Category Archives: cookies

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

This delicious cookie is one of those special family recipes shared and enjoyed from generation to generation. I remember my grandmother making this cookie and keeping it in her special tin, bought out whenever someone would visit for coffee. I couldn’t find the recipe and then not too long ago I was able to spend some time with my Tante Hetty, who was kind enough to send me the recipe. So happy to share with you to enjoy this holiday season!

From by the bay, wishing you soft and buttery cookie food memories!


blog hazelnut cookie

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies


  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra 1 cup to coat hot cookies
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 egg , plus 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well until combined , add eggs one at a time , then vanilla. Gradually add flour and nuts and combine well. Put dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Set aside to silpat lined baking sheets. Remove dough from fridge and  shape into small half moon crescent shapes. Place back in the refrigerator another 10 minutes. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden on bottom. While hot toss gently with granulated sugar and cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Will last for about 5 days.

blog hazelnut cookie 2


Double Chocolate Rice Krispies Cookies

This is a delicious cookie – crispy on the outside, softer on the inside with a double dose of chocolate using good quality cocoa powder and chocolate chips and then two surprise ingredients. The first twist is using rice krispies which gives the cookie a light crunchy texture and then I top the cookie with coarse sea salt. I love to use Maldon sea salt. It gives a lovely subtle salty balance to the double chocolate sweetness. This sweet and salty cookie is definitely a wow!

From by the bay, wishing you sweet and salty chocolate food memories!


blog choco krisp cookie

Double Chocolate Rice Krispies Cookies

Makes 24 to 30 cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup rice krispies

coarse sea salt, for topping (optional)


Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 minute more.

In a medium bowl shiftt together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined.

Stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and rice krispies.

Roll dough by the heaping tablespoonful. Place on cookie sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each dough ball.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are just done. the cookie will set while cooling.   Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool before storing. Eat within the week.

Favorite Sugar Cookie

blog sunflowers

Inspired by one of my favorite flowers, sunflowers, I grabbed my favorite sugar cookie recipe, thank you Alton Brown, and created a sunflower cookie to serve here by the bay while entertaining! Of course this recipe could be made in any shape that inspires you. Find the right cookie cutter and colored sanding sugar and start creating!

From by the bay, wishing you yummy sunflower food memories!




blog sunflower cookies

Sugar Cookies

From the Food Network, Alton Brown

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Watch how to make this recipe
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at:

blog sunflower cookies 2

Shamrock Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

blog shamrock cookie 2

I love holidays! I’m not irish but my brother-in-law . On March 17th we all have a little bit of the irish in us. I like to make something to celebrate the holiday with the family and this shortbread recipe is perfect. The vibrant green makes you realize Spring is just a short few days away. These cookies are delicious plain but the chocolate and decorative green sugar makes the cookies more festive! Enjoy!!!

From by the bay , wishing you a very Happy and Green Saint Patrick’s Day.


blog sham shortbread 1

Shamrock Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes approximately 24 cookies, depending on size of the cookie cutter


1 cup unsalted butter, softened ( 2 sticks)
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate ( semi- sweet or bittersweet or mixed)
6 to 8 drops of green food coloring, or more if you prefer a more vibrant green cookie

To decorate

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate ( semi-sweet or bittersweet or mixed)
  • decorative coarse sugar , green

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use an electric mixer to beat together 1 cup butter, sugar and vanilla. On low speed slowly add the flour to combine. Add food coloring and mix well. If the dough is crumbly you use your hands to push together to combine. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Roll dough in one direction to keep the dough smooth. Use a floured shamrock cookie cutter. Place on non stick cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set and the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from oven and place onto wire rack to cool, about 30 minutes. To decorate , In a small microwavable bowl add the chocolate and remaining butter. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove from oven and stir briskly. Repeat process until chocolate is smooth and melted. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place on wax paper, sprinkle with decorative sugar and let dry until chocolate is set.

blog sham cookie 3

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss

There are all kind of kisses , the universal symbol of love. Every kiss, they say,  is the talk of the soul. These little bites of chocolate and bourbon are a perfect kiss for your Valentine !

