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Cookies

Pair your morning, afternoon, and evening cups of coffee with a Mocha Biscotti, a chocolate cookie with a deep coffee flavor, for a little something special.

Mocha Biscotti

Today marks my last recipe for #ChristmasCookies Week. I’ve been busy bookmarking and pinning all sorts of wonderful Christmas cookies to make this month, and next year, and the year after that…. there has been so many amazing cookies this week! That again to Ellen at Family Around the Table for hosting this event. If you haven’t already, you can enter to win the giveaway for a prize pack from our sponsor, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors – a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz. each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. I’ve used a number of their products, and I can’t recommend them enough. Enter to win in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

I’m not sure if it’s the dreary weather or what, but lately, my afternoon cup of tea or coffee has become essential to making it through the day. Adding a cookie to that afternoon pick-me-up definitely makes the afternoon meetings, emails, and planning sessions much easier to get through.

Mocha Biscotti

And since I posted kid-friendly recipes earlier this week, I knew I had to post a little something that would have more appeal to adults this holiday season. These biscotti have a wonderful chocolate-coffee flavor, with just a hit of toffee, which I chose to add instead of a more traditional nut. Softer than store-bought biscotti, these cookies are delightful on their own or dunked in a warm coffee or cocoa. These cookies were a happy addition to my breakfasts and afternoon snacks this week.

What cookie are you most excited about making this year? Is it a new recipe or an old, well-loved standby?

Mocha Biscotti

Yield: 18 large biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tsp. instant coffee (I like Starbucks Via, 4 packets)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. toffee pieces, mini chocolate chips, slivered almonds, or other desired mix-ins (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, eggs, melted butter, instant coffee and vanilla extract on medium-low speed until well blended. Add in flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, mixing on low speed until almost completely mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl, add desired mix-ins, and mix until completely incorporated.
  3. Turn out dough onto prepared baking sheet and form into a long, 2 inches thick and about 12 inches wide. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Using a serrated knife, cut cookies into pieces about 3/4-inch thick, on the diagonal. Turn cookies cut-side down and bake for another 12-15 minutes. Then, remove from oven and flip over. Cook another 15 minutes, until cookies are toasted on both sides.
  5. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on a wire baking rack.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Adapted from Kraft

Mocha Biscotti on Books n' Cooks

And finally, before you see the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway, we have Friday’s #ChristmasCookies Week recipes. As always, you can search social media for #ChristmasCookies to see photos of these goodies. Happy Baking!

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Soft, melt-in-your-mouth Christmas Sprinkle Cookies have a sweet almond flavor that adults and kids alike will love.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

I have a confession to make. I’m a cookie snob.

I’m the person you don’t want to invite to your holiday cookie exchanges, because I will almost never like anyone else’s cookies as much as the cookies I bring. I want my holiday cookies soft and to stay soft even if it takes us a couple of days to eat the batch. I want them full of sweet yet subtle flavors, not cookies overpowered with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

So after a couple of disappointing cookie exchanges, I decided it was probably better for me to stay home and bake the cookies I enjoy, and then to push them on friends and coworkers so that I don’t become a blimp during the holiday season. Truthfully, I’m bummed that I didn’t enjoy the cookies I took home at those exchanges more than I did, because I truly enjoy trying new cookies. But I just didn’t fall in love with any, and my friends and coworkers haven’t complained yet. So I guess this arrangement will do.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

So today, for this day on #ChristmasCookies week, I bring you a recipe that I discovered within the past couple of years. This recipe isn’t a seasonal classic in my house (that would be our seven layer cookies and our cranberry oatmeal cookies), but everyone loves these cookies so much that we now make a batch every month or two – for holidays as well as everyday entertaining. These cookies are slightly crispy on the outside but generally have soft throughout, a melt-in-your-mouth sort of texture. And the flavor is wonderful.

These cookies are also one of my favorites to make with kids. Miss Hazelnut and Mr Nutterbutter absolutely love to make it since they get to pick out which sprinkles they use. They love making all cookies but there’s something special about them each getting their own bowl of sprinkles for them to roll the cookies in. And then, of course, to be licking spilled sprinkles off the counter.

