Archive for the 'Cookies' Category



Martha Stewart’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a vegan, I loved taking “fail-proof” recipes and adapting them to be vegan and proving that they were still sinfully delicious and could have a good texture when vegan. Right now though, I am loving baking with butter and eggs for one main reason: I get to try to all of these same recipes (and others that I have been oggling for years) exactly as they were meant to be made! I really do think that my vegan versions were wonderful and tasty, but it’s interesting to again taste flavors that I haven’t had in a long time and find out what the recipes were supposed to taste like. Of course I had to start out with a basic Martha Stewart recipe to see what the standard out there has been for a buttery, soft, and chewy chocolate chip cookie. And, dang! These cookies hit the spot. They were easy and quick to whip up and everyone who has tried them has asked for another. And another. And another…

Martha suggests using room temperature butter, but I have heard that if you melt the butter (and then cool it to room temperature), you will get a chewier cookie. I don’t know if that’s true because I didn’t do a controlled experiment in this case but I did try melting the butter, and I liked the results. Otherwise this is Martha’s recipe exactly, and makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and then cooled
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a saucepan and let cool while you whisk together the flour and baking soda in a bowl. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges turn golden but centers are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (aka: Brownie Bites)

We found this recipe about a week ago here, and have made 3 batches since. They are too good to stop sharing with friends, or to stop eating them ourselves. They’ve been taken to numerous events, and everyone gobbles them up immediately, asking for more. One friend said he came to our housewarming party just because he heard we would have these cookies here (I think/hope he came to warm our house, too). These cookies are gluten-free, but not vegan. They have whipped egg whites which makes a crunchy outer layer around a gooey middle (like a dense flourless cake filling). Make these cookies with caution: they are fudgy, crispy, and unstoppably delicious.

I’ve Got My Eye On You…

What do you get when you add your chocolate-loving housemate’s birthday, a request for Raspberry Blackout Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, and an only-sometimes-functioning-oven? Add into the mix an emergency run to the nearest TJ’s for dark chocolate chips, an extra pair of hands for rolling, and a lot of freezer space?

Cake Balls!

Now, I will tell you honestly that Cake Balls are delicious and worth the time spent making them no matter whether you’re whipping them up from scratch for the sole purpose of eating a perfectly crunchy outer shell with moist soft cake inside, or if you’re problem-solving a baked cake that wouldn’t detach from the pan like I was. Cake Balls are bite-sized, tasty, cute no matter how they are decorated, and pretty hip right now. Why not?

However fun these birthday desserts were, I am so glad our new oven is being delivered today! No more baking “disasters”!

Honey Lavender Hazelnut Cookies

These cookies went so well with the Lavender Coconut Agave Ice Cream I made, that it was slightly ridiculous. We ate them all in one sitting! Mmm. And these cookies couldn’t be easier. In fact, the rich, toasty hazelnut and honey-infused batter is so easy to whip up, you can make them in only five minutes. And if you’re pressed for time, you don’t even really have to bake them, because they are so great raw. So, all it takes is five minutes to mix up the batter, and then however long it takes you to eat them (should really be only a few minutes, if you have a group of hungry party guests). Instant happiness!

Feel free to sub the honey for agave, although you might want to cut down the amount just a tiny bit depending on how sweet you want the cookies to be.

Honey Lavender Hazelnut Cookies Ingredients:

2 cups hazelnut flour (you can grind up whole hazelnuts if you need to)
1 cup honey, or 3/4 cup agave
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. dried lavender

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the hazelnut flour, honey/agave, salt, vanilla, and lavender in a large bowl. Mix until smooth (you can do this by hand or in a food processor).
Eat raw, or roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls and place on pan. Lightly press the down so they get a little flatter.
Bake until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

