Week 9: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

So despite how simple of a recipe this is, I’ve never actually made them. I chose this recipe since I knew I was not going to be in a 100% coherent state making them due to some other things going on, and I wanted to make something that required minimal effort.

As I mention in other recipes, it’s a good idea to mix the sugars together before you mix them with the softened butter in your bowl.

Whisking all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) before mixing with other ingredients will make the dough more consistent as well.

Needless to say, this recipe came out perfect, and I’m very pleased with the results. It’s a simple recipe that anyone can do, even if they’re not in a fully coherent state, as shown in the picture.

Also, the base of this recipe would make for an amazing chocolate chip cookie. Just substitute the white chocolate chips with semi-sweet morsels and omit the macadamia nuts.

Some of the better looking cookies. Then again, this isn’t a beauty contest.

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  •  3/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 cup packed light brown sugar
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  2 large eggs
  •  3 cups all-purpose flour
  •  3/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  12 ounces white chocolate chips
  •  1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with a handheld mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) until the mixture is well-combined.
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy and light in color, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt and soda and mix until just combined; a few streaks of flour remaining are ok.
  5. Add the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and mix until combined and no streaks of flour remain.
  6. Roll tablespoon (or slightly larger) size balls of dough and place on parchment lined baking sheets, 1 to 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

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Week 8: XXL Death by Chocolate Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Today is my birthday, and so I thought what better way to celebrate it than by making cookies that go by the name “Death by Chocolate?”

This recipe can go two different ways, and so I made the recipe…two different ways. I first started off by making the single large cookie thinking that it wasn’t going to be that big, but little did I know how big the cookie would end up being…

Yes, a 6″ diameter cookie. I had to use my measuring tape to prove the size of it.

So it’s bigger than I thought it would be, but it is tasty!

I also made 4 smaller cookies using the same recipe, and luckily they’re a little more reasonable in size at about 4″ in diameter.

If you want a simple cookie recipe that you can whip up easily for a tasty treat, this is definitely one of the easiest recipes that I’ve made that has a rich taste for the amount of time needed to make this happen. The amount of effort required to make this recipe versus the resulting taste puts this very high up on my recommendation list.

Baking Notes:

  • This recipe can be made using two small bowls, and you don’t need a fancy stand mixer to make these either, let alone a hand mixer. A spoon for mixing the wet ingredients, a fork for the sugars, and a small whisk for the flour mix are the major utensils you’ll need for this.
  • Make sure you mix the sugars together before you mix it with the butter.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons beaten egg (crack an egg, beat it, and use 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (32g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 Tablespoons (11g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (55g) dark chocolate chips + 1 Tablespoon, divided (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • optional: sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix the softened butter and sugars together with a spoon or fork until creamed. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
  4. Place the dough in the center of the baking sheet and mold into a tall ball using a spoon (see picture above). Dot the top of the cookie with 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips. Add sprinkles on top if desired. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or up to 16 minutes. The cookie will appear very soft, but will firm up as it cools. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet.

Notes

  1. Smaller Cookies: You may make four smaller cookies using this recipe. Just divide the dough into 4 smaller mounds on the cookie sheet rather than 1 large mound. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

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Week 7: Copycat Lofthouse Cookies from Food Network

Happy Valentine’s Day! I seemed to have picked the perfect cookie recipe for Valentine’s Day, since the red food dye came out pink, and I had gotten red sprinkles for the cookies.

These cookies were a bit of a pain to put onto the cookie sheets, since the dough was very sticky, and my ice cream scoop seemed larger than 2 tablespoons. I tried to flatten them with a glass, but the dough stuck to the glass, even with the glass caked in flour.

These cookies won’t win any presentation awards, but they’ll win hearts and minds with their taste.

5/5 on taste, 2/5 on presentation.

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough:

  • 3 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Light pink gel food coloring, for coloring the frosting
  • Confetti sprinkles, for decorating

Directions:

Special equipment: a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop

For the cookie dough:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the granulated sugar, butter and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. 
  3. Using a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop, drop level scoopfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave 2 inches between each cookie. Dip the bottom of a glass cup into some cake flour. Gently press the cup on top of each mound of dough and flatten until you get a 1 1/2-inch circle, flouring the bottom of the cup as needed. Use a wet finger to smooth out any rough sides. 
  4. Bake until the cookies puff up and are pale yellow and barely starting to brown on the bottoms, about 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting:

  1. Mix the powdered sugar, butter, cream, vanilla and 2 drops of the pink food coloring in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until light, fluffy and almost doubled in size, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Frost the cookies with the frosting and sprinkle with confetti sprinkles. 

