Snickerdoodles

The day I made these cookies was also the day I realized it was time to start enforcing a little privacy from my 4 year old.  Remember the days of taking an uninterrupted shower for longer than five minutes?  I found myself locking the door after my daughter became curious with questions.  Now I’ve become a skilled ninja going from the bathroom to the bedroom after a shower…unlocking and slowly opening the bathroom door, peeking around the corner, tiptoeing across the hall, then diving on the bed while humming the Mission Impossible tune.

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My husband used to buy these cookies by the dozen from the store, and it was always one of those circumstances when I became immediately excited…then frustrated because I knew I’d end up eating half a dozen of them…immediately.  Who could resist the soft, buttery goodness of those cookies topped with the perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar?  I sure couldn’t, and I’m starting to think it may be a super power to avoid these if at all possible.

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These days, it’s me providing our home with these cookies…and my husband is now the one who is grumbling about how much he loves the cookies while he shoves three in his mouth.  Oh, how the tables have turned.

Snickerdoodles (recipe modified from food.com)

2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter, shortening, and sugar at medium speed until creamy using electric mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla, continue beating until blended.  In a smaller mixing bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture while continuing to mix at medium speed.  Set cookie dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.  In a small dish, stir together 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Using a cookie scoop to measure out dough, roll dough in cinnamon sugar mixture, then place on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until a light golden color.  Remove from oven, leave cookies on stone or sheet for another 2 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels (this keeps the cookies from developing indentions from the cooling rack) to cool using a cookie spatula.  Store in airtight container.

Lemon Poppyseed Cookies

In all honesty, I’m a little picky when it comes to citrus flavors.  I like lemons, but there are certain lemon desserts and other dishes that I keep at arm’s length… but lemon poppyseed is a combination that I usually give a bear hug.  I catch myself lingering in the bakery at the store when I spot the muffins to see if they have any of these flavor.  Sometimes they do, but most of the time they don’t have the large ones that I’m looking for.  In fact, last time I pooched my lower lip out when I saw there weren’t any and moved on…only to buy ingredients to make my own.

lemon poppyseed

My husband recently told me that he likes flatter cookies that are still soft.  I told him that he’s nuts, because I’m a huge fan of fluffy cookies myself…but after a few batches of making different types of cookies and making them slightly thinner, I can certainly see the appeal (although I still love fluffy cookies).  I did make a boo boo the first time around with these, though.  I got the brilliant idea of dipping the cookie dough in freshly squeezed lemon juice before the sugar, then placing on the baking pan.  Well, the extra juice from the lemon on top of the cookie dough really changed the consistency of the cookies.  They were almost paper thin, and spread out all over the place.  Lesson learned!  The last dozen of the batch, I just rolled them in sugar before baking…and the consistency was just right.  While explaining these to my husband through text message, the best way I could think of to explain to him was that these were like lemon sugar cookies…with a bunch of little black dots.

Lemon Poppyseed Cookies Recipe:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

grated lemon peel (from 2 lemons)

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

extra sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, using electric mixer.  Add eggs, grated lemon peel and vanilla, continue beating.  In another small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and poppyseeds.  Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until combined.  Using a cookie scoop to measure out dough, roll in extra sugar.  Place on baking sheet, and baking for 10-12 minutes, or until tops are a very light golden color.  Remove from oven, transfer cookies to cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight container.

 

White Chocolate Almond Cookies

When it comes to cookies that have nuts in them, personally I’m a big fan.  Not everyone is a big fan of nuts in their cookies and desserts, but one thing I have noticed is that it’s been almost impossible to find someone that does NOT like almond extract flavoring…even the people who don’t like almonds or nuts in general.

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I’ve made white chocolate macademia nut cookies, and those were fantastic…but in all honesty, these just might be my new favorite cookie.  In fact, I believe three batches of these cookies were made in less than two weeks, and each time I was fussed at and complimented at the same time.  Fussed at mainly because people couldn’t stop eating them and called me a bad influence.  Guilty as charged, because honestly I can’t stop eating these little guys when they’re in my house, too…

White Chocolate Almond Cookies Recipe:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 bag white chocolate chips

1 cup almonds (toasted and roughly chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter, white and brown sugar together using electric mixer.  Add eggs, almond extract and vanilla, beat until combined.  Add flour, salt and baking soda, mixing well.  Stir in white chocolate chips and almonds.  Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and distribute on baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes, until tops of cookies are a very light brown.  Cool completely on cooling racks, store in airtight container.

