Friday, November 21, 2014

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

As much as I like to bake, there are still some types of cookies that I buy at the store. There are just some things that you can’t replicate at home. One of my favorites is iced oatmeal cookies. They have a crispness that I just don’t think that you can replicate at home. I had made another version of iced oatmeal cookies a while ago, but this recipe was quite different. 

With the amount of ingredients in these cookies (2 cups of oats, 2 cups of flour, a cup of butter) I was worried that this would make a ton of cookies. I did make mine smaller than the original recipe specified, and I got about 4-1/2 dozen cookies. I was worried I’d be baking cookies all night! You pulse the oats in the food processor and I was curious how that would change the cookie. You still see the texture of the oats, but it’s a finer texture.

After last week’s cookies that were so complex, this week I opted for something simpler. Yes, it does take some patience to glaze all of the cookies, but it wasn’t too bad. These cookies aren’t as crisp as the store bought cookie, but the taste is quite close. My glaze was perhaps too thin, so they look a little different, but the thinner glaze was easier to use. I really enjoyed making these cookies and they taste great!

Iced Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups oats
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Place the oats in a food processor and pulse about 10 times. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, set aside. In a large mixer bowl beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the oat/flour mixture. Beat until incorporated; you may need to stir with a spatula to fully incorporate all of the dry ingredients.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. The cookies spread, so leave about 2” between each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze the cookies: in a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. Dip the cookies in the glaze, allowing the extra glaze to drip back in the bowl. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Recipe from Mother Thyme

Friday, November 14, 2014

Puppy Chow Cookies

The ladies on my What’s Cooking chat board have started the recipe swap again. This is the first one and I was given Caroline’s blog The Barbee Housewife. She has lots of wonderful recipes. For recipe swaps, I usually pick something other than cookies, but I spotted this recipe for puppy chow cookies on her site and I really wanted to make them. I had looked at making this recipe a while ago, and had never gotten around to it, so now was the time.

This recipe has you make peanut butter cookies, then dip them in a chocolate/peanut butter coating and then cover in powdered sugar. Caroline suggested baking the cookies one day and finishing them the next day, since you don’t want the cookies to be warm at all when you finish them. I planned to do that, but that just didn’t happen. I made them and did allow them to cool for a couple of hours, so that worked.

These cookies are fairly labor intensive and probably weren’t the best choice to make after a fairly stressful day at work. They are pretty messy, too, so you have to be prepared to clean the kitchen after making them. My husband thought the cookies were great without the coating, which was nice. I got my first batch of chocolate too hot so I had to start over again. I couldn’t figure out a neat way to dunk these in chocolate, and you have to be careful to get the extra chocolate off of the cookie. While they were quite a bit of work, they are worth it! They are such a decadent cookie, rich with the chocolate peanut butter flavor. Yes, maybe these take some time and they are messy, but if you are up to the challenge these are great! Thanks to Ashley from Cheese Curd in Paradise for organizing the swap.

Puppy Chow Cookies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Add the sugar and light brown sugar and beat on medium until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and stir to combine. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour. Stir just until combined.

Using a small cookie scoop, shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet. With the palm of your hand or a small glass, flatten the cookies slightly, about ½” thick.

Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden at the edge. Don’t worry that the cookies seem soft. Cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies must be completely cool before coating.

Make the coating: in a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, vegetable oil, peanut butter, and shortening. Microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.

Finish the cookies: Place the powdered sugar in a bowl. Place a cookie in the chocolate and then turn it over to completely cover in chocolate. Remove from the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place in the powdered sugar and cover completely with powdered sugar. Place on a wire rack to set. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Recipe from The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

This week marks the first week that Tuesdays with Dorie is baking from Dorie’s new book Baking Chez Moi. I adored Dorie’s Baking from My Home to Yours, and I am just as excited about this new book. So far, all of the recipes I’ve read through sound terrific. I was also thrilled that Dorie now includes weight measurements in the recipe in addition to volume measurements. I prefer weighing ingredients, since I think it is a lot more accurate. Such a good addition!

The first recipe is for these cookies, Palets de Dames. My friend asked me what that translated to. Dorie mentions that “palets” means “pucks,” but I would probably translate these to ladies cookies, in the style of Lille, France. They are a beautifully simple sugar cookie topped with a lemon glaze. I didn’t change anything in the recipe at all; I find that Dorie’s recipes are written in a way that I don’t often have to change much.

I made these early in the morning and let the dough refrigerate while I made some other cookies. The dough would be impossibly soft to work with without refrigeration! It was still soft after an hour in the refrigerator, but cool enough to shape. My cookies were a little more domed than Dorie’s; the cookies in her photo are flatter than mine. One batch I baked about 30 seconds too long and it made a difference: too browned on the bottom. These are the perfect tea cookie, light and flaky, with the softest lemon flavor. I really liked these and I am so excited to start working my way through this book! Don't forget to check out how all the TWD bakers did with this week's recipe, by visiting the Tuesdays with Dorie website.

Recipe from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, pages 272-274

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oatmeal M&M Cookies

Ok, so this week I am using up leftover Halloween in my baking! We only bought one bag of candy, although it WAS a big bag, but we didn’t have any kids come to the door. It was so disappointing. We don’t have a lot of kids in the neighborhood, but still, you always hope that someone will come. We had left over M&Ms, Twix and Snickers. I knew I could make some type of M&M cookies, so I went searching for something different than what I had made before.

I’ve made sugar cookies with M&Ms and two types of M&M bar cookies, but I hadn’t made an oatmeal cookie. It fall, the weather is blustery, so oatmeal cookies sound just right. My friend at work loves M&M cookies and I was talking about how I’d made them before, but she said I could always make more M&M cookies. 

This dough is classic. Nothing unusual except the M&Ms. I used regular sized candies, but the original recipe said you could use mini or regular size. I chilled the dough for a little over an hour, which helped the cookies maintain their shape while baking. I wasn’t sure about the cinnamon in the dough, but it goes well with the chocolate candies. I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did. So maybe you’re like me and you have candy left over; these cookies are the perfect way to use it all up!

Oatmeal M&M Cookies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2/3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup M&Ms

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium until incorporated. Add the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until combined. The dough will be thick. Stir in the M&Ms with a spatula.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake form 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are barely browned on the edges and the tops look dry. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pistachio Cream Cheese Cookies

I found this on a blog where it was listed as a Christmas cookie, but I decided that this contained perfectly normal ingredients and there was no need to wait until Christmas to make these. I also had some cream cheese left over from some of the frosting that I have made recently, so these were great. The original recipe called for walnuts, but they aren’t my favorite so I used pistachios instead.

These mix up quickly in the mixer, and the original recipe said to chill the dough for 10 minutes. This dough is incredibly sticky and there was no way that they would be ready to bake in just a few minutes in the refrigerator. I refrigerated the dough for a few hours and it really helped. The cookies do spread and get golden brown around the edges (since they contain so much butter/cream cheese). I flattened some of the cookies before baking and didn’t flatten other ones, but they came out of the oven looking the same.

This recipe makes a bit more than two dozen, so it isn’t the largest batch. The pistachios that I used were roasted and salted, which worked, but some might think these are too salty. With such a simple cookie, the flavors shine through clearly. You definitely taste the tang of the cream cheese and the salty flavor of the pistachios. 

Pistachio Cream Cheese Cookies
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
½ cup pistachios, toasted and finely chopped

In a large mixer bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour and chopped pistachios. Do not over mix; the dough will be very sticky.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-16 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Picture Perfect Meals