Habeas Brulee » Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Black and White Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/08/27/black-and-white-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/08/27/black-and-white-cookies/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2008 15:40:12 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/08/27/black-and-white-cookies/

I had a lot of fun recreating these classic Brooklyn cookies at home. I grew up with these – everyone around here did, it seems. And everyone has their own way of eating them. I like the vanilla side better (which is definitely the exception for me), so I eat the chocolate side first. My brother, Josh Sucher (of Block Factory Consulting), likes to save the line down the center for last, and he always gets annoyed with me if I take a bite from that precious balanced line when he offers part of his cookies to me.

Storebought black and white cookies are fun, and nostalgic, but usually a bit stale and dense. So why not make them at home? They’re easy to throw together, and they will be the best black and white cookies you’ve ever tasted.

The best part for me was offering them to my family, in honor of years of sharing black and white cookies bought from the deli downstairs at 26 Court Street in Brooklyn Heights.

In other news, our next dinner at the restaurant will be on September 20, 2008. You can see the menu here. We were overbooked for our August dinner several weeks in advance, so if you’re interested, you should go and reserve your seats sooner rather than later.

2007: Dolmas (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Black and White Cookies
(from Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard)
for the cookie dough
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 C sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C buttermilk
for the icing
2 1/2 C plus 1 tsp confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup, plus more as needed
2 tbsp hot water, plus more as needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (NOT dutch process)

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Beating at low speed, and just until incorporated each time, beat in a third of the flour mixture, half of the buttermilk, another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour.

Spoon the dough 1/4 C at a time onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet, several inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for an addition 8 minutes or so, until lightly golden around the edges.

Let the cookies cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

To make the icing, beat together the confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, water, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, carefully melt the chocolate.

Separate out half of the icing and whisk in the chocolate and cocoa powder. Whisk in a bit more hot water and corn syrup to help everything integrate and to thin it out a bit.

Spread chocolate icing on half of each cookie, let it set, then spread vanilla icing on the other half.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/08/27/black-and-white-cookies/feed/ 15
Rhubarb Soup with Nicoise Olive Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/02/rhubarb-soup-with-nicoise-olive-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/02/rhubarb-soup-with-nicoise-olive-cookies/#comments Fri, 02 May 2008 16:18:45 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/02/rhubarb-soup-with-nicoise-olive-cookies/

This was our amuse bouche for our opening night at Jack. I’m a bit obsessed with nicoise olives at the moment, because I absolutely hated all olives until I discovered these at the Park Avenue Bistro not too long ago. So now I’m using them to add depth to stews, intricacy to cookies, and inspiration all around.

I love alternating sips of chilled, tart rhubarb soup with bites of crumbly, salty olive cookies. I know it sounds odd, but they really were quite lovely together! Brave the olive cookies; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Also, my apologies for the radio silence lately. It’s been spring on and off, and I just want to go out and wander the streets and parks whenever the sun comes out. I treasure every evening spent having dinner outdoors in a tank top, every smell of earth and green growing wonder, and even the comforting smell of rain first hitting the pavement. I spent last Sunday night in Prospect Park at a marching band scavenger hunt and capture the flag game. Not to mention the lawyering that takes up time, too. Life is grand, every moment of it.

Speaking of which, if any of you locals like playing board games (such as Scrabble or Go), stop by the Brooklyn Lyceum and say hi on Monday night. I’ll be there.

2007: Sour Cherry Braised Lamb Shanks
2006: Pear and Basil Tart

Rhubarb Soup
(adapted from La Tartine Gourmande)
18 oz rhubarb
1 3/4 oz sugar
1/4 C water

Chop the rhubarb into cubes. Simmer everything together until the rhubarb is soft and fallen apart. Pass through a tamis. Serve chilled.

