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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

This time of year bakers are turning out all sorts of holiday cookies.  Fancy frosted cut-outs and seasonal spiced circles are donning the plates at many holiday parties.  But the basic chocolate chip cookie often gets left behind this month.  I love all the different combinations and flavors as much as the next jolly gal, but let’s think of Santa here.  The poor guy can’t be flying from house to house downing a dangerous concoction of holiday cheer.  So for his sake, let’s go back to basics, shall we??

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie has been floating around the internet and numerous blogs for years.  I took one glance at the recipe and realized that it not only called for 2 different types of flours (neither of them being all-purpose) and you had to refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.  Did it look delicious?  Well of course they did, but they seemed a bit high maintenance to me back then or maybe I was just too impatient to wait so long for something that I’ve had countless times before.  Trust me when I tell you guys, that these are well worth the extra flour and the extra chill time.

They are so good in fact, Old St. Nick might circle by your place for seconds.  In which of course he would want to leave another gift for the very talented baker that warmed his heart with this chewy, slightly salty but wonderfully sweet cookie.  Wink, wink Santa!  If you know of anyone that is a I’m-happy-with-a-basic-cookie type, make these to share!  You will have smiling faces all around!

Which stack would you choose??  ;)

(Printable Recipe)

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

Recipe from New York Times

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 coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cup (16 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips (I used 60% Cocoa Ghirardelli chips)

Directions

1.  In a medium bowl, sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2.  Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.  (Don’t rush the 5 minutes).  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla.

3.  Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined (count between 5 and 10 after all dry ingredients have been added and then turn off mixer).  Stir in chocolate chips.  Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.  Dough may be made in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

4.  Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cookies can be made into 2 sizes: (a) Scoop 3 1/2 once mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheets.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt (if desired) and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 18 to 20 minutes.  (b) Using a medium scoop, place rounded tablespoonful of dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt (if desired) and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 11-13 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes:

  • Things not to skimp on:  Allow the butter and sugars to cream together for 5 minutes.  Be sure to refrigerate for at least 24 hours.  Let all those flavors combine, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Nestle also makes Dark Chocolate Morsels that would work great if you don’t have Ghirardelli on hand.  

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Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies

We are back up and running and I have to say…..I already LOVE having a Mac!!!  I don’t know much about all the different functions but we are getting there.  If anyone has any tips and tricks for us, we are all ears.

Between not having a computer for a few days and some busy days at work, my recipe resources were pretty slim.  Those things also combined with the fact that the baking pantry and ingredients were beyond low, I wasn’t left with much to work with.  So I turned to the back of the baking chips.  I always forget there are recipes on the back of those things.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a mint flavored cookie that didn’t have a chocolate base, but I figured why not.

These cookies turned out really soft and chewy.  I was slightly surprised with the turn out because the directions say to add the flour by itself at the very end.  So strange, but maybe they are on to something.  In addition to the delicious chewy texture, these are mint-y!  Minty, minty minty!  If you are not a big fan, I would reduce the amount to about half.  All in all, I was really happy with how these cookies turned out.  I might have to try out the other recipe on the bag….Andes Layered Frozen Mousse Pie anyone??

(Printable Recipe)

Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies

Recipe from Andes Creme de Menthe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 package (10 oz) Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1.  Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until well combined.  Stir in Andes Baking Chips and then flour.

2.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for one hour in refrigerator.

3.  Raise oven rack one level above middle.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

4.  Using a medium size scoop, place dough on baking sheets and flatten slightly.

5.  Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Cool on baking sheets for about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

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Is there anything better than a soft and chewy cookie??  Well I guess if you don’t like soft and chewy cookies, than yes there is.  But for me, a slightly crisp edge and a melt in your mouth middle cannot be resisted.  Nor should it be.  I may have even stolen 1 or 2 extra from the jar and ventured into another room just so I could eat in peace and get lost in cookie heaven.  I may also do that so I don’t get judged by the husband or the dog.  Isn’t it weird how dogs can give you that look like YOU are the one that’s busted??  How do they do that??

You know what IS better than a soft and chewy cookie?  A soft, chewy, chocolaty, toffee, rolo stuffed cookie!  Oh my dear heavens.  The melted butter in this recipe amps up the toffee flavor which is a perfect combo with the melted caramel center.  Let’s not forget about those dark chocolate chips that bring the cookie full circle.  Get it?  Full circle? You know because a cookie is a circle.  Yes….I do make corny jokes like that all the time.  Unfortunately what you don’t get to see is me laughing at myself in an awkward giggle that usually results in some sort of snorting.  Beautiful picture I am painting here.

