I made and decorated sugar cookies with my sweetie to give to our coworkers for Valentine’s Day. Most of them were teacher-nerdy and Easter-colored, and oddly Lisa Frank-esque. That’s not what I had planned for. But they tasted delicious and were much appreciated by the teachers at the schools we work at. As I was baking the cookies, I remembered I had these cute cookie cutters from World Market that allow cookies to hang off the side of your mug. I was inspired by these gingerbread houses awhile back, and these endearing “breakfast” treats, so I baked up a couple of my own cookies to be eaten with tea, or coffee, or whatever you like. Turns out you don’t need a fancy cookie cutter – you can make your own cookie shapes that perch on the edge of a mug! Whatever you like.
Archive for the 'Cookies' Category
I gave up sugar for the month of January. The decision came from many reasons, and I’m sure you can guess at least some of them. On January 19th, I went away for the weekend to the cutest lodge in Tahoe, where they provided S’more fixings, a bonfire, and homemade waffles for breakfast in the morning. “No sugar” turned into three S’mores but I still felt strong about my resolution to not eat sugar…”except not when on vacation.”
I ate a brownie on the drive home. At work on Wednesday, a coworker brought in delicious chocolate chip cookies to thank some staff members for helping with a project, there were pastries in the office, and I rediscovered the chocolate peanut butter in the back of a cabinet. On Friday, I threw the resolution completely out the window and baked Martha Stewart’s “Oatmeal Raisin Cookies” — but less healthy. Raisins turned into chocolate and peanut butter chips. Walnuts turned into rainbow sprinkles. What other delicious goodies could I pack into these bad boys? When you’re going for it, go hard. With celebration.
Try not to eat too much of the dough; but, if you’re like me, you might eat about half the dough before getting it into the oven. Is there such a thing as a sugar diet? If there were, I’d be winning.
Everything Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 48 cookies
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 14 min for each pan
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can use regular all-purpose if you prefer)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
1/8 cup rainbow sprinkles (or as much as you like to add some whimsical color!)
Anything else you’d like to mix into your batter! Can I suggest a spoon or two of peanut butter? A handful of broken pretzel pieces or chopped up Reese’s? Yum.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients (oats through salt).
3. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars – mixing until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and, mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, walnuts, cranberries, coconut, and sprinkles one at a time (sprinkles should be last so they don’t bleed color into your dough too much).
4. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Don’t try to fit more on the sheet or you’ll end up with cookies baking into each other.
5. Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.
I’d been meaning to try the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for a few years, but I never got around to it. But then a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine in New York told me this is her favorite cookie recipe, and I immediately got it in my head that I needed to make them. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Everywhere I went, every time I opened a cookbook or my computer, I saw pictures of chocolate chip cookies. I even had smelled phantom cookies!
The secret to this recipe is the chill-time. You’re supposed to let the cookie dough chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours before baking. I’d never attempted the recipe until now, mostly because I don’t have the patience to let dough sit around; I’ll either eat it all in one go, or need to bake it to get it out of my sight (yes, I typically love cookie dough more than the baked product!). My friend told me that she had left the dough in her fridge for 4 days!!!! And the cookies were out of this world. So…late Wednesday night I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and I mixed up a batch of the dough. I exercised great self-control and didn’t bake the dough, or eat it (except for a few tastes) until today. If I’m doing the math correctly, the dough was in my refrigerator for about 91 hours before I baked it. 91 hours?! How did I not eat it all?! I’m pretty impressed with my willpower.
The science behind the extended chilling time is explained clearly in the NY Times article:
“A long hydration time is important because eggs, unlike, say, water, are gelatinous and slow-moving, she said. Making matters worse, the butter coats the flour, acting, she said, “like border patrol guards,” preventing the liquid from getting through to the dry ingredients. The extra time in the fridge dispatches that problem.” and, it turns out, the originator of the chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Wakefield, chilled the dough too, “At Toll House, we chill this dough overnight,” she wrote in her “Toll House Cook Book” (Little, Brown, 1953). This info is left out of the version of her recipe that Nestlé printed on the back of its baking bars and, since 1939, on bags of its chocolate morsels.”
