Friday, January 3, 2014

New Holiday Cookies Review

Welcome to the first read of 2014. Yay, it's here! I'm sure you were expecting a New Year's Resolutions-related post, but as I stated before, I'm not into the whole resolutions thing. I prefer adding positive habits and taking away negative ones. I do plan on sharing these habits and ideas with you all, but first I want to get some past-due holiday posts out of the way. And I'm starting with this one, a cookie review.

While I tried many new cookie recipes this past holiday season (did you see my baking list?), the Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies and Lemon Poppyseed Cream Cheese Cookies were my two favorites. Pistachios. Dark Chocolate. Lemon. Cream Cheese. You cannot go wrong with these ingredients, my friend. Except maybe all in the same cookie....hmmmm, might be a tasty experiment.

First up: the Shortbreads. These cookies were fabulous because I love anything with pistachios. But these shortbreads were made even better by using a good dark chocolate. I like my dark chocolate around 85%. Like my coffee, strong, dark, and bitter. Perfect. Plus, you know, there was butter, which puts a smile on your face. The combination of the three puts a smile in your heart. AND they were bite-sized, making them even tastier, right?

Since they were shortbreads, I pretty much stuck to the recipe, which called for three sticks of butter (eek!), but I did cut the sugar in half and added an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract. I do recommend finely chopping your chocolate and nuts, only because the cookies are so small and some of them crumbled a little if the pieces were too big (cough, which meant more for me to snack on, so you do with that information as you must, cough). This dough works really well as a make-ahead. I made it and stored it in the freezer four days before I made the cookies. And, of course, no eggs in the batter makes for plenty of tasting if I cared about eggs. Click the link for the recipe to these delightful Pistachio-Chocolate Shortbreads.

Now these lemon cream cheese cookies were the most looked forward to on my looong baking list. I was super excited for these little gems, and they didn't disappoint. However, I do recommend more lemon. Always more lemon.

These were soft, chewy, and light. And pretty. And bite-sized...bonus points.

The only tweaking I did to this recipe involved more lemon, and I replaced the white sugar with Stevia. (If you're new to baking with Stevia make sure you use the correct equivalents, and I think there is a slight after taste, which I can usually pick out in my Stevia baked goods. Still trying to get use to just make sure to use it to your liking.) You can find these Lemon Poppyseed Cream Cheese Cookies over here! And, as Heather states, these do not change color so make sure to check the bottoms as they bake.

Did you discover any new favorites during your cookie baking?

With Love and God Bless,

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