As the snow falls outside this morning, what better way to enjoy some hot cocoa than in these warm, buttery hot cocoa cookies! These might be the easiest (and tastiest) cookies I’ve ever made. It’s hard to follow Strudel’s amazing checkerboard cake from last week incorporating chocolate!
But hopefully you’ll agree these super fudgy cookies with a hint of cinnamon and almond are a tempting successor (and ready to eat in about 25 minutes).
For those of us that bake a lot – and even those who dabble – I think many of us find inspiration (or envy!) from what we see others doing in their homes, bakeries, etc. I know that I find a ton of encouragement from my dad and my brother, often thinking about how I want replicate one of their recipes or a decorating technique.
Another place I find inspiration (and a fantastic self-care opportunity): the Great British Baking Show. In a world of real life stressors (climate change, health crises, etc.), I find nothing more relaxing than being “stressed” if someone is going to finish their bake on time (and they always do!). Also, the creativity, unbelievable skill, dedication, and kindness that the contestants bake with – I mean, what’s not to love?
Of course, every time I watch the show I think about how many of those recipes I want to attempt myself. I haven’t gotten around to many, but at some point, somewhere along the way, someone made a checkerboard cake. And it looked awesome. And I wanted to try myself! And so I have – and as it turns out, it’s quite simple, SO MUCH FUN to serve, and using a tried-and-true cake recipe, also really delicious. As long as you’ve got general baking equipment (baking pans, cooling racks, etc), the only special tools needed are specifically sized cookie cutters.
The recipes I’ve included for the cake and frosting are adaptable; I wanted to do a black-and-white cake so that there was as stark difference in the color on the inside. The buttercream can be easily adapted (just remove the cinnamon and it’s a simple but delicious buttercream), and with some red food dye it’s a brilliant Valentine’s Day cake.
Me neither! These cookies are a perfect chunky, sweet and hearty combination of ALL GOOD ingredients. I saw these cookies on Bon Appétit and immediately knew I had to try them to round out multigrain month here at Strudel & Streusel. So let me go on record…
These may very well be my favorite cookie EVER! They are that good!
If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s gluten. I think gluten is glorious – it makes baked things chewy and airy and adds to their overall deliciousness. So when Streusel and determined that we’d focus on healthier baking this month, I had no plans to bake anything gluten-free. And then I came across a recipe for this super interesting Nut and Seed Bread that just so happened to be gluten-free. And I decided that I shouldn’t pre-judge a bread just because it doesn’t have flour, and especially when it’s full of crunchy nuts and hearty oats.
This bread is unlike anything I’ve baked before – while it certainly won’t take the place of a warm, crusty loaf for sandwiches, it’s so full of flavorful, filling ingredients that it’s created it’s own place in my daily menu. I’ve taken to toasting it and spreading on some almond butter for a filling breakfast or afternoon snack. Also a tasty option (that will definitely keep you full for a few hours): on top of the almond butter, add some some sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey.
I needed a nice hearty roll to serve with a chipotle chicken salad I was making for a potluck this weekend. Lucky me – I happened upon these rolls from Cooking Light. Barley flour was nowhere to be found in my local grocery story so I used whole wheat flour instead. These rolls were a perfect accompaniment.
Best part about these rolls? I could adapt them to my work schedule and give them plenty of time to develop flavor. Just like Strudel did with her Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire last week, I let my bread spend some time in the refrigerator.
With yeasted breads, you can add in a cold slow rise (cold proof) if you don’t have time to let them rise at room temperature and bake all in one time frame. The biggest benefit is the bread develops more flavor the longer the yeast chews up the carbohydrates in the flour.
From start to finish these rolls took about 24 hours to complete with two cold proofs in between.
2020 has started, and if it’s anything like 2019, we’ll be up to our elbows in flour, butter, and chocolate in no time. But in the meanwhile, as we settle in to the new year and detox from all the treats, Streusel and I figured we would get the year off to a healthy start, grain-wise. This month we’re going to focus on baking multigrain goodness, hearty carbs that aren’t heavy, are healthy, and that don’t taste like cardboard.
