Category Archives: Cookies and Candy

Orangettes

All photos by Lauren Weisenthal

A few weeks back, I did a post for my column Sweet Techniques over at Serious Eats about how to make orangettes. Even though I’m not a big fan of the chocolate on orange flavor combination (I think it has something to do with my aversion to those chocolate oranges that you see in the drugstores around Christmastime), I did enjoy the opportunity to temper chocolate for the first time in a while, and I love the look of the finished product. To make your own, check out my post over at SE.

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Christmas Sweets

All photos by Lauren Weisenthal

Leading up to Christmas, I’ve been doing some new techniques posts over at Serious Eats. There are some slideshows to help folks through the process of making a classic French yule log cake, the Bouche de Noel.

My favorite part of this cake is, of course, the mushroom meringues. I love Maida Heatter’s recipe in her Book of Great Desserts.

Speaking of Christmas candy, I also had a lot of fun messing around with recipes for torrone, the Italian nougat candy. Watch for that recipe over on Serious Eats on Monday. Merry, Happy!

 

 

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Coconut Cream Cheese Pinwheels

pinwheel

In case you missed the 24 hour news coverage, New York got a little bit of snow for the first time this year. At some point during yesterday’s shift at my pastry internship, the pastry chef, sous chef, and I poked out heads out of the bulkhead from the basement kitchen and watched with delight as the first flakes fell down onto the sidewalk above. I spent the rest of the shift fantasizing about an evening holed up at home in my PJs, drinking red wine and watching the storm from the comfort of my couch.

pinwheels

After a long week, it feels really nice to be forced to hit the pause button and seal yourself away inside to hibernate and wait out the storm. I used this time to try out this pretty recipe, since neither rain nor snow is going to keep Christmas from coming, and I’ve got sweet (chewy, coco-nutty, fruity) promises to keep.

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Cranberry Shortbread

cranberry shortbread

Whenever I put a variety of cookies together, I try really hard to include something for every kind of cookie taste. For example, I always include some kind of buttery and crumbly sable, something uber-chocolate, something gooey, something jammy and fruity, and something nutty and spiced. I’m never short on ideas for these categories, but I always freeze when it comes to bars. I love including a bar cookie, no question, but with the dizzying variety, from cheesecakes to lemon bars to brownies, it’s almost another food category entirely and I just can’t decide.

cranberry shortbread, sans white chocolate

This year was no exception, and an exhaustive research session with my stacks of cookbooks only left me feeling more bewildered. That’s when I decided to combine two of my favorite recipes of all time, this one, and this one (which resulted in EVK recently being featured on Saveur.com). The cookie love-child that resulted was absolutely worth my angst.

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Mini Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

peanut butter whoopie pies

I’m trying hard to keep my holiday baking interesting this year, and my strategy is to integrate unexpected, fun pieces into my cookie presentations. Gingerbread men, rum balls, and peppermint sandwich cookies all have their place, indeed it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without them. But, as your second, or third, or tenth holiday party rolls around, you might start to get a little tired of sampling them.
peanut better whoopie pies 2

That’s why I’ve decided to offer up some different ideas for hand-held holiday treats. They may not be the first ideas that come to mind when you think about seasonal indulgence, but you’ll also notice that they tend to disappear first from the dessert table.

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Meringue Mushrooms

meringue mushrooms

There are cookie recipes everywhere I turn, a sure hallmark of the holiday season. They’re on the blogs, they’re in my email, and they’re are all over my food mags. They’re at my internship too. It’s the holidays and everyone loves the excuse to bake, including yours truly. I love setting aside whole days devoted to baking, then turning up the music in my apartment, plotting my recipes, and then stocking the fridge with a dozen different doughs that I turn out, one after another.

meringue mushrooms

I’ve been in pastry school for three months now and I’ve been a pastry intern for two. When I come calling with my cookie plates this year, people rightly have high expectations for the treats that I bring and I don’t want to let them down. So I’m pulling out the stops. I’m assembling all of my favorites together on one festive silver platter, and that platter could never, ever be complete without meringue mushrooms.

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Vanilla Hazelnut Moon Cookies

moon cookies

The other day, my friend Marissa emailed me to tell me that she had conquered the World Peace Cookies recipe over the weekend, with delicious results. She also mentioned that the recipe was something of a departure for her, with her preference being for vanilla, and that’s when I noticed that there wasn’t one vanilla-centered cookie recipe posted on the East Village Kitchen blog. After I finished hanging my head in shame, I set out to right that wrong.

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Jelly Donut Madelines

Sometimes the oddest things inspire me to innovate in the kitchen. These madelines were inspired by a moldy, water-logged ceiling, a beloved but long-forgotten item from my kitchen, some fruit on the verge of rotting, and a genius pastry chef.

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Fortune Cookie Recipe



This afternoon our good friends Morgan and Angela stopped by to pick us up for brunch, but before we left the apartment, Morgan opened up a giant backpack and started pulling out artifacts from some of their recent travels that they’d picked up as gifts for us and had forgotten to bring along the last million times we’d hung out.

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Cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies recipe



If you were in New York City for The Fourth and it’s surrounding weekend, I don’t need to tell you how awesome it was to have Mother Nature’s cooperation for the first time all summer. In a desperate attempt to catch a few rays, lest they disappear for yet another month, I spent every waking minute of daylight on the deck or the roof for three days straight.

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