Monday, January 26, 2015

A Bunch of Repeats

For Cookie Monday this week, I made Soft & Chewy Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars Cookies and I still think they're one of the greatest cookies I've ever made.

Last Monday, I made Peanut Butter Buckeye Pretzel Bites, another repeated recipe. Mostly because I needed something easy, with minimal effort.

I've also been making some tried-and-true recipes for dinner! I made THIS VODKA SAUCE with some broccoli and gnocchi. I've made like eight pans of Hash Brown Casserole to hoard in the freezer for days we want cheesy potatoes at home. I made Cinnamon Roll Waffles over the weekend, which doesn't really count because it isn't a recipe and it screwed up my waffle iron again but it was worth it. I made Crispy Rice & Bean Burritos a few times - including some variations I saw on Pinterest (adding Fritos makes every burrito better!). I've made Vegetarian Reubens a BUNCH of times, including some weird substitutions, like kimchi instead of sauerkraut and tempeh instead of mushrooms (I had a similar sandwich at Musikfest last year and it was phenomenal).

I've made more things, too! Soups and casseroles and stuff. I still post all the new recipes here. I just want you to know I've been making and eating food, I just forget to blog about it now.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cookie Monday: Soft-Batch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

No seriously guys, this is one of the greatest cookies ever. They're perfectly soft, not too sweet, and maintain the simplicity of a traditional chocolate chip cookie. I'm in love. The recipe notes that you can freeze the little discs of dough and I think I'll do that next time because I love these. And from the feedback I got today, so does everyone else. What an excellent Cookie Monday!

Notes: My brown sugar solidified so I panicked, but Google saved me. What I learned is that if you run out of brown sugar, you can substitute 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar for the amount called for. There were also formulas for mixing white sugar with molasses but I am lazy so I did it this way, and it worked just fine. Also, I doubled the recipe and had an enormous amount of cookies (maybe 6 or 7 dozen?).

cookie

Soft-Batch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
Averie Cooks

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made my cookies smaller, which is probably why I ended up with so many). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cookie Monday: Cookie Butter Cloud Cookies

It's Saturday and I'm just now posting Monday's cookie. I'm sorry.

BUT THAT MEANS THERE WAS A COOKIE ON MONDAY. See where this is going?

Cookie Monday is back! -Ish! It's mostly back! I'm going to try really hard!

So I'm in love with Trader Joe's Cookie Butter and recently did a Pinterest search to see what else can be done with it, besides just dipping cookies or a spoon into it. Cookie Butter, which is also sold in grocery stores as Biscoff, is like peanut butter, but instead of peanuts it's ground-up speculoos cookies. It's amazing. I love it more than Nutella.

Pinterest informed me that a bajillion different other kinds of cookies and foods can be made with cookie butter, so I've collected all of them. This simple cookie seemed like the place to start.

Well, I hated them. I made that known and my coworkers disagreed with me, but personally I felt these were not "cloud"-y at all. They were very, very dense. I kept thinking I had left an ingredient out but I hadn't. I also thought they didn't taste so much like cookie butter. It was like a very subtle, dense snickerdoodle. So. Mixed feelings about these ones. I'll do better this week!

cookies

Biscoff Cloud Cookies
The Biscoff Cookie and Spread Cookbook via Cookies & Cups

1/2 cup butter -- room temperature
1/3 cup creamy Biscoff Spread (or TJs Cookie Butter)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350°

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer cream together butter, Biscoff Spread and both sugars about 2 minutes.

Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

With mixer still running add in salt, cornstarch and cinnamon and mix until incorporated.

Turn mixer to low and add in flour, mixing until dough comes together.

Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Dough won't spread really at all.

Bake for 8 minutes until edges just begin to become golden. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen