chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

soooooo……

right after i talk about how i’m too lazy to get into the christmas spirit, i’m here with some chocolate dipped snickerdoodles for a cookie exchange!!

yes my friends… it’s that time of year again!!

the great food blogger cookie swap!!

if you didn’t catch the low down last year, i’ll give you the short story.

lindsey and julie organize a cookie swap among bloggers… you sign up and they match you receive the address of three food bloggers and three food bloggers receive your address. everyone sends everyone some delicious homemade goodness.

in addition to the fun-ness of the homemade goodness, we also partner with cookies for kids’ cancer. so you not only get the homemade goodness but everyone raises money for a good cause.

did i mention the homemade goodness??

right…. on to that!

see last year’s cookie swap inspired me to host my own with my friends and for this year’s food blogger cookie swap, i sent some of my friend rachel’s chocolate dipped snickerdoodles. last year when she brought them over, i was a little suspicious. see, i love some snickerdoodles but dipping them in chocolate. i hate to admit, i was skeptical. i mean, i like snickerdoodles and i like chocolate but it kinda weirded me out to combine the 2.

but was i wrong!

these ended up being the cookies that i would eat one, then another, then 5 more. after that, i knew immediately, that these would be this year’s food blogger cookie swap cookie.

and because i can’t help but tinker, i tinkered. i swapped out half of the shortening for butter because i feel that butter brings some flavor to the party. and i added some vanilla because vanilla makes everything better. but really… other than those changes, rachel’s recipe was pretty on point. i really hope that valerie, deanna and caitlin enjoyed these as much as i did!!

chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

oh and check this out…. here’s the recipe!

rachels chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

so what did some amazing bloggers send me you ask?

well…..

the first package i received were some gorgeous swirled sugar cookies from alicia over at balancing motherhood. {and funny side note, alicia is based in north carolina and i got her package when i came home from north carolina! happy coincidence!}

rlk and l. smith from first time foods sent some wee little pecan tassies. they were like mini pecan pies!

and finally i received what i thought was the most festive of my packages from sara over at the pajama chef. there is something about the cranberry pistachio citrus cookies that makes me feel like the deliciousness is perfect for the holidays!

i hope that these cookies, and all the other ones from the other participating blogs, inspire you to bake some up and have some friends and family over for the holidays!

kisses.

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root beer cookie sandwiches

there is definitely something about the heat of summer that makes you feel lazier than normal. or is that just me?

i mean with it being so dang hot, i don’t want to do anything. because doing something means i have to move and moving usually means getting hot and all sweaty. and who wants to be all hot and sweaty when it’s 9000 degrees outside?

and that just makes me mad when it’s a pretty day because i feel lazy for not going outside but i don’t want to melt. i mean it’s well established that me and heat are not friends.

but ya know what is good in the heat?

root beer floats….

but these are cookies. which means you have to turn on your oven…. i know i know… i make no sense.

but these cookies.

oh these cookies.

they really are just wonderful. i love root beer. if i’m going to have a coke, it’s probably going to be a root beer.

{side note: i’m from the south and EVERY soft drink is a coke. that’s just the way it is.}

so these are cookies that use root beer concentrate to flavor them instead of the traditional vanilla. and man are they good. plus they get turned into a cookie sandwich with root beer buttercream. i mean hello! could they be any more exciting?! i mean only unless you take a suggestion from shelly and skip the buttercream and use vanilla ice cream to make a root beer float sandwich cookie.

root beer cookiesroot beer sandwich cookies

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 tsp root beer concentrate
  • 1-3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • root beer buttercream, recipe follows
  1. preheat oven to 375F. line your cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking sheet.
  2. in a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. add the egg and root beer concentrate; mix well. add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until the batter is just combined.
  3. using a cookie scoop, drop dough scoops about 2 in apart on your prepared cookie sheets. (if you don’t have a cookie scoop, just make sure to make your dough balls about 1 tbs / 1 in in diameter.)
  4. bake the cookies for 6-8 min until the edges start to set. transfer to a cookie sheet to let cool completely. when the cookies are cooled make the sandwiches by adding the root beer buttercream or vanilla ice cream to the center and top with a second cookie.

root beer buttercream

  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp root beer concentrate
  1. add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, about 2 min.

i can tell you that these cookies were like gold when i brought them to work. they disappeared extremely fast.

kisses.

recipe from: cookies & cups

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday

cookie monster ice cream

ugh it’s summer.

that means that i’m pretty much melting.

i mean….. i.don’t.do.heat.

and at what point do you go from anticipating summer’s arrival to absolutely dreading it?

