Cookies

Review: The Dollop Book of Frosting & Orange Cut-Out Cookies with Orange Cardamom Icing

Before I defended my dissertation a couple months ago several people came to my rescue with guest posts, including Heather Saffer, winner of Cupcake Wars author of The Dollop Book of Frosting. This cookbook is not only full of fun and creative frosting flavors, but also novel ways to enjoy frosting – because frosting should not be restricted to cakes and cookies. Today her holiday blog tour stops here and I am sharing a recipe from this cookbook that would be perfect to make this holiday.

DollopBookofFrosting
As I expressed previously, Heather’s Ultimate Dude Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream stole my heart upon first sight. I can see why they were the big winner in Cupcake Wars. Flipping through the rest of the recipes I was also drawn to the Strawberry Spinach Cheesecakes with Strawberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Frosting and Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles with Maple Bacon Frosting. Frosting is now for breakfast kids, rejoice! Her recipes will take frosting down avenues you never thought possible. So if you love frosting and are looking for creative recipes then you really need to snatch this up. It would also be a great gift to grab for the sweet-tooth in your life ;-).

Orange Cut-Out Cookies 2

Now I know that I said frosting goes beyond cakes and cookies, but cut-out cookies were a staple for every holiday when I was growing up. We had scads of cookie cutters shapes, food coloring, and festive sprinkles for every occasion. These cut-out cookies pump up your traditional sugar cookie cut-outs with the flavors of orange and cardamom – a combination that will leave your palate both refreshed and comforted. For the upcoming winter holidays, I decided to cut mine with snowflakes and they tasted better than any snowflake that has ever landed on my tongue.

Orange Cut-Out Cookies 1

One year ago: Maple Breakfast Sausage
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My Favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Graduation is today. Notice the lack of an exclamation point.

I’ve never felt so incredibly underwhelmed about graduation. It is likely due to the fact that after every previous graduation (highschool and undergrad) I had the next step solidified, but now I am in limbo. It is a very helpless feeling not knowing whether you will get a job soon, where you are going to live, or how you are going to pay your bills. I am in a constant state of (barely) subdued panic. Of course my family has offered to take me in during my down time but I can’t expect them to pay my bills too (as I will likely need to rent a storage unit until I know where I am moving). Thankfully, I have been saving some money over the course of my 6.5 years in grad school and am hoping it’ll be help tide me over. Definitely not enough to live off of for longer than a month though. Transitioning to the real world stinks.

Also, despite the fact that I have been looking forward to moving out of Memphis for years I am now not liking the idea of leaving. Driving into lab the other day it struck me hard that all the people and things I love about Memphis will soon no longer be at my finger tips. Eventually I hope to be moving closer to those that I had previously moved further away from, but it doesn’t change the fact that moving sucks. I’ve been here for 6.5 years and it feels like I am being suddenly removed and my day-to-day life is about to implode. All of these realizations have been putting a damper on my ability to be excited about graduation. (Although I must admit it’s been hard not to flap my wings around like a bird in my graduation regalia – such huge sleeves!)

As a distraction, I have been working on perfecting my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for quite some time now. I nailed it a couple weeks ago but had to remake them because my friends inhaled them when they were in town visiting – a good sign though! And probably a smart idea to make sure I could reproduce them anyway. What did I do differently than in the past? I made some small changes that didn’t effect them too much such as reducing the brown sugar down to 1 cup and increasing the white to 1/2 cup. I have alternated between this and the original and haven’t noticed much difference. I also used mini semisweet chocolate chips instead of a mix of the regular sized ones, but type doesn’t matter it’s the quantity. I did notice however that when I once made these with only 2 cups (instead of the usual 3) they spread out more. The chocolate must aid in binding the dough together. I also felt like I got more consistent results using silicone baking mats versus parchment paper, but not drastic enough to swear off parchment.

My Favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

The biggest changes came with refrigeration and the bake time. I refrigerate this dough for at least 24 hours and  have had great results even after being in there for a week! The next tricks are to make the dough balls slightly taller than wide, to reduce spreading, and finally – underbake! They will be very soft to the point that if you try to move them off the cookie sheet right away they will mush up. Be patient and let them cool for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Finally, I found that they were even better the second day after being sealed in an air-tight container.

My Favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Two years ago: Ron’s Chili

Three years ago: Oven-Fried Onion Rings
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Dark Chocolate Chunk Eggnog Cookies

It’s the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen! This event brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things cookie. This year, once again, this swap was partnered with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and a donation was collected from every participant. Additionally, the three generous brand partners, OXO, Gold Medal Flour, and Dixie Crystals, EACH matched our donations and as a result ended up raising $13,778.40 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!

