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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Speaking of chocolate chips … I’m excited to share our family’s new favourite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe.  My family has quite literally fallen in love with these.

Last year, while visiting my husbands parents in Florida, one of their good friends Marian, baked up a batch of cookies to welcome our kids to the sunny south. Well, while the kids were busy swimming at the pool, this kid, was quite happily sitting in a lounge chair, devouring their cookies.

They ended up being so delicious that I couldn’t help but mention to my mother-in-law before I left, how I’d just love to have the recipe.  And sure enough, when she returned in the Spring,  she presented me with a hand-written card from Marian for her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and I’ve been baking them almost every other week, since then.

They’re a combination of oatmeal and milk chocolate chips that are crusty on the outside but are surprisingly thick and chewy on the inside.

Besides being delicious, satisfying and easy to make, the dough is frozen and then sliced and baked. This is the perfect way to have something sweet on hand that can be baked up in just 10-12 minutes. Roll the dough in waxed paper, store it in the freezer and they’re readily on hand for those days when you need something in a hurry.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Marian Gabel

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup shortening

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 tablespoon of hot water

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

500 grams milk chocolate chips

Coarsely chopped almonds (optional)

Method

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the rolled oats and flour and set aside.

2.In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugars together until pale and creamy (approximately 5 minutes).

3. Add eggs, one at a time, creaming well after each addition, followed by the vanilla and baking soda in hot water.

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

5. Divide dough into 2 halves. Roll each half in waxed paper and store in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour.

6. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the rolls of frozen dough from the freezer.  Slice the dough into 1/4  inch discs and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just slightly brown.

Notes

If the dough has been frozen for a while, it may be necessary to wait 5-10 minutes before slicing.

These cookies are best when not over-baked.  I take them out when they still look slightly under-baked to ensure a chewy centre.

I found with this recipe, that it’s important to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.   This is a step that I always used to skip, but now understand how it helps to keep baked goods from over-browning on the bottom, while waiting for them to get perfectly baked in the centre. Parchment paper can usually be found in your local grocery store next to the waxed paper and plastic wrap.

I typically like to use butter in my cookie recipes but decided to follow the recipe and use shortening – the results speak for themselves – everyone loves them. I haven’t tried  a butter substitution yet, but I’m curious to know how they would turn out.

I use Callebaut milk chocolate chips for this recipe but any chocolate chip will work.

I usually double the recipe, so I have extra rolls on hand.

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I stumbled upon these cookies, quite by accident.  I was all set to make Ooey,

Gooey, Chewy, S’more Bars until I discovered that I was out of graham cracker

crumbs.  All I had were oreo cookie crumbs.  Hhhm. After a second look at the

ingredient list, I couldn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t work

with oreo cookie crumbs instead of graham cracker crumbs.  Maybe they

would make chocolate S’mores. Sounded good to me and good they

were.  Everyone went crazy for them!  My family downed these magical treats

faster than you can say chocolate S’more bars. They are exactly like the name

implies … they’re ooey, they’re gooey, they’re chewy, they’re chocolate S’more

bars and they’re really delicious. 

With the snow starting to fly here in Ontario, we’re always looking for heart

warming foods to serve our friends and families. Served slightly warm and

gooey, with steaming cups of hot chocolate, these bars can really warm things

up after a game of sport.   Whether it’s hockey, tobogganing, ice skating or a

giant family snowball fight, take the mitts off this winter and serve up a batch

of these satisfying bars.  You’ll be amazed at just how fast they’ll disappear. 

Ooey, Gooey, Chocolate S’more Bars

Prep:  25 minutes

Oven:  350° F

Bake:  35 minutes

Ingredients

3/4 cup (175 ml) butter, softened

1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla

 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) quick cook rolled oats

1 cup (250 ml) oreo cookie crumbs

2 1/2 (625 ml) cups tiny marshmallows

1 /2 cup (125 ml) milk chocolate chunks for baking

1/2 cup (125 ml) good white chocolate chunks for baking

Method

Preheat oven to 350 ° F ( 180°C). 

Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the pan edges.  If

you’re having trouble getting the aluminum foil to line a pan smoothly you can

try flipping the pan over and shaping the foil around the outside of the pan,

extending it about 1 inch past all the edges.  Remove the oil, flip the pan

upright, and pop the foil lining in the pan.

Grease foil well, paying careful attention to the corners and set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2 minutes. 

Beat in brown sugar until combined, scraping the bowl occasionally. 

Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. 

Beat in flour. Stir in oats and oreo cookie crumbs.

Reserve 1 cup (250 ml) of the oat mixture.  Spread remaining oat mixture into

prepared pan.

