Monday, January 26, 2015

Macaron Monday: Orange Cream French Macarons


When I was a kid there I was always torn when the Good Humor ice cream man would peddle up the street pushing his cart full of  ice cream bar delights.



I constantly vacillated between Toasted Almond, Chocolate Fudge Cake or Creamsicle. As I got older and saw the Good Humor man less and less,  the memory of those flavors remained.


In my experience the others are too hard to find in my adult life. But I still love and enjoy a good Creamsicle from time to time.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Florentines


Don't let the Italian name of this cookie fool you. This lace cookie variety, studded with candied fruit and dipped in chocolate, is as popular in Germany as anywhere else. They can be bought at German bakeries all year round but are also abundant on holiday dessert tables.

These are easy to make. However, once they are in the oven, you must pay attention because they can easily burn. I recommend checking them after 5 minutes. If the edges do come out burned, use a round cookie cutter, slightly smaller than the size of the cookie to fit over the cookie. Push down and wiggle or turn the cutter. This should not only give the cookies a nice round shape but it will cut away any of the burnt edges off of the cookies. Do this while the cookies are still warm to avoid splitting them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ginger Brandy Chocolate Truffles


I've been meaning to make something with this ginger flavored bandy for a long time. The problem is. The bottle never lasts long in my house. 


Between myself and my guests, the brandy disappears  quickly, especially in these cold winter months.


So finally I bought two bottles at once and was able to eek out these Ginger Brandy Chocolate truffles before it all went away.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Macaron Monday: Allspice Cashew French Macarons with Honey Buttercream Filling



There was only one thing to do when I found that leftover cashew flour in my pantry. Yep. More cashew French Macarons. 



I have lots of all spice leftover from the Holidays. So I killed two birds with one macaron using up both to create this lovely sweet and spicy French macaron flavor.



Make that three birds. I added some Turkish honey to some unflavored buttercream I had hanging out in the freezer.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Nuss Knusperchen - Dried Fruit & Nut White Chocolate Clusters


I can't remember a time in Germany where these don't exist. These treats were everywhere I went, in stores, at work. I was so excited to have the opportunity to make them myself.



Nuss knusperchen (loosely translated to "crisp nut") are found in the cookie aisle of every supermarket in Germany. The most common type are made with dark and milk chocolate but I like this white chocolate variety. A cross between a cookie and a candy, these treats are especially popular at Christmas. 


Cornflakes, dried fruits and chopped nuts are folded into melted white chocolate, formed into cookie portions and then left to dry on baking sheets.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Port Wine Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


So January is National Oatmeal Month. I sorta ignore all those foodie days, weeks and months. They can either be inspirational or  drive one crazy when planning blog posts. Mostly I'm in the latter category.




I'm not a big oatmeal eater but add the word cookie after oatmeal and now you have my full attention.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Pineapple French Macarons with Chocolate Rum Filling


Since were headed to sunny Mexico this week, thoughts of pineapple and other fresh fruits have been pinging around my brain and of course, made their way into a French macaron flavor.


And definitely, there will be cocktails on vacation. Rum comes to mind. I added rum extract to the chocolate buttercream sandwiched between these pineapple shells. Yum.


For the shells I used LorAnn oil in pineapple flavor. I also added some yellow paste food coloring to the shells to well, make them more pineapple-y.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chocolate Streusel Cake


I grew up addicted to crumb cake, as it's called in the States. The thicker the crumb topping, the happier I was. The cake was alway just an after thought.



When  I started baking for this blog years ago, at one point I taught myself how to make streusel. A dangerous trick for someone like me who has trouble not eating it straight out of the bowl.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Spicy Oregano Soft Sugar Cookies


Aside from the fact my sage just refuses to give up, in January my herb garden is the gift that keeps on giving. That's because I harvested all the herbs I grew and turned them into salts, sugars, vinegars, oils and syrups.


I stashed them all in various nooks and crannies of my kitchen. this past weekend I uncovered the spicy oregano sugar. This herb was the star of my garden this year. I almost cried when I harvested the last of it. I used it in everything, on pasta, in salad dressings, in cocktails. Oregano with a big spicy kick. What could be wrong with that?


So it is an understatement to say I was excited when I uncovered the spicy oregano sugar. I had been craving some big soft sugar cookies. Using this sugar was one of the best ideas I had.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Macaron Monday: Ginger French Macarons with Pear Preserves Filling


A few months ago I spotted pear preserve making pictures on the Facebook page of a lovely member of our Pennsylvania community. She made the preserves from the pears off the trees on her property.


I'm normally not big on asking people for things. But this time I was all over it. I was already planning a macaron flavor and I hadn't even begged for some. 


Thankfully, she graciously forked over not only one, but two jars. Wow. So delish, intense pear flavor and they look so beautiful. A perfect gift. The shell flavor had to do them justice.