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Cookies

Soft PB Cookies

This is the last week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic, and  I hope you found some great inspiration for your own holiday baking. If you missed any 2013_12.Weeks.Of.Christmas.Treatsof my contributions this year or are interested in what I made last year, check out the 12wksxmastreats tag at the bottom of this post (or click here). As usual, you can see what my fellow bloggers made by checking out the linky at the bottom of this post. I hope you enjoyed another year of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!

While I love peanut butter cookies right out of the oven, I could never find a cookie that stayed soft after they cooled. Until this one. I had these cookies for the first time while I was overseas and immediately demanded the recipe (the original source is unknown). The cookie had the same great peanut butter flavor of most peanut butter cookies (you know, the ones with the criss-cross on the top) but stayed soft even after cooling.

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • mini peanut butter cups, quartered (at least 16)

Soft PB CookiesPreheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and peanut butter on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined. Scrape down sides of the bow. Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking soda and salt and beat until thoroughly combined.

Use a cookie scoop to portion out cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Cookies should be at least 3 inches apart, as the do spread a good bit. Press peanut butter pieces (4-6 pieces per cookie) into dough, pressing down a little to flatten cookie.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until just turning brown around the edges. Center will still be pale and soft. Allow to cool for 1 minute on baking sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.



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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t believe I’ve let two weeks fly by without a blog post! I have to admit, it’s been a lot more difficult to balance family + friends + home + work + blog + everything-else-I-want-to-do with a baby around. My mom was here last week and she was an absolute life saver, taking care of the baby and our chores and cooking, so that I could work, go to a couple of appointments, and run some errands. Thanks to all of her help last week, I was able to carve out some time to blog this week. Thanks Mom!

I made these cookies last month, one afternoon when Sophie took a really long nap. I’d been wanting to try a recipe from the cookbook every since I received it for Christmas. Pages upon pages of beautiful photos and descriptions to drool over…. I didn’t have the time or the energy to embark on one of the ambitious cakes or tarts (not to mention nobody to serve it to), so with the baby down for a nap, I settled on these oatmeal cookies, substituting chocolate chips for raisins. This immediately became my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. I loved the soft texture and the slightly salty taste. Three of us polished off the batch that afternoon I made them. They were that good.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Bouchon Bakery p. 32

Makes ~18 cookies

Ingredients:*Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 114 g. all-purpose flour
  • 4 g. ground cinnamon
  • 7.4 g. baking soda
  • 3.6 g. kosher salt
  • 140 g. light brown sugar
  • 69 g. granulated sugar
  • 155 g. unsalted butter, at room temperature (~5-6 Tbs.)
  • 62 g. eggs*
  • 7.7 g. vanilla paste*
  • 155 g. old-fashioned oats
  • 156 g. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or raisins)

* Notes on Ingredients:

1. Measure by weight for best results. I only added the equivalent in tablespoons for butter so that you know how much butter to bring to room temperature.

2. I used less cinnamon than the original recipe called for (7 g.) because I didn’t want the cinnamon to overwhelm the cookies.

3. I used large eggs to make these cookies. 1 large egg was just short of the required weight. If you have extra-large eggs on hand, use those. Start with 1 egg and see if that’s enough.

4. I bought my vanilla paste at Wegman’s, although Williams Sonoma also carries it. According to Gourmet Sleuth, you can substitute an equal amount of vanilla extract if you don’t have any vanilla paste.

Make Dough: 

In a small bowl, whisk together brown and granulated sugars. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-low speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add sugars, beating until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add eggs and vanilla paste. Beat until just combined, 15-30 seconds.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesReduce speed to low and add half of the flour mixture. When just combined, add remainder of flour mixture, stopping when just combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl before mixing in oats and chocolate chips until just combined. Do not over mix!

Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Bake the Cookies:

Preheat oven to 325 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge. Scoop out dough into 18 equal portions, a scant 1/4 cup. Roll dough between palms to form a ball and set on prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart, setting aside any dough that does not fit on prepared baking sheets for a second batch.

