Tag Archives: cookies

Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Happy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook; a cookbook full of yummy, low-fat, vegan recipes.  So,  I’m calling them Happy partly because of that, and partly for the Happy that appeared in my kitchen when these little yummies came out of the oven and found themselves on a plate with a glass of (non-dairy) milk.  And finally, the Happy that radiated through me as I enjoyed my first soft, melty bite.milk and cookies

These amounts make a nice small batch (16-20 cookies) that you can whip up in no time.

ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour!  Recently discovered it at my regular grocery store.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • a few dashes of cinnamon  (My applesauce had cinnamon in it, so I didn’t add more.)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips  (Find these at a natural foods market.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat, or grease it.

In  large bowl, combine the sugar, applesauce, vanilla and non-dairy milk.

combine wet ingredients

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch and cinnamon (if using).

combine dry ingredients

Add the dry mix to the wet mixture in 2-3 batches.  Stir until almost combined.

mix dry into wet

Fold in the chips.

fold in chips

Drop by tablespoon-fulls onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes for soft cookies, a bit longer for crispy ones (being careful to not burn them!).  I opted for soft.

place on prepared sheets

Cool on pans for a few minutes and then transfer to racks to cool completely.

cool on racks

Of course, here is where you want to eat one.  OK, maybe two.  Did I actually eat more than that?  Maybe….

yum

The Happy Herbivore herself warned these are addictive fresh from the oven.  Um….yup.  I’m making a double batch next time!

dunking

I decided to photograph them with a glass of milk (flax milk), so I couldn’t help but have the milk with a few cookies.  I was instantly transported back to my childhood, having milk and cookies for an after-school snack.  Yummy.  Happy.

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Micah’s Cookie Bars

It’s been over a year now.  My favorite coffee shop, run by my favorite baristas/owners/friends went out of business; a victim of the economy and the all-too-close corporate coffee shop in the grocery store next door.  There were so many things to love at The Coffee Studio, including the creative coffee drinks (New drinks created as specials every week!), the burritos, the banter, and the pastries.  Each baker at The Studio put her own unique twist on THE Cookie Bars.  I talked this recipe out of Micah, barista and head cookie bar maker at the time, while she still had it in her head, just before The Studio closed. It was originally adapted from the Toll House recipe by Dawn, one of the original owners.  Once you have one, you’ll be wanting their ooey-gooey yumminess all the time.  This is the way a proper cookie bar SHOULD be.

Gather up  a few things that are probably already in your kitchen:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • about 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • caramel or butterscotch sauce
  • chocolate and butterscotch chips, around 1/4-1/2 cup each
  • chocolate syrup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

In a smaller bowl, soften the butter.  I let mine get melty–not a big problem, but the recipe works a bit better if the butter is just soft.  Mix in the brown sugar.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.

Press about two thirds to three quarters of the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 8×11″ pan.  (Reserve the rest of the mixture for the topping.)  Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and pour caramel (or butterscotch) sauce (about 1/2 cup) over the top of the cookie crust, followed by nuts and chips.

Crumble remaining mixture over the top and drizzle with chocolate syrup (if you want–but really, if you’ve gone this far, why not?!).  Bake for 15 more minutes.

Let cool and cut into the cookie size you prefer.  The Coffee Studio made them big like this:

These are so, so yummy with a cup of coffee.  Can you say decadent breakfast anyone?!  C’mon, you deserve a treat; they do have oatmeal in them…  😉

When I made these, Michael set his down on the couch next to him.  No sooner had the plate touched the couch, this happened:

This is Pookie’s alter ego, Mr. Naughty Pants.  Michael was able to thwart the cookie thief before his cookie bar had kitty cooties on it.  Whew!  (For more kitty fun and fabulous recipes, check out  A Full Measure of Happiness.  Lauren’s cat, Henry, and Pook are similarly evil   devious   playful, as well as handsome.)

Did you notice how easy these cookie bars are?  Are you already out in your kitchen making them?

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Double Chocolate Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

What possessed me to designate Saturday for sweets?!  Lately, Saturdays have been way to busy to blog.  My excuse this week?  Jazz Aspen Snowmass!  Yup, got to see Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Steely Dan in this glorious locale:

So, being a long weekend, perhaps we have two Saturdays, today being the second of them.  🙂 

Last week , my friend Judith had a birthday AND agreed to work the afternoon of her birthday so I could get to a meeting at Mr17’s school.  I just had to do something nice for her, right?  As always, I was also looking for ways to use up zucchini.  The two motivations came together in this lovely, gooey, cakey cookie full of chocolatey yumminess!  (For some reason, the link-y thingie in my editor is not working, so here’s the link to the original recipe, old-school-style: http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2011/08/chocolate-oatmeal-zucchini-cookies.html)

I decided to go for greatness by adding chocolate chips to this already yummy recipe.  Unfortunately, I’ve lost the picture of the ingredients.  This pic of the final product will have to do:

Oh, yeah, now that’s the ticket!  You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups rolled oats (The original recipe calls for quick oats, I used old-fashioned oats.  Quick oats provide a better texture, old-fashioned give a more no-bake cookie texture.)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, soda, salt, cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle blade (or electric mixer), cream sugars and butter and oil.

Add egg and vanilla.  Beat until thoroughly combined.

Add dry ingredients, a bit at a time to the wet.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Add oats and beat until evenly distributed.

Finally add zucchini and chocolate chips.

Drop onto cookie sheets.  I used a 1 TBSP cookie scoop, because that’s what I own; original recipe used a 2 TBSP scoop. 

 Bake for 10-11 minutes (Longer if  you used a bigger scoop–up to 14 minutes for a 2 TBSP scoop), until center of cookie no longer looks wet.  Cool on pans 10 minutes before removing.

