Just Cookies – the old fashioned kind

I had a request for these two terrific tried and true cookie recipes:

OLD FASHIONED PEANUT BUTTER

the plate belonged to my grandmother from Ireland
the plate belonged to my grandmother from Ireland (wouldn’t you know – a Jamaican doctor bird, my favourite).  Named because they’re so pretty they make you immediately feel better.

½ cup of smooth or crunchy peanut butter

½ cup butter

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar (or fine baker’s cane sugar)

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

Optional – 1 pkg (300g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or, use Reese’s chocolate peanut butter chips)

Heat oven to 350F.  In mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter & butter.

Gradually beat in sugars.  Blend in egg & vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir into peanut butter mixture.  Stir in chips if using.

Form heaping Tablespoons of dough into balls.  Place 1-2 inches apart onto 2 greased cookie sheets.  Flatten with fork.  Bake approx.. 10 minutes or until golden.

Cool cookies slightly; then move to wire rack.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

OLD FASHIONED OATMEAL RAISIN:

oldfashionedoatmal(formerly known as writer’s block cookies)

1 cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups dark brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. allspice

2 cups rolled oats

1-2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and 2 tsp. water and beat until smooth.

Sift dry ingredients together.  Add to the butter mixture and mix well.  Fold in oats and raisins.  Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread out.  Bake approx. 10 minutes, until golden.

Makes about 2 dozen good size cookies

Photos: d. king

My COOKIE BOARD on PINTEREST (if you cannot see it please click on the blue title at very top):

Something Sweet – crazy for Cookies

If you love cookies as much as I do, then count this as your lucky day! I have 3 kitchen tested recipes for you.  Starting with:

Cornmeal Chocolate-Chunk with Raisins and Fennel Seeds

Photo: d king
Photo: d king

These are delightfully different, light and crisp – they remind me of Danish style cookies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 5 ounces coarsely chopped milk chocolate (1 1/4 cups)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and fennel seeds on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg until combined. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt and beat just until combined. Stir in raisins and chocolate.
  2. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough (or use a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop) onto parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets once, until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks at least 10 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature. Cooled completely, cookies can be stored at room temperature up to 3 days.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These rich cookies should seem a bit soft when you take them out of the oven. They firm up as they cool, so be careful not to overbake them.

Photo: Antonis Archilleos
Photo: Antonis Archilleos
  • YIELD: MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  3. Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, about 15 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Source: Martha Stewart Living

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies 

Yield: about 3 dozen regular size or 2 dozen large (I prefer large) after-dinner cookies

Photo: d king
Photo: d king

INGREDIENTS

1-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa-make sure to use dutch process for a rich/dark flavor
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 bag of mint chips-I used Guittard

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheets with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla and 2 tsp. water and beat until smooth.

Sift dry ingredients together.  Add to the butter mixture and mix well.  Fold in oats and raisins.  Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread out.  Bake approx. 10 minutes, until golden.

Source: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

My Just Cookies Board for Pinterest:

Something Sweet: LAVENDER HONEY COOKIES – ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

Something Sweet and Flowers you can Eat!

photo & cookies: d. king
photo & cookies: d. king

What can I say about Lavender?….a lot actually.  I have a few lavender plants on my deck which smell heavenly and I’ve been cutting the leaves (some of the flowers too) and drying them out, grinding them in my spice grinder and adding them to granola, ice cream, sugar, and using them to make lavender pepper (great for soups, pork roasts and potatoes). Lavender is one of the herbs used in Herbs de Provence.  I recently made lavender rosemary roasted potatoes which tasted delicious.

Lavender sprinkles with fruit, granola, almond milk & a bit of shaved chocolate
Lavender sprinkles with fruit, granola, almond milk & a bit of shaved chocolate

Hey, on another note you can make little sachets and add them to your lingerie drawer (I hope you have one of those) and put some in with your cashmere too which works to help keep the moths away and smells a whole lot nicer than moth balls.  I think you’ll agree.  And on yet another note, Lavender has been thought for centuries to enflame passions as an aphrodisiac….so what are you waiting for?  Hurry up and make these cookies! Then double your passion by putting ice cream in the middle to create the most delicious ice cream cookie sandwiches (maybe even better than the oreo cookie ones I used to love as a kid).

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RECIPE:

– Yields 12 cookies-

4 TABLESPOONS OF UNSALTED BUTTER

1 CUP + 2 TABLESPOONS OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

¼ TEASPOON OF BAKING POWDER

¼ TEASPOON OF SALT

1 TABLESPOON OF LAVENDER

⅓ HEAPING CUP OF SLIVERED ALMONDS

2 EGGS

½ CUP SUGAR

1 TABLESPOON OF HONEY

1 TEASPOON OF VANILLA EXTRACT

  1. Place a large piece of parchment paper on your counter and set aside.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Beat in the eggs into creamed butter and sugar, one at a time.
  5. Beat in vanilla, honey, slivered almonds, and lavender into the creamed butter and sugar.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients
  7. Place dough on the parchment paper and roll into a log shape (about 2 ½ inch diameter works).
  8. Put in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
  9. Remove from freezer and unfold the parchment paper, cut the log into cookie shapes about ¼ inch thick.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 375 or until edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool and then make ice cream sandwiches (I recommend plain vanilla ice cream!) Blow everyone away with your genius.

    Love at first bite
    Love at first bite

FLOWER POWER – Enjoy these cookies with a nice cup of Hibiscus tea – another edible flower that is also good for you.

