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Entries in Cookies (172)


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


  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.

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


  • 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


  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.

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


  • 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


  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.

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.



Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Peanut Butter Creme Cookie Cups

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!

What kind of field does Mary Fields of Gilbert, AZ live in? A field of delicious, obviously.

If you needed proof, you can find it in her recipe for Peanut Butter Creme Cookie Cups, a finalist in the upcoming Pillsbury Bake-Off. Will she win? Nobody knows yet, but one thing's for sure: you can be a winner in your kitchen by whipping up a batch, right now. Here's the recipe.

Peanut Butter Creme Cookie Cups


  • 1/2 cup  Pecan Chips
  • 1 package Pillsbury® Big Deluxe refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s white baking chips
  • 1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper or foil baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. In small bowl, place pecan chips. Lightly coat each cookie with pecans; press into dough. Place each cookie, flat side down, in muffin cup.
  3. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool in muffin cups on cooling rack 30 minutes. (Centers of cookies will sink slightly.)
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave white chips on Medium 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Stir peanut butter into melted chips until blended.
  5. Spoon about 2 teaspoons peanut butter mixture into each cookie cup. Store in covered container.

Gimme S'more: Chocolate Drop S'mores Pop-Tarts Cookies

CakeSpy Note: It's high time to take another look at this updated version of the pop-tarts cookie recipe, because it's featured on Serious Eats this week!

Have you ever found yourself eating a chocolate cookie and thought to yourself that surely, surely there must be a way to heighten this delicious experience?

The answer is yes, and that thing is Pop-Tarts. More specifically, S'mores Pop-Tarts.

And with that, let me introduce what is bound to become a new classic: The Chocolate Drop S'mores Pop-Tart Cookie. It's a mouthful in more ways than one, a taste so wholly unholy that while part of you may cry no, most of you will cry for s'more.

Here's the recipe. For more details and printable instructions, visit Serious Eats!

Chocolate Drop S'more Pop-Tarts Cookies

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate (2 oz), melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 chopped s'mores Pop-Tarts


  1. Mix butter, sugar, egg, and chocolate thoroughly. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking soda and salt; mix in with wet mixture.
  3. Fold in the Pop-Tarts pieces.
  4. Let dough chill for at least an hour.
  5. Heat oven to 400 F. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until no imprint remains when lightly touched. Let sit for 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


Love Me Knot: The Story of the Calabrian Love Knot

Calabrian Love Knots

CakeSpy Note: I am reposting this recipe because it's featured on Serious Eats this week!

If there is one thing I love even more than a great baked good, it's a great story. And if it's a story about a baked good, well then, all the better.

So when I came across the following introduction preceding a recipe for Calabrian Love Knots in Judith M. Fertig's amazing tome (buy it--trust me--it's a great book!) All American Desserts

During the early 1900s, the height of Italian immigration...many people came from Calabria in the "toe" part of boot-shaped Italy, right across the Mediterranean from...Sicily. When women of Calabrian descent become brides, beautifully arranged platters of these almond-flavored cookies are often served at the reception.

...well, all I can say is that I had to try this recipe.
Calabrian Love Knots
It's not hard to see why these cookies are a time-honored tradition. They're simple to make, but the pleasure that they provide is tenfold: like a slightly drier and less sweet version of a sugar cookie, they taste delectable when dipped in strong coffee (or even wine!). They're truly the stuff of memories: as one Italian CakeSpy reader put it, "My grandparents had them at their wedding reception in the 40s. Nowadays only few families still know how to cook them and it is possible to buy them only in very small traditional bakeries in the countryside."


Now, I did make some alterations to the original recipe. First, because I happened to have a half wheat/half all-purpose flour mixture left over from a recent baking project, my batch was made with some wheat flour (we thought it tasted pretty good, actually!). And second, while the original recipe called for a light almond paste, sugar, and cream glaze, I served mine without--as hard as it is to admit this, they actually didn't need it. (Of course, if you don't believe me--and I don't blame you--the frosting recipe is written below).
Calabrian Love Knots
Calabrian Love Knots

adapted from All American Desserts by Judith M. Fertig
- makes about 2 dozen -
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used a half-and-half mixture of wheat flour and all-purpose, which made them a bit nuttier)
Optional almond sugar frosting:



  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar




  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Either grease baking sheets or lay out some parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil, granulated sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the milk, almond extract, baking powder, and enough flour so that the dough becomes stiff. 
  3. Knead the dough either by hand or with a dough hook in a mixer until smooth. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon worth of dough for each cookie; roll into a rope and then twist into a pretzel shape, simple knot, or the letters of the name of your significant other. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies on to a wire rack to cool.
  5. If you're making them with frosting, go ahead and whisk the cream and almond extract together in a small mixing bowl. Beat in the confectioners' sugar bit by bit until it is smooth and of your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. 
  6. Either way, store in an airtight container. These cookies keep beautifully when frozen.

