Archive for ‘Cookies’

October 28, 2011

Starr Ranch Meyer Lemon Tartlet Squares

by cillefish

Starr Ranch had a winetasting during the Paso Wine Harvest Festival last weekend, and served these tartlet squares paired with their Starr Ranch Viognier (that stuff is delicious — a nose like the meringue on lemon meringue pie, plus apricot and baked pear). Anyway, this is a quick 1-bowl recipe; very easy and tasty, and lends itself well to a double batch.

  • For Original Crust (thinner, denser, butterier):
    • 1 stick (1/2 c) butter, sliced into strips and piled loosely in a Pyrex bowl
    • 1c flour
    • 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • For Shortbread Crust (thick, biscuity, also buttery)
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 to 1 1/2 c slivered almonds, whirled in food processor until mealy
  • Custard layer (same no matter which crust you choose):
    • juice of 1 Meyer lemon (about 4 Tbsp)
    • zest of 1 Meyer lemon (about 2-4 tsp)
    • 2 eggs, beaten slightly
    • 1 c sugar
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°. Place the butter in in the bowl and melt it in the microwave. Thoroughly mix in the dry ingredients for the crust, and press into a lightly greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

While the oven preheats, zest and juice the lemons into the same bowl you used for the flour mix. Add the eggs and sugar, and mix. When the crust is in the oven, set the timer to 12 to 20 minutes. Add the baking powder and flour to the egg/lemon mix and mix thoroughly, then set aside while the crust cooks.

When the crust is just barely blushed on the edges (NOT toasted — remember, it will get more oven time in a minute!), remove from the oven. Briefly mix up the lemon mix again so that the settled sugar isn’t stuck on the bottom, and pour the whole schamole over the crust. Return the whole thing to the oven and cook again for another 17-20 minutes, until the top has set and appears to be firm but not dried out.

Chill 10 min to several hours, sprinkle with more powdered sugar (you can put a tablespoonful at a time into a wire-mesh sieve and sprinkle it that way). Cut into 1″ squares and serve chilled. Store in an airtight container in the fridge; should keep about a week.


The winery owner says the original recipe calls for just 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 tsp grated lemon peel, but she instead uses one whole Meyer lemon per recipe (all the zest and all the juice), which comes out to about double the lemon of the 2T/2t version). If you do not have Meyer lemon, you can use the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon combined with the zest and juice of 1/3 to 1/2 a medium orange (1/2 is better). The shortbread crust is adapted fromthe Chocolatey Raspberry Crumble Bars.

August 23, 2011

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

by cillefish

Great shortbread cookies with a gentle zing. The original recipe called for 375°F and a full 1/2 cup of chilled butter, so you could probably do it that way if you want them more flaky and buttery. Measurements below are for a double batch because this recipe makes only about 10 cookies otherwise. They don’t expand much, so they fit on a good-sized baking sheet.

Makes: about 20
Prep + bake time: 25-30 min

Lemonier Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
  • 14-15 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 full Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped up finely with a scissors and then measured
  • 4 scant tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 c Sanding sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place flour, powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zests, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until uniformly mixed, scraping frequently. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart. Using fingers or a flat measuring cup dusted with powdered sugar, press cookies into 2″ rounds, re-dusting fingers with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. flatten edges in to prevent them crumbling and burning. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sanding sugar, if using.

Bake until edges are barely blushed with a little color, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

May 31, 2011

Chocolatey Raspberry Shortbread Bars

by cillefish

A friend of mine makes these; I had some this weekend and they are SO GOOD. Shortbread-y crust topped with soft fudgelike goodness, topped with MORE shortbread, topped with raspberry jam & chocolate chips. Adapted from the “Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars” in a joint Land O Lakes / Nestlé-sponsored recipe; click the link for the photo source and original recipe.
Nestle Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars

Chocolatey Raspberry Shortbread Crumb Bars

(Makes 3 dozen bars)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12-oz pkg) semi-sweet
    chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups (14-oz can)
    sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts/pecans chopped fine (OR 3/4 c of ground almonds; ground before measuring) (optional)
  • About 9 oz (1/2 an 18-oz jar) seedless raspberry jam (the original recipe called for 1/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cream butter, then cream together with sugar, flour, then salt. Lightly flour fingers and press 1 3/4 c (not all!) of the shortbread crumb mixture into pan, reserving the rest of the crumb mix. Bake 10–12 min (edges will be golden brown).

In a small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, combine 1 c (not all!) chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, stirring until smooth. Pour evenly onto hot baked crust.

Combine remaining shortbread-crumb mix and nuts (if using). Sprinkle evenly over chocolate-fudgy layer. Top with teaspoonsful of raspberry jam, then remaining chips. Bake for another 25–30 min. Cool before slicing.

March 8, 2011

Perfect Double (or Triple) Chocolate Cookies

by cillefish

These are amazing. Not too tricky, not too cakey, not too chewy. Word of caution, though: they’re rich enough that it’s tough to eat more than one, so they’re the kind of cookie you leave out all afternoon so people can recover from them a bit before they go for another one.

The only marginally tricky part is melting the chocolate, but I tried the on-the-stove option (what my mom calls a “bain marie“), and it was easy & involved no mess-ups. See the bottom of the recipe for microwave & stovetop chocolate-melting instructions.

Perfectly Thick & Chewy Double / Triple Chocolate Cookies:

adapted from recipe in “Here in America’s Test Kitchen”Ghirardelli Baking Ground Chocolate


  • 2 c (10 oz) unbleached flour (I used all whole-wheat)
  • 1/2 c Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 oz semisweet chocolate,
    chopped to large-pea size or smaller
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp finely ground instant espresso powder
    or instant coffee powder
  • 10 Tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, sliced & softened
  • 1 1/2 c (3 1/2 oz) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 c (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
  • Optional: 1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips (for triple chocolate. For double chocolate, omit these)

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