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Citrus-Herb Cookies

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This surprising combination of aromatic herbs, tart citrus and buttery, sweet dough satisfies even the fussiest cookie aficionado. The Kitchn‘s Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan developed the recipe using orange zest and thyme leaves, but you can use the basic dough to experiment with other flavors to come up with your own signature cookies.

 

Citrus-Herb Cookies

 

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 large egg

2 Tbs. grated orange zest

2 tsp. very finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, very finely sliced

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Raw or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

 

In a bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar and salt. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until smooth. Add the egg, orange zest, thyme and mint and beat until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour in 3 batches, beating after each addition, until combined. Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the middle level. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

 

Remove the dough logs from the refrigerator. For round cookies, roll the plastic-wrapped logs on a work surface (like rolling a rolling pin) to smooth the sides, keeping the diameter uniform. For square cookies, using your hands, tap each wrapped log on 4 sides against the work surface to flatten the sides evenly. Unwrap the logs and, using a sharp knife, cut the logs crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick.

 

Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of raw sugar. Bake the cookies, rotating the sheets front to back after about 5 minutes, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

 

Let the cookies cool on the pans on wire racks for a few minutes, then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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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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Walnut–Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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No one can resist a thick slice of freshly baked banana bread, especially when it’s studded with melting chocolate chips and toasty walnuts. Baking this bread is a good way to take advantage of fruit that has been languishing on the counter throughout the busy week. The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more delicious the bread will be.

 

Walnut–Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

3 very ripe bananas, peeled

2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1⁄4 tsp. fine sea salt

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3⁄4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1⁄2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sour cream, at room temperature

1 cup (6 oz./185 g) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom and long sides of the pan with parchment paper. Butter the top of the parchment. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

 

Using a fork, mash the bananas in a bowl; you should have about 1 cup (8 oz./250 g). In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a third bowl, using a handheld mixer on high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs and then the mashed bananas. Reduce the
speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed, beating until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips and half of the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and remove the paper. Invert again, and let cool completely. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 loaf.

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15 Decadent Chocolate Desserts

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It’s National Chocolate Day! Time to treat your inner chocoholic to something rich, decadent and melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey. These recipes will do the trick.

 

Chocolate Chip-Pecan BarsChocolate Chip-Pecan Bars
Chocolate chips and pecans add texture and contrast to this big batch of blondies — a delicious twist on on the classic chocolate chip cookie.
Dark Chocolate CupcakesDark Chocolate Cupcakes
When all you want is a simple, classic chocolate cupcake, this recipe does the trick. Moist, tender dark chocolate cake topped with smooth, creamy dark chocolate frosting feeds the chocoholic in all of us.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut MacaroonsChocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
These chewy coconut stacks are great make-ahead morsels, as they keep well for several days. Dipping them into dark chocolate only makes them more decadent.
Dark Chocolate PuddingDark Chocolate Pudding
This bittersweet chocolate pudding is easy to adapt. You can turn it into a parfait with layers of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Or, try stirring in a little rum, Amaretto or Frangelico, then garnish the top with crushed chocolate wafer cookies or shaved semisweet chocolate.
Chocolate Caramel TartChocolate Caramel Tart
This tart takes a bit of work to make, but the result is well worth the effort and is always a crowd-pleaser. A thick layer of chocolate, plus a gooey caramel center and a crispy crust — what more could you want?
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie PiesChocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
A retro treat, these whoopie pies feature cakey chocolate cookies sandwiching a creamy filling. For a classic version, swap out the peanut butter filling for marshmallow creme.
Chocolate SouffléChocolate Soufflé
Soufflés are spectacular and surprisingly easy to make. This chocolate version should be devoured immediately, still hot from the oven and topped with big scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Coconut, Almond and Chocolate BarsCoconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars
Nutty, chewy and chocolaty, these bars hit every craving. A toasty almond crust is topped with a creamy coconut and dark chocolate filling, and finished with a thick bittersweet glaze.
Chocolate TrufflesChocolate Truffles
Truffles are easy to make — especially when you get friends involved! These require just 5 ingredients, and they can be stored in the freezer (well wrapped) for at least 3 months.
Chocolate Chip CookiesChocolate Chip Cookies
There are chocolate chip cookies, and then there are these chocolate chip cookies: large, chewy, buttery and with just the right amount of chips and nuts.
Chocolate Brownie CakeChocolate Brownie Cake
This dessert has all the moist richness of brownies but is served like a cake for an elegant presentation. The secret to success: good-quality chocolate and a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder to finish.
Chewy Chocolate MeringuesChewy Chocolate Meringues
Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these gems not only are a cinch to make but also are completely addictive—you won’t be able to stop at one (or two or three). The cocoa nibs add a nice crunch and nutty flavor.
Devil’s Food Layer CakeDevil’s Food Layer Cake
This time-honored favorite, layered with velvety chocolate frosting, makes the ultimate cake for a birthday or other celebration. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
French Chocolate MacaronsFrench Chocolate Macarons