TIP Use the back of a large spoon dipped in hot water to spread the oat

mixture in the pan.  It’s near impossible to spread any other way.

Bake in the preheated oven about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over the warm crust.  Top with chocolate

chunks. 

Dot remaining oat mixture over chocolate and marshmallows. Bake bars

about 20 minutes more or until top is lightly browned. Cool completely in pan

on a wire rack.  Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. 

Carefully peel back the foil while the cookies are still warm.  

Cut into bars.  We cut 12 supersized bars ~ but you can also get 24 regular

sized bars. Delicious!

Place bars in an airtight container; cover.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine of Christmas Cookies December 2009.

Be sure to let me know if you give these a try. I’d love to hear from you.

This Sweet Wife

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For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed these crisp and chewy Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats.  Growing up, my mom made them for me and I’ve been making them for my family for over 20 years.  They’re one of those treats that conjure up memories for childhood and fun.  They’re SO not serious or sophisticated, just simple and yummy. They can be dressed up or served simple.  Around here I usually keep them plain because that’s the way we love ’em.  They always go over well whenever there’s a crowd of teenagers around and my teenagers still enjoy them after all these years.

A pan doesn’t last long because they pass as a quick on-the-go breakfast … a mid-morning snack … a meal replacement … an afternoon snack … a meal replacement … no just kidding … I draw the line at having them for supper … though they are made from rice, aren’t they?  Hhmm.

We like our treats ooey and gooey, and made only with real butter. My kids have always asked me why my marshmallow treats always taste better than others they’ve tried and seriously, the only thing I can think of, is that I use real butter.  Other than that, I don’t really do anything extra special. Here’s the long version of making these simple treats.  They’re supposed to be one of the fastest cookies you can make but it’s probably my longest blog.  Just wanted to make sure you got them just right so I’ve included a pictorial! Hope you like it.

Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats

1/2 cup (25 ml)  butter

1 teaspoon (5 ml) real vanilla

12 cups Rice Krispies cereal

16 cups (2 Qts.) marshmallows, either large or small will work.

This recipe fills a deep 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and makes 20 large squares.

The first thing you want to do is melt your butter in a large pot.  Keep your heat adjusted to medium-low and stir.  You don’t want to burn all of that gorgeous butter~!  Once your butter is melted, add your vanilla.

Than add your marshmallows. Stir the marshmallows into the melted butter to coat them. At this point you’ll want to turn your heat down a little just to make sure your marshmallows don’t burn.

Keep stirring.

… and stirring …… and just for fun …  stir some more. See how the marshmallows are melting down.  We’re almost there.

Almost …

Hmmmm … okay, it’s really getting gooey now.

Look at that, we made it.  There’s only little bits of marshmallow left to melt so remove your pan from the heat and give it a couple more stirs and you’re ready for the Rice Krispies cereal.

Start dropping in your Rice Krispies cereal and stir. You’ve got to get them all coated with the marshmallow goo.

Stir, stir, and stir some more until they’re all coated. Believe me, it will be worth it. See all the lovely marshmallow goo covering the cereal.  The last thing you want is a dry batch of these because they become very hard and when you need to get out the butcher knife and heave with all your might on the handle to cut them, you know you’ve added too many krispies. Now go ahead and scoop out all that sweetness into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish. Coat your hands and fingers in a light film of butter and pat them down gently until they’re nice and even. A deep 9″ x 13″ pan holds a lot but I have 3 teenagers and a working man around the house … I need this size and then some.

So here they are, ooey, gooey Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats.  They can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container … if they last that long.

Good luck & enjoy!  I hope you stop by again soon!

This Sweet Wife

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Farmland Flax Cookies

These cookies are perfect for when a packed lunch is in order and around here,

that’s actually more often than you’d think.   These cookies combine oatmeal,

which of course is a go-to ingredient for a lot of cookies, with a handful of

ground flax seeds.  It’s an interesting combination because the flax is

crunchy and the oatmeal is chewy.  You end up with a surprising nutty

flavour.  I knew I had a winner on my hands when my husband called from

the combine just to tell me how much he loved these cookies.  Let’s just say, 

that doesn’t happen often. 

I’d love to know if you have a favourite way to serve up flax in your diet?

Why eat flax?

 

 

Should I eat flax whole or grinding it up?

 

Want to add flax to your daily diet?

 

 

 

Canadian grown.

