Tag Archives: Cookies

A Perfect Little Sunday

This past Sunday, still high from my bridesmaid dress shopping win, the fiancé and I set out to make our guestbook for the wedding. I had seen on The Broke Ass Bride, the idea to use a picture calendar (made on Shutterfly) as a guestbook instead of the traditional plain page books. That got my creative juices flowing, and after receiving a coupon code from David’s Bridal for a free 8×8 20 page hard covered picture book, I knew exactly what we were going to do! So after combing through a bunch of pictures we put everything together and ordered it! I’m so excited to see the final product.

We then only spent $50 at the grocery store for the week (win #2), and decided to celebrate with a trip to Chipotle. Well, the trip had already been planned, but we felt a lot less guilty about spending the money on dinner, especially since we had a coupon for buy one get one free thanks to the new show America’s Next Great Restaurant! As you can see, this whole wedding planning and saving money idea has really been rubbing off on me – I’m hell-bent on finding the best deals for everything. I’m pretty sure the fiancé and my wallet are thanking me! And the burrito I devoured could barely be rolled and wrapped shut… YUM!

Baking was done, as well. I made a batch of Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cookie Clusters. They were SO good! I added 2 Tbsp of coconut oil to give it some extra flavor, and they were really great. They’re so easy, and you probably have all of the ingredients already. Go make them!

I came home to an e-mail to find out I had won RunAddict’s Zensah giveway was a sweet addition to the already positive weekend, too! It ended peacefully watching The Oscars, with dreamboats James Franco and Anne Hathaway (yes, they are BOTH dreamboats).

(source)

I hope everyone else had a successful and enjoyable weekend – I know I needed it! Now on to tackle the week… at least it’s above 35 degrees!

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Filed under Baking, Spanish Food, Wedding

Holiday Cookies

The end of the year is always crazy, and this year is no exception. Between holiday parties, shopping, and decorating, throw in a job in an industry that has a lot to get done at the end of the year, plus end of semester school-work, and you’ve got one busy lady. But enough about me, this post is about cookies!

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the second annual cookie exchange party hosted by my co-worker’s sister. Last year, I made yummy choco-hazelnut cookies that were a huge hit. This year, I decided to make something a little more simple, but still different. I’ve had RecipeGirl’s Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe hanging around in my recipe folder for over a year. Since I still had a can of pumpkin left, and am not yet ready to say goodbye to pumpkin season, I figured these cookies would be a perfect last hurrah. Not to mention, until only a few weeks ago I had never had a snickerdoodle cookie (I don’t like sugar cookies – they’re boring). So, the idea of adding pumpkin flavors to a cinnamon and sugar cookie seemed perfect. Maybe next year I’ll get creative and make my very own cookies. But I knew I was in good hands with RecipeGirl, as she’s yet to let me down!

We had the cabinets and flooring in our kitchen completely gutted and re-done on Saturday, so the day was spent laying in bed, running, and doing homework. Since I was banished from the kitchen all day, this meant I needed to wake up early on Sunday to prep my cookies for the 1pm party. My fiancé came downstairs to the smell of cookies baking in the oven – what a perfect way to wake up! Aside from having to let the dough chill in the refrigerator for an hour, the recipe was pretty straight forward. I’m still counting down the days until I have a KitchenAid stand mixer though; my hand mixer just isn’t cutting it!

I tried my best to make the cookies as cylindrical as possible by using a pint class to flatten the balls of sugary dough, but I definitely had a few that were misshapen. The cookies were only partly about presentation, though, because we all know everyone is at a cookie party to eat! And now that I have a solid 10 cookie recipes to add to my ever growing arsenal, eating is just what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks when I try to recreate these! But before that, I have to cook and bake for our Festivus Party this coming Saturday. I’m sure there will be epic stories about that to come.

But in the meantime, if you have some canned pumpkin laying around and are in need of a sweet treat, take a stab at these Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
– From the delicious RecipeGirl.com

Cookie Ingredients:
2 sticks butter (1 cup), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Rolling Sugar Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time until incorporated.
3. Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Mix rolling sugar in a small bowl.
5. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbsp.) or a large spoon to scoop out dough and roll into balls. Use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they’re coated really well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a nice, flat bottom to dip in sugar and flatten the balls.
6. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: About 3 dozen

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This particular recipe came to fruition by accident. On Saturday my fiancé and I headed to my boss’ house for a lovely evening of eating and playing Just Dance on Wii (which rules, by the way) as a celebration for successfully getting through our conference in October. Since she was doing all the cooking, I knew I needed to bring something along. After finishing my longest run post-injury (oh hey 6 miles!) I didn’t have much time to whip up anything fancy, so I fell back on PBFingers‘ two ingredient pumpkin cake cookies.

There were a few left over, and I was forced to take them home with me. Since we still have a ton of Halloween candy laying around, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. On Sunday, though, I awoke with a genius idea – whoopie pie! And let me tell you, this will be the easiest whoopie pies you will ever make in your life – trust me. Since the cookies themselves are literally two ingredients, adding some cream cheese frosting in between was perfect. They were a great morning treat, and would translate well any time of the day.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
– makes 6 –

Cake Ingredients:
1 box of spice cake mix
1 can pure pumpkin

Frosting Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine cake mix and pumpkin until completely mixed and fluffy
3. Bake 10-12 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean
4. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.
5. Liberally spread frosting mixture on each side of the cookie, and press together

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Pumpkin Cake Cookies

After being out of the baking scene for awhile, I decided to hop back in with what was hands down the easiest recipe ever. Aside from going to the store and buying a box of cookies, I don’t think this could have been easier (and it didn’t require me to leave my house!). This particular recipe comes from PB Fingers, who’s blog I stumbled upon recently. She’s got some super yummy recipes, and I love to see how her wedding plans are unfolding – everything is so cute!

