Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Merry Christmas! In need of a dependable sugar cookie recipe? Give this a try. I made the dough two weeks ago and kept it in the fridge. The dough freezes well, too. For the frosting, I just used a tub of Duncan Hines vanilla frosting to save some time. If you would like to make your own, whisk together one 16 ounce box of powdered sugar with 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla (may need w a couple of teaspoons of water to thin it out).
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter for three minutes until well softened and creamy. Add in sugar and mix well. Stir in egg, milk, and vanilla.
Gradually mix in the flour mixture.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and cut into shapes and place on a ungreased baking sheet. Or drop flattened tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes until slightly browned on the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Yields 2 dozen

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently found Nestle dark chocolate chips at the grocery store, and the recipe on the back of the bag for Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies sounded great. I refrigerated the dough for a couple of days before baking, perfect for the busy holiday season. I also made the cookies half the size recommended (yielded 24 instead of the 12 listed on the recipe).

1 10 ounce package (about 1 2/3 cups) of dark chocolate chips, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt 2/3 cup of the dark chocolate morsels in a microwave safe bowl, stirring frequently. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mixed together the flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together margarine and sugars until well-blended. Mix in vanilla and egg. Stir in melted chocolate.
Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the 1 cup of remaining dark chocolate chips.
Drop 1/4 cup balls of dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yields 12 jumbo cookies.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Andes Mint Cookies

I promise this is my last mint cookie recipe for a while! I saw Andes Baking Chips at the grocery store last week and just had to try them. I just followed the recipe on the back of the bag, and it worked great.
For more mint flavor, you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract. I halved the recipe, used unsalted butter, and only chilled the dough for 15 minutes.

1/2 cup salted butter - softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package (10 oz.) Andes® Crème de Menthe Baking Chips
2-2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed.
Stir in Andes Baking Chips and then flour. Chill approximately one hour in the refrigerator.
Measure out approximately 1 oz. of dough. Form a ball and slightly flatten.
Bake at 350° F for approximately 8 - 10 minutes. Cool on pans for two minutes before removing.

Yields 4 dozen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are on their way! Can you believe that 2011 is coming to a close? This has been quite a year, and we are not even done yet. To make your holiday shopping a little easier, below is a list of the top places to order cookies for your family and friends (or perhaps even yourself!).
Aunt Joy's Cakes- great cookies, friendly staff, phone orders during limited hours only, basic packaging

David's Cookies- easy ordering, delicious cookies, cookies arrive in a tin

Fairytale Brownies- easiest ordering, wide variety of flavors, cookies wrapped in pairs inside decorative boxes

The Cravory- best cookies on the list, cookies wrapped in pairs in festive boxes, able to create customized cookies

Gecko Cookies- wide variety of treats, extremely friendly and helpful staff, limited ordering hours

Cooperstown Cookies- great for baseball fans, cute cookies and packaging, stick with shortbread

Monday, December 12, 2011

Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cookies

To me chocolate and mint are synonymous with the holidays, so I was excited to try this recipe from McCormick using their peppermint extract. I used only 1/2 of the amount they recommended (definitely should have used all of the amount recommended), and it was easier to use 1 cup of chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate. The resulting cookie was chewy, minty, and delicious. It makes me excited for Christmas!

1 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate and walnuts. 
Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets sprayed with no stick cooking spray. 
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Yields 2 Dozen.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Geoff and Drews

Let me save you some trouble this holiday season. Skip ordering cookies from Geoff and Drews. I ordered the $20 celebration box containing 8 assorted cookies. The average sized cookies (individually wrapped) were nothing special. My box contained two chocolate chunk, two double fudge, two sugar, and two oatmeal cranberry. 

The sugar cookies were just average. The oatmeal cranberry we hearty and full of cranberries. While the chocolate chunk and double fudge were very good with lots of chocolate, they are not worth getting again. It was obvious Geoff and Drews uses fresh and high-quality ingredients, but even so, their cookies did not impress.

On a separate note, the order process online was simple, but while their website claims you can call to make an order, you can only leave a message and hope someone will call you back. Same goes for customer service assistance. They only ship Monday-Wednesday, so keep that in mind if you decide to order. Visit for more details.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

I ate waaay too many of these cookies, but they were too delicious to stop eating! These chewy cookies paired well with the chocolatey, salty crunch of the pretzels. I liked bigger chunks of pretzels. I also added in a 1/2 cup of chocolate shavings to boost chocolate flavor and add more color to the cookie.

I have heard of a potato chip cookie. Have you ever tried it? This pretzel cookie combo makes me think it would be worth a try...

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2  cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate covered pretzels, chopped 

Preheat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat sugars, peanut butter, butter, shortening, vanilla and eggs until creamy. Stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in pretzels.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes or until light brown.

Yields 2 dozen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dark Chocolate Mint Cookies

This indulgent treat is actually very easy to make. I melted dark chocolate in the microwave and added it before stirring in the mint chocolate chips. It produced a rich chocolate cookie that was very hard to stop eating!

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted dark chocolate
1 cup mint chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
In the microwave, melt dark chocolate. Stir into the cookie dough.
Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set.
Yields 18 cookies.