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Entries in Cookies (172)


CakeSpy Undercover: Grandma's Cookies, St Charles MO

Grandma's cookies

I need to tell you about a place called Grandma's Cookies.

At this magical place in a charming suburb of St Louis, MO, they specialize in--well, cookies.

But here's the thing. The cookies are only about 60 cents each! Well, less than 70 cents each. I forget exactly how much. And they're a pretty good size. In a world where cookies are regularly up to and sometimes even exceed $3.00, this made me like them from the get-go.

Grandma's cookies

And after reviewing the offerings, the unique formation of the chocolate chip cookies made me like them even more. The chocolate chip cookies almost looked like little sun hats: A cookie base, with a cookie lump on top. Oddly, none of the other cookie flavors shared this formation, they were just kind of flat cookies. I'm sure they were good but I zeroed in on the cool (and more bulky) looking chocolate chip cookie. 

Grandma's Cookies, St Charles MO

Look at how it looks in my hand!

Grandma's cookies

Alternate view!

Grandma's cookies

And look how it looks bitten into!

Grandma's cookies

Dude, this cookie was good. And not just "good for 60 cents" good. It was genuinely good. The unique formation gave it a particularly chewy and nearly gooey center, but the edges were crispy. The chocolate chips were ably met by the brown sugary buttery cookie base, and when they came together in my mouth, I felt a moment of pure magic.

A very good cookie indeed. If you find yourself in this charming part of the world, please go there. And buy a baker's dozen of these cookies. It won't even cost that much!

Grandma's Cookies, 401 S. Main Street, St. Charles MO; online here.

P.S. Like the pictures in this post? I took them on my new Intuition phone, part of the Midwest Savvy Gourmets program from Verizon!  Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.


Simple but Sweet: Very Nice Cutout Biscuits Recipe

Very nice cutout cookies

Sometimes, you need an over-the top cream-filled and sprinkle-studded dessert.

Well, this cookie is not for that time. This cookie should not be loved any less because of that, however: the fact is, it's a perfectly simple but sweet snacking cookie. In fact, I might go so far as to call it a biscuit, because for some reason I can't shake the idea of pairing these sophisticated treats with English tea.

Very nice cutout cookies

What more can I say about this biscuit? It's the perfect building block for a sandwich cookie or an ideal cookie to garnish an ice cream dessert; it would be wonderful dressed up with a dipping in chocolate and would be a very nice complement to a pot de creme. 

Of course, lightly crunchy and not overly sweet, they make a fine snack all on their own, too. 

No, it's not a showstopper. But this versatile cookie is a good one to have in your back pocket. They're not difficult to make, and the recipe yields a TON of cookies  if you use approximately 1.5-inch cutters. Keep it on file!

Very nice cutout cookies

Pleasant Biscuits

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated cinnamon
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed.
  4. Add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Place each dough disk between 2 clean, large pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more.)
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.
  8. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting out shapes.
  9. Cut out cookies and transder to the prepared baking sheets.
  10. Freeze the baking sheets for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Gather up the scraps, reroll and cut out more cookies.
  11. Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature. Makes many cookies (like 80 1.5-inch round ones).

Sweet to Eat: Stracciatella Truffle-Stuffed Cookies Recipe

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

Now that I've got your attention, let me tell you about something I made.

Recently, Lindt sent me a bunch of samples of their products. White chocolate and stracciatella truffles, in particular. Cool. I like their little Lindt Balls. OK, the technical name is "Lindor Truffles", but I kind of like my name better. But to clarify, even though my chosen name of Lindt Balls sounds like "lint balls", the chocolate variety is much more delicious. Trust me. 

I think Lindt wanted to see what I'd bake up with their treats, or possibly do a review on my site. Well, I don't need to review because I already know I love to stuff my face with these little morsels. Proof:

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

But as for baking with them--after eating several of them straight from the wrapper, I thought "I have an idea". I happened to have on hand a fairly dense cookie dough which I was using to make Hamantashen, and I thought "I wonder what would happen if I stuffed these truffles in that dough?". 

So I cut out some dough rounds and wrapped them around the chocolate balls. I tried to seal them off, but it seemed like a little white chocolate seeped out of most of them. Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

In general, though, they all retained enough white chocolate to give the cookies a highly delicious flavor. The cookie dough was fairly dry, but the baby-chocolate chip studded white chocolate centers were moist, and they are seriously an ideal cookie to pair with milk.

Stracciatella truffle stuffed cookies

Go ahead and try them -- I'd be willing to bet that you and your friends will do some serious damage to the batch.

Stracciatella Truffle Stuffed Cookies

Makes 18 or so

  • 3 cups  flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 24 white chocolate or Stracciatella Lindor truffles (why do you need 24 for a recipe that makes 18? Well, you might get hungry while baking!!)


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Set to the side.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with each addition. It's gonna look kind of curdled. Don't panic.
  3. Add the dough a little at a time, mixing on low.
  4. Press the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for an hour or so.
  5. Near the end of the cooling period, line 2 sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  6. On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. You don't need to be too fussy about this though.
  7. Cut out 3 1/2 inch circles using a cookie cutter or the floured rim of a glass. Gather scraps and re-roll as needed.
  8. Place a truffle in the center of each cutout, and gather the dough around it and press it together on top, sort of like a hershey's kiss shape. Try to ensure no holes or openings (this will minimize filling dripping out).
  9. Place the filled dough balls on the prepared sheet, leaving 1.5 inches or so around each cookie.
  10. Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper for 12-15 minutes. 
  11. Let cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Political Cookies: Democratic Cookery, 1971

Century 21 cookies

If you've ever been plagued with the pressing question of what democrats ate in 1971, there is a book for you: Democratic Cookery, published in 1971 by the King County Democratic Central Committee.

While many delectable dinner ideas await you in this book (Elva's Veal Roast from Mr.s Lawrence O'brien, wife of chairman, Democratic National Committee; Sweet and Sour Spaghetti from Mrs. David Ceccarelli, wife of Washington State Representative), I skipped right to the desserts.

Yes We Cake

But what to make first?

The goof-proof fudge? The Sea Foam Candy? TheCapirodata (a white-bread pudding bake from Della Montoya, wife of Joseph M. Montoya, Senator from New Mexico)?

Or perhaps, being a modern woman, I should go for the straightforward "Dessert", which includes detailed instructions on properly defrosting and displaying a Sara Lee Poundcake?

After much debate, I decided to go with the Century 21 Cookies, which sounded like a taste for a brave new (democratic) world. This recipe came from Betty Merril, wife of John Merrill, Washington State Representative. And I think that regardless of political affiliation, most will agree: these cookies are simple to make, pleasing to the palate, and delightful with milk.

Of course, if you want to get political with your cookies, there's this...

Pastry politics

Century 21 Cookies

  • 1/2 cup margarine or shortening (or, if you're feeling very 2012, butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


Cream well shortening, sugar and egg. Sift together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla. Roll pieces the size of a walnut into balls and place on greased tin. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a drinking glass which has been buttered and dipped frequently in granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.


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


  • 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


  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.)

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


  • 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


  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.

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.



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!


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.

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


  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.
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