Category Archives: Cookies

Merry Christmas Cookies!

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 Sam’s second playdate was a success!  Our friends Jess (the mama) and Cayden came over this afternoon.  First order of business: lunch!  The boys had quite a feast- eggplant fries courtesy of Jess- yum!, cheese, chicken, roast acorn squash, and tofu- the mom’s had sandwiches!

Sam was in awe of Cayden’s ability to walk- he’s so close to crawling!

See!  Crawling is so close, yet so far- finally getting that belly off the ground.  Go Sammy, go!

Then they played pass the pacifier (ew, but funny) and tease the doggie!

Next up- tissue paper shredding!  Who knew we had so many fun things to play with at our house?  They were so sweet with each other- Sam definitely needs to hang out with other kiddos more often.  Mama is old news- other babies are so fun to poke and be poked by!

While the boys crawled, cruised, walked, and fell over, Jess and I got busy decorating!  I’ve mentioned my 1st edition Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book before- I still love it.  It’s just so…of the times.  It suggests broiled grapefruit, peanut butter-bacon canapes, and jellied bouillon for appetizers and has a three page spread on table service.

Considering how much I enjoy keeping house, I think I was born in the wrong era.    Though I’m pretty sure my Where the Wild Things Are t-shirt would not have been considered appropriate mommy attire for a playdate…or ever.

I followed the recipe for the light dough:
1/3 cup soft shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup honey (I used half honey, half maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix together thoroughly: shortening/butter, sugar, egg, honey, and vanilla.  Sift together and stir in: flour, baking soda, and salt.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes (I baked for 8 minutes and they came out perfect!)
These have a definite honey taste and are super sweet, but isn’t that what you want in a iced sugar cookie?  Besides, I think people who say things are “too sweet” are bonkers.  
Rather than dealing with homemade frosting, I bought the Betty Crocker cookie icing.  It worked perfectly and was pretty much mess free- love!  The taste isn’t half bad either…I love how I’m being so non-committal about the taste- I’ve eaten like 7 cookies!  They are delicious. 
Must give them all away NOW.   
 

This one is clearly my favorite- that white blob would be a shout out to my hometown!


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in a Jar

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In an effort to have a more homemade (and affordable) Christmas, I decided to put together some cookie mixes to give away to friends and family.  My sister did this last year and it was lovely!  
I wanted to make these cookies super simple so I decided to use melted butter in the recipe rather than softened butter.  I can’t make it any easier than melting, cooling, dumping, and stirring- if you can’t handle that, you oughta pour yourself a Bailey’s and take a holiday hiatus.  

I bought my jars at Stop and Shop where I got 12 quart jars for $10.  While you’re buying the jars, let me also recommend that you buy a funnel.  I didn’t and well…let’s be honest.  There was a lot of spillage.  Pretty sure I’ll be sweeping up flour and sugar for days to come.  Don’t be like me!  

This is not a quick project, but I did enjoy it!  I made 8 jars in total- if you’re gonna go through the steps, you might as well make a bunch!  I put How I Met Your Mother on Netflix and measured away!

Directions!
Layer the following ingredients in 1 quart jar starting with the raisins on the bottom and ending with the flour on top.  See picture above!  Each jar makes roughly 36 cookies.

1 1/4 cups flour (I used a whole wheat/white blend)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins

Attach the following directions to each jar of cookie mix!  To make it extra special, you could also include a cookie scoop like this one.  Cookie scoops make perfect cookies attainable for everyone!


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Preheat oven to 350.
Empty contents of jar into large mixing bowl.  Stir to combine ingredients.
In a separate bowl, melt one stick (1/2 cup) of butter and let cool.  To butter, add two eggs, and 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract.  Whisk to combine.
Add butter/egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.    Drop tablespoonfuls of batter 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.
Ingredients: white and whole wheat flour, old fashioned oats, raisins, baking powder, baking soda, salt, white sugar, brown sugar

Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

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In February, I traveled back to the great state of Texas, land of my youth, for a quick visit. I stayed with my Aunt Laura, Uncle Dan, and cousin, Grace. They are a lovely bunch with a healthy appetite for good food and fun.

Food and fun: a case study
Cookies made from this recipe at the Picky-Palate.com



My grandmother, Meeno, had a thing for trolls. Aunt Laura carries on the tradition of troll-love.








Teenagers who make cookies at 9 pm on a Sunday kick ass. I speak from experience.


Best.cookies.ever. Make them now. They remind me of a similar batch my bestie SayBay and I made in high school- chocolate chip cookies with crushed up thin mints in them. It’s Girl Scout cookie time- get to baking, kids!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Give me soft cookies or give me no cookies at all.

This has been my quest- my Atlantis- my Loch Ness Monster.

You gotta have a goal, right?

For years, in vain, I’ve tried to create bakery style cookies at home. But that thick, dense, yielding texture has eluded me.

And finally, the secret was revealed by the New York Times. This article exposed the simple bakery magic that created the best cookies: refrigerate the dough & let it rest.

