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Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TWD: Pecan Powder Puffs


There are certain recipes that I've never made that have absolutely nothing to do with difficulty or ingredients.  The Pecan Powder Puffs (aka Mexican Wedding Cookies) for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, chosen by Tianne of Buttercream Barbie, happen to be one of those recipes.  In fact, I've been ignoring the fact that a really easy recipe for these cookies has been sitting in the book. I was doing a good job of ignoring it up until now too.  

Why?

They are dangerous. Severely dangerous. Sigh.

Years ago, when I first moved to Utah, I was working in a law firm where the secretaries all loved putting treats out on their desks during the holidays. I was working in the firm as a runner (basically a gofer, just like it sounds :) and therefore was exposed to all the various treats hiding around all three floors of the office. These happen to be the only treat I remember.


Anyway, one of the secretaries always brought a huge tub of these cookies and every time I went by I couldn't resist grabbing another one.  When you figure that in an 8-hour shift I went by her desk at least 8 times... well, you can imagine the problem. I fully justified it because working as a runner, on a 3-floor office I figured out that I was walking about 40 miles per week (no joke!) and therefore my 19-year old body could eat whatever the heck I wanted and get away with it (and did).

Fast forward a generous handful of years and that is no longer the case.  I cookie that is cobbled together of pecans, sugar, butter and a bit of flour, then dipped in more sugar before eating and you can imagine that having these babies in my vicinity is a recipe for major weight gain.  Therefore, until today, I had never made them.

Now, my cookies didn't turn out as puffy as the cookies I've usually seen, but I expect is has something to do with oven temperature or high altitude.  Bottom line, they were still incredibly tasty and crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth delightful, so I really didn't care.

And guess what? I was right, they are dangerous, because the batch is already over half gone... and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who has been eating them.

For more delicious cookies, visit the TWD blog and LYL post.

Friday, March 18, 2011

FFwD: Salted Butter Breakups


The recipe for this week's French Fridays with Dorie was for an intriguing cookie that you bake in one big piece then, as the name suggests, break in pieces.  The dough is extremely similar to some of my favorite tart dough recipes - only with a distinctively saltier (in a good way) taste.  In fact, the cookie dough is chilled thoroughly, rolled, glazed with an egg wash and decorated in the cross-hatch pattern with a fork before baking.  

Once cooled and broken, all I could think with every bite was that it was like eating tart dough... only slightly different.  Seriously, what's not to like about tart dough, so we enjoyed making these. 

Though the overall time commitment to make the cookies takes at least a couple of hours, it is all in the chilling and baking. The dough comes together in the food processor and ridiculously quick to make.  Add to that the fact that you don't have to do much to the dough once it's rolled out and these may be one of the least fussy cookies around. 

For more cookies, be sure to visit the French Fridays with Dorie site.


 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

White and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies


I'm not sure what it is, but I've noticed lately that the desserts I gravitate toward are those where I don't have to choose between my favorite flavors - chocolate and vanilla. I don't want to choose. I want both.

These cookies definitely fall under that category. The pictures are deceiving because they look like they might be really big cookies, but they're not. They're actually only about 2 1/2 inches across, which compared to the enormous sizes of most of the cookies I make, these are delightfully diminutive. 


Their small stature not withstanding, they are chock-full of chocolately goodness of both the bittersweet variety and white chocolate. For both chocolates I used Callebaut because the quality of the chocolate will make a difference here.  You could probably still have a good cookie if you use some chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, but you wouldn't end up with the huge pockets and chunks of chocolate, which is really one of the main attractions of this cookie.

The other thing I love about this recipe is actually that it is a make ahead kind of dough. You will end up with two 'logs' of cookie dough, stashed in your refrigerator or freezer, that you can slice as needed and bake up a whole batch, or just a few cookies at a time and prolong the enjoyment. Nothing makes me happier on a hard day than knowing that I can bake up some cookies in a few minutes with no effort on my part. (Especially useful after days spent shuttling sick kids to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies - OY! I am SO over Winter!)


