Friday, January 27, 2023

Cinnamon White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

A cinnamon white chocolate oat cookie resting against a stack of the same cookies, photographed on a natural woven mat with red thread

It can be hard to pick the right cookies to make each week, and that is especially true in January. While I don’t really know anyone on a health kick, which seem futile, people aren’t all that interested in lots of sweets. While I plan to make cookies so I can take them to work, once again this week got away from me and I ended up making them later in the week than planned. I do love the days I can work from home, but there are challenges!

There are times when I am happy to take on a more challenging cookie, with multiple steps, but that was not what I was looking for this week. My selection process involved me picking a couple of recipes and making something that needed no extra ingredients. Yes, I could have gone to the store to get a lemon or something, but that wasn’t in the cards.

These cookies are similar to other oatmeal cookies I have made. At some level, how much can you change up cookies? I guess you can a lot as I have been posting on this blog for so long! Cinnamon, oats, and white chocolate seemed like a good combination and it certainly was. They are so buttery and just melt in your mouth. I did like them straight out of the oven, but they are also tasty after they’ve cooled.

Cinnamon White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
12 ounces white chocolate chips

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until fully combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again to combine. Stir in the oatmeal and stir on low to begin to incorporate. Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour and with the mixer on low, stir to combine. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2” balls and place on a cookie sheet or large plate. Refrigerate the formed cookies for at least 30 minutes.

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

Place 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly brown. They may look slightly wet and under cooked, but they will firm up at they cool. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Great Taste Buds

Friday, January 20, 2023

Chocolate Swirl Thumbprints

Three Chocolate Swirl Thumbprints: cookies rolled in sugar and chocolate sprinkles, topped with a Hershey's Hug that is melted and swirled, photographed on a grey mat.

It was so nice getting back into the swing of things with baking. I found a great cookie that I couldn’t wait to try, they weren’t too tricky to make, they turned out well, and they are super tasty! I edited the recipe ever so slightly, where I used chocolate sprinkles rather than ground coffee. I didn’t want a strong coffee flavor, and I had the chocolate sprinkles already. I used what they called dark chocolate crunch for these cookies.

I had planned to make the dough one night and then bake them the next day, but I wasn’t quite that organized. As a result, I ended up making the dough early one morning, and then baked the cookies when I got home that evening. The dough is fairly soft, even after being in the refrigerator all day, so it likely wouldn’t make much of a difference how long you chill the dough.

My version made just under three dozen cookies, and I honestly have no idea how this recipe would make 48 cookies. They must have been tiny! I will say that the dark chocolate crunch didn’t stick to the dough, but that’s ok. Swirling the half-melted chocolate is a skill, and some cookies looked better than others. These cookies are so good, with a slight hint of coffee from the Kahlua and the lovely sweetness of the Hershey’s hug!

Chocolate Swirl Thumbprints
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon Kahlua (or milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
½ cup sugar
Hershey's hugs (chocolate kisses with stripes)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening and sugar on medium until light. Add the baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Add the egg and Kahlua and mix to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, mixing just until the flour is blended into the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.

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

In a small bowl, stir together the chocolate sprinkles and sugar. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the dough in the sugar mixture. Place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and just barely browned. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven press a Hershey’s hug into the center of each cookie. Allow the cookies to set for 5-10 minutes and then carefully swirl the Hershey’s hug with a knife or the back of a spoon. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Happy Life Blogspot

Friday, January 13, 2023

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

Puffy Pistachio Cookies with White and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, photographed on a blue plate

I’m still working through all of the decadent treats that are in the house after the holidays, but I am trying to get back into the swing of baking! I had some pistachios on hand that I wanted to use in a recipe, so I looked to see what I could find. I marked a number of recipes and now I am probably going to have to buy more pistachios to try all these recipes.

I didn’t make changes to this recipe, although I did use a mix of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I started out making these cookies with my regular cookie scoop, which holds about 2 teaspoons and the first batch of cookies were so tiny! They are also really puffy, which I wasn’t expecting at all. I was expecting a crinkly cookie, and that was not what came out at all.

