Here's a great cookie for you matcha fans out there. Sorry, but I'm not among you. But then, we women of a certain age often prefer the classics. But I digress....
This is a great way to include some natural green to your cookie dough - and to include that grassy tea flavor as well! Our matcha cut-out cookies are topped with melted white chocolate and some sprinkles, because, hey, it's the holiday season. White chocolate provides a nice sweetness and smooth texture to balance the earthier flavor of the tea.
The recipe is adapted slightly from one by blogger Stephanie of The Buttery Whisk. Hers calls for culinary grade matcha, but we used organic matcha tea because that's what was available readily. Ours turned out a lighter green, but the cookies are still a celebration color! We also cut the recipe in half, because most of us don't need that many matcha-flavored cookies. :)
We made our cookies mini-size using our own mini stamping cutters without the stamping part, and the wreaths were made from two small, scallop-edged cookie cutters. This recipe produced about 3 dozen 2-inch cutouts.
Note: The dough is a bit sticky, so you will need to flour the rolling surface and keep the dough chilled to get good cut-outs. We found it best to work with about 1/3 of the dough at a time, keeping the other sections in the fridge until ready to use.
tip + buying information
We tried out several ways of piping with melted white chocolate, but found this gadget to be our favorite. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave right in the silicone bulb and attach any kind of standard, metal tip that you like. (don't microwave that!). We used our smallest round tip for our cookies.
You can purchase our favorite bulb piping gadget at home stores and on Amazon. If you purchase one on Amazon, we will receive a small referral fee.
These tender little pastries were made by both my grandmothers, both of whom were immigrants of Czech heritage. I don't know anyone who tries these who doesn't want to have another. They are traditional for holidays, especially Christmas.
Kolacky (also kolachke) are made from a simple cream cheese and butter dough which is rolled, cut into squares, and filled with jams, nuts or cheese. You must sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving for authenticity. My grandmas always made apricot, cheese and prune (yuck) versions. We used raspberry-lime, peach with honeycomb, and lemon curd fillings with great results. Those are the flavors pictured in this post.
The dough requires chilling plus several other steps, so this is not a quickie recipe. But it's pretty, tasty and looks great on your holiday treats table.
Kolacky are best fresh, but will keep for up to a week in a tightly sealed container. They also freeze well for up to a month or so. Do not store with other cookies, as they will pick up the other flavors. In fact, we recommend you store each kind of cookie you bake in a separate container. Otherwise, they all taste a bit like all the other cookies, and none has a great flavor.
ingredients & equipment
Feeling fancy? Create a little bit of France in your own kitchen with these lovely, easy pastries. Small sponge cakes baked in special shell-shaped baking tins, madeleines will really dress us your holiday buffet or brunch table. (Or your desk on your coffee break.)
Are you wondering who Madeleine was? Nobody knows, but this cake appeared in western Europe in the late 1700s and is popular today, in various incarnations, in France, Spain, Britain and Poland.
We used toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts, but you can substitute almonds, pecans or even macademia nuts and achieve a tasty result. Be sure not to overbake - the delicate genoise sponge cakes dry out quickly!
Properly baked, the cakes will have a small "belly" on the non-shaped side. If you overfill the tins and the cakes spill over the tops of the pan, you can trim the edges with a pair of clean scissors.
This recipe makes about 24 standard size madeleines.
ingredients & special equipment
There are a number of shapes, materials and sizes for madeleine pans. We used a traditional size and shape pan with a non-stick coating. You may also keep an eye out at second-hand shops, as it's frequently a rarely used baking pan and takes up space. If you're interested in the pan we used, you can click on the image below and be transferred to Amazon.
If you order this pan after transferring, we will receive a small referral fee.
Way back when I was a kid, animal crackers that came in a little circus box were only for special occasions. The taste of the actual cookie was a little bland, but we all loved the little box and playing with the lions, zebras, elephants and giraffes. Kids today have a lot more choices and, it seems, a lot more dietary restrictions.
Enter the new animal cracker/cookie. Because it's homemade, you can adjust the recipe to suit your tastes and diet. This recipe easily can be made gluten-free and it doesn't contain any refined sugar. Plus it's much tastier than the original circus crackers!
Our recipe, adapted from one by King Arthur Flour, uses almond flour instead of oat flour. We use the same style of spring-loaded cookie cutters (available in our store), but you can use any miniature size cookie cutter or just cut our little squares of dough and prick them with a knife to put a pattern on them.
ingredients & equipment
Recipes and mixing tips
Simple recipes for home cooks using SideSwipe + your mixer. Tips for using + caring for your mixer. Our goal = Helping you get a perfect mix + great taste.