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Cookies

Hidden Treasure Cookies

 

Happy Friday! This Friday is the countdown to my first official vacation of this year. I felt like that was worthy of a celebration, so I’m sharing these cookies which are also worthy of a celebration. I posted a pic on Instagram a little while back about these cookies and how amazing they are. It’s a simple cookie that is filled with all sorts of flavors that just makes them addicting. The fun part is that you can really change up any of the extra goodies in here to make it suit your taste. If you are craving salty/sweet, toss in some crushed pretzels. Heck, I might even add some crushed potato chips. It’s seriously a snack in itself. It’s super simple to put these cookies together. I’ve made them a couple times and each time they are a hit. You cannot go wrong here.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add the unsalted butter, partially melted. There should still be whole pieces of butter visible. Do not melt all the way!
  2. Add the brown sugar, and white sugar to the bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add in the egg and egg yolk, as well as the vanilla and whisk to combine.
  3. Add in the salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined. Be careful not to over mix. No one wants a tough cookie!
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and M&Ms (or whatever extras you would like!). Fold the goodies in, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes - 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a Silpat or parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
  6. When the dough is chilled, roll balls of dough (I use a cookie scoop for this) into a loose ball. Press a Rolo into the middle of the dough and cover with the remaining dough. (basically hide the Rolo. Place seam side down.
  7. Make sure you space the cookies out as they will spread a bit. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. You want the cookies to be browned on the edges and just set in the middle. Do not over cook. I always take them out when they still look a bit raw in the middle. They will continue to cook for a bit and settle. You want these to be soft and chewy.
  8. Once you remove them from the oven, place some additional M&Ms and chocolate chips on the tops of the cookies. Just press them in gently. Allow to cook on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, or until you can transfer them to a cooling rack without breaking them apart.

Notes

Barely adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

I know many of you are probably prepping for some 4th of July celebrations over the weekend and week ahead. These would make the perfect dessert to bring along. I’m sure you are also thinking about other goodies grill/make for these festivities or in general, so I wanted to share some deals for my readers!

Save $0.75 on any (1) MCCORMICK GRILL MATES 14 OZ. SAUSAGE LINK OR BEEF FRANK
Save $0.55 when you buy any ONE (1) Sargento Natural Cheese Slices
Save $1.00 on ANY ONE (1) 16ct Variety Bag of Snyder’s Lance products
Earn $2.00 when you purchase Jose Cuervo Tradicional®
Earn $1.25 when you purchase Hillshire Farm Naturals® Smoked Sausage

Spring Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

 

I love cookies. I love sweets in general, but there is something about a good cookie that makes everything feel better sometimes. Cocktails are good for this too, but this post is about cookies, so more about those… Royal icing really elevates the cookie appearance. I have to be honest my icing game has not been the strongest. I think back to the party favors I handed out for my son’s first birthday. I tried to decorate them with polka dots which turned into sharp points of icing that probably tortured everyone eating them. I should have added a note that said “best enjoyed if dunked in coffee…you know to dull the icing spikes” But I didn’t give up. I made some cookies for Christmas that I tried to decorate. #FAIL They were horrible! They tasted delicious, but it looked like my 3 year old made them. But, I tried again. These turned out significantly better than any of the other iced cookies I’ve attempted. I also found this meringue powder which I swear elevated the icing flavor/texture. For the cookies, I’ve used various recipes for the cookie. Personally, I tend to prefer a softer cookie, so I rolled the dough a bit thicker and removed the cookies from the oven at the 8 minute mark. You can certainly adjust to your preference, and frost to enjoy.

 

Ingredients

For the Cookies

For the Royal Icing

Instructions

To make the Cookies

  1. Add the butter to the bowl of your standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium high until the butter is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the powdered sugar. Mix on low, increasing the speed a bit once the butter and sugar are combined. (This will help prevent that snow storm effect that happens when you put the mixing speed on too fast at first).
  2. Add in the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and flour. Mix on low speed until just combined.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out. Use any shapes you would like to cut the dough. Place on a prepared baking sheet. and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Once the cookies are cooled completely, you can begin to frost!

To make the royal icing

  1. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl of your standing mixer. To do this. I usually use a fine mesh strainer placed over the bowl. Add the powdered sugar to the strainer and tap lightly.
  2. Add the meringue powder and water to the bowl with the sugar and mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance. This should take a few minutes, about 5 or so. If it still looks shiny, continue to mix the icing until the shine disappears. At this point, the icing will be fairly stiff.
  3. You will want to being to thin the icing out to pipe the cookies. You want to add just a small amount of water to the bowl at a time. This will help prevent you from making the icing too thin. The appropriate texture for piping is stiff enough to hold it's shape and not bleed, but soft enough to not leave any sharp points.
  4. Once you have reached the appropriate consistency, you can use food coloring to alter the frosting to whatever colors you want. Don't worry about this thinning the frosting out too much. I just wouldn't recommend adding a whole bottle, unless you are making a gigantic batch of icing. To do this, divide the frosting into a few airtight containers (enough for the colors you would like to make) and add the food coloring. Place enough of the color, "piping icing", into bottles or bags to pipe your cookies. Let the icing set before you begin to fill the cookies.
  5. With the remaining frosting, you will want to thin it out so that you can flood the cookies. Add small bits of water to the icing, until the shine has disappeared and the frosting is smooth. The texture should be thick, but drip off of a spoon easily and immediately reincorporate into the icing.
  6. Add the thinned icing to squeeze bottles and let it sit for a bit to allow any air bubbles that have been created to disappear. You can now flood the cookies! You want to add enough to fill the piped area, but not so much that it drips over the sides. Using a tooth pick you can pop any additional bubbles that may appear and also spread the icing to fill the small gaps. Once you are done flooding your cookies, let them dry for about an hour before you begin to decorate with the left over piping icing. If you want to add any sparkly sugar to dress them up, let the icing sit for a bit then add it on. You don't want to to fully incorporate, but you definitely want it to adhere.

