Browsing Tag


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 

*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

*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!


Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

May 4, 2011

Last week, while catching up on Kath’s blog, I stumbled upon fabulous baking inspiration. Although there was no recipe, Kath mentioned that she had a fabulous cookie. A Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookie, or something to that effect.

Those words planted a seed in my head that has been growing ever since. And for some inexplicable reason, I needed to make

I didn’t grow up eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I don’t ever eat it now, either. But that sweet, cinnamon-infused cereal wrapped up in a cookie seemed like heaven to me.

My friends, I don’t say this lightly. These are the best cookies I think I’ve ever made. The powdered sugar serves to give them a crisp, shortbread-like edge and the soft, chewy center is exactly what I need from a cookie. And when infused with butterscotch chips, Cinnamon toast crunch and ground cinnamon they take on a flavor that’s remarkably similar to the cereal itself, only better.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

*2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
*1 cup canola oil
*1 cup sugar
*1 cup powdered sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
*1 cup butterscotch chips
*1 1/3 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat butter and oil together until combined. Add in sugar and powdered sugar and beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
*With the mixer running at low speed, gradually add in the flour until just combined. Stir in the butterscotch chips and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal by hand.
*Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet or roll heaping tablespoons into a round ball (my preference) and place on cookie sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with your hand.
*Bake for 12 to 14 minutes (I found 13 minutes to be the lucky number) until just slightly golden around the edges. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!


Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles

April 4, 2011

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some of the wonderful weather we had here in Iowa. It still amazes me that less than a week ago there was snow on the ground and today temps got into the 70’s!

Joey, Nutmeg and I spent as much time as possible outside over the past couple days, going on long walks, runs and taking an inaugural (and probably final) trip to the dog park. I’m not sure what I expected, but none of us really thought the dog park was as much fun as we expected.

When Joe got here on Friday night, I had a plate of these cookies waiting. Growing up, my memories weren’t of chocolate chip cookies, but of warm, chewy cinnamon-spiced snickerdoodles. For me, they are the most comforting type of cookie and always make me feel at home.

Bottom line: the cookies are chewy, perfect goodness and I’ve got two cuties waiting for me to cuddle. Have a wonderful start to your week!

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles
Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook 

*1 cup butter, softened
*3/4 cup sugar
*3/4 cup brown sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup sugar
*1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

*Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
*In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Scoop dough by heaping tablespoons and form into balls. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough in cinnamon sugar and place on a baking sheet.
*Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Cool slightly on baking sheet and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking!


Chocolate Dumpster Cookies

February 28, 2011

I had to work this weekend, and although I love my job, working on a Saturday really isn’t my thing. Unless, of course, you are working on the set of a photo shoot and get to take a bunch of swag, like chocolate and cereal, with you. That helps to make working on a Saturday not so bad.

Baking with chocolate isn’t something I do frequently because chocolate is expensive and I find it hard to justify buying something expensive that I don’t really need. But let’s face it, we all have that drawer in our homes that has a half a bag of chocolate chips, and another quarter bag of white chocolate chips, and so on.

And so, after Saturday’s photo shoot, I came home with three half bags of chocolate to add to my already growing stash. What’s a girl to make when she has a whole bunch of mismatched chocolate and cereal on her hands? Chocolate Dumpster Cookies, of course! Upon first glance, you might think I made a typo. Only a quarter cup of flour is no mistake. It’s quite amazing, actually, that these cookies come together and taste as delicious as they do. Except when you combine chocolate, nuts, more chocolate and some yummy cereal it’s not really hard to believe they’re gooey, dense and 100% divine.

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies

*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
*2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
*1/3 cup butter
*3 large eggs
*1 cup sugar
*1/4 cup flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1 1/3 cups Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal (or other cereal of choice)
*2/3 cup rolled oats
*1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
*6 oz. white chocolate chips
*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks

*Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchmen paper or Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
*In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate and the butter. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until well combined. Add in the chocolate and beat until combined. Then, add in the flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt and beat until just combined.
*Stir in cereal, oats, chopped nuts, and chocolate chips and chocolate chunks by hand until well combined.
*Spoon by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet and enjoy!

Happy Baking!


Strawberry Cream Cheese Cookies

February 10, 2011

One last post before I unplug for the weekend. After work tomorrow I plan on spending the weekend with my Valentine. Fingers crossed that I’m able to fight off this cold that has been plaguing me all week so we can enjoy our time together.

There’s a little story behind these cookies…

One Valentine’s Day when I was 15 and a sophomore in high school I had a boyfriend who was a senior. We dated for almost two years, practically an eternity in high school, and for Valentine’s Day that year, he brought me a couple dozen heart-shaped, strawberry-flavored cookies. No, he didn’t make the cookies himself; his mom made them, and they were delicious. As fate would have it, we got out of school that V-Day at 10 a.m. for bad weather, leaving me majorly bummed but happy to keep two dozen cookies to myself.

I’m not sure why these cookies made such an impact on me, but every Valentine’s Day since then I have thought about those cookies. I convinced myself they were better in my memory. But when I made them this week, I realized I was wrong. The deliciousness was not in my imagination. It was real.

Disclaimer: These are not sophisticated, classy cookies. They are just down-home yummy in the simplest sense of the word. Based off a strawberry-flavored boxed cake mix, they couldn’t be easier. and since the cookies are very sweet, the cream cheese frosting is a perfect, tangy balance.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cookies

*1 box of strawberry-flavored cake mix
*1 large egg
*1/4 cup oil
*1/4 to 1/3 cup water (start with 1/4 cup and add the extra if needed)
*1 (8-oz.) container cream cheese at room temperature
*3 cups powdered sugar
*1/4 cup milk
*2 drops red food coloring
*Pink sprinkles or edible pearls (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a cookie sheet, line with parchment paper, or use a Silpat (what I did).
*In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, oil and water. Stir by hand until ingredients are evenly combined. Scoop dough by tablespoon portions and roll between your hands to make a smooth ball. Set on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
*Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, until slightly crackled on top and just lightly golden around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
*Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer,  beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, milk and red food coloring. Continue to beat until smooth. Spread on top of cookies and beat until well combined.
*Spread frosting atop of cooled cookies and garnish with pink sprinkles and/or edible pearls, if desired.

Happy Baking!