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Entries in Cookies (168)

Monday
Jul232012

Sarabeth Levine's Chocolate Chubbies Cookies Recipe 

Chocolate Chubbies Cookies

BroDawgs and Dawgettes, I am totally serious. I am going to give you the recipe for the sweet morsels of heaven pictured above. It was a gift given to me from Sarabeth Levine, the Sarabeth behind the New York City chain Sarabeth's, which she had received from Soho Charcuterie, which I am in turn giving to you. You are so very welcome.

But before I do that, I think you might be interested in a little history about Sarabeth and her marvelous company. You can click here for a post specifically detailing some interesting facts about Sarabeth--I find her history fascinating, and think you will too.

Here's what Sarabeth has to say about 'em:

In my opinion, these are the moistest, most intensely chocolate chocolate chip cookies in the world. These are based on a recipe given to me many years ago from the SoHo Charcuterie, a restaurant that helped establish that Manhattan neighborhood as the place to go for anything chic and trendy, from art to food. For the best-looking cookies, a 2-inch ice-cream scoop is a must.

Chocolate Chubbies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes
  • 9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups (5 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 ¼ cups (4 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts

Procedure

  1. Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two-half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put the butter in a wide heatproof bowl, and melt the butter over the hot water in the saucepan. Add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate, stirring often, until melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cooled slightly but still warm, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Whip the eggs in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the eggs are foamy and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla. Whip until the eggs are very thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the tepid chocolate, making sure it is completely incorporated. Change to the paddle attachment and reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts, making sure the chunky ingredients are evenly distributed at the bottom of the bowl. (Do not turn the dough out onto the work surface because the chocolate dough makes a mess.) The dough will be somewhat soft.
  4. Using a 2-inch ice-cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 ¼ inches apart. Bake the cookies immediately-if you wait, they won’t be shiny after baking. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are set around the edges (if you lift a cookie from the pan, the edges should release easily, even if the center of the cookie seems underdone), 17 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely on the baking pans. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, with the layers separated by parchment paper, for up to 3 days.)
Wednesday
Jul112012

Chock Full O Nuts: Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate, Coconut, and Pecans

PB Cookie with chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans

You already know that Peanut Butter Cookies are delicious. They're a classic. They're a practically perfect food. Don't try to argue. 

Peanut butter cookies

And yet.

Sometimes a classic can be improved by adding more awesome ingredients. Case in point: on a recent day, I was testing the recipe for peanut butter cookies to appear in my upcoming second book (it is going to be rad. In the meantime, buy my first book here). 

Peanut butter cookies

For the book, I needed a fairly classic peanut butter cookie recipe. But to heighten the enjoyment of some of the cookies from the batch, I threw in a mighty handful each of chocolate chunks, coconut flakes, and coarsely chopped pecans. They looked all nubbly and bumpy and cobblestone-y. In a good way. Here, you can see a tricked-out one next to plain ones.

PB Cookie with chocolate chips, coconut, and pecanse quite melding together perfectly. I didn't taste the coconut too much at all.

 

But then, the next morning, something magical had happened. Overnight, the flavors had magically melded, and where once peanut butter cookies with stuff added were, now was a new treasure entirely. Peanut butter! Coconut! Chocolate! Pecans! It was almost like a peanut butter cookie had a PG-rated makeout session with a Magic Cookie bar. Not like they had a baby, but like some of the flavor had rubbed off. In a good way. 

And for your approval, I submit the recipe. My apologies for not being exact with the quantities, but follow your heart. I'm sure it won't lead you astray. 

Peanut butter cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (mixed—not the kind with oil separated)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • a mighty handful each: flaked/shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened); chocolate chunks or chips; coarsely chopped pecans

 Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set to the side.
  3. Mix the butter and peanut butter. Add the sugars.
  4. Beat well, until smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Stir the dry mixture into the wet in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are combined. Fold in your extras (coconut, chocolate, nuts).
  6. Form the dough into small balls; put on a baking pan. Flatten with a fork, aligning the tines first in one direction and then the other to form a cross-hatch pattern.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden on the edges. Let cool on the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Wednesday
Jun132012

Unicorn-Shaped Cookies 

Snack time

Cutout sugar cookies are pretty fantastic.

But they're even better when cut out into unicorn shapes. While technically, none of the ingredients are altered from a cutout cookie that could be used to cut out circles, hearts, or stars, it is pretty much scientific fact that shaping your cookies like unicorns adds enough magic to heighten your eating experience.

Unicorn cookies

Believe it or not, this recipe is adapted from an early Girl Scout Cookie recipe. It seems that in the early days of the cookie-fundraiser, the scouts actually made the cookies themselves, with their moms, for a merit badge. Well, certainly they found that their time was better spent selling than baking, judging by the flocks of the scouts who sell cookies by grocery stores each spring. Nonetheless, it's fun to taste these not-overly sweet, good basic cutout cookies and imagine them being sold at one of the first Girl Scout Cookie sales in the earlier part of the 1900s. 

