Monday, June 28, 2010

Doubletree Copycats

Thanks to my friend Anna at Cookie Madness for posting this recipe. These are excellent and very much like the real Doubletree cookies. A word of warning, though. The cookies will not stay fresh for more than a day. I did not have any brittle bits, and I did not miss them. Be sure to refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours.


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold – cut up
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup Bits of Brittle
3/4 cups walnuts toasted and chopped
1 1/8 cups oatmeal (measure, then grind in a coffee grinder or food processor)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
Cream butter and sugars in large mixer bowl. Add egg and vanilla and stir until mixed.
Add flour mixture and oatmeal gradually, stirring until incorporated. Stir in Heath Bits, Chocolate Chips, and nuts. Scoop dough up with a quarter cup measure and shape into big balls. Press them slightly to make discs. Set the discs on a plate and chill for a few hours or until firm.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-13 minutes. Cookies should still be slightly underdone. Move to wax paper lined counter to cool, do not use wire racks. 
Yields 8 cookies.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Einstein Brother's

While paying for some bagels, I could not resist Einstein Brother's Mudslide and Chocolate Chunk cookies. 
The Mudslide cookie was crispy. Some parts were too hard, but the center was brownie-like. The flavor was great, but the texture took away from it. The Chocolate Chunk cookie was too buttery. Its wonderfully chewy texture was a stark contrast to the horrible texture of the Mudslide. The extra chocolate chunks was an added bonus.
Each average-sized cookie is $1.35. Oatmeal raisin and iced sugar cookies are also available. For more information, visit

Einstein Brothers Bagels on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pecan Pie Bars

These bars taste just like pecan pie, but they're so much easier to make. They taste best at room temperature, so be sure to let them cool completely. 

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 cup pecans 

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until it is well-combined and resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For the filling:
Whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, salt, and egg whites. Add the pecans and coat evenly in the mixture. Pour the mixture over the warm crust and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is brown and set.
Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting the bars.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Bake Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies

With very little active time, this recipe is great to make if you don't have a lot of time. Neither the peanut butter nor butterscotch flavor it too overpowering. They were a bit sticky. Instead of bars, next time, I will roll them into bite-sized balls.

1 cups butterscotch chips 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup milk 
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 cup rolled oats 

In a small sauce pan, melt together the butterscotch, sugar, milk, and margarine. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow it to boil for about 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and stir in peanut butter until it is fully incorporated.
Stir in rolled oats.
Pour mixture into an 8x8 pan, and refrigerate for 3 hours. After it has hardened, cut into squares.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Katella Deli

I wonder how much butter the Katella Deli uses in one day? I tried eight varieties of their cookies, and all eight had a strong butter taste, so if you like buttery cookies, this is the place for you.

A few of the cookies were dipped in chocolate or had chocolate dollops on top. These were definitely the best since the chocolate kept the butter in check. The raspberry jam filled chocolate dipped sandwich cookie reminded me of the Champagne French Bakery's version. The Katella Deli version was much better as it had a crispier texture. Also tasty were the orange jam filled chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookie sandwich (not too strong of an orange flavor, thin, and very chewy) and the butter cookie topped with chocolate frosting and a peanut M&M. Skip the pecan shortbread cookies. Even the one dipped in chocolate had very little flavor and was rather chalky.

Cookies are $9.40 per pound. My eight cookies totaled $3.80.
Katella Deli is located at 4470 Katella Avenue in Los Alamitos.

Katella Deli on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Specialty's Cafe and Bakery

What a delicious day! I got to sample every kind of Specialty's Cafe and Bakery cookie. YUM!!!
Overall the cookies were thick and chewy.

Here's the rundown on each cookie:
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunk/Milk Chocolate Chunk- Even though these were two different cookies, they tasted the same. Both cookies had plenty of large chocolate chunks.
Black & White- My second favorite cookie. It was super chocolaty and gooey with tons of white chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter/Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk- Neither of these cookies had a strong peanut butter flavor. When biting into the pb chocolate chunk, I had to double check that I wasn't eating the semi-sweet chocolate chunk cookie since they tasted so similar.
Oatmeal Raisin- This was very, very chewy.
Wheatgerm Chocolate Chip- Wow! My favorite! This is a less chewy version of an oatmeal chocolate chip. I want to create a version of these to bake at home.
Pecan Tea- This was a tasty, messy cookie with a much different texture than any of the others. Even though half of the powdered sugar ended up on my hands, I loved the thick layer on the outside of this buttery pecan cookie.
Cookies pictured are Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunk, Black and White, and Pecan Tea.

