Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

CIMG1939

I am delighted to introduce you to this lovely dessert. Reminiscent of fruit pizza, but better (trust me), it is perfect for both casual and elegant occasions. I’ve made it over and over in the past two years, and it never fails to wow people.

The basics: A sugar cookie crust, using my very favorite soft sugar cookie recipe — covered by a white chocolate cream cheese layer — topped with cooked syrupy strawberries. Can you taste it yet??

The original recipe came from the Betty Crocker website, and I adapted it to use my scratch-made dough (which is better by far). In case you’re interested, I’ll include instructions on baking the dough as sugar cookies below the strawberry dessert recipe.

CIMG1933

Strawberries and Cream Dessert Squares

Crust

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1 cup white chocolate baking chips (6 oz)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

Topping

  • 4 cups/1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray jelly roll pan or 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray (If you use a 9×13 you will probably have extra dough. Make some cookies).

In small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Press dough evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips and cream cheese together on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Spread mixture over crust and refrigerate while making topping.

In medium saucepan, crush 1 cup of the sliced strawberries. Add sugar, cornstarch, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in remaining sliced strawberries and spoon topping over filling.

Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Store covered in refrigerator.

CIMG1935

Easy Sugar Cookies (original recipe here)

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

CIMG1902

Let me preface this post by telling you that I do not like peanut butter desserts, and I’m not a fan of the peanut butter/chocolate combo. I like Butterfingers – maybe they have the texture thing going for them – but Reese’s and I don’t really get along. I know it’s hard to believe… go ahead and take a minute to reconsider whether or not I am in fact a complete human being.

Okay, that said… These. Are. So. Good.

A no-bake peanut butter bar that I suppose is like Reese’s — but better — with an interesting combination of ingredients that includes graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar (AND 2 sticks of butter, but we don’t have to talk about that part), these are so easy to make, and they are guaranteed to make you swoon. I had four.

Yes, I’m being modest. I had more than four, but after four you kind of lose count. And who cares by that point how many you’ve had? You’ve already consumed about a week’s worth of calories, so you might as well continue consuming.

I encourage you to read Ann’s post at Velvet Lava about these. Her post is what convinced me to make them, even though I don’t like peanut butter desserts. That takes some good convincing.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a food processor, or using a hand mixer, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs until a ball forms. Press mixture into a 9×13 pan using a spatula.

Melt the chocolate chips over a double-boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth, then spread over peanut butter mixture. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour. Allow to come to room temperature before cutting into squares. Chill until ready to serve, and store in refrigerator.

Read Full Post »

CIMG1829

This is the recipe to have on hand when you need a major chocolate fix and don’t have the time or patience for brownies. Perfect for PMSing.

My pictures did some kind of funky thing where portions of them are blurred, but in a non-cool way… kind of a foggy look. Not sure exactly what’s up with that. But I think you can still get a decent idea of how amazingly rich and delicious these cookies are.

They are dense, fudgy, over-the-top chocolatey, and have lovely crackly tops that just disintegrate in your mouth. What you don’t notice is that these cookies have a deep, dark secret they are just dying to tell you. Actually it’s me that’s dying to tell you; I’m pretty sure the cookies couldn’t care less. Are you ready? Here it is:

There is no added fat.

Take a minute here to recover from your shock. Which would shock you even more if you had eaten one of these dark beauties, because they taste utterly fantabulous and you would not believe there is any way on earth they could have no fat besides whatever is in the cocoa powder.

And let me insert a warning here. You should only eat these if you really like chocolate. Dark chocolate, that is. This is not a cookie for wimps.

As if these cookies could get any better, they are also impossibly easy. You can whip them up in the time it takes to preheat your oven, if it even takes you that long.

CIMG1821

Flourless Fudge Cookies, designed and perfected by King Arthur Flour

  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process (dark)
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment paper and grease paper.

Stir together all ingredients until smooth. Mixture will be very thick, and a whisk will not work – I recommend a wooden spoon.

Drop dough onto prepared baking sheets in about 1 1/2″ rounds, or use a tablespoon cookie scoop.

Bake for 8 minutes. They should spread, be somewhat shiny, and have faintly crackly tops.

Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on the pan. After several minutes, you may remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Read Full Post »

CIMG1730

** Update: This post was originally titled “The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need or Want.” I have changed it primarily for the reason that if that is the case, it means I will never be able to try another chocolate chip cookie recipe… and although this is “the one” in my mind, it doesn’t mean I don’t ever want to try another recipe. There are some pretty interesting ones out there… so if you were temporarily confused by the title change, hopefully you are no longer.

Everyone is search for “that perfect” chocolate chip cookie recipe. You know what I’m talking about. The one you really want when you think of baking chocolate chip cookies. The one with the perfect texture, perfect amount of chocolate chips, the perfect balance of salt and sugar.

This is it.

In addition to being the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, as if there is any other reason needed to convince you to make it, this recipe is fantastically easy in two ways:

  1. It is a one-bowl-and-spoon recipe – no sifting dry ingredients separately, and no mixer required.
  2. It is very nearly foolproof. I have made countless substitutions and mistakes, and I have yet to deem a batch of these cookies inedible. I have even made them without eggs (I ran out), and added a tablespoon of water to make up for the liquid.

The original recipe came from the Betty Crocker website here, and had so many great ratings and reviews that I had to try it. Since then, I have not tried a single other chocolate chip cookie recipe – and I have not regretted it for a moment.

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes a lot of cookies; I usually halve the recipe and it works nicely.

  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine (I use that Imperial brand stuff from the grocery store. It has given me the best results – and it is also the cheapest)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 large bag or two smaller bags, 4 cups)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

CIMG1698

In large microwavable mixing bowl, melt butter. Stir melted butter together with sugars, vanilla, and eggs with a spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

CIMG1703

CIMG1705

Drop dough by spoonfuls (this varies depending on how large you like your cookies) onto ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper if you don’t feel like washing dishes afterwards.

CIMG1713

Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

This dough freezes excellently, and I usually keep a log of dough in the freezer for unexpected company. If you’ve never frozen cookie dough, it’s really very easy and convenient to have on hand. Once you’ve mixed up the dough, spoon it onto a large piece of saran wrap, like so (this is easier if the dough has chilled in the fridge for a bit, but mine had not so it was quite gooey):

CIMG1708

Then simply roll it up and tuck the ends under. It will freeze more like a log if you cut a paper towel tube down the center and wrap it around the dough log (unfortunately I didn’t have one, but I’m sure you get the general idea).

CIMG1709

I actually think the cookies taste a bit better after they’ve been frozen for at least a few days – maybe like that NY Times recipe that’s been floating around for a while now. Anyway, just slice and bake – no need to thaw, unless you particularly want to or you have a dull knife. Like I said, very convenient.

And after baking, you end up with these lovely beauties… Warm and buttery, crisp and soft and chewy, and literally packed with melty, gooey, chocolate chips. Simply perfect.

CIMG1732

Read Full Post »

CIMG1455

Oh BOY have I got a lot of great things to share with you! Today you get two… but I still have one more up my sleeve for you later.

Pizza is a semi-regular dish in our house. I struggled long and hard to find a decent crust recipe that fit my preference, and I finally found it in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. If you (a) like bread, and (b) would love to make homemade bread without kneading, there is no reason why you should not own this book. If you don’t have it, order it here now. I’m not kidding. It will change your life. Click here for the book’s website.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m sure there’s a copyright law that prevents me from sharing the exact crust recipe with you. So just in case, I won’t… (but I *might* send it to you if you email me privately). I will tell you that I use the Olive Oil Dough from the book, and the pizza-making directions. It is fantastic. I’d rather have this than Papa John’s. And that’s saying a lot, because Papa John’s and I have a long-standing relationship.

I had some basil pesto leftover from making the Tomato Basil Pasta Salad, so I spread that on the pizza in lieu of a tomato-based sauce, and topped with thinly sliced Roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Delicious!

CIMG1456

After dinner, I mixed up a batch of Cinnamon Cookies to take to the beach with us over the weekend. I discovered these at Christmas this year, and my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law both raved about them and asked for the recipe (you know it’s serious when your grandmother-in-law wants your recipe). JW’s brother Bruce in particular went crazy over them. Bruce requested them for the beach trip, so I gladly obliged.

CIMG1461

If you like cinnamon, you’ll love these cookies. They’re somewhat soft and chewy, but I’m sure if you particularly wanted crisp cookies you could try baking them a bit longer. I like soft cookies myself. Here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon Cookies (Original recipe here)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Cream together butter and sugar.
Mix in egg and molasses, blending well.
Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

CIMG1463

Read Full Post »