Category Archives: cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_1382My daughter and I eat oatmeal every morning for¬† breakfast — out of these blue striped bowls, which seem just perfect for porridge but might not be up to snuff when it comes to holding these delish Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I should at least have to go to the work of lifting a lid, if not unlocking a padlock, to continue to treat myself. But it is Mother’s Day… The bowl stays.

File Oatmeal Cookies under things I could have been eating for years but for some reason thought I didn’t like. I’ll tell you what I don’t like — raisins. Sadly, many bakers introduce raisins (or, as I called them years ago, “dead flies”), to their Oatmeal Cookies and I’m done. But I said “See ‘ya Dead Flies, Hello Chocolate Chips,” and all was good. My daughter — to whom I inadvertently passed along my raisin issues, agrees. We’ve been munching on these things like we’ve got a bus to catch.

My guess is the cookies aren’t as healthy as our morning bowls of oatmeal, to which we add a sprinkle of brown sugar, along with some fruit or nuts or cinnamon. Perhaps it’s the two sticks of butter and two cups of brown and white sugar (that’s more sugar than Oatmeal, come to think of it).

The recipe is from my Baking Illustrated cookbook, which has never let me down. The original recipe calls for, yes, dead flies, (KIDDING – raisins), but instructions are given for a chocolate chip variation. There’s also a recipe for Ginger Oatmeal Cookies. Um, Yum?

I got two more baking cookbooks for Mothers Day and I’ll post about them soon. First I need to eat some Oatmeal Cookies.

How do you spell Cookie?

515aj9rbw8l_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_img_0016Even Betty Crocker, mother of all bakers, (and godmother of this blog) , may have changed her mind over the years on the proper spelling of the singular form of Cooky, um, Cookie.

Apologies in advance for the earworm (what a perfect word), but I think we all agree that C is for COOKIE! I still sing that song when baking cookies, even though my kid’s Sesame Street days are loooooong over. I’ll confess, I don’t sound like Marilyn Horne singing it – what a treat.

Easter Chick in Chocolate Lace

img_7830Harriet was at her dad’s house on Easter, so I was not on Easter Bunny duty for the first time in 12 years. But I did bake some Easter Cookies.

The girl is a fan of lace cookies, so I made some chocolate lace cookies and tried to cut them with cookie cutters. It did work once!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Snickerdoodle Edition

img_7812In honor of the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I baked a Snickerdoodle Caterpillar.

OK, that’s complete fiction — the Snickerdoodle dough must have been a tiny bit too crowded on the cookie sheet going into the oven. But we are big fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, even years after it crawled out of our nightly reading list. Certainly we’re not alone, that book link above will take you to the 40th anniversary site, which includes a list of celebrations all over the world. Party Central is Amherst, Mass., home of the The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. I could go on and on about the exhibits and programs there, but if you’re not within driving distance you’ll just be jealous. If you are in New England, click on the link and plan a trip. You do not need a kid to go – although an appreciation of art, graphics, type and the like would be in order. If you are a textile junkie who loves printed fabric you might want to go soon. Turns out that Virginia Lee Burton’s talents went far beyond Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel.

Back to Snickerdoodles! Most of the cookies emerged from the oven solo (there was also a tall, slim snowman). I’ve always seen the name on cookies at bakeries and had no idea they were chewy sugar cookies with cinnamon on top. How many Snickerdoodles have I missed? This particular recipe came from Baking Illustrated and was, as usual, spot on. The only reason I cooked a caterpillar was because I wasn’t paying attention and started following the end of the sugar cookie recipe next door in the cookbook. (How many times do I have to tell you… blah blah blah. I’m beginning to know what my daughter feels like.)

I don’t need a reason to eat cookies, but Eric Carle turns 80 this year. Time to toast him and his caterpillar with a cup of hot tea, or a glass of cold milk, and a Snickerdoodle.

Earl Grey Tea Cookies

img_6933Do you like Earl Grey Tea? Me too, so when I saw this recipe for Earl Grey Tea Cookies over on Apartment Therapy’s thekitchn.com blog, I had to give it a try.