The Internet provides all sorts of answers about why cookies may be puffy, but I am not sure. Most of the reasons center around the butter, whether you have too much or too little, and the temperature of the butter. This recipe uses melted butter, which I have used before and didn’t have any problems, so I don’t know. Somehow the ratios weren’t quite right, so they cookies are smaller and pale. While they don’t look perfect, they are very tasty! I like the pistachios combined with the chocolate. Now I just need to find the right ratios for these cookies…

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped salted pistachios
3/4 cup mixed white and semi-sweet chocolate chips

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

In a large mixer bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and sugar and beat on medium to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the pistachios and chips with a spatula.

Drop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, using 1-2 tablespoons per cookie.
Bake the cookies for 10-14 minutes, until lightly browned along the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from 100k Recipes

Friday, January 6, 2023

Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

Salted Caramel Cookie Bar: a bar cookie with salted caramel chocolate chips and pecans, photographed on a white plate with leaves.

I was looking for something different to bake, and also looking for a recipe that I could adapt to be gluten free. I chose these, although I also realized that I was trying to avoid chocolate, but I seemingly can’t think of too many things at once! The original recipe had caramel bits and chocolate chips, and I thought that using the salted caramel chocolate chips would be perfect.

Making these cookies gluten free wasn’t too hard, as I have a gluten free flour mix that I try to always have on hand. Also, I realized that our nonstick cooking spray for baking was not gluten free, so I had to check ingredients on the other cooking spray I have to be safe. It would be terrible to make something gluten free and then use cooking spray with flour, making the recipe decidedly not free from gluten.

I will say, that these cookies weren’t my greatest triumph. Perhaps if you can’t have gluten you wouldn’t notice much? The chips I used were sweetened with Stevia, and that also added a different flavor. Sometimes items with specialty flavors use artificial extracts and they are never quite right. These cookies had a slight oddness with the first bite, but then it lessened. My husband thinks that they grow on you, and you’re fine after tasting one cookie. I’m not sure. They would be tasty with traditional flour and the original combination of chocolate chips and caramel bits.

Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups salted caramel chocolate chips   
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
½- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter. Continue cooking over low heat until the butter begins to brown and smell nutty. The butter can burn quickly, so don’t look away. Once browned, transfer the butter to a large mixer bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Once the butter has cooled slightly, add the sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium to combine. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour. Stir in the salted caramel chocolate chips and toasted pecans with a spatula.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the bars begins to turn golden. Once the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle with kosher salt.

Allow to cool before removing the bars from the pan and cutting into squares.

Recipe from Miss in the Kitchen

Friday, December 30, 2022

Highlights from 2022

I hope that everyone had an excellent holiday season and look forward to new things in the new year. It’s been a year of some things getting back to normal, and other things not really having a normal anymore. I enjoy the time I spend baking, and it is a good distraction to all of the other complexities that life brings. For this post I decided to look back at my posts for 2022 and bring you a selection of my favorites, as your home is likely filled with sweets already!

Date Nut Bars
Do you bake much with dates? They are certainly not commonly used in recipes but I don’t know why as they are so good! I used chopped dates, as seeding and chopping dates is about the stickiest thing in the world. Life is too short to be spent chopping dates!

Three date-nut bar cookies, stacked on a gold glittery plate

Ginger Layer Shortbread
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I love ginger. This is just about the simplest recipe that you can make, I just hope that you can find some ginger curd or some other interesting flavor of curd/preserves to give this recipe a try.

Shortbread cookie with a ginger filling, photographed on an orange plate

Ginger Oatmeal Crisps
Another ginger recipe? I can’t say I am too shocked! Instead of citrus zest I added candied ginger, which is always an excellent addition to any ginger creation. These thin, crispy, buttery cookies can’t be beat.

A stack of thin Ginger Oatmeal Crisps, photographed on a black sparkly mat

Fluffernutter Cookies
This year I did an entire month of peanut butter creations, and this was one of my peanut butter/marshmallow creations. I won’t kid you, sandwiching marshmallow fluff between sticky peanut butter cookie dough isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to give it a try.

