Yearly Archives: 2011

Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Breakfast has a tendency to be my nemesis.  I don’t enjoy getting up at 6 am, and I like even less using the stove or oven at 6 am.  I’m pretty sure it’s against my religion.  However, being the dutiful mother that I am (or, more accurately, knowing that my skinny, scrawny little kids, all three of whom are experiencing pubescent growth, will choose to starve rather than feed themselves a bowl of cereal) I make breakfast every school day.

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Handmade Cranberry Lime Sodas

For the most part, I have kept this blog about cookies, and nothing else.  Today, however, I thought I would share a recipe or two that I have made for the holiday season.  I started making these homemade lime sodas a few months ago, and just love them.  For Christmas gifts, I decided to add some fresh cranberry to the lime and see how it tasted.  It turned out pretty delicious, and well… just pretty too.

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Bite-Size Christmas Cookies

I love playing Bonko.  It’s such a good excuse to get out of the house and hang out with my girlfriends one night a month.  I have been in this particular group for over 11 years now, if that tells you anything.

This year, I volunteered to host in December, the one month a year that we have a pot luck dinner with our dice game.  I made a glazed ham, some really yummy stuffed mushrooms*, and a few of my favorite cookies.  The dinner and the evening were both wonderful, and I even came away with a prize.

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Christmas Printables, part 2

I told you it was an addiction.  In my defense, I think my time wasted spent on Picnik is paying off… this batch of printables is better than the last.  But maybe I’m baised.

Once again, help yourself.  Click to get the full view, then right click and hit “save image as…”  Enjoy!

Gingerbread Men

A classic crispy gingerbread cookie with royal icing.

Source: Martha Stewart, the Queen of the classics.

Yield: 2-3 dozen

Is there anything more Christmasey than Gingerbread men?  I think not.  My daughter, who is 10, is at an age where she is very interested in helping me bake, and she is capable and helpful in the kitchen.  Plus, she is very crafty and really wanted to make a gingerbread house this year.  I had planned on making gingerbread men anyway, so I figured we could kill two birds with one stone.  

I ended up feeling awesome about the gingerbread men, all cute in a classic sort of way.  And, I ended up feeling, well, *ahem* something different than awesome about the gingerbread house.  But more on that later.

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Christmas Printables

I have a confession to make.  Baking cookies is not my only obsession.  In fact, I have several, and some of them change with the tides.  Right now, my new obsession is creating cool photo collages and word art on Picasa and Picnik.  I’m slowly getting better at it.  So, in the spirit of sharing my hobbies, I will share some of my recently created Christmas printables here.  Feel free to print them to your hearts delight.  Just click on the image to get the full-size version, then right click, choose “save image as…” and they are all yours.

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

A simple recipe for a pistachio cookie with dried cranberries, perfect for Christmas.

Source:  The Girl Who Ate Everything, a great blog from a self-proclaimed foodie.

Yield:  About 4 dozen smallish cookies.

I did something for this cookie that I have never done before in my entire life.  I actually bought and paid for a packet of dry sugar cookie mix.  I was kind of embarrassed.  I was walking around the store, hiding the cookie mix behind a box of light bulbs, hoping no one would see me with it.  I felt like I was buying porn or something.

If we are keeping count, there are actually a couple more firsts for me, courtesy of this cookie recipe.  Namely, buying shelled pistachios ($8 a can, but completely delicious) and buying pistachio flavored instant pudding mix, which I have never had any use for.  It’s been a completely foreign experience, all the way around. Continue reading “Cranberry Pistachio Cookies” »

Peppermint Joe-Joe’s

A recipe for a crumbly chocolate cookie sandwiched with peppermint filling.

Source: Craving Chronicles, one of my favorite recipe sources.

Yield: About one dozen completed sandwiches.

I am a sucker for peppermint.  When we were first married, my husband and I lived on campus at a University known for it’s agriculture program.  They have an amazing creamery, and I ate lunch there as often as I could afford it.  My favorite flavor of their amazing ice cream is, you guessed it, peppermint.  The downside is that you can only get it around Christmas.  The further downside is that I no longer live in that city, and a two hour drive for ice cream seems excessive.  Right? 

These days, when I need a peppermint fix, I go to a local restaurant that has a very tasty, huge, and messy ice cream sundae.  I always get peppermint ice cream with hot fudge.  It is heaven, and I mean that most sincerely.  Eating peppermint and chocolate together is practically a spiritual experience.  

