masala chai gingersnaps

masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table

I know cakes generally get a lot more attention than cookies year round but come holiday season, cookies take over the show! In many ways, I feel that they take on their own little personalities, some acquire shapes and sizes, special flavors, and some will bring back fond memories. I used to do a better job of baking a lot of different cookies for Christmas gifts and I've slacked quite a bit this year. So bad that I'm only making gingersnaps, my holiday staple.

Like I said earlier, I don't make cutout cookies every Christmas holiday or nankhatais but I will bake gingersnaps every single year! It's because ginger is by far my favorite spice/ingredient to bake with. I've been known to nibble on spicy little bits of crystallized ginger which is probably too gross of a habit to share publicly but that the sweet zing that comes in every bite is so good!

For this version of gingersnaps cookies, I've used a recipe from my favorite peeps, America's Test Kitchen and made a few changes: I've added some whole wheat flour, flavored it with ground black tea leaves and folded in my masala chai mix. This is one flavorful gingersnap cookie that goes well with a cup of hot tea or coffee and even cocoa. Instead of preparing a tea infusion, I used the tea leaves directly in the form a powder in the cookies to give a more robust flavor.

This year for the holidays, I've partnered with the folks at   America's Test Kitchen to giveaway three of my favorite cookbooks from their store: The Cook's Illustrated Baking BookThe Science of Good Cooking and their latest book, 100 Recipes. These books contain a lot of valuable information and will teach you how to master the basic techniques of cooking and baking at home.All you need to do to win your copy of the books is to leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite holiday baking memory and follow America's Test Kitchen and me on Instagram. The contest will end on December 21st at 12pm and is open to legal residents of the US only. I will randomly pick a winner and announce him/her in a separate post next week. Good luck and happy cooking, folks!

masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing these cookies;

  • Freshly ground spices taste best in this recipe, so try to use a freshly made mix of gingersnap cookies.
  • I used a dark Darjeeling tea (orange pekoe leaves). Make sure the powder is super fine, sift it through a strainer if possible.
  • I like sparkling sugar over granulated sugar because it gives a delicious crunchy texture to the cookie. 
masala chai gingersnaps | A Brown Table

masala chai gingersnaps (adapted from Cook's Illustrated: The Baking Book)

yields: 80 cookies

ingredients

1 1/2 cups (180gm) all-purpose flour

1 cup (113gm) whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt

2 teaspoons chai masala mix (see recipe below)

1 1/2 tablespoons darjeeling tea leaves, ground to a fine powder

12 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup dark molasses

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup packed crystallized ginger, finely diced

1/2 cup granulated sugar or sparkling sugar

1. Whisk the flours, baking soda, salt, chai masala, and ground tea together in a bowl. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until melted. Lower heat to medium low and continue to cook, swirling pan frequently, until foaming subsides and the butter starts to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer butter to the bowl of a standmixer, allow to cool for 2 minutes then and add brown sugar, molasses and whisk using the whisk attachment. Add the egg and yolk and whisk until combined on medium-high speed. Now using the paddle attachment, combine the flour mixture and mix until just combined and there are no visible flecks of flour. Fold the crystallized ginger into the cookie dough mixture. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Place oven racks at upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 300F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place granulated/sparkling sugar in a shallow dish or small bowl. Divide the dough into heaping teaspoon portions; roll dough into 1-inch balls. Working in batches of 10, roll balls on prepared sheets, 20 dough balls per sheet.

3. Place 1 sheet on upper rack and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes , transfer partially baked top sheet to lower rack, rotating 180 degrees, and place second sheet of dough balls on upper rack. Continue to bake until cookies on lower tray just begin to darken on the edges, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove lower sheet of cookies and shift upper sheet to lower rack and continue to bake until cookies begin to darken around edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Slide baked cookies on parchment paper, to wire rack to cool completely before serving. Let baking sheets cool and repeat step 2 with remaining dough balls. 

 

masala (spice mix) chai mix blend

yields: about 1/4 cup or less

ingredients

6 whole green cardamom pods, crushed

2 black cardamom poda, crushed (optional)

1 inch piece cinnamon stick (optional)

10 black peppercorns, crushed (optional)

6 whole cloves, crushed (optional)

2 tablespoons ginger powder

1. Discard the cardamom pods and place the seeds along with the rest of the ingredients in a small spice grinder or coffee mill. Pulse until you get a fine powder. Store the powder in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies

puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table

This is a first! They're cookies and they're not for you or me but for the pups in our lives. And as you can see Snoopy figured out they were for him! That and eating could be one of Snoopy's favorite hobbies.

