April 10, 2015

Ice-Cream Brownie Pops




















Several days ago I wanted to make Fat Witch Brownies but I did not have bittersweet chocolate so I substituted unsweetened cocoa.

The result was an intense chocolate brownie that crumbled easily.  It was perfect for making ice-cream brownie pops!

Choose a high quality vanilla ice cream.  (I like Trader Joe's vanilla.) Scoop small spoonfuls of ice cream into balls and arrange on a small tray.

In a separate bowl, crumble the brownies to create fine crumbs. Roll each ball of ice cream in the crumbs to coat.

Place the tray of ice cream balls into the freezer for 1 hour. Serve immediately or move the balls into a large plastic bag and store them in the freezer for future desserts.

Brownie Bites

The brownie crumbs are also perfect for making brownie bites.  I had some extra chocolate frosting left over from decorating a birthday cake.  I mixed the frosting with the brownie crumbs and then formed bite-size balls. I rolled some of the balls in shredded coconut.  Yummy!










April 3, 2015

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chunk, Pecan Cookies




Crunchy on the edges, chewy in the middle with the wonderful combination of oats, toasted pecans and large chunks of chocolate.

I can't really say much more except you have to taste these cookies!











Oatmeal, Chocolate Chunk, Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups instant oats
3/4 cups chopped chocolate
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl beat butter, sugars and vanilla.  Add eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in the oats, chocolate and pecans.

Spoon the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.






March 27, 2015

Banana Cookies

I like to put bananas in smoothies, but sometimes I don't get to the bananas before they are too ripe.  When this happens I usually make banana bread.

This time when I saw the blackened bananas on the counter, I thought cookies would be fun to make.  I started experimenting with various combinations and came up with this simple recipe. I added just a touch of lemon juice and cinnamon to complement the sweetness of the bananas.

These cake-like cookies are delicious plain. They are also very good with a touch of frosting sprinkled with toasted walnuts.

Enjoy!




Banana Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2 bananas, mashed
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice.  Add bananas and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.

The batter will be similar to a muffin batter.  Using a teaspoon (or tablespoon for larger cookies), drop spoonfuls of the batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.

Cool the cookies before frosting.

Frosting:
In a bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 3 Tablespoons melted butter.  Add spoonfuls of milk until the frosting is easy to spread.  Add additional milk if you want a thinner glaze.  For extra flavor add a few drops of lemon juice or vanilla.

Dip the top of each cookie into the frosting.  If desired, sprinkle toasted walnuts on top.

Store the cookies in the refrigerator.




March 20, 2015

White Double Chocolate Cookies

The lesson I learned from making these cookies is to keep better track of the recipe!

When I am experimenting in the kitchen I often just start adding ingredients to the bowl to create what I hope will be a delicious dessert.

A few weeks ago I created these double chocolate cookies. They were yummy!  They had crisp edges with a slightly gooey center.

Unfortunately, I was a bit too efficient cleaning up and I threw away the scraps of paper where I had scribbled my recipe.

Perhaps someday I will try to recreate my recipe.  For now, this one from Nestle is a good substitute.  Enjoy!

White Double Chocolate Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Premier White Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.

March 13, 2015

Intense Chocolate Brownies - Fat Witch Bakery

Chelsea Market has always been one of my favorite places in New York City.  From the beginning, long before the High Line, I have been a huge fan of Amy's Bread, Sarabeth's and Fat Witch Bakery.

The brownies from Fat Witch are delicious.  Luckily in 2010 Patricia Helding decided to share some of her recipes.  She has also recently released Fat Witch Bake Sale.

The following recipe is adapted from Fat Witch Brownies.  If you love brownies, I highly recommend this book!  Some of the tempting recipes include Triple Chocolate Brownies, Caramel Witches, Pecan Bars, Lemon Cheesecake Brownies and Butterscotch Bars.





Intense Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup butter
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, at least 70% cocoa broken into small pieces
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Melt the butter and chocolate.  Cool.

Mix the eggs and sugars until well blended.  Add the vanilla and chocolate.

Measure the flour and salt and then sift together into the batter.

Spread into a 9x9 pan.  Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Cool before cutting the brownies into 9 pieces.  Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container.




February 27, 2015

Butterscotch Coconut Cookies

I am constantly on the look-out for recipes with coconut.  This is a delicious cookie recipe from Williams and Sonoma.

It has a crispy edge with a chewy coconut center.  The butterscotch chips add extra sweetness to the cookie.

The recipe would also be good substituting white or milk chocolate chips for the butterscotch.

This is a perfect cookie dough to keep in the freezer for the times when you crave a warm cookie!