I have to agree; the chilling time did wonders for the cookies. The dough tasted great right away, and even after sitting for nearly four days. I didn’t do a scientific comparison of how the baked cookies tasted after various chilling times but you can see that on this blog here if you’re really curious. What I do know is that the cookies, baked after the dough had been sitting for 91 hours, are delicious!! They are really crispy on the outside and chewy in the centers. I’ve never managed to get such a perfect, even, consistency in my cookies as this recipe created. I’m generally very impressed with these cookies – especially the sea salt sprinkled on the top, that adds an extra dimension to the flavors. I even want to eat more of the finished product, which, as I said before, doesn’t often happen. I usually just want the dough…
I didn’t have bread flour or cake flour, and just used all-purpose flour instead. I am curious as to how the cookies would be if I’d followed those directions more exactly — I guess I’ll have to make this recipe again! (I have no complaints about that). I made my cookies smaller than the original recipe calls for – the balls of dough were only about 1-inch in diameter before baking. I also have no complaints about the smaller size – they are easier to eat as a snack, and therefore probably easier to eat more of! 🙂
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 18 very large cookies or 31 smaller cookies
Prep Time: 15 min + chill time
Cook Time: 18 min
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (I used sea salt)
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
extra chocolate chips, optional
sea salt (optional)
1. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). I just scraped mine through a fine strainer/sieve since my sifter isn’t all that great. Set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars- mixing until the mixture is very light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and, mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate a minimum of 24 to 36 hours before baking (and up to 72 hours).
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
4. For 5-inch cookies, scoop six 3.25 ounce mounds of dough- giant golf ball-sized (I rolled mine into balls) onto a baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Don’t try to fit more on the sheet or you’ll end up with cookies baking into each other. Dot some extra chocolate chips on top, if desired. Sprinkle each ball of dough with a small pinch of sea salt, if desired.
5. Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is lighter and soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack and let them cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
*If you’d prefer to make smaller cookies, shape your cookie dough into small golf ball-size instead (2 ounces), and bake for 12 to 16 minutes.
I’ve baked these cookies twice in the last two weeks because they are just so good. I only have a crappy photo of them though, and have been hesitant to show it to anyone because the picture doesn’t do the cookies justice. Thank you to Gina, for reminding me that I need to post them because everyone needs to try making them. Gina, you’ve got yourself a special appreciation coming your way!
These pumpkin toffee cookies were on my Halloween table, and they’d make a great dessert for any Thanksgiving meal. In this picture, they don’t look as delicious as they really are. They melt in your mouth. They are pumpkin, my favorite flavor. There are little chunks of gooey, sticky toffee in every bite. And, if you under-bake them, these cookies are even softer and gooeyer and more delicate. If that description doesn’t make you want to try them, here’s one more hint about how good they are: My girlfriend said she wanted to marry them. Thank goodness she now has to be gluten-free and egg-free, or else I’d never have a chance!
The recipe came from this blog, but instead of allspice I used cloves and my toffee was chocolate-almond-covered. I also couldn’t resist adding extra toffee to the batter.
There is a reason this cookie is featured on the cover of the Martha Stewart’s Cookies recipe book. Don’t let the “gingerbread” in the title fool you: This is not your grandmother’s classic Christmas gingerbread house cookie that is a little bit cardboard-like. Dang, these are to die for! So chewy, spicy, and crunchy-sweet, they are a wonderful dessert to any meal. The chocolate can be a gooey rich treat but can also be left out if you’re a pure ginger cookie enthusiast. You don’t need to splurge on the (beautiful!!!!) book itself to get the recipe – you can find the recipe here.
A few years ago, I bought the Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook. I bought it mostly because the pictures are amazing, and make me want to eat the cookies right off the page. The index is my favorite part; complete with a mini-photo of each type of cookie in the book, with its recipe’s page number. I’m a very visual person, and often have a hard time using cookbooks that don’t have pictures of the food (if I can’t see it, how will I know if it will work? Obviously, a picture tells me that the dish will taste great…). This book suckered me into buying it, even though there are no vegan recipes and I was vegan at the time. I altered some of the recipes to make them vegan and they were fine. But now I’m not vegan anymore (I know, I talk about this all the time…Sorry), and I made these cookies using real butter and real eggs like the recipe calls for and dang. They were good!
I can never make a recipe as is, I have to have at least one alteration and make my own version. I used this Martha original recipe, but added generous sprinkles (maybe two or three) of cloves and nutmeg to the batter. The cookies came out chewy in the middle, crisp on the outside, and deliciously spicy. Martha recommends adding raisins, toffee bits, or chocolate chunks. I opted for chocolate chips. Yum!
Warning: This recipe makes a ton of cookies! My friends were over one night and we ate a lot of fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies for dessert, I ate some in the following days at home, I brought a bucket of them to school to share with other teachers, and there were enough left over to freeze for a rainy day. It’s not raining right now, but hey, I might just go dig one out of the freezer right now…What better way to start out the day?
Do I need to say more?
Just head on over to SimplyRecipes to make these Heath Bar-filled delicious cookies. The only change we made was to substitute brown sugar for half of the white sugar, to create a more caramel-like treat. We used the Trader Joe’s versions of Heath Bars (they came in a little tub like other candies), but I don’t think that made much of a difference in taste. The dough is delicious, but the soft-gooey-warm-right-out-of-the-oven-cookie is incredible.