Ginger & White Chocolate Matcha Snickerdoodles

There have been so many new and upcoming bakeries in San Francisco that I’ve been MIA from the kitchen and have been bakery hopping just about every chance I can get. A few weekends ago, I woke up bright and early to buy some fresh pasta from the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. I made the mistake of showing up with an empty stomach and ended up buying a lot more than just pasta! One of the things I bought was a ginger and white chocolate matcha snicker doodle from Craftsman and Wolves. I’m not very big on snickerdoodles or ginger, but I do fall head over heels for anything matcha. On my bus ride home, I took a little nibble of the cookie and immediately knew I had to remake it at home.

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I found a recipe online for ginger and white chocolate snickerdoodles and made a couple changes to add the matcha in. I was pretty happy with these cookies, except there wasn’t enough matcha flavor. Next time, I’d use 4 Tbsp. of matcha in the cookie dough instead of just 1. The cookies came out sweet, fluffy yet chewy, and was so easy to put together!

Ginger & White Chocolate Matcha Snickerdoodles
Recipe Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Yield: 4 dozen medium sized cookies

DOUGH:
2-3/4 C. All-purpose flour minus 1 Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. matcha powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. dark brown sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 whole eggs
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. white chocolate chips (I used ghiradelli)

COATING:
4 Tbsp. matcha powder
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, matcha powder, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger.

3. In a mixer, combine the sugars, butter, and fresh ginger until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Mix the flour in in two parts. Stop mixing once the cookie dough forms.

4. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

5. In a small bowl or plate, combine COATING ingredients and mix.

6. Scoop out 1 Tbsp. of dough and roll between your hands to create balls. Coat each ball in the coating mixture.

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7. Place each cookie dough ball on your lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. They will spread during baking.

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8. Bake for 12-14 minutes just until the edges turn a very light golden color and the cookie is puffy. Take the cookie sheet out and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies onto a cooling rack. Eat warm or store in a seal tight container for up to two days.
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Guava Jam and Lemon Pinwheel Cookies

My oh my, it’s already half way through February?! I can’t believe how quickly January flew by. I’ve been meaning to do a post on cookies from Christmas, but didn’t get around to doing so. To tell you the truth, the only thing I enjoy about cookies is eating them. I usually let someone else do the baking since my cookies rarely come out the way I imagine them to be.

Baking cookies is not my forte, but blowing the dust off of the cookie sheets once a year for Christmas is an exception. Aya, Christine, and I exchanged cookies for Christmas and I was quite impressed with all of the cookies that were made!

Just to name a few, Aya made some delicious speculoos cookies with a variety of shortbreads and Christine made mouthwatering rosemary shortbreads and really chocolatey peppermint brownie cookies. I swear, I was cookie wasted that entire week and didn’t mind it one bit. A couple of leggings might have been purchased at the end of the week..

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Along with the pecan bars that were previously posted, I included these pinwheel cookies in my cookie box. I’m too lazy to roll out dough then use a cookie cutter to cut every single cookie out and was a little short on time, so I was looking around for shortbreads that could be refrigerated then sliced and baked on the spot. A few people asked for the recipe, so here is the original. I took this recipe and added lemon zest and juice into the cookie batter and spread a layer of guava jam in between instead of strawberry.

Guava Jam and Lemon Pinwheel Cookies
Adapted from tutti-dulci
Yields: 60 cookies

3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2/3 C. guava jam, warmed until spreadable
Turbinado sugar

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl or mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice until the combined.
4. Add flour and beat until just combined.
5. Divide the dough in half and form two thick disks. Wrap each disk in seran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
6. When the dough has chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle and until about 1/4 inch thick.
7. Spread a thin layer of guava jam over the dough, leaving an inch on the edge closest and further from you.
8. Tightly roll the dough into a log starting from the edge closest to you. Repeat with the other disk.
9. Wrap in seran wrap and chill overnight.
10. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper of silpat.
11. Start slicing 1/4 inch slices from one side of the log to the other.
12. Dip each slice in turbinado sugar and place on a cookie sheet one inch apart from each other.
13. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the bottom edge is very lightly brown.
14. Let sit for a couple of minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
15. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Blondies

My eyes automatically lock onto whatever has the most chocolate in it so my hands always went straight pass the blondies and over to the brownies. I’ve never eaten a blondie nor have I ever had the urge to try one. That all changed when I stumbled over Emily’s recipe. She had me at BROWN BUTTER. Then I almost had a heart attack when I saw the words vanilla bean following in the same phrase.

