Chocolate Chip Cookies

I forget about the recipe box in my cupboard all the time.  3 x 5 cards of recipes copied down from my mom, from friends, and a few Pampered Chef recipe cards.   Do you have one of these hangin’ out with your cookbooks?  No?  Just Me?

This is a great recipe for a cookie that is chewy but not gooey, and gets a little crunchy around the edges.  And who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies on a random Wednesday night?

choc chip 1

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 tps salt
6 oz chocolate chips

choc chip 2

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl beat sugars, butter and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg, beat well.  Add flour, baking soda and salt, mix well before stirring in the chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoon full onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake approx 12 minutes, until edges are done and cookies are a light golden brown.

choc chip 3

cartoon-strawberry-9These cookies come together quickly and are wonderful right out of the oven, at room temperature, or with a caramel latte… (Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have a barista husband??)

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Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

I’m hoping y’all love ice cream as much as I do, because I am intending to wear out my new ice cream maker.

We had some friends over for dinner and I thought it’d be fun to have ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  And what’s better than chocolate and coffee??

choc coffee ice cream sandwhiches

For the cookies I used this recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies from Bunny’s Warm Oven.

For the ice cream I used this recipe for Coffee Ice Cream from A Cup of Mascarpone.

The taste of these sandwiches is divine!  BUT I didn’t make the sandwiches quite right and figured out my mistakes a couple days later.  I just plopped a scoop of ice cream between two cookies, wrapped them in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer.  The idea was there, but the execution was pretty messy.

Next time?  I will freeze the ice cream in a shallow dish between two pieces of parchment paper for a couple of hours.  Then use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of ice cream to put between the cookies.  Roll the edges in nuts or even more chocolate, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

I can’t wait to perfect the ice cream sandwich, the possibilities are endless…

Nutty White Chocolate & Peach Oatmeal Cookies

Every once in awhile, you just need to stop everything and make some cookies.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, May 2011.

Substitutions made, noted below.

peach oatmeal cookies 1

Nutty White Chocolate & Peach Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/4 c packed dark brown sugar – I used all light brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c dried peaches – I used dried apricots
1/2 c chopped walnuts – I used pecans
1/2 c white chocolate chips

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.  In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix on low speed until incorporated.  Slowly add the flour mixture, oats, dried peaches, walnuts and white chocolate chips and mix until combined.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  With wet hands, make 20 balls from the dough and put on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Press down on the dough balls with the palm of your hand to make flat circles.

Bake the cookies until golden and still a bit tender in the center, 15 to 17 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

peach oatmeal cookies 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I really love this take on an oatmeal cookie.  Sweet and chewy apricots.  Crunchy oats and pecans.  All around good cookie.

Everyday Brownies

Oh Nigella, can I move in with you and have you cook for me everyday?

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

No substitutions were made.

everyday brownies 1

Everyday Brownies

10 tblsp unsalted butter
1 3/4 c (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
approx 6 oz milk chocolate, chopped (or 1 c chips)
confectioner’s sugar, to dust
13×9 baking pan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium sized saucepan.

When the butter is melted, add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon (still over low heat) to help it blend with the melted butter.

(In a separate bowl.)  Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and pinch of salt, and then stir into the pan (butter mixture); when mixed (this will be a very dry mixture, and not wholly blended at this stage), remove pan from heat.

everyday brownies 2

In a bowl or pitcher, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and then mix into the brownies mixture in the pan.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and quickly pour and scrape into a foil-lined baking pan, spreading the mixture with a spatula and cook in the preheated oven for approx 20-25 minutes.  It will look set, dark and dry on top, but when you feel the surface, you will sense it is still wibbly underneath and a cake tester will come out grungy.  This is desirable.

Transfer the pan to a rack to cool a little before cutting into 16 pieces and dusting with confectioner’s sugar.  I love these gorgeously warm.  But then again, I love them cold too.  Actually, when cold they are properly speaking more brownie-like: gooily tender within and chewy on top.

everyday brownies 3

cartoon-strawberry-9Um, I think these are called ‘Everyday Brownies’ because now I want to eat a whole pan of these everyday.  I halved the recipe and baked them in a 9 inch square pan.  Half a recipe baked in 15 minutes.  Who wouldn’t want to make a recipe that includes the word ‘wibbly’?

