I haven’t lost all interest in baking and blogging over the past year (eek!), I promise I have had good reason for my hiatus!

Miss Sloane Elise Peterson entered our world on April 9th, 2016 and life has never been better or felt more complete.

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When OXO contacted me about participating in their Cookies For Kids’ Cancer campaign this year, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to jump back in the saddle and share a fabulous recipe and cause with you all.  OXO has also teamed up with Dorie Greenspan for this project as the baking guru just launched her Dorie’s Cookies cookbook.  Anyone who knows me knows that I will choose a cookie as dessert over any other treat and since Dorie is one of my all-time favorite bakers and cookbook authors, I could hardly wait to try out one of her new cookie recipes.  The best part of the project is that OXO will donate $100 for this post to the leading pediatric cancer centers in the U.S. whose missions are to develop better treatments for children’s cancer.  In total, OXO will be donating up to $100,000 to this worthy cause just for this campaign alone.  CLICK HERE to learn about how you can contribute to Cookies For Kids’ Cancer by hosting your own event.

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Dorie’s Almond Crescent cookies are likable for many reasons.  First, the dough comes together so quickly and there is no need to chill it before baking.  Most importantly, the cookies are delicious thanks to the nutty flavor from the almond meal and crunchy texture of the crescent-shaped cookies.

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These cookies were also a joy for me to make because of the OXO Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer that literally lights your way to creating perfect baked goods.  The mixer is quiet and smoothly transitions between speeds, it sits flat on your countertop thanks to the wrap and secure cord and flat base to the mixer and best of all, it makes ensuring that your cookies are thoroughly mixed easy because a softly glowing LED light illuminates your batter as you mix.

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In addition to the mixer, I thought that I had a favorite baking sheet until that idea went out the window when I tried the OXO Non-Stick Pro Cookie Sheet!

6p8a7438 Dorie’s recipe advised using parchment paper to line your baking sheet prior to baking the Almond Crescents, but there was just no need to grease my cookie sheet or line it with anything because the OXO cookie sheet has this innovative grid-like micro-texture pattern that evenly bakes and ensures that cookies are easily removable.  Honestly, I think all of my other cookies sheets will be donated to the grill cookware pile and I will buy another OXO Non-Stick Pro Cookie Sheet and they will be the only cookie sheets that I use from now on!

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The Almond Crescents are finished with a dusting of powdered sugar and OXO’s Bakers’ Dusting Wand makes this final step fun and easy.

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Almond Crescent Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
Made with almond flour and flavored with vanilla these molded crescent cookies can be covered with a heavy layer of powdered or granulated sugar right after they come from the oven.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pure almond extract,
  • to taste (optional)
  • 1¾ cups (238 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups (133 grams) almond flour Granulated or confectioners’ sugar, for coating
Instructions
  1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extract, if you’re using it, then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the machine off, add the all-purpose flour all at once and then pulse the mixer to start blending. Mix on low speed until the flour is almost incorporated, then add the almond flour and mix only until it disappears into the mixture and the dough comes together.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out walnut-size nuggets of dough or use a tablespoon. Work each piece into a compact ball between your palms and then roll it on the counter into a rope about 4 inches long. Bend the rope into a crescent, pinch the ends lightly and place on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the crescents.
  4. Bake for 19 to 21 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden at their tips, pale everywhere else and set, but too fragile to lift without breaking. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before you give them the sugar treatment.
  5. Put the sugar in a small bowl and, one by one, dredge the cookies in sugar to coat and place on racks to cool. (I dusted the cookies with powdered sugar using the OXO Bakers' Dusting Wand)
  6. Storing
  7. The dough can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. If you decide to freeze the dough, I think you’ll find it more convenient to shape it first and freeze the crescents; let the crescents come to cool room temperature before baking them. If you omit the sugar coating, the baked cookies can be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. The baked cookies will keep for about 3 days; give them a fresh dusting of confectioners’ sugar before serving.

 

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Do you like brownies?  Do you like truffles?  Oh you do?  Great, then you will go crazy for these Chocolate Truffle Cookies!

Chocolate Truffle Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These cookies truly are a hybrid between a slightly crispy-on-the-outside cookie, a gooey brownie and a rich luscious, velvety truffle.  Chocolate lovers like me will go nuts for them.  They are on the smaller side as far as cookies go and that is perfect in this case because just one or two of these little fudgey wonders and even your most intense chocolate craving will be satisfied.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

A disclaimer about the dough for these Chocolate Truffle Cookies:  it is sticky and you do need to refrigerate it for a good couple of hours or you can even leave the dough in the refrigerator over night.  If you didn’t do this, the dough would just be a frustrating, sticky mess.  It really is like a pre-rolled truffle consistency and so you want the dough to be cold so that it is easier to roll.  Once the dough is formed into balls, each one gets a good toss around in a bowl of sugar.  I just love any cookies that are dipped in granulated sugar before they are baked because I love that sandy, sparkly appearance that the top of the cookies have.  The best part about these Chocolate Truffle Cookies is that the middle of the cookies stays perpetually soft and chewy which is my number one favorite cookie quality.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Truffle Cookies (Gluten-free)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: ~3 dozen cookies

