Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category
I’ve always said that you can’t go wrong with chocolate chip cookies – and I probably always will. That means that I bake up batches of simple, classic cookies on a regular basis because I know they’ll be a hit, but it also means that I like to use the simple chocolate chip cookie as a canvas for a bit of experimentation. These Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies were the result of a little bit of recipe tweaking and they turned out to be a great variation on the classic cookie recipe.
Cornmeal isn’t an ingredient that I usually add to my chocolate chip cookies, but the sandy cornmeal actually adds a really nice texture to the dough. I first used cornmeal in a batch of summery Raspberry Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, but like the effect in a simpler recipe just as well. The cornmeal – yellow, stone ground – goes into the batter in place of some of the flour, where it tenderizes the cookie dough and gives the finished cookies a little bit of extra crunch. You get a very slight hint of corn, but you will probably only detect it if you know that it is in there. Otherwise, you’ll taste butter, vanilla and plenty of chocolate chips in these.
This cookie dough is a little on the dry side, so it is easy to shape into balls before baking. Don’t be alarmed if you need to poke any of the chocolate chips back into place. The dough will spread out nicely during baking and none of those chips will be lost. For a crunchier cookie, you can add a couple of additional minutes to the baking time, but otherwise you should get some delicious cookies with a twist that are crispy on the outside and chewy in the center.
Freeze dried fruit is something that I see a lot in stores (Trader Joe’s carries a big variety), mostly because it is being marketed as a healthy snack food. I do not like eating freeze dried fruit on its own, but it can be good in cereal and is a great way to add a lot of flavor to baked goods that you couldn’t otherwise get fresh berries into easily. These Raspberry Coconut Macaroons are a perfect example of a recipe that gets a huge flavor boost from freeze dried fruit where you couldn’t easily use fresh raspberries.
Coconut macaroons are simple cookies, usually made with just coconut, egg whites and sugar. They have a crisp exterior and a moist, chewy interior, a great balance of flavor and texture. They are moist, but they are not “wet” inside and whole berries – such as fresh raspberries – will just add too much moisture to your typical macaroon. Freeze dried fruit has a lot of flavor but doesn’t add any moisture and will not take up much space in each cookie, so you can still have bite sized cookies that deliver a lot of raspberry flavor in a perfect macaroon package. The combination seems very spring-like to me, with the zesty raspberry and sweet coconut. The cookies are light and make a great snack any time of day.
If you can’t find freeze dried raspberries, try checking the healthy snack section of your local market. You might be surprised at what is lurking there! Other freeze dried fruits – mango, strawberry, etc. – will also work in these. In a pinch, you could opt for regular dried fruit instead, but that won’t give you the hint of pink that makes these macaroons look oh-so-tasty.
When I was a growing up, Funfetti cake mixes were always my favorite. Funfetti is a type of cake mix made by Pillsbury where rainbow colored sprinkles are stirred into a white cake batter to give the finished cake a colorful, fun look. Those splashes of color really won me over and Funfetti was always my first choice when it came to birthday cakes. Funfetti is actually celebrating it’s 25th birthday this year, and Pillsbury asked me to join in their celebration with some Funfetti-inspired baking, and provided me with a big box of baking mixes to play with. As a Funfetti fan, I wanted to pay homage to the cake mix that I loved as a kid, but just making the mix straight from the box isn’t quite as exciting to me these days, so I turned it into something completely different – but still birthday-party worthy: Funfetti Tuiles.
Chocolate chip cookies are always a welcome treat, and they are certainly one of the most classic baked goods out there. You can put variations on them by adding nuts or different flavors of chocolate chips, but one day I found myself wondering what other variations I could put on a chocolate chip cookie to enhance its chocolate chip cookie-ness. The answer came to be in the form of a tub of tiny, crispy chocolate chip cookies, which I chopped up and added to some chocolate chip cookie dough to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These cookies use chopped up chocolate chip cookies in place of chocolate chips, like the cookie version of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I started out with one of my favorite cookie recipes, my Really Good Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I simply incorporated the chip-like cookie bits right into the dough. The dough gets pretty lumpy with all the mix ins, so it takes a little more muscle to stir than some other cookie doughs. The finished
I found that these cookies were better with a touch more salt than a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe might call for to further enhance the cookie flavor, so I sprinkled a little bit of salt on top of the cookies before baking. You could use any kind of crispy chocolate chip cookie to make these, since they will be chopped up before going into the batter. I recommend using the tiny, crispy chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s (because they are tasty and fairly inexpensive) if you can get them, as that is what I used here.
Oatmeal Cream Pies are a snack cake made by Little Debbie that have a sweet cream filling sandwiched between two soft oatmeal cookies. The treat is essentially a whoopie pie that uses oatmeal cookies as a base, but whatever you call them, the pies are pretty tasty. These Lemon Oatmeal Cream Pies are a springtime variation on those popular pies.
The cookies are a fairly straightforward oatmeal cookie that bakes up to be thin and fairly crisp. They’re flavored with fresh lemon zest and a little bit of lemon juice, which gives them a bright but subtle lemon flavor. The crisp cookies are also very easy to handle and work with because they’re not as fragile as thin, chewy cookies can be. When you add the lemon filling to sandwich them together, the cookies soften up and the whole thing takes on the perfect, slightly chewy texture that you want to find in any oatmeal pie.
I added my lemon zest to my butter and sugar while creaming them together to start the cookie dough. Beating your zest with the sugar helps to release even more lemon oil from that lemon zest, and you’ll get a bit more flavor adding it in at this point than you would if you stirred the zest in later in the recipe. If you don’t have fresh lemon to flavor these pies, you can substitute a little bit of lemon extract into the cookie dough and the filling to give them a nice lemon flavor, but you will get the best flavor when using fresh lemon zest and juice.
The cookie store very well and actually get better after a day or so has gone by, since the lemon flavor becomes more pronounced and the cookies only improve in texture with time. Keep them stored in an airtight container and these cookies will be an excellent choice for a bake-ahead dessert for a springtime brunch – or just to enjoy as an everyday treat.