Food, the perfect gift, every time.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

I recently needed a thank you gift. After thinking about a few ideas, I settled on cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies, especially ones you don’t have to bake. As everyone knows from past experience, when gifting cookies the usual fair (if not something from a mix or box) is usually some very flat and very sad chocolate chips cookies that are usually light on the chocolate chips and lacking in nuts. Some people prefer no nuts and as our sister/ cousin Marci was quoted to say,”my dad raised me with no nuts.” So after considering the options and some peoples’ reprehensible feelings on the subject of nuts, gingersnaps it was. After researching a few recipes and settling on one from my grandma, I got to work.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

These cookies came together quickly…so easy! Chocolate is always my go to dessert, but I’m never disappointed when I go with something like these cookies or a lemon something. Maybe I should go for non chocolate desserts more often.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

I love the way these look, not to mention they have a great texture. This is a great cookie, and extremely easy. Start baking.

Gingersnaps
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ C shortening
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • ¼ C Molasses
  • 1 Egg
  • 2¼ C flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses, and egg.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  3. Mix shortening mixture with dry ingredients.
  4. Form dough into small balls, roll in granulated sugar, place two inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes at 375.

Spilled Milk Deserves Cookies

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

One of my most favorite/horrifying/eye opening moments while teaching high school comes from the time the class was making chocolate chip cookies. One particular student checked her groups’ cookies and said (with a very concerned tone) “Ms. Wright, our cookies don’t look right. They’re fluffy and light brown.” It was at this moment that I realized a lot of my students had only seen flat, pale, and sad cookies. So sad.

A great chocolate chip cookie recipe is a necessity. If you have never experienced a fluffy, delicious, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, golden brown cookie you are missing out.

Say goodbye to sad and flat cookies today with this recipe!

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Chocolate Chip Cookies (High Altitude)
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2½ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 lb Butter (do not use margarine)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla
  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 1½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 6 Cups Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Cups Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Cream together sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer.
  2. Add flour, salt, baking soda. Mix well.
  3. Add chocolate chips and nuts.
  4. Pre heat oven to 350.
  5. Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on cooling rack.
Notes
i often times will half this recipe. When you cut the recipe in half, reduce the eggs to two, instead of three.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Favorites

The secretaries at the high school are always dropping (not so subtle) hints for cookies and treats. They certainly do a lot for me and my program, so whenever I can, I oblige. For Christmas I made the office staff their favorite cookies. Coconut macaroons was first up on my list.

I love that this recipe is so simple and delicious! Drizzle chocolate to add some class.

Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 20 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks.
  3. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Drop 1 TBSP of batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. While cookies are baking, melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  7. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies using a piping bag or spoon.
  8. Cool and serve.

Sugar Cookies

These are not the kind of sugar cookies you are probably thinking of. And that’s exactly the reason why I love them. There’s no frosting shenanigans. Just great cookies. Here we go.

The crew.

IMG_1222

Cream shortening, sugars, vanilla and eggs together.  Mix well.

IMG_1223IMG_1224

Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

IMG_1225

Mix well again.

IMG_1226

Form dough into balls. I like to roll out all 48 cookies before I coat them in sugar. Just to make sure they are all the same size.

IMG_1227

Roll cookies in additional sugar. Coat completely.

IMG_1228

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten.

IMG_1229

Bake at 350 degrees fro 8-11 minutes. Cookies will start to crack around the edges when done. Cook longer for crispier cookies.

NOTE- Whenever working with a range of time, always start with the lower number. You can always add more time.

IMG_1230

Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 Dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • extra white sugar (for rolling balls of dough)
Instructions
  1. Cream shortening, sugars, vanilla and eggs together. Mix well.
  2. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix well again.
  3. Place additional sugar into a bowl.
  4. Form dough into balls and roll each ball in the bowl of sugar.
  5. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees fro 8 -11minutes. Cookies will start to crack around the edges when done. Cook longer for crispier cookies.

Sweet Memories

IMG_1197

If you’re looking for a new Christmas cookie this year, try this one. As kids we were obsessed with these cookies. There were a few treats I would consider staples at Grandmas. Chocolate Pillows was one of them. While I was in college I asked Grandma for the recipe (which I got) and also her cookie press! #win

IMG_1167

 These are always fun to make. But to me, it’s more about the memories associated with the cookie, than the cookie itself.

Let’s get started.

First, gather your ingredients.

IMG_1183

Sift flour and salt together. I used to skip over sifting, but now I’m convinced it’s these simple steps that make a good cookie, great.

IMG_1169

Cream butter (Grandma always used salted butter, so that’s what I used. But the original recipe calls for unsalted) and sugar. Beat until smooth.

