Archive for the ‘Cookies / Bars / Brownies’ Category

Happy.

August 30, 2010

I had an amazing weekend!  A brief breakdown:  It involved fam and friends, train rides, car rides, and farmers markets…

bubblegum plums (tiny!), witnessing the marriage of a really sweet couple at a boat wedding, and a lovely Lake Geneva B&B…

getting thrown around at the Iggy & The Stooges concert, nighttime walks, popsicles, and cookies!

Finally.  I was super stoked to make this recipe ever since the Pioneer Woman posted it a few months ago.  I love chocolate malts, and this cookie, especially with the milk chocolate chips, really captures the flavor of that classic dessert drink.  I split the dough and tried half with these milk chocolate chips, and half with semi sweet.  Go with the milk chocolate for sure.  You won’t be disappointed.  Note, HIGHLY addictive.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies


from the Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup, rounded, malted milk powder
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, and malt powder until just combined.  Gradually mix in flour mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by the teaspoon or 1/2 tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.  Be sure to leave a couple inches between each cookie as they spread and will completely flatten out.  I used about a 1/2 tablespoon of dough for each cookie and I ended up with 4-5 dozen.

Bake 7-8 minutes, but start checking them at minute 5!  Because they are so thin, these cookies burn VERY quickly.  As you watch them in the oven, you will see them first puff up and then fall.  You will want to remove them as soon as they fall, maybe even when the middles are still puffed on a couple of the cookies on the sheet.  The cookies will be a medium brown, see above pics.

Cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Enjoy!

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A Different Kind of Flapjack

May 22, 2010

Right now I am drinking my THIRD (very large) cup of coffee today. And wishing I had a Flapjack to go with it. A British Flapjack. Not a pancake, although that would be great too, but a triangle of oatty deliciousness… see above or below picture.
Everyone, open your March issue of Bon Appétit to page 62 ( I know it’s buried in that pile of books/magazines/mail next to your bed), or just click here. Those Brits know what they’re doing. Recipes don’t get much easier than this–a basic butter, oatmeal, and sugar combo that bakes into a crispy granola bar. My first batch went quickly, definitely a roomie-fave. Maybe double this recipe.

British Flapjacks


adapted from Bon Appétit

The originally recipe calls for “golden syrup,” apparently popular in Great Britain. I substituted corn syrup, which worked well. You could also experiment with honey or molasses (although you might want to ease up on the brown sugar with the latter). And while you should try this recipe “plain” at least once, nut, raisin, craisin, and mini-chocolate chip versions would be pretty good too.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided into 8 pieces
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 1/3 cups quick-cooking oats
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350° and grease an 8”x8”x2″ baking pan (preferably metal with a flat bottom).

Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add oats and salt. Stir until combined. Press mixture into prepared pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes until oats are a golden brown. Cool for five minutes in pan and then cut into squares or triangles while still soft.

Moguls, McTwists, & Rolo Cookies

February 20, 2010

The past week’s activities… a lazy combo of eating Girl Scout cookies and watching all the Olympic coverage one can without having cable.  No, I don’t have cable.  I live without the Food Network, Discovery Channel & Lifetime.  It’s a sad existence.

Less sad with the Olympics and Girl Scout cookies.  I figure if Olympians can eat McDonalds and drink Coca Cola (I’ve seen the commercials), I can have a few dozen thin mints.  It almost makes up for the fact that I cannot watch Golden Girls reruns.

Almost.  Now it’s time to put down the thin mints/samoas/dulce de leche cookies.  I want you to make these delicious Rolo Cookies instead.  They take a bit of time to roll, but it’s way worth it.  Your friends will love them.  And you for baking them.  Baking love.  That’s way better than cable…

the Rolo Cookies

Adapted from allrecipes.com.  Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar, plus more for rolling
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
36 Rolo candies, frozen

Cream butter and both white and brown sugars.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder.  Gradually add to butter mixture.

Cover and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.  Watch some downhill skiing.  Preheat your oven to 375° F.

Remove from fridge, let sit for a couple minutes while you prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper.  Now here comes the fun part…

Take 1-2 tablespoons of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand.  Press one frozen Rolo into your palm, and roll the dough around the candy, covering it completely.  Add a bit more dough if needed.  This will be messy.  Your hands will look gross but taste delicious.  Venture on.  Roll cookies in white sugar (this gives them a great texture) and place on your baking sheet.  Keep the cookies a couple inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes.  Let cool on the sheets for 5-10 minutes–if you can wait that long.  The cookies will break if you try to remove when the centers are still soft, but of course they taste AWESOME still melty out of the oven.  Just be careful, the caramel centers will be hot, hot, hot.

