Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Shortbread

Oh my gosh is it shortbread??? Again?? When does the obsession with shortbread end you may ask??? My answer at the moment is never!!! As a kid, I really hated the short texture in cookies where they just crumbled apart in my hands. I always preferred my cookies soft and honestly, I still like my chocolate chip cookies a little under baked so that they stay soft for days! However, I think shortbread reminds me so much of the Great British Baking Show and I refuse to watch the newest season without my mother present, so I’m compensating by making as much shortbread as humanly possible. Shortbread is also a celebration of simplicity with a huge flavor packed inside each cookie! I never appreciated nuance in my cookie but I’m really starting to, especially with the quantity of cookies that I’ve been making lately!

I actually made this recipe about a week before I choose to post about it because I wanted some time to experiment with the recipe a little bit. This recipe is originally from King Arthur Flour where it was credited to Alyssa Rimmer of Simply Quinoa! So you can thank Ms. Rimmer for the original recipe and myself for a few modifications. When I made it the first time, it was really heavy on the cinnamon and pecan but lighter on the maple. I had chosen these cookies for their maple flavoring and was disappointed when they didn’t deliver as much punch as hoped for in the maple department. As much as I complained about it not going as perfectly as I wanted, my boyfriend still taste-tested as many as he could get his hands on! So obviously, there are fans of the original recipe but I’ll be putting my variations next to the recipe below. I replaced the confectioners sugar with maple sugar and doubled the amount of salt. I thought it was missing salt from the original recipe but a doubled amount may be too salty for some. These are also a super quick cookie to throw together, so the opportunities to modify the recipe just a tad to your taste are only limited by your quantities of the ingredients! Let me know what you think of recipe or any of the modifications in the comments below! Happy baking!

Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Shortbread Recipe

  • 96 grams (1 cup) almond flour
  • 43 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 21 grams (3 tablespoons) confectioners or powdered sugar (For extra maple, use maple sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1/4 teaspoon and was happier with that in the extra maple cookies)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract (use regular if that’s what you have and it’s not super important if it’s gluten-free)
  • 35 grams (1/3 cup) chopped pecans
  1. Mix everything but the pecans in a bowl and mix until the dough comes together. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
  2. Using plastic wrap shape dough into a log. Wrap and roll on a counter to round it. Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the dough form plastic wrap and slice into 1/4″ rounds and place on the sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Maple Shortbread Cookies

I am so excited to finally have maple shortbread cookies that have worked! For several weeks, I’ve been baking and baking trying to find a good maple shortbread recipe. I’ve never been the biggest fan of shortbread but I’ve recently become absolutely obsessed with the crumbly crunch of these cookies. They remind me a lot of the Great British Baking Show because they seem so quintessentially British. For several weeks, I’ve been trying recipes with various levels of success. I’ve added maple syrup to several recipes to try and emulate that maple flavor without much success. Using maple syrup as a sweetener in a recipe is a lot like using molasses in the way that it adds the moisture and causes the cookies to spread. Maple syrup isn’t a good sweetener for shortbread because it adds a moistness to the cookie that is great for a cake but not so great for a cookie that you want to be very short or crisp. Below is a photo from one of my early experiments. The cookies were delicious but they definitely were not shortbread. They were a joy to eat but not quite what I was aiming for so I decided to try again with a recipe from King Arthur’s Flour.

When I was researching maple shortbread recipes, I came across quite a few that used maple sugar, something that I had never heard off. I looked it up online and even on Amazon, a one pound bag of the stuff sells for around $8!!!! That’s more than I pay for a five pound bag of flour!!! I kept digging and found out exactly what maple sugar is which is the crystallized sugar granules from maple syrup! Being an adventurous baker, I set out to make my own maple sugar from syrup and it turned out really well! You definitely need a candy thermometer to check temperatures but equipped properly, you can have a good quantity of maple sugar in minutes. The process is dangerously simple; you heat the maple syrup in a pot until it reaches about 50-60 degrees above its boiling point. From there, you beat it (by hand or with a stand mixer which is easier) until it crystallizes. Because I have a bit more experience and I can be a little reckless, I decided to do this and came up with about a fourth a cup of maple sugar! I would NOT recommend an amateur baker doing this but it can be done in a pinch if needed. Buying it is definitely easier and safer! If you feel that you have enough experience, look up instructions online and enjoy! I thought it was very fun!