**If you’re toasting your own almonds, it’s very simple…  Just lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees, let cool before chopping into chunks.

 

Cinnamon Graham Cracker Cookies

When I was working on the idea for the s’mores cookies I made a while back, the thought of making a graham cracker cookie sounded delicious.  And, since the regular graham cracker cookie recipe turned out to be so yummy, the thought of taking a cinnamon route with these cookies sounded even better…so off I went.

cinnamon graham cracker cookies

My dad is a huge fan of cinnamon graham crackers smothered with peanut butter, so I may just have to do that with these.  Oh, but add some chocolate on top of that.  Ohh yeah…that’ll do it.

Cinnamon Graham Cracker Cookies Recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup light brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar in medium mixing bowl beating with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs, vanilla, and pudding mix, continue beating until combined.  In small bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients.  Pour half of dry mixture in with wet mixture, continue beating, then add remaining dry ingredients.  Use a mini cookie scoop to make the cookies small enough to be about the same size as the marshmallows.  Bake for 11-14 minutes, until a light golden brown on top.

Palmiers (French Pastry Cookies)

If you’re like me, you read the title of this recipe and said, “What?”  Palmiers (pronounced pall-me-yays) are French pastry cookies.  I had never seen them or even heard of them before our first baking class in culinary school, and had the chance to make these in class one night.  After class was over and we were all cleaning up, I finished my cleaning duty, went back into the classroom to get my container to fill up with the cookies, and walked back into the kitchen…only to find that they had literally been wiped out.  Completely.  So, I decided to make them again the following weekend at my parents’ house.  And honestly, it was a good thing that I got some pictures of them when I did, because they were wiped out a second time.

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One batch was brushed with a honey glaze, while the other batch was drizzled with a vanilla glaze.  Both were amazing, but in all honesty, these little guys remind me of cinnamon rolls.  The first two times I made these, the puff pastry was from scratch, but I also wanted to use the frozen puff pastry dough you can buy at the grocery store to see how that turned out.  It was definitely a shortcut version and it was much easier and quicker, but like most things that are made from scratch, they were a little bit better…but I’ll be honest, it was a lot more convenient with just whipping the frozen puff pastry dough out on the counter to thaw out before diving in to the process.

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First, roll out your puff pastry dough.  If you’re using frozen puff pastry dough, let thaw at room temperature until soft and ready to work with.

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Sprinkle the puff pastry with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, then roll the mixture into the dough with a rolling pin (this helps to keep it from falling out as much).  For one sheet of pastry dough, mix 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Double the amount for using two sheets of dough.

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Fold in two sides.

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Fold in one more time on each side.

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Fold over, and roll with a rolling pin to secure the dough together.  Chill in fridge for about an hour for dough to set.

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Cut into approximately 1/2-3/4 inch thick pieces.

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Lay flat on baking sheet (I normally use a baking stone), then bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until a light golden color.

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Cool completely on cooling racks.

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Once finished, brush with honey glaze or drizzle with vanilla glaze.

For the Honey Glaze:

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix two ingredients together, brush on tops of cookies.

For the Vanilla Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoons milk, until desired consistency

Mix all ingredients together until desired consistency, slightly runny.  Spoon into cake decorating bag (or ziplock bag), snip the tip off the bag, drizzle over cookies.

Puff Pastry Dough From Scratch:

1 lb. all purpose flour

1 lb. unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cold

6 oz. cold water

1/4 oz. salt

Cut butter into flour and salt using hands, or in a standing mixer.  Once mixture resembles cornmeal, add cold water and continue to knead until dough is formed.  Wrap in plastic wrap, set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  When rolling out, flour your work surface and add flour to your rolling pin.  Roll out into a rectangle that is at least 7 inches wide and no more than 1/4 inch thick.  Trim edges if necessary for clean lines.

 

Red Velvet Cookies

When it comes to cookies, I’m always looking for something new and delicious.  The last cookie recipe that I threw together was the Oreo Chunk Cookies, soft sugar cookies packed with Oreo chunks and topped with Oreo crumbs.  Those were a big hit.

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Soon after the last cookies, I came across a recipe for red velvet cookies, and my jaw dropped.  Since so many people I know absolutely love red velvet, the ability to resist making these cookies was thrown out the window.  Sour cream in the cookies?  Yes!  It keeps them incredibly moist.  Personally, I’m not a fan of the flat, crispy cookies (unless they’re shortbread), so my cookies tend to be thick and fluffy.  These were fabulous.  Oh, and if you look at the recipe and say, “There can’t really be that much food coloring,” but it is.  In cakes and cupcakes, I can usually decrease the amount of food coloring since the other ingredients don’t add a whole lot of color, but the melted chocolate is a big portion of the original color of these cookies.  These cookies are a little rich, but absolutely delicious.

Red Velvet Cookies:

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 stick butter, softened

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 bag white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate, stir until smooth, and cool.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, food coloring and vanilla.  Add cooled chocolate, beat until blended.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt, add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.  Stir in white chocolate chips.  Using cookie scoop, drop two inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets or baking stone.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until set.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Oreo Chunk Cookies

Last week, I saw some Oreos in my cabinet while searching through my ingredients to see what else to make.  And since Oreos are so popular, why not throw chunks of them into a cookie just like we do with chocolate chips and nuts?  So, I got started.

oreo chunk

These are a lot like soft chocolate chip cookies, but with a couple of minor changes to incorporate a slight cheesecake flavor from the instant pudding mix, and of course the chunks of Oreos throughout the cookies…and of course, the crumbles on top.  After these came out of the oven and they cooled for a few minutes, I couldn’t resist…and ate one.  Then another.  And another.  As the day went on and I counted up six cookies that made their way into my belly, that was it.  The next morning, I asked my husband if he could take them into work with him.  He agreed, and I said, “Good!  Because I ate six of those suckers yesterday, so they gotta get out of this house before I eat any more.”  His coworkers were happy to help out.

Oreo Chunk Cookies Recipe:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups Oreos, broken into chunks

extra Oreos for crumb topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter, white and brown sugar together using electric mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined.  Add flour, cookie crumbs, salt and baking soda, mixing well.  Stir in Oreo chunks, and crush remaining cookies into fine crumbs.  Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll tops in Oreo crumbs.  Distribute on baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes, until tops of cookies are a very light brown.

*When making Oreo cookie crumbs, I break up Oreos and put them in a food processor or food chopper to get the fine consistency to use in the cookies.  If you don’t have either of these, break up some Oreos, put them in a Ziploc freezer bag, and beat the mess out of them until they turn into crumbs.  Great way to relieve stress, while making cookie crumbs.

Eggnog Cookies

It’s December already!  Where has the year gone?  Either way, this time of year is my favorite.  Fires crackling in the fireplace, beautifully decorated and lit Christmas tree, all the Christmas lights on people’s homes, the music…and of course, the food.  Ironically, this is the time of year that I tend to lose a few pounds.  Why?  Because I’m so determined NOT to gain those extra holiday pounds, that I tend to go in the opposite direction, yet still allowing myself to indulge in some of my favorite foods.  Yes, I’m a rebel.

eggnog cookies

Last year after making some eggnog cupcakes, I decided to experiment with more eggnog recipes this year.  So, here is the first!  These cookies actually taste very similar to the sugar cookies that my mother-in-law has made before, and I couldn’t stop eating those…and naturally, that was the case with these.  Oh, except they have extra colored sugar crystals on top.  More sugar?  Yes, please.

Eggnog Cookies Recipe:

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup eggnog

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

red and green sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks, beat at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth.  Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined, do not overmix.  Using cookie scoop, form cookie dough into balls before rolling in colored sugar crystals, then drop batter so that they are 1 inch apart on baking sheet.  Bake 20-23 minutes.

Pumpkin Cookies

I’ll never forget the first time I had pumpkin cupcakes.  It was around Christmas several years ago, and my sister-in-law made them.  When she told me what kind of cupcakes she made, I grimaced.  Pumpkin?  That can’t be good.  I thought to myself.  Boy, I was SO wrong.  I couldn’t stop eating them, and have made them MANY times since then.

pumpkin cookies

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin recipes.  And I’ll be honest, when I open that can of pumpkin puree that will be going into the recipe, it doesn’t look or smell all that appetizing…but literally every recipe that is thrown together with pumpkin turns out to be absolutely delicious.  Since it’s the fall, the perfect opportunities present themselves to experiment with more and more pumpkin recipes.  With these cookies, I was really impressed.  They were thick, soft, and addictive.  The icing on top is just an added sweetness to their yumminess.  I gave some to my sister-in-law to try out since she likes pumpkin recipes, and asked her how she liked them.  She responded, “Yeah, a little too much.  I want the recipe.”  I think she liked them.  😉

For the Cookies:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar, beat with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.  Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, continue mixing until smooth.  In a separate smaller bowl, add all dry ingredients.  Gradually add dry ingredients to mixture, and continue beating until well combined.  Using a cookie scoop, place on cookie sheet or baking stone.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a very light golden brown on top.  Cool cookies on cooling rack.

