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Eggnog Snickerdoodles

3 Jan

The tastiest way to use up that left over eggnog from the holidays! These snickerdoodles are so fluffy and moist, and bake up so pretty. 🙂

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Ingredients:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup eggnog

4 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350^F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time; then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the eggnog. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky.

Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and ground nutmeg in a small bowl. Shape the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls and roll in sugar and nutmeg mixture. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just set and starting to crack.

 

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Root Beer Float Cookies

16 Jun

I am ignoring my laundry…for another 5 minutes. If I ignore it much longer, it will most likely explode all over the house.

These cookies are pretty darn awesome. They aren’t crazy-full of root beer flavor, but have that creamy taste of a float. Perfect for a summer treat.

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INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cream butter and sugars together.
  2. Beat in instant vanilla pudding mix well.
  3. Add eggs and root beer concentrate and beat until well incorporated.
  4. Add flour and baking soda and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Stir in white chocolate chips.
  6. Roll into 1″ balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

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Original recipe: http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/11/root-beer-pudding-cookies/

 

Almond Joy Brownies

13 Feb

My children are on some sort of sugar high tonight. And I’m not…I am most defiantly not. This morning my husband rolled over and said, “I’m tired. How about you?” I said, “I’m always tired.” I can’t wait to wake up one morning and feel completely rested. It will happen – it will.

I almost forgot to take pictures of these – I literally grabbed the last 3 brownies :). I also almost lost the recipe! And this is not one that I want to lose – so, so yummy! I have a hard time finding good home-made brownie recipes. Is it sacrilege to prefer boxed over home-made? I like most home-made recipes ok, but they are never gooey enough. Or if they are gooey, they are grainy. I have endless complaints. But I really like the base brownies in this recipe, which makes the coconut and ganache toppings just straight out of heaven.

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Ingredients

FOR THE BROWNIES
1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds

FOR THE COCONUT FILLING
2 1/2 unsweetened coconut (you can use sweetened coconut, but if you do, omit the confectioners’ sugar)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

16 whole almonds

Chocolate Ganache

4.5 ounces milk, white, bitter-, or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
scant 1/2 cup (about 7 ounces or 218 ml) heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

Bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and (now melted) chocolate together into smooth and glossy

To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour and 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.

Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in the almonds until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool completely before topping with the filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the coconut and sugar, stirring until all of the coconut is evenly coated. Add the heavy cream, and stir until well combined.

Assemble: Press the coconut mixture on top of the cooled brownies, spreading it evenly. Chill the brownies for 20 to 30 minutes in the freezer.

While the brownies are chilling, make the ganache.

Once the brownies are chilled, top with the whole almonds, then pour the ganache over the top. Allow to set up for an hour or so before serving.

* I put the ganache over the brownies and then, after chilling, cut into squares. It ended up being a little messy – the ganache preferred sticking to my knife over the coconut. I would suggest cutting brownie squares first and then putting ganache over each one individually – unless you don’t care what they come out looking like 🙂

Original recipe: http://bakingdom.com/2013/03/almond-joy-brownies.html

Chocolate Chip Cookies

6 Feb

I’ve had a terrible hankering for chocolate chip cookies lately. I love the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse Chocolate Chips, but they turn into hockey pucks if you don’t eat them quickly. I made these cookies 4 or 5 days ago, and they are still soft! Hooray!!! My kind of cookie.photo 2

 

Ingredients

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups)  butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips

Instructions

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 24-36 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

*I didn’t have cake flour, so I just used all purpose flour – you can substitute the bread flour for all purpose as well, but it does help the cookies stay soft longer. I also did not refrigerate the dough for 24 hours. I only put it in for about 1/2 hour, and they still turned out great.

 

Original recipe: http://iambaker.net/chocolate-chip-cookies/

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

15 Jan

I sent my sisters a text this week: “Help!” 🙂 I was pedal-to-the-metal for the first few months, making new recipes every day…but my steam is running out (it may or may not have something to do with the fact that my 7 month old and 2 year old have simultaneously decided they hate sleep) and I am finding that I am making less of a dent in all the recipes that I want to put on here. And then I had an epiphany. I have five sisters. I have five sisters that have families. I have five sisters who have families that they cook for. Jackpot. And now, I can even check my own blog for recipes that I want to try!

I love lemon and I love cookies…I’m going to have to make these soon! Thanks, Korri!!!

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Ingredients:
½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
ÂĽ teaspoons salt
ÂĽ teaspoons baking powder
â…› teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

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Original recipe found here: http://ldsliving.com/story/64185-food-dish-cookie-recipe-contest-winner-recipe

Gingerbread Bars

9 Jan

I’m totally past the acceptable limit of gingerbread, I’m sure – the holidays being over and all that jazz. But I really love the whole ‘bar’ cookie thing and I can’t pass this one by. So, close your eyes and pretend it’s Christmas all over again. 🙂

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325^F. Line jelly roll pan* with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bow, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla, and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes, or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are barely starting to brown. Cool completely.

For the frosting: Whip all ingredients together until smooth. Spread overtop cooled bars and cut into squares. Serve immediately or store in air tight container.

*If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, you can use a glass 8×8 dish and add 2-3 extra minutes to baking time.

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Homemade Oreos

4 Nov

Every ‘homemade’ Oreo recipe I’ve seen is actually made from a boxed cake mix. I never have boxed cake mixes – it’s just not something I keep stocked in my pantry. Which may or may not have something to do with a story someone once told me about hers gong rancid and everyone getting sick from it…that and I think it’s almost as easy to just make a cake from scratch. And I most always have the ingredients to make a cake from scratch! And of course it tastes better, because that is the unspoken rule of ‘homemade.’