Just be sure to let the dough chill before rolling, and roll in small batches and keep the remaining dough in the fridge, otherwise they will spread too much and will not keep their shape! Oh, and you can buy a unicorn cookie cutter here.

Unicorn Butter Cutout Cookies

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Unicorn cookie cutter

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on high speed.

Add the eggs, one at a time, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Add in the milk, alternately with the flour mixture, in 2-3 additions.

Form the dough into 2 balls. Cover tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On an extremely well-floured work surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the cookies. Use your unicorn cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Transfer to your prepared sheets using a spatula.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

 

Thursday
May312012

Hot Dog Cookies Recipe for Serious Eats

In a culinary sense, the typical cookout menu focuses more on savory than sweet. But that doesn't mean that cookies can't come to your outdoor barbecue: it just means they should get festive.

Hot dog look aside, taste-wise, these treats are totally sweet. Starting with a simple and lightly sweet butter cookie dough, you simply tint a portion, shape appropriately, and add a squiggle of decorating icing to attain an adorable dessert trompe l'oeil morsel. Though the dough requires a chilling period, don't panic: it's only an hour, so go ahead, socialize, eat another (savory) hot dog, and then bake these babies off for a sweet ending to your meal.

Find the full writeup and recipe here!

Thursday
Mar222012

Pillsbury Bake-off Countdown: Strawberries & Cream Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

Strawberries n cream cookie sandwiches

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

If you wanna get fancy, you've got to start dressing up your sugar cookies.

Give them a virtual pinkies-out by tricking them out as Strawberries and Cream Sugar Cookie Sandwiches! "Dress up sugar cookies wtih a creamy filling, chocolate drizzle and fresh strawberries. Ooh la la!" says the inventor and Bake-off Finalist Christena Rooks of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Strawberries & Cream Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

Makes 12 sandwiches

  • 1 package Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1 package (2 oz) pecan Chips (1/2 cup)
  • 1 container (8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Smucker’s® Strawberry Preserves
  • 2 tablespoons milk chocolate baking chips
  • 2 tablespoons white baking chips
  • 6 small strawberries, cut in half
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Shape cookies into balls; roll 12 of the cookies in pecans, pressing into dough. Place all of the cookies 2 inches apart on large ungreased cookie sheets.
  2. Bake 11 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla until blended. Spread 1 heaping tablespoonful mascarpone mixture on bottom of each plain cookie; top each with 1 teaspoon preserves. Top with pecan-coated cookies, bottom side down; press slightly.
  4. In small resealable freezer plastic bag, place milk chocolate chips; seal bag. Microwave on High 20 to 30 seconds or until softened. Gently squeeze bag until chocolate is smooth; cut off tiny corner of bag. Repeat with another bag and white chips.
  5. Squeeze bag to drizzle milk chocolate and white chocolate over top of cookie sandwiches. Top each sandwich with strawberry half. Store in refrigerator.
Wednesday
Mar212012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Great-Start Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

It's official: eating cookies for breakfast is officially acceptable. Pillsbury says so. Or at least one of the finalists in the Bake-off does: "Mix carrots and crushed cereal into oatmeal cookie dough to bake a dozen good-morning breakfast cookies. " This sweet treat was invented by Teresa Ralston of New Albany, Ohio.

Great-Start Breakfast Cookies

Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1 package Pillsbury® Big Deluxe refrigerated oatmeal raisin cookies
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups toasted whole wheat flake cereal, crushed to 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 orange slices, if desired
  • 3 large strawberries, if desired

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. To toast pecans, spread in 15x10-inch pan with sides. Bake 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown. Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper or spray with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add carrots, cereal, toasted pecans, coconut, orange peel, salt, and cinnamon. Mix with wooden spoon or knead with hands, until well blended. Divide dough into 12 equal portions (rounded 1/4 cup each). Place 6 portions of dough on each cookie sheet. Flatten each to 2 3/4-inch round.
  3. Bake 14 to 17 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets 3 minutes. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  4. In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and orange juice; blend well. Spoon glaze over cookies. Place cookies on serving platter; garnish with orange slices and strawberries. Store in tightly covered container.
Sunday
Mar112012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Nutty Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies

Image: Pillsbury Bake-OffCakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

It's time to get nutty--in the most delicious cookie sort of way. This recipe for Nutty Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies is perfect for the days leading up to St. Patrick's Day. As Anita Van Gundy of Des Moines, Iowa says, "Infuse sugar cookies with coffee shop flavors and a creamy, dreamy frosting.". A delicious finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off!

