have cookie ingredients and not sure what to make? let the washington post help you out!

December 5th, 2020 thecookieblogger Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on have cookie ingredients and not sure what to make? let the washington post help you out!

i thought this was quite the nifty tool, when you find you have a bin overflowing with walnuts, or you have accumulated five bags of sweetened coconut flakes! just plug in what you’ve got, and this web page will provide you with a heap of recipes to take lessen your abundance, and get your kitchen down to a manageable level – while making delicious cookies along the way!

visit: washington post’s holiday cookie generator, and let’s get baking!

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shipping cookies this holiday season? let king arthur baking give you some hints!

December 4th, 2020 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary, Uncategorized | Comments Off on shipping cookies this holiday season? let king arthur baking give you some hints!

as most of you know, i trust king arthur baking for many of my baking products. they also have regular blog posts on their site that are helpful for all kinds of baking tips and recipes.

today, they’re featuring helpful hints for shipping your holiday treats. take a look – you may learn a thing or two! and your cookies will arrive looking as good as when they left your kitchen!

king arthur flour presents: shipping your holiday treats

happy baking! happy shipping!

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a favorite among kids and adults: chocolate sprinkle cookies!

November 14th, 2020 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary | Comments Off on a favorite among kids and adults: chocolate sprinkle cookies!

cookies that are easy to bake and delicious to eat!

if you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know i have a soft spot in my heart for baking chocolate sprinkle cookies. i found a cookie recipe on old-faithful king arthur baking company (originally king arthur flour! 2020 is the year they changed their name!), and played around with it until the cookies melted in my mouth!

a word of warning: instead of using regular sprinkles, i used deruyter chocoadehagel puure, which are dark chocolate sprinkles from holland, and because they are real dark chocolate, they get very soft and smooshy when they come out of the oven. give them time to set and cool down, or be prepared to lick your fingers after you’ve eaten one of them!

dark chocolate sprinkle cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 extra large egg (large egg will work, if that’s all you have!)

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups pure dark chocolate sprinkles (i used these deruyter chocolate sprinkles)

Instructions:

  1. pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. combine cream cheese, butter, and sugar in your mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the mixture, and beat in until well-mixed.
  4. combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then add the mixture to the wet ingredients. do not overmix. just mix until your dry ingredients are incorporated.
  5. refrigerate your dough for about 30 minutes, to help you with handling.
  6. use a #40 scoop, which is a little shy of 2 tablespoons, i roll a scoop of dough between my palms, creating a ball that then gets dredged in a bowl of the dark chocolate sprinkles.
  7. roll around, and don’t be afraid to press too hard. you want the whole ball to be completely covered with those delicious sprinkles!
  8. place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, about two inches apart. with a flat-edged glass or spoon, press down on the dough until it’s about 1/2 tall. you want a nice flat top, but don’t want the cookie to be too thin.
  9. bake for 10 minutes, until cookies look set. remove from oven and place entire cookie sheet on wire rack. let cookies cool and set for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer them carefully too the wire rack to cool completely. remember, if you use real dark chocolate sprinkles, they will be very soft, so give them some time to set!
  10. enjoy!

yield: 40 cookies

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sugar cookie perfection

October 19th, 2019 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary | Comments Off on sugar cookie perfection

if you needed a cookie that meets the demands of every holiday season, the sugar cookie would definitely be in the running. they are easy to make, can be shaped into pumpkins for halloween, autumn leaves for thanksgiving, dreidels for chanukah, and santas for christmas. design-wise, they certainly fit the bill.

but often those sugar cookies end up dense, tough, and tasteless. maybe because they’re overworked by the continuous rolling out of the dough. or maybe it’s just too much flour added in to keep them from sticking to the rolling pin. whatever the cause, they often look terrific, but taste pretty blah.

well, i promise you, with this sugar cookie recipe, the blahs are long gone, and you’ll have a tasty cookie that can look good too! this is my go-to recipe for the holidays, but it also does great with a simple sugar sprinkling on top. and you’ll note, i bake some a bit longer, giving a richer color and a crispier cookie, while baking some a bit less for the soft cookie-lovers in my circle. then, everyone is happy!

please give these a try, and let me know what you think. feel free to substitute 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract in place of 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and see how just that simple swap changes the flavor exponentially! it’s worth experimenting!

looking forward to hearing how these work for you! happy baking! and if you’re looking to start making your holiday cookie baking list, take a look at one of my past year’s cookie trays for inspiration!!

perfect sugar cookies

ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

instructions:

  1. in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. beat in eggs and vanilla
  3. stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. cover and chill at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours)
  5. preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. roll out dough on lightly floured surface, 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
  7. cut out shapes using cookie cutters or free-hand with knife
  8. place 1 inch apart on ungreased, parchment-lined cookie sheet
  9. (if you decide to add sugar, sprinkles, or other decorations, now is the time to do that!) if you plan to use royal icing, bake the cookies first, then frost after they are completely cooled.
  10. bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on thickness of cookie, and desired texture/color of cookie.
  11. remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack for remaining cooling.
  12. frost with royal icing.
These sugar cookies make wonderful holiday cookies!
these sugar cookies make wonderful holiday cookies!

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sometimes it’s all about events…

October 5th, 2019 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary | Comments Off on sometimes it’s all about events…

y’all know i’m a cookie baker and couldn’t imagine life without an apron, some cookie sheets and enough flour so i’m never without! but did you also know i sometimes trade in my apron for an event planner superhero cape? yep, i’ve been planning events for years, mostly for non-profit arts organizations. i help the non-profit team create a fabulous atmosphere, keep the chairs and honorees happy, and help the organization’s raise lots of money. and i love doing it.

most recently, i worked with an incredible team at the 5th avenue theatre here in seattle, to make their dreams of a western-themed event a reality. there were hay bales and cafe lights, lots of red bandanas, sheriff badges, and cowboy hats to go around. and more than 300 people joined in the fun as they line-danced during cocktails, and sang along with the performers during the dinner and show. it was a fun and successful night, and it’s so fulfilling to watch it all come together.

unfortunately, during event time, cookie baking shrinks to a minimum, as there’s just not enough time for a regular human like me to do both! so, for all of you cookie bakers out there missing my posts, know that i’ll be back at it soon. in the meantime, why not put together you’re own western evening? here’s some things that turn a regular party into a ‘wow’ event!

need cowboy hats for your guests?

what about clipping on some sheriff badges for those special guests or the birthday honcho?

nothing fancies up the dinner table better than some homemade placecards. i used these kraft cards, easily printed on my home laser printer, and added some stickers to ‘fun them up’ a bit!

kraft placecards: https://amzn.to/2NV7CEx

think some bandanas can help? why, yes! yes, they will! get them to hand out to guests to wear, as well as consider using them as napkins! they add color and splash to your table and your guests!

yee-haw! hope your western-themed party is as fun as ours was!

and now, bake to our regular cookie baking…

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how chocolate wafers magically become chocolate cake!

August 23rd, 2019 thecookieblogger Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on how chocolate wafers magically become chocolate cake!

oh, if you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, you might remember that amazing miracle of a chocolate cake – the one where a simple box of chocolate wafers turned into the best dessert EVER! simply by combining a little bit of whipped cream (my mom used cool whip in a tub when that was discovered, to make it *even* easier!) and some chocolate wafers, and letting them sit overnight in the fridge.

the hardest part was the wait.

“is it ready yet, mom?” followed by the refrigerator door opening and closing by every member of the family.

“can we eat it now, mom?”

“mom, how much loooonnngggeeerrrrrr?”

until a firm response of “open that refrigerator one more time and you’re not getting any!” — a scary enough statement to make us avoid the fridge, even the kitchen, for fear of being shut out of the glorious reward.

what makes it special?

if you’ve never made this chocolate cake before, that’s too bad. now’s the time to try it! it’s with a magician’s sleight of hand that plain (but totally yummy) chocolate wafers meld with the whipped cream after an overnight sleep in the fridge, and become the texture of chocolate cake. don’t believe me? give it a try!

in recent years, i’ve made this a few times, but not nearly as often as i should. because it’s easy, it presents beautifully, and it brings everyone back to some family dinner, some special moment from years gone by. it’s a cake that comes along with a memory book, and that’s a pretty darn special feature for a cake, if you ask me.

one of my ‘go-to’ places for recipes is king arthur flour, and i have to share their recipe of this new and improved refrigerator cake. with a little bit of dutch-processed cocoa, and a tinge of espresso powder to elevate the cocoa a bit, this recipe is a keeper.

get the recipe:

visit king arthur flour, and find their recipe: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chocolate-wafers-recipe

i added some dark chocolate sprinkles to the top of the cake for a little extra oomph (you can buy deruyter chocoadehagel puur from amazon) if you’re interested in real chocolate sprinkles.

this is the perfect dessert to a weekend meal! and you probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard right now! why not whip up some chocolate wafers, whip up some cream, and get this in the fridge tonight, so you’ve got the perfect saturday night dessert? enjoy!

