I've been busy baking up a storm this week. Here's the list of what I've been baking up.
"This is what chocolate should taste like in my mouth," said a co-worker the first time I made these Chocolate Drop Cookies. The sour cream really makes these moist and yummy. TIPS: I add white chocolate chips and cranberries, which adds a whole other yum factor. I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa and it's simply divine.
The Pioneer Woman has some of the best recipes in the country... (pun intended). If I'm looking for a special recipe that's within my skill level and for which I won't have to buy a bunch of special, expensive ingredients, I know her site will have it. PW recently featured Cleta Bailey's Toffee Squares and these are super simple and super yummy. Everyone at work liked these bites of goodness. TIPS: I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar and it deepened the toffee effect of the crunchy cookie underneath the chocolate-pecan topping. I also softened the chocolate chips in the microwave and then spread them over the cookie. PW's tip to cut these cookies with a pizza cutter works great.
Nutella--smooth and creamy hazelnut chocolate spread, thou art my one weakness. These Hazelnut-Nutella Sandwich Cookies are soooo good. I didn't want just another chocolate cookie, which is why I chose to make these. The cookie is like a pecan sandie but with hazelnuts and Nutella glues two of them together. TIPS: Only mix half the flour with all the nuts, and after adding the mixture and mixing it in, then add flour a little at a time until the dough is the right consistency for rolling out. I used all the flour and ended up having to add more butter to dough (darn!). The dough really does need to be chilled before rolling out, and it also helps to chill the counter top with water and ice in a large ziplock bag.
Cherry Winks are a blast from the past. My mom always made these cookies at Christmas. This recipe here, is quite similar to my mom's familiar recipe. This cookie is a nice change from all the chocolate cookies on the plate.
Lemon cookies are sooo good! I made these Lemon Tea Cookies. They're a nice palate cleanser from all the sweetness. TIPS: I used the glaze from this recipe and instead of buttermilk, I curdled regular milk with lemon juice and zest--oh yum!
Shortbread cookies are insanely delicious and when combined with a fruit preserve, well, watch out. Split Second Cookies are a simple and quick version of a Thumbprint Cookie with your choice of preserves. My brother, Chris, used to make these each Christmas. He would plan all year long which fruit preserves he was going to use. He would even convince my mom to bottle different fruit jams just for Chris's Split Second Cookies. TIPS: I used homemade apricot and blackberry preserves made by mom and sister. I heat the preserve in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla is seriously good in these cookies.
I love to bake. My brother, Chris, and I took over the cookie baking from my mom for several years. We had so much fun poring through cookbooks to figure out the flavors we wanted, and then making our shopping list. I loved cooking with my brother.
Sorry no photos tonight, it's too late. I'll post some photos tomorrow.