The genius behind these bright yellow puppy cookie treats is Billy of Wit and Vinegar, who recently released his colorful new book, Whip It Up

This pretty book is Billy Green all the way, from the styling, to the layout to the food! There are ricotta waffles, gingersnap ice cream, sriracha wings, chipotle shrimp tacos and an entire separate chapter devoted to homemade treats for pups. You will love this book!

These pumpkin and flaxseed cookies are very easy to make and require few ingredients. I think with a few tweaks, this could also be a human treat ;) (Hint, Billy)

Just a little note, you might need to add a little more water when bringing the dough together. The actual number of cookies will vary a little depending on size of your cookie cutter.

Snoopy in Fall | A Brown Table
puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table
puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table
puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table
puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table
puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table
puppy treats: billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies | A Brown Table

billy's pumpkin and flaxseed cookies (from Whip It Up by Billy Green)

yields: amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter (I got 16 - 2 inch long bone shaped cookies)

ingredients

1 tablespoon flaxseed powder

5 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons organic, sugar-free peanut butter

125g (1/2 cup) pumpkin purée

350g (2 cups) brown rice flour

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. 

2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flaxseed and water. Then let it sit for 2 minutes. 

3. Whisk in the peanut butter until completely smooth, followed by the pumpkin purée.

4. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Use your hands to knead the dough, moulding it into a ball. If it seems too dry, add an additional tablespoon of water. 

5. Roll the dough out  between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/2 cm thickness. 

6. Use a cookie cutter or small biscuit cutter to cut out shapes, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps as needed: you should get anywhere between 24-36 treats, depending on the size of the treat.

7. Bake for 3o minutes, until lightly golden and dry to touch.

8. Let cool completely before giving to your dog. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

 

chocolate ladyfingers

Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table

Tiramisu is probably one of the most popular desserts, I get to prepare at the bakery. We go through several sheets of this multi layered marscapone filled dessert very, very quickly. I also find it one of the trickiest desserts to slice through because it is so delicate. One accidental touch can lead to a bad disaster that can be hard to fix because the sweet creamy filling is too soft. But it is also one of my favorite desserts that I used to order every year for my birthday while in grad school. What I find fascinating about this dessert is the cookie that holds it all together and today I'm sharing a recipe that makes a lovely batch of dark chocolate flavored ones. 

Ladyfingers/Savoiardi are used as building blocks to many desserts and they are surprisingly easy to prepare at home, so I found out recently. The technique is very similar to making the genoise cake. It basically involves a lot of air incorporating via whisking aggressively followed by a little bit of gentle folding, that's really all there is to it! Except for the fat in the egg yolks, there's no other fat added to the batter so this cookie is rather dry which helps, when you use them in constructing desserts such as tiramisu. Think of them as efficient liquid sponges, they will absorb and hold flavors well and make you one very happy dessert consumer!

Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table
Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table
Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table
Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table
Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these cookies;

  • I used a 100% dark unsweetened cacao because I want the color of the cookie to be pretty dark brown in color but if you want a lighter color you can use 60-70% cacao.
  • Work quickly and avoid the temptation to over-mix the batter. 
  • Ideally you would dust the cookies with a little confectioner's sugar but I skipped this step as I did not plan on eating them directly. 
  • The cookies do expand on baking which is why I find it easier to bake them on a parchment paper that's pre-marked into rectangles. 
  • You will notice that I use a silicone mat and a sheet of parchment to bake these cookies. The silicone mat really helped prevent burning and gave me even baking on each cookie while the parchment paper was helpful in drawing out the size of the ladyfingers. You can also play around with the sizes of the cookies to suit your needs. 

I've adapted this recipe from the Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by the Culinary Institute of America.

Chocolate Lady Fingers | A Brown Table

chocolate lady fingers 

yields: about forty 3 inch cookies

ingredients 

3 large eggs, cold and separated 

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) fine grain sugar

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) all purpose flour 

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch 

2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder (100% cacao)

1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Place the 3 yolks with half the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat the yolks on high speed for around 6 minutes until they turn pale yellow and creamy. They will expand in volume as air gets incorporated. 

2. Place the egg whites with the remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes on high speed until the egg whites form soft peaks. The whites will expand and triple in volume. 

3. Sift the flour, cornstarch and cocoa together, three times and keep aside. 

4. Fold the eggs whites into the egg yolks using an outward to inward circular motion using a silicone spatula. Do this folding motion 4 times. There is no need to over-mix at this stage. Sift the pre-sifted dry ingredients over the eggs and the using the outward to inward circular motion, fold the ingredients until no visible specks of flour are visible. The mixture will deflate a little as you fold but it should not be completely flat. 