This past weekend, I baked a loaf of this Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire. I was intrigued because it’s filled with a bunch of ingredients – like millet and brown rice – that I hadn’t put in bread before. It’s a chewy and doughy and is fantastic toasted or straight out of the oven with butter and jam. The bread has lots of healthy parts to it, but doesn’t taste like it came from the health food store – it tastes more like a delicious bread you’d be happy eat with your morning eggs or as a toasted sandwich.
Forgive me but I decided to round out cookie month without a cookie! I don’t know about you all but I just can’t…cookie…anymore! I did an impressive job consuming cookies this month so let’s take a little break and make something that’s just as tasty, easy to make and would be a perfect addition to your New Year’s Party table!
I took inspiration from An Italian in My Kitchen. These taste like puff pastry and cheese crackers all wrapped up in one. They have the texture of puff pastry but the sharpness and saltiness of cheese crackers. Delightful with a nice Cabernet! Completely ready to snack on in 45 minutes!!
Classic Jammer Cookies are not my usual sort of treat – they take more than one quick step and there isn’t any chocolate in them. There is, however, the other glorious ingredient – plenty of butter! – and it’s a recipe by Dorie Greenspan, and we all know she knows what’s up. So, in an attempt to stretch my palate and improve my baking skills, I decided to try out these Classic Jammer Cookies.
A spoiler alert that’s a surprise to no one ever: these Jammers are delicious. The cookie itself is crisp and buttery, the streusel a bit crumbly, and the jam adds tart sweetness. Plus, having a new different genre of cookie that I bake makes me feel very sophisticated 😀.
Almost a decade ago I posted about an annual cookie baking tradition in my family that is still going strong in our 23rd year!! In that post, I briefly went through the recipes we make each year for cookies to give to friends and family. It’s fun to look back and see the recipes that have stayed year after year. There’s one recipe that stands out this year and I wanted to revisit it with you… sugarplums.
This recipe for sugarplums was added to the cookie list in 2009. It was a recipe that Sharon’s sister, Eileen, was making at the time and shared it with us. The feedback we got from adding these to the cookie tins was unanimous…keep making them. They are sweet and chewy on the inside, sweet and crunchy on the outside. Did I mention they’re sweet?! I like that they are a gluten-free addition to the tin as well.
Black and White Cookies are pure delicious nostalgia for me. I discovered them living in New York, where they would stare at me, boldly, from behind bakery windows. I took their “come hither” look seriously, and spend a decent portion of my seven years in the city searching out the perfect Black and White. Some were dry and terrible, others sickly sweet and fell apart within the first few bites. And rare few were simply delightful (and made all of that research worth the effort!)
At it’s core, the Black and White is just a little cake with two glazes. To me, it’s deliciousness lies in a tender, under-sweetened cookie, paired with a sweet chocolate and vanilla glaze. I like that you get to make choices as you eat the cookie – my preference is to alternate back-and-forth between eating the black and white sides. Plenty of other folks are exact opposites – eat one side entirely before moving on to the other. There’s probably conclusions to be drawn about personalities types based off of how we eat our Black and Whites, but we’ll save that analysis for another blog.
These cookies are showing up here at S&S this month for a few reasons – in this wonderful season of baked goods, these cookies are slightly uncommon (well, at least here on the west coast) but generally well-loved. This makes them great to bring to cookie exchanges and holiday parties, or to give as gifts. The cake part is super easy to make, and you can be fussy (and pipe your frosting) or not (and use a knife or spatula to spread).
I’ve tried out a number of recipes over the years, and this one is by far the best. It’s got all that I’m looking for in a Black and White and plus, with crisp, buttery edges and a tender cake-like cookie holding up the rich chocolate and sweet vanilla glaze. I’ll be wrapping a few up in bags, sealing with a stickers similar to this one (because bakery-like packaging inevitably makes people think you purchased the treat), and sharing with a few folks I love.