Category: Cookies

Salted Double Chocolate Cookies

It was an amazing birthday weekend, as usual. I seem to get lucky in that department. It helps to surround yourself with awesome people. The rest of it seems to work itself out. I started Saturday with brunch at Radar with Andrew, my parents, my sister, and her fiancé. You know I love Radar. It’s not a birthday without going there. I ordered the bubble and squeak. Again. Creature of habit. Roasted veggies in what’s basically a mashed potato pancake and topped with mushroom gravy. It makes me hungry just thinking about it. That night some friends and I took over the new wine bar and bottleshop in the neighborhood, Spoke & Vine. It was glorious. They are only three months old, and have a great selection of affordable wine and snacks. It’s always fun to get some of my favorite people in the same place.

Sunday was my actual birthday. It involved a trip to Pip’s Original Doughnuts for a thai tea, fennel, and cardamom latte with almond milk and three of their made to order doughnuts — raw honey and sea salt, nutella and sea salt, and cinnamon sugar. There are about as many housemade chai varietals than there are doughnuts. The doughnuts are like little bites of fresh elephant ear. So, so good. Dinner was Toro Bravo with Andrew. Finally. That place still has a notorious wait years later, and you can’t get reservations. We showed up five minutes before it opened to a small line formed already, but we were thankfully able to get into the first seating. It lives up to the hype. Easily one of my favorite meals in the city. I’m actually glad I waited to go until after I’d gone to Spain. I think I appreciate what they’re doing so much more. It was a gorge session. Fried anchovies with fennel and lemon; sautéed chanterelles with cream on griddled bread; housemade chorizo and manchego; oxtail croquettes; jamon wrapped chicken; paella; churros and chocolate; cheese ice cream with berry compote; two bottles of wine. Happy birthday indeed.

These cookies were intense as must double-chocolate anything is. It’s not technically two chocolates, but it is the same chocolate half melted into the dough and the other half chopped up and studded throughout. That said, you are using unsweetened chocolate. I splurged on some good stuff, and it was freakin’ intense. I didn’t chop up the chunks nearly small enough for my taste. You’d get a super bitter and intense pure chocolate hit out of nowhere. Maybe some people are into that, but I most definitely am not. They were pretty, though, and the dough was delicious. It was just those dang chunks. The salt and espresso powder are necessary. Don’t skip! They stay gooey even long after they cool, which is exactly what I want in a cookie when I actually want a cookie.

Inspiration: Desserts for Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 10oz good quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped about the size of chocolate chops
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • sea salt flakes for topping

Preparation

Measure 6oz of the chopped chocolate and melt it in a double boiler or other favorite melting method with the coconut oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, bakng powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla extract for at least five minutes. The batter will be pale, light, and fluffy. Fold in the flour mixture and then the melted chocolate. Lastly add the chocolate chunks. Cover and chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350° when you’re ready to bake. Line a cookie sheet or two and drop even tablespoons of batter on them. Space them out a fair amount as mine spread quite a bit. If they stick together, that’s just one cookie. Sprinkle the dough with the sea salt flakes.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will still be pretty gooey, but they’ll solidify as they cool. They’ll maintain their soft texture this way.

Banana Coconut Cookies

I feel like I hardly ever bake anymore [for good reason since I’m way more inconsistent in quality], but when I do, I make a few things in rapid succession and then shelve the baking skills for another day. I’m sure practice makes perfect, but I’d much rather “practice” my cooking skills. I prefer the savory to the sweet 98% of the time. Unless it’s a fresh sopaipilla smothered in honey from La Panza that I had last night. I’ll choose that 98% of the time.

To be fair, these “cookies” hardly count as baking. I turned the oven on and they practically made themselves. It was equal parts convenience and sheer luck that I actually had a couple of ripe bananas on hand that I wouldn’t be able to use before they went bad or at least amassed an army of fruit flies to do their bidding. Putting bananas and shredded unsweetened coconut into a food processor is about as hard as it gets. You must must MUST like both of these flavors. Don’t make them otherwise or you’ll be sorely upset. It’s definitely banana and coconut all up in your mouth. Very tropical. Very daiquiri-ish without the booze. They turn extremely banana-y the longer you keep them, and they keep pretty well in a sealed container. No browning like I expected. They’re soft, even with the baking, but hold a cookie shape well. Keep them in until the coconut starts to toast. Necessary.