5. Line two baking sheets, each with a silicone mat and a sheet of parchment paper. Using a pencil mark the parchment sheet in half and then divide each half into 7 equal sized rectangles. Repeat with the other half. Fill half of the cookie batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large #1 round decorating tip and pipe out one 3 inch long strip of batter in each rectangle. Bake one sheet of cookies at a time in the oven for about 6-8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just firm to touch. They should not be browned or they will be overbaked. The cookies bake very fast so keep an eye on them. Repeat with rest of the batter to prepare the remaining cookies. Cool the cookies on the parchment paper before removing and transferring to an airtight container for storage. 

milk and pistachio cookies

Milk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown Table

Just earlier this week, I was telling you guys about the impending doom of blood oranges going-out-of-season nightmare here but lo and behold, I checked the pot where I planted a dwarf morow blood orange tree and it's full of little flower buds that I'm hoping will bloom and give us some fruit next year! I'll be tending to those oranges like a protective hen watching over her chicks. Squirrels and bugs, stay away! 

This week, I have a little interview with Common Table Co where I'm sharing my thoughts on food and photography. I keep meaning to share this super useful post by Michelle who has made a pretty comprehensive collection of pie baking tips that you should check out and bookmark. 

I like milk flavored things and in cookies with tea, it's a bonus. I did a few experiments when making these whole-wheat cookies. I started with milk, then tried condensed milk and even evaporated milk but the flavor and sweetness from the milk were just not right plus, the more liquid you add the batter keeps getting messed up. I finally tried some non-fat dry milk powder which did the trick. It brought the flavor and natural sweetness of the milk into the cookie. These cookies aren't too sweet or buttery but they've got that nutty flavor from the pistachios along with the hint of milk. They're good with tea and/or coffee or just for those moments when you want a little treat. I strongly recommend adding pistachio extract but if it's hard to find use almond extract, the pistachio extract however really bumps the fragrance and flavor of the cookies. 

Milk and Pistachios Cookies | A Brown TableMilk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown Table
Milk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown TableMilk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown Table
Milk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown TableMilk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown Table
Milk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown TableMilk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when making these cookies;

  • Crush pistachios using a rolling pin in a small ziplock bag, less mess and it's easy. 
  • You can fold the pistachios in the mixer by mixing the final dough at low speed but I prefer the hand method, it gives me better control over the dough. 
  • Chill the dough before you bake, it will make give you a more flavorful and crispier cookie. 
Milk and Pistachio Cookies| A Brown Table

milk and pistachio cookies

yields: approximately 30 cookies 

ingredients 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

3/4 cup (5 7/25 ounces) sugar 

1 large egg, cold

1/2 teaspoon pistachio extract or almond extract

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (3/4 ounces) non-fat dry milk powder

2 cups (9 1/2 ounces) whole-wheat pastry flour 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) pistachios, coarsely crushed

1. Place the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on medium-low speed for about 4-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl using a silicone spatula. Then add the egg and continue to mix for another minute until combined. Add the pistachio/almond extract and mix for 10 seconds. 

2. In a large mixing bowl dry whisk all the dry ingredients from the milk powder to the salt. Add half of this mixture to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix on medium-low speed until almost combined. Then add the rest of the dry mix and mix until combined. Remove the dough and transfer the dough onto a cool surface such as a marble pastry board or a non-stick silicone pastry work surface or parchment paper. Flatten the dough with your hands and place the pistachios in the center. Fold the dough gently to combine the pistachios. 

3. Take a clean sheet of 12" X 16" parchment paper. Shape the dough into a log that is around 12" in length. Wrap the roll with the parchment paper starting from one end by rolling the paper over the dough. Wrap the roll with clingfilm, place it on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight. 

4. To bake, place a wire rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 350F.  Remove the cookie dough roll from the refrigerator and using a sharp serrated bread knife cut the dough into 1 cm thick individual cookies. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking silicone mat, about 1 inch apart from each other. Bake one set of cookies at a time in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

chocolate dipped black sesame fortune cookies

Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table

Chinese fortune cookies though not originally Chinese in origin, are a mainstay of Chinese cuisine here in the West. But as this article in the NY Times points out, they might be more Japanese than Chinese. History and origins aside, these cookies are one of my favorite things to look forward to after dinner at Chinese restaurants and in San Francisco's Chinatown you might even get these cookies with a scoop of matcha ice cream. 

Though they are made from a simple tuile batter they are a little time consuming to prepare and require a little bit of practice. Luckily you can stretch the batter and with every circle baked, you will get better. The trick is to spread the batter out in a very thin circle and move superfast as soon as they start to cool. 

