Melted Snowman


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Snow… I wish we had snow here in Spartanburg. It would be fun;-). I am not asking for a lot, just a day or two to see the snow fall, and to be able to make a snowman… it is so magical and it makes such good memories.

Well, today, in spite of snow, I made a snowman in my kitchen. I found the idea of Better Homes and Garden Websites.

Ingredients for 14 Melted Snowmen cookies:

Ingredients for the chocolate cookies:

  • 3/4lb of bittersweet chocolate chips,
  • 1/2 stick of butter,
  • 3 large eggs,
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar,
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract,
  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour,
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans ( optional- I substituted with mixed chocolate chips instead.)
  1. Turn your oven to 350.
  2. In a microwave-proof bowl, place the chocolate and the butter and cook for 2 minutes on high. Let it cool.
  3. In a mixer, place the eggs and the sugar and beat on high until the eggs turn pale yellow, and become fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla to the chocolate mixture and pour into the egg mixture. Stir.
  5. Add the flour, the baking powder, the salt and the nuts ( if you are using any) and mix well. Let it rest for 5 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Scoop the batter into 2 inches rounds onto a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. Space them out every inches.
  7. Cook for 6 minutes. The cookies should have cracked, but make sure that the crack is not wet when touching with your fingers for doneness. Let cool on rack. When the cookies are cold, follow the steps below to make the melted snowmen.

If you are running out of time, you may use the Dark Chocolate Chip refrigerated Cookie from Pillsbury. If you do, cook them according to directions. 

If you are using the demarle cookware and a silpat, cook for 15 minutes. 

Ingredients for 14 Melted Snowmen Cookies:

  • 1 recipe of the brownie chocolate chip cookies ( above)
  • 1/2 of a vanilla almond bark.
  • 14 mini reeese cups
  • 14 regular sized reese cups
  • 14 orange sprinkle
  • 28 mini chocolate chips
  1. Bake the cookies according to directions
  2. Melt the vanilla flavored almond bark in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. But stop at half time and stir to prevent the chocolate to scorch.
  3. Cut the end of the regular Reese to make the trim of the hat. Set aside.
  4. Pour the vanilla chocolate coating over each cookie.
  5. Place the “trim” of the hat, and a small Reese to make the hat.
  6. Place two mini chocolate chips to create the eyes.
  7. Place the orange sprinkle to make it look like the nose.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fun Turkey Cookies for the Upcoming Holidays.


This past week-end I gave a cooking class to a group of 11 girls aged 11, 12. Since it was for a birthday party and the birthday girl wishes to become a pastry chef, I thought of making all kinds of fun snacks, cookies and pastries with Thanksgiving as the common theme.

On the menu, we made “pig”lgrim hat, a turkey out of cheese and fruit, cupcakes with turkey tops and finally corn husks out of sugar cookies.  They had fun.  They did find the class a bit challenging but they thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that they will be able to duplicate those recipes at home.

I would have loved to make a cake and teach them to decorate it as pastry chefs do, but their attention span is so short, and their fine-motor skills still still not perfect that I decided to do things that they would be able to make at home on their own, without the help of an adult;-)

The recipe I am presenting you today is nothing that I am used to send you as it is using pre-made and bought ingredients, and the recipe is not that healthy, but I thought I would share it as  you may enjoy to make theses with your loved ones  during the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Ingredients for 12 large cookies: 

  • 1 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 1 pack of M&M ( peanuts, or regular) as long as you are only using red, orange, yellow and brown colored ones.
  • 1 box of chocolate whipped frosting.
  • 1 bag of candy corn
  • 1 tube of yellow frosting
  • 1 tube of black frosting
  • 12 small Reese cups

Turn the oven to 325. Place a large silpat on  a large perforated sheet and set aside. Open the tube of sugar cookie dough and cut 12 slices that you will place at 1-2 inches interval on the silpat. Cook the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the rim of the cookies are a nice golden color and the center of the cookies is still white.

When the cookies are  cooked, remove them from the oven, and let them cool completely before decorating ( it will take at least 1 hour).