This recipe is adapted from one from King Arthur Flour that actually makes maple shortbread sandwich cookies. My goal was to try and get the maple shortbread nailed before I started doing more complex stuff so my recipe only includes the shortbread dough. I used two different techniques for rolling out the dough. One was a traditional roll and cut out with cookie cutter while the other was using a cookie stamp. My mother gave me a beautiful pinecone cookie stamp for Christmas this past year and I’ve been dying to use it. This recipe gave me a great opportunity to try it and I think it came out very well for a first attempt! Either method you choose to use, I would roll to dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. I think it makes for a more satisfying cookie and it holds the shape much better. I hope you enjoy baking these as much as I did!

Maple Shortbread Cookie Recipe

  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 25 grams (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 39 grams (1/4 cup) maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or maple flavor)
  • 131 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) All Purpose flour
  1. Beat together the butter, salt, sugars, and vanilla extract/maple flavor.
  2. Add flour and mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Wrap in cling wrap and chill for thirty minutes if using a cookie cutter. Chill for 2 hours if using a cookie stamp.
  4. Preheat oven to 300F and line a cookie sheet
  5. Cookie Cutters: If using, roll dough out to 1/4″ thick and flour the cutter. Cut out cookies and place on lined sheet.
  6. Cookie Stamps: If using, remove tablespoon scoops from the chilled dough and roll into a ball. Lightly flour both the dough ball and the cookie stamp. Place the dough ball on flour and press down with the cookie stamp. Gently peel the cookie out of the stamp and place on lined sheet.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of the cookie or until the cookies just begin to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheet.
  9. Once cooled, eat and enjoy!

A comment made by my boyfriend is that the texture is similar to pie crust. If I end up using it as piecrust, I’ll let you know how it goes! The recipe can also be easily doubled for more cookies. They store well in an air tighter container for several days and the dough/cookie can be frozen.

Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Lemon Shortbread-Bon Apetit

These were a lovely shortbread recipe that came together in a matter of minutes! These cookies did need quite a while to cool in the fridge so factor that in when you’re planning on making them and make sure that you have plenty of fridge space for all the cookies! I decided to make these after a particularly bad baking day last week. I talked with one of my best friends in the whole world for an hour or two over FaceTime and she inspired me to bake these! I had been wanting to make a lemony dessert for some time; I haven’t been able to let go of the summery feeling that lemons bring and decided to capitalize on this. I grabbed a lemon at the store and was able to make do with what else I had at home. I really loved how crisp and short that these turned out! I haven’t had a ton of luck with shortbread in the past but these were great cookies to start with.

The recipe only calls for a teaspoon or two of lemon zest but I ended up zesting a whole lemon into the dough and it wasn’t too much for me. The dough, sans the lemon zest, is actually a great shortbread base that could be added to to make a ton of different kinds of shortbread. I’ll be experimenting with this in the future so I’ll keep you all posted if I find a good derivative of this recipe for another flavor. The dough also held its shape really well after being rolled out and chilled. I’ve had issues with this in the past and it’s made me wary of using some of my trickier cookie cutouts but go wild here! The cookies will hold so find your craziest cookie cutter and get baking! Let me know in the comments below how it works out for you and happy baking!

Lemon Shortbread Recipe

  • 113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature (indents when you poke it)
  • 29 grams (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons packed lemon zest (I zest the whole lemon but I love lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120 grams (1 cup) All Purpose flour
  • pinch of kosher salt (between 1/8 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Granulated sugar for rolling
  1. Line two baking sheets. (The dough can be made 3 days in advance and just chill in the fridge until needed)
  2. Beat together butter and powdered sugar. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla extract
  3. Beat in flour and kosher salt and beat until just blended.
  4. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
  5. Place plastic-wrapped disk into the fridge and chill until firm, 20-30 minutes
  6. Position a rack in the top and bottom third of the oven and preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Transfer dough from plastic wrap onto a sugared surface. It replicates the non-stick that flour helps with but coats the dough deliciously.
  8. Cut out shapes in the dough with a cookie cutter or lid of a mason jar or with the lid of a clean drinking glass.
  9. Place cut outs on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and chill for 10 minutes. Coat lightly with sugar before putting them back in the fridge.
  10. Bake cookies until light brown, 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully, the cookies around the edge of the cookie sheet with brown faster.
  11. Transfer to a rack to cool and enjoy!
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

As the school year has started, I’ve been baking up a storm and am loving it! I’m hoping to come out with a book review in a week or so but I’m finishing up a monster of a book that I’ve been reading intermittently since April! While I finish that up, I thought I could distract you all with yet another delicious cookie recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Now, for my friends out there who are allergic to nuts, this recipe may not be for them but I always encourage recipe substitutions in the name of creativity so if anyone finds a good peanut or nut free alternative to the peanut butter in the recipe, let me know if the comments below! I was inspired to look for cookie recipes so that I could share some with my godmother Sue, who has been very kind in testing out several of my blog recipes.

