Yield: 16 large cookies Recipe: 127/200 “Back to Baking”, pp. 46
Flour is once more abundant in my home. Well, not abundant but many pounds more than I had a few weeks ago. As such I have ramped up my baking once more and I was excited to try these raspberry, lemon and white chocolate rugelach. I had never heard of these Jewish delicacies, but I am very glad to have discovered them. These were truly one of the best cookies I have ever made. I say cookie, but truly they are more in between a cookie and a pastry. A cootry? A paskie? That sounds better.
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ package (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup raspberry jam
60 g (2 oz) white chocolate, cut in chunks, or ½ cup white chocolate chips
1 egg white, for brushing (optional, see notes)
These paskies smelled fantastic while baking, looked quite cute and tasted delicious. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I did not expect them to be that good. I don’t know why I thought this since raspberry and chocolate is a match made in heaven, so thankfully I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet yet not overly sweet pastry. Cookie. Not sure. Anna Olson proves once again that cream cheese is truly a secret weapon in pastry. The dough was perfectly flaky and just melted in the mouth with each bite. Truly a scrumptious treat to enjoy with some nice tea.
Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
Beat in the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest.
Add the flour and the salt and stir until the dough evenly comes together. Shape the dough into 2 discs, wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surfaced, roll out the first disc of dough into a circle about 12 inches (30 cm) across and just shy of ¼ inch thick. Trim away the rough edges.
Stir the raspberry jam to soften it, then stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Spread half of the jam over the surface of the dough, right to the edges. Sprinkle half of the white chocolate over the jam.
Cut the dough into 8 wedges, and roll up each cookie from the large edge to its point, very much like a croissant, and place the cookies one inch apart on the baking tray.
Repeat steps 5-7 with the second disc of dough.
Whisk the egg white until it is very foamy and brush each cookie with it.
Sprinkle the cookies generously with sugar.
Bake the rugelach for 20-25 minutes, until they are an even golden colour. Let the cookies cool on the tray before removing them to store.
Note from Anna:
These can be made egg-free by simply brushing the tops of the rolled cookies with milk in place of the egg white.
Yield: 24 cookies Recipe: 126/200 “Back to Baking”, pp. 37
As the weeks of quarantine are prolonged, my supply of flour is decreasing at an alarming rate. I have only a few more recipes’ worth of flour as there is a nation-wide shortage and I have been unable to get my hands on some, so I have to choose my last few bakes carefully. Of course I was looking for a little cookie or hand-held dessert to eat with tea in the evenings. And so came these chocolate-dipped madeleine cookies.
These cookies are interesting because they look like cookies but have more the consistency of a cake. They are like small, very cute portable cakes. They are simply delicious and the orange purée in the cookie really comes through, marrying very well with the chocolate. To be made time and time again, undoubtedly.
1 medium-sized navel orange
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup ground almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a madeleine pan, tapping out any excess flour.
Roughly chop the whole orange, with the peel on, making sure to remove any seeds, and place in a small saucepot. Cover the orange with water and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, then purée in a blender. Measure ½ cup of the puréed orange to use for the madeleines.
Note: When reading this recipe I was very uncertain whether I really truly had to put the whole orange, peel included, into the pot with water. It seemed so counter-intuitive! But yes, you must. During the time in which the water will evaporate almost completely, the orange peel will soften and lose all its bitterness. Perfect and simple way to make a lovely orange purée.
I didn’t have a navel orange so used a blood orange instead, and it worked out very well. The purée by itself tasted very nice and citrusy, full of flavour.
I don’t have an actual blender so used my hand mixer instead, and that also worked out for me. A food processor should also do the trick if you are in a pickle.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs and mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Add this to the butter mixture, stirring until just incorporated.
Stir in the ½ cup of orange purée.
Spoon the batter by tablespoonfuls into the prepared madeleine pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the madeleines cool in the pan before gently removing.
Note: these madeleine cookies change colour quite quickly near the end, so make sure to keep an eye on them starting about 16 minutes to make sure that they don’t become too brown and overbaked.
Melt the chocolate chips by stirring them in a metal bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water. Dip each madeleine halfway into the melted chocolate, shake off excess and place each on a sheet of parchment paper to set. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: about 2 ½ dozens Recipe: 123/200 “Back to Baking”, pp. 28
The next quarantine baked goods that I decided to try was these cute lime and coconut medallions. These cookies are essentially shortbread, as they are tender and a little crumbly. When I formed the logs the mixture seemed quite dry and I was doubtful that it would bake properly and hold its shape, but I needn’t worry. Once in the oven the butter melted and held everything together. I did cut these cookies a little bit thicker than indicated in the recipe just because I was worried that they would not hold their shape and crumble otherwise, and I quite enjoyed them as such. I don’t think I ever made a dessert combining lime and coconut so I was not sure what to expect, but these came out great. The lime and coconut flavours are at the same time distinct and not overpowering. They go together very well and make for delightful little citrusy-coconuty cookies. These definitely pass the test of evening tea accompagnement!
