Week 14: Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Frosting

Happy Easter!

Today’s cookie is something simple, but something I haven’t made yet: sugar cookies! Plus, it felt appropriate for Easter. I recommend a sifter for the flour mix for the cookies.

I also decided to make a homemade frosting on top of it as well, with an attempt to make it purple by combining red and blue food dye. Needless to say, it looks more like a gray, but I’m going to remain optimistic and say that it looks like a light purple, which is perfect for Easter. For better consistency with the frosting, I recommend sifting the powdered sugar before mixing.

Ingredients (Sugar Cookies):

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Directions (Sugar Cookies):

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.
  3. Add egg and milk and beat to combine.
  4. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  5. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.
  8. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.
  9. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Source

Ingredients (Frosting):

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions (Frosting):

  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until light and smooth.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

Source

Week 13: Oatmeal Trail Mix Cookies

This week I opted for something a little simpler and a little more fun with the Oatmeal Trail Mix Cookie.

This recipe isn’t too difficult to make, although you can use whatever trail/nut mix you want with these cookies. For mine, I used something called a “Mountain Trail Mix” which consisted of:

  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Candy coated chocolatey pieces
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
Trail Mix!

This is a fairly easy recipe to make, although I do recommend actually refrigerating these cookies ahead of time. I didn’t, but the cookies came out just fine.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, make sure it’s fresh and soft
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups roughly chopped trail mix, divided (see note)

Instructions:

  1. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and honey for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of trail mix by hand.
  4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for two hours or up to overnight (you can skip this step and bake immediately, but I prefer the final texture after chilling).
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  6. Scoop the dough into two tablespoon balls and place a couple inches apart on the baking sheets.
  7. Use the remaining ½ cup trail mix to press some pieces onto the top of each dough ball (this makes the trail mix more visible and makes for a prettier cookie). Lightly press down on the dough balls to flatten just slightly.
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes (see note), until the edges of the cookies are done and the very center is still slightly underdone. Do not over bake, as they will finish cooking on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheets on wire racks and allow the cookies to cool completely.

Source

Week 12: Buckeye Brownie Cookies

Today’s cookies are something tasty. They’re made with brownie mix, peanut butter, and topped with chocolate frosting.

This is probably one of the easier recipes to make, since the ingredients list is very small, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort.

If done right, the dough will be sticky enough that you can roll into balls with your hands, and be able to make the indent with your thumb to put in the ball of peanut butter.

The first step is to combine all the ingredients together and mix them in your stand mixer or with a hand mixer.

Brownie mix, one egg, melted butter, and room-temperature cream cheese

Once everything is combined, it should look like this:

Mixed!

Once that’s done, you roll the dough into neat little balls. If mixed well, the dough will form into little balls easily. The recipe says that this will make 24 cookies, and it’s not wrong.

Doughballs!

Using your thumb, make an indent in the middle of the cookie for the peanut butter balls.

Thumb squish!

Next up, mix the peanut butter and powdered sugar. This will easily form into balls to place in the cookies. At this time is when it would be best to preheat the oven to 350°F.

mmmm…peanut butter and chocolate…

Once the oven is at 350°F, place one cookie sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes. I did 12 minutes to be on the safe side.

Freshly baked cookies!

Once they’re cooled on the cookie sheet, move them to your cooling rack for more…cooling.

When the cookies have cooled enough, top them with some chocolate frosting!

I may have had a few cookies for taste testing…

The final result:

Dessert time!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (18-19 oz) Brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate frosting

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine brownie mix, butter, cream cheese and egg. Stir until dough comes together, it will be very thick and sticky. I used my hands.
  4. Form rounded tablespoons sized portions of dough into balls, placing on baking sheet about 2 inches apart, making an indentation with your thumb in the center of each.
  5. In another bowl stir together peanut butter and powdered sugar. Form peanut butter into teaspoon sized balls and press into the indentations in the brownie cookies.
  6. Press peanut butter down slightly because the peanut butter won’t spread and you don’t want the cookies to be too tall.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are set.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  9. When cooled top each cookie with about a tablespoon of chocolate frosting.

Source

Week 11: Mississippi Mud Cookies

This week, I was in the mood for something a little different, and yet these are easy to make.

The only real trouble I had was with the frosting, as it came out super thick and wasn’t easy to dribble onto the cookies. I’m not really sure what I did wrong because my frosting was as thick as the frosting in the store-bought containers, and I couldn’t dribble it onto the cookies. The frosting was more of a dallop of frosting, and I had to press it down on each cookie.

e

Ingredients (theoretically makes 36 cookies):

Chocolate Cookie

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3 cups pecans coarsely chopped

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Chocolate Cookie

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer or large bowl using a hand mixer, blend the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
    Note: Make sure to mix the brown and granulated sugar together before putting into bowl.
  3. In a medium separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and blend until combined.
  4. Drop the dough by tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, 12 cookies per sheet, and bake 9- 10 minutes. Once you have baked it about 9-10 minutes, pull out pan and add 6-8 miniature marshmallows to each cookie, you can gently press in if they fall out, but really you shouldn’t need to do that much. The cookies are so hot the marshmallows stick right to them. Then stick back in the oven for 1 more minute. Remove and immediately sprinkle 1 tablespoon or more (depends on your taste) of pecans onto the marshmallows, you will need to gently press these in, gently! Then set aside and allow to cool on a baking rack.
  5. Once cool remove and make frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add powder sugar and vanilla, set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup of butter, 1/3 cup of milk, and 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and heat over medium. Stir constantly, about 3-4 minutes or until butter melts.
  3. Remove from heat, and pour into powdered sugar and vanilla, stir (using a whisk is best) until smooth.
  4. Using a spoon, drizzle large amounts of frosting on each cookie, about 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons. Dress all the cookies and if there is extra frosting, add more too each one. Let frosting cool and harden before serving. Unless you need to sample one, then dig in just be sure not to burn the roof of your mouth.

Source

Week 10: Funfetti Cookies!

This week, I was in the mood for something fun and colorful, and there’s no way to get more colorful than Funfetti.

These are pretty simple to make, but they’re not something you want to start very late in the day, as they require a minimum of 2 hours for the dough balls to be refrigerated. These are not cookies you impulsively make, unlike some other ones that don’t require any waiting.

For putting the wet ingredients together, be aware that there will be a strong smell of almond extract, which is completely normal.

Like for the other recipes, I recommend whisking all the dry ingredients together. For this recipe, whisk the flour, baking soda, corn starch, and salt together in a bowl.

Also, one thing to note is the amount of sprinkles required for this recipe. You’ll need to get one of those large plastic containers of sprinkles from the grocery store to make sure you get the necessary 3/4 cup needed if you’re only doing the single batch. Double everything if you want to do a double batch.

The recipe calls for putting dough balls on plates and covering them up. This is for easier cleanup afterwards.

Funfetti doughballs are tasty to eat, although they’re better when baked.

INGREDIENTS

  •  1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  •  3/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 large egg
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 teaspoons corn starch
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  pinch salt, optional and to taste
  •  3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Do not shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluff, stop to scrape down the sides of the mixer as necessary.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sprinkles and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two tablespoon mounds (I made 15). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line two baking sheets with Silpats, spray with cooking spray, or parchment paper. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. These cookies should not turn golden or brown at all and should stay white. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.)

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source