Tag Archives: cookies

Holy Brown Sugar! (or Soft Brown Sugar Cookies)

I have to start this post by saying, don’t try this dough. If you do, you won’t want to make the cookies, but instead gobble up the entire bowl of deliciousness.

My second note is that my cookies look nothing like the ones in the picture on the blog where I found the recipe. I tried cooking them different times, different tray levels in the oven and different size dough balls and nothing worked. I’m just now wondering if it’s maybe stale baking soda? I’ll have to try. Don’t get me wrong, they are freaking delicious. Like, melt in your mouth, heaven on earth, richly decadent amazing. They just aren’t the prettiest cookies. No beauty awards here. I”m going to try it again though. If I get it right, I’ll let you know.

Soft Brown Sugar Cookies

from Gooseberry Patch Cookbook via Scraps of Life

Cookies:

2/3 c. butter, softened
1-1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour cream

Frosting:

1/4 c. butter
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. Milk

First, I started by mixing together the softened butter and the brown sugar.

Then, I added the eggs one at a time and beat in between each addition. I also added the vanilla and beat again.

In a separate bowl, I whisked together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Next, I added half the flour and mixed everything together with my hand mixer. I then added the sour cream and mixed again. Finally, I added the rest of the flour and mixed for the last time.

Using a tablespoon measurement, I scooped balls of dough onto parchment paper-covered trays. Clearly, I didn’t leave enough space. I found that you want just barely a tablespoon, any bigger and they expand way too much. Also, the cookies really stuck to the parchment paper once they were done so I’ll spray the paper next time. One final note, the original recipe said bake for 8 minutes. Mine definitely needed 10-11 and even then they were leaning towards the still-squishy side. Once the cookies had cooled for a few minutes, I removed them to wire racks.

For the frosting, I started by melting the butter. You then want to cook it until it just begins to turn brown. I was sort of nervous about this step, but it’s pretty obvious when it begins to brown. You start to see tiny little brown flecks, almost as though someone has sprinkled cinnamon in the butter. At this point, I turned off the heat.

I then added the powdered sugar and mixed until there weren’t any large clumps of butter.

Next, I poured about 4 teaspoons of milk, although I think my frosting could have used another 1/2 teaspoon or so, and stirred. You want it to be spreadable.

Finally, I experimented with the frosting. I tried some cookies with lots and some with little. I think a little dollop is best because the frosting is rich and isn’t shy about the butter. Next time, when the frosting is thinner, I’m going to try doing a super thin layer, rather than blobs. Can I just say, I really hate this picture. It looks like weird eyeballs, eggs, or at worst, breasts…..Ok, I apologize for that rant. Don’t mind my photography skills, try these cookies!

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every cook and baker should have one dish that they can make successfully any time, any where, regardless of tools, environment and altitude. For me, my go-to dessert is this recipe. It is by far the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had. Almost anyone I’ve given them to would agree. The other day I tried to post it on another blog and realized, to my horror, I hadn’t written about it here. I was shocked. These cookies are such an integral part of who I am as a cook, I guess I just assumed I had discussed them in the very beginning of my blog experience. But, oh well, I am remedying the situation now.

The recipe was originally called “Jane’s Chocolate Chip Cookies” out of an ancient California Fresh cookbook which looks like it was first printed in the Dark Ages. In actuality, it has just been loved like no other cookbook in my mom’s house. Although it pains me a little to give away all of my secrets, I’ve decided to give out my recipe:

1 1/3 cup softened butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

24 ounces chocolate chips

1 cup finely chopping walnuts

Here’s how it’s done: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 

 

Then, cream together the sugars and the butter.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, add eggs and mix. Add vanilla and mix again.

 

 

 

 

Then, add flour, salt, baking powder and mix. At this point, clean off the beaters (enjoy the dough if you’d like, it’s amazing!). Then, add the chocolate chips and the walnuts and mix with a spoon or spatula rather than the hand mixer. The dough gets seriously thick! I didn’t add walnuts this time because I ran out, and they are delicious either way, although they hold their shape better with walnuts.

