Maple Molasses Brownie Cake

I had a jar of Turkish grape molasses (one of several varieties of fruit molasses called pekmez) sitting on my kitchen counter, and wanted to bake something chocolatey with it. As I learned from making Martha Stewart’s chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies years ago, molasses and chocolate are a winning combination. Holiday cookie season was already … Continue reading Maple Molasses Brownie Cake

Chocolate Chip Snowballs

A couple weeks after posting a recipe for pistachio walnut snowballs, and three years after developing a┬áchocolate chestnut snowball, I came up with yet another variation on my favorite holiday cookie. Also known as Russian tea cakes and Mexican wedding cookies, snowballs are typically made from shortbread dough infused with pecans, almonds, or walnuts. After … Continue reading Chocolate Chip Snowballs

Buttermilk Custard Donuts

Hanukkah donuts (sufganiyot) are typically filled with jelly, but I prefer them with custard. I experimented with making custard using buttermilk, and the result is tangy yet sweet, almost like a rich, creamy vanilla yogurt. The donuts themselves are made with pizza dough, a tip suggested by various food blogs. The idea is to use … Continue reading Buttermilk Custard Donuts

Pistachio Walnut Snowballs

These festive shortbread cookies, also known as Russian tea cakes and Mexican wedding cookies, are rolled in powdered sugar, resembling snowballs. The rich dough is typically packed with pecans, walnuts, or almonds. My favorite recipe, from The Good Cookie, by pastry chef Tish Boyle, is delicious as is, but I couldn’t resist swapping in some … Continue reading Pistachio Walnut Snowballs

Chocolate, Pistachio, and Apricot Thumbprint Cookies

These flavorful thumbprint cookies are inspired by my 9-month-old twin sons’ favorite “dessert:” dried Turkish apricots, simmered in water, and then pureed along with almonds or other nuts. The cookie is rich and chocolatey, the apricot filling tangy, earthy, and subtly sweet. Crunchy pistachio pairs nicely, and adds vibrant color. To thin out the apricot … Continue reading Chocolate, Pistachio, and Apricot Thumbprint Cookies

Maple Pecan Brownies

The other day, I was craving brownies, but happened to come across a recipe for pecan pie bars. So I set out to make a fusion, of sorts, of the two classic American desserts. I adapted an excellent brownie recipe from Smitten Kitchen, swapping out sugar for maple syrup, adding toasted pecans, and substituting a … Continue reading Maple Pecan Brownies

Fennel Coconut Shortbread

This recipe is my latest twist on jeera biscuits, a traditional South Asian shortbread cookie studded with toasted cumin seeds. (My vegan coconut cumin cookies and cumin fennel biscotti were also inspired by the classic teatime snack.) Fennel seeds lend a warm, licorice-like flavor to these savory-sweet cookies, and shredded coconut adds a nice crunch. … Continue reading Fennel Coconut Shortbread