Tag Archives: cranberry

Bouchon Oatmeal Cookies

27 Apr

Cookies….mmmmm….I am referred to by some friends as the cookie monster minus big eyes and blue hair. I love cookies and better yet eating them. Recently I found the best chocolate cookies in town from Creme de la Crumb and it was melt in your mouth goodness. Because of this craving for crunchy and chewy cookies I decided to make some. I have been flipping through recipe books again as my appetite for sugar and baking is high. As I gazed over the pages of tantalizing desserts, my gaze stopped at the oatmeal raisin cookies from Bouchon.

Most of you know oatmeal cookies are a tradition and I am a fan of tradition….so here we go. Key to making cookies are the creaming of butter and sugar and the incorporating of eggs one at a time. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy and then add in the eggs until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients next. The recipe calls to refrigerate the dough but I skipped the step. Spoon and roll the dough into balls and flatten and bake at a preheated oven of 325F for 15-17 minutes.

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Here is what they looked like once baked.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

144 g all purpose flour ( I used 160 grams flour)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
140 g light brown sugar
69 g granulated sugar (I used only brown sugar and used 150 g sugar and it was sufficient)
155 g unsalted butter ( I used 150 g)
1/4 cup or 62 g eggs ( 1 large egg)
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste ( I used homemade vanilla extract)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisin ( I used cranberries)
Opt chocolate chips

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This recipe is a keeper as the cookies were chewy and crispy. The chocolate and cranberries added complexity to the recipe but if it were raisins it too would have been an awesome cookie. Next time as an alternative nuts will be added as well. Eat cookies!!!!

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Santa’s Milk and Cookies

25 Dec

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the housetwas-the-night-before-christmas
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

xmas_2005_vac_900Wow….can’t believe its CHRISTMAS!!! I do believe that I saw a red glow and heard the ringing of soft jingle bells yesterday night and around midnight, I heard some rustling and clattering on our roof top. Ol’Saint Nick himself swooped onto our rooftop and down our chimney. As I woke up early in the morning, I saw several gifts gleaming brightly. I have always loved christmas. The city decorates itself amazingly with christmas lights and trees. To top it off, we had snow too. Vancouver was absolutely stunning when blanketed by white fluffy snow.

As a treat to Santa, his wonderful reindeers and elves, I made a present for them. What may you say? Why cookies of course!!! The cookies will help fuel his long and weary trip around the world delivering millions of gifts to excited children. First off was the Linzer cookie. The linzer cookie was made from toasted ground hazelnuts and raspberry jam. It was and still is a favorite during the Christmas season.

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Here were the cookies baked and ready to be dusted which icing sugar. The raspberry jam shined like little jewels encased in a circle of fluffy white snow.

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Next came some biscotti. Biscotti was a wonderful cookie when dipped into coffee or milk. I think Santa Claus would love to kick back and relax while sipping on some fresh milk and biscotti cookies. Keeping with the festive season, I chose to make some pistachio and cranberry biscotti. The two flavours compliment each other nicely and added a colourful scheme to the biscotti.

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Once the biscottis were done, they were dipped into white and dark chocolate. To make Kris Kringle’s stay more enjoyable and rich, I decided to make shortbread. Nothing says the holidays than shortbread cookies and I made pecan cresents.

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Pistachio Biscotti (adapted from here)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole aniseed
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
3/4 cup shelled natural unsalted pistachios

6 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped

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And there you have it. A wonderful snack for Santa Claus!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!! Wishing everyone a joyous season full of cheer!!!

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Cranberry Blueberry Scones

6 Sep

Everyone seems to be catching social media fever these days. I never really paid much attention to online marketing brands such as living social, groupon and social shopper until I worked in the retail industry. As a great way to motivate team members, build team work and productivity, groupon came into play. Still I was not convinced; however, when friends started posting tasty photos of food thus a dangling carrot, I quickly hopped and pounced at it. Drat!!! Like a mouse to cheese I was lured into purchasing a online special with more to come :). The first of these outings was afternoon tea at the Vancouver Airport Hotel. There was a certain ambience and grandeur to the hotel. Fairmont definitely spent a shinny penny to pretty up the place. From over hanging brilliant translucent lights resembling a wave in the lobby, to the sophisticated yet modern decor in lounge and tea area, I really was amazed. You could definitely relax while sipping away at smooth tea and savouring delicious delights. (photos to come shortly)

The highlight of the whole experience were the scones for me. I really liked the crumbly texture. It was to die for when served warm with jam and devonshire cream. Well, I liked the scones enough that I decided to make some at home. Unlike biscuits, scones actually contains eggs and higher amount of sugar. IMHO, this added to the richness of the scone. There was a saying in Chinese, one hits the iron when hot to form something. With this in mind, I surfed the net and came across a beautiful blog created by a pastry chef. I really liked his recipe for scones and thus decided to try it.

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To make the scone batter, first combine the cold butter, flour, sugar and baking powder. Work the dry ingredients together until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add in the eggs and milk/cream. Although the recipe called for raisins, I opted to add dried cranberries and blueberries. I found that berries added complexity to the flavour of the scones. Once combined together, let the dough rest for approx 10 mins. Roll and cut into cirlces and brush the tops with egg wash. I baked mine for approx 20 mins at 390 F.

If you find the dry add bit more cream and milk. The results were superb. I really liked warm baked pastries and with jam… well….you can decide….

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Scones (recipe also found here)

500 g flour (I used all purpose and organic flour)
95 g sugar
25 g baking powder
125 g butter (I used approx. 115)
2 eggs
100 ml milk (I used a combination of cream and milk)
60 g sultanas (I used dried cranberries and blueberries)
Bon Appetit !!!

Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Bark

10 Mar

DSC_0233As always this was the weekend, kind of a sad day today as it was damp dismal and dreary a stark contrast to yesterday’s bright sunny warm weather.  Two more months hopefully till warmer weather and sunnier skies.  After scooting around town for next week, I decided to take time to make snacks for munching on next week.  I saw some cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate sitting around so I decided to make some classic white chocolate bark.  To me, white chocolate was always delicious but it was even more so when studded with little green and red jewels, pistachios and cranberries that was.  When eaten, you get combination of a nutty floral and tangy sweet taste, from the pistachios and cranberries, along side the natural sweetness of white chocolate.  Mind you, there was also milk chocolate or dark chocolate bark.  There are probably many combinations, but I so happened to have pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate.

I first toasted some pistachios and cranberries while the white chocolate was melting over a bowl.  Next I arranged the pistachios and cranberries over a pan and once the chocolate was the right temperature, I poured it onto the cranberries and pistachios.  The chocolate mixture was then placed in the fridge to cool, set and once set, the bark was broken into separate pieces.

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