Week 28: Moose Tracks Cookies

After the amount of work that last week’s cookies required, I wanted something that required no in-process refrigeration, so I went with something simpler this week.

The idea for this recipe came from one of my favorite store-bought ice cream flavors: moose tracks. It sounded like fun, so I decided to give it a try.

The recipe is pretty easy, although I probably would recommend using a microwave to melt the chocolate together. Use a bowl and do it for about 30 seconds at a time until it’s consistent. I was worried about melting it in a saucepan, which risks burning the melted chocolate. The other solution is to have a bowl placed over boiling water to properly melt it, but I don’t have access to that technology at the moment.

Also, the recipe calls for chopped Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups. I went with this method, but I think a better method would be to use those miniature bite-sized ones you can find at the grocery store. The ones at my local grocery store were all melted together, so it wasn’t an option, but something to consider when getting ingredients for this recipe.

They’re pretty flat…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped mini Rees’s Peanut Butter Cups

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate, and the butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, and baking powder to a bowl. Stir in a little bit of the chocolate mixture with a spoon. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the mini peanut butter cups.
  5. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons on baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are firm. Let cool on sheets for 2 minutes then remove to wax paper to cool all the way.
  6. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Keep the layer separated with wax paper.

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Week 27: Red White and Blue Cookies

Happy 4th of July!

For this week’s cookie recipe, I wanted something patriotic, and I managed to find a perfect recipe for it. It’s essentially a sugar cookie with a literal twist.

Note: This is not a cookie you make on impulse.

This kind of cookie takes so much time to do, so you need to make sure you plan your day accordingly. The dough needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of two and a half hours when all is said and done.

Also, the sanding sugar is something you’ll find at a craft store. I found mine at a local Michael’s, and they come in this little package. They’re about $1, and you only need one for this recipe.

So I made a mistake the first time I made this recipe. You need to be sure that you roll the dough along the short side to get that nice rolled look. On step 10, you need to cut the 9″ x 12″ sheet of the layered dough in half. What you need to do is cut it at the 4.5″ mark on the shorter length, and then roll it from the 4.5″ side. This will give you the swirl that you want in the final product.

Other than that, this recipe is probably the most challenging recipe I’ve made, and the final result (when done right) is absolutely amazing.

You don’t even want to see how they looked the first time…

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • red food coloring
  • blue food coloring
  • Sanding sugar for decorating

Instructions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium-high speed).
  2. Add egg, vanilla extract and almond extract; mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix on low speed until well combined.
  4. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Place 1 piece back in mixer bowl and add several drops of red food gel; mix until color is uniform throughout dough.
  5. Repeat process using another piece of dough and the blue food gel. (Note: The 3rd piece of dough does not get colored.)
  6. Press each piece of dough into 4” squares and cover each piece individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Remove one piece of dough and place between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll dough into a 9”x 12” rectangle. Repeat process with the remaining 2 pieces of dough. Refrigerate dough (still between sheets of wax paper) for 30 more minutes.
  8. Remove all 3 pieces of dough from refrigerator. Peel top layer of wax paper off each piece and discard.
  9. Flip the piece of plain dough on top of the red dough; remove wax paper. Flip the piece of blue dough on top of the plain dough; remove wax paper.
  10. Cut the stacked dough crosswise to create (2) 4.5”x12” stacks of dough. Roll each of the stacks into a tight log lengthwise. Note: roll from the 4.5″ length side to get that swirl effect. If you roll it from the 12″ length side, they won’t come out right. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  11. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  12. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  13. Using a serrated knife, slice each log into ¼” rounds. Place each round onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tops of cookies generously with sanding sugar. (Note: If dough is too soft, refrigerate for another 30 minutes.)
  14. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to turn brown.
  15. Let cookies cool on pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks until completely cooled.

Source

Week 26: Hazelnut Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Because of a business trip in the middle of the week, I didn’t feel like putting too much thought into the recipe I wanted to make this week, so I decided on the Hazelnut Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.

They’re pretty self-explanatory: they’re chocolate chip cookies with hazelnuts and toffee bits. Really, that’s pretty much it.

The good news is that despite what the recipe says, you can actually make your life easier with some of the ingredients. You can find pre-chopped hazelnuts in small packages at your local grocery store.

If you find something like these, you can save yourself Step #1 and the need for a food processor.

Also, toffee bits are found in the same aisle with the chocolate chips:

One of those ingredients you’ll never use in any other recipe.

The recipe is pretty confusing because the ingredients are all listed out of order and don’t follow the order of the instructions, so I will clean up the ingredients list so they follow the proper order of the recipe.

