My Easter cookies: Bird’s nest cookies

 

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Short dough ngredients:

  • 150 g butter
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 300 g flour
  • 3 g baking powder
  • rhum

 

Cream butter with sugar:

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Add flavor, water, then the yolks. Sift cocoa with flour and baking powder.

Mix to get a homogenous dough. (Add more flour if is too soft, or water if is too stiff to get  the proper consistency):

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Wrap in plastic wrap, shape a 7,5 cm diameter log and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, to cut well-defined slices.

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Cut into 0,5 cm slices:

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Place at least 3cm apart on greased baking sheet or parchment.
Bake them at 180°C, for 10 minutes.
Completely cool on wire rack.

 

Ganache:

  • 350 g dark chocolate
  • 500 ml cream, over 35%
  •  2 Tbs instant coffee/barley coffee (orzo)

Melt cream with chocolate, add coffee, then cool. Beat until forms peaks.

Decoration:

  • small chocolate eggs or candies

Pipe ganache to form the nest. I used a Multi-Opening Decorating Tip 233 from Wilton, the one for grass/fur.

Fill the nest with eggs.

 

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Another way to make the nests:

Decoration:

  • 2 cup shredded coconut
  •  marzipan eggs&chicks

Pipe ganache around each cookie using a large tip, then sprinkle shredded coconut.

You can also turn the cookie up-side down and press into shredded coconut to make it stick onto ganache.

Fill the nest with eggs& chicks.

 

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Follow the pictures if you want to play with marzipan or powdered milk paste.

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Cinnamon, orange and chocolate cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 250 g butter
  • 315 g flour
  • cinnamon
  • 20 g cocoa
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest of 2 small oranges
  • brown sugar and 1 egg white

Mix the orange zest with sugar. Cream the butter with sugar.

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In a separate bowl sift flour, cocoa, cinnamon.

Add 2-3 Tbs water/milk and the yolk, in butter mixture.

Add flour.

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Form 2 logs ~ 3 cm diameter and refrigerate 2 hours.

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Brush with egg white, roll in sugar, cut 1,5 cm thick slices.

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Bake them for 10 minutes at 175°C.

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That’s all…

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You may want them near a cappuccino…

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Checker cookies

Plain short-dough ingredients:

  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 300 g flour
  • 3 g baking powder
  • vanilla, orange zest

Cream butter with sugar:

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Add flavor, water, then the yolks.

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Sift flour with baking powder in the butter. Mix to get a homogenous dough. (Add more flour if is too soft, or water if is too stiff.)

This is the proper consistency:

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Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Cocoa short dough ingredients:

  • 150 g butter
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 300 g flour
  • 3 g baking powder
  • rhum

Same procedure like plain dough. Sift cocoa with flour and baking powder. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

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Roll each dough in 1-1,5 cm thick dough sheet. Brush one with egg white and cover with the other one. Refrigerate to work easily.

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Cut in stripes.

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Form blocks, alternating colors. Brush the stripes with egg white to glue them together.

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I formed one block with 6 stripes, and another one with 4 stripes.

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Separate the trimmings and roll each color into a 3 mm thick dough sheet.

Brush the dough sheet and wrap a block. I wrapped in plain pastry dough the 6 stripes block, and the 4 stripes block in cocoa pastry dough.

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Brush dark block (and marbled one) and sprinkle coarse sugar. Roll the leftover dough to form a log, and swirl together the 2 colors to obtain a marbled log. Roll again to get a smooth log.

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Freeze the blocks, this allows you to slice them easily. Cut ~1cm wide slices.

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Arrange onto baking sheet 3 cm apart.

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Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.

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The big checker cookie:

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The marbled one:

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And cocoa wrapped one:

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Chocolate cranberries cookies

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This is a kid-friendly recipe. They love to prepare these chocolate chips cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 75 g butter, softened
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 175 g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g dried cranberries/cherries
  • vanilla
  • 100 g  white, milk and plain chocolate drops

Stir the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Slightly beat the egg with vanilla and add in butter. Sift the flour and baking powder, add the cranberries, chopped.

Add 50 chocolate drops to the mixture and stir them in. Put a heaped teaspoon of mixture onto one tray. Continue to make all cookies. Flatten each one with a fork.

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Sprinkle more chocolate.

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Bake them for 10 minutes at 180°C. Leave them on the trays for few minutes, then cool on wire rack.

