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Entries in Cookies (172)

Monday
Jul122010

Taste the Rainbow: Kaleidoscope Cookies Recipe

Sure, you could get a sweet thrill from checking out the pretty patterns in a kaleidoscope.

But it's much more delicious to taste the rainbow--delivered via crumbly, buttery, colorful Kaleidoscope Cookies.

These cookies were a hit at Crafty Wonderland when Sara Bir served them to go along with Joe Ryckebosch's colorful tape art, and so I knew they'd be the perfect choice to serve at this past weekend's Urban Craft Uprising.

Plus, they were from my BFF cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. Yes!

They were a nice echo to the colorful melange of t-shirts with my artwork, and the crowds--no pun intended--ate them up. I made a big batch--perfect for a big crowd. Here's the recipe.

Kaleidoscope Cookies

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book  

Makes many (like 60)

 Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pound 6 ounces (about 4-½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • Various colors of food coloring paste or gel
  • 1 cup or so sprinkles or colored decorating sugar

 

 Procedure

  1. In an electric stand mixer, beat the butter with a paddle attachment until it is creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar and salt and beat for several minutes, until all of the ingredients are well incorporated and no lumps of powdered sugar remain. Beat in the vanilla extract, then add the flour and beat until a soft dough forms.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Incorporate the food coloring or gel of your choosing into each color--be sure to make the colors quite vibrant, as they will slightly fade in the oven (not much, but a little), and knead until the color is evenly distributed. I left one part white, used a little red food coloring for a pink section, then more red for a red section for mine.
  3. Roll each tinted segment into a log about a foot long. Then squish the three logs into one long log and roll until they form one roll (I got a nice wavy design when I did this).
  4. Gently roll and squish the finished log until it’s about a foot long. Then cut it in half to form two logs and roll each one of those until you have a number of logs that are 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter--it will be quite a few. If desired, place the sprinkles or decorating sugar on a large, shallow plate and roll each log to coat. Wrap the logs in wax or parchment paper and chill overnight or freeze up to a month.
  5. Remove the dough from chilling--if it was in the freezer, let it warm up just until you can handle it, but not until it is soft Preheat oven to 375 F.
  6. Unwrap the logs and, with a sharp knife, slice them into coins about 1/3-inch thick. Place on ungreased cookie sheets (the cookies will not spread much as they bake).
  7. Bake two sheets at a time for about 7-9 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the cookies have firmed up but are not browned. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

 

Friday
Jul092010

Sugar Sweet: Sugar and Meringue Presents Cookies for a Cause

Image c/o Sugar & MeringueDid you know that today is National Sugar Cookie Day?

I know. Awesome, right?

But what's even awesomer? How 'bout this sweet online book featuring the sweetest collection of recipes, lore, and info about sugar cookies, designed by Emily (who you may remember from her Star Wars Cookie guest tutorial here!) of Sugar & Meringue.

Not only is this e-book filled with sweet stuff, but it also contributes to a sweet cause. Several pages have a link to donate to The Great American Bake Sale, a sweet (literally!) organization which works to make sure that no kid in America grows up hungry!

Why do this? Well, according to Emily, "I had to create some on-line flip book style catalogs for work, and I thought it would be fun to create a little cookbook or project book for National Sugar Cookie Day. I also wanted to make National Sugar Cookie Day a little more meaningful by tying it to a charity and The Great American Bake Sale seemed like a fitting choice. "

So why not enjoy some cookie dough...and then donate some (non cookie) dough?

Check it all out here.

Tuesday
Jun292010

Mac Attack: Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroons Recipe

Macaroons don't really get much attention these days--these slightly frumpy, lumpy coconut cookies receive far less attention than their glamorous cousin, the macaron.

But there's a variation which ought to make you take notice: the Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroon. The result of some kitchen experimenting when I was testing out a recipe for Angel Food Cake Macaroons from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns , this was a decidedly happy outcome, resulting in a cookie which is chewy, moist, and incredibly rich. So rich that adding frosting is excessive, though? Not a chance. Sandwiched with some leftover frosting from my Hartford Election Day cupcakes, these macaroons even approach being cute--but more importantly, they're an absolute dream to eat.