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delectable almond brittle cookies

November 22nd, 2018 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary | Comments Off on delectable almond brittle cookies

almond brittle is a popular candy, especially around the holidays, but why not try a cookie version of this, and add it to your baking repertoire throughout the holidays? it’s certainly a crowd pleaser, and, depending on how large or small you break up the pieces, you can get a lot of goodness to spread around.

almond brittle cookies

ingredients
for the base of the cookie:
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour

For the almond brittle topping:
½ cup seedless jam (i used apricot with this recipe, but peach or raspberry work equally well.)
9 tablespoons butter
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. fresh lemon juice
8 oz. sliced almonds

instructions to make the cookie base:
1. cream the butter and sugar with the salt and zest until the mixture is light and fluffy.
2. beat in the egg, milk and vanilla.
3.add the flour slowly, incorporating it completely into the dough.
4. with your floured hands, roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 2 hours.
5. let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

instructions to make the cookies:

1. after letting the dough soften slightly, roll out the cookie dough on parchment paper to fit a 10 inch by 15 inch rectangle.
2. transfer the dough, still on the parchment to a cookie sheet with edged sides.
3. chill the rolled dough for another 20 minutes.
4. preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
5. trim the dough so it fits into the rectangular cookie sheet.
6. make fork pricks all over the dough, and place in oven.
7. bake until lightly golden, about 15-17 minutes. (while baking, make sure to keep an eye on the oven to deflate any bubbles that erupt in the dough (just stick your fork in the bubble!)
8. remove the partially baked cookie base from the oven (but leave the oven on.)
9. place your jam in a small saucepan atop the stove. Warm the jam until it becomes easily spreadable.
10. remove from heat and brush the jam over the cookie base.
11. in a clean saucepan, melt the butter. then add the sugar, salt and honey to the butter and simmer slowly over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. 12. add the cream and raise the heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. the mixture will thicken after a few minutes (3-4 minutes.)
13. remove from heat and mix in the vanilla, lemon juice and almonds.
14. pour the almond mixture over the jam-covered cookie, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
15. bake at 400 degrees for about 14-16 minutes, rotating the cookie tray midway through, until the top is bubbling.
16. cool cookies completely in pan. using a very sharp knife or pizzal cutter, cut the cookies into ragged pieces (or squares, if you want them to look neater!)
17. enjoy!

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a friend in need…

November 1st, 2018 thecookieblogger Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on a friend in need…

i never, ever use thecookieblogger site for anything other than providing stories and recipes, and sometimes stories about family and friends and their recipes! but today, as we kick off the month of november, i’d like to take a moment to let you know about my friend andy.

he’s a stagehand, like my husband. and he’s a husband and a father. and he’s a cookie lover, like all of us.

and he’s currently facing a medical challenge that no young father should ever have to face.

he, his wife verhanika and their son are some of the bravest people i know. and if you’d like to send a little kindness out into the world today, please consider a donation to help them on this cancer journey. every penny counts, so even a dollar or two adds up. visit the gofundme page i created for them at: https://www.gofundme.com/giveforandy

thanks for taking a moment to read, and help andy, if you can. and next post we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled cookie recipes. thank you!

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oatmeal cookie recipe = perfect summertime munching

July 7th, 2018 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary | Comments Off on oatmeal cookie recipe = perfect summertime munching

it wouldn’t be summer without munching on a freshly-made oatmeal cookie, served alongside a tall glass of lemonade. i make these pretty regularly, and they are one of my most requested cookie recipes.

thin oatmeal cookies
http://www.thecookieblogger.com/cooks-illustrated-thin-crispy-oatmeal-cookies/

this recipe is direct from america’s test kitchen. I can honestly declare that they have never, ever steered me wrong with their recipes. maybe it’s their intense testing practices. maybe it’s because their new england kitchens are filled with magic. whatever the reason, you can’t go wrong with cookies originally developed by atk.

that being said, i’ve decided to challenge myself over the coming months, to crawl through atk’s the perfect cookie cookbook, and get through all of its recipes between now and the winter holiday season. partly to find some inspiration for my holiday cookie trays, and partly because i do love a good challenge. i’ll post results here on the site and let you know how i’m making out over the next few months. please, stick around to share my successes – and not-so-successes, and perhaps find a little inspiration yourself!

happy cookie baking!

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oh, those mini muffins!

May 13th, 2018 thecookieblogger Posted in daily cookie diary | Comments Off on oh, those mini muffins!

yep, those banana chocolate chip mini muffins are one of my most requested baked goods. people love them. and when i say people, i mean my hubby. because he actually gets pretty delighted when he sees those bananas on the kitchen counter starting to turn all brown and ugly-looking. because it means that those mini muffins can’t be too far off!

i’ve found that organic bananas seem to take a bit longer to get brown and smooshy, which is really where you need them for this recipe. so i often will place them in a brown paper bag, just to speed up the process a bit. it really works – give it a try.

another way to get the bananas just the way you need them? check in with your local grocer! it’s likely they have bananas that have ‘passed their prime’ and are too brown to be out on display. they will happily give them to you at a discounted price. and you’ll have bananas in exactly the perfect state for this recipe!

check out this tried and true recipe for banana chocolate chip mini muffins. it’s an oldie, but definitely a goodie!

http://www.thecookieblogger.com/banana-chocolate-chip-mini-muffins

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