Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Turtle Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

July 10, 2010

Turtle Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

First off I apologize for the photo. I snapped these off pretty fast and didn’t get a good photo. By the  time I realized how poor they were the cookies were gone.

This is a recipe my Mom let us make in the summer when it was too hot to have the oven on. It also kept a couple of us busy for a little while on a hot summer day. My older brother and I both liked to cook and bake which worked out well for my Mom. The funny thing about this recipe is it is written in my sister’s handwriting. To this day she isn’t a big fan of sweets, and she avoids time in the kitchen as much as possible so I’m not sure why she’s the one that wrote down the recipe. It might be the only recipe ever in her handwriting, so I’ll be sure to hang on to it as proof that she must have dabbled in the kitchen at least a little.

Sadly, I never made these for my kids growing up. Until recently our only waffle iron was a Belgian waffler with very deep grooves and I didn’t think it would be good for these cookies. Our new Belgian waffle iron doesn’t have such deep grooves so I thought it was time to give this recipe a try. The cookies are soft, and in my opinion benefit from a day in a tightly sealed container. The browned butter icing is an update. When we were kids we just mixed up powdered sugar and butter with a little milk and vanilla and called it good. I loved the browned sugar icing on these.

Turtle Cookies

1.5 c. sugar
1c. margarine (I used butter)
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
2 c. flour

Preheat the waffle iron to the medium setting. (I had to use a lower setting and cook them longer.)

Cream together the margarine and the butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the cocoa, salt, and flour and stir until just mixed.

Drop onto heated waffle iron. Bake for 1 minute. (Mine turned out better at a lower setting with a longer cook time.)

Frost the cookies. (We made either chocolate or vanilla depending on our mood.)

Browned Butter Icing

1/4. c. butter
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. cream or milk
1 t. vanilla

Place the butter in a stainless steel pan over medium heat. (Not non-stick. You want to be able to see the butter brown and non stick pans are too dark.)
When the butter is melted swirl the pan occasionally and watch closely as the butter browns. Don’t walk away from it or it will get too dark. When the butter has golden flecks remove from the heat and put it in a bowl to make the frosting. If you leave it in the pan it will continue to cook and may get too dark.
Add the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Frost the cookies.

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Friendly Kitchen Cookies

June 28, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

This weekend I had a friend coming over and almost no time to whip together a treat to serve. It was a personal challenge to see if I could get these mixed together and at least one tray baked between the time I hung up the phone with her and her arrival. I managed to get three trays baked, and a pitcher of iced tea made!

I was going to make the recipe on the back of the chip bag, but I realized it would be faster to make a recipe that uses weights. I had printed off one of Anna’s comparison charts for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and I knew she had used weights.  Since I had already made the Frog Commissary cookies I decided to give the Friendly Kitchen cookies a try. I liked these cookies a lot. They have good structure and aren’t too sweet. The Frog Commissary cookies are good too. I’d be hard pressed to choose between them, but these were a little sturdier so I might choose these.

Most of the cookies were given to our kids. Today I baked the rest of the cookies from the dough that I didn’t get baked yesterday. I think the cookies are even better today. They browned a little more and like most chocolate chip cookies they benefited from chilling time in the refrigerator.

You can find the recipe at Cookie Madness. Coconut was optional, and I skipped that, but I think it would be very good in these cookies.

Gigantic Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 21, 2010

Gigantic Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve come out of food blogger hiding to share the above photo with you and a link to the recipe. Anna from the Cookie Madness blog whipped  them together after a recent trip to Disney World where she enjoyed something similar in Minnie’s Bakeshop.

These are the biggest cookies I’ve ever made! Not only is the circumference huge, but they are also very thick. Almost an inch! They have a unique texture that is difficult to describe. The closest I can come is that the inside is similar to the texture of  a bar cookie, while the outside has a crispy cookie edge.

I’m glad to have successfully made some gigantic cookies. They taste very good, but I think that for the most part I like thinner, smaller cookies better.

On a different note. I’ve been on the fence for months now about whether or not I should continue to blog. Any thoughts?

Minty M&M Cookies

December 19, 2009

Minty M&M Cookies

I wish I could remember how I stumbled upon this recipe at Colleen’s Cookbook. I’m thankful for whatever I searched for or clicked on to take me there. This is a good chocolate cookie recipe and I love the M&M Mint Chocolate Candies that go into them. They’re a little larger than standard M&M’s, and the shell is a little thicker. My husband and I had a hard time leaving them alone as I was mixing up these cookies. The ratio of candies to cookie dough is very high, but I wouldn’t change that. The mint flavor from the candy is just right and I love the crunch the thick shells bring to the cookie. Colleen’s recipe called for pecans. I omitted them.

I rarely retype recipes that appear elsewhere on the web, but since I weighed my ingredients and think you might find that helpful I’ll jot it down here. Colleen attributes this recipe to M&M’s but I couldn’t find it on their site, and I accidentally tossed the empty bags before comparing this recipe to the one on the back of the bag. If memory serves me right, I don’t think it’s there. I think the recipe on the back of the bag right now is for a decorative baking use of the candy.

