Confetti Sugar Cookies

Confetti Sugar Cookies

I was scrolling through pins on Pinterest and a photo from Deliciously Sprinkled caught my eye.  While the Funfetti cake looked absolutely delicious, I was really drawn to the color of the sprinkles she used. The colors were just so vibrant, with every color of the rainbow.  Most importantly, they don’t have any brown sprinkles which I don’t like the look or taste of.  In the post, Jenn said she bought them in bulk from Nuts.com. I haven’t heard of Nuts.com before, but I certainly had to check out these sprinkles.  Not only are they beautiful in color but they are only $2.99/pound!  I also like that these jimmies have more of a crunchy texture rather than a waxy texture like other sprinkles. I know they are only sprinkles and it’s probably silly how I talk about them like I am in love or something. But, I can’t help but get excited about new baking product finds and I had to share. I immediately ordered 2 pounds of the rainbow jimmies, a pound of nonpareils, a bunch of dried fruit and nuts. My kids especially loved the dried strawberries, dried berry mix and dark chocolate covered almonds.  There are so many things I still need to try.

So, now that I had 2 pounds of rainbow jimmies, I had to find something to make with them. I really didn’t feel like making cake or cupcakes. Instead, I decided to make these confetti cookies and they were exactly what I was looking for.  I like that there aren’t many ingredients; it’s all stuff you probably have on hand. The dough comes together easily and quickly and in no time, you have about 3 dozen delicious buttery sugar cookies. The texture of these cookies is really soft, which is a nice contrast to the sugar crust on the outside.  Sadly (embarrassingly?), we tore through all these cookies in only 2 days. And in 2 weeks, I went through a whole pound of rainbow jimmies between these confetti cookies and another super delicious frosted sugar cookie recipe that I hope to share soon.

Confetti Sugar Cookies

Yield: ~36 cookies (I got 34)

1 1/3 cup butter @ room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract   I used vanilla bean paste

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sprinkles   Jimmies don’t bleed like nonpareils (the beads)

granulated sugar for the top of the cookies   (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat

In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer, beat together the softened butter and sugar with the paddle attachment. Continue to beat until light and fluffy ~ 3 minutes.

Beat in the 2 eggs and vanilla until completely combined.

In a small bowl, with a whisk, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until combined and the dough comes together.

Gently fold in the sprinkles with a spatula to prevent the colors from bleeding.

With a cookie scoop, drop balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart.

Optional step: Place about a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll just the top of each dough ball into the sugar  (this makes them sparkle and gives them a sweet crust)

Bake for ~11 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn golden. (Turn the cookie tray around at about 6 min). The tops will look just slightly underdone.

Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source:  Buns In My Oven adapted from allrecipes.com

Note: I don’t have any affiliation with Nuts.com, nor was I paid at all for this post. I just really like their products and wanted to share.
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Dahlia Bakery’s All-American Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Dhalia Bakery's Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Wow. I finally found myself a pocket of time and my head was swimming with ideas of what to bake.  I’m sure you are thinking, with all these ideas, why did she end up making chocolate chip cookies?   Well, to be honest, I just really had a taste for them.  When I was flipping through The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook, of course, the chocolate truffle cookies caught my eye first. But, the chocolate chunk cookies were a close second.  There isn’t much better than a big, chewy chocolate chip cookie and a tall glass of ice cold milk.  And these looked like my kind of cookie.

Most chocolate chip cookies have essentially the same ingredients, just in different proportions. If you are looking for a special ingredient, I hope you aren’t disappointed that there isn’t one in these cookies.  Why are they so good then? It must be that the ratios are just right.  The cookie tastes just as it should, of butter and brown sugar.  It has a very slight crispness to the edges, but is perfectly chewy throughout, and they stayed chewy for three days.  At Dahlia, Tom Douglas uses a mixture of milk and bittersweet chocolates.  I used all semisweet cut from a Callebaut bar, as unbelievably, I was out of milk chocolate.  I also used only 14 oz of chocolate (only??), instead of the 19 oz called for in the recipe. As much as I love chocolate, with too much, I believe you can’t taste the deliciousness of the cookie.

As you probably know, I don’t make many recipes more than once.  But this one is a keeper.  I’m looking forward to trying the two chocolates next time or M & Ms or Reese’s cups or……

Dahlia Bakery’s All-American Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: 24 to 26 cookies (I got 24 big cookies)

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp pure vanilla

3 1/2 cups (482 grams) all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup plus 5 tablespoons  (10.5 ounces/298 grams) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (25o grams) packed, moist brown sugar

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces/255 grams) milk chocolate chunks

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces/255 grams) bittersweet chocolate chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line your cookie sheet(s) with parchment.