White and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Makes about 5 dozen cookies
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
4 oz white chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Note: This dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to one week, so plan ahead.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter pieces, still a bit cold, until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle and add the sugars while continuing to beat until smooth, another 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla on low till combined. Still on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.  Add the chocolate chunks and mix them into the dough.
Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a clean work surface. Use a spatula or scoop to scoop out one half of the dough. Form it into a log about 2-inches in diameter. Roll the log in the paper, then roll that in plastic wrap or foil. Repeat with the second half of the dough on another piece of parchment or wax paper. Wrap the logs tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to one week.  You can also stash the dough in your freezer for up to a month (just allow to thaw slightly before trying to slice and bake).
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the lower portion of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut the logs, using a serrated knife, into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. If the slices come apart a bit when you are slicing them, just press the dough bake into a ‘slice’ shape (not into a ball).  Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. They are done when they are golden around the edges and bottom. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on racks. Store airtight. 
Note: To bake more than one sheet at a time, just rotate the sheets, front to back, top to bottom halfway through the baking time. I prefer to only slice a few cookies as needed and bake them fresh when we want a treat.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

TWD: Midnight Crackles - three years of blogging


Happy Anniversary!

These cookies looked so pretty, with the dark chocolate 'midnight' color and the pretty sprinkle of powdered sugar I added.  They were just a little cakey, but still just slightly fudgey and crumbly too and were a great treat for my New Year's celebration with my boys.  Kayla, of course, celebrated with us as well, but isn't yet old enough to get her hands on the chocolate - I'm sure we'll make up for that in spades some day.  The spices in the cookies were a nice little surprise -  I went with the cinnamon and a pinch of cloves. 

This week's recipe, for the Midnight Crackles, was chosen by darling Laurie over at Slush, our Tuesdays with Dorie founder, and the lovely and so helpful Jules of Someone's in the Kitchen with Julie.  I for one greatly appreciate the choice of chocolate first thing in the new year.
Terribly overexposed pic to show those crackles!

So, all that said, happy blogiversary to me - three years! Incidentally, I just noticed that my last post for French Fridays with Dorie was actually my 400th post too.  Two milestones for me in one week - wow!  More importantly though, happy anniversary to the TWD group! Thank you for still coming here and hanging in there through thick and thin.  I hope you stick around, because there is much more to come and I'm going to try hard to get back to writing and sharing more about what is happening with us than just being so vague all the time.  I love you guys! I hope, that even though I don't often get a chance to comment or check in on anyone's blogs, that you know I'm thinking of you often and sending my love out to you! I don't know how I would cope with all the craziness without the support of my bloggy friends, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TWD: Gingered Carrot Cookies + cream cheese filling

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I really didn't know if I would end up getting around to making this week's cookie recipe for the Gingered Carrot Cookies for Tuesdays with Dorie.  The recipe was chosen by Natalia at gatti fili e farina and I'm so very glad she spotted this one tucked away in the book.  I'm not sure, because they don't sound familiar that I did notice this one in the book before.  And what a shame missing out on this recipe would have been.

Of course, as usual I couldn't leave well enough alone and changed some of the ingredients a bit.  I left out the raisins - no shocker there with me of course.  I wasn't sure how that was going to affect the texture so I decided to replace that cup of raisins with another cup of carrots. Dorie's description made the carrot flavor sound fairly subtle and I didn't think I would mind the extra hit of the carrot flavor.

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I also happened to have some left over orange candied pecans (I'll post that recipe soon!) so I used those instead of the plain pecans.  I didn't really think the extra flavor would be noticeable, but it actually did still stand out in the cookie - and it was awesome!

The last thing I did to change things up was simply to turn some of these cookies into little inside-out carrot cookies with cream cheese frosting in the middle.  Any version would do - and incidentally I think it would be really nice with a little hint of cinnamon in the frosting.

Be sure to visit the TWD blog for everyone's links that made the cookies this week.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

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It has been quite a while since I joined in with the Cookie Carnival fun, but this month we had two choices - and as you can see here, one of those choices involved oodles of chocolate. I've actually had this recipe from Martha Stewart bookmarked for a while and had a wicked chocolate craving (as opposed to the rest of the time when I just want chocolate).

This recipe's time has finally come, and I must admit, since it was so quick and delicious that its time will come again (and again and again). I actually made only a half batch though because of the extreme amounts of ingredients required. It would be safe to say, with 20 ounces of chocolate (that is well over a pound of chocolate for only two dozen cookies people!) that this cookie has definitely earned its 'outrageous' moniker.