Note:

When measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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Week 6: Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Quaker Oats.

I decided to go with something simple, yet something I’ve never made in its entirety: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I decided to go with the tried-and-true recipe that is on the lid of Quaker Oats.

This is a tip I’ve seen on several videos for baking: if your recipe calls for using brown sugar and granulated sugar, whisk them together in a bowl before you mix them with the butter. This will make sure the sugars are evenly distributed before you combine them with the butter.

I modified this recipe a little bit by soaking the raisins in orange juice for 24 hours before putting them in the recipe.

I also made the cookies larger by using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop, and I set the timer for 15 minutes for these larger cookies. They still came out very chewy.

Rare glimpse of oatmeal raisin cookies before they vanished seconds later.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 Cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 Cup raisins

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Whisk together combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Add combined mix into bowl and mix well.
  5. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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Meal Prep: 20-Minute Skillet Parmesan + Garlic Cauliflower

Since I’ve got a job that involves me being in an office outside of my living area, I’ve had to get creative with vegetables for lunch. One of my favorites is cauliflower, since it reheats very well. Also, for those of you who are following a ketogenic lifestyle, this is very keto-friendly for your diet.

This recipe is very easy to do, although I do recommend cooking this with a large sauté pan. A large frying pan might make more of a mess, and make it more difficult to cook everything.

Keep a close eye on the cauliflower so you don’t burn it. My mom cooks cauliflower this way, and I’m happy that I’ve managed to find a way to make it for my lunches.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large 10 or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot add in the cauliflower, season with salt, toss and spread into an even layer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes undisturbed. Stir and repeat until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  3. Reduce the temperature to medium-low, add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Next, add in the pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Toss until the cheese has melted and serve with seasoned with black pepper, chopped parsley and more Parmesan if desired.

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Week 5: Shortbread Cookies from Disneyland Resort

Little did I know what I was getting myself into, considering the amount of time required for these cookies. This wasn’t labor-intensive, it just took a lot of time overall. After the dough is made, you need to refrigerate it for 2 hours, and right before you bake them, they need to go in the freezer for 20 minutes.

This is a recipe that definitely benefits from having a stand mixer, but I can say that about all the recipes I’ve made so far.

Also, if you decide to do this recipe on your own, make sure you have several cookie sheets, a roller, and some actual cookie cutters. I made the mistake of not having prepared for the latter, so my cookies were round. The only cookie cutter I had was a coffee cup.

They’re supposed to be shaped like Mickey Mouse, but I lacked the cookie cutter for that shape.

Ingredients:

SHORTBREAD COOKIE

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of one orange
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

  • 20 ounces dark or white melting chocolate

OTHER SUPPLIES

  • Dough roller
  • Cookie cutters

FOR SHORTBREAD COOKIE:

  1. Cream butter and powdered sugar in bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add egg whites, vanilla extract, and orange zest
    and mix on medium speed until egg whites are incorporated.
  2. Add flour, one cup at a time, until just mixed.
  3. Shape into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  5. Roll dough on floured surface into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
  6. Cut into twelve Mickey Mouse-shaped cookies using a cookie cutter that is 3.7 inches tall and 3.95 inches wide. Place 6 cookies on each prepared baking sheet. Chill in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until edges of cookies begin to brown.
  8. Cool on wire racks for 30 minutes.

FOR CHOCOLATE TOPPING:

  1. Melt dipping chocolate in medium bowl in microwave according to package instructions.
  2. Dip shortbread cookies in melted chocolate or white chocolate making sure to cover the top and sides of the cookie.
  3. Set on wire racks and cool for 15 minutes, until chocolate is set.

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Week 4: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery at Walt Disney World Resort.

Alright, I know I said I wouldn’t do another Disney recipe, but this one looked so good and different, I felt that I needed to try it out as soon as possible.

This is a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe that I wanted to try because it uses whole wheat flour, which is more reserved for bread than cookies. They’re surprisingly good and are unexpected great in taste. The recipe says that it will make 60 cookies, so be prepared to have a lot made.

