Posts Tagged 'Cookie Recipes'

Fuel Cafe’s Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

I am pleased to report that I discovered another fantastic recipe for the high-altitude baking arsenal this weekend: Fuel Cafe’s Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies.  I had practically given up on 5280‘s Cookie Jar column since the last recipe I tried fell amazingly flat (literally), but I think the magazine has redeemed itself.  I haven’t been to Fuel Cafe yet, so I’m not sure if the recipe results are an accurate representation of the real thing.  Regardless, they’re amazing.  Here’s the recipe:

Fuel Cafe’s Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
Makes 16 – 18 large cookies or 24 – 30 smaller cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened but not melted
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
2 cups mini chocolate chips
2 cups pecans, chopped and untoasted

Method:
Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar, and regular sugar for about 5 minutes.  Add salt and baking soda.  On low speed, add one egg at a time until incorporated.  Do not over-mix. Add vanilla.  Mix in flour at low speed until incorporated.  Do not over-mix.  Add oats, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans, only until combined.  (Over-mixing results in tough cookies.)

Scoop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet.  Fuel uses 1/4 cup dough per cookie, baked for approximately 11 – 12 minutes until golden brown.  For smaller cookies, use one heaping tablespoon each and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool briefly on baking sheet before transferring to wire cooling rack.

Fuel Cafe's Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

This is the first time I’ve made what I consider to be a truly successful chewy chocolate chip cookie here in Denver.  They’re so tasty.  They’re pleasantly nutty because of the pecans, there’s plenty of chocolate from the mini chips, and the oats make them dense.  The outside edges are crisp, but the centers are perfectly chewy.  Mmmm.  I sent what remained of my batch to Dr. O’s office this morning, and they’re getting rave reviews.  Give them a try!

TIPS:  I made a half recipe and portioned the dough using my 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop; I ended up with exactly 2 dozen cookies.  Each batch needed 10 minutes at 375°F at my house.  I also noticed that the cookies didn’t spread as much when I baked them on a shiny, light-colored, rimmed baking sheet; they spread a bit more on my flat cookie sheets.  I did line my sheets with parchment as the recipe suggested.

Recipe link: Fuel Cafe’s Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

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Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

Hooray!

I always get really excited when one of my favorite baking recipes from Dallas works here in Denver without any high-altitude modifications.  Today’s recipe – Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies from the March 2005 issue of Everyday Food – is one of those recipes.  I loved these cookies so much when we were in Dallas and got so many compliments on them…  I’m just thrilled I can share them here as well.

And let me tell you something, folks: These cookies are not only delicious, they’re ridiculously easy.  Like, you-don’t-even-need-a-mixer easy.  Here’s how I made them.

In a large bowl, I stirred together 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 large egg (lightly beaten), 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of table salt until well combined.  Next, I stirred in 3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of roasted salted peanuts.

From here, I deviated a bit.  The recipe says to use moistened hands to roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls.  I used my 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop for the first batch (with the dough leveled instead of heaping) and my hands for the second batch so I could see which method gave me the best cookie shape.  (The scoop won by a mile!)  The recipe also said to bake all the cookies at once with one rack in the top third of the oven and one in the bottom third.  I feel like I get more consistent results when I bake my cookies in the middle of the oven, so I decided to do separate batches.  With that said, I placed the dough balls about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  (I ended up with 21 cookies.)  I baked each batch at 350°F until they were golden and puffed (13 minutes in my oven).  I cooled them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

Oh, heavens.  They were just as I had remembered, except maybe ever so slightly less puffed than they were in Dallas.  No matter…  The Queen of Portion Control (me, as often as I can stand it) has already eaten two of these and it isn’t even 5 p.m. yet.

The cookies are very peanut butter-y, and I love the chunky texture created by the whole peanuts in the dough.  They aren’t soft and chewy but they certainly aren’t crisp either…  They’re somewhere in between.  They’re a little bit crumbly like a good shortbread, which is another thing I can hardly resist.

So anyway, if you like peanuts and chocolate, make these!  You’ll enjoy them.  And my fellow high-altitude bakers can rest easy knowing this won’t be yet another batch of cookies that spread into sad, crispy discs.

Recipe link: Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

Sweet Sundays: Butter Pecan Cookies

As I’ve said before, my dad is a big pecan fan. I first made Butter Pecan Cookies from the May 2004 issue of Everyday Food for him a couple of years ago, and they were so – so! – good. I’ve been thinking about making them again since Father’s Day, and I finally got around to it this morning.

To start, I toasted 3/4 cup of pecans on a baking sheet in a 350F oven for 5 minutes. When the pecans were completely cooled, I finely chopped them using the “chop” function of my Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor. (You could use a food chopper, a blender, or even just a chef’s knife, too.)