These cookies are literally just melted chocolate, sugar and a few other ingredients, plus a lot more chocolate chunks, cobbled together with a smidgen of flour. That being the case, it is a safe statement that the overall flavor you are going to end up with is the taste of the chocolate you use. Therefore, I would caution you to make sure to use a chocolate that you really like. I used a bittersweet chocolate that I like for baking, but not necessarily for just eating out of hand, and it made a difference in the end product.

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That said, my most favorite thing about these cookies - and the reason I know I'll make them again - is that they were shockingly similar to a really good brownie - but just the melty chocolate, fudgey texture AND lots of chewy edges and shiny crisp outer shell. In other words, if you are like me and love pretty much all types of brownies and have ever wondered what it would be like to have one with all your favorite aspects rolled in to one - this is your cookie.

The best part about that is that they could be eaten almost immediately out of the oven - but were ah-ma-zing when just cooled to room temperature. A definite keeper.

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Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

- HALF BATCH MEASUREMENTS - MAKES 1 DOZEN COOKIES

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks - divided

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate chunks.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD: Dulce de Leche Duos

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Well, with my darling Miss K. here in our lives it seems that all I seem to manage lately is Tuesdays with Dorie. I have good intentions to post more, really. I guess since she has only been with us five crazy weeks that I ought to cut myself some slack, but since the desire to do more is still there, it just isn't all that easy.

Anywho.

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I was really excited when Jodie at Beansy Loves Cake chose the Dulce de Leche Duos for this week's recipe. I actually made these cookies quite a while ago and really loved them. Back then I made my own dulce de leche by using a can of sweetened condensed milk and I filled the cookies with bittersweet chocolate.


This time I switched things up just a bit and used some homemade dulce de leche that I made myself from milk, sugar and a vanilla bean. I can't begin to tell you how delicious this stuff is - even better than making it from the can! As soon as I figure out what I did with the recipe I came up with I promise to post it here because it really is something else. I think using the vanilla bean really put it over the top. Aside from that, I think what I really loved too was that my homemade version wasn't too overly sweet, and I cooked it until it really got as dark as I wanted it.

I also filled the cookies this time, some with more of the dulce de leche, and some with chocolate. Since I had some ground hazelnuts sitting around I also rolled the edges of a few cookies in the nuts for a little extra something.

Be sure to check out the TWD blogroll to find out how everyone else fared this week.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TWD: Thumbprint Cookies


I actually just found time to put these cookies together at the very last minute, but apparently can't get much time to write, so, much like these cookies this is going to be short, sweet and to the point. The Thumbprint Cookies for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie were chosen by Mike of Ugly Food Dude (thanks for a quick and easy one this week Mike!)

The short of these cookies is that they reminded me of a sandy, crumbly almost shortbread type of recipe. I really liked the dusting of confectioners' sugar on them and the raspberry jam - red seedless here, not that you can tell from the color in my photos - was delicious. The only change I made to the recipe was to use the ground almonds I had on hand. I did have some hazelnuts, and will give that a shot some time, but there was no extra time for roasting, peeling, cooling, grinding, etc. (Wow - I just felt a bit like the Little Red Hen there - no one to help me with the hazelnuts, but everyone to eat the cookies).


Alas, dear bloggy friends, this ends my quick post because it is very late and a little someone is waking up. More next time - with better planning, promise!

As always, check out the TWD blogroll for many more lovely variations on this week's recipe.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TWD: Honey-Wheat Cookies


Tuesdays with Dorie this week is hosted by Michelle at Flourchild. She chose the Honey-Wheat Cookies and I couldn't have been happier. These little gems have long been overlooked. They are sweet and lemony and tender with just a little bit of nutty flavor and texture from the wheat. They are all around surprisingly delicious. In fact, my boys snarf these down faster than chocolate chip cookies. Seriously.

As you probably already guessed, I made these a few weeks ago, before Miss K. arrived on the scene. I hope to get back in the kitchen at some point soon, but in the mean time I'm glad I tried to do my baking ahead of time!

Be sure to check out what the other TWD Bakers thought of these delicious little cookies!



