Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Not exactly the most creative name in the world but that’s what they are … chocolate cookies. I finally decided to break out the stainless steel cookie press I got using Crate & Barrel giftcards.

I wanted to make a Lost-themed cookie for the start of the last season but I couldn’t find a polar bear cookie cutter.

Original Source: the Instructions & Recipes manual that came with the cookie press

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (@ room temp.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 Tbs. of milk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl.
1

Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until light and fluffy.
2

Beat in the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
3
4

Using a spoon, stir in the flour and cocoa powder until well mixed.
5
6
7

Pack the dough into the cookie press. Fit with the desired disk design.
8

Press the dough out onto ungreased baking sheet spacing the cookies 1 inch apart.
9

Bake until lightly golden, about 10-12 minutes. Gently transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.
10

Result: The cookies are pretty small but eating a lot of them is no problem because they are good. Nice and simple.

If you noticed two randomly different shaped cookies in the last picture – No, you were not seeing things. There was an issue with the cookie press that required me to call in the cavalry to help figure out how to actually use the damn thing. Thankfully my hands were covered in cookie dough so I couldn’t take a picture of how they first looked on the baking sheet.

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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
I tried to switch up what type of cookie to make this week (no chocolate!) and mix up the recipe too.

Original Source: Ina Garten

Ingredients
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Ingredients

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Coconut
Milk
Vanilla
Mixed

Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. (Grand Theft Cookie revision of this step: If you don’t have an electric mixer, have the wife do this with a handheld electric mixer)
Eggs
Eggs2

Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Fold

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. (Grand Theft Cookie revision: I decided to try making these in a mini muffin pan)
Muffin
Muffin2

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve. (Grand Theft Cookie revision: Don’t bake them for 25 minutes if in a mini muffin pan!)
Cool

Result: Pretty good but pretty well done. I don’t think I’ll be revising the recipes of professional chefs anymore!

No video this week. A social studies lesson instead!
I thought macaroons were created by the French for some reason. The French style macaroon is very popular but apparently this cookie actually has a Scottish origin. But I don’t suggest you try old-style Scottish macaroons because the main ingredient was left-over mashed potatoes.

Different regions have different variations of the macaroon:
the French version is cream-filled
the North American version is the most common (the kind used for this recipe)
the Australian version has raspberry jam in the middle
the Spanish version is made with hazelnuts and honey and called “carajitos”
the Indian version uses cashews
the Turkish version uses almonds

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Although I’ve already made these before (a long time ago / before this blog), they are pretty damn good. So here they are.

Original Source: Paula Deen on the Food Network

Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Step 1
Step 1b

Beat in the egg.
Step 2

Then beat in the vanilla extract.
Step 3

Beat in the cake mix.
Step 4

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls.
Step 5

Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner’s sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes.
Step 6

Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar, if desired. The cookies will remain soft and “gooey.”
Step 7

Rather than post a video of Paula Deen, here is something I made while in my Digital Collaborative Tools at JWU:

Stealing from the Girl Scouts, Part 1

This week’s cookie choice explanation written as an equation:
a request for shortbread cookies + the arrival of Girl Scout cookie order forms = Classic Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate

So another suggestion leads to another idea – recreating (as much as I can) Girl Scout cookies. The Girl Scouts call their shortbread cookies with chocolate the Thanks-A-Lot™. I doubt they’ll be saying that once they find out I don’t work at Shaws anymore and won’t be buying a box every time they set up shop by the exit.

Original Source: Food Network 50 Holiday Cookies

Ingredients
2 sticks butter
1/4 granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
semisweet baking chocolate
Ingredients

Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until fluffy.
Step 1
Step 2

Whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt.
Step 3

Stir into the butter mixture.
Step 4

Press into a buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round tart pan.
Step 5

Score into wedges, strips, squares or diamonds with a fork, then chill 30 minutes.
Step 6

Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees.
Step 7

Cool, then slice along the scored lines.
Step 8

Melt some baking chocolate and dip the cooled cookies.
Step 9a
Step 9b

Cool on parchment paper.
Step 10
Step 10b

Enjoy!

I couldn’t find a good youtube video about shortbread cookies (what a surprise). So instead, some heavy metal Cookie Monster!

“She put $900 on the fifth horse in the sixth race. I think his name was Chips Ahoy.”

My scheduled cookie making time is Sunday nights after the Giants lose.

Well, this past Sunday night happened to be the last night of vacation. During which I did not exactly finish all my grad school homework. Which I had a lot of. And it didn’t help that Spike TV played Red Dawn followed by WarGames during the day. Which makes it very hard to concentrate on writing a Literacy lesson plan for a non-fiction text.

So I went with something simple/quick – good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies. (Does the title make a little more sense now? More on that later.)

Original source: Nestle website

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Butter (softened)
3/4 cup Granulated sugar
3/4 cup Brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 large Eggs
2 cups Semi sweet chocolate chips
Ingredients

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
Step 1

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Step 2a
Step 2b

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Step 3

Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Step 4

Stir in the chocolate chips.
Step 5a
Step 5b

Drop by rounded spoonful onto ungreased baking sheets.
Step 6

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
Step 7a

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.
Step 8

Enjoy!

Result: Awesome. No more buying Chips Ahoy for me.

In case you are still confused by the title, its from a song by The Hold Steady

Mini Black & White Cookies

Original source: Food Network

Needed ingredients
2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
vanilla and chocolate frosting
Ingredients

Beat 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar until fluffy.
Step 1
Step 1a

Beat in 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon orange zest.
Step 2

Whisk 2 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir into the butter mixture, then chill for 2 hours.
Step 3
Step 3a

While mixture is chillin’, eat zest-less orange to help prevent scurvy.
Orange

Roll out to 1/8 inch thick, then cut into 2-inch rounds and chill for 30 minutes.
Step 4

Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350.
Step 5

Cool, then spread with vanilla frosting on one side and chocolate on the other.
Step 6
Step 6a

Enjoy!

Result: Not bad but not really Black & White cookies. I’m pretty sure real Black & White cookies don’t use cake frosting so its a little bit different. Also, 1 teaspoon of orange zest is 1 teaspoon too much. Some of the cookies were a little too zesty.

Look to the cookie!

Welcome to the blog (a.k.a. a realistic New Year’s resolution)

res⋅o⋅lu⋅tion [rez-uh-loo-shuhn]
–noun
1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
5. the act or process of resolving or separating into constituent or elementary parts.
6. a solution, accommodation, or settling of a problem, controversy, etc.

Nowhere in that definition does it say that a resolution has to involve losing something, quiting something, or eating healthier. So my resolution is to make one new cookie recipe I stole from someone else each week for one full year. Make it your resolution to follow along!

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