Tag Archives: cookies

Jumbo Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies – Fresh Baked Friday… on Monday!

18 Apr

As promised…

While I have a wicked sweet tooth, chocolate is really not my go-to.  Sure, I love a piece of dark chocolate now and then.  And I do love chocolate mousse.    

But vanilla or chocolate ice cream?  Vanilla every time.  Chocolate candy or gummy candy?  Hello, gummy bears, you are my friend.  Chocolate cake or coconut cake?  Well, you know that answer.

So I was a bit surprised myself when I starred this recipe on Annie’s Eats.  It may have been the size of each cookie.  Or, perhaps, the the description.  Either way, I was intrigued.

So, last week, I gave it a try.  It did not disappoint.  I would describe it as a cross between brownie and cookie.  It’s soft and chewy, but a bit dense.

I think the fact these were gone in no time is really a testament to how delicious they are.  Mom even ate one.  And she’s less of a chocolate lover than I am (gasp!  a taste bud commonality for once).

In fact, it just might make me a convert to chocolate cookies.

Okay, probably not.  But now my wheels are turning to see how I can make the equivalent for a simple jumbo chocolate chip cookie.  Yum!

Jumbo Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
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16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder (I used regular because that’s all I had and it was fine)
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions…
Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Add the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed until just combined.  Fold int he chocolate chips.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to make sure the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the dough unto 12 equal pieces (about 4 ounces each).  Roll each portion into a ball and flatten slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.

Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Source: Annie’s Eats

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Almond Biscotti – Fresh Baked Friday!

1 Apr

I love biscotti.  Really, what’s not to love?  It’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s dunkable.

But, for some reason, I don’t think to make it all that often.  Maybe it’s the whole bake twice thing.  But in reality, it doesn’t take that much more time.

Or perhaps it’s the fact I’ll just eat it all.

Yeah, it’s probably that one.

Well, it’s a good thing I’ve been going here, there and everywhere lately.  Gives me a chance to try new recipes, offer a sweet “thank you for having me” and keep my sugar levels from spiking five times a day.

And, need I say it, this ever traditional, always delicious almond biscotti recipe does not disappoint.  Not me nor anyone who has tried them.

So get baking.  Then make a spot of tea (can you tell I watched a wee bit of Mary Poppins last week!) and get dunkin.

Almond Biscotti
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1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 cup whole almonds with skin, lightly toasted
3 eggs
2 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional) 

Directions…

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, butter, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste.  Add eggs and mix to combine.  Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Mix in almonds.  Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.

Shape the dough into 2 logs, each measuring approximately 2-by-10 inches.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until a pale golden color, about 30-35 minutes.

Transfer logs to a rack and let cool for about 20 minutes.

Using a serrated knife (very important!), cut each log into ¾ inch slice and arrange on a baking sheet, cut side down.  Bake until golden, about another 25 minutes.

Transfer to a rack and cool completely.  If desired, you can dip the bottom or side into melted chocolate once completely cool.

Or just eat plain.  They are that delicious!

Store any uneaten biscotti in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: To toast the almonds,  place them in a single layer on a plain baking sheet.  Bake for 10 -15 minutes.  The almonds will have a bit of color and a great nutty smell.
Source: slightly adapted from Blue-Eyed Bakers

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Pretzel Cookies – Fresh Baked Friday!

18 Mar

Longest cookie name ever.  But, for those who have tried these babies, well worth the mouth full of words.

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try.  To be honest, as I’ve mentioned before, sweet and salty isn’t my thing.  Chocolate covered pretzels?  I’ll pass.  Salted caramel?  Not my first choice.

I made these, though, a few weeks ago to bring for some friends I was seeing during my trip to Philly.  One person in particular doesn’t have a particularly strong sweet tooth (crazy, right!).  I thought this cookie would be the perfect option for her.

Turns out it was the crowd favorite.

Taste-wise, these are a complicated cookie.  Can cookies be complicated?  Well, I’m saying these are.

The base of the cookie is packed with the peanut butter flavor.  The white chocolate adds a touch of sweetness here and there.  Then, the pretzels add a bit of crunch.  Complicated, right?

A few notes…

Feel free to use all-natural peanut butter.  It will make the dough a bit thicker, but mine turned out just dandy.  You could try adding a few teaspoons of milk or water if you are worried about the density.  (Now, I have not tried this theory.  If it doesn’t work, don’t fully blame me!)

I normally fold in any additions to my cookie batter.  For this one, I thought it would be good to have the pretzels broken up a bit, so I went ahead and added them and did a quick mix. Turned out perfectly.

