Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I was under de facto house arrest for a large portion of my winter break, so I took the opportunity to explore some new Christmas cookie recipes. My Mom made her usual assortment: Pinwheels, Nutella Stars, Sandtart Trees, Thumbprints, Russian Tea Cakes and Rugulach (unfortunately I don’t have her recipes, but if I get them, there will be some follow-up here). I made these:

These are probably my new favorite: Coffee-Spice Shortbread

If you don’t have a tart pan, you can also use a cake pan with removable sides. You just want to be able to get to the shortbread without making a mess of it.

These are delicious and gorgeous, but kind of difficult: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels

A few tips:
Make sure you crush the living daylights out of the peppermints or candy canes. Any large pieces will make it REALLY difficult to make slices of the roll.
The chocolate dough is hard to work with, but delicious. Just tough it out.
These cookies don’t expand very much, so if any of them look less than perfect when you cut them (as many probably will) squish them back together before you bake them. They’ll look pretty much exactly the same when you take them out as when you put them in.
The peppermint melts, so you’ll want to take measures to still be able to get them off the pan.

I also used red and green M&Ms in my usual chocolate chip cookies:

If I were to do it again, I would put in a little extra flour and use parchment paper or something. They spread a little too much, making the M&Ms bleed and stick. Still delicious, though!


October 17, 2009

Banana cookies

Filed under: Baked items, Dessert — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 4:42 pm

In an attempt to use up two bunches of blackening bananas, I made a recipe I’d found on Simply Recipes, adapted for my starter (read: no spices) kitchen and my preferences. These come out as very soft, cakey cookies – almost spongey, in fact, even after cooling.


120g butter, room temperature (I used salted; if you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt when you add the flour)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (I used three bananas, which was a heaping cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
Scant cup chopped white chocolate chunks

1) Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (or 350F)

2) Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and keep beating until creamy.

3) Add baking soda to mashed bananas and let stand a minute or two (this apparently helps give the cookies their lightness)

4) Mix banana mixture into butter mixture. I did mix it pretty thoroughly using a mixture to get rid of any latent banana chunks and to beat in air.

5) Sift flour into banana-butter mixture and stir until just combined.

6) Fold in chocolate chunks.

7) Drop onto a greased baking sheet. I used a tablespoon measure. They do spread a fair bit so take that into account. Bake for 11 – 14 minutes until ligtly golden brown. Let sit for a minute or so to firm up, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

September 10, 2008

Small Batch Baking

Filed under: Dessert, Healthy — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 5:57 am

Every time I feel like trying out a dessert recipe, im struck with the same old notion : it’ll probably go to waste! Coming from a family of fairly health conscious eaters (Im sure most of us are these days…..although i have a very very demanding sweet tooth), and one thats not very large, my sweets often get comfortable in a little corner in the fridge, only touched once in a while, when someone gets that intense sugar craving or if friends come to visit. As a result of this, i went in search of a recipe that produced a small quantity of my all time favourite snack : a crispy, granola inspired cookie. I baked them yesterday and I’m proud to say they are hardly any left, probably because there were only about 10 cookies to begin with!

This recipe was originally for chocolate chip cookies but i substitued the chips for oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, cashews and almonds! You can use anything really.. all that matters is that you get the basic dough right.

2 tbsp + 2 tsp butter (room temp)

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp egg (well beaten)

1/4 tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour

scant 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup chocolate chips or A handful each of oats, sunflower seeds, dessicated coconut, chopped almonds and chopped cashews

1. Cream the butter and sugar.

2. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

3. Stir in the dry ingredients.

4. On a greased cookie sheet, place balls of dough (size according to your prefference) and press them slightly so they flatten. Be sure to leave some space between each ball as the cookies expand as they bake.

5. Bake at 190 degrees celcius for about 8-11 minutes.


July 6, 2008

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: Dessert — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 2:26 pm

Based on a recipe from 500 Fabulous Cakes and Bakes and a lot easier to make if you have an electric handwhisk. Adding the banana obviously makes it more healthy, and thus more acceptable to society. It makes 24 cookies if you make the dollops fairly small.

115g/ 4oz/ 1/2 Cup of butter
45g/ 1 3/4 oz/ 1/4 cup caster sugar (for a popcorny taste use icing sugar)
100g/ 3 3/4 oz/ 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
175g/ 6oz/ 1 1/2 cups plain flour
2.5ml/ 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5ml/ 1/4 tsp salt
175g/ 6oz/1 cup chocolate chips (or as many as you want, really)
1-2 Bananas depending on how much you like the taste of banana

1) Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 4. Grease baking sheets as you run out of room for separate cookies. Cream the butter and all the sugar until light and fluffy.

2) In another bowl, mix the egg and the vanilla essence, then gradually beat into the butter mixture. Sift over the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and stir.

3) Mash up some bananas with an electric handwhisk. If you do not have acess to such a thing use a potato masher or a fork. Pour the mashed up bananas into the rest of the mixture and combine thoroughly. Add chocolate chips as desired. The resulting mixture should be gloopy, but smooth.

4) Place heaped teaspoons of the dough onto the greased baking trays. Ensure they are not too close together otherwise they will form one giant cookie, which, surprisingly, has its downsides. Bake in the oven until lightly coloured for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack too cool.


March 27, 2008

Presidential Cookies

Filed under: comfort food, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 4:18 pm

Yankee Magazine had a very interesting cooking section in their December 2007 issue.  They asked all the American presidential candidates for their favorite cookie recipe and had a bake-off.  It didn’t turn out to be an accurate predicter of the race (Bill Richardson’s recipe won), but it is a fun place to find cookie recipes.  I’ve tried Hillary Clinton’s recipe modified slightly, and the cookies were delicious!

Here’s the link to the online version with recipes from all the candidates:

Hillary Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening (I use an equal amount of unsalted butter warmed to room temperature)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (when we’re out of vanilla, we substitute 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg for an equally tasty, but spicier cookie)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I add the oats at the end, and add as many oats as the dough will support, usually slightly over 2 cups)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or 2 regular size chocolate bars of your choice, roughly chopped.  I used one with toffee bits, and the cookies were lovely)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Rub a bit of butter on the baking sheet.  Usually the amount that sticks on the wrapper is enough. Cream together shortening, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in rolled oats and then chocolate chips. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


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