Category Archives: Cookies

Sugar Cookies

I would like to write this entry but all I want to do is play with my Christmas presents! Some of which included baking supplies (a cookie press, a mini-cupcake pan, and two 9-inch round cake pans!). I hope to get a lot of use out of those, especially the cake pans. It’s time I made a layered cake!

Anyway, yes, sugar cookies. I got a rolling pin for Christmas last year and still hadn’t used it until now, which was just sad. I decided to make my friends some rolled sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. But, uh. It didn’t quite work out.

It’s been kind of a bad week for me — travel-wise, baking-wise, and work-wise. I tried making chocolate crinkle cookies for the people at work, but that was a total bust. They all melted and blew up, probably because there wasn’t enough flour. Except I added more flour and the dough was still too sticky, so I threw it away out of annoyance. Then I tried to make these and asdfbgntbo4pbn4rnv ARRRRGH.

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I’ve never made rolled cookies before. I don’t really know how to measure the dough thickness etc etc etc. I mean, the cookies turned out okay I guess, but not awesome.

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Because I was pressed for time I was going to use just a Christmas tree cookie cutter, even though I have a whole bucket of Christmas cookie cutters that are now useless until next year. I was going to decorate them with green and red royal icing.

Except LOL NOPE DIDN’T HAPPEN.

I woke up early but it still took me so long to make the damn cookies that I didn’t have time to make icing, pipe the edges, wait for it to cool, flood more icing, wait for that to cool, then add little red “ornaments” (aka small dots). So they had to be boring-looking, alright-tasting sugar cookies.

Then this happened.

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Normally losing a couple cookies isn’t a big deal, but I had made so few cookies as it was since I don’t know how to properly utilize the dough to get the most out of them, and so my friends would be stuck with only three cookies each… that is, they would have if I had managed to actually get to see them when I wanted to. My boyfriend and I were driving over to my hometown when my one friend called and said she was going to be staying at her college. We tried to head over there but it was extremely dark and his GPS died and I didn’t know the way and we got incredibly lost. I was hungry and annoyed and miserable so I canceled and we headed to the diner where I scarfed down a burger in sadness.

But, for now it’s okay, because we’ll be having a get-together on New Year’s Eve. I plan to bake something for that, too. Let’s hope those plans don’t go to shit too.

Or I’ll give up and NEVER SEE MY FRIENDS EVER AGAIN.

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Happy Holidays, everyone! And have a happy New Year!

Meringue Ghosts

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…What.

It is October 31st, Halloween, and there is snow outside.

WHAT IS GOING ON?

In case you hadn’t heard, us in the Northeast of the U.S. got hit with snow a few days ago. It has never, ever snowed in October during my lifetime. It ruined my Halloween plans and makes walking to work a pain in the ass.

At least I can still bake! Though, I almost didn’t because I woke up this morning with my fourth cold sore this month, and was hardly in the mood for making cookies (i.e. a ‘throwing myself around the bed and kicking my legs in rage’ kind of mood). But, around 11, I got bored and decided to just suck it up and do it.

I was originally going to make these pinwheel-esque Halloween cookies, but I didn’t have the time and, after thinking for a minute, decided to make Ghost Meringue cookies instead. I’ve made French Meringue cookies before, but I never got around to posting about it on here.

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Meringue cookies don’t require a lot of ingredients — just four egg whites, a cup of sugar, half a teaspoon of cream of tartar, and some vanilla extract.

And whipping. Lots and lots of whipping. (No, not that kind of whipping, you sick freaks. You should be ashamed of yourself. And your family.)

It was nice to forget about my problems for a while as I separated four eggs, whipped them into a nice foam, added cream of tartar and sugar a little bit at a time, and watched it form into nice, shiny, glossy, stiff peaks. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

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See? Ain’t it purdy?

They say stress can trigger cold sore outbreaks, and I’ve certainly been under a lot of stress lately. Baking can either help relieve my stress… or, sometimes, it can stress me out even more. Kind of a crap shoot, really. I got lucky this time, though, and nothing went too terribly wrong. …Except that I ran out of parchment paper. But I sprayed a bunch of Pam on my cookie sheet and hoped that would work.