My new cookie board on Pinterest with a dozen kitchen tested goodies to get you going: https://www.pinterest.com/intrigueimports/just-cookies/

 Source (for recipe): ImpatientFoodie.com

Simply Satisfying – Vegan Chocolate Chip / Coconut Cookies

20140321_121356These vegan friendly cookies are yummy enough for non-vegans too.  They do not include the usual suspects (dairy such as  butter, or eggs) nor refined sugar and all-purpose flour that are commonly used to make cookies.

 

They include:

1 cup instant oatmeal (or rolled oats)

½ cup coconut flour

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. fine seasalt

Sprinkling of ground Cinnamon (about ¼ – ½ tsp.)

¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I used organic dark cane)

1/3 cup canola oil

¼ cup almond milk (I used the unsweetened version)

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or 1 ½ tsp. & ½ tsp. of almond extract)

½ cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips (like Sunspire – veganstore.com)

½ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Note: For my first batch I used a combo of Ghirardelli milk & semi-sweet chocolate chips that were on hand.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together oatmeal (or oats), pastry flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon & seasalt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, almond milk, vanilla (or combo of vanilla & almond extract); pour mixture into the batter and stir until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and coconut flakes.

For each cookie, drop 1 Tbsp. (or 2 Tbsp. for bigger cookies) of dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets.  Note: Some of the dough might fall apart as you try to drop it – just roll it in your hands a little to shape it before putting it back on the sheet.  It will still bake okay.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Let them cool slightly before moving them to a plate or tray.  ENJOY these delicious guilt free cookies.

You can try substituting peanut butter instead of the coconut flakes or even adding a bit of natural peanut butter to the mix.  I haven’t tried this yet but it definitely sounds good.

Do you have a great vegan cookie recipe you’d like to share?

 

 

Simply Satisfying – Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread

 You can get creative with all your cookie-making at Christmas but don’t leave out the shortbread.  It may be too late for this Christmas but the results are worth it.  If you don’t have time,  file it for next year.   

Dish from ClayZone
Dish from ClayZone

I love cookies anytime.   My baking favorites are thumbprint (with homemade jam centre), writer’s block (oatmeal, raisins & chai spices), chocolate chip (using 4 different kinds) and old-fashioned peanut butter.

A friend gave me this recipe (originally from Canadian Living) which is perked up with orange rind and partially dipped in chocolate.  What can be better than orange & chocolate?

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup (125 ml) superfine sugar (like castor but I ended up using organic cane)

2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated orange rind

¼ (1 ml) tsp salt

2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) cornstarch

3 ½ oz (100 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, orange rind and salt until fluffy.  Stir in flour and cornstarch to make a smooth dough.

Divide dough in half.  Form each into 10-inch (25 cm) log.  Wrap each and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Slice logs into ¼ inch (6 mm) thick rounds.  Place, 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake in 325 F oven until firm, about 15 minutes.  Let cool on pans for 5 minutes, transfer to racks and let cool completely.

Coating:  In heatproof bowl over sauce of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, let cool to room temperature.  Tip: I put the chocolate in a small pot placed right in a steamer which lets it gently melt without burning.  Try to use the best quality bulk chocolate you can find.  I use Callebaut.

Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, gently shaking off any excess.  Refrigerate on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes.  Makes about 30-35 cookies.

Simple and Satisfying – The ULTIMATE chocolate-chip cookies

The Look no Further for a  Chocolate-Chip Cookie recipe (if I may say so):

I love a good cookie with a glass of almond milk

If you love chocolate chip cookies as much as I do then I think you’ll find these ones quite delicious.

There are a few little tricks that help to make them turn out better but most recipes don’t mention them.

*TIPS: For instance, 1) using cold butter instead of at room temperature,  2) Refrigerating the dough for half an hour before baking and 3) putting them on a lower heat for longer than the recipe calls for.

Recipe:

2 1/4 cups (550 ml) all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat all-purpose)                               1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda,                                                                                                       1/2 tsp (2ml) salt                                                                                                                     1 cup (250 ml) unsalted butter, at room temperature (*see notes above).  You can still use room temperature is that’s what most recipes call for but Mrs. Field’s knows better.      1 1/4 cups (300 ml) lightly packed brown sugar                                                                  1 egg                                                                                                                                        1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) pure vanilla extract                                                                                      2 cups (500 ml) dark chocolate chips or coarsely chopped dark-chocolate chunks.

Note: I made this recipe before using the coarsely chopped dark chocolate and it was delicious but this time I used a mix of equal amounts of bitter-sweet, milk, semi-sweet and white Ghiradelli chocolate chips.  The taste sensation of all the different kinds was SWEET!  I recommend using the mix.

Pre-heat oven to 350 (180c) or 300 if you follow suggestions above.                            Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil.  In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir flour with baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until creamy, about 1 minute.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture, until just combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Scoop about 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of dough and place on prepared sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough, placing at least 2 in (5 cm) apart.  Don’t press down; they will spread as they bake.

Bake in centre of oven until cookies are golden around the edges, from 8 to 10 minutes at 350 and at least 15 if oven is at 300.  Also depends on what size cookie you want – just check on them.  Remove from sheet to a heatproof surface and leave for 2 min.  Then remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely.  Cool baking sheet or use another one and repeat with remaining dough.

If making ahead, form dough into a thick disc and wrap well.  Refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze up to a month.  Cookies will keep in a covered container at room temperature for a few days – but I doubt they’ll last that long.

You can make up to 5 dozen if forming them into regular size Tbsps but I prefer the size shown so always put double the amount of dough called for on the sheet.  Less is MORE!

Nutrients per cookie (more or less): 1g protein, 5g fat,     12g carbs, 1g fibre, 8mg calcium, 92 calories.