 For more, visit Serious Eats!


Sweet Stripes: Candy Cane Striped Cookies Recipe for Serious Eats

It's true: Italian Flag Cookies, or Rainbow Cookies, as they're sometimes called, are already sort of Christmas-hued.

But if you, like me, prefer something more substantial than preserves between layers, you might adore this equally festive frosting-filled Candy Cane Striped Cookie variation. These cakey cookies are a pretty addition to any holiday cookie tray, and easy to tailor to your tastes. Not content to merely mimic the candy cane stripes? Make them minty: flavor the filling with a touch of peppermint extract for a sweet flavor complement to the almond flavor and chocolate topping.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!


Cookie Time: Chocolate Crinkles Cookies Recipe by Stephanie Anderson Witmer

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Stephanie! Here's her Bio: Stephanie Anderson Witmer is the author of the cookbooks Killer Pies  and Killer Chili  (as Stephanie Anderson, her maiden name), both published by Chronicle Books in 2007. She has also written about food for Better Homes & Gardens, Punchfork.comSpirit magazine, and more. Visit her website at stephanieandersonwitmer.com. 

One reason I love Christmas so much is that in my family, it’s almost exactly the same year after year after year. In the morning, we eat cinnamon rolls, followed by poached eggs over pieces of bread in coffee cups (eponymously called “Charlie eggs” after my paternal grandfather). In the afternoon, my grandmother prepares an informal afternoon buffet that includes beef brisket, steamed shrimp, baked beans and the ubiquitous red-and-green Jell-O mold.

But it’s what comes after all of this that’s the main Christmas food event, in my opinion: my grandma’s chocolate-crinkle cookies. We wait in anticipation for her to carry out the Christmas tree–shaped cookie tray, ready to pounce on the crinkles, stockings, presents and good manners be damned. All of us — kids, adults, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grandparents — attack the pile of crinkles with such ferocity, we’re practically elbowing each other out of the way. (The best tactic is to quickly grab a handful and retreat. Don’t be polite. You will eat them all.)

On a normal day, the chocolate-chip cookies or the peanut-butter cookies with the Hershey’s Kisses in the middle or the sugar cookies bedazzled with vibrant sanding sugar would be popular picks. But it’s not a normal day. It’s Christmas—the one and only day of the year that the chocolate crinkles make their appearance. Sure, we could make the cookies more often, but it just doesn’t feel right. Their rarity is part of why they taste so good (but just part).

And now I share my grandma’s recipe with you. Some crinkle words of wisdom before you begin: First, crinkles should be small, ever-so-slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It’s important not to over-bake them. They should look not-quite done when you pull them out of the oven. Next, the dough needs to be refrigerated overnight, so be sure to plan accordingly. Just before baking, the cookies are shaped into balls and rolled in what will seem like an ungodly amount of confectioners’ sugar. Err on the side of more, not less. As they bake, the cookies will spread, with the sugar forming the crinkles, and they’ll come out of the oven looking as if they’ve been dusted with newly fallen snow.

Grandma’s Chocolate-Crinkle Cookies

Yield: 6-7 dozen


  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Confectioners’ (10x) sugar, for coating 


  1. Mix oil, melted chocolate, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend in one egg at a time. Mix together salt, flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, and then add to wet ingredients, blending until combined. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate dough overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll a teaspoon of cold dough into a ball, and then generously roll each ball in confectioners’ sugar. Place 12 balls on a greased cookie sheet, and bake 8–10 minutes. (Check after 8 minutes). Do not overbake. Cookies should be slightly soft when done.

Mac Attack: Christmas Tree Coconut Macaroons Recipe for Serious Eats

In general, coconut macaroons are not what would be considered a "cute" cookie.

But that's about to change: introducing the Christmas Tree Coconut Macaroon!

These sweet little somethings are rendered adorable simply by tinting the coconut with green food coloring and then decorating with sprinkles and writing icing post-baking. They're fun and easy to make, sweet to eat, and it's a very child-friendly baking project to boot!

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

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