And it did, mostly. About half of the cookies came off the tray without any problems, and the others… well. They broke. Even when I gently ran my knife under them to loosen, they still fell apart. These things are fragile, man. You gotta be careful with them.

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AWWWW, AIN’T THEY ADORABLE? They taste pretty good, too. This is a very unique type of cookie. Odds are you’ve never really eaten something like it. The texture is dry and thin and cracks in your mouth, but it’s also sugary and chewy and still tastes good, somehow.

But when I was taking photos of these little guys, my camera stopped and said “BLINK DETECTED”, then drew an outline around one of the ghosts in the back. W-what. Are… are these cookies haunted???? SPOOOOOOOKY!

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*insert Twilight Zone music here*

Have a Happy Halloween, everybody! Or, if you don’t celebrate, Happy Monday!

Meringue Ghosts

4 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup caster sugar (if you don’t have this, just use regular granulated sugar and it should be ok)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Pour your four egg whites into the bowl of your electric mixer that’s fitted with a whisk attachment (I didn’t use a whisk but you probably should, if you have one). Beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, then add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time until glossy, stiff peaks have formed. Put the meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip, and pipe 2-inch mounds on a cookie sheet. You can press two candy eyes or mini chocolate chips in each mound right now for eyes, or pipe on eyes later.

Bake for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the cookies are dry and crisp to touch. Turn off the oven and let them cool in there for a while. Then serve and enjoy!

Pumpkin Bar Cookies

I’ve got some bad news, guys.

I’ve developed a flour allergy.

You see, in addition to baking things in my spare time, I also work in a bakery. Not a legits bakery, mind you — you know, where stuff is made from scratch and everything — but still a bakery, nevertheless. Part of my job is setting up the bread dough for the next day. The dough is already pre-shaped, and I lay it out on trays, put it on racks, and stick it in the walk-in refrigerator.  One of the kinds of breads we have – kaiser rolls — has a lot of loose flour particles sitting around in the boxes, and I’ve been breathing this shit in for almost a year. A few months ago I started having intense sneezing and coughing sessions whenever I was setting up this particular dough.

Which is, you know. What a flour allergy is.

Some days are okay, with just a few sneezes and then it’s over. Other days, though — holy shit. Snot’s dribbling out of my nose and I’m sneezing five times a minute and I spend 10 minutes at a time in the back of the bakery, blowing my nose over and over and feeling like a huge pile of mucus-y crap.

I understand that this kind of allergy is common among bakers and people in the food preparation business, but it still sucks. I’ve even been considering getting a dorky medical mask to wear whenever I’m setting this dough up and seeing if that helps. That’s how bad it gets.

Don’t think this means I’m gonna stop baking, though! Fuck that noise, man. But after the fucked-up profiteroles from last time, I thought I should make something simpler again. Something I’ve made before but didn’t really get a chance to post on here — pumpkin cookies.

Some of you might remember last year, when I had that battle with the can of pumpkin while making pumpkin rolls. Happily, the tears and the fruitless hammering didn’t occur this time, and I was able to open the can of pumpkin by myself without having a mental breakdown.

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Amazing! See, I can learn basic tasks like using a can opener. Take that, aluminum cans! Ha ha ha!

(For some reason, I could only find canned pumpkin at Trader Joe’s. None of the other supermarkets in my area had any canned pumpkin, which is just an outrage!)

The story behind these cookies is… well, I tried making them last year, as, y’know, regular cookies, using this recipe from Bakerella. But what I wound up with was a huge goddamn mess and something more like blobs of cookie rather than actual cookies. It tasted amazing and delicious, but I was upset that I couldn’t share it with others. Then, my mom got the idea to put the dough in an 8×8 pan, and it actually worked! And it was amazing and I would’ve eaten them all if I hadn’t brought them to work and everyone else ate them instead.