If sweet and salty is your thing, these are the cookies for you.

Added bonus for me?  Since it’s not, I only ate one.  But trust me, there wouldn’t have been many sitting around to eat.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
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8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups white chocolate chips, divided
1 ¼ cups peanut butter (reserve 2 tablespoons to melt with the white chocolate chips)
1 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup pretzels
fine sea salt (or fleur de sel)

Directions…

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line two cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  Set aside.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Over a double boiler, melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the melted white chocolate mixture and remaining peanut butter.  Add egg and mix well.  Add vanilla.

Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  The mixture may be crumbly, which is okay.  Add pretzels and remaining white chocolate chips.  Quickly mix on low speed.

Scoop cookies onto the prepared sheets.  Using your palm (or the bottom of a glass), lightly press each cookie down to about ½ inch thickness.  Sprinkle each cookie with a touch of sea salt.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and lightly crisp.  Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Source: Picky Palate


Say Happy Birthday to Mikey!

16 Mar

This is Mikey.  Well, this is Mikey a few years ago.  Now he’s “Mike” (although, not to me), has a beard and can legally drink.

Mikey’s like my little brother.  His parents, Mark and Kathy (an avid reader and supporter of Kristina’s Confections… hi, Kath!) are my mom’s best friends from high school.  We’re all part of a village.  One big, crazy, fun, supportive, loving village.  Did I mention crazy?

Anyway, this picture was taken back during a time when Mikey wouldn’t leave the house without his “blankie”, which, I should mention, was little more than lint from the dryer (yes, it was that worn).

Just a few years later, this adorable little boy would visit me at Villanova (with Mom and Kathy) and would learn about “the vault” – nuggets of knowledge (read: harmless secrets, but secrets nonetheless) that must never be discussed.  Mikey is still one of the best vault keepers around.

Now, Mikey is in college, probably creating his own “in the vault” memories.  But that’s not for me to discuss.

Boy, time flies.

And another year has passed for Mikey, whose birthday was this past Sunday.  Don’t worry, I Facebook messaged him.  And sent him these treats.  Which should be arriving sometime this afternoon.  Surprise, Mikey!

Hope you had a great, wonderful, fantastic, fun-filled birthday!  xo

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Chipsters – Fresh Baked Friday!

4 Feb

A while back – before Kristina’s Confections and before this lovely blog – I tried my hand at (unofficially) following along with the bakers over at Tuesdays with Dorie.  It was great.  I loved working my way through a fantastic book of baked goods.  The drawback?  Well, excessive amounts of freshly baked treats in the house, every day of every week.

We sent some to Mom’s office.  Others were passed off on Grandma and Granddad.  Someone in town?  Guess who became the lucky recipient of some baked treats?

When an actual event occurred, it was a dream come true!  So when these peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies came up the same week as a Redskins tailgate, well it was kismet.These are really the meeting of three all-American classics – the chocolate chip cookie, the oatmeal cookie and peanut butter.  Our favorite sweets all rolled (no pun intended) into one. They were a huge hit at the tailgate and are a huge hit every time I have made them since.

Start by mixing together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Be generous with the cinnamon measurement.  The peanut butter and cinnamon really accentuate one another, making this cookies (er, chipsters) even more delicious.

Blend together the peanut butter and the butter.  Dorie recommends chunky peanut butter, but I only buy creamy and I think it works just fine.  Up to you.

Add the sugars and beat until smooth and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time.

Add the vanilla.

Now the dry ingredients.  Mix until just blended.

Mix in the chocolate chips.

Now this is very important… take a little taste.  I know, I know.  Raw eggs.  Blah, blah, blah.  Fine, skip if you want.  Your loss.  Not mine.  Plus, I’m still alive.  As is my mother, grandmother and a long list of friends.  In high school, we considered cookie dough a food category all it’s own.  Doing just dandy.

Anyway, quick rinse of the hands, if you took my advice.

Now drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough on a prepared cookie sheet.

Bake.  Just until golden brown.

A little tip, these are really delicious when warm.  Pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.  Perfecto!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Chipsters
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3 cups Old-Fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup peanut butter – chunky or smooth (NOT natural)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions…

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and peanut butter.  Add the sugars and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, if time allows, for about 2 hours (or up to one day).  This will help keep the cookies uniform.  Drop the the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until just golden brown a bit firm around the edges.  Place the cookies on a cooling rack. They will firm as they cool.

