Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Happy Easter, everyone! David and I are headed to a family gathering, where I was asked to bring a dessert. I ended making two desserts, because I’m ridiculous: Easter Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing and Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. You’ll here more about the cupcakes someday soon, I promise. In the meantime, here’s the details on the cookies.

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Adapted from marthastewart.com

* 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* Royal Icing
* Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Add vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out egg shapes with a 2 1/2-inch oval cutter. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes (Mine took 11 minutes, baking the cookies one tray at a time. It took 13 minutes with two trays in the oven). Let cool. Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch tip and filled with royal icing, decorate as desired. If you want, sprinkle with sanding sugar while icing is wet. If adding dots or stripes, let base layer dry first.

Royal Icing

  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup water, plus more if needed
  • Gel-paste food coloring in colors such as violet, lemon yellow, soft pink, or leaf green for tinting

Directions

  1. Combine sugar, meringue powder, and water in the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. (If icing is too thick, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.)
  2. Divide icing into batches, and mix in a different shade of food coloring to each to tint.

Note: I like the way these turned out: super cute! The cookies themselves don’t have a ton of flavor, which makes them pair perfectly with the super-sweet royal icing. They turned out kind of crunchy, which makes sense, so they’re great for dunking. I got the best results for decorating with the squeeze bottles I use for cake pops. I just need a few more so I can work with more colors at one time!

Also, a HUGE thanks to Leah for helping me out with all the decorating. She’s awesome!

Christmastime is for Cookies again…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Last year I went kind of crazy with Christmas cookies, but between following Weight Watchers and how busy things have been, holiday baking just hasn’t been a priority. Which is not to say that I haven’t made some delicious treats.

As a repeat of last year, I made Alton Brown’s Paradise Coconut Macaroons. They turned out well again, and David’s still happily munching on them. The one hiccup was that as I went to make the cookies, I realized I was out of sweetened condensed milk. Luckily, I found a substitution recipe online that worked perfectly, using ingredients we already had on hand. Success! Check it out at the bottom of the page if you’re interested.

I also made peppermint bark again, and my friend Cara came over and made mock-turtles. Very tasty, very simple, and with her perfect football-shaped pretzels, very cute. You may hear more about that soon.

But the point of this post is the new recipe I tried this year: Shortbread. The most recent issue of Food Network Magazine had an awesome little pullout booklet of 50 cookie recipes. The gist of the pamplet is summed up here. What I liked about it is that you started with just a handful of classic, straightforward recipes, followed by several creative variations on the same recipe. I took the classic Shortbread recipe and doubled it, making one batch of Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread and one batch of Lemon Shortbread Squares. I tweaked the basic recipe to get the texture that I wanted, and was very happy with the instructions below. It’s for the Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread, but if you want plain shortbread, skip the chocolate dipping steps, and if you want it to have a little bit of bright, lemony flavor, add a little bit of fresh lemon zest with the flour mixture.

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread

  • 2 sticks butter (preferably unsalted. If using salted butter, omit additional salt below)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradhelli)
  • flake sea salt

Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Press into a buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round tart pan. Score into strips with a fork, then chill 30 minutes. Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees. Cool, then slice along the scored lines.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler. Dip cooled shortbread pieces in chocolate, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

  • 1 cup instant non-fat dry milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes the equivalent of one 14 ounce cane.

      Title: SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK SUBSITUTE
 Categories: Misc, Sauces
      Yield: 1 Servings

      1 c  Instant non-fat dry milk
    2/3 c  Sugar
    1/3 c  Boiling water
      3 tb Melted butter

  In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in
  refrigerator until ready to use. Makes the equivalent of one 14 oz.
  can.

Follow Up: The Ultimate Autumn Cookie?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
So, last week, Cara and I tried to bake an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie she’d had once–but all she knew was that the recipe had pumpkin in it. So I researched recipes, but then the store didn’t have pumpkin. You can see how that turned out here. Cara decided to try again, and has been kind enough to share the results here. I tried these “cookies” last night, and they were quite tasty, but at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the crispy cookies. These were soft, and fluffy–more like a muffin than a cookie.
Anyway, Cara’s here to tell you the story of her muffin-top cookies:

Ok, so that title is a little vague because I didn’t want anyone who doesn’t like pumpkin to not click. I generally don’t even like pumpkin myself! Or so I thought. But that was until I had these magnificent Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, introduced to me by an ex-boyfriend.