So if you’re looking for a new cookie to make this holiday season, may I suggest these Christmas Sprinkle Cookies. Not into sprinkles? Check out the collection of cookie recipes at the bottom of this post for even more inspiration. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1+ c. sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place cream cheese, butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Lower speed to medium and beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat again, if necessary. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on low until combined, again scraping down sides and bottom of bowl to ensure that everything is mixed thoroughly.
  3. Portion dough into equal sized balls, using a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop. Roll between the palms of your hands to warm dough slightly (as well as to perfect the shape) before rolling in a shallow bowl filled with sprinkles. Sprinkles should completely coat the ball of dough all around.
  4. Place sprinkle-covered dough onto prepared baking sheet, each about 2 inches apart. Press down slightly with the flat bottom of a drinking glass or palm of your hand to flatten. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until edges are set and starting to brown ever so slightly (center may look a bit underbaked). Remove from oven and allow to cook on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
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Rewritten but not really adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Originally from King Arthur Flour

 

Recipe Note: Smitten Kitchen advises that if the dough is too soft to roll, chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before using. I’ve never had this problem, but my butter and cream cheese are usually still fairly cold when making the dough.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies on Books n' Cooks

Big thanks to Family Around the Table for hosting #ChristmasCookies Week! And don’t forget to check out more great recipe below, as well as enter to win a fabulous prize from the #ChristmasCookies Week sponsor, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors. Rafflecopter below.

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Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies are a fun twist on an American classic. Add an element of the unexpected to your holiday cookie swap or cookie platter by serving these soft, sweet cookies.

Welcome to #ChristmasCookies Week, hosted by Ellen at Family Around the Table! I’m excited to participate this year and have three great recipe I’ll be sharing with you this week.

But first, I have to tell you about our sponsor, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors and the great prize pack they’ve donated for this event. Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.

Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz. each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water, like those above. To enter, simply visit the participants on Facebook or like them on Twitter, and say you did so in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Easy peasy.

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies

Disclaimer: Thank you to #ChristmasCookies Week Sponsor Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors, for providing the prize for #ChristmasCookies Week free of charge. Nielsen-Massey also provided me with product to use for #ChristmasCookies Week. All opinions are my own.

There’s something about winter that makes me think of s’mores. I know it probably doesn’t make much sense. After all, most people are probably huddled around a warm fire in summer and fall months, roasting marshmallows to the perfect degree of doneness (for me, just slightly browned with crispy edges and completely soft in the center). But for me, winter signals the demand for all things s’mores and hot chocolate.

I was drawn to these cookies because Nicole over at Prevention RD called them S’mores Cookies. While I didn’t think they tasted much like s’mores, we did love them – so much that we made them twice in one weekend. They’re super soft and while they look like fairly regular chocolate chip cookies, one bite in and you’ve got a great surprise. A deeper flavor, more vanilla than your typical chocolate chip cookie with that wonderful spiced graham cracker flavor.

Oh, and the cookie dough was friggin’ amazing. I’m glad I ignore the raw egg warnings because this dough was seriously out of this world. Sweet, with a really nice slightly crunchy texture from the graham cracker crumbs that you’ll notice if you eat a spoonful or three. I’d apologize for telling you that little secret, but I can’t. Because I’m not. You’re welcome, if you try it.

These cookies are on my short list of holiday baking, and I hope you’ll be adding them to yours. They’re quick to make and will receive rave reviews from your guests or the lucky recipients, if you manage to get them out of the house. Enjoy!

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 18 Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ c. graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. With the mixer still running on medium, add vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low and add graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda and salt. When thoroughly combined, add chocolate chips until just mixed in. Turn off mixer and scrape sides of bowl, if needed.
  3. Use a ice cream scoop to portion dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are golden brown and set at the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
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This recipe was adapted from Get In My Belly via Prevention RD

Before you enter the giveaway, be sure to check out the other cookie recipes we’ve got for you today. Or, search #ChristmasCookies on social media for a visual cookie tour.

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A soft chocolate cookie stuffed with peanut butter, these cookies are hard to stop at just one (especially if you try them while they’re still warm!).

Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Oh goodness… football season is coming. Are you excited about it?

If you’ve been following along with me, you know that I am not a football fan. Not even Superbowl. I enjoy hanging out with friends and munching on snacks and appetizers. Buffalo chicken dip? Hellz yeah! Soft pretzels? You bet! Old-school Mexican seven layer dip? Don’t mind if I do.