They’re easy as pie. (Actually, they are a lot easier than pie. Where on Earth did that saying come from?) And the recipe for 2 dozen cookies uses one tablespoon of Earl Gray Tea. The blogger recommended using tea bag leaves and not the larger loose leaves. Worked for me — I had a cannister of Earl Gray bags, and two of them equaled one tablespoon. I whirred the tea leaves in my food processor with the flour and other dry ingredients. The whole recipe happens in the food processor.

These cookies were great — there was a little citrus taste from the Earl Gray. And they were pretty. Definitely company’s coming for tea cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, v3

img_6853No baking mistakes to amuse you with this batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just a batch of really yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies that smelled so good I locked the dogs out of the kitchen. Only Sparkle and Betty (the Bettas, they are officially males, but we’ve given all our Bettas female names – they’re such pretty fish) were permitted to attend the photo shoot.

I used the Baking Illustrated recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. It worked so well last time (that would be my Chocolate Chip Cookies v2, in which I followed the recipe), it would be hard to try a new one. I like this recipe because it calls for melted and cooled butter — as opposed to room temperature butter. So if someone, ahem, forgets to take the butter out of the fridge so it’s nicely room temp, all is well.

This time I added chopped pecans. My only complaint about these cookies is they don’t stick around very long. The recipe made 24 large, soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that made my entire downstairs smell like the Oompa Loompas’ river was running by the house. Honestly, do you think these are going to stay in the cookie jar long? No, I didn’t think so.

One of my blog visitors may recognize this little silver dish from a Christmas many years ago. Thanks again, MRS!

Lace Cookies v2

img_6858I’ll set the scene: it’s Jan. 25th, the night before my daughter’s 12th birthday. She has gone to bed, just a tiny bit excited about the coming holiday. (I’m kidding; I don’t know what year you stop being excited about your birthday, but it’s not 12.) I head downstairs and think “Sixth-graders don’t take a special snack to school on their birthdays, do they?”

I head upstairs and ask my still-11-year-old this question and she says, “Yes!” I run to the kitchen and realize that, thanks to my recent Chocolate Chip Cookie v3 baking, I don’t have enough Chocolate Chips to make those cookies again. It’s Sunday night and our big-city supermarket is closed. I briefly wonder whether gas stations sell chocolate chips. Then I remember that Harriet was wild about the Lace Cookies I’d made a few weeks ago. I realize they were full of finely chopped pecans – and while there is no nut prohibition at the girl’s school, I know there are kids with nut allergies. These cookies don’t even look like they have nuts in them. Those were out.

I remember a recipe in a cookbook I’ve owned for a good 15 years and may have never used, Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible. (Why would someone who didn’t bake own this cookbook? Don’t ask.) I baked her “Lacey Susans” – Success! (By the way, if you are a baker, click on Beranbaum’s name; she has a super baking blog.)

These cookies were a hit at school, and why wouldn’t they be? Potato chip thin, all butter rich and caramelized sugar, part-cookie, part-candy – do you know a Middle Schooler who could resist? Or anyone?

The best part is they were so easy and fast. Beranbaum recommends¬† piping the batter onto the cookie sheets, and once I got the hang of it, I was a one-woman Lace Cookie machine. She promised “about 100 cookies in less than 1 hour,” and I thought, “Yeah, right, maybe if you’re the author of The Cake Bible!” But guess what? One hour later, I had close to 100 beautiful little cookies. One note – the recipe has mini chocolate bits in the batter. I tried that with a test batch, and preferred them without the chocolate. Lacey Susans are definitely going in my arsenal of easy, fast and delicious sweets.

These cookies represent another personal milestone. I think of all the years I sent my daughter to school on her birthday with store-bought treats. Never, ever, ever would it have occurred to me to actually bake her special snack. Buying cupcakes at the supermarket is not going to send her to therapy when she’s 30, but I felt great taking a handful of ingredients and turning out these fantastic treats.

In case you’re wondering, no birthday cake yet. We’re saving that for an upcoming Slumber Party, where I will try and ignore a pack of 12-year-old girls staying up until the wee small hours, singing along to Mama Mia.