IMG_1176IMG_1177

Add egg and vanilla. Beat well.

IMG_1178IMG_1179

Add in dry ingredients.

IMG_1180IMG_1181

Chill the dough in the fridge for a few minutes. While my dough was chilling I washed up the dishes…

IMG_1184

Got my cookie press out…

IMG_1182

And got the chocolate ready…

IMG_1188

Form the dough into a roll that will fit into your cookie press.

IMG_1185

Follow cookie press directions to assemble and add dough.

IMG_1186IMG_1187

Press out a “line” of the dough along the ungreased cookie sheet. Lay the rectangles of chocolate out end to end with just a little space between them. Press out another “line” of the dough over the chocolate, covering it completely. Repeat this procedure until your cookie sheet is filled, keeping the unused dough in the fridge so it will retain its shape when pressed. Until you get the hang of your cookie press, your dough will rip and tear. It is hard to get long pieces of dough. When my dough tore, I pinched it back together. Stick with it!

IMG_1190

Using a knife, lightly score between each piece of chocolate.

IMG_1191

Bake at 375 until golden, about 12 minutes. Upon removing from oven, immediately cut between each piece of chocolate and remove to a cooling rack.

IMG_1195

Happy baking!

Chocolate Pillows
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 48
 
A family favorite, delicious anytime of the year.
Ingredients
  • 2½ C Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 C Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ C Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 10 Hershey's Chocolate Candy Bars
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Sift flour and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Chill the dough for a few minutes.
  7. While dough is chilling, break chocolate bars into small rectangles and prepare cookie press using the saw tooth disc.
  8. Form dough into a roll that will fit in your cookie press. Fill cookie press.
  9. Press out a "line" of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Lay the chocolate pieces on top of the dough, leaving small gaps in between each piece of chocolate. Repeat this procedure until your cookie sheet is fill, keeping the unused dough in the fridge so it will retain its shape when pressed.
  11. Using a knife, lightly score the dough between each piece of chocolate.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  13. Upon removing from oven, immediately cut between each piece of chocolate and remove to a cooling rack.

It’s That Time of the Year

IMG_1221

Next week I’m in charge of some kind of cooking/baking activity for my Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. I have been racking my brain trying to come up with something that would be fun and work out well. Since most people give out treat plates during the holidays, I thought I would do a couple cookie recipes.

One that I will be sharing is Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. This recipe comes from the Cooks Illustrated Magazine. If you have never read Cooks Illustrated, I highly recommend it. (Nerd Alert!) They share the science behind the cooking and the process they go through to get the final product. It’s a great read! This recipe also work at high altitude, which I am always excited about.

Gather ingredients.

IMG_1193IMG_1209

Prepare cookie sheets by placing parchment paper on them. I like using silpats. Whatever you use, it just needs to be nonstick.

IMG_1295

Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

IMG_1198

Whisk brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a different bowl.

IMG_1199

Combine chocolate and butter in a small pot and melt on stove over low heat.

IMG_1201IMG_1202

Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined.

IMG_1204

Side note. I was quickly running out of hands, taking pictures, pouring, whisking that I was having problems holding the bowl as well. If you ever have this problem, bunch up a towel under the bowl. The towel will act as a third hand and hold the bowl in place.Like this:

IMG_1208

Fold (gently mix) in flour mixture until all combined.

IMG_1206IMG_1207

Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. At this point, I was very skeptical that this was going to work. The cookie “dough” was more like brownie batter. When 10 minutes was up, my dough was thicker, but not thick enough to roll into balls. I tried, but it wasn’t pretty. I used two spoons to get the amount of dough I wanted and dropped it into the granulated sugar. Once it was covered with the sugar it was easier to work with. And once baked they turned out fine. I decided to let the dough sit for an extra 10 minutes. And like magic, it thickened right up to the point I could roll it into balls.

Roll each ball in granulated sugar and then in powdered sugar. Place on cookie sheet.

IMG_1215IMG_1213

Place 11 balls on each cookie sheet. So they have plenty of room to spread out.

IMG_1296

Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.

IMG_1297

Cool on a cooling rack.

IMG_1301

I cannot get enough of these cookies. They are such a pretty and delicious cookie!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 22
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1½ ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups packed (10½ ounces) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl.
  2. Whisk brown sugar; eggs; espresso powder, if using; and vanilla together in large bowl. Combine chocolate and butter in a small pot and melt over low heat.
  3. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Place granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar in separate shallow dishes. Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space dough balls on prepared sheets, 11 per sheet.
  5. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cool completely on sheet before serving.