Nothing could be simpler than making these treats. But the end result is so satisfying. You get the subtle mintiness from the dark chocolate and the crunch from the crackers and all in all, I think its a fantastic combination. I know I’ll be making these often.
Recipe from: Averie Cooks
Makes a dozen
120-150g good quality dark chocolate
A few drops of peppermint extract (Its fairly strong, so start with a couple of drops and add gradually till you get the strength of flavor you’re looking for)
12 crackers (Ritz / Monaco)
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
Add the peppermint extract and stir well. Taste and adjust flavoring if needed.
(Note: If you accidentally add too much extract, you can still salvage the chocolate, simply add more melted chocolate to the bowl and mix. This should dilute the flavor.)
Dip the crackers in the chocolate and lift up using a fork. Let the excess chocolate drip off.
Place on a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to set. Alternatively, you could also leave these to set at room temperature.
Enjoy your very own almost homemade Thin Mints.
Don’t forget to stop by and check out what the others have brought to the table for Week 6 of our 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats series, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.
Anyway, I am so glad that I finally tried these out and needless to say, I’m hooked. I loved this recipe. It was simple to make and resulted in a nice crisp cookie, studded with little green jewels in the form of the pistachio. It tasted pretty great too, chocolaty and not too sweet. I think that’s what I like about it the most. If you tend to like your cookies sweeter, you may want to add more sugar. I think I’ll keep these just the way they are. And I know I’ll be making more of these. They’d be perfect for the holidays.
Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
Recipe from: Skinny Taste
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup whole pistachios
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare a cookie tray. I used my brand new silicone mat. 🙂 It was perfect, no more greasing tins or paper for me atleast while making cookies.
Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Add the nuts and stir.
Cream the butter and sugar for 1 1/2-2 minutes on medium speed. I used an electric hand blender.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined to make a dough.
Divide the dough into 2-3 pieces and shape them into long, flattish logs about 8″ long and 1 1/2-2″ wide.
Place these logs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
When its cool enough to handle, using a sharp knife, gently cut the loaf at an angle into thin slices. (If you don’t use a sharp knife, your loaf will end up crumbling all over the place.)
Place the slices on the baking sheet, fitting as many as you can on the sheet. Bake it for about 4-5 minutes on each side. (Little shorter time if you like a softer cookie.)
Enjoy them with a hot cup of coffee.
Do check out what the others have made this week and will continue to do so every Thursday for another 8 weeks 🙂 If you’d like to join in on the baking fun, visit our hostess Brenda’s blog – Meal Planning Magic and fill out this form and she’ll send you the details.
It is indeed Week 2 of our 12 week party. I think this ones going to fly by faster that the previous ones. This week, I used a recipe from “The Cookie Book“, the original one being a Pecan Toffee Shortbread. Well pecans aren’t available here, so I used the next best thing – Walnuts. I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a while. It has a hint of coffee, some toffee, some nuts for crunch and is in all quite a treat. This is quick and easy to put together. A few things I will do when I make these next is chop up the walnuts into smaller pieces and probably cook the toffee for a couple of minutes more, I would’ve liked it a little thicker. But overall, I like the cookie, it goes well with my afternoon cup of tea. My sister in law and her husband dropped by the day after these were made and I served these bars up with a hot cup of tea and they were wiped off – isn’t it the best when that happens? If you like walnuts, you’ll like these.
Walnut Toffee Shortbread
For the cookie base –
1 tbsp coffee powder
1 tbsp recently boiled water (still hot)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup cornflour
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a 7″ x 11″ pan with grease proof paper.
Pour the coffee powder in a small bowl and pour the water over it and dissolve. (I used instant coffee, if using ground coffee, leave to steep for 4 minutes, then strain and keep aside.)
Cream the butter, peanut butter, coffee and sugar until light. Sift in the flour and cornflour together and mix well to make a smooth dough.
Press into the base of the tin evenly and prick all over the base with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes.
For the topping –
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup / light corn syrup
1 cup shelled walnuts, chopped
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and heat until melted.
Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the nuts and spread the topping evenly over the cooked base.
Leave to cool in the tin itself.
Cut into bars or squares, remove from the tin and serve.
12 Weeks of Christmas Treats is hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic. We’d love for you to participate with us. If you’d like to join up, please fill up this form and Brenda will send you the necessary details.
