How to Make Koeksisters-Fried South African Mini Doughnuts

I got lucky at a garage sale a few years ago and scored a wonderful table top fryer from the sixties.  It’s built like a tank, still has the original cloth cord and had never been used.  I had never really done any deep-frying so I was a little nervous.  But it turns out that with a bit of practice it’s very easy and super fun.  The kids love it when I make frites or chocolate donut holes but I haven’t experimented with it too much.  Then I saw a delicious looking, teensy little braided donut from South Africa called a koeksister.  Finally, a treat worthy of a Deep-Fried Experimentation Project.  New band name, I called it!  Read on to learn how to make koeksisters. Continue reading “How to Make Koeksisters-Fried South African Mini Doughnuts”

Chocolate Woodgrain Cookie Plaques

I’m a little obsessive about baking.  You may have noticed.  I’m also a little obsessed with woodgrain.  You can’t throw a rock at my Pinterest page without hitting something woodgrain.  And I think I finally baked up something deserving of my two loves.  Look, I made a diagram:Woodgrain Plaque Cookies

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Tinsel Tree Sugar Cookies

I am a sucker for mid-century Christmas crap.  I love the fake trees, gilded barware, and felty stockings.  This year, instead of trying another version of a traditional Christmas tree cookie, I decided to recreate my favorite holiday tree.  The big fake white tinsel tree with giant ball ornaments.  The lack of fullness and the awkward placement of the ornaments just really makes my socks go up and down.

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Lemon-Rosemary Linzer Cookies

I am always looking for new ways to use lemon curd.  If it were socially acceptable, I would put it on my breakfast cereal.  These Lemon-Rosemary Linzer Cookies were a bit of late night inspiration but will now be a standard in my rotation.  The rosemary is a just-barely-there flavor note that compliments the lemon and brings out the hint of salt.  They’re addictive.

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Chewy Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I got a little carried away and baked about 2,000 cookies.  It was fun, it was for a good cause and I was into it.  Until about the last hundred.  Around the last 100 I hit a lightly floured wall and just got so sick of my recipes.  I was making mostly Chewy Molasses, Mexican Hot Chocolate and Eggnog Snickerdoodles.  And Orange-Cardamom Snowflakes.  Those are all so good, and so pretty.  So I got to dreaming about a way I could put a twist on one of my most dependable recipes.  And these Chewy Chocolate Espresso Cookies are the result.

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

I love homemade peanut butter cookies with the little fork marks on top.  And those puffy ones with the hershey kiss plopped in the center.  Those are the best honestly.  But when I bake I’m always looking for ways to make classic flavors and recipes conform to my rather strict visual standards.  I like things to have a consistent, clean shape and tidy edges.  I especially like to make things one level fancier than is necessary.  These yummy peanut butter sandwich cookies do just that. Continue reading “Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies”

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

Over the next month I will be on a mission to post every cookie that’s ever been a standard in my Christmas cookie boxes.  I try each year to send a box of cookies to our relatives that we won’t be seeing during the season.  It’s a special tradition for me because deep down, way way deep down, I’m sort of a softy.  And nothing says Merry Christmas From Your Secretly Sentimental (emphasis on mental) Relative like a box of cookies. Continue reading “Eggnog Snickerdoodles”

Gingerbread Birdhouse Cookies

Sometimes I like to overly complicate things.  For instance, I once based an entire dessert around a Caramelized Spruce Syrup that gets brushed onto the cake layers and is made by collecting spruce tips in the spring and tenderly caramelizing them.  Then I coordinated the rest of the cake around an IPA palate, frosted it twice and covered it in gold leaf, oversized gold-plated sprinkles and chocolate work.  I’m low-key like that. Continue reading “Gingerbread Birdhouse Cookies”

Orange-Cardamom Snowflake Cookies

These beauties always pop into my mind as I wait for the first snow of the year to fall.  They’re sweet and crisp, crunchy and buttery, with just the right amount of orange and cardamom.  And they are EASY.  My friends like to say, “Oh, maybe for you that’s easy!  Mine wouldn’t look like that.”  But I swear to sweet baby carrots, these are the most straightforward sugar cookies you are ever going to meet.  And because no snowflake is alike, variations and “mistakes” just make them more charming.Orange-Cardamom Snowflake Cookies Continue reading “Orange-Cardamom Snowflake Cookies”

Glazed Apricot-Pistachio Cookies

I have drop-cookie issues.  I know they’re tasty and easy and much beloved. But I really can’t handle the uncertainty inherent in a cookie that just gets plopped onto a cookie sheet with a spoon.  I need cookies to be precisely scooped or rolled or cut out, not “dropped”.  Making chocolate chip cookies leaves me deeply unsatisfied.  I’ve been thinking about a cookie with dried fruit and nuts but all my internet research led straight to drop cookies. So I got to work cooking up some delicious fruit-nut cookies that could be rolled out and cut into precise circles.  No blobs allowed!

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