Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Roundup

Beautiful! I think this is one of the prettiest collection of photos we've had! Thanks to everyone who participated in our latest challenge. All the cookies are represented! I hope you enjoyed making them as much as we enjoyed drooling over them. Looking forward to next month!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tropicana Lace Cookies

Posted by -


This is my first month with this wonderful group and am looking forward to more, more, more! This month, we had a choice of 3 wonderful cookies: Black and White, Linzer and Lace Cookies. I opted for lace cookies as I am a huge fan of them and have been making Brandy snaps for as long as I can remember. I love developing and creating new recipes and was really looking forward to what I could produce with this. Ok, I thought I had a month but the extra day not withstanding, I was running out of time! So, I had to get going!

I had some friends over last weekend and took that opportunity to bake this challenge. I tweaked my old recipe here and there, added some condensed milk and desiccated coconut and voila - I present TROPICANA LACE COOKIES!

As a little kid, I used to make coconut fudge with my older siblings, my earliest memory of this is when I was 6, which means my sister was 9 and my brother was 8, with no parental supervision.  The ingredients were essentially freshly grated coconut and condensed milk. To this day, I fall to pieces at the merest hint of this combination! That's the memory I went for in creating Tropicana Lace.

Dry roasted coconut
Ingredients (makes about a dozen)

4 tbsp freshly grated coconut or desiccated coconut
1 tbsp golden syrup

20 g butter
1 tbsp condensed milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp rose essence

Spaced out blobs!

1. Preheat oven to 180C/160 Fan. Line a baking sheet with baking paper if you have to.
2. Heat a small frying pan on low heat and dry roast the coconut until golden brown and the aroma hits you. Set aside.
3. Add the syrup, butter, milk and sugar in a small saucepan and heat, stirring to mix.
4. At the first sign of bubbles, add the flour, mix and take off the heat.
5. Add the coconut and rose essence and mix well.
6. Drop half a dozen spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking sheet, spacing them well apart as they will spread A LOT. If the mixture thickens, just heat it up again gently for the next round.
7. Bake for 6-8 minutes until completely flat and a uniform dark brown in colour.
8. Leave to cool completely, they will harden as they cool.
9. You can shape these cookies if you fancy, wrap them around a rolling pin about 30 seconds after they come out of the oven, before they get a chance to harden.

These are perfect as they are or served with ice cream. Even great crumbled over cakes and sundaes.

Pretty as a picture

Monday, February 20, 2012

Black and White Cookies

Posted by - vivian

Black and white cookies have always interested me.  Never having tasted one, I was just intrigued by the name, so when this month's Have the Cake challenge was to make either Black & White Cookies or Linzer cookies... well, of course I had to make the Black & White!  From what I understand, these cookies are quite popular in the North Eastern states, particularly New York. They are more cake like in texture rather than the crispy or chewy texture one would expect from a cookie.  I did a combination of two recipes, the dough from Smitten Kitten and the glaze  from Joy of Baking

Black and White Cookies
 Smitten Kitten's recipe which she adapted from a bunch of places, but mostly Zabar’s

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

from Joy the Baker
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 - 1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ounce (30 grams) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped 

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray, or use a Silpat (silicone baking sheet).  I don't like to use parchment paper on sticky cookies but that is an option, too.

In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter; mix until fluffy.  Generally this takes 3-5 minutes, it will depend on room temperature, temperature of the butter. You can tell when they are “light and fluffy” by the appearance; it should be very light in color. Next, add the eggs, milk and vanilla and lemon extracts; mix until smooth.

In medium bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt; gently whisk together.  Add dry mixture to the wet in batches, stirring well after each addition. 

Place heaping spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets;bake until edges begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cookies cool completely.

Place the confectioners sugar in a large bowl. Gradually Stir in the hot water (it is best to pour in a bit at a time so that you can keep track of its consistency easier), add corn syrup and vanilla extract, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick, smooth, and of spreading consistency. Add more sugar or water if necessary to get the right consistency.

Remove about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the frosting and place it in another bowl. In a small microwavable bowl, add the finely chopped chocolate. Melt on high for about thirty seconds; stir. Add the melted chocolate to the 1/2 cup frosting.

Turn the cookies so the flat bottoms are facing up. Spread white glaze over half the cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies. If the frosting/glaze thickens too much, add a few drops of water.

Once all the cookies are covered with the white frosting, then cover the other half of each cookie with the chocolate frosting. If the chocolate frosting becomes too thick, add a little hot water to thin the frosting.

Linzer cookies

Posted by - Hannah

Hi, I'm Hannah and this is my first post on HTC! I'm a student so I'm going to be cooking the monthly challenges on budget! This month I didn't have jam in the cupboard (and I also didnt have a heart shaped cookie cutter) so I went with iceing and fruit I had in the freezer. Got to say, I'm quite pleased with the result and the house mates seemed to enjoy them! The recipe I used for the cookies is from Look forward to next month! x

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Modern Infusion of Linzer and Black & White Cookies

Posted by - April (Miss Conversationalist)

Miss C "hi, I'm April or at my blog I'm known as Miss Conversationalist. This is the my first post on "Have the Cake" and I hope you enjoy it! "

Linzer "linzer cookies came from the classic Austrian linzer torte"

B&W "black and white cookies are synonymous with New York bakeries, a place I would love to visit".

