Tag Archives: cookies

Sunday Ramblings

1. I’m practicing my cookie baking for The First Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I just signed up for this fun holiday cookie swap (send 3 dozen cookies to 3 different bloggers and receive 3 dozen from different bloggers back). Yup, I can’t wait. I’m in the process of deciding which cookies I am going to be making…

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

(I mean I just HAD to make another batch of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever to test them…)

2. I can’t believe at 4:45PM today the sky looked like this:

It takes me weeks to get used to Daylight Savings! (I’ve been ready for bed since 7:30…and have been in my PJs since 5).

3. In preparation for Q’s arrival in 3 weeks I’ve vowed to eat better, work out more and clean the heck out of my room. It took the majority of the day, but I successfully packed 3 bags of goodies for donations and now my closet looks like this:

(This is the after photo, the before one would have made you wince)

4. Going with that “work out more” philosophy, I am attempting to do the 1oo Push-Up Training Program. It’s a 6 week mini-challenge which has you practicing push-ups for 30 minutes a week based on your fitness level. I’ve never been great at push-ups and thought I would try it out…I’ll keep you posted how it goes.

(source)

5. Is it weird that I’m still wearing ghost socks a week after Halloween? (I obviously vote no).

6. And finally, the random winner of the Lollihop Giveaway is… Ellen Gibbons! Send me your address and I’ll get your delivery all set up!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We just made risotto for dinner and I’m really excited to post that recipe up this week!

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Ultimate Chip Lovers Cookie

Yesterday I was craving a sweet  (what’s new right?)- I really just wanted a simple, easy cookie and I wanted it fast (I was NOT waiting to refrigerate my dough). My favorite go-to quick cookie recipe is from the back of the Nestle Tollhouse bag of chocolate chips. It has never done me wrong.

This time around I wanted to make the cookies a little differently – instead of just putting in the 2 cups of chocolate chips, I put in 1/2 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 white chocolate chips and 1 cup chocolate chips. The tastes came together perfectly – I especially loved the butterscotch edition, although 1/2 cup was just enough, otherwise they would have overpowered the cookies.

These cookies are so simple to make and great for keeping in the freezer. I have a bunch of my college girlfriends coming into town next weekend and I already know I will be bringing these out for them! PS I wish you all could have heard the 20 minute conversation I had with my mom over what to name these cookies- some suggestions were : Chip-alicous, Chip Loaded, Lots of Chips… it sort of stressed me out, so hopefully my title does the trick 🙂

Ultimate Chip Lovers Cookie

Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before you want to bake)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy (about 2 -3 minutes). (*Always over-beat instead of under-beat in this stage of baking.)
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. By hand, stir in your chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips.
  6. Drop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon balls onto baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip bag. 

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Chocolate Quakes

We were in a baking frenzy on Sunday to refill our freezer with a fresh stock of new cookies. We (my mom and I) wanted to make two totally different types of cookies because the best part of putting together a cookie box is including a variety of cookies (we have some Gingersnaps and Frosted Sugar Cookies in the freezer already). We decided on these Chocolate Quakes after making the French Sables since they were a little different and fun.

Chocolate Quakes are covered in confectioners’ sugar before baking so when they expand in the oven they crack making them look like the earth after an earthquake. The chocolate base for the cookies is nice and moist, but the sugar really puts them over the top. These cookies are great with a cup of tea (or anytime if you are like me and think there is no bad time to eat a cookie). Similar to the Sables, we folded in the dry ingredients rather than using the stand mixer since you want to just incorporate and not over-mix.

Chocolate Quakes

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process like this
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely ground pecans or almonds (we used almonds)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • About 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer fitted with a whisk (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla on low speed until pale yellow in color and thickened, about 1 minute. Pour dry ingredients into mixing bowl with butter mixture. Fold the two together with a large spatula until just incorporated. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Cover and chill until the dough is firm enough to handle, about 1 hour.
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.
  4. Form the chilled dough into 1-inch balls, place in the confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat completely. Place on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and the surfaces have cracked; the centers will appear underdone. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Try saying that three times over!  After reading the recipe for these cookies, I immediately added them to my “What To Bake” list (I hope I’m not the only one with a list a mile long of things to try…). And let me tell you, after making these bad boys, they will be going into permanent rotation!