Finally, an answer! Deciding to put this knowledge to the test, I whipped up a batch of Martha Stewart’s Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Friday afternoon. And I did not bake them.

This was the hard part- as any sweets lover can tell you, taking the time to mix up a dough and then NOT bake it is close to sacrilege.

I satiated my craving with a bit of raw dough (I know, I’m a rebel!) and popped the rest into a covered bowl & then the fridge.

There it sat for 24 hours. Then I baked off 12.

Better- the structure was denser. They didn’t spread as much. But I knew that a bit more time would yield yet a tastier result.

24 more hours passed. The two-day mark arrived. I preheated to 350. I shaped 12 2-inch cookies. I baked. I waited for 13 minutes. Well, technically 48 hours & 13 minutes.

But who’s counting?

Hallelujah! Patience is a virtue that is rewarded with deliciousness. These cookies were perfect. Letting them cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes is key. A final cooling on a cookie rack sets the perfection.

Chewy, but soft. Just the slightest hint of a crisp on the edge.

I’m not going to give all the credit to the recipe- I feel strongly that if you held even a mediocre recipe in the fridge for a day or two a better cookie would be born.

I urge all of you to try this test of self-control just once.

Granola Cookies

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After a day of indulgence, I like to reconnect with my inner-hippie. She’s very zen, only wears flip flops, and talks long walks in the sunshine.

She loves these cookies.

Full of rolled oats, sunflower seed butter, and sweetened only with agave, these are cookies you can feel good about. Eat one…or four.

For some added adventure, you could add a half cup of dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, or use almond or peanut butter instead of the sunflower seed butter. I have a feeling this is a forgiving batter.


If you’re feeling really frisky, dunk them in a glass of almond milk. I won’t tell.

Granola Cookies

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup agave
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Use a fork to gently flatten them to about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake 12 minutes- rotating cookie sheets midway through baking.

Makes ~27 cookies

Whole wheat fruit & nut biscotti

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We gave up cable when we bought our house. At the time it was a money thing, as in we didn’t have any. Now cable is affordable, but we continue to abstain for moral (read: self-righteous) and apathetic reasons. We can get our shows on iTunes- why bother with Comcast?

This means my only source of food t.v. is the Saturday afternoon of cooking shows on PBS. These come on infrequently, but when I stumble upon a block of them I sit in silent foodie bliss for hours. Lidia’s Italy is one of my faves, and so is Everyday Food. The latter is a Martha Stewart production, but is surprisingly accessible to those of us who are less interested in tablescapes and napkin rings you can make from pine cones. Hey- remember that ugly sweater she knit in prison? This show is way more fun than that.

Not gonna lie- when you make actual biscotti in your own kitchen, you’ll feel like a genuine Italian. Be prepared. What up, Giada!

These are your ingredients. Because biscotti are somewhat labor intensive I decided to make a double batch. More is almost always better.

Preheat oven to 350. Oil a baking sheet.

Chop dried fruits so they are roughly the same size if using different kinds. I used raw pecan halves and dried figs, apricots, & cherries so there were a variety of shapes.

Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, dried nuts, and dried fruit in a large bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs and the vanilla.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and gently mix.

On a floured surface, turn out the dough and shape two loaves (you’d only shape one if you made a single recipe).

Place the two loaves on the greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 until risen and firm- about 25 minutes.

Once the cookie loaves are in the oven, use this time to clean up the biscotti bomb that has exploded in your kitchen.

After the first bake, the biscotti loaves need to cool completely before you can slice them and bake them again.

While you are waiting for this to happen, you can use this time to do other useful things. I went to buy the monster (dog) some food & to the library to pick up the copy of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman I put on hold.

I also went to the grocery and bought more butter because a blizzard is a’comin‘ and there is nothing better than baking during a storm.

After the biscotti cool, you must slice them. Try to make them 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. I use a serrated bread knife- it keeps them from ripping as you slice.

Lower the oven temperature to 300.

Layer the biscotti on the cookie sheet.

Don’t be like me! The above picture shows biscotti that are too close together! These cookies need space because this batch steamed and were not crunchy the first go round. I had to get out another cookie sheet- separate these and rebake. LAME!

Remember- cookies are like Americans- they need personal space. At least an inch or two!

Bake again at 300 for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until golden.

Cool completely.

Once they are completely cooled, you have a couple of options.

You can store them sensibly- here I’ve used a covered Pyrex baking dish since I don’t own a cookie jar- crazy, right? There’s a lid that fits securely on top.

OR….if you’re feeling really frisky…

BISCOTTI JENGA!!

I have no clue how many biscotti I made- more than 40. Dunk these bad boys in your morning coffee and revel in your newly acquired Italianess!

Recipe from Everyday Food from PBS:

Ingredients

24 slices

  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in walnuts and raisins. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, pat dough into a loaf about 1 inch thick, 2 1/2 inches wide (and about 7 inches long); transfer to baking sheet. Bake until risen and firm, 20 to 25 minutes; cool completely on sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  4. Place loaf on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices; place slices in a single layer on sheet. Bake, turning once, until dried and slightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.