Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are nice change from our usual chocolate chip cookie.  Like all of our favorite cookies do, they stay so soft!  This time it is due to the pudding mix.  You can easily change the flavors of this by using different flavors of pudding and chocolate chips.  For example, use vanilla pudding and semi-sweet chocolate chips for a traditional cookie.  Or use butterscotch pudding and butterscotch chips.  Use your imagination for a unique treat!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

{source: allrecipes.com}

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix {I’ve used a 3.9 oz package before and it works fine.}
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips {I used 1 cup white chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips this time.}
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts – optional {I omitted}

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Combine the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Mix the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add the eggs and mix well. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and the chopped nuts. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.


Christmas Candy & Cookie Plan

I love to make {and eat!} Christmas cookies.  Unfortunately, with my stupid work schedule, I don’t have as much time to bake as I would like.  This list might be a little too ambitious, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to knock out almost everything in one long day {like I did last year}.

Of course I love to share cookie trays with family, friends and neighbors, so don’t think I make all of these for just the two of us!  Even though I hate my workplace, I’ll also take at least one tray to hell, I mean work.  Tim will probably also take a tray to his work.  Some things in particular {marked with *’s} will be for gifts.

I hope that my list inspires you to make some Christmas cookies of your own.  If an item interests you or you have questions, and I haven’t already linked up the recipe, go ahead and leave me comment and I’ll send you the recipe.

-Here’s what I want to make:

Oreo truffles

salted chocolate truffles

cookie dough truffles

buckeyes

biscotti {at least 2 kinds}

sugar cookies – cut-out with cute cookie cutters and decorated with royal icing

cranberry white chocolate cookies

thumb prints

molasses cookies {definitely a favorite!}

Russian tea cookies {We like to call them powdered sugar balls}

fudge

saltine toffee aka CRACK

pretzel bark

*peanut brittle

*homemade marshmallows

pecan tassies

-Non cookie or candy stuff:

*spiced nuts

dill cracker mix

-Stuff I would love to make if I have extra time, but will definitely get cut if I don’t {in no particular order of importance}:

chocolate crinkle cookies

some kind of shortbread or butter cookie

homemade Oreos

Rugelach or Stella cookies

German Pfeffernusse

different flavored fudge – like peanut butter or marshmallow

Pinwheels with raspberry jam filling or other fruity cookie or bar

3D cookies

icebox or roll and slice cookies – maybe cinnamon bun?

meringue kisses

homemade turtles or peanut clusters

homemade peppermint patties

homemade peanut butter cups

snickerdoodles – I would like to try a different recipe though.

chocolate covered peanut butter rice crispy treats

something eggnog flavored?

I’ll go ahead and stop there, but I think I could seriously go on and on.  If only I could quit my job and bake full-time…

What are you making?  Do tell.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

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I was craving a cranberry dessert, so I turned to my trusty biscotti recipe that calls for cranberries and pistachios, as well as a coating of white chocolate.

I made this recipe several times last year and everyone who tasted it, loved it.  It is a great addition to a holiday cookie tray, but is delicious year round too, hence the name change that I’m giving it.

Try them with a cup of tea or coffee.  These twice baked cookies are crispy crunchy deliciousness!

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Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

{source: Holiday Biscotti by  Giada DeLaurentiis at foodtv.com}  Yields 12 biscotti for me, but original recipe says 2 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest {I just used 1/2 tsp lemon extract}
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped {I used 6 ounces for drizzling}
  • Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish {I omit}

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 35-40 minutes {Mine was definitely done at 35 minutes so watch closely}.  Cool for 30 minutes.

before baking

before baking

after the first baking

after the first baking

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

before 2nd baking

before 2nd baking

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.  Or just drizzle with the chocolate.

The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.

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S’mores Bars

I have been craving s’mores recently, so this dessert really hit the spot.  My topping didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the magazine picture, so I’m including this one from the website.

S'more Bars Recipe

{source}

S’mores Bars {recipe from Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious magazine}

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 milk chocolate Hershey Bars
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme {I used the whole jar}

Directions:

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed butter mixture. Once all of the flour mixture is incorporated into the butter mixture, set aside 1/4 – 1/2 cup for topping.

Press remaining mixture into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. {I used an 8″ square.}  Place candy bars over crust; spread with marshmallow creme. Crumble remaining graham cracker mixture over top.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

This is my Hershey bar layer.

This is my Hershey bar layer.

Key Lime Meltaways

I bought 2 limes to use in a salsa recipe and ended up not needing to add the juice after all.  So I began a search for an alternate use for limes and that lead me to Erin’s recent blog post.

Although I’m not usually a fan of slice and bake cookies, I was attracted to several aspects of the recipe, including the fact that I could make the dough one night and bake the cookies the next, I worship trust Martha Stewart’s recipes, and I’ve never made a lime dessert before.  So I gave it a shot!

They are great and certainly do melt in your mouth!  The only issue I had, was that I added the last batch of cookies to the bag of sugar while they were still too warm and they pretty much crumbled.  It was totally my fault though.  The first 2 batches had cooled for 10 minutes each and they came out fine.  I stupidly rushed the final batch.  So, learn from me and listen to Martha’s directions – cool for 10 minutes before shaking!

Just a few other notes:  I used regular limes, not Key limes.  I wouldn’t say that my butter ever got “fluffy.”  More like very smooth and creamy.

Lime Meltaways

Yield:  approx. 4 dozen

from Martha Stewart Cookies as seen at Erin’s Food Files

12 tablespoons (1 -1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s {powdered} sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.

Between two 8-by-12-inch pieces of parchment paper, roll {form with hands} dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.  I chilled them for 24 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still slightly warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Known as “The Chewy,”  by Alton Brown, these cookies are exactly that.  They stay chewy for several days after baking!  I don’t know about you, but it seems like several recipes for chocolate chip cookies turn into rocks 2-3 days post baking!  These do not, they remain delicious!  I’ll definitely be making them again.

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Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Hardware:

  • Ice Cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Mixer

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container

Snickerdoodles

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The classic snickerdoodle is one of my favorite cookies!  However, this was my first time actually making them myself as far as I can remember.  For my first attempt at these, I went with the trusty Martha Stewart recipe that I clipped from her magazine about 2 years ago. 

They turned out pretty well, but very flat.  Be sure to leave plenty of room on the baking sheets for them to spread.  I think they have the perfect balance between crispy and chewy!

Makes 4 dozen

 

Ingredients

  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening – I used all butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small (1 1/4-ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

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