double chocolate pistachio orange cookies

Double Chocolate Pistachio Orange Cookies – rich chocolate cookies with crunchy pistachios and sweet tart candied orange peel. Delicious!

So you know that candied orange peel I made a couple weeks ago? This is the cookie that I needed it for. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for awhile, but I’ve never had quite all the ingredients at the same time. I bought a supply of pistachios a while ago with this cookie in mind, but every time I thought to make it, I’d realize I’d forgotten about the candied peel component. This time, however, I made sure I had everything I needed, including some oranges to make that candied peel. And I remembered to actually make the candied peel the day before, too.  (more…)

candied orange peel revisited

Candied orange peel is deceptively simple to make and loaded with flavour! It can be eaten as-is (delicious!) or used in other recipes.

I once again found myself needing to make some candied orange peel for a cookie recipe – I went so long without ever making it until that first time, but since then I feel like I’ve made it so many times it’s starting to feel like old hat! The first time I made it, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and couldn’t believe that I was somehow going to make orange peels edible. Those were the bits that got tossed in the compost, not eaten. And yet I did. And while it took a bit of time, it really wasn’t hard at all. And so very delicious.  (more…)

mrs. fields jam thumbprint cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies – perfect little morsels of soft buttery cookie filled with a variety of sweet jams. Always a favourite!

It’s cookie swap season, y’all! I was so disappointed to find out that the Food Blogger Cookie Swap wouldn’t be happening this year. I really enjoyed it the last two years I participated – sharing cookies and meeting other bloggers – and I was really looking forward to doing it again. Boo. Hopefully they’ll start it up again next year. I’ve heard about another group doing one, but sadly I didn’t find out in time to join this year. On a more local front, I’ve been organizing a cookie swap with my coworkers for the last few years as well, and that one definitely happened this year. With more participants than ever before!

This year as we were discussing what to make, I threw out the idea of making some jam thumbprint cookies. The response was pretty enthusiastic. This is the only time of year I ever see them. Why is that? They’re such awesome little cookies!  (more…)

oatmeal spice cookies

These Oatmeal Spice Cookies contain a unique blend of flavours – a nice alternative to traditional molasses spice cookies!

As we head into the winter season (and we actually have snow here in Vancouver! it’s officially winter), I find myself craving the traditional cookie flavours – molasses and spice, and even eggnog (which is really mostly nutmeg in flavour). This cookie looked like an interesting variation on a spice cookie, with a combination of spices and flavours that’s a little different. Plus oatmeal. I’ve never had an oatmeal spice cookie, have you?

There’s a lot of spice in these cookies, including two full teaspoons of allspice and a half teaspoon of black pepper, so I was expecting something with a bit of bite. But while there is a lot of flavour, it’s a very pleasant blend of spices. And it’s unique. It’s not like any spice cookie I’ve had before! The spices themselves may be the usual blend, but the proportions are completely new to me.  (more…)

milk chocolate cookies

These Milk Chocolate Cookies have a perfect melt-in-your-mouth chewy texture and the delicious flavour of a hot chocolate. It's a favourite among my coworkers!

I’m continuing the chocolate trend this week, but this cookie is very different from last week’s. There’s a lot of chocolate in this recipe – 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, plus lots of melted chocolate and chocolate chips – and while it definitely has a lot of chocolate flavour, it’s a milder chocolate flavour than the triple chocolate cookies I made last week. It doesn’t have the same oomph. It’s simply the difference between milk and dark chocolates. Milk chocolate has a much milder, sweeter flavour, and that’s what this cookie is all about.  (more…)

triple chocolate cranberry cookies

If you're craving chocolate, this Triple Chocolate Cranberry Cookie is for you – a rich chocolate cookie, plus two kinds of chocolate chips, plus tart dried cranberries.