Coming back to today’s post, I decided to try out Colleen’s Cinnamon Bars. I’m not too sure if they’re supposed to be softer like a blondie or crisper like a cookie. Mine ended up more on the crisper side like a cookie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, just curious. Either way, the kitchen smelled wonderful while these were baking. These bars tasted wonderful. We absolutely loved them. The original recipe calls for pecans and I wanted to use almonds, but ended up using walnuts. I can’t wait to see what these will be like with almonds. I know I’ll be making these every now and then. Maybe the next time I’ll try baking them for a slightly shorter while and see what they turn out like. Maybe I’ll add some chocolate chips or even drizzle them with melted chocolate. The possibilities seem endless. All I know is that I’ve found a good base recipe and I intend keeping it. Thank you Colleen.
Nutty Cinnamon Bars
You can check out the recipe I use for shortcrust pastry here. I sure hope you try making these crackers sometime. Let me know what you topped your crackers with. I’d love to hear from you.
Here’s what my platter of crackers looked like –
Toppings of your choice (I used sesame seeds, carom seeds, red chilly powder and chopped fresh rosemary)
Roll out the shortcrust pastry and cut into diamond shapes or any other shape you fancy.
Sprinkle the herbs or seeds of your choice and lightly press them down into the dough using your hand.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet at bake at 170ºC for about 10 minutes or till lightly browned on the edges, making sure not to let them brown too far.
Cool and store in an airtight container.
I can’t wait to share this months assignment with you. I was assigned Heather’s lovely blog this month, Join Us, Pull Up a Chair. What a warm, welcoming name, isn’t it? Hi Heather!!! And I tell you you should listen to her. When you stop by you’ll be spoilt for choice. She has so many wonderful recipes there, I had the hardest time trying to pick one for this months reveal. She has the cutest little helper, Madeline who makes guest appearances every now and then. Do stop by. There’s something for everyone. For this month’s reveal, I picked a classic, the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and yes, this was my first time making an oatmeal raisin cookie. I know, where have I been all this while? Stuck under a rock, I think! 🙂 Anyway, I’m glad I finally got around to trying these because these were awesome. The oats keep you going for a while, the raisins in it are just yummy and there’s cinnamon in it and that’s always, always a good thing. My brother who’d come over a couple of days after I whipped these up, couldn’t stop even after wolfing down a few. He actually had me take them away, warning me that I may not have another one left if it was upto him. They were seriously that good. I love how you have the option to leave them soft and chewy or make them a little more crisp, based on how you like your cookies. They tasted better the next day – it seems like the flavors had time to come together overnight. Even though this recipe makes a huge batch, I’m down to my last 2. My husband being the chocoholic that he is, thinks I should thrown in a few chocolate chips the next time around and I just might. Thanks Heather for sharing this wonderful recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Yields 36 to 40 cookies
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder and keep aside.
In another large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, eggs and extracts well until blended.
Gradually add the flour mix to the wet ingredients stirring to incorporate.
Lastly add the oats and the raisins and mix well to make sure they’re well distributed through the batter.
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. (I flattened these out a little to make sure they cooked through.)
Bake for 7-8 minutes for chewy cookies or for 9-10 minutes for a more crispy version.
Cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes and then move the cookies to a cooling rack to cool off completely. Store in an airtight container.
Don’t forget to check what the rest of the group has prepared for today’s reveal.
The first treat I’m going to share with you today is a traditional Goan Christmas sweet called Perad (pronounced Peraad)or Guava Cheese. This is one of my favorites. But then again, I think I enjoy all the traditional Christmas sweets. I hope to share a few with you this year. What I love about this is the same recipe can be used to make the most amazing guava jam as well. As you cook this recipe when its still a loose consistency, you can use it as a guava jam and on cooking it further, what you end up with is guava cheese. When I was younger, my grandmother would faithfully make both, the jam as well as the sweet every year. We would have it with bread, chapatis and even spoonfuls of it just by itself. I haven’t made the jam for quite a while so I don’t have a picture. But I do have a picture of the guava cheese or Perad from 2 years ago – before my blogging days. I will try and get a few better pictures this year. Don’t let the pictures fool you, this is good stuff.
Perad (Guava Cheese)
250g ripe guavas (Guavas should be ripe but slightly firm, not mushy)
Juice of 1 big sour lime or 2 small sour limes
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
Red color / caramel color (optional)
Wash the guavas and cut out the stalk portion. Take off any brown portions of the skin as well. Cut into halves breadth-wise.