Bring dough to room temperature before baking.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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When I was young, my mom used to take my brothers and I to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream. I always got Chunky Monkey – vanilla ice cream with peanut-butter filled pretzels and chocolate swirls. Today, I only find Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer section of my local grocery store. I don’t know the last time I actually saw an ice cream shop.

Cake Batter Mix & BarkIt took moving after college for me to find another ice cream place that I loved just as much – Coldstone. Like when I was a kid, I find a flavor I like and don’t vary. At Coldstone, it’s cake batter ice cream (with crunched up graham crackers mixed in). Oooo, so good.

I’m not sure if it was because Coldstone made cake batter-flavored things popular or not, but since I met that ice cream flavor, I’ve been a sucker for cake batter-flavored things. I have tried cake batter bark (pictured at left), but was sorely disappointed – I found that the flavor of the white chocolate overpowered the cake batter flavor, no matter how much extra cake mix I added. But my chocolate cake batter toffee cookies were a winner as were the yellow cake batter and sprinkles variation below.

I don’t usually keep cake mix in the house, so when experimenting with the latest cookie recipe as well as the bark, I gave homemade cake mix a try. The recipe below reflects a half batch of the original recipe, as I didn’t have any need for a full 5 cups, no matter how long it can be kept.

Homemade Yellow Cake Batter Mix

Adapted Pennies on a Platter via BrownEyedBaker

Makes 2 1/2 c. yellow cake mix

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. cake flour
  • 1/4 c. nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except the butter and vanilla until just combined, about 15 seconds. With the mixer running, add butter cubes and vanilla until the mixture is fine and crumbly.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months

Note: I have only used this in recipes that call for cake mix. If you’d like to make an actual cake with it, please see Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for instructions.

Cake Batter Cookies, Take 2

Adapted from this recipe

Makes 1 dozen cookies

Using the above cake mix, these cookies spread even more than the original recipe. However, they’re still super soft with just a slight crunch around the edges.

Ingredients:Cake Batter Cookies Take 2

  • 9 oz. homemade yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. sprinkles (optional)

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

Whisk together cake mix and baking powder. Stir in egg and veggie oil. When combined, stir in sprinkles. Mixture will be fairly thick.

Using an ice cream scoop, portion onto prepared baking sheets, 6 cookies to a sheet spaced evenly apart. The cookies spread a lot while they bake.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are golden and center is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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We’re a week into December and I have no idea where 2012 went. I’m actually having a hard time believing it’s almost Christmastime, probably because we haven’t put up our tree or any decorations. I’ve been staring jealously at the Christmas lights up in the neighborhood and the Christmas trees that friends have set up. I’m sure it’ll feel more like Christmas when we meet up with our families – festive decorations, all the family in town… but I do wish that we had moved last month so that I was able to decorate for the holidays.

The house is about half packed, including all of my baking supplies packed. These cookies were the last batch of baked goods that I was able to whip up before moving. The cookies are tucked out of sight in the freezer, a reward for our friends who are helping us move. While the cookies were a little flatter than I expected, I loved the flavor – a burst of espresso and a sweet bite from the dried cherries.

Cafe Chocolate Cherry Bites

Adapted from The Pastry Queen, p. 133

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. instant espresso powder (I used 2 packs of Starbucks Via)
  • 1 Tbs. boiling water
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c. halved or quartered dried cherries (I cut them to the size of the chocolate chips)

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

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in color and fluffy, about 1 minutes. Lower speed slightly and add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together espresso powder and boiling water. Add espresso water and vanilla to mixing bowl, and beat on medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Lower speed and add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries – combine with the mixer on low speed or fold in with a rubber spatula.

Using an ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies have set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze, well-wrapped, for 1 month.