Nutty Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies

Makes 20 cookies

  • 1package Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s® baking cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons Irish cream-flavored coffee syrup or Irish cream-flavored creamer
  • 1 1/4 cups Deluxe Mixed Nuts, chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted or Salted Butter
  • 1/2teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In large bowl, mix cookie dough, cocoa and 2 tablespoons of the flavored syrup with wooden spoon or knead with hands until well blended. Stir in 3/4 cup of the nuts. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
  2. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, remaining 2 tablespoons flavored syrup, vanilla and enough milk for desired frosting consistency with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Frost cooled cookies; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup nuts. Store loosely covered.
Thursday
Mar082012

Chocolate Monster Cookies from Baking Basics and Beyond

Image: Baking Basics and Beyond by Pat SinclairI'll just say it: Baking Basics and Beyond: Learn These Simple Techniques and Bake Like a Pro wasn't the most immediately engaging book title to this sweet spy. It sounded slightly generic.

But when I received the book, which had a blurb saying "This is a great book" by pastry royalty Gale Gand, I figured I shouldn't judge a book by its title (the cover image, to be sure, was pretty appealing).

And when I got to the recipes, which were easy to follow and understand, and yielded consistently good results, I figured it was time to tell you-all about the book.

And here's one of my favorite recipes I've tried out so far: Chocolate Monster Cookies. As the headnote says, "we call these 'dishpan' cookies at my house because if you make the whole recipe, you need a dishpan to mix all the ingredients (or a very large bowl)." Now that's a batch of deliciousness!

Here's the recipe, which makes 32 jumbo cookies.

Chocolate Monster Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups quick-cook oats
  • 2 cups cornflakes, slightly crushed
  • 2 cups semisweeet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&M's, or a combination of the three

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  2. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a very large bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add vanilla and eggs; mix well.
  4.  Reduce speed to Low and add the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until dough forms.
  5. Scrape dough back into the very large bowl. Add the oatmeal, cornflakes, and chips and stir until well mixed. 
  6. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop or cup measure, drop dough onto cookie sheets. 6 cookies will fit per sheet.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until set in the center and edges are lightly browned. For softer cookies, reduce bake time slightly. The cookies will still look moist in the center when done. Cool cookies for 1-2 minutes on the sheet before placing on wire racks to cool fully.
  8. These cookies should be stored loosely covered at room temperature.
Wednesday
Feb292012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Salted Caramel Macaroons

Image: Pillsbury Bake-OffCakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

 Don't think less of me, but I actually like macaroons better than macarons. Don't get me wrong: macarons are adorable, distinguished, sophisticated, and an artful baked good which I appreciate very much.

But when it comes to a cookie that satisfies, for me, I will take the lumpy macaroon any time.

But this version has a sort of pinkies-out twist: "Sea salt meets sweet treat in an updated classic coconut macaroon." It was created for the Pillsbury Bake-Off by Sarah Meuser of New Milford, Connecticut.

Salted Caramel Macaroons

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 jar (12.25 oz) Smucker's® Caramel Ice Cream Topping
  • 1 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons   Sea Salt
  • 2 bags (14 oz each) shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate baking chips

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper; spray with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. In large bowl, combine condensed milk, caramel topping, flour and 3/4 teaspoon of the sea salt; mix well. Stir in coconut, pecans and chocolate chips until well mixed.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto cookie sheets. Lightly sprinkle tops with remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
  4. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container.
Sunday
Feb262012

Sweet Discovery: The Cookie Lady, Ogden UT

Cookie Lady of Ogden, Utah

The Cookie Lady of Ogden, Utah, has a new fan: ME.

No, she doesn't run a retail operation, but she sells her sweet wares at coffee shops and gourmet grocers all around the greater Ogden area. I picked up some of her cookies at Grounds For Coffee, a small coffee chain. I was told that the cookies were "really, really good" - so naturally I had to pick up a few. There were oatmeal, chocolate chip, and even vegan varieties.

Cookie Lady of Ogden, Utah

The standout? The chocolate chocolate chip cookie with pecans.

For one thing, the cookie is a nice, decent size. Not too big, but not annoyingly small, it's a mouthful but it won't leave you feeling sick afterward. A good start.

And the cookie itself has a great texture: crispy on the edges, chewy on the inside.

And the flavor brings it home: rich and chocolatey, buttery and well-rounded, with a nice crunch from the pecans, this cookie is clearly made well, made with love, and made in a home-baked tradition. That is to say, it's like grandma's homemade cookies...but better than my grandma's homemade cookies. Plus, the flavor combination is just a little bit unexpected.

Other than Grounds for Coffee locations, I can't tell you where else you might find the cookies in the area, but if you felt like doing your own sleuthing, the company's info is listed on the cookies; you can find their phone number and info here.

 

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