wait… i can answer that. when you get out of school and work full time. that mean’s there’s no summer break. that means all summer means to me at this point it heat, heat and more heat. and let’s be honest…. that’s what pretty much every month of the year means here. aside from a few days this past “winter”, i don’t think i had to bust out a coat…. definitely not gloves. i mean at least fall has football.

if you follow me on twitter or facebook, then you know that the thing that makes summer survivable is snoballs. but i’m going to be honest when i say that i’m not making snoballs at home. i know some will argue that making them are super simple…. just crush up some ice and slather on some sugar syrup.

except i hate to break it down to you.

that’s a sno-cone. not a snoball.

a snoball requires a snowizard machine to essentially shave the ice to the point of it being like barely frozen water that melts in your mouth.

ya know what else helps that i can make at home?

ice cream.

for reals.

and did you know that july happens to be national ice cream month? oh yes my friends. it’s a real thing. so that makes this the perfect way to start off a very hot july!! plus… what’s more american than ice cream?

(p.s. i don’t eat apple pie so don’t even try to say it….)

since getting my ice cream maker a couple months ago, i’ve been on an ice cream making kick. this one so far has been my favorite. so much so it’s the only one i’ve repeated. i was trying to think of a new flavor to try out when i thought about the scoop of ice cream i got when my dad and i went to creole creamery for father’s day eve dessert. this is their spin on the traditional cookies and cream. instead of just using chocolate sandwich cookies, they throw some chocolate chip cookies in the mix which adds that je ne sais quois to the ice cream.

cookie monster ice creamcookie monster ice cream

  • 3/4 c vanilla sugar*
  • 1 c whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 c roughly chopped cookies
  1. warm the vanilla sugar, milk, 1/2 c of the heavy cream and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat; stirring just until the sugar dissolves. cover and remove from heat; let steep for 1 hour.
  2. pour the remaining 1-1/2 c of heavy cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top. add the egg yolks to a medium bowl; whisk together.
  3. after the sugar / milk mixture has steeped, return to low heat and gently rewarm. slowly pour the warmed sugar / milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. add the mixture back to the saucepan.
  4. raise the heat to medium and stir constantly with a rubber spatula; be sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan as you’re stirring. stir the mixture until it has thickened enough to coat the back of the spatula; meaning that when you take the spatula out of the base, you can run your finger down the middle and the line stays.
  5. pour the base through the strainer and stir into the cream. allow the mixture to cool completely before covering the bowl and placing in the fridge to thoroughly chill, at least 8 hours but preferably overnight.
  6. when you’re ready to churn your ice cream base, freeze the mixture according to your machine’s directions. during the very last minute or so, add in the chopped cookies. you want to make sure they are thoroughly mixed in which you will have to ensure by mixing the ice cream before transferring to a freezer-safe container. store in the freezer and devour!

*there are 2 ways to make vanilla sugar:

  1. the fastest: split a vanilla bean in half and cut into 1″ pieces. add the bean to the bowl of a food processor with the 3/4 c sugar; pulse until the vanilla bean is broken up well. sift the sugar through a fine mesh strainer to remove any large pieces of remaining vanilla bean
  2. the reusable: split 2 vanilla beans and let dry out slightly. place in a large container (i use a 1 qt mason jar) and fill with sugar. give the container a good shake every day or so. whenever you split another vanilla bean for another recipe, place the remaining vanilla bean pod in the vanilla sugar container. anytime you use some of the vanilla sugar, just refill the container with sugar, give it a really good shake, and continue to shake it every day or so.

help me out with some ideas……. what ice cream flavors are you looking forward to this summer??

kisses.

recipe adapted from: the perfect scoop by david lebovitz

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday

brownie cookies

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y’all.

can i be serious for a moment? i mean like a real quick moment because i need to celebrate…

(i know you’re sitting there saying um serious and celebration in the same sentence? that normally isn’t the mood of celebrations….)

but for reals.

i’ve been dealing with some health issues (nothing serious) and have been going to the doctor AT LEAST once a month since march 1. i can’t even begin to tell y’all how tired i am of seeing the inside of a doctor’s office. truth. but when i went last week, he said i don’t have to come back for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!! can i even tell y’all how exciting that is?!?

so needless to say i’m celebrating.

and i’m bringing cookies to the celebration. not just any cookies. chocolately melty deliciousness cookies.

when i first saw these cookies on averie’s site, i knew they needed to be made. i mean they combine two of my favorite things ever…. brownies and cookies. averie describes them as having “the taste and texture of perfect brownies” but they were so much more than that. when it comes to brownies, i tend to lean toward the thick, fudgy kind. these cookies weren’t thick but they were definitely chocolately and melty. the centers stayed like melted chocolate for days and the edges had that bit of chewiness you come to expect from brownie edges. they are definitely among the best chocolate cookies, i’ve ever had in my life. and i deeply mean that.