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Rarely do I make the same recipe more than twice, but in the past week, I’ve already made these three times! Call me crazy, but I’ve been converted into a person who loves crazy blondes – ones that cover themselves in brown butter, vanilla beans, and chocolate chips.

Each time I made these, I made slight changes. The version I liked best developed a slight flaky crust on the surface. What I like best about this recipe is that besides accidentally burning the butter, it’s absolutely easy and quick to put together. I didn’t even have to take the mixer out!

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Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Brownies
Yield: 9

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. + 1 Tbsp. butter, browned
1 large egg
2 vanilla beans
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used ghiradelli)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 8×8 baking pan. If your pan isn’t nonstick, line the bottom with parchment paper. If you are using a nonstick pan, nothing needs to be done.

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir constantly until it gives off a nutty fragrance. Make sure the butter doesn’t burn. Take the pot off the heat and set aside to cool.

When the brown butter has cooled down to luke warm temperature, add the brown sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl. Mix until all combined. Add the egg and seeds from the vanilla beans and mix into the sugar and butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add into the brown sugar mixture until just combined. Next, add the chocolate chips and fold into the batter.

Press the batter evenly into the pan, making sure to fill all corners and pressing the dough flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges turn golden brown.

Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it otherwise the dough will fall apart.

Next, stuff your face and don’t feel bad about getting chocolate all over your mouth.

Earl Grey Lemon Shortbreads

Although the chilly winter air is still lingering in San Francisco, citrus has been making their comeback on store shelves. I walked into the grocery store the other day and instead of seeing only lemons and limes, I saw an array of different citruses. This makes me happy because I get reminded that summer fruits are quickly approaching! For now, the parade of citrus before my eyes was good enough for me. I couldn’t help myself so I picked up a bag each of lemons, limes, oranges, grapefuits, and blood oranges. I figured I’d figure out what to do with them when the time comes.

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For now, let’s tackle the lemons. Since it’s been so cold lately, lemons make me think of holding a huge mug of tea and a squeeze of lemon with my hands tucked into my sleeves. What tea goes best with the flavor of lemon? Earl Grey of course!! Funny, because I used to deteste earl grey…. until I found out how to drink it. I used to work for Starbucks and had prepared many cups of earl grey tea. Every time I pulled the tea bag out of its wrapper and poured hot water over it, I would smell the delicious floral scent it gave off. One day, I finally decided I was going to try it. I dunked the tea bag in hot water and let it steep for a few minutes then excitedly reached in for my first sip when it was cool enough. I spat it out. Never tried it again.

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Months later, a new drink was on the menu – London Fog. It was made using earl grey tea. YUCK. At least that’s what I thought until I took a sip of my coworkers drink not knowing what it was. It was soooo delicious and I’ve been hooked ever since. Ladies and gents, don’t drink your earl grey tea, black. Make sure to add some milk and a tad bit of sugar!

What other way to transition winter thoughts of lemon and tea into spring? By making light, floral, lemony, and buttery shortbreads! The smell of these in the oven is AMAZING!! My mouth was watering as I was sitting in the livingroom waiting for these babies to finish baking. I kinda wanted to jump into the oven and sit next to them.

P.S. These are the easiest cookies I’ve ever made in MY LIFE!!!!

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Lemon Earl Grey Shortbreads

*2 light cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. earl grey leaves
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. butter

*spoon flour into your measuring cup without pushing any of the flour down. When the measuring cup is full, Use a straight-edge to push the excess flour off.

Put flour, tea leaves, and salt into a food processor. Process until the tea leaves look like small specks in the flour.

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Next, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, confectioners sugar, and butter into the processor and pulse until the dough comes together. When the dough pulls away from the walls of the food processor, the dough is ready.

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Pour the dough onto parchment paper or a surface lightly covered with confectioners sugar and roll into a log (I tried to make a square and failed miserably). Roll in seran wrap or parchment paper, sealing the ends and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

When the dough has hardened, preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

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Take the dough out of the wrapper and slice into about half inch slices. Place on cookie sheet about an inch apart and back for 12 minutes or until the bottom becomes slightly golden.

Let the cookies sit for about 2 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.

