Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: Cookies

Thick-and-Gooey Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Everyone is on the hunt for the “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.”  I won’t say I found it because I’m sure someone else has claimed that title.  I will say that these cookies were good enough that I do plan to make them again.  That’s about as perfect as one can get, I think.

I found these in the New York Times listed as “Thick-and-Gooey Chocolate-Chip Cookie.”  Just reading that description was it even possible to not want to try these cookies?

After I read through the ingredients I saw the gooey was coming from the two sticks of butter and the three cups of chocolate chips.  Sounds good to me!  I was a little apprehensive when I saw the 2 teaspoons of salt, though.  Granted it was 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt, which is less than 2 teaspoons of table salt.  Still, it seemed like a lot of salt to me.  I was determined to follow the recipe to the exact, so I did.  Surprisingly the salt content worked out perfectly.  You could definitely taste the salt in this cookie, but it wasn’t an overpowering taste.  More of that salty-sweet taste that many people crave.   It was pleasing enough that I may just add 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt to each and every chocolate chip cookie recipe I make from now on.

These are big cookies, too.  You measure out each one using a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  There were no complaints about them from anyone in this house.   Well, there was one complaint.  My kids saw the nuts and protested.  They hate nuts, where I love them.  So I compromised and did half the batch without nuts and the other half with.

Thick-and-Gooey Chocolate-Chip Cookies:

Recipe provided by the New York Times

Makes 26 to 30 cookies (NYT claims you get 30 cookies, I however got 26)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (chunks and shavings)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.
 
Roll 1/4 cup lumps of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 -inch-thick disks spaced 2 inches apart. Chill the dough between batches. Bake until the edges turn golden, 14 to 17 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a baking rack.

Note:  My cookies turned out at just about 17 minutes which gave me a golden brown to the outside and a moist and chewy inside.  Just the way we like them.

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Carmella’s Cookies

When I was a little girl we sometimes went over to Carmella’s house to visit.  Carmella was the sister of my mother’s friend.  Whenever we visited, Carmella always had these cookies on a covered plate on her dining room table.  I would wait patiently for her to grab the plate and ask me, “Would you like one?”  The answer was always yes, and I’m sure she knew it always would be. 

These cookies probably have a hundred different names, but no matter what you call them they are delicious.  I don’t make them often because to me they are a special cookie.  In fact, it’s been a few years since I have made them.  They are cake-like, light yet rich, not too sweet, and just perfect.  Not to mention they are so simple to make, and one recipe yields a ton of these little suckers. 

Start by mixing up your dough.  I use the Kitchen Aid mixer and not the hand-held for this one.  It’s a stiff dough to mix up, and the power of the Kitchen Aid handles it best.

Once the dough is mixed it will be stretchy, not sticky.  Begin grabbing teaspoon sized pieces of dough and rolling them into approximately 1″ size balls.  Place them on an un-greased cookie sheet.  You can space these pretty close together since they are not going to spread, but they will puff up.  I got about 20 of them on this cookie sheet.

 Place them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and watch them.  These took me about 10 to 12 minutes to finish.  You want them still light-colored  on the top and a light golden brown on the bottom.  These are perfect.  Don’t mind the cracks.  That’s normal for these cookies, and when you glaze them, you are not going to see it anyway.

Set the cookies out on wire racks to cool.  Once cool mix up your glaze.  Your are looking for a consistency like thick, warm syrup.  Dip each cookie into the glaze and swirl it around. 

After dipping, place the cookies on a wire rack with some aluminum foil or wax paper underneath to catch any drips.  Before the icing dries, shake on some sprinkles.  Even if I made these for Christmas, I always use the rainbow-colored nonpareils.  Just call me weird. 

Let them dry and then place them in an airtight container.  Then try not to eat ten of them in one sitting, and yell at your children and their friends when they come over and start stealing your cookies!

CARMELLA’S COOKIES:

  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 4 tsps. Anise, Vanilla OR Almond Extract
  • 6 Cups All Purpose Flour Sifted
  • 6 tsps. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

GLAZE:

  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract **Optional**

Wait until you are just ready to glaze the cookies before mixing up the glaze ingredients.  Begin with your powdered sugar in a large bowl and add in 2 Tbsp. of milk.  Stir well.  You are looking for a thick and warm syrup consistency.  If you need to add milk, do so by adding it in 1/2 Tbsp. increments until you reach the desired thickness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  After well blended, add in the eggs one at a time, followed by the extract of your choice.   In a large bowl mix together by hand the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.  Begin adding this to the egg mixture one cup at a time, blending well before adding the next cup. 

