Displaying items by tag: quickbreads, cookies and bars

In his travel guide/cookbook /restaurant guide, Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Delicious Food Wherever You Are, Ed Levine delves into everything from pizza ovens to chocolate chip cookies.

He writes, “we all agreed that our recipe had to produce chocolate-chip cookies that were crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, have the right chocolate-to-dough ratio, have a distinct but not overwhelming buttery flavour, and taste almost as good six hours later as they did right out of the oven. And they had to have a little salty kick.” These cookies deliver on all counts.

Servings: 24 4-inch cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 19 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour, 30 minutes



3 ½ cups (17.5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt, plus additional coarse flaky sea salt for sprinkling lightly on cookies

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ⅔ cups (11.5 ounces) light brown sugar, packed

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 (4-ounce) bars high-quality bittersweet chocolate, still in their wrappers


Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and coarse sea salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine the butter and the sugars. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and airy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate, and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add the vanilla and whip for 30 more seconds to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.

Using a heavy rolling pin or small skillet, repeatedly whack the chocolate bars (still in their wrappers) one at a time until they are broken into smaller chunks no larger than ½ inch. Unwrap the broken bars and add the broken chocolate, including smaller pieces and crumbs, to the dough bowl. When all five bars have been added to the bowl, mix on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. The dough should end up looking light brown with larger chunks of chocolate dispersed throughout.

Cover dough and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Adjust two oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll half the dough into twelve 1 ¾-inch balls, approximately 3 tablespoons of dough in each. Place the balls 3 inches apart on two parchment-lined cookie sheets, six cookies per sheet.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, until they are completely spread out. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.

Return the pans to the oven, rotating them from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the cookies are golden around the edges but still soft in the centre, 6 to 8 minutes.

Cool for 3 minutes, then slide the parchment, along with the cookies, onto two cooling racks while you cook the remaining 12 cookies. To store the cookies, allow them to completely cool, then place in a covered container at room temperature for up to three days.

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You can purchase a set of star cookie cutters at most supermarkets or department stores. Look for a set that consists of 10 star cutters, all different sizes. To assemble the tree, cut 2 sets of each of the 5 smaller stars and 1 set each of the 5 larger ones. Be sure to bake similar sizes on the same tray to ensure even baking. Matcha is available at most tea stores.

Servings: Serves 12

Ready In: 5 hours including setting time



2 cups unsalted butter

1 cup icing sugar

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons green tea powder (matcha)



3 cups icing sugar

1/3 to 1/2 cup milk

¼ teaspoon vanilla


Cream butter and sugar until well combined. Sift together flour, salt and green tea powder and stir into butter mixture. Form into 2 balls and chill for 30 minutes. Place dough in between 2 layers of plastic wrap and roll out into a ¼-inch thick rectangle. Using star shaped cutters, cut out cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill again for 30 minutes. Repeat with second ball of dough.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Bake cookies 15 to 20 minutes or until just starting to colour. Cool.

Combine icing sugar, ⅓ cup milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 5 to 10 minutes or until smooth. If the mixture looks slightly dry, add the remaining milk.


To Assemble:

Place a spoonful of icing on the centre of each cookie and with a small spatula, or the back of a spoon, spread toward edges. Allow icing to set, about 1 to 2 hours. Stack cookies in the shape of a Christmas tree. Dab a small amount of remaining icing on the centre of each cookie to hold the layers together. Decorate with silver balls.

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With the tart lime mellowed by the sweet coconut, these squares always disappear quickly. To toast coconut, spread evenly on a baking tray and bake for about 5 minutes at 350 F or until fragrant.

Servings: 24 small squares


Ready In: 55 minutes


½ cup butter, at room temperature

¼ cup icing sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt


2 eggs, beaten

1 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon grated lime rind

¼ cup lime juice

½ cup toasted coconut

3 tablespoons icing sugar


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease an 8-inch square pan and line the base with parchment paper. Cream together butter, icing sugar, flour and salt in a bowl until blended. Pat into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is a creamy colour.

Beat together eggs, granulated sugar, flour, lime rind and juice in a bowl until well combined. Stir in coconut. Pour topping mixture over pre-baked base. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Sift liberally with icing sugar while still warm. Cool in pan. Cut in squares or rectangles.

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Densities, a one-step square, taste like a super-rich, moist brownie, only denser and even more luxurious. The intense chocolate-y taste gives a real high to chocolate lovers. My kids rate this an 11 out of 10.


Servings: 4 dozen

Ready In: 3 hours 55 minutes, including cooling time


10 ounces (300 grams) good dark chocolate (65 to 70 per cent cacao)

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 ¾ cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla


Melt chocolate in a small heavy pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cool and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Sift together flour and salt, beat into egg mixture.

Stir in the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla.

Pour into a greased 13 x 9-inch (3.5 L) pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted near the side of the pan comes out clean. The centre should still be slightly moist. Cool in pan and cut into bars.

Optional Icing:

Melt white chocolate slowly over low heat until liquefied. Make a paper cone and spoon in white chocolate. Draw lines over squares in a zigzag.

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The melt-in-the-mouth texture and slightly nutty flavour are an outstanding combination. Linzers are usually made with hazelnuts but any ground nuts can be used – the texture doesn't change, just the flavour.A lattice pattern is essentially created by crisscrossing strips of dough over the tart. You want to keep the strips about an inch apart from each other (the same thickness as strips) and alternate them from one side to another.