Nicoise Olive Cookies
(adapted from The Traveler’s Lunchbox)
9 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 C (heaping) pitted and coarsely chopped nicoise olives
Maldon salt to taste

Cream butter until soft. Mix in sugar. Mix in olive oil. Mix in salt and flour, gently but thoroughly. Mix in olives.

Press about 1/4″ thick on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Score with a butter knife into squares. Poke holes with a fork. Sprinkle a bit of Maldon salt on top.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Cut apart while still warm.

Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/02/rhubarb-soup-with-nicoise-olive-cookies/feed/ 17
Tea Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/28/tea-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/28/tea-cookies/#comments Thu, 28 Feb 2008 19:57:28 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/28/tea-cookies/

A friend and I recently went to check out Amai Tea & Bake House, because we like having tea together and I am big on supporting food bloggers in their endeavors (Amai is run by the blogger behind Lovescool).

We really enjoyed the tea sweets there, and when I got home I found Amai’s recipe for matcha (green tea) cookies.

Green tea is nice and all, but in my pantry I have some wonderful oolongs, not to mention my coconut vanilla tea, herbal masala chai, strawberry rose tea, homemade peach mace vanilla tea, and more. I wanted to create a variety of tea cookies with all of my wonderful teas!

So I ground up some oolong tea to a powder in a clean coffee grinder, and gave it a go.


The tea flavor is subtle but unmistakably present. The cookies have the slight crumbliness of butter cookies, but are more tender than most, and are particularly satisfying when eaten with a sip of tea between each bite.

I posted this to Gothamist for Valentine’s Day, and I’m reposting it here to make another confession: Dave and I have actually started wedding planning. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you may remember how he proposed last April. Since then, New York courts have begun recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages. We talked to a lot of people and between ourselves about it and came to the decision that that, especially right after a couple of women we know decided to get married, was good enough for us.

We’re thinking August 2009, so we have plenty of time to plan.

Funny how that feels like such a short schedule!

Tea Cookies
(adapted with very minor variations from Lovescool/Amai Tea & Bake House)
3/4 C (2.25 oz) confectioners sugar
5 oz unsalted butter (5/8 C, or 1 and 1/4 stick), straight from the fridge, cut into 1 tbsp slices
1 3/4 C (8.5 oz) all-purpose flour
3 large egg yolks (save the whites to make tuiles or macarons)
1 1/2 tbsp ground tea of your choosing
1 C granulated sugar (for coating)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and ground tea together. Add the butter and continue mixing until smooth and pale.

Add the flour and mix until well combined.

Add the egg yolks and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated and a mass forms.

Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator until firm – the original recipe calls for at least 30 minutes, but with my fridge I prefer to let dough chill for at least a couple of hours before rolling it out.

Which is what you’re doing next, of course – rolling it out. To about 1/2″ thick, which will feel surprisingly thick to those of us more used to rolling out pie crusts.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the dough with small cookie cutters of whatever shape you like. Mine were about 1″ diameter.

Toss each cut cookie in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat.

Place the sugar-coated cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheets, about 1″ apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating from top to bottom and back to front halfway through the baking time. When they are done, they will be slightly golden around the edges.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/28/tea-cookies/feed/ 10
Rainbow Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/14/rainbow-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/14/rainbow-cookies/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2008 13:01:15 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/14/rainbow-cookies/

Rainbow cookies are quite possibly my favorite cookies. Ever. Whenever someone brings a cookie assortment from an Italian bakery, I always eat all the rainbow cookies first, and usually discard the rest.

The best rainbow cookies money can buy are available at Isaac’s Bake Shop, 1419 Avenue J in Brooklyn, NY, right across the street from Di Fara’s pizza, and just a few blocks away from where I grew up. (I still think it’s pretty funny that people come from Manhattan to our old local pizza joint out in Brooklyn. These are probably the same people who used to bitch about the commute when I’d invite them over to hang out at my parents’ place during high school!)

