snowflake cookies


It had been snowing all day long and the world looks like it’s all powdered. Everything is calm and peaceful and after a walk trough the winter wonderland we enjoy a nice cup of tea and some of these perfectly crumbly and tender almond snowflake cookies.


Makes about 50 cookies:

  • 250 g flour
  • 100 g confectioners sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest of one orange or lemon
  • 3 – 4 drops of almond extract
  • 250 g cold butter

Mix the flour, the confectioners sugar, the salt and ground almonds in a large bowl.

Add the butter, and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Halve the vanilla pod lengthwise, and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds out of one half. Add the seeds to the flour mixture, along with the orange or lemon zest and the almond extract and knead the dough as much as necessary with your hands until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and let it rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until it is about 3 – 4 mm thick. If necessary dust the dough with some flour.

Cut shapes with a cookie cutter, then place the cookies on the lined baking tin. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Let the cookies rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, use the middle shelf of the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack and let cool the cookies completely.

Cover the cookies with confectioners sugar.

Happy baking!

sablés with chestnut purée


This delicate and crumbly French butter cookie is traditional in a round shape with a criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie. A lovely treat on a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.


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Makes about 40 cookies

  • 250 g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g chestnut purée
  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk

Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and butter together and gently work with your fingertips until crumbly.

Then add the egg and the chestnut purée and knead the dough as much as necessary with your hands until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and let it rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200° C and line a baking tin with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until it is about 4 mm thick. Cut shapes with your favourite cookie cutter, then place the cookies on the lined baking tin. Repeat with the remaining dough.

With a fork or a toothpick make the criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie and brush them with the whisked egg yolk and milk and bake them for about 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking!

 

coconut chocolate bars


These coconut chocolate bars are rich of flavors, soft and tender on the inside, smothered in bitter-sweet dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut flakes. They taste more like little cakes rather than cookies but nonetheless they look very pretty and decoratively on your christmas cookie plate.


Preparation for about 80 little cakes

Preheat the oven to 180° C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  • 200 g milk chocolate
  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 200 g coconut flakes
  • 100 g flour
  • 250 g dark chocolate couverture
  • about 50 g coconut flakes for decoration

In a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, gently melt the chocolate.

Put the soft butter, the sugar, the vanilla sugar and salt in a bowl and beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs, one at the time, and fold in the melted chocolate, the ground almonds, the coconut flakes and sift in the flour.

Spoon the dough in the prepared baking tray and bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes.

Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.

In a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, gently melt the couverture.

Cut the cake in about 2 x 2 cm cubes, dip the cakes in the chocolate and sprinkle the little cakes with coconut flakes.

Happy baking!

 

christmas cookies


Christmas is just around the corner and the anticipation for the holiday season grows with each day. I spend the last few days in the kitchen; baking cookies for my family, for friends and workmates. Lets start the festive spirit with two of them; the crisp and buttery spritz cookies, dipped in dark chocolate and the walnut stars with the crumbly and light texture.


Makes about 50 Spritz cookies

  • 375 g flour
  • 250 butter, very soft and room temperature
  • 150 confectioners sugar
  • 120 ml milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 250 g dark chocolate couverture

Preheat the oven to 180° C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With a spatula beat the butter and the confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

Add the milk and the vanilla extract and whisk together.

With a sharp knife slit open the vanilla pod and scrape out the pith.

Sift the flour and fold in the flour and the vanilla pith with a spatula to the batter gently.

Transfer the dough to piping bag with a star-shaped opening and press out into rounds on the cookie sheet.

Let the piped cookies stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to let the crust forms.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate couverture gently and dip the cookies carefully in the chocolate.

Let the chocolate set and harden.


Makes about 80 walnut cookies

  • 125 g walnuts, finely chopped
  • 375 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125 g sugar
  • 250 g cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated zest of 1 lemon

Quickly knead the flour, baking powder, sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, salt and  butter together until crumbly.

Add the egg, one egg yolk and the lemon zest and knead into a smooth dough.

Wrap the dough in a plastic bag and let it rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180° C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll the dough out on flour until it is about 3 mm thick. Use the cutter to cut out star shapes and then place the stars on the lined baking sheet. Re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used.

Brush the cookies with the remaining egg yolk and bake them for about 14 minutes..

Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking and a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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