Like on facebook Follow on Twitter Subscribe to Posts! View Instagram Feed Pastry Affair on Pinterest
RECENT POSTS




subscribe
Subscribe to posts! Connect on facebook! View flickr page! Add to google reader!

To receive RSS updates
Click here
subscribe via email

Entries in cookies (37)

Tuesday
Apr012014

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

It rained today, a slow drizzle from the sky bringing as much gloom as a single afternoon could muster. Never, I dare say, has such a day felt more needed. This feeling spread like a contagion through the high school, my students infected with the Friday afternoon jitters though it was only Monday. It was a sign that winter was going to end, that the months spent hiding indoors were worth the wait, a sign that we could begin to breathe again.

I feel as if I've been holding my breath too long.

Coconut Macaroons Coconut Macaroons

I am afraid winter managed to get the best of me this year. It was a longer and colder winter than I can remember from years past, weakening my spirit in subtle, but significant ways. The sun didn't bring warmth to my skin; the wind cut through my winter coat. With a heavy workload and small town isolation, I often slipped into a melancholy mood, feeling as if the light behind my eyes had dimmed.

Standing in the crowded school hallway, the bell ringing to signal the changing of classes, it smelled like rain and dirt and people. I breathed in deeply, filling my lungs. I never thought that this smell was one I could miss. I never imagined that this scent, damp and dank, would be the sign of spring I was so desperate for.

I paused to take another breath before heading back to class.

Coconut Macaroons

The best coconut macaroon I've had was at a small bakery tucked away in a large market. It didn't look like much, so small as it was, but the texture—dense and endlessly chewy—was worth noting. I've thought of those macaroons often since then, whipping up a batch here or there in my own kitchen. The cookies were neither dense nor chewy enough to satisfy my tastes. Though each cookie was eaten, but I could not help but compare them with each bite.

After fiddling around with this recipe, I uncovered a version that comes quite close to the coveted texture of that small bakery. I am satisfied.

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons are a simple, five ingredient cookie, that celebrates coconut. With maple syrup to sweeten and vanilla to complement, these cookies become quite addictive (especially if you have a cup of tea in hand). If you prefer a lighter macaroon, simply decrease the baking time, but I enjoy them best when dark and golden (which the recipe reflects below).

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb092014

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

My life has been full of simple pleasures lately. Dunking a few Oreos in my weekend cup of freshly ground coffee. A night spent out at the movies, stashing a small snack in my coat pocket (don't pretend you haven't done it). An expensive plate of sushi because life is too short not to enjoy good food. A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany a simple spaghetti weeknight dinner.

The pleasures may be small, but together they form a contented moment in time.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti Chocolate Almond Biscotti Chocolate Almond Biscotti

As a first year teacher, I don't have a lot of time to myself. My days are filled with teaching, my afternoons with grading, and my evenings with lesson planning. In the last few months, I have spent most of my time cooped up in my apartment, partly due to the workload, partly due to the frigid, unforgiving weather. These simple pleasures often provide a bright spot of light to an otherwise normal day. Simple, yes, but they add the right level of spice.

Treating yourself comes in many forms. How have you treated yourself today?

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti is one of the small pleasures I enjoyed last weekend. Biscotti is a simple dessert, though it often appears more complex than it is. The word "biscotti" means twice cooked and that is precisely what these cookies are. Cookies are baked up as a "loaf" before they are sliced, laid on their sides, and baked once more. As the baker, you have the control over how soft or crisp these cookies become, adapting them precisely to your taste.

Dipped in coffee, tea, or a large glass of milk, these cookies are happiness in its pure and simple form.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti are crisp and best enjoy while dunked into your favorite beverage. Cocoa powder provides a deep chocolate flavor to the cookies while toasted almonds give them their crunch. A light chocolate drizzle helps to set the cookies off, providing just the right amount of decadence. Whether enjoyed during a stolen moment in the morning or as an afternoon snack, these biscotti bring about a sweet moment to be savored.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec212013

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

The holidays are here and time must be spent with family and friends. The days feel short lately, with so little sun and such busy evenings. I want to thoroughly enjoy every moment with loved ones—to relax and laugh, drink wine, and spend time in front of the fire—before heading back home to everyday life. For this reason, my words will be few.

It doesn't feel like Christmas until a batch of sugar cookies comes out of the oven, smelling of butter and tasting of joy. Last weekend I baked and decorated a large batch, wrapping them up in small boxes and gifting them out to those I hold dear. If there were ever a holiday for this simple, but beloved cookie, this is it.

Christmas Sugar Cookies Christmas Sugar Cookies Christmas Sugar Cookies Christmas Sugar Cookies Christmas Sugar Cookies Christmas Sugar Cookies

Over the years, I've tinkered and played with this sugar cookie recipe until I've landed on this particular version. It is everything I look for in a sugar cookie—consistent, soft, and bakes up with a smooth and even surface for decorating. A heavy hand with the vanilla, a pinch of salt, and just the right amount of sugar to be pleasing, but not overpowering. There is nothing more I could wish for in a sugar cookie and I imagine you will feel the same.

Click to read more ...