Cookies are joy bundled in a bite! I hardly know of anyone who dislikes cookies. They are pretty much bite sized and very personal. They could be crispy, crunchy, soft or chewy. They can be of variety of shapes, sizes, texture and flavour creating a plethora of possibilities! Essentially cookies are like cakes except with less moisture content, smaller size and hence less baking time.
Cookies can be made in different shapes and sizes and shape is what essentially determines how they are made up. Here is the classification based on that :
- Rolled Cookies
These cookies are made from stiff dough. The dough is rolled out and cut into different shapes with the cookies cutters. They are sometimes decorated with royal icing to mark a special occasion.
- Dropped Cookies
These are the most common ones. The dough is soft and generally they are dropped on to the baking sheets with either a spoon or scoop. They may have pieces of nuts, chips or dried fruit and have a rough home made look. And this is what makes them artisanal and appealing.
- Moulded Cookies
These are the cookies that are made either by pressing the dough into a mould eg. christmas shapes, shaping them with hand like the crescent shape, stamping a design onto them or simply pressing them with a fork.
- Piped Cookies
Piped cookies are generally melt in mouth, light and crumbly cookies that are made with really soft dough. The dough is so soft that it is filled in icing bags that are fitted with the desired nozzle and then piped on to the baking tray in desired shapes. Spritz cookies is a good example of this type.
- Icebox Cookies
These are the best type of cookies when you wish to bake fresh cookies every single time. The dough is pre-made and stored in the refrigerator. Pinwheel and checkerboard cookies are good examples of this type of cookies.
- Bar Cookies
The dough is shaped like a cylinder and baked and then cut into bars or strips. Biscotti is a bar cookie.
- Stencilled Cookies
Some times special stencils are used to shape the cookies. The dough is very soft almost like a batter. Tuiles are good examples of stencil cookies. They are mainly used for decorative or garnish purpose.
I am sharing here a recipe for piped almond cookies. I have used a star nozzle and piped them into circles and fingers. They are absolutely light and buttery. I have also dipped them half way into melted dark chocolate. Here you go :
- Flour – 175 g
- Almond Flour – 75 g
- Butter – 125 g
- Caster Sugar – 100 g
- Egg Yolk – 1
- Almond Essence – 1/2 tsp
- Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
- Milk – 2-3 tbsp
- Dark Chocolate for dipping
- Whip butter, sugar and essences till light and fluffy. Add the yolk and whip to incorporate.
- Mix together both the flours and alternately fold into the butter sugar mixture with the milk. The quantity of the milk should be such that the batter is soft enough to be able to pipe. Adjust the milk accordingly.
- Spoon the mixture into an icing bag fitted with a star nozzle. On a baking tray pipe circles of the batter keeping an inch of a distance.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 10-12 minutes or till golden in colour. Cool on wire racks.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl on double boiler. Dip the cooled cookies half way through in the melted chocolate. Leave on a baking paper till the chocolate is set.
You can pipe the cookies in any shapes like rosettes or fingers. A part of the flour can be replaced by cocoa powder to get chocolate circles. In this case dip the cookies in melted white chocolate to get the contrast in colour. Make sure that the dough is soft enough to be passed through the nozzle. Almond flour adds a great flavour to the cookies and also makes it healthier. The all purpose flour can be partly or completely replaced by whole wheat flour. An extra table spoon of milk or an extra yolk might be required to make the batter softer. Also texture of the cookie will be less crumbly and tougher.
Cookies are great to eat with a cup of milk or coffee. And they are good for gifting. So bake away and gift away!!!!