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Posts from the ‘Cookies’ Category

Sleeping Almond Meringues

IMG_7776For the past few weeks, I’ve been hopping around different countries for Devour.  This recipe for sleeping meringues, however, is very close to home.  I’d been trying to make my grandparents meringues which were air crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside when my friend Maria Budet shared her own grandmother’s recipe, providing the missing piece that had eluded me.  Mystery solved, I added a few toasted almonds and drops of vanilla but  am looking forward to many variations in the next year.   Thank you all for reading and I hope you’re all enjoying a happy and peaceful Christmas morning!

Mantecados de Ánis

Polvorones, the Spanish shortbread cookies have been my favorite for the holidays. Just flour, sugar and sometimes almonds, they’re perfect as gifts – simple but flavorful they go with everything. I was working on this spiced almond version for the Cooking Channel’s All Star Holiday Cookie Recipes  post when I started thinking of mantecados. Though they’re some times used interchangeably with polvorones, mantecados should be made with lard – something I’d been avoiding despite the assurances of Michael Pollan, the Lee Bros., and legions of Cuban grandmothers. For frying it made sense, but for baked goods I associated it with heavier and denser cookies and pastries. Read more

Down South

I know it shouldn’t make a difference but I love it when food has a story and Chilean olive oil has been writing its own. Alfonso Swett who discovered small scale olive oil plantations in conditions similar to the Chilean climate on a trip through Spain, wondered why it shouldn’t be cultivated and produced in Chile as well.  Olisur, an estate grown, largely sustainable operation encompassing a 6,500 acre olive groves and expecting to produce 1.7 million liters of olive oil in their next harvest, grew from this initial why not. Read more

Julia Child’s Madeleines de Commercy

It’s impossible to cook a Julia Child recipe without summoning her in some way.  From the first moment, you can feel her peering over your shoulder – self-assured, encouraging, generous.  Once you’ve started, you’ll do anything to keep her there,  so I’m always on the look-out for Julia Child cookbooks.  Just before my last birthday, I found a second-hand copy of From Julia Child’s Kitchen that included this recipe for les Madeleines de Commercy.  When the Cooking Channel invited bloggers to celebrate her upcoming birthday by posting about one of her recipes, I knew which one I wanted to make. Read more

Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies

I hadn’t planned on re-posting this recipe until I my sister asked for Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies for a reading she was doing.  It was a last minute request on a busy day.  I gave good reasons for not making them and they were all accepted, then I decided to do it anyway.  It was a chance to go through one of my favorite recipe posts and make sure I’d gotten it all down correctly, try some adjustments and maybe find some of the typos that play hide and seek when I first hit publish (though I rarely feel like playing).  Click here for the original post.

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Just Once More

I’d been burned before.  Last summer I found an old recipe for Brazilian coconut candies called  brasileiras.  I put all the ingredients together as directed – egg yolks, freshly shredded coconut, sugar – but they wanted nothing to do with each other.  I Googled “brasilerias” to find my mistake but the results were (not surprisingly) unhelpful.  A few weeks later, I attempted beijinhos de coco or “coconut kisses”. Similar to the brasileiras, they’re a combination of condensed milk, butter, and grated coconut that are rolled into balls and decorated with a single clove.  This version called for a final dip in chocolate and almonds.  I should have known when I wasn’t able to form the coconut into balls, mounds or anything like it that I’d made a mistake somewhere.  I kept going anyway, making an expensive chocolate almond mess.  I pretended they were edible, but after a day or two, I stopped kidding myself and threw the rest away.  I hadn’t looked a coconut in the eyes since. Read more

Estrellas de Chocolate

I’ve become deeply suspicious of Cuban cookies.  It’s not really the cookie’s fault.  They’re just not what we do.  Growing up, home baked cookies weren’t foreign but they did have the exoticism of something you’d mostly like get at a friend’s house.  Tres leches, meringues, tocino del cielo, flan were home, toll house was not.  The last couple of months, I’ve tried a few forgettable variations. I follow the recipes to the letter but cusubes elude me and my caballitos de queque were cinnamon drenched failures.  This being the cookie season, I looked though all my Cuban sources for a new recipe that was traditional but workable.  Many called for Crisco with 1950’s abandon while others were really turrones (blended with more Crisco). Read more

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