A single peanut butter cookie, molded around a filling of marshmallow fluff, which peaks through the cookie dough in several places. Photographed on a red plate.

Italian Cream Cake Cookies
These were a different cookie for me, a petite and delicate cookie with the flavors of Italian Cream Cake. These cookies are extremely crumbly, and adding coconut and pecans as a coating doesn’t help. They take a little longer to bake, but that just makes them more special.

 Italian Cream Cake Cookies: a thumbprint cookie rolled in pecans and coconut, filled with cream cheese icing. Photographed on an orange plate

Glazed Spice Cookies
While these cookies didn’t turn out at all as expected, they have quickly become a favorite. A spiced cookie topped with brushed-on icing traditionally used for lebkuchen ended up being the hit of the holiday season. I’ve already made these cookies twice and I’m pretty sure they will become one of my Christmas classics.

Round spice cookies brushed with a lemon/powdered sugar glaze. Photographed on a green plate shaped like a holly leaf

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Gingerbread House Bark

Christmas bark made with gingerbread-flavored chocolate and topped with a gingerbread man, red hots, holiday corn, and peppermint pillows

Merry Christmas! Christmas Cookie #12. I hope that you and those you love are able to spend some peaceful time together. Our Christmas will be fairly quiet, but that’s ok. Our weather has been so terrible that we’ve been house-bound for too many days. We have some smaller celebrations planned, but honestly it will be nice to simply get out of the house.

This is a recipe that you can change in any way that works for you. The base is made with gingerbread chocolate, and that is an important element. I use Theo Chocolate, as that is local to me, but I think that there are many varieties out there. You could use non-flavored chocolate, and I’m sure that would also be tasty.

The toppings are what you like; I tried to stick to the original as much as possible. The gingerbread people are critical! The other bits were surprisingly difficult to find. I used holiday corn, red hots, and some small peppermint pillows. I didn’t add any icing, but it looked just fine to me! I really enjoyed making this bark; it was easy to put together and is great for the holidays.

Gingerbread House Bark

16 ounces gingerbread spiced chocolate
7-10 gingerbread men
20 red hots
10 hard candies
20 holiday/reindeer candy corn
Royal/white icing

Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a medium microwaveable bowl. Melt the chocolate, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking pan and smooth with a spatula.

While the chocolate is hot, top with random gingerbread men, then the red hots, hard candies, and holiday candy corn. Pipe icing around the additions to the gingerbread bark.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set. Break into pieces to serve.

Recipe from Sweet Recipeas

Friday, December 23, 2022

Peppermint Chocolate Bites

Chocolate Brownie Bites with peppermint bits, chocolate chips, and marshmallows, photographed on a cooling rack

Christmas Cookie #11! I had originally planned a different peppermint cookie for today, a very beautiful thumbprint cookie, with swirled dough and peppermint sprinkles. But let’s be honest, this close to the actual holiday you are likely super busy and if you want to bake something, it needs to be quick. When we were at the store doing our general Christmas grocery shopping, I came across this bag of Morsels & More, which contained pieces of peppermint bark, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

I figured that mixture would be a good combination, and looked a little for recipes. When the products are so new, it can be difficult to find many recipe options. I noticed that the recipe on the back of the package was for brownie bites, made in mini muffin pans, and I love making those!

This recipe starts with melting together ingredients which eventually become brownie batter. My chocolate was a little slow to melt, but with patience it came together. You add in part of the Morsels & More and then save the rest to top the brownie bites. I probably could have baked mine another minute or so, which made them a bit tricky to remove from the pan, but they sure look good! If you are looking for a quick recipe that is super tasty, this is the one for you!

Peppermint Chocolate Bites
1-1/3 cups chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoons water
2 eggs
¾ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounce package Peppermint Hot Chocolate Morsels & More, divided

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, sugar, butter, and water. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is melted and smooth. Cool slightly and then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the flour and salt and mix on low to combine. Stir in one cup of the peppermint hot chocolate morsels. Divide the dough between the 24 mini muffin cups. Top each cup with the remaining peppermint chocolate morsels.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until done around the edges but still slightly sticky in the middle. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Recipe from Nestle