Servings: 16 squares

Ready In: 4 hours, including cooling time


6 ounces (175 grams) butter, chilled

½ cup icing sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1¼ cups all purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 cup ground walnuts or hazelnuts

½ cup seedless raspberry preserves

2 tablespoons icing sugar


Cream butter and sugar, using a food processor, until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Sift flour and cornstarch together and stir in nuts. Add to creamed mixture and process until just incorporated.

Gather dough and separate into 2 balls. Wrap one in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Press the second ball into a greased 8-inch square pan. Chill approximately 20 minutes.

Preheat oven at 325 F.

Bake dough for 10 to 15 minutes or until just firm. Remove from oven, cool and spread raspberry preserves over.

Roll out the second piece of pastry into a ⅛-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch thick strips. Lay strips over top in a lattice pattern. Bake again for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is browned. Sift with icing sugar and cool. Cut into squares.

Store in airtight cookie tin for up to 2 weeks.

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This is the definitive chocolate monster-chunk cookie, with chocolate in the dough and chocolate chunks distributed throughout, adapted to be gluten-free. It's an irresistible combination of chocolatey tastes and textures.


Servings: 18 cookies

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes

Ready In: 20 minutes


½ cup butter

12 ounces (375 grams) dark chocolate, cut into chunks

½ cup rice flour

½ cup quinoa flour

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup tapioca starch

½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt together butter and 4 ounces (125 grams) chocolate in a heavy pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Combine rice flour, quinoa flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together eggs, sugar and vanilla, then blend in chocolate and reserved flour mixture. Stir in remaining chocolate chunks.

Place dough on prepared cookie sheet in 2-tablespoon mounds about 2 inches apart and bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are glossy on the surface and soft inside. Do not overbake.

Allow cookies to set for 5 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

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These moist, chocolaty squares have a welcome hit of raspberry for contrast. They freeze well and only take about 30 minutes to come back to room temperature, which makes them ideal for packing in lunchboxes. By freezing brownies just before baking you get the perfect texture – fudgy and moist.



Servings: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 1 hour including freezing time

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ready In: 3 hours including cooling time


6 ounces (175 grams) dark chocolate, chopped

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup raspberry preserves


Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan and line the bottom and 2 sides with a piece of parchment paper.

Place chocolate and butter in a heavy pot over low heat and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in eggs and vanilla.

Combine sugar, salt and flour and stir into chocolate mixture. Scrape half of batter into prepared pan and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Spread a thin layer of preserves on top of frozen batter and cover with remaining batter. Freeze 20 minutes longer.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until brownies are set but still slightly moist in the middle. Cool on a rack.

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These delicate Spanish-inspired almond cookies can be filled with dulce de leche, jam, chocolate ganache, lemon curd or icing. This recipe makes a lot, but they keep very well. Serve them with roasted plums or sliced peaches with peach ice cream.



Prep Time: 1 hour including chilling time

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ready In: 2 hours 20 minutes


¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups icing sugar

½ teaspoon lemon rind, grated

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

3½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned into measuring cups and levelled off)

2½ cups ground almonds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup dulce de leche

1 cup finely shredded coconut


Combine butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lemon rind and vanilla and beat to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Add flour, ground almonds and salt and beat just until incorporated. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes or until firm enough to work with.

Place one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about ¼ inch thick. Use a 1½-inch round cutter to cut out cookies and place about 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat, gathering and re-rolling scraps until you have used up all the dough. Chill cut-out cookies for 20 minutes or until they are firm. You can do this ahead of time, wrap the sheets in plastic and bake them up to 1 week later.

Heat oven to 325 F.

Removing one baking sheet from fridge at a time, bake cookies for 16 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden at the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool fully. Spread the underside of half of the cookies with a heaping ½ teaspoon of dulce de leche, and top with another cookie to make a sandwich. Roll edge of cookie in coconut to coat. Makes 60 cookies

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These brownies, made with pumpkin, are a nod to this fairy-tale wedding.



Servings: 16

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 50 minutes


½ cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine butter and chocolate in a small pot over low heat. Cook, stirring, until melted. Remove from heat. Reserve.

Beat together eggs and sugar until doubled in volume. Stir in pumpkin and cooled chocolate mixture.

Combine flour and salt and fold into chocolate mixture with pecans. Scrape batter into prepared pan and level top. Bake for 25 minutes or until brownies are set. Cool and cut into squares. Serve with dulce de leche ice cream.

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The dessert is one of these broken-cookie desserts so popular in Australia and Britain. This one has lemon curd folded in, which gives it great flavour contrast with the stem ginger cookies. It tastes yummy right out of the freezer, too. You can buy lemon curd rather than making your own. The thicker the lemon curd the firmer the bars will be.


Servings: Makes 36 bars



¼ cup whipping cream

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup finely chopped white chocolate

½ cup lemon curd

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

300 grams stem ginger cookies, processed (about 2 ½ cups cookie crumbs)


2 tablespoons melted butter

5 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1½ cups icing sugar


Line an 8-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Combine whipping cream and butter in a small pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in lemon curd and grated lemon rind until combined, then add cookie crumbs and stir until uniform.

Scrape mixture into prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth top. Chill for one hour or until solid.

Combine melted butter, lemon juice and lemon rind and beat in icing sugar until smooth. Spread icing over top of chilled fudge mixture with a palette knife and chill for 10 minutes longer or until icing has hardened. Use plastic wrap to remove fudge from pan, peel off the wrap and cut with a sharp knife into 36 bars. Chill until ready to serve.

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