Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three Years







Three years of blogging, of sharing recipes, stories, snippets of my life with all of you.

Thank you for being here and for making this worthwhile.






There's no sweeter way to celebrate these three years than with cookies.

Two types of shortbread cookies; vanilla and chocolate.






Two different kinds of shortbread cookies, not only in terms of flavor but texture as well.

The vanilla one is buttery, crumbly and soft.

The chocolate one has a pronounced cocoa flavor, it's a little softer and slightly less sweet than the vanilla shortbread cookie, with a somewhat sandy texture.






No matter which one you choose, they're both incredibly delicious.

Especially when they're cut into letter shapes.











Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

This is the ultimate vanilla shortbread cookie and the addition of cornflour gives it a lighter and more tender texture. It is perfect eaten plain or used to make a cookie sandwich, filled with everything from dulce de leche to chocolate ganache and jam.






Yield: about 25 cookies

Ingredients
150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
55 g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
220 g all purpose flour, sieved plus extra for dipping your cookie cutter
20 g cornflour (cornstarch), sieved

Special equipment: fine sieve, stand or hand-held mixer, plastic wrap, rolling pin, baking paper, 5.5 cm round cookie cutters (or cookie cutters of your choice), baking sheet(s)


Preparation
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl), add the butter and icing sugar and beat, using the paddle attachment (or with your hand-held mixer), on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes or until you have a very creamy and light mixture. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. Add the flour and cornflour and beat on low speed. At first you may think that the mixture will not become a dough because it will look very sandy but don't worry, after a minute it will come together (like in the picture below) and gather in pieces around the paddle attachment (or around the beaters) of your mixer.


Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball and then into a disk. At this point you'll see the actual texture of the dough which should be smooth and firm. Wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Line your baking sheet with baking paper.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit.

Place the chilled disk of dough between two sheets of baking paper and with the help of a rolling pin, roll it out to 0.5-0.7 cm-thickness.
In a small bowl, add some flour and use it to dip in your cookie cutter. In this way, the cookie cutter won't stick to the dough.
Remove the top baking paper from your rolled-out dough and using your cookie cutter, cut out round shapes and place them on your prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1.5 cm apart.

Note: It's best if you transfer the cut-out cookies from the baking paper to your baking sheet using a small offset spatula. This way you ensure the shape of the cookie remains intact. You need to work fast because the dough becomes warmer and softer as time passes.


Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until light golden around the edges. They'll feel a little soft in the middle but that's okay. Be careful not to overbake them.
Note: if you choose a different cookie cutter, either smaller or bigger, or even of a different shape than the one indicated, the baking times will change. For example, I baked the small cookie letters for 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on your cookies while baking so you avoid any surprises.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to stand for 2 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Allow them to cool completely before you transfer them to a cookie tin.
They'll keep for 1 week, at room temperature, in a tightly closed cookie tin.











Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

The addition of sea salt elevates the cocoa flavor. You can coat them with granulated sugar before baking, in order to make them a little sweeter and to add another texture to them.






Yield: about 20 cookies

Ingredients
115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40 g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
125 g all purpose flour, sieved plus extra for dipping your cookie cutter
25 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sieved
⅛ tsp sea salt

Special equipment: fine sieve, stand or hand-held mixer, plastic wrap, rolling pin, baking paper, 5.5 cm round cookie cutters (or cookie cutters of your choice), baking sheet(s)


Preparation
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl), add the butter and icing sugar and beat, using the paddle attachment (or with your hand-held mixer), on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes or until you have a creamy and light mixture. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. Add the flour, cocoa powder and sea salt and beat on low speed until you have a rough, soft dough. It will be ever-so-slightly sticky.


Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball and then into a disk. Wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour to firm up.

Line your baking sheet with baking paper.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit.

Place the chilled disk of dough between two sheets of baking paper and with the help of a rolling pin, roll it out to 0.5-0.7 cm-thickness.
In a small bowl, add some flour and use it to dip in your cookie cutter. In this way, the cookie cutter won't stick to the dough.
Remove the top baking paper from your rolled-out dough and using your cookie cutter, cut out round shapes and place them on your prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1.5 cm apart.

Note: Because the dough has the tendency to be sticky, it's best if you transfer the cut-out cookies from the baking paper to your baking sheet using a small offset spatula. This way you ensure the shape of the cookie remains intact. You need to work fast because the dough becomes warmer and softer as time passes.


Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes. They'll feel a little soft in the middle but that's okay. Be careful not to overbake them.
Note: if you choose a different cookie cutter, either smaller or bigger, or even of a different shape than the one indicated, the baking times will change. For example, I baked the small cookie letters for 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on your cookies while baking so you avoid any surprises.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to stand for 2 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Allow them to cool completely before you transfer them to a cookie tin.
They'll keep for 1 week, at room temperature, in a tightly closed cookie tin.








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26 comments:

  1. Just stumbled upon your site...I love it! Congrats on 3 years. The cookies look perfectly pillowy and delicious.

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    1. Thank you very much! Welcome to my blog :)

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  2. Congrats on your anniversary!!.........Abrazotes, Marcela

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  3. Congrats! We wish you the best for the (many) years to come :)

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  4. congrats! Love your blog, keep up the good work :)

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  5. Congratulations! Enjoyed the posts and your flawless recipes as well as beautiful pictures!

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  6. Happy 3d year! Hoping there are many more to come.

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  7. Congratulations and happy birthday to MLEK! I really have enjoyed every post - and look forward to many more. And, by the way, these shortbread cookies are perfectly timed for a cookie bake I need to do for work. ~ David

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  8. congratulations! love your blog so much!

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  9. Happy Anniversary, Magda! :) I love your blog! I saw these on Instagram the other day and thought you were trying to put together the name of your blog ;-)
    Yuliya.

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  10. Happy 3 years!! I'm loving these photos :)

    Sues

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  11. Thank you all so much. You're very sweet!

    Yuliya — you guessed right ;)

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  12. three years is big! congratulations! :) and these cookies look just divine!

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  13. Congratulations Magda for your 3rd anniversary!Very beautiful cookie pictures as always, they look delicious!! wishing you many more successful years of blogging! XOXO

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  14. Well done Magda. Your cookies look wonderful. would be good to try and bake them for X mas.

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  15. Congratulations dear Magda! I'm so pleased you started blogging and hope you will continue for a long time. Love your adorable cookies - all that's missing is some candles!

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  16. Happy Anniversary! The cookies look great. I'll take the chocolate. (of course!)

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  17. Huge congratulations Magda! i absolutely adore your blog and find it a constant source of inspiration!! Your cookies look absolutely divine - I hope you enjoyed them with a glass of something special to celebrate your three years!

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  18. happy three years to you Magda with love from Rome

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  19. Thank you all so much for your wishes. They mean a lot to me!!

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  20. Happy anny! Keep up the great work!

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  21. Magda! Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary. I love your cookie letters - so cute!
    xo
    e

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  22. I made these and they are awesome, so awesome in fact, that I made another batch a few days later. My first foray into cookies (I'm more of a muffins and milk tart kinda girl).

    I did roll them out a bit thin the first time round, and since it's summer the dough got soft very quickly. I think my butter was a bit too soft. Eventually got fed up with the cookie cutters and folded the vanilla and chocolate dough together and cut it into squares. They were even better!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there. I'm so glad you liked the cookies. They are my favorites! Great idea about gathering the dough and slicing it. I enjoy the shapes though :)

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