In a small bowl, break the 3 eggs, add the vanilla and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. Set aside.

Into the bowl of your Kitchen-Aid, add the butter and both sugars.  Cream on medium-high, with the paddle, until very light in color and fluffy, ~ 4-5 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Beating on medium, pour in half of the egg-vanilla mixture and beat until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides again and add the rest of the egg-vanilla mixture.  Beat briefly to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the electric mixer, beating on low until evenly distributed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix just 10 more seconds.  Don’t overmix.  Add the chocolate chunks and mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and using a spatula scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is mixed in.

Use an ice cream scoop to portion the cookies in 2.5 ounce portions (~ 1/4 cup), placing them evenly apart, 6 cookies per cookie sheet.

Bake until mostly golden brown on the edges but still pale in the middle, ~ 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time.  If you are baking 2 cookie sheets at a time, also rotate them between racks.  Do not overbake.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before using a spatula to remove the cookies from the sheets.

Source:  The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle

Dahlia Bakery Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Dahlia Bakery Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Chocolate truffle cookies.  That was all I had to read before I decided I had to make them immediately.  I’m not sure if it is just me,  but I honestly don’t get it when someone says a dessert is too rich or too chocolately.   There is no such thing.  The more chocolate, the better.  And these cookies have a trifecta of chocolate:  bittersweet, cocoa powder and chips.   Sounds like perfection to me.  Besides, I have heard wonderful things about the famed Dahlia Bakery and I already love Tom Douglas as a Top Chef guest judge.  Though, I have to say, Top Chef has been pretty disappointing this season.  I am a huge fan, but Seattle is almost as bad as Texas, I’m afraid.  But, I keep watching anyways.  I think I just love Tom 😀

These cookies were easy enough to make.  I wouldn’t even bother with the double boiler. I have always had good luck melting my chocolate in the microwave.  I just melt it on defrost at 15-20 second increments and mix before putting it back in the microwave.  Just be careful to not melt until totally smooth or it will be overdone and bitter.  There should still be small chocolate chunks and the residual heat will melt the rest.  Make sure to beat the batter after you add the eggs for several minutes so you get the pretty shiny tops.  When you add the flour, fold lightly just until combined and your cookies will be tender.  As they bake, the smell of chocolate is intoxicating.  I love how the top cracks, hinting at the dark, delicious fudgeyness underneath.  These cookies were so good, I immediately ordered the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.  I have a feeling that these cookies are just a hint of the deliciousness to come…..

Dahlia Bakery Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Yield: 30 cookies, 3.5in diameter

1 1⁄4 cups (7 1⁄8 ounces/205 grams) all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (3 ⁄4 ounce/20 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder     I used Valrhona

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 pound plus 4 ounces (567 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped        I used Callebaut

1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1⁄4 sticks/5 ounces/140 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 1⁄4 cups (1 pound plus 1⁄4 ounce/460 grams) sugar

6 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (12 ounces/340 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips   I used semisweet mini chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder.  Stir in the salt. Set aside. Place a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1 inch of water.  Heat the water until very hot but not boiling.  Put the chocolate in the bowl and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl of chocolate from over the water and cool for ~ 5 – 10 minutes.    I melted in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring in between.

Combine the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle.  Cream on medium until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time.  Mix on medium until the eggs are incorporated.

Increase the speed to high and beat for a few minutes until the mixture is very light, creamy, and pale in color. Scrape down the bowl as needed. This is what gives the cookies the shiny, cracked tops. Add the melted chocolate and  vanilla. Mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula. Do not overmix or the cookies with be tough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Start scooping the cookies as soon as the batter is made. The batter is very soft and sticky at first.  But it starts firming up quickly as it sits, making it difficult to portion. The easiest way to portion the cookies is with a 2- oz ice cream scoop. Pack the scoop 3/4 full. Or use a scant 1 ⁄4 cup or 1 1 ⁄2 ounces of cookie dough for each cookie.

Scoop the cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten each mound of dough slightly with a dampened hand.

Immediately after scooping the batter, place them in the oven. If baking in batches, don’t refrigerate the scooped dough.  Instead, leave them at room temperature. They will not spread properly if the dough is chilled.

Bake until the cookie tops are evenly cracked and they are soft set, ~14 to 16 minutes. Rotate the pan at ~ 7 minutes. If you have 2 pans of cookies in the oven at the same time, also switch them between the racks.

Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets with a metal spatula.

Source: The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook via In Sock Monkey Slippers

Dahlia chocolate truffle cookies

What’s Baking November Round-Up- Oh My, It’s Pie!

I am so excited to be hosting November’s round-up for What’s Baking.   I was trying to think up a theme and decided it would be a good idea to try to incorporate Thanksgiving.  When I think of Thanksgiving, besides spending time with family, the turkey and all the fixings, I can’t help but think of dessert.  And, dessert for Thanksgiving always seems to include pumpkin pie.  But it doesn’t have to be pumpkin, does it?  There are so many different delicious kinds of pie. So, let’s ditch the pumpkin and make pie the theme!

My good friend, Eva of Eva Bakes, recreated the old-fashioned Southern sweet potato pie that was the perfect ending to a real barbecue meal on a recent trip back to her Southern college town.  For this pie to be authentic, a recipe with pumpkin pie spice would just not do.  It was not easy, but Eva found the perfect recipe, without the spice, that allowed the sweetness of the potato to come through.  My husband is crazy about sweet potatoes.  He would totally love this pie!

sweet potato pie

After scoring a bunch of peaches at the farmer’s market this summer, Heather Lynn at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks, made and jarred peach jam.  Luckily she had enough fruit to make this delicious peach pie filling too.  Heather Lynn had a mini-Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and all she had to do for dessert was make a pie crust for the sweet, spicy and juicy peach filling she already made.  Now, that’s easy entertaining. Ina would be proud!

peach pie1

Part of what Jenna from Jenna’s Cooking Journey likes about What’s Baking is that she spends a lot of time reading through blogs, looking for the perfect recipe.  She has found some great new blogs this way, including Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. where this blueberry cheesecake pie caught her eye.  Mel’s is one of my favorite blogs, too.  Mmmm…cheesecake with fresh blueberry topping? Sign me up!

blueberry cheesecake pie

Yudith, from Blissfully Delicious, didn’t really like coconut cream pie until she tasted this one that she made special for her mother’s visit.  This pie sounds delicious with a chocolate wafer crust, coconut pudding, sweetened whipped cream and toasted coconut.  And, congratulations to Yudith and her family on a new addition due this May. How exciting!

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Ange, from The Tiny Tyrant’s Kitchen, likes to steer clear of pumpkin pie for the holidays and do something different. This time she decided to give sugar cream pie a try. Although it smelled good while it baked, Ange was disappointed with the consistency and sweetness.  I’m sorry Ange, I have had more than my share of baking disappointments.

Sugar Cream Pie

Joanna, from Kosher Kitchen, decided to make chocolate pecan pie with homemade pie crust.  Although she was nervous at first, thankfully, it was easier than she thought.  The pie was well received at her Thanksgiving dinner.  After eating it, her second cousin declared Joanna’s husband a lucky man.  Her husband couldn’t help but agree, for this pie and a list of many other things. 😀

chocolate pecan pie

Sandra, of She Cooks and Bakes, just had a baby (congratulations) and was hosting Thanksgiving, so she needed a quick and easy dessert.  This peanut butter icebox pie fit the bill.  Peanut butter and chocolate just happens to be my favorite flavor combination.  In fact, I am eating mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s as I type this. They are so good and I am now sad that they are almost gone.  Now, I have to buy more and make this pie!

Peanut butter icebox pie

Cookie Dough Cream Pie, say what?  Carrie from Carrie’s Sweet Life made this pie from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, which I own. I have made several recipes from the book and they have all been wonderful. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed this recipe because it looks and sounds delicious.

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Stephanie, at Brownies and Blondies, was talking to her fiancée about his mom’s coconut cream pie recently and decided to make it for What’s Baking.  But, it seemed too summery, so she decided to add cranberries.  And then what the heck, throw in some white chocolate because it goes so well with cranberries.  And that is how this white chocolate coconut cranberry pie was born!

pie

Nicole, from Seven Ate Nine, decided to make Paleo Pie because her husband and his dad are on the Whole 30 Program, which doesn’t allow for anything in a dessert pie. So, she made an egg “crust” and filled it with eggs, sausage, peppers and onions to make a quiche of sorts.  I never think of savory pies, but we love eggs in my house.

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And, I made French silk pie. It has always been a favorite of mine and apparently it is now Jack’s and Sammie’s favorite too. Of course baby Alex loved it, but really that is no feat, he eats everything.  The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to worry about raw eggs.  ATK found a way around it and the filling is actually cooked. So now it is safe for small children and it is still delicious.  Really, crazy delicious!

