cookies

Malted Shortbread

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It’s been awhile since I posted here, 2020 has a been a weird year and let’s leave it at that and move onto happier things like cookies!

These shortbread cookies are infused with mated milk powder giving them more depth than just butter flavor. The only downfall in finding the right balance of the amount of malt powder is that the they can end up just a bit sticky on your teeth if you don’t bake them long enough. Keep an eye on them as they bake, but make sure their edges get some golden brown color before removing them from the oven. I dip mine in chocolate to finish them off, it’s not necessary but who’d say no to a little chocolate.

 









Malted Shortbread


Ingredients

  • 3/4 c butter, room temp
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ c malted milk powder
  • 1 1/2 c flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy, add the egg yolk and beat smooth. Add in the vanilla and dry ingredients, mix slowly until fully incorporated.
  3. Shape the dough into a long log, I use wet hands for this, wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Once the dough is chilled slice the dough into 1/3 inch coins and arrange on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

The post Malted Shortbread first appeared on Seasoned At Sea.

Almond Biscotti with Fennel and Orange

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52 weeks of baking – The Renaissance

Biscotti are really hard cookie that have to be dipped in coffee to be edible, that’s true, but more traditionally they were dipped in a sweet wine. I made these biscotti to go with a beet port that my husband made, I used a favorite beet salad as inspiration to find my flavor combination. One of my favorite beet salads is slices of roasted beets shingled on a platter with orange slices, dressed with a vinaigrette and sprinkled with fennel fronds and toasted nuts. If all those flavors go well with beets why not make a cookie to go with a beet port.

These cookies come together very quickly, mix the ingredients, shape into a loaf and bake, the only time consuming part is that they are baked twice. After the initial bake you slice them and then bake them again, half way through the baking time you flip the slices over to ensure even color and crispness. I don’t recommend eating them on their own because they are very hard, they have to be dipped in something, hot chocolate or coffee are good options, but if you have a sweet dessert wine or best of all port or madeira they really are the perfect thing to finish off your meal.

 












Almond Biscotti with Fennel and Orange


Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ c flour
  • 1 c sliced almonds, toasted
  • ½ c sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. sanding sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F and grease a baking tray.
  2. In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together, add in the wet, use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together, if it’s a little dry add a splash of water.
  3. Using wet hands shape the dough into a flattened oblong loaf shape.
  4. Bake at 325F for 25 minutes, just so it starts to pick up color.
  5. Remove the biscotti from the oven, brush it with milk and sprinkle on the sanding sugar, bake an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes, using a serrated knife cut long slices of biscotti, lay them back on the tray cut sides down.
  7. Bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes filling the pieces over half way through the cooking time. The biscotti are done when both sides are golden brown and dry to the touch.

Banana Coconut Macaroons

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52 weeks of cooking – Oceania

These small cookies will take you away in one bite to a tropical island. Comprised mostly of coconut with a taste of banana and a hint of pandan these make me remember the humid heat of my early days in Singapore. With only 6 ingredients, or 7 if you choose to use the pandan extract, they come together in the blink of an eye, it’s just a matter of doing a little clean up while they bake. Their outsides are chewy with crisp brown edges while the centers are soft and a little creamy from the banana.

 








Banana Coconut Macaroons


Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 3 egg whites, about 6 tablespoons
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c flour
  • 16 oz sweetened shredded coconut
  • optional: 1/8 tsp pandan extract for half the batch of dough

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and grease 2 sheet pans.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mash the banana with the back of a fork, add the egg whites, sugar and salt, stir until the mixture is relatively smooth.
  3. Add the flour and shredded coconut, beat together until the mixture is homogenized. If using the pandan extract scoop out half of the dough into another bowl, add the extract and beat till fully incorporated.
  4. Using a disher that measures about 2 tablespoons, scoop the coconut dough onto the greased sheet pans about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes, the bottoms will darken first so rotate the pans half way through their cooking time. If the tops do not have enough brown color you can broil them for a moment, but keep a close eye on them.

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Cookies

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52 weeks of baking – Dietary Restrictions

While working on Class Afloat I had a cook’s mate, my dedicated helper. Over the years I worked with a few different girls, each had a different skill level from basic food knowledge to culinary graduate. They helped me with everything in the galley, but what I enjoyed about them the most was being able to bounce ideas off of them and to learn about their perspective on food. Each one of them brought some of their favorite recipes, a few of those have now become my favorites as well.