Christmas cookies platter

Another Christmas cookies platter:

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From left to righ: Vanilla cookies with chocolate and pistachio, Apricot flowers, Sour cherry cookies, Almond italian cookies-Paste reali, Linz cookies, Rafaello candy balls, Chocolate spritz cookies, Ma’amoul- shortbread pastries filled with dates, Double chocolate biscotti

On right top corner: Dulce de leche sandwich cookies and Lekerlis

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Pistachio macaroons with rosewater ganache/Macarons à la pistache et à l’eau de rose

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Ingredients:

  • 250 g almond flour
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 25g pistachio
  • 200g ~7 egg whites “liquefied”, at room temp.
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • green food colouring
  • pistachio flavor

To liquefy the egg whites: keep the whites in a bowl covered in clingfilm (pierce it once with a knife-to prevent condensation) in the fridge for a week.

“liquefied” egg whites: whose albumen has broken down, allowing them to whisk to a higher volume and the macaroons will be much more smooth and shiny.

Keep the egg whites 2h at room temperature before proceed.

Tant pour tant (french for half and half) – equal amounts of almond meal and powdered sugar.

Prepare tant pour tant: finely grind 250 g almonds flour and 250 g icing sugar, then sift.

Finely grind the pistachio.

In a separate bowl sift the remaining 200 g of icing sugar, add “tant por tant” , pistachio, 2 egg whites,  flavor and food colouring, a drop at a time, until you reach the desired intensity. (The cooked macaroons will be lighter then uncooked mixture, so add a little more than you think is necessary)

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In a separate bowl, whisk 5 egg whites with caster sugar until stiff. Pour the whisked egg whites in the almond mixture and gently mix with a spatula. Within a few turns it will change from a dull gritty surface with ridges and lines to a smooth, shiny surface. When you lift and drop the batter back on itself, after waiting for about 30 seconds, the ridges slowly ooze back into the batter. If you see peaks after you have piped one whole row, it’s not ready. Put it back into the mixing bowl and give it a few more turns.

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Put the mixture into the pastry bag fitted with a 1cm (1/2 inch) round piping tip. Pipe batter into 2.5cm rounds across the tray stepping alternate rows diagonally 2.5 cm apart.. As you pipe, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet. Pipe from the middle with the tip about 1cm (½ inch) above. The rounds will spread somewhat. To finish each macaron, the piping tip is flicked upwards with a twist of the wrist to finish. Rap the  sheet against the counter several times to flatten the mounds and pop any  large air bubbles. Let rest until the meringues no longer feel tacky,  at least 20 minutes, to form the “foot”.

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Sprinkle the top of the macaroons with finely grounded pistachio.

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Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes (one cookie sheet at a time) at 180˚C, until smooth and firm to the touch.

Insert the handle of a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it slightly ajar.

If the macaroons are still soft when pressed, then they are not cooked yet!

Transfer on a wire rack to cool.

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White chocolate ganache:

  • 300 g white chocolate
  • 120 ml cream
  • 2 Tbs rosewater

Melt the chocolate with the cream, add the honey. Let to set.

Beat until fluffy. Spoon or pipe on half of cookies

Top with another shell.

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Refrigerate. They are best next day.

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If you’re not going to consume your macarons immediately, is better to store the unfilled macarons in an airtight container.

Chocolate macaroons – macarons au chocolat Lenôtre

      

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Ingredients:

  • 250 g almond flour
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 25 g cacao
  • 200g ~7 egg whites “liquefied”, room temp.
  • 50 g caster sugar

To liquefy the egg whites: keep the whites in a bowl covered in clingfilm (pierce it once with a knife-to prevent condensation) in the fridge for a week.

“liquefied” egg whites: whose albumen has broken down, allowing them to whisk to a higher volume and the macaroons will be much more smooth and shiny.

Keep the egg whites 2h at room temperature before proceed.

(tant pour tant – equal amounts of almond meal and powdered sugar)

Prepare tant pour tant: finely grind 250 g almonds flour and 250 g icing sugar, then sift.

In a separate bowl sift the remaining 150 g of icing sugar and cocoa. Add “tant por tant” and 2 egg whites.

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In a separate bowl, whisk 5 egg whites with caster sugar until stiff. Pour the whisked egg whites in the almond mixture and gently mix with a spatula.

Put the mixture into the pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe buttons on baking paper. As you pipe, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and flick the tip of the bag as you finish each cookie to minimize the peaks. Rap the  sheet against the counter several times to flatten the mounds and pop any  large air bubbles. Let rest until the meringues no longer feel tacky, at least 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the macaroons with a pinch of cocoa powder.

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Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes (one cookie sheet at a time), until smooth and firm to the touch.

Insert the handle of a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it slightly ajar.

If the macaroons are still soft when pressed, then they are not cooked yet!

Transfer on a wire rack to cool.

Bittersweet chocolate ganache:

  • 200 g chocolate 70%
  • 250 ml cream
  • 50g honey

Melt the chocolate with the cream, add the honey. Let to set.

Beat until fluffy. Spoon or pipe on half of cookies

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top with another shell.

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Refrigerate. They are best next day.

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