Rich truffle-like cookies that will satisfy even the most intense chocolate craving

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used Dutch-processed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, using a mixer, beat the eggs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and honey together for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  2. Place the chocolate chips and butter into a separate small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute increments until the chocolate is melted. Stir together until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a third large bowl, mix together the almond flour, cocoa powder and salt. Using the mixer, mix in the slightly cooled chocolate. Finally, mix in the egg mixture just until everything is well blended.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (until mixture is very firm).
  5. Place remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in to a shallow bowl.
  6. Use a small cookie scoop, melon baller or spoon to scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Roll the dough in your hands to shape into perfect balls. Toss each ball to coat in the sugar and place onto a cookie sheet spaced 1-inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes. (If you are baking in multiple sheets, keep the unbaked dough balls in the refrigerator until it is their turn in the oven.)
  8. Recipe adapted from Let Them Eat Cake by Gesine Bullock-Prado

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I visited San Francisco for the first time last month and left my heart as they say.  I knew that it would be a fabulous place to visit, but between the perfect weather with only sunshine days, incredible food and ease of getting around, I cannot wait to return in June.

Here are some food highlights from the city:

Gnochetti at SPQR in Pacific Heights, because baby-sized food is always better

SPQR

I always say that it is my due diligence to do a bakery tour in any city that I visit and San Francisco did not disappoint.  Sift Dessert Bar offered up the classics like cookies, macarons and cupcakes and one unique offering, the Cruffle.  The Cruffle  was not totally unlike a cake pop, I was told it was crushed up cupcake mixed with frosting and coated in chocolate, but even for this sweet tooth, one bite was more than I ever need of that sugar bomb.  My Samoa cupcake was perfection though and their glittery cakes made me want to have a party immediately.

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Once my husband joined me in San Francisco, we were on a coffee mission.  He is a huge fan of Blue Bottle Coffee and he had to sample their siphon-brewed coffee.  It was quite a process and fun to watch, but I am not a coffee connoisseur enough to know if the taste is truly superior.

We enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Kuleto’s which has been in Union Square for many years and offers lovely Northern Italian cuisine including this fig, burrata, balsamic onion and prosciutto bruschetta, roasted beet and arugula salad and rosemary flatbread with roasted garlic and triple cream blue brie.  Our entire lunch was delicious and our cheese cravings were surely satisfied.

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The highlight of our trip was the time we spent in Yountville in Napa Valley.  I am in love.  I was unaware that there were places so quaint, relaxing and beautiful so relatively close to home.  The trip was so lovely that I couldn’t wait to get back and share where and what we ate and the vineyards that we visited.

Our drive to Napa Valley began with a stop by the Golden Gate Bridge because after all, we were tourists.

We then stopped at the San Rafael Farmers’ Market for lunch and I was loving all of the fresh produce that is months ahead of our local farmers’ markets.

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We stayed in Yountville and I loved how many restaurants were within walking distance since Yountville is quite small and all of the shops and eateries on within a few blocks of each other.  I am not a person who likes to stay in hotels, but I guess I can’t claim that anymore because I never wanted to leave the Hotel Yountville where we stayed.   IMG_0060 IMG_0063 IMG_0065 IMG_0104

I especially loved being within walking distance of Bouchon Bakery.  I did a review of the insanely gorgeous Bouchon Bakery Cookbook awhile ago and visiting the bakery each morning we were there was definitely worth each ounce of butter that I consumed.  In fact, the visit made me love my favorite cookbook and Thomas Keller even more.  My favorite bakery splurge is an almond croissant and Bouchon Bakery’s almond croissant is the best croissant I have ever had.  Big surprise, Thomas Keller knows what’s up.

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Speaking of Thomas Keller, the most exciting surprise place that we had the pleasure of dining at was his pop-up restaurant Ad Lib.  I’m sure you know about Thomas Keller’s famous, fancy restaurant The French Laundry which basically gave such prestige to “the tasting menu” as we know it.  We would have loved to have eaten there during our trip, but the restaurant had been closed for renovation since January.  While the restaurant was closed for renovation, Chef Keller was looking out for his staff and elected to open Ad Lib in the Royal Oak at the Silverado Country Club so that they would have a place to work while the Laundry was closed.  So all of the chefs and servers migrated down the road for the brief 10 month lifespan of the restaurant (it will close in October).  It was such a treat to get to experience Chef Keller’s magic in such an intimate setting and everything they put before us was incredibly beautiful and undoubtedly delicious.  We started with the table side Caesar salad, I had the Salmon with dill beurre blanc and my husband had the Chicken Schnitzel (imagine the best chicken piccata you’ve ever tasted and yes that is a normally-sized dinner plate that it is on) and we shared the spring pea and mushroom gnocchi.

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Oh yeah, how could I forget the vineyards, aka the reason people visit wine country!   Enough about food for now.  We visited several vineyards including Domain Chandon, Hess (they have the most incredible art collection that is worth the trip alone not to mention how many wines I loved there), Pine Ridge (I already loved their Chenin Blanc Viognier blend that you can get anywhere) where we did a unique tasting in their wine cave,

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Rombauer (one of my family’s favorite winemakers:  we LOVE their zinfandel and chardonnay and they just came out with their first sauvignon blanc which was nice),

Duckhorn (my new absolute favorite white is their sauvignon blanc) wine labels are the wines that have been served more at White House events than any other American label.  They had menus hanging on the wall from various presidential events that the wines have been served at which I totally ate up.