Note: While I used a cake mix recipe for the macaroons, I have a feeling that adding the peanut butter and cocoa to just about any plain coconut macaroon recipe would probably work out fine.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroons Recipe

Adapted from Angel Food Macaroons from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns

- Makes about 48 small cookies -

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth, or lightly grainy textures, work best--don't use chunky. Or low fat)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • You'll need: Parchment paper, for lining baking sheets

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, water, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl; mix in your electric mixer on low speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for one more minute. 
  3. Add your peanut butter and cocoa powder and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
  4. Fold in the coconut.
  5. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the macaroons until they are set and just browned lightly on the edges--about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper with macaroons on top onto a wire rack to cool for five minutes. Using a small metal spatula, remove the macaroons from the paper. You can re-use the parchment paper if you still have any dough left over as the macaroons will come off quite cleanly.
  7. If desired, once cooled, turn over frost the bottom (flat side) of half of the macaroons and sandwich together with a second one. I used the leftover frosting from this recipe, and man, was it good.
Friday
Jun252010

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Freshly Baked, Los Angeles

Now, there are countless reasons why Freshly Baked, a gourmet cookie company in Los Angeles, deserves your love and sweet affection.

But if pressed, I'd offer these up as some of the primary reasons:

 

  1. Their mission statement, as stated on the front page of their website, may bring tears to your eyes: "Forget about carbs, sugar, and fat grams. Our cookies are meant to be eaten, not analyzed."
  2. Said cookies come in flavors which give shout-outs to, but aren't quite, traditional flavors: for instance, Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel, Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip, Strawberry White Chocolate, Banana chocolate Chip Walnut, and Root Beer Float (!). Oh, and they do something called the "OMG" which is comprised of half cookie, half ice cream. Like, OMG!
  3. The cookies all come in hand-graffiti'ed boxes with Keith Haring-esque designs, so that like snowflakes, no two are alike. I'm tempted to say something about the anti cookie-cutter effect...
  4. The company has a sweet story: owner Eric Weston has had a love affair with the cookie since he was a wee lad (he'll show you an adorable photo) and while a talented actor-comedian he decided to take his penchant for unsusal cookie creations to the local LA Derby Doll arena and see if he could sell his wares to all the local hipsters. To his great delight (and theirs), he was a hit and is now delivering his goods to all the hip coffee shops all around town!

 

Of course, these cookies were recommended by Cake Gumshoe Renee, who says that the "cookies are crackalicious, seriously. I'm very persnickety about my cookie selections, but his Nutty Bavarain Love Biscuit (peanut butter chocolate pretzel) cookie makes me want to curse with pleasure."

Freshly Baked will soon be debuting a cookie truck which will deliver mobile cookies throughout LA; til then, cookies are currently available at various coffee shops in the Los Angeles area, and can be special ordered for local delivery or nationwide shipment; find out more on their site, freshly-baked.com. Oh, and you can follow them on Twitter, if you're into that.

Sunday
Jun202010

Essie's Cookies: A Sweet Treat From Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Well, it was natural that I would feel an affinity with a recipe called "Essie's Cookies"--after all, Essie sounds like Jessie, and that's me!

But rhyming namesake aside, what do these cookies have to offer for eaters? Well, according to the intro in what you have to know is my favorite cookie cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, they are a "crisp, crunchy, good-eating cooky". Quel mysterieuse! Curious, I whipped up a batch.

Turns out, these are an amazingly easy rolled sugar cookie, and true to BC's word, very "good-eating". Visiting parents favored the ones from the back of the pan which were crispy on the edges; Mr. Spy and I ate up the softy ones from the front (because no, I didn't rotate the pan--even though I know you're supposed to. Whatevs).

Oh, and in the spirit of abbreviation (and ingredient availability chez moi) I omitted the split almonds on top. Don't tell Essie, but I think they were fine without.

Here's the recipe:

Essie's Cookies 

Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Optional: 1 egg white (for an egg wash), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar, and toasted split almonds to top the cookies (I just sprinkled with sugar)

Procedure

  1. In a stand mixer, mix butter, 1 cup sugar, egg, and flavoring thoroughly.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
  3. Blend the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Chill dough for at least an hour.
  4. Heat oven to 375 F. Roll dough 1/16" thick on a lightly floured, cloth covered board. Cut with cookie cutters; place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  5. If you're doing the egg wash business, beat the egg white with a fork and brush over cookies; sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top, and garnish with toasted split almonds. Or, if you're lazy like me, just sprinkle with sugar and pop 'em in the oven.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly brown at the edges.
Friday
Jun182010

White Light: White Chocolate and Apricot Cookies Recipe

I'll confess: one of my favorite things about the publication Seattle Woman Magazine is that they often feature recipes from Macrina Bakery, a famous bakery around these parts. And in a recent issue, they featured a recipe for chocolate and apricot cookies. Delicious combination? I think so.

