Ooey-Gooey-Chewy Cookies

Chocolate Brownie Cookie

score some brownie points

Life can be hard sometimes, amirite? It’s all about choices. And decisions. And compromises. What to wear. What to watch. What to eat. Like, do you go for a cookie or a brownie?

Well, why should you have to choose?

Why not get both?

Boom.

Yep. A cookie. A brownie. You can have it all. And actually, not to blow your mind again, but you can have it all — and less. That’s right. Because these ooey-gooey chocolatey cookies are flourless. Which is hard to believe, I know. But it’s true. Just check out the recipe. But what’s really great is that they’re so chock full of rich, chocolate flavor, you won’t miss the flour one bit.

See, life’s not so hard all the time.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies
3 cups of powdered sugar
3/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
5 oz of bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat your oven to 350º. Make sure your rack is in the upper third of your oven.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Next, whisk in the egg whites and egg until it resembles a thick fudgy mixture. Then fold in the bittersweet chocolate.

Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked and set around the edges. Let them cool completely on the cookie sheet. Then eat.

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Christmas Cookie Day: Toffee Bars

toffee cookie bars

toffee time

These aren’t your typical Christmas cookies. But who says you need to be typical? The holidays deserve something special, and there’s something very special about toffee and chocolate and a few well placed flakes of sea salt.

Toffee Bars
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups of brown sugar
1 egg
½ vanilla
1/4 cup toffee bits
1 ½ cups of Heath candy bar bits*
½ teaspoon of flaky sea salt

Heat your oven to 325º.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, and then add the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined. Stir in the toffee bits.

Lightly grease an 8×8 (or similar) baking dish. Line with parchment paper, leaving extra that hangs over the edge, and lightly grease the parchment. Spread the batter into the dish in an even layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Sprinkle the Heath bits over the top and bake a few minutes more until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the sea salt, and let cool completely in the dish. When cool, use the parchment paper to lift out the bars and then cut into squares. Then eat.

*I used 30 miniature Heath bars, which I unwrapped, placed into a large ziploc bag and then smashed with a rolling pin. It was very therapeutic.


Christmas Cookie Day: Spiced Sugar Cookies

spiced sugar cookies

spiced sugar cookies danced in their heads

I’m a little behind with my Christmas baking this year. We can blame Thanksgiving for being so “late.” But let’s be honest, it’s never too late to start making Christmas cookies.

First up this year are classic sugar cookies with holiday spices. I cut them into festive shapes to get myself into the holiday spirit. But please, don’t judge my decorating skills. There’s a reason I don’t draw or paint for a living. I don’t have a lot of patience, and I think that has a lot to do with it. The only good thing about being a crummy cookie decorator is that you get to keep the rejects for yourself. And I maybe kinda sorta messed up a few on purpose. Oops. Hope that doesn’t put me on the naughty list. Maybe I can persuade Santa with a few of these tasty cookies.

Spiced Sugar Cookies
For the cookies:
2 1/3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Holiday cookie cutters

For the icing:
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of milk, plus more if necessary
Holiday sprinkles and green & red colored sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and then add the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, about 2 hours.

Heat your oven to 375º.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Carefully cut into shapes using the cookies cutters and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then place a rack to cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, make the icing. Combine the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl. Add more sugar or milk depending on how thick you want it. Hold the cookies by their edges and use a spoon to pour the icing over them. Let any access icing run off, and then place on a sheet of parchment paper. Add sprinkles, colored sugar or other decorations, and let dry. Then eat. Or, leave them for Santa on Christmas Eve (wink, wink).


Fudgy Center of Attention

Oatmeal Walnut Fudge Cookies

just go nuts

If you’re a fan of oatmeal cookies, you’ll probably go cuckoo for these. If you’re a fan of walnuts (here, lightly toasted, pulverized and mixed into the dough), you’ll probably go nuts. And if you’re a fan of chocolate fudge, well, these cookies will probably make you flip out from happiness.

Because seriously, what’s not to like about a dollop of gooey fudge on top of a chewy, nutty cookie?

Nothing, that’s what.

Oatmeal Walnut Fudge Cookies
12 oz of shelled walnuts
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of brown sugar
½ cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
3 cup of rolled oats
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips

Heat your oven to 350º.

Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until toasted. Grind them in a food processor until they’re about the size of mini chocolate chips. Remove all but 1/4 cup from the food processor and process until fine.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, vanilla and maple syrup. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined. Stir in the oats and larger walnut pieces.

In a small sauce pan, heat the condensed milk and chocolate chips over medium-low heat until chips are completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Keep on a low heat.

Drop small rounds of the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the center to form a nest, and then spoon a teaspoonful of the chocolate mixture in the middle. Sprinkle each with the fine ground walnuts. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then place a cooling rack. Then eat.


What The Fluff?! Cookies

WTF cookies

holy $#%&

What the F#@$ is in these?!