Butterscotch Coconut Cookies

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

In a separate bowl cream the sugar and brown sugar with the butter.  Add the egg and vanilla.

Stir in the dry ingredients.

Stir in the coconut and butterscotch chips.

Form balls (about 1 Tablespoon each).  Arrange on a parchment baking sheet about 3 inches apart.

Bake 325 degrees for about 15 minutes or until slightly brown.  Cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.


To Freeze Cookie Dough

Form balls with the cookie dough (about 1 Tablespoon each) and place them on a cookie sheet.  The balls can be close together but not touching.

Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for one hour.

On the outside of a plastic bag write the instructions - Bake 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Once the balls of dough are frozen they can be transferred to the bag and placed back into the freezer.

When you are ready to bake the frozen dough preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Remove the dough from the freezer and place the frozen balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet (about 3 inches apart).  Immediately place the frozen dough into the oven and bake until slightly brown (about 15 minutes).


February 20, 2015

Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cookies


There are a lot of delicious oatmeal cookie recipes but this is my new favorite.

I call these Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cookies because when I was in the mood the other day to bake the only oatmeal I had in the pantry was a box of individual oatmeal packs from Trader Joe's.  (You know, the kind you fix for breakfast when you are in a rush but you still want to eat healthy food.)

I used 3 envelopes, but any instant oatmeal can be substituted in this recipe.

This is comfort food at its best.  Crispy, delicious, slightly chewy in the center oatmeal cookies.


Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups oats

Soften the butter.  Mix in the sugar and brown sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add to the sugar mixture.

Stir in the oats.

The dough will be slightly sticky.  Using a tablespoon form about 9 mounds of dough on the parchment lined cookie sheet.  Flatten each mound to about 1/3 inch thick.

As the cookies bake they will flatten out even more so make sure to space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until slightly brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Warning - these are addictive.   I think it is fair to say that the healthy aspects of the oatmeal offsets the not-so-nutritious butter and sugar (or at least in a perfect world that would be true.)  Enjoy!



November 24, 2014

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, it is difficult to select a favorite recipe.  Sometimes it just depends on the craving.

This is the recipe that began our love affair with chocolate chip cookies! The cookies are slightly crispy with a gooey center.  This is my favorite go-to recipe.  By adding a few ingredients and changing the amount of sugar, vanilla or flour one can create all kinds of delicious cookie recipes.

This recipe is perfect for large batches of cookies that become even better after a few days.  You may not be able to test this theory however, since they have been known to disappear quickly.

Make this recipe and form the cookie dough into huge balls.  Small cookies are delicious, but there is something magical about a gigantic cookie.  The basic recipe can also be used to make wonderful oatmeal cookies.

This recipe is perfect when you are craving chocolate chip cookie dough.  Add an intense chocolate brownie.  Chocolate with chocolate (and more chocolate).  

The following recipe is perfect if you are in the mood for an extra thick, gooey, chewy chocolate chip pecan cookie.  

Whatever chocolate chip cookie dough mood you are in it is guaranteed that a chocolate chip cookie hot from the oven with a glass of cold milk will make an ordinary day seem quite amazing.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar (decrease to 3/4 cup if using dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 package chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Set aside.  (I use bread flour because I make a lot of bread and it is always on hand).

In a large mixing bowl beat butter for about 1 minute.  Add brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix for 1 minute.  Gradually add the dry ingredients (1/3 at a time), mixing in between each addition.  

Stir in the chocolate chips and toasted pecans. (To toast pecans, place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 5-7 minutes or until crisp.  Stir occasionally to make sure they do not burn.)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Pinch off sections of dough into rough balls (about 14 balls) and place them on the cookie sheet.  The balls can be close together.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a second cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Remove dough from the refrigerator and place half of the balls on the new cookie sheet.  Make sure to leave plenty of space in between each ball of dough.  

Place both cookie sheets in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges.  Serve warm.





July 11, 2014

Snickerdoodles


One of my favorite breakfast treats is a piece of toast slathered with melted butter and generously sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

It is almost like eating a cinnamon roll every day for breakfast, but I rationalize that the toast must be healthier since it is not also coated with a layer of frosting.

Snickerdoodles are some of my favorite cookies when I am in the mood for cinnamon.  They remind me of my first baking experiences as a child.

The original recipe had shortening instead of butter, but my thinking these days leans towards eating things that I would also eat plain.  Butter - yes.  Shortening - no.

June 27, 2014

Pecan Blondies


I like to make these ahead of time and then wrap each brownie in plastic wrap.  They are easy to grab for picnics or a quick treat on the go.

They are dense, moist and the pecans add a wonderful crunch.  They are also delicious with macadamia nuts.