It seemed only fitting that I make these again, seeing as how it’s fall and EVERYTHING IS PUMPKIN AND NOTHING HURTS.

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However, I modified the recipe for this slightly. Because I don’t have any pumpkin spice, and I didn’t feel like buying any, what I made to substitute is a teaspoon of allspice and 50 metric tons of cinnamon.

Well, all right, not that much cinnamon. But still a lot. And, to be honest, I never even measure it. I just dump a lot in there. A. Lot. Everything tastes better with cinnamon. Bacon probably even tastes better with cinnamon. I don’t know, I haven’t tried it. But it probably does.

I usually mix cookie dough together with my hands, but this time I changed it up and used my stand mixer. Except, um, it still didn’t cream the butter and sugar together properly. So I still had to do that part with my hands, but not for very long. I dunno, man, no matter what I do my butter never seems to cream with a mixer and I have to do it manually. I’m either doing it wrong or my mixers just suck. Maybe both.

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I should’ve been able to make these a whole lot sooner. But life kept getting in the way. The major hindrance was that my camera appeared to have broken last week, but thankfully it turned out I had just pressed the viewfinder button. Which is great, because I would definitely not have been able to afford to get it repaired! Besides that, though, it was mostly work and my reluctance to get up ridiculously early in the morning to make cookies. I could never be an actual baker, I don’t think, flour allergy aside…

Anyway, it wasn’t that bad making these in a mixer. It doesn’t really provide for a variety of interesting photos, but there’s only so many angles you can get of food anyway. Of course, I’m not exactly a professional or naturally gifted photographer or anything, so.

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It was at this point that the kitchen was filled a completely intoxicating, mouth-watering, delicious smell of cinnamon and pumpkin and autumn. Man, baking in the fall is the greatest. The weather is perfect, the trees with their orange and red leaves swaying the gentle breeze outside. The warm and comforting sweaters that hug your body as you eat apple and pumpkin flavored treats and sip tea. Autumn has a special kind of feeling to it, unlike any other season.

Plus, the bugs starts going away. That’s definitely a plus.

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IT’S SO SHINY!!!!!!!!

I think because I actually attempted to do this recipe mostly correctly, unlike last time when I just used Presto instead of self-rising flour (granted, I had to make the self-rising flour myself using baking powder and salt, but still), the dough actually came out the way it was supposed to. Which is why it took quite some time to bake in the pan, since these cookies are not supposed to be bar cookies. But too bad! I don’t play by the rules, man! I’m not a part of your system!

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And oh God. These cookies are so freaking good. They’re soft, and cinnamon-y, and pumpkin-y, and they have chocolate chips and asdfghjkl JUST MAKE THEM. YOUR TASTEBUDS WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.

I brought these to a showing of the infamous “film” The Room, which is the best worst movie of all time. Me, my hetero life mate Bonner, and her roommates all gathered around and cracked the fuck up at Tommy Wiseau’s undefinable accent and deplorable “acting” skills as we ate these awesome cookies. And everything was great, the end.

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Here is my modified recipe, if you’re interested.

Pumpkin Bar Cookies

2 1/4 cup of self-rising flour

1 tsp allspice

2 tablespoon cinnamon (add more or less to taste)

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar

1 cup  granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whisk together the flour, the allspice, and the cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside. Cream the butter, then add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Pour in the vanilla extract, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined. Add the flour/spice in three additions, alternating with the pumpkin and ending with the flour. Dump in all the chocolate chips (yes, a whole goddamn bag, just do it and don’t question it) and stir. Spread the dough evenly in an 8×8 pan that’s either been sprayed with cooking spray or buttered, and store the rest in a covered container in the fridge for later use. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cool completely, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and flip the cookies onto a plate. Turn right side up and slice into squares. Serve and enjoy!

Dinner Parties: Espresso Delights

Things rarely turn out the way you plan, but when you adapt and go with the flow, it can all wind up working out anyway.