brownie cookiesbrownie cookies

  • 12 oz dark chocolate, divided into 7 oz and 5 oz, chopped
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  1. in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt together the 7 oz of chocolate and butter until smooth. set aside to cool briefly.
  2. beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy, approximately 5 – 8 min. add the flour, melted chocolate mixture and remaining 5 oz of chocolate; mix until just combined, about 1 min. cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp until the batter firms up, any where from 10 min – 1 hr; you want the dough to be firm enough to scoop from and hold it’s shape.
  3. line your cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. once your dough is firm enough to hold its shape when scooped, use a cookie scoop to scoop out your dough to your lined cookie sheets. let the dough rest for another hour to firm up so it doesn’t spread too much.
  4. preheat your oven to 350F. bake cookies 8-10 min until the tops are puffy and cracked. allow to cool on the cookie sheet while the next tray is baking (8-10 min) before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. store in an airtight container.

one hint… i used chocolate bars (hershey’s special dark and cadbury dark chocolate) found on the candy aisle in my grocery store instead of “baking chocolate”. this allowed me to buy a couple of dark chocolate bars in the perfect amount of oz without spending more money on the baking chocolate.

kisses.

recipe from: averie cooks

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesdays and what’s in your kitchen wednesdays

almond thumbprints

do you ever sit and stare at your computer screen waiting for something witty to come to you to say and nothing comes?

yeah. that’s me right now.

see i’m that person that could talk to a brick wall but when ii’m trying to make conversation… i’m blank.

in fact, i’ve been staring at the screen for about an hour and half.

blank.

how about we just get to the cookies?

these cookies are different than the type of cookie i would normally reach for. they aren’t the soft and chewy cookie i normally reach for but they’re not the hard and crunchy cookie that i normally would shy away from. they’re something in between. and then they’re filled with a dark chocolate ganache. killer. you could also fill them with some salted caramel or fruit jam if that was your thing.

almond thumbprints

almond flour thumbprints

  • 3 c almond meal
  • 3/4 c turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • dark chocolate ganache, recipe below
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. stir together the almond meal, sugar and salt. add in the egg whites and extracts; stir together until a ball forms.
  3. using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls onto the prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with your fingers. use the bottom of a 1/4 tsp scoop to make the thumbprint in the center of each cookie. bake 15-18 min until lightly golden. remove from the oven and let cool 5 min before removing to a cool rack before cooling completely. once cooled completely fill with ganache.

dark chocolate ganache

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp instant espresso
  1. in a double boiler, melt together the chocolate, heavy cream and espresso until smooth. fill cookie thumbprints with chocolate ganache.

kisses.

recipe barely adapted from: with style and grace

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cookin’ wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday, taste and tell thursdays

chocolate chip icebox pie

can we just talk about how obnoxiously excited i am that they are planning a sequel to pitch perfect?

like for real.

and you’re sitting there in one of two camps:

camp no. 1: what is pitch perfect?

camp no. 2: freaking right!!

if you’re in camp no. 1 let me give you a quick briefing in case you don’t feel like imdb’ing this jazz. pitch perfect is a total sleeper hit movie based on competive college acapella groups. it’s totally awesome and was filmed on lsu’s campus. it has a bunch of pretty awesome actors but rebel wilson is in it and has some epic one liners. horizontal running anyone?

(i told you it would be a quick briefing.)

anyways….

total point is that you need to get yourself a copy of this movie and watch it. like on repeat.

and then watch the breakfast club.

because it totally makes sense and because the breakfast club is only like one of the best movies EVER.

and we could have a movie marathon (because let’s face it, i’m a grandma and trying to watch 2 movies in a row is stretching my limit of not taking a nap) with some of this updated pudding stuff to stuff our faces with.

and yes i’m aware that i “officially” titled the post a “chocolate chip icebox pie” because let’s face it, unless you’re one of a few people, you might not have known off the bat what i meant by pudding stuff.

this updated pudding stuff was inspired by my friend cailan. we were walking around the grocery store on good friday and she was talking about making a version of her pudding stuff with chocolate chip cookies. while we were walking around the store, i didn’t think much about it other than “that sounds delicious.” but then i was trying to figure out a second dessert for easter sunday since i don’t eat coconut cream pie and this came back to me. and now it comes to you!

trust me when i tell you, your world has been made much better now that this recipe is out there for you to devour!

you’ll have to excuse it’s inability to take a pretty picture. it really is a messy but ever so delicious dessert.

for.real.

