Tag Archives: cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Back In The Day Bakery

 
Several years ago I cleaned out my cookbook collection, getting rid of about 20 of them because my poor shelves were getting to be swayback from all the books I had. Just lately I’ve been in buying mode again and have found a few cookbooks that I’m so excited about digging into. One of those is from the popular Back In The Day Bakery based in Savannah.

It’s said that there would be a riot in the bakery if these chocolate chip cookies weren’t there everyday, so they must be good! They’re giant – about four inches in diameter – and filled with chocolate chips (the original used chocolate chunks).

This recipe rivals and is similar to my favorite (from Pillsbury) in that it’s chewy in the center with a crunchy outside. There’s also a very light sprinkle of sea salt on top before they’re baked and that adds a different flavor level to the cookie. It’s a light enough sprinkling not to be salty and complements the sweet. You can leave that off if you want and the cookies will be just as good.

Bret gave a thumbs up to these and he’s very picky about chocolate chip cookies. I gave them a thumbs up, too, which was hard to do while I was stuffing them into my mouth. Don’t forget the tall, cold glass of milk on the side.

Print
Chocolate Chip Cookies from the "Back in The Day Cookbook"

****Excellent, giant chocolate chip cookies.

Servings: 24 giant cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 C semisweet chocolate chips
  • Fleur de sel for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Move a rack to the bottom third of your oven and preheat to 350°.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt.  Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.

  4. Add the eggs and mix for no more than 1 minute - just to mix in.  Turn the speed down to low and add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and beat until just combined.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until completely and evenly incorporated.

  5. Use a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4-cup measuring cup to form the cookies and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets (about 6 per sheet).  Lightly pat down the tops of the cookies and barely sprinkle a bit of sea salt on the tops of all six cookies.  

  6. Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 15-17 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness.  Remove the cookies when they are lightly brown around the edges - they will still be light in the center.  Let the cookies cool in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a rack.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Tips and Stuff:  The original recipe calls for unbleached flour an unsalted butter, but I used regular bleached flour and salted butter because that's what I had.

Easter Jelly Bean Cookies

 
I wanted to make Jelly Bean Cookies for Easter and dug in my old standard recipes, trying to decide what to make the base cookie out of. I found this really good basic sugar cookie (not a cut-out cookie) and remembered a wonderful butter cream frosting that would go great on them. I did some jelly bean tasting (now I’m a jelly bean expert) and found Starburst jelly beans had the best flavor – sweet and just barely tart.

You probably noticed the cute green grass the jelly beans are sitting on. I found that in the middle of the Easter stuff at Target and thought it was so cute! It’s edible, but not really that tasty. If you’re wanting cute cookies, go for it! If you want awesome cookies, make the sugar cookie, frost it generously with the butter cream and put the little jelly beans on top, leaving the grass off. You could also dye some shredded coconut green and use that for grass.

Here’s a photo of the different ways I decorated the cookies – sugar cookies with frosting, sugar cookies with jelly beans and no frosting (those were cute, too), and cookies with the frosting, grass and jelly beans. Oh, and some have frosting with just jelly beans on top. I tried to make the ones with just jelly beans look like bunny feet. Awwwww.

I think my favorite are the cookies with the purple jelly beans. The flavor combinations are just perfect. Bret doesn’t like jelly beans (what?), so I made some plain and some with just frosting. These cookies are so cute and perfect to make with the kiddos for Easter, or really any time!

5 from 1 vote
Print
Easter Jelly Bean Cookies

****Terrific sugar cookie with a dreamy butter cream frosting and sweet dots of jelly beans.  Perfectly Easter!

Servings: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 C (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Frosting
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and mix until well combined.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, into the butter mixture, then add the vanilla.  Mix until combined.

  3. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Slightly flatten the cookie.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  Bake for 9-12 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.  The top will not brown.  Cool cookies on rack completely before frosting

  4. For the frosting, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl,  Add the softened butter and mix until combined and smooth.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time until the consistency you want (kind of thick).  Frost the cookies generously, then sprinkle with grass (if using) and gently press jelly beans on top into the frosting.