Football weekends are perfect for serving your favorite finger food, to make mixing and mingling, watching (or not watching) the game easy. There’s not a particular sweet that stands out as a classic for a football party, but you can’t go wrong with cookies. I had bookmarked these cookies years ago, but for some reason, never got around to making them. That was a mistake. They’re awesome. These cookies stay soft and are rich flavor. They’re addictive at room temperature but they’re definitely trouble if you eat them just slightly warm. Soooo good!

I may have made these cookies twice in one week, which is pretty much unheard of for me..

Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Looking for more inspiration for fall and winter football games? Check out the collection of recipes from the #SundaySupper tastemakers below my cookie recipe.

Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 hours

Cook Time: 9 hours

Yield: Approximately 2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter), divided
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar, with extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place 1/4-1/2 c. Granulated sugar in a small bowl and set that aside as well.
  2. Make the Cookie Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugars, and 1/4 c. peanut butter on medium speed. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Beat in vanilla and egg. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda into bowl. Beat on medium-low until dough begins to come together, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Make the Peanut Butter Filling: In a separate bowl, cream together (use either the stand mixer or a hand held mixer) remaining 1/2 c. peanut butter and confectioners sugar.
  4. Assemble the Cookie: Using a 1 1/2 Tbs. ice cream scoop, portion out dough into equal sizes. With clean hands, roll each into a ball. Flatted between your palms. Pinch off pieces of the peanut butter filling - about the size of a dime (adjust more or less depending on whether you can seal the peanut butter inside the dough). Place in center of the chocolate dough. Fold dough over and pinch together at seams to seal. Roll into a ball. Roll ball in a small bowl of granulated sugar. Set onto prepared baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough, placing cookies about 2 inches apart. When baking sheets are filled, flatten each cookie slightly, with the palm of your hand or the flat bottom of a juice glass.
  5. Bake for 7-9 minutes (mine were 8 minutes exactly), until cooked throughout but not yet browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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Adapted from Seeded at the Table

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Football Party Finger Food #SundaySupper

Finger-licking Football Party Finger Food

Flavorful Football Party Finger Food

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Mudslide Cookies 5
Although it’s been quiet around here lately, I’ve been thinking of this little blog a lot. While this month has been spent traveling quite a bit, I’ve managed to get in some cooking and baking – to include this recipe – and a little bit of reading. I just haven’t managed to get the time at a computer to share it all with you.
          I usually spend a good chunk of November planning for the Christmas holidays – for sure my favorite time of year. I absolutely love planning a big holiday party for all of my friends, showering family with care packages, and spending Christmas with my family. Even though I’m a little behind this year (I haven’t planned any of the 3 menus I need! Augh!), I have been bookmarking recipes and flipping through cookbooks looking for inspiration.
          This is a recipe that my mom and I have had in our arsenal for years. I had forgotten about it until recently flipping through one of my huge binders (I have 4) full of recipes I’ve enjoyed. The minute I laid eyes on it, I knew I had to make it again. This cookie has a wonderful, rich flavor from the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates and the addition of a good bit of instant coffee granules.
Mudslide Cookies

 

Mudslide Cookies
Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America’s
Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute
Makes 2-3 dozen large cookies
Ingredients:
  • 8 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. boiling water
  • 1 Tbs. powdered instant coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. plus 2 Tbs. cake flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. bittersweet  chocolate chips
Prep Chocolate: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate. Stir frequently to prevent burning. When chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth, remove from heat to cool slightly.

 

Prep: Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

 

In a small bowl, mix instant coffee and water until coffee is dissolved. Add vanilla extract and set aside.

 

Make Dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until very light and fluffy, 6-8 minutes. With the mixer still running, slowly add chocolate mixture, followed by the coffee mixture. Reduce speed to low and add baking powder, salt, and cake flour. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in chocolate chips.

 

Using a standard size cookie scoop, portion dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving AT LEAST 3 inches between cookies – the cookies spread a LOT.

 

Bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes, until edges are set and tops of cookies are cracked. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Mudslide Cookies

 

Need more ideas? The Sunday Supper tastemakers have gathered almost 50 of their favorite cookie recipes for you this holiday season. Head over and check them out!