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut in pieces
1 egg white, lightly whisked
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread ½ cup of the coconut onto an ungreased baking tray and toast for 10 minutes, shaking the pan every few minutes to make sure that the coconut doesn’t burn. Allow to cool.
Pulse the flour, sugar, lime zest and salt in a food processor to combine.
Add the butter and pulse just until the dough is crumbly.
Add the ½ cup of cooled, toasted coconut and pulse until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 logs about 1¼ inches across and 6 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Pull the dough out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before slicing.
Place the remaining ½ cup of untoasted coconut onto a plate. Unwrap the dough and lightly brush each log with the whisked egg white, then roll them in the coconut to coat. Slice the cookies into medallions about ¼ inch thick and place them on the baking trays, leaving one inch space between them.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until they brown just slightly on the bottom. Cool the cookies on the tray before removing.
Yield: about 3 dozen wafer cookies Recipe: 122/200 “Back to Baking”, pp. 35
Since these langues de chat cookies are based on the same batter as the Tuile Cookies, I made these in the same day and this was quite time efficient. I simply prepared the batter, used half to make the tuile cookies and the other to make these adorable langues de chat, this way I got more variety of cookies with the same amount of work.
I really enjoyed these and preferred them to the tuile cookies. They are not as delicate so are easier to prepare and bake, and it makes for more of an indulgence as they are bigger. They are similarly very flavourful and go very nicely with tea. I will certainly keep this recipe in my recipe box to be repeated again!
Yield: about 3 dozen wafer cookies
“Back to Baking”, pp. 33
During these difficult times, I have found myself baking more and more. Bread, pavlovas, croissants, and so on. One thing that is always necessary in our household is some cookies or baked goods to go along with tea in the evening. As we had the last banana mini loaf recently and thus the last sweet thing in the house, I thought it would be a great time to goBack to Baking since it had been a while. The ingredients that I had on hand allowed me to make tuile cookies. I had never made these and usually think of them more as pretty decorations rather than cookies to indulge with, but I went ahead and made them anyways. Also, they always kind of intimidated me because of how fragile and tricky they seem to be.
The batter is not complicated to make. What is rather more finicky is to cut out the template for the cookies and spread a thin layer of the cookie batter on top of this template, to then gently lift it to have a nice clean shape. I was worried that I was spreading a layer that was too thin, but in the end I think they were okay in that regards, if not even a bit too thick. I attempted to make leaves and butterflies. Evidently, I am not an artist. I forgot to turn my baking sheet halfway through baking and probably left the cookies in the oven for 30 seconds too long, so some did come out a bit burned. It did not change the flavour much, but they looked positively past golden brown. These cookies are very delicate and had a lovely subtle orange flavour. The perfect cookies to go with tea or coffee! I am not sure that I would redo this particular version of cookies again simply due to the time commitment in making the cookie templates and spreading the batter in an even thin layer, but they definitely tasted good and did the job as a tea companion.
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 egg whites, at room temperature
⅔ cup icing sugar, sifted
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons orange juice or brandy
Preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
To create a template to make a particular tuile shape, use the lid of a plastic container. Cut away the edges and trace the shape that you want (e.g. a heart, a leaf, etc.) onto the centre of the lid, and cut a whole in the lid in this shape.
Melt the butter in a small pot and set aside to cool.
Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they are foamy, then add the icing sugar and whip on low speed until it is well incorporated. Increase the speed to high and whip until a medium peak is obtained.
Add the flour, orange zest and orange juice and whisk together by hand.
Add the cooled melted butter and whisk gently until the mixture is homogenous.
Place the template onto the parchment-lined baking tray and evenly spread a thin layer of the cookie batter over it. Gently life the template to reveal the shape, place it close to the first cookie without touching it and repeat the process.
Bake the cookies for 3-6 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway throughcooking. Once the cookies are golden brown around the edges, remove the tray from the oven. If you want to add a curve to the cookies, immediately lift them with a spatula while they are still warm and set on top of a rolling pin so that it takes the curve. Once cooled, remove carefully and store in an airtight container.
Note from Anna:
Tuile cookies are very delicate are are sensitive to humidity. They should be stored in a tightly sealed contained.