Sophie and I had another dinner party recently, because the last time we had one, our good friend Anna wasn’t able to attend, being in the Philippines and all. I had originally planned on making Lemon Garlic Shrimp as an appetizer, and pink lemonade cupcakes for dessert.

Yah, I didn’t get to make either.

Because funds have been tight for both me and Sophie, after e-mailing back and forth we decided to forgo the appetizer and leave it for some other time. I had tried to think of alternatives like Tomato Garlic Tuscan Bread, Dinner Rolls, etc, but ultimately came to the conclusion that it would be far easier to just make the dessert.

The pink lemonade cupcakes were also a no-go, again because of the money problem. And after flipping through various recipes, both in books and online, I came up with the idea of making espresso cookies, but as ice cream sandwiches instead of just cookies. I would only need to buy espresso powder and I’d be set!

I got to Sophie’s house around 3 (another thing that didn’t go as planned — the party was supposed to start at 4, but since half of our guests couldn’t make it until later we changed the time to 5). She had already made the main course already — chili — so I was able to start making the cookies pretty much right away.

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And get used to seeing better quality pictures, because for my birthday on the 24th my dad got me a very nice quality camera that was half off on Amazon (still need to get a memory card for it, though)!

Anyway, because creaming butter and sugar is too annoying to do with a hand mixer, I kneaded the dough by hand, which was an arm workout but rather fun, as it always is. Sophie observed that the dough looked like a dinosaur skull, so I did this.

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Yeah, we have fun.

This recipe isn’t really too complicated, and it tastes pretty much exactly like the mocha cookies I did a while ago. Same texture and everything, only these had bits of chocolate in them and weren’t dipped in chocolate. And I used espresso powder instead of the Starbucks Via instant coffee.

But this espresso powder just as a coffee? Kind of gross, to be honest. It did taste pretty good in the cookie, though. Or maybe I just don’t like really strong coffee. Totally a possibility.

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I shaped the dough into bigger balls (heh, balls) than the recipe suggested, since these were going to be sandwich cookies, and flattened them slightly with my hands, just like I did with the mocha cookies. Seriously, they’re pretty much the exact same thing, and I got them from the same magazine. Way to go, guys. Way to go.

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The cookies came out soft and wet at first, but you just let them set for about half an hour or so and they’ll harden up just fine (heh, hard).

It turned out, however, that the cookies were a little too crumbly around the edges for us to feel safe making ice cream sandwiches out of them. So, when the time came to serve dessert, we just inserted the cookies into bowls of vanilla ice cream, which I don’t have any pictures of because the ice cream was melting extremely quickly. Have this photo of the cookies on a wire rack instead.

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Sophie is fancy and has a wire rack while I just let the cookies cool on the table. Like I have room for a wire rack! Please.

The evening was very fun! Wine was drunk, board games were played, conversations were had. I had to leave before everyone else, unfortunately, since I had come by bus, but it was an awesome time. Hopefully we’ll throw another dinner party at some point in the future! Or maybe just a dessert party…

Espresso Delights

(adapted from Ultimate Cookies & Bars)

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (or instant coffee if you can’t find any)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 oz. finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder (for decorating)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on high for ten minutes, then add the powdered sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Or, alternately, throw all those ingredients in the bowl and mix with your hands.

Beat in the flour and stir in the chocolate. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls (or larger, if you want bigger cookies), and flatten slightly with your hands. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about twelve minutes, or until the cookies edges are set.

Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa powder if desired. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies That Aren’t Flat!

Do your cookies frequently come out looking like this?

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Mine do too. I have been trying to figure out for ages why they keep coming out like this. For the longest time I thought it was because of the butter, but I’ve gotten sick of using small amounts of margarine and having puffy cookies that don’t taste very good, so I decided to dedicate today to figuring out how to make my cookies puffy.

My first batch came out terribly. I realized, however, that the dough was far too soft, and so I stuck it in the fridge and watched an episode of Doctor Who before throwing another tray in the oven.

Those, somehow, came out even worse.

