Jan 18 2012

molasses spice cookie

My grandmother turns ninety-five today and in honor of her birthday I wanted to share one of her recipes.

My grandmother is from Berne, Switzerland and she loved to bake. She would use the smallest cookie cutters to make these molasses cookies. I recall spending hours in her kitchen helping to cutout each of these little cookies.

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Dec 14 2011

cherry-almond cookies

If you love the flavor combination of cherry, almond, and white chocolate – you will love these cookies.

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Jul 24 2011

strassburger cookie

So here it is an all time favorite cookie recipe, the Strassbuger cookie, that I decided to add cardamom to about 16 years ago. I fell in love with the delicate crumb of the cookie, and that sweet scent of Cardamom that fills the air long after they are finished baking. Yep that’s it, as close as you’re going to get to Heaven on Earth…. You can pipe the things out, but I sometimes like to roll the dough into logs, and slice it so I get my cookies quicker.

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Dec 7 2010

coconut passionfruit surprise

These cookies I have prepared are inspired by my desire for French delicacies past. When I lived in Paris a few years ago I used to visit a wonderful chocolatier in Brochant – I always had the desire to taste everything once inside – chocolate creams – chocolates with nuts – chocolate with spices – the walls were filled with a wonderful array of chocolate and cookies. I think these cookies encapsulate a riot of different flavours and textures – a combination which is both deliciously palatable and appealing on the eye too.

Coconut Passionfruit Surprise

250g Desiccated Coconut
120 Icing (confectioners) Sugar
4 – 5 Teaspoons of Ground Powdered Ginger
The Juice and Pulp of 10 – Fresh Passion Fruits
25g Butter
40g Demerara Sugar

50g Flaked Almonds
120g Glacier Cherries ( Chopped)
30g Wheat Bran
30g Sunflower Seeds ( Natural)
50g Plain Chocolate Chips
60g Mascapone Cheese

200g Plain Dark Chocolate – 70% Cocoa

1. Collect the pulp and juice from 10 fresh ripened passion fruits into a glass bowl. Sieve the pulp into a second bowl to the remove the pips – you will be left with a wonderful fresh juicy passion fruit concentrate.

2. Mix the above passion fruit concentrated with the desicated coconut – the ginger and the icing sugar into creamy paste. Taste the mixture at this point as you may want to add more ginger if you require a stronger flavour.

3. Then add the flaked almonds and the Demerara sugar and the butter cut into small cubes and mix well. Place this mixture onto a baking tray – and bake for around 15 mins. After 15 mins stir this mixture with a metal spoon and replace in the oven for a further 10 mins. Take care not to burn the mixture at this point.

4. Remove the crispy ( but not burned mixture from the oven) and place back to the mixing bowl and then add wheat bran, sunflower seeds, cherries, chocolate chips and the mascapone cheese – stir the mixture well.

5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then using a circular cookie cutter or cooking ring – place the cooking ring onto the baking paper and then spoon about a heaped table spoon of the mixture into the cooking ring and press down lightly until the circular area is covered. Gently remove the cooking ring and ensure the circular cookie shape remains – repeat this step until you fill your tray with cookies.

6. Bake the cookies for 12 – 15 mins.

7. Remove from the tray when completely cool – not before because they are brittle and will break. Speed up the cooling process by placing the tray into the freezer.

9. Melt 100g of your chocolate in a glass bowl either placed over a pan of boiling water – or microwave. Place a sheet of baking paper onto a baking tray and spread the melted chocolate thinly to cover the sheet of baking paper.

10. Place each of the cooled cookies (flat side down) into the tray of chocolate – then place this tray of cookies into the freezer until the chocolate sets.

11. Using baking scissors – cut around the cookies and peel the baking paper off the backs of the cookies – place the cookies onto a plate (chocolate side up).

12. Collect the remaining chocolate into a bowl and then take the remaining 100g and melt.

13. Coat a second layer of chocolate onto the backs of the cookies – this time making a decorative swirl with either the knife – or with the back of a fork.

14. Place the cookies in the freezer until chocolate is set.

15. Serve the cookies with coffee – or tea – They are also perfect after desert too. They can also be bagged up and tied with ribbon individually and used as Christmas stocking fillers also.

Chanel Mbakwe – born and raised in Cardiff, South Wales, United Kingdom – once a fashion student turned international fashion model, and now a published researcher in the field of human factors in computing – rapidly going off the rails and wanting to run a tea-shop of her own any time soon!

I am a life long food worshiper who looks forward to one day publishing a book about my affairs with food. Not only am I obsessed with, but I am always in pursuit of delicious and wholesome foods. Whether that be the means to source or create them – discovering new ways of cooking, presenting and preparing them – but most of all I am fascinated with the variety of ways you can eat food and the evolving social etiquette surrounding them. All of which are no doubt responsible for every current and passing dining trend, or diet craze, and the emergence of ‘fashionable foods’.

I am currently writing a food column for The Tip an online magazine. Next month I will be launching my own website bonne bonne.