ATK French silk pie pie

Carrie, from Carrie’s Sweet Life, is the December hostess for What’s Baking.  So, at the end of next month, make sure to head over to her blog for a round-up of some delicious peppermint recipes!

November WB collagePM

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Hello everyone!  I feel like I have been gone forever.  We have had a terrible cold virus taking us out one at a time.  First it was my daughter, then baby Alex got croup, then me and now my husband.   Somehow, only Jack was spared, knock on wood.

This month, my friend Eva at Eva Bakes picked pumpkin and sweet potatoes as the theme for What’s Baking.  I am so grateful for the support Eva has always given me and my blog.  Us bakers stick together!  So, if you get a chance, head over to Eva’s wonderful blog and check out her oh so fabulous looking desserts!

As I have said before, my husband is a super picky eater.  But surprisingly, at least to me, he loves sweet potatoes.  I have never baked with them before because I am not really a big fan.  So, I decided to go with pumpkin instead, since we both like it.  I made pumpkin bread a few weeks ago and it was delicious.  But, I wanted to do something different.  I came across these pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing and thought…pumpkin, spices, brown butter, frosting?  Umm..yum!

The batter of these cookies is simple to put together, but then Martha recommends piping the dough onto a cookie sheet.  Well, for 6 dozen cookies, that sounded like it would take forever.  I thought the batter was definitely thick enough to use a cookie scoop for portioning.  They may end up looking a bit nicer Martha’s way (doesn’t it always?), but I thought my way turned out just fine and was a heck of a lot faster.  Although these are called cookies, they have a cake-like texture, more like a whoopie pie.  If you have never made brown butter before, it’s really easy.  You just melt butter in a pan until, you guessed it, it is brown.  You just have to be careful to not go to far and have the bits turn black.  Then, I’m sorry, you will have to start over.  The addition of brown butter to the frosting, instead of the usual softened butter, gave it almost a butterscotch flavor that was crazy delicious!  When I was done frosting the cookies, I let Jack and Sammie eat the last bit of frosting in the bowl while I cleaned up.  All I could hear was Mmmm….Mmmmm  and when I took the bowl away it was almost clean enough to put back in the cabinet.  Sammie didn’t even want to taste the cookies because she hates pumpkin, she says.  Yet, after some convincing, she ate two before I cut her off.   Jack kept saying “These are so good mom”, baby Alex kept pointing to the container to ask for more, and all Justin could say was “Oh.My.God”.  So, yeah, I think my family liked them okay.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Yield:  6 dozen  (I got 4 dozen)

For the cookies:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)   Almost a whole 15 oz can

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter and brown sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, ~3 minutes. Mix in eggs one at a time.  Reduce the speed to low.  Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix until well blended, ~ 2 minutes. Note:  The mixture will look curdled, don’t worry.  Add flour mixture and mix until combined.  It shouldn’t look curdled anymore.

Martha says:  Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806) and pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart. I used a cookie scoop and it worked great.  Bake the cookies, rotating sheets halfway through baking.  When done, the tops should spring back, ~ 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the brown butter icing:

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk    Save the remaining milk to thin the frosting out if it thickens too much while frosting all the cookies

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract     I used vanilla bean paste….I love those specks!

Measure the confectioners’ sugar and put into a large bowl.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Cook the butter, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, ~ 3 minutes. Watch carefully, you want brown bits, not black.  Immediately pour the browned butter into the bowl of confectioners’ sugar.  Make sure to scrape any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan.  Pour in the evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time.   Let sit for a few hours to set before packing up for storage.  Make sure to place wax paper in between each layer to prevent sticking.

Source:  Martha Stewart

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

I have to admit that I love those Lofthouse cookies at the grocery store.   You know the ones.  The soft sugar cookies with thick frosting and sprinkles to coordinate with each holiday.  So delicious.  Even with all the baking I do, I have a hard time resisting them.  But, I think next time it will be a little bit easier.  Why?  Because I have found some cookies that blow those out of the water.  I came across a recipe for sugar cookies in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook that were described as tasting like the grocery store cookies only better with the addition of chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.  How could they not be better?

