Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Cranky Cookies January 3, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 10:58 pm
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I’ve been in a bad mood today. I think it’s the cold weather and the fact that my vacation is over and I have to go back to work tomorrow. So to cheer myself up, I decided to make chocolate chunk cookies. I enjoy comfort eating, but I prefer comfort cooking (then eating), I feel like I accomplished something, burning a few calories and having something yummy to eat.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 eggs
1 large bar of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of baking soda

Unwrap one of your favorite brands of chocolate and chop into chunks. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until blended and creamy. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well, add chocolate chunks and then fold in flour mixture.
Place bowl in fridge to chill for 30 min. Preheat oven to 350 and drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet, allowing room for dough to spread. Bake for about 10 min or until cookies or golden.

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Cookie Overload December 28, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 4:25 pm
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Tis the season for sweets and goodies…Ok, well the holiday season is almost over and I am up to my ears in cookies and candies – but I still love them and I’m sure you do too. So this year, instead of trying to finish up the last of them before New Years so I can fulfill my resolution of losing the weight gained from holiday indulgences. I’m making a more productive resolution – perfecting my recipes and sharing them with my readers. To misquote ZeFrank, “indulging, so you don’t have to”, enjoy!

Today’s recipe was a cookie invention of necessity, sort of. I made crème brûlée (recipe coming soon) using several egg yolks, which left me with several unused egg whites.  Meringue seemed like the answer to my question “what do I do with all these fracking egg whites?!”

Once you have gotten the hang of beating egg whites these cookies are a snap to make. They do require a long time in the oven, so keep that in mind when making them.

Mocha Meringue Cookies

6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar, baker’s sugar or fine grain works best
1 1/2 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped or in chip form
2 packets of Starbucks Via instant coffee or 4 tablespoons of instant coffee
pinch of cream of tartar

Preheat oven too its lowest setting, about 200 degrees. Mix sugar and instant coffee (I like Via for flavor and the fine crystals dissolve quickly) in a small bowl and keep handy. Whisk cold egg whites and cream of tartar in a large metal bowl until it starts to become white and frothy.

Continue to whisk eggs and slowly add sugar mixture, a little at a time. Meringue is done when you can make stiff peaks when you pull the whisk out, it should look like shiny chocolate mousse. The sign of a great meringue is if the meringue stays in the bowl when turned upside down. I don’t suggest you try that unless you are sure it’s going to stay put and even then, do it over the sink.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a non stick silicone baking mat and drop spoonfuls of meringue with minimal spacing, cookies will not spread much. For more attractive cookies, you can pipe them using a fun tip. The meringue will hold its shape when handled well, over handling will make it deflate and become watery.

Place cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven and let cook for about 20 minutes, more or less depending on the size of your cookies. They should be a nice golden color and dry to the touch, keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn. Set aside to cool, while warm they are soft and can collapse with handling.

After the cookies have cooled for about 15 minutes, you can start melting the chocolate. Place chocolate pieces in a pot (preferably nonstick, it’s easier to clean) on a low temperature and slowly stir. Continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off the heat but keep the pot on the burner and stir once in a while, scraping the sides, you want to keep the chocolate melted but you don’t want it to burn.

The cookies should be cool enough to handle and easily pop off the parchment. Carefully pull the cookies off one by one and dip the bottoms in the melted chocolate and place them back on the sheet. Once all the cookies have been dipped, place the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate, about 5 minutes.

 

Tea Party January 21, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 5:08 pm
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1232586487-hr-68This year for my birthday, I’m having a tea party. Complete with funny hats and a few characters from Alice in Wonderland.So in the spirit of the celebration, here are some tea cookie recipes:

Lavender and Lemon Sugar Cookies

1/4 tsp. dried lavender buds
1/4 cup sugar1 cup soft butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.lemon extract

In a food processor or blender, grind lavender with sugar. Cream sugar with butter and powdered sugar, and add egg. Stir in lemon extract, then flour, soda, tartar and salt; blending well. Place a tablespoon of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten dough with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar, and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Cream Cheese Cookies

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
raspberry or strawberry preserves

Combine the cream cheese, butter and flour and blend completely. Chill. Roll out the dough, half at a time, to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into small rounds or other dainty shapes. Make a small depression in the center of each cookie and place 1/2 tsp. preserves. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool, and dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Makes about 2 dozen.

Old Fashioned Anise Seed Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 tsp. finely crushed anise seeds
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger

Cream the sugar, eggs, molasses, shortening and ground anise until it resembles a smooth paste. Sift the dry ingredients remaining three times and add to the anise mixture. Mix well. Roll the dough into balls and coat each one in granulated sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen.

Lemon Basil Cookies

1/4 cup butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons dried basil, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 package lemon cake mix
1/2 cup crushed walnuts or pecans

Mix together the butter, cheese, yolk and juice. Add the cake mix, and blend well. Stir in the nuts, peel and basil. Chill for 1/2 hour or more. Roll into small 1/2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Parchment paper works well. Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Coconut Cookies

1(8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 (18.5 ounce) package yellow cake mix
Optional:
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and extract. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended. Roll into 1 inch balls and coat in the confectioners’ sugar. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I used parchment paper). Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. After a few minutes remove from baking sheets to cool.