I’ve been on a toffee kick the past few months.  I can’t stop myself.  What is your favorite candy bar/mix-in to use?

(Printable Recipe)

Rolo Stuffed Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits
  • 12-16 Rolos

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.  Set aside.

3.  In a 10-inch skillet, melt 10 tbsp butter over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 1-3 minutes.  Using a heatproof spatula, pour melted butter into a large heatproof bowl.  Add remaining 4 tbsp butter into hot butter and stir until completely melted.

4.  Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla to bowl with melted butter.  Whisk until fully combined.  Add egg and egg yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for another 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is smooth, thick, and shiny.

5.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture just until combined.  Add chocolate chips and toffee bits.  Place dough in fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

6.  Measure out about 2 tbsp of dough.  Place 1 Rolo in center of dough and then cover with 1 tbsp of dough.  Roll into a ball.  Place on cookie sheet.

7.  Bake 1 tray of cookies at a time until edges are golden brown and set and middle is still soft, about 9-12 minutes.  Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

Notes:

  • Although the recipe doesn’t say to put the batter in the fridge before baking, I have found that it produces a thicker cookie if chilled.
  • If you want a smaller cookie, cut the Rolo’s in half and use about 1 1/2 tbsp of dough.
  • Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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I’ve been on a bit of a toffee kick the past few weeks: herehere and also a few recipes that didn’t make it to the blog.  Although delicious, I’ve had no self-control lately and HAD to make something to use up the rest of the bag.  A few months ago I shared this recipe that rocked my cookie world.  It’s part brownie, part cookie, and totally amazing!

There is a thin, crispy outside with a rich chocolate brownie texture on the inside.  Perfection I tell you!  I especially liked that the mini chocolate chips and toffee bits were scattered throughout each cookie.  So let’s review real quick shall we:  Chocolate – love, Toffee – love, Coffee – love, Brownie – love, Cookie – love!  Needless to say……my lack of self-control is sticking around a bit longer with these in the house.

(Printable Recipe)

Chocolate Toffee Coffee Cookies

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 6 oz semi-sweet chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Bailey’s (or water)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

1.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.  Set aside.

2.  In a small glass bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stirring frequently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the instant coffee, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

4.  In large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, water, and vanilla extract until combined, about 2-3 minutes.  Fold in flour mixture until batter is thick and smooth.  Be careful not to over mix.  Fold in the melted chocolate.  Stir in the chocolate chips and toffee bits. Using a cookie scoop measure 1/4 cupfuls of batter (about 2 scoops) onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake until slightly puffed and the tops begin to crack, 15 to 18 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets and serve.

Notes

  • For regular size cookies, use 1 medium size cookie scoop.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops begin to crack.
  • Cookies are best the day of or next day.  Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

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A few weeks ago you might have noticed my Facebook post about finding a good peanut butter cookie recipe for my guests.  The first recipe turned out to be a flop.  The cookies were very dry.  After searching around on the internet some more and talking with my mom, I decided to go with an old favorite, the Crisco recipe.  Growing up I usually only made 3 types of cookies:  Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, or Chocolate Chip.  The Peanut Butter cookie recipe was listed on the back of the Crisco container and always turned out good, so why change things up now.  I tend not to bake with a lot of Crisco.  I find the white block of shortening a bit odd, personally.  But I decided to put all feelings aside and give it another try.

The cookies turned out perfect with the right amount of chewiness and crunch from the pretzels.  I baked mine for about 7 1/2 minutes.  I thought that amount of time gave an oh-so slight crunch to the outside in spots but still being very soft in the middle.  Next time I will try butter flavor shortening and maybe even a mix of shortening and butter, but this is definitely a good starting point.  The search continues……

If you have a go-to peanut butter cookie recipe and would like to share, send it over.  I would love to try it out!

(Printable Recipe)

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe adapted from Crisco

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 stick Crisco Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening or 1/2 cup Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pretzel sticks
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.   Add egg.   Beat just until blended.

2.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.  Stir in pretzels and chocolate chips.

3.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork.

4.  Bake one baking sheet at a time 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown.  Cookies will not look done, but they are.  Cool 3-5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

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