Archive for: chocolate chip cookies
These Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars basically speak for themselves. They’re bar cookies where two layers of chocolate chip cookie dough sandwich a layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake – and they deliver all the flavor of both cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies in every bite. As a bonus, these bars are pretty easy to make and are guaranteed to be a hit every time you bake a batch.
Chocolate chip cookie dough is the base of this recipe. The buttery dough is a fairly standard chocolate chip cookie dough, with a good brown sugar flavor and packed with chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. The slightly sweet cheesecake layer sits just over this first layer of cookie dough, and is topped with a crumbled layer of cookie dough that toasts up in the oven to take on just a hint of crunch. It’s a great – and dangerously addictive – blend of two popular desserts. Because of the cheesecake layer, these bars should be chilled and served cold, so that the filling has a firm and cheesecake-like texture. Cut your bars into small servings if you want to serve them as snacks, and larger squares if you prefer to plate these and turn them into a full size dessert.
My favorite things about these bar cookies are actually the chocolate chips and walnuts that are added to the cookie dough. There are a lot of semisweet chocolate chips in this cookie dough and they deliver a big punch of chocolate flavor, as well as serving to temper the sweetness of the cookie-cheesecake combination. The walnuts also help to temper the bars’ sweetness, and they also add a welcome element of crunchiness to every bite. You can use toasted or untoasted nuts, and you can also substitute pecans or even almonds for the walnuts for a change of pace in these bars.
Fresh berries aren’t great ingredients to use when baking a batch of cookies, even when it seems like those flavors would be perfect in a batch of classic chocolate chip dough. This is because fresh fruit adds a lot of moisture to cookie dough and you can end up wit a cookie that is a little more soggy than chewy. This is especially a problem when you want to bake a big batch of cookies, because that fresh fruit means that the cookies aren’t going to keep that fresh-baked texture as well as other cookies will. Freeze dried fruit is the perfect solution because it allows you to add a berry (or other fruit) flavor to a batch of cookies without changing the consistency of the dough.
These Raspberry Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies feature freeze dried raspberries for a bright berry flavor alongside rich dark chocolate chips. Raspberries go well with chocolate in many desserts, and these cookies are no exception. The freeze dried berries get stirred into the cookie dough with the chocolate chips, no special treatment necessary. They’re also stocked at many regular grocery stores these days (I found mine at Trader Joe’s), so they’re fairly easy to find.
This cookie dough is slightly unusual because it contains cornmeal. I find that cornmeal adds a subtle crunch to the cookie dough and, while you won’t end up with a cookie that tastes like cornbread, you do get the smallest hint of corn sweetness in the dough. The dough is fairly dry for these cookies, which makes it very easy to work with; the dough can easily be shaped by hand into balls before baking.
The cookies end up being crisp around the edges with just the right amount of chewiness in the center, and a little extra crunch and texture from the cornmeal. They store very well for several days when kept in an airtight container, and you can easily substitute other dried fruit into this basic recipe for other flavor combinations.
When peanuts are used in cookies, it is usually as peanut butter that is mixed in to the cookie dough. Peanuts are not typically mixed in in the same way that pecans or walnuts are stirred into a batch of cookie dough. But peanuts can make a great addition to a batch of cookies – especially when you’re talking about chocolate chip cookie dough. They add a great crunch, a distinct nuttiness that you don’t get from peanut butter alone, and they pair perfectly with chocolate chips.
These Salted Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies use a combination of roasted peanuts and chocolate chips, and they’re topped of with a sprinkle of salt. It may seem slightly strange to sprinkle salt directly onto cookies before baking, but that sweet-salty combination works just as well for cookies as it does for sweets like salted caramels. The salt is a great contrast to the sweetness of the cookie dough and the chocolate chips, and highlights the roasted peanuts. Use coarse kosher salt or sea salt to top these cookies. You’ll get a nice, noticeable kiss of salt with a larger-grain salt that you won’t get from regular table salt, and that will make these cookies addictive!
Be sure to use roasted peanuts in these cookies for the best texture and flavor from your nuts. Both unsalted nuts and salted nuts will work equally well, although heavily salted nuts may give the cookies a slightly more savory taste than unsalted will. If you start with untoasted peanuts, place them on a baking sheet in a low oven (325F) for 10-15 minutes to lightly toast them before using.
Sweetened condensed milk is a versatile ingredient with a great flavor profile. You’ll typically find it sweetening coffee drinks and used in custardy desserts, such as ice cream and key lime pie. One place you wouldn’t expect to find it is in a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, but that is exactly where it is in these Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies. The sweetened condensed milk replaces both sugar and eggs in this cookie recipe, and you would never guess that the cookie is made with such a unique dough when tasting the finished product.
The cookie dough uses a mixture of graham cracker crumbs and flour to give it substance, and that mixture is combined with sweetened condensed milk and butter to form the base of the dough. The dough is fairly wet, but includes shredded coconut, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts and all of those mix-ins give the cookies a little extra body. I added both cinnamon and vanilla extract, to bump up the flavor in these cookies, as well as a little salt to balance out the sweetness of the milk. The finished cookies have a great flavor that blends a hint of graham cracker with cinnamon and coconut. They’re very chewy cookies, and the rich chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts add some nice texture to them.
I found the original recipe on an old magazine ad for Eagle Brand – and no memory of clipping it out at all – from the mid-90s, and only changed it by added cinnamon, vanilla and salt to the same dough. Why these are called treasure cookies, I can’t say, except that the magazine clipping that I found my recipe on (it is also on the Eagle Brand website) has a neat pirate map printed on it and the cookie is clearly where X marks the spot! The name is cute and the cookies are tasty, so a name with a little bit of mystery just serves to make these a little more interesting – even though it might be easier to call them Chocolate Chip Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies. Be sure not to overbake these, as the cookies can get a little hard if they are baked too long. It is best to take them out when they are just lightly brown, and let them set up on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
These Cocoa Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are some of the easiest peanut butter cookies that you’ll ever make. They’re based on my Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies and use no flour or butter in them, unlike regular peanut butter cookies, and are primarily made with peanut butter, eggs and sugar. The first time you try them, you might be a bit skeptical about how they’ll work, but I can assure you that this is an easy recipe that you’ll find yourself returning to again and again.
This variation on the basic flourless peanut butter cookies adds a little bit of chocolate into the mix. I used unsweetened cocoa powder to lend some chocolate flavor to the peanut butter, giving them a peanut butter cup-like flavor – and the addition of a generous amount of chocolate chips doesn’t hurt either! The cookies are more tender than a regular peanut butter cookie but still have a nice chewiness to them. Under baking them slightly will give you a chewier finished product, and letting them go an extra minute or two will produce a crisper cookie.
I like to use smooth peanut butter in these cookies, but crunchy peanut butter can be used instead if that is what you have on hand. The little pieces of peanut add nice crispy elements to the cookies, and work well with the chocolate chips. The cookies keep very well and can be stored in an airtight container for several days after baking.