Yep. That’s pretty much the response from everyone who’s tried these cookies. I think that’s pretty accurate considering they have some unusual ingredients. Originally based on a Momofuku Milk Bar recipe (that famous bakery in NYC known for putting weird things like breakfast cereal into their cookies), I changed it up by replacing mini marshmallows with Fluff.

What’s Fluff, you ask?

It’s that gooey, marshmallow-y concoction that got it’s start in Union Square, Somerville (just a stone’s throw from where I now live) almost 100 years ago. In fact, the annual Fluff Festival was this past weekend. Nowadays, most people use it to make fudge or frosting or a Fluffernutter sandwich. Unlike regular marshmallows, Fluff is vegetarian friendly. And when mixed into cookie dough, it bakes up all ooey-gooey-wonderful, resulting in cookies that are both crispy and chewy. And 100% irresistible.

WTF Cookies (aka Cornflake & Fluff Cookies)
1 ½ cups of flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (2 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon of vanilla
3 cups of cornflakes
½ cup of milk chocolate chips
½ cup of peanut butter chips
3/4 of a 7.5 oz jar of Marshmallow Fluff

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat for about 4 minutes, scraping down the side as needed. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined. Beat in the cornflakes a little at a time, and then stir in the chips and the Fluff. Cover and chill the dough for at least 3 hours, or overnight. It’s very important you do not skip this step. The dough needs to firm up before baking.

WTF cookies bowl

stirring in the magic ingredient

Heat your oven to 375º.

Roll golf ball-sized balls of dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet a few inches apart. Pay attention to this too, as these cookies spread a lot. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies have flattened and the edges are browned. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, and then enjoy.


Muffin Topped

chocolate banana bacon mini muffins

a complete breakfast!

Remember those breakfast cereal commercials from the 80s? Anyone who sat around in their pajamas in the wee hours of Saturday morning should know what I’m talking about. The announcer would always say: Part of a complete breakfast! And they they’d cut to a plate of toast and some random fruit next to the bowl of Frosted Flakes or Trix, as if eating bread and real fruit made the cereal better for you.

That story doesn’t really have anything to do with these mini muffins, because they don’t have cereal (although watch out of a future recipe that does). But they could be considered a complete breakfast. You’ve got your bananas, always a morning-time staple. You’ve got everyone’s favorite breakfast meat, bacon. And you’ve got chocolate for good measure. (Also cinnamon for that cozy kick.)

But here’s the real question:

Are these breakfast muffins masquerading as decadent little treats, or decadent little treats pretending to be — and doing a darn good job of it — breakfast food? I’ll let you decide.

Chocolate Banana Bacon Mini Muffins
2 ½ cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips
6 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled
Maple Sugar Camp Mix

Heat your oven to 400º.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the mashed bananas, and then stir in the chocolate chips and crumbled bacon. (Or: If you want non-bacon eaters to enjoy them, divide the batter in half and only put bacon in some of it.)

Lightly grease a mini muffin pan and then spoon batter 3/4 of the way into each cup. Sprinkle each with Maple Sugar Camp Mix, and then bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool completely in the muffin pan. Then remove muffins and enjoy.


Crumby Scrambled Eggs

migas, tex-mex scrambled eggs

waiter, there’s a tortilla in my egg

Now, don’t go thinking that I’m putting my egg-making skills down today. Because I’m not. It’s crumby, not crummy. Crumby as in crumbs. Crumby as in, “Oh, these fried tortilla crumbs certainly add a lot of texture and flavor to these scrambled eggs.”

What? You’ve never mixed fried tortillas into your scrambled eggs? Then you, my friend, have never had migas, a popular breakfast dish found throughout Texas. Migas translates to crumbs (see!) and the crumbs give the eggs a crunchy texture. You can by all means take the lazy way out and use store-bought tortilla chips. But where is the fun in that? Wouldn’t you rather gently fry your own corn tortilla strips in a nice hot skillet? Then you can season them up with anything you like. There’s nothing crummy about that whatsoever.

Migas, aka Tex-Mex Scrambled Eggs
For the fried tortillas strips:
6 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Sea salt

For the eggs:
½ yellow onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced
4 eggs
2 tablespoons of milk
1/4 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 plum tomato, diced
Jalapeno (or habanero) hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Salsa (optional)

Cut the corn tortilla into ½ inch strips. Add the oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat on medium-high. Working in batches, add the tortilla strips and lightly fry on both sides until golden brown. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and lightly season with sea salt.

Drain some of the oil from the skillet, lower the heat to medium-low and add the onions and jalapeno. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and milk, and season to taste salt and pepper plus a few dashes of hot sauce. Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, constantly stirring, until the eggs are the consistency you prefer. Stir in the cheese, and then about 6 strips of torn fried tortillas, and cook for 1 minute until the cheese is melted and the tortilla pieces are slightly soft. Off the heat, stir in the diced tomato. Plate the eggs, garnish with extra tortilla strips and salsa, and eat.