Recipe Notes
Tips and Stuff: Be sure and use a heaping tablespoon of dough - you want these to be larger than usual so you can decorate them. I always put cookie dough in the refrigerator between batches. If you're not going to use the frosting and want to make bunny feet, press the jelly beans gently onto the cookies before baking (4 across the top and 1 sideways on the bottom). If you'd rather use dyed coconut for the grass, it would work, too.

Dark Chocolate Sablés

 
It’s time for Christmas cookies!  These Dark Chocolate Sablés (Sah-bless) from Southern Living caught my eye earlier this year and I thought it would be a pretty cookie for the Christmas platters.  They had theirs sprinkled with sea salt, but I liked the look of the red, white and green nonpareils.

chocolate-sables1

Sablés are classic French cookies and are usually delicate and crumbly and, to be honest, can sometimes end up rather dry.  These, though, ended up wonderfully, deeply chocolate and even though they’re still shortbread textured, they’re not dry at all.  The addition of the finely chopped bittersweet chocolate to the dough and the final dip in the same melted chocolate really added that extra level of goodness.

chocolate-sables

These cookies were easy to put together and the only delay was waiting for them to freeze for thirty minutes. I did discover a way to keep the cookies round. You know the way refrigerator cookies end up kind of oblong because when you refrigerate them the bottom of the dough flattens out? Well, if you take a paper towel tube (after the towels are gone of course…) and cut it length-wise, you can slip the rolled dough into it before refrigerating. It will keep the dough nice and round for perfect cookies!

chocolate-sables-in-roll

I loved these little cookies and found that you could freeze the dough for up to a month before baking. They’ll be a nice addition to the Christmas cookie plates!

chocolate-sables2

Print
Dark Chocolate Sablés

****Terrific and very very chocolaty!   Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 C salted butter , softened
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 scant tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/2, 60 % cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars (they come in 4 oz. bars)
  • Decorations for the dipped cookies (sea salt, nonpareils, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Stir together flour, cocoa, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, about a half-cup at a time and beat on low after each addition. Finely chop 1 of the 4 oz. chocolate baking bars and stir into the cookie dough until fully mixed in.
  2. Divide dough in half and shape each into an 8-inch-long log. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm – about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices and place about an inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Keep remaining dough refrigerated while baking the batch. Bake for about 12 minutes, until slightly firm. Cool on pans for about 5 minutes and then remove cookies to a rack to completely cool.
  4. Chop the remaining 1 1/2 chocolate baking bars and place in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 1/2 minutes total).
  5. Dip half of each baked cookie into the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper. Decorate with sea salt, nonpareils or chopped pecans if desired. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets, about 20 minutes. To store, layer the cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Recipe Notes

Tips and Stuff :  Be sure and use kosher salt for the cookie dough.  If you don't have any and are using table salt, you'll end up with a very salty cookie!  I ended up using my hands to mix the chopped chocolate into the cookie dough, as it was very thick and hard to stir with a spoon. Watch the melting chocolate carefully - if you microwave it too long, it will seize up.  If you're using sea salt for decoration, you may want to wait until the chocolate on the dipped cookie is firm.  I found that it melted right into the chocolate when applied to it while warm.

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies

 
Oh my!  These little delights were brought to the potluck lunch last week and I bet I ate six of them throughout the day.  You know how they leave stuff out so you can graze on everything the rest of the day?  My office is next to the break room and I could sneak in there and grab one or two every now and then.  I had never heard of these, but they’ve been floating around cyber space waiting for me to find them.

There are only five ingredients in this cookie – cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, chocolate chips and crescent rolls. They’re easy to throw together, but the crescents stay a little flimsy and are a little awkward to roll up and wrap in saran wrap for the chilling part.  Bret helped me on that and he looked at the funny-looking rolls skeptically, wondering what I’d come up with now.  Just looking at the assembled parts tells you these are going to be good!
Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies
Nitishia (from the potluck) had used a combination chocolate, caramel and cherry chips, but I couldn’t find any cherry chips, so just used chocolate and caramel chips. I also put a few more than called for because you can’t go wrong with more chocolate.  I was right.  These things are heavenly right out of the oven.  You can see the layers from the crescent rolls and the gooey cream cheese swirled with softened chocolate chips.  Here’s a close up shot (you know how I love my close ups):
Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Crescents 3
My mind was whirling with combinations for these cookies: a little cinnamon added to the cream cheese and covered with cinnamon chips; butterscotch chips with a drizzle of glaze on top, or what about orange zest in the cream cheese with chocolate chips and an orange glaze.  I have one more roll of crescent rolls and am going to try it with Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese to see if you can even tell the difference.  I wouldn’t want to change the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of these, though.  They’re wonderful!
Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Crescents 2