chocolate chip icebox pie

chocolate chip icebox pie

  • 1 package chips ahoy chocolate chunks cookies
  • 1 (3 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1-1/2 c whole milk
  • 1-1/2 c heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs amaretto
  • hot fudge sauce
  1. pour the heavy whipping cream into a bowl and begin to whip on medium speed until it begins to thicken. when the cream begins to thicken, add the sugar and amaretto and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
  2. while the cream is whipping, combine the pudding mix and milk; stir well. slowly add the pudding mixture to the whip cream mixture and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. in a 9 in flat bottom bowl, place an even layer of the cookies, breaking them up if needed. spread half of the boozy vanilla whip cream mixture over the cookies; repeat the process and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.
  4. when ready to serve, top with hot fudge sauce before scooping out individual servings.

seriously y’all.

kisses.

this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesdays, what’s in your kitchen wednesdays, and taste and tell thursdays

black & white cookies

so apparently i wrote my letter to mother nature a little too early this year. i still mean every word to her but i might have should have wait a week or two to put pen to paper.

see while we still haven’t had “seasons” in like ages…. we are having a final cold snap. it’s supposed to freeze tonight. oh and then we’re back into the mid 70s this weekend and next week. and for everyone out there telling me to be happy that i’m not waking up to 5 ft of snow, hush it.

and then have a cookie.

so apparently black & white cookies (aka black & whites… so original i know) are a big thing up in the new york area delis / diners. i can’t vouch for this. i’ve been to new york once and it was a long time ago and i don’t think we actually ate at a true new york deli / diner. what i do know is that the whole foods by my work recently installed a cookie bar….

wait can we talk about this for just a second? yes. it’s a cookie bar. ya know. like a salad bar. full of little cookies. mad genius i tell you.

sorry.

so WF installed this cookie bar that i can’t resist getting one or two when i go get a salad on those days i forget my lunch. and on their little evil cookie bar, they have black & whites which i get every time! i like to try and get a little variety but for a while there was ALWAYS a black & white in the mix. so i decided i needed to figure out how to make these.

if you’ve never had a black & white, they’re a soft, cakey cookie traditionally with a hint of lemon. in fact, most of the recipes i saw used lemon extract. then the cookies are frosted on one side with a chocolate frosting and a vanilla frosting on the other. so it’s like the very best of both worlds. i kept to tradition for the most part but subbed out orange zest for the lemon extract. honestly, it was more because it was what was in my kitchen than being difficult. but it worked out beautifully. i would be difficult next time and repeat myself.

black & white cookies

black and white cookies

  • 4 c cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1-3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla, divided
  • 1 c milk, room temp
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
  • 1/3 c water
  • 5 c powdered sugar
  1. preheat oven to 375F. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  2. whisk the flour and baking powder together in a bowl; set aside. beat together the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla and orange zest; beat until combined. with the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and milk in 4 additions beginning and ending with the flour. mix until just combined.
  3. using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2 in apart. moisten your fingertips and press down each dough scoop until it is about 3/8 in thick. back 12-15 min until the centers are firm and edges are just beginning to brown. remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool 2 min before removing to a rack to cool completely. once all the cookes are baked, let them all cool completely before icing.
  4. make the icing: add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally and set aside. combine the corn syrup and 1/3 c water in saucepan and bring to a boil. remove the pan from the heat and mix in the powdered sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp vanilla until smooth. add 3/4 c of the vanilla icing to the melted chocolate and stir to combine.
  5. glaze the cookies: place the cookies on wax paper and using an offset spatula, spread about 1 tbs of the vanilla icing on half of each cookie. let the vanilla icing set for 15 min before repeating the process with the chocolate icing. let the glaze set for at least an hour before putting the cookies into an airtight container in between sheets of wax / parchment paper.

a couple notes…

you may need to thicken / thin out the icing when you’re initially mixing it. just add hot water (vanilla) or milk (chocolate) / powdered sugar, until you reach a glazing consistency. i did not have that issue.

i did however find that when i was glazing the cookies that the icing got hard, faster than i could finish the cookies. to combat this, all i did was keep my saucepan over a very low heat / double boiler while i glazed. this worked out perfectly.

lastly, the size of my cookies were not the hubcap size cookies that i hear they make in the northeast. these were a normal, sensible size cookie, ie i could eat more without feeling bad. BUT if you want hubcap size cookies, just use a larger cookie scoop or 1/4 c measure to scoop out your cookies. you should get about 6 to each cookie sheet and they’ll bake for 18-20 min.

now i don’t have to be lured in by that cookie bar.

take that wf!

kisses.

recipe barely adaped from: tracey’s culinary adventures

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cookin’ wednesdays, what’s in your kitchen wednesdays and taste and tell thursdays