Once your dough is completely mixed together, begin pulling off teaspoon size amounts and rolling them into balls.  Place each ball on an ungreased cookie sheet.  You only need about an 1 1/2″ between each cookie.   They won’t really spread, but they will puff up higher.  I am able to get 20 on a standard size cookie sheet.

Bake for anywhere between 10 – 12 minutes, watching cookies closely once you get to the 8 minute mark.   The tops will remain light-colored, but you are looking for a light golden color on the bottoms.

Allow to cool and then mix up your glaze.  Line your surface with some aluminum foil or wax paper, and place your cooling racks on top.  Dip each cookie into the glaze, swirling as you lift it out.  Place each cookie on the wire rack for the icing to cool and harden.  Before glaze hardens, top with sprinkles or colored sugars.   Allow to fully cool and place in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

NOTES:  This original recipe called for 6 egg whites.  Years ago I decided I was going to try these with 6 whole eggs.  The result was EXACTLY the same.  Poor Carmella probably had to find other ways to use those 6 egg yolks all those years, when she could have just been throwing in the whole egg.

The original recipe called for Anise flavoring, but I’m not a real fan of  Anise.  Although, even in these cookies I like them.  But I’ve used Vanilla and Almond extracts since then, and they always come out great.

Don’t be concerned with the tops of the cookies cracking once they are baked.  That’s normal and won’t effect the cookie at all.

Recipe will yield 60 – 70 cookies.

 

 

Royal Icing for Sugar Cookies

 

I’ve not felt much of the Christmas spirit lately.  It’s been a long year, and honestly I feel like we were just celebrating July 4th, and here we are at Christmas.  How did we get here so fast? 

I figured the best thing to do to get into that Christmas spirit was to bake some sweet and whimsical cookies.  Considering I still have pretty much all of my Christmas shopping to do, my Halloween decorations are still up, and I haven’t gotten around to taking the kids picture for our Christmas cards yet, I needed something to get me into the mood.  And fast!

Yesterday I baked up several batches of Sugar Cookies.  I found a recipe awhile back on Allrecipes that I fell in love with, and those are the ones I use.  They mix up easily, bake up perfectly, and offer an excellent canvas for decorating.   You can find the recipe here if you don’t have your own you love.  The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies.
The royal icing recipe I use was a combination of a few different ones I found and I tweaked a little for easier results.  Most of the recipes I found were too thin or too thick.  It took a little time to get it just right, and a little bit of here and there from a few different recipes.  The one I use now is a perfect consistency for my decorating technique.  Which is nothing to jump up and down about. 

COOKIE ICING (ROYAL ICING):

  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond OR Peppermint Extract

Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl.  Add 3 Tbsp. of milk and stir until well combined.  The mixture will be thick.  If you think you need the extra tablespoon of milk, add it in and stir well.  At this point, the mixture will be very thick but stirrable.   (Is that a word?  Who cares, I just made it one!)

Add in your corn syrup and flavoring and stir well.  The consistency you are looking for at this point is similar to the corn syrup you just poured in.  If it’s still too thick, add in more milk in 1/4 tsp. increments, stirring well between each addition to reach desired consistency.  For the cookies I made, I prefer it to be that corn-syrup-like thickness which I find easier to decorate with.  If you prefer a thinner icing, you can use milk to get it thinner.  Just do it in small increments.  If you mess up and thin it too much, add in some extra sifted powdered sugar until  you get it just right.  It’s not an exact science.  You have to tweak it and work it until you find it to be just right.

Separate the icing into smaller containers (I used disposable small plastic containers from Ziploc) add some food coloring and get ready to go!  I have used both the gel food colors and the paste, and have noticed no difference in the consistency of the icing as a result of one over the other, so use whatever you have!

Get your arsenal all set up; sprinkles, colored sugars, and assorted candies.  I usually lay the cookies out on some waxed paper.  It’s easier than anything else.

 

My technique for decorating is to use a small stiff paintbrush.  I spoon some icing into the middle of each cookie and then I use the paintbrush to smooth it out and “paint” it to the edges.  I find it’s easier to use this method than spreading it with something like a knife or spoon since you have better control.

If you are adding sprinkles or any type of embellishment, add it while the icing is still soft.  You may need to use a toothpick if they are very small, like these snowflakes I added to the tree, gingerbread man and stars.