For the Cookie Icing:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3-1/2 cup milk (based on desired consistency)

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl, and stir together until your desired consistency.  You’ll want it to be thick, but runny.  Dip completely cooled cookies one by one into icing.  place back on cookie sheet for icing to set.  Store in airtight container.

*Add some extra zing to these cookies by throwing in a bag of cinnamon chips or mini chocolate chips!

S’mores Cookies

While I was looking through some recipes one evening, I found one of a s’mores cake.  It sounded delicious…graham cracker crumbs baked in with the flour to make an amazing cake.  So, then I thought  What if I made that into a cookie?  I fell asleep that night, dreaming of s’mores cookies, brainstorming of how I could put all of this together.  Two graham cracker cookies sandwiching a marshmallow and semisweet chocolate?  Heck yeah!!  A few days later, I made my list for the grocery store and decided to go ahead and give it a shot.  These actually may be equivalent to the s’mores candy bars I make, but it might be a close call.

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Scarf ’em down.  If you’re counting calories, I’m sorry…but this might throw you off into the deep end…but at least you’ll be there happily.  I’ve been doing so incredibly well with not going overboard with my junk food, and I promised myself no more than one bite.  An entire cookie later, and I’m fussing at myself in the kitchen, pacing back and forth because I’m mad at myself for eating the whole thing…but it would just too freakin’ good not to.

For the Cookies:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 bag large marshmallows, cut into 4 slices

1 lb. dark chocolate wafers or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar in medium mixing bowl beating with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs, vanilla, and pudding mix, continue beating until combined.  In small bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients.  Pour half of dry mixture in with wet mixture, continue beating, then add remaining dry ingredients.  Use a mini cookie scoop to make the cookies small enough to be about the same size as the marshmallows.  Bake for 11-14 minutes, until a light golden brown on top.

Half the cookies will be used at the bottom, and the other half as the top.  For the bottom half of the cookies, slice large marshmallows into four pieces, place on top of cookie immediately after they come out of the oven.  This allows the marshmallow to melt slightly and stick to the bottom cookie.  The cookies that will be used as the top part, let them cool completely by themselves.  Once all cookies have cooled completely, melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until completely melted.  Spoon chocolate on top of marshmallow.  Place top cookie on top of melted chocolate, and press down gently to seal together.

Ultimate Snickerdoodles

Before I really got into baking, every once in a while my husband would pick up a pack of the big, soft snickerdoodle cookies at the bakery in the grocery store…and they would only last a couple of days.  “Why do you get these?!”  I’d fuss at him, while stuffing yet another one in my mouth.  He would just laugh and say, “Because they’re awesome!”  Well duh, of course they are.  Pretty much anything with cinnamon is amazing…especially when it’s in cookies.

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A couple of years after that, my mom told me about a seasonal item she found at Wal-Mart in the baking aisle…cinnamon chips.  I sat there for a moment in silence, and asked, “Wait, you mean like chocolate chips, but they’re cinnamon?” and she responded, “Yep, that’s right!”  Wow.  Just, wow.  I HAD to see these for myself.  For a while, they really were just a seasonal item, and the only time I ever saw them at the store was around Christmas time, but I noticed last week while shopping that they were there.  Really?!  I thought to myself as I was walking past.  Then the thought came  Wait, why did you pass them?  Get your butt back there and grab a bag!!  Well, okay.  Don’t worry, I wasn’t having these conversations out loud in the store…then again, that might not be uncommon for Wal-Mart, would it?  Doubtful.

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Take a good look at this stack, because it’s dwindling quickly.  When I told my husband that I was doing a twist on Snickerdoodles, he seemed a little doubtful.  Silly boy.  When he asked when he could have one and I responded, “As soon as they’re done baking,” that made him happy.  So, literally a minute after they came out of the oven and I’m transferring them to a cooling rack, he’s hovering over my shoulder and asking if he could have one.  As he gobbled that first cookie down, he grumbled happily, then reached for another one.  He walked away and took a shower, then came back about 20 minutes later and said, “Man, those cookies are awesome.”  AH HA!!!  I knew it!   I may have to hide these until our cookout tomorrow.  Cinnamon lovers, look no further…

Ultimate Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 small box instant vanilla pudding

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 bag cinnamon chips

For cinnamon/sugar topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon in small bowl, set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars with electric mixer, beating at medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs, vanilla and pudding mix, continue beating.  Blend in flour mixture, then stir in cinnamon chips.  In a small separate bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar mixture for the topping.  Using a cookie scoop, roll dough into balls, then cover the tops with cinnamon/sugar topping.  Place on cookie sheet, bake for 10/12 minutes, or until a light golden brown.  Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely, store in airtight container.

