Tag Archives: cookies

My new toy and a recipe

before-after kitchen aid mixer

You may, or may not, have heard, but I kind of had a birthday last week.  {Shhhh…we don’t talk about age around these parts…} But gifts…we do talk about.  And that pretty little cobalt blue thing staring at you, well, that was one of my gifts.  I love it for so many reasons. 

It comes with the hope of being able to make some beautifully tasty desserts.  And it’s shiny. And pretty.  And blue. And I love it.

And I decided it had to be used, regardless of my kitchen skills.  So as I was reading Bon Appetit Hon the other day, I realized that she had shared the perfect recipe for my first mixer attempt. The recipe originated from 3 Baking Sheets to the Wind as it is one of her fondest food memories. Without going into deep detail, click over to both websites for great recipes and great fun. So oh yeah, the recipe looked pretty fool proof and it required minimal ingredients.  That alone was reason enough to make these little beauties.

So I did. And they were delicious.  Light, buttery, and rolled in confectioner’s sugar. Win-Win-Win.

russian tea cookies

If you’re up for giving your stand mixer a test run, take my advice and make these.

Oh and by the way, they’re called Russian Tea Cakes.

1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine the flour and 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and almond extract until smooth.  Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool completely before rolling them in the 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

Thanks to Wendi and Ali for making my first Kitchen Aid Mixer experience an incredible one!

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Magpies and taste tests

I might have mentioned that my friendship with Elaine grew out of a mutual love of baked goods. So it really should have come as no surprise when she told me we’d be taste testing cakes for her munchkin’s 1st birthday party.
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Now, I’m all for eating my face off. I love cakes. I love cupcakes. I love cookies. Hell, I love food in general, but a girl like me cannot afford to go blindly into a cake taste off. Elaine, and her skinny self, on the other hand, can. While she’s got guns from carrying around a baby all day, I don’t. So, while one of us can afford to indulge, the other one really just shouldn’t.

But I did.

Oh, I did alright.

And I loved every sugar filled second of it.

From the mini cupcakes from Magpies*
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to the slices of cake from (insert bakery name here).
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And then I walked back to Atlanta ate more. Chinese for dinner to be exact.  BBQ the next day. And I haven’t even talked about the fantastic brunch I had before the cake off extravaganza happened.  I’ll leave that for Thursday, when I’ve finally come down from my sugar high.

*And on a different note I wanted to highlight some of the cakes from Magpies.  Unlike one little bakery that shall remain nameless, Magpies was perfectly happy to let me take pictures of their goodies.  The sweet lady working even cleaned the cases that housed the cupcakes before I took pictures! And for that, I thank you Magpies.

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If you’re ever in Knoxville and are in need of a sugar fix, go to Magpies.  In all sincerity, they have some of the best icing I have ever tasted. (And I have tasted a lot in my day.)

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Sweeter in Tennessee

The past two weekends I’ve spent driving up to Tennessee. The first trip was to Nashville. This weekend was Knoxville.  And oddly enough, next weekend I’ll be heading up to Athens, GA for the Georgia / Tennessee game.  So I guess you could say it’s a bit of a Tennessee kind of month for me.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend these two weekends with two of my dearest friends.  And for the Knoxville trip, I finally met my friend, Elaine’s, soon to be 1 year old, Caroline.  
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I met Elaine several years ago and our friendship developed over a mutual love of food…cookies actually.
Henri’s shortbread cookies to be exact. 
When she lived in Atlanta, we’d grab lunch a few times a week…
going to the same place everytime…
eating the same sandwiches everytime…
and with about as little guilt possible, eating the same shortbread cookies everytime.

She hasn’t lived in Atlanta for quite a few years, but her love of those cookies remains strong. And that’s precisely why I knew I had to bring a few  dozen along with me as an early birthday gift.
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And we ate them.
For a snack, for a dessert treat, and, rumor has it, for breakfast too.

Somehow those cookies tasted just a little bit sweeter in Tennessee.
Thanks Elaine.

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Sugar cookies and icing.

