This post was sponsored by Paderno Kitchenware.…
I have been accused many times of being a cookie monster. Without any exaggeration, I can quite easily consume a dozen or so cookies in one sitting. I can see my family and friends nodding their heads right now. Honestly, cookies are so deceiving. They’re presented as cute little entities that are about 3 bite sizes or less. After eating 6 or so, I tell myself, “It’s fine Betty. Cookies are small.” And so I continue eating until someone stops me. Usually it’s my 10 year old daughter demanding I save some for her.
With the holiday season approaching, I don’t hold myself back at all. This is the time to indulge, enjoy and share. Normally I bake about 4 different types of cookies right about now and bake 3 dozen of each. I have rotating baking trays out on my front porch cooling with Roxie my trusty yellow Labrador on the lookout for any pesky and hungry squirrels or birds. She barks as soon as something comes remotely close. Even a blowing leaf.
- 300 g/ 2 1/2 cups AP flour
- 90g/ 3/4 cup hulled and roasted white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 170 g/ 3/4 cup butter softened
- 2 eggs
- 110 g/ 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 100 g/ 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup 100% maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
- 100g/ 1 cup Cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1 cup 100% maple syrup
- 90g/ 3/4 cup hulled and roasted white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl and set aside
- Take food processor/Kitchen Aid/Ninja and process all the sesame seeds until it is nicely ground.
- Take about half of the ground sesame seeds, add to the flour mixture, put aside the remaining sesame seeds to be used later for the chocolate filling
- In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and white sugar for about a minute on low speed until they're well blended
- Add the maple syrup in slowly until just combined.
- Beat in egg, one at a time. Scrape bottom and sides
- Add the vanilla and beat for a few seconds
- Add flour and mix on low speed, scraping sides and bottom until flour has been fully incorporated - about half a minute or so
- Dough consistency should be moist and ever so slightly tacky...not sticky or gummy
- Take dough and make into a ball and double wrap with plastic wrap
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight
- Place rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350F
- Take cookie dough out of fridge and let it come to room temperature about 10 minutes
- Roll out about 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface and cut out with desired cookie cookies
- Remember you need pairs to make the bottom and tops for cookie sandwiches!!
- Bake for 10 minutes until the shine on the cookies has disappeared.
- Allow to cool about 5 minutes on tray, then transfer to cookie rack
- Repeat for the remaining cookies
- Take the remaining ground sesame seeds and add the maple syrup and blend with your food processing gadget (I used my NINJA) until it looks like tahini paste about 1 minute (depends on the gadget you're using)
- Add the vanilla bean paste or extract and blend
- Then add the cocoa powder and blend for another half minute
- Consistency should be like very thick paste
- After the cookies have cooled either pipe or spread the paste on one half of the cookie sandwich
- Put the other cookie on top of paste and give them a soft squeeze
- I used 1", 2" and 3" heart shaped cookie cutters which made approximately 24 cookie sandwiches.
- Store in air tight container for up to one week.
I remember seeing a Staples ‘Back to School’ commercial last fall, to the tune of, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” In this commercial, the dad gleefully drags a rope attached to a sofa with his grumpy kids in anticipation of getting them out of the house and seeing them off to the start of school. Fast forward a couple months, and as the winter holidays are coming to a close here in Ontario, I’m feeling a bit giddy like that dad in that Staples commercial.
As a mother I am always trying to sneak healthy foods into my kids’ meals. As every parent knows, chicken nuggets and pizza can be great to satiate the kids, but the challenge is trying to include nutrient-rich foods into their fickle little diets. Sometimes these covert operations are met with more success than other times. Recently, I was making chocolate zucchini bread (well, chocolate bread to my 10 year old daughter), when she caught me red-handed standing over the bowl of chocolate batter with the offensive green squash in one hand and a grater in the other. I may as well have been holding a a bottle of rat poison and a dirty syringe based on her reaction.
Just as the trust was being rebuilt, (and she was finally convinced I wasn’t trying to poison her), my culinary antics were blown wide open again. For years I had strained anchovies into her miso soup, but the gig was finally up when she discovered a tiny little anchovy eyeball staring back at her from her bowl. Clearly, I should have used a finer strainer. Her reaction was epic as far as meltdowns go.
Even now, I still mince yellow peppers (so finely that it might as well be a puree) into her spaghetti bolognese. The older she grows, the more her taste buds and sense of smell evolves.Â Most attempts at concealing healthy food now are as she put it a “#fail”. Thus the days of fooling my little princess into believing her food is unadulterated are pretty much done.
Trying to outsmart a 10 year old is challenging. My daughter likes things simple. If it’s apple pie, it better not have blueberries, just apples. Same with chocolate cake. Add a few raspberries on top and suddenly its not a chocolate cake anymore. It’s a raspberry cake.
I recently made cookies with black currants when my daughter finally dropped the big question. “Can’t you bake normal stuff?” I stopped and realized that some of the baked goods I was preparing she wasn’t interested in at all. From a child’s perspective, some of my baking was exclusively for grown ups. Children desire plain and simple. They’re not interested in unique baked goods like Korean Pear Galette or ricotta cheesecakes. So I’ve added another New Year’s resolution. That is, to bake “normal” recipes. This ones for you Moineau. xo
- 227 g or 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 g or 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 150 g or 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 260 g or 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups quick oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips Or chopped chocolates of your choice
- 125 g or 1 Cup chopped Walnuts
- 1/2 cup turbinado brown sugar (Optional)
- Line baking tray with silpat or parchment paper
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in quick oats and set aside
- In stand mixer or bowl, paddle beat the butter about 1 minute.
- Add both sugars until light and creamy about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract
- Beat in eggs, one at a time until just incorporated
- Take the dry mix of flour, baking soda etc and stir in the butter sugar mixture until just incorporated.
- Add the chocolate chips and walnuts. Don't over mix
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C, place rack in middle of oven
- Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls or I use a 1 inch ice cream scoop
- Roll in the turbinado sugar until its completely covered (optional)
- Drop on Cookie sheet about 2 inches apart
- Bake for about 10-11 minutes or until just slightly golden on the edges
- Let cool before transferring to a rack.
- Once cool, take a small tumbler glass with a flat bottom and gently press the cookies down. Alternatively you can bang your cookie tray on the counter about a minute after it comes out of oven. This helps spread them out.
- Refrigerating cookie dough prior to baking prevents the cookie from spreading too much when baking. However if you're strapped for time, pop the cookie balls in freezer for 10 minutes.