I suddenly realized it’s been awhile since I’ve made a chocolate cookie. And I just happened to be totally craving something chocolate-y, and as good as they are, a plain chocolate chip cookie wouldn’t do the trick. Oh there are chocolate chips here, sure, but this cookie has so much more. We’re starting with a perfectly good chocolate cookie, and then we’re adding both dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Yes, triple chocolate. And then I decided to spoil myself and add cranberries too. Because I love the combination of rich dark chocolate and tart cranberry. And I wanted to treat myself this weekend. Why? Why not.  (more…)

princeton gingersnaps

These Princeton Gingersnaps from Dorie Greenspan are loaded with three kinds of ginger and bake up perfectly

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know how much I adore Dorie Greenspan – I have several of her books, and her Baking From My Home to Yours is so well-used that half the pages are stuck together from various spatters and spills. Well she just came out with a new book, called Dorie’s Cookies. OMG, it’s like she wrote this book just for me! I actually pre-ordered it months ago, and it was just delivered last week. I spent a lot of time over the past week, curled up and flipping through the pages. I want to try everything. Seriously. But to start, this gingersnap recipe sounded absolutely perfect for the season. And with an introduction like this cookie? I have no doubt this book will be another favourite.  (more…)

triple peanut and chocolate chip cookies

Peanut butter, peanut butter chips, AND honey roasted peanuts are the basis for these amazing Triple Peanut and Chocolate Chip Cookies!

This week’s cookie is all about peanut flavour. By request. Because when your pregnant co-worker says she’s craving something peanut-y, you listen. So we have not just a peanut butter cookie, but a peanut butter cookie plus peanut butter chips plus honey roasted peanuts plus two kinds of chocolate chips. Yup. This should take care of those cravings!  (more…)

white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies – a perfect blend of flavours and textures, with tart dried cranberries contrasting the sweet white chocolate and coconut.

Are we ready for take two with my new oven? This is the cookie that I wanted to make last time but didn’t have the ingredients for. I made sure to stock up on both oatmeal and dried cranberries (I can’t believe I’d managed to run out of either of those!). I really need to set up some sort of inventory of baking supplies. My organization pretty much consists of one big bin full of various chocolate chips, and another full of everything else. Sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find what I’m looking for (or find that I don’t have it, as the case may be). Anyway, all the ingredients were sorted out, so I got to make the cookie I wanted to. I’m not usually a fan of white chocolate, but the combination of flavours in this cookie sounded really great (and it totally is).  (more…)

peanut butter chocolate chip and pecan cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies – perfect peanut butter cookies, loaded with lots of dark chocolate, plus crunchy pecans.

Finally, after weeks of not being able to bake and a summer of making popsicles, we have COOKIES. I mentioned last week that this was not the recipe I started out with, but I seem to have misplaced a couple of ingredients in the move so I had to go to plan B. And plan B was a huge success. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised at all – everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, and everyone loves peanut butter cookies, and this recipe combines the two and adds crunchy pecans to the mix. My coworkers were very happy. My first choice will hold until next week (after I do a bit of shopping and replenish my cupboards).  (more…)

back in the saddle… sorta…

Well the kitchen is mostly unpacked and set up (I have a lot of stuff still packed long-term) and we’re expecting the tail end of a cyclone to hit us tonight (seriously!), so I figured it was the perfect day to try out my new oven. I was going to make some white chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal and dried cranberries, but I couldn’t find my oatmeal (I’m sure I have a new bag somewhere) and I couldn’t find my cranberries either (ditto). I have no idea where they could be. There aren’t that many cupboards. I suspect I set them aside somewhere while I figured out where to put stuff and I’ll find them in a really weird place one day.

It didn’t take me long to find a recipe that I definitely had all the ingredients for, though, and the one I ended up with sounded really good. And speaking as someone who’s been sampling them all afternoon as they come out of the oven, they are really good.

I won’t be posting the recipe until next weekend after I’ve had a chance to get some feedback from my coworkers during the week. But I can give you a hint – there’s peanut butter, and chocolate chips, and pecans. This cookie is making me very happy.

I can also tell you I don’t quite have a feel for this oven yet. While tiny (my baking sheets barely fit in it), it’s way newer and fancier than my old one. I tested it out with my handy oven thermometer and while it’s still a bit off, it’s way closer to accurate than my old one too. It’s only off by about 15°.

However, while I found that I had to bake things a little longer than the recipe recommended in my old oven, this one seems to bake things way faster. Because the heat is contained in a smaller space? Because there’s less room for air to circulate? Maybe the oven is accurate and my thermometer is a bit off? I have no idea. I think these cookies are a wee bit over-done though. I also don’t quite have a handle on the lighting in this kitchen, because while they looked just barely brown around the edges in the oven, when I pulled them out they had more colour than I was expecting.