I remembered reading in my Baking Answer Book that baking powder causes baked goods to rise, and after reading a comment on the internet suggesting adding more flour to your cookie dough if it kept coming out flat, I put in half a teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 cup of flour in the remaining mixture, and…

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Oh my God! Normal cookies! Actual, honest-to-god, normal human cookies! (Okay, they’re not human… OR ARE THEY?! Chocolate chip cookies are people!!!)

Whenever I bring these in to work, people always praise me over how delicious they are, and they didn’t disappoint today when I went to go visit my boyfriend. I’m just glad I was able serve cookies that both tasted and looked good for once!

So, if your cookies keep coming out flat like mine, try these tips:

  • Chill the dough for at least half an hour before baking.
  • Make sure the butter isn’t too soft.
  • Use baking powder in addition to or in substitution to the baking soda.
  • Check to see that your baking powder or baking soda isn’t old, and make sure they haven’t been exposed to air for long periods of time.
  • Add a little extra flour if necessary.

If you have any other tips, feel free to leave some in the comments!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I. Hate. Raisins.

I don’t understand why people insist on ruining so many good foods by putting raisins in them. Cinnamon bagels, cinnamon bread… oatmeal cookies. When I was a kid, I had oatmeal cookies that didn’t have raisins in them, and they were delicious. So when I was told that oatmeal cookies usually have raisins, I was shocked and appalled. Raisins are gross. I will stand by this forever. Especially when you pair it with something with cinnamon in it. How dare you besmirch something as pure and good as cinnamon with something as nasty as raisins! It ought to be a hanging offense! A HANGING OFFENSE, I SAY!

…Ahem.

Anyway, I decided to make my own oatmeal cookies, only without those horrible raisins. I had a lot of quick-cook oats left from a different baking venture that I still haven’t gotten around to posting on here, and they’re expiring in another month or so, so I figured it was time to use them for something else.

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Most of the time, when I see cookie recipes online, I see photos of people mixing the dough with a kitchen stand mixer. I like to do it with my hands. It’s just so much more fun that way. I feel like I’m actually making something. It’s work, but it’s fun work, kneading the dough over and over. Tiring — but satisfying. It’s then that I feel I’m truly baking. I suppose it’s because I first started out with cookies. Way before I started getting really into baking, when I just made delicious chocolate chip cookies over and over again.

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What I usually do when I make cookies is throw it all in there at once and then mix it all together, but with this I added the butter and light brown sugar, then the eggs and the vanilla extract and mixed them together with my hands before adding the oats, the flour, and the rest. It was a little gross, but then it was actually rather interesting and enjoyable. I felt the gooey strands between my fingers as I pressed the butter into the mixture, and it fell off my fingertips like ribbons.

Now, I may have screwed up a little on one part. I was supposed to add the oats before the flour, but instead I added them at the end. That was probably why they didn’t really… bake, exactly. It wound up tasting like a regular chocolate chip cookie that happened to have oat flakes on it.

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I had just started baking some of the cookies when, as I was cleaning up my baking materials, I noticed that I’d forgotten the baking soda! Cookies need the baking soda to rise, so I immediately took the barely-baked cookies out of the oven and threw them out, and then tossed a teaspoon-full of baking soda into the remaining dough.

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And all was well! Sort of.

I don’t think I’ll be using margarine in my cookie recipes anymore. At least, not all margarine, anyway. Granted, the cookies don’t spread as much, but… it doesn’t taste as good. Because, you see, I take the margarine out of the tubs and just kind of plop it in there, so it probably doesn’t actually equal a full cup.

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These cookies were rock hard. At first I thought it might have been because I had left them in the oven too long, so I took my second batch out earlier, while they were still soft.

Nope. Still wound up extremely hard. And, in my opinion, they didn’t taste that great. Not horrible — but not the quality I’m used to making. My boyfriend said they were pretty good as long as they were dipped in milk, but I’m not one for dipping cookies in milk (I know, I know! Shut up! I don’t like milk except in coffee, okay?), so I suppose I shall have to throw the rest out.

