Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

I have a book. A French Bakery book.

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I’d like to hug it all the time.

I have a visual obsession with it!

My mom and uncle gave me the book À la mère de famille and since then I’ve wanted to taste all those beautiful sweets!

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Everything looks so elegant and delicate that I’ve been afraid of making a recipe but finally, I decided for this one just because I’m in love with the combination of colors!

The result was astonishing! I haven’t made a cookie like this before. The powdered sugar played an important roll in the delicateness of texture and the taste is incredibly good.

Make yourself a treat for New Year’s Eve and see how everybody will fall in love with these fantastic cookies!

Happy New Year!

I will take some days off to enjoy my family, so talk to you in a couple of weeks!

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Chocolate Pistachio Cookies: 50 cookies (4cm diameter)

Recipe from Julien Merceron

  • 220g butter
  • 80g powdered sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 30g cacao powder
  • 280g all-purpose flour
  • 70g pistachios

 

  • Cream butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer.
  • Add the egg until combined.
  • Mix in flour and cacao powder.
  • Fold pistachios with the help of a spatula.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for one hour.
  • Preheat oven at 190ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the dough to 0.5mm thick in a lightly floured surface and cut the cookies.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Let cool and store them in an air proof container.

 

Serving: 1 cookie

Calories: 69

Total Fat (g): 4.4

Carbohydrates (g): 6.4

Protein (g): 1.1

Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Fudge

This is how I want my year to end.

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And begin!

This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve made. They are fancy, bright and festive. Not to mention their flavor! They have a coconut taste and they’re sweetened with white chocolate. And the tart touch given by the dried cranberries is to die for!

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This frozen fudge is too easy to not give it a try!

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Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Fudge: 48 fudge squares 2cm x 2cm

Recipe inspired on Almond Coconut Frozen Fudge

  • 380g peanut butter
  • 180g white chocolate
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 40g dried cranberries

 

  • Grind peanut butter, white chocolate and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth or melt all ingredients in a saucepan at low temperature in the stove.
  • Cut cranberries in small pieces.
  • Line a baking pan (mine was the usual 10cm x 20cm) with parchment paper.
  • Pour peanut butter mixture in the lined baking pan and sprinkle the cranberries on the top.
  • Put the baking pan in the fridge for one night (or at least 3 hours. Check if it is hard enough to cut it with a knife).
  • Take the fudge out of the mold and cut the squares at your preferred size.
  • Keep the fudge in the fridge until serving.

 

Serving: 1 fudge square

Calories: 79

Total Fat (g): 6.3

Carbohydrates (g): 4.5

Protein (g): 2.2

My First Gingerbread Man Cookies

I’ve never baked or tasted these cookies before… And I love ginger!

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What a waste of time!

This situation couldn’t keep going, so I decided to make Kristin’s recipe from The Pastry Affair because I’ve been reading her blog forever and it was about time to make one of her recipes.

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I loved these cookies so much that I won’t wait till next Christmas to bake them again! They go great with coffee, so I’m thinking to have them in my storeroom permanently for breakfast… But maybe with a different cookie cutter :)

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

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Gingerbread Man Cookies: 30 cookies (my cookie cutter is 6cm x 5cm)

Half of recipe from The Pastry Affair

  • 57g butter
  • 32g dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1 small egg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 188g all-purpose flour
  • Mix butter and sugar in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy.
  • Add molasses, the egg, spices and salt.
  • Add flour slowly until well combined.
  • Refrigerate dough for one hour wrapped in plastic wrap.
  • Preheat oven at 175ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the dough to 0.5mm thick in a lightly floured surface and cut the cookies.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes (as mine were small, 8 minutes were enough).
  • Let cool and store them in an air proof container.

Serving: 1 cookie

Calories: 54

Total Fat (g): 1.7

Carbohydrates (g): 8.4

Protein (g): 0.8

Turrón (my own way)

I love Spanish traditional Christmas sweets. Polvorones and turrones have been my weakness during the past three years.

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However, I wanted to try to make my own turrón this year since I’m no longer living in Madrid.

I’ve been reading a lot of recipes but they all have a lot of sugar. As my stomach has been getting upset after I eat too much sugar, I decided to make my own turrón recipe even though it didn’t taste the same as the traditional one.

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The result was a turrón with the looks of the Jijona kind but the flavor was similar to Guirlache’s.

I like that this is a dessert that you can put in the Christmas table and people serve themselves during the after-dinner. In my family, we use to eat turrones after dessert!

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Enjoy!

Turrón (my own way): 1 turrón of 26cm x 8cm

  • 450g roasted almonds
  • 100g honey

 

  • Grind the roasted almonds in the food processor until they are about to transform in butter. It is nice to have bigger pieces of almonds so it can be uneven. If it is a little buttery, it’s ok too (see picture below).

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  • Add honey and mix in the food processor until well combined.
  • Line a pan (I used a rectangular one of 26cmx8cm) with parchment paper and leave some extra paper on the sides in order to be able to pull out the turrón later.
  • Put a thin layer of almonds (about one third) in the lined pan and press it with your fingers or the back of a spoon to compact the mixture.
  • Add another layer and repeat procedure until the mixture is over. It should feel very solid.
  • Put in the fridge for one or two days.
  • Get the turrón out of the mold and when you are ready to serve, cut portions with a serrated knife.

 

Serving: per 50g

Calories: 264

Total Fat (g): 20.7

Carbohydrates (g): 15.6

Protein (g): 8.7

Chocolate Pancakes

Everyone is preparing the huge Christmas dinner, right?

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Menu planning, grocery shopping, decorating dinner table, selecting your outfit, cooking… And what about Christmas breakfast?

It’s exhausting but fun!