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

When husband and I were dating, there was a coffee shop near his home where he would always order a Mexican Mocha.  I was hoping these cookies would remind him of those mochas.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, December 2009.

I made one slight substitution, noted below.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies 1

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

5 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped – I used a combo of unsweet, bittersweet and semi-sweet. It’s just what I had on hand.
3.4 oz all-purpose flour (about 3/4 c)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

mexican chocolate cookies 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave on high 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth.  Cool to room temperature.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper); stir well with a whisk.

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add egg; beat well.  Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat just until blended.  Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until almost set.  Remove from oven.  Cool on pans 2 minutes or until set.  Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

mexican chocolate cookies 3

cartoon-strawberry-9The pepper in these cookies adds a great little kick!  But to get the flattened crinkle cookie, I had to pull the sheets out of the oven about 2 minutes before the baking was done and flatten them with the back of a spoon.

Sugar Cookies

How did I forget these cookies?  These are some of the best sugar cookies ever.

The recipe came from the packaging on the Wilton cookie tray.  The tray had cavities of hearts and “Valentiney” designs.

No substitutions were made.

sugar cookies

Sugar Cookies

1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla – b/c the almond extract is optional, I used 2 tsp of Vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray cookie pay with cooking spray

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Beat in egg and extracts; mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and slat; add to butter mixture.  Beat until well blended.

Press dough into cavities, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 9 -10 minutes or until lightly brown around edges.  Cool in pan 5 minutes.  Turn pan over; tap to remove cookies.  Cool completely on cooling rack.

cartoon-strawberry-9Did I say these cookies were good?  Husband even commented a couple nights ago how good they were.  (I think he was hinting for me to make more..)  There were 3 batches of these cookies made in about 2 days.  I did add a little red food coloring to some just to have some fun with the Valentine holiday.

I also did a simple glaze of powdered sugar, a little lemon extract and water, blended until clearish.  Then applied with a silicone brush.

I haven’t tried to roll these out and use with cookie cutters, but I think it’d work.  I’m sure I’ll be trying it soon.

Brown Sugar Applesauce Cookies

My mom first introduced me to Penzey’s spices a couple of years ago.  And now any trip home includes an afternoon spent browsing the aisles of spices and dreaming up all the wonderful things to be cooked and baked.

This recipe is from the Penzeys ‘Back to School’ catalog.

No substitutions were made.

applesauce cookies

Brown Sugar Applesauce Cookies

1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c applesauce
1 egg
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Beat together the brown sugar, shortening, applesauce and egg.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drop the dough by the rounded spoonful about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until browned.  Immediately remove from the cookie sheets.  Cool, and then spread with frosting.

Frosting

1/4 c butter
2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tblsp milk

Heat the butter over medium heat until delicate brown, usually 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat in the milk until smooth.  Spread over cooled cookies.

cartoon-strawberry-9The first thing to do with any new recipe is to read it all the way through, BEFORE you start.  Setting out to bake some cookies and then BAM, add an hour for refrigeration.  Other than that, these are good cookies.  Next time I might add in some diced apple, or a little cinnamon in the frosting…

Santa’s Whiskers

Today’s post is a part of Leanne Penny‘s online Christmas Cookie Exchange!

Growing up, we didn’t keep cookies or sweets on hand, but at Christmas, my mom would fill the cookie jar.  Lemon bars, peanut butter blossoms, and my favorite – Santa’s Whiskers.  A rich buttery shortbread with bits of candied cherries and pecans, rolled in coconut (hence the whiskers…).

Santas Whiskers 1

Santa’s Whiskers

1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 tblsp milk
1 tsp vanilla or rum extract
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c chopped red (or green) candied cherries
1/2 c finely chopped pecans
3/4 c flaked coconut

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth; then add the milk and vanilla extract.  Mix in flour, cherries and pecans.

Form dough into two 8 inch logs.  Roll in flaked coconut to coat outside.  Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.

Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake till edges are golden, about 12 minutes.

santas whiskers 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I’m not sure of the origins of this recipe, but Christmas just isn’t Christmas without these cookies.