Friday, June 24, 2022

Ferrero Rocher Brownies

Chocolate Hazelnt brownie, topped with a Ferrero Rocher candy, photographed on a white plate

I have been planning to make these brownies for some time! I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, so these can’t be beat. I wanted to make sure that I had good quality chocolate, and I visited a newer chocolate place near me, Fortunato Chocolate, to pick up some chocolate. I ended up getting 68% dark chocolate, which has a good chocolate taste and isn’t too sweet. Looking at the ingredients in these brownies, I knew that they would be sweet enough as is!

This recipe was originally published in Dutch, so I had to translate it to English. I was able to figure out some of the ingredients and also used Google translate for the items I couldn’t figure out. Some ingredients were still challenging. I tablespoon of syrup? Maple syrup or what? I ended up using Golden Syrup, often used in British baking, and it’s similar to honey or corn syrup. The original recipe called for “pure chocolate” which isn’t 100% cacao/unsweetened chocolate. It’s dark chocolate, according to Google translate. Good to know!

You start these brownies by melting the sugar, butter, and chocolate together. My mixture was slightly grainy, and I wasn’t sure, so I ended up making a second batch. That batch was also grainy but was absolutely fine once the brownies were baked. I baked mine as the instructions stated, but they were still really gooey. Which is great for a brownie! I topped mine with a simple topping of Nutella, which was perfect. Yes, they are topped with Ferrero Rocher, which are not essential, but they make this awesome brownie even better.

Ferrero Rocher Brownies
60 grams butter
150 grams sugar
75 grams brown sugar
125 grams dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
100 grams flour
20 grams cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 grams chopped hazelnuts
75 grams milk chocolate chips

150 grams Nutella
Ferrero Rocher, for decoration

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8” square pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, dark chocolate, and Golden Syrup. Heat on medium-low until the butter and chocolate is melted, stirring often. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until light. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and stir on low to combine. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and again mix on low to combine. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts and milk chocolate chips. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top looks dry and a toothpick inserted into the brownies may still come out with a small crumb. Allow the brownies to cool completely.

Stir the Nutella to thin it slightly and spread on top of the brownie. Top with half of a Ferrero Rocher candy. Refrigerate before cutting into brownies.

Recipe from Laura’s Bakery

Friday, June 17, 2022

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Bars

Strawberry Rhubard Jam Bars photographed on a black and white floral plate

It’s that time of year when the strawberries and the rhubarb are ripe! Our weather has been extra rainy lately, so it seems like a lot of our produce is taking a little longer this year. I don’t mind that too much as I am hopeful for a summer that is more moderate. Perhaps that is too much to ask these days. One of my husband’s colleagues gave him some strawberry rhubarb jam, and while we wanted to have some to eat on toast, we both figured it would make for a tasty bar cookie.

That very week, this recipe popped up in my social media feed, and my husband wanted to make them right away. This recipe uses 1 cup of jam, for a 9” x 13” pan, which would use all the jam we had. I opted to make a half recipe in an 8” square pan, so that we would still have jam left. That made for a slightly thinner bar, which was ok.

I got these bars prepped, and then went to make the topping. I looked through all of my baking items and I was completely out of sliced almonds. I do use them a lot, so I suppose I understand, but that was very frustrating. I thought about topping the bars with some freeze-dried strawberries, but I figured those would burn. The thinner bar baked faster, which wasn’t surprising, but I could have taken them out of the oven about two minutes earlier and that would have been better. I could have also added more jam, as more jam is never wrong!

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Bars
¾ cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup almond flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 cup strawberry rhubarb jam

3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter, cold
¼ cup sliced almonds

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix on medium until light. Add the almond flour and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Add the salt and flour and mix on low until the mixture becomes crumbly. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Top the dough with the strawberry rhubarb jam.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, 2 tablespoons butter, and sliced almonds. Use your fingers to work the mixture into crumbs and sprinkle over the jam.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until the dough is baked through.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Sweet Recipeas

Friday, June 10, 2022

Crispy Rice Sugar Cookies

Cookies made with crispy rice cereal, photographed on a wooden mat

My husband and I were talking about Crispy Rice cereal the other day, and neither of us are the biggest fans. The cereal is ok, we suppose, but it doesn’t really have a lot of distinct flavor. To the two of us, Crispy Rice cereal is simply a conduit for a lot of sugar, which is really the best way to make this cereal tasty. Crispy Rice cereal is used a lot in baking, so I do have it on hand most of the time.

