Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

photo

Cookie season has arrived! December is always my favorite time of year. It’s my birthday. It’s Christmas. I get candy. I get cookies. I don’t like how cold it’s been, but life can be a compromise sometime.

I participated in Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap hosted by White Lights on Wednesday, {i love} my disorganized life, and Real Housemoms. The swap changed a bit from last year, but was just as fun. Last year we mailed our partners a handwritten copy of our recipe. This year it was all done electronically. While receiving snail mail is fun, it was a lot easier to receive the recipe via my computer rather than twiddling my thumbs until the mailman decided to drop it off.

Last year for the swap I made Pink Peppermint Chip Cookies. This year I also received a recipe for “chip” cookies – but for a very different cookie: chocolate chocolate chip – oh yeah!

This year Amy from My Little-One Room Schoolhouse is my partner. So, let’s thank her for the recipe!

I love chocolate chips and I love chocolate cookies, so this is seriously the combination of two wonderful things. I did have some problems though. I have two cookie sheets. One is thicker than the other. The cookies that baked on my thin sheet just went . . . flat. ūüė¶ The cookies that were baked on the thicker sheet fluffed up more and were definitely better. I’m sure it had to do with how the heat was reacting to the cookies, but this is the first time I’ve noticed such a visible difference between my baking sheets.

And with that, cookie season has begun! Let’s see what cookies this season brings.

XMAS Cookie Recipe Swap

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix flour, cocoa, soda and salt together.  Set aside.

2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.  Do not overbake.  Center may appear not to be done, but will set as cookies cool.

Because I don’t own my own domain and WordPress for some reason hates linkys, please click here to see all the other cookies shared!

Gingersnaps

IMG_9210

 

My first real post back is cookies. I think that’s ¬†the best welcome back to the world of blogging post, don’t you think? Especially since these cookies fit perfectly into the themes of two blogger round-ups this month,¬†I’m back!

I had some store bought gingersnaps in my cabinet. They actually hurt to eat. They were just way too gingery. I tried and ended up with this massively puckered face. So instead of suffer through those super-ginger cookies, I decided to make a batch of my own. These taste how I think gingersnaps are supposed to. They’re gingery, but they’re edible. ¬†These nice crisp cookies were super easy to make! (And now they’re all gone!)

This month, Alphabakes’s letter is G!¬†Alphabakes is a monthly food challenge hosted by Ros and Caroline.

AlphaBakes Logo

The other food challenge this month is The Feel Good Challenge. This month’s theme is ginger. While cookies may not be the most healthy of things I could be eating, a gingersnap is considerably less calories than the chocolate chip cookie I could be chowing down. ūüėÄ

IMG_2503

 

Gingersnaps
(source)

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar, divided
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar.  Beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla into the bowl. Beat until incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Add to the butter mixture and mix until well combined.  Cover the dough and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of white sugar in a shallow dish.

5. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll in the sugar to coat. Place on the the baking sheet and flatten with the bottom of a glass. Leave 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies feel dry and firm on the top.

* makes about 4 dozen cookies
* Besides Alphabakes and Feel Good Challenge, this recipe is shared with Weekend Cooking

 

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Cookies

IMG_8920

 

This month for Pantry Party our theme is¬†cookies.¬†I’d love to see more people enter recipes, by the way. This month, I opened my cabinet and grabbed out the first thing I saw and decided I’d make cookies with the first thing I grabbed. The first thing I grabbed was a bag of unpopped popcorn kernels. We don’t have a microwave, so a bag of kernels is the easiest way for us to get popcorn. Pour it in a pan, put it over heat, let it do it’s thing. But put a lid on the pan . . . or else there will be popcorn popped all over the kitchen.

Anyway – I pulled out the popcorn and began searching for the perfect popcorn cookie recipe. I guess I could have just been creative and made a chocolate chip cookie and threw popcorn in it, but I decided to copy Katrina’s recipe instead.

These cookies were super easy and really fun. I mean, popcorn in cookies. Can you really say no to it?

smaller

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups popped popcorn, coarsely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat together with the butter and sugar.

3. In a large bowl sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Beat into the wet mixture until combined.

4. Using a wooden spoon fold the popcorn into the dough.

5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon teaspoons of the dough on the sheet, an inch apart.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

* makes about a dozen cookies
* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is shared with Weekend Cooking

 

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

IMG_8410

 

This is probably my last Christmas-themed post until 2013. I’ve already shared my Christmas breakfast, my Christmas dinner, Christmas cookies I made as presents, and now finally I’m sharing one of the many cookies I made after a cookie baking extravaganza that ensued once I was officially on my break.

