Friday, July 23, 2021

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cookies

My social life has been absolutely nothing for over a year, but many folks are now vaccinated, and we are all super eager to go out and do something! I’d love to travel, but the time isn’t yet right for that. Recently, after doing little on the weekend, I had a weekend with two events. How exciting! Of course, I wanted to make cookies to share, but what recipe? I decided on these decadent chocolate orange cookies.

Since I was taking these cookies elsewhere, I decided to make a complete batch. This recipe is smaller anyway, so that was good. The original recipe used a 1/4scoop for the cookies, so those cookies must have been huge! I used my larger cookie scoop, which is about 1-1/2 tablespoons, and that made two dozen cookies. That was perfect, although I didn’t have extra chopped chocolate to top the last 5 cookies.

The recipe specifies that you heat the oven to 325 degrees but reduce the temperature when you bake the cookies. I did that for the first batch, but then I didn’t, and I don’t think it made any difference. Do that if you want, but I don’t feel that it is necessary. These cookies are quite soft, and they should not be overbaked. I think they look better with extra chocolate on top, but that doesn’t alter the wonderful taste of the cookies. I used Lindt Intense Orange chocolate bar, but there are other varieties out there. My husband thought of using those chocolate oranges you get at Christmas, but those aren’t currently available. Whichever type of orange chocolate you use, these are decadent cookies with a wonderful orange twist!

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cookies
1 cup plus 2-1/2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
7 ounces orange chocolate, chopped

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

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate and butter. Microwave, stirring ever 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large mixer bowl. Add the vanilla, sugar, brown sugar, and orange zest and mix on medium to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the milk.

With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in the chopped orange chocolate with a spatula. If desired, reserve some of the chopped chocolate to top the baked cookies.

Scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, using a large cookie scoop. Do not place too many cookies on the baking sheet.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake the cookies for about 14 minutes. The cookies will be soft, but they will look set. Once the cookies have been removed from the open, top with a few reserved pieces of chocolate. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Recipe from Baker by Nature

Friday, July 16, 2021

Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies

Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies

Summer is here, and one thing that usually indicates summer is the fact that I have a partial can of sweetened condensed milk to use up. I use what I need and then diligently put it in a container and refrigerate it. Nearly every time, I end up not using it. It’s hard to find recipes that use a partial can! This time, I was determined to find a recipe and use the leftovers. Most searches showed me how to make sweetened condensed milk, but I did find some Australian recipe that used a lesser amount. In the end, I picked this recipe from the makers of sweetened condensed milk, and made a half recipe.

This recipe is fairly close to chocolate chip cookies, which is why it won in the end. I often hear complaints that I don’t make chocolate chip cookies nearly enough, which is fair I suppose. These cookies are different, as it uses the sweetened condensed milk instead of adding additional sugar, but they are sweet enough! The graham cracker crumbs make these similar to a cookie version of 7 Layer Bars. I also used pecans rather than walnuts, as I prefer pecans and I have them on hand.

These cookies, half a batch, makes about 20 cookies. I was worried that they would spread a lot, but they really did not. Whatever shape they are when they go in the oven, is about the shape that they will end up when baked. I ended up flattening the cookies slightly, but they may not be the flat cookie shape that you know. These cookies, because of the sweetened condensed milk, are soft, so they aren’t crunchy like some chocolate chip cookies. I think the combination of chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans are great in this cookie, and the graham cracker crumbs provide a good balance with the sweetness of the sweetened condensed milk.

Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies

Half of a 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and butter. Beat on medium until smooth. Add the graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking powder and mix on low, until the mixture almost comes together. Add the coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans and stir to combine.

Scoop onto the prepared baking sheets, using a 1-tablespoon scoop. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned and set.

Recipe from Eagle Brand

Friday, July 9, 2021

No-Bake Lemon Coconut Squares

No-bake Lemon Coconut Squares

Every summer, it feels like there is a week when the weather is just so warm that I can’t even think of turning on the oven. I have posted a number of no-bake cookies, and I often have my eye out for new ideas. Our weather was crazy the past week or so (110+ yikes!) and it was pretty miserable in the house. The power went out for a while, too, but we were able to escape the heat for a while. Thankfully, it has cooled down since to get some things done around the house. In fact, sometimes it seems almost too cool!