They almost don’t look much different than regular chocolate chip cookies, but they’re definitely different in taste.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Beat butter and sugar together in large bowl
    of electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 4
    to 5 minutes. Add eggs, beating until very well
    combined, about 2 minutes more. Add vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose
    flour, salt, and baking soda in large bowl.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing
    just until combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
    Refrigerate dough 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  6. Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto prepared
    cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 9 to
    12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie
    sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to
    cool completely.

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Week 3: Molasses Crackle Cookies from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort

It’s the second week in a row I make a cookie recipe from a Disney theme park. I might make something next week that isn’t Disney-related.

Today’s recipe is the Molasses Crackle Cookies, and they turned out pretty amazing, to my surprise. The only thing is that when you’re combining all the ingredients, the dough starts to smell a little, so be prepared for the lovely stench of molasses.

Unusual taste, but pleased with the results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar; divided
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove

Directions:

  1. Cream canola oil and 1 3/4 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add in molasses and egg and beat on low speed until combined.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and clove in medium bowl. Slowly add to molasses mixture and beat on low speed until flour is incorporated.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3o minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
  7. Use a 2 tablespoon scoop to measure cookies. Form into balls and roll into sugar.
  8. Place on baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.

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Meal Prep: Keto Pork Chops

I’m back to working in an office setting, and eating out gets very expensive, despite the discount I get with the local restaurant. This is a recipe for an easy pork chop recipe that is very tasty and adds much needed flavor to the pork. I’ve modified this recipe a bit from the original one so that it reheats well in a work microwave.

Work lunches are ready!

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup. heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I used mozzarella since Parmesan is a little strong)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used ground oregano)
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach

Directions (for meal prep):

  1. Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet* over medium heat, heat oil. Add pork chops and cook on each side for about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and place in individual containers.
  2. Add heavy cream, Parmesan, oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 2 minutes more. 
  3. Once you’re satisfied with the sauce, pour it over your cooked pork chops.
  4. When you decide to reheat the pork chop, put it in your microwave and set the time for 1 minute to 1:10 minutes, that way the inside is still moist.

*I use a large nonstick pan for this recipe, since it’s easier to clean up afterwards. Also, I used a cast iron pan once, and it took me almost an hour to get it cleaned and oiled. Never again…

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Week 2: Mickey Chocolate Chip Cookies from Disneyland Paris

About a month ago, for National Cookie Day (December 4th), the Disney Parks Blog released a bunch of cookie recipes based on recipes made at various theme parks around the world. The first recipe I wanted to try out was the cookie recipe from Disneyland Paris, and thus became the messiest cookies I’ve made to date.

The final product after making the largest chocolate mess I’ve ever made.

Ingredients (Makes 8 cookies, but somehow I got 9.5 cookies):

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup (126 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (260 grams) brown sugar, packed
  • 3 teaspoons (11 grams) baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.5 gram) salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

Toppings

  • 5 ounces (150 grams) dark chocolate, chopped (about 3/4 cups) *I used dark chocolate morsels and melted them
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries

Directions

For chocolate chip cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  2. Cut butter into sixteen small cubes and place in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and eggs; mix at low speed for one minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, until soft dough forms.
  3. Add chocolate chips and mix on low speed until evenly distributed through dough.
  4. Roll 8 balls of dough, each measuring 1/3 cup (90 grams) for Mickey’s head. Roll 16 balls of dough, each measuring 1 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) for Mickey’s ears.
  5. Slightly flatten each ball of dough with hands. Place four heads on each baking sheet. Place 2 ears on top of each head to form Mickey’s head and ears. The ears should be 1/4 inch (1/2 centimeter) from the head.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time for 17 minutes, until edges of cookie begin to brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks before decorating.

To decorate cookies:

  1. Melt dark chocolate in glass bowl in microwave for 50% power for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted. (You can probably use whatever method you’re comfortable with for melting chocolate).
  2. Transfer chocolate to piping bag fitted with small round tip. (Probably best to use a Ziploc bag so you can close it and minimize the mess).
  3. Pipe diagonal lines on each cookie and top with dried cranberries and pecans.
  4. Allow chocolate to set before eating.

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