These cookies are presentable and tasty!

Ingredients (in the right order):

  • 1 cup hazelnuts toasted (two small 1/2 cup packages is sufficient)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz toffee bits

Instructions:

  1. Add the hazelnuts to a food processor and chop them for a few seconds until they’re coarse (If you have the packages like the ones shown in the picture, you can skip this step).
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, oats and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Add the butter and the sugars to the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium for about 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract for another minute or so. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
  5. Stir in the toffee bits, chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop some of the cookie dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Do not flatten the dough.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges turn golden. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for a couple minutes then transfer to cooling racks until cooled completely.

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Keto Recipe: Zucchini Bread!

It’s that time of the year: zucchinis are in season, which means we need to make one of the best recipes around: zucchini bread!

This recipe is pretty simple and very keto-friendly. It uses almond flour, sugar substitute, butter, eggs, cinnamon, and a few other things.

What makes this recipe so great is that you can give someone a slice of this, and they wouldn’t know that it was keto. This is one of those recipes where you don’t feel like you’re making a keto recipe, which is a sign that it’s a good recipe. It doesn’t feel or taste fake; it takes…like zucchini bread!

Grating the zucchini took the longest out of all the steps, and I only needed one large zucchini. I managed to run this for 60 minutes, and it came out perfect. This is perfect to have cold with some butter spread on it.

For future recipes, I’ll do my best to label how much butter is needed by measuring it in sticks of butter. Sometimes it’s confusing when the original source puts in “tablespoons of butter” or “cups of butter”, so I’m going to make it easier for myself and everyone reading the recipe.

Look at its magnificence!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ Cup Granular Sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • ¼ Cup Melted butter (half of a stick of butter)
  • 1 ½ Cups Grated Zucchini with peel

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 9×5 loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, swerve, and baking soda.
  3. Wrap the grated zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard liquid and add zucchini to the dry ingredients followed by the eggs and melted butter. Stir batter until combined. See notes for instructions on adding walnuts, chocolate chips, or blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake in the 350F oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving. Slice into 12 slices. See notes for freezing, making muffins, and for a savory bread.

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Week 25: S’mores Cookies!

Tomorrow is the first day of Summer, so what better way to start summer with cookies most associated with a summer treat around the campfire: S’mores!

Unfortunately, these are cookies that require some pre-planning as they require the dough to sit for a minimum of 1 hour before you bake them.

The recipe reads like a typical chocolate chip cookie with the addition of graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate, and mini marshmallows. They’re easy to make, and aren’t exactly the prettiest looking cookie out there. They’re definitely not going to win any contests based on presentation, but they’ll win by taste.

I rearranged the ingredients list so they’re in order of when you need them according to the instructions, which should clarify things.

Presentation: 2/10; Overall taste: 10/10

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows OR marshmallow bits, divided
  • 1 bar Hershey’s Chocolate 1.55oz
  • 4 Graham crackers 56g
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 180g
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature (1 1/4 stick of butter)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop the Graham crackers and Hershey’s bar, then tear the mini marshmallows in half. These marshmallows are one of the best parts of the cookie but they will puff up and get a bit out of control if you don’t halve them.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch in a bowl then whisk together and set aside.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugars in a bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and until combined. Scrape the bowl down and mix once more.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
  5. Reserve a handful of the torn marshmallows and set aside then add the remaining marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Graham crackers to the dough and mix on low until just combined (do not over-beat).
  6. Refrigerate dough for an hour or more.
  7. Heat oven to 350F. Portion out roughly two tablespoon sized pieces of dough. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes then top the cookies with the reserved marshmallow and Hershey’s bar pieces then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to finish baking. If some cookies had a blowout because of a few too many marshmallows to you can corral them back together with a round cookie cutter or a knife.
  9. Leave on pan to cool completely.

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Week 24: Rocky Mountain Cookies!

I went with something simple this week, since I was trying to mix it up from the cake-based recipes, and I came across the Rocky Mountain cookies, which is a pretty good recipe.

In all honesty, it feels like a standard chocolate chip cookie with some extra things (old-fashioned oats and crisp rice cereal). These actually came out pretty chewy, and it’s a nice little twist on the old classic. You can barely tell there’s crisp rice cereal in them.

This recipe doesn’t require any pre-planning, so if you want to make this recipe on the fly, this is one of those recipes.

Rocky Mountain Cookies!

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 cup packed light brown sugar
  •  1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  •  ½ teaspoon baking powder
  •  2 cups old-fashioned oats
  •  2 cups crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  •  2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Then add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix.
  5. Fold in oats, cereal and chips.
  6. Drop tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto lightly greased or lined (with parchment or silicone liner) baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden brown but still soft.