Delicate chocolate macarons are one of Paris’s most delicious treats. If you’re not traveling to the City of Lights soon, whip these up and pretend — the contrast between the crisp cookies and creamy ganache filling is a revelation.

 

S’mores BrowniesS’mores Brownies
Within this recipe is a fantastic brownie—just the right balance of fudgy and cakey with a crackle top—embellished with crunchy graham crackers and big melting marshmallows. If you’d prefer the classic, just leave those two ingredients out and bake as directed.
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Recipe Roundup: Homemade Valentine’s Day Gifts

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A homemade treat beats candy hearts any day. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with cookies, cupcakes and confections from your own kitchen. Whether you’re serving them at a party or giving them to that special someone, everyone will know they’re made with love.

 

Caramel Sea Salt TrufflesCaramel Sea Salt Truffles
These candies are made with deep, chewy caramel covered in rich bittersweet chocolate — little bites of indulgence. A sprinkle of sea salt adds contrast and texture.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingRed Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These lush cupcakes have just a hint of cocoa and a crimson crumb that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. A layer of tangy cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of toasted sugared pecans tops them off.
Weekend Project: Pistachio BrittlePistachio Brittle
This old-fashioned confection is great for gifting, and it’s easy to make a big batch. Ours is made with pistachios instead of the usual peanuts, resulting in a vibrant green color.
Chocolate Chip CookiesChocolate Chip Cookies
There are chocolate chip cookies, and then there are these chocolate chip cookies: large, chewy, buttery and with just the right amount of chips and nuts. They are classics for a reason.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Almonds and Dried BlueberriesDark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Almonds and Dried Blueberries
This nutty, fruity chocolate bark is a breeze to make: just melt the chocolate, stir in the goodies, and spread in a thin layer to cool. Swap in whatever dried fruits and nuts you like.
Chocolate-Cherry-Almond BiscottiChocolate-Cherry-Almond Biscotti
With scarlet dried cherries and luxurious cocoa, these cookies make elegant gifts for Valentine’s Day. Plus, they keep well for up to three weeks, so you can easily work ahead.
Chocolate Frangelico TrufflesChocolate Frangelico Truffles
These decadent truffles receive a double dose of hazelnut flavoring, in the liqueur and in the nut coating. Keep them in the freezer until just before serving.
Dark Chocolate CupcakesDark Chocolate Cupcakes
A simple, classic chocolate cupcake is hard to beat. These are moist, tender dark chocolate cakes topped with smooth, creamy dark chocolate frosting — sure to satisfy any chocoholic.
Rocky Road FudgeRocky Road Fudge
This delicious sweet treat known as rocky road fudge contains 3 key ingredients: chocolate chips, marshmallows and chopped nuts. It’s great to make with kids — get the whole family involved!
Strawberry Jam Sandwich CookiesStrawberry Jam Sandwich Cookies
Here, delicate, butter-rich cookies sandwich strawberry jam for a delectable gift. Make them extra festive by cutting the cookies into heart shapes and filling them with red and pink preserves.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut MacaroonsChocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
These chewy coconut stacks are great make-ahead morsels, as they keep well for several days. Dipping them into dark chocolate only makes them more delicious.
Bourbon BallsBourbon Balls
These bite-sized treats are flavored with bourbon and pecans for a Southern twist. Make them for a Valentine’s Day party — they’ll go fast!
Chocolate Crinkle CookiesChocolate Crinkle Cookies
These are some of our customers’ favorite cookies, with over 30 glowing reviews. They are cakey and ultra chocolate-y — perfect for just about any occasion.
French Chocolate MacaronsFrench Chocolate Macarons
These Parisian favorites feature crisp cookies bound by a creamy ganache filling. It’s Valentine’s Day; what better time to pretend you’re in the world’s most romantic city?