Showing posts with label cookie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookie. Show all posts

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally got around to doing some more baking this past weekend. I have been so busy lately that I've really only been cooking and eating the bare necessities (you know, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some snacks in between ;)). Last week we went to visit some close friends who recently had their first baby (yay!!). We brought them dinner and enjoyed a great evening with them and their new little one. :) That evening, my friend Mary told me about this great new chocolate chip cookie recipe she had recently tried and loved from Cook's Illustrated. And naturally I just had to make it! So part of this past Saturday afternoon I spent making these delicious gems:



To get this recipe, you actually need to become a member of Cook's Illustrated online (you do have to pay for it, but they allow you a 14-day free trial first). So, to save you the trouble of signing up, I've shared the recipe with you below. They do give you some more information online about what makes this recipe different, and according to them, it's an improved version from Nestle Toll House's recipe. I'll share more about those points later on...

Ingredients:

-1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-14 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 and 3/4 sticks)
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar*
-1 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. vanilla 
-1 large egg
-1 large egg yolk
-1 and 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
-3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

*You can use light brown sugar (which I did). Cook's Illustrated says the cookies will be "less full-flavored" if you do though.

Instructions:


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using a heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until it is completely melted.

Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the egg and yolk, and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining (about 30 seconds). Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds more. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times until the mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough a final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies one sheet at a time until cookies are light golden brown and still puffy, and the edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.




Some points for you (according to Cook's Illustrated website) about why this is a new and improved classic...

More brown than white sugar in this recipe makes for a chewier cookie than the Toll House recipe, which calls for equal amounts brown and white sugar.

Melted, brown butter in this recipe adds to the cookie's chewiness and enhances the flavor, making it more nutty, as opposed to creamed solid butter.

The Toll House recipe calls for two eggs, which contributes to a drier cookie texture; using one whole egg and one yolk in this recipe increases chewiness.

The method of whisking and waiting in this recipe allows more of the sugar to dissolve, which increases flavor and texture when compared to beating the dough and baking it immediately after beating.

Finally, creating larger cookies (3 tablespoons of dough per cookie!!) increases the contrast of the chewy and crispy characteristics of the cookie, whereas smaller cookies are more uniform in texture.


I do agree that these cookies were full of flavor and had a great crisp-chewy contrast in their texture. I was very pleased with them! If you're looking for a new recipe and method of making your traditional chocolate chip cookies, I'd definitely recommend that you give these a shot. The recipe doesn't make a lot of cookies (I got about 18 although the recipe says it makes 16), but that's probably a good thing. The more cookies you have lying around, the more likely you'll probably be to eat them... ;)



Also over the weekend, I made White Russian cupcakes (whaaaat?). For these cupcakes, I made a kahlua frosting, and low and behold, I just happened to have some leftover frosting. So what did I do with it? Why naturally I spread some frosting on a cookie and topped it with another cookie to make a sandwich!


A chocolate chip sandwich cookie with a kahlua filling to be exact!


This was soooo good.

If you're looking to change up your chocolate chip cookie routine, try this Cook's Illustrated version! And if you happen to have some leftover kahlua frosting hanging around, make them into sandwich cookies... :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Whole Foods "Your Best Recipe with Pecans" Contest: I'm a Finalist!

Hey friends! So just yesterday in my post about baked parmesan tomatoes, I reminded you that today Whole Foods would be announcing the two finalists for the "Your Best Recipe with Pecans" contest, and I asked for your good luck wishes that my cookie recipe would make it... Well your good luck vibes must have worked because my pecan, cranberry, cinnamon chip cookies made it to the final two! Woohoo! I am quite excited. :)


Now I am going to so kindly ask you to please head on over to the contest website and vote for my recipe, if you don't mind! To vote, you do need to create an account, but it only takes a very quick minute, I promise. And you don't have to choose to get the Whole Foods Market Cooking newsletter if you don't want to, but I recommend that you do! The newsletters have some wonderful recipes, cooking tips, etc. 

What I love about this contest is that someone actually made the recipes that were submitted to test them out! I think that's very cool that someone physically followed my recipe in a test kitchen to see if it was worthy of becoming a finalist. You can read her impressions here too. Neato. :)

Thanks for your support, friends! You have until 12:00 p.m. ET on this Friday the 13th to vote! Yes, that's Friday the 13th. It's always been considered a lucky day in my family, so I'm hopeful! And January 13th is my mom's birthday too, so that makes it even better.

I'll be back again soon this week with a great winter recipe of a delicious baked potato soup!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies


I have a new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. This one! I've been meaning to try this particular recipe for a while now, and I am thankful I finally did. These cookies turned out to be just what I look for in a cookie...soft and chewy yet just very slightly crispy on the outer edge (very slightly). And they were super easy to make too! That's always a bonus.

This recipe is from a fun cookbook my sister gave me a while ago - Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens.


