• Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

    Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

  I went through a phase a few years ago where I was trying to find the recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I think I came pretty close with a few great recipes from my experiments, five years ago, but my appetite has not waned. I’m a sucker for a good cookie. And a good cookie will tempt me to stray from my diet, every time. When I saw Alton Brown post his recipe for ‘ The Chewy,’ my curiosity was piqued since his approach is quite scientific. This recipe, unlike the others I’ve tried, holds true to its promise. It is truly chewy, on the day it’s first baked, even the day after, and the day after that. It also looks almost like it came out of a bag or straight off the cookie sheet at your neighbourhood bakery. It doesn’t quite live up to the promise […]

  • Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt

    Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt

Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt

If I had to summarize my last 12 months of baking with two ingredients, I’d have to say they were: dulce de leche and sea salt. So, despite the fact I’d already picked my contributions for the annual cookie exchange I love to attend, I simply couldn’t resist adding this to my roster at the last minute when it popped up online. To be honest, I thought I would be mixing Nutella and dulce de leche somehow but the recipe calls for Nutella to be used in half the batch and dulce de leche to be used in the other half. Since I had so much dulce de leche, however, I simply used it on all the cookies. As I mentioned this was one of my three types of cookies I took to my friend’s annual cookie swap: The others were the pecan pie cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie I’d never tried before. […]

  • Pecan Pie cookies Pecan Pie cookies

    Pecan Pie cookies

Pecan Pie cookies

This is a bit of an odd recipe. At first glance I thought it would be the easiest out of my three contributions to the cookie exchange this year. It turned out to be the biggest disaster, in fact, but I was able to save it. I tried to double the recipe as you don’t exactly get enough of cookies out of one pie crust, and maybe that’s where things went wrong. Still, I decided to blog about it for two reasons: One; using ready pie crust as the base for a cookie is a game-changer; two; because I was able to dial it back when it went so spectacularly wrong. You can find the recipe here but be sure to read my notes below before you embark on this one… Substitutions: I used Tenderflake frozen pie crust instead of making my own pie crust. The trick is to take it out […]

  • Homemade Samoa cookies Homemade Samoa cookies

    Homemade Samoa cookies

Homemade Samoa cookies

I’m tired, way too tired, to get creative here so I’ll cut to the chase: Shortbread crust, caramel, coconut, chocolate. Need to know more? I didn’t think so. These are Samoa cookies, also known as the cookies I will never make again. While the idea of rolling out cookies and letting your kids use cookie cutters sounds wonderful in theory, it is anything but. By the time their sticky little hands cut out the cookies with the 1,543rd cookie cutter they settled on, the dough is too warm. So, you end up throwing it out. But I digress. This was a several day, multi-hour process. Worth it? Yes, they turned out extremely well. But I will never take so many hours to make them again. If you have children who are grabbing at you demanding milk, no cold water, no freezing water! Or need you to moderate an argument, or make […]

  • Chai spice biscotti Chai spice biscotti

    Chai spice biscotti

Chai spice biscotti

There is so much to love about biscotti. You need to double bake it so it’s nearly impossible to get the consistency wrong, it stays fresh longer than your average cookie, and best of all, it’s the perfect biscuit to dip inside your morning coffee. But I like my biscotti to be either old-school Italian, with some pistachio or a hint of lemon, or to have some kind of modern twist, like this recipe from Chatelaine. The usual chocolate almond biscotti don’t interest me. But this biscotti was absolutely delicious. It hit all the right notes with me, slightly savoury and peppery while finishing on a sweet note. The result is a completely unexpected taste sensation that you’ll crave time and time again – particularly for anyone who loves Indian flavours like I do. Substitutions: None, but I tried to grind some of the spices in my small marble mortar […]

  • Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers) Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers)

    Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers)

Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers)

