Tag Archives: cookies

Carny life – a post from the road

This is gonna be a short one, so apologies in advance!  I’m on holiday in the States at the moment – on holiday from work and baking… but I just wanted to get my Cookie Carnival post up in time for the round-up.  Luckily, I managed to make this month’s pick – Black Bottom Coconut Bars – before I left as a parting gift for my supervisor and team members.  My 6-month placement in the rehab service went by far too quickly and everyone was so welcoming that homebaked goodies seemed the only way of saying thanks.


The recipe came courtesy of Lady Martha (yep, she’s been cropping up on this blog quite a lot recently..) and it turned out to be a surprisingly  simple one.  Basically, a thin brownie layer is baked until just firm around the edges,  then it’s topped with a more generous coconut layer (coconut mixed with the usual suspects – eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla – although I added coconut extract too).  As you can see from the pics, I may have overbaked things a teensy bit, but let’s pretend I was going for a ‘toasted coconut’ look.


I have to admit that I ended up giving the whole batch away so I can’t really comment on what these bars tasted like, but they looked great dressed up in cupcake cases and a paperchase gift box.  Plus, the they got rave reviews from my team members.  Having said that though, I might double the brownie layer if I make these again because it looked pretty thin and I like me a thick gooey mouthful of brownie. even if that overpowers the coconut a bit…  Big big thanks to the Carnival’s lovely hostess Kate, of the clean plate club, for letting me bake along!!  And please check out  the round up to see how the other carnival goers made out this month xx  See you once I get back (about 20 lbs. heavier after munching my way across New England..!)  xx



Filed under bars, brownies, cookie carnival, cookies, Uncategorized

SMS: Schneckennudeln..?

aka Snickerdoodles..!

sugar 'n spice.. makes for VERY nice!

sugar 'n spice.. makes for VERY nice!

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through my most recent acquisition when I came across a brief account of how this cinnamon sweet treat got it’s whimsical name.  According to Lady Martha (or rather, ‘Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’), snickerdoodles are thought to be of German origin, and their name is actually a mispronunciation of schneckennudeln – or ‘crinkly noodles’.. Now I vaguely remember hearing a different story – that the cookie was named after some cartoon character.. (hmm.. what would a Farside cookie taste like I wonder?)  but the Germanic heritage seems to be true – I’ve just seen Joy‘s beautiful, informative post and I strongly suggest having a read.  Joy shares wonderful historical anecdotes about each SMS bake and I’m always bowled over by the depth of her culinary wisdom!


Whatever the origin, these snickerdoodles are tasty.. far too tasty.. The chewy, sugary-spiced rounds of yumminess are way too easy to devour so I had to think up a quick means of pawning them off on my boyfriend who, as I’ve mentioned before, is generally (and mystifyingly) cookie-averse..  The one sweet weakness he has seems to revolve around cream (whether it be whipped or pastry-style), and particularly creamy  + fruit combinations  – he has happily wolfed down cream-filled eclairs, banana-cream pie, and berry tarts with pastry cream filling.. So, armed with this knowledge, I decided to tempt Luke into polishing off a few of these scrumptious snickerdoodles this way:

Berry ‘Doodle Trifle

undercover 'doodles

Now, it’s very important that everyone understands – these cookies DO NOT, in my opinion, need any extra embellishments!! They are delicious as they are and dressing ’em up this way felt like gilding the lily.. But hey-ho ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’.. without a dollop of cream.  (I bought a dictionary of proverbs at a second-hand bookshop so I warn you, I’m likely to be throwing ’em in wherever vaguely appropriate.. and where totally inappropriate too probably..)

Opinions seem to differ as to what, exactly, a trifle is – but according to general consensus, it usually involves some kind of cakey layer (often sponge or ladyfingers), a fruity layer, a creamy layer (typically custard or whipped cream, but mascarpone counts too apparently) and definitely booze of some sort.  If you’re really interested, you can find more detail here – but I just went with what I had (er, leftovers I wanted to use up) and what I hoped would be tempting.


