Browsing Tag

cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

December 5, 2011
Now that we have officially entered the month of December, I feel like I can post cookie recipes nonstop without shame. Growing up, cookie baking was a huge deal in my house during the weeks leading up to Christmas. My mom and I would scour our favorite cookbooks looking for the perfect combination of recipes. Once said recipes were chosen, we spent an entire day baking and making a mess. Usually I would bake and my mom would clean. Quite the system if I say so myself. 
Although our cookie baking has scaled down slightly in the past few years, there is still nothing I love more at Christmastime than baking. Partly because it’s tradition and partly because it’s delicious!
These cookies are a new addition to the holiday cookie collection I’ve spent years cultivating. I’ll be sharing a few of our families favorites in the weeks to come, but it’s kinda fun starting with something new. Chewy and brownie-like, these cookies are perfect for the real chocolate-lovers out there. They are unbelievably easy to pull together and stack well, which is important if you’re planning on shipping off cookies to loved ones across the country. 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Recipe from Chow.com 
Ingredients
*4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
*1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
*2 cup granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*4 large eggs
*1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
*Place the chocolate and oil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
*Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir together until well combined. Set aside.
*Place the sugar and the chocolate-oil mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until well combined. Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mixture will be soft. 
*On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Refrigerate dough for at least two hours or overnight. 
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough into parchment-lined baking sheets or baking sheets lined with a silicone baking mats. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Flatten balls slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes (10 for chewier cookies and 13 for cookies with a crispier edge). Cool slightly on the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. 
Happy Baking!
Madison

Toasted Pecan Shortbread

November 28, 2011

Nothing like getting a jump on December cooking making, right? I was sitting on the couch with some of my cookbooks last week when I stumbled upon a shortbread recipe in Gourmet Today. There wasn’t anything different about the recipe. In fact, it was pretty simple. Straightforward and to the point is how I like my recipes.

What really got me hooked on the idea of making this shortbread was the idea that it could be a blank canvas for almost any holiday flavor my heart desired. So instead of leaving it plain, as the recipe suggested, I tossed some chopped pecans with ground cinnamon and salt for a little play on the sweet and salty.

When this cookie first came out of the oven, before I cut it into wedges, Joey was quite skeptical. However, after serving one up with a glass of milk, he was a believer. Upon first bite, he demanded they make an appearance on the blog as well as at family Christmas.

Toasted Pecan Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Today

Ingredients
*1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 stick unsalted butter, softened
*1/3 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
*In a small bowl combine the pecans, cinnamon and salt. Toss together to coat. Spread nuts on an ungreased baking pan and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until pecans are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from oven to cool.
*Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Add in the flour and worth together with your hands until evenly incorporated. Mixture will be slightly crumbly. Transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet and press mixture into a disc about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Spread the toasted nut mixture atop the dough and press lightly with your hands to get the nuts to adhere to the dough.
*Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and the dough is puffed up. Cool on wire rack. Cut cooled cookie into wedges to serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Happy Baking!
Madison

Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies

November 3, 2011

Is it just me, or has it been too long since I posted a new cookie recipe? Truth be told, most baking and elaborate cooking endeavors have taken a back seat to other, more pressing maters. Between filming and traveling for “Hey, Can You Cook?! All-Stars”, keeping up with work responsibilities, traveling to catch football games and meeting our new little nephew, and spending a little bit of time Joe, too, time has been short.

But I know that despite the craziness that has been the last month, there are a lot of wonderful things going on right now. I feel blessed to be where I am, surrounded by my amazing support system, and energized by the new experiences that are pushing me way out of my comfort zone.

As we enter into November, the month of thanks, I hope you will all consider taking time out of every day to reflect on something you are thankful for. If you’re on Twitter, take a cue from Tina’s post over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake and take part in Tweeting what you are thankful for with the hash tag #bethankfulchallenge. It’s a great way to see what others are thankful for and get you in the right frame of mind amid the craziness of the day-to-day.

Right now, I’m thankful to be home. And for these cookies. Because they are super tasty, chewy and perfect for keeping warm as the weather gets cooler.

Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 large egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup peanut butter chips
*1/2 cup toffee bits (Heath Bar bits)

Instructions
*Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

*Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside. 
*In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
*Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt and creamy peanut butter. Continue creaming the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump-free, about 1 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
*Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
*On low speed, add the sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the peanut butter chips and toffee bits and stir in.
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, 2-inches apart. Flatten slightly with your hand. Bake, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking, for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment off the baking sheets onto a work surface. Cool the baking sheets between batches. Allow the cookies to cool for at least five minutes before serving.
Happy Baking!

Madison

The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

August 19, 2011

I don’t like to over-promise on a recipe, and I’m not fond of people who exaggerate. This post title claims that this is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. And it’s neither an over-promise nor an exaggeration. This is the real-deal, the most amazing cookie I’ve ever made, and a big hit in our house.

I’ve owned a copy of Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard for almost a year now. It’s a beautiful book filled with tantalizing recipes. Unfortunately, I have an endless stack of cookbooks that I have yet to dig into, this being one of them. That is, until last week. I was in a major baking mood last week, so when the hankering for a chocolate chip cookie hit me I went ruffling through my cookbooks in search of a new recipe.

Desserts By The Yard did not disappoint, my friends. Sherry is a seasoned and acclaimed pastry chef, and after trying her recipe for chocolate chip cookies I do not doubt why. They were perfect. Like seriously divine. The perfect mix of soft, chewy and dense, chock-full of chocolate and ever so slightly crispy around the edges.

I know that I’ve shared recipes for chocolate chip cookies on this site before, all of them delicious in their own right, but I think I’m done searching for that perfect recipe. Because, you see, these cookies are it.

Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour and had equally wonderful results) 
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 large egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
Instructions
*Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
*Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside. 
*In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
*Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar and salt. Continue creaming the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump-free, about 1 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. 
*Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
*On low speed, add the sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate and mix in. 
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, 2-inches apart. Bake, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking, for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment off the baking sheets onto a work surface. Cool the baking sheets between batches. Allow the cookies to cool for at least five minutes before serving. 
Have a great weekend!
Madison

Belgian Spice Cookies

June 13, 2011
I realize that it makes absolutely no sense for me to be posting a recipe for spice cookies in June. But sometimes thinking, cooking and eating seasonally-appropriate foods is just so daunting. And sometimes you just want a hearty, soft, spice-filled cookie. 
Last week during a particularly strong heat wave I had split pea soup from Trader Joe’s, a piece of whole grain baguette and a spice cookie for dinner. It was delicious and I enjoyed it with a hefty dose of air conditioning. 
If I were a virtuous seasonal blogger, I probably would have swapped the soup for gazpacho, the baguette for tomato focaccia and the spice cookie for a shortbread cookie topped with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
I guess you can call me a rule-breaker in the blog world. At least I’ve got a whole plate of these little gems to keep me company.
Belgian Spice Cookies 
Adapted slightly from Epicurious.com 
Ingredients

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 1/4 cups brown sugar
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
*1 large egg

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
*Combine the flour, whole wheat flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
*With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in egg and beat until just combined.
*Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pressed together with your fingers.
*Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Roll dough out into 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or the mouth of a large glass.
*Transfer cookies to a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Happy Baking!

Madison

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