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Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 Feb

Happy Puppy Bowl Sunday! I want all the puppies. Seriously.

In the mean time, I’m finally getting around to posting these cookies.

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To be clear, I’m historically all about soft cookies. You know, like the ones in high school that are baked by the hundreds and barely cooked in the middle? Just the best.

But recently, I’ve found myself craving thin, crispy cookies with the same flavor and nostalgia of their heavier counterparts. I also found myself with a new subscription to InStyle, with three recipes for cookies in the back! (And for the record, February is all about new neutrals, people.)

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So I went all in for the crispy cookie. It felt a little more sophisticated, and tasted delicious.

You know when you’re eating chips in front of the TV and you have to turn it up to hear over the sound of your own chewing? It’s kind of like that…but I really wouldn’t know…because I don’t ever do that…

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It also holds up better in the milk-dunking phase. Trust me, I’ve done a lot of leg work on the cookie process.

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The one recipe note I’ll give you is that you have to flatten out the cookies before baking to achieve the crisp factor. The easiest way to do it is to use a spoon and wet the back of it before flattening each cookie. It’s tedious, but the alternative leaves you with a big mess (trust me here).

Enjoy!

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies (from InStyle)

Yields about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar (I used light, but either will do)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Melt the stick of butter, and mix in a stand or electric mixer with both sugars until blended. Add egg and vanilla, and again mix until blended. Take your flour mixture and add in thirds, incorporating each time before adding more.

Once incorporated, fold in your chocolate chips using a spatula, then drop tablespoon sized scoops onto your baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Using a wetted spoon, flatten each cookie to about 1/4 inch.

Bake cookies for 15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

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Chocolate Macaroons

8 Jul

Weaknesses:

1. Barbecue potato chips. Ok…potato chips of any kind, but especially BBQ.

2. Surprise sample sales at Kate Spade. So many poor decisions made and wallets won.

3. Clueless on cable. I’m convinced that this movie is on tv at any given moment, and whenever I find it, I feel obligated to make sure Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd end up together. Teeeenderness, where is the teeeenderness. Sorry…

4. Tiny desserts. Enter macaroons.

Ever since afternoon tea at the Empress, I’ve been dreaming about the dessert tray. So many teeny desserts, including pistachio macaroons, lemon meringue tarts and little chocolate bowls of coffee cream goodness still haunt me. I’ve since been missing those lady-sized food bites, and decided my only option was to make more.

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I made mine a little more festive with sprinkles and chocolate buttercream. Consider these your go-to mini-sized party macaroons. They’re technically mac-uh-rons (almond flour, not coconut), but since I’m uh-mair-ican, I call them all mac-uh-roons. You’re welcome francophiles.

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And without further uh-do, the recipe!

Chocolate Macaroons from Macaroons

Yields about 32 1.5″ diameter macaroon halfs (16 sandwiches)

Ingredients

3/4 cup ground almonds

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 extra large egg whites

1/4 granulated sugar

Filling

Chocolate buttercream frosting from Birthday Cake

Directions 

Take two extra large eggs and separate the whites. Let the whites sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine ground almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor. Grind for 10-20 seconds to make sure ingredients are thoroughly mixed and processed. Sift mixture into a clean bowl.

Take your room temperature egg whites and put them in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer. Mix at high speed until frothy egg whites form and hold little peaks. Take your sugar and continue to mix, slowly adding the sugar to form a glossy meringue.

Next, take your meringue and slowly fold in dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Fold them into the egg whites using a spatula and once all are incorporated, keep folding until it forms a shiny batter. Put the batter in a pastry bag (or a plain ol sandwich bag will do) and pipe small circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Let the baking sheets sit at room temperature for 30 minutes  (if you want to add sprinkles, do so at this point) until the tops of your macaroons are hard to the touch. Then bake for 10-15 minutes, and cool for 5 minutes before peeling them from the parchment paper. Let them cool completely before filling with buttercream or other desired filling. Sandwich and devour!

Ice Cream Sammies

5 Jun

Don’t worry…I didn’t roll anything in bacon this time.

But it did cross my mind.

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Enough about bacon. In earnest, there are tell tale signs that summer is fast approaching.

1.  Humidity- we covered this one. I won’t keep complaining.

2. Tourists- so many in DC, and all on the Metro.

3. Television- All the best shows are ending. This may actually be a good thing (I loath thee Game of Thrones!)

4. Vacation- Is two short weeks away! Not that anyone is counting.

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So for your ode to summer enjoyment, have an ice cream sandwich.

They’re jam packed with summer nostalgia (also known as vanilla ice cream).

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Summer is just better with ice cream sandwiches. To keep you on your toes, I made mine with oatmeal cookies, and they were mighty fine.

Since I was so diligent in my cookie making, I cheated and used store-bought ice cream.

Decreased production time= increased sandwich consumption time.

Besides, it’s summer, take a break.

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For maximum enjoyment, assemble, wrap, freeze, and enjoy on a hot summer day.

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Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, adapted from Quaker

Makes about 10 sandwiches

Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

2 3/4 cup oats (I used old fashioned)

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1 pint vanilla ice cream

additional sprinkles, chocolate chips and walnuts for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In stand mixer, combine butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in eggs and vanilla and slowly mix until just incorporated.

In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add in thirds to your mixer and beat until combined. Add in oats one cup at a time, along with walnuts and chocolate chips. When fully combined, drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, 2-3 inches apart.

Cook at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes. Remove cookies and cool to room temperature.

Next, grab your ice cream and spoon between cookies. Smooth ice cream around the edges and roll in your favorite toppings. Wrap sandwiches individually in plastic wrap and refreeze.

Time

1 hour

Orange Ginger Thins

30 Jan
Raise your hand if you love Ikea. I mean, what’s not to love? $1 hot dogs, boxes of take-home cinnamon rolls, and lots of meatballs. Thank you, Sweden.

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Oh, and the well-priced, if-hard-to-assemble furniture is an attraction. I’m a sucker for a $12 side table, but let’s be real, if all else fails I know I’m getting a tasty snack.

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One of my favorite parts of being dragged though Ikea as a child (sorry, Mom) was picking up Anna’s cookies. They’re light and gingery and the perfect car snack when you’re wedged between the new armoire and a bevy of items from the checkout section (lanterns, cups, etc.– you know what I’m talking about).

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As a fun twist, I added orange zest to mine. And then I made a huge mess…

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The cookies themselves are light and crunchy, and the orange and ginger have a spicy warmth that’s perfect for these last January days, plus it’s more winter citrus! So next time you go to Ikea, pick up these cookies. In the mean time, make these! They’re läckra (and all associated adjectives). I think that might also be the name of the dresser I just bought…

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Orange Ginger Thins adapted from Allrecipes

Yields 40 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp  cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp orange zest

1 stick unsalted butter

4 tbsp white sugar

4 tbsp light brown sugar

4 tsp dark brown corn syrup (or sub 3 tsp light corn syrup + 1 tsp molasses, like I did)

1/2 beaten egg (I know, a little weird, but I didn’t want 80 cookies!)

Directions

Zest your orange, then sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and orange zest in medium bowl. 

In stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in your corn syrup (plus molasses, if used) and egg, then blend until well-mixed. Chill dough for two hours or overnight.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on flat, floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter shapes, then carefully transfer to lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and remove to cool.

Time

1 hour + chill time

 

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

13 Jan

I dug myself a heart-shaped donut hole. The sprinkles and champagne were too much. The man of the house has spoken, and he wants MAN cookies.

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He’s also my main taste tester, so what could I do? Facing a lengthy strike, I had to negotiate. I had to make…BACON. That’s right, real man food.

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Side note: let’s not forget that ladies like bacon, too.  I’ll vouch for the extra strips consumed in the making of this post.

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You look skeptical. Are they any good, you wonder? Counter question: what doesn’t bacon enhance? You’re stumped. Make them.

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The peanut butter and brown sugar are a sweet complement and the bacon adds just the right amount of salt and crunch to the cookie. The other great thing about these cookies is that they only have five ingredients, and are gluten-free! Because there’s no flour, they are on the crumbly side, but below are my tips to making them the best they can be.

  1. Cook your bacon until crispy. This gives your cookies that great crunch!
  2. After adding the egg and baking soda, mix well. You want the dough to be thick and peanut buttery, not runny and soft.
  3. Refrigerate the dough before rolling onto your baking sheet. If the dough is too warm, your cookies will be sad, thin little peanut butter pools.
  4. Have peanut butter bacon cookies, will not travel. They’re crumbly, so be gentle!

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Recipe from Joy the Baker

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Makes about 12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar plus additional for coating

1 egg

1 tspn baking soda

6 slices of bacon, cooked and diced

Directions:

Fry up bacon over medium heat and drain on paper towels. Let bacon cool before dicing and setting aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, blend peanut butter and sugar on medium-high until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Add your egg and baking soda and mix until dough forms itself into a thick ball (shouldn’t take more than a minute or two). Fold in bacon and chill dough as needed.

In the palm of your hand, roll small balls of dough ~2 inches in diameter. Roll in granulated sugar (optional) and set on ungreased cookie sheet.

Use a fork to press your cookies into a criss-cross pattern then bake for 12 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, then devour.

Time:

45 minutes

Raspberry Almond Macaroons

29 Dec

Macaroons are finicky little things. It can’t be too humid, they have to sit for half an hour before baking, and they like to watch Pride and Prejudice while being made (ok, maybe not the macaroons). “Oh, my goodness, everybody behave naturally.”

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But really, macaroons are tough. My first batch came out with too much air in the middle and the tops shattered like glass when I bit into them. The second batch, thankfully, were much softer and less dense. Blame it on the December humidity…

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I also tried a couple of different fillings. The first was a cream cheese frosting that didn’t go as well as I hoped with the raspberry jam, so I used the heavy cream filling recipe in Macaroons, which is where the macaroon recipe itself comes from.

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I still say there’s nothing to make you feel more like an accomplished adult than making meringue (a delicate combo of egg whites and sugar, and a pit stop on the way to full-fledged macaroons). Stiff, glossy peaks are always a win.

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In the end, my softer batch of macaroons came together, and the heavy cream filling balanced well with the sweetness of the jam. And (spoiler!), Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy end up together. Win, indeed.

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Raspberry Almond Macaroons

Makes 16 sandwiches, or 8 in my case

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ground almonds (I used almond meal)

1 cup powdered sugar

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 cup fine sugar (I took regular sugar and ground it in the food processor)

several drops red food coloring

1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

filling:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons raspberry jam

Directions:

Grind almond meal and powdered sugar for 15 seconds in food processor, then sift into bowl.

Put your room temperature egg whites in a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or use hand mixer) and whisk on high until soft white peaks form. Slowly add your fine sugar until a glossy meringue forms. Add food color until desired pink is achieved.

Using a spatula, fold sifted ingredients into the meringue a third at a time. Once mixed, continue to fold in until the batter has a thick, shiny consistency.

Pour batter into pastry bag with 1/2 inch tip, or sandwich bag and cut a similar size hole.  Pipe small circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then tap the sheets on your work surface to remove any bubbles. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Bake for 12 minutes, then let them rest for 10 minutes on the pan before removing from the parchment paper.

For the filling, use your whisk attachment to blend the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form, then spread the mixture along with your jelly between your macaroons.

Time

1.5 hours

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