Now.. I actually baked a lot more cookies than just these shortbread cookies.. But I forgot to take a picture of them before they were gone. The only reason there were extra of these was because I made a second batch because the first batch disappeared in lightening speed. Of the cookies I made this season, these were my absolute favorite (tied closely to the Mocha Swirl Cookies I gave as presents this year.)

The first batch of these cookies was beautiful, more beautiful than these. My red was deeper because I had a better food coloring than my mom had in her house, and I used these white sparkly sprinkles on the first batch. Had my mom had that more crystal like type of sprinkle I would have used that instead of the jimmy style sprinkles. I thought they looked prettier and were less bulky on the cookie. I liked that the cookie wasn’t overly sweet like many cookies that come at Christmas – but this is a shortbread and is more buttery than anything.

If I’m part of any cookie exchanges next year, this is the cookie I’ll be sharing for sure.

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 tbsp red food coloring (or if you’re using a gel food coloring, DO NOT use that much – use enough to make a deep red)
3 oz chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp shortening
sprinkles

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 325. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Process several times to combine well. Add the food coloring and butter, several chunks at a time and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Continue to process until the mixture begins to clump together.

2. Remove the dough from the processor bowl and place it on a floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth. Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter that is approximately 1 1/2-inches round, cut out the dough. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the dough scraps together and roll out again, continuing to cut as many cookies out of the dough as possible.

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.

4. In a heavy sauce pan, melt the chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring consistently. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and then sprinkle the melted chocolate on the cookie with sprinkles. Let stand on waxed paper until dry.

* makes about 2 dozen cookies
* shared with Foodie Friday, Freedom Fridays, & Friday Food Frenzy

Strawberry Swirl Cookies

IMG_8333

This is the last of my swirl cookies. This season’s holiday sweets have been completed! I put three of each of the three cookies into Chinese carry-out style boxes in a mustard color. My Christmas theme (as you can see by my Christmas tree this year) is owls. I have owl wrapping paper, so on the cookie boxes I’m going to paste a cut out of one of the owls on the paper.

I’ve personally eaten far too many of these cookies, but that’s sort of the downfall in Christmas treat making.

I was inspired by the link shared below for these cookies, but I actually followed the recipe for the mocha swirls since I knew it produced beautiful cookies.

Last year I made different fudges for Christmas. 
Do you make sweets for presents at the holidays?
What are you giving this year, if you do?

Strawberry Swirl Cookies
(inspiration)

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp strawberry extract
1/2 tsp red food coloring
colored sprinkles

Directions

1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients in and beat until you have a nonsticky dough.

3. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and separate into two portions. Return one of the portions to the mixer and beat the vanilla in with the dough. Remove from the bowl.

4. Put the other half of dough into the mixer bowl and beat with the food coloring and strawberry extract.

5. Roll out each portion of dough between two sheets of wax paper, so that the dough is approximately 1/4-inch thick. Chill on a baking sheet in the refrigerator for an hour.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press the strawberry dough on top of the vanilla dough. Roll the dough into a log, starting on the long side of the dough. If the dough starts to rip as you’re rolling, press it back together. Go slowly.

7. Pour your sprinkles into a long, shallow pan. Roll your dough roll into the sprinkles, making sure the sprinkles stick to the dough.

8. Cover the dough roll in wax paper and then plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.

9. Preheat oven to 350. Remove the chilled dough roll from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. I got about 3 dozen cookies from one cookie dough roll.

10. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11 minutes.

* makes about 36 cookies
* shared with Tuesdays at the Table, Delicious Dishes, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday Party, Recipe Box, &   Tasty Tuesdays

Mocha Swirl Cookies

IMG_8327

 

Like I mentioned in my last post, I am making swirl (or pinwheel) cookies for Christmas presents this year. My plan was to make four varieties. It has changed to three due to technical difficulties with my peppermint/chocolate cookies. They tasted great, but they came out ugly. The mocha swirls on the other hand, are by far the most beautiful things I have ever made. Not only do they look great, but the taste was also amazing.

These swirl cookies definitely take some patience, but they are wonderful!

Mocha Swirl Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee (mine was hazelnut flavored)
2 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions

1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients in and beat until you have a nonsticky dough.

3. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and separate into two portions. Return one of the portions to the mixer and beat the coffee in with the dough. Remove from the bowl.