Inspiration: Grok Grub

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet or three with a SILPAT [greasing it or using wax paper, also options]. Add the bananas and coconut to a food processor and pulse until well combined. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to get uniform balls of banana coconut mush and space them out evenly on the baking sheet. Press them down into cookie shapes. They won’t spread so keep that in mind. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. They’ll set the longer they cool.

Pistachio Cherry Cookies

I was a little nervous for Christmas this year. Partly because it was the first Christmas without Grammy [which was her favorite holiday] and partly because Andrew and I were spending it apart. That’s a recipe for emotions all around [c’mon, even my dad missed Andrew], but celebrations were had without any tears. Getting together with family is pretty damn awesome. I see why she was so into it. I hope your Christmases were spent in equally good spirits, with any combination of good friends, family, and food. Guaranteed success.

I stayed the night at my parents’ house because I was going to be there Christmas Eve and Day. It’s not a far drive, but how else was I going to stay up until 1am talking with my dad, sleep in my old bed, and wake up to my mom making cinnamon rolls? It was pretty awesome. There was the much celebrated massive Mexican food feast for Christmas Day. Think six crockpots full of meats, beans, and rice, turkey enchiladas, tamales, taquitos, a quinoa salad, and every chip and taco/burrito topping you could think of. I contributed two bottles of wine a mole with roasted chicken, which wasn’t photo-worthy in the slightest. It was only okay — a little sweeter than I like my mole. I was nervous tossing so many raisins in, and it did exactly what I thought it would.

I also made these cookies because when else can you justify a bright green cookie with red flecks? Pretty sure we didn’t need another cookie amongst the probably 10+ other cookies, but that’s beside the point. There are several of us in the family who are complete suckers for pistachio pudding. That’s instantly what drew me to the recipe. That and I actually had two jars of maraschino cherries in my fridge. I don’t even know how that happened, but it did. Fate, man. Fate.

These are really, really, really, really good. Especially if you can get over the fact that they look like play dough. They stay so soft and chewy. It’s as close to being raw cookie dough without actually being raw. I didn’t exactly love how they baked because they didn’t want to spread [despite the two sticks of butter…] very much. I would have flattened the balls a little bit if I did it again, and probably scoop more than a tablespoon’s worth. These are practically one two bite cookies, and I prefer a little more than that. The taste more than made up for it. Maraschino cherries are a brilliant addition. Hints of sweetness in every bite of pistachio goodness. When the instructions tell you dry them, don’t mess around. Waste paper towels for the good of your cookies. If you actually wanted brown cookies, just make something else. The green/red combo makes these.

Especially since it made everyone think of the time Grammy made green mashed potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day.

Inspiration: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box (3.4oz) pistachio instant pudding mix
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3x drops of green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, small dice and dried well

Preparation

Cream the butter in a stand mixer [or with a handheld mixer if you’re into that]. Really let it go for a few minutes. It should be light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, pudding mix, and flour. Let it go on a medium low speed until it soaks up all of the butter and turns into a dough. It’ll take a few minutes. Add the almond extract and food coloring and mix again until incorporated. Fold the cherries in by hand or with a few seconds in the mixer on low. Don’t let it mash the cherries.

Wrap the dough in saran wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare a couple pans with silpats or parchment paper. Make balls of dough about the size of a tablespoon. Spread them out evenly on the pan. Bake 10-11 minutes until the bottoms look like they’re starting to brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for awhile before eating. They’ll become much more presentable as they cool. They’ll keep for several days in an air-tight container.