For the cream layer, I beat 1 cup of mascarpone (leftover from my YWPWT entry) with half a cup of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and quite a few teaspoons of Amaretto liqueur (sorry, I lost count.. I’m on a bit of a boozy-dessert kick at the moment, so I just kept adding Amaretto until I got a good punch of flavour).  Then I chopped up about 10 of the cookies and used my brand spanking new cherry-pitter to pit a handful of cherries.  (I’ve been wanting try this out, just to see how time-consuming a fresh cherry pie would take..dying to make one).

Then I layered the cookie chunks, cherries & some blueberries, dollops of cherry jam and heapings of mascarpone-amaretti cream.  I managed to squeeze a few layers in each wine glass and since I had over-baked my first batch of snickerdoodles, the cookie layers didn’t end up soggy at all (I’m an accidental genius then really).


This week’s SMS treat was chosen by the talented Spike, who has kindly posted the full recipe as hostess – so head on over to her lovely site and break out the cinnamon!!  These cookies were a breeze to whip up, although I broke up the steps over 2 days due to time constraints and a superstitious belief that, even after the dough has been chilled a bit (as Melissa instructs), the little ‘doodle balls should also be chilled once shaped and sugared, just to ensure they don’t spread too much.  (I also tend to pop the cookie sheet in the freezer for extra insurance.)

And please check out the blogroll to see what all the other talented SMSers have done too!!


Filed under cookies, sweet melissa sundays

getting ahead of myself..

I’m heading off on holiday to France tomorrow (er.. in about 5 hours..), and since I may not have access an internet connection – let alone an oven –  I’ve done my SMS baking (and eating!) in advance because I would’ve hated to miss out on this week’s chewy peanut butter cookies chosen by Stephanie of Ice Cream Before Dinner.  So I thought I’d just put down a few comments now and try to post the pics etc on Sunday along with all the other lovely SMS bakers, if I can get myself connected somehow..

So. I love peanut butter – peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter cups, peanut butter frosting, and peanut butter off a spoon.. that’s the worst, give me an inch and I’ll eat the whole jar.. And although my all time favorite is still this version posted by Bakingblonde, I have to admit that Melissa’s Chewy Peanut Butter cookies were good. really good.  try ’em. seriously.  I’ll comment more on the recipe when I post (hopefully) but for now:

I took the opportunity to use up last week’s gorgeous strawberry grapefruit preserves by making PB & Jam cookie-sandwiches.  The combo turned out to be really popular, so if you’ve got any preserves on hand, give it a go (because that’s just 2 cookies for the price of 1.. bonus!)

Having made peanut butter cookies quite a few times, I also tried mixing things up a bit with a chocolate peanut butter filling I found here on Bakingbites site.  I’ve been drooling over this recipe since stumbling across it about 6 months ago, and seeing as I’ve just munched 5 giant stuffed cookies (the guilt has already hit and indigestion is soon to follow after I scoot off to bed in a minute..doh) I’d say they turned out pretty well.  The one criticism raised was my fault I think – basically, in contrast to the cookie, the filling tasted a bit salty, which some people didn’t love – although I actually found it madly addictive…  This was all down to the PB I used (regular, smooth, Waitrose own brand because I’m posh innit).. Bakingblonde doesn’t specify salted or unsalted, but I might try it again with unsalted to see whether that pleases the critics more..
And as for aesthetics: I had rolled the filling into balls and chilled them before moulding the cookie dough around them (also chilled), but because the cookies spread during baking while the rebellious little filling balls refused to budge, I ended up with mini volcanos.  So I might try smooshing ’em down first.

All in all this was a great recipe and I’m so glad to be baking along with the other SMS bloggers!! You’ll be able to find the recipe on Stephanie’s site from Sunday and see what all the other lovely bakers have come up with on the SMS blogroll.

Right. My sugar levels are finally starting to dip (hopefully) and I’d better be off.

Hope everyone else enjoys this week’s recipe!! I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to post the pics with you all on Sunday! xx

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Filed under sweet melissa sundays