I used Pinterest as the new Google, and searched for Christmas cookie recipes.  There were an amazingly huge number of them, in the thousands.  And, because it is Pinterest, all of them are so pretty!  This chocolate-and-peppermint concoction caught my eye immediately, obviously!  It is the first in this year’s series of fun Christmas cookies, and it is no surprise at all that it came from Craving Chronicles.  

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Christmas Cookies

When you think of holiday desserts, you think of candies and pies, and most of all, cookies, right?  I do.  My sister-in-law and I get together before Thanksgiving every year, and make lots and lots of holiday desserts, and freeze them.  We generally make pumpkin roll, graham cracker pudding (an usual but delicious family recipe that bears absolutely no resemblance to pudding at all), toffee, some kind of candy, and 3 or 4 different kinds of cookies.  It’s a marathon, but the goodies last through the holidays and often well into January!

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Brown Sugar Cookies

This sugar cookie recipe might be different than what you expect.  Once you’ve tasted brown sugar cookies, you’ll never want to make anything else!
sugar cookie recipe

Source:  Sweet Peas Kitchen.  It’s the first recipe I’ve made from this blog, but I will definitely be back!

Yield: about 4 dozen

It snowed today.  Yesterday, it was warm and sunny, nearly 60 degrees in November.  I actually used the air conditioning in my car yesterday.  This morning, we woke up to 6 inches of fresh snow, the first of the season.  My snow-loving daughter was thrilled.  I was NOT.

On the bright side, though, cold snowy weather makes me want to stay in and bake.  I found this recipe not too long ago, and I’ve been wanting to try it.  The whole idea of a simple brown sugar cookie is intriguing to me.   Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find an un-frosted cookie appealing.  It’s just easier and quicker without frosting.brown sugar cookies

I got my daughter to help me with the baking, which is always fun.  She was sweetly singing along with the radio, and happily rolling cookie dough.  We had a little discussion about what happens to butter when you cook it (namely, that it turns brown) and we watched as the butter in our saucepan browned.  When she tasted the dough, she described it as “buttery.”  Nothing wrong with that!

The cookie is quite simple, but there are a couple unusual steps to watch out for.  The first step is to brown your butter on the stove, not something I’ve ever done for a cookie recipe before.  Then you put it in the mixer bowl, with the rest of the butter cut into little chunks.  I hear the best way to melt butter is with more melted butter, after all.

The other weird thing about this recipe is that it calls for no sugar, except a little to roll the dough-balls in.  The dough gets all it’s sugar in the dark brown variety.  And yes, I think you can make this with regular light brown sugar, but honestly, if you are taking the time to add flavor to your butter, just splurge on the dark brown sugar.  It is so flavorful and molasses-y.  

sugar cookie recipe

Once your dough comes together, you roll it into balls, roll the balls into a sugar-and-brown-sugar mixture, and bake for about 12 minutes.  Mine came out perfectly with 12 minutes of baking, and they cooled slightly crispy, but still chewy in the middle.  You’ll definitely want to get these into a container with a tight lid right away, before they get too crunchy for comfort.

The real surprise for me was how amazing these taste.  They look so simple, so unassuming, but they are amazingly flavorful.  I seriously love these.  The flavor reminds me of the nutty crust my mom puts in her Peach Cobbler (my favorite dessert of all time).  My picky husband also loves them, and asked me to make them for Christmas, which I’m taking as a compliment!  I’m sure your family will love them too!

4.8 from 4 reviews
Brown Sugar Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A recipe for a simple, crispy brown sugar and browned butter cookie.
Serves: 4 dozen
  • 14 T. (1¾ sticks) butter
  • 1¾ cup dark brown sugar, + 2 T. for rolling
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups + 2 T. flour
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T. sugar for rolling
  1. In a skillet on the stove, melt 10 T. butter and heat until brown, stirring constantly.
  2. Place melted butter into mixer bowl, and add remaining 4 T. butter, cut into small chunks. Stir to melt butter chunks, and allow to cool.
  3. Add salt and brown sugar, mix well. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Add soda, baking powder, and flour. Mix just until incorporated. It should form a heavy dough.
  6. In a separate shallow dish, mix 2 T. each of sugar and brown sugar for rolling.
  7. Form dough into small balls, and roll in sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container.

If you enjoy this recipe, you may also enjoy:

Slap Yo Momma Good Praline Cookies from the Girl Who Ate Everything
Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod
Lemon Sugar Cookies from Craving Chronicles
Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Brown Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Gingersnaps

A recipe for a soft and chewy ginger cookie with pumpkin puree.

Source: Maria at Two Peas and Their Pod, a JFC favorite.