This was a relatively simple recipe, I didn’t run into any huge logistical or recipe errors which is great! The recipe requires butter to be at room temp and unlike the brown sugar and maple cookies, the butter can be microwaved thirty seconds to forty five seconds to soften it. The recipe will be quite stiff with the peanut butter addition so the butter can be almost melted if you need to microwave it. To make these cookies less stiff, the recipe calls for a tablespoon or two of water. You could even add another tablespoon if you need to and don’t be alarmed when the dough gets really stiff after you mix all the ingredients together.

I normally mix my dry and wet goods separately but I know that some people along with myself sometimes just throw everything in the bowl and mix. In this recipe, try to use two separate bowls for wet and dry goods if you can because the peanut butter will cause everything to stick together and not mix well. Final note is that I used chocolate chips in the cookies because they were all I had on hand. They do taste great in the cookies but you don’t get as much peanut butter without using the peanut butter cups recommended by the original recipe. So if you like a more chocolate than peanut butter, use chips but if you love that PB then go find some mini peanut butter cups to use! I hope that you enjoy this recipe and follow any of the above mentioned tips!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 177 grams (1 1/2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 43 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 99 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 106 grams (1/2 cup packed) brown sugar
  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 67 grams (1/4 cup) smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 28 grams (2 tablespoons) water
  • 255 grams (1 1/2 cup) mini-peanut butter cups or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and water to that bowl and then stir in the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the mini peanut butter cups or chocolate chips until blended well.
  6. Scoop out tablespoon sized balls of dough and place onto the lined baking sheets. Flatten the cookies to 1/2 inch thick (this is so they will bake through)
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set and you smell chocolate (If you have a hot oven, baking time may only be 7 minutes)
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
Posted in Cookies

Brown Sugar and Maple Cookies

So these were made on the same week as my catastrophic blue soup. It was a week that felt like nothing would go right for me in the kitchen but I kept going! These cookies were absolutely scrumptious and if they had stayed in my kitchen, I may have devoured the lot. These cookies are warm and inviting with a little glaze on top to tickle the tastebuds. It hasn’t really felt like fall much here in Baltimore with the heat, but compared to CA it’s a veritable igloo over here! This recipe is from the Los Angeles Times Food section from about a month ago that I saved until I needed a little dose of fall.

So even though they turned out delicious in the end, there were some technical issues to be aware of as you try this recipe! I did not have enough butter on hand when I was making the recipe and substituted in some margarine which worked well. However, I did microwave the butter briefly because I hadn’t left it out long enough to soften. The microwaving made the margarine too soft and while I was able to mix the cookies up just fine, the batter was much softer than I would have liked. Before I scooped it, I froze the dough for twenty minutes which is good practice whenever you have really slack or soft cookie dough. Once baked, the cookies tasted fine but went soft pretty quickly. This recipe calls for a glaze which can add moisture to the cookies. If you prefer crunchier cookies, bake for an addition minute or two but watch carefully. The high sugar content from the brown sugar and maple syrup means that these cookies can catch or burn in the oven really quickly. A note on the glaze, mine wasn’t particularly white colored but to make a more solid glaze, you can add teaspoons of powdered sugar until it reaches the appropriate consistency and color that you prefer. I hope you enjoy and be sure to check out the Lost Angeles Times Food section on Sundays; it’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the newspaper and the writers work really hard on perfecting these recipes!

Brown Sugar and Maple Cookie Recipe

For the Cookie:

  • 240 grams (2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 170 grams (3/4 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 213 grams (1 cup) packed dark brown sugar (light is fine as well)
  • 78 grams (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Glaze

  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 1/2 cup packed powdered sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 375F and line 3 cookie sheets (I used two and rotated their use but they are supposed to cook a little extra on the sheets once out of the oven so try to have 3)
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the softened butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the syrup and beat until incorporated then beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well-blended.
  4. Add flour mix and fold in gently until no trace of flour remains. If your dough seems really slack at this point, freeze for 10-20 minutes or until it hardens enough to scoop
  5. Using a tablespoon measuring tool or a tablespoon cookie scoop, drop dough onto the sheets with at least 2 inches of space around each cookie. They will spread in the oven.
  6. Bake each sheet for 12 minutes or until golden dark brown. Cool completely on the cookie sheets on wire racks.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the glaze ingredients. Taste and add additional salt as needed. Once cookies are completely cool, drizzle the glaze on top. Try to wait to eat them until the glaze hardens on the cookies.
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies

So these cookies owe their inspiration to my lovely friend, Hannah. We were video chatting the other day and she talked about all the lovely things that she’s been making with her gluten free sourdough starter! It put me in the mood to make something but I had less than an hour before my next class so it had to be something quick. Hannah suggested banana bread, a quarantine classic, but I’m embarrassingly behind on my grocery shopping and didn’t have much around. I didn’t set out to make a gluten-free recipe but it was the easiest and quickest with the ingredients I had available. The recipe has five ingredients, most of which you’ll probably have in your pantry. I always have almond flour around because I make macarons frequently but it’s not a hard ingredient to find in most grocery stores.