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I’ve been feeling bad because I’ve been kinda MIA here lately. It’s been a busy summer – we had no power for almost a week, lots of travel to see my new niece and attend my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower and bachelorette, work, and training for the 60-mile Susan G Komen walk this fall, among other things. On top of that, I’ve been super tired. It’s no joke. There’s been a couple of weekends where I woke up, had breakfast, dozed on the couch all day, had dinner, and went to bed. I’ve had zero energy to spend cooking or baking – which worked out since food hasn’t really appealed to me either. I’ve spent the summer eating like a 6-year old – apple sauce, graham crackers, peanut butter sandwiches without the crust, and frozen pizzas. Oh yeah, and I’ve had zero interest in reading.

Although my schedule is still pretty chaotic, I’ve been feeling much better over the past couple of weeks. Thank goodness the first trimester is over. Yep, you read that right. My hubby and I are expecting our first baby! Hazelnut is due to arrive in early March, and we’re thrilled. We just finished telling all of our family, friends, and coworkers.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a little awkward telling people… especially telling all the guys that I work with. I ended up telling everyone with food. I sent the entire team an email asking them to come place their bets. Pink and blue sugar cookies were waiting for them. You’d think a team of analysts would be able to figure out what the cookies meant, but the team was not on their game that day. I had to explain the cookies to more than a few of them…. no, they’re not for a horse race (there wasn’t even a horse race in the area that week!!!); yes, there’s a reason the cookies are colored; no, the sprinkles are not some secret code…. Oh yeah, it was amusing. Needless to say, the cookies were polished off. Most of the team voted for twins, a boy and a girl, because they wanted seconds (and thirds).

Decorating & Serving Notes: I love these cookies, not only because they taste better than the cookies I am obsessed with from the grocery store, but because they’re so versatile. I made them for our Clue-Themed Halloween Party with plain white frosting and the murder weapons drawn on and colored the icing orange and used leaf-sprinkles as favors for Thanksgiving.

Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Hostess with the Mostess via Annie’s Eats

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 4½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 4½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1½ c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 3¾ c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5-6 Tbs. milk (more if needed)
  • food coloring, if desired
  • sprinkles, if desired

Make the Cookie Dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. With the mixer still running, beat in eggs, one at a time. Scrape down side of the bowl and return mixer to medium-high speed. Add vanilla. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Reduce speed to and sprinkle in baking powder and salt. Continue to sprinkle in flour, half a cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixer as needed.

Cover and chill cookie dough for 1 hour.

Make the Cookies: Preheat an oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and begin portioning out cookie dough: use a 1-inch cookie scoop to portion out dough. Roll dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to flatten dough slightly. Continue portioning out cookie dough in this manner, placing dough about 2 inches apart.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set and edges are just beginning to brown. Do not overbake! The cookies should be very pale in color.

Allow cookies to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting & Frost the Cookies: Place sifted confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in melted butter, vanilla extract, and 5 Tbs. of milk. Whisk together until frosting is smooth. Frosting should be thin enough to spread but thick enough so that it won’t move much after you frost the cookies. Add additional confectioners’ sugar or milk if needed to adjust consistency. Whisk in food coloring, if using.

Using a butter knife or offset spatula, frost cooled cookies. Decorate immediately with sprinkles, as frosting will set a little bit as it sits. Allow to sit for an hour for the frosting to set.

Store in an airtight container until serving. Cookies will keep and stay soft for several days.

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This past weekend, my parents and younger cousin were in town. Well, sort of. They were using my house as starting and ending point on either end of a trip to see local tourist sites. I absolutely loved the time I got to spend with my cousin, who I’ve only seen once or twice over the past ten years (the last time at my wedding, when only got to spend a few minutes together). There’s almost a 15 year age difference between us, and it’s awesome to be able to finally relate to one another.

The day everyone arrived, my dad had been telling us about how he saw this box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies at the grocery store that afternoon. He was tempted but didn’t buy them – he was afraid he’d eat the whole box. I can relate. Those cookies are ‘da bomb. I used to love babysitting for one particular family because they always had these cookies in the house. But I digress. After that story and my cousin’s plea for a baked dessert with frosting (I told her that the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes were too time-consuming for my very busy weekend), I decided to make dad and little cuz’ oatmeal cream pies.

