Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

I finally made some shortbread cookies. This recipe kept showing up on several websites and blogs. These cookies are great straight from the freezer! I’ve noted the original amounts but I used only 1/3 each amount.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 unsalted butter, softened (I used 1/4 pound, or 1 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1/2)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 1/6)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I used just a sprinkling…about 1/12)
  • 6 to 7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used half a bag of Nestle semisweet morsels/large chunks)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (to combine with the chocolate when melting)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup sliced almonds, for sprinkling on top

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, until creamed.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating another 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add this mixture to the stand mixer bowl, beating slowly to incorporate all ingredients.
  4. Mix on low speed for about 20 seconds, until dough forms a large clump.
  5. On a floured flat surface, roll out the dough into a flat disk or a 2-inch diameter log and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or in freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
  6. You can then roll the disk flat and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces using cookie cutters, or you can slice the log into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with some sugar if you want.
  7. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes (or 16, depending on how thick you made them), until the edges are slightly browned and toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. The original recipe suggests you bake them for 20-25 minutes, which would work well if you have a finger-shaped cutter that measures 3×1 inch. However, since I used small rounds, they baked quicker.
  8. Once the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate chips and the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl, 25 seconds at a time, until chocolate and coconut oil blend together into a creamy consistency.
  9. Dip the cookies in the chocolate, using a spoon to cover all sides. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top or dip the cookies into a bowl of almonds to cover the chocolate portion with them. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with wax and place in refrigerator to harden, about 30 minutes.

You may store these cookies on the counter, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.

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Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are fluffy! They puff up when baking and remain soft and chewy for several days. I found this recipe in a Good Housekeeping Cookies book, and I’ll be making these again. I dropped the dough into blobs measuring 2 tablespoons instead of 1.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package (16 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup–I used the large Nestle morsels)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) chopped pecans, or walnuts (I used walnuts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown and white sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons (or two tablespoons if you want bigger cookies) 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F 10-12 minutes, until golden at the edges. For my oven, 10 minutes was perfect.
  7. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool. You can also bake two batches at one time, rotating halfway between the upper and lower oven racks.

Enjoy!

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Almond Coconut Cookies (Gluten-free and Butter-free)

For the past 3 years, I’ve been making my husband’s favorite almond cookies, but I’m trying to move away from using butter in his baked goods. Minimalist Baker has a fantastic almond meal cookie recipe that uses no butter! I didn’t have any dark chocolate, so I used a combination of half-milk chocolate and half-semisweet chocolate chips instead. Also, I added 1/4 tsp almond extract to the mix. In my kitchen adventures I have discovered that accidentally adding that amount of almond extract to any cookie batch makes the almond taste stand out much more. My poor KitchenAid mixer was not happy when I combined the dry ingredients with the chocolate chips, so next time I will add the chocolate in at the end. This would also be nice with some crunchy walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal (or flour)
  • 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate (or cacao nibs)–I used 1/8 cup milk chocolate chips and 1/8 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted (zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds if it is solid)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • My addition: 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Combine almond meal, chocolate chips (I will add these at the very end next time, along with any nuts), coconut flakes, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg for a few seconds until light and frothy. Add the melted coconut oil and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat for 30 seconds or 1 minute. Add the dry mix and beat for 1 more minute.

The original recipe suggested the dough be chilled for 30 minutes or overnight, but I was short on time, and I baked them right away. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 1.5 inches apart. Flatten each dough ball a bit.

Bake until the edges are brown, 7-10 minutes. In my oven it took about 12-13 minutes, but I also made the dough balls a bit larger than 1 inch. The recipe yields 20 cookies, 78 calories per cookie. I ended up with 11.

These were fantastic and will continue to be a presence in our household!

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Chocolate Frosted Rice Krispies Treats

It has been too long. It’s not like I haven’t been cooking; on the contrary, I’ve been trying out more new recipes than ever! There’s really no excuse.

To celebrate our second winter in Ohio, I’m posting this variation on Rice Krispies Treats. It’s 19 degrees here tonight, so that calls for a nice treat, perhaps with some hot chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 T butter
  • White chocolate and chocolate almond bark (melting candy)

Directions:

Melt butter on low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat.  Stir in the cereal. Spray Pam in a 13×9-inch baking dish and pour mixture in.

To melt the chocolate: Break into cubes and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave for another 15-20 seconds. Stir well. Frost the top of the cereal mixture with the chocolate and cover with sprinkles or whatever toppings you want.

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Mrs. Fields Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have had the Mrs. Fields Best Cookie Book Ever since 1996, when I was ten years old. As a child I was obsessed with learning how to bake, but my cookies never came out quite right. At first I decided it was our old oven. But as the years went on I realized I was always trying to cut the recipes in half or quarters, or mixing the batters by hand (not a good idea!) and that’s where things started going wrong. This time, I was prepared with my stand mixer, determined to make the FULL recipe, even if it meant having lots and lots of leftover cookies. This recipe turned out to be extremely easy to follow, and I placed the leftover blob of cookie dough in the fridge, where it will stay safe until I’m ready to bake a new batch.

You can find this recipe for Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies on page 6. I made a couple of minor changes, which I’ve listed below.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)–Note: I used milk chocolate chips and the cookies came out great =)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (this is an extra ingredient I added)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the butter and mix to form a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla. Blend at medium speed. Do not overmix.

Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Blend at low speed until just mixed. Add the walnuts. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes (I baked them for 22) or until golden brown.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen (I usually get about 36)

Calories: 1 cookie has 180  (if you make 36)

 

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Almond Flour Cookies

I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from here: The Wannabe Chef. My husband has been requesting cookies made with something other than all-purpose flour, so I tried these. He loved them! I have modified the recipe a bit as I go through:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup butter (let it sit at room temperature so it can soften)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use white, and I sometimes use up to 1/3 cup to make it a bit sweeter)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I use salt if I use unsalted butter. If I use salted butter, I don’t add much salt except maybe a pinch)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract (This is where I deviate from the original recipe–I split the vanilla extract with a 50/50 ratio of vanilla to almond)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar (I added this ingredient)

Directions:

In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter, and add the egg slowly. Add the flour, salt (if using), vanilla and almond extract, and baking soda. Mix! Add the chocolate chips and walnuts at this point. Drop the dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet (I press the dough down to make flattened circles). Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. I have found that the perfect crunchy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside consistency is achieved when I bake them for 14 minutes.

Almond cookies

Here is a brighter picture:

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