4. Put the other half of dough into the mixer bowl and beat with the cooled, melted chocolate.

5. Roll out each portion of dough between two sheets of wax paper, so that the dough is approximately 1/4-inch thick. Chill on a baking sheet in the refrigerator for an hour.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press the coffee dough on top of the chocolate dough. Roll the dough into a log, starting on the long side of the dough. If the dough starts to rip as you’re rolling, press it back together. Go slowly.

7. Cover the dough roll in wax paper and then plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.

8. Preheat oven to 350. Remove the chilled dough roll from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. I got about 3 dozen cookies from one cookie dough roll.

9. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11 minutes.

* makes about 36 cookies
* shared with Mix It Up Monday

Chai Spiced Spiral Cookies

IMG_8316

 

Christmas cookie baking has begun! For presents this year I’m giving people four varieties of spiral cookies.
Cookie Number One: Chai Spiced Spirals!

I’m not going to lie, I had already taken a bite out of the cookie in the photo. But.. It was so tempting. The cookie tasted wonderful. For being the fist of my spiral cookies for Christmas, it was a perfect success.

Chai Spiced Spiral Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 3 tbsp flour for later
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
sugar for decorating

Directions

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the 1 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar. Beat together until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly beat in the dried mix until you have a nonsticky dough. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and separate into two halves.

3. Return one half of the dough to the mixing bowl. Add the molasses and the 3 tbsp flour and beat until combined.

4. Cover and refrigerate both halves of the dough for a half hour.

5. Once chilled, roll each half of dough out separately to be about 1/4-inch thick with a floured rolling pin. Place the half of dough without molasses on top of the the other half of dough. Press together with a rolling pin.

6. Starting on the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a tight log. Roll the log into the sugar so that it coats the outside of the log. Wrap in wax paper and place in the refrigerator for an hour.

7. Remove from the refrigerator and cut the dough into even sized cookies. Your log should get you about 30 cookies. Place each cookie slice on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 8 minutes.

8. Let cool on the sheet. Once cool to touch remove from the baking sheet and place on wire racks until completely cool.

* makes about 30 cookies

Pink Peppermint Chip Cookies

IMG_8247

I love the holidays. I have been watching Christmas movies almost everyday. I’ve been listening to Christmas music every day. And what else? Christmas cookies!

This year I participated in a Christmas cookie swap hosted by Julie of White Lights on Wednesday. Instead of swapping cookies in the mail we each were paired up. Basically . . . One person sends you a recipe, you send another person a recipe. So, I sent a cookie recipe to Carrie of My Favorite Finds and I received a cook recipe from Linda at Tumbleweed Contessa. You’ll actually see these cookies at my first Pantry Party roundup, because Linda recently made these cookies and submitted them to my new party.

So I’m preemptively posting this and putting it into my queue to publish on the 13th (the day we’re all sharing our recipes.) Today is the 4th, so I’m kind of early.

I’ve been studying for finals, so when I got this recipe in the mail and realized how yummy and how easy it looked, it provided a nice break from studying. It also made me go to the grocery store and get eggs (among other groceries since I was kind of foodless.) ¬†These cookies are¬†easy and tasty! I made a few variations from the original recipe because the cheap grocery store I go to didn’t have all the fun baking chips. But I worked with what I could get my hands on to make some peppermint and chocolate chip cookies.

I brought them to my final today too. Everyone was happy.
And I ate too many too.

Pink Peppermint Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup original flavor Crisco (not butter flavor)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
9 drops red food coloring
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup creme de menthe Andes candy, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup peppermint crunch Andes candy, coarsely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cream together the Crisco, sugars, eggs, food coloring, and extract in a stand mixer. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until there are no dry spots left.

3. Mix in the candies and chocolate chips, stirring with a wooden spoon.

4. Using a teaspoon, spoon the dough onto the baking sheet, rolling each ball into a ball. Place 12 cookies on a sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

* makes about 40 cookies

WordPress does not allow me to post a linky tools on a site hosted by wordpress (I need a domain clearly.)
See the rest of the cookies HERE at the roundup.

Foodie Penpal Reveal: September

This is the fourth month I’ve participated in the most fun event on the web: Foodie Penpals. What is foodie penpals you ask? Here‚Äôs a breakdown:

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you‚Äôre paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treats

This month I received a box of goodies from Sara from Connecticut. Sara sent me a box that was inspired by fall and apple picking. I wish there was a place I could pick apples fresh around here, but my quick google search tells me there isn’t. Though . . . There are places I could pick green beans and that would be equally cool. I don’t know why the idea of picking my own produce off the vine, or the tree, or plucking it from the ground seems so much more appealing than someone else doing it for me, and then having to pay the mark up incurred from farm to grocery store. ¬†I do go to the farmer’s market to offset that some, but it would still be really cool to get to pick some produce myself – though I’m not going to say it would be cool to grow it too, because that’s too much work.

