Posts Tagged ‘Baking: Cookies’

I first tried these cookies at my boyfriend’s Aunt’s house. When we gather there, we eat like the Italians we are. At least six courses, eating for hours, and people. People everywhere. But back to these cookies. I thought these cookies were amazing. So amazing, in fact, that after eating for literally an entire afternoon, I still couldn’t help shoving more cookies into my face. They aren’t all beautiful, but they’re AMAZING. Fluffy and chewy and light and sweet and lovely and “I know I already had seven but please can I have some more?” cookies. And I don’t know if you’d have guessed (because I certainly didn’t) but these cookies have a strange and secret ingredient! Got any guesses? Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s ricotta cheese! The classic lasagna staple in a cookie? I know, it’s weird, but don’t let it scare you. There’s no cheesy aftertaste in these cookies! Ricotta is apparently a classic choice in lots of Italian pastries, including cake! I think it’s what we can attribute the truly amazing texture to.

Hey look, I didn’t forget to cream the butter and sugar this time! Look at the fluffy texture, it’s an essential step in cookie making. Make sure your butter is softened before creaming and for best results, let your butter soften on the counter instead of in the microwave (though there’s nothing wrong with a quick blast from the microwave, we don’t always have time on our hands for such patience).

Your dough will look a little strange after you add the ricotta, but don’t worry. Just blend all your wet ingredients as instructed. Oh, and use a big bowl. Probably the biggest one you have.

You’re gonna need at least 4 cups of flour to make the dough manageable. I had to use just a touch more than this, maybe 1/4 cup extra. Just add in small amounts as you need it.

The dough will be sticky, but as long as you can work it into dough balls, you’re good. Popping it in the fridge for a while helps.

My dough balls were a little over a teaspoon in size and I found that baking them for between 10-11 minutes was best. These cookies tend to undercook and, though we all like doughy cookies, these were a little too doughy. Err on the side of leaving them in until they’re golden brown on the top and sides too. Also, if the bottoms aren’t too brown, leave them on the hot pan for a while and that will help the centers cook all the way.

Note: If you do make your cookies this size, you’re going to wind up with nearly 100 cookies! So make them bigger if you like, but don’t forget to increase the cooking time.

As an aside, this was the first time I ever used parchment paper and it is incredible. Seriously, go get some. Right now. Or while you’re shopping for cookie ingredients. I never want to bake without it again, the cookies just slide right off and don’t leave the pan with grease marks. Amazing stuff.

Some might find that these cookies aren’t quite sweet enough, so you have the option to whip up a quick glaze. I have no doubts the almond would be wonderful, but my mom prefers vanilla, so I substituted vanilla extract. When making the glaze, keep it at a liquidy consistency as opposed to a thick icing) and spoon it over the warm cookies. The cookies will soak it right up and lend some sweetness. Then you can add a little fanciness with sprinkles if you like. Nonpareils are my favorite.

These cookies were wonderful and tasted even better the next day! I recommend giving them a shot, they were easy and certainly a hit with my Italian family, your family might love them too.

Want to make these cookies? I think you should.

Here, have the recipe I was given from Allrecipes:

  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt*
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; blend into the creamed mixture, mixing in additional flour as necessary to form a workable dough. Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls, and arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.

For glaze:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat milk, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Spoon over warm cookies, and sprinkle with colored candy sprinkles

*I did not put any salt in these cookies and didn’t even notice until afterwards. The recipe didn’t call for it, but in hindsight that’s a little suspicious. Salt brings out flavors, that’s why you put it in everything! So, though I cannot personally attest to the addition of salt in this recipe, I think I’ll still recommend it. It’s up to you and there’s nothing wrong with experimenting!

And the wonder baker blog is revived, not with a bang, but with some plain old boring cookies.

Well, not that boring. It’s still a tasty cookie after all!

I decided to do these because one day my sister said that what she was really craving was some chocolate chip cookies, but without the chocolate chips. What do you even call those? “Chipless chocolate chip cookies” seems to be too much of a mouthful, so I decided to just go with “Buttery Brown Sugar Cookies” and if you make them, you’ll see why. But I did have some leftover mini chocolate chips, so I tossed those in too for a few of the cookies.

