Friday, February 17, 2017

Oatmeal Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been looking at a lot of different recipes today, trying to find a recipe with no dairy. My friend at work can’t have dairy, so she never gets to try the cookies that I bake. I never get upset if people don’t eat my cookies, for whatever reason. I bake because I want to share with people, and it’s up to them if they want to try it. I was at Whole Foods and I picked up some dairy free chocolate chips, so that was the first step.

Most recipes contain dairy in the form of butter, and you could just use margarine, shortening, or coconut oil, and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. I found this recipe that uses almond butter in place of butter or an alternative. Additionally, these don’t contain any flour, so they are gluten free. The texture of the dough is very different from most cookies I make, but they bake up just fine.

This dough is super, super sticky! I was not sure that they would turn out. I baked up a batch, and figured that I could add some flour if needed. (No one at work is gluten free.) I felt like they were just fine. They don’t really brown like most cookies (no butter), but they are set when they come out of the oven. The cookies do maintain a bit of stickiness even when baked, but not too bad. They have a very nice chocolate chip cookie flavor. While the texture of the cookies is a little different, they taste really good!

Oatmeal Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup almond butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large mixer bowl, combine the almond butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the oat mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be sticky.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes. The cookies will be puffy and look slightly under baked, but will set as they cool. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Meaningful Eats

Friday, February 10, 2017

Strawberry Sugar Cookies

I often see recipes for strawberry cookies, and they inevitably use a strawberry cake mix to impart the strawberry flavor. While I don’t mind using a cake mix occasionally, I prefer not to. How hard should a strawberry cookie be? I guess it is harder than I thought! Fresh strawberries can be used in a bar cookie, but they have so much moisture in them that they can be tricky. I came across this recipe, and thought they looked and sounded great.

The original recipe uses strawberry powder, which isn’t something that you can find easily at the store. I could order it online, but it was expensive and I wasn’t sure what else I would do with strawberry powder. We were at Trader Joe’s and I found freeze dried strawberries. I was hopeful that they would pulverize and would work in this recipe. They processed up beautifully, which was great.

The dough has a lovely pink hue, which fades slightly after baking. I suppose you could add food color to make these a brighter pink, but I like the pale blush of these cookies. The strawberry flavor is subtle, although my husband says that the dough has a stronger strawberry flavor. This cookie has the nicest texture, soft and chewy. In a way, they remind me of a non-cinnamon sugar snickerdoodle, which is a favorite cookie of mine!

Strawberry Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ tablespoons strawberry powder*
2 eggs
Additional sugar or sanding sugar

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

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium until light, about 4 minutes. Add the strawberry powder and mix to combine. Add the eggs and beat on medium for two minutes. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the dough into the prepared baking sheets, then rolling into balls about 1-1/4” in diameter. Roll the balls in sugar.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cracked on the top. They will be soft, but will firm up as they cool. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Strawberry powder is sold on Amazon , but I bought freeze-dried strawberries at Trader Joe’s and pulverized them in the food processor.

Recipe from Chris from The Café Sucré Farine, via Melanie Makes

Friday, February 3, 2017

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

In the middle of winter, it’s nice to have some relief. While we don’t typically get snow in the Seattle area, we do have many grey days. It’s at least been cold and sunny the last few days, and the days are getting longer. It’s dark when I go to work, but today I was headed home at 5:30 and it was still fairly light out!

Lemon is a wonderful flavor in cookies, and these lemon cream cheese cookies sounded interesting. The tang of cream cheese is subtle but so good in recipes. These sounded like they would be almost be like cheesecake in the center. You do need to give the lemon flavors and the cream cheese plenty of time to mingle, so don’t try to rush this recipe. I made the dough and refrigerated it overnight.

The biggest challenge with these cookies is knowing how long to bake them. They don’t give you any of the normal clues of doneness. They don’t brown, except on the bottom, but you can’t really see that when they are on the baking sheets. They do feel set to the touch, but that’s not the best clue. I baked mine for 10 minutes and while they are soft, they seemed done. These have a nice lemon flavor, the only thing I would change is to make the glaze with lemon juice to add even more lemon flavor.

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup to 1 cup powdered sugar

In a large mixer bowl, add the butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium for 1 minutes, until combined. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat on medium. Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and half of the flour. Stir on low until the dough starts to come together. Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

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

Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will not be browned, but will be set and ever so slightly browned on the bottom. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand while still warm. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cool, prepare the glaze: in a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and water until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.

Recipe from Swanky Recipes