 

 

As you can see, this dough is not for someone who likes only one or two chocolate chips in their cookies. But let’s be honest, who chooses a chocolate chip cookie if you don’t like chocolate?

 

 

 

 

 

Then I put little balls of dough on a parchment-lined pan. One of the keys to having thick and round cookies is to take the extra second and round the dough into little balls with your hands. Yes, it’s messy, but sooooo worth it. Make sure you leave lots of space in between the balls because they really spread out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then cook the cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on how big the dough balls are. Make sure you take the cookies out before you think they are done. You want the edges to be a little golden brown but the tops to still be shiny.

I let the cookies cool on the pan for about two minutes, then I move them to a cooling rack. As you can see, these flattened out a lot because there weren’t any walnuts, but they were amazing anyway. Eat them hot, cold, or my personal favorite: with milk! Yummy yummy yummy!

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Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Whenever I am feeling sad, or confused or disheartened, I tend to bake cookies. For me, they are the go-to, fail-proof option. Not to mention, people say “I’m not much of a cake person” or “I don’t really like ice cream”, but no one I’ve ever met says that about cookies. Chocolate chip are my non-holiday favorite, but when it gets cold and decorations come out, my holiday sugar cookie recipe and these gingerbread cookies dominate. As I’ve been having a low cooking-confidence week, I decided a successful cookie batch was just what the doctor ordered- boy was I right!

Last year, around Thanksgiving, my mom bought the December issue of Sunset Magazine. It had this whole spread of cookies and I must confess…I think we tried making almost all of them. These were my favorite by far. A word of warning…the gingerbread packs a wallop of spices in every bite- just how I like my gingerbread. I recognize that not everyone wants their taste buds inundated in that way however, so I decided to add the icing from the holiday sugar cookies. Best cooking gamble I ever made. I also make them way fatter than the recipe calls for and in fun holiday shapes. It makes less cookies (the original recipe says 100, which is just silly). If you follow the recipe you’ll end up with gingersnaps (which are great as the outside of ice cream sandwiches), but my way gives you a more gingerbread-like consistency (which clearly I prefer). Here is the recipe: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001940836

One final note- as with all cookies that require refrigeration, rolling out, and cutting into shapes, I make these over the span of two nights. Especially during the week, it’s impossible and too daunting to try and do them in one day.

 

First, I start by beating together the sugar and the butter.

 

 

 

Then I added the molasses and the egg and mixed again.

 

 

Then, in a separate bowl, I mixed together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.

 

Next, I slowly added the flour mixture to the large bowl, beating it all together. By the end, the dough can get really thick and I had to switch from my beaters to mixing by hand.

 

I then split the dough and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Then I flattened each half into a circle to make sure it cools evenly. At this point you can put them in the fridge for three hours or overnight like I did.

 

The next night, I took out a big wooden cutting board and sprinkled floor on top (the dough sticks to the surface pretty easily when you are rolling it out so use flour LIBERALLY. It won’t ruin the dough). I then rolled out the dough to just over a 1/4 of an inch thick and cut out shapes. I cooked each tray for about 8 minutes. ALWAYS take cookies out just before you think they are done because they will continue to cook and harden as they cool.

 

Once the cookies were done, I let them cool complete on wire racks. When I was completely done I had two full racks like this- so it makes a big batch!

 

When the cookies were cool, I whipped up some frosting. Whipped is sort of a misnomer. Really, I put some powdered sugar in a bowl, add a few drops vanilla and then a little milk, stir, and add more milk. I keep adding milk a few drops at a time until it’s the right consistency. You want it to be spreadable but not too runny or more of it will fall off the cookie than stay on.

Then I frost the cookies! As I look at the picture now, I’m really amused at how much my frosting style says about me. I always leave a tiny border around the edge cause I hate when the frosting runs over and makes a mess. Control freak, yes- but look how pretty they are! They also taste amazing and really helped restore my confidence, in case you were interested!

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