I decided to choose Annie from Annie’s Eats’  favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to use as my base. But silly me forgot that when making cookies, butter is almost always creamed with sugar. When reading the recipe and seeing “whisk together dry ingredients”, I tossed the sugar in with the flour and other dry things, totally missing the next line below that said “cream butter and sugars”. So, as an Important Note: Keep in mind that, if you’re making cookies, you’ll probably be putting the sugar with the butter separately! Or you could read the whole procedure before you start, that’s a good tip too 🙂

I really liked the method described to form these cookies. I dipped my half-cup measuring cup into the batter and just scooped some out, not actually measuring or anything. Roll that amount of dough into a ball, then pull into two halves with your fingers. Then you place them on the sheet as seen above. I liked the way they cooked, nice thick edges and a chewy center.

Maybe a little too chewy? As you can see (I hope), the centers are quite undercooked. However, in this house that’s how we like our cookies, so that was a big plus for me. I cooked these big ones for about 12 minutes in the 325F oven and they came out lovely.

The bottoms were just gorgeous. I took them out of the oven when the very bottom edges started to turn just the slightest bit brown. Cookies still cook for a bit even after they’re taken from the oven, so to avoid overcooking, make sure you don’t leave them in until they’re too brown!

I made a small batch of smaller cookies by taking the big ball and splitting in, then rolling the halves into balls and splitting them again. Above you can see the size comparison and the smaller ones cooked for about 8 minutes.

My sister really liked these, so I consider it a mission accomplished! Though whether it was because the butter/sugar element was different or perhaps because there were no chocolate chips, I felt these cookies were extra buttery tasting. Also, I used light brown sugar because that’s all we had, but I would definitely suggest regular or even dark brown sugar to really up the flavor. If you’re into that sort of thing, then you’ll probably like these cookies too. Since Annie says these are her favorite chocolate chip cookies of all time, I’ll probably be making them again soon, but the right way next time.

Happy New Year and even happier eating to everyone 😀

Fridays are pretty dull for me. I take my sister to school at about 8:30am and then have nothing to do until 5:00pm when I head to work. So it’s usually in this big block of lonely time that I find a baking project to sink my teeth into. We don’t have much at my dad’s house, so I decided to go with something relatively simple and then try and jazz it up. I thought Bakerella’s Coraline Cookies would be just the thing, they’re super cute and simple and everyone in my house loves a nice peanut butter cookie.

Bakerella used a simple box mix, but as I didn’t have one and was far too lazy to run to the store, I decided to make a dough from scratch. It only needs 5 ingredients!

Those five ingredients are:

1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
1 large egg
1/4 cup of oil

(I pulled this recipe off of Wikianswers after a google search for “easy peanut butter cookies”)

Mix them all together and you’ll get an amazing smelling cookie dough!

I rolled the dough into little balls using a water bottle cap as my guide and then baked them for 8-10 minutes in a 350F oven. This batch was in for about 10 minutes, but when I took them out and started to press them into the button shapes…

They split and cracked! I was very upset, I had no idea what had gone wrong. Did I leave them in too long? Not long enough? I asked some friends and the general consensus was that perhaps my dough wasn’t moist enough. So, I added just under 1/4 cup of water and mixed it into my dough. Note: Was this part of a recipe or a baker’s help guide? No. Did I know from my many years of experience that this would help and not completely destroy my cookie dough? Not at all. I simply figured that a box cookie mix uses egg, water, and oil in combination with a  dry bag of flour, sugar, and dehydrated peanut butter stuff, so adding water couldn’t hurt. Wonder Bakers live life on the edge of reason!

My dough did look a little shinier when I was rolling it, like the dough Bakerella uses to make her cookies, but in the end the result was the same. They didn’t spread out much and they continued to crack! I even stopped from putting the dough in the fridge and cooked these for only 8 minutes. I was a little bit anxious at this point trying to decide what to do. I didn’t want to add more water since I had already baked so much of the dough, so for my final batch I decided to try pressing the button shapes before putting the cookies in the oven.

There was a little bit of splitting all the same, but I was pleased that the shapes were holding. Now it was just another 8 minute wait before I would know for sure if my plan was successful.

Praise the baker, it was! All the cookies came out like neat little peanut butter buttons! Right out of the oven, after I got over my joy in success, I grabbed a straw and poked the holes by inserting the end and giving a little twist to lift the tiny section of cookie out. Be careful not to get too close to the edges or your cookie will break. You can poke holes in about three cookies before the pieces start to cool inside the straw and give you a hard time, so I recommend gently squeezing out the little pieces after a few cookies. Careful though, they make the straw hot! But of course, if you have more than one straw at hand, using a new one is an option too.