Anyway – off track. Sara’s box for me was packed with goodies from Connecticut inspired mainly by apples and the fall. This is perfect considering the first day of fall was just a week ago.

Sacramento heat is horrible right now. Sacramento heat doesn’t like chocolate very much (or it likes it too much??) I, on the other hand, love chocolate melted or solid. By the time I got the chocolate it was just soft, but it was still very edible. As I was sitting on the couch opening up my box of yums, Matt grabbed these chocolate cups before I could even get a glimpse at what they were. I snatched them back and told him there had to be a photo first – he couldn’t steal something from the box every time without me snapping a shot first! Anyway, we both got one and they were heavenly. I wish I could get these locally.

Sara also included this kit for apple muffins. In the letter she wrote me she told me that she envisioned a warm muffin with a cup of hot tea. I haven’t made the muffins yet but I do intend to buy apples at the farmer’s market this weekend and make the muffins then. I’m really looking forward to the breakfasts following. ¬†And actually, by the time you read this post I’ll probably have already made the muffins because I’m writing this post early (on the 28th) so I don’t forget to do it later.

Sara also included this jar of Local Connecticut Honey. I actually have some of it stirred into my tea right now. The honey I buy here is a Buckwheat honey and is darker than the honey Sara got me. There’s no reason we opt for the buckwheat except that Matt and I have an inside joke about it. The Connecticut honey is a lot lighter than my buckwheat honey and has a vaguely different taste to it. I love it and will find many uses for it.

Lastly Sara got me this apple cider jelly. Delicious, delicious, delicious, delicious! I don’t think I can say it enough: THIS JELLY IS DELICIOUS! It’s not overly sweet, especially considering the fact that it’s apple cider and not just apples. The texture is really nice and, I don’t even have words for this jelly.

The jelly is the item that made it into my recipe to share for this reveal also!

My cookies aren’t as good as the jelly. And this isn’t the jelly’s fault. It is entirely my fault for rushing things and not refrigerating my dough. But I was tired. I’m impatient. And really, I just wanted a cookie!

How would you use the apple cider jelly?

Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients
1 stick butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, with the white and yolk separated
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
6 tbsp apple cider jelly

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar. With the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter together.

2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter; beat until combined. Add in the flour and salt and continue to mix until combined.

3. (Do this step, because I didn’t.) Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator for a half hour. Preheat the oven to 350.

4. Beat the egg whites until frothy with a fork. Take the dough and roll into balls about 1-inch in diameter. With half of the cookies, roll in the egg whites and then roll into the crushed nuts. Place on a cookie sheet.

5. Use your thumb to press a well into the cookie. Fill the wells with jelly.

6. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool before eating and enjoying.

Butterscotch Chocolate Cookies

How do you celebrate the Fourth of July? A lot of people go to barbecues, watch fireworks, and do the All-American thing. Me on the other hand? I took it as a day off from work. And what do I do on days off from work? I clean. I read. And I bake. Today I didn’t get very ¬†much cleaning done, but I did read both¬†The Hunger Games and¬†Catching Fire (and must say, I am obsessed!) I also made cookies. It’s not dark yet, but when the sun goes down I’m going to see if any of the neighbors are shooting off fireworks. And then back to work tomorrow.

I love the summer, where I can say I’m going to “work” instead of going to “school.” Only one year left!

These cookies are nice, soft, and fudgey. I’m sure my coworkers will be mighty happy when I bring them to work tomorrow.

Butterscotch Chocolate Cookies
(inspiration)

 Ingredients
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. In a small pot melt the shortening and chocolate chips. Let cool for 5 minutes. Mix in the sugar, eggs, condensed milk, and vanilla.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and butterscotch chips. Stir to combine, so that there are no dry spots.

3. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours, until firm.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350.

5. Roll the dough into balls, 1 tbsp in size. Pour the powdered sugar into a shallow dish. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place on a baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. Take a spoon and lightly flatten each cookie.

6. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Remove and let cool.

* makes about 48 cookies
* Shared with Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, What’s Cooking Wednesday, & What I Whipped Up Wednesday