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sparkling Sugar Cookies


Happy Valentine's Day! My kids love making sugar cookies for the holidays - every holiday really - and this is our favorite go to recipe for a slightly crisp sugar cookie that is still somewhat soft, delicious and retains shapes well. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan, so you know it is going to be good. You may remember these cookies from last Independence Day when we made tie-dyed stars. This Valentine's Day we also actually made Dorie's recipe for Chocolate Roll Out Cookies (links below for both recipes) as well and tie-dyed them with red and white royal frosting. The kids loved them and the cookies were really delicious! In fact, they were gone and passed out before I had the chance to take a picture of any of them.

Have a great day!!

Vanilla Roll-Out Cookie Recipe with sparkling sugars in red and pink

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TWD: Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy-Bars


Another Tuesdays with Dorie and I'm just glad I was able to participate. This week's recipe is for Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy-Bars, as chosen by Lillian at Confectionia's Realm.

A bar cookie such as these would normally be right up my alley, but lately I'm just not that into really, really 'heavy' cookie type desserts like this one - perhaps because baby is making me feel plenty heavy all on her own. Since ultimately the recipe didn't really reduce all that well (no half-size cans of sweetened condensed milk around here that I could find - if they even exist) that I decided to forget about trying to reduce the size of the batch and just make the whole kit and kaboodle instead. Which made a lot of cookies.

I decided that, since we are now in the home stretch with this pregnancy (six weeks to go and looking good!) that I would just cut the bars and freeze the bulk of them for times in the near future when I need a little snack. While I haven't tried one straight from the freezer yet, they remind me of a similar cookie that a friend of mind makes that is delicious frozen, so why not. Otherwise, I'll just let them thaw a bit - maybe I'll even just end up taking a box of these with me to the hospital to share with the nurses and staff and visitors or something - I'm sure they would be appreciated there.

The only change I ended up making to the recipe was to just leave out the raisins in the chocolate layer, which worked just fine. I'm just learning to try to like raisins in the first place, but I still just can't seem to get behind the chocolate/raisin combo. Maybe someday!

Be sure to check out how the rest of the TWD Bakers faired this week - it seemed like there were a lot of substitution ideas bouncing around during the P&Q so there should be some interesting variations out there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TWD: Cocoa Volcano Cookies


Tuesdays with Dorie this week is hosted by MacDuff at Lonely Sidecar who chose the Cafe Volcano Cookies. As you can tell by the title, I made a substitute right off the bat with the recipe and used cocoa powder (2 Tablespoons Dutch processed) in place of the espresso in the cookies.

Dorie's description, which I haven't got in front of me while I type this, is something to the effect of shiny, puffed, craggy, crunchy cookies. I definitely hit on all those textures here so I would have to say I consider these a success. I do think that my cookies were slightly over baked though at the 20 minute mark, but that is an issue with my oven and not the recipe. Next time I will probably just take the cookies out of the oven sooner and hope they end up with a little more chew than super crunch.

I do have to say however that my boys loved these cookies (I did too, but my boys were really into these). I liked that they were easy to toss together and didn't take a lot of time or ingredients. I also liked the mixture of nuts and actually added in a few pecans as well because I didn't have enough walnuts.


The only other change to this recipe I made was just to give myself a little bit of insurance with the egg whites. I whisked them slightly in the pan before adding anything else, adding about 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to help stabilize them. I did this for two reasons - my egg whites were several days old and had been hanging out in the refrigerator and it has also been snowing here quite a bit, which usually means that anything I try with egg whites is doomed to failure. Since the texture of my cookies turned out perfectly (other than the over baking) I don't regret taking out that bit of insurance.

I've got a feeling from the P&Q on the Tuesdays with Dorie blog that there will be many fun versions of these cookies around today, so be sure to check the blogroll and see what the other bakers have come up with.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Butterfinger Cookies


To say it is absolutely the worst kept secret ever that I am a fan of chocolate would be the most obvious statement I could make. It should come as no surprise whatsoever then that ever since Jenny at Picky Palate shared a recipe for Chocolate Fudge Butterfinger Cookies back at the beginning of November I haven't been able to get them out of my mind. My only problem has been actually remembering to grab some candy bars at the store. For some reason, I could never remember until I was already back in the truck and on the way home. As you can imagine, since I'm into the homestretch of this pregnancy, and always have to overly energetic, wild little boys with me, the idea of taking them back to the store just for candy bars - no matter how bad I wanted to try making those cookies!