Chocolate Mint M&M Cookies

2 bags M&M Brand Mint Chocolate Candies for the Holidays (reserve one cup)
10.6 oz. flour
1 oz. cocoa powder (I used regular Hershey’s)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. softened butter
5.25 oz. sugar
5.625 oz. brown sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Whisk together four, soda, salt and cocoa in a small bowl.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the flour mixture 1/2 c. at a time.
Stir in the all but one cup of the candy.
Drop by large tablespoons, at least 2 inches apart, onto the parchment paper. Before baking place a few of the reserved M&M’s on the top of each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Yield: 36 cookies
(I got 42)

One year anniversary!

December 6, 2009

Basically Baked turns one year old today! I’ve enjoyed connecting with those of you who take the time to leave a comment and I enjoy visiting the blogs of those of you who author them.

To celebrate the anniversary I made the Chocolate Bon Bon Drops that Mary Jane Robbins recently blogged about on the King Arthur Baker’s Banter Blog. They’re very easy to make, very tasty and have a festive look to them. You’ll find the recipe here.

The only change I made to the cookies is to garnish them with Holiday M&M’s instead of the pretty chocolate pearls from King Arthur Flour. I don’t own a tiny teaspoon cookie scoop so when I was done mixing the dough I divided the dough into two equal portions, flattened each portion into a 4 x 3 inch rectangle and then wrapped each rectangle in it’s own piece of waxed paper and refrigerated it for about an hour. Then I cut each rectangle into twelve pieces and formed the pieces into balls and baked according to the directions.

The cookies are sort of a chocolate shortbread. I made my glaze with half and half instead of cream and I would have to agree with Mary Jane that the half and half yielded a thinner glaze than might have been desirable. I also thought the glaze was very good but it was very sweet. The cookies are good enough that I don’t think they need the glaze except for the decorative effect. I think some decorative stencils and powdered sugar might yield a pretty cookie and keep the focus on the cookie. By the way… those flecks you see in the glaze are from vanilla bean paste. Good stuff!!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 2, 2009

About a week ago I was so hungry for a chocolate chip cookie. I’d been wanting to make them for days, but it’s so hard to justify such indulgences when it’s just the two of us here to eat them. I was headed to a meeting out of town with four other friends and our departure time was too early for dinner, but not eating before the meeting meant we were going to have to eat very late. Being the baking fiend that I am I decided this was the perfect excuse to make some chocolate chip cookies to carry us until dinner. In order to make it so they weren’t totally devoid of good nutrition, I conceded and made an oatmeal chocolate chip version. The cookies were appreciated by all, and everyone asked for the recipe so either everyone was really hungry or they’re really good, or both. I froze what my friends didn’t eat and shared them with the kids when they were home for Thanksgiving. I think they were sad when they were gone.

The recipe for these cookies can be found here on the old Baking Sheets blog, and you can read about Anna’s experience with them here where she compares three different oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipes back to back.

Back in the kitchen

November 3, 2009

October was as much of a whirlwind as I expected it to be. I believe I was out of town more days than I was home. All that traveling and eating out made me want to come home and eat basics. Oatmeal, fresh fruit, toast. I’m just now getting around to wanting some time in the kitchen.

An interesting recipe that I didn’t blog about but is worth sharing is this recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash from Eating Well. I love that the recipe delivers a lot of flavor without the fat and sugar from the way I usually make it. I subbed Monterery Jack for the Swiss, but otherwise pretty much followed the recipe. It’s also worth noting that it reheats well.

Today I’m going to talk about biscotti. This is not at all what I had in mind when I set out to make biscotti, but I had these ingredients and didn’t want to run to the grocery store to get other things. The Biscotti di Prato I blogged about back in January were better than these in my opinion, but I would make these again to satisfy a need for a bit of sweet, with a bit of tang, in a good crunchy satisfying cookie.

Cranberry, Chocolate Chip Biscotti with Pecans

The original recipe is from Cooking Light. I made a few modifications. I really wanted to add pecans, and I intentionally added more oil. I’m glad I did because I don’t think I would have gotten these to come together without it. Even with the added oil I had to work at it to get them to come together enough to shape into logs. I also felt they would be a little blah without something more in the way of flavoring so I added some cinnamon. My original plan was to drizzle these with white chocolate but I decided they didn’t need it, and I’m saving the white chocolate for another recipe another day.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Biscotti with Pecans (adapted by Sue)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with non stick baking parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are thoroughly wet. The mixture will be crumbly. Add the cranberries, chocolate chips, and pecans and mix until evenly distributed.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and mix the ingredients with your hands until bigger chunks start to cling together. Divide the dough in half and make two rolls each about 8 inches in length. Transfer the rolls to the parchment paper and press the logs into pieces that are about 1 inch thick.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove the logs from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
Cut the logs at 1/2 inch intervals and stand the cookies up on the unlined baking sheet. Bake for another 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

Yield: 26 cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 28, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

As soon as I tasted these cookies I was pretty sure I had already tried a very similar recipe. Closer inspection revealed that my taste bud memory was accurate.