If you plan on using layers of color, do the base color first and allow it to dry just until it gets a crust over the top.  Then come back and add your next layer of colors.  Like the snowman I did here. I painted the base of the cookie in white, allowed it to cool while I decorated a few other cookies.  Then I came back to it once it had that crust on the top of the icing and added in the scarf, hat and face, working gently to not break through the crust. 

For the candy canes, I used a different approach.  I painted on the red icing first, leaving spaces between where I would later fill in with the white icing.  After painting on the red I sprinkled them with some red sugar crystals.  I let it dry for a bit and then I painted in the empty spot with white frosting.  I didn’t have any white sugar, but if I did, I would have added that on to the white part.  Next time.

Leave the cookies on a flat service for an hour or so until they begin to harden.  Don’t move them around or shift them until they are dry or your icing will begin to run and pool.  Once they are completely dry, either 6 hours to overnight, you can then stack them and store them in an airtight container.  Wrap them up in some clear cellophane bags and tie a ribbon around them and use them as gifts. 

Now before you think I’m a terrible mother who had all this fun without allowing my children to get involved…think again. My daughter had a great time decorating and making a mess.

I think she enjoyed using all the sprinkles vs. painting on the icing.

Try these soon with your kids, or just do them yourself.   You don’t need to be talented to do these.  Trust me when I tell you I am the not even the list bit artistic, so if I could do these, so can you.  Have fun with them and don’t worry about perfection.  They are, afterall, cookies.  Before you know it you will be shoveling them into your mouth anyway, so perfection needs not be achieved!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

I LOVE Biscotti.  And when I eat it I always think about my grandfather.  I remember how he would dip his Stella Doro Biscotti into his coffee.   Back then I was not a lover of this crunchy cookie, but I don’t think they were as popular or as decadent as they are today.  I could be wrong though, since I was just a little kid and had no love for coffee, or cookies that were not a soft and chewy choclate chip.  The only Biscotti I ever remember seeing back then was one flavor:  Anise.  Now they have all different types of flavors, filled with different types of nuts and then dipped in all kinds of chocolate. 

But my most favorite Biscotti is chocolate with almonds.  Not that I would turn down anything dipped in chocolate.  (Trust me: It would never happen) .  But in this instance, for me anyway, simple is better.  Chocolate and almonds being dipped into my coffee:  Absolutely delicious. 

Someone gave me this recipe awhile back and I had never made them.  I came across it last week and decided to finally go ahead and try them out.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only were they delicious, but super easy to make.  

CHOCOLATE ALMOND BISCOTTI

  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Pure Almond Extract
  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Slivered Almonds

Makes about 16 to 18 Biscotti

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat softened butter and sugar until well blended. Add in the eggs and almond extract and beat well.  In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt, and add in small increments to butter and sugar mixture, blending well after each addition until smooth.  Once blended the dough will be thick but not overly sticky.  Stir in the almonds. 

Separate the dough into two equal parts.  Begin forming your first piece of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Mold and shape the dough with your hands into a 10 inch long roll.  Do the same with the other section of dough and keep each roll about 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.  Here is the trickiest part about this recipe – removing them from the cookie sheet.  The easiest way I found to do this was to take my off-set spatula and glide it slowly along the bottom of each piece of dough to loosen it from the sheet.  It was easy enough to do, but you MUST be cautious while doing it that you don’t disturb the underside of the dough.  Once I had it loosened I just slid them on to a cutting board.  You will want to do the sliding very slowly as well or your large cookie is going to break.

Using a serrated knife, – I found a steak knife worked best – use a sawing motion and cut each individual biscotti in 3/4 inch wide pieces.  After they are all cut, return them cut side down to the baking sheet and place them back into the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Take them out, turn them over and bake on the other side for another 12 to 15 minutes.  These are not soft middle cookies here, folks.  You want them crisp and crunchy.

Once they are done, take them out to cool on a wire rack.  DO NOT make a pot of coffee while you are baking these because you may end up eating an obscene amount of them while waiting for the rest of them to cool.  Not that I would know about that…I’m just sayin’!  Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

These are light, crunchy,  and delicious!  Even my youngest son, who hates nuts and cries when I put them in cookies or brownies, ate a handful of these!  That’s how good they are! 

Note:  In my picture you can see the almonds I used were sliced although the recipe calls for slivered.  Sliced was all I had on hand the day I baked these, and they worked out well.  Since I’m a lover of big crunchy nuts I do plan on using the slivered next time I make these.  Even whole almonds would be great!

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