A Second Date…

…In case anyone was wondering, I’m still alive. Very much alive. Just totally consumed by teaching 3rd grade, and spending about 12 hours every day in my classroom. And when I stop teaching, planning, thinking about teaching and planning, assessing student work, thinking and re-thinking about every interaction with my students, and realizing that none of it is ever going to “be enough”, I can barely move, let alone think about updating my blog. But I have been finding rare moments to bake (because how could I not??). However, I haven’t been taking as many pictures of my creations as I am used to, so I have less to show for my time than usual. And to boot, as a re-emergence post, this blog entry is a repeat recipe. But a delicious repeat! Remember my Carob Date-Nut Cookies? Well, I recreated them for Talia’s birthday back in September and this time I ground the nuts to a fine powder before mixing them with the other ingredients – this created a much smoother effect and the cookies ended up looking and tasting a little bit different. I’m not sure I recommend one way over the other, they were just different sensations. I’d recommend you go make these cookies right away though, because no matter how you grind the nuts, these cookies are still my favorite snack and hit the spot!

For a gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan decadent birthday celebration, we sandwiched these cookies around homemade Lavender Coconut Agave Ice Cream. Couldn’t have been better; except that I made a second batch of cookies! I whipped up some Honey Lavender Hazelnut Cookies to mix-and-match ice cream sandwich flavors with. Stay tuned for that new recipe, coming soon!

 

Ps. Becky, this post is for you. Thanks for being my #1 fan, and motivating me to update!

Going On The Perfect Date, With A Pecan

A few months ago when I was in New York, I made a variation of these cookies with my friend Marika. We ate so much batter, we couldn’t stand the idea of baking the rest into cookies that night. She met me for yoga the next day, and brought the cookies (freshly baked that morning!) for an after-yoga snack. These are the perfect energizing treat, and without wheat, gluten, refined sugar, and packed chock-full of nuts and dried fruit, they feel healthy. In fact, they are healthy. But, they don’t taste healthy!

So, when Marika visited me in California last month, she brought the recipe with her. I hadn’t had a chance to make them until a few days ago, when Talia and I wanted to whip up some goodies. They are so easy and fast to make – and don’t require specific fancy ingredients! You can use whatever kinds of nuts you have in your house, or leave out the carob chips, or substitute another liquid sweetener (honey instead of brown rice syrup?), or adapt them to whatever your preferences are. Make sure to eat a lot of the batter before baking them, just because.

Carob Date-Nut Cookies Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
1 2/3 cup pecans (can substitute walnuts)
1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
6 Tblsp. olive oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup pitted dates (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, then drained)
1 cup grain-sweetened carob chips


Preheat your oven to 350º F.
Bake the oats and pecans on a baking pan for 10 minutes.
Food process the rice flour and half of the oats till they are thoroughly combined and finely ground. Add half of the toasted pecans to the food processor and grind to a fine meal. Add the rest of the oats and pecans, as well as the cinnamon and nutmeg, and pulse once or twice (leaving some whole oats and chunks of nut).
Mix the wet ingredients together, and add to the dry. Fold in the dates. Pulse in the food processor till fairly smooth.
By hand, stir in the carob chips. If the nuts and oats were still warm when you added them to the batter, the carob chips may melt and be incorporated into the batter – if not, they will stay whole and you will get lovely chunks of carob in each bite of delicious cookie!
Drop tablespoons of the batter onto lightly greased cookie sheets, and top each cookie with a whole pecan.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until browned around the edges.

Rosemary Lemon Sugar Cookies

This recipe, for rosemary butter cookies, was originally from my Martha Stewart cookie cookbook. I made it vegan, and added lemon. Crispy and sweet, with the herby rosemary taste light on the palate, all I can say is Thank you, Martha.

Rosemary Lemon Cookie Ingredients:

1 cup Earth Balance margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg’s worth of Ener-G Egg Replacer, blended till frothy
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup almond milk (for brushing)

Beat the Earth Balance and sugar together in a stand mixer or with a spoon until pale, light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer and vanilla and mix until well blended. Add the rosemary, lemon zest, and flour and mix well.

Divide the dough in half and shape them into logs and place on a piece of parchment paper. roll the logs about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Chill in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour (more is fine).

Preheat the oven to 375º F. take the logs out of the fridge, brush with almond milk and roll in sugar. Cut the logs into 1/4″ slices and place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before eating.


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Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Maple Raspberry Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Maple Raspberry Cake

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