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Cookie of the day:Lime Curd Bars with Coconut Crust

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Limes have a distinctive sweetness that tempers their tartness — a flavor that holds up well in desserts and cocktails. Use a reamer to extract as much juice as possible; a rasp grater is essential for obtaining lime zest without any bitter pith, as their rind is very thin.

Lime Curd Bars with Coconut Crust

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

Grated zest of 1 lime, plus extra for garnish

1/2 cup shredded dried coconut

1/4 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 Tbs. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking powder

4 large eggs

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, overhanging the edges by 1 inch. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour, half of the lime zest, coconut and half of the salt and mix until the dough just holds together. Press into the pan and prick with a fork. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

In the mixer, combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and remaining lime zest and salt. Slowly beat in the eggs and lime juice. Pour into the crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and then refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars and dust with confectioners’ sugar and lime zest. Makes 2 dozen bars.

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Warm Molten Chocolate Cakes

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What better way to say “I love you” this week than with chocolate? Plunge a spoon into one of these warm, gooey cakes, and you’ll find chocolate bliss. They are incredibly versatile, too. Dress these up with scoops of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or top with sliced poached pears or blood orange segments and a dollop of crème fraîche.

Warm Molten Chocolate Cakes

8 oz. (250 g.) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt

4 large egg yolks

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) sugar

2 Tbs. unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted

3 large egg whites

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly butter six 3/4-cup (6-fl. oz./180-ml.) ramekins and dust with cocoa. Set the ramekins on a small baking sheet.

Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over (not touching) barely simmering water, and melt, whisking until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
Remove from over the water and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat together the egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the cocoa on medium-high speed until thick. Add the chocolate mixture to the yolk mixture and beat until blended. The mixture will be very thick.

In a bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until very foamy and thick. Sprinkle in the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and increase the speed to high. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form. Spoon half of the beaten whites onto the chocolate mixture and stir in just until blended. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon into the prepared ramekins.

Bake the cakes until they are puffed and the tops are cracked, about 13 minutes. The inside of the cracks will look very wet. Remove from the oven and serve. Or, run a small knife around the inside of each ramekin and invert the cakes onto plates. Serves 6.

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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For a last-minute treat leading up to the holidays, bake a batch of soft, gooey chocolate chip cookies, just like Mom used to make. Our classic, perfect chocolate chip cookies have a tinge of caramel flavor and are studded with chocolate goodness. Tip: Use a small ice cream scoop to form balls of dough, and they’ll bake into gorgeous, perfectly round cookies every time.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups (15 oz./470 g) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking

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5 Perfect Jam Cookies for the Holidays

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When these jam thumbprints hit the oven, the nuts turn toasty and the gooey jam firm and chewy.

Strawberry Jam Sandwich Cookies

Strawberry Jam Sandwich Cookies

For the prettiest-ever jam sandwich cookies, use a second, smaller cookie cutter to create a window in the top of each cookie before baking. This will allow the strawberry-red jam to show through.

Oatmeal Streusel Jam Bars

Oatmeal Streusel Jam Bar

These bars made from oats and filled with jam have plenty of texture thanks to the grains, and a sweet, tart filling for contrast.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies

A holiday classic in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, linzer cookies are made by cutting a small circle of dough, covering it with jam, placing another circle of dough on top with a hole in the center, and dusting it with a shower of confectioner’s sugar. Raspberry jam is a classic filling.

Alice Medrich’s Buckwheat Linzer Cookies

Alice Medrich Buckwheat Linzer

Baking expert Alice Medrich likes to put a twist on the traditional linzer cookie by using rice, buckwheat, and oat flours.