients (yield 12 pieces):

  • 6 Ferrero Rochers  (freeze them before baking)
  • 1 cup (packed) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼  cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place the Ferrero Rochers in the freezer until firm, about an hour. Remove from freezer and hit with a hammer in a zip-loc bag a few times until they’re broken into chunky pieces. Put back in the freezer until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the full egg, then the vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add flour mixture in three parts, stirring until just combined after each addition.
  5. Stir in ½ the Ferrero Rocher pieces. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Place the remaining Ferrero Rocher into the tops of the cookies, pressing them into the dough slightly.
  6. Bake for around 10 minutes until edges are nicely browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

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Gingerbread men

Soft in the centers, crisp on the edges, perfectly spiced =) No holiday cookie platter would be complete without our beloved gingerbread men!


Ingredients (yield 12 pcs):

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add golden syrup, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
  3. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired.

 

Rosemary and Parmesan Cheese Cookie

A nice change from all the sweet cookies out there. Crumbly, cheesy, and delicious… An ideal nibble with a glass of dry white wine!


Ingredients:

  • 1¾ all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh Rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 250g butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 75ml heavy cream
  • Additional rosemary leaves and coarse salt for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Beat butter and lemon zest using an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add in the egg yolk and cream.
  2. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Cream together until well combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half.  Place each on a sheet of parchment paper, roll into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap logs tightly in the paper and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least two hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 160˚C.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Slice each log into 1/3-inch thick slices.  Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Garnish each cookie with rosemary leaf and a light sprinkling of course salt.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until just golden at the edges.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband, like many other men, was not a big fan of desserts. He’d always said to people that he didn’t have a sweet tooth, but a salt tooth. Given the choice between a decadent chocolate cake and a simple pack of potato chips, it would be the savory latter every time. But then he discovered something better than sweet, something better than salty, which was the two of them combined together – salted caramel. Everything has changed since then… From Pierre Hermes macarons to Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, he orders everything with salted caramel. The salt-sweet combo is somehow so surprising and compelling; two very opposite flavors, instead of overshadowing one and other, tingle away in conjunction…

It’s his birthday today so I’ve made him these salted caramel cookies to celebrate!

Dear C, you are the salt to my caramel, milk to my cookie, gin to my tonic… best to my friend and love of my life…Happy birthday! I can’t wait to grow old with you ❤


(Yield 2 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoons sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with hand mixer until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add in vanilla extract and egg, beat until incorporated, pour in caramel and beat until incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time.
  4. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Slowly add the sugary mixture to the dry ingredients.
  6. Add in chocolate chips. Stir until they are evenly mixed.
  7. Place dough in the refrigerator for an hour.
  8. Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat.
  9. Scoop dough into a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop and place the dough onto the prepared cooking sheet.
  10. Place about 2 inches apart. Flatten the dough balls slightly.
  11. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes, until edges are slightly golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then transfer to a cookie cooling rack.

 

Dark Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Biscotti

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie where the dough is formed into logs, baked, cooled slightly, and baked again in slices. The name biscotti is derived from ‘bis’ meaning twice in Italian and ‘cotto’ meaning baked or cooked. The Italians use the word “biscotti” to refer to any type of cookies, while in the English speaking world the term was used to describe this particular long, crisp, sophisticated looking cookie. The best biscotti is crunchy without breaking your teeth, crumbly without tasting sandy or dry. And when it is dipped into a steamy mug of coffee… aww…It just melts in your mouth!

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Ingredients (yields 1 dozen):

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts ( roughly chopped )
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of almond extract
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and almond extract.
  4. Sift the flour, soda and baking powder into a bowl, then add salt, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Fold into the egg mix to make dough.
  6. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a 25cm sausage shape with lightly floured hands, then transfer to baking sheet.
  7. Flatten to a 3cm thickness, bake for 30 mins until lightly browned on surface.
  8. Take the log out to a chopping board, reduce the oven to 160C.
  9. Cut the log into 1cm thick slices and return to the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 mins until crisp.
  10. Cool on a wire rack. Will keep in a tin for 3 weeks.