Using the small scoop, I got nearly 5 dozen perfectly sized bites of chewy, gooey chocolate zucchini nirvana.

Unfortunately, I just can’t get enough of these cookies. One leads to another–they’re small, y’know?  And then another–really, if I used a bigger scoop those two cookies would have been the equivalent of only one…. and so on….

Right after I made these, I was watching Food Network and Anne Burrell made oatmeal cookies and sprinkled a bit of sea salt on top before they baked.  I LOVE salted chocolate, so next time I bake these, I’m so doing the salt-sprinkle thing!  Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm-yummy!!!

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Rosemary Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy a couple of these tender, chewy, flavor-y, yummy cookies.  Mmmmm.  Not too sweet.  The hazelnuts make them crunchy.  Rosemary’s savory pine-y flavor adds that something special.  But the real topper?  These amazing cookies are gluten-free!!!!!  Who knew gluten-free could be this yummy?!

I have a wonderful friend who happens to be gluten-intolerant.  We get together once a week for coffee out on her patio, and I wanted to bring along a little something for us to enjoy together.  So I bought a cookbook of gluten-free recipes:  the Gluten-Free Almond Flour cookbook.  It’s full of beautiful photographs of yummy recipes!  The recipe for these cookies is on page 105.

 

  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour  (NOT almond meal.  Find it at natural foods stores.)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 5 TBSP agave nectar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract

I decided to chop the hazelnuts first and then toast them to get a toastier flavor.  I used an impact chopper thingy from Pampered Chef, which made uber-quick work of the nuts.

Toast the nuts in a large, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring every now and then.  I chopped the rosemary as the hazelnuts toasted.  Let me tell ya, the aroma of the rosemary combined with the roasting nuts was absolutely divine!  Try it.  The hazelnuts are toasted when you can smell them and they take on a bit more color.  Turn the heat off and leave them in the pan for now.

Combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, hazelnuts and rosemary in a bowl.

Whisk grapeseed oil, agave nectar and vanilla together in a separate bowl.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

Roll the dough into a large log, 2 1/2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in parchment paper and place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Remove the log from the freezer and cut it into 1/4 inch slices with a wet knife.  I found the knife squished the log and I needed to reshape the cookies a bit. (Maybe I should have left the log in the freezer a bit longer?)  Place slices onto the lined cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between them.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until brown around the edges.  Let cookies cool on the cookies sheets for 30 minutes.  You’ll end up with 18-24 cookies.  Serve and savor with a cuppa!  Yummy!

This cup and saucer is another china pattern that belonged to my Great Aunt Katrine.  My mom thinks this is the one Aunt Katrine gave to her sister-in-law, my Grandmother (Dad’s mom).  Katrine ended up with them after Grandma’s passing.  I love having these connections to my past.  I use old china and crystal whenever I can, I deserve the good stuff, right?!  So do you–if you have “the good dishes” hiding out in a box or a closet, go get ’em!  Make an everyday meal or snack special.

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Sweet Tooth Saturday: Lemon Basil Snaps

Yup.  It’s Sunday, not Saturday.  I DID make these uber-yummy little cookies yesterday, though, so technically….well, no matter.  This recipe came from a little stack of cards in which each recipe uses herbs.  Fresh off my Basil Lemonade binge, this one caught my eye.  They are now my official favorite cookie–absolutely as yummy as chocolate chip, but in a fresh, light, summery sort of way.  The sort of cookies you might serve with tea….while wearing a pretty hat.  Or perhaps the sort of cookie you just make and eat because they’re just so amazingly yummy.

Convinced?  Then round up a few things from the pantry and run to the garden for a big handful of basil:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP grated lemon zest (One lemon, just the pretty yellow outside–the white part is bitter!)
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (From the same lemon–grate the zest first, then juice it, straining off the seeds.)
  • 1/3 cup minced basil leaves
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the “topping”:

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 3TBSP sugar

Be sure your knife is sharp (a dull knife will bruise the basil–turning it black).  Finely chop the basil by first stacking the leaves, then rolling them tightly into little sticks, then making thin slices of the stick (this creates a chiffonade), then cutting through the chiffonade crossways to make tiny basil confetti.  Set aside.

(I just do NOT know why the center photo will not align with the others when there is obviously plenty of room and the editor allows for left-center-right alignment.  I just spent the last hour trying to fix this.  Alas, it is beyond my skill set.  Grrrrrrr!  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.)

Grate the zest from the lemon and juice it.  Set the zest and juice aside.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add sugar and beat well.

Add egg, lemon zest, lemon zest and basil.  Mix to combine.  Add flour, soda and salt.  Mix until completely combined.

The dough will look like this.  Cover and chill one hour.  Just before the hour is up, preheat oven to 350F.

Finely chop pistachios and combine with sugar.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  I use a cookie scooper to help keep them uniform.  Roll each ball in the sugar–nut mixture.

Place balls two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your hands or a glass.

Place in oven, bake 9-12 minutes until golden.  Cool on a wire rack.

Cool completely and enjoy the tender, ever-so-slightly-sweet lemon cookies with a hint of basil spice.  I piled a few up on one of the square dessert plates from my Great-Aunt Katrine’s china–pretty!

The recipe says you’ll end up with 3 dozen.  I ended up with a few less, perhaps being a bit too generous with my cookie scoop.  It’s difficult to eat just one.  We did share with friends, but both Michael and I love them so much, we’re down to just over a dozen already!  I think Lemon Basil Snaps would make a lovely and unusual gift from your garden.  (Especially when your friends will no longer accept the “gift” of an over-sized zucchini!)  Can’t you just see them in a pretty box with some pale yellow or green tissue paper?! 

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