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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Category Archives: Cookies

“Senioritis” has hit pretty hard this semester — I’ve often joked that I’m “as slow as molasses” lately.

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 Though it’s been a little tricky to stay motivated with graduation quickly approaching and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been experiencing, finals are still around the corner and there are many late nights at the library still ahead. I don’t know about you, but study snacks help my concentration infinitely — however, I wanted to make something that wouldn’t leave me feeling completely guilty and sugar-high.

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And thus, I recently made Vegan Molasses Cookies — they’re excellent.  They’re chewy and spicy, and taste best when completely cool (if you can wait that long, haha). 

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Vegan Molasses Cookies – A Dash of Soul 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ c. Earth Balance, melted
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ c. blackstrap molasses
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. soy milk
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. cloves
  • ½ t. allspice
  • 2 t. baking soda
 
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugars with an electric mixer until smooth and well blended.
  2. Add the molasses, vanilla, and milk and beat until the mixture is very smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until everything is well combined.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. When you’re ready to shape the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a cookie scoop or large spoon to measure out about a tablespoon or so of dough for each cookie. Roll each scoop of dough into a smooth ball with your hands and roll in additional sugar if desired.
  8. Place the balls onto lightly greased baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the surface of the cookies have nicely cracked.
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Looks definitely do not do this cookie justice.  True to their name, they are the perfect mix between a cookie and a brownie (fudgy, crispy, AND chewy, all at the same time), and the deep chocolate flavor really comes through.  If you’re planning to make these (which you should be),  make sure to keep in mind that you MUST freeze the dough for an hour before baking.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies – Belinda Leong (Food and Wine Magazine)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring a few times, until smooth, about 7 minutes.
  2. In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches, scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.

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A long time ago, I posted a recipe for biscotti.  I raved about how good they were, and encouraged all of my readers to make them, as well.  The guilt has been eating me up, and I think it’s finally time for me to come clean — they were terrible.  I was VERY new to blogging at the time, and I was so embarrassed by what a catastrophe they were (my mom swears she almost broke a tooth) so I did what any immature teenager would do: lie.  Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since that post.

When I was home for fall break last week, it was only natural for me to bake something, and this time I knew exactly what it was I was meant to bake.  I re-attempted the biscotti (albeit a different recipe), and this time, I can assure you that they were FANTASTIC!  My family could not stop raving about these delightful coffee dunkers… so much so that I had to make a second batch (in the same day).  These were MUCH easier to make than I expected, and I know I will be making these again soon.

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti – Gourmet Magazine, 1994

yield: 30

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (I omitted these)
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate for more of a flavor contrast)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

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I can’t think of another treat that epitomizes summer (or summer camp) more than the traditional s’more.  So, as I prepare for my ten weeks at summer camp (working, of course!), I thought I’d share a recipe that exudes all of the summer flavors and memories of a s’more, but that can be enjoyed year-round.

Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Cookies – Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for working
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 9 large marshmallows, halved
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on high, scraping down bowl as needed, until light, 4 minutes. Add egg and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  2. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls, 3 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. With the bottom of a measuring cup dipped in flour, flatten cookies to 2 inches in diameter. Bake until dry and set, about 7 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove from oven and top each cookie with a marshmallow half. Bake until marshmallows are soft, 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and, with a metal spatula, gently flatten each marshmallow. Let cookies cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
  4. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted, 2 minutes. Remove bowl from pan. Place one cookie at a time on tines of a fork, submerge in chocolate, then tap fork on edge of bowl to remove excess. Place on wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let cookies set in refrigerator, about 10 minutes.

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Completely smitten with the Crack Pie and Compost Cookies that I had once attempted, I decided it was necessary that I try another Momofuku Milk Bar favorite: Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies. The flavor was similar to that of the compost cookies, but these cookies were much thinner and crisper (my favorite!).