A few notes:  You can use other candies for the centers… Reisens, Reeses… whatever you prefer.  Freezing the Rolos seems to prevent the cookies from “leaking” through the cookie while baking.  Play around with the chilling time, I have had the best luck with the dough temperature being just a bit cooler than room temp.  You can also “powder” your hands with cocoa when rolling,  this helps with sticky dough.

Holiday Cookie Exchange

January 10, 2010

My last post was about Thanksgiving.  And this one is Christmasy.  And it’s… January 10.  Yikes.  I spose in addition to my resolutions involving driving automobiles and daily vitamins, I should consider posting in a timely manner.  With relevant stories and recipes.  But I had to post these pictures even if it is a bit late.  My family hosted a holiday cookie exchange, and it was super great.  I was blown away by all the delicious cookies people brought.  And the decorating!

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies Orange Spice Sandwich Cookies

Poppyseed Kolachky Coconut Snowmen Iced Snicker Doodle

Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies Raspberry Truffle Peppermint Bon Bons

I had a blast.  I think others did too…

The Cookie Exchange

A very belated thanks to all the cookie exchange participants!  Everything was delicious.  And a very belated wish for a Happy New Year!

I think some sort of baking event needs to be planned for Valentine’s Day.  A cupcake exchange?  A cupcake decorating party?  Something.

Oh, and my sis J and brother decorated those gingerbread houses.  Pretty good, eh?

Bye for now.  I’ll be seeing ya… more… in 2010!

Boo!

November 1, 2009

How was your Halloween? Nursing a mean sugar hangover today?

Thought so.

Did you carve a pumpkin, bake with a pumpkin, and eat pumpkin seeds?

No?!

Well it might be a bit late to carve a pumpkin now, but it’s never too late to bake with pumpkin. The past couple weeks have been busy and filled with autumnal things. One of my FAVORITE cousins came to visit with her boyfriend. While boyfriend and my brother created pumpkin art (that’s their handiwork above), we all chatted and baked cookies. It was a lot of fun, and we spent the rest of their visit celebrating birthdays, eating good food, and playing rock band. Special thanks to sis J for baking these awesome cookies with me–there is nothing better than baking, surrounded by your friends and family. Also, I am totally in love with these soft & spicy cookies…

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

from AllRecipes.com

for cookies:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together the 1/2 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients and spices. Gradually beat into the pumpkin mixture until combined.

Scoop batter by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.  Keep cookies at least 2” apart and press the batter slightly into the pan.  Bake 15-20 minutes until cookies have browned slightly.  Cool on a wire rack placed over a piece of wax paper.

Prepare icing.  Mix all the ingredients together, adding more milk if needed to obtain a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle or dip cookies into the icing.  Let cookies dry on wire rack.  This recipe makes about 36 delicious cookies.

Biscotti = Awesome

October 7, 2009

My Gram = Totally awesome.

So I’ve been traveling quite a bit.  I’m now in Peoria, IL–just three hours south of Chicago.  Just for a few days.  This is my first trip here, but I’m liking it.  The Illinois river is very pretty and we found a great place for dinner last nite, One World Cafe.  If you’re ever in Peoria, be sure to stop by!  I had some amazing BBQ chicken with andouille sausage stuffing.  Seriously yum.  And great service too.  Go there!

But back to my Gram.  This past weekend I was actually home for a few days so I got to spend a bunch of time with my family & friends.  It was really great–I did laundry (boo) and saw Zombieland (yay Woody Harrelson) AND baked biscotti with my Gram (double yay–yay yay?).  This is my favorite biscotti recipe, especially since I don’t do nuts.  Feel free to add them though, especially pistachios as that’s what the recipe originally calls for.  But don’t even think about making this without the orange zest.  Even if you don’t like oranges.  Really.  It makes the cookie.

Thanks Gram for sharing the recipe and baking with me.  And thanks Grandpa for entertaining us with war stories and glass-cutting techniques.  And helping me stylize my biscotti photo shoot.  You guys are the best!

Chocolate Chip Biscotti


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for “sprinkling”
5 large eggs
zest of one large orange
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
white from 1 large egg, slightly beaten

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, orange zest and vanilla until combined.  Add your flour and baking powder gradually until smooth.  Batter will be very sticky.  Stir in chocolate chips.

To make the dough more manageable, we’re going to divide and chill it.  Grease a flat-bottomed roasting pan or cookie sheet. Spoon batter onto greased sheet, creating three separate piles of batter of equal size. Cover and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two cookies sheets.

On a floured surface, with floured hands, shape each pile of dough into a 12” long log.  Place two of the logs 4” – 6” apart on one baking sheet, and the third log on the other baking sheet.  Flatten the tops just a bit with your hand.  The logs will be narrow, and not biscotti-shaped at all.  These things really spread out when baked!

