Can’t decide between a cupcake or cookie? You can have your cookie and cupcake with this innovative twist on the classic, the “Cookie Cupcake.” Not a keen cupcake decorator? When it came to testing out my brother’s birthday cupcakes, I have to admit they weren’t beautiful. Luckily, I have discovered the easiest way to decorate a cupcake that is sophisticated looking, and so easy, a little kid could do it!
The process is more simple than anything you’ve frosted before – you basically glue a cupcake and cookie together with chocolate.
When the annual Café Cultural, at my brother’s school came up, we were delighted to share our Italian heritage with the traditional Italian savoiardo. Savoiardi are an Italian dessert that are similar to Lady Fingers, but since they are Italian, they are double in size. As it turns out, I was very lucky to have used my Sicilian great grandmother’s recipe. In Italy, people will usually buy savoiardi, and since it is a dry sponge-like cookie, Italians will dunk it with their coffee for breakfast. My mother and grandmother tell me that my great grandmother would actually make her own savoiardi, and as a treat, would make it for her children and grandchildren. When she came to America, her original recipe went from “strutto” (lard) to Crisco (instead I used Spectrum’s Organic Shortening).
Savoiardi are extremely easy to make and require few ingredients – eggs, all purpose flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, sugar, baking powder, shortening, vanilla extract, and lemon zest/juice. As I mentioned before, they’re dry and lemony, and taste just like they were from Italy! They’re topped with granulated sugar, which adds a crunch.
I initially was going to pipe the savoiardi batter, but decided not to, and do it the rustic way that my great grandmother would have done.
Method: Fill a heaping spoonful of the batter. On the greased or parchment lined pan, spoon out some of the batter with your finger in an up and down motion while sliding the spoon the opposite direction.
The savoiardi end up looking slightly different each time, but that’s the beauty of it!
The children at my brother’s school event, Café Cultural loved it, and you will too!
Oatmeal cookies are a staple recipe in American homes, but a lot of times, these cookies are overly sweet and buttery. So what better way to start the year than with some good old healthy oatmeal cookies? Don’t worry, they don’t taste off or unrecognizable. In fact, they taste just like normal oatmeal cookies, but without any of the bad stuff!
I was determined to make oatmeal cookies that were enjoyable yet had good, wholesome ingredients. For sugar, I used coconut sugar because it has a rich and caramel like flavor, but doesn’t compromise the consistency of the cookie. Coconut sugar also has a low glycemic index (35)! I like to add some maple syrup, which has sources of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. In addition, the flour blend along with the oats is full of protein and fiber. Since coconut oil can have a strong flavor in cookies, I use a coconut oil that has a less intense coconut taste from La Tourangelle. For chocolate chips, make sure they do not have any milk products if you’re sensitive or allergic. Also, it’s best if it doesn’t have soy lecithin because it can contain traces of milk. I use Enjoy Life.
These cookies are hearty, grainy, and with the perfect amount of sweetness. They don’t take long to make, and are perfect for a snowy day!
Ricotta cookies were the dessert of my childhood – I remember coming home to the smell of sweet ricotta, lemon, and aromatic vanilla. But when I became dairy free, that family cookie recipe was difficult to replicate. For all I knew, I would never be able to taste those special cookies again…
Until now. After altering the family recipe several times, and discovering Kite Hill’s ricotta, I was able to enjoy ricotta cookies again, and now share it with the gluten free and dairy free community.
These ricotta cookies have a light and crusty outside, but are airy and soft in the inside. They’re sweet, with subtle flavors of vanilla and lemon. To make this recipe as delicious as it can be, you might want to try to use a good quality vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey, since they have more vanilla flavor than alcohol. Also, if your diet includes dairy, then you can swap the Kite Hill ricotta with normal ricotta.
They’re delicious out of the oven, as well as the next day! Long live the tradition of the ricotta cookies!
Despite the winter holidays passing, cookie decorating is a great skill to have for anytime of the year. My favorite technique is marbling them! It’s pretty, and wonderful for any occasion. Decorating cookies is a great skill to have because you can do it for anything, and it’s impressive! The marble technique is really easy, and elegant. My friend and I made and decorated cookies for a bake sale of the Make A Wish Foundation Club in our school. Together, we made Martha Stewart’s royal icing which is actually gluten free and vegan depending on the meringue powder you use. Everyone was so amazed by how beautiful they all were!
So, are you ready to marbleize some cookies?
Step 1: Separate a quarter of the icing, and dye it with food coloring. (In these pictures, we did not use natural food coloring. If you want to, I recommend these.)
Step 2: After making your icings, fill a bottle for each color you use, such as these.
Step 3: Make a border with the non-dyed icing, and fill the inside in zig zag motions. Border the outside of the cookie slowly, and exerting even force throughout. Then, pipe zig zags with the icing within the border, leaving some spaces blank.
Step 4: Using a toothpick, even out the icing, covering the negative spaces. After smoothing it out as much as possible, gently tapping the cookie on the counter top to make the icing settle.
Step 4: Using the colored icing, pipe an asterisk onto the wet non-dyed icing.
Step 5: Starting on a colored mark on the outside, use your toothpick, and slowly circle around the cookie, and into a spiral shape toward the center. This will create a marble look.
Step 6: Let the icing settle.
And there you have it – gorgeous, festive, and impressive marbleized cookies!
The weather outside is getting colder, and what does this mean? More chocolate. These cookies are perfect for just that – days that are not too hot, but not too cold.
Chocolatey, rich, deep, and slightly nutty (with an option of spice too) are a a wonderful combination for a delicious cookie.
I have tried these cookies several times, and in different ways. I loved the taste of adding a dash of red pepper to the cookie batter, because it just boosted the chocolate flavor even more. Also, for those who like their cookies on the softer side, try baking these cookies for around 10-12 minutes. They are made with flours that are usually handy in a gluten free kitchen. If not, just replace the rice flours with a gluten free flour blend.
One of my friends kindly made me some gluten free dairy free chocolate chip cookies from Simple Mills, a healthy mix company. Their products feature simple, minimalistic ingredients such as almond flour, coconut sugar, etc.. When I tried their chocolate chip cookies, I fell in love.
So, I rushed home, determined to make my own version and perhaps, even better! And I did.
This classic recipe is super easy, and could be made with the ingredients in your household. Also, there’s a paleo option!
To compare tastes, I also made Simple Mill’s chocolate chip cookies. Their cookies were sugary and crunchy, while mine were hearty and had more depth in flavor. Overall, it depends on what you prefer in a chocolate chip cookie!