Category Archives: Cookies

new york times chocolate chip cookie recipe >> all others

new york times chocolate chip cookies

OMG. The New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe makes the best.chocolate.chip.cookies.ever. (Though I still have a soft spot for Philippe Patiserrie’s chocolate chip cookies).

The recipe’s been taking the blogosphere by storm, and of course I had to try it out. Oh boy. Yumyum.

I followed the recipe exactly (used the cake flour and the bread flour combo), and used up the appropriate amount of Valrhona dark chocolate. I had a fun time hacking the big chunk of chocolate into little chunks.

Update: in subsequent batches, I’ve just gone with all purpose flour instead of the cake flour + bread flour combo, with no bad effects. I think the most crucial elements are: the chilling overnight (36 hours is better than 24 hours and so and so forth), the fleur de sel sprinkling, and making the cookie larger rather than smaller.

I refrigerated the dough for 36 hours (an exercise in self control), and made a combination of smaller and larger cookies. Alas, the bigger cookies were “tastier.” Farewell to portion control!

Try it. It’s my new go-to recipe. It sure beats the pants off my previous favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. (Though I do wonder if I just chilled my previous favorite recipe overnight before baking what the results might be…)

recipe follows after the jump…

Continue reading

Girl Scout cookie season

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies in progress

I love girl scout cookies, especially Samoas (aka “Caramel de-Lites”)–this unique and tasty conglomeration of butter shortbread cookie, caramel, coconut, and chocolate. Soooo deliciously evil, especially as they come on the heels of the holiday, threatening to sabotage any new year’s diet.

I put in my order for girl scout cookies (samoas and thin mints) with a coworker and friend selling boxes on behalf of his daughter. But damn the wait!

I found a recipe for Samoas at Baking Bites–not only can I indulge my desire for Girl Scout Samoa cookies more immediately, I can avoid trans-fats by baking them at home!

Mine didn’t come out perfect, but I got my craving satisfied (and there are a couple dozen, packaged, to take to work tomorrow).

Some caveats for making them at home:

1) They take some effort (make the cookies, prep and apply the coconut and caramel coating, and prep and apply the chocolate). More than chocolate chip cookies, less than a fancy cake.

2) I’d add waaaay more caramel next time. I added the prescribed amount of coconut and it overwhelmed the caramel, such that the mixture was waaay “tougher” than it should have been (the caramel even when set, should be fairly “squishy”).

3) I’d skip the hole in the cookies. See the picture below:

Homemade girl scout cookies in progress

They’re a waste of time–I went to the trouble of cutting a hole in each, about the size of a straw…but the caramel-coconut topping covered the hole entirely. See the picture below:

Homemade girl scout cookies in progress

If you insist on having a hole, make the hole a lot bigger.

4)  The dough can get a bit “sticky”–the recipe said it should be a ball, but I don’t stress out if you don’t have a smooth ball of dough.  Add a little extra flour if you think it’ll help…and chill the dough in the fridge before rolling it out.  Even so, you’ll find yourself peeling the cookie rounds off of the parchment paper.  A delicate operation.  Don’t roll it too thin–otherwise, they’ll be too delicate and break when you start applying the gooey caramel topping.  See the broken pieces above?  You’ve been warned!

Overall: yum yum!

Flourless Cashew Macadamia Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

unbaked cookies

I’ve been baking a lot recently, we’re talking 3-4 times per week. I’m trying to perfect a way to make flourless chocolate chip cookies because I’m allergic to wheat and one of the things I miss is the crunch of cookies.

On I found a recipe for making flourless peanut butter cookies. I started with this recipe, using Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips and Laura Scudder’s Natural Peanut Butter.

After a stressful visit to a facialist, she asked without any prompting if I had been eating more peanut butter than usual. Curious (- how did she know? I thought), I replied in the affirmative. Turns out there is anecdotal evidence that peanuts (no other nuts are implicated) might have androgens and cause your skin to break out.

cashew macadamia butter in bowl

Since I was (am) still in the experimenting mood I decided to use different butters, such as Cashew Macadamia Butter. I started with the Marantha Cashew Macadamia Butter I found at a local health food store. Pouring off any top oil, I tried a batch, chopping up cashew nut pieces to add some body. The cookie tasted wonderful, but the runny texture didn’t allow for an attractive cookie. The next batch I added a little flax and a little more brown sugar. Aha! My almost perfect cookie.

cookie mixture

CW says that the flax enhances the flavor of the cashew and gives it the “crack-like” quality. The thing I noticed was cookie’s texture is virtually indistinguishable from a regular flour-based cookie. Success!

Recipe follows after the jump…

Continue reading

portable carrot cake

carrot cake cookies, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

When I was growing up, my mother made us carrot cake: she would take a box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker cake mix, grate up a bunch of carrots, and add it to the mix. (My mother, an expert cook of Korean dishes, never really bothered to learn how to cook anything else, let alone desserts, which she saw as unhealthy).