Source

Week 23: Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies

Once again, a friend came through and suggested a recipe for me to try, and this week was the Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies.

So I actually screwed them up the first time. Not only did I not realize that you needed to refrigerate them for 30 minutes before you roll them into dough balls, the first time I forgot to add butter, and the results are below:

Cake pops?

As noted, the cookies don’t expand at all and bake in the form that you put them on the cookie sheet. They’re still pretty tasty to say the least.

So I went ahead and remade them properly, and this is how they turned out:

That’s more like it.

They’re pretty tasty, and very strawberry. These are cookies probably more appropriate for Valentine’s Day, but oh well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 15.25 ounces strawberry cake mix (1 box)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.
  • 3/4 cup M&Ms

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and egg until smooth. Add villa and melted butter, and mix to combine. (Use your stand mixer for this step)
  2. Add half the cake mix and mix until just combined. Add remaining cake mix and mix until a dough forms.
  3. Add white chocolate chips and M&Ms and stir in by hand.
  4. Chill dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to portion dough. Place cookie dough scoops on prepared baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes until cookies are set, but not browned.
  8. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Source

Week 22: Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

Once again, I made the mistake of not reading the directions before making these cookies, because you need to refrigerate these cookies for a minimum of 3 hours, then pull them out of the refrigerator and let them warm back up to room temperature. Yeah, once again, poor planning on my part.

These cookies are probably meant more for fall or winter because of the gingerbread flavor to them. Also, you need to be sure you have cookie butter, which is something I didn’t know existed, but is actually pretty tasty if you feel like eating it with a spoon. Below is a picture of the container for cookie butter.

Cookie butter?!

You’ll find this stuff next to peanut butter at your local grocery store, should you be interested in making this recipe.

Overall, this is a very tasty recipe, and I recommend it if you plan ahead of time. If you want a recipe to make impulsively, this is one you should pass on.

Had to taste a couple of cookies to make sure they were good.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup Biscoff creamy cookie spread, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the first 5 ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, cream cookie spread, butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in oats. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring dough to room temperature. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop mounds of dough on baking sheets lined with parchment or baking mats. Bake until lightly browned, 15-18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on pans 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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Week 21: Snickerdoodles!

For this week’s recipe, I thought I would go with something simple and fun that I haven’t done in a while. Plus, snickerdoodles are cookies you can’t go wrong with. They can be done in an instant, as long as you have the two most important ingredients: cream of tartar and vegetable shortening. These are two ingredients that I have that I have not use for any other recipe besides snickerdoodles.

They’re easy to make, require no extra refrigeration, and taste very fluffy. I made the mistake once of making these cookies without the cream of tartar, and trust me, it makes all the difference in the texture of the cookie.

Snickerdoodles!

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed (1 1/2 cups for the main dough, 1/4 cup to combine with cinnamon)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed 
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

  1. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small (1 1/4-ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

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Week 20: Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make this week, but a friend of mine sent me an idea, and I thought I could run with it.

The recipe I used was only half the size of the original. The original recipe makes 36 large cookies or 72 larger cookies, which means I might have been baking all night. If you want to make the true original recipe, it’s here.

Despite how these look, they’re very chewy. I was a little skeptical of the combination of flavors, but it actually comes together pretty well.

For the baking cycle, I used a 1.5 tbsp scooper to make “small” cookies. They were baked on aluminum cookie sheets with a single layer of parchment paper and were baked one sheet at a time. They baked for 16 minutes without rotating the sheet halfway, and they came out perfect.

They won’t win a beauty contest, but they’ll win your heart with their texture.

Ingredients: (makes about 36 cookies)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (6 ounces, 12 tablespoons), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 large eggs, beaten (beat 2 eggs and remove about 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I’m not really sure why they need to be rolled oats, but you can probably get away with regular old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Place butter in a standing electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and light for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk together the white sugar and brown sugar. Slowly add it in and beat to combine for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Add half the eggs, beat, and then add the other half and beat again.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
  6. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and slowly add the flour mixture, until just combined.
  7. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans, mixing until just combined.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.
  9. If you want large cookies, drop about 1/4 cup lumps of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, separated by 3 inches to allow for enough room for the cookies to spread as they cook. For smaller cookies, use about 2 tablespoons of the cookie dough per cookie.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 14 to 18 minutes for large cookies, or 13 to 16 minutes for small cookies. Note that if you are using a dark baking sheet, it will absorb more heat, and you won’t need as much baking time.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely. You’ll likely need to work in batches, depending on the size of your oven and your baking sheets.

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