Easter Cookies

Last week when I made the shortbread cookies for the first time, I knew that I had to make these for Easter as well.  They’re a great flavor that most people love…but I wanted to do a spin on it.  Most of the time, decorated cookies are sugar cookies with a cookie icing.  Well…since the original shortbread cookies were so delicious with chocolate drizzled over top, it seemed obvious that this had to be done in a decorating aspect as well.  So, here we are…  Something a little different,  yet traditional at the same time.  Chocolate melting wafers come in so many different colors, so the general idea seemed genius to me, especially after how well those cookies turned out last week.

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First, make your dough.  Combine all of the ingredients and shape into a big blob, then cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  The dough can also be used for up to 3 days after making it, if stored in fridge.

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Sprinkle surface with flour, along with more flour on top of dough.  Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.

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Using cookie cutters, cut out the shapes of the cookies you want to make.

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Place them on a cookie sheet or baking stone (preferably baking stone, since they cook so evenly).

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Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a very light golden color.  Cool completely on cooling racks before decorating.

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I melted the chocolate wafers in 15-20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each time until completely melted.  Spoon a small amount onto cookie, then spread with back of spoon or toothpick.  Use a toothpick or squeeze bottle with melted chocolate to decorate how you like.

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All finished!  When I was finishing these up, my husband came strolling into the dining room and asked if he could have a cookie.  This recipe was the one that he literally had cookies for dinner last week when I wasn’t home.  He said, “That’s all chocolate?  I thought that you’re supposed to decorate cookies with icing?”  I responded, “Well yeah, MOST of the time they are decorated with cookie icing, but chocolate is awesome, and I haven’t seen it done like this before.”  What can I say?  I’m a rebel.  With a cause.  For chocolate.  In all honesty, you could probably get a smoother look with the cookie icing or by putting the melted chocolate in squeeze bottles…just do what works best for you.  I can’t wait to eat the bunny cookie, he’s so cute.  Happy Easter!!

Shortbread Cookies Recipe:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces dark chocolate wafers

4 ounces white chocolate wafers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.  Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Shortbread Cookies Drizzled with White and Dark Chocolate

In the winter around January and February, there are several things that I look forward to.  Drinking hot chocolate while enjoying a fire in the living room when it’s cold outside, the down time after the holidays to relax and take it easy, Super Bowl parties…and Girl Scout Cookies.  Seriously, because I absolutely LOVE the shortbread cookies.  Those are the ones that I always get.  Not really sure what it is about them, but I think they’re heavenly.  And to be honest, I don’t make a lot of cookies at my house, and I’ll tell you why…  Cookies are my nemesis.  I don’t know how many times I’ve passed through the kitchen and there’s been cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cakes, trifles, puddings, pies…sitting there, all trying to taunt me.  But, I walk by and ignore them.  The cookies?  Well, not so much.  I really don’t know what it is about cookies, but when I make my chocolate chip cookies or the white chocolate macademia nut cookies, I end up saying, “Just one more…” and five cookies later, I’m mad at myself for eating so many and end up with a tummy ache.  It’s a viscious cycle.  Although, I do feel like it’s inevitable that I still make cookies, because I love them and like to see what else can be experimented with.  And now that I know how to make ridiculously delicious shortbread cookies in my own kitchen, really not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

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While making these, I was a little bit nervous about how they would turn out, since this was literally my first time making roll-out cookies.  Anytime I’ve made cookies before, they were just drop cookies (meaning I just dropped them by the dough onto the baking stone to bake).  This wasn’t bad though, and since I’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows lately, it was time to give it a shot.  I ended up taking a bite of a cookie after they cooled so that I could make sure the flavor was where it needed to be…and it was.  Then came the fun part…drizzling them with melted chocolate in my little squirt bottles.  Had a little too much fun doing that one, and I also ended up eating some of the hardened chocolate scraps that were left over on the parchment paper…then quickly yelled at myself for doing that and crumbled up the paper to throw it in the trash.  Should probably go ahead and take the trash out, just for safety measures.  Speaking of safety measures, after I finished off my cookie with the drizzled chocolate and mumbling incoherently about how yummy it was, getting these suckers out of the house is a MUST.  So, I’ve already packed up some for family members, friends and neighbors, and getting them out of the house ASAP before I come hunting for any more when no one’s looking…

Shortbread Cookies Recipe:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces dark chocolate wafers

4 ounces white chocolate wafers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.  Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.  When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Melt dark chocolate in microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.  Transfer to squirt bottle, then drizzle on top of cookies.  Repeat same process with white chocolate.  Store cookies in airtight container after chocolate has hardened.

