I originally saw these cookies in a Christmas issue of Southern Living but instantly wanted to make them with heart cutouts for Valentine’s Day. Our homemade strawberry jam is the perfect shade of red for a Vday Heart. And of course, nothing says “I Love You” like PB&J (unless you are allergic to peanut butter. Then don’t make these). Continue reading
This is the cookie recipe I have been waiting for. I knew it was out there, but I hadn’t had a double chocolate chip cookie since the days of the middle school snack bar. It’s a dangerously easy recipe that you can throw together before any party, picnic, or potluck. I am currently wondering if I will ever make another cookie or brownie recipe again, since these little babies are the best of both worlds.
Double Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Trisha Yearwood
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
6 ounces chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark are all good choices)
6 ounces white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fully combined, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix. Add the white and chocolate chips; mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts, if using.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake, rotating the sheets once halfway through, until the cookies are set, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Instead of making goals like, “Run for office” or “Do an Ironman” or “Save Money” I decide, “I need to make a different sugar cookie every month this year.” And so here we are. Month one. Sugar Cookie number one. I don’t really know if I can top this, they are easily one of the best treats I have ever created.
You see, this sugar cookie recipe is old, classic, and foolproof. There are so many fun directions you can go…Different frostings, different cookie cutters, different seasons…the possibilities are endless! One problem I have – I am the worst cookie decorator of all time.
But I will always say that taste trumps looks in the culinary world. Sure…it may look beautiful…but if it tastes bad, it’s all out the window. And so here we are. Basic, round sugar cookies…with maple frosting and crumbled bacon. Thank God for the invention of maple bacon everything!
I can’t really promise anything more amazing than this – there will be more sugar cookies…they just won’t be maple bacon. Most of the recipes this year will be using the classic sugar cookie dough recipe that Grammy used…a recipe that may be more near and dear to my heart than any other recipe out there. I’ll explore different ways to make these cookies fun, tasty, and seasonal! Now you know my goal and can hold me to it…And I will need to be sharing lots of cookies…
It happens at this time every year…you can’t avoid it…the fruitcake joke. I have to admit, I never really understood it, since I was never subjected to fruitcake growing up. I was never gifted it, never tried it, never really thought about it. All I knew is it must be really, really bad for it to somehow come up as this terrible thing every year.
Enter Christmas 2014 – what I am deeming as the “fruitcake phase.” I found out from my mom and aunt that not only did they grow up with my grandpa making fruitcake every year, but he never really gave it away…since he loved it so much. To this day, it is the only thing he has ever baked in his entire life – that is how much he loves the stuff. So, we found the old recipe he used, from a 1950 copy of the Gourmet Cookbook. Still having this cookbook is a treasure in itself, and I think this is about as classic of a fruitcake as you can get.
So, we made a few loaves…and I started to understand the stigma around the dreaded dessert. It’s a dense cake full of weird candied fruit whose sole purpose is to put in the cakes, and then it literally “ripens” in booze for a few weeks. What? I’m all about things chillin in booze, but it was a little weird. However, this fruitcake is real, it’s not a store-bought 10 pound bowling ball that’s already wrapped and easy to regift. It’s real, old-school ingredients, that really don’t end up tasting that bad, if you are into that sort of thing. Which my family is. Jordan and I are still on the fence about classic fruitcake, but I totally get it now (finally). But I couldn’t stop there, I had to go on and make fruitcake cookies…
Don’t ask about the cat…He was apparently going through a fruitcake phase as well. Anyways though, I was a tad skeptical about these cookies. I hoped they would be lighter than actual fruitcake while I was letting the fruit soak in some booze. I hoped people would actually want to eat them…and they turned out great! They are not the prettiest cookie in the world…Sort of like the ugly duckling of cookies, not too cute, but once they hit your lips…so good! Continue reading
I’m one of those people who can shamelessly polish off about a pound of trail mix in under five minutes. And I’m not picky either…Yes, I like to make sure I’m getting a balanced handful, and I never pick out all of the chocolate before everything else. You’ve gotta plan ahead for the last perfect bite!These cookies make trail mix less complicated. All the goodness of trail mix in one cookie. Totally portable, and perfect for a road trip or camping weekend. And if you are a germ-o-phobe (I’m def not) these are good because a bunch of people aren’t sticking their hands into one bag…
This recipe can be adapted. I almost added butterscotch chips, but wanted to keep it as classic as possible. Peanut butter chips, other nuts, golden raisins, tons of other stuff would work, make your own favorite trail mix into a cookie!
Trail Mix Cookies
adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
makes about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups M&M chocolate candies
- 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
- 3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butt and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla until thoroughly incorporated.
Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat on low speed until just cinforporated. Add the M&M’s, peanuts, and raisins. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and finish incorporating the cookie batter with a spatula.
Roll generous tablespoonfuls into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Cookies will last at room temperature in an airtight container for about 5 days.
I have always been a sucker for M&M cookies…but I’ve never actually baked any on my own…Until we had tons of M&M’s leftover from the candy bar at our Wedding. Add this to the fact Jordan loves Oatmeal cookies…and these babies were born. They are chewy, crunchy, and addicting…Good thing I still have about 2 pounds of M&M’s left! The next few batches are going to be given to all of the guests from our Wedding who didn’t take enough candy in the first place…Consider yourself warned.Oh and yes…our Wedding colors were shades of Rose and Gold…so these totally look like Valentine Cookies. Don’t you dare judge.We ordered personalized M&M’s and I’m not even sure if anyone noticed the messaging…One thing is for sure, you definitely can’t appreciate the messaging when the M&M’s are buried into delicious cookies. Fun Fact: The term is “Anchors Aweigh” not “Anchors Away.” I might be the only person in the universe who didn’t know this until I ordered the M&M’s…Another Fun Fact: We were married on a ferry, so we weren’t just putting random phrases on our Wedding candy…I swear.
