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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Cookie Swap

Crispy, Vegan Pepparkakor Cookies

Crispy Vegan Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Here, spiced vegan cookies from Kate Lewis of Le Chou Sauvage. Read more>

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Cookie Swap

Dried Cherry & Pistachio Sugar Cookies

Dried Cherry & Pistachio Sugar Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, a sweet and nutty recipe from Matt Armendariz. Read more >

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Cookie Swap

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Crack Cookies

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Crack Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, beautiful Crack Cookies by White on Rice Couple's Todd Porter and Diane Cu.

There’s good food, and then there’s great food. Recipes that we can’t live without or that just blow everyone’s socks off are what we all label as “crack.” The reference is about addiction to crazy-great food: dishes that end up as only crumbs on the plate. These vanilla-chocolate crack cookies are just the type of dish that lives up to it name, and a dangerous obsession. When we serve these cookies, we attach a disclaimer to the plate or bag: Warning: These Are Addictive.

Soft, crumbly, melt-in-your mouth chocolate cookies are treats that make everyone happy. It’s not often that we find someone who doesn’t like a great, soft chocolate cookie, so these are our go-to cookies that serve many purposes. When there are new neighbors, we welcome them to the ’hood with a platter. If our mailman or UPS guy is working hard and delivering heavy packages to us, we’ll send out a thank-you in a bag of crack cookies. Need to apologize to someone? These are the perfect catalysts to start the conversation again and to admit that you screwed up.

And for the holidays? These double as the perfect holiday cookie, too, because the light dusting of powdered sugar adds the perfect analogy to soft, drifting snow. Better yet, pairing these with some eggnog or hot apple cider is a fabulous finish to a feast. Our favorite: Pass the bourbon, please. Ho-ho-ho. And remember, these cookies are totally legal!

Dark Chocolate Vanilla Crack Cookies
Total: 3 hr
Makes 24 to 30 cookies
These chocolate cookies are best eaten while still warm (aren’t most cookies?) or at least on the same day.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (100 gm)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (225 gm)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (45 gm)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar (65 gm), plus extra for coating
Confectioners’ sugar, for coating

1. With racks positioned in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheat the oven to 325°. Line a couple of baking pans with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt for at least 20 seconds. Set aside.

2. Combine the dark chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; place it over a pot of simmering water to gently melt the chocolate and butter. Remove the bowl from the heat.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs and 1/3 cup sugar and whip on high until the mixture forms a well-defined ribbon when the whisk attachment is lifted out, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the melted chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until firm (1 to 2 hours).

4. Pour the granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar in a separate small bowls. Form the chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the granulated sugar, and then roll in the confectioners’ sugar to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart.

5. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate the cookies sheets and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes. Cookies should still be slightly firm on the edges and fairly soft in the centers. Don’t overbake. Let the cookies cool on the baking pan until firm enough to handle, then transfer to a cooling rack.

MAKE AHEAD The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Related: Recipe Photos by White on Rice Couple
Lemon Fire Brigade's Chocolate Peppermint Slice-and-Bakes
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Cookie Swap

Pistachio Orange Blossom Winter Cookies

Pistachio Orange Blossom Winter Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, snowy beauties from Three Little Halves.

It was at midnight in Plaza Virgen de Los Reyes in Seville when I first experienced the scent of orange blossoms. I was on my honeymoon, how appropriate. I am not sure if it was the magic of the hour, or the honeymoon effect, or the scent itself, but that moment stayed with me forever.

Seville is to be blamed for my habit of keeping a tiny bottle of orange blossom water in the fridge and sniffing it every once in a while at midnight when the house is asleep. And Seville is to be blamed for these cookies, for it is the scent of orange blossoms and the aroma of citrus that, for me, bring about the magic of the holidays, happiness and warmth. During December we bake tons of them, dust them in vanilla scented powdered sugar and celebrate the season.

They say that orange blossoms bring good fortune. How appropriate!

Pistachio Orange Blossom Winter Cookies

Note: Keep the cookies in an airtight container for at least one day before serving.

5 oz pistachios, ground into fine meal
6 oz butter
4 oz granulated sugar
12 oz all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoons finely-grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons orange blossom water
12 oz firm orange marmalade (I use Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmelade)
1 vanilla bean, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
About 6 oz confectioners sugar, for dusting

1. A couple of days before making the cookies mix the confectioners sugar with the vanilla bean. Store the sugar in a dry place, in a jar with a tight lid.

2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with the granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and orange blossom water. Add the flour and pistachios and mix until a uniform dough forms. Shape the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 325°F convection bake (350°F regular bake). Place the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and roll it out to quarter inch thick round. Using a small round cookie cutter (mine is 1 1/4 inch) stamp out the cookies and arrange them on the baking sheets one inch apart. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven before the edges start to turn golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

4. Once the cookies have cooled, take a cookie round at a time, spread the marmelade on it and top with another cookie round.

5. Pour the vanilla sugar into a small bowl. Roll each cookie-sandwich in the vanilla sugar until it is generously coated. Keep the cookies in an airtight container for at least one day before serving.

Makes about 50 cookies

Related: Lemon Fire Brigade's Chocolate Peppermint Slice-and-Bakes
All Posts for F&W Cookie Week
Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

Cookie Swap

Macadamia, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie.

Here, Australian photographer and stylist Chantelle Grady offers one of her favorite holiday recipes, featuring macadamia nuts. "Macadamias are native to Australia and I love using them in sweets," she says. Grady recommends baking this recipe while prepping decorations. "The smell of them baking in the oven while putting up the tree really makes it feel like Christmas." 

Macadamia, Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients
3 1/2 tablespoons (50g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (60g) dried cranberries
1 cup (120g) macadamias, halved
1 cup (160g) white chocolate chips

Method
Preheat oven to 175˚C (345˚F). Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

In a bowl, place the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugars, salt and vanilla essence and beat to combine. Add the egg and stir to combine. Add the flour, bicarbonate soda, dried cranberries, macadamias and white chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Roll large spoonfuls of dough in your hands to form a ball and place on baking trays allowing space between each to spread. Continue until all dough has been used. Gently press each ball with fingers to flatten slightly. Bake in oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until golden.

Makes 18

Related: Lemon Fire Brigade's Chocolate Peppermint Slice-and-Bakes
Naturally Ella's Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies
All Posts for F&W Cookie Week
Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

Cookie Swap

Naturally Ella's Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, festive slice-and-bakes from Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella.

Get the Recipe >>

read more
Cookie Swap

Chocolate Peppermint Slice-and-Bakes

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

During F&W Cookie Week, some of our favorite digital contributors are sharing their best holiday cookie recipes in a virtual swap. Post your favorite baking experiments on Instagram using #FWCookie. Here, festive slice-and-bakes from Sarah Bolla of Lemon Fire Brigade.

Get the recipe >>

read more
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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.