When I was at the store earlier this week and in the checkout line I happened to glance over and notice the candy bars and finally grabbed them! I didn't have the recipe in front of me and couldn't remember how many I was supposed to get, so I grabbed four of them (they were 2/$1 anyway, so not too bad).


I got home and looked over the recipe more thoroughly, and since I know I can never leave well enough alone, I just had to fiddle with the recipe a bit. I'm sure that Jenny's version is perfectly fantastic, but for my purposes I knew I had something slightly different in mind. If you look at Jenny's cookies they look thicker and slightly fluffier. When I thought of these cookies all I could think about was having lots of spots of melty, chewy candy bar in the cookie, in addition to just a few melty spots of chocolate. Overall I wanted a chewier cookie and thought that incorporating as much candy bar into the cookie as possible would get the result I wanted, while still giving me a huge hit of chocolate flavor in the cookie.

So, while Jenny's cookies look to be a lighter textured version, have no doubt that I made my version a little thinner, chewier and chock full of melted and gooey candy in the cookie. I did taste the cookie dough when I had only added two of the candy bars and thought that the Butterfinger flavor wasn't as pronounced as I wanted it to be, so throwing caution to the wind I went ahead and added double the amount originally called for. To offset that a bit I cut the amount of chocolate chips I added to the dough in half from the original recipe. I also increased the amount of vanilla extract and salt (and used fine sea salt) added to the recipe to just boost those flavors a bit more. The only other change I made was to increase the amount of cocoa powder slightly and used a Dutch processed cocoa - mainly because that is what I prefer and have on hand.

So, whichever way you like them, my thanks go out to Jenny for a wonderful recipe that gave me a great time playing around with - without failing miserably on me because I fiddled so much! Please be sure to check out Jenny's original post for her version as well.


Chocolate Fudge Butterfinger Cookies

Adapted from Picky Palate

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar


3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed


2 large eggs


1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1 3/4 cups flour


1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed


2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 Full size Butterfinger Candy Bars

¾ cup good-quality chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats (like silpat). Set aside.

Remove the Butterfinger Candy Bars from their wrappers and place in a large plastic zip top bag. Using a rolling pin gently smash and crush the candy bars by tapping them in the bag until broken up into pieces of all sizes – you want some crushed and some bigger pieces to remain (largest pieces about the size of large chocolate chips). Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt until well combined. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, preferably with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating for 1 minute until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the flour-cocoa mixture a little at a time to the butter mixture on the lowest speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Still on the lowest speed add in the Butterfinger pieces and the chocolate chips and stir together until well incorporated.

Scoop cookies onto prepared baking sheets into about 1-inch sized balls (a small cookie scoop is perfect for this – they will be about the size of a generously rounded teaspoon).

Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes until just set, but still soft in the center. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes 60 cookies

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TWD: Sables - Two Ways - Nibby Almond or Orange

Almond Sables with Hand Roasted Cocoa Nibs

Tuesdays with Dorie this week is hosted by Bungalow Barbara who chose the Sables. These are a classic French cookie and the name comes from the French word for "sand" which refers to their texture - which is a crumble in the mouth kind of texture.

While generally this type of cookie isn't my favorite, I've been waiting and waiting for someone to choose these cookies. I could have made them in the mean time, but just never seemed to get around to it. Though I say they aren't necessarily my favorite type to eat (I'm more of a classic chocolate chip gal - unless we are talking World Peace Cookies that is!)

Orange Sables with Demerara Sugar

I decided to use some of the Playing Around options provided by Dorie and do two versions. For the first version I varied just a bit from the Lemon Sables variation and subbed the lemon zest with about 1 Tablespoon of orange zest. For the sugar coating on the outside of the cookies I used some good Demerara Sugar I had on hand, which is why the coating is so dark. I just love the extra crunch and flavor that raw sugars have!