Adapted from Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission

Farmland Flax Cookies

1/2 cup (125 ml) butter

1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar

1/3 cup (75 ml) granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (175 ml) quick-cooking rolled oats

2/3 cup (150 ml) ground flax seeds

1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda

Method

1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

2. In a bowl, beat together butter, brown and granulated sugars until light and

fluffy (approximately 8 minutes); beat in egg and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, ground flax seeds and baking

soda; stir into butter mixture to make a soft dough.  Wrap the dough in plastic

wrap and refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes.   

4. Drop by level tablespoonfuls (15 ml), 2 inches (5 cm) apart, on prepared

baking sheets.  Bake in a 350 ° F (180 °C) oven for about 8-10 minutes.   

5. Let the cookies cool in the pan, for 2 minutes before you transfer them to

the cooling rack directly.  Use a spatula with a thin, flexible blade to make the

transfer after 2-3 minutes. 

These cookies make a great addition to packed lunches for work,

school, picnics, tractors, combines or any other type of farm equipment. They

can be made ahead and layered between waxed paper in an airtight container

and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. (I actually liked them better

the second day). They can also be frozen the same way for up to 1 month.

Makes 40 cookies. Enjoy and stay healthy!

 Love, This Sweet Wife

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Shortbread always reminds me of Christmas because it’s often when I enjoy an

indulgence of its scrumptious buttery goodness.  Dressed up with cocoa

powder, cherries, chocolate, toffee or zest, these little melt in your mouth

wonders are always delicious.  Whether you whip, roll, slice or spritz it,

shortbread is incredibly versatile and offers up an array of applications for

dressing up a cookie tray.  This variation includes poppy seeds for a crunchy

texture and lemon zest for a burst of lemony flavour that is very clean and

refreshing.  I’ve been making these for a couple of years now and though I

usually make them at Christmas, they really do work at any other time of the

year. As a snack or served with tea to unexpected guests, these just

popped out of the freezer treats, are always in season.

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread

1 cup (250 ml) butter, softened

I cup (250 ml) confectioners (icing) sugar

2 tablespoons (25 ml) poppy seeds

2 tablespoons (25 ml) grated lemon rind

2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (25 ml) granulated sugar

In a bowl, cream together butter and confectioners sugar until fluffy; stir in

poppy seeds and lemon rind.  Gradually blend in flour. 

Gather dough into a ball and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes or divide in

half and flatten into 2 discs if you’re in a hurry.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness (5 mm);

cut into 2-inch (5 cm) rounds and place directly onto an ungreased baking

sheet or on a sheet of parchment.

Bake at 300° F (150°C) oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until very faintly brown

around the edges. Let cookies cool on a rack. These cookies can be stored in

an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen  for up to 1 month.)  Makes

about 40 cookies.

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These cookies are delicate, crispy, and have a warm, rich taste that’s kind of

exotic. They are typically made with ground walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, or

pecans, but I recently had to make them for a school meeting.  Since schools

are typically nut free zones, I had to come up with something that would work

just as well as nuts, at binding the ingredients together, yet still achieve the

“lacey” appearance they were supposed to have. 

Minced apricots not only achieved the appearance I was looking for, it added

a whole new dimension of flavour.  I paired the apricots with lemon zest to

heighten the taste of the citrus and spice combination, and dipped the edges in

a melted orange chocolate.  The results were outstanding.  These cookies are

nothing short of scrumptious and are ready in no time at all. If you’re looking

to impress, trust me, these cookies will get the job done.

 

Apricot Lace Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/4 cup finely chopped apricots

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Method

1. Preheat oven to 325 ° F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  When it foams,

add the brown sugar, stirring for 1 minute.  Stir in the molasses and corn

syrup, then the oats, apricots, flour, salt and vanilla.  Stir until well blended. 

3. Remove pan from the heat and drop by 1 level teaspoon onto parchment

lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. ( I use a teaspoon measuring spoon

and not a touch more or the cookies will get too big and start to run into each

other).

4. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown and

the edges are just starting to go slightly dark.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 4 to 5 minutes, or until

slightly firm.  With a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. 

6. Melt 5 oz. of chocolate ( dark, milk, white, personally I like the combination

of using dark orange chocolate – it’s goes really well with the fruit spice

combination).  When the cookies have cooled dip them gently in the melted

chocolate, coating  just around the edges.  Lay on parchment or waxed paper

to dry (10 -15 minutes). Instead of dipping the edges in chocolate, you could

just as easily drizzle it back and forth across the cookies making a lovely

pattern.  Go crazy … pretend you’re Picasso!  Makes about 48 cookies.