The second best rainbow cookies money can buy can be found at Ferrara Bakery at 195 Grand Street in Little Italy in Manhattan, and in their outpost around the corner on Mulberry Street just off of Canal Street. (Calling it Little Italy feels absurd at this point, though. I think we’ll all agree that Little Italy has mostly been swallowed up by Chinatown over the years. It fell victim to the most famous of the classic blunders: Never get involved in a land war in Asia.)

But the best rainbow cookies that money can’t buy can be found right here in my kitchen.

Rainbow cookies are usually colored to match the Italian flag, with stripes of green, white, and red, but my rainbow cookies reflect my ancestry and are instead colored to match the Hungarian flag, with stripes of green, white, and red.

The Italian flag looks like this:

But the Hungarian flag looks like this:

What makes them better than storebought rainbow cookies? Why are they worth the bother to make? Well, the layers are more intensely almondy and moister than the storebought kind. The jam is fresher, and if you’re really feeling into it, you can use any sort of interesting or even homemade jam instead of the regular kind. You can choose your favorite kind of chocolate, and you can put on just as much or as little as you like.

Sure, they take a few days to make, but you’re not actually working during all that time. The layers aren’t very fussy to bake or put together, and it’s really just a matter of waiting until the next night to glaze and chocolatize them. Probably the hardest part of the recipe is tempering the chocolate, which I still have trouble doing.

Before I learned about tempering chocolate and its 6 different crystal structures, 5 of which are up to no good, I had no problem tempering it accidentally every time. But once I learned how to temper it, I screwed it up constantly. So, if you’ve never heard of tempering, don’t read that part of the recipe! Murphy will undoubtly turn on you if you do. But if you’ve already been tainted by the concept, read on through the end and I’ll try to guide you through the process as best I can.

And here’s another perk: you can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks, or probably freeze them indefinitely.

Rainbow Cookies
(adapted from Great Cookies by Carole Walter)
12 ounces almond paste (careful, this is not the same thing as marzipan)
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 C granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Green and red food coloring
1/4 C seedless raspberry preserves
1/2 C apricot preserves
15 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Build the cake layers.

Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter the bottom of the three 12 1/4″ x 8 1/4″ baking pans. (This step will help glue the parchment paper to the baking pans, making it easier to prepare them further.)

Line the bottoms with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper and the sides of each pan. Sprinkle some flour over them, and shake most of it out.

Finely chop the almond paste in your food processor, or grate it with a box grater or microplane.

In the bowl of a KitchenAid (or other electric mixer, we suppose), using the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium-low speed just until smooth, not fluffy. Increase the speed to medium, add the almond paste, and beat until lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sugar in a steady stream, beating for about 1 more minute. Then add the 4 egg yolks and the vanilla, beating well to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt and flour. Add a third of it into the mixer and blend just until incorporated. Add half of what remains, and do the same. Add the rest, and again mix just until incorporated.

Set the dough aside.

In a clean mixer bowl, using the whip attachment, beat the 4 egg whites until firm peaks form. This works best if you start at a low speed, wander away for a bit, raise the speed, wander away for a bit, &c, until it’s going strong and the whites are really frothing up well.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites in two more additions. This will be a pain in the ass. The dough will be thick and dense and you will feel like you can’t possibly fold in the whites, and you must be committing bubble genocide in the attempt. Persevere. It will all be okay in the end.

Divide the batter into thirds (each measuring approximately 1 2/3 C) and place each into a separate bowl. Color one portion with the green food coloring, blending until evenly colored. Color the second portion with the red food coloring, again blending until evenly colored. The remaining portion is not colored.

Spread the batters in the pans, each color in its own separate pan, smoothing the tops with a small offset spatula. Evenly distribute the batter as best you can. It will seem terrifyingly thin, difficult to spread evenly covering the whole pan. Again, just do your best, and it will all work out.

7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and very slightly brown. Cool the pans on wire racks, then flip each pan to remove the cake layer and peel off the parchment.

Assemble the layers.