For my second variation though I decided to play around on my own. I have some really incredible cocoa nibs that I've been wanting to use that I bought (and have been hoarding) at a local Italian grocer's here in Salt Lake called Caputo's. The cocoa nibs come from another local Utah company that I love, Amano Artisan Chocolates. For these cookies I used the Ocumare Hand Roasted Cocoa Nibs which are just ridiculously good. I also subbed out a portion of the flour in the cookies with Almond Flour I got from the wonderful folks over at Oh Nuts! (who have great deals on their nuts by the way - thankfully because I am just about out of the Almond Flour now!). To boost the almond flavor just a bit more I added some good pure almond extract to the dough as well. For a bit of a more festive look I coated the dough in some vibrant red sparkly sanding sugar I had on hand.

I really loved how these turned out. The almond flavor was detectable, but still subtle and didn't overpower the cocoa nibs. Likewise, the little spattering of cocoa nibs (which you could add more if you wanted, but I just wanted a few in there) didn't over power the almond either. It was sweet, sweet harmony.


Believe it or not, while my boys are always happy to have baked goods on hand, my husband often refrains - mainly because he wants to watch his weight I guess (he doesn't really need too, but I guess he thinks he does). Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when I called all my boys into the kitchen for some cookies after we decorated our Christmas tree and lo and behold - he ate one, then another, then put another whole one in his mouth, then later came back for a couple more. He liked both versions quite a bit on their own merits, but it is always a real joy to me when there is something that really tempts him.

We will definitely be adding these cookies into our regular rotation and have lots more fun coming up with other variations. I also see these cookies in the near future for our holiday gift boxes to friends and family.


Be sure to check out the TWD blogroll for many more variations I'm sure!

Also, for some more really great cookie ideas you can visit my recent post about the group of local food bloggers I got together with for brunch this past weekend. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and lots of really great treats!

Please check back a little later this week for my next giveaway to celebrate the holiday season! You won't want to miss this one!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TWD: Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies & GIVEAWAYS!


It has been for.ev.er since I got to make something for TWD. Sheesh. Admittedly, I haven't actually been baking or cooking much lately either - or what I have has been just the basics. I want to bake more, but while the spirit is willing, the body has been tired and weak. Today is officially the start of my third trimester so I'm trying to remember not to overdo anything either since I have no doubt overdoing it is part of what aggravated things during my last pregnancy.

As for this pregnancy, other than being nervous about what may or may not go wrong, things are going fairly well. I'm on track weight wise, etc etc etc so we're just happy to be plugging along. We're thoroughly grateful for that, so we'll just keep things going along those lines as best we can!

These molasses cookies, chosen a couple weeks ago by Pamela of Cookies with Boys were a breeze to make and were satisfactorily spicy and molasses-y, which I happen to love. I didn't bother with flattening them since I wanted them to stay thicker and chewier. The only change I made was to roll them in coarse raw sugar instead of regular sugar for that thicker sugar coating and crunchy, sparkly effect.



GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

Today of course also marks the first day of December. To celebrate one of my favorite months of the year I have a series of great giveaways planned this month, so please be sure to check back. To kick things off I wanted to feature a favorite source of gorgeous aprons that any kitchen lovin' gal would be supremely thrilled to receive as a gift this holiday season.

The Hip Hostess has graciously and generously agreed to offer up an apron of your choice to one lucky winner from their website (shown is their newest gorgeous addition - Melon Splash)!!

All you have to do to have a chance to win is leave a comment on this post saying which apron on their site you would choose if you win. The contest will run between now and Friday, December 4th at midnight (MST). The winner will be chosen using Random.org.

Just in case that isn't enough, The Hip Hostess is also offering 15% off orders through December 15th for my PheMOMenal readers! Just use the code PHEMOM (all caps) when you order!

For additional entries please do any or all of the following - please leave a separate comment for each item you do. If you already do any of these things, please just leave a comment letting me know.

1. Sign up to be on The Hip Hostess' Mailing List - you'll find out about sales, specials, etc, so if you are an apron lover like me (or know one) it is worth it!

2. Tweet this giveaway and let me know by including an @PheMom in the tweet - that way I get your twitter name so I can follow you in case I don't already!

3. Subscribe to PheMOMenon (in the sidebar)

4. Follow me on Twitter @PheMom

5. Become a follower of PheMOMenon (in the sidebar)

6. Add my new adorable blog button to your blog (isn't it ridiculously cute!) - you can grab the code right there in my sidebar.



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