I can’t tell you how close I came to not finishing the cookies. The cookies were tasty and soft but some were a little burnt. However, mom and cuz’ convinced me to finish. At the very least, my cousin would eat the marshmallow filling with a spoon. I’m sooo glad I finished – the finished oatmeal cream pies were fantastic. Even the ones I thought were a little burnt tasted like the Little Debbie cookies I remember from my babysitting days. I wish I could share the photos of my cousin filling the cookies and eating the frosting, because you’d know how good they were just by looking at them. I won’t embarrass her by sharing (although if you follow booksncooks on instagram you might get a peek), but do try these cookies. They’re amazing.

Baker’s Note: There’s one significant adjustment that I made to this recipe – I decreased the baking temperature and time. Even baking for just less than the original recommended time, my cookies were coming out a little burnt looking. I was baking one tray at a time and gradually began dropping the temperature until the cookies began looking golden but not burnt. My best batches were cooked at 375F for 8-10 minutes.

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Adapted from The Amish Cook’s Baking Book via Beantown Baker

Makes 24 large sandwich cookies

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbs. boiling water

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 packets)
  • 1/3 c. plus 1/4 c. water, divided
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 oz. vegetable shortening

Instructions for the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Scrape down sides of the bow and add salt, baking powder and flour. Beat on low speed until combined.
  4. With the mixer still running, add cinnamon and oatmeal.
  5. Turn off mixer. In a small bowl, add baking soda to boiling water and give a quick stir. Pour into bowl of stand mixer and beat on low speed to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix for another couple seconds to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together.
  6. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop,* portion batter onto prepared baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart. Cookies spread a good bit.
  7. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let stand for a couple of minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

* If you have a smaller cookie scoop, I’d actually recommend making these a little smaller. They’re fantastic, but it can be a lot of sugar. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

Instructions for the Filling:

  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, place 1/3 cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Give a quick stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 c. water. Stir occasionally until ingredients are combined. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and on low speed, add in vanilla. Increase speed to high and whip for 5 minutes. The mixture should be white, fluffy, fairly stiff and barely warm to touch.
  4. Switch to whisk attachment and lower speed. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar. Then add vegetable shortening, whisking until smooth. If necessary, raise speed and whisk until thick enough to spread or pipe. The marshmallow filling may thicken a bit as it sits.

Assemble the Cookies & Store:

Use a butter knife to spread filling over one side of a cookie, about 1 Tbs. of filling. Top with a second cookie.

Store on a platter covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. If stacking cookies, place a sheet of wax or parchment paper between layers to prevent cookies from stick together or marshmallow filling from spilling everywhere.

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To my readers,

I’m looking at a crazy month or so ahead of me. My parents (and dear cousin) are coming to visit (twice), plus I’ll be making trips to meet my new niece, see my uncle’s new house (and hopefully take an Ina-tour around the Hamptons), and attend my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower. Plus, my hubby and I are starting the process of building our “Forever Home,” so we have appointments and planning for the new home.

I’ll do my best to post either a new recipe or book review at least once a week, but if I slow down or skip a week or two, please bear with me. Rest assured that I will be reading and cooking so that I can share with you when I get back. If you miss me, you can keep up with me on facebook and pinterest, both of which I can update from my phone, wherever I am!

Happy baking & reading!

Liz

I have a confession to make. The cute ice cream cone cupcakes that I made for the Boobieque last month? I didn’t make them from scratch. I wanted to, but was a little stressed with hosting and other cooking, and could not find the energy to make cupcakes from scratch. So I took the easy way out. I bought a box of cake mix. Two actually, thanks to a BOGO sale.

Ever since signing the contract to build our Forever Home, I’ve been starting to gear up for the move. It’s months away, but it’s going to take a while to whittle down my pantry and sort through everything in the house. I’m tackling it a little bit at a time – a drawer here, a closet there. And that box of chocolate cake mix…. something I never use except in an emergency…. was staring me right in the face.