Set up a cookie sheet or cutting board covered in plastic wrap. Place the green layer on it. Using a small offset spatula, spread the surface evenly with 2 tablespoons of the raspberry preserves. Place the plain layer on top of the raspberry preserves. Align the two layers and press them together. Spread 2 tablespoons of the raspberry preserves over the plain layer, again using a small offset spatula. Then place the red layer on top of the raspberry preserves. Be sure that the three layers are evenly aligned, then press them together again.

Wrap the layered stack tightly with plastic wrap, sealing the ends securely, and place it on a clean cookie sheet. Place another cookie sheet on top of the wrapped stack and weigh it with two or three heavy cookbooks to compress the layers. Let the stack rest at room temperature for at least 24 hours, turning it over once or twice during the weighting period.

Glaze the layers.

Unwrap the stack and set it on a cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, trim 1/4″ from all sides. Then cut the stack into five equal strips Separate the strips and place them on a large wire rack set over a cookie sheet.

Place the apricot preserves and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute. Strain and discard the pulp. Brush a thin layer of the glaze on the top and sides of each strip, to seal the surface. Let stand for 1/2 hour or longer, to dry and set.

Cover the layers with chocolate.

Temper your chocolate. If you already know how, and have a preferred method, don’t even bother reading further. Just temper it, glaze the strips with it, cut them into cookies once it sets, and move on with your life. If you don’t yet know how to temper chocolate, though, read on.

Finely chop your chocolate. Set up a double boiler (we use a bowl set in a pot of water) and bring the water up to a simmer. Put 2/3 of the chocolate in the bowl, setting the rest aside for now. Slow melt it, stirring, until it hits about 113 F. Don’t let it get much hotter than that, or things may not work out.

Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the other 1/3 of the chocolate, letting it melt. Once it has melted in, pour the chocolate onto a dry, flat, cool surface. You’re going to fold it with an offset spatula as it cools, letting it thicken, until it hits about 82 F.

Once that happens, transfer it to a clean bowl and put it back on the simmering water. Heat it, stirring, until it hits about 88 F. Remove from the heat.

You can test whether the chocolate is properly tempered by putting a spoon in the freezer for a bit, until it gets cool. Dip the spoon into the chocolate. If it sets on the back of the spoon fairly quickly, getting hard and glossy in just a few minutes, your chocolate is properly tempered. Congratulations!

Now, put that lovely tempered chocolate to good use. Working one strip at a time, spoon about 1/5 of the melted chocolate down the length of the strip. Using a small offset spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the top and sides, taking care to smooth all surfaces. Repeat with the remaining strips. Let the strips stand at room temperature until the chocolate hardens. Then, cut each strip into 5/8″ slices.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/14/rainbow-cookies/feed/ 17
Nibby Strawberry Chestnut Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/14/nibby-strawberry-chestnut-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/14/nibby-strawberry-chestnut-cookies/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2007 18:24:44 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/14/nibby-strawberry-chestnut-cookies/

On a cold winter night, with icy slush waiting just outside the door, the greatest comfort I can imagine involves warm chestnuts, chocolate, and dried strawberries, far more flavorful than the imported ones you can buy this time of year. And last night, as we hid indoors from the “wintry mix” outside (it sounds like a delicious treat, but in fact is a sleeting, slushy, freezing, rainy mess), we were desperate for what comfort we could find.

These cookies are in the extended sandy-textured cookie family, but they’re not your traditional shortbreadish cookies at all. They are a bit sandy, but they’re also lusciously tender, and they absolutely melt in your mouth. Which is not something I usually get to say about cookies.

The chestnut flour may not be identifiable as chestnut to most people who taste these, but it adds a very distinct and silky flavor of its own. The dried strawberries are bursts of intense flavor popping up throughout.