NOTE: If you want to make a larger quantity, DO NOT double this recipe. If the guavas weigh 500gms., use 650gms. sugar. Whatever the weight of the fruit add 150 grams to it to get the sugar quantity.
Note: I made both sizes, but in hindsight I would strongly recommend going with the mini liners, the regular ones are too big.
This week I bring to you a treat like none I’ve ever tasted before. I’ve heard of love at first sight, but for me this was love at first bite, literally. The only thing I remember thinking as I savored every bite of this was “OH MY GOODNESS!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! And you know what, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t going crazy. My husband also thought this was one of the best treats we’d eaten ever. That is the highest honor and treat can every get in my home. And mind you, these little devious treats are addictive. For the fist time in a very long time, I found myself thinking of these bars every now and then and it took massive restraint to keep from wolfing these down.
I followed the recipe to the T with the only change being, I used butter instead of margarine and the first tray I baked, really spread. I’m guessing that it has something to do with the difference in humidity levels and altitude. Sara mentioned that she rolled the dough into balls before placing on the baking sheet. My dough was not as stiff, so when I saw it spread this much, I added a couple of heaped tablespoons of flour to the rest of the cookie dough and this batch turned out much better. I didn’t sprinkle icing sugar over it, but if you’d like to, you can. Despite the difference in the appearance, I think this is a really good cookie to have on your platter. Head over to Sara’s blog to see what they are actually supposed to look like.
Chipper Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from: Simply Sara
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
6 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I used about 2 tbsp extra flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I just used some chopped up chocolate)
Icing sugar for dusting, if desired
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Line a cookie sheet with some greased baking paper and keep aside.
Place 1 cup of the roughly chopped chocolate in a small saucepan and place it on gently heat. When melted, stir till smooth. Keep aside to cool a little.
In the meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Add the vanilla and beat well until smooth.
Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Mix till well incorporated.
Add the chocolate chips to the cookie dough. Mix well.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges firm up. The centers may still be a little soft and that’s okay.
Cool for 5 minutes on the sheet itself, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can dust with icing sugar, if you’d like.
Let me know if you’d like to join in on the fun for the remainder of this wonderful event. We still have 10 weeks to go!
Don’t forget to check what the others have made this week!
Believe it or not, this year in August itself I started sifting through my “to try” list, which by the way seems to be growing at an alarming rate. There’s just so much out there that I’d like to try. So when I couldn’t wait any longer, I checked with April and Barbara of Barbara Bakes, I got to know that Brenda of Meal Planning Magic is hosting our Christmas bake along this year. I got in touch with her immediately and she promptly sent me the details (She’s also designed a button just for this occasion). And so here we are, at week 1 of 12 fun weeks of Christmas Cookies. I do hope you stop by to check out the weekly party. And if you’d like, you can be part of the fun too. Simply leave me a comment and I’ll send you the details. The more the merrier. So put on those aprons and bring out those mixing bowls and let the festivities begin.
For this week, I decided to try out these White Choco-Cherry Cookies. They looked so festive and I had all the ingredients handy, which made it easier. The dough is very easy to make and I think its a fairly versatile cookie. You can switch the type of chocolate, fruit as well as nut to suit your liking. I stuck with the original recipe and just made one change, I didn’t have macademia nuts so I used pistachios. I think the green of the nuts and the red that the cherries added made for a very Christmassy looking mix, don’t you think?
The cookie turned out to be a nice soft one, slightly chewy on the outside and a little softer and cake like on the inside, which made for a nice change from the crunchy cookies. I loved the textures that the chocolate chunks, candied cherries and roasted nuts gave it. When I make these again, I will just cut down on the sugar a bit since I don’t like my cookies too sweet and the white chocolate and candied cherries add a fair bit of sweetness to it. I’ll probably try some bitter chocolate instead of white next time. What do you think?
White Choco-Cherry Cookies
Adapted from: Mom’s Crazy Cooking
Yields about 16-18 cookies
1/4 cup butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (Since I was using salted butter, I just added a pinch of salt)
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup candied cherries, chopped
3/4 cup white chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
Line a cookie sheet with some baking paper that has been greased.
With an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugars together till light and creamy.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
Add the milk and mix.
Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. The batter will be a little stiff.
In another bowl, combine the chocolate chunks, cherries and nuts and then add to the dough, stir gently only till the ingredients are well distributed.
Using a tablespoon, drop cookie dough onto the greased cookie sheet about 2″ apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Do stop by and check what the others have whipped up this week.