I made a batch of these cookies and decided to bring a bunch to work the next day. Of course, I left some at home to enjoy as well. They were gone in a flash! My co-workers couldn’t stop talking about how great they were, and they were in shock after finding out they only required two ingredients, and a 10-12 minute bake time.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a big skeptical about the whole cake mix + a can of pumpkin = deliciousness, but I’m glad I went ahead with it anyway. All you need to do is combine a box of spice cake mix, and a 15 oz. can of pure pumpkin, plop them on some baking sheets, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. That’s it! They’re going to be super moist and cakey which is just how I like my cookies. I have every intention of making these over and over again, and you should give them a shot too!

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Baking Away!

This past week was pretty serious when it came to my cooking. Not only did I make Eggplant Enchiladas and Southwest Soup & Tortas, but I also did some pretty serious baking. Well, for me at least. Of course it was nothing like Serial Baker, but that’s besides the point.

On Wednesday after getting in an argument with our upstairs neighbor about “stinking” because we cook, I decided to finally start my cupcake experiment. Don’t worry; there will be a post about that in the near future. Then on Saturday, I had two occasions to bake for – first, I was going to meet more of my fiancé’s family at Passover dinner, and it was also one of our friend’s birthdays.

For whatever reason when I was little, I wished I was Jewish. It probably came down to the simple fact that I wanted to be something I wasn’t. Just like I always wanted glasses, and secretly hoped I’d break a lower-extremity bone so I could use crutches. At any rate, my fiancé is half Jewish, and though his family isn’t really practicing, they do have Passover dinner just as a way to all get together. They don’t do any thing really traditional (such as the Seder, etc.), but there was some typical fare. That’s where my first baking attempt came in to play.

Early last week I was trying to figure out what I could bring with us. I wanted to make something, but wasn’t sure what. I had remembered my mom’s principle (she’s a school nurse) making “matzo bark” and I had asked for the recipe. She never got it, but conveniently later in the week I was reading YumSugar and stumbled upon a “Toffee-Chocolate Matzah” recipe! We’ve had a box of matzo for awhile, so I knew I was at least half way there with the ingredients. After reading over the recipe, I realized it was completely doable in terms of ingredients, skill level, and time.

Once I had made that recipe, I moved onto my next task – Kahlua Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies. Say that 10 times fast! I found the recipe from Recipe Girl, who also provided me with the delicious Pumpkin French Toast I had made this past fall. Again, I had to cream the butter by hand with the back of a spoon, which I complained about continuously. But other than that, the recipe was pretty straight forward. I did have to go out and get more chocolate chips and powdered Espresso, but that was it!

I did make a few alterations to the Kahlua Espresso cookies… I didn’t have any Kahlua, but I did have Bailey’s (from my Guinness & Bailey’s cupcakes). So instead of going out and buying more alcohol that would just sit around, I figured I’d use what I have. Also, between the two recipes, I ran out of brown sugar. But I did have a brown sugar and Splenda mix, so I was able to use that for the rest of the cookies. While I haven’t had the original recipe, I can’t imagine mine tasted much different from them.

When we arrived at my fiancé’s Aunt’s house, I was thrilled to hear that everyone was a huge fan of chocolate covered matzo. They were definitely enjoyed by everyone, and since there was so much food we got to take home the leftovers! Say hello to a delicious little snack during the week! The cookies were also a hit at our friend’s party. By the time we got there, they had an ice luge out and in full force, so some sustenance was in order. I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed those as well.

So, if you ever find yourself with some extra Matzo hanging around, or the inability to eat leaven bread, I suggest giving the Toffee-Chocolate Matzah a try. Here’s the recipe from YumSugar, who got it from Martha Stewart:

Ingredients:
4 sheets unsalted non-egg matzah
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
Coarse sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper Place matzah in an even layer on baking sheet and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and immediately reduce temperature to low. Cook, stirring, adjusting heat as necessary, until sugar has completely dissolved and begins to bubble. Drizzle toffee over matzah and spread to cover using a spatula.
4. Transfer toffee-covered matzah to oven and bake until toffee has a rich, shiny sheen, 10 to 20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Tent matzah with aluminum foil and let stand 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Remove foil tent and spread melted chocolate over matzah to cover; sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer matzah to refrigerator and let chill at least 2 hours.
7. Break chilled matzah into pieces. Matzah will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature.

And, if you’re ever looking for some chocolate, coffee, liquor and cinnamon, give these Kahlua Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies a whirl!

Ingredients:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ Tbsp. espresso powder
1 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted & cooled a little bit
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a small dish, dissolve espresso powder in Kahlua; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, use electric mixer to cream butter and sugars together. Add Kahlua mixture, eggs and vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined. Add cooled, melted chocolate and continue to beat until it’s mixed in. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until all flour is incorporated into the dough, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) 2-inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and no longer look gooey in the middles. Cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: About 5 dozen

Being in a rush after all the baking, I didn’t take a picture of them after they were done. Then, I wound up eating all of the cookies and matzo before I realized I still needed a picture! So my sincerest appologies for not having pictures of the deliciousness. But I promise they were yummy!!

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