Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cookies - Cookie Craze Countdown

Welcome to Day 4 of my Cookie Crazy Countdown!

Today, I'm sharing a recipe that people just adored, pumpkin pie cookies! I posted these when I first started this blog, but I thought I'd give them a re-shoot and a re-bake so I could enjoy them again and share them with you. 

This recipe is so easy. Just a few simple ingredients like sugar cookie mix, cream cheese, some pumpkin, and other staple items. Mix it up, press it in a pan, bake, and you're ready to go. I love recipes like this because they are quick to make and don't require chilling the dough before baking. Sometimes us humans just don't have time for that!

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Cookie Base & Topping - 
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/4 C cold butter
4 oz cold cream cheese

Filling - 
4 oz cream cheese, softened 
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp canned pumpkin
2 tsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease two cupcake pans and set aside. 

2. In a medium bowl, cut the cold butter and cold cream cheese into the cookie mix until crumbly. Reserve one cup for the topping. Press two tablespoons of the mixture into each pan, which will make approximately 18 cookie bases. 

3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, canned pumpkin, flour, and cinnamon until fully incorporated. Place a spoonful of the filling into each cupcake cavity. Sprinkle the remaining cookie mixture on top of each cookie and baked for 18-20 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the cupcake pan. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paleo Gingersnaps - Cookie Craze Countdown

Day 3 of the Cookie Craze Countdown and I've got something for you healthier folks. My significant other has been on a Paleo diet for many moons. So in order for him to eat desserts, I have to come up with something that has no gluten, dairy, or processed sugar in it. Sounds difficult, huh?

His favorite cookie happens to be gingersnaps, and lo and behold, I was able to whip up a batch of Paleo Gingersnaps and I even topped it with some chocolate drizzle.

These cookies don't have the snap that I've experience in, say, Nabisco Gingersnaps, but they have the same flavor and, for a Paleo cookie, are pretty good.

Paleo Gingersnap Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

2 C almond flour
1/4 tsp salt, kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 C honey or syrup
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
Coconut sugar - optional

For the chocolate drizzle - 
4 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp agave nectar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. In a smaller bowl, mix together the honey and coconut oil. Add the wet into the dry and mix until combined.

3. Scoop the dough into balls and place 2" apart on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with coconut sugar if desired. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

4. Mix all the ingredients for the chocolate drizzle in a bowl. Drizzle over the gingersnaps. Most likely the chocolate will not set until you keep the cookies in the freezer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies - Cookie Craze Countdown

Welcome to the 2nd day of my cookie craze countdown!

Today is a special recipe, because I used this recipe for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

If you haven't heard of the FB Cookie Swap, it's a pretty neat deal. If you're a food blogger and post regularly, you can participate in this awesome event. Each food blogger donates $5 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer, and then you send one dozen cookies to three different food bloggers, and you receive one dozen cookies from three different food bloggers as well! It's a win-win-win situation!

Also, I got this awesome piping set from OXO! Can't beat that.

Here are the cookies and their respective bloggers that I got this year as well. They were all great recipes and I can't wait to see them posted on the Cookie Swap page!

First was some Pomegranate Coconut Thumbprint Cookies and Bourbon Salted Caramels from A Spicy Perspective. They were great! (and they mail well, hint hint!)

Next I got these awesome Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies from Garlic, My Soul. They had such a good flavor, like they were made with extra love!

Lastly I got these Cinnamon Toffee Crunch Cookies from The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie. They are my favorite kind of cookie, chewy and full of flavor. Yummy!

Ok, back to my recipe! It's is pretty simple, the dough base comes from this delicious cookie and for some reason, I'm drawn to chocolate recipes for this cookie swap, because last year I made these.

Nothing too fancy, but here are a few tips to help you with your cookie making!
1. If, for some reason, your cookies turn out flat as a wafer, chill the dough for 30-45 minutes. It won't hurt it, and will help revive your cookies if this does end up happening. I've had these cookies turn out perfectly and flat and haven't figured out what went wrong, but when I chilled them that ended up baking well.
2. You can switch out the add-ins for anything your heart desires: Reese's minis, more chocolate chips, Reese's chips, Andes Mint chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and on and on!
3. The cookie dough will be sticky and that's a good thing! Don't worry about it, and if you follow the directions word for word, you should come out on the other side with perfect cookies!

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

1 C semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 C light brown sugar, packed
1/4 C granulated sugar
3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C Andes peppermint crunch baking chips

1. Melt the 1 cup of semisweet chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments (or in a double broiler on the stove). Stir until completely melted and set aside to cool.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fully incorporated. Add in the egg mixture and beat well.
5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the creamed mixture and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
6. Using a wooden spatular, stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint crunch pieces. Cover and let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a cookie dough scoop, drop the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) lined cookie sheets. Lightly press down the dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate - Cookie Craze Countdown

Welcome to Cookie Craze Countdown!

For the next 10 days, you're going to get a new cookie recipe every day to get you in the holiday spirit!

I don't know about you, but this season has been really hectic. I went to New York City for Thanksgiving, and since the week before that trip, I've been going non-stop! That's okay though, this year has felt much more festive than years past, and I'm glad I can enjoy this holiday season in such a good spirit!

So today, I'll be sharing a recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser: red velvet crinkle cookies dipped in white chocolate. These cookies are so easy to make and require few ingredients and just a little bit of your time. They are dense and chewy (my favorite kind of cookie!) and the white chocolate is just absolutely perfect. Add some festive sprinkles and you're set! These would be great for a cookie exchange or a Christmas party since they are so quick to make!

Some tips on making this recipe go smoothly:
1. Use vanilla almond bark, not melting chocolate. It will taste so much better!
2. My secret to perfect melted almond bark is to add a spoonful of shortening to the bark while it melts. I don't measure the shortening, but it's about a tablespoon. Stir it in while the bark is melting and your dipping process will be much smoother. Literally!
3. You can pop the dipped cookies in the fridge to let the chocolate set more quickly if you're in a hurry!

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate

6 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 box (approx 15.3 oz) of Red Velvet cake mix
1 package (1 lb) almond bark
1 tablespoon shortening - optional but preferred
Festive Sprinkles - optional

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, eggs, and cake mix until a dough forms. Using a cookie scoop or your hands, scoop the dough and roll into balls. Place on a baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes and let the cookies cool completely before dipping.

3. In a double boiler, or your preferred melting chocolate method, melt the almond bark and shortening until smooth. Dip the cooled cookie half way into the chocolate and lay on wax paper. Sprinkle the white chocolate with sprinkles if desired. Let the chocolate set completely before storing. Enjoy!