Not going to lie, I loved these cookies. I used chocolate cake mix and the last of a package of toffee pieces to make them. They are huge and super soft and hard to resist. I brought them to a friend’s house for dinner and thought real hard about being that rude guest and asking to bring the extras home. Real hard. They were that good. You’d be proud of me – I left the cookies behind. And I haven’t bought any more cake mix, although it’s going on the first grocery list after we move!

Chocolate Cake Batter Cookies

Adapted from AllRecipes as seen on Stephanie Cooks

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  •  1-18.25 oz. box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. EITHER toffee pieces OR peanut butter chips (or another desired mix-in)

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

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and baking powder. Use a hand mixer and beat in oil and eggs. Fold in mix-ins with a rubber spatula.

Using an ice cream scoop, portion batter onto prepared baking sheet, placing cookies 3 inches apart – they spread a lot! Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cooked through. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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My hubby and I are hoping to move sometime within the next year. Keep your fingers crossed that the stars align for us.

I bring this up not only because I hope for your well-wishes (perhaps some money can fall from the sky on us?) but because I have my housewarming present to myself all picked out. I’m going to buy myself a mini lemon tree. Yep. For a while, I was feeling like so many recipes called for lemon juice or lemon zest – baked shrimp scampi, Parmesan artichoke pesto, crab cakes and mini crab cakes, herb grilled shrimp, roasted shrimp with tomatoes and feta, pomegranate cosmos and many other mixed drinks, lemonade, and so many fruit desserts. So when I move, you’ll know it because of the large number of posts with lemons as an ingredient.

Oh, and now there are these cookies. They are slightly sweet and have a little tang from the lemon juice and lemon zest. These cookies are just barely crispy on the outside but are still soft on the inside. Even though I don’t normally enjoy desserts with a strong lemon flavor, I enjoyed these very much, as did my coworkers. I brought a batch to work and they were gone within an hour.

Note: You do need to chill the dough for these cookies. I point this out here because I missed that when I started baking, and was very disappointed to have to wait!

PS I started a photo album of kitchen tips & tricks. Check it out here and be sure to follow me!

Lemonade Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Sweet Stuff:  Karen Barker’s American Desserts via Just Baked

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
  • 1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice, from about 1 1/2 lemons

Instructions:

  1. Make the Dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and lemon zest on medium-high speed until smooth. Lower speed to low or medium-low and add vegetable oil. When thoroughly mixed, add granulated sugar. Scrape down sides of the bowl and briefly beat to make sure everything is incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and lemon zest. Slowly sprinkle in baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour. Continue mixing until completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Cover bowl of dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for several hours to overnight. (I was impatient and only chilled mine for 3ish hours, and the cookies came out just fine. Just be sure to make sure the dough is properly chilled.)
  3. Make the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/4-1/2 c. granulated sugar in a small bowl or on a salad plate that has a lip. Using a small ice cream scoop or two tablespoons, portion out dough and roll into balls slightly smaller than golf-balls. Roll dough in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Press down slightly on each ball of dough. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until cookies are cooked through and edges starting to brown just barely. (Keep extra dough in the fridge between batches to keep it chilled.) Remove from oven, allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Growing up, I was never really a big fan of chocolate chip cookies. Any cookies really. I’d always opt for salty popcorn or potato chips instead. My brothers certainly didn’t care – more cookies for them! My mom used to make chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag. However, when my mom found this recipe, I became a chocolate chip cookie convert.