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies – Momofuku Milk Bar, Christina Tosi

Ingredients
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) room-temperature butter
1¼ c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. kosher salt
3 c. Cornflake Crunch
2/3 c. mini chocolate chips
1¼ c. mini marshmallows

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars; cream together on medium-high 2-3 minutes. With a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg and vanilla and beat 7-8 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or risk overmixing.) Scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Still on low speed, paddle in cornflakes and chips until just incorporated, about 30-45 seconds. Paddle in marshmallows.

4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop, portion 1/3 c. dough at a time onto pan. Pat tops of dough domes flat. Wrap pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. (Do not bake room-temperature disks — they will not hold their shape.)

5. Heat oven to 375°. On a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan, arrange chilled disks a minimum of 4 inches apart. Bake 18 minutes, until cookies are browned on edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. Leave them in oven for another minute or so if they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

6. Cool cookies completely on pan before moving them to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

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True to their name, these cookies do have chips in them… potato chips that is.  A cross between a pecan shortbread cookie and a chocolate covered potato chip, this “new” take on the chocolate chip cookie will soon become an “old” favorite (and they were easy to make!).

Potato Chip Cookies – Smitten Kitchen (adapted from Emeril)

Cookie
1 cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup chopped and toasted pecans
1/2 cup finely crushed potato chips
2 cups  all-purpose flour

Potato chip salt finish (optional)
1 tablespoon crushed potato chips
1 1/2 teaspoons flaked sea salt

Chocolate dip finish (optional)
4 ounces  semi- or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon butter, canola oil or vegetable shortening

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar until lightly and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and table salt, if using, until smooth. Add the pecans, 1/2 cup crushed potato chips and flour together and mix until just combined.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Scoop a tablespoon-sized mound of dough and form it into a small ball with the palms of your hands. Roll the ball in the remaining sugar until coated. Place on prepared baking sheet and using the bottom of a drinking glass to slightly flatten the cookies. Cookies only need to be an inch apart; they only spread a little. Sprinkle with a few flakes of the potato chip salt, if using. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake cookies until lightly golden at the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer to cool on a wire rack.

If dipping in chocolate, melt chocolate with butter, oil or shortening in a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each fully cooled cookie in the chocolate, and let dry and harden on a wire rack.

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When I was a little girl, I used to list “treasure-hunting” as one of my favorite hobbies.  You might  be thinking that I was a very imaginative child, one who pretended she was a pirate searching for gold; if this is what you would think, then you would be wrong. In my youth, treasure hunting was so much more than a make-believe game, in fact, it was not a game at all.  Treasure hunting was going to my grandma’s house, which appeared both beautiful and orderly (but like many things, appearances can be deceiving), and looking for “treasures” amongst 50 years worth of clutter.  What once started as an opportunity for me to collect more “things,” looking through various drawers and boxes to find little knick knacks and odds and ends (or my mom’s senior prom pictures that she refuses to let me bring into the house), turned into an opportunity for me to collect real, hidden treasures — the stories my grandma would tell me about all of the objects I found.  Some of my greatest finds, a beautiful beaded wallet, launched stories about a babysitter my mom and her siblings once had, and a t shirt from france (which I wore until there were holes in about every place imaginable), became the springboard for stories about my grandparents’ travels.

Surprisingly enough, in the three years that I have been writing this blog, I have neglected to share one of my family’s hidden culinary treasures: Mema’s Mandel Bread recipe.  Though it might seem simple to an outsider,  like the “treasures” I used to seek in my grandma’s basement, to me, it truly is one of the most special cookies I have ever tasted.

Mema’s Mandel Bread – Ann Benderoff

Ingredients:

-3 eggs (at room temperature)

-1 scant cup of sugar

-1 cup mazola oil

-3 cups flour (Gold Medal, pre-sifted)

-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

-cinnamon sugar mixture, to sprinkle at the end

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat eggs.

3. Add sugar and mix.

4. Add oil and vanilla and mix.

5. Add flour and mix.

6. Oil hands and mold dough into 2 long logs.

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.

8. Slice the logs and put the individual cookies on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and return cookies to the oven to bake again until firm and crisp (watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn).

 

note: This is a basic recipe — many people choose to add chocolate chips, dried fruits, or nuts, but our family likes it plain.

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