Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I finally got around to making the famous Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin cookies. I regret that I waited so long to make these! I have been missing out on amazing cookie goodness!

I refrigerated the cookie dough for about 30 minutes before baking, which resulted in a thicker cookie. It was still very, very chewy. For a thinner cookie, just skip the refrigerator. I'm not a huge raisin fan, though. In the future I will make these plain or mix in some mini chocolate chips instead.

Do you have any classic cookie recipe recommendations?

1/2 cup Margarine or butter softened
1/2 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt optional
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins 

Heat oven to 350 F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour; baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Yields 2 dozen.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nestle Toll House Filled Cookies

Yesterday, I had a late night cookie hankering that I could not shake! The new Toll House Filled cookies looked so delicious and fast (pre-formed disks that bake in 12-14 minutes). I went for the chocolate filled variety (caramel filled is also available). Overall these cookies did their job satisfying my craving, and I will definitely be trying the caramel filled cookies sometime soon. Stay tuned for my version of filled cookies!

These filled cookies $2.99 for a package of 12.

Have you tried these? If so, what did you think?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

de Young Museum Cafe- San Francisco

Who would have thought  I would find the best macaroon I have ever had at the de Young Museum's cafe in San Francisco?!? It would be worth paying the fee for membership just so I could stop by the museum whenever I wanted for one of these chocolate dipped delights. Plus members get a 10% discount in the cafe. Alas, I do not live in San Francisco, so I can only dream of the delicious dessert. 
The macaroon was soft and puffy. It's chewy texture was just right. The chocolate dipped portion was HEAVEN! I also tried the cafe's version of a nutless everything cookie- dark chocolate chunks, white chocolate chips, coconut flakes. This was very tasty as well (chewy, plenty of chocolate), however, it could not compare to the macaroon.

For a homemade macaroon recipe, take a look at my previous post. Do you have any recommendations for my next visit to San Francisco?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ghirardelli Square- San Francisco

What vacation to San Francisco is complete without a stop in Ghirardelli Square? Besides the free samples of chocolate, there are so many yummy treats available at the Ghirardelli store and the surrounding shops (Kara's Cupcakes- YUM!).

Of course, I selected a giant (and heavy!) chocolate chunk cookie from the Ghirardelli gift shop (less crowded than the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Ice Cream Store). Unfortunately, it looked better than it tasted. With a price tage of $3.95 per cookie, my money would have been better spent on one of their elaborate ice cream sundaes. I appreciated the generous amount of large chocolate chunks in the cookie, however, I did not like the buttery taste and gritty texture. The cookie was very hard to eat, too, since it crumbled after each bite- not good when I was eating it in bed at my hotel! I still ate it all, though. :)

Regardless of this cookie disappointment, I had a wonderful little vacation! Check out my next post for a great cookie find in San Francisco!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jacques Torres Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I hear that this is Martha Stewart's favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. That was all I needed to see to give these a try! 

I admit that mine probably could have been better if I had used "high quality dark chocolate" instead of my semi-sweet Nestle chunks, but the fancy chocolate would not have solved the spread problem. These cookies had way too much butter! They spread from neatly shaped dough balls to thin saucers and were actually a bit greasy.

I sometimes wonder if chefs like to make things seem more complicated that they really are. For instance, take the two different kinds of flour. I didn't really notice a difference and probably could have just used my trusty AP. Perhaps my palate is not refined enough... Either that or the real "secret" recipe is out there somewhere...

Can you shed some light on this cookie mystery?

1/4 pound unsalted butter room temperature
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons light brown sugar packed
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour
3/4 cups bread flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2  pound good quality dark chocolate chopped coarsely


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside. Don’t grease the baking sheets because this might cause extra spreading.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla, then add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate; mix until well combined.
Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. If you use a rounded tablespoon, check your cookies at 12 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields 8 large cookies.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Airline Peanut Cookies

As you know, I did quite a bit of flying recently, and because of it, I ended up with a little collection of mini bags of peanuts. I would much rather eat cookies with peanuts in them than little bags of peanuts! I really don't know how a mini bag of peanuts is supposed to sustain me for a 3 hour flight, but at least airlines aren't charging for them...

1/2 cup(s) creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. 
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches. 
Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Bake until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 15 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on a baking rack.
Yields 1 1/2 dozen.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Banana Almond Jumbles

I'm going to spend about 20 hours flying this week and want a cookie that will keep me energized and full so I'm not stuck paying for overpriced, unhealthy airport food.

I used a very ripe banana, almonds, and oats to make a satisfyingly chewy cookie with some crunch. Mini chocolate chips and raisins would make great additions as well. You could also mix in crunchy peanut butter if you prefer.

What snacks do you bring when you travel?

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp tub margarine
1 banana, mashed
1 egg white
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together brown sugar and margarine. Add banana and egg white. Mix well. Stir in almonds and oats.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet, and bake for 12-14 minutes until light brown.
Remove cookies from the pan and cool on a rack.
Yields 18 cookies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Becker's Deli and Bakery

Nothing can beat perfect weather, beautiful ocean views, and delicious cookies! My experience this weekend at Becker's Bakery and Deli in Manhattan Beach had all three! Becker's yummy cookies would have brightened my day anyway.

I went for the oatmeal jumbo and the rainbow sugar. The oatmeal cookie was very, very chewy and tasted like a brown sugar cookie. What I was really looking forward to was trying Becker's famous sugar cookies. It lived up to they hype! If you ever crave a sugar cookie, these areB the cookies you are imagining. Perfectly round and soft with just the right amount of sweetness, the cookie brought me to a different world. I can't wait to go back. Next time I will buy more than just two cookies!

Jumbo cookies (oatmeal, iced oatmeal, or chocolate chip) are $1.25 each. Sugar cookies start at 25 cents for the small plain sugar cookies and go up to $2-$3 for decorated sugar cookies. My Rainbow Sprinkle sugar cookie was 75 cents.

Becker's Bakery and Deli is located at 1025 Manhattan Avenue in Manhattan Beach. Visit for hours and more information.

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