With a spatula, spread the frosting all over the cookie and decide which one you want to make ( M&M, or candy corn). Start placing the candy corn, or M&M alond the edge of the cookie almost all around. Then start a second row, and a third as shown below. Place a Reese cup in the middle. With a knife, cut the tip of a candy corn and glue it on the Reese cup with a bit of frosting. Use the yellow icing to make the eyes and the feet, and the black to make the pupils. Repeat this with all the cookies. You may eat them as you finish them, or later on. They are very good even a couple of days old. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Reindeer Cookie Pops


You must have noticed that I love to cook. That is the main reason why I choose to offer cooking classes. They allow me to teach what I know, but most of all to have fun. I get to cook  recipes that I would not normally cook by myself. This past Sunday, I offered a class to young girls. The topic of our menu: Winter Holidays and Santa Claus. Most of what we cooked either looked like a Holiday decoration or Holiday Character. We learned to make a Wreath of Wontons pizzas, A Tree out of cheddar and ham pinwheel,  Evergreen Trees and Teddy Bears out of rice crispies, Reindeer Cookie Lollipops and Ornaments Cupcakes. The girls, as you would imagine, had lots of fun making all those treats and eating them too;-) Today I will share with you the Reindeer Cookie Lollipop.

There are many ways to make Cookie Lollipops. You can make them out of sugar cookie dough, brownie cookie dough and cookies. The recipe I will share today was inspired by many recipes found on snackpicks.com. It is the easiest recipe, and it does not involve baking. That way, moms, you may let your child do this treat all by herself and you won’t have to worry about them burning the house down;-)

Ingredients for about 40 cookie pops: 1 box of soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, 1 cup of canned vanilla frosting, lollipop sticks, 2 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate morsels ( preferably Ghiradhelli), small pretzels, nerd candy.

In a bowl, crumble all the cookies, add the frosting and stir to make a paste. Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls. Insert the stick into the ball and place the balls on a silpat. Cover and freezer for at least 30 minutes. After the pops are been refrigerated for the required time, place the chocolate into a microwavable container and cook for 2 minutes in the microwave. Dip each lollipop into the melted chocolate, and shake them a bit so as to allow the extra chocolate to drip off. Place the pops onto the silpat again. Break off half of the pretzel to make them look like antlers. Use a red nerd for the nose, and 2 white ones for the eyes. You may place the pops back into the fridge or let them stand for a minute until the chocolate cures. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

A Colorful Gift for the Holidays: Macarons.


Looking for a little something that is delicate and not too expensive. Why not try Macarons. They are like heaven in your mouth. Those cloud like cookies will take you by surprise, their crunchy shell melts in your mouth releasing its delicate flavors. They come in various sizes ( bite size ( .60 c) or regular size ( $1.00) and in many flavors.

Flavors to choose from:

  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • vanilla
  • choco/ mint
  • raspberry
  • strawberry
  • almond
  • lemon
  • lime
  • orange
  • anis/ licorice
  • black berry
  • lavender
  • rose
  • green tea

They are best eaten fresh, but will keep a week in an airtight container, and a month in the refrigerator. Call me today to place an order at 864-494-4494 ( MInimum order is 12 per flavors).

Red Velvet Cookies


Well now that Thanksgiving has passed, we can focus on Christmas… Yeah!!!! and let me tell you that Christmastime has started at my house;-) All is now decorated, and as soon as Saturday came around my family and I were already cooking Christmas cookies in my kitchen. We searched for fun quick recipes and found one that was enjoyed so much that all the cookies were gone in one day: Red Velvet Cookies. It is no surprise really since one of people’s favorite dessert is Red Velvet Cake. They are almost as good and are definitely much quicker to fix. I found this recipe in the Cuisine Holiday Cookies.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp of table salt, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 tbsp of liquid red coloring, 1 tsp of distilled white vinegar, white Hershey’s cookies ( about 32).

First remove the paper-wraps of all the chocolate and place the chocolate into the freezer. In a bowl, mix together the flour, the cocoa, the baking soda and the salt.  Set aside. In a mixer bowl, place the sugar, brown sugar, oil and mix well until it becomes creamy. Add the egg and beat some more. Mix in the coloring and the vinegar. Add the flour mixture and mix well until it is well combined. Scoop tablespoons of that batter onto a silpat and bake for 10 minutes in a warm oven at 375. You should have about 3 dozens cookies. Remove the chocolate out of the freezer and place them on the cookies as soon as you take them out. Transfer the cookies off to a cooling rack et voila!!! How simple was that?!;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Crisp Chocolate Cookies