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A shame, really. If you want to give the recipe a try, here it is.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Betty Crocker)

1 1/2 cups of light brown sugar

1 cup of butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 egg

2 cups quick-cook oats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir the sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg together until fluffy. Mix in the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt, and finally stir in the chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then roll dough into balls and place on sheet two inches apart. Baking 9-11 minutes, or until brown but still slightly soft. Let cool on baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to wire rack or non-heated surface to cool completely.

Cookie Cupcakes

Jesus, it’s dusty in here. *wipes away cobwebs*  Hello! Long time no see, huh? Hope you didn’t miss me too much. Things have been a little crazy here at HQ for the past couple of months. …Well, okay, that’s not strictly speaking true. Most of it has just been sheer laziness. I’ve still been baking, of course (not every week, but still), but for a long time now I just have not been able to force myself to write a new post. Why? I don’t really know. But here I am now! 😀

Of course, there’s a recent problem. I’ve lost my digital camera. *cue sad violin music* I seriously have no goddamn idea where it is, and I don’t really have the funds to purchase a new one, so the last two things I baked I do not have pictures for (red velvet cookies and coconut brownies). I could just use my phone, but it’s not the same. It doesn’t have that neato macro feature. But I shall try to figure something out.

But anyway! Onto the cookie cupcakes. My friend Beth gave me a cookie recipe book for Christmas, and this was the first thing in it that I baked. It combines two of the things I seem to bake the most — cookies and cupcakes — so obviously it would make sense for me to try it!

Yeah, well, it kind of, sort of, didn’t really work.

Basically, the batter is cookie dough. And you put it in cupcake liners.

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Seems simple enough, no? Problem is, mine didn’t come out looking so pretty.

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They were brown around the edges and spilled over the sides. I don’t know if they were supposed to look like that or what.

In addition to this, I originally was going to make mini-cookies as well, to place on top for decoration, but that didn’t really work out the way I had wanted it to. I did the little cookies before the cupcakes, and when I took them out of the oven they were… well, they were strange and flat and weird looking. And I realized I’d forgotten the salt.

So, I decided to try to put just a dash of salt in the remaining batter. But I accidentally spilled much more salt than I’d intended — I’d say about two teaspoons worth, probably. So the cookie cupcakes came out a little too salty. And maybe that’s why they spilled over? I don’t really know. There’s probably some science-y reason.

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There was some fancy kind of cookie buttercream I was supposed to frost these with, but I was kind of tired at this point so I just made regular American buttercream and dyed it yellow and tried to frost it. A bunch of the cupcakes had huge craters in the middle so the frosting was a good way to disguise it, I guess.

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Yeah, you can see some of the holes in these anyway.

I would type up the recipe for you here, but there’s no real point, since it’s basically just your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, but in a cupcake liner instead. People at work seemed to like it, but I wasn’t really a fan. I’ll just take my cookie as a cookie next time, rather than as a cupcake.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I dunno what it is, but something about these cookies just screams “WINTER!!!” to me. Maybe it’s because of the powdered sugar on top that looks like snow? Regardless, for me these are winter cookies, and it seemed only fitting that yesterday I make them as a belated Christmas present for a friend.

I actually made these for the first time last month, and you’d think they’d be simple enough, right? Just make the batter, roll the balls in powdered sugar or what have you, and boom, pretty cookies.

Well, you know me. Of course it can never go totally right!

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The recipe said to leave the batter in the fridge for four goddamn hours. Four hours! Who has that kind of time to make cookies, amirite? So I improvised by putting them in the freezer for an hour, which did the trick perfectly. I would recommend just doing that, unless for some reason you will be away from the kitchen for four hours, in which case I guess you could put it in the fridge. But it’s a lot easier to just stick it in the freezer.

Anyway, the batter is all nice and ready for me to shape it into balls with my hands (snicker), so I dump a bunch of sugar in a bowl and roll, roll, roll, place them on the baking sheet, and —

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— they come out like this.

