Tag 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.

Advertisements

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.

Peppermint Cookies

Now that I’ve caught the baking bug, I’m discovering that baking recipes turn up in the strangest places … on my new snow tires, (ok, not really), on my cleaning supplies…

I guess these Peppermint Cookies are supposed to be Christmas Cookies – first hint: they’re called Candy Cane Cookies. But I can’t stop baking Christmas Cookies. I have a lifetime of not baking Christmas Cookies to make up for. Anyway, the recipe was on the package of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Holiday Clean-Up Kit. I love these boxed sets of seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s products (I still miss the Spring Cleanup Honeysuckle products; that stuff smelled so good it almost made me like cleaning). But I digress.

These were easy and fun. The fun part – grinding up candy canes (wicked cheap now at CVS) in the food processor and then rolling the cookie dough balls in that. The dough also has a little bit of Peppermint Extract in it. As you may recall, we are fans of mint cookies. I would not say these rise to the level of the Chocolate Mint Thumprint Cookies, but they came together much more quickly and were easier. Not tea-with-the-queen fare, but definitely cookies you’d parcel out to your near and dear.

Should I bake these again — the recipe calls for 1 cup of finely ground candy cane, which I determined took 12 candy canes. But when I was done, I’d only used about a third of that. So I probably didn’t need that much.

Also, I refrigerated the dough for an hour, which made it possible to roll the dough into balls. But at first the balls wouldn’t pick up the candy cane crumbs. I discovered that if I cupped a dough ball in my hand for another minute it would warm up enough to become a little sticky/tacky, making the surface much more inviting to the candy cane dust. My technique got better as I went along.

The cookies are perfect on a cold January afternoon with a cup of  something warm – hot chocolate or mint tea –  and once you’re done you can clean the kitchen with Peppermint-scented cleaning products. Or curl up with a good book and a purring cat on your lap. Really, that’s up to you.

Gingerbread Cookies

I live in Maine, where all the novice bakers look like Gisele Bundchen and all the gingerbread men look like moose.

I knew the Sparkle Cookie Gel would be a hit when I spotted it on the shelf at JoAnns. (Of course, I probably thought then that we’d be baking Christmas Cookies by the dozen before Christmas…. but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.) I am a minimalist when it comes to cookie decorating. My daughter is not.

These cookies, by the way, are no mere canvas for tasteless colored decorating gel. (Will that tree dry? Just wondering.) The recipe is for the Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies in Baking Illustrated. This cookbook covers its bases as usual, providing a recipe for thin and crunchy cookies, too, with instructions for making cookies destined for hanging on the tree. These are destined for our mouths and tummies, pronto. They smelled so good while baking. And, as advertised, they are thick and chewy. They also taste really gingery and wonderful. Chewy? Gingery? What’s not to love? (Even if the baker, in all honesty, bears no resemblence to Gisele Bundchen.)

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Oh, man these are so good I still can’t believe I baked them! I feel like a Keebler Elf — if the Keebler Elves worked at a very, very high-end tree in Paris.

Here are the details. They are Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints  from the December 2008/January 2009 issue of Fine Cooking. You begin by baking really good chocolate cookies with Dutch-processed cocoa (I’ll blog about Droste cocoa soon; it’s interesting!) and let it cool for close to an hour so you can roll it into balls. Meanwhile, you melt chocolate and butter, add some Peppermint Extract, and then let that cool. (If you’re thinking these cookies sound a bit time-consuming, you’d be right.) My only problem was that when I made the “thumbprints,” I cracked the cookies, so I went with fairly shallow thumbprints and my “filling” is more of a dollop topping. But they still look good and taste wonderful. Definitely tea with the queen type treats. This recipe was contributed to Fine Cooking by the pastry chef and co-owner of One Girl Cookies bakery in Brooklyn. Next time I’m down there, I’m definitely going in to sample some cookies. His Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints looked better than mine, but he does own a cookie bakery.

Oooh, not only did I get to use Droste Cocoa, but I got to break out my new sifter for this recipe – twice! Thanks, Harriet!

Ice Storms and Cookie Baking

Ice Storms and Baking go together like… well, they just go together. don’t go together at all if the ice storm knocks out your power for most of the day. Sigh.

My 11-year-old went to bed with the biggest spoon she could find (a very large, old brass spoon) under her pillow after hearing a sixth grade superstition that this brings on a snow day. I hope it works. The storm started too late to start baking tonight, but I’m all for spending the day tomorrow making cookies. I have ingredients for several varieties, plus today I got some seasonal cookie cutters. (Nothing too interesting — tree, snowflake, snowman.) I bought the ingredients for date nut bread that looked good, then I nibbled on a date and wondered. “Do I like dates?” Anyway, we have the weekend, too, but it would be fun to bake tomorrow, so fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, I’ll point you to a pile of cookies that have had me hungry ever since I saw them. Over on her KnitThink blog, Amy baked Cashew Butter Cookies. These yummy cookies not only have cashews in them, they’ve got macadamia nuts and Heath bars. Swoon.