What really happened, of course, was that I bought dried strawberries and chestnut flour and declared that I wanted to bake something with them. When I got home, I looked through my cookbooks until I found a recipe I could adapt to contain them – in this case, Alice Medrich’s nibby buckwheat cookies. A bit of nudging of ingredients later, and my nibby strawberry chestnut cookies were born.

If I make a few more batches and use up more of the chestnut flour and dried strawberries that my kitchen is currently drowning in, maybe I’ll even be able to see my countertop again!

For the food photography folks, you’ll laugh at what I did to take this photo. The background is a piece of really nice paper I picked up in Chinatown, and I didn’t want to ruin it by placing these buttery cookies directly on it. How did I solve the dilemma?

Well, I built little stacks of quarters and placed a cookie carefully on each stack. Four quarter stacks were low enough that they only impacted the shadow lengths slightly, but they were high enough to keep my nice fibrous paper clean and safe. Brilliant or ridiculous? I think both.

I’m submitting these cookies to Food Blogga‘s Christmas Cookies from Around the World 2007.

Also, please remember that Habeas Brûlée 2008 wall calendars are now available for purchase.

And last but probably most important, remember that there’s still time left to donate to charity by bidding on my cooking class for two and all the other wonderful prizes for Menu for Hope!

Nibby Strawberry Chestnut Cookies
(adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich)
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C chestnut flour
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C cocoa nibs
2/3 C dried strawberries (cut into quarters before measuring), reconstituted in boiling water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk the flours together and set aside.

Beat the butter with the sugar and salt until creamy.

Drain the strawberries, discarding the liquid.

Mix the cocoa nibs, strawberries, and vanilla extract into the butter mixture. Add the flours and mix just until incorporated. Then knead the dough by hand just a tiny bit, a few seconds, until it is nice and smooth.

Form the dough into a 12″x2″ log, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least two hours, or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Prepare a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4″ thick slices of the dough log, and set them on the baking sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.

Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until just golden around the edges, rotating the baking sheets from back to front and top to bottom halfway through the baking.

Cool the cookies on the pan on a rack for a few minutes before sliding the parchment paper directly onto the rack to let them finish cooling.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/14/nibby-strawberry-chestnut-cookies/feed/ 10
Chewy Cherry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/#comments Tue, 25 Sep 2007 16:03:05 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/

I’d been craving chocolate chip cookies for weeks before I made these. But I was always too busy, or occasionally, trying to take a day now and then without eating any desserts. (This is difficult for me. I don’t tend to eat huge quantities of dessert, but I like a little bit of sweetness at the end of my meals.)

Then my mother handed me a bag of dried cherries. She’d bought them for herself, but after tasting one, she decided that they weren’t actually for eating. They were for baking! And since she doesn’t bake, that meant that they were for me! Oh happy day.

I made these cookies to keep a carful of friends happy during the 2 hour drive out to the orchard where we went apple-picking a few weeks ago. When my friend’s pre-diabetic boyfriend kept eating them to the point where his hands started shaking, I figured they were a success – a dangerous success, sure, but a success nonetheless.

They’re a bit almondy, but mostly it’s that fabulous one-two hit combo of chocolate and cherries that makes them so very satisfying.

Be warned, though – they’re so soft and chewy that they tend to just fall apart. I suggest serving them to friends at home, where everyone is happy just grabbing pieces of cookie off the pile on the plate and sharing the joy together.

Chewy Cherry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 C packed dark brown sugar
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 C chocolate chips
1 C dried cherries, cut into thirds

Preheat your oven to 375°.

Beat together the butter, sugars, corn syrup, and vinegar until nice and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat or stir in the flower until just barely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cherries. Relax, your work is nearly done.

Place tablespoons of dough on parchment paper covered baking sheets, about 2″ apart. Bake for about 10 minutes or until done, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.