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I started this week with full intentions of eating healthy. Alright fine, healthier. That never really happened though. I drank more water. I even used my elliptical machine a couple of times. But that whole eating healthier part eluded me.

So let’s just forget about that whole trying to be healthy nonsense and focus on cookies.
Sugar cookies.
With icing.

Because let’s be honest, no one really wants to talk about working out.
Or eating healthy crap like kale and spinach.
No offense, but ugh. I mean it’s fairly obvious that the whole elastic waistband club is undeniably in my future, but at least I’ll be happy eating sugar cookies with icing.
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And in case you wanted to make these little treats for your friends or family (or let’s be honest, for yourself), please do. Just remember to have a pair of pants with a drawstring or some elastic ready for future comfort.

Cracked Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract (clear)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tspcream of tartar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Cream together sugar and butter.
Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Stir.
Form dough into walnut size balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Don’t flatten.
Bake 10 to 11 minutes, until tops are cracked.

And if you want to go all out, top them with a little icing.
Sugar Cookie Icing.
Ingredients
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp milk
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract
food coloring (of your choice)

Directions
In a small bowl stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Paint cookies with a brush.

Enjoy.
And if I haven’t said it lately, thanks for continuing to read this here little blog.
And for making me want to make bad things to eat.
I owe you all for my gradual weight gain.
Love ya, mean it!
:)

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chocolate chip pillow brownie cookies

cookies

If you have ever had the privilege of stepping foot into a Fresh Market then you may be familiar with their Pillow Cookies.  Trust me, I am VERY familiar with them.  I’m pretty sure that their version of these cookies are in fact what heaven is like. So I went on a mission yesterday to locate this recipe.  Of course, they don’t have it posted anywhere, but luckily, Southern Living does. Thank you Southern Living. 

Chocolate Chip Brownie Pillows:
{printable recipe here}

1 (20 oz) pkg double chocolate brownie mix
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz)
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

To make:
Prepare brownies according to package directions in an 8″ square pan.  Cool completely.
Then cut into 3 dozen squares.  Note: this recipe makes 11 giant cookies…(although I ended up making everything on a smaller scale.)
While the brownies are baking, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy.
Add brown sugar, beating until smooth.
Add eggs, yolk, and vanilla, beating until blended.
Combine flour and next three ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended after each addition.
Stir in chocolate chips, cover, and chill dough 1 hour.

cookie dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For each cookie, scoop 1/2 cup dough onto wax paper lined cookie sheet; place cookies 3 in. apart.
Using fingers make an indention in mound of dough; place 1 brownie square in center.
*Tip, press brownies down so that when the cookies bake there won’t be a mound in the center of the cookie.*
Press dough around brownie to form a ball. Repeat.
Chill 15 minutes.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and cookies look set.
Cool 2 minutes.
Remove to wire rack and let cool completely.

choc chip brownie pillow

Stumble It!

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oatmeal raisin cookie – FAIL

Yeap, that’s right.

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I used the right ingredients.

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I followed the instructions.

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I baked them to the alotted time.

And even though they look perfectly normal, they taste like death.

I’ve gone over it a million different ways and everytime it always ends up the same. I blame the recipe.
I mean how could it be me, right? I only did what the recipe told me to do.
So next time I make oatmeal raisin cookies, I’ll look elsewhere for a recipe.
Because when you fail, you should bake and bake again.

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more peanut butter cookies

As if my two previous peanut butter cookie recipes weren’t enough, I’m throwing a third one at you!

If you’re in the mood to make some super delicious peanut butter cookies from scratch, then try this recipe. It’s a homemade version of these.

And this recipe comes courtesy of Elaine…which comes courtesy of one Martha Stewart:

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough
36 mini peanut butter cups, chilled and unwrapped

1.Preheat oven to 350º. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add brown sugar, beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.
2.In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches.
3.Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place granulated sugar on a plate; roll balls in sugar, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on a non-stick insulated baking sheet.
4.Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Return to oven; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 6 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.

Yield: 36 cookies

That Martha Stewart really does love to make life more difficult on herself! Oh well. As long as I get to reap the benefits.

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