Archive for ‘Cookies’

May 15, 2014

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been feeling pretty stuck lately. It has been one long school year, and I just know the finish line can’t be too far away, but I can’t quite see it yet.

You know how they say it’s “not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Referring to whatever grueling long-term goal one is trying to achieve.

I am at the part of the marathon where I would really really like to stop running and have some red Gatorade and a free hot dog.

I made these cookies to get myself unstuck.

Okay so I guess normally marathoners don’t eat spoonfuls of cookie dough as they jog along but I can only take these metaphors so far.

Don’t you feel better just seeing pictures of these little joy-filled treats between each of my sentences? I’m not trying to bring you down here. I’m lifting you up in the end. I promise.

I have posted about my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies before. Yup, it’s still the Nestle Tollhouse version. Yep, I still think it’s awesome and delicious.

Until I tried adding browned butter. Suddenly, I felt myself get a little unstuck. A little less exhausted.

The only thing better than a regular chocolate chip cookie is the kid of chocolate chip cookie that is just enough flat with crispy edges and a warm toffee crunchy taste with a gooey inside. That is this cookie.

Yes, it’s an extra bowl. Yes, it takes a few extra minutes longer to brown and then cool the butter. But come on folks, we are running a marathon here! It’s worth it.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Nestle Tollhouse

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever odd assortment you have in your cupboard – mine had mini chips, milk chips, and semi-sweet)

Melt the butter in a pan, swirling it as it melts. Have a heat-proof bowl at the ready. You want to continue cooking the butter as it begins to crackle and foam. Don’t leave its side. Stick with it. Continue to swirl the pan often, keeping it close to the heat. The butter is browned as soon as it begins to smell nutty and you start to see little golden brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan. Let this continue for all of 5-10 seconds and then pour all the butter into the bowl, scraping all those delicious browned bits in with the melted butter. If you leave it in the pan or let it cook too long, it will burn. You will know if it burns. It will smell burned. Put the butter into the fridge for a while until it is pretty cool/lukewarm to the touch.

Meanwhile, mix/sift together the flour, salt, baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream the two types of sugar with the eggs. You want to use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) and beat these together a good long while until they become light and fluffy  – you want that sugar to get dissolved for that smooth toffee taste. Mix in the vanilla, and then slowly add the cooled brown butter, scraping in all the good browned bits at the bottom. If it is still a little warm, just pour a very small bit of the butter in to even out the temperatures, and then add the rest. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough onto trays  and pop in the freezer or fridge while the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. This helps the cookies hold their texture/shape in the oven. If you want, you can even store some of the cookie balls in a tupperware in the freezer to be baked off later.

Bake cookies in 350 degree oven for about 11 minutes for larger cookies (1 1/2 T size scoops) or 7 minutes for smaller cookies (1 1/2 t size scoops). They are done when the outsides are set and the tops are soft, but not raw and jiggly. Let cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, and then cool on wire rack.

May 2, 2014

Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

 

These cookies are so many things for me right now.

The rainbow sprinkles are a blast of childhood nostalgia, the cookie choice of any kid. Oh wait. I still order rainbow sprinkles on every soft serve cone ever. And my blog is sprinkle themed. But still… childhood.

 

The soft-slightly-underbaked texture have that naughty ready-to-bake-Pillsbury-gold-crap thing going on. But they are also undeniably homemade.

The sweet vanilla sugar taste is seriously launching me into spring. There are sugar cookies for winter and there are sugar cookies for spring. Did you know that? I’m telling you that these are sugar cookies for spring.

I can’t claim much credit for the creation of these beauties. I pinned them on Pinterest from Averie Cooks, a blog I have admired for a long time but surprisingly haven’t mentioned here yet.  I followed the recipe pretty darn closely with just a few minor changes. I can however claim credit for those three that disappeared yesterday morning. Oops.

This is my new go-to drop sugar cookie. I like my roll out sugar cookies thin, crisp and buttery. I like my drop sugar cookies thick, chewy, and buttery. This recipe is so right it’s almost wrong.

Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
adapted slightly from Averie Cooks

makes about 25-30 cookies using a 1 1/2 T scoop

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour
4 t corn starch
1 1/2 t baking soda
pinch of salt (if you used salted butter – leave out)
about 1 c sprinkles – or more to taste

Directions:

Cream together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until very light and fluffy. Don’t short-change this step – it takes a good 5-7 minutes with a mixer! Sift in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.

Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Just as noted in the original recipe, this step is super important to getting the right shape/consistency in the cookies. At this point you can either transfer dough balls to freezer or bake right away. I like to freeze them and just bake off a few at a time straight from the freezer since its just me and the Mr.

Bake cookies at 350 degree oven for about 8-9 minutes (plus a few if coming out of the freezer). Cookies should still be pale but the edges should be starting to set. These are best if they are still nice and soft in the middle, and they will continue to set as you let them cool on the pan for 2-5 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack.

 

August 1, 2013

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

You know how some people count sheep when they can’t sleep? Or count backwards from 100? Or drink a warm glass of milk?

I close my eyes and think about food. I dream about what crazy kitchen adventure I could take next. I lull myself to sleep with thoughts of butter and sugar and melty chocolate chips. If you want to know if I wake up with drool on my pillow…. I’m not telling.

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about shortbread. There is something beautifully simple about shortbread that makes it the perfect palate for adventure.

Usually, I am too lazy, broke, thrifty to go out and buy a billion new ingredients for some elaborate recipe, unless I have a very specific purpose. So, with shortbread on my mind, I looked in my fridge and saw a lonely lemon. I looked out my window and saw a pot of fresh rosemary baking in the August sun, shivering in this weird summer cold patch, and this cookie was born.

But duh, I didn’t make it up. As I am drifting off to sleep, I am usually convinced that I have invented the worlds most innovative treat. But a quick Google search in the morning usually brings me back to reality…. okay okay and provides me with a recipe as a jumping off point.

As you are falling asleep tonight, do me a favor and dream of shortbread. Then wake up in the morning, come back to this post, and bake these Lemon Rosemary Shortbread cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread
adapted from My Baking Addiction

makes about 18 small cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, slightly soft
generous 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
zest from 1 small lemon
juice from 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup AP flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
dash of salt
1 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
sanding sugar

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla, and mix until fully combined. Add in flours, salt and rosemary and mix until dough comes together in a ball. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to fully incorporate the dry ingredients until a nice solid dough forms.

On top of a sheet of plastic wrap, roll out the dough into a cylinder. Sprinkle sanding sugar all over the outside of the cylinder, rolling back and forth along the plastic until the dough is coated. Wrap dough well in the plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake, pop the dough in the fridge while preheating the oven to 350 F. When oven is preheated, slice the cookies into quarter-inch slices and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies are just turning golden. Do not overbake, or you will have dry shortbread. I always think it is better to slightly undercook if anything, as I prefer a soft, creamy shortbread over a crunchy one. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack.

June 28, 2012

Cookie Therapy

Some days, you just need a chocolate chip cookie.

Other days, you need a really really big chocolate chip cookie.

Although it took about two weeks to eat this thing. And I had two strapping lads to help me out, as well as various guests who were forced to take a foil-wrapped slice home in their pocket.

Because once you decide to bake an 18″ cookie cake, there is no turning back.

You haul out the flour tin and the KitchenAid. And two full bags of chocolate chips.

Because this cookie cake isn’t fancy. It isn’t about perfection. It’s simple two full batches of chocolate chip cookies, recipe straight off the Nestle bag, spread into a humongous pan, and baked at 375.

But just barely baked. Because according to my housemates, who are self-professed cookie cake connoisseurs, a dry cookie cake is a travesty. I hauled this baby out of the oven while it was still jiggly in the middle.

But topped with a scoop of mint ice cream on a hot hot summer day with a side of good company? Perfection.

 

April 22, 2012

Cookie Speak

Want to know why cookies are so great? Because you can respond to almost any situation with a cookie. Need to impress a large group of people? Simple but delicious snickerdoodles. Big fight with your sweetie-poo? Something loaded with peanut butter and  chocolate chips. Need to suck up to your boss? Something involved macadamia nuts and white chocolate will do the trick.

I have this friend. This friend that you may remember from long ago college posts. I am trying to convince her to move to Boston. But sometimes this friend doesn’t answer my text messages. Or my facebook messages. Or my mind vibes. Or my smoke signals.

So I sent her these cookies and got a call within 10 minutes of delivery. Bam.

Yes, they are buttery shortbread. Yes, they have toffee bits in them. Yes, she had to unscramble them.

If this doesn’t quite literally spell out the benefits of being my housemate in Boston…. well then I give up. The cookies speak for themselves.

 

Toffee Crunch Shortbread Cookies

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup toffee bits
milk chocolate for decorating (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat butter, sugar, and flour together, then stir in toffee bits. Roll into balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake for approx. 10 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Let cool slightly, and remove carefully to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Decorate with melted milk chocolate if desired.