Plus, 20 Cookie Baking Tips and Holiday Cookie recipes from Sunday Supper

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Lately, my little girl has wanted to join me in the kitchen. It’s what I’ve been waiting for, but she’s still a little too young (two and a half) to actually be helpful. She’s gotten pretty good at dumping cups in a bowl, but she still misses and I end up with flour all over the counter a good bit of the time. When she stirs, everything tends to slosh out of the bowl, no matter how careful she is. If we bake with chocolate, I can’t keep her little hands out of the mixing bowl.

Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying every minute with her and have been brainstorming new ways to play in the kitchen with her. Most recently, we made homemade pizza together and Miss. Hazelnut surprised me by actually touching the pizza dough (she doesn’t like wet or sticky things), cheese, and sausage topping, but actually eating the pizza. I was shocked that Miss. Picky wanted not one but two pieces. Completely worth the mess we created!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

This particular recipe is one that Miss Hazelnut helped with… and we lost a good number of chocolate chips in the process. Despite my helper eating from the bowl, these cookies are my new favorite. No joke. I can’t keep them in the house because they will not last more than a couple of days, if that long. The sweet-salty combination makes these super soft cookies incredibly addictive. This is definitely a recipe that I’ll return to, time and time again.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ c. creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ c. dark brown sugar
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • ½ Tbs. honey
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1½ c. mini chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Scrape down sides of the bowl and with mixer on medium speed, add sugars. With the mixer still running, slowly add egg and yolk, honey, vanilla, and sour cream until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Add chocolate chips.

Chill dough in the fridge for 30-60 minutes or in freezer for 20 minutes.

Before removing dough from fridge or freezer, preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge/freezer. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out dough until 1-inch balls. Roll dough between clean palms before setting on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes, until cookies begin to brown and get slightly crisp along the edges. The middle may appear a bit underdone, but do not overbake! Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on a baking sheet. Cookies will firm up a bit as they cool, but will stay very soft. Move cookies to a wire rack and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Store cooled cookies in an airtight container. (Note: These cookies are super soft, and did not freeze well for me.)

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Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I first made these cookies last year, to send in holiday care packages and to serve at our annual holiday party. While I was really bummed to have to cancel our holiday party (due to illness and lack of heat), I was pretty excited to have several dozen of these cookies stashed in my freezer. I loved the light coconut undertones (light enough to fool any coconut-haters out there) and the strong flavor of the bittersweet chocolate chips (I’ve also used semisweet chocolate chips in the recipe for a slightly sweeter cookie). These cookies stayed slightly soft even once cooled, which is part of what got me hooked. But don’t feel like you have to wait for the cookies to cool – they’re insanely good fresh from the oven.

It’s rare that I find a new cookie recipe that I enjoy as much as my handful of old standbys. This recipe will joining the others as a new staple in the house. Try it – let me know what you think!

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Adapted from Vanilla Sugar
Makes 2-2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 12 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ c. + 1 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ Tbs. baking powder
  • 4½ Tbs. dutch cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. coconut, toasted
  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until thoroughly combined, a minute or so. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and sea salt. Mix until just combined. Fold in coconut and chocolate chips.

Chill dough in fridge for at least an hour.

Prior to removing dough from fridge, preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge. Using an ice cream scoop, portion dough onto prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. If dough is slightly crumbly, roll each portion into a ball between the palms of clean hands.

Bake 10-15 minutes, until edges are slightly crispy and center of cookie is slightly puffy and doesn’t jiggle. Don’t overbake the cookies, otherwise they’ll lose their soft goodness. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheets (about 5 minutes) before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely, if not serving immediately.

Serve warm (soooo good!) or at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to make cookies, just for fun. There’s been too many other things on my to-do list, too many places to go, and too little energy to be in the kitchen when I didn’t have to. But a few weeks ago, I actually managed to leave work early (and by early, I mean on time), pick up the Little One, and get home at a decent hour. It was a beautiful day out and we should have gone out to enjoy it, but I really wanted to make these cookies. I’d had the recipe out since the magazine arrived two weeks prior – it was going to happen.

Pistachio Macaroons

And so we did. This recipe was a bit more involved than the coconut macaroon recipe I grew up making, but the result was a much lighter cookie. It was great recipe to make with my 2-year-old, who was easily able to stir the bowl and had a great time “wiggling” the mixer to beat the egg whites. That is, until I let her taste a pistachio, and then my Little Helper started emptying her snack bowl faster than I could fill it. 🙂

This particular issue of Fine Cooking had several other variations on the traditional macaroon – I can’t wait to try them all.

