Tag Archives: cookies

january-february: kerri’s (ovenly’s secretly vegan) chocolate chip cookies

When I saw this recipe a few months ago, it sparked my interest because it claimed that you would never know they were vegan. No butter in a cookie? Really? No eggs? Really?

But it wasn’t just that. Six out of nine of my nieces and nephews have / have had food allergies. So this theme is close to my heart. For the past 17 years, our family get togethers changed from let’s-cook-whatever-we-want to still-yummy-but-much-more-considered meals, and especially desserts, of which I’m usually in charge. One of my nieces is anaphylactic to nuts. That means contact with nuts could be life threatening for her. So I’ve learnt to be very careful when I know I’m going to see her, and especially if I’m baking. I’ve tried a few different recipes over these years, and there was always something about them that wasn’t quite perfect.

But when I found, tried and tested this recipe, I knew it was a winner, on all counts. As well as being friendly for people with dairy, egg and nut allergies, it is also one of the quickest, simplest recipes I {now} have in my go-to collection… and yes, it’s one of the yummiest choc chip cookies I have ever had.

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No mixer needed, just a whisk, 2 bowls and a spatula for mixing. Flour, rising agents, salt and choc chips in one bowl. Sugars, oil and water in the other. Mix together. As simple as that.

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The time {but no effort} consuming part of this recipe is resting the mixture for 12-24 hours. So you do need to think ahead if you want these for a particular day.

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An optional step is to freeze the dough for around 10 minutes after portioning to help them retain their shape. I’ve not tried baking them without this step {because I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I like them to look uniform} but go ahead if you don’t want to wait, and let me know how they turn out!

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I’ve made them on a few occasions now, and undoubtedly they get the most compliments than any other cookie I’ve baked. And no one really believes me when I tell them they’re vegan. They all give me the same incredulous look until they realise I’m not lying, and then they just have another one… and another… and another.

You can find the recipe here.

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September – October : Constance’s Compost Cookies

When I think of comfort food, freshly baked, gooey cookies always comes to mind. Christine Tosi of NYC Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies is one that ranks in all kinds of cookie awesomeness, well, because its the kitchen sink of cookies. We are talking about a hot mess of oats, potato chips, pretzels, butterscotch chips, coffee, graham bits with your standard cookie mixture.

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As with most Milk Bar recipes – the mixture requires a 10 minute creaming process. For best results, use a stand alone processor.

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Comfort food? You can pretty much add what your little heart desires – hence the name, compost cookies. This little cookie is magical, you will not look at a cookie the same again.

Recipe can be found here or from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

april: lisa’s anzac cookies

I’ve been getting the feeling that I’m into cookies recently. I feel I should apologise since the last couple of posts from me have been for cookies, but they are just so convenient and easy to transport! I haven’t been having many brunch, lunch or dinner parties of late, so I haven’t really had the need to create an actual dessert dessert. But cookies can be eaten anytime, anywhere, as a snack or a filler.

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With ANZAC day coming up this Friday, I thought it would be a great time to whip up some Anzac cookies. For those of you who may have not heard of them before, the story goes that the biscuits were made by wives and sent to Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the war. Eggs were not used due to scarcity and also so that the biscuits would not spoil easily.

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The recipe is very kid friendly, and I remember making these often while growing up at home. The traditional recipe uses golden syrup instead of maple syrup, but I’ve found that using maple syrup gives the cookies a slightly different texture – less chewy, a little more crispy, and less sweet. Combined with the health benefits of maple syrup, and ingredients such as rolled oats, you could almost convince yourself that these cookies are healthy!

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Enjoy! And lest we forget.

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december: anna’s pistachio and tart cherry shortbread

Pistachio Tart Cherry Christmas ShortbreadDried tart cherries are a new favorite thing of mine! Unlike most dried fruit, which I find much to sweet, dried tart cherries, as the name implies, are slightly tart! They go really well in sweet treats and add a different dimension of flavor. You can use them in any recipe that calls for dried cranberries.

Shortbread is great for the holiday season! It makes a really nice homemade gift and is a must have for a cookie swap party! This particular shortbread, with green pistachios and red dried cherries, are very festive! You could drizzle or dip the cookies in chocolate to make them extra special.

This shortbread is really quick and easy to make. It takes about 10 minutes to mix the dough together and press it into shape. You can also make the dough in advance and bake the cookies just before you want to serve them. They tend to retain their freshness for a while, so are ideal for gifts.