These cookies are also a great addition to a Christmas cookie tray because

they look so impressive.  Served as a light, after-dinner dessert, with tea or

coffee, they are a nice finish to a delicious meal, or perfect for sharing with

friends anytime of the day.  In fact, I’d like to share mine with you.

Love,

This Sweet Wife

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For the record, I am a self-confessed cookie monster.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE,

cookies. It is absolutely amazing how many cookies I can manage to eat

without even thinking about it. It actually scares me. In fact, I  just might have

a condition, for which I’m not sure there is any known cure. Oh well, I guess

I’m just going to have to live with it.

For years, I have drooled over many a picture of these lovely cookies,

knowing that they would be delicious, but just never getting around to making

them.  Finally I did … or I have, just made these cookies, and they are just as

wonderful, as I’ve always imagined them to be.  The sugar cookie dough is light

and flaky (reminds me of pie crust), the filling is fruity and delicious, not

overly sweet, and the delicate sprinkling of icing sugar on the top, is like a

little kiss of sweetness, that blends all the flavours together in your mouth. 

Delicious!

The thing about these cookies, is that they seem like a little more work than,

let’s say, a drop cookie, because you have to cut out the shapes and spread

the jam and put the two pieces together. Whatever extra work you’ve ever

thought there was to making these cookies, put it aside, they are so worth it.

In fact, I’ve just realized what they remind me of … pie … flaky crust on the top

and bottom, with a luscious fruit filling in the middle. These cookies are often

referred to as “sandwich cookie”, but I think they’re more like a pie than a

sandwich, so I’m calling them “pie cookies”.   Just like pie, these cookies hold a

sweet, fruity filling that can be just about any flavour you can come up with. 

I’m imagining strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, fig, lemon curd, marmalade,

peach.  I could go on and on, but I won’t spoil all the fun.  Take a walk on the

wild side, and see what you come up with.

Apricot Pie Cookies

2 cups (10 oz/315 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (8 oz/250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (3 oz/90 g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar, plus extra for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)

1/2 teaspoon extract (essence) of your choice (almond, orange, vanilla)

6 tablespoons seedless jam of your choice (I used apricot)

 Method

1.  In a large bowl, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar.  Beat on

medium speed until smooth. Add the vanilla and extracts and beat on low

speed until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the dough

comes together in a large clump (this should take about 30 seconds to a

minute).

2. Press the dough together into a ball, then divide it in half.  Gather each half

into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter, wrap in

plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 40 minutes.

3. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 325 ° F (165 ° C).

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment (baking) paper.

4. Remove 1 disk of dough from the refrigerator.  Lightly dust a work surface

and a rolling-pin with flour.  Roll out the dough 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.  Slide a

thin metal spatula under the dough to loosen it from the rolling surface.  Using

a 2 1/2 -inch (6 cm) round-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Using a 1-

inch (2.5 cm) flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the center of half of the

cookies.  Place the larger circles  1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart on a prepared

baking sheet.  Repeat with the second disk of dough, what you just did with the

first. Press the dough scraps together and repeat the rolling and cutting

process.

5. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the edges are light brown, 12-15

minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer

them to wire racks to cool completely.

6. Leaving a 1/4 inch (6 mm) border uncovered, spread about 1 teaspoon of

the jam over each cookie without a cutout.  If my jam is thick I like to heat it

up with a tablespoon of water or lemon juice to make it easier to spread. Using

a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cutout cookies with confectioners’ sugar.  Place the

cutout cookies on top of the jam-covered cookies. (You may notice I got a

little ahead of myself and put the tops on my cookies before I dusted them

with icing sugar — hence I have icing sugar on my jam — doesn’t bother me and

I hope it doesn’t bother you. Like I always say, there are no rules here — feel

free to put your own twist on things!)

7. You can make some really miniature pie cookies by placing a little dollop of

jam on a miniature cutout and pressing it onto another miniature cutout so

that you have little miniature pie cookies.  Dust the miniature pie cookies with

confectioners’ sugar.  Sneak them in-between eating the regular size cookies

because you’ll feel only half as guilty.

There are no rules when it comes to these cookies. They can be adapted to suit

any occasion. The dough can be cut into any shape.  If it’s late October, use

pumpkins cutters with a smaller pumpkin cutout and fill it with apricot jam. 

For Valentines Day, use heart cutouts filled with strawberry or raspberry jam

or use cutters with ruffled edges like I did.  Change the filling to suit the

occasion or your tastes. All cookies can be stored in an airtight container at

room temperature for up to 4 days. Makes 16 cookies and 16 miniature 

cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking

Well, I’ve really got to go now, I have a lot of — uhmm, cookies to eat.

This Sweet Wife

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