This recipe had me try a couple of things that I had never done before. The first was using a scale to weigh out my balls of cookie dough before placing them on my baking tray. This ensures that all the cookies will be the exact same size. I almost always use a cookie dough scoop when I bake. It helps create even cookies, but actually weighing the balls out was brand new. If you’ve never used a scoop before I highly recommend it.

All you have to do is  take some of this delicious looking dough (obviously after you’ve already stuck a spoon in and tried it…)

And use this scoop like you would if you were scooping ice cream

I put each of my scoops on this scale (put the parchment paper on top so your scale doesn’t get greasy) and then put the scoops onto my baking trays.

The second new thing I tried with this recipe was cooling my cookies on the baking trays and not a cooling rack as usual. Usually if you leave cookies on a tray too long they dry out and get hard (not chewy like I like), but I think the short baking time and peanut butter keep the cookies moist and dense.

These cookies are HUGE, so when you bake them (and trust me you want to bake these), you only put 8 cookies on your baking tray instead of the usual 10-12. You really need to space these pups out because they grow!

Up Close and Personal

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker

Makes about 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats and then the chocolate chips by hand.
  4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. (Only put 8 cookies on each sheet). Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Enjoy with some ice cream like I did… mmmm.

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Baking!

When I went up to Fairbanks for Thanksgiving I had lots of time to teach myself to bake! A few of the treats below:

Blueberry Muffins (delicious Chow Recipe linked)

Blueberry Muffins!

Close Up!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookie jar peanut butter cookies

2 1/2 cups flour

1tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup. (1 stick) unsalted butter. ROOM TEMP

1/2 cup crisco. ROOM TEMP

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup peanut butter ROOM TEMP

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Sift together flour,baking  powder, baking soda, salt.  Set aside

Cream butter, shortening and both sugars in a large bowl with electric mixer, at med speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in peanut butter.

Add the reserved flour mixture by the cupful, beating on low speed to mix well.

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press each cookie twice in each direction with the back of a fork to make a crosshatch design and to flatten to cookie to about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer to a rack to cool. Store in airtight container for up to one week.

Yum!

Pumpkin Crunch Cake (this one came out a little burnt) Woops…

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Women’s Chefs/Baking

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Annual Women Chef and Restaurateurs Conference in Pasadena. My mother has been a member of this group for just about 10 years and it’s such an incredibly creative, warm, welcoming, helpful environment of wonderful women chefs. It’s so inspiring to be around women who have cooked their whole lives, opened restaurants, started their own companies, and been in the business for years. I stuck close to my mom as this was all new to me and I am NOT a chef. But yesterday afternoon I decided to try a break out session on my own… Cookies. I expected a cookie decorating class/putting frosting on or a lecture on cookies. Boy was I wrong. The Cordon Bleu teacher handed out recipes and told every team (yes we were broken into teams) to recreate the recipe given (it was from the 1940s). Well everyone went their separate ways picking new ingredients and rewriting recipes. I sat staring at how to get my mixer attached to my kitchenaid (Chef Linda helped)

Chef Linda

Then I made the mistake of not “creaming” my sugar and shortening. A word I had never heard of before. I also added pumpkin here (what I thought would be my GREAT addition). Linda came by in a panic. She looked at the recipe, looked in my bowl, looked at the recipe, looked in the bowl. She asked me where I was in the recipe and when I pointed she said, No that’s not possible and I said yes, yes this is where I am. She had my restart my recipe from the beginning. A little disheartening as my peers were adding curry powder and chopping mexican chocolate, I was struggling with adding flour to eggs and milk.

At the mixer!

But with Linda’s help, I persevered and got a good cookie dough out. I slapped it on a tray, made a ganash (milk, powdered sugar and cocoa powder) and had cookies!

Frosting!

The best part was trying everyone else’s cookies at the end! What an inspiring and amazing weekend, more to come!

Packing up cookies to go!

 

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