This recipe came from Bronwyn, she got the recipe from a girl at her previous job who later was one of my other cook’s mates. They are packed with cocoa powder, delivering a good helping of rich chocolate flavor with a hint of cinnamon and a bit of cayenne to add some spicy warmth to the finish. The first time we made them together we made them a little spicier than we had intended, but they are great with more heat. If you are a spice lover bump up the cayenne to ¾ of a teaspoon, more than that and they become unbalanced. Besides the amazing flavor these cookies have a great texture, really crispy crunchy on the edges and if you don’t over bake them then their centers are still a little soft and chewy.

Bonus! These cookies are vegan and are loved by everyone. If you don’t have non dairy milk around and you’re not a vegan just use regular milk and they turn out just the same.

 







Vegan Mexican Chocolate Cookies


Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. non dairy milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Cookie coating

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two baking sheets.
    2. Mix together all of the ingredients for the cookies. If the dough is crumbly add a little more milk, you want the dough to come together, but not be wet and sticky.
    3. In a shallow dish mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the cookie coating.
    4. Scoop the cookies and roll them in the sugar, flatten them to about a ½ inch thick and place them on the cookie sheet about 1 inches apart.
    5. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes, if you bake them any long than this when they cool they will be very hard and crispy. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

    Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cookie Milk Cocktail

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    52 weeks of baking – Drink Pairings

    Most of the time when I make myself a cocktail I just mix up whatever I have on hand, more often than not it turns out a bit odd. I fiddle with it to try and fix it, sometimes it improved greatly other times it’s more tolerable. There are those rare occasion that I know what I’m looking for, what flavors I desire and it comes out perfect the first time around. This is one of those occasions, I wanted a little evening tipple to compliment my cookies and you can’t have cookies without milk so that was easy to know what my mixer was going to be. This milk based cocktail has baileys that adds a bit of chocolatey flavor and amaretto for some sweet nuttiness that pairs well with a variety of cookies but especially something with chocolate chips.

    Chocolate and caramel are a match made in heaven, there are a lot of great recipes for caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies, but I hate those store bought caramels. They are hard and never a dark enough flavor for me, that’s why I think it’s better to add a real caramel sauce right into the cookie dough. Overall if you were wolfing these cookies down you might not notice the caramel flavor, but it’s there in more than just taste it has a lot of mouth aroma. You know what I mean, that first hot bite of something you are also taking in a breath of air and there is another flavor that hits you at the back of the throat before you start chewing. That’s where the caramel is. Also a heavy pinch of finishing to garnish the cookies before baking really brings out the caramel.

    This milky cocktail and caramel chocolate cookie are a great match, a glass of fancied up cold milk with soft flavors and a warm rich cookie with a balanced punch of salt. The texture of this cookie adds another element to this combination, the edges have a delicate crisp while the lower sugar content makes the center softer and calls out to be dunked.

     










    Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cookie Milk Cocktail


    Ingredients

    Caramel Sauce

    • 1/2 c sugar
    • 2 tbsp. water
    • 1/4 c heavy cream
    • 1 tsp. butter
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

    Cookies

    • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 c brown sugar
    • 1 c white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 c caramel sauce, cooled
    • 4 c flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 c chocolate chips
    • finishing salt for garnish

    Cookie Milk Cocktail

    • ice
    • 4 fl oz (1/2 c) milk
    • 1 fl oz (2 T) Baileys
    • 1 fl oz (2 T) Amaretto

    Directions

    Caramel sauce

    1. In a small sauce pan add the sugar and water, heat on medium high, do not stir. Keep a close eye on the sugar, once it has dissolved you can swirl it now and again to even out the color. You are looking for a deep amber, once it has reached the desired color take it off the heat and add the heavy cream.
    2. Stir the mixture until it becomes smooth, if it’s not smoothing out, but it back on low heat to dissolve the caramel lumps, stir in the butter, salt and vanilla. Set aside and let cool.

    Cookies

    1. In a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the caramel sauce.
    2. Incorporate the dry ingredients and chill the dough for 1 hour.
    3. Preheat the oven to 375F.
    4. Scoop the dough onto a greased tray placing about 2 inches apart, flatten and garnish with salt. Bake for 13 minutes at 375F until the edges are golden brown.

    Cookie Milk Cocktail

    1. In a short class filled with ice pour over the milk, baileys and amaretto, stir and garnish with a cookie.

    Scouts Sell Cookies Outside Dispensary

    EUGENE, Ore. – A couple of Eugene Girl Scouts set up a cookie-selling table outside a Eugene medical marijuana dispensary Friday night.

