Archive for the 'cookies & squares' Category

London Fog Shortbread

earl grey shortbread 1 585x390 London Fog Shortbread

I’m a little late to the party with this one, but it’s OK if you show up late and bring cookies.

We talked about tea last week on CBC, and its flavouring potential, especially when baking with it. One of my favourite combinations is Earl Grey, butter and sugar in a sandy-sweet shortbread, but I don’t like the little hard bits you wind up with when you stir dry tea leaves into baked goods, especially something like shortbread that doesn’t contain any liquid to plump it up. I happened to have just made a batch of crème brûlée, steeping the cream first with Earl Grey, and decided to use the exhausted tea leaves in the shortbread.

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Opening them up first not only helps them release more flavour, but softens them, eliminating those nasty bits. You can then blitz the soft leaves with the butter and sugar in the food processor, obliterating them further. This is not only a great way to flavour cookies and cakes and ice cream and anything else you want to infuse with your favourite tea, but a way to recycle the tea leaves you just used to steep a pot, which are still good for something. (If you don’t happen to have just made a pot of tea or a batch of crème brûlée, you could just open up the leaves with a splash of hot water in a small dish. Same diff.)

Oh hey! I know I keep telling you about this new web redesign I’m working on, and I haven’t been lying, I just hadn’t found the right person yet. But I think I have, and we’re having a planning meeting on Monday, and I wanted to ask you what you’d like to see here, since this is your space after all. My priorities are design and recipe search functionality, but I’m open to any and all ideas and suggestions, and I’d love to hear what websites you love to read/look at/use, whether they’re food blogs or not. Thanks!!

London Fog Shortbread

If your tea leaves are already exhausted, don’t worry about softening them with boiling water.

1 Tbsp. loose Earl Grey tea leaves
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325?F.

If you’re starting with dry tea leaves, put them into a small dish and pour just enough boiling water over them to cover (about a tablespoon or two); set aside for a few minutes, then pour off the water.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the butter, sugar and softened tea leaves until well blended and creamy. Add the flour and salt and pulse until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined sheet. Press down with a cookie stamp, bottom of a glass, or crisscrossed with a fork. (Alternatively, roll the dough into a log, wrap and chill, then slice and bake.) Bake for 10 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges.

Cool on the pan or on a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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March 08 2015 | cookies & squares | 16 Comments »

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

peanut butter brownies 1 585x390 Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

These, for the weekend. Be careful not to overbake them – brownies are always best slightly underbaked. You can’t rely on the skewer test because you want lots of moist, fudgy crumbs.

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Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Adapted from Betty Crocker.

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. milk or cream
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and light; beat in the eggs and milk. Don’t worry if the mixture looks like it’s separating. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir (or beat on low) until combined. Remove about a cup an put it into another bowl.

Stir the cocoa and chocolate chips into the original bowl, and the peanut butter into the batter you put in another bowl. Drop the chocolate batter in big dollops in a parchment-lined (or greased) 8×8-inch pan, and drop the peanut butter batter in spoonfuls in the spaces between. Drag the tip of a knife or a bamboo skewer through both, creating a swirled effect.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, but the brownie is still soft in the middle. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Makes 16 brownies.

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February 28 2015 | cookies & squares | 7 Comments »

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