Pistachio Coconut Macaroons

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 134 (April/May 2015, p. 83-85)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. + 1/4 c. shelled unsalted pistachios, divided
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 c. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 14 oz. sweetened shredded coconutPistachio Macaroons
  • 2 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets and set aside.

Prep the Ingredients:

In a food processor, grind 1/2 c. pistachios with 1/8 tsp. salt until a thick paste has formed. Set aside.

Coarsely chop remaining 1/4 c. pistachios and set aside.

Make the Cookies:

In a large bowl, stir vanilla into condensed milk with a silicon spatula. Add coconut and stir until thoroughly mixed. Stir in both ground up and chopped pistachios.

In a smaller bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Fold into coconut-pistachio mixture.

With wet hands, form cookie dough into round balls, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake 20-25 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown.

Cool for a few minutes on cookie sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cookies may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen for up to 6 months.

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What's_Baking_Badge

Ok, so I was terrible with keeping up with the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats this year. Call me lazy if you’d like. I’ve been super busy and frankly, exhausted over the past few (the first trimester does that to me, apparently!). It’s a wonder I’ve been able to get any posts out over the past few months.

Now that the first trimester has past, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. If you’re still looking for a holiday cookie for a party, some care packages, or just to have around the house, then this week’s post, something “gingerbread,” to satisfy the What’s Baking? theme chosen by Catherine of Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness, will work for you. I’ve never been particularly interested in gingerbread flavored baked goods, but I did have to stop myself from eating these. The flavor was fairly subtle and the cookies were super soft, just the way I like them.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from All Recipes via One Little Project At A Time

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. + 4 Tbs. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • ¼ c. molasses
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.Gingerbread Cookies

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1 c. sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Lower speed slightly and one at a time, add egg, water, and molasses. Scrape down sides of mixer and add all remaining ingredients (except for the 4 Tbs. sugar), mixing until just combined.

Use a cookie scoop to form 1-inch balls, shaping them between the palms of your hands as needed. Roll in remaining sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are browned slightly. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Unlike some people, I never really had any strong Christmas traditions of watching a particular movie. When my brothers and I were little, we would watch Christmas specials that my mom recorded (on VHS!) – the Smurf’s Christmas Special, Frosty the Snowman… the homemade movie had all of those amazing Coca Cola polar bear commercials (seriously, why did those every go away?).

But at a certain point, we got too old for the Christmas specials. I don’t know when we stopped watching – junior high? High school? It wasn’t until college that those Christmas specials were replaced with a movie. Elf.

I remember coming home from college and talking about the movie. My mom rolled her eyes at me, but my brother jumped right into the conversation about what a great movie it was. Needless to say, Mom had to watch it with us. Several times that Christmas vacation. Thus began my newest Christmas movie tradition.

These cookies are inspired by that movie. For those of you that don’t know the movie, stop reading right now, and check out Netflix, On Demand, whatever. Watch it, and then finish reading this post. You should be picturing the scene where Will Ferrell is making a breakfast of pasta, candy, and maple syrup for his father’s wife. These cookies aren’t as sickly sweet as I imaging that breakfast would have been.Not surprisingly, I felt like I was eating a handful of candy when I ate a cookie.

I can’t wait to turn my Christmas movie tradition into a movie + baking event with my daughter!

Buddy the Elf Cookies

Buddy the Elf Cookies

Adapted from Spoon or Foon

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 14 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. M&Ms
  • ½ c. mini marshmallows
  • 1 c. Sno-Caps
  • 4 S’mores Pop Tarts, chopped

Ingredients for the Maple Glaze

  • 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper an set aside.2013_12.Weeks.Of.Christmas.Treats

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla, beating until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mixing well and scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low and add oats, Sno-Caps, Pop Tarts, M&Ms, and marshmallows. The batter will be very thick. You’ll want to finish stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure the candy is evenly distributed.
Using an ice cream scoop, portion out cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 14-16 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack (set on top of a paper bag to minimize the mess) to cool completely.
Make the Glaze. While cookies are baking, whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cookies.
Store in an airtight container.
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