Miss C "so, I wanted to infused the classic linzer with the hustle and bustle of New York culture to bring you a... 

"Modern Infusion of Linzer and Black and White Cookies"
  • Instead of having the traditional fruit preserve filling I'm filling it with marshmallows (a nod to the new craze that swept New York, whoopie pies)
  • I'll be glazing the top cookie with chocolate icing"      

Makes 6 big cookies

Linzer cookie
100g         Unsalted butter
3/4 cup     Castor sugar
1/4tsp       Baking soda
pinch        Salt
1x             Medium egg
1x             Lemon zest
1.5 cup     Plain flour
20x           White marshmallows
Chocolate glaze 
120g          Dark chocolate
1/4 cup      Thickened cream 

  1. In a mixer, beat butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Add in the egg and lemon zest and combine. While the motor is running continuous add the flour until mixture starts to resemble a dough.
  2. Wrap dough in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 1.5~2 hours, or until dough is not sticky and malleable.
  3. Melt dark chocolate and thickened cream together over a pot of simmering water. Combine and place into fridge to thicken.
  4. Once the dough is ready, preheat oven to 170C, flour the kitchen top and roll out the dough to a thickness of 0.5cm. Cut with any shape you want. Just remember that you have to make the same number of bottoms and tops. The top cookies should have another hole, for example my star on the top cookie.
  5. Place the cookies inside and bake for 7~10 minutes or until it starts to brown slightly, allow them to cool. Now, place the marshmallows into an oven friendly bowl and place into oven. Remove from the oven once the top marshmallows start to brown. 
  6. Spread the top cookies with the chocolate glaze and the marshmallow mixture onto the bottom cookie, sandwich together.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Black and White Cookies

Posted by -Angela/Soap Mom's Kitchen

 The challenge this month was Black and White, Linzer and Lace Cookies.  I love all those cookies, but  I decided to go Black and White for the challenge.  They are very popular in New York City.  I have a very fond appreciation for these deli favorites.  I think every sandwich shop, coffee shop and diner in New York sells these delightful treats.  I found this recipe on Joy the Baker.  They are very easy to make and I made them with my twelve year old daughter.  We had a lot of fun together doing the black and white icings.  Enjoy!

Black and White Cookies
Makes about 16 large cookies
Recipe from Joy the Baker who adapted from Gourmet Cookbook 

For the Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg

For Vanilla Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

To make the cookies-
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add eggs, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

To make the glazes-
In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water, until smooth. That’s your vanilla glaze.
In a separate bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave for about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth. That’s your chocolate glaze!
Once the cookies are cooled, face them all bottom side up of a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set. And…Yum!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Linzer biscuits with honey

Posted by Alida - My Little Italian Kitchen

Hello I am Alida and this is my first post! I am really excited!

I love Linzer biscuits but this is the first time I make them. I must say they are very nice and quite easy to make.
I have changed the recipe slightly and did not put any nuts in them and I tried using honey instead of sugar. The result was a nice crumbly biscuit with a delicate flavour.


  • 250 g self raising flour
  • the zest of one lemon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 g sugar (or 3 tbsp of honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125 g butter
  • 3 tbsp of red jam
  • icing sugar

Put the flour on your work top and make a small hole in the middle. Add the egg, salt, sugar,the softened butter cut into piecesWork quickly and shape it into a ball. Put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

With a rolling pin roll the pastry flat about 1/2 cm thick and with a round pastry cutter cut some circles about 8 cm diameter.

On half of them, with a smaller pastry cutter, make a hole in the middle.

Cook at 200 C for about 10-15 minute until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place the biscuits on a rack to cool.

Spread some jam on the biscuits without a hole and dust some icing sugar on the others. Then lay the two sides together like a sandwich.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Almond Linzer Cookies with Guava Filling

Posted by - lu canela

Hello, This is my first post in "Have the Cake" and I am so excited.  I have to say that I loved baking the Linzer Cookies.  This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewarts Website and I just made one little change that instead of pecans I used Almonds.  I really hope you guys enjoy!!

Almond Linzer Cookies (Martha Stewart)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup almonds
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of your favorite flavor jam (I used Guava)

1.  Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Pulse almonds, confectioners' sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet); transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

2.  Add butter and granulated sugar; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Cut out squares with a 2-inch fluted cutter. Cut out centers of half the squares with a 1/2-inch heart cutter; re roll scraps. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake squares and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

4.  Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes; let cool.

5.  Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners' sugar. Spread jam onto uncut squares; top with cutout ones. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Challenge: Black & White, Linzer & Lace

photo from serious eats
posted by - Rena

It's cookie time! February is upon us and it's time to make something special. I've been dying to bake linzer tarts. They are perfect for Valentine's Day as they can be shaped into hearts. Aww. Of course, everyone has different tastes so this month, you get a choice between Linzer Tarts, Lace Cookies or Black & White Cookies. These are staples at any bakery. I happen to live very close to what has been titled "The Best Black & White Cookie in NYC" and I think it is.

You can make just one or feel free to make all three! You can, of course, put your own spin on things. Happy Valentine's month (day, shmay...) and happy baking!

Here are a few recipes I found:
Linzer Hearts - by Serious Eats
Lace Cookies - by Real Simple
Black & White Cookies - by Smitten Kitchen
black and white cookies
photo from flickr
Florentine Lace Cookies
photo from flickr