To make the dough, I beat 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter with 1/3 cup of sugar using an electric mixer for 1 minute. I beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of flour just until the dough came together. (Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.) I folded in the chopped pecans.

To form the cookies, I separated the dough into 12 pieces. (I took all the dough, divided it in half, divided the halves in half, and then divided each piece into 3 pieces.) I formed each piece into a ball, rolled it in sugar, and placed it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Space the cookies about 3 inches apart.) I gently flattened each ball with the bottom of a glass and gave it a sprinkle of sugar.

I baked the cookies for 14 minutes in a 350F oven, rotating the baking sheet front to back at the 7-minute mark. I cooled the cookies on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, gave them another sprinkle of sugar, and transferred them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Hooooo-ly smokes. These are just as amazing as I remember them. Light as air and full of buttery pecan goodness, they just about melt in your mouth. It’s probably a good thing this recipe only makes a dozen cookies. 🙂

TIPS: There are several keys to success with this recipe. First, make sure you chop the pecans *finely*. This doesn’t mean to grind them into dust, but if they’re coarsely chopped, your cookies will look lumpy. Second, use room temperature butter. (If I don’t want to wait 45 – 60 minutes for my butter to warm, I just put it in the microwave on the *lowest* power setting. I microwave it for 10 seconds, turn the butter once clockwise, microwave it for 10 seconds, turn it again clockwise, etc. I do this until I’ve microwaved the butter a total of 40 seconds.) Third, only flatten the cookies slightly before baking them. If you press too hard with the glass and flatten them too much, they’ll spread excessively during baking and have a chewy texture.

Recipe link: Butter Pecan Cookies

Almond-Orange Shortbread

I keep telling myself that I’m going to try making one new dessert per week (Sweet Sundays, maybe?), but I’ve just been too darn busy. Too busy for dessert = no good. I did manage to squeak out some cookies (Almond-Orange Shortbread from the July/August 2006 issue of Everyday Food) before we ran off to Houston for the Radiohead concert this past weekend, though. They’re delish *and* they’re freezer friendly!

To make the dough, I beat 2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature), 1 cup of powdered sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together in a medium bowl. With the mixer on low speed, I added 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons of orange zest and mixed just until a dough formed. I used my hands to incorporate 3/4 cup of sliced almonds.

I laid out a sheet of waxed paper, formed the dough into a log (12 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick), and wrapped the log in the paper. The dough has to freeze for at least 1 hour to firm up, though you can leave it in the freezer for up to 3 months if you want to slice and bake as needed. (If you’re going to leave the dough in the freezer for an extended period of time, add a layer of plastic wrap over the waxed paper.)

When an hour had passed, I removed the dough from the freezer and placed it on a cutting board. I cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices and placed about 18 on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. I baked the cookies at 325F until the edges just began to turn golden (15 minutes, though the recipe said it would take 20 – 25). I cooled them for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transferred them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Almond-Orange Shortbread

Mmmm. These cookies got the stamp of approval from Dr. O, the fabulous ladies in his office, and my brother-in-law. I can’t decide how I like them best, though – baked or as dough slices straight from the freezer. You have to love a delicious egg-free dough!

Like most shortbread, these cookies are crisp and very buttery. The almond and orange zest added wonderful flavor and took the sophistication factor up a notch. These would be absolutely perfect for a baby shower, wedding shower, or other party.

TIPS: If the dough is too cold when you take it out of the freezer, it may crumble. If it’s misbehaving, wait 20 – 30 minutes and try slicing again.

I didn’t rotate my first batch of cookies and a few in the back ended up browning a bit more than I would’ve liked. The second batch turned out much better with a front-to-back rotation after half of the baking time had passed. Also, my edges weren’t quite as nice as the edges in the recipe photo, and I’m wondering if it’s because I lined my baking sheet with parchment. I’m going to try baking them directly on the sheet next time.

Recipe link: Almond-Orange Shortbread

Update: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Monster Cookies

I absolutely loved these cookies when I posted them originally, and I think I love them even more now. We went to a pig roast/crawfish boil last night and I turned out a full batch to bring to the party. When I made them last time, they were amazing, but they were pretty flat. Yesterday, they were puffy, gorgeous, AND delicious.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Monster Cookies

I think my butter was colder this time around, which meant the cookies didn’t spread as quickly as they did last time. The recipe calls for room temperature butter; instead, I pulled a stick out of the fridge and microwaved it for 10 seconds on each of the 4 sides of the stick using the lowest power setting possible (that’s level 1 on my microwave). I slightly tweaked the baking time as well… I rotated my sheets at 4 minutes and 30 seconds and then baked the cookies for 4 minutes and 15 seconds more.