As you know I go grocery shopping almost every day. It allows me to find inspiration if I don’t know what I am going to eat that night, or just get the freshest ingredients. Sometimes I go to Publix, sometimes I go to the Fresh Market. I love those two grocery store, they are so clean and their food look so fresh! There is one thing i do not like at the Fresh Market though… it is that table full of treats, cookies and cupcakes. I always drool over them.. and resist the temptation to buy them;-)

I had seen those yummy looking crisp chocolate cookies, so when I saw this recipe in the Chocolate edition of the Fine Cooking 2006, I had to fix them of course just to try;-)

Ingredients: 3 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 large eggs at room temperature, 2 tsp. of vanilla extract, 3 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of baking soda, 3/4 lb. of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Turn the oven to 375. In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. In the mixer bowl, place the butter and the sugar and beat for 1 minute until the butter turns white and double in volume. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop tablespoon of dough every two inches on the large silpat. You will probably need 2 large perforated sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are turning a deep brown. Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool off for about 5 minutes. When the cookies are completely cold, place them in an airtight container or in a plastic bag so they will stay crisp. Miam!!! My kids love them!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Brownie Cookies


Well the brownies I made two days ago were gone when I got home yesterday, so when I asked Lisa what she wanted me to fix for her lunch, she replied: ” the same, pleaaaaaaase…..”.

Cooking the same?!?! Where is the fun? well, i wanted to find something as yummy as those brownies but different somehow. I like to try new recipes… and I was delighted to find this following recipe in the Chocolate Edition of Fine Cooking of  winter 2006. Those cookies are so soft, it is as if you are eating a brownie except that it is much lighter, AND it does not stick to your fingers;-) so you can now eat up a” brownie” without making a mess…

Ingredients: 3/4lb of bittersweet chocolate chips, 1/2 stick of butter, 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, 1/3 cup of all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 cup of chopped pecans( not necessary… I did not since my kids don’t like nuts..)

Turn your oven to 350. In a microwave-proof bowl, place the chocolate and the butter and cook for 2 minutes on high. Let it cool.  In a mixer, place the eggs and the sugar and beat on high until the eggs turn pale yellow, and become fluffy. Add vanilla to the chocolate mixture and pour into the egg mixture. Stir. Add the flour, the baking p0wder, the salt and the nuts ( if your are using any) and mix well. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the mixture into a pastry bag (or into a plastic bag if you don’t have a pastry bag, and cut the end once the dough has been poured into it.

Place 2 medium silpat on 2 perforated sheet, or use a large one and a medium one. With the pastry bag, make 1 1/2 inch circles. Space them out every inches. Cook for 6-8 minutes. The cookies should have cracked, but make sure that the crack is not wet when touching with your fingers for doneness. Let cool on rack. When the cookies are cold, use a spatula to remove the cookies from the silpat, and eat up.  Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!

Speculos


Have you ever heard of speculos? Do you know what they are?  When you flip a page of a cookbook, you will find recipes of anything with speculos. Foie gras with speculos crumble, speculos ice cream, Sea bass with speculos. It was so common to see this word everywhere that I started thinking that it was a new spice that I did not know about. Well, it turns out it is a cookie. Obviously a cookie that is quite fashionable here in France and in Europe. In fact, they seem to be the best sold cookies in France before Macarons…

My sister is an accomplished cook and baker. She loves to cook like me, but has a particular talent for cookies and cakes. In fact look at one of the centerpiece she made this spring for an event…. Puffs pastries in a shape of a wave.

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Unlike me, she does this for a living. She sells pastries, cookies and jellies to specialized stores and online. Check her out if you can: www.douceurs-et-candeur.com
She was just given a big order to deliver for the end of the week. A mere 200 lbs of various cookies. So guess what I have been doing? ….cooking…
It is quite fun. I am learning lots since baking cookies is not what I do often. Well, if you don’t know what to do for treats at Christmas time, bake those cookies. They almost taste like gingerbread.

The recipe for about 40 cookies:

1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 egg,  8 oz of butter, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of nutmeg, 1 tsp of 4 spices, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp of cinammon.

In a bowl place all spices and sugar. Add the butter and the egg and mix until well blent. Add flour and baking powder and continue mixing. Shape a round ball with the dough, and with a rolling pin roll the dough out to a 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough in the refrigerator to cool. 3o minutes later, take the dough out and start cutting cookies in the shape of your choice. Bake in a warm oven for 12 minutes at a temperature of 356 F. Remove then from oven and let them cool at room temperature before placing in containers.


Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!