These are very good peanut cookies. That said I have a few other thoughts about them. I don’t think the chocolate chips added a lot. Yes, you know they’re there but these cookies are all about the peanut butter. The roll in the sugar is sort of pretty and adds a bit of crunch but omitting the milk yields a slightly firmer cookie and a bit more crunch without sacrificing too much to texture.

I would make these again if asked, but left to my own devices I would either make the One Bowl Criss Cross Peanut Butter cookies from Cookie Madness, or my old standby peanut butter cookie recipe that came with my Kitchen Aid mixer years ago.

Today’s recipe came from Smitten Kitchen. Compare them to this recipe from Cookie Madness and you’ll see the similarities.

At stack of cookies

At stack of cookies

Snickerdoodles

August 5, 2009

It’s a funny name, but a good basic cookie that I haven’t made in the past 25 years. Once I started making Mrs. Field’s Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cookies there really wasn’t a need for another cinnamon, sugar cookie in the repertoire.  But, the slight twang from the cream of tartar and the crispiness of a snickerdoodle are unique so I decided to revisit them and I’m not sorry I did.

It took me two attempts to make these cookies so that I was happy with them. My first batch tasted great and had crispy edges but once they were completely cooled the crispy edges disappeared. I baked those on my air bake cookie sheets. In case you’re wondering I bake almost all of my cookies on air bake cookie sheets. While these had good flavor I was disappointed in the texture once completely cooled and might not have made them for another 25 years, except that I got a request for “something tasty”, and since I had all of the ingredients for these I decided to try again.

This time I used my flat cookie sheets and made sure to bake them completely. Success!! This time they are crispy with a nice chew and they retained their crispiness and chewiness even after storage in Tupperware.

Another difference between my first attempt and the second is that I didn’t chill the dough the dough the first time, but I did the second time. The last dozen were chilled for about 36 hours and they were the best of all.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the following:

1/4 cup (48 grams) shortening

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (170 grams)

1 1/2 c. (300 grams) sugar

Add the following to the creamed mixture and combine completely:

2 large eggs

Sift together: (you don’t really have to sift this, but do be sure to rid the cream of tartar of any lumps)

2 1/4 c. flour (318 grams)

2 t. cream of tartar

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

Combine the creamed ingredients and the dry ingredients. Divide the dough equally into three portions, wrap in waxed paper and thoroughly chill the dough.

When the dough is thoroughly chilled divide each third into 12 pieces of dough and form into balls.

Topping:

Stir together 3 Tablespoons sugar and  1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon.

Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar topping and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. The cookies should puff up and then deflate while in the oven. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 36 cookies

Chewy Granola Bars

July 23, 2009

Chewy Cherry Almond Granola BarsI’ve been wanting to make my own snack bars for a very long time and only recently got around to it. I like the Kashi TLC Chewy Granola bars. My favorites are the Honey Almond Flax, and the Peanut – Peanut Butter, but the Cherry Dark Chocolate are excellent as well. The trouble is that they aren’t inexpensive. I kept thinking I should be able to come up with something similar and less expensive.

These bars are my first attempt. Both my husband and I like these bars better than the Kashi Bars even though they’re substantially different. I haven’t run the numbers but my gut feeling is that they’re not any less expensive. Still they’re an excellent snack, and they store well. I cut these up into bars and then individually wrapped them and stored them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When I need to take a snack with me I can just pop one in my purse and by them time I need to eat it, the bar has come to room temperature and is perfect for a pick me up. If you’re going to share them with a crowd, or you’re going to eat them more quickly you could skip the wrapping and refrigerating.

This is a variation on the recipe for Big Sur Power Bars from 101 Cookbooks, and the Power Bar recipe on page 47 in Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Super Natural Cooking. In both of those recipes Heidi emphasizes using crisp brown rice cereal. I really like this choice, but despite her wise words I’m tempted to try some of the Kashi cereal next time  in an effort to increase the amount of protein in the bars. The following recipe is how I made them. Please refer to 101 Cookbooks, or Super Natural Cooking for original recipes by Heidi Swanson.

Chewy Cherry Almond  Granola Bars

1 T. butter

1 1/4 c. rolled oats

1 1/4 c. almonds, toasted and chopped

1/2 c. ground flax seed

1 1/2 c. unsweetened brown rice cereal

1 c. dried cherries, chopped

2/3 c. unsweetened coconut

1 c. brown rice syrup

1/4. c. sucanat

1 t. pure vanilla extract

1/4 t. almond extract

1/2 t. kosher salt

Grease a 9×13 inch pan with the 1 T. butter.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, nuts, cereal, flax seed, coconut, and cherries. Set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the rice syrup, sucanat, vanilla and almond extracts. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly. The mixture will come to a boil and thicken slightly. This takes about 4 minutes.

Pour this mixture over the cereal and nut mixture and combine until the syrup is evenly distributed.

Spread into the buttered pan and cool completely. After the bars have cooled completely turn them out onto a large cutting board and cut into bars. Wrap each bar individually in waxed paper and store either at room temperature or in the refrigerator depending on how fast you and yours will be eating them.