Yield: 2-3 dozen

I’m kind of a summer person.  I like fall okay, but the main problem with it is that it reminds me that winter is coming.  And I hate winter.  Sometimes, though, fall is all warm and sunny, which I really like because it feels like an extended summer rather than a pre-winter.  Either way, one of my favorite things about fall is the cooking.  When it gets cool, I start making soups and chili, I put apples and pumpkin in all my breakfast recipes, I can applesauce, and I get to start making ginger cookies.  Mmmmm.

I look at the Two Peas and Their Pod site regularly. There are always lots of fun seasonal recipes there, and I almost always find something I can’t live without.  This week was no exception.  I saw the Pumpkin Gingersnap recipe, and thought to myself, “Just give me a reason.”  The reason wasn’t long in coming.  I hosted a jewelry open house last night, and these cookies were just the refreshment item I needed.  (I also make a second batch of cookies, the Peanut Butter Stuffed, which were also a hit, with me more than anyone!)

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Oatmeal Cream Pies

A recipe for chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched with a vanilla marshmallow frosting.

Source:  Craving Chronicles, a blog where I’ve found several recipes I want to try.

Yield: about 2 dozen pies

**** UPDATE!!  The updated version of this post can be found HERE!! ****

Do you ever buy those Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies?  I do.  I try not to, because I have a tendency to eat so many of them, but I do.  There’s something about a plain oatmeal cookie that is just divine.  There’s a local bread company here that is heaven to a carb-oholic.  I sometimes buy their plain oatmeal cookies.  They are simple, classic, wonderfully tasty… and humongous.  When I came across Theresa’s Oatmeal Cream Pie recipe, I remembered these two favorites and knew I could not go wrong adding this one to my recipe book.

The cookie recipe itself is nothing surprising, your basic sugar, flour, eggs, kind of thing.   I had my first vision of the drool-on-yourself tastiness when I was *ahem* poison-checking the dough.  It tasted much better than I imagined it would.  YUM.  I used my cookie scoop to make them all the same size, which is especially nice when you are going to sandwich the cookies together.  Once the first pan-full was in the oven, I got right to work on the filling, because I wanted to taste these babies as soon as humanly possible.

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Apricot Nut Cookies

A recipe for a cookie with apricots and nuts, covered with almond icing.

Source:  Giada de Laurentiis and Food Network… always an amazing source.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

It’s been a while since I made a fruity cookie, and this one, frankly, hit the spot.  Although, I have to admit, these did not turn out nearly as beautiful as Giada’s did, but that’s not her fault.  I don’t think she frosted hers in this lovely shade of blue, either.  I guess that’s what makes the two of us different.  Right?

I was excited to have a reason to make a cookie with nuts in it.  These use both slivered almonds and pine nuts.  It has been a long time since I have eaten pine nuts.  They are certainly not the cheapest nut in the store, but worth every penny for that wonderful piney flavor!

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Black Pepper Cookies

A recipe for an unusual chocolate cookie with black pepper.

Source:  I got the recipe from my sister, Emily Roper, who claims she got it from “who knows?”.

Yield: almost 2 dozen

Just last night I told my husband that I had had too much chocolate.  My recent baking adventures have included the Chocolate Hello Dolly Cookies, the Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and a Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake.  I’m all chocolated-out.  My husband raised his eyebrows in surprise.  I’ve never in my life felt like I was tired of chocolate.  No one could have seen it coming.

It turns out, I’m a liar.  Not on purpose, or anything, though.  Today when my sister sent me the recipe for these Chocolate Black Pepper cookies, I was intrigued.  I mean, black pepper in a cookie, I HAD to try it, right?  I looked through the ingredients and realized I had everything I needed to make them.  (Sort of.  More on that later.)  And, even though I knew it involved chocolate, a lot of chocolate, I forged ahead.

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Hello Dolly Cookies

A chocolate cookie topped with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, and coconut.

Source: Me, myself, and I.

Yield: 4-5 dozen

I’ve been wanting to try this cookie for a while now, but summer is flying by and I’m having trouble finding time to bake.  This morning, when I realized I had nothing else specific planned, I figured I had better hurry and go for it before I lose another day!

I have this recipe book of cakes, bars, muffins and such made from cake mixes and brownie mixes.  Most of them are chocolate, so you can see why it appeals to me!  One of my favorites from that book is a Hello Dolly bar.  It uses a cake mix to make a chocolate crust, then is topped with chocolate and butterscotch chips, walnuts and coconut, and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.  It’s enough sugar to put you in a diabetic coma, but you would die happy!

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Cherries Jubilee Cookies

A simple butter cookie mixed with the flavors of Cherries Jubilee.

Source: I proudly created this one myself.