If you’re in the mood for a smack in the face of chocolatey richness, go make a batch of these babies. And have a glass of milk handy! So good.

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Ingredients:

Cookies-

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350^F. In a large bowl, cream together butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well. Combine cocoa, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix into creamed mixture. Create rounded balls of dough – about 1 Tbsp each (keep them fairly small for best results). Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until puffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cook on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack or wax paper to cool completely. When completely cooked, frost will cream filling.

Cream Filling-

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold into whipped cream.

 

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Katie’s Sugar Cookies

20 Sep

I have no idea who ‘Katie’ is (that’s how they are listed in my mom’s recipe cards, and I have to give credit where credit is due!) – but she sure knew how to make sugar cookies! I prefer a little bit of ‘fluff’ to my sugar cookies. Soft and perfectly puffy. Try this recipe, and never again will you buy those pre-packaged cookies, with the inch of frosting and sprinkles, from the vending machine! You will be spoiled. And you will love it. I may or may not have eaten four in a row yesterday and called it lunch.

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Ingredients:

1 cup evaporated milk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

In a separate, small bowl, add vinegar to evaporated milk and allow to sit. Blend butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth. Add milk mixture to butter mixture and blend well. Add dry ingredients until blended. Make 2-4 large balls of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place balls of dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to make it firm. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Bake at 425^F for 7-8 minutes. Cookies will not brown – if they start browning too much you will loose the airiness and they will instead be crunchy. Top with Buttercream Frosting.

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Strawberry-Lemon Butter Cookies

18 Sep

To me, these cookies scream bridal or baby shower – not sure why. They are pretty, they are small, and they are kind of fun to make. 🙂 And I can’t eat 37 of them. This is a good thing. I like them, but the buttery cookie is rich and so I am happy with just one or two.

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Ingredients:

Cookies-

1 cup butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 cups flour

1/2 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350^F. Cream together butter and sugar. Add lemon zest (about 1 Tbsp) and mix to combine. Slowly add flour and mix to combine. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (about 1/2 tbsp of dough). Place about 2 inches apart on an un-greased baking sheet. Use your pinkie finger to make an indention in the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/4 tsp jam. Bake 9-11 minutes.

Glaze-

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

5-6 tsp fresh lemon juice

1-2 drops yellow food coloring

When cookies are completely cook, whisk glaze ingredients together and place in a small, zip-lock bag. Snip off a very small corner of the bag and drizzle glaze over cookies.

S’more Cookies

9 Sep

So, we bought a new car a few weeks ago. Super excited!!…And then our other car died. This is a little thing I like to call, “Murphy’s Law.” We traded in our perfectly good car that ran fine but was getting a little squished for our growing family, and swapped it out for a new one that upped our monthly payments a bit, putting us on a tighter budget. Literally days later, the car my husband takes to work – the car I got when I turned 16 and have been driving for 15 years – the car that we have been struggling to keep alive for the last 2 years but thought we had gotten repaired enough to at least get a few more years our of it – the car that I love and wanted to pass on to my kids when they are old enough to drive but have been getting increasingly frustrated with as it continues to break down time and again…you get the gist – well, that car went kaput again. And we can’t really afford to replace it. We sat down, chatted about our options, and decided: one last fix. One last fix and then…I can’t even say it. So we did it…and then two days later, I get that dreaded call; “The car died again.” Sigh. Of course, this time it was at 10:00 at night. My kids were all asleep and I couldn’t go get my poor, stranded husband! Luckily, I live in the world’s greatest neighborhood. I gave one of my neighbors down the street a call, apologized profusely for calling so late, told her the conundrum I was in, and asked if she wouldn’t mind sitting with my kids while I went to rescue my husband. And instead of a, “Sure, I can come down,” I got a, “You stay right where you are. I’m sending my husband to go get yours. He has jumper cables and they can try to get it started.” Did I mention I live in the world’s greatest neighborhood? They got it started and almost made it home before the poor thing died again. So, while my husband made it home at last, the car spent the night on the roadside. Then, this morning, one of our other neighbors offered to go help us tow it. He not only towed it, but took it to a friend who was able to locate the problem (faulty part), and then towed it again to where we had had the part installed so that tomorrow we can have them replace it. All this on a Sunday – day of rest and all. I think I mentioned that I live in the world’s greatest neighborhood.

We shall see what news tomorrow brings on my little car…hopefully it really is just a bad part and they can take care of it. Sigh. In the meantime, I had some serious thank you’s to spread to the world’s greatest neighbors. I made these cookies that I have made way too many times this summer. I am smitten by them. I am in deep smite. Luckily, this time I gave away most of them and didn’t eat half the batch myself. I love finding new cookie recipes that are just a little outside of the box! And, in my opinion, these are way better than real s’mores. I have a tendency to dumb-down even the easy recipes, so for this one I don’t use unsalted butter (I just never have it on hand!), and I use regular table salt instead of kosher. The first time I made them I didn’t have chocolate bars either, and they still turned out great. Yay for recipes that you can fudge a little. 🙂

P.S. So, we delivered the cookies to our neighbors, and came home with a box of peaches…such nice people. I think a lot of the world’s problems would be solved if everyone could be so thoughtful.

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Ingredients:

  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
  • 1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11×17 pan and one 9×13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.
  6. Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
  7. Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.
  9. Bake for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or more if your cookies are thicker. They will be done when the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.photo-164Original recipe found here: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/06/smores-cookies.html