Notes

This recipe was slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

It’s the first day of spring! To me, it seemed like the best time to introduce you to the best chocolate chip cookie you will ever meet. They are the perfect. If you prefer the crunchy cookie, this is not for you….or maybe it is? I bet this would convert you. In this recipe I opted for mini chocolate chips which everyone seemed to prefer. We like milk chocolate chips, but honestly you cannot go wrong. After I had my son, I had to go on a dairy free diet for SEVERAL months. It was so tough, but when I attempted a dairy free version of these cookies, it did not disappoint. There are dairy free butters out there (Earth Balance was the one I would use) as well as dairy free chocolate chips. While they cost about a million dollars a bag, I paid anyway. These cookies were still everything that I remembered. You can make them smaller than what the below recipe calls for as well, but I’m not sure why you would want to do that. Unless you want to eat a few at a time, which you will. I say go for the whole thing. You will not be disappointed you did. Bonus, the freeze really well! So if you wanted to save a few for another day, you most certainly can. Consider this my first day of spring gift to you.

It's the first day of spring! To me, it seemed like the best time to introduce you to the best chocolate chip cookie you will ever meet. They are the perfect. If you prefer the crunchy cookie, this is not for you....or maybe it is? I bet this would convert you. In this recipe I opted for mini chocolate chips which everyone seemed to prefer. We like milk chocolate chips, but honestly you cannot go wrong. After I had my son, I had to go on a dairy free diet for SEVERAL months. It was so tough, but when I attempted a dairy free version of these cookies, it did not disappoint. There are dairy free butters out there (Earth Balance was the one I would use) as well as dairy free chocolate chips. While they cost about a million dollars a bag, I paid anyway. These cookies were still everything that I remembered. You can make them smaller than what the below recipe calls for as well, but I'm not sure why you would want to do that. Unless you want to eat a few at a time, which you will. I say go for the whole thing. You will not be disappointed you did. Bonus, the freeze really well! So if you wanted to save a few for another day, you most certainly can. Consider this my first day of spring gift to you.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with a silicon mat or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugars until combined. Whisk in the egg, yolk, and vanilla, until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated.
  3. Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball (these are going to be larger size cookies!). Holding the ball with two hands, pull the dough ball apart into two equal halves. Place the cookie dough on the prepared cookie sheet, jagged side up.
  4. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and the outer edges just start to harden. The center of the cookies will be soft and puffy. (about 14 minutes). Do not over bake!
  5. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until you can lift them without them breaking. My recommendation, consume with a glass of milk immediately.

Notes

These cookies are on the larger size. You can reduce the cookie size by adjusting the size of the dough ball and the cooking time accordingly. You can shape the remaining dough into balls, place them on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can place them in a Ziploc bag until they are ready to use.

This recipe is barely adapted from Annie’s Eats.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

 

These cookies are the things dreams are made of. Literally the perfect marriage of chocolate and peanut butter and it’s literally apparent in every bite. I made these for the Super Bowl and ate SEVERAL! They are literally that good. I altered the recipe a bit because I was craving more of a crunch so I used crunchy peanut butter. The original recipe calls for smooth, which would be just as divine. If you are looking for a cross between a peanut butter cup, cookie, and heaven, you need to make these cookies immediately.

 
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  These cookies are the things dreams are made of. Literally the perfect marriage of chocolate and peanut butter and it's literally apparent in every bite. I made these for the Super Bowl and ate SEVERAL! They are literally that good. I altered the recipe a bit because I was craving more of a crunch so I used crunchy peanut butter. The original recipe calls for smooth, which would be just as divine. If you are looking for a cross between a peanut butter cup, cookie, and heaven, you need to make these cookies immediately.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350.
  2. Line two baking sheets with nonstick silicone baking mats or parchment paper. (Alternatively, use nonstick baking sheets or lightly butter conventional baking sheets.) Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. Put the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Begin beating on low speed to soften. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until light and creamy.
  5. With the motor running, gradually add the granulated sugar and the the brown sugar, beating until very light and creamy.
  6. Combine the eggs with the vanilla. Add the egg mixture in two parts and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
  7. Gradually add the reserved ingredients, beating until just streaky.
  8. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the paddle clean.
  9. Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface.
  10. Scrape the dough into the floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and finish mixing the dough by using a gentle kneading motion, working until the dough is just blended. Do not overwork the dough, you want to be certain that all of the ingredients are just blended together.
  11. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the peanut butter chips and peanut butter when adding the base recipe's semisweet chocolate chips to the dough, leaving the peanut butter in heavy streaks or chunks throughout the dough.
  12. Using a tablespoon, place mounds of the dough, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Please in the over and bake for about 20 minutes (mine took less time!), or until lightly browned around the edges. The center should be slightly soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Store, airtight, at room temperature for up to a week.

Notes

This recipe was slightly adapted from Milk & Cookies.