Figgy Toffee Cookies

Kristine Hinterkopf Photographer Figgy Toffee Cookie

It’s full on cookie season and I, for one, am digging it. I mean who doesn’t love cookies?? And the holidays are the perfect excuse to bust out in the kitchen and bake allllllll of the cookies. Seriously, no one will judge you this time of year if you decide to bake like 100 or 200 cookies. In December, that’s a totally reasonable thing to do.

I’m on a bit of a cookie kick right now and have been working on a couple awesome recipes to share with you guys. First up are these Figgy Toffee Cookies. Made with dark muscovado sugar, dried figs, and crushed up bits of toffee (either store bought or homemade….totally your call) – they are the perfect holiday cookie. These ingredients play beautifully off each other with the  sweet, jammy figs complementing the subtle smokiness of the toffee and muscovado sugar. If you can’t find dark muscovado sugar, you can use dark brown sugar instead (if you do that – increase the molasses from 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon) but I highly recommend seeking out the muscovado sugar. It makes a big difference!

Hope you guys are getting your cookie on…..and, if you are, I hope you’ll add these to your rotation!

Kristine Hinterkopf Photographer Fig Toffee Cookie

Figgy Toffee Cookies
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into one-inch pieces
1 ¼ cups dark muscovado sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons unsulphured molasses
½  teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup coarsely chopped toffee (you’ll want to use plain toffee aka one that’s not covered in chocolate)
1 cup stemmed and coarsely chopped California Dried Figs (such as Sun-Maid Mission Figs)

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it smells nutty and fragrant and is a light brown color. Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and set aside to let cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt.

When the browned butter is cool, add in both sugars and beat at medium-speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then add in the eggs and egg yolk and continue beating for another 3 – 5 minutes. Add in the espresso powder, vanilla, and molasses and mix until just incorporated.

Decrease the mixer speed to low and add in the dry ingredients.  Mix only until the flour is partially combined and then add in the figs and toffee and mix until the dough just comes together.

Using a cookie scoop or 2 spoons, take roughly 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.  Place on your prepared baking sheet and then gently flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. Continue this process with the rest of the dough.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.  Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Almond Financiers

Gluten Free Financier

I usually try to keep things pretty light and not too crazy personal around here, but sometimes there are things going on in my life that end up seeping into my baking/blogging world. And this is definitely one of those things…….for the past couple of years I’ve been dealing with some stomach problems and this summer it finally got bad enough that I decided to go see a doctor and really figure out what was going on. At first, they thought I might have Celiac Disease…..which was definitely not what I was expecting or wanting to hear (all I kept thinking about was baking and how everything would have to change). Thankfully, that turned out not to be the case. But what they did discover was almost as surprising (mostly cause I had no idea this was even a thing)……turns out barley and me don’t get along so well. I guess the technical term is “allergic” or “intolerant” but the general gist is I can’t eat a lot of barley.

When they first told me, my mind immediately went to beer. Which I love……like capital L-O-V-E love. While I was wrapping my brain around having to give up beer (and trying to figure out what I was going to do with all my cellar beers), I googled “barley allergy” and discovered barley is in a ridiculous amount of things. We’re talking bourbon, malt, and, worst of all, most of the flour blends on the market. I’m not going to lie – giving up beer was tough, but the hardest adjustment by far has been the flour.

It turns out the all-purpose flour I previously used contained barley. It took me a while to find a blend that was 100% wheat, but I finally found one from Bob’s Red Mill and I cannot properly express how grateful I am to them for making this flour. It has totally saved me….and my baking. (And FYI they also have an Almond Flour that I used to make these financiers). I still have to be careful eating anything with flour that I don’t make myself, but having an option for my home kitchen is seriously amazing.

So what does this mean for you guys? Well, it means you’ll probably start seeing some more recipes that use non-traditional flours like whole-wheat pastry flour or rye flour on here and you might even see some gluten-free recipes pop up…..like these Gluten-Free Almond Financiers. Most of what I post will still use all-purpose flour, but this is a great excuse for me to start getting creative in the kitchen and I’m all for it!

These financiers were a staple menu item when I used to sell retail and were always one of my favorites. Don’t let the fact that they’re gluten-free scare you off. The recipe contains very little flour, so you won’t even notice – I promise! These crazy delicious, buttery little almond cakes are not too sweet and I’ve been known to eat them for breakfast. Top them with some sugared cranberries and rosemary like I did in the pictures and they even make the perfect holiday treat!

GF Almond Financier

Gluten-Free Almond Financiers
Makes 24 financiers

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons white rice flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup slivered almonds
¾ cup almond meal
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Raspberries, blueberries, or cranberries (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a mini-muffin pan with butter.

Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, until it smells nutty and fragrant and is a light brown color.  Pour the browned butter into a small bowl (making sure to scrape in all those tasty browned bits….that’s what gives the financiers their amazing flavor) and set aside to cool completely.

In a food processor, combine the granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar, rice flour, salt, slivered almonds, and almond meal.  Process until the almonds are finely ground.

With the food processor running, slowly add in the egg whites.  Then turn off mixer and add in the browned butter. Pulse until the butter is completely incorporated into the batter.

Evenly distribute the batter between each muffin cup.  If desired, gently press the fruit of your choice onto the top of each financier.

Bake for 16 – 19 minutes or until the financiers are lightly golden brown. Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking.  Cool the financiers in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and let cool completely on wire rack.