Brush the tops and sides of logs with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 30-35 minutes, rotating your two pans halfway through baking.  Start checking your logs at about minute 25.  When your logs are done the top will be golden and firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out completely dry.  They will have flattened out as well…

Remove from oven and let logs cool for 10 minutes, covered with a dish towel.  Do not turn off your oven!

Move cooled logs onto cutting board and slice on the diagonal to your desired size biscotti (mine were about 3/4” – 1” wide).  Place slices on clean cookie sheets.  It doesn’t matter if the cookies are touching at this point, pack ’em in.

Bake the slices for another 8-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through.  Cookies will be slightly toasted and completely dry when done.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Serve with coffee or tea and enjoy!  Oh, and you can turn off your oven now.

The Holiday Weekend in Pictures

September 7, 2009

Banana Cupcakes

How was your Labor Day Weekend?  Too short?  But filled with good things like family, food, beaches, and puppies?  Sounds just like mine!

I baked with my Ma this weekend–she’s a food expert.  We made those yummy and oh so sophisticated Cappuccino Flats.  They were actually very simple, which was for the best, as I was super distracted by puppy cuteness.  I mean SERIOUSLY…

Okay, okay.  I’m done.  Let’s talk about cookie and coffee goodness.  Here…

Errr.  I just can’t help myself!  Cutest puppy ever!  I wanted to steal him.  Anyways.  Here we go, for real this time…

Cappuccino Flats


Adapted from The Ultimate Cookie Collection

For cookies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 teaspoon warm water
1 egg
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Dipping:
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons shortening

With a hand mixer, cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy.  Mix in sugars.  Add coffee, egg, and cocoa powder.  Mix until combined.

Combine flour, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.  Gradually add mixed dried ingredients to the butter.  Batter will be sticky.

Spoon half of batter onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Using the plastic wrap to help you, form the dough into a 6” long log.  Wrap in the plastic and repeat with the remaining batter.  Refrigerate until firm, 1-4 hours.  I only refrigerated for 1 hour, and then put the batter in the freezer for 30 minutes right before slicing.

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Remove dough from fridge or freezer, unwrap, and slice logs into 1/4” slices.  Place 1” apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until firm.  Cool on a wire rack.

Melt the chocolate with the shortening on low power in the microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds.  Dip cookies half-way into melted chocolate.  Place back on wire rack until dry.  If humid you may need to toss them in the fridge for a bit.

This recipe makes 5-6 dozen.

Note:  The dough gets more difficult to cut as it warms and the more you handle it.  If baking in shifts, I recommend putting the dough back in the freezer until ready to cut/bake.

Tequila Lime Bars

July 31, 2009

Did you see that movie with Felicity where she’s a waitress at a diner? In fact it’s called Waitress. And she bakes delicious pies inspired by her mood. Like, “I Hate My Husband Pie.”

I liked that movie. Probably because it was about delicious pies.

But anyway, if I was Waitress-Felicity I would have to give these lime bars a name like “I Don’t Know Nothing Lime Bars.” Which is how I felt after a meeting I had today. And which is actually fitting if you swig on the tequila bottle a bit in between measuring your ingredients and separating your eggs. Just sayin.

Thanks, Dani, for baking with me. It was fun…

Drunky Drunk/I Don’t Know Nothing Lime Bars


This recipe is part Emeril, part Guy Fieri. The filling was a thicker consistency than the jelly-like filling I’m used to with traditional lemon bars–it’s the condensed milk. But I decided I liked them. A lot. But I have a ton of citrus still, so stayed tuned for Lime Bars Take II. More tequila. Maybe with a pretzel crust. Oooooo…

For crust:
3/4 cup butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt

For filling:
1/3 cup tequila
1/2 cup lime juice
5 large egg yolks, plus two egg whites
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon sugar
kosher salt, optional

Start by greasing your 9’x13′ pan. Line it with a piece of waxed paper, then grease that. Then layer another sheet of waxed paper crosswise in the pan. Make sure the waxed paper comes up over the edge of your pan. You’ll use this to pull the bars out to cool.

Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, corn starch & salt in a large bowl. Divide the butter into small pieces, and cut into the flour mixture with two forks until blended and crumbly. Transfer the dough into your prepared pan, placing a piece of waxed paper over the dough. Press into a flat even layer. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove the waxed paper from the top of the crust.

Preheat oven to 350°F and bake the crust for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

While the crust is baking, prepare your filling. Whisk together the tequila, lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. In another bowl beat the egg whites and sugar to soft peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into your tequila mixture. Pour filling over crust and sprinkle with a bit of salt if desired. Bake bars for an additional 25 minutes until filling sets.

To cool: Carefully grab the waxed paper edges, and pull the bars out of the pan. Transfer to wire rack. Cool and enjoy! Store in fridge.