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These pancakes are the perfect option for chocolate lovers…

Guess which was my pancake topping? Again PB and banana! My favorite!

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Chocolate Pancakes: 7 pancakes of 13 cm diameter

  • 210g low fat milk
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 65g all-purpose flour
  • 65g whole grain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 100g low fat greek yogurt (0% fromage blanc in Luxembourg)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (first time cooking with this and loved it!)
  • Extra butter for cooking.

 

  • Melt chocolate with milk in a sauce pan at low temperature. Set aside.
  • Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, cacao powder and salt.
  • Combine the rest of ingredients in a small bowl until the mixture looks even.
  • Add chocolate to wet ingredients and mix.
  • Pour wet ingredients over the dry ones and mix them with the help of a spatula. The mixture will be thick.
  • Set a grill pan at medium temperature and rub a little bit of butter.
  • Add mixture enough to form a layer in the grill pan (use the back of a spoon for spreading the mixture if it’s necessary).
  • Cook for about 2 minutes (the appearance of air bubbles will tell when it’s ready).
  • Flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden for about 2 minutes.
  • Remove.
  • When pancakes are done, serve!

Serving: 1 pancake

Calories: 264

Total Fat (g): 11.8

Carbohydrates (g): 37.5

Protein (g): 6.3

 

Pan de Jamón. This is how Venezuelan Christmas tastes like!

This is my favorite seasonal treat. I could live out of this the whole Christmas season!

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As many of the Venezuelan traditional dishes, this bread has the perfect sweet and savory balance. The combination of hams, bacon and olives with raisins and the lightly sweet bread is… Perfection!

In Venezuela we start looking in November for the bakery with the best pan de jamón to stick to it until the end of the season, but the truth is that it is always better if it’s homemade because you can load the bread with good quality ingredients for the filling.

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If you’re looking to try something different for the holidays this is the perfect option! I’m sure your audience will be astonished!

This is my dad’s recipe. We hope you enjoy it!

Pan de Jamón: 2 breads (this is a long recipe, the dough must rest in the fridge for 12 hours)

For bread:

  • 76g water
  • 165g eggs
  • 95g sugar
  • 4g active dry yeast
  • 472g high gluten flour (you can use spelt flour or wheat flour T65)
  • 7g fine salt
  • 165g butter, room temperature

For filling:

  • 750g pressed ham
  • 100g parma ham
  • 150g bacon
  • 60g green olives, pitted (approximately)
  • 250g raisins (approximately)
  • Sweet wine such as Marsala, Moscatel or Porto to soak the raisins
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • Set the dough hook in your stand mixer.
  • Whisk lightly water, eggs, sugar and yeast in the stand mixer’s bowl.
  • Add flour and salt and mix 4 minutes at the lowest speed.
  • Set the mixer in the next higher speed and mix for 2 minutes.
  • Add butter and mix 1 minute at the lowest speed.
  • Set the mixer in the next higher speed and mix for 5 minutes.
  • Grease two bowls.
  • Split dough in 2 equal parts (500g each) and put each one of them in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap.
  • Put them in the fridge for 12 hours.
  • Soak raisins in the wine.
  • Rinse olives and let them dry over a paper towel.

The following are the instructions for one of the breads. Remember to split in two equal parts all the filling ingredients…

  • Flour the surface your going to use to roll the dough.
  • Roll the dough forming a rectangle (40x35cm approximately).
  • Line olives one beside the other in one of the larger sides.
  • Put the bacon strips perpendicularly to the olives leaving about 2cm between them and other 2cm in the larger side of dough which is free of olives. (I’m sorry about the quality of the how-to photos, but I thought they could help understand the procedure).

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  • Place the slices of pressed ham and parma ham overlapping them but always leaving 2cm of dough free of any filling ingredient in one of the large sides.
  • Spread the raisins on top of the hams.

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  • Paint the 2cm free of ingredients with egg yolk with the help of a brush.
  • Roll tight starting from the olives side.
  • If something comes out during the rolling process, put it again inside the bread and close the sides.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Put the bread in the lined tray keeping the closing side against the parchment paper.
  • Make the other bread.
  • Cover them with plastic rap and set aside for one hour.
  • Preheat oven at 180ºC. Watch your oven! I used mine in convection 170ºC.
  • Poke the breads with a stick until the bottom of the bread.
  • Paint the breads with egg yolks.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.

Let them cool and enjoy how Venezuelan Christmas tastes like!

Serving: 100 gr

Calories: 334

Total Fat (g): 16.9

Carbohydrates (g): 28.1

Protein (g): 16.6

Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Today I had my last French conversation class of the year. Actually, I don’t think I’ve told you I’m in French classes, but I am! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I joined the American Women Club in Luxembourg a month ago and it has been great! They offer a lot of activities and I have been dusting off the French I learned when I was a teenager while having a good time with other foreigners in Luxembourg.

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We had a little celebration and I found out that there are a lot of great bakers in the group! We enjoyed a great diversity of treats drinking Crémant and speaking French more fluent than usual… It’s all about motivation, right?

These thumbprint cookies are perfect for the season. They look wonderful and I made them healthy to stay away from scale-trouble after the holidays!

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies (Grain Free): 22 cookies

  • 100g almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 185g peanut butter
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60ml marmalade of your choice (approximately)

 

  • Preheat oven at 190ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Mix almond flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
  • Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract in other bowl.
  • Pour wet mixture into the dry mix and stir until everything is well combined.
  • Form balls with one tablespoon of dough.
  • Press each ball with your thumb to make a hole.

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  • Add the marmalade with a teaspoon in each hole.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

Serving: 1 cookie

Calories: 96

Total Fat (g): 7.0

Carbohydrates (g): 6.4

Protein (g): 3.5