These puppies are meant to be soft and chewy, bordering on almost cake-like (but not quite) – in other words, the perfect cookie, IMO. Since the ex and I didn’t really stay ~friends~ (hahaha… wait, that’s not funny, is it?), I did some Googling to try to find a similar cookie recipe… and found several different ones. I ultimately ended up Frankensteining a few – perfect for Halloween, am I right?! – to create this delicious fall treat. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)  (Note: most recipes list 1 cup; I accidentally used the whole can, but they taste great!)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon & 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice – whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. milk
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • cream cheese icing (optional)

Yield: about 3 dozen

Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg in large bow. Mix well.
(Oil will separate; just re-stir before you need to add more ingredients later in the recipe.)

In another, smaller bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Dissolve baking soda with milk, then stir into flour mixture. Next stir in oats.

Mix together flour mixture with pumpkin, slowly adding more flour mix and stirring each time. Mixture will thicken. You should be able to stick your spoon in the middle and have it stand up on its own.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes until tops of cookies are dry and spring back when touched lightly (I find 12 mins. on the nose is perfect). Remove from baking sheet and cool on racks.

If you like, while cookies are still slightly warm, ice them with the cream cheese icing (I used the Pillsbury whipped variety). The warm cookie and the melty icing is perfection. Seriously. I’ve never iced them all and then eaten the pre-iced cookies later, so I’m not sure how that would taste, but I have nuked a cook or two in the microwave for a little bit and then iced them to re-create that fresh-out-of-the-oven goodness. Works pretty well actually.

These “cookies” were so moist and crumbly they tasted like the top of a really delicious muffin. Definitely muffintop-ish.

Your turn! Hope you enjoy – let me know if you do!

pumpkin cookie
Thanks for stopping by, Cara. And extra thanks for bringing leftover cookies last night. Yum!

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Though I am generally a pretty good cook, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. This is one of those times. Luckily, the results were tasty, just not quite what we had in mind. My friend Cara came over to bake something last weekend. She wasn’t too particular, but had an idea of a cookie she’d had once before, and I did my best to cooperate. Except first, I think my recipe wasn’t exactly what she had in mind, and then the grocery store was out of a key ingredient, so I had to make substitutions. The cookies we ended up with were so far from what we initially planned that it doesn’t make sense to talk about what we tried to make. Instead, here’s what we ended up with: buttery, crunchy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

When it comes to oatmeal cookies, I’m more of a raisin girl. I’m also a chewy fan. That doesn’t mean that these weren’t good cookies. Once we got over the initial disappointment, I realized that they were actually delicious. Awesome dunked in milk–kind of like a Chips Ahoy, but with oatmeal.

cookies

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats, uncooked
1 teaspoon baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheets. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and applesauce, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, until browned and crisp at the edges. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes or so before removing to a metal cooling rack.

Cool Oreo Mint Ice Cream

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

David’s favorite treat at Dairy Queen is the Mint Oreo Blizzard. And who doesn’t like those Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies? It’s really kind of surprising that it took us this long to make this Mint Oreo Ice Cream from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Book. As expected, it was delicious.

You know, from time to time, I toy with the idea of picking up another book of ice cream recipes, but I’ve just been so happy with this one, I don’t ever really see the need. The Ben & Jerry’s ones have been great every time.

mint oreo ice cream

Cool Oreo Mint Ice Cream
Adapted from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

  • 12-15 coursely chopped Oreo cookies
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract

1. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peppermint extract and blend again.

2. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Add while the mixer is on the low setting, then turn it up to high.

3. Once the ice cream has stiffened (about 2-3 minutes before it is done) add the chopped cookies and continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

When it’s done in the ice cream machine, the ice cream will be the consistency of soft-serve. Freeze for at least two hours for a solid, scoopable ice cream.

Note: The recipe above makes a white, vanilla-looking ice cream. I added a few drops of green food coloring to make it look more minty. :)

Little Debbie Style Oatmeal Cream Pies

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

My little  sister does not have very exacting tastes. She likes spaghetti, and cheeseburgers, and Skittles, and Diet Coke. And she likes Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. Rather adorably, she pronounces them Oitmeal Cream Pies. (Oatmeal starts like Ointment in Liz’s world–no one knows why or how that started).

You might think from this story that Liz is about 7 years old. In reality, she’s 21. Though to be fair, her tastes haven’t changed too much since she was 7 years old. That’s just fine with me, for the most part. She likes what she likes, and she’s pretty straightforward about it.

Last weekend, my 21 year old sister took and passed the exam to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. Congratulations to her, right? Congratulations, indeed. To celebrate, I set about making her favorite treat. They turned out to be a delicious, delicious sucess.

oatmeal-pies

Little Debbie Style Oatmeal Cream Pies
Adapted from backtothecuttingboard.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats

Cream Filling

  • 2 tsp very hot water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars. Add in eggs, one at a time. Finally beat in molasses and vanilla.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat until just blended; mix in the oats with a wooden spoon.

