But Sugar is Sweeter

Posts tagged “Cookies

Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi y’all.  So it has been about 2 years …eeek. Sorry about that.  There have been  new jobs, new cities, new friends, lots of vacations, and 2 dog surgeries that have happened since then, but I have been cooking the whole time! I decided to start an instagram account (@spicenice), more for a personal way to keep a log of things I have made and liked; but I got a request for this chocolate chip cookie recipe and I figured, why not start blogging again!

I made these cookies for a very specific purpose – to give to the wonderful workers at Pet Palace, who saved our dear dog Houston’s life by recognizing immediately that something was wrong with our normally bubbly and light hearted pup, and got him to the vet ASAP. They really couldn’t have been more wonderful  – between covering the initial diagnostic vet bill, to transporting him all the way across town to where he could have the needed emergency surgery done, to just generally loving our pup, we are really grateful. And so I figured they deserved a special cookie. Chocolate chip will forever be my favorite (and the most popular); but how can you make it even better….brown butter and flakey sea salt, that’s how. These were really good.  I actually consider it a serious win on the new years resolutions that I managed to only eat 2.  Enjoy, and hopefully you’ll be hearing from me again soon!

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Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 and 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

One bag semisweet chocolate chip cookies

Fleur de Sel or flaky sea salt

Instructions

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until it is frothy and browned, about 7-8 minutes or so (the browning process goes quickly once it starts so watch it carefully.)

2.  Transfer the butter to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, or place in fridge to help the process.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

4. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the browned butter and both types of sugar, until smooth and light, about 7 minutes. This will only work if you have let the butter cool completely.

5. Add in the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk, and the vanilla.

6. Decrease the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients.

7. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

8. Cover the cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

9. The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

10. Using a cookie dough scoop, place about 2-3 Tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie individual with flakey sea salt. For thinner cookies let the dough reach room temperature before baking.

11. Bake each cookie sheet until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom, about 12-14 minutes or so.  Because of they previously browned butter they brown quickly so check yours accordingly.

Adapted from:  The Curvy Carrot, Originally from Food and Wine magazine,  June 2012 issue.


Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars

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In case you missed it, the super bowl was this weekend, and…it. was. amazing.  While I will never give up hope of seeing a Browns super bowl in my lifetime, the caliber of the patriots vs. seahawks game really made appreciate ‘Merica. Also, can we please talk about that half time show?  While I am by no means being unfaithful to my one true love (Taylor Swift), Katy Perry did a phenomenal job.   The whole thing was American entertainment at its finest.

We had a small get together at our house, in the midst of a terrible snow storm. There may or may not have been multiple difficulties getting both in and out of the driveway, but everyone (amazingly and thankfully) made it both here and back safely.  Thanks for braving the weather for us!  There was lots of food, including my all time favorite pizza bites, and of course these cookie bars.

I picked these because they were relatively simple and can be made with ingredients you probably have lying around the house – butter, sugar and sprinkles -so they are perfect for a snow day.   I actually used left over halloween sprinkles for the inside, and then some left over stars for the topping.  What I like most about these bars is that they can so easily be adapted for any holiday depending on the sprinkles you choose.  With valentine’s day around the corner, there may be another batch coming up shortly (I’m sure no one will protest). IMG_5768

Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars

adapted from  Smells Like Home
Makes one 13×9 inch pan

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla.
Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl along with the sprinkles and mix by hand until flour is just incorporated. On low speed, combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until blended.
Lightly press the dough into the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The bars will still look pale with barely a hint of browning around the edges.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to allow the bars to cool completely in the pan.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (substitute sour cream if unavailable)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 6 to 8 minutes on medium speed; it will be very pale and light. Add in the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and mix on low for 1 minute and then on medium speed for 6 minutes; the frosting will be very light and fluffy. If using food coloring, blend it in until it is fully incorporated.
Use an offset spatula to frost the fully-cooled bars in the pan.  Use a sharp knife to slice them into your desired size and shape, garnish with more sprinkles, and serve.

 

 


Snowball Cookies for Daddy-O

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I thought about telling you all sooner, but I was too beside myself when I first found out to write something that would even come close to describing how I was feeling.   In all honesty I still don’t know what to say.  My dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on November 30, 2011.  These past few weeks have been very difficult, but I want to thank everyone for your kind words, actions, thoughts and prayers.  I have been so comforted by the love others have shown me and my family.

I used to talk to my Dad almost everyday on my way home from school.  I had just been talking to him on  about how excited I was to be starting my internal medicine rotation, because it was my dad’s specialty and I was really looking forward to being able to discuss it with him.  Just on Monday he had explained the mechanism, symptoms, diagnostic tests and treatment of pleural effusions to me.   I had told him to get excited for Christmas, and I had even mentioned how I was planning to make a bunch of cookies  including his favorite – these snowballs.  I have such found memories of my dad sneaking into the cookie tins in the kitchen to get just one more cookie.  I can even remember John joking with him last Christmas, “Ahhh, now I see where Jacqueline gets her sweet tooth from,” as my dad was slyly removing yet another powdered sugar covered cookie and plopping the  whole thing in his mouth.  (Personally I always thought these were more like 2 bite cookies – but he seemed to think differently :-)). 