Source: Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

Cranberry Orange Cookies – Fresh Baked Friday!

14 Jan

While I was doing my holiday baking, in that one free afternoon I found, I wanted to use up some fresh cranberries we had leftover for a cake I made (stay tuned for that recipe).  Turns out, cookie recipes using fresh cranberries are hard to find.  Who knew?Don’t fret my pets.  I am pretty persistent.  And I finally found something that would work.  A few tweaks and, I have to say, we have a keeper!

Start by creaming the sugar, brown sugar, butter, orange zest and orange juice.

Add the egg.

Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until just combined.

Coarsely chop the cranberries.  Did you know cranberries are actually white?  Well, ya learn something new everyday.  Blueberries are the same.  Look at that!  Your something new for tomorrow.

Back to the cookies.  Gently fold the cranberries and white chocolate chips into the batter.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonfuls on prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake.  Let cool and eat!

These were quite the hit this year.  I think they would also be great for Thanksgiving.  Next time I might experiment a bit – maybe taking out the chips, adding some pecans and doing a white chocolate drizzle.  Oh, so daring!

Cranberry Orange Cookies
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1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 egg
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips 

Directions…
Preheat the oven to 375℉.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, butter, orange zest, orange juice.  Add the egg and beat until blended.

Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until just combined.

Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, about 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Remove and let cool.

Source: adapted from Best Ever Cookie Collection


Italian Drop Cookies – Fresh Baked Friday!

7 Jan

I LOVE black licorice.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Love it.  It’s a family thing.  My mom loves it, my grandfather loves it, I love it.  Black jelly beans are a prized commodity.  During Easter, it gets ugly around our house.

And it’s not just black licorice candy.  Sambuca?  Delish.  Pizzelle?  Two please.  Italian Anise Cookie?  Hand them over.

Oh, you haven’t heard of the Italian Drop Cookie?  Well, let me introduce you.

They look delicious, don’t they?  Well, it should come as no surprise that these cookies are a holiday favorite around the Fierstein household.  Er, at least for my mom and I.  We might be able to eat the whole batch in about a week.  It makes a lot of cookies.

So, if you like the anise flavor, keep reading.  This cookie is for you.

And if not, well I think you are just crazy.  But, you should keep reading and give these babies a try.  And if you still don’t like them, well then send them our way.  We’ll be happy to, um, dispose of them, for you!

Did I mention how complicated these cookies are to make?  Oops!  Probably should have done that.

The first step (of about 34) is…

Combine all the ingredients.  Yup, you heard me. So that would be flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt and (drum roll please) anise extract.

Now beat.  Just beat it.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Roll the dough into balls.  I make mine using an ice cream (or better known in the KC Kitchen as the large cookie) scoop, which is about 3 tablespoons.  You could make them smaller.  I wouldn’t, but you could.

After the cookie are baked, let them cool and make the glaze.  Sorry, I got a little lax on the picture taking.

But, I did remember to take pics of the glaze.  Which, incidentally, is also very complicated to make.  Oh, you picked up on the sarcasm there.  Darn.

Anyway.  The glaze.  Combine the confectioner sugar, water and anise extract (again!)…

And mix until glaze consistency.  What’s that?  Well, it’s thicker than water, but thinner than buttercream.  Still no good?  Well, like this.

Like a thick syrup.  That’s it!

Now dip the cooled cookies in your syrup-thick glaze.

Let the glaze harden a bit before eating.  If you can wait that long.

I was unable to contain myself and promptly ate one (or two), forgetting to take a “pretty picture.”  Hopefully you can use your imagination to think about what a plate of these beauties would look like.

Seriously one of my favorite cookies ever.  It may in fact edge out my beloved snickerdoodle.  Just maybe.

Italian Anise Cookies
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Cookie…

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anise extract (more or less if you like)

Glaze…

1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
3-5 teaspoons water
¼-1/2 teaspoon anise extract (again, depending on personal taste) 

Directions…

Preheat the oven to 400℉.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt and anise extract.  Mix until well blended.

Using an ice cream scoop, shape dough into balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving a bit of space between each cookie (they don’t spread very much).  Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

In the meantime, make the glaze.  Combine the confectioners sugar, the water and the anise extract.  Start with 3 teaspoons of water and add more, if necessary.  Once to the proper consistency, dip the cooled cookies in the glaze.  Allow to dry.  Store the cookies in a tightly covered container.

Note:  The cookies are also delicious without the glaze, if you want to cut out a step.

Source: Clifton Country Cookbook


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