Tag Archives: cookies

Cranberry peanut butter chip cookies

If you looked in my freezer right now, you’d think the zombie apocalypse was imminent. Remember on Wednesday, when I said we were feeling a little cabin fever? Well for me, that has translated into baking All. The. Things. Look into that chest freezer, and you’ll find biscuits, bread, pancakes, cookies, and cookie dough!

Yes, I said cookie dough. I have a little secret that makes me seem like the best hostess, wife, granddaughter, etc. Since we’re talking honesty here, baring secrets and all, I might as well be completely honest. I did hesitate sharing this secret with you. You see, I do like to be the best, and if I tell you, you’ll soon be the best hostess, wife, daughter, etc, too. So, you have to promise to keep on thinking I’m awfully awesome, ‘kay?! ‘Cause now my family knows the secret too.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, here’s the secret. I get to wow people with fresh baked cookies, because I keep some of my doughs in the freezer. Here’s what you do, roll the cookies into balls as usual and place them slightly apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet (don’t skip the parchment, she says from messy experience). While you’re baking the rest of the cookies, put the cookie sheet into the freezer and the freeze for an hour. After an hour, you can package the dough balls up without fear that they’ll stick together. Then when unexpected guests show up or you want to give a tasty treat to someone, just pop them in the oven at the regular baking temperature, and increase the baking time by about a minute. Now this doesn’t work for all cookies, and may change the texture of them slightly, but not when it comes to these delicious cranberry and peanut butter cookies.

Even from frozen, these cookies are soft and delicious, staying soft even on days two and three. Peanut butter and cranberry, may be my new favorite flavor combination. And add in a hint of cinnamon, well, that’s just winning!

Enjoy!

Cranberry peanut butter chip cookies

Cranberry peanut butter chip cookies

Adapted from the Little Big Cookies Book

2 cups flour
½ teaspoon soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs at room temperature
heaping ½ cup of dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
¾ cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well, scraping sides of bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients. Mix in cranberries and peanut butter chips by hand.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment lined cookies sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container up to 4 days.

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Orange cardamom cookies with browned butter

Well hello 2014. You and I are getting off to a pretty rad start. Himself and I spent a rather low key and romantic NYE, relaxing in front of the fire with a bottle of his homemade wine (I really lucked out with this one). As cold as it was then on New Year’s Day, there was absolutely no reason to go outside, so instead, Himself and I renewed our Netflix subscription (what else are you going to do when it’s -36 below without the windchill?!). Add in my birthday on Thursday, where I did not do one single thing I didn’t want to do, and you have the makings for a fantastic first week of 2014.

With it being soooooo cold, it’s a perfect time for turning on the oven and baking something delicious, and so these orange cardamom cookies with browned butter were born. Plus, this gal would prefer a good cookie over birthday cakes any day. Are you ever just amazed by the tangents your brain wanders off on? Or is this just another facet of my brand of crazy?

Our lovely neighbor dropped off the most amazing gingerbread cookies on Christmas Eve, and I have not been able to get them out of my brain. Soft, chewy, with just a hint of something awesomely unidentifiable, I needed to find something similar. Yet somehow, my quest for the ultimate gingerbread cookies took a weird left and ended up with these orange cardamom cookies. Yup, not even close to gingerbread. But there I was standing in my kitchen tallying the ingredients I had when inspiration struck. Guys, this is why I love cooking. Ideas adapting and changing, simple ingredients transforming into something awesome.

Plus, browned butter. Need I say more? If someone were to make some sort of scented candle with the fragrance of browned butter. I would be All. Over. That. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to content myself with making browned butter everything. Life is rough.

These cookies are fantastic on their own, but for me the dark chocolate brings them to the next level. Power up. Of course, Himself thought the same of the white chocolate. To each their own, I guess…

Enjoy!

Orange Cardamom Cookies with browned butter

Orange cardamom cookies with browned butter

Adapted from Roxana’s soft chewy gingerbread cookies

14 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 ¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
⅔ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 ½ – 2 cups white or dark chocolate chips, if desired

In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Cook over medium low heat until lightly golden brown. Keep an eye on it, butter will burn quickly. Add orange zest and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and cardamom. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cooled butter and sugars. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add molasses and orange juice. Add egg and egg yolk. Beat until light in color. Slowly add dry ingredients, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Gently mix in chips.

Roll into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool slightly before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen cookies. Cookies will keep in airtight container for three days.

Meringue mania!

It.s been another quiet week here, and you won’t find me complaining about that. Himself and I are luxuriating in the quiet. One of the best things about being way, way, way out in the country during the winter is all the time on our hands. Himself and I are finally finding the time to become experts or to learn new things. I find myself becoming even more proficient in the kitchen with all the time in the world to experiment. Himself has all the time to use his woodworking skills and to create all sorts of odd and helpful things around the house. Even with the cold, it’s been a good month here in the northwoods.