So Daddy-O, these are for you…

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Snowball Cookies

Makes  8-9 dozen cookies

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup crisco
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 c. finely chopped nuts*
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • Powdered sugar for rolling

*Pecans are my favorite, but walnuts work too

1. Cream butter, crisco and sugar.  Add nuts, vanilla, flour.

2. Work all the flour in using your hands.  Roll into a large ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate several hours, or overnight. Dough can also be made ahead of time and frozen, just thaw enough to handle before using.

3. Before baking, preheat oven to 300º.

4. Remove ball from refrigerator and allow dough to sit long enough until able to handle.  Roll  into smaller than walnut sized balls – small is better.  Remember they will be slightly bigger once they are covered with powered sugar. 

6. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.

7.Turn oven down to 275° and bake cookies for 30-35 minutes, or until very light in color.  Cool for about 15 minutes then roll in powdered sugar to help sugar stick.  They can be re-rolled in powered sugar before serving.

From my favorite Christmas cookbook: Christmas from Heart of the Home, by Susan Branch

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Brown Sugar Spice Cookies for Fall

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At first I was kind of bummed when I got assigned Neuro-Psych for my second rotation block – namely because I really wanted to get one of the very time intensive, 10 week long rotations out of the way earlier in the year.  However, I’m learning that everything works out in the end because I  have truly loved having some free time to enjoy the fall.  (Remind me of this when I am waking up for surgery at 4:30 and driving through a snowstorm).  Beyond the obvious fall cooking adventures, I have really enjoyed running in the park, which has been continuously blanketed with colorful leaves for several weeks now.  Every time I enter Wildwood I think, ” I wish I could take my camera on runs” or “I really need to get John out here to see this before its gone”.  (He gets a little reluctant to go running….well usually…..but especially when the weather drops below 70º ). I’ve managed to get him out a few times though and it has been truly gorgeous.

In celebration of the wonderful season, we had the pleasure of attending a bon fire and a halloween party.  I really wanted to impress with my improving cookie decorating skills, but unfortunately I forgot how long it takes to work with royal icing. I managed to finish a few cookies to bring over, but if you really want to use royal icing, plan on making the cookies the night before.   Nevertheless, I thought that these were a perfect autumn treat- just a hint of spice, but enough to remind you of fall.  I’m hoping to make them again to take down for thanksgiving (especially because the 3 cookie cutter set I bought also came with a turkey!) Any icing will work for these, but if you plan on using royal icing check out my tutorial for instructions.

Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies depending on the size of your cutouts

  • 3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar (I use sugar that I’ve stored vanilla beans in)
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and spices, set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix until well-blended.

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom. (The dough will be quite thick…you may need to knead in stray bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl by hand.)

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.  Refrigerate or freeze tray for about 5 minutes if you want to insure that cookies will retain shape.  Bake for 10-12 minutes

Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute.  Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Ice the cookies as desired.

Recipe barely adapted from Bake at 350°

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On a side note, I was really excited about these containers.  40% off Hobby Lobby is the best…

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Candy Corn Shortbread Cookies

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         These cookies don’t even need an explanation.  I mean seriously.  They look like candy corn, they are ridiculously simple  and they taste delicious.  I scrolled through the instructions at  Our Best Bites, and after seeing how creative (and easy) they were, I immediately started making the dough that same night.   Never mind that it was 11pm on a school night – these cookies had to be made.  Plus, it took me less than 30 minutes including cleaning time to whip up this dough and put it in the fridge.
          I really think the pictures are the most helpful part in figuring out how to make these.  I tried sprinkling the cookies with plain sugar, and I wasn’t really a fan of how that looked.  I think when I make these again that I am going to either leave them plain or use large sugar crystals.   The most important part in the apperance is not overcooking the cookies – they look much better with no browning.   Keep in mind that you can use any recipe for the cookie dough – I just chose shortbread because I knew they weren’t going to have icing and I wanted a cookie that would still be delicious.  And of course I trust Ina Garten with any recipe that includes lots of butter.  I loved this shortbread recipe, and apparently so did the rest of the family because they were gone in less than 2 days.  Don’t worry – it wasn’t just me and John we had some new to Ohio and visiting Ohio helpers :-).

Ina Garten’s Shortbread

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Divide the dough evenly into 3 separate bowls.  Using gel food coloring color 1 bowl of dough orange, 1 bowl yellow and leave one uncolored.  Mix until the colors are thoroughly incorporated.
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2) Line a baking pan with plastic wrap (smaller pans work best if you have one).
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3) Press the plain colored dough into the bottom of the pan, spreading to an even layer. I did not fill the entire length of the pan because I wanted slightly taller cookies. Continue with the orange and then the yellow layers.
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4) Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour, or up to 3 days.  You want the dough to be firm and easy to cut.  Once chilled, remove from the pan and place on a cutting surface.
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5) Slice the the dough into a 1/2 inch wide slice. You may also want to cut a straight line across the top yellow layer in order to get a more finished look. Then cut diagonally through the slice in order to get 5-6 pieces of candy corn. You may have some small, not perfectly shaped pieces at the edges, but that’s okay – they still bake up nicely and someone will eat them.
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6) Preheat oven to 350º

7) If you have coarse sugar, you can sprinkle the piece with sugar.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes.  Do not over bake or they will become discolored from browning.
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Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Idea from Our Best Bites