Visit for locations and information. From the Specialty's website, you can send your favorite Cookie Sleuth a CookieGram :).

Specialty's Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rocky Road Cookies

These are soft chocolate cookies that satisfy your need for something crunchy (graham crackers and chocolate chips) and gooey (marshmallows). I tried making these cookies with marshmallows mixed in the batter as well and found that pressing the marshmallows on top is definitely the way to go. They're quick to make, too.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup graham cracker pieces
72 miniature marshmallows 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small saucepan melt together the butter and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, stir together the melted chocolate mixture with the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Finally, stir in the graham crackers and remaining chocolate chips.
Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto unprepared cookie sheets. Press two marshmallows into the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheets immediately to cool on wire racks. 
Yields 3 dozen. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

French's Pastry Bakery Review II

As promised, I made a second trip to French's for further investigation, hoping to find out what all of the hype was about. This second visit did not disappoint. I tried some of their smaller cookies, which qualify for the $2 off dozen Thursdays, making them $2.98 per dozen.

My favorite cookies were the chocolate walnut (brownie-like and very gooey) and the shell-shaped butter cookie dipped in chocolate (very buttery, melts in your mouth). The shell cookie takes me back to my pre-school days when we got butter cookies every day at snack time. Mmmm... I also tried the small chocolate chip cookie. It was much crispier and flavorful than the large chocolate dipped chocolate chip that I ate on my first visit, but I would still skip it. I will be heading back for my two favs, but only on a Thursday. $4.98 is way too much to pay for a dozen of tiny cookies.
French's Pastry Bakery has four locations in Orange County (Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo, and Orange). Visit for more information.

French's Pastry on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Brownie Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies

These were a hit at the office! This is a great recipe to use up extra brownies. I used one week-old plain chocolate brownies. The cookies are very chocolaty, and they are chewy and moist. The peanut butter flavor is not strong, so add a bit more if you like.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups brownie chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream together the margarine and sugars. Add in egg and vanilla, and mix well. Mix in peanut butter until the batter is smooth. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in brownie chunks.
Drop tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheets.
Bake for 12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned.
Yields 2 dozen cookies.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Isabella's Cookies

If you have been to Whole Foods or Mother's Market, odds are you have seen a large display of Isabella's cookies. Baked in Redondo Beach, Isabella's makes a variety of unique flavors including The Twister (caramel, toffee, chocolate) and B.O.B. (butterscotch, oatmeal, dried blueberries). I sampled The Original (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, walnuts) and The Hot Chocolate (chocolate cookie with chipotle chocolate).

Both cookies were chewy, thick, and buttery. The Original cookies tasted like chocolate chip even though they included peanut butter chips and walnuts. Some of them did not even have nuts, and others just had one nut. The cookie portion of the Hot Chocolate cookie had a strong chocolate flavor. The "hot" portion of the cookie is in the chocolate chunks. I have a low tolerance when it comes to heat/spice and could not really enjoy the cookie due to its heat. When I picked out the chocolate chunks, the cookie was rather tasty.

At about $7 for a bag of 8-10 small to medium-sized cookies, these average cookies are not worth the price. The creativity behind the cookie is there, but the execution is not.
Visit their website for more information about cookie flavors and where to buy them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Avalanche Bars

Thanks to my friend at cookies and cups for this recipe for Rice Krispies Treats on steroids. Hers look better than mine (probably because I didn't want to wait to let the peanut butter and white chocolate mixture cool), but I'm sure they tasted just as good.

12 ounces white chocolate
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cup marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

Melt white chocolate in the microwave, stirring frequently. After the chocolate has melted, stir in  peanut butter. Add the Rice Krispies. Let the mixture cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add the marshmallows and mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Press the mixture into a lightly greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Press the two tablespoons of mini chocolate chips on top for garnish.
When the bars are completely cool, cut into squares.