Now I wouldn't say that I have a crappy kitchen, nor do I have a little one, but the recipes in this book are right up my alley. They're generally on the easy side, yet they're delicious and unique. A few examples of other recipes include crabtastic avocado cakes, grilled cheese sandwich soup, daylight come and me want pork stew, the mean green frittata, butternutty squash bread pudding, fig and lavender honey yogurt pie, and mexican chocolate soup. Interesting, right? Many of the names of her recipes are hilarious actually (there are probably at least 100 recipes in the book). This cookie recipe is probably one of the more traditional recipes in the book. Some recipes do require ingredients that the average, everyday cook like me might not have on hand on a daily basis. But none of them really require totally off-the-wall ingredients that are hard to find either. There. That was my short and simple review of this cookbook! Now I'll finally get to the point - the cookie recipe!!

Ingredients:

-6 oz. unsalted butter, melted
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 whole egg plus one yolk
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (or flavor of your choice)
-1 cup pecan pieces (toasted, if desired)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave but allow it to cool down a bit to keep it from melting the chocolate prematurely. Using your whisk, combine the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add this flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture and fold until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and pecan pieces. Be careful not to overmix.



Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful (whatever size you desire; the cookbook said use a 1/4 cup measure, but mine were tablespoon-sized) on cookie sheet, placing at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. When the edges are just lightly golden brown, remove from oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for a couple minutes before removing to cooling rack. Once fully cooled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container.



A couple other points to note... I actually used milk chocolate chips, not bittersweet, simply because that's what I had on hand when I made this recipe (and I didn't plan ahead and buy bittersweet ahead of time; I made these cookies kind of last minute...). Also, initially, the cookie dough was a tad dry, in my opinion. The recipe calls for 1 egg and 1 yolk. I was wondering if it might be okay to add 2 whole eggs? Perhaps that would make the dough less dry. What I ended up doing was adding a couple tablespoons of milk to the dough before forming it into balls to put on the cookie sheets. Perhaps you'll have better luck with the recipe as is if you try it. If you have a similar experience to me though, maybe try adding two full eggs or a teeny bit of milk like I did. It worked like a charm! The cookies likely would have turned out just as well if I hadn't added the milk, but it seemed necessary to me at the time.







As I look at these pictures, I'm thinking that I might need to make another batch of these cookies ASAP! My mouth is starting to water...

:)

Talk to ya again soon!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies


Greetings friends! Okay, so I have one more pumpkin recipe for you this week... So far this week I've given you a breakfast recipe of pumpkin pancakes, a dinner recipe of pumpkin mac n' cheese, an "anytime" recipe of pumpkin biscuits, and now I present to you a dessert recipe of pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies! In my opinion, I've saved the best 'til last. These cookies were AMAZING. And they're easy too! I used my shortcut of the cake mix cookie trick. ;-)


Please note that there is an asterisk by the oil... I'm updating this recipe as of October 2013 to say that it's recommended that you mix the cake mix, egg, and pumpkin first and see if the mixture sticks together and is moist enough without being too sticky. If so, you may not need to add the oil at all. Please use your best judgment with this. Everyone's kitchen and ingredients differ slightly. Thanks. :)

Ingredients:

-1 box (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
-1 egg
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
*-1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil (*see note above about oil)
-3 Tbsp. sugar
-1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease two large cookie sheets. In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients (cake mix through vegetable oil). Start with about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but if the mixture doesn't feel like it's sticking together well or isn't quite moist enough, continue adding a bit more vegetable oil until it comes together nicely. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Form the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and then roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until it's well coated. Place on prepared cookie sheets, and bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the cookie springs back if you touch it with your finger. Let sit for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For some reason I didn't think of this until after the fact, but you could definitely add cinnamon to the actual cookie dough too if you wanted to make them have even more cinnamon flavor. I'd say a teaspoon or so should do it!





I will say that these cookies were not super pumpkin-y, but the flavor was definitely there. The soft and chewy texture of these cookies is my favorite quality of them. Cake mix cookies come out great every time I make them!! And this new recipe is no exception. Next time you need a quick dessert, give these a try. You can whip up a batch in no time at all! And they'll be devoured in no time at all too. :)




Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


I've been very excited to share this recipe for you (along with the several others patiently waiting to go on the blog!). This recipe for flourless peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies was soooo easy. And the cookies tasted soooo good. Need I say more? Didn't think so. ;-)

This recipe was adapted from Amandeleine.

Ingredients:

-1 cup peanut butter (any kind will do, I think)
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 large egg, slightly beaten
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 cup chocolate chunks or chips (any kind; I used semi-sweet because that's all I happened to have on hand)
-3/4 cup quick oats (this was my addition; the original recipe did not call for oatmeal)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda, and salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate and oats.

Place the dough on prepared pans by the teaspoonful, placing the balls about two inches apart. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly browned.






Simple (takes less than 5 minutes to mix the ingredients together!), delicious (pb & chocolate - always a winner, and the cookies were super soft and chewy), and on the healthy side as far as cookies go (oatmeal? pb? totally justified as health food)... ;-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toasted Coconut Sugar Cookies



If there ever was a variation on a sugar cookie that I recommend you try, it's this one. Toasted Coconut Sugar Cookies. These are to-die-for. Of course, it helps if you like coconut, but even if you didn't... I might wager a bet to say you will like these cookies. That's how confident I am that they are deeelicious!