The best part of this baking misadventure is that even the pile of messy scraps and failed buttons I ended up with were still super tasty! Peanut butter cookies aren’t the most exciting, but they seem to be a crowd favorite most of the time. I wish I had had some chocolate for dipping, but I think that even plain these cute cookies made for happy eating 🙂

Butterscotch and pumpkin? I didn’t think it could work either. But when Annie of the oh so fabulous Annie’s Eats pronounced these pumpkin cookies to be her favorites of all time, I took a leap of faith and tried them out (though honestly it was more like a tiny jump, since I love all the flavors).

Set your oven to 325F. After you grab all your ingredients, keep an eye out for sneaky kitties wandering around eying your treats

Then you mix two cups of flour

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

And a heaping teaspoon of ground cinnamon

A gentle whisking will mix everything up nicely, then you can set that bowl aside and grab another

In it you should put 1 cup of sugar

And two eggs!

Then, beat just these two ingredients until you have a smooth liquid that is very light

Just like this! Wonder Baker Tip: err on the side of using your bigger mixing bowls for wet ingredients because, more often than not, you’ll be adding your dry ingredients to the wet ones and not the other way around

Speaking of wet, it’s time to add 1 cup of pumpkin to your egg goo

Along with 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil

And a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Doesn’t the vanilla in the oil look really cool? I think so.

Blend that up until nicely combined

And then add your dry ingredient mixture. My bowl was big enough to add it all at once, but if you have a smaller bowl, add in halves or thirds

When that’s all combined, you’ll get a lovely orange dough that’s not too thick or sticky

Now, my sister is a little picky and doesn’t like butterscotch, so at this point I decided to separate out just a small amount of the cookie batter into another bowl and fold in some of my leftover mini chocolate chips from the pumpkin bread. That way she could still get some cookies and we’d have a different flavor on hand too.

If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that was a little less than a third of the batter overall. And I didn’t measure out the chocolate chips, I just dumped them in there until it looked right.

And the rest of the batter got just under a full cup of butterscotch chips folded right in.

To my sister’s delight, the chocolate batch ended up yielding nine whole cookies for her. I decided to set my timer for 12 minutes, though the recipe stated 14-16, because they seemed a little smaller than the ones in the recipe and it’s always good to check early.

Meanwhile I prepared a batch of butterscotch! For scooping, I just used a tablespoon measuring cup and plopped them onto the baking sheet using another spoon to scoop out. If you’ll notice, I didn’t have any parchment paper or silicone baking sheets, so I just lined my cookie pans with wax paper. It seemed to work out just fine.

After 12 minutes precisely, the chocolate chip cookies were finished. The toothpick came out clean and they looked amazing!

Just look at those bottoms! Set up perfectly with a little bit of browning on the edge, but the entire cookie is still fluffy and wonderful inside. I was extremely impressed with my choice of cooking time, if I do say so myself 🙂

I baked all my batches for 12 minutes and they all were perfectly done. Including this bonus batch which had butterscotch and chocolate chips in it! It was fun to just toss chips around into everything.

Oh wow, look at those! Now, one thing that was strange was the butterscotch chips didn’t seem to want to stay inside the cookie dough. They rolled out to the sides and even formed little craters as the cookie baked. The ones that were sticking out on the sides tended to stick to the wax paper, making it tricky to get the cookies off. So if you’re making these cookies, try to form them before you bake so that there aren’t any butterscotch chips sticking out on the sides. You can do this by just pushing them on top with a spoon or adding a little more of the dough to the edges around. It’s not a problem at all if they stick out, but this could make your life a little easier later

Hey, it’s the pumpkin bread I made earlier and a whole bunch of wonderful little cookies! I found that the pumpkin and the butterscotch worked great together, but the ones with both kinds of chips were probably my most favorite! Compared to the bread, the cookies are much fluffier and tend to get moist on the tops when you store them, but it’s not a soggy moisture so don’t worry about that. Pumpkin cookies are one of my favorite parts of fall and I hope you enjoy them too!

Check out the full recipe here at Annie’s Eats and have a  very happy eating!

Ever since I started the baking blog, I’ve been baking more frequently, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started getting some special requests. When my dad told me what he really wanted was a good oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips instead of raisins, I was all too happy to oblige. It also worked out that I would be hanging out with a good friend of mine and fellow wonder-baker-in-training, so I had the fantastic opportunity to make something special for my dad and spend time baking with a great friend. Hooray!

