Make-Ahead Cookie Recipes | The Daily Dish - Part 2

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Make-Ahead Cookie Recipes

Australia: A Little “Slice” of Heaven!

4 Comments | Written on September 28, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

There really is no better way to describe Australia!  From the breathtaking architecture of Sydney Opera House to the fuzzy and adorable exotic animals, and of course, the warm and welcoming friendly people!  This country holds a special place in my heart. See for yourself!  Check out this gallery of photos on the Better Recipes Facebook page for a few highlights.


Australia is also known for its cuisine.  We are talking way beyond some Vegemite or “shrimp on the barbie!”  Australians take pride in knowing where their food comes from, how it is grown and in its preparation.  I observed this pride first hand at the Sydney Fish Market, the Adelaide Central Market and in the Barossa and Hunter Valley wine countries.  Of course, Australia is also known for its superior cuts of lamb.  This Thursday I will follow up with another article from Australia.  Stay tuned for a fool proof lamb recipe that anyone can make, and I will include wine pairing recommendations from the Australian wine regions!


While “Down Under” I also had the privilege of visiting the offices of Better Homes and Gardens Australia, where I met with the magazine’s editor, Julie Zaetta and took a tour of the facilities with Donna Hodges and Peter Zavecz.  It was fascinating to learn about popular Australian recipes as well as the hugely successful BHG television show they have down there!  It is amazing how so many of the Meredith brands are expanding all over the globe.  Even here at Better Recipes, we have fans from all over the country and the world.  It is so fantastic that we all can come together through our love of food!


I picked up a copy of the October issue of the Australian version of the magazine and was immediately drawn to an article about “slices.”  I was intrigued by the “slices” I had seen in bakery windows and local markets.  What was this mysterious “slice?”  It turns out, an Australian slice is similar to what we would call a bar cookie or “square.”  They often are made with a cookie base, thicker layer of filling and then a thin layer of chocolate or other topping on top.  When I arrived back home in the US, I just had to try and make a batch myself!  It was a bit of a challenge to convert the metric measurements, but I ended up with an authentic Australian slice!  How do you think it measures up?


Aussie Slices sold in the Central Adelaide Market.  (Check out the Caramel Chocolate ones…)


My slices made back at home!

Now you can enjoy a “slice” of Australia in your own kitchen.  You are in luck, I already translated the metric measurements!  Give it a try today!


1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened and divided
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 packages (4 ounces each) dark chocolate bars

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil, bringing the sides up and over the pan; set aside.
2.  In a mixer bowl, beat together 1 cup of the butter (2 sticks) and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar until light and creamy.  Add flour gradually and mix until blended.  Place dough into prepared pan and pat down evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside on wire rack.  Turn off oven.
3.  Place remaining 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.  Add condensed milk and honey, and stir constantly until mixture is very thick and caramel-colored, about 25 minutes.
4.  Remove from heat, add walnuts, and stir to combine.  Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then pour over baked crust.  Set aside to cool.
5.  Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and pour over caramel layer, spreading to edges.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight.
6.  Lift base up with foil and peel off foil.  Place on work surface and cut into slices or squares to serve.  Makes 24 cookies. Refrigerate, covered, any leftovers.  The cookies keep well in refrigerator.


Rosemary-Scented Lemon Curd And Mascarpone Sandwich Cookies

No Comments | Written on September 14, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Summer provides not only a plethora of zucchini in the garden, but I also always have an abundance of rosemary.  I am certainly not complaining!  Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs of all time!  Lemon and rosemary is a classic pairing, but nowadays you will see this flavor combination pop up outside of savory dishes.  I have seen rosemary in everything from cocktails to desserts, and I wanted to use this herb in a unique and creative way.  I created this cookie recipe several years back for the Better Homes and Gardens “Your Best Recipe” contest, and it remains one of my favorite cookie recipes!  It is a fresh and bright dessert perfect for summer.




1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


2/3 cup jarred lemon curd

2/3 cup mascarpone cheese

Garnish:  1-1/2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Fresh rosemary sprigs & lemon wedges (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  For cookies, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, rosemary, and lemon rind in a large mixer bowl.  Beat at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat until mixed.
  2. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, making 3-1/2 dozen. Place on ungreased cookie sheets 2 inches apart.  Flatten cookies to about 1/4-inch thickness.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or until golden on edges.  Cool 1 minute before removing to cooling rack.  Cool completely.
  3. Holding the flat side of cookies, spread half of cookies (21) with about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the lemon curd.  Spread the other flat sides of remaining cookies with about 1-1/2  teaspoons of mascarpone.  Sandwich cookies together, with one lemon side and one mascarpone side.  Dust rounded top of cookie with powdered sugar.  Chill cookies at least 1/2 hour, or overnight, if desired.  Serve cookies chilled.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  To serve, place cookies on serving plate garnished with rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired.  Makes 21 sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Marshmallow Pillows

1 Comment | Written on June 10, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Hey Better Recipes!  There was a bit of confusion in yesterday’s newsletter regarding the recipe for these cookies.  We have been inundated with requests for the secret behind the mouthwatering photo, and here it is!  Get ready for “Chocolate Marshmallow Pillows.”  Better Recipes Facebook Fan, Tammy, just made them for a graduation party and they where a huge hit.  (Thanks for the great photo, Tammy!)  Give them a try for yourself and let us know how they turn out!



1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons water

1 egg

2/3 cup chopped pecans

12 large marshmallows, cut in half


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water, egg and pecans until soft dough forms.

2. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately press marshmallow half lightly, cut side down, on top of cookie. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until marshmallows begin to soften. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in 1-quart nonstick saucepan, melt chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Add whipping cream, butter and vanilla; blend well. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.

5. Spread frosting over each cooled cookie, covering marshmallow. Let stand until frosting is set.