In my version, they get an even sweeter makeover by using white chocolate chips and a handful of candied walnuts, making for a tempting treat for customers at my store!

Of course, if you can't stop by to try them, make the magic happen in your own household: here's my adaptation of the recipe.

White Chocolate and Apricot Cookies

Adapted from Macrina Bakery

Makes 15 jumbo cookies, or up to 36 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground espresso or coffee
  • 10 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup apricots, diced
  • a generous handful of candied walnuts (optional)
  • 8 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (original recipe called for half white and half brown, but I only had white--still tasty)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Procedure 

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso in a medium bowl. Mix with a whisk until evenly distributed. Add chocolate chips and apricot bits and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add 1 egg at a time, mixing until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add the vanilla. Continue mixing until butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla are all incorporated (about 1 minute). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Mix on low speed for no more than 1 minute. Remove bowl from mixture and do a final mix with a rubber spatula.
  4. Remove from bowl and chill for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Scoop dough with a medium-sized ice cream scoop to form 1-inch balls. Leave at least an inch and a half around each cookie to allow for some spreading.
  7. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes, turning about halfway to ensure even baking. Cookies should be golden at the edges but soft in the middle.
  8. These cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

 

Wednesday
Jun162010

Wild Oats: Oatsies Recipe From Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Pop Quiz: when faced with the prospect of imminent Oatsies, the proper reaction is:

A. Panic--you must run from this menace!

B. Dread--you're definitely going to need to visit the doctor.

C. A world-weary sigh--you don't need this today.

D. Delight--you're faced with the prospect of a delicious treat!

Of course, anyone who knows Oatsies knows that the answer is D: you are faced with the prospect of a delicious treat. But for those who may not be in the know, let me share with you what exactly what an oatsie is, from my BFF cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cooky Book:

A delicious caramel-like oat confection topped with chocolate. Shared with us by Charlotte Johnson of our staff, who makes them often for her college-student son and daughter.

And a most sincere thanks to Ms. Johnson, wherever she may be, for these are indeed a treat to be treasured: sweet, lightly salty, nutty, oaty, caramelly, and extremely addictive.

Oatsies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup (recipe calls for dark; I used light because it is what I had)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces (I used these nice fat chips)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Mix oats and sugar in a large, heatproof bowl (you'll need to pour a hot mixture over it soon).
  3. Melt butter; add syrup, salt, and vanilla. Pour over the oats and sugar; mix well.
  4. Pat mixture into a greased square pan (I used 8x8-inches).
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes--do not overbake! (How do you know it's done? It will be lightly bubbling on the sides)
  6. Melt chocolate and spread on top--or, if you're like me and don't read directions thoroughly, just sprinkle on the chocolate pieces and let them melt on the still-hot mixture.
  7. Sprinkle nuts on top of this, and let cool (or, again, like me, don't follow the directions and eat immediately. Messy, but tasty). You'll need a pretty sharp knife to cut these, as they're pretty sticky. Happily, I have a sharp and fancy knife called the "Jessica" (like me!) with which I can do these things.
Tuesday
Jun152010

Belle of the Ball: Coconut Belles from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book

At first glance, Coconut Belles don't look like anything out of the ordinary: they look like a pleasing, if unremarkable, bar cookie.

But don't be fooled. The Coconut Belle one coy little cookie bar. I found them in the "family favorites" section of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, where this cryptic introduction drew me in:

Since this cooky is better the second day than the day it is baked, you must bake them yesterday to enjoy them today.

True to the intro, these cookies taste good just out of the oven, but become something else entirely when left to their own flavor-melding devices overnight: delicately scented with citrus and redolent of rich coconut, these cookies taste far more compelling than their appearance might imply.

Of course, if you bake them around midnight, does that mean they were baked close enough to yesterday to enjoy today? Customers at the store will see.

