Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

324455_2518830087249_376842630_oMy Rum Balls

This is, obviously for combustion reasoning, a refrigerator-cookie, so there will be no oven needed.

Needed Tools:

  • Bowl
  • Masher or blender or food processor (for finely crushing things)
  • Sifter
  • Baking sheet
  • Plastic wrap

Needed Ingredients:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar (about ½ cup extra for rolling later)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ finely chopped walnuts (you can also use hazelnuts, pecans, or almonds based on your preference or its availability)
  • 1 ½ cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup Bacardi 151 (unless you’re a sissy, of’course, then you can go with some sissy rum… sissy)

What to Do:

  • Sift together first ½ cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and allspice.
  • Stir in the rum and corn syrup.
  • Stir in the vanilla wafers and walnuts, and mix well.
  • Place in the refrigerator to firm up for about 30 minutes (or until dough is firm enough to be able to form into a ball).
  • Place remaining ½ cup powdered sugar in a bowl.
  • Shape the dough into balls about 1-inch (the batch amount will depend on the size of the balls).
  • Roll the balls into the powdered sugar until thoroughly covered.
  • Place on baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

My Russian Tea Cakes

These are extremely simple to do. I’m giving you the basic tabula-rasa version of them, but they are very easy to completely change up and experiment with. Commonly I make these every year to serve as the kids’ version of Rum Balls.

Needed Tools:

  • Baking sheet
  • Bowl

Needed Ingredients:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar (plus about another ½ cup or so for rolling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup softened butter or margarine

What to Do:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Mix everything together thoroughly.
  • Shape the dough into balls about 1-inch (the batch amount will depend on the size of the balls).
  • Place them on a un-grease baking sheet.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove and let them slightly cool on a wire rack (but not too much, you want them to be warm enough for the powered sugar to stick, but not so warm that the powdered sugar melts).
  • Roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar, and cover them thoroughly.
  • And now just le them sit and finish cooling.

Now, I have tried many different variations of these, such as coffee, chocolate, chocolate-chip, speculaaskruiden, a random variation of all those together, and stuff I don’t even remember anymore. If you’re someone that likes to experiment with flavors, this is definitely the playground to do it in.

CIMG0011Spekulaas are a Belgian cookie that is among the traditional winter holiday foods in my family. Taste can be compared to similar to a “windmill cookie” (a lot of Dutch, Swedish, German, area of foods come very close to Belgian foods for pretty much the obvious reasons).

Mijn Grootmoeders Spekulaas Koekjes

Tools Needed:

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1.5cups softened butter or margarine
  • 4 cups brown sugar (preferably dark, for texture)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 +/- cups flour (you’ll need extra for lightly brushing the dough to make it easier to work with)

What to Do:

  • CIMG0009Hand mix all your ingredients (if you’re wondering how to do it bowl-free, it’s actually pretty easy—lay down your parchment on a large flat surface, measure out all your dry ingredients and mix them together, then mound them up, and form a bowl shape in the center, making sure to keep its walls dense—sandcastle or snow-fort builders should handle this easily—now put in your wet ingredients, and slowly combine everything together until thoroughly mixed—all this is good to keep in mind if I ever get around to posting one of my pasta recipes)
  • Form long rolls, and place in fridge until chilled (may need to let it sit over night to firm up properly)
  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Slice into cookie wafers and place on parchment layered baking sheet
  • Add sliced almonds
  • Bake for about 8 minutes

Makes about 20doz

Additional Note:

“Speculaaskruiden” (“speculaas spice”) is a combination of spices commonly used in many different Belgian baked goods. It can actually be found pre-mixes in the spice section of some stores, much like pumpkin spice, or apple spice, etc,  but in the US, it’s a bit of a search for it. My Grandmother’s version of Speculaas simplified the spices to only a couple things (which makes it a bit bland, but still eatable), but after doing research on the cookies I came across the spice combination, and gave it a try—it is a lot better (and from what my dad says, is a lot closer to the way his mother used to actually make the cookies). This combination only gives the basic ratio to work with, nothing precise, so don’t worry about getting obsessive over it, just work within the generalized region.

Speculaaskruiden:CIMG0010

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1/3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/5 tsp ground white pepper (a pinch)
  • 1/5 tsp ground cardamom (a pinch)
  • 1/5 tsp ground coriander seeds (a pinch)
  • 1/5 tsp ground anise seeds (a pinch)
  • 1/5 tsp grated nutmeg (a pinch)