Last step-nom nom nom like Cookie Monster!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

It’s 6 A.M. and I’m procrastinating like it’s nobody’s business. I have a few lab reports to finish and finals to study for but can’t seem to get my act together! So how am I going to get into the studying mood? Throw my books on the floor, throw a tantrum, and write a blog post! Maybe I’ll get into the writing mood and will be able to knock all of these lab reports out of the park. I don’t know about you, but I barely get any real nutritious food in me when it’s cram central time unless crackers and candy count. During midterms and finals, my desk and the garbage can under the desk get filled with empty wrappers along with cups of coffee and used tea bags.    After yesterday, I now have some awesome snacks to devour as I study.

 
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Wyatt just finished his finals (jealous) and had himself a little get together with his closest friends last night.  He requested these cookies and since they’re the EASIEST to make and take almost no time, I said OK.  So I took a break from my studying and made these bad boys. Hey, we ended up having a spelling bee at his house and realized I kind of suck at spelling large words, BUT I learned something new so taking a break from my studies wasn’t that bad, right?  Anyway, all you will probably need at the grocery store is peanut butter and peanut butter cups.  Everything else is most likely already in your kitchen!  These are so simple to make and come with a bunch of “OMG these are sooo goood.” 

Look at those layers… cookie, chocolate, peanut butter, more chocolate. Just imagine all of that melting in your mouth Mmmmmmm….

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They’re pretty much soft peanut butter cookies that are baked in a mini cupcake pan and stuffed with a peanut butter cup.  If you know me, you know my love for dark chocolate so of course I went and got dark chocolate peanut butter cups to dunk into the cookies!

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PEANUT BUTTER CUP COOKIES

Adapted from:  Allrecipes.com

1/2 C. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

1/2. C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1-1/4 C. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

About 36 peanut butter cups

In a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter until creamy.  Add both sugars, egg, and vanilla extract.  Mix until fully combined.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined.  Cover and set into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Scoop about 1 tablespoon worth of dough and roll it into a ball.  Drop into the mini cupcake pan. 

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Repeat with the rest of the batter.  Bake for 7-9 minutes.

When the cookies are baked, take them out of the oven and immediately press the peanut butter cups into the cookies. 

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Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them and placing them onto a cooling rack. Don’t try to rush with taking the cookies out of the pan otherwise you’ll have a chocolate mess.

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Enjoy them warm and gooey or wait until they’re room temperature. Whoooooooaaaaaaa

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Chewy Salted Nutella Cookies

Chewy Salted Nutella Cookies

Something about the combination of hazelnuts and chocolate makes people say “MMMMMMM. What is this?!”  Crispy edged and chewy centered cookies with the combination of hazelnuts and chocolate makes people say “MMMM, WTF is this?!”  That’s what I said when I first had the combination.  Growing up as a kid, I was given peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  One day in high school, a friend made me a banana and nutella sandwich on toasted bread.  I said… “WTF is this?!  This is the best sandwich EVER!”  and that’s when I was introduced to nutella.  My tastebuds were reaching for more nutella and my mouth was salivating as I took bite after bite.  That same year, I also discovered Ferrero Rocher… those scrumptious little balls of chocolate, hazelnuts, and wafer cookie.  Where do people come up with this stuff?!

Anyway, I had bought two large containers of nutella from Costco and wanted to do something about getting it out of my house before I devoured both containers to myself.  I remembered some chewy crackly looking cookies I had baked in the past and dug my recipe book out.  It took me 30 minutes to find the darn recipe since I had jotted the darn recipe on a scratch piece of paper and shoved it in between two pages.  Since I’m totally into the savory desserts and was trying to get rid of some nutella, I incorporated the nutella and some saltiness into the recipe.  They came out chewy, chocolatey, and buttery.  They’re sophisticated, great to put into cookie baskets, and very easy to make!  The cookie batter needs to be refrigerated before baking so the batter can be made the night before then baked when ready to eat.  WL says he’s not crazy about nutella nor is he crazy about cookies.  Didn’t seem true when I fed him a cookie straight from the oven! 😉 For a crisper cookie, bake for an additional 3 minutes.

Salted Chewy Nutella Cookies

1/2 C. butter, room temperature
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 C. nutella

2 C. flour
1/3 C. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

fleur de sel or coarse salt for sprinkling

In a small bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy with a mixer. Add one egg and beat until incorporated into the butter mixture. Add the second egg and vanilla and beat. Add the nutella and fully incorporate the nutella into the butter.