Cold, cold, cold snap or not,, those chickens, they are a hardy breed. Perhaps even hardier than me. The cold has left me loathe to move from my cozy spot in front of the fireplace. I tell you, once it reached just a balmy negative one degree the other day, it was a veritable heat wave, and I ran to spend as much time outdoors doing chores as possible. But those birds, why they just weather on through. I expected the egg production to falter with the cold, but we simply moved from five to six eggs a day to four to five. So, what do you do when you have *all* the eggs? Why you make meringues of course, and sock those extra yolks right into the freezer for that snowy day where you learn to make custard.

Yup, it was meringue making mania (if you can call two kinds a mania).

Your basic meringue recipe is a snap, and the flavors are endless. I first discovered meringues last year, and love, love, love how easy they are. It’s like an airy, light burst of flavor on your tongue. One of the great things about meringues is how customizable (yeah, I’m making up words here, deal) they are. Have a chocolate craving? Just grate some in. Want to give ’em some oomph? Just pipe the meringues flatter and decorate with colored sugars. The sky’s the limit here folks. You’ve still got room on those holiday cookie trays, so get to it!

This time I made orange meringues with ¼ teaspoon orange extract, and my new favorite a coconut maple meringue with ¼ teaspoon each of coconut extract and maple flavoring. Yum!

Enjoy!

Meringues of all flavors

Meringues

3 egg whites at room temperature
¼ – ½ teaspoon extract (use less for strong flavors like peppermint or citrus, more for lighter flavors like vanilla)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
food coloring if desired
¾ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat together egg whites, extract, cream of tartar, and food coloring with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Spoon meringue into piping bag or a ziploc baggie with the corner cut off. Pipe meringues onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake at 300 for 30 minutes. Turn oven off and let meringues remain in oven for one hour. Stored in airtight containers, meringues will stay fresh for up to two weeks. As if you can keep them around for that long!

Super mint cookies

Confession time…again. Soon my invisible internet friends, you are going to know all the inner workings of my crazy. Yup, come along as I continue to take my oddities out for a spin for us to poke fun at. But this time, it’s really a chance for you to sympathize with Himself. Each and every single time I paint my nails, I waive them in front of Himself’s face for him to admire. Every. Single. Time. I only realized this lately, but to his credit, he dutifully admires them. Every. Single. Time. And that is why I cheerfully make all the things with mint in them. He is crazy for it, and I for him, so mint, mint, mint it is.

And that’s just how these cookies came about. Wandering through the grocery store, I spied mint chips on sale. Of course I snatched those goodies up, cookies are always a big ol’ hit, right? But then when I got home I realized I didn’t just want to make your standard cookie base and add mint chips. So, I turned to my Biggest Book of Cookies. Don’t laugh, that’s a real thing. With a little tweaking, these super mint cookies were born. The powdered sugar makes these babies light and airy. So you can eat eight of them. Wait, no that’s not true, but might be an argument Himself gave me when going back for more.

If you’re looking to add to your holiday cookie repertoire (like I am…constantly), just add a few drops of green food coloring before mixing in the chips, and voila! Instant holiday goodness.

Enjoy!

Super mint chocolate cookies

Super mint cookies
Adapted from The Biggest Book of Cookies

1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
⅓ cup milk
1 egg
½ teaspoon mint extract
1 cup mint chocolate chips (milk chocolate chips can be substituted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking powder, set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together butter and powdered sugar, until mixture is crumbly. Add milk, egg, and extract, mixing well. Add flour mixture to dough ½ cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Stir in chips.

Drop dough by teaspoon onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool slightly on pan before removing.

Fruity white chocolate drops

Last weekend was a pair of those glorious days where everything just falls right into place. After accomplishing all the things on Saturday, we were left with more than enough free time. I’ve already mentioned that baking is a kind of relaxing activity for me and since Sunday I had nothing that needed to get done that meant I had all the time in the world for baking, baking, baking and a thankful audience in Himself and his co-workers.

Ooodles of hot tea, a floury mess covering all my kitchen surfaces, and cookies fresh from the oven strewn across the kitchen table. Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me. The only problem is keeping Himself from too much quality control. 🙂

Now it’s been a good, long while since I baked cookies, but there was a time when it seemed that was all I did. So it was really nice to dive back in, page through my cookie cookbooks, and adapt away. Now we all know that cooking is an art, and baking a science, but these cookies can be easily adaptable to your on-hand add-ins. The fruit in these cookies was just a dried fruit mix of apples, apricots, and plums that I snipped up with my kitchen shears, but cranberries or raisins would be equally tasty. If you do go the raisin route, I would recommend using vanilla extract and milk chocolate chips. Either way, these soft, chewy cookies are sure to be a hit.

Enjoy!

Fruity white chocolate drops

Fruity white chocolate drops

Adapted from The Biggest Book of Cookies

1 ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons flour, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup dried fruit, chopped or snipped with kitchen shears
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients, reserving 2 teaspoons flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg. Add half of the flour mixture and sour cream, mixing well. Add remaining flour and sour cream, mixing well.

Toss fruit with remaining 2 teaspoons flour. Add fruit and white chocolate chips to batter, stirring until combined.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

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