Black sesame not only gives the cookie a pretty texture when laminated into the batter but the nutty sweet taste pairs deliciously well with the dark chocolate. You can choose to put a fortune in the cookie or not, that I leave up to you to decide. Coincidentally, I didn't realize how troublesome it is to come up with fortunes to write, filling in winning lottery numbers might be easier!

Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table
Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown TableChocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table
Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown TableChocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these fortune cookies;

  • Have everything ready before you start to bake. Keep the tools out on your worktable as these cookies harden as soon as they are taken out from the oven,
  • Spread the cookie batter as thin as possible, this will ensure a thin and crispy cookie. 
  • Some people find the fragrance of almond extract a little intense, you can substitute vanilla in for the same amount. 
  • I've given an approximate number for the cookies as you might end up losing some cookies while you make them. They might be too thin or too thick to fold. The crispier they are, the more delicate they will be, so treat them carefully.
  • Work with only one or two cookies at a time as speed is important to shaping the cookies. Wait too long and they will harden before you shape them. And please be careful not to burn you fingers as the cookies are hot. 
  • Also, I tried both parchment paper and Silpat baking mats while testing this recipe. Silpat gave the overall best results in terms of color, texture and shape. 
Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table

chocolate dipped black sesame fortune cookies

yields: around 24-30 cookies

ingredients 

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioner's sugar

1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon (2 ounces) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 tablespoons water, at room temperature

fortunes written on strips of paper that are around 5 inches long and 1 cm wide (optional)

1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted (I used 60% cacao but milk chocolate and white chocolate would be perfect here)

1. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk with a handheld electric beater on medium-high speed until slightly frothy.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate to the egg whites and whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth. There should be no lumps in the batter. Wrap the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours to chill. 

3. Place a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F.  Get a clean glass or cup and a large muffin tin and keep it on your work space ready to shape the cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or with a nonstick Silpat baking mat. If using parchment paper, draw two 3 inch circles about 2 inches apart from each other. If you're using Silpat, then approximate the diameter of the circle to 3 inches. Stir the chilled batter and take 1 teaspoon of the chilled batter and using a spoon spread it out into a very thin layer on the parchment paper. If using the Silpat sheet spread the batter out into a very thin circle that is approximately 3 inches in diameter. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the cookies for 5 minutes or until the edges turn a little golden brown. Remove the sheet from the oven.

4. Now work as quickly as possible as the cookies will harden as soon as they start to cool. (Be careful not to burn you fingers as the cookies will be very hot). Place a fortune paper strip across the center of one cookie and using an offset spatula lift the cookie a little on fold it over itself to form a half moon shape. Then take the cookie off the sheet and bend the folded edge of the cookie over the edge of a glass/mug. Then quickly place the cookie in the well of a muffin tin and allow it to set. As the cookie cools, it will harden and take on its characteristic curved shape. Prepare the second cookie in the same manner. 

5. Using a scissors, trim the excess length of paper that hangs from the ends of the shaped cookie. Dip one half of the cookie in the melted chocolate (length or width wise) and keep it on a cool surface such as marble or parchment paper to cool. Once the chocolate sets, store each cookie carefully in an airtight container.    

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Christmas and cookies go hand-in-hand. Every year, I might skip making a few holiday desserts but never the cookies. The cookies will be made and be on the table every year. That is one holiday tradition I've grown up with and I hold on to very dearly. Considering how strongly I feel about Christmas cookies, I was super excited when the supper talented trio of Erica, Karen and Todd behind Honestly Yum asked me to join them along with a bunch of other bloggers in their holiday cookie swap. 

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Christmas cutout cookies are one of my favorite holiday cookies. It also gives me an excuse to get a few new cookie cutters each year that can be added to my little collection. Seriously, one can never have too many cookie cutters! 

These cookies are whole grain based made from buckwheat and oat flours which are coincidentally also gluten-free, so if you're sensitive to gluten you might want to try this recipe out. You can frost these cookies but I've done a double white and dark chocolate drizzle that goes really well with the taste of these two flours in the cookie. Plus drizzling chocolate makes one happy and sweet messy situation. 

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these cookies,

  • Chill the dough as often as you can, as soon as you feel it is too soft chill it down.
  • If the cutout cookies get too a bit difficult to manage if the dough softens too much, chill it. This will harden the dough and allow you to peel the cutout cookies easily.
  • I've tempered the chocolate to keep it solid at room temperature. But I recommend storing the cookies in a cool and air tight dry container. 
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Check out the holiday round up of these delicious cookies by these awesome bloggers participating in this virtual cookie swap by hosted by Honestly Yum! I want to taste and eat each and everyone of them!

