I want to start somewhere – and I choose to start with cookies
I bake. I bake a lot. Often, I bake cookies. Usually, I don’t use a recipe.
Cookies are easy.
You can play around and experiment with ingredients. As long as you follow the basic cookie chemistry, and don’t over-bake, the cookies will probably turn out fine – and delicious.
Case in point, I made these cookie bars recently:
These are cookie squares with Grand Marnier, vanilla, hazelnuts, chocolate chips, and the usual flour-sugar-oil-etc. basic cookie ingredients.
I had been feeling like cookies. And I also wanted to bake something for a group of people who would be coming over to my place before an event.
I saw hazelnuts in the fridge – leftover from an arugula-hazelnut homemade sweet potato gnocchi topping – and Grand Marnier and chocolate chips in the freezer. So I got to work.
I used vanilla sugar to add extra vanilla flavour to the base. Vanilla sugar is vanilla-flavoured fine-grain sugar. It’s usually sold in small packets and can be found in the baking supplies section of many big grocery stores.
I replaced about half of the liquid in the recipe with straight-up Grand Marnier.
I wanted the baking process to be quick. So, instead of making a batch of actual cookies, I decided to make cookie squares. I put the dough into a glass tray, evened it out and pressed it down with a spoon, and baked.
The Grand Marnier flavour of the finished product was subtle. But I found it could definitely be tasted. It worked well with the vanilla, chocolate, and hazelnuts.
I may just bake with Grand Marnier again.