I got this recipe from a blog I really enjoy, Sugarcrafter. Go on over and check it out! This recipe is most definitely a keeper. )

Ingredients:

-2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
-3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
-1 and 1/4 cups sugar
-2 oz. cream cheese, softened
-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
-1 egg
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-extra shredded coconut, for topping

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pour the 1/2 cup of coconut onto the parchment paper, and bake for 5 - 8 minutes or until lightly browned; toss with a fork or spatula two or three times during baking. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and toasted coconut. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cream cheese, and vegetable oil. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, continuing to mix until smooth. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until well-combined.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down each cookie slightly to flatten a little bit. Top with additional shredded coconut (that has not been toasted). Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the coconut topping is toasted. Let rest for a couple minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.



This recipe made about 22 cookies for me! They were probably 2 - 2.5 inches or so in diameter.

Amaaaazing. My coworkers raved about them, and many folks asked for the recipe! They were so light, flavorful, soft, and chewy. Mmmm.

I have to apologize about the pictures in this post. First of all, they're not all that great (I baked in the evening and didn't have great lighting). Secondly, I must have gotten so caught up with how good these were that I didn't take any "posed" shots! So, sadly, all you'll get with this post is just the pictures of the finished product on the baking sheets. Sorry about that! 


You must try these! ;-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Peanut Butter & Bacon Cookies


Peanut butter. Bacon. Many people whom I know loooove both of these food items. But have they ever put the two together?!? Probably not. A few weeks ago I decided to make these cookies for a coworker's birthday. This particular coworker really has a thing for bacon. And peanut butter? Well, doesn't everyone have a thing for peanut butter (if you're not allergic, of course)?? Right. So if you like both bacon and peanut butter, chances are you'll like them together. And this cookie is proof that it's possible!

I found this recipe on an amazing food blog, Joy the Baker. If you've never checked out this blog, you must. It's wonderful! 

Ingredients:

-1 cup peanut butter
-1 cup sugar (1/2 white sugar, 1/2 brown sugar)
-1 egg
-1 tsp baking soda
-6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced
(I only had 4 strips of bacon when I made this)

(notice that these cookies are gluten free!)

Instructions:

Cook the bacon using your preferred method. Let cool on paper towels and once cooled completely, slice/dice/crumble the bacon into small pieces. My four strips of bacon equaled about 1/2 cup of bacon.



Grease cookie sheets and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, combine the peanut butter and both sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and baking soda, mixing again for about 2 minutes until well combined. Fold in the cooked bacon. Roll the dough into large walnut-sized balls and place on cookie sheet. If you'd like, roll each ball of dough in granulated sugar before placing it on cookie sheet. Also if you'd like, use a fork to make a criss cross pattern on each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on a cooling rack. Or, eat them while they're still warm. :)



These cookies were quite yummy! They were a bit on the crumbly side as far as peanut butter cookies go - but it's definitely a good crumbly, I promise. The bacon flavor was subtle. If you're looking for a stronger bacon flavor, I'd recommend maybe adding more like 3/4 cup of bacon rather than 1/2 cup. But I personally enjoyed the level of "bacon-ness" in these cookies.


All in all, these were a winner! The sweet and salty combo was terrific. This was a fun, new recipe to give a shot. I have no regrets at all about trying this one. ;-)



Monday, July 11, 2011

Crushed Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies


Oreos. Everyone loves 'em. Well, everyone I know loves 'em. ;-) I found some "old" oreos in my cupboard (they weren't stale, but they'd been there for several months), so since I clearly wasn't gobbling them up as is, I figured they should go into a cookie. Never let anything go to waste! 



I had seen a recipe a little while ago on the blog "Lovin' From the Oven" for chocolate chip oreo cookies, and I knew that the oreos I had were destined to go into such a delicious cookie.

Man oh man, were these cookies good! They were a big hit with everyone with whom I shared them. They were super soft and chewy in the middle and slightly crispy around the edges. Mmmm, mmmm good. With a tall glass of cold milk? Even better. Here's the recipe for you!

Ingredients:

-1 stick butter, softened
-6 Tbsp. sugar
-6 Tbsp. brown sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 and 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-11 Oreo cookies, broken/crushed (I used 9 or 10, which equaled about 1 and 1/3 cups)
-1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet and more like 3/4 cup)


Instructions:

Crush your oreos. :) I put mine, about 4 or 5 at a time, in a small ziploc baggie and "beat them" with the back of a wooden spoon. Grease cookie sheets and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla until incorporated.

Place the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix well until combined. Stir in the oreos and chocolate chips until just mixed in.



Scoop onto cookie sheet in desired size, and bake for 9 - 11 minutes until cooked but still soft. Let sit on sheet for a couple minutes before removing to cooling rack.


ENJOY!





Isn't this serving tray cute? My mom gave it to me. Thanks, Mom! It's right up my alley, obviously. ;-)

I hope to be back again soon with another yummy Barbershop recipe!