Sablés

Window-shopping in food halls is one of my favorite things to do in France. I have long fallen under the spell of French gâteaux that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Sugar or cream coated, they glistened in the window of patisseries with the sweet promise of delighting my tastebuds. During my stay in Roanne, a few streets over, was the Gautheron Bakery. They offered a wide range of French pastries- éclairs, proliferoles, saint honores, fraisiers, palmiers, fruit tarts, croissants… I had to limit myself to two per day during tea-time (mostly because I wanted to save some room for the cheese platter at dinner =P) It wasn’t until my fourth or fifth visit, did I notice this plain-looking cookie…

Sablés, also known as French shortbread, are classic French cookies originating in Normandy France. The name ‘Sablés’ is French for “sand”, which refers to the sandy texture of this delicate and crumbly cookie. With its crispy exterior and cakey, tender interior, unlike its counterparts in patisserie, it has got a more subtle sort of elegance.

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They were ridiculously easy to make and roll out; some of the easiest cookies I’ve made. These humble-looking treats are everything you’d want from a classic shortbread: crispy, crumbly, sweet, salty and sugary. They are delicious plain, but are also a blank canvas for experimentation, they can be sandwiched together with jam, chocolate ganache or our favorite Nutella!!!


Ingredients (yields 18 cookies):

  • 70 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 50 gram granulated sugar
  • Two eggs (room temperature) – reserve one for brushing the cookies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 130 grams all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes) by a mixer. Add half the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough a few times to bring it together, and divide the dough in half. Then roll each half between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it is about 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, smooth out any wrinkles.
  6. Place the dough on a baking sheet (along with the parchment paper) and place in the refrigerator until cold and firm (about 45 minutes).
  7. Once chilled, remove from refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Brush the tops of the cookies with the remaining egg. Make a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie with the tine of the fork.
  9. Bake the cookies for about 12 – 14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

 

Lemon and White Chocolate Cookies

Cookie lovers like me would probably agree that nothing makes lazy summer afternoons more pleasant than relaxing on the couch with a plate of cookies and iced tea. Such afternoon cookie breaks are the essence of easy summertime living, especially in the record-breaking heat wave.

Being a natural baker at heart, I’m often compelled to pull out my mixer, toss sugar and butter in the bowl, and mix up a batch of chocolate chip-speckled treats. In the summer, I replaced the dark chocolates with a more refreshing combo- lemon and white chocolate. I used lemon three ways: extract, zest, and juice to create a more robust lemon flavor while the spoonful of honey helps keep the cookies moist.

End any summertime meal deliciously with these lemony babies!

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lemon cookies 2


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white chocolate

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in honey, egg, lemon zest, extract and juice. Scrape sides and mix again.
3. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.
4. Add in the white chocolate chunks
5. Form approximately 12 equal-sized mounds of dough by hand or using ice-cream scoop, roll into balls, and flatten slightly.
6. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges have set, don’t overbake as cookies firm up as they cool.
8. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.


 

S’mores Cookies

While there are so many beautiful, elegant options of desserts out there—delicate macarons, bright and cheery cupcakes, fluffly soufflé that melts on your tongue —which all seem to fit perfectly with the current trend of attractive, over-the-top looking desserts.

Call me old-fashioned, I’m still a huge fan of the homiest, rustic looking cookies (those you secretly wished your mother had made when you returned home from school as a kid!). Most of the cookies I make fall into this category.

If you love that perfect combination of warm, melted chocolate and gooey, toasted marshmallows of s’mores, then I have the perfect cookie recipe for you… Make these S’mores Cookies tonight, no campfire required!

s'more cookies

s'more cookies


Serves 10-12 large pieces of cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • ¾ cup digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup marshmallow bits

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
3. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
4. Crush digestive biscuits by hands until they are fine crumbs.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the crumbs, sifted flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until it is combined.
7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
8. Form slightly larger than golf sized of dough.
9. Place balls of dough on baking sheet 2” apart. Bake for 8 minutes.
10. Remove and quickly press 3 marshmallows into cookies. Return to oven and cook until the marshmallows turn slightly golden, about 5 minutes.
11. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 min before transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.