I must warn you that these cookies are a bit time consuming because of all the steps: making the dough, refrigeration, roll and cut the dough, bake them, make the frosting and frost them.  But, each step is easy and the end result is oh so very worth it.   Upon tasting them, both my son and husband exclaimed oh my god, which was barely discernible with their mouths stuffed with cookies.  My daughter said they were the best thing I ever made.  Now, these three are some very tough critics.  If they say they are good, you can believe it.  But really, what’s not to like?  This is a super soft, not too sweet sugar cookie, smeared with cookie dough frosting and generously topped with chocolate chips.  Sounds (and tastes) pretty perfect to me. 😀

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Yield: 24 cookies

For the cookies:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature  Use the sticks- easier to measure and less messy

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 cups all-purpose flour (or more as needed)

For the frosting:

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder, followed by the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes together. Dough should be soft but not sticky.  If it is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.  I put the dough on Saran wrap and shaped it into a disk to make it easier to roll later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thick. I had to use a small bit of flour.  Cut it into 3-inch circles (I used a biscuit cutter) and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until tops are puffed and no longer shiny and bottoms are just barely golden brown. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in flour and salt, followed by vanilla. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy. Add more powdered sugar as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, until frosting is thick yet spreadable.  I had to add more cream to thin it out a bit. 

With an offset spatula, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie. You can be generous with the frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing lightly so chips adhere to frosting. Refrigerated in an airtight container, frosted cookies will keep for up to 3 days.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

A few days ago, my sister-in-law was wonderful enough to take all three of my children so my husband and I could spend a day in the city kid-free!  I ♥ her.  We went to Bleeding Heart Bakery for a late breakfast and after looking at cases upon cases of delicious looking cupcakes, cookies and other sweets, I chose a broccoli quiche.  My husband couldn’t believe it.  But, with all the desserts that I bake, I really wanted something savory and it was delicious.   My husband chose a giant whoopie pie, but was disappointed that it wasn’t nearly as good as mine.   I tasted a bite and couldn’t help but agree.  😀 After breakfast, we had time before the movie, so we decided to browse some at Barnes and Noble.  Of course, I made a beeline straight for the cookbook section.  It is there that I came across the book The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, flipped through a few pages and decided that I needed it.  But, it is so hard for me to buy books at the bookstore, when I know I am able to get them so much cheaper on Amazon.  So, somehow I restrained myself and noted the title so I could order it that night.

When the book arrived, I was flipping through it and  I knew that I had to make the chocolate chip cookie dough filled sandwich cookies immediately.  I mean, are you kidding me?  My favorite cookie, sandwiched together with cookie dough filling, which I may like even more than the cookie itself?  Now, that is genius!  The cookie batter comes together easily, just like any other chocolate chip cookie dough.  The cookies bake up flat, and a bit crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle.  The cookie dough frosting tastes so much like cookie dough, I had a hard time not eating it all right out of the bowl.  Okay, I admit it.  I ate some.  But, I still had enough to fill the cookies…well, most of them anyways.   Filled or not, these cookies are simply delicious.  As if there was any doubt.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

Yield: 20 to 24 sandwich cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

For Cookie Dough Filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until no lumps remain, 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll chilled dough into smooth, tablespoon-size balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten balls slightly into 3/4-inch disks.  Arrange about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. These flatten and spread quite a bit.  I suggest baking 9 cookies/sheet for your first batch so you can gauge size and spacing.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookie edges are lightly golden. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the cookie dough filling, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in flour, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until incorporated. Slowly add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

To assemble, sandwich 1 heaping tablespoon of filling between two cookies. Press cookies lightly until filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies.  Sandwiches can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.  Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Okay, so I have quite a few chocolate cookie recipes on my blog.  But, really, can one have too many?  I say no. 😀  And, though they are all chocolate cookies, each recipe is very different.  While most chocolate cookies are like cakey brownies, this one is more like a chewy chocolate sugar cookie.  The cakey texture of other cookies comes from melting chocolate into the dough, which is softened by the fat in whole chocolate.  So, dutch processed cocoa powder replaces melted chocolate in this recipe.  An egg white instead of a whole egg gives the cookie structure and the dark corn syrup contributes to the chewiness.   America’s Test Kitchen always figures this stuff out just right.  What you end up with is an intensely chocolate sugar cookie, studded with big chunks of semisweet chocolate, with a sweet crunch from the sugar that glitters across the top.  Could a chocolate cookie get much better than this?  I’m gonna go ahead and say no.  Am I wrong?  I don’t think so, but you might have to try it and find out…

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/3 cup (2 1/3 oz) granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup (7 1/2 oz) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (2 1/4 oz) dutch processed cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4tsp + 1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1 large egg white

1 tsp vanilla

12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup ( 2 1/3 oz) packed dark brown sugar

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces    I used Callebaut semisweet

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar for rolling

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 375°.  (I always bake cookies 1 sheet at a time in the middle).  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add corn syrup mixture, and beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and chopped chocolate; and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl as needed. Give dough a final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain and the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to firm slightly. The dough will still be soft.

Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate.  Remove dough from fridge.  Divide dough into 16 equal portions (about 2 Tbsp, or 50g if you are a nerd like me); roll between hands into balls. Roll half of the dough balls in sugar to coat.  Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Bake until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone),  10 to 11 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Do not over bake.

Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Chocolate Chip Cookies Straight Up

I am so addicted to the Food Network.   One of my current favorite shows is The Best Thing I Ever Made.  I love that after watching the show, you can turn around and make your favorite Food Network star’s best dish at home.  The other day I was watching the show on Sweet Endings (perfect for me right?) and Elizabeth Falkner, of Citizen Cake Fame, chose her best to be her chocolate chip cookies.  I was intrigued.  Elizabeth has been on Top Chef Masters, she was runner up in the Next Iron Chef, she is a highly regarded pastry chef and the best thing she ever made was a chocolate chip cookie?  Well, these must be some cookies!  So, of course, I had to make them immediately.  The cookies have a higher brown sugar to sugar ratio for chewiness and use dark brown sugar to amp up the butterscotch flavor.  There is a pinch of baking powder to puff them up a touch and chopped chocolate instead of chips to provide maximum melted chocolate gooeyness.   The taste and texture of these cookies reminds me of the brown sugar cookies I made awhile back, but even better with the addition of chocolate chunks.  The taste is much more complex, gourmet if you will, than your average chocolate chip cookie.  Well done, Ms. Falkner, well done. 😀

Chocolate Chip Cookies Straight Up

Yield: 3 dozen, but I only got 2 dozen

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, softened but still cool   like Play-Doh

3/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) granulated sugar

1 large egg (1 1/2 ounces by weight)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped the size of chocolate chips, or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)  I used Callebaut Semi-Sweet.

3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped walnuts, optional  I omitted

In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, but not over mixed. (Or use a stand mixer with a paddle or a handheld mixer, beating on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl before continuing.)  Add the egg, vanilla and salt.  Stir just until combined.

Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Stir gently just until combined. Add the chocolate and nuts (if using).  Stir just until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (On the show she says 24 to 48 hours, but I was impatient and did 12 hours.)  Note:  This dough is drier than most chocolate chip cookie doughs I have worked with.

Position the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop up 1-inch balls of the dough with a spoon or mini scoop and set them 2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Bake the cookies, rotating the pans after 7 to 9 minutes, for 13 to 17 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. If you like a very soft cookie, bake them for 13 minutes.  If you like a crisp cookie, bake them for 17 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool.

Storage:  Best the day they are baked, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Source:  Food Network– Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake

Snickerdoodles

My husband’s favorite cookie has always been the snickerdoodle.  I never really got them.  Aren’t they just sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar?  I guess that’s how most are made, but according to the culinary gods at America’s Test Kitchen, that isn’t how they are supposed to be.  What you should be looking for in a good snickerdoodle is a chewy texture, a slightly tangy flavor, and a crinkly cinnamon coated surface.  The cream of tartar gives the cookie its tang and in combination with baking soda, helps the cookie to rise and fall, giving the cookie its signature crinkles.  I usually try to avoid shortening in lieu of butter in cookie recipes, well, because it just tastes better.  But apparently it is included to prevent some spreading and to give the cookie its characteristic chew.  So, at least this time, shortening will stay.  So, there you have it.  The chemistry behind the perfect snickerdoodle.  Chewy? Check. Tangy? Check.  Cinnamony (is that a word?)? Check. Crinkled? Check.  Oh, and now let’s not forget totally delicious. 😀

Snickerdoodles

Yield:  24 cookies

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2oz) all purpose flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

8 Tbsp vegetable shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

Adjust rack to middle and preheat oven to 375F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow dish or pie plate.  Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Using a stand mixer, beat butter, shortening and 1 1/2 cups of sugar together on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Reduce the speed to low, slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.  Give dough a final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

Working with 2 Tbsp of dough at a time, roll into balls.  Working in batches, roll half of the dough balls in cinnamon sugar to coat and set upon prepared baking sheet spaced 2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Bake 1 sheet at a time, until the edges are set and just beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking.  (Cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone).  Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Source:  Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Food Magazine

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