Oatmeal M&M Cookies
adapted from food.com
makes about 3 dozen cookies
Note: Feel free to half the recipe for a smaller batch. Like I said, I had a lot of M&M’s to use.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 and 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 1/2 cup M&Ms
In a large bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer, cream the softened butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Slowly stir in the baking soda,, oats, and 2 cups of flour. Mix together until just combined. Do not overmix. Toss the M&M’s in 1/4 cup flour, then add to the cookie dough. We don’t want our M&M’s sliding around the dough!
Chill the dough for at least one hour in the fridge. Cookies just aren’t as good if you don’t refrigerate the dough before baking. I usually leave them in overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Roll and drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet or silpat. Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack. The cookies may appear undone, but if they are brown around the edges they are most definitely done!
The very first thing I learned to make without a recipe was chocolate chip cookies. My sister is very particular about what she eats and chocolate chip cookies are one of the things she will always love. Whenever I would babysit, I would usually end up making cookies for us.
The best part is when I went to make these, it was still all in my head. Butter, sugars…vanilla, egg…flour, baking soda, salt…I don’t think I will ever forget. We almost always made a halved recipe, since it was just the two of us. That’s what happened this time around as well. Except this time, my picky sister wasn’t around and i had some other ingredients…Pretzels and Toffee. The combination is everything you want in a cookie…sweet and a tad salty, with and nice crunch from the pretzel that is nowhere near that of a burnt cookie.
In the past, my cookies would spread out and cook really flat. These proved to be different! I really think putting the dough in the fridge for a few hours helps, but maybe it was impossible for these to flatten out since I loaded them with so much goodness…
I ended up giving these to my bestie (and bridesmaid!) Morgan, who had just gotten out of a gnarly surgery. I don’t know if they helped ease the pain, but I would like to think they did!
Chocolate Pretzel Toffee Cookies
adapted from the Nestle Toll House Classic Recipe
makes about 2.5 – 3 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them.
NOTE: A “regular” chocolate chip cookie recipe is usually double of what’s below 🙂
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 – 1.5 cups milk or dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup toffee pieces or toffee baking bits (I used Heath)
- 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease cookie sheets.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. (I am usually too lazy to actually do this step).
- In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, toffee bits, and preztels. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough and add to cookie sheet. Leave about 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until desired cookie crispness. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.
Who doesn’t love Cherry and Chocolate together? They are made for each other. Although…chocolate is made for a lot of things…chocolate orange, almond chocolate…wait. Don’t even get me started. Back to these Cherry Chocolate Cookies.
Although Cherry and Chocolate are good together at any time, these cookies make me think of Christmas, just a little bit…First of all, they are a wonderful pink/red color, and they look great sitting next to Grinch Cookies. Oh god, there’s another great chocolate combo…mint chocolate chip!
If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a little distracted today, going off on random tangents everywhere. Moving on…The original recipe calls for Hershey Kisses to be placed in the middle, but I can’t handle that…I absolutely hate thumbprint cookies because you don’t get chocolate in every bite. I am all about even distribution. Mixing in your choice of chocolate chips brings the cherry-chocolate combo to its peak. Go for it!
Cherry Chocolate Cookies
Servings: approximately 36 cookies
Adapted from The Curvy Carrot
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
- 1 cup dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.
4. Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.
5. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.
7. Fold in chocolate chips.
8. Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes.
9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies are so easy and perfect for fall. With dried cranberries, orange zest, and poppy seeds, they can practically be substituted as a healthy breakfast cookie…Mix them up the day before a party, and the next morning you’ll take out simple and slice-able dough that bakes up perfectly.
The best part about these cookies? There are loads of variations for the basic dough that you could make work during just about any season. This recipe is very similar to Martha Stewart’s Lime Meltaways that I made back in July. Next time, I would consider adding:
- grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; coat with or mix in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
- 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Swap 1/4 cup of flour for unsweetened cocoa
- Swap 1/2 to 1 cup of flour for ground almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts
Cranberry Orange Poppyseed Cookies (Slice and Bake Cookies)
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Put the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat until well blended, another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl if necessary.
- Add the flour and the salt, orange zest, cranberries, and poppy seeds, all at once, to the egg mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and and remove the bowl and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.
- Divide the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of waxed paper. press each half into a log 1 inch in diameter. Roll into plastic wrap and store in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, although overnight is best.
- When ready to bake, place racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets w/ parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and use a knife to slice dough into 1/3 inch thick rounds. lace on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until barely browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days. For at least a month if you freeze them. The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- NOTE: If using different mix-ins and coating the cookies, roll cookie logs in any coatings after taking out of refrigerator, before putting in oven.
I have come to the conclusion that I cannot resist something with the word meltaways attached to it. Back in the day (aka 15 – 20 years ago) my school would sell candy around Easter, and the Mint Meltaways were the shit. They totally melted in your mouth and I believe even at the delicate age of 8 I could eat an entire box. The fact that I just found out via quick search that they still exist is very, very dangerous.
But MOVING ON TO OTHER THINGS MELTAWAY –
I just told you I can’t resist the word meltaway. I also have trouble resisting anything that is lime-flavored and dessert oriented. Martha Stewart had to go along and make something that I had to try almost immediately. Thank God I had some limes in the fridge.
Makes about 3 dozen
- 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
- Finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
Beat butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add lime zest and juice and vailla, and beat until fluffy.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix together on low speed until just combined.
Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8 by 12 inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds, spacing rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag.