Archives for category: Cookies

On our day off, my sister and I decided to make 4th of July Cookies and came across this GENIUS idea to sprinkle sugar cookies with blue sprinkles and red Pop Rocks! Sticks to the 4th of July theme and adds a kick of fireworks in your mouth! The cookies themselves are star-shaped sugar cookies and we just used some icing we had in the fridge. These cookies really are festive and brings back memories of eating those Pop Rocks straight. Happy 4th of July and I hope you enjoy these fun cookies! My sister also was kind enough to take some amazing pictures (I’m positive you can tell when the pictures come from her and when they come from my iPhone but still want to give her a well-deserved shout out!).

Also, if it wasn’t enough of her to take pictures of the baking process, she also took the time to take some pictures of where the BWF magic happens. It’s no gourmet kitchen but it’s my cozy nook where I have everything I need to bake with ease, comfort and joy. Let’s bake! If you want to set up a session just email me at bakingwfriends@gmail.com.  

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth – about 1 minute.

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Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.

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Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

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Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

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Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

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Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.

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Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

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Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness.

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Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper. Chill up to 2 days (max).

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.

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Bake for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

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I was asked to make some chocolate chip cookies and I figured I would just quickly pull up my blog and find one or two recipes, and to my surprise, I didn’t have a single plain chocolate chip cookie recipe posted! So I did some searching and found my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe! It’s not necessarily quick but they are well worth the effort. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Directions:

Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla.

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Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick.

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Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.

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Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. Put 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for looks, if desired. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet.

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Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Anna (one of my former college roommates) and I made some ridiculously delicious cookies with just about everything you could want in a cookie: some cake mix, some chocolate chips, some sprinkles and of course, the baking essentials. These cookies were amazing and it was great to catch up with this awesome lady 🙂

P.S. the batter requires at least 2 hours in the fridge so just use that time to go grab some pizza like we did!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (we used a blend of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

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Directions:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.

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Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days. This step is mandatory. The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much. If you chill longer than 2 hours, make sure you roll the cookie dough into balls after the 2 hour mark. Place dough balls on a plate, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may also freeze the balls at this point for up to 3 months. (Then bake as directed adding 1 minute to the bake time without thawing.)

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Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, use about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Shape your cookie dough balls to be “taller” than they are wide, as pictured above. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie dough balls, if desired. That makes a pretty cookie. Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.

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Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. You may also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point (the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies).

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Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days; baked cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. They won’t last that long!

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In preparation for Valentine’s Day, my sister and I got together to bake these yummy, adorable, easy cookies! My sister took some amazing pictures that you will see throughout this post. Enjoy the post, enjoy the cookies, and enjoy Valentine’s Day with all our loved ones!

Ingredients

  • 1 package pie crust
  • strawberry jam
  • sugar for garnish
  • milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 370 F. Cut heart shapes from pie crust.

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Put a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the middle of the heart.

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Top with another heart slice. Press the sides with a fork.

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Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Also, in light of Valentine’s Day, we made these pink chocolate chip cookies. They were quite easy to make but I think I made them a little bit too big. Oh well, more cookie in every bite! Props again to Laura Quintero Photography!

Ingredients

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) strawberry cake mix, like Duncan Hines
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder.

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Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla by hand.

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Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to form a dough- stir vigorously until all of the pockets of dry cake mix are gone.

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Gently mix in the chocolate chips.

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Drop rounded balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheet. Make sure the balls of dough are taller than they are wide. Bake for 10 minutes – do not let the cookies get brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes; they will be very soft at first. As they cool, the tops may settle down; press them down gently with your fingers if they are not sinking much. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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These cookies are surprisingly soft and quite healthy! These are great to have for when you have cravings and are trying to watch your weight.

Ingredients

  • 1 c instant (quick-cook) oats (measured correctly)
  • ¾ c whole wheat flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ c honey
  • 6 tbsp fresh raspberries, diced
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Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla.
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Stir in the honey until thoroughly incorporated. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
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Fold in the raspberries.
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Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling longer, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the cookie dough.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops on the baking sheet. (If chilled longer than 1.5 hours, flatten slightly.) Bake at 325°F for 13-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

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Notes

It’s incredibly important to measure both the oats and whole wheat flour correctly, using the spoon-and-level method described in the links above. If scooped from the container using the measuring cup, you’ll end up with 1.5 times as much, which will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.

To make your own instant oats, pulse 1 cup of old-fashioned oats in a food processor 5-8 times.

Melted unsalted butter or melted margarine may be substituted for the coconut oil. Regardless of which is used, be sure that the egg is at room temperature before whisking it in. A cold egg added straight from the fridge would rapidly cool the fat source, resulting in small blobs of semi-solid coconut oil or butter.

If the cookies are still really flimsy after cooling on the baking sheet for 15 minutes and threaten to break apart, let them cool completely on the baking sheet. That won’t let them crisp up too much, and they’ll still stay soft for an entire week!

In getting ready for the season premiere of Downton Abbey, I got inspired by my sister’s Christmas present to me. Her initial present to me was the Amy Poehler book, but she didn’t know I had just recently ordered it online! She let me exchanger her copy of the book for another one at Urban Outfitters. I found a recipe book called Tea & Treats: Perfect Pairings for Brews and Bakes by Liz Franklin. I am SO excited to try more recipes from this book and this was just the first one I tried. I will say that I didn’t do the real clotted recipe but a quick and easy one I found online that did the job (but I’m sure that doing the real thing would be more tasty). Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 2 sticks soft butter
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • scant 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups clotted cream:
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/3 cup sour cream
    • 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • granulated sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix butter, flours, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract together until it forms a smooth dough. Spoon them mixture into a piping/pastry bag and pipe oval shapes about the size of a large egg onto the prepared baking sheets or flatten dough balls out with a flat round surface.

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Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden.

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Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cold. To serve, sandwich together with clotted cream and raspberries and dust lightly with sugar. IMG_7141 IMG_7142 IMG_7143     IMG_7148  IMG_7150  IMG_7152   IMG_7155 IMG_7156

Without exaggeration, these are one of the best cookies I have ever eaten, ever! I would eat these any time of year, they are so soft, sweet, and scrumptious! Cristina shared this recipe with us and along with Laura and myself making these together, it was a recipe for a really sweet and silly time! Also, this was the first time my older dog, Nemo, met Cristina’s puppy, Scooter, and let’s just say it was noticeable who the younger one was! I blame their cuteness and entertainment for lack of cookie pictures, but here is one of them together to make up for it!

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.

Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and coat in granulated sugar. Place on silicone baking mat, lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until outside looks cooked but inside is still soft and gooey. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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My friend Rosie came home for the holidays with her husband and beautiful new baby girl! We decided to make a christmas wreath made out of cupcakes and gingerbread houses! Below is the cupcake wreath recipe (we did not make the sugared cranberries or cookies but both recipes are in the link with all recipes). Just a warning, the icing used here is buttercream and it takes more time than usual but worth it! You can use any cupcakes, but we used the one in the link (red velvet). Once all the cupcakes were made, we all took turns decorating them with the “grass” icing so it truly was a group effort, and isn’t that what wreaths are all about?! All the cupcake wreath recipes can be found here.

Rosie was also nice enough to make homemade hot cocoa for everyone! It was awesome!

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Wreath

  • 24 cupcakes (see recipe we used)
  • Green buttercream (see recipe below), for decorating
  • Holly leaf cookies (see recipe we did not use), for decorating
  • Sugared cranberries (see recipe we did not use), for decorating
  • Pastry bag fitted with large star tip

Red Velvet Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 stick(s) (3/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup(s) milk
  • 2 tablespoon(s) (1 oz) liquid red food color (we did not have any but still tasted the same!)
  • 2 teaspoon(s) white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) cake flour (not self-rising)

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup(s) (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • Leaf green gel food coloring

Directions

Make red velvet cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need 24 regular-size (2 1/2-in. diameter) muffin cups lined with foil liners. In a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla 2 minutes until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir milk, food color and vinegar in a 2-cup measure until well blended. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour in three additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in two additions, beating just until blended. Spoon a scant 1⁄4 cup batter over candy in each cup, keeping candy in center. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes, then remove from pan to rack. Cool completely.

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Once they are in the oven, make the buttercream frosting. This takes some time but allows for the cupcakes to cool before starting to decorate. In a large metal or glass bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) a saucepan of barely simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are warm to touch, 3 to 4 minutes. (To tell if the sugar has dissolved, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers. It should feel smooth, not grainy.)

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Remove from the heat. Using an electric mixer, whisk on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff glossy peaks form and the bowl is no longer hot to touch, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the butter, a few pieces at a time. After adding all the butter, continue to whisk until the mixture begins to resemble softly whipped butter, about 3 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the vanilla. Mix for 3 to 4 minutes to remove some of the air bubbles. Tint the frosting green.

Assemble the wreath. Remember, if you make the holly cookies and sugared cranberries, be sure to allot time to those too. Assemble the cupcakes in a wreath shape (15 in outer circle, 9 in inner circle). Place the green buttercream in the pastry bag fitted with a large start tip and frost the cupcakes with green buttercream frosting to create a wreath, filling in any gaps between cupcakes with the frosting. Decorate the wreath with the holly leaf cookies and sugared cranberries (or other decorations you may wish to use, we used sprinkles and melted white chocolate). Enjoy!

We all took turns decorating some of the cupcakes with the buttercream frosting:

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Christmas day, Laura and I made Gingerbread cookies! We had a gingerbread men and gingerbread women cookie cutters so we had gingerbread people! The cookies themselves are so soft and delicious and decorating them was even more fun! We used cinnamon candy balls, black gel icing, and powdered sugar/vanilla icing to decorate. Original recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended. In a large bowl (KitchenAid’s great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking. Cut out cookies with desired cutter– the ginger bread man is our favorite of course. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies– very good!). Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like. You can brush them with a powdered sugar glaze but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.
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We also made (boxed) sugar cookies that day and made trees and stars! So much sweet goodness for such a great holiday! 🙂

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