Happy National Cookie Day!

Celebrate National Cookie Day with a Christmasy treat from the Cookie Advent Cookbook.

Brandy Snaps from Cookie Advent

Brandy Snaps

4 Tbsp [55 g] unsalted butter

1 cup [100 g] firmly packed light brown sugar

1⁄4 cup [60 ml] light corn syrup

1⁄2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 cup [140 g] sifted all-purpose flour

1⁄2 tsp brandy


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Have ready a wooden spoon with a long, round handle for shaping the cookies.
  1. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and ginger, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugar have melted and all the ingredients are combined, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and brandy. The batter will be medium-thick.

  1. Spoon a heaping 1 tsp of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter into a circle about 3 inches [7.5 cm] in diameter. Repeat, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches [5 cm] apart. Make only four cookies at a time, because they must be hot when they are rolled.
  1. Bake in the center of the oven just until the cookies begin to firm up, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Working quickly and using a spatula, lift a cookie from the cookie sheet and wrap it in a spiral around the handle of the wooden spoon. Let cool for 20 seconds, then slide the cookie off the spoon handle onto a wire rack to cool completely. (If the cookies harden too much to remove them from the cookie sheet and shape them, return the cookie sheet to the oven for about 1 minute. They will soften again.) Repeat with the remaining batter, regreasing the cookie sheet as necessary.
  1. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20 cookies


This recipe is an extract from Cookie Advent Cookbook: With 24 festive recipes by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt

Inspired by the Cookie Advent held every December at Chronicle Books, here is a unique twist on the traditional Advent calendar. Starting on December 1 through Christmas Eve, the cover of the book invites readers to peek under an ornament flap to discover the cookie of the day—then turn the pages to find the appropriate recipe. Beginner and experienced bakers alike will enjoy these simple recipes for beautifully decorated homemade cookies counting down to December 25. With its mix of familiar and global Christmas treats and entirely new ones, this festive calendar and cookbook will create new cookie-baking traditions, bringing tidings of great family and community joy.

Cookie Advent

Recipe for the Weekend – Heartbreak Chocolate Truffle Cookies

All heartache will be forgotten with the help of Kamran Siddiqi’s Heartbreak Chocolate Truffle Cookies. 

Heartbreak Chocolate Truffle Cookies


After a heart-wrenching break-up, I found myself making these cookies on a near-daily basis for several weeks; I’d eat one a day, late in the evening, when I felt my soul at its weakest. It was the only way I could get the strong fix of chocolate I needed to mend my aching heart.

Chocolate, friendship, and laughter are crucial to mending a broken heart, so make sure to have a couple of these, your best friends on speed dial, and a funny book by your side. And if all else fails, eat cookies and watch videos of cute kittens and puppies on YouTube; all will be well, my dear reader. I promise!


½ cup/115 g unsalted butter, cut into ½-in/12-mm cubes

5 oz/140 g dark chocolate (minimum 64 percent cacao), roughly chopped

⅔ cup/80 g whole-wheat pastry flour

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp fine-grain sea salt

¾ cup/150 g packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups/340 g chocolate chips or 2 ¾ cups/ 350 g shelled unsalted dry-roasted pistachios, or a mixture


  • Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


  • In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt together the butter and dark choco­late. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.


  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.


  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. On low speed, beat in the melted butter and chocolate. Turn off the mixer and stir in the flour-cocoa mixture until just combined. Then stir in the chocolate chips.


  • Drop 3-Tbsp portions of dough onto the pre­pared baking sheet about 3 in/7.5 cm apart.


  • Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking, until the cookies are crackly and the centers are still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, or until it is cool to the touch. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool a bit before eating. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.



During my entire mending period, I never really intended on sharing these cookies (they were for me, after all) with a large crowd of folks, so I found myself, more often than not, baking a couple of these cookies at a time and storing the rest of the cookie dough as per these instructions: Unless you absolutely want to bake a few dozen cookies in a day, store extra cookie dough in the freezer. First portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place the sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is fi rm. Transfer the portioned-out dough to freezer-safe re-sealable bags marked with the kind of cookie dough and the date. Most cookie doughs freeze safely for up to 6 months

Copyright © 2014 by Kamran Siddiqi.

Hand Made Baking

National Chocolate Chip day!

Today is National Chocolate Chip day!

We thought the BEST way to celebrate this was with some delicious, soft chocolate chip cookies from the Chocolate Chip Cookie’s book from chroniclebooks!


Bread flour, with its high gluten content, gives the cookie its soft bite, and an extra egg yolk helps bind the dough. It has a high percentage of brown sugar to white sugar, resulting in a deeper, more caramelized flavour.

Makes about 27 cookies

1¼ cups/155 g unbleached bread flour

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup/115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup/50 g granulated sugar

¾ cup plus 1 tbsp/160 g packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

¾ cup/125 g semisweet chocolate chips

¾ cup/85 g chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Adjust the racks so they divide the oven into thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth and well blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix until completely combined. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until completely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping the bowl if necessary to incorporate the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and mix on low speed until evenly distributed. The dough should be smooth, dense, and somewhat pliable. (This dough benefits from resting in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours before baking.)

Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon measure, drop well-rounded balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 in/5 cm apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time, just until the edges turn golden.

When cool enough to handle, transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will keep for 2 to 3 days.

Photographs copyright © 2013 by Antonis Achilleos