Friday, April 13, 2018

Rolo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

While I love making bar cookies, my second favorite type of cookie to make are what I call tassies, which are cookie cups baked in mini muffin pans. Pecan tassies are probably most common, which are like little pecan pies. You can make almost any type of cookie in a mini muffin pan. Sometimes the cookies have a crust or a base, other recipes just have you bake the dough and then make an indentation after the cookies come out of the oven. Either way, this type of cookie always turns out looking great.

These cookies bake in the pan and then you press a Rolo into each cookie once they come out of the oven. As they cool, the cookie sinks a little in the center, which makes that easy. The original recipe topped these cups with a whipped cream/mousse. I know that whipped cream isn’t necessarily as sturdy as frosting, so I opted to make a caramel-infused buttercream instead. I used some prepared (bourbon) caramel that I had on hand; you could certainly make plain buttercream if you wanted.

This recipe stated that it makes 24 cookies. I had thought about making one and a half or a double recipe, and I am glad that I didn’t. In the end I made 4 dozen cookie cups, which some dough left over. Mini muffin cups are a standard size and I certainly couldn’t have filled them any more, so I am not sure how you could only get 24 cookies. The frosting recipe is standard and does make more than you need for the batch of cookie cups. These are quite decadent, which chocolate chip cookie, paired with caramel, topped with frosting. I’m a fan of anything with caramel, so I was very happy with how these turned out.

Rolo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

¾ cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup caramel sauce
3-4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until combined. Add the mini chocolate chips, stirring again on low to combine. 

Scoop the dough into the muffin cups, filling about half full. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes before pressing a Rolo in the center of each cookie cup. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the muffin pans.

 Make the frosting: in a large mixer bowl beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and caramel until smooth. Gradually add milk until the frosting is of the desired consistency. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cookie cups. Sprinkle with additional mini chocolate chips if desired. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

After a couple of weeks not baking bar cookies, I’m back with some awesome bar cookies. I’m not sure why I like bar cookies so much, but I sure do. I like a good, sturdy, hearty bar cookie and these certainly fit the bill. These bars aren’t very springy, but you can never go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.

These bar cookies contain sweetened condensed milk, which I tend to be a little weary to use, as it can make things so sweet. I recall several bar cookies I made ages ago that came from a little magazine insert featuring sweetened condensed milk. While the recipes were good, they hurt your teeth to eat them because they were so sweet. I was hopeful that the other flavors in these bars would balance the sweetness.

I made the crumb base in the mixer, but the original recipe had you cut in the butter by hand. This usually just turns into a messy proposition, and it seems like the mixer does a more consistent job anyway. The peanut butter layer was a lot thicker than I was expecting, so it doesn’t spread as easily as I had hoped. That being said, these bars were quick to make. These bars are very good, with the peanut butter layer tasting like a peanut butter caramel. They are sweet, but not over the top.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
1 cup flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, room temperature, cubed
3/4 cup peanut butter
14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add the butter pieces and mix on medium until the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1-1/2 cup of the crumbs. Press the remaining crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In the same mixer bowl, combine the peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Stir on medium until smooth. Spread the peanut butter mixture on top of the oat base.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the peanut butter layer, and then top with the remaining crumb mixture.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool completely before cutting into bars.     

Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Friday, March 30, 2018

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut Oil Cookies

It’s spring break and it’s been nice having some time off. While I haven’t done anything super exotic, sometimes just being home is really nice. Some friends from work and I went to lunch one day and then came over and we baked cookies. Ok, I made the cookies but it was nice to have the company. I had hoped that our kitties would come and be friendly, but only one was very brave.

In choosing cookies to make when everyone was over, I left the decision to my husband. He had sent me quite a few possible recipes, which I will explore later. I wanted to make dairy free cookies, as one of my colleagues can’t have dairy. Thankfully, it isn’t too hard to find good dairy free recipes. Butter is the main culprit in most of the recipes that I make, and there are many possible substitutions. Now, you wouldn’t want to make something like shortbread, which relies on butter as the primary ingredient and flavor. But many other cookies work wonderfully without dairy.

We ended up baking two different cookies, and both used coconut oil. I typically have coconut oil on hand, and this cookie required nothing unusual. I think this is about the shortest recipe I have ever posted, but don’t let that deceive you; they are great cookies! The come together quickly. This recipe doesn’t make very many cookies, only about 20. They look a little unassuming, but they are wonderful, soft and chewy, with a nice cinnamon flavor. They would also be great with ginger. For a cookie that comes together in a flash, they were sure a winner!

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coconut Oil Cookies
1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the coconut oil and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the vanilla and egg and mix on medium to incorporate. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix on low until the dough comes together.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, using about 1-1/2 tablespoons dough for each cookie.

Bake for 8-9 minutes, until set. The cookies may seem under baked, but you do not want to bake these too long. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Boys Ahoy

Friday, March 23, 2018

Lemon Glazed Almond Cookies

Spring is here! Our winter quarter classes wrapped up yesterday and I’m ready for some sunshine. Spring in the Pacific Northwest can be lovely, or it can be rainy and chilly. So far this spring has offered both. I’m ready for some baking to reflect the season. Lemon, strawberry, etc. I had pinned these cookies a while ago, where they were meant as a Christmas cookie. They certainly would work for Christmas, but I changed the glaze to a lemon glaze to make them more springy.

The original recipe from Pillsbury called for a roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough. I typically make a batch of sugar cookie dough instead, as sugar cookie dough is very easy to make and uses ingredients that I already have on hand. I used almond flour in place of ground whole almonds. My almond flour was finer than almonds you grind yourself. I think the ground almonds would add some more texture to the cookies, but the almond flour worked fine.

You typically refrigerate sugar cookie dough, and I wasn’t sure if I needed to do that with these cookies or not. After shaping the dough, I refrigerated the cookies for about 10 minutes. Another batch I didn’t refrigerate at all, and in baking it made no difference. I didn’t have any sanding/sparkling sugar, which would have made these cookies look more fancy, but that’s ok. My husband doesn’t like crunchy sugar, so better for him! These have a subtle almond flavor, and I like the pairing with the lemon glaze. Happy Spring!

Lemon Glazed Almond Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2-1/2 cup flour
¼ cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
Sugar or Sanding Sugar

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and egg. Mix on medium until the mixture comes together. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix on low until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into balls, using 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Roll each cookie in sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set and barely browned on the edges.

Cool completed before glazing. Make the glaze: in a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice, adding more juice as required to make the glaze a drizzling consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury. Sugar cookie recipe from Betty Crocker