Add half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix for about 30 seconds. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated-do not over mix. Cover the bowl and put into the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and scoop about 2 Tbsp. of cookie batter onto the paper, leaving the batter in a ball-like form. Leave about 2 inches in between as they spread when baking. Bake for about 15 minutes. Check the cookies at 12 minutes. If they still look shiny in the middle, bake for a couple of more minutes.

When taking out of the oven, the cookies will be fluffy. After a few seconds, they will deflate and become crackly looking. Sprinkle very little salt on top of the cookies immediately taking out of the oven.

Neopolitan Cookies

Do you have a special thing you do with your mom?  Inbetween our busy schedules, both my mom and I barely get to communicate with each other.  We both work 8-5 jobs, have other activities after work, and it feels like we live in different time zones since we sleep at totally different times.  The only time we really communicate with each other is when we’re nagging each other over the phone.  How sad is that?  Even though we don’t see much of each other or spend a large amount of time with one another throughout the year, we still have one activity that we do together, which is eating baking Christmas cookies!   Since we have such a tiny kitchen with a horrific oven that raises its temperature on its own when it feels like it, you can just imagine the frustration and yelling that goes on.  I’m surprised we haven’t had a flour fight yet.  This year, we kind of went cookie crazy and ended up with more cookies than we could handle.  I guess Santa gained a little more weight this year than he expected.

Look, it’s a road made of cookies hehehe

We made the works!  Neopolitans, peanut butter cups (dark and milk chocolate), butterballs, shortbreads, oreos, browned butter nutella cookies, oatmeal, cranberry & white chocolate cookies, jam thumbprints, classic peanut butter cookies, and chocolate chip cookies.  On top of that, my mom also made lemon bars and mini cheesecakes topped with cherries.  Here are just a few of the cookies we included in our cookie packages!

My favorite cookie as a kid were the neopolitan cookies.  Before I started baking, I always wondered how my mom was able to make a cookie three different colors.  Maybe she took three different cookies and glued them together?  I had no idea.  After I learned how to bake, I figured out that these are one of the easiest cookies ever to be made.  Now that I’m older, these cookies remind me of how my parents would always bring home neopolitan ice cream and I would only scoop out the strawberry and vanilla ice cream and left the chocolate portion for somebody else.  I was never a fan of chocolate ice cream.  I don’t think my sister was either so my dad was always stuck with just the chocolate haha I don’t have that problem with these.  I’ll eat the entire cookie with no hestitation.  These cookies are basically a walnut shortbread with a hint of almond extract.  They have an unexpected pleasant taste and will add color to your cookie platter!

Neopolitan Cookies
Yield: about 5 dozen cookies
Found the recipe on an old school index card that my mom typed on back in the day

 
Base:
2-1/2 c. flour
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt

extras:
1/2 tsp. almond extract
red liquid food coloring, 5 drops
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted

With a mixer at low speed, beat all of the ingredients under “base.” When all of the ingredients are just mixed, increase the speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×5-inch loaf pan with waxed paper.

Seperate the dough into three even portions and place them into three different mixing bowls. In the first bowl, stir in the almost extract and the food coloring until combined. Dough should be evenly pink. Spread evenly onto the bottom of the loaf pan.

In the second bowl, mix in the walnuts until combined and spread evenly over the pink dough.

Into the remaining bowl, mix in the chocolate until the entire dough is brown. Spread evenly over the white dough.

Press down firmly so that the dough is evenly distributed and formed together.
Cover the pan and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from the pan and peel off wax paper. Slice the dough lengthwise in half, then slice each half crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Place slices of cookie on ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms are slightly brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a couple of minutes then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool.

Store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.

I put together some cookie tins for some of my closest friends  Instead of spending $$$ on gifts that will most likely end up being another item laying around the house, make some little care packages for them.  I assure you they will enjoy.  Sorry for posting this AFTER Christmas!

Baking cookies is always fun, especially when it’s a special activity with your mommy!

 Heart cookie cutouts of pecan shortbreads then covering them in chocolate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake the chocolatey cookies, squeeze some creme, then sandwich them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make some nutella chips, chop up some hazelnuts, brown some butter, and make some cookies!  Looks like scoops of ice cream. Mmmm..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aren’t these cookies cute??  My two friends, Jon Frittata and Aya Payaya, and I had dinner and exchanged goodies.  Aya gave out cookie tins and Frittata gave us mini cheesecakes.  We only get the cheesecakes once a year and people are always fighting over them.  Thank goodness we each got our own plate of them!  I wasn’t able to snap a picture of them cause I gobbled them up in a blink of an eye!