I’ll get used to it in time.

Make no mistake, though, even though these cookies are a little crisper than they probably should be, they’re still absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to share them with you next week!

my kitchen is in boxes

Just a quick update – I moved yesterday and haven’t even begun to unpack. It took the best part of the day and I was exhausted. And today I’ve just been puttering around, doing laundry, and hanging out with my cat. Poor kitty is totally stressed and has yet to leave the bedroom. It was hours before she even ventured outside her carrier, and that was just to relocate to the bed where she’s pretty much stayed.

I really want to get my kitchen unpacked and test out that oven, but I also still have to clean out my old place. A lot of stuff still to donate/trash, and then the clean-up itself (ugh). Did I mention I’m exhausted? I kinda just want to abandon it (I would never, but it’s so tempting). I do have until the end of the month to take care of that all, though, but I’ll be back to work next week and will have to deal with it all in the evenings and on the weekend. Did I mention “ugh”? Yeah. I can’t wait for this to be done.

Good news, though, is that I’m loving my new place so far (in spite of the tiny kitchen). So. Many. Closets.

counting down to the move

I’m afraid this is another cookie-less weekend. I actually had planned to make something to snack on while I get ready for the move, but I under-estimated how much time packing would take, and now I’m panicking a bit. Honestly, I thought I’d have a lot more done by now. Yikes. The fact that I’m also sorting out things to donate/trash at the same time is slowing me down, too.

Not to mention my kitchen is a disaster area, with things pulled out of the cupboards, and half-packed boxes everywhere. I’m going to be living on pizza for the next week, just watch me. Have I mentioned how much I hate moving? So much hate.

But I got possession of the apartment (I have keys and everything!) and as promised, I have photos of the teeny tiny kitchen. Just look at this. It’s nice, right? Really nice cupboards, granite counters, everything is super clean and nice and bright. But it’s wee.

kitchen

I had an issue with lack of cupboards/counter space in my current kitchen too, so I actually had a cabinet custom-made. And luckily, it will just barely fit in that space beside the dishwasher. Sort of. I may have to angle it a bit. I’ll make it work. Somehow.

The actual move is next Friday, so don’t hold your breath for cookies next week either. But it’s a long weekend up here in Canada (we have our Thanksgiving in October), and I’ll probably get my kitchen sorted and try the oven out at some point before I head back to work on Tuesday. Maybe there’ll be a post after the weekend. Wish me luck!

soft peanut butter cookies

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies, with perfect peanut flavour and perfect soft chewy texture. A sure favourite!

I’m still prepping for my upcoming move – I have over 15 years’ of accumulated stuff to sort through and I’ve got 2 weeks left to get it all organized. I’m donating a lot of stuff to charity, giving stuff away to friends, and throwing a lot of stuff out (I really hate having to throw things away so I’m finding homes for as much as possible). I didn’t think I had that much stuff until I really started going through it. Now? Wow, it’s a big job. So once again when it came time to bake something this week (yay! baking weather!), I was looking for something super easy. And comforting. Last week we had the classic chocolate chip cookies (what could be more comforting than warm gooey chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven?). This week? Super soft peanut butter cookies.  (more…)

classic chocolate chip cookies

Perfectly soft and chewy Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, with lots and lots of chocolate. They're a classic for a reason!

So as I mentioned last week, I have an apartment lined up. Whoo! Trust me, I’m relieved. So relieved. But I’m also bummed. We’re heading into this lovely cool rainy fall weather, and all I really wanted to do is hang out and bake – seriously, I had plans for these rainy weekends! But instead I get to focus on purging and minimizing and organizing and packing. And cleaning. Ugh. No fun at all. And then I get to unpack and organize in a brand new place. I can’t wait until this is all behind me.

The apartment-hunting totally stressed me out – not only was I not sleeping well, I had no appetite at all. I didn’t really feel like myself again until that lease was officially signed. Then I really wanted some comfort food. And what’s more comforting than a classic chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven? You guys, it felt really good to bake again – it feels like it’s been forever! Not just the past couple of weeks, but the entire summer before when it was too hot to bake and I was focussed on making popsicles every week. I’ve really missed it.  (more…)