Polka Dot Cookie Cake

Yay, polka dots!  My sister-in-law actually sent me a link of a cake that was baked with polka dots.  She claimed that her kitchen might blow up if she attempted this, but thought I would be interested.  Heck yeah, I was.  When I clicked on the link and saw that the original idea of this was created with different colors cake balls that were already baked and then put inside the cake to be baked again, I wanted to do something different.  In my chocolate chip cookie cupcakes, I bake an entire chocolate chip cookie inside each cupcake.  Those things are so delicious, that I decided to try it out this way with a cake, but with the polka dot concept.

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First, I took the easy route and bought two of the pre-made sugar cookie packs of cookie dough at the grocery store.  I cut them up into six pieces and let them soften.

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Using an electric mixer, I colored each little batch of cookie dough.

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With a mini cookie scoop, I distributed the cookie dough so that all of the dots are approximately the same size, then put them in the refrigerator to slightly harden before rolling them into balls.

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I made the cake batter, then rolled each little scoop into a ball, and placed it on top of the batter in the pans.  I used 3 10-inch pans.

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The finished product!  I went a little crazy with the colorful sprinkles, simply because I liked all the added color.  For the icing, I went with cream cheese on this particular cake.  No reason other than the fact that I love cream cheese icing, but you can use vanilla with this cake as well.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until sides of cake slightly pull away from pan and the top is a light golden brown.

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Look at all of those beautiful colors!  Make sure you don’t over cook the cake, because then the cookies will be a little harder to cut through when serving.

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Ohh, that’s a big chunk.  Yes please, I’ll take that one.

White Cake Recipe:

1 box Duncan Hines cake mix

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup oil

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

8 oz. sour cream

Combine all ingredients and mix well at medium speed for 2-4 minutes.  Spoon into cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops of cake are a light golden brown and slightly pulling away from sides of pan.  Sit pans on cooling rack and cool for 12-15 minutes, then turn out of pans onto cooling racks, cool completely before icing.

White Chocolate Macademia Nut Cookies

A couple of weeks ago, I took an Oreo pie over to some family friends of my parents.  We were chit chatting about different dessert recipes, and she said, “I have something for you.”  She walked into the kitchen and came back, holding a can of Macademia nuts from Hawaii.  I stared at them in awe.  Not only do I love macademia nuts, but I also love Hawaii.  We went there on our honeymoon…and even though we stuck out like sore thumbs with our pale white skin and my strawberry blonde hair, we had a blast…and still talk about going back.

Well, this couple has been more than several times.  They’ve been to every single island, with the exception of the “no tourists” island and an old bomb island.  She gave me the nuts and asked if I could use them to make some cookies, so I jumped all over the opportunity.  I absolutely LOVE white chocolate macademia nut cookies, and I literally had to hide these from myself while they were still in the house.  My true weakness when it comes to baked goods and desserts is definitely cookies…which is why I have to already plan out where they’re going as I’m baking them to keep from overindulging!

But I’ll have to say that these cookies were SOOO worth it.  I literally ate 6 cookies in one day.  There should be a warning label with these things…so here it is:  WARNING:  THESE COOKIES ARE LIKE PRINGLES- ONCE YOU POP, YOU CAN’T STOP.  That’s actually what I was thinking of whenever I ate one, because I kept thinking just one more  and six cookies later…

Recipe:

2 sticks butter, softened

1 small box white chocolate instant pudding mix

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 can chopped macademia nuts

Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until blended well.  Add pudding mix, eggs and vanilla, beat well.  Add flour mixture and beat well.  Stir in chocolate chips and macademia nuts.  Using cookie scoop, place dough on cookie sheet or baking stone.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Using cookie spatula, remove from pan and cool on cooling racks.

Like this?  Try These!

Chip Overload! Cookies

Brownie Cookies

White Chocolate Caramel Latte Cupcakes

Pillow Cookies