Coconut Belles

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (I used lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon, and cream thoroughly.
  3. Measure flour and mix with salt and baking powder; stir into wet mixture.
  4. Blend in the coconut and peel.
  5. Spread in a lightly greased pan (I used 8x8-inch). If desired, sprinkle extra coconut on top.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. While warm, cut into bars. Serve cooled (the next day is best).
Wednesday
Jun022010

Sweet Excess: Glazed Cinnamon Rolls Stuffed With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Just in case you'd ever wondered: as it turns out, stuffing cinnamon rolls with chocolate chip cookie dough really does make them more delicious.

I know this because yesterday, finding myself with a free coupon for some Pillsbury Sweet Rolls, I went to the store and picked up a pack of Orange Cinnamon Rolls with which I set to experimenting. Now, I'm not adverse to enjoying these sweeties in their natural state, but while preparing some cookie dough for my annual Memorial Day Cookie Cake Pie, it occurred to me that stuffing them with cookie dough might just make them even better.

And you know what? They were amazing: gooey, high-fat, high-carb heaven. But don't worry if you're counting calories: I'm pretty sure that the orange glaze made them healthier.

Here's how you do it at home.

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls Stuffed with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 package Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with glaze (I used orange sweet rolls)
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate chip cookie dough per cinnamon roll (if uneasy about if it will cook thoroughly, use an egg-free version)

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Unwrap the roll of cinnamon rolls until you get that jarring "pop" that means the feast has been unleashed.
  3. Separate the rolls, and unroll each one gently.
  4. Roll each teaspoon of cookie dough into a thin log (use floured hands), slightly thinner than the thickness of the unrolled cinnamon roll.
  5. Place the log of dough on top of the unrolled cinnamon roll, and gently re-roll. Repeat with the rest of the rolls.
  6. Place the rolls in a lightly greased pie plate (it keeps it all contained) and bake according to the package directions, 15 minutes or so.
  7. Once the rolls are out of the oven, gently heat the glaze in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or until pourable. Liberally glaze your cinnamon rolls with it.
  8. Enjoy.

 

Tuesday
May182010

Sweet Obsession: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Inspired by David Lebovitz

Being a good baker is one thing, but being a baker worthy of stalking is completely another.

I'm talking, of course, about David Lebovitz, who introduces the recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies in his new book, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes, in this way:

Shortly after my first book came out, my phone rang one night a little after 10:30 p.m. A reader had tracked me down to let me know, with urgency, that she loved these cookies, but that they took 10 minutes to bake in her oven instead of the 9 minutes indicated in the recipe.

When in doubt, err on the side of underbaking so your peanut butter cookies remain moist. Take them out when they are still a bit soft, as they'll continue to firm up a bit after cooling. This time, I've given a bit more latitude to the timing so as to avoid any late-night baking-related emergency phone calls.

Though he never quite says it, the message is pretty clear: this baking rock star has serious stalkers--er, groupies.

But were these cookies really stalker-worthy? I had to see for myself.

I've only made one change from the recipe as printed in the book: instead of using regular creamy peanut butter, I've used Peanut Butter and Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams, figuring that if anything, chocolate will make the recipe even better.

The result? A cookie that is very much the dictionary definition of what a peanut butter cookie should be: moist at the center, lightly crumbly just around the edges, with every bite rich in peanut buttery (accent on the butter) goodness.

These cookies will disappear quickly. Worthy of the worship? Well, let's just say you're gonna need the sugar-and-protein burst of energy to stand outside of Mr. Lebovitz's Parisian pad, clutching boombox a la Lloyd Dobler. Just remember whose idea it was to add the chocolate, sweeties.

Peanut Butter Cookies Worth Stalking

Adapted from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, or to take my variation, 1 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Procedure

 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. It will be a thick, solid mass of dough.
  3. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours, but up to overnight.
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Break off pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls (the recipe calls for rolling them in granulated sugar, but I didn't do that. They were fine without this step, in my opinion, especially considering the added sweetness from the chocolate peanut butter).
  7.  Place on prepared (parchment-lined) baking sheets. Leave 3 inches between cookies. Lightly flatten and make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie using the tines of a fork (a spork doesn't work--no follow up questions).
  8. Bake, rotating the sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are dull and lightly browned around the edges but still lightly glossy/undercooked-looking in the middle (as they cool on the sheet they'll finish up). The bake time will be between 9-10 minutes.
  9. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheet (they will crumble if you try to remove them right away) and then transfer to a wire rack using a spatula. These cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container, if they last that long.

Want more? You can buy the most excellent book here , or for more recipes and "An American in Paris" type lore, visit David's website and follow him on Twitter!

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