This version of a Crispy Rice cookie is so different than anything else I have seen. The cereal is most often used in different no-bake cookies, but this a cookie where it plays the starring role. It’s a simple sugar cookie: sugar, flour, and butter, but with the addition of Crispy Rice cereal. And here is the most unusual feature: they bake for a really long time.

These cookies bake for 40 minutes total, which at first made me think that they would over bake into nothing! They do bake at a lower temperature of 300 degrees, and that helps. Something about the nature of these cookies is that they don’t burn, but just become beautifully crispy! These cookies have a crunch that is hard to replicate in a home baked cookie, and it’s wonderful. The flavor is somewhat delicate, butter and the flavor of Crispy Rice cereal, but these cookies are all about the crunch. I can’t wait to make these again!

Crispy Rice Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups Crispy Rice cereal

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium until light and fluffy. In a small bowl stir together the vanilla and baking soda and then add that to the butter mixture, mixing well. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour. Fold in the Crispy Rice cereal with a spatula.

Shape the dough into 2-tablespoon mounds and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately flatten the cookies with a metal spatula.

Return the cookies to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes. They will be golden on top.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Seeded at the Table

Friday, June 3, 2022

Pecan Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle Cookie with Pecans pictured on a square aqua plate

I’ve recently added some responsibilities at work, and it has certainly been a big change. I hope that over time I’ll get more used to these roles, but my calendar and timing have altered significantly. I will make dough, refrigerate it, and then plan to bake it later. But sometimes later doesn’t happen, or I will end up baking the cookies a day or two later. It’s just going to be that way for a while.

These cookies called for walnuts, but I use pecans in baking, always. I think they taste better, and we get pecans from a nice farm in Georgia. We usually run out about the time a new crop is available, which is perfect. You could use any sort of nut that you would like in this cookie, and it would add its own unique flavor. I have some cinnamon sugar hazelnuts that I think would be great!

You start with toasting the pecans, and this is a step that you don’t want to skip. Toasting the pecans will make your kitchen smell wonderful but watch carefully so they don’t burn. The dough is very easy to make, and then needs to be chilled for a few hours. I made mine at lunchtime and figured I would get back to it and I didn’t until a day later. Oh well. These cookies do crack while baking, and the main difference is that they are slightly thinner if you flatten the dough before baking. These are very tasty cookies with the flavors of pecans and brown sugar, hard to go wrong with that!

Pecan Crinkle Cookies
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
½ cup butter
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Once the pecans are chopped, toast them in the microwave, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing until combined. Fold in the chopped, toasted pecans.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape into tablespoon-sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set and have cracked. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Sarah Cool, via 12 Tomatoes

Friday, May 27, 2022

Chewy Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate cookies with chocolate hazelnut spread, rolled in chopped hazelnuts. Photographed on a burgundy plate.

It has been ages since I have done a traditional week where I bake on Thursday evening and then take cookies to work on Friday. This is the week! We were having visitors at the library, and I wanted to make something great. I also wanted to take into consideration dietary restrictions. While I didn’t know anything about the dietary needs of our visitors, I knew that I wanted to make cookies that are both gluten and dairy free.

I have talked about this a little, but some items are easy to replace. Vegan butter works well in most recipes. Milk is usually used in very small quantities, and there are multiple soy/almond/oat milk options out there. Gluten free flour works well, but you need to be thoughtful, as a cookie that is expected to rise significantly isn’t the right choice. The hardest for this recipe was that the recipe called for Nutella, which contains dairy. I could make my own or buy one of the dairy free versions out on the market. I ended up using Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Butter, which is dairy free.

