Monday, February 28, 2011

The Cravory

I have a new cookie for the Top 10 List! It is The Cravory's Red Velvet cookie. This soft, chewy, buttery cookie with chocolate chips and cream cheese bits tastes just like a red velvet cupcake. You will not be disappointed.

These cookies used to only be available at a weekly San Diego Farmer's Market (under the name 410 Degrees), but now you can get the same great cookies shipped to you from The Cravory.

I tried the 2 Dozen Mix Special (four kinds of signature cookies) with Red Velvet, Ultimate Chocolate Chip, Banana Creme Pie, and Chocolate Truffle. The Ultimate Chocolate Chip and Banana Creme Pie cookies had the same texture as the Red Velvet Cookie. The Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookie was good, but in comparison to the other cookies, it was very average. It lacked a sufficient amount of chocolate chips, and the sea salt mixed in was too strong in some bites and completely missing in others. The Banana Creme Pie cookie was the chewiest of them all and is a great mix of banana and vanilla wafer pieces. I would much rather enjoy pie in cookie form like this! The Chocolate Truffle cookie was more like a brownie and had BIG chunks of chocolate mixed in. If you are in need of chocolate, this cookie will satisfy your desire (probably just half of the cookie would!).

The "Create Your Own Cookie" feature is coming soon, but The Cravory has so many creative and delicious combinations that I will be leaving the cookie making to them. For more information and to order your own cookies, visit

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Max Brenner

Walking through the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace, the O.M.G. Chocolate Chunk cookie from Max Brenner's restaurant caught my eye (and nose since they were coming fresh from the kitchen). At $5 a pop, buying one of these cookies felt like a gamble, but it's Vegas, so I said, "Hit me!" 

The cookie was O.M.G. delicious! Chewy, sweet and rich with crispy edges and plenty of chocolate goodness, the cookie melts in your mouth. Chopped walnuts added crunch and a bit of saltiness to balance the sweet. Next time I'm in Vegas, I will be returning to try to the double chocolate chunk cookie and renewing my love affair with the classic chocolate chunk.

In the U.S., restaurant locations are in New York City, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas (coming soon to Boston). Visit for more details and to order online.

Max Brenner on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jessica Seinfeld's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jessica Seinfeld's book Deceptively Delicious has a lot of great recipes, and not long ago I made some adaptations to another one of her cookie recipes. I made just a few adjustments to this recipe- added 1/4 cup more rolled oats, replaced chocolate chips with mini chocolate chips. The original recipe is below. 

The dough is very runny at first but thickens up when you add the dry ingredients and does not spread when baking.

Working with the chickpeas is definitely labor-intensive, but mashing them up is needed. It is less than pleasant to bite into a cookie with a chickpea right in the middle. 

Overall I enjoyed the cookies (ate way more than I should!) and appreciated the semi-healthy alternative, but I won't be making them anytime soon.
Have you ever tried chickpeas in cookies?

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup soft tub margarine spread
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg whites and vanilla. Next add chickpeas and chocolate chips. Finally stir in flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes.
Yields 48 cookies.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

David's Cookies

I was so excited to try David's Cookies this week! This cookies by mail company delivers a variety of cookie gifts to your doorstep. They are packaged extraordinarily well, too. Mr. Sleuth surprised me with the one pound cookie assortment ($24.95 for one pound of cookies in cookie tin) I sampled was filled with 12 amazingly fresh, perfectly intact cookies.

Here's a rundown of the flavors I tried:
Chocolate Chunk- Excellent! The best of the bunch. The cookie was soft, chewy and had lots of huge chocolate chunks.
Double Chocolate Chunk- This was great, too. It was just a chocolate cookie version of the chocolate chunk cookie. Next time I order, I will just order this and the chocolate chunk.
Peanut Butter- The peanut butter chips really packed a punch, and since I love peanut butter I was OK with this. What I was not OK with was the texture. The cookie started out chewy but turned grainy.
Oatmeal Raisin- Chewy oatmeal raisin is the only way to eat an oatmeal raisin cookie, and this did not disappoint. There were a few too many raisins, though.
Cherry- This cookie had a texture unlike the others- puffier and more cake-like. The sugar cookie base and white chocolate chips were a nice flavor combination with the cherries. The dried cherries were a bit large, though.
Macadamia with White Chip- I loved the chewy texture of this cookie. I also liked that it did not have many macadamia nuts. There weren't many white chips either.

Overall, these were great cookies and make for easy gifts sure to impress, but the price is a bit steep. You may order your own by visiting

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day!

Like the Lemon Cake Mix Cookies, these cookie are a snap to whip up. Courtesy of Paula Deen, this recipe produces a soft, super chocolaty cookie. Rolling the dough in powdered sugar before baking, gives them an extra sweetness and makes them look even more indulgent. For the cake mix, I used Betty Crocker Devil's Food mix.

This is the first time I have used cream cheese in a cookie recipe. It definitely adds to the "gooey" factor. Have you tried cream cheese in cookies?

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.
Yields 2 dozen cookies.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Thanks to Baking Bites for this super sweet (even for me!) recipe. I made a few tweaks to the original (only 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, no salt topping). These cookies are best served warm.

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in flour mixture. Stir in butterscotch chips and pecans.
Form dough into balls and place two inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.
Yields 18 cookies.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Too Good Gourmet

Needing something sweet to send to your honey for Valentine's Day? Try a gift basket from Too Good Gourmet (

Inside a gift basket I received recently was a box of Healthy Naturals Apple Cinnamon Cookies made by Too Good Gourmet. The Too Good Gourmet name is fitting. These were crispy two-bite sized thin cookies with a hint of chewiness. Buttery and sweet, the cookies were gone quickly. Chocolate and chocolate chip flavors are also available. "Everyday Big Cookies" and "Soft & Chewy Cookies" lines offer additional flavors.

If you're in San Francisco/Oakland, you may visit their store: 2380 Grant Avenue in San Lorenzo. You might be lucky enough to find them in specialty stores elsewhere.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chocolate Mint Drops

Looking for an easy way to satisfy my mint craving, I made a few modifications to a Betty Crocker recipe for Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints. These cookies definitely satisfied my craving and were simple to prepare, but the chewy chocolate cookie itself lacked flavor. The Betty Crocker mint-filling would make up for it, though. For other mint cookie options, try Mint Chip Cookies or Mint Chocolate Delights. Below is my variation on the original recipe.

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup mint chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream sugar and margarine. Add vanilla and egg and mix. Stir in flour and cocoa.
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Top each ball of dough with a teaspoon of mint chips.
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Yields 24 cookies.