These lemon coconut squares likely contain ingredients that you have on hand. I simple picked up a lemon and I was good to go. This recipe uses a portion of a can of sweetened condensed milk, so now I need to find another recipe that also uses a partial can. I think the recipe was originally a British recipe, as it calls for desiccated coconut. It’s different than American coconut, as it isn’t sweetened, it’s drier, and is more finely ground. If you can’t find desiccated coconut, American coconut will work, just pulse it in the food processor before using it so that it will be more finely ground.

I do appreciate no-bake cookies that don’t require you to stand over the stove for an extended period of time, as that can be as warm as turning on the oven. These squares are mix and refrigerate, which is simple. I used one bowl and beater, just giving it a quick wipe with a paper towel between making the base and the frosting. These squares have a lovely lemon flavor, and the graham cracker/coconut base is firm yet soft. These are different no-bake, but really excellent! You could likely change up the flavors to fit your tastes, but you can’t go wrong with lemon!

No-Bake Lemon Coconut Squares
2 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup finely shredded/desiccated coconut
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Additional coconut

Line an 8” square pan with foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and lemon zest; stir to combine. Add the melted butter and sweetened condensed milk and mix on low until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator.

In the same mixer bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Mix on low until the frosting is creamy. If it is too thin, add additional powdered sugar. Spread the frosting on the graham cracker base and then sprinkle with additional coconut, pressing down slightly to adhere.

Refrigerate the bars for several hours, until completely set. When ready, remove from the pan and cut into squares.

Recipe from Constantly Cooking

Friday, July 2, 2021

Cherry Garcia Cookies

Cherry Garcia Cookies

Since it’s the summer, I eat quite a bit of ice cream to try and keep cool. Let’s be honest though, I like ice cream pretty much any time of year, unless it is very cold. I like just about any ice cream with cherries, and one that I can consistently get is Cherry Garcia Ice Cream. Some other brands will make cherry ice cream in the summer, but Cherry Garcia is available all the time.

When I came across this recipe for Cherry Garcia Cookies, I knew I had to make them. It’s a cookie based on a favorite ice cream flavor! Additionally, it is awfully similar to a chocolate chip cookie, and I often get requests to make those! When I mentioned to my husband that I would need to get maraschino cherries, he said he knew which ones to get. He got some Orasella Maraschino Cherries, which are made in Seattle and are simply cherries and maraschino liqueur.

The maraschino cherries that I used are darker, so the cookies look a little different than the ones pictured in the original recipe. I did chill the dough, but because the cherries are a little different, the dough seemed wetter than expected. The first batch did spread a little, but not too bad. They are darker, but they had to get nice and golden to bake through. I used dark chocolate chips and chunks, which changes the flavor slightly. They are extremely chocolatey with cherry, and you get a hint of almond. I’m not sure the first thing I think of is ice cream, but they are excellent cookies!

Cherry Garcia Cookies
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup maraschino cherries drained and chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter sugar, and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and stir to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour. With a spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and maraschino cherries.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

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

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, using about 1-1/2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Leave space between the cookies as they may spread while baking.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, until browned along the edges. The cookies may be soft in the middle but will firm up as they cool. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from My Heavenly Recipes

Friday, June 25, 2021

Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

This week, several of my coworkers and I got together and met in person! We are vaccinated, and it was fantastic to see everyone. Two folks started working with us during the pandemic and it was the first chance I had to meet them. I’m so glad that they are part of our team! It was also a wonderful opportunity to bake for them. I now have different coworkers who are gluten and dairy free, so I wanted to make something that everyone could eat.

I had come across this gluten free cookie, and it looked fabulous. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and pistachios. I used a standard gluten free flour mix that is available at grocery stores, and it is good to check your other ingredients, just in case. I have different measuring cups that I use for gluten free flour, to do the best I can. I used vegan butter, as my house is so warm that coconut oil would have been problematic. I melted down dark chocolate chips, and in this case, I checked to make sure they were gluten and dairy free. Chocolate often contains dairy. I checked with folks to see if eggs were ok, and they were, so that was good. I find that trying to replace eggs in recipes is difficult.