    The owner of the Oregon Microgrowers Guild, Debra Grosella, says it was a dream come true when the mom of of those two Girl Scouts called to ask if they could work together. A life-long Girl Scout herself, Grosella says it was the confidence she gained while in Girl Scouts that helped her open this dispensary in the first place.

    “I got the phone call the other day and I got teary; I just got so excited,” said Grosella. “I just love Girl Scouts and I feel like I am who am because of Girl Scouts.”

    She said Girls Scouts helped give her the confidence to open the Oregon Microgrowers Guild, so when a local mom called her, asking if her girls could sell cookies outside her dispensary, she jumped at the chance.

    “I saw this happened in San Francisco last year, and I got really excited because I was like, ‘I have a dispensary I hope they call me!’” said Grosella.

    The Girl Scouts of Oregon says they don’t have a list of prohibited selling locations, they leave it up to parents and guardians. The two Girl Scouts selling outside the dispensary said their parents are teaching them to treat all customers equally.

    “We’re trying to show people that we’re just trying to make a difference and that all people are welcome,” said Aurora Ray.

    Eleven-year-old Aurora and 9-year-old Eden say they love everything about selling Girl Scout cookies, no matter where they are.

    “Every place is the same!” said Aurora.

    “We want them to learn to think outside of the box, because sometimes some of the best ideas come from there, and you just gotta go with it, even if it sparks social change,” said the girls’ mom.

    Grosella says she’s hoping this event highlights how medical marijuana dispensaries are working with the community to strengthen bonds. She’s even donating some of Friday night’s proceeds to the Girl Scouts.

    “We just want to give back to our community in some way, and this seems like a good start,” said Grosella.

    The Girls Scouts of Oregon says the whole purpose behind selling Girl Scout cookies is to help girls learn things like goal setting, money management, people skills, and business ethics. They said they believe Scouts learn those things wherever they’re selling their cookies.

    Girl Scouts Ready to Deliver Cookies

    SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Get your sweet tooth ready. Local Girl Scout troops delivered cookies Tuesday.

    In Springfield, 17 local troops sorted through 30,000 boxes of cookies, getting them ready for their eager recipients.

    And there were a lot of orders this year. The Girl Scouts say their local sales were up 47 percent from last year.

    “I just think more girls are getting out there and more people are seeing how it’s helping troops. It’s really helping girls with business and leadership skills and money skills, and I think they’re just excited to get out there and sell,” said Mandi Bloomer, Program Manager.

    Among the most popular cookies locally are Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tag-A-Longs.

    Snow Have You Stranded? Make Cookies

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    I was excited for the weekend and all the fun things that go with it!  A chance of snow they said… I woke up on Friday morning, barely awake as I stumbled to my kitchen, one eye opened and headed for the coffee pot when the one eye that was awake noticed something out of the ordinary.  Everything was white!

    First Snow of The Season
    First Snow of The Season

    Much to my amazement, my other eye shot open and now there was excitement in the air.  I was wide awake all of a sudden!  No coffee required at this point.  I ran to the window like a little kid on Christmas morning and looked in wonder at the trees and road and driveway that were covered in a white fluffy substance called snow.

    The beauty that comes with snow is astounding.  The once drab gray colors of winter become cheerful, people become happier, especially the children, hoping for a “snow day”.  The white fluffy stuff has the ability to cushion things, to soften things up and to quiet them.

    I made my coffee and sat on my couch as I waited in silence as it perked, the ticking of the clock the only other sound on this beautiful Friday morning.  Once my coffee was done, I filled my cup and grabbed my cat Saphira.  Her and I watched in wonder as the snowflakes carpeted our front yard.

    I thought I would see what everyone was doing so I jumped on Facebook and it was lit up like a christmas tree!  People were posting photographs of their neighborhoods.  You could hear joy in their typed words.  The flakes started to get bigger and fluffier as time went by. I could hear the children playing in the streets, excitement in their youthful voices because yes; the school districts had canceled school for the first time this year and they were free for the day!  Oh, to be a child again with no worries at all.

    First Snow of The Season
    First Snow of The Season

    The snow kept accumulating and before long people were slowly coming down from their happiness.  They began to wonder if it was going to stop, this white fluffy stuff falling from the sky that was blanketing all that it landed upon.

    The beauty of the fluffy white stuff lasts for a very limited time until the people decide they want it to stop.  They can’t help themselves because their lives are changing with each snowflake that hits the ground.  People forget the roads are slippery or are in too big of a hurry to slow down, put chains on or simply stay home.

    I chose the latter.  I am not going to try to kid anyone.  I do not drive in the snow.  I am from Alaska (I know, right.  I should know how to do this).  But I don’t.  I think it is in everyones best interest if I stay off the roads when they are white.  I really have no problem with it to be honest.  My cupboards are full (kind of) my freezer is stocked (if I could only remember to take something out) and my heat bill is paid for the month so it’s okay if I am home for a few days.  No problem.

    I had to make a trip to the post office (thank goodness it is only a mile away) so I bundled up, packages and camera in tow and headed out my front door on foot.  The sun was out, the sky was blue and life was good.  I didn’t check the outside temp prior to heading out but how much damage could be done in a mile?  I had a lovely walk until I had to come back.  I had to walk into the wind and by the time I got home I couldn’t feel my face or legs!  Turns out it was only 25 degrees out (without factoring in the wind chill).

    I do wish I had a fireplace, my world would be nearly perfect but the forced air will suffice until this winter wonderland  goes away.  I snuggled down into my bed Friday evening, happy as a clam and in the morning was even more surprised at how much snow had fallen during the night.

    Weather Map Photo Courtesy of The Weather Channel
    Weather Map Photo Courtesy of The Weather Channel

    I checked the temperature and had to rub my eyes and look again, surely I was mistaken…  -6 degrees it read~!  Holy cow… My first instinct was to hop online and see for sure.  As it turns out, my phone was right! (My phone!  Ha!  Who would have ever thought my phone would be able to tell me the temperature?  Now if it could just get it to make my coffee).

    I make gloves and sell them around the world and the orders have been coming in like crazy from the East coast!  Black and purple are the most popular color this year and I am out!  I’m stranded and can’t make it to the store right now.  So what’s a girl to do?

    When all else fails, make cookies!  I searched the web for my favorite cookie recipe.  Shortbread! I found a few recipes but when one sticks out, you just gotta do it, right?   So I pulled out two sticks of butter and kept an eye on them while they came to room temperature, testing them every once in a while to see if they had softened up.  I can tell you its like a watch pot never boils kind of a thing so you are better off to go make a snowman and just let it be for a bit.

    I was making cookies at 9 p.m. Saturday night.  Yeah, I know… cookies, late night… total carb city but you know what?  It’s in our nature to put weight on during the winter months (it really is a fact) so I threw caution to the wind and made them.  I wanted to share the recipe with you because it’s only three ingredients and they rock!

    2 Sticks of butter

    1/2 C. sugar

    2.5 C. flour

    Mix butter and sugar together (I swore after this batch I am investing in a hand mixer!)  Once the two are incorporated well, add 1/2 cup of flour at a time (especially if you are doing this by hand.  I will warn you now, you will get tired and wonder if it is worth it and it is) until well blended and all flour has been used.

    *Dough may get a little stiff during mixing.  It may be easier to mix by rolling up your sleeves and digging in!  You will be tempted to bite the ingredients off your fingers and that’s okay because you can and it’s yummy.

    Make 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and indent with (shhhh…) your finger.  Place into the refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes to chill (I read somewhere that this is the secret to flakey layers).  Just before placing in oven, put a little bit of your favorite jam (I used my homemade blackberry jam) into the divot you created with your finger.

    ** No need to stick your finger in the cookie if you don’t want to fill it.  (I really didn’t care for it to be honest so I only made one batch with jam).

    Bake at 300 for about 25 minutes.  You can adjust cooking time according to your oven.  Yields about 4 dozen cookies.

    Note:  Cool cookies completely before eating if you decide to fill the cookie as the jam will be extremely hot!

    Shortbread Cookies
    When all Else Fails Make Shortbread Cookies

    Cookies may be frozen up to a week.  I ended up tossing them in the freezer to get them away from me.  I lose all self control when it comes to shortbread.  These cookies are simple and delicious! Enjoy.

    Needless to say, I didn’t make it to town for some fun things to do in Eugene this week due to the snow, but that’s okay.  I found an awesome recipe to share and had some bonding time with my cat.

    While at the post office today (I checked the temperature (25 again) bundled up and wore not only my gloves that I make but my neck warmer too and I was as snug as a bug) I heard someone say it may snow tonight or we may have freezing rain.  I spoke with a woman who was visiting from Ohio.  She said she was excited to come to Oregon to get away from this kind of weather!  I assured her this was not typical, poor thing.  I don’t know, but I am ready for this craziness to be over.  How about you?

    Hope to see you out there once the roads clear.  Be safe and take extra care when driving.