Let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, until you can safely transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

These cookies have a tendency to fall apart, but so be it. They’re still really tasty.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/feed/ 7
Hazelnut Cookie Sherry Vinegar Swirl Ice Cream http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/07/30/hazelnut-cookie-sherry-vinegar-swirl-ice-cream/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/07/30/hazelnut-cookie-sherry-vinegar-swirl-ice-cream/#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2007 02:35:50 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/07/30/hazelnut-cookie-sherry-vinegar-swirl-ice-cream/

This is my new favorite ice cream. I mean that. It is absolutely bursting with flavor, rich nuttiness, cookie crunchiness, and surprising sweet sharpness from the sherry vinegar swirl. God, this is good.

Dave pointed out that when we brainstorm recipes together they always turn out better than the recipes we create separately on our own, and he’s right.

It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Almond Cookie Ice Cream you can get at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which tastes a bit like cold, creamy marzipan. Our Hazelnut Cookie Sherry Vinegar Swirl Ice Cream is better, though, with the crunch and the sharpness added in. I’m just really pleased with myself today, as you can tell. Ice cream success will do that to a person.

A few paragraphs down in this post you will find not only an ice cream recipe, but also a recipe for the hazelnut amaretti that provide the crunch in this ice cream. They’re quite good on their own as well, if you’re into that sort of thing.

This all started with a kitchen full of excess hazelnuts, fresh plums, and fresh sage. What happened to the sage and the plums, you may well ask. Dave vetoed Hazelnut Sage Ice Cream (I can’t imagine why), and after one taste of this splendid ice cream, we completely forgot about the plums.

Dave recommends that you contemplate sage and plums while eating this ice cream, as it may bring you closer to sweet, sweet enlightenment.

Hazelnut Cookie Sherry Vinegar Swirl Ice Cream
(adapted from Emeril’s hazelnut ice cream recipe)
1 C hazelnuts
1/2 C heavy cream
1 C milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/8 C frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
8 hazelnut cookies, coarsely chopped (recipe below)
Sherry vinegar syrup to taste, about 1/8-1/4 C (recipe below)

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the skins are cracked and the nuts are lightly golden (check under the skins for color). Rub the skins off as best you can. Cool to room temperature.

Blend the hazelnuts coarsely with the cream and 1/2 C of the milk. Pour the chunky froth you’ve created into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Slit the vanilla bean in half the long way and scrape the seeds into the cream, then throw the bean in after them. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat and let it infuse, covered, for about 20 minutes or so.

Bring the cream back up to a simmer.

Whisk the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. In a slow, steady stream, whisk 1 C of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. This tempers the eggs so that they are less likely to curdle. Gradually whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170°F on a candy thermometer. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Stir in the other 1/2 C milk and the frangelico. Cover such that the plastic wrap touches the surface of the cream (this prevents a skin from forming) and stick it in the fridge to cool.

Once it is cold, follow your ice cream machine’s instructions to finish the process. Add the chopped cookies in just before taking the ice cream out of the machine, and gently stir in the sherry vinegar syrup once the ice cream is already out of the machine and in whatever container you plan to freeze it in.

Leave the ice cream in the freezer for a bit to harden further before serving.
Hazelnut Amaretti
4 oz hazelnuts
4 oz confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp powdered egg white
2 tbsp frangelico
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 tsp powdered egg white
2 tbsp frangelico

Preheat your oven to 375°.

Grind the hazelnuts (skin and all) in a big tough food processor as best you can. Add the confectioner’s sugar and process again, as best you can. Add the granulated sugar, process briefly again. Add one powdered egg white and 2 tbsp frangelico and process further, until it turns into a paste/dough. Add the remaning egg white and frangelico and process briefly. (We use powdered egg whites instead of fresh egg whites so that we can make up the liquid with frangelico instead, thereby seriously boosting the flavor.)

Pipe the dough in 1/2 tbsp blobs about 1″ apart onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Bake until just starting to color (about 15-20 minutes), rotating from top to bottom and from front to back after 8 minutes. Then turn off the oven, open the oven door to let out a bit of the hot air, close the door again, and leave the cookies alone for 5 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack to room temperature.