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies

yields: approximately 3 dozen 2 inch cookies (amount will vary by the size of the cookie cutter used)

ingredients 

5 ounces buckwheat flour + a little extra for dusting

5 ounces oat flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces fine grain light brown sugar

9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature

2 teaspoons plain full-fat cream cheese 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the buckwheat and oat flours along with the salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Dry whisk to evenly mix using the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes on medium-low speed. 

2. While the mixer is set at medium-low speed add half of the butter and mix for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed to medium-high and add the rest of the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix for about 2 minutes until completely combined. Transfer the dough to a clean sheet of parchment paper and shape it into a disc using clean hands. Wrap the disc with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before baking.

3. Before rolling out the dough to prepare the cookies,  line two cookie/baking sheets with parchment paper and keep aside. Divide the cookie dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one part time and keep the rest refrigerated until ready to use. Using a rolling pin, roll out the cookie dough between on a clean surface lightly dusting the dough with a scant amount of buckwheat flour. You can also roll out the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper and use a little amount of buckwheat flour to dust (I've done it both ways and I prefer the parchment paper method, handling the cookies is much easier). The rolled out dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookie shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer the cutouts onto the prepare baking sheet leaving about 1 inch space between them and freeze to chill for 30 minutes. While the cookies are chilling, place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300F.  Return the left over cookie dough to the rest of the dough and prepare the rest of the cookies in the same manner. Bake the chilled cutout cookies in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking. The cookies are done when their edges start to turn lightly golden brown. Remove the baking sheet with the baked cookies from the oven and allow to cool for about 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

dark and white chocolate cookie drizzle

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard 75% dark cacao)

a candy thermometer

1. Spread the cooled cookies out on a large sheet of parchment paper (It is preferable to work in a  cool place away from a heat source which will allow the chocolate to solidify after it is drizzled onto the cookies).

2. Place 3/4 of the white chocolate chips into a small heat-proof mixing bowl. Place the bowl in a saucepan containing water that is barely simmering on a stove. Stir the chips until they melt and the temperature reaches 110F. Immediately switch the stove off and remove the bowl from the saucepan. Stir in the rest of the white chocolate chips and mix until combined. Using a fork drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and allow the chocolate to solidify before drizzling with the dark chocolate. 

3. Repeat the same steps to prepare the dark chocolate. Drizzle the dark chocolate over the cookies and allow to solidify at room temperature. Transfer and store the cookies in airtight container. 

Tip: You can drizzle both of the melted chocolates in the same or different directions to create fun patterns.

dried apricot and fig almond oatmeal cookies

Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table

I decided to bake cookies in the middle of the night during the week because that is exactly what one does when their spouse is out of town. I made a happy mess, didn't tiptoe and worry about waking anyone up and I ended up cleaning the kitchen the next morning. Talk about the definition of being wild and crazy after you reach a certain age!

Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table

If you like a crispy oatmeal cookie then this cookie, is for you! It's packed with flavors and fruity bits of dried apricots and figs with each bite and a little hint of ginger too. Though my goal was to make an oatmeal cookie that was a little autumn/fall centric, you could make these cookies at anytime of the year because they use dried apricots and figs. 

 

You might notice here that I call for refrigerating the dough overnight before baking. This is what my dessert hero and one of my all-time favorite food personality, Alice Medrich (I do hope I get to meet her one day, she knows her desserts) says to do. It works every time and the cookies are much more flavorful and rise better.

Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table
Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table

dried apricot and fig almond oatmeal cookies

yields: 24-30 cookies

ingredients 

3 cups (9 1/2 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups (5 ounces) almond flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3/4  (5 7/25 ounces) cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used Madagascar Bourbon vanilla)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) dried apricots, chopped

1 cup (3 3/8 ounces) dried figs, chopped

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients from the oats to the ginger powder. Whisk a few times until evenly combined. Reserve two tablespoons and keep aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Beat in one egg at a time and continue to cream the mixture. Add the milk, vanilla and lemon zest and mix until combined for about a minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer. 

3. Toss the chopped apricots and figs in a small bowl with the two tablespoons of the dried mixture reserved from step 1. Keep aside.

4. Add the dry oatmeal-almond mixture from step 1 to the wet mixture in the bowl and stir until combined. Fold in the apricots and figs from step 3 until completely combined. Bring the dough to form a large ball and cover this cookie dough with cling film. Refrigerate the dough overnight.

5. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mold the cookies with the palms of your hand. (I prefer to wet my hands in a little water so it won't stick as much). Form cookies that are approximately 1 inch in diameter. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cookies turn golden brown, turing the sheet halfway through during baking. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely and store in airtight container.