Print
Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies
***** My new favorite cookie.  Melts in your mouth.
Servings: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 can (8 oz) crescent rolls
  • 1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C chocolate chips (your choice - mini, caramel, semisweet, or a combination)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Unroll the crescent rolls onto a sheet of waxed paper and lightly pinch together the seams.  Stretch the dough out slightly.  It should be in the shape of a rectangle.
  2. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crescent dough, leaving about 1/4" from the edges so it won't squish out when you roll it.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the cream cheese and then roll up the dough as firmly as you can without losing your filling.
  3. Cut the dough in half and wrap each half in cling wrap.  Store in the refrigerator overnight or the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up the dough.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the cookies into 1/2" slices, cleaning the knife between slices, and place on a parchment-covered cookie sheet.  Cook for 14-15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown.  Let sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a rack for cooling.
Recipe Notes

Tips and Stuff:

You can buy seamless crescent roll sheets somewhere in this civilized country, but not in my neighborhood.  It would be much easier to handle with the seamless sheets.

To keep the dough from sticking to the wax paper, you can lightly spray it with cooking spray.  It was a little tacky to pick up after rolling.

The dough will never harden, but it will firm up so you can slice the cookies.

Keep your family away from the warm cookies or you'll turn around and they'll be gone....

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

 
Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies (1)

This type of cookie has been in my to-bake file for awhile and I searched around for one that sounded and looked the best.  Truthfully, I picked the one with the picture that made my mouth water and went with it.  Mine ended up puffier, but were still really good and particularly great the next day with coffee on the side!   This cookie’s flavor is buttery and carmely and delicious.
ChewyBrownSugarCookies

The key to these cookies is the browned butter in the batter (and alliterative, too!).  It was quick and easy to create the browned butter (see instructions below) and added such a different and wonderful dimension to these cookies so that I’m going to try adding it to some of my old standard cookie recipes and see what happens.  Instead of making clarified butter, which separates the milk solids and water from the butter fat and then you discard the solids, in making browned butter both the solids and butter fat are kept and added to the cookie batter.  You have to be careful with melted butter versus softened butter in recipes though, because it can make a spreading flat mess of baked goods (been there, done that).


Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies
****These are terrific!  Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.  I changed this a little, but the original recipe was from Cook’s Illustrated.  Will be a great cookie to take to pot-lucks and to use for cookie platters..

Ingredients:
14 tbsp. butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 C. packed dark brown sugar
2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted.  Continue to cook the butter on medium-low until it is browned to a dark golden color and smells nutty, about 3-5 minutes (do not use a non-stick skillet for this).  Transfer the browned butter to a mixing bowl and stir the rest of the butter into the hot butter until it melts.  Let this cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile…..
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a baking dish, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 C. of the brown sugar until combined well; set this mixture aside (to roll the dough balls in later).

Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.  Add 1 3/4 C. brown sugar and salt to cooled butter and mix until there are no lumps.  Add egg, yolk, and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix well, then gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Roll dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and roll those balls in the sugar mixture you put aside earlier.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake sheets one at a time until cookies are puffy and lightly browned, about 12 minutes.  Be careful not to overbake.

Tips and Stuff:
Watch the melting butter – it goes from golden brown to burnt quickly.
Use the best vanilla you can (Penzey’s or even Costco’s Kirkland brand) since it uses quite a bit and is a major flavor in the cookie.
I experimented and made 1 inch balls and they came out crunchy instead of chewy.  I recommend  1 1/2 inch or larger unless you particularly like a biscotti-textured cookie.
Next time I’ll add another 1/4 tsp. salt to get a more sweet-salty thing going.