Friday, February 12, 2016

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

I had the best of plans this week to bake some bar cookies. I did my research, planned a couple of different recipes, and then chose what to bake. I made sure I had all of the needed ingredients and I was ready to go. Unfortunately, I realized that I would be getting home from work too late to have time to make bar cookies, as they need a good amount of time to cool before cutting into bars. I wasn’t organized enough to make them the day before, so on to Plan B.

I thought about what sounded good, and for some reason a coconut cookie sounded good. I knew I had coconut at home, so thankfully I was set. I found this cookie, which combined coconut, oats and nuts, and that sounded like a good wholesome cookie. They are extra coconut-y because the use coconut oil rather than butter or shortening. It was nice I had that on hand too. I was glad to use it up as I’ve been juggling that container around to different places in the cupboard.

Because of the coconut oil, the dough for these cookies is quite soft. I wasn’t sure if they were going to spread while baking, so the first batch I made fairly small cookies. They didn’t spread, so you can make a slightly larger cookie with little worry. They don’t brown much, and you don’t want to over bake these, so watch the time carefully. They do set as they cool, so if you’re worried they aren’t baked enough, you’ll probably be fine.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil (measured solid), melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup oats
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat on medium the coconut oil, sugar, and brown sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, beating again on medium until incorporated. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the coconut, oats, and pecans. Stir on low until the dough comes together.

Scoop the dough onto the baking sheet, using about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Recipe from Eat. Drink. Love.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

I try to make different types of cookies from week to week, and I realized that I hadn’t made a good chocolate cookie in a while. I went searching and came across these cookies. These won my search on two accounts. First, these contain Nutella and I love the chocolate/hazelnut combination. Second, they are chocolate chip cookies and my husband loves chocolate chip cookies. He complains that I never make them for him. I do, it’s just never a plain chocolate chip cookie.

I decided to double the recipe given here, as I wanted to make these a little bigger than some of the cookies I typically make. It made 4-1/2 dozen, but since my husband was a big fan of these, it was ok that it was a big batch. I refrigerated the dough for just over two hours, and that seemed to work just fine. These are not hard to make and they are just fantastic. Crispy on the edges, soft in the middle, with the great flavor of Nutella. These can’t be beat!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
½ cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup Nutella
¼ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ¾ cups flour
teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, Nutella, sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix on medium until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Just before all of the flour is incorporated, add the chocolate chips and again mix on low until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are set. They may look slightly under baked, but they will continue to cook on the baking sheet. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cherry Chocolate Almond Blondies

I really love bar cookies, and I hadn’t made any in a while. They’re so easy to make but you can really do a lot of interesting things with a fairly simple bar cookie. They’re quick, too, as long as you have some time to let the bars cool before cutting! 

These bars were posted on Facebook and the combination sounded so good. But I love blondies, so how bad could they be? The original combination of flavors was dried cherries, milk chocolate chips, and salted cashews. But this type of cookie is ripe for improvisation, and I used what I had. I did use dried cherries, and for the chips I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a chopped up chocolate almond bar. I didn’t have any cashews, so I toasted whole almonds and used those instead.

The dough for these is quite sticky, and I worried that I hadn’t used enough flour but they were fine. It wasn’t the easiest to spread them in the pan, but if you’re patient it can work. I baked these a little longer than the original recipe stated, and they don’t brown very much so it was tricky to tell when they were done. They are a soft cookie, so I just went by the browned edges and they did set up some as they cooled. The flavors in these go together so well, but I bet they might be even better with cashews!

Cherry Chocolate Almond Blondies
¾ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1 ½ cups milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour and salt. Stir just until the dough almost comes together. Add the almonds, chocolate and cherries and stir on low until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly sticky. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bars a lightly browned along the edges and a thin knife inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Lift the bars from the pan and peel away the foil. Cut into squares.