Heaven in a cookie

A friend of mine made these cookies a few weeks ago.
It was love at first bite for me.

Seriously.

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to restrain myself. They were SO good.

So, of course, I got the recipe.

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And tried to figure out when I’d have a good excuse to make a batch (or two).

That opportunity arose last weekend.  We were having a weekend picnic with our friends and then hiking afterwards.

Hmm… hiking = burning calories. I must find a way to replace said calories.

I know!

COOKIES!

And thus the baking began.

These are sort of a cross between a cookie and a brownie.  They have a little “bite” to the outside of them, but the inside is moist and soft (and chocolately) like a brownie.

They’re seriously good.

Dangerously so.

The original recipe is a Williams Sonoma recipe.  I changed mine up just a bit, so the recipe below is how I made them.

My friend tried one of mine on Sunday – she loved the modifications I’d made. I’d call that success!

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup powdered sugar (or more if needed)
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur white whole wheat)
1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. If you don’t have a nonstick mat for your cookie sheets, grease them (2) with butter.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar until creamy.
  5. Add one egg and beat until blended.
  6. Add the other egg and extracts and combine.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt & baking powder.
  8. Slowly add these ingredients to the egg/butter/sugar mixture, keeping your mixer speed on low.  The dough will get thick quickly. Beat until just blended.
  9. Using a tablespoon (or cookie scoop) scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough. Form into a ball.
  10. Roll the cookie balls in the powdered sugar to coat.
  11. Place on the cookie sheets, about an inch or two apart. (I got four across on my cookie sheets)
  12. Bake 10-12 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are cracked and puffy.
  13. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 2-3 minutes.
  14. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool completely on wire racks.
  15. Store in an airtight container. (makes about 24 cookies)

Die of happiness.

You can thank me later. Smile

Holiday Baking

I’m still undecided about how much holiday baking I’m going to do this year.

I want to keep the traditions alive, but, honestly, I’m not feeling the motivation or desire to spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking right now. Maybe this will change as the holidays grow nearer, maybe not. I’m going to take it one day at a time. We certainly don’t  need a plethora of sweets in the house, although I want to have my usual holiday goodie bags for our friends (and the kids’ teachers) – it’s just so busy at work these days I’m not sure I’m going to have the energy or time to do the baking in the evenings like I’ve done in years’ past!

I have a back up plan, though, that I’m going to try out this weekend, just in case baking falls by the wayside for holiday gifts. After I try it out, I’ll let you know how it went.

I thought that today I’d share with you some of my favorite cookie recipes. Since this is the time of year when a lot of us are invited to holiday cookie swap parties, I thought it might be fun to share some of our favorites.

If you have a favorite cookie recipe, please share in the comments! I am sure the rest of us would love to try something new!

Here are some of our holiday standbys:

What about you? What cookies mean Christmas to you?

Oh, and I just discovered this new online magazine: FoodieCrush.  They have some beautiful food shots and some even yummier cookie recipes!

I’m thinking cookies

Every year, I bake dozens and dozens of cookies for the holidays. I used to host a cookie swap party and invited 20 or more ladies. We would all go home with five or six dozen cookies of ten or fifteen different varieties. In addition to that, I have always baked “goodie bags” for our close friends and the kids’ teachers.  I fill them with all sorts of baked treats.

I like to show my love that way.

It’s all my grandma’s fault. She taught me, as any good Italian grandma should, that the way to show love is to cook for people.

But, I digress.

As part of this baking bonanza, I try to find at least one new cookie recipe to add to my repertoire each year.  I scour cookbooks and online recipe sites looking for something that has a high yield, low component cost, and doesn’t require hours of effort and toil on my part. Not as easy as you might think, given that most holiday cookie recipes are the sort that are designed to “wow” people with their finished product.

I’m all about “wow-ing” people with the flavors, not the fancy icing or cutouts.  But that is just me.

So, I’m starting to ponder what my new cookie recipe will be this year.

I’ve been looking at some websites –image

MyRecipes.com offers a cookie countdown with a new cookie recipe every day in November.

This Mudslide cookie looks really good and reminds me of a “chocolate chewy” recipe I used to adore from a local bakery where I grew up.

FoodNetwork.com also offers a daily cookie recipe but I think it doesn’t begin until December 1st (or maybe after Thanksgiving).  This one you can subscribe to receive in your email as well.

AllRecipes.com also has a wealth of cookie recipes. I love the fact that I can read all the reviews (written by normal cooks like you and me) and then see any adaptations people have made. I like the feeling of empowerment I get to “tweak” a recipe myself and see how things turn out.

They have even identified their top cookie recipes in one place to make it easy to pick one out.

This year, I’m thinking about biscotti.  I made some years ago and they were a big hit. I have a few Weight Watchers biscotti recipes and I may dig those out and make some more.  I think those would be fun to make with my junior bakers’ assistance. 

Taste of Home also has a great cookie section. I love their recipes because they are submitted by “normal” people, too, and are usually just awesome. These Sour Cream biscotti sound pretty good – and like something you could use as a base and add other ingredients to for different versions.

I’m also a huge fan of the traditional butter cookie and the shortbread cookie, but I’ve never made those myself. I may have to dig up a recipe to try there, too.

What are your plans for holiday baking? Do you bake cookies?

Any good recipes to share?

I am planning to share some of my favorite cookie recipes in the next few weeks, so if you have any plans for baking yourself and want to try something new, you may want to check these out.

If you have any cookie favorites, send the recipes on over! I'd love to share yours with everyone, too!

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