I used my small ice cream scoop again, and I ended up with 53 cookies. (*All* the batter made it to the baking sheet this time… I’m not sure I can say that for last time!) They were disappearing at an amazing rate last night at the party, so this recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser. I can’t wait to have an excuse to make these cookies again!

Recipe link: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Monster Cookies

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Let the Christmas cookie experiments begin! I plan to make several cookie recipes over the next couple of weeks in my quest for the very best. My first recipe choice was Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps from the December 2003 issue of Everyday Food. (The recipe can also be found in the Holiday 2006 issue.)

I started by making the dough. The recipe calls for 4 ounces of chocolate, melted and cooled, so that was my first step. I microwaved the chocolate in stages until it was smooth, and then allowed it to cool 20 minutes. While it cooled, I whisked together some flour, baking cocoa, instant espresso powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, I beat half a stick of butter and some brown sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer. I beat in 1 egg, and then mixed in the cooled chocolate.

Next, I gradually mixed in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, etc.) with my mixer on low speed. When everything was just combined, I beat in 1 tablespoon of milk. At this point, the dough was finished, and it needed to be transferred to the freezer to firm up. The dough had a consistency like chocolate buttercream frosting, so I spooned it onto some plastic wrap, formed it into a disk, and wrapped it up.

I pulled the dough out 45 minutes later and formed it into 18 1-inch balls. I put the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Each dough ball had to be rolled in powdered sugar twice. At this point, you can’t even tell these will be chocolate cookies!

chocolate_espresso_snowcaps1.jpg

I put my oven racks in the two center notches and baked the cookies for 12 minutes at 350 F, rotating the baking sheets (top to bottom, front to back) halfway through the baking time. I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate_espresso_snowcaps.jpg

These cookies were really good. They’re slightly crisp at the edges and soft and fudge-y in the middle. They took some time, but a large part of that was letting the chocolate cool and freezing the dough. I’ll make these again.

TIPS: Stay on the small side when making your dough balls. If they’re too big, they spread out quite a bit and the cracked top isn’t as pretty. Also, I found this to be another really sticky dough. I tried Pam, butter, and moist hands, but I still ended up wearing quite a bit.

Recipe link: Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Dr. O took a little trip to Oklahoma City this week. He planned to stay with a friend, and we thought it would be nice to send treats. The friend – we’ll call him “POTP” – requested oatmeal-raisin cookies.

I don’t think I’ve made oatmeal-raisin cookies since we moved to Dallas, so I went to my dessert spreadsheet to see what was available, recipe-wise. After passing over Healthy Oatmeal Cookies (for the serial oatmeal cookie eater, I’m sure!), Oatmeal Date Cookies, and Chocolate-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, I made my choice – Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies. I had never heard of an oatmeal-raisin cookie with coconut in the ingredient list, and I was intrigued.

I started by whisking together the flour, baking soda and salt. I set that aside and then creamed the butter (two sticks – gasp!) with some brown sugar and regular sugar. The eggs and vanilla came next, and then I beat in the flour mixture just until everything was combined. (You don’t want to overmix.) Finally, I added the oats, raisins, and coconut, beating again just until combined.

The recipe says to drop level 1/4-cup measures of the dough onto baking sheets. Lucky me – I have an ice-cream scoop that holds exactly 1/4 cup. So I used that to scoop and drop my dough onto two baking sheets, 10 cookies per sheet.

jumbo_oatmeal_raisin_cookie_dough.jpg

I have four rack notches in my oven, so I put my racks on the middle two. One baking sheet went on each rack for 9 minutes at 350 F. I then switched the sheets (top to bottom, back to front) and put the cookies in for another 9 minutes. I let them cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then transferred them all to two cooling racks.

OH. MY. GOSH.

jumbo_oatmeal_raisin_cookies.jpg

These cookies are soooooooo good. Like, “you could sell them” good. They’re pretty big (about the size of my palm), slightly crisp on the edges, and perfectly soft and buttery on the inside. With the exception of the Doughmonkey cookies here in Dallas and our friend Anne’s Monster Cookies, I don’t know that it gets much better than this.

TIPS: I always line my baking sheets with parchment paper when I make cookies, unless the recipe specifically says to place the dough directly on the baking sheet. It makes cleanup a breeze, and the cookie bottoms tend to brown very evenly. Also, I use the “rotate the baking sheets” technique mentioned in this recipe often, whether my recipe says to or not. The back of the oven tends to be hotter than the front, so this contributes to even cooking as well.

Bonus! You can freeze the dough scoops and bake the cookies individually if you don’t want 20 of them sitting around the house. Hallelujah.

Recipe link: Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies




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