First preheat that oven up to a toasty 325F. Incidentally, that’s also the perfect temperature for roasting pumpkin seeds! Just a fun fall fact for you 🙂

Then it’s the gathering of the ingredients! I always really love this part, going on scavenger hunts for everything you need and making shopping lists for baking is just kind of fun. Is that weird? Oh well.

And then, like any good wonder baker should, wash up those hands! Pictures of yourself actually working is another great bonus when you’re baking with a friend.

Pop your 1 cup (that’s 16 tablespoons) of softened butter into your bowl. Yes, I did poke the butter to see if it was soft enough, but that’s okay because I washed my hands!

And then you add a cup of packed brown sugar. The recipe calls for light brown, but I prefer dark so that’s what I used. The flavor of dark brown sugar is just much more intense and molasses-y, but if that’s not your preference, go with light brown. If you ever doubted how much I love brown sugar, I hope this picture clears it up for you.

Wonder baker Ruby measured out the 1/2 cup of white sugar

And they all went in the bowl together!

Ruby’s hand mixer is sadly crippled and only has one beater. I like it though, it still gets the job done.

See, it’s the little hand mixer that could!

Look at Ruby work that buttery sugary goodness. And check out her adorable apron! It has pockets! I love it.

It’s already looking pretty great, but there’s still lots to add

Like grabbing your two eggs and mixing them in one at a time

Once they’re all mixed in, your batter will lighten up a little bit

Then you can add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Then, instead of grabbing another bowl, we mixed up our dry ingredients in the big measuring cup. First, scoop in your 1 and 1/4 cups of flour, then you can add your teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. We just stirred them all together in the cup and then added to the bowl of wet stuff. Easy peasy!

As you start blending up your dry ingredients, it’ll probably fly all over like it tends to do

So make sure you grab a spatula and scrape down the sides, folding the extra flour on top of the batter so it’ll stick and mix in easier

Then you toss in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Now, a word of caution: chocolate, especially the dark chocolate I love to use, is a little overpowering, If you’re concerned about losing the flavor of the cookie, err on the side of a little under a cup. However, if you make your cookies big enough, there will be a good balance! So maybe do a little experimentation with your cookie sizes, baking in small batches just to see how different amounts bake up until you find a size that’s got the perfect balance for you. It takes a little longer, but the results are worth it.

Then you mix in a whopping 3 cups of quick oats. The oats will completely drown your dough, so really getting them mixed in there is a task to test any wonder baker!

But you can get them all in there.

Don’t forget your cup of chopped walnuts too, if that’s something you enjoy. We only used half a cup, since we made a small batch with no nuts for my picky mother.

To start making your cookies, take any old spoon and scoop out a heaping spoonful. I thought that would make them too big, but as I mentioned before, the big cookies provide the best balance of the flavors. Plus oatmeal cookies need to be nice and thick to have that wonderful chewiness! Wonder baker Ruby was really good at efficiently scooping cookie dough.

And she used the equally effective two-spoon method for dropping them onto our cookie sheet! She was truly a wizard with cookie dough.

And here they are all ready for the oven. We probably could have fit more on the sheet, but at this point I was still experimenting with cookie sizes and baking times, so we were doing small batches.

Batch number one (the nutless). As you can see, these ones were much too small when they were rolled out, so they flatted out too much, making a thin cookie that made the chocolate a little too overpowering when you took a bite

And because they were too thin, the bottoms didn’t really set up all the way and were flimsy. I found the best way to eat these kind of cookies was to fold them in half to get a good bite

The next few batches, however, came out the perfect size! They needed longer than the suggested 12 minutes to cook all the way. The bottoms are the best way to tell if your cookies are done. Keep an eye on the edges to see if they brown up, or, if you can, lift with a spatula when you think they’re about done.

You might get some burned ones, if you put them on the bottom rack of your oven

But you might get some that are cooked beautifully! Hopefully that will be most of them, but if not, don’t worry. It’s always good to remember that there are people who like all the states of cookedness, even the burnt ones!

They were really tasty. Nick even said that if I sold them, people would buy them! That’s a great compliment for wonder bakers everywhere, in my opinion.You can pack them up in lots of ziploc bags for easy transport to all the people you want to share them with (I ended up with 6 separate batches for different people!) so you can have a wonderful time spreading cookie joy to all!

Happy Eating!

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