I use both semi-sweet chocolate and half milk chocolate for a little change. Use chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate – with the chopped chocolate, you’ll get wonderful little flakes of chocolate throughout the dough. My favorite part is that these cookies stay super soft for several days. No, one batch may not last in your house that long, but a massive double batch like the one my mom brought for Thanksgiving might.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 68 p. 86d

Makes 3 dozen large cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. + 2 Tbs. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. + 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 oz. milk chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 4 oz. semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate, chopped or chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract, beating until combined, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Lower speed and add flour, salt, and baking soda until combined.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to portion dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 3-inches between cookies. They spread a lot!
  6. Bake 14-16 minutes, until slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
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There’s really no words to describe these cupcakes. My hubby has declared that these are his all time favorite cupcakes. For me, they rank among the top three – the S’mores Cupcakes and Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes all rivaling for the top three slots. I brought a batch of these to work for a mini bake sale (proceeds going to Susan G Komen and breast cancer research), and some of the guys were walking away with up to 4 cupcakes. Oh yes, they’re that good. Or maybe I should have charged much more. Anyway, make these and you’ll win over the hearts of your significant other, family, friends, coworkers…. and if you’re fundraising, you can probably make a pretty penny off of these. No more commentary needed. Enjoy!

Baking Notes: When I made the recipe, I used a single batch of the cupcake base, a 1/2 batch of the cookie dough filling, and a 1/2 batch of the icing. These changes are reflected below. I note this specifically in case you run out of filling or icing. It is perfectly fine to make another 1/2 batch. I did make a whole batch of the chocolate chip cookies (full batch reflected below), although you’ll only need about 1/3 of a batch for the cupcakes. The rest I packaged and sold at my mini bake sale, at least the ones I managed to hide from the hubby.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats;

Chocolate chip cookie recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated (p 434) via Annie’s Eats

Makes 24 cupcakes and 7+ dozen mini chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients for the Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 2 c. plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips*

* If making normal sized cookies, use regular chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Cookie Dough Filling:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbs. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3.5 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Cookie Dough Icing:

  •  1/2 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • heaping 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Garnish:

  • Mini chocolate chip cookies
  • Mini chocolate chips

Make the Cookies:

  1. Ensure oven racks are placed in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butters and sugars on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Sprinkle in dry ingredients and beat on low until combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl, add chocolate chips, and beat briefly until everything’s mixed in. If chocolate chips aren’t evenly distributed, stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. For this next step, you’ll either use a teaspoon (for mini cookies) or a half cup measuring scoop for large cookies (or a tablespoon or 1/4 cup measuring scoop for something in between). Portion out cookie dough – a teaspoon for mini cookies or a scant 1/2 cup for large) and roll into a ball. Pull apart into two equal halves. Place halves on prepared cookie sheets with jagged surfaces facing up. Yes, I thought this was weird too, but the cookies were tasty and stayed soft, so just do it. 🙂 (Actually, I was curious so I googled it. Beantown Baker used the same recipe and said that this step gives the cookies “the crinkled and craggly bakery cookie look.”)
  4. Bake for 11-14 minutes if making the full-size cookies, rotating pans halfway through cooking. If making the mini cookies, start at 6 minutes and keep checking the cookies until the cookies are lightly golden. Outer edges should start to harden but middle should still be soft. Don’t overbake!
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350° . Line two cupcake pans with liners and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each.
  3. Scrape down sides of the blow and on low speed, slowly add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of flour, the milk and vanilla, and the remaining flour. Again, scrape down bowl and beat until all ingredients are just combined.
  4. With a spatula, fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill prepared cupcake pans with batter, about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to a baking sheet to cool completely.

Make the Cookie Dough Filling:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add flour, condensed milk, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make the Icing:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (yes, your mixer is getting a work out with this recipe!), beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. With the mixer still running, add flour and salt. Finally, add milk and vanilla extract. Icing should be smooth yet thick enough to pipe.

Assemble the Cupcakes:

  1. When cupcakes are completely cooled, using a paring knife to core out the center, forming a cone-shaped center. Remove cookie dough filling from fridge. Fill each cupcake with 1/2 tsp. cookie dough (I rolled it into a little ball).
  2. Top with frosting. I piped frosting on with a large Wilton star tip.
  3. Garnish with mini chocolate chips and a mini chocolate chip cookie.
  4. Try to restrain yourself from having more than one cupcake.
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