FBCookie Swap

I sent my matches Meagan (A Zesty Bite), Christina (Stracciatella), and Susan (A Less Processed Life) a dozen each of these dark chocolate chunk eggnog cookies. After I made the eggnog cheesecake bars, I started putting eggnog in everything including the pancakes I shared on Monday. It adds such a great flavor to winter treats and was no exception in these cookies – soft and chewy eggnog cookies with chunks of dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Eggnog Cookies

From my matches I received pecan sandies (Nora of Cats and Commas), lemon glazed cookies (Sheryl of Mama’s Gotta Bake), and compost cookies (Shari of My Judy the Foodie). I stashed away most of them for myself but did bring some into lab to share with my coworkers. Thank you for all the wonderful cookies!

One year ago: Creamy Ricotta Spinach & Shells

Three years ago: Iced & Spiced Applesauce Cookies
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Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups

Today’s the day! The Game – Ohio State versus Michigan and one of the biggest rivalries in college football. Although I am not sure it will ever get any better than my last game as a student in 2006, with Ohio State at #1 and Michigan at #2 (and upon winning went to the National Championship where we lost to Florida but I digress), this game is always makes me anxious. No matter what each team is ranked, anything can happen. Makes sense that this match-up is always the last game of the season before conference championships and bowl games. Wish it wasn’t at 11 am CST though.

To accompany this event, I made peanut butter mousse nestled inside mini cookie cups because it also happens to be National Mousse Day and you know how I love having a reason to celebrate a food holiday.

Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Reeses Pieces Giant Cookie for One

Three years ago: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
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DOVE® Christmas Chocolate Drops

When it comes to holiday baking you typically need two things: butter and chocolate. So when Dove® Promises invited me to bake with Dove® Dark Chocolate I could not resist. Unlike other dark chocolates out there, DOVE® Dark chocolate is not bitter. Instead, it’s creamy and deliciously rich, making it difficult to bake with instead of devouring straight out of the wrapper (which by the way I love the little sayings inside each wrapper). I suggest buying an extra bag just in case you cannot control yourself.

In case a DOVE® Dark chocolate cookie with DOVE® Dark chocolate chunks isn’t enough to get you excited, how about some nuts? In my world, you can never go wrong with nuts especially when it involves chocolate so I was particularly excited about these cookies.

These cookies reminded me of brownie cookies, with their flaky tops and chewy interior stuffed with nuts – just the way I like my brownies!

For more inspiring holiday ideas, be sure to check out the Mars® recipe page http://www.brightideas.com. I am tempted to make the Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!

Share the Joy with Dove®. Go to BrightIdeas.com for recipes using DOVE® PROMISES® Dark Chocolate and DOVE® Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar. Click. Create. Celebrate.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mars®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies

We need to sit down and have a serious discussion. These cookies? Yea you need to make them, like right now. Don’t make excuses, just go to the store to buy any ingredients you don’t already have on hand and get your oven ready. Why am I so demanding? Because the holidays are just starting to creep up on us and I already think I found my favorite cookie of the season.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies 3

These cookies use fresh cranberries whereas usually cookie recipes use dried fruits. I have only made cookies two other times with fresh fruit (another with cranberries and one with blueberries) and they nearly caused the same reaction as these did. There must be some strange magic that happens when fresh fruit is used or my weakness for fruity desserts is showing. Yes, this peanut-butter-loving-fiend would have a difficult time deciding between a fruit or peanut butter dessert.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies 1

In addition to the cranberries there is browned butter, dark chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. I think those last two spices were the real kicker, adding an especially festive feel to these cookies and making them smell irresistible while baking. Of course you can never go wrong with browned butter either. Just be warned, the dough does need to be chilled which is why you need to whip them up asap!

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies 2

One year ago: Sweet Potato Pie Oat Bars

Three years ago: Secret Ingredient Sugar Cookies
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Flourless Buckeye Blossom Cookies

It’s the second big game thus far of the season! Today Ohio State plays Northwestern (the second highest ranked B1G team). After last week’s performance I am feeling pretty confident about the outcome today, but of course I will still watch anxiously.

Buckeye Blossom Cookies 1

To celebrate PB+C today I am revisiting a popular recipe on my blog – salted Nutella peanut butter thumbprint cookies. With only a few ingredients and three steps it’s easy to understand why they are such a big hit. Since you can’t seem to get enough, I make another version with a buckeye candy in the middle instead of Nutella – which I think makes it more of a blossom than a thumbprint. My buckeyes kind of take over these smaller cookies, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. Feel free to make your buckeyes a bit smaller if you desire a larger cookie/buckeye ratio.

Buckeye Blossom Cookies 2

A few people left comments on the original recipe saying their cookies flattened out a lot. I cannot explain this phenomenon because the majority have had great success, including myself. I predict it is due to variable consistencies between brands of peanut butter, and suggest using one that is not too runny. You could also refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes prior to baking. If that doesn’t work try adding a tablespoon of cornstarch. But as I said, I have never had trouble with them flattening out so hopefully you won’t either!

One year ago: Linzer Cookies

Two years ago: Taco Bowls
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White Chocolate-Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Sandwiches

Today at 1pm (CST) is my seminar for my dissertation defense – “Signal Transduction and Transcriptional Regulation Pathways Essential for Azole Resistance in Candida albicans“. So why the heck am I posting today? Because I always bake something for my committee at every meeting and I HAD to bake over the weekend in order to get out of my head for a little while.

It also happens to be national white chocolate day. To celebrate this momentous occasion I decided to finally cave and bake something fall-ish and pumpkin. Enjoy the fruits of my stress, and then check back later today as I will be posting again to let you know the verdict!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Two years ago: Healthier Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
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Review: The S’mores Cookbook & S’mores Macarons

In honor of today being National Toasted Marshmallow day, I thought I would share a new cookbook that is all about such toasty goodness – S’mores!

S’mores have come a long way from the staple campfire-side treats during the summer months. You no longer even need a fire to enjoy the taste of s’mores which means you can enjoy them in your home, year round! This food trend is summed up in the foreword by Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes fame, when Duff says, “This book is a fine example of a culinary evolutionary eruption.”

Oozing with fifty mouthwatering recipes, The S’mores Cookbook: From Chocolate Marshmallow French Toast to S’mores Cheesecake Recipes, Treat Yourself to S’more of Everything (Adams/F+W Media, August) by Susan Whetzel, of DoughMessTic, shows you how to indulge in the rich blend of creamy chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and honeyed graham crackers at every meal this summer – or satisfy your cravings for the gooey campfire treat all year long!

From Chocolate Graham Pancakes drizzled with a sweet marshmallow syrup to S’mores Éclairs smothered in a dark chocolate ganache, this book combines this favorite trio of flavors in ways you’ve never imagined to create delicious plates that will impress friends and family.

S'mores Cookbook

The cookbook begins with some s’more history and what its components are, followed by a chapter full of “not your average s’mores” with recipes to make nontraditional versions. The next chapters cover breakfast, cakes/pies, cookies/brownies, chilled treats, drinks, and even giftable treats. The final chapter covers all the essential basic recipes which are used throughout the cookbook such as marshmallow frosting and chocolate ganache, but also homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows for the extra daring baker.

The very first recipe that caught my eye is actually pictured on the cover, s’mores macarons, and knew I had to try them. I had only made macarons once before and although they tasted great, they weren’t visually perfect which is what macarons are all about. This time around they grew perfect little feet! Serious excitement. And of course they tasted just as good as they looked (despite my haphazard frosting-piping).

S'mores Macarons

The only thing I would change in this cookbook, is listing the page numbers when referring to the recipes in the essential recipe chapter. Not that it was a huge burden, but when preparing the macarons, it would’ve been nice if I could’ve flipped directly to the page number where the marshmallow frosting recipe was, rather than flipping through the chapter to find it. Despite that minor thing this cookbook is a hit! Next I definitely need to try the S’mores oatmeal. Although, the ease at which is can be prepared might be a dangerous thing.

Two years ago: Feta Stuffed Pesto Turkey Burgers
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Single Serving Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

Oh look, another food holiday – National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Normally I am not very good at staying on top of all the food holidays, but for some reason I have been lately despite being busier than ever. In fact, yesterday I was a proud bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding! First one of three for the late summer/fall. If that wasn’t enough, you may recall that somehow I have to finish up my lab work, publish two papers, and write my dissertation in between all of them as well. 8 weeks and counting folks! So let’s eat cookies. Or cookie singular for today.

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie 2

Eating one cookie and stopping is practically a victory for me. Cookies are just so dang good! However this cookie is a deep dish cookie and will completely quench any cookie craving you may have. Granted, this effect may be due to the fact that on a normal day it would likely make at least 2 cookies, but who’s counting? It’s all in one ramekin and therefore counts as one serving O:-).

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie 3

Two years ago: Eggplant Veggie Burgers
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