From by the bay, wishing you little chocolate kiss food memories!


blog bourbon kiss


Chocolate Bourbon Kiss
Makes approximately 30 cookies

3 cups vanilla wafers
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 cup bourbon
coarse sanding sugar for rolling or granulated sugar


In a food processor, process wafers until finely ground. In a large pot over low heat melt chocolate chips stirring to help melt. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, syrup and bourbon until smooth. Add the ground wafers and pecans and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and let dry . Store in a airtight container for up to 1 week.

Double Chocolate and Toffee Cookies

Sometimes, it’s my pantry that inspires an adaption of a recipe or a new combination of tastes. This cookie was inspired while exploring my pantry. I was looking at what candy and chocolate was still lingering from Christmas. Every Christmas we receive a gift of toffee  with almonds and there was still quite a bit still left over , as well as various chocolate bars received as gifts in food baskets or left from the holiday cookie baking. I decided to bake cookies using the leftover sweets. The cookie dough recipe is a favorite of mine from Ina Garten, which results in a cookie that is soft inside but crispy on the edges. I tossed the toffee into a resealable plastic bag and smashed it with a meat tenderizer, a rolling pin would have worked just as well. I created essentially toffee rubble. Along with the toffee, I chopped up the chocolate into pieces the size of large chocolate chips. I like using bittersweet chocolate but any chocolate would work and the proportions could shift and change based on what sweet left overs you have around as long as you have 1 1/2 cups in total to add to the cookie batter. You can get creative with what you want to add, it could be dried fruit and chocolate or chopped nuts and chocolate instead of the toffee. Make this cookie your own, based on what you like to eat! Happy Baking!

From by the bay wishing you , sweet baking food memories!

blog double choco cookie

Double Chocolate and Toffee Cookies
Adapted from Ina Garten, “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” published in 2001
Makes 20 to 24 Cookies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ( 1 stick)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup toffee, chopped

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter and sugars. Use an electric mixer and beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla  and the then egg and beat in well. Add cocoa and mix well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add in the chopped chocolate and toffee and combine. Drop dough in rounded teaspoons of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. The cookie will appear soft, let cool on the pan a few minutes and it will then take shape. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.

Champagne Cookies

I was looking to make something special for New Year’s Eve and decided to adapt my German Wine Cookie recipe by using champagne in place of the wine. I cut the cookies into the shape of champagne corks and decorated them with a little edible glitz. I love the result and you will too! The recipe is super simple, so give it a try,
From by the bay wishing everyone a wonderful 2013 and a New Year filled with joyous food memories with your friends and family!

blog champ cookie 1

Ingredients For Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup fine granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup dry champagne
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour

Ingredients For  Icing

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
plus sprinkles or decorative sugar 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and champagne. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Dough will be stiff. If not sprinkle a little more flour in and mix well. Roll out dough, on well-floured pastry sheet, to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter.  I prefer to use a champagne cork cookie cutter. Bake on a non-stick cookie sheet for 10 minute, until bottoms just start to brown. Once cookies have cooled, make icing by combining above ingredients. Frost cookies and  top with decorative sugar and or sprinkles, Let icing harden on cookies by sitting on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. 

blog champ cookie 2


Concord Grape Ice Cream

blog grapes

When I start to think about fall and september will do that to you, I often remember picking Concord grapes on my grandparents weekend farm. I loved the scent and color of these deep purple grapes. Concord grapes are not easy to find.  They originated in the 1800’s in Concord Massachusetts. Today, these grapes are primarily found in New York, Massachusetts and the Pacific Northwest.  I find them briefly in the farmer’s markets or a few specialty stores. Almost every knows this grape from Concord Grape Jelly, but I have found not many people buy these grapes fresh. I think it’s the fact that the grapes are loaded with seeds, but the delicious grape flavor is worth the trouble with the seeds.