This recipe makes about 30 cookies. You’ll only need 8 for the ice cream, so that means plenty of cookies to just nosh on by themselves.
Sherry Vinegar Syrup
(adapted from Cloudberry Quark’s balsamic syrup recipe)
2 tbsp butter
3/8 C dark brown sugar
3/8 C sherry vinegar

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together. Stir in the vinegar. Simmer, stirring, until it thickens. You can test the thickness by drizzling a bit on a cold spoon.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/07/30/hazelnut-cookie-sherry-vinegar-swirl-ice-cream/feed/ 15
Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2007 11:59:36 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/

I love malt. A good vanilla malted is one of my favorite things in the world, and I adore those Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls I made last summer.

So for this recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, I was up for questing all over to find a big carton of Whoppers so I could make it happen. I made these cookies for a NYC food blogger gathering last week, and brought it to the bar where we all met up. The cookies were half gone by the time I snuck out early, and people thanked me for leaving the rest behind when I left.

After I posted the Rum-Drenched Cocoa-Nana Bread, a mash-up of two Dorie recipes, and took the photo of these cookies, I started thinking about whether I should post about them at all. I had dinner with Dorie last night, and it occurred to me that it would be a wonderful opportunity to ask if she minded my posting her recipes occasionally.

My stance is that while I think that it is good advertising and can only help sales, and I know that is legal because recipes cannot be copyrighted, I still prefer to respect the wishes of cookbook authors who have given of themselves to create books that bring such joy into my life.

I am very grateful to Dorie for giving me the green light on sharing this recipe from her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

It’s been a wonderfully food-filled social week for me. The NYC food blogger gathering was a great way to meet a lot of local foodies, who all share such enthusiasm and friendly energy that I feel like I’ve known them for ages. If you want to be notified of the next gathering join the NYC food blogger mailing list. And meeting Dorie and her husband over dinner last night was also such a comfortable, warm experience! They were both so friendly that we were comfortably chatting together from the moment we met.

I do so love the warmth of the foodie community. It’s a grand life we share.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
(from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C malted milk powder (or Ovaltine, says Dorie)
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder (again I’ll note, I don’t like Dutch process)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick plus 3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C whole milk
2 C Whoppers, coarsely chopped
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat your oven to 350º. Set up a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat the sugar with the butter until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then the vanilla.

Beat in half the flour mix, just until incorporated. Then the milk. Then the rest of the flour mix.

Stir in the whoppers and chocolate chunks.

Place heaping tablespoons of the dough on the baking sheets, about 2″ apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/feed/ 15
Chewy Maple Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/18/chewy-maple-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/18/chewy-maple-cookies/#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2007 14:32:59 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/18/chewy-maple-cookies/

This recipe was invented by my partner, Dave. He was so delighted by the reduced maple syrup we had to create when making the maple crema that he wanted to use it as a cookie base as well. He threw in the rest of the ingredients by feel, figuring that the proportions should be something like Tollhouse cookie proportions.

The end result was an utterly mapley, chewy, almost candy-like batch of cookies. I find them deeply addictive, and hope to give some of them away soon to keep myself from eating them all. The only thing better than eating home-made treats is giving them away, after all.

In the end, it turned out that I like these more than Dave does. He usually has much greater tolerance for sweetness than I do, but somehow these are too sweet for him, but just right for me. I cannot explain this, but it is true.

These are basically maple candy in the guise of chewy cookies. Take from that what you will.

Chewy Maple Cookies
2 C maple syrup (ideally Grade B)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 C flour
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Boil the maple syrup until it is reduced to a third of the amount (2/3 C). Use a larger pot than you think you need, because it will bubble up and over tremendously. Don’t let it turn to caramel. Use a thermometer to keep it under about 250º. When you turn it off, let it cool to below 212º.

