Posted by: MissCarlotta | April 25, 2011

Mint-Chocolate Slices

Ok here it is… my first ever original cookie recipe.  I was inspired by the simpleness of my prior Maple Slices cookies into making something similar but with a different flavoring… chocolate and mint was what I settled on. (Naturally because I’m from a mint city and a chocoholic!)

I'm not a Girl Scout, I just play one in the kitchen!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Beat Butter, sugars and mint extract in large bowl until fluffy.
  2. Mix in remaining dry ingredients
  3. Shape Dough into roll on wax paper, wrap and refrigerate until firm (~2 hours)
  4. Heat Oven to 375ºF (190ºC)
  5. Slice dough into 1/4 inch (0.6cm) slices and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until slightly browned at the edges.
  7. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely on wire rack.
I was surprised at how much like traditional Girl Scout Thin Mints these tasted.  They just need a thin chocolate shell.  I would suggest if making for sharing…. double the recipe size.  I kept my batch small because it was something new.
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Posted by: MissCarlotta | April 17, 2011

What’s Up Doc: Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches

Sometimes you want to try something a bit more healthy in a cookie (especially when you are to be visited by a very health conscience relation!)…. so I latched onto the idea of a carrot cake cookie.  I am hoping this will offset my dark chocolate cookies and candies I have stocked for my chocoholic father!

I found this recipe at Dozen Flours after a bit of googling. I omitted the nuts, because I’m not a major nut fan, and voila!  I made all of mine sandwich style because I found the cookies spread pretty thin.  This did mean that there are fewer actual cookies.  But, I was informed that “people don’t like the weirder flavors as well” so I think they will be a fine amount.  (And that maybe those people should get out more ¬.¬ )

handsized carrot cakes

Handheld Cakes of Carroty Goodness

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon good quality cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh, coarsely grated carrots (2 medium)
  • 1 scant cup pecans (3 oz), chopped (optional but note that if you omit them, you will end up with slightly less yield. The nuts really bulk up the batter.)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (2 1/2 oz)

Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 2 baking sheets or use a Silpat mat.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  4. Drop 1 tablespoons batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes total. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.
  5. While cookies are baking, whip cream cheese and vanilla together until well combined. Add sugar and continue mixing until smooth.
  6. Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between or just serve as singles. Garnish with a small fragment of nut on top.
circle of Carrots

Photo compliments of USDA Agricultural Research Service; Photo by Stephen Ausmus.

Posted by: MissCarlotta | April 14, 2011

Flashback: Gingerbread Men: ABC cut

This recipe comes from my family cookbook and is noted as being of my Aunt Debbie’s origin.  She made these quite regularly during the holidays when I was growing up and frequently I was allowed to help in the making.  Her decorating scheme was usually raisin buttons and eyes.   She also has a sense of humor and sent me a set of ABC (already been chewed) gingerbread men cookie cutters.

“Hmm… this one doesnt have a leg…”

So naturally when I had cookies to bake in late December/Start of January  I turned to my ABC Gingerbread Men.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • **OPTIONAL** Raisins for eyes and buttons OR assorted frostings

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC)
  2. Cream butter, sugar and molasses.
  3. Add egg and mix well
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface and and cut out.
  6. **OPTIONAL** Decorate with your raisin eyes and buttons
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350ºF
  8. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely
  9. **Optional** Decorate with your frostings.

Disabled Gingerbread Men of America

I tried my best to decorate without making it obvious that the missing parts were intentionally missing.  Sent them off in the new non-holiday cookiejar* with the curious question…. would geeky IT people eat cookies that looked like they had already been nibbled on?

Ben reported back that not only would his co-workers eat ABC gingerbread men, but that only one person made any comment on their poor condition.  “This one is missing a leg…. I guess that means I’ll just have to take another!”

TIP: For my “frosting” I used Wilton’s Candy Melts so they would set up a bit stiffer and not smudge in my cookiejar.

PS:  The everyday cookiejar was a pick up from The Container Store

Posted by: MissCarlotta | April 11, 2011

Dark Chocolate with White Chocolate Chips

Its like an inverted Chocolate Chip cookie!  They are just as easy to make, but their rich coloring and flavor makes people think they are a bit more upperclass.

cookies

350ºF / 8-10 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate (or unsweetened) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups white chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC)
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in Eggs and Vanilla
  4. Add Flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mixing in thoroughly.
  5. Hand fold in your White Chocolate chips or chunks
  6. Drop batter by teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes until set
  8. Let cook on cookie sheet for a couple minutes and then move to cooling rack to cool completely

 

I saved a few of these from the batch for the home cookiejar since I suspect my father, who is coming to visit at the end of the week, will enjoy them.   My father and I share a love of chocolate.  It can be white, milk, dark… just about any kind and I will savor it.  Heck…. I can savor an M&M, and let it just melt through the candy shell into my mouth.  (This is a trick I learned when I was younger and wanted to sample chocolate chips, but didn’t dare take too many from the cupboard or my samples would get noticed.  So I’d sneak just a couple and hold them in my mouth letting them melt away.)

I will confess that at this point in my life, I’ve started to pass over the no-name brand chocolate bits that they seem to put out for candy holidays.  It just seems to me they have gotten into the chalky or oily dregs and lack the richness of flavor I expect.

Posted by: MissCarlotta | April 11, 2011

Welcome to my Year of Cookies Blog

So the adventure started way back in November of 2010… when shopping at the local Target, Ben and I came across this:

Tux's long lost winter cousin.

Being somewhat geek-smitten with this obvious cousin of Tux, I offered to keep his tummy full of cookies at Ben’s new workplace if he wanted to take him home.  And so… the cookie making began.

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