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I found that using bread flour in this recipe instead of all purpose flour gave the shortbread a crispier texture, which is the way I like it. If you prefer softer shortbread, all purpose flour is the way to go. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but I think that these would also be great dipped in hot chocolate or egg nog!

Happy Holidays to all our readers! See you in the New Year!

Pistachio Tart Cherry Shortbread

Find the recipe here

september: lisa’s mooncake biscuits

It’s that time of year again – mid-Autumn festival time, aka mooncake festival! I always get excited when I walk into an Asian grocery store and see boxes and boxes of mooncakes for sale. Mmmm, I don’t mind admitting that I love mooncake. Not the new, fancy flavour mooncakes, just the traditional lotus paste mooncakes, either plain or with 1 egg. And please, no nuts, not added flavourings or variations.

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Image credit – Swinging By (http://swingingby.blogspot.com.au)

I can’t remember a year without at least tasting some mooncake, but what I also remember as a kid, was the little mooncake biscuits that my parents used to get us. Perhaps when I was younger, I didn’t like the lotus paste, but I know that I loved the mooncake biscuits. They used to come in colourful little plastic baskets that we could carry around like handbags.

When mooncake festival time comes around, and I’m walking through the stalls and stalls of mooncake sellers in Chinatown, I’m always on the lookout for these old school mooncake biscuits. I’ve searched high and low for them, and am always disappointed not to find them. There are pig shaped ones with bean paste inside, but no plain ones at all.

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So this year, I decided to make my own. Basically it’s just the dough leftover from making mooncakes, baked into a cookie shape. From memory, I recall fish shapes, but as I didn’t have an actual mooncake biscuit mould, I just used regular cookie cutters. I was given these cute Hello Kitty cutters a little while ago, so this was the perfect time to use them.

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As I was researching, all recipies I found listed an ingredient called “lye” water. It is an alkaline water solution used to cure and tenderise foods. Another use is in making preserved “1000 year old” eggs. I’d never heard of it, and again, searched many different Asian grocery stores both near my house and in Chinatown in the city, and was not able to find it anywhere. The purpose of using it seemed to be neutralise the acid in the golden syrup, give the biscuits their golden brown colour, and to give the biscuits a little rise and fluffiness. So in the end, I made a substitute using baking soda and water. They still turned out ok – I was happy with the colour and taste, so am satisfied that this was a reasonable substitute.

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When rolling out the dough, I found rolling onto plastic film made it really easy to peel the biscuits off the table and place onto the baking tray. As the dough is very soft and pliable, trying to scrape them off the table would ruin the shape. Of course, if you had a traditional mould, you could tap on the edge of the table straight onto your hand or onto the baking tray straight away.

I made these for a family brunch and they were enjoyed by young and old alike. The recipe is super easy, and bake in no time at all. For best results, bake at least a day in advance. They should not be stale, but eating on the day they are baked will have a slightly more crunchier texture than traditional mooncake biscuits have. Enjoy!

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july: jasmine’s cranberry oatmeal cookies

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This month I finally tried a cookie recipe that I had clipped from a magazine a while back. Fruit in cookies might sound a bit unusual, but some of the best cookies I have ever had are fruit inspired: oatmeal raisin, sticky date cookies…just to name a few.

When I was growing up, one of my favourite dining spots was Fuddruckers and I still remember the cookie and sundae bar they had inside the restaurant. Fuddruckers is an American hamburger restaurant chain. I haven’t been to one since I was about 12. (The one in my hometown in Canada closed down). Anyways, the kids’ meal included a hamburger, drink and a cookie voucher (which looked like a Vegas slot machine coin), which was redeemed for a cookie at the cookie counter. I remember finishing my burger really quickly and rushing up to the cookie counter to redeem my  voucher. There were quite a few cookie selections, but my favourite was the fresh, melt-in-your mouth oatmeal raisin cookie. Actually, I still find oatmeal raisin cookies irresistible. :)

This cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe comes close to the oatmeal raisin cookies I remember from my youth. They are just as addictive and are soft and chewy. The dried cranberries are a touch sour, but balances the sweetness of the cookie. And oats in the recipe means that they are healthy? ;p

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I made these cookies on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It took about 15 minutes to make the cookie dough and each tray (2 trays) took c.20 minutes to bake. I ate 6 with a cup of tea while flipping through a magazine that afternoon. I meant to freeze a dozen of them because the recipe makes about 20, but I finished all of them in 3 days….on my own :(