Stir in the butter until it melts and combines. Check the temperature and make sure it is below 120º; you don’t want to cook the eggs. Mix in the other ingredients, flour last, until combined. Chill for at least an hour, or until thick enough to form into solid-ish balls.

Place chestnut-sized balls of dough several inches apart (these cookies spread!) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until pale gold. They’ll be very soft when they come out, but don’t be afraid. Just transfer them carefully to a cooling rack and let them solidify as they cool before eating them.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/18/chewy-maple-cookies/feed/ 18
Cardamom Almond and Black Pepper Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/15/cardamom-almond-and-black-pepper-chocolate-pinwheel-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/15/cardamom-almond-and-black-pepper-chocolate-pinwheel-cookies/#comments Thu, 15 Mar 2007 11:25:39 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/15/cardamom-almond-and-black-pepper-chocolate-pinwheel-cookies/

I am constitutionally incapable of looking at a cookie recipe without feeling the urge to add, oh, cardamom and black pepper. Or something along those lines. It’s just one of those things. Some people can look at a chocolate almond swirl of a cookie recipe and think, God bless this green earth and the cookies that it brings forth! I think, I wonder how far I can twist it before it breaks.

This recipe did not even come close to breaking. No matter how much cardamom and black pepper I threw in, the flavors didn’t overwhelm the general unity of the cookie. They came together harmoniously, melding into a cohesive whole so lovely that I had to really focus to pick out the individual flavor notes.

The texture here is thick and chewy, slightly on the dense side. I happen to prefer chewy cookies, and I bet these would be fantastic dipped in milk. I’ve been munching on them non-stop, alternating bites with sips of spicy chai.

These are also very convenient cookies. They can be sliced and baked while still frozen, so you can make the dough in advance and freeze it until you’re in the mood, or unexpected guests drop by. The cookies haven’t been around long enough to tell yet (I made them just last night), but my guess is also that they will keep fairly well in an airtight container for at least a few days.

Cardamom Almond and Black Pepper Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
(adapted from a Maida Heatter recipe)
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 100%)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp ground cardamom

Melt the chocolate, and set it aside to cool a bit.

Cream the butter. Blend in the sugar and vanilla extract, then the egg. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking powder until just combined.

Separate the dough in half. Mix the chocolate and black pepper into one half of the dough, and mix the almond extract and cardamom into the other half.

Roll out each type of dough separately into an 9″x14″ rectangle. It helps to roll each dough out between two layers of wax paper. Then remove one layer of wax paper from each dough, and carefully lay one atop the other, trying to align them as best you can. If you like, you can firm them up in the freezer before layering them.

Remove the top layer of wax paper, and use the bottom layer to help you roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting with a long side.

The dough must be cold and firm before you cut into it. It can be sliced frozen, so your simplest option is to just stick the cylinder in the freezer until it hardens.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Slice into 1/4″ thick slices, and lay them 1″ apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.

They’re done when they are just barely starting to become pale gold around the edges. Err on the side of undercooked rather than overcooked, if need be.

Note: Here is the trick to making good pinwheels.

Use that bottom layer of wax paper. I mean, really use it. Roll each curve with it, tucking it tight, and then pulling the end of the wax paper out and adjusting it before the next incremental curve.

In the end, roll the wax paper around the whole thing, and roll the whole cylinder on the table just to even it out and compress the layers. Pretend you’re rolling out a play-doh snake. It’s the same technique. (Didn’t play with play-doh as a kid? That may be the problem. In that case, get a kid to help with this step.)

Freeze it. Take it out occasionally to roll it on the table again, just to fix any flattened bits as it stiffens. Alternatively, I hear it’s very helpful to cut a cardboard tube (say, from a finished roll of paper towels) in half, and use that curved mold to keep your roll nicely curved as it freezes.

And definitely wait until it is frozen before cutting the slices, else it will compress and deform when you make your cuts.

http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/03/15/cardamom-almond-and-black-pepper-chocolate-pinwheel-cookies/feed/ 19