Now for the tips and tricks with this recipe! This made about 17 bite size cookies and I had to hold myself back from eating most of them! The cookies aren’t very big and the batch size is small so feel free to scale up the recipe to fit your needs. However, I wouldn’t adjust the size of the cookies. Even with using melted butter, these cookies are VERY short/crumbly. This is due to the use of almond flour and makes a very easy crumbly cookie. If they were made any larger, they would probably collapse under their own weight when picked up. The cross-hatching is also super easy to do with a fork, no special equipment required! This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website and on it, they have several variations for the flavor of the cookie including chocolate/pistachio and maple/pecan. I would start with the basic recipe and expand on that! Even if you wanted to try all the different flavor variations, it wouldn’t take more than an afternoon. So get busy and get baking!

Almond Flour Cookie Recipe

  • 96 grams (1 cup) almond flour
  • 43 grams (3 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature or softened
  • 21 grams (3 tablespoons) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until a cohesive dough forms.
  3. Scoop out 1 inch balls of dough using a teaspoon cookie scoop and arrange on the sheet. Leave out an inch and a half of room between dough balls.
  4. Use a fork to flatten each cookie, making a cross hatch design on top.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes or until they turn light brown on top (My oven took about 12 minutes)
  6. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a rack to completely cool before eating.
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies but I had never attempted a vegan cookie recipe! I had a lovely socially distanced picnic with friends last week and I wanted to bring a baked good to share. In these times of socially distanced socialization, I’ve loved baking for other people to show my love rather than giving them the big hugs that I’d really like to give them! One of my friends is a vegan and as I have been trying to incorporate less animal products in my own life, I thought it was a great opportunity to try out this recipe from King Arthur Flour. Always a great resource, King Arthur Flour didn’t fail me with this wonderful recipe for chocolate chip cookies that taste absolutely delicious and don’t compromise on any part of a cookie!

These cookies are specifically salted right before they are baked and this is the most important part of the recipe. I do have a sweet tooth but with the use of oil in these cookies, they can be a little overpoweringly sweet if you omit the salt. You don’t had to use very fancy salt either, I just sprinkled on kosher salt and whacked them in the oven. I really prefer kosher salt for baking, whether or not it’s called for by the recipe. Although most table salt is iodized, providing an important micronutrient in your diet, it doesn’t pack the same flavor punch that I find when I use kosher salt. Also, I taste kosher salt as more salty if that’s possible so I end up using less overall. Just to be careful, make sure that you have iodized table salt out for regular usage but I recommend kosher salt for most cooking and baking needs.

Some of the reviews on this recipe complained of spreading but I didn’t find this was the case at all. I refrigerated my dough for several hours (roughly 18) and froze the dough for about twenty minutes after I had shaped it. Using a tablespoon to measure the dough out, it makes about 27 cookies but only 26 made it into my oven! You can also add in sourdough discard or make them gluten free! For the discard addition, you can add in 70 grams of discard and omit the additional water the recipe calls for. You may also be able cut the flour amount but I’m not sure I could give an exact amount. To make this gluten free, substitute all the flour for almond meal and be careful to mix until the dough is just coming together. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did and let me know how any of the variations go in the comments!

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

  • 241 grams (2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 213 grams (1 1/4 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 99 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 106 grams (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar
  • 106 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) vegetable oil
  • 71 grams (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) water
  • Sea salt or Kosher Salt to garnish
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Add chocolate chips and whisk till they are coated with flour.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugars with the oil and water until smooth. This can take a minute or two but be patient!
  3. Add flour and stir until just combined with no visible flour spots.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
  5. To bake, preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator and using a tablespoon to measure, drop on the lined sheet. Leave about 2 inches of room on each side and freeze for 10 minutes. (They can be frozen closer together but make sure they have the space when baking)
  7. Sprinkle with salt (Do this!!! I forgot for the first batch!!) and bake for 12-14 minutes. If you like your cookies softer, bake for no more than 13 minutes. Bake a few minutes past 14 if you enjoy a crunchy cookie.
  8. Remove and cool completely before serving. Enjoy!