Yield: about 3-4 dozen

Several years ago, we went on a cruise.  They had Cherries Jubilee on the menu one night, and I think it was really our first encounter with this well-known dessert.  My husband fell instantly in love with it, which is a rare thing for him.  I’ve thought about making it at home a few times, but I’m a little intimidated by the whole en flambé thing.  I recently decided I could make a Cherries Jubilee cookie, and feel better about the whole situation.

Cherries Jubilee itself is not that complicated.  It’s just cherries, cooked in a simple syrup and poured over vanilla ice cream.  It’s totally my husband’s kind of dessert.  (It doesn’t have nearly enough chocolate in it for my taste!)  I set about recreating the Cherries Jubilee flavor, without the alcohol or fire.

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Orange Creamsicle Cookies

A recipe for a cakey orange flavored cookie with vanilla frosting, reminiscent of the flavors in an orange creamsicle.

Source:  Myself, for the first time ever.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Testing cookies is fun, but I decided to try my hand at creating a recipe myself.  I think I did a passable job, for my first try.  To be honest, I just took another recipe and modified it a little, but I guess that’s as good a place to start as any.

I wanted a cookie that tasted like an orange creamsicle, all orangey and wonderful with a shot of vanilla creaminess on the inside.  So, naturally, I began with one of my favorite cookie ingredients ever: buttermilk.  Buttermilk makes such tasty cookies!  I followed that up with some orange extract I bought at the local supermarket.  I suppose if I was a real baker, I would use actual oranges or something, but honestly, I was worried about the acidity of the citrus fruit.  Baking cookies is like doing chemistry, after all.

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Peach Oatmeal Cookies

A recipe for a crumbly, oaty peach cookie with white chocolate and walnuts, similar to peach cobbler.  Easily substitute other fruits.

Source: Food Network, this time courtesy of Sunny Anderson.

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

I bought a bag of peaches at the grocery store this week.  I don’t know what I was expecting, after all, it is June and peaches aren’t really in season for another 2-3 months.  But I love peaches.  They are my favorite fruit.  So I broke down and bought a 2 lb. bag.  Now I don’t know what to do with them.

I discovered recently, thanks to Stat Counter, that several people found my site by searching for “fruit flavored cookies” and that got me thinking that there aren’t enough fruity cookies on this blog.  I have a tendency to be partial to chocolate.  (Can you blame me?)  So I went looking for some peach cookie recipes to try.  There were unfortunately very few available.

I did find this one from Sunny Anderson, host of Food Network’s Cooking For Real. I really like the show, and her style of cooking.  I did have some problems with the recipe, but nothing that will keep me from making it again!

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Peanut Butter Banana and Honey Cookies

An oaty peanut butter cookie with honey and banana, drizzled with a peanut butter and honey glaze.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod, one of my favorite sites for all kinds of fun recipes.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

It’s been a while since I made cookies, mostly because I wanted to eat them way more than I wanted to make them, which is never a good sign.  But today, I found myself blog surfing, and came across the Two Peas and Their Pod blog.  A friend directed me to this site a while ago, and I have really enjoyed searching it’s massive collection of great recipes.

Today, naturally, I searched primarily for cookie recipes, though not surprisingly, I came across several non-cookie recipes that I also wanted to try.  (Some of them I may have tried right now had my pantry been better supplied.)  This cookie recipe sounded fun, like something my kids might love to try.  Plus, I was fortunate enough to have 2 ripe bananas on my counter today.  My daughter was complaining about being “bored out of my mind” this afternoon, and that was the flash point for me.  We had the trifecta… a good recipe, the right ingredients on hand, and a willing child to help.

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Pumpkin Chip Cookies

A spiced pumpkin cookie full of chocolate chips.

Source: Food Network, this one courtesy of George Duran.

Yield: Around 4-5 dozen, depending on size.

I have a niece that is just a couple years younger than my daughter.  She lives about 45 minutes away, but frequently spends weekends with us.  She loves to play with my daughter, and the two of them are total BFF’s.  When they are together, there is generally a lot of giggling and silliness, typical little girl stuff.

This weekend, my daughter had been invited to a birthday party, so my niece was stuck at our house, bored.  We decided to make cookies to pass the time.  She is the only child of a single dad, so baking cookies is not something she has a lot of experience with.  She is also pretty unfamiliar with a lot of spices, so these pumpkin cookies turned out to be a great choice.

I always feel like pumpkin-based desserts are more appropriate for the last quarter of the year.  But, even though it is spring, I was really in the mood for them.  Plus, I got a can of pumpkin on clearance at the grocery store, so it was the perfect storm.

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