I try to be as careful as possible when doing dairy or gluten free baking. I have specific measuring cups I use for gluten free flour, and I wear gloves to help with any allergens. As careful as I am, I do bake with gluten and dairy, so it helps to be careful. Cookies with dairy and gluten free ingredients tend to be softer and act a little differently, so it’s ok to adapt. I ended up flattening the cookies as they didn’t change while they baked, but that was fine. They are soft but have a good chocolate/hazelnut flavor without being too sweet.

Chewy Hazelnut Cookies
1 ½ cups flour (or gluten free flour)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegan butter, room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dairy free chocolate hazelnut spread
Chopped Hazelnuts

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, combine the vegan butter and sugar and beat on medium until light. Add the egg, non-dairy milk, and vanilla and stir on medium to combine. Add the chocolate hazelnut spread and mix on low to combine. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about two hours.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls and roll in the chopped hazelnuts. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are set. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Country Cleaver

Friday, May 20, 2022

Cracked Brown Sugar Cookies

Cracked brown sugar cookies, photographed on a wire cooling rack

I came across this recipe and thought it looked so good. The post with the recipe talked about how tasty the cookies are and how they get devoured in her house. That’s hard to pass up, so I wanted to make these fairly soon. I was a little puzzled that the original recipe said that it made five dozen cookies, with only two cups of flour, but I make cookies the size I want, and it makes what it makes! In the end, this recipe made a little over three dozen cookies.

This recipe very specifically calls for dark brown sugar. I see that in recipes all the time, and I usually only have light brown sugar on hand. As the brown sugar was the main flavoring of these cookies, I wanted to use what the recipe called for. I could have bought dark brown sugar, but I looked online and found information that said I could use light brown sugar and some additional molasses to equate to dark brown sugar. That worked for me! (I used half a tablespoon of molasses for ½ cup of light brown sugar.)

This recipe has you make and shape the cookies, but then chill them in the refrigerator. I imagine that you could skip this step, but I think the cookies baked up better since they were cold. These cookies are extremely thin, but that makes them so crunchy. And buttery, and just wonderful. These are so good, and my kitchen has that faint molasses smell that makes me think of the holidays. These cookies are hard to beat, and I can’t wait to make them again!

Cracked Brown Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Additional sugar

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and dark brown sugar until light. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough by tablespoons and roll in additional sugar. Place the prepared cookies on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are crackly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Foodie Chicks Rule

Friday, May 13, 2022

Pineapple Pecan Bars

Bar cookie filled with crushed pineapple and pecans, topped with a lemon juice/powdered sugar glaze. Photographed on a white and black plate.

I don’t bake a lot with pineapple, and that’s really a shame! I don’t really live in an area where I get fresh pineapple very frequently, but I sure do love pineapple! There is nothing better than fresh pineapple. Perhaps I should go to Hawaii where it is more common? I’ve been to Hawaii once, but any change of scenery right now sounds just perfect. I’m hopeful that at some point it will be less stressful to travel.

These bars are not complex, and the only ingredient that I needed to purchase was the crushed pineapple. Some fruits don’t do as well being canned, but I have hardly ever used a different form of pineapple. I also had wanted to use sliced almonds instead of pecans, but I must have used up all of my sliced almonds in other things. The pecans were nice, and I think most any type of nut you have on hand would work.

The bars that I made were quite messy, and I did some thinking to figure out why. I think that I didn’t drain the pineapple sufficiently, which made for a filling that was soft. I knew I had to drain the pineapple as some of the juice went into the glaze, but I think the pineapple wasn’t drained enough. I did refrigerate these bars to cool them, but no amount of refrigeration will make the filling be anything but messy. Sometimes a messy cookie is ok, and these are so tasty that I feel the taste overcomes the messiness.

Pineapple Pecan Bars
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup flour

2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
½ cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons pineapple juice

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” square pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, and flour and stir until the mixture comes together. Press into an even layer in the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Allow the crust to cool slightly while you make the filling.

Make the filling: in a large mixer bowl, beat the eggs until uniform. Add the brown sugar, pineapple, pecans, flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until the mixture comes together. Pour over the slightly cooled crust.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bars are set, and the bars have little movement when the pan is shaken. Cool for one hour.

In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and enough pineapple juice to make a smooth consistency. Pour the glaze over the partially cooled bars and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate the bars before cutting.

Recipe from This Delicious House