I made these in February, which, admittedly was weeks ago. But this isn’t the first time I’ve made palmiers, nor will it be the last. If you have a box of puff pastry in your freezer, and sugar, and I always do, palmiers are very easy to whip up. I was inspired to make these heart-shaped cookies from this Today’s Parent recipe. But you should know, any time you use puff pastry, that the directions will need to be modified based on your oven. Read on to find out more. Substitutions: If possible, I like to think of the the first batch as a test one, when it comes to any recipe using puff pastry. It gives me the opportunity to figure out whether I need to adjust the time in the oven and the thickness of the palmiers. In this case, for the second round, I cut my palmiers […]

  • Christmas Magic Cookie Bar Christmas Magic Cookie Bar

    Christmas Magic Cookie Bar

Christmas Magic Cookie Bar

“How do you say… De-groovy? How do you say… De-gorgeous? Oh la la, la la la la la la……..” Yes, this magic cookie bar recipe evokes, for me, the psychedelic, over-the-top music video for Dee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart. (Which is also coincidentally the first album I ever purchased back when cassettes were still a thing.) If you still jam to this song like I do, or want to relive the music video for yourself, scroll down to the very end. Anywho, this dessert reminds me of this video because there is nothing quiet about it. Nothing subdued. It is pure, in-your-face, sugary sugar. So if colours and processed sugars offend you, I’ll look for you in the boring aisle. I made this for our annual Christmas Eve party. I usually like to try something new and this is one of three things I will be taking, alongside Paula […]

  • Chocolate salami aka saucisson au chocolat Chocolate salami aka saucisson au chocolat

    Chocolate salami aka saucisson au chocolat

Chocolate salami aka saucisson au chocolat

A salami that is actually made of chocolate and biscuits. Mind. Blown. I felt rather Heston Blumenthal-esque when I made this, presenting all that chocolatey goodness under different pretenses. Very wicked. Very original. Whimsical, too And then, I realized this was a very traditional dessert that’s been made in Europe for decades and decades. And it turns out my maternal grandmother used to make chocolate salami every year for my mom’s birthday so I guess it’s in my blood. I found this recipe on a French blog so I had to use Google translate where my French-language skills didn’t cut it. Here is my loose translation…. Ingredients: 200g dark chocolate (70 per cent) 100g butter (or butter-tasting margarine) 2 extra-fresh egg yolks 2 teaspoons of Amaretto liqueur (or whatever you prefer) 2 pinches of dried chili flakes 8 petits-beurre cookies (80g) (any butter biscuits should do, or tea cookies) 7 […]

Chocolate, hazelnut and caramel thumbprint cookies

I think these thumbprint cookies are among the loveliest cookies I have ever seen. I’d been holding on to this recipe for months, planning to make it for this year’s cookie swap at my good friend Jennifer’s house. The other cookies I took were the sparkle cookies I’ve blogged about recently. (I must say, here that I think the sparkle cookies ended up being more popular than these ones, but I prefer these myself). Despite the fact I try to stay away from multi-step recipes after having kids, this one worked to my advantage because I was able to do a couple of steps, leave the cookies and come back to them later. However, you want to be careful to allot yourself a good amount of time near the end when you top the cookies with the caramel, then the chocolate, then the hazelnut. You don’t want to let the […]

  • Pretty posies and vintage tea cups: My birthday tea party Pretty posies and vintage tea cups: My birthday tea party

    Pretty posies and vintage tea cups: My birthday tea party

Pretty posies and vintage tea cups: My birthday tea party

About five years ago, I wandered into an antique shop and picked up a couple of lovely china tea cups. At the time, we were living in a townhouse and had no extra room for any tchotchkes, so I put them back. But I thought about them day after day until one day I returned and I bought those two tea cups. That was the beginning of my vintage china tea cup collection. Since then I’ve amassed some 15 tea cups, hunting for them online, in consignment shops, antique shops, yard sales. My favourite brands are Royal Albert, Aynsley, Paragon but really I’m just looking for vibrant colours that will stand the test of time. Then the collecting moved on to dinner plates and dessert plates and I realized it wouldn’t do to just let them collect dust, I had to put my china to good use. So I decided […]