Carrot Cake Bites

Since the weather is crap, and I’ve been doing nothing but eating in all week, I totally ate Chinese takeout tonight. I always get the same thing [chicken chow mein, pork fried rice, BBQ pork, and crab puffs], and it’s like the ultimate comfort food for me. Did I have my pajamas on by 6:30pm? Probably. Did I eat the rest of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bliss? Probably. Did I watch a ridiculous amount of Grey’s Anatomy? Probably.

I put together a small to do list first, so I’m not completely worthless lazy.

So I stopped buying the individual carrots at the grocery store because they tend to be the most flavorless carrots of all time. It’s usually way more efficient for me to do that, but I can’t possibly tell you how bland they’ve been. They were just little orange coins floating in the rich chicken curry. The carrots are finally coming around, though, having way more carrot-y flavor so long as I grab the bunches of them. I always feel guilty buying them because I need one, and I’m not a meal planner so I hate wasting. I took it upon myself to carry a carrot to work in my purse for a few days for a mid-morning snack. That’s not that weird, right? It ranks right up there with #publicbanana, right Allie?

I still had a couple left that were starting to get…rubbery. What’s a girl to do? Shred them up and make these weird cookie/cake things. It was an excuse to use my biscuit cutter for the first time. Fancy. They’re not really that pretty, but they taste a little like carrot cake. They were taken from this neat carrot cookie recipe. I made things full of gluten, which is why they turned out so cakey, and I’m totally okay with that. The dough is so, so good. It’s a win-win.

Inspiration: Carrot Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
  • pinch of salt

Preparation

Place the carrots in a food processor and pulse until it is coarsely shredded. Add the egg, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Pulse to shred further until it is a wet pulp.

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir thoroughly until it is all mixed through and all the tough is wet. I really had to use my hands in the end. Wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a couple cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment. Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap [it’s sticky!] to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the cookies to your preferred size/shape. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size. Mine took about 12 minutes and were about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Allow to cool on a wire rack. They will be chewy, carroty, and awesome.

Bourbon Spice Cookies

On my way to meet some friends for drinks the other night, I wondered if it would be weird to order a hot toddy. It’s almost April after all. Are there rules like there are for white and Labor Day? Shouldn’t we be gearing up for gin and tonics? I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the above referenced friends had ordered a toddy before I had arrived. Mind reader. I ended up drinking a Campari and soda, but that’s totally beside the point.

I do love bourbon; don’t get me wrong. I finished up the night with a Night Owl — bourbon, Ramazzotti, and toasted pecan bitters from Radar. I’m all about simple and spicy. I threw a little bit of bourbon into cookies to the same effect. Who knew I’d finally have a reason to kill off the small bottle of molasses I’ve had in my pantry since at least 2011. This stuff never goes bad, clearly.

Having all that glorious butter makes for some super soft cookies. I swapped out the whole wheat for make-my-own oat flour. That made them extra chewy. Pulling them out in nine minutes helped, too. They’re very snickerdoodle meets gingersnap meets bourbon. I used Bull Run Distilling Temperance Trader Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which I highly suggest getting if you’re actually in Portland. It’s totally worthy of being sipped on the rocks, made into a cocktail, or baked in cookies. Seriously.

I made one hell of a mess during the process. Rolling things in sugar will do that. The ants were thrilled by my choice to throw brown sugar around the kitchen floor. Just when you think you’ve picked it all up, they gladly come remind you of the microscopic pieces that you can’t see. Thanks, ants.

Inspiration: Full Measure of Happiness

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat flour [rolled oats in your blender/food processor works just fine]
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • sugar for rolling the cookies

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment.

In a bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside. In a stand mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugars together for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until well incorporated. Add the bourbon and molasses.

Stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed. It will be sticky. And delicious.

Set up some sugar on a plate and another plate to set the rolled cookies. Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the sugar, coating it well. Place it on the empty plate. Repeat until they’re all finished. Place the balls of dough into the freezer for a few minutes.

Once they’ve set up, place them on a cookie sheet a few inches apart. They will spread a little bit. I went through several cookie sheets worth of cookies to get them all baked. Bake them for 8-10 minutes, pulling at nine if possible. Allow them to cool before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy the next best thing to a hot toddy.

They can be stored in an airtight container for several days.