She was so thrilled at the concept of “adding fiber and vitamins” to a cake, that she began adding grated carrots to ANY cake mix. THAT–became my idea of carrot cake. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t the carrot cake that the rest of the world knows and loves.

Now I can make all the “real” carrot cake I want–and when I feel like just a bite of carrot cake, these carrot cake cookies are just perfect! Every little bite gives you that combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, carrot, raisin and cream cheese frosting (never will you suffer from a bite of carrot cake WITHOUT the delectable and rich cream cheese frosting).

I’m making these for a company party tomorrow night (I volunteered to bring desserts). But of course, I couldn’t wait–I snuck one for myself just now.

Recipe follows after the jump….

Continue reading

pumpkin rocks

pumpkin rocks, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

Despite the name of this cookie, every bite of these very soft and moist “rocks” takes you to a cozy place infused with warm spices and the sweet flavor of pumpkin. If you want something that reminds you of autumn, or want something to do with the remaining Thanksgiving cans of pumpkin in your pantry, or love pumpkin and small bites, these cookies are just really perfect.

You may think I’m on a pumpkin kick. I sort of am (witness my pumpkin muffin recipe from last month). Pumpkin lends a savory edge to desserts, and I welcome that balance this time of year, when I’m staring out the windows of a storm, or bundling up in the cold. While I have an insatiable sweet tooth and am known for my chocolate cravings, sometimes I like a dessert that is less butter and sugar and more…well, savory. (sorry, lack of words there).

pumpkin rocks

These cookies are supposed to be made with a glaze, but I omit the glaze; they are perfect on their own. The other thing I love is that these cookies are super easy to make. (I never make this cookie with chocolate chips, but I list that as an alternative because lots of people love a chocolate and pumpkin pairing–I prefer the raisin pairing). Based on the recipe in the Maida Heatter Book of Great Cookies, I’ve upped the spice content quite a bit to what you see here.

Recipe follows after the jump…

Continue reading

a shortcut to cheer

white chocolate chunk cookies, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

I needed some cheering up today. So I made a big batch of white chocolate chunk cookies. It worked! I used the same recipe as for chocolate chunk cookies, except with white chocolate chunks (valrhona, lindt, and ghirardelli). I also added some walnuts (I had some lying around) in the last half of this batch.

Since they cheered me up–I thought I’d share. Maybe they’ll cheer you up too.

uber chocolate chunk cookies

chocolate chunk cookies

This was a post I put up on my personal blog right before Muffin Top started up. I thought I would re-post it here, since I’d like to share it with Muffin Top readers. Also, I’d like to start consolidating my favorite recipes in one place, so I don’t have to hunt for them in two different places!

What I love about this recipe is that it is so decadent: big chunks of artisanal chocolate beat little chocolate chips anyday! Although, yes, you can use chips in this recipe too. I also love this recipe because the chips are a bit cakier than the very popular Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe. I am not a fan of the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe–it produces cookies that are just a bit too “mushy,” sweet, and flat for me. So this is a great alternative recipe for those of you in the same boat!

In fact, the reason I looked up this recipe is that I plan on making some today.

So without further ado…

i’m trying to clear out my kitchen before i leave town–going to avoid the “what the heck is this stuff you left me to eat?” situation. there’s a ton of stuff i eat that my husband does not…like tofu for instance, and chocolate. i’ve discovered tons of chocolate stashes throughout the kitchen. wherever you can hide some chocolate, i’ve done it! squares of valrhona jivara lactee behind the teas, a half pound block of el rey bittersweet 70% behind the pasta, another block of callebaut bittersweet 68% by the sugar and salt, and a quarter pound of valrhona jivara lactee (how could i have overlooked THAT?!) behind the canned food.


i know i have a habit of impulse buying when it comes to gourmet chocolate…but boy, i didn’t realize i was so wasteful…or rather such a chocolate hoarder. i remind myself of those cartoons with the dog that keeps hiding his bones all around the yard and lawn!

anyway–i couldn’t let that chocolate go to waste. and i felt a need to round them all up and start afresh with the hoarding when i get back in a few weeks. i wasn’t in a brownie or chocolate cake mood, i wanted a simpler dessert.

chocolate chunk cookies!

so i went to work. i chopped up the chocolate into big chunks (some as large as 1″ inch, most of them about 1/2″ chunks). a lovely mess!

and then i used my favorite chocolate chip recipe (substituting the chunks for the chips). a GREAT result. (i don’t know about you, but i think that although the nestle tollhouse chocolate chip cookie is decent, it’s overrated. too chewy, overly sweet, and flat–literally, the cookies from that recipe are FLAT). i took the bulk of these cookies to the office, where they were devoured. the bigger chunks are wonderful in the cookies and the chocolate holds their shape, making for some wonderful gooey chocolate pockets.

Recipe follows after the jump….

Continue reading