Now, these things are supposed to come out looking absolutely covered in sugar. And I rolled the dough so that you couldn’t see any of it underneath the powdered sugar before I put it in the oven, but somehow it all… evaporated, I guess? So I tried again, this time using even more powdered sugar.

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Nope. Still nuttin.

Now, the cookies themselves were absolutely delicious. I’m normally not too big on chocolate cookies, but these are really, really good. Nice and gooey and chocolatey on the inside. They kind of have the texture of brownies. But I really wanted the cookies to look like they had just been snowed on by the Powdered Sugar Clouds of Fluffy Wonder, so I made one last attempt. I drowned the motherfuckers in sugar.

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And it worked! Except the cookies were sort of too big, but ah well. Can’t win them all, I guess. I had the same problem when I made them again yesterday for my friend, but the second batch I did looked absolutely perfect. I would share a photo but my camera has run out of battery and I don’t have any in the house. 😦

I definitely recommend these, though. They’re delicious and actually really easy to make. You don’t even need butter!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

adapted from various places

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2-1 cup powdered sugar

Mix together the cocoa, granulated sugar, and vegetable oil in a medium or large bowl. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure it’s incorporated before you add the next one. Stir in the vanilla extract, then add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Let sit, covered, in the freezer for an hour, or for four hours in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil your palms with vegetable oil or water and roll dough into small balls. Cover each ball completely in powdered sugar (seriously, just put as much as you can on it) and then place on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, then let it sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Don’t be worried if the cookies are soft at first; they’ll harden up.

Cookie Mound

Newest invention: Cookie Mound.

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Step 1: Make cookies.

Step 2: Bake cookies.

Step 3: Crumple and mush cookies together on a plate.

Step 4: ???

Step 5: Profit!

Mocha Cookies

I’m back! I didn’t bake anything last week, I know — life gets in the way. Plus we had way too many sweets around the house last week, and the last thing we needed were yet more delicious treats (well, okay, maybe not the last thing).

But! This week is different. I bought a magazine with tons of cookie and brownie recipes, many of which I will be utilizing in the future I’m sure, and I flipped to a random page and decided to make these really good Mocha Cookies.

Now, the original recipe was “Mocha Wands”, and I was supposed to get a cookie press with a star tip to make them into these really cool-looking wands. But I really didn’t feel like buying a cookie press, so I was going to just roll them into strings and call them Choco-Wands.

You see, back in middle school, when I was deep in the throes of my Harry Potter obsession, I wrote a fic entitled The Marauders Go Golfing, and in this fic the characters were snacking on something I invented called “Choco-Wands”. I envisioned them as sort of mini Pockys (although I was not aware of the existence of Pockys at the time), only more intricately shaped as wands. They were in a bright red, thick plastic bag with a window. I was quite proud of this snack I had created, and wished I could make them myself. So, I tried to today!

Um… try being the operative word here.

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…Yeah. They look more like worms than wands, no? Plus they’re burnt.

So I gave up the dream of getting to make Choco-Wands (for now), and made them as regular, round cookies instead.

The smell of the Starbucks Via instant coffee was wafting through the kitchen the entire time I was making this, and I have to tell you, it smelled pretty great. I’m not a fan of Starbucks coffee normally, but the mocha instant coffee smells great, and it tasted good in the cookie, too. I haven’t tried it as a coffee yet, though.

I sprinkled half of them with pecans…

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…and half without.

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I’ll be bringing these to work soon, so hopefully people like them! In the meantime, here’s the recipe.

Mocha Cookies

adapted from Ultimate Cookies & Bars

1 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cup of sugar

4 teaspoons Starbucks Via mocha instant coffee

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar, instant coffee, salt, and baking powder, and beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Then beat in the flour.

If you have a cookie press with a star press, put unchilled dough inside and force into 3-inch long strips onto cookie sheet. If not, simply roll the dough into balls with your hands and flatten slightly before placing on sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until edges are firm. Let cool.

Dip ends of the wands or half of the round cookie into the melted chocolate. Sprinkle pecans on and let stand or sit until set.