blog concord ice cream

Concord Grape Ice Cream
Makes approximately 1 1/2 quarts

2 pounds Concord Grapes, stemmed
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
pinch fine sea salt
optional: Concord Grape Jelly

Equipment: ice cream maker

Puree half the grapes in a food processor until smooth. Take a medium bowl and place over it a fine sieve, pressing the mixture into the mesh with the back of a spoon. Discard the solids remaining in the sieve. Repeat process with the remaining grapes. You should have approximately 1 1/2 cups grape juice. In a medium sauce pan place the milk, cream, sugar and salt. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolve. Pour into bowl with the grape juice and blend. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to directions and then place in an airtight container and put into the freezer to firm up for at least 3 hours. Serve plain or melt a few tablespoons of concord grape jelly in the mircowave for 30 seconds. The jelly will turn into a syrup you can then spoon over the ice cream. Serve along with peanut butter shortbread.

Peanut Butter Shortbread
Makes 36 small cookies

8 tablespoons softened unsalted butter ( 1 stick)
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1 /4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat the butter,sugar, vanilla and salt until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Place mixer on low speed and add the flour. Once combined add the peanut butter and blend well. Remove from the bowl and divide the dough into two and place onto two sheets of plastic wrap. Shape each into a log about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap into the plastic and place into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap logs and slice into 1/4 inch rounds using a serrated knife. Arrange slices onto a baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until light brown at the edges. Cool baking sheets for a minute and then transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Biscotti


With Thanksgiving over, the shift to Christmas happens immediately! We all know that it also mean’s that Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa loves himself some cookies and this one is a perfect match – big on taste and flavor. These chocolate biscotti cookies are made with almonds and dried cherries and then dipped in dark chocolate to make a delicious cookie perfect for dipping into your coffee or hot chocolate. So get your cookie trays ready because remember the the big fat man is coming……….real soon !

From by the bay, waiting to make food memories for the big fat man!

Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Biscotti

24 cookies

1 cup dried cherries

½ cup almond slivers

½ cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon shortening (Crisco)

3 eggs

1 cup fine sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups all purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 oz good quality bittersweet dark chocolate


Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl add dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix and keep to the side. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and shortening until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs one at a time until well combined. Add vanilla until blended. Add dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix well until the dough is smooth. Using a spoon and  mix in the dried cherries and almonds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Shape each half of the dough into a log approximately 2 inch high x 12 inches long.  Place the logs on to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack. Place on a cutting board and using a serrated knife slice each log on the diagonal into 12 pieces approximately 1 inch thick. Place the pieces back on to the baking sheet and bake 8-10  minutes, turn the slices to the other side and bake another 8-10  minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Fill medium pot 1/3 with water and simmer. Add to the top of the pot a glass bowl that sits on the top of the pot to create a bain du marie. Add the chocolate and melt over the simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the glass bowl. Once the chocolate is melted use an offset spatula to cover the end of each cookie. Place chocolate on approximately 1/3 of the cookie on all sides. Allow to set at room temperature on a wire rack . You may also set in the refrigerator for a ½ hour to hasten the process.  Store cookies in an air tight container.


Orange Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

blog orange cookie 2

I love to walk into my pantry and come out with an idea for cooking based on the ingredients sitting on my shelves. Some of my favorite ingredients are never out of stock – along with my staples, so it wasn’t too hard to walk into that pantry one afternoon and come out with the ingredients to make this twist on the chocolate chip cookie. I love dark chocolate so grabbed a bar off the shelf to cut up into small shards of richness. The dried cranberries will add a little sweet with a slightly tart flavor. I still have a few oranges left from the holidays and love mixing chocolate with orange rind. These were a big hit – you’ll love them! Try them this weekend.

From  by the bay wishing you the darkest chocolate chip cookies!

blog orange cookie
Orange Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 Dozen cookies

1 cup all purpose flour, plus two tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter, sugars and vanilla. Use an electric mixer and beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the egg , orange rind and juice and beat in well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add the chopped chocolate and dried cranberries and combine. Drop in rounded teaspoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on bottom. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.