Cookies/Brownies

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

Thirty years ago tomorrow, my favorite person in the world was brought into this world: my sister Katie. I still remember the early Illinois morning she was born, while I was sound asleep. My mom had been up the night before watching television with my dad on a typical weeknight and there were no signs from her that she might be heading into labor in the next few hours. But she did, while I was peacefully asleep, and when the phone rang, I jolted awake. The news that I had a baby sister made me cry. I wanted a baby brother (I’ve told her this before). But I never spent another minute wishing for a brother and I’m beyond thankful that she isn’t just the best sister anyone could ever ask for but she is also an amazing woman. She is never judgmental, just listens when I need her, and is the yin to my yang. She is my rock to my roll. She is my everything. And now she has given me a niece and a nephew who I can’t get enough of, even though we all live over 1,500 miles away from each other. If I could have one wish for the rest of my life, it would be that we could see each other each and every day.

Because of my sweet Katie, I made these Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars. Because birthdays are a perfect reason to eat icing.

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Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray, and set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg white, sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt to form a crumbly dough. Press the dough into the prepared pan to form an even layer, and poke the dough every few inches with a fork so it will bake evenly. Bake 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely. To make the frosting, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and half and half until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, salt, and food coloring, and beat again until fluffy. Spread over cooled cookies and add sprinkles. Cut into squares.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: The Baker Upstairs blog

 

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Double Nut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Do you have Girl Scouts sitting at the door of your grocery store asking you to buy cookies? I do. Last year, they were also waiting for me as I came off of the commuter train after work but so far, there has been no sign of them there. I’m all for the Girl Scouts but honestly, I dread seeing their cute little faces and perky attitudes. These little people tap into my interior weakness and I almost crumble. I have no self control and WILL EAT THEM ALL if I buy them! So after saying “No, thank you” to the adorable Girl Scouts, how do I explain the fact that I made these Double Nut Butter Sandwich Cookies which rival the Girl Scouts’ Do-si-dos and taste like no other cookie I have ever made? I can’t explain it. But these cookies are amazing.

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Almond butter and oatmeal make up the soft, chewy cookies, while peanut butter and powdered sugar create the creamy center filling. To make this truly nutty all the way around, use almond milk in the filling in place of regular milk (either one will work perfectly).

I took these cookies to work because they were so good, I very easily could have eaten every single one by myself in one sitting. Luckily, some people at work took some off my hands and I got nothing but compliments. If I could make cookies for a living everyday, I’d be happy. So why am I working in finance instead of in a bakery? Probably for the same reason I say no to the Girl Scouts but then turn around and make these cookies at home. Because I torture myself and I’m seriously losing it.

Double Nut Butter Sandwich Cookies (makes approximately 24 sandwich cookies)

For cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)

For filling:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk or almond milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In another large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together butter and both sugars until well combined. Add egg, vanilla, and almond butter and mix. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Drop dough by tablespoon full onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes (cookies may not appear to be done but that’s okay). Remove cookies from oven and let rest on the cookie sheet for 4-5 additional minutes (they will finish cooking). Move to a cooling rack to cool.

While cookies bake, prepare the filling by combining butter, peanut butter, and vanilla until creamy.  Add the powdered sugar and milk. (Add enough milk to bring it to a frosting-like consistency.)

Once cookies have cooled, spoon a tablespoonful of filling into the center of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

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Double Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache

This is a cookie that will whip all your other cookies’ asses.  There are cookies…and there are COOKIES.  This, my friends, is a bad-ass COOKIE.  As in it’s almost a meal and if you can eat more than one, then you are my hero.  I took these Double Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache to work and got a lot of rave reviews.  One co-worker even commented that he wanted to make a grown-up cookie for a party and could I send him the recipe?  That is a successful cookie in my book.

Semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream are mixed together and chilled before being knocked out by a hit of some good old bourbon and chilled again until thickened.  The creamy mixture is then spread between two basic chocolate-chip cookies (i.e. if you really wanted to use store-bought cookie dough here, you could) where you now have the chocolateyest (not a word) and most decadent sandwich cookie.  Because of it’s richness, I would consider either using milk chocolate in the ganache (since semi-sweet chips are in the cookie dough) or making the cookies smaller.  I used a small ice cream scoop for my cookies and think they could have been half the size.  These cookies aren’t joking around, I’m just going to tell you.  They have an attitude and aren’t afraid to show you.  I nearly didn’t finish one and I swear I heard it laughing at me.  I dare you to take them on.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until blended.

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Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in morsels just until combined. Drop dough by level spoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, using a small cookie scoop (about 1 1/8 inches).

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Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).  To make ganache, microwave semisweet chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a 2-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 2 1/2 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt, stirring at 30-second intervals.

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Whisk in bourbon, softened butter, and vanilla. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally, 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thickened to a spreadable consistency.

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Spread Bourbon Ganache on flat side of half of cookies (about 1 Tbsp. per cookie); top with remaining cookies.

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Cover and chill cookies 2 hours or until ganache is firm.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Southern Living magazine

Almond-Lime Zesties

When I told my friend I was making these Almond-Lime Zesties, she cringed.  “I don’t like almonds and I don’t like lime,” she said.  Whaaaaaat?  I almost considered not making these because the last thing I want to make is a cookie someone doesn’t like.  But these looked easy to make and I already had the ingredients to make them so I gave it a try.  I have to say, I’m pretty happy with these.

With only five ingredients, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make these and they come together rather quickly.  They are simple butter cookies jazzed up with ground almonds and a little lime zest.  The almonds really give these cookies a bold nutty flavor and the lime is just subtle enough to give them a citrus kick.  I added a little extra powdered sugar after they had cooled completely because when added to them warm, the cookies kind of soaked it up.  The extra powdered sugar makes these look like little snowballs which is perfect at Christmastime.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Beat butter and 1 cup powdered sugar at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in lime zest. Add flour and ground almonds gradually, beating until well blended. Chill 15 minutes.

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Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until light golden brown on bottom. Let stand on baking sheet 2 minutes.

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Roll warm cookies in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, coating well. Let cool completely.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living magazine

Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

I try to change up the cookies I make every year because the only cookies I’m willing to repeat are my peanut butter cookies (thanks to my family and friends who always say “But you are making your peanut butter cookies, right?”).  If you aren’t careful, you can either end up with a bunch of beige/white cookies (i.e. peanut butter, sugar, chocolate chip, butter) or nothing but chocolate cookies.  I like to have a little bit of both.  These Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies may not sound like holiday cookies but really, who’s to judge?  Any cookie is a holiday cookie in my opinion.  And what holiday isn’t made better by lots of chocolate?

These cookies have both cocoa and chocolate chips and are topped with a drizzle of even more melted chocolate.  Dried cherries added another layer of flavor which I have to say is what drew me to these cookies (which is I guess why they are called Oregon cookies).  Dried cherries are like candy to me and I will eat them in just about anything.  These cookies are chewy and very chocolatey – perfect for the chocolate lover in your family.  Leave a plate of these for Santa and he’ll be happy.  Just don’t forget the milk!

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The ingredients:

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Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

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Stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels and dried sweetened cherries.

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Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake, in batches, at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Drizzle cookies with 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living magazine

Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies

How does December get so busy?  Here it is already the 16th and I haven’t had one post since before Thanksgiving.  Where does the time go?  Well, Christmas is already next week (can you believe it?) so in my world that means one thing – Christmas cookies!  This week, that’s all I’ll have for you.  Because I’ve decided that what I love making most of all is cookies.  It’s time I sit down and figure out how in the world I could have my own cookie shop because it would make me so happy.  Anyway, the first cookie I have for you this week is Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies.

Cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves are added to a maple-laced dough making for a spicy little holiday cookie (well, holiday in my book!).  Topped with a simple frosting, also laced with maple syrup, and chopped walnuts, this cookie’s bold, unique flavor may not suit everyone’s palette but for someone looking for a cookie other than simple butter or chocolate chip, this might be for you.  The dough is thick making it easy to roll into small balls of dough for easy baking.  I made mine pretty small, trying to make them close to bite size since you probably wouldn’t want to eat too many of these spicy snacks in one sitting.  If you are looking for a grown-up substitute for gingerbread cookies, try these instead!

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F.  To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

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Place brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add 2 tablespoons syrup and egg; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.

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Spoon batter evenly into 30 mounds (about 1 tablespoon) 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

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To prepare frosting, combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons syrup, milk, and 2 teaspoons butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

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Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookies. Working quickly, sprinkle cookies with nuts.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies

Whenever someone claims to have the “Best Ever” recipe for anything, that’s a mighty tall order.  I mean, who do they think they are with all that noise? Well, I can be a sucker for new products (especially when it comes to nut butters) so when I came across this dark chocolate peanut butter in my grocery store recently, I had to give it a try.  Alone it was more peanut buttery than chocolatey which was okay with me.  With an entire jar left, I found this recipe for the “Best Ever” Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies so I put both the chocolate peanut butter and the recipe to the test.

The result was pretty much the best ever peanut butter-oatmeal cookies I’ve had.  No joke.  I mean, look at the pictures of the cookies I made.  Can they get any more perfect looking?  Since the dough was thick, I scooped equal sized amounts into my palm and rolled them in balls which made them perfectly circular when baked.  These cookies are soft and chewy, just the way you expect a cookie to be. I have to say though as far as the dark chocolate peanut butter goes, I didn’t really taste a difference in these cookies so use whatever your favorite peanut butter is. I love peanut butter cookies and I love oatmeal cookies so there’s no surprise that I loved this combination of both.  The recipe also calls for optional chocolate chips which I didn’t use but why not combine 3 kinds of cookies in one recipe if you want? No doubt, they’ll still be the best. Like, ever.

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The ingredients:

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Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

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In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter with an electric mixture until smooth. Beat in sugars, eggs, and vanilla until blended.

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Beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.

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Drop by rounded spoonfuls, 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes until golden brown.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Chocolate chips

Substitutions:

  • Dark chocolate peanut butter

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: Skippy peanut butter website

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