Category: Cookie Recipes

Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies

When I was in my teens I worked the counter at a small bakery. They made some amazingly delicious things, one of which were birdnest cookies: a sturdy yet crumbly shortbread cookie covered in toasted coconut and a deep red jewel of raspberry jam in the center. As much as I am a fan of coconut in all sorts of dishes and sweets I always felt like those “nests” were too rich. This version is less sweet, more petite and still jam-jewel studded with raspberry and for a different twist: marmalade. The vanilla bean freckles add to the flavor and charm and they disappear as quickly as you can make them ie: FAST!

Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies

makes 6 dozen 1″ cookies

1 lb salted butter at room temperature

1 Cup (packed) light brown sugar

1Tbsp vanilla bean paste

4-5 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup jam(s) of your choosing (I used raspberry and marmalade)

Note before you begin: you can mix this dough by hand or with a stand mixer but I would not recommend hand mixers. This dough is very sturdy and requires kneading that handheld mixers can’t manage.


Combine the butter and sugar and cream together. If you’re using a stand mixer, use the lower settings – the objective here is to specifically NOT incorporate air. Once the sugar is dissolved into the butter, add the flour one cup at a time. You will need slightly more than 4 cups and possibly as much as 5 of its a humid day. The dough should crack slightly when you press your finger into it but still be soft and pliable, not chalky. Once the flour is mixed in, knead the dough on a lightly floured board until it’s cohesive and smooth (about 3 mins with the dough hook on a stand mixer).

Scoop the dough with a 1Tbsp scoop and place flat side down on ungreased cookie sheets. I find I can get 2 dozen little scoops on each sheet. Using the end of a wooden spoon, press a divet into each lump of dough.



Load up a pastry bag with jam (or a zip top bag with a snipped off corner) and squirt jam to fill each divet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until the  bottoms are tinged gold and the surface of the cookie looks matte.

Allow to cool on the pan.

Then, drizzle a glaze of 4 heaped Tbsp and 2 tsp lemon juice over top.

The Perfect Pair: Macarons Two Ways

two flavors macarons


T-minus a week until the most over-manufactured, high-expectation-low-return “holiday” of the year: Valentine’s Day. That’s seven days until florists are ravaged of anything “long stem” and drugstores are depleted of all their heart-shaped candy. Greeting cards will clog up the mail system next week and classrooms everywhere will each host at least one sad, un-chosen kid who didn’t get a Valentine, or enough Valentines, or the Valentine that their little heart was waiting for. Now, before you go calling me a cynic or reaching deep into my psyche for why I hate Valentine’s Day, let me save you the time and effort: I don’t. (more…)

Cranberry Bars

CBB trioOne final treat recipe before the New Year! This one got away from me and was supposed to be posted mid December so it could make it onto your holiday baking roster, but such is life. Too much shopping, always too much wrapping paper (I couldn’t resist all the plaids and rustic patterns this year), and lots of treats took up my time and bandwidth, plus trying to wrap up projects and just getting down to the everyday business of life. It’s been a wild month and a great finish to a very good year.  I hope your Holiday(s) were excellent and filled with whatever you wished for. unless it was these Cranberry Bars, in which case, I may have failed you utterly. Let’s have a look at them, shall we? (more…)

Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014: Chai Tea Shortbread

chai tea shortbread cookies_red papr cups_with logo

Well, it’s that time of year again. The Holidays are upon us and that means the that food bloggers from all over are dutifully making donations, and baking and shipping secret packages of cookies to one another. This is my third year participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and it was just as fun this year as it has been in the past. As always, a big thank you to the lovely ladies at Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for coordinating such an awesome cookie swap and keeping all the moving parts in motion. No small task! I hope Santa has been paying attention!  (more…)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Snack Attack

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Snack Attack

So, this happened.

I make no apologies. It was a rainy grey day, I was left to my own devices, and I wanted a snack that wasn’t fruit or baby carrots or hummus or anything even remotely healthy or responsible.

Want to be bad like me? Take chocolate chip cookies of your choice and sandwich them around slices of banana and a gob of peanut butter. No recipe needed! Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Snack Attack!

In my defense, it was natural peanut butter and bananas are actually a fruit.

Great for a quick indulgence or dessert, and I made two, but one would have been enough.

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