Thursday, May 31, 2012

M&M Cookies with Demerara Sugar

I have had a bag of demerara sugar (unrefined sugar with large crystals with a bit stronger molasses flavor than brown sugar) sitting around for the longest time. I mostly use it for sweetening tea. If I made scones, it would be great for topping them, too. When demerara sugar is melted into butter, it becomes a great base for cookies. (I also had half a bag of Christmas M&Ms leftover, so it was time to use those up, too! I mean, it's almost June!)
Have you experimented with demerara sugar? If so, let me know. I still have a lot left!

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup M&Ms or chocolate chips

Melt together butter and demerara sugar until sugar is dissolved.
While the mixture cools, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
After the sugar mixture is cooled, add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Mix in M&Ms.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden.

Yields 18 cookies.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tropical Banana Cookies

Happy Summer! To kick off the season, I've made some chewy banana cookies with coconut for a bit of tropical flair. The cookies are soft with slightly crispy edges, and the coconut provides great texture.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 mashed banana
1 cup shredded coconut

Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract and egg yolk. 
Refrigerate cookies for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets.
Yields 2 dozen cookies
Adapted from The All American Cookie Book

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kettle Corn Cookies

Happy Summer! If you don't have time to make anything for a Memorial Day pool party this weekend, pick up a container of Kettle Corn Cookies from Trader Joe's. The cookies are about three-bite sized and have a great crunch. Plus they are a cute novelty treat. It is easy to just mindlessly eat and eat these. The sweet and salty combination is just right, but they actually are a little sweeter than I thought they would be. The kettle corn itself in the cookies adds a chewiness that is sometimes welcome (other times the pieces are too big, and the chewiness is just odd). I'll be getting some more of these for July 4th! 
The price is great- $2.99 for a 10 ounce container.

Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Potato Chip Cookies

Memorial Day weekend is almost here! If you are looking for a little something different for your weekend barbeque, I suggest potato chip cookies. Yes, I said potato chip! The cookies were not sweet enough for my taste, so they're also great for someone who prefers more savory desserts. Everyone will go for the great texture and crunch the potato chips bring, though. My version of the recipe is below, and you can see the whole recipe and inspiration for the cookies at smitten kitchen. I only made a dozen since I wasn't too sure I would like them. There is no egg, so the recipe is easy to scale down.
What's the most unusual ingredient you have put into a cookie?

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in vanilla extract. Add in flour and mix well. Stir in pecans and potato chips.
Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes until lightly golden.
Yields 1 dozen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies have been on my list of recipes to try for quite a while, and this month's Alphabakes challenge (hosted by Caroline Makes...) for the letter "H" provided the perfect reason to try them. The cookies were crispy, but I think they needed fewer hazelnuts and more chocolate chips.

1 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped finely
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together butter and shortening. Then cream in the sugars. Add in egg and vanilla extract.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 12-16 minutes until the cookies are slightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Yields 36 cookies.
Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book

Monday, May 14, 2012

DeLuscious Cookies & Milk

I've heard and read about how great DeLuscious cookies are for over a year. Finally I had a chance to find out for myself last weekend! I tried the dark chocolate decadence and chocolate chip varieties. The dark chocolate decadence was fantastic and tasted a lot like the chocolate truffle cookie from The Cravory. What could be better than a chewy, gooey, rich chocolate cookie with chocolate truffles mixed in? Yum! The chocolate chip cookie was thin with a chewy center and crispy edges. Large chocolate disks, instead of chips or chunks, were used, and it worked well. Overall it was just an average cookie, though. Try to eat these the first day or two. They don't taste near as good after that.

There are 16 regular flavors plus seasonal ones. Orders must be made over the phone or via email in advance. Their minimum order is one half dozen (maximum of 2 kinds of cookies), which I ordered for pick up for $21.95. Picking up in their store (more like an office with a kitchen upstairs) is a bit strange. When we went, there were only two bakers who had to stop baking and come out to give us our cookies. Each cookie is individually wrapped and labeled with a sticker, which is a nice touch. It is packaged in a beautiful box with tissue paper and a ribbon, so it's a great gift. You can also order milk to go with your cookies!

DeLuscious Cookies is located at 829 North Highland Avenue in Los Angeles. 

Visit their website at for ordering information and to drool at their incredible cookie menu.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Candy Bar Cookies

I tried another recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. The bars tasted great, but unfortunately they did not look nearly as scrumptious as they did in the BHG picture. That's what I get for trying to cut the recipe in half! The halved recipe did not hold in bar form, so I ate the "bars" with a spoon. (This was not nearly as bad as the first time I messed up a recipe- charcoal chocolate, anyone? I badly burned chocolate I was attempting to melt in the microwave. White smoke was pouring out, and our smoke detector went off. My mom told me about the time she made lasagna without cooking the noodles first to make me feel better. By the way, Happy Mother's Day!)
Anyways, back to the recipe... The flavor combination plus the gooey chocolate with chewy oats was amazing. I ate a good 75% of what I made in one sitting last night. (Right now I am wishing I saved more of it!). I will certainly make these again following the full recipe below. 
Have you had any cooking blunders recently?

1 cup packed brown sugar
2⁄3 cup butter
1⁄4 cup dark- or light-color corn syrup

1⁄4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
31⁄2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
1 cup butterscotch-flavor pieces
2⁄3 cup peanut butter

1⁄2 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 375°F. For crust, in a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook and stir on medium-low until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the 1/4 cup peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Place oats in an extra-large bowl. Pour brown sugar mixture over oats, stirring gently to combine. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 13×9×2-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown.

Meanwhile, in the same saucepan combine chocolate pieces and butterscotch pieces. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Stir in the 2/3 cup peanut butter until smooth.
Slowly pour chocolate mixture over hot crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with peanuts. Cool in pan on a wire rack. If necessary, chill until chocolate is set. Cut into bars.
Yields 36 bars.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sugar Cookies

Believe it or not, I needed a break from chocolate. These cookies were perfect for the sweet fix I needed. I didn't decorate them (since they were just for me!), but when I decide to share, they will be easy to decorate.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups shortening
1 large egg 
3 1/2 cups flour 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together shortening and sugars. Beat in egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing on slow speed until just blended.
Drop tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets, pressing down on the tops to flatten them. Bake for 10 minutes. Do not allow the edges to brown. Cool completely.
Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Warning! You will not be able to stop eating these cookies! They are chewy and chocolatey and taste just as good two days later as they do out of the oven. I don't often use melted butter or an extra egg yolk, but the result was so good that I will have to start doing so more often, especially when I have a craving for chewy cookies. The full tablespoon of vanilla extract added great flavor, too.
This recipe was inspired by an ice cream sandwich recipe from The Sandwich King on Food Network. You can see his recipe here. While I do enjoy a good ice cream sandwich, I would much rather have them separately.
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix together the sugars. Stir in melted butter. Add egg and egg yolk plus vanilla extract. Mix in vanilla extract. Add in flour mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
Drop 1/4 cup balls of dough onto cookie sheets and press down to flatten slightly. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.
Yields 18 cookies.