4. Drop dough by tablespoons. I used a tablespoon sized cookie scoop to make sure that my cookies were the same size–important when you’re going to sandwich them together! Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, at 350 degrees (F) for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. They will look moist; do not overcook them. Let sit on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

5. While the cookies bake, prepare the cream filling. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water.

6. Combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, salt water, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on high until fluffy–about 3-4 minutes).

7. When cookies are completely cooled, spread filling on flat side of one cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.

8. Enjoy!

Note: I’d love to tell you how to store them, but I’ve made them twice now, and neither batch lasted longer than 24 hours. This recipe yields about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Rasin Cookies

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Mmm. Oatmeal raisin cookies.

They might be my favorite  cookie of all time. They’re also something of a challenge for me to make.

When I was in college, long before I cooked with any skill or seriousness, I decided to bake cookies for David for his birthday. In some ways, I blame the equipment. My kitchen today is full of quality equipment that were unattainable luxuries to my college self: my KitchenAid mixer, my Calphalon baking sheets, my Wilton cooling racks, parchment paper, a working, full-sized oven. But I was in love, and I was determined.

So one Friday night, after waiting tables at the Olive Garden for about 6 hours, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning baking oatmeal raisin cookies for David.

I’d been planning this for weeks. I was broke, and couldn’t afford a proper gift for his birthday, but I’d bought a Simpson’s Cookie Jar, and all the packing materials. I had plans to drop the cookies at the mail center on my way to work the next day. I just had to bake the cookies.

I followed the recipe on the Quaker Oats package. It seemed like a good plan at the time. The results tasted okay, technically, but the texture was all wrong. They were thin, and crunchy. Completely flat, not anything like the soft, chewy cookies that my grandmother makes. I wanted to cry.

In hindsight, I can tell you that the ingredients were too warm (the only thing that gets cold in a dorm-sized fridge is cheap beer), the leavening probably didn’t work, and the oven was probably too hot. Oh, and I mixed them by hand, which didn’t get any air into the dough at all. Knowing what I know now, those cookies were destined to be a failure.

Since then, I’ve searched for the perfect chewy oatmeal cookie recipe, and this one from Smitten Kitchen is very, very close. They’re crisp at the edges, but chewy at the middle. The recipe calls for chilling the dough, but I was impatient and skipped that step, so they weren’t quite as thick as they could have been. Still, they came out nearly perfectly. I’m pretty sure I’ve found my go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

img_1744

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slightly less thick.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Crazy Cookies

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I wish I had the skill/patience to make cookies as cute as these!

crazy-cookies

Check out the rest here.

Big Kitchen with Food

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I have found the cutest thing in the world. Well, the cutest food thing, anyway. It’s “Big Kitchen with Food,” a cooking show that airs in Portland, Oregon. The star of the show is “Chef Julian,” an adorable five year old boy who really seems to know his stuff. The video below shows Julian baking one of his original recipes, Yummy Yummy Citrus Boys. Take the time to watch it, you won’t be disappointed.

Other episodes, available here, show Chef Julian’s take on spaghetti sauce, chocolate chip zucchini bread, and robot cake, among other things. Check it out!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Monday, January 12th, 2009

It’s ice cream time again! I’ve been putting that ice cream maker to good use. This week’s batch: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

The lessons learned before served me well again. Ice cream freezer frozen solid (24+ hours), chilled mixing bowl, ice-cold ingredients. All of it yielded a rich sweet cream base with a velvety texture. Yum.

For the chocolate chip cookie dough part I took a bit of a shortcut, and used store-bought cookie dough. The ice cream is still amazing.

img_14111

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Adapted from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Cookbook

  • 1 tube of Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips

1. Break chocolate chip cookie dough into teaspoon-sized pieces and roll in your hands to make round uniform cookie dough balls. Place cookie dough balls flat on a sheet pan and store in the freezer for 1-2 hours, until hard.

2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the vanilla extract and blend again.

3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Add while the mixer is on the low setting, then turn it up to high.

4. Once the ice cream is almost finished (about 1 minutes before it is done) add the frozen cookie dough pieces and chocolate chips and continue freezing the mixture until the ice cream is ready.

When it’s done in the ice cream machine, the ice cream will be the consistency of soft-serve. Freeze for at least two hours for a solid, scoopable ice cream.

Note: Turned out just as good as the Cookies & Cream–maybe better. I’ll definitely be making this again.

In the meantime, what flavor ice cream should I try next? This batch will only last a few more days, so at this rate I’ll probably have to make  a new batch next weekeend!

What kind of ice cream should I make next?

  • Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch (75%, 3 Votes)
  • Butter Pecan (25%, 1 Votes)
  • Strawberry (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Make that Oreo stuff again! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • I'll tell you in the comments... (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 4

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