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A couple of our other favorite stops were Frank Family vineyard

 And Mumm Napa, which is now one of my favorite bubbles to drink.

We fueled up during our big day of tasting at a place called Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena and I wish I would have known in advance about the experience that they offer that includes a walking tour of their garden with their chef followed by a tasting menu lunch at the chef’s table.  Next time.  I got their homemade cookies to go for dessert, I’m sure you’re shocked about that one.

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Last stop was a visit to The French Laundry gardens which were so perfect and lovely to walk through.  The chickens were plenty friendly too.  It was so amazing to see the actual garden right across the street from the restaurant.  It doesn’t get any more “farm to table” than that.

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I can hardly wait to return to Napa Valley someday and I would love to hear about any of your favorite places to visit when you’ve travelled to wine country.

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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I feel like winter was so long and tortuous, yet how is it already springtime??  It’s amazing how time flies!  This March has been crazy busy for me with lots of travel, studying and trying to keep myself balanced and it makes me so excited to think that lake weekends are not too far off.  The nicer weather and finally being able to be outside has be craving light recipes that won’t weigh me down.  These Lemon Rosemary Cookies are not only delicious, light and fluffy, but they have only 60 calories per cookie!!!!

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Thanks to the incorporation of vanilla extract along with the fresh lemon juice, these Lemon Rosemary Cookies are too tart and the rosemary adds just a hint of herby-ness which makes them extra special and unique.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The cookies melt in your mouth because of the cornstarch that is incorporated into the dry ingredients and that also helps them stay soft for several days.  I flattened the cookie dough by using the bottom of a small glass dipped in sugar and I just love the shimmer that the sugar gives to the cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Lemon Rosemary Cookies are the perfect addition to any bridal or baby shower, Easter brunch or barbecue that you go to this spring.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 28 cookies

1 cookies

60 calories

2g; carbs 11g

These slightly tart and herby cookies are light as air and as soft as clouds and the perfect cookie to celebrate springtime

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar (+1/4 cup for coating cookies)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray).
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg white, vanilla, lemon juice and rosemary and mix.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar into a small, shallow bowl.
  6. Scoop heaping teaspoons of dough and form into balls. Place balls onto cookie sheet.
  7. Dip the bottom of a small glass into the cookie dough to make it sticky, then dip the glass into the sugar and flatten one of the cookies. Repeat with remaining cookies, dipping the glass into the sugar for each cookie.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes or until centers feel set.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite days mostly because of how girlie it is.  Pink, red, hearts, glitter, flowers:  it all adds up to a happy girl.  I saw the idea for this bark from Heather at Sprinkle Bakes back during the holiday season and I couldn’t wait to adapt the recipe to make this Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark for Valentine’s Day.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I think this Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark would be so adorable wrapped up in a pretty cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.  I used a heart-shaped soft plastic ice cube tray that I have had in my collection just waiting to do something with it and it worked pretty well, but I think these treats would be just as cute without the heart shape, made in a mini muffin pan with festive paper liners.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark begins with candy melts.  I used Sugar Cookie-flavored Wilton Candy Melts that I colored light pink as the base for the bark, but if you have trouble finding that flavor, use vanilla and add some of your own sprinkles.  The sugar cookie base could not be a easier to make and it’s nice to finish making a cookie dough and not even have to shape it into cookies!  You simply pour the dough out onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet, spread it out into an even layer and bake until the crumbles are lightly browned.  Next I melted the candy melts and filled each cavity of my heart-shaped tray 1/3 full and you would do the same with the paper liners of a mini muffin tin.  Lastly, top the still liquid melts with the cooled cookie crumbs and let them set.  Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts are fun to make and so delicious and cute.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: ~30-40 hearts

Perfectly sweet and slightly salty cookie crumbles top colored candy melts to make this fun and festive bark

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you could also use canola oil)
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 (10 ounce) package Wilton Sugar Cookie (or vanilla) Candy Melts
  • pink food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except candy melts and food coloring for the cookie dough. Use an electric mixer or a spatula to mix until well combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  4. Spread the cookie dough evenly over the lined baking sheet. You want pea-sized clumps.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Place the candy melts into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 1 minute increments until melted and smooth. Add a couple of drops of food coloring and mix to blend.
  8. Use a small spoon to fill the cavities of a silicone or soft plastic heart-shaped ice cube tray (or a mini muffin tin lined with paper liners) 1/3 full. Use the spoon to spread the melts up the sides of the cavities. While melts are still liquidy, sprinkle the cooled cookie crumble into the pan over the melts. Gently press down so that the cookie gets well incorporated into the melts.
  9. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
  10. Recipe adapted from sprinklebakes.com

Bonus:  I had a bit of cookie crumble left over and it is THE MOST fabulous ice cream topping that every existed.  Worth making a double batch??

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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