These cookies are a simple, soft chocolate cookie, topped with melted chocolate and pistachios. The dough is quite soft and remain soft after baking. The original recipe had you dip the cookies halfway in the melted chocolate, but that usually ends up in a big mess for me. These are delicate cookies, so the drizzle worked better. This recipe made just over two dozen, which is a good amount to share. I think my cookies are smaller than the original, but I prefer that. These cookies are intensely chocolate, and the crunch of the pistachios is lovely.
Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
1½ cups gluten free flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil or vegan butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

4 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
¼ cup pistachios, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat the vegan butter and sugar on medium until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and stir on low to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the gluten free flour mixture, mixing just until a soft dough forms.

Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 356 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until the cookies are set. Allow the cookies to cool before proceeding. The cookies will likely flatten while they cool.

Once the cookies have cooled, make the topping. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and vegetable shortening, stirring frequently. Once the chocolate is smooth, drizzle the chocolate over half of each cookie and then top the chocolate with chopped pistachios. Allow the cookies to set before serving.

Recipe from Wholesome Pattisserie

Friday, June 18, 2021

White Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Blondies

White Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Blondies

My husband and I have taken very limited trips around the state the past year and a half. One of the places we have visited is Langley, which is on Whidbey Island. To get to Whidbey Island, you can either take the ferry, or drive up and get on the island via Deception Pass. I don’t feel comfortable on the ferry, so we drive to the island, which is honestly not too bad. Deception Pass is beautiful, and it’s a lovely, scenic drive.

Where we’ve stayed in Langley is across the street and down from a grocery store. It’s a fun store, a combination of basic grocery items and specialty items. We don’t like to use the credit card for super tiny purchases, so we saw these orange honey hazelnuts from Holmquist Orchards and picked them up. I often buy hazelnuts from them, so I knew that I would enjoy this different offering. Now, what to make with these orange honey hazelnuts?

In looking through recipes I had saved, I came across this recipe for Blondies with Pistachio and Lemon Zest. I used the orange honey hazelnuts instead and substituted orange zest for lemon. I do think these would work with traditional hazelnuts, or the original pistachios as the recipe originally stated. The method of making these cookies was different, and I added a few more details in my write-up. White chocolate can be fussy, so make sure it doesn’t get too hot! These are very similar to cake bars, and I was a little concerned that the mixing method was strange, but these turned out so well. The hazelnuts and orange flavors come shining through!

White Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Blondies
7 ounces butter
7 ounces white chocolate
3 eggs
6 ounces sugar
4.4 ounces flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3.5 ounces orange honey hazelnuts
Zest of 1 orange

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” square pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and white chocolate, in 30 second increments, stirring frequently. Once smooth, set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes. In a large mixer bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt on medium until light. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir on low to combine. Add the hazelnuts and orange zest and stir with a spatula to incorporate.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set and golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine

Friday, June 11, 2021

Ginger Curd Bars

Ginger Curd Bars topped with Pistachios

A while ago, I made cookies with ginger curd. The original recipe had called for lemon curd, and I wanted to try something different. I had seen raspberry curd online, but at the British shop we go to I found ginger curd. It was absolutely perfect in those cookies. So good, that I picked up another jar of the curd when I was there. I knew I wanted to use the ginger curd for other recipes.

I knew that the curd would work well in a bar cookie, so I looked at the list of recipes that I had saved in Pinterest, and I found a recipe that I could adapt. The original recipe called for orange marmalade and was topped with sliced almonds. You could certainly use those ingredients instead, as I know that ginger curd isn’t going to be something that you can find at the store with much ease.

I love any bar with a soft filling on top of a crunchy shortbread crust. Theses cookies are very thin, so don’t worry about that. I knew I was going to use ginger curd for the bars, but I wasn’t sure what type of nuts I should use. Are there natural pairings for ginger? Almonds would have worked, but I used pistachios. I love that I can buy shelled pistachios now! I love the combination of soft, sweet, and crunchy in these bars, and the ginger can’t be beat!

Ginger Curd Bars

1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup butter, room temperature

1 egg
½ cup sugar
10 ounces ginger curd
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup chopped pistachios

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

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and butter. Beat on medium until the dough is crumbly. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, make the topping. In the same mixer bowl, beat the egg, sugar, ginger curd, butter, and vanilla on medium until smooth. Once the crust comes out of the oven, top with the ginger curd filling. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set. Allow to cool, and then refrigerate before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen