Butterscotch Cookies

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I’m more than a little obsessed with cookies. I rarely crave candy—when I want carbs, I want it to have flour and sugar and butter. I know, I know, you can’t stand what a health nut I am! Now is the time where I tell you what diet I’m on and how great it is. Well, if you must know, I’m on what could be called ‘The Inclusion Diet’, and like it’s moniker would suggest, it includes everything. These are the cookie version of my grandpa’s favorite Butterscotch Brownies that I blogged about a while ago and they are the new star item of my diet! If you want to join with me on this Eating Journey™, this is a good place to start.

Butterscotch Cookie Batter:

  • 1/4 cup browned butter
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown butter in small saucepan. Whisk the dry ingredients together; add eggs and vanilla to butter and whisk until combined. Mix butter mixture into dry ingredients until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips. Scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, let cool.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar and butter; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add milk and boil slowly for 3 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar until well-combined. Dip the top of the cooled cookies in frosting and place on parchment paper. Pro tip: if you happen to have these a day or two later, warm up in the microwave for 5 minutes so they are a little gooey again. You’re welcome!

Makes 24 cookies.

-CK 1.0

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

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This time of year we want ALL the spices. Cloves, allspice, cinnamon and—my personal favorite—ginger! And that’s not just because I get called “Ginger Lady” when I visit Turkey. I want all the ginger drinks and edibles! These cookies are the product of two recipes that I really, really like. So I thought they’d make the ultimate “power cookie”. They are super soft and chewy but you can bake them a little bit longer if you want more of a crisp cookie experience.  -CK 1.0

1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 egg

2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I use 70% cacao Lindt bars, but you could use chocolate chips in a pinch)
Sugar for rolling

  1. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar, oil, ginger and egg, until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. Slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Mix in chocolate chunks; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until just before the surfaces crack, but not too doughy—about 7 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pfeffernüsse

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Every Christmas growing up, my mom would painstakingly make cookies that we called Peppernuts. They were a household favorite, but the only thing we didn’t like about these cookies is that they have to “age”—it’s pretty much the only cookie that gets better with time. So we would have to wait a week, while looking at that pastel pink glass dish, waiting for the time that we could dig in, but oooooh was it worth it!

Little did I know that years later, I’d be living in Germany, supposedly the home of the Peppernuts, or more accurately, Pfeffernüsse. I have scoured Christmas markets two years in a row now, looking for a freshly baked, truly German Pfeffernüsse cookie to no avail. I’ve quizzed many a German about this and they said they’ve never had a homemade one and they have only seen them in stores. I bought a bag and was sorely disappointed. So, this year I have taken matters in my own hands to make a traditional German cookie that a lot of Germans have never had—funny how things work sometimes.

I did make some adjustments, I added cardamom, since it seems to be such a traditional holiday spice around these parts. The sauce that was always the really hard part was going to be too difficult for me to make with my lo-fi kitchen, so I went with what I saw in every other recipe and did a powdered sugar coating, rather than a divinity glaze like my mom would make. Additionally, these are her favorite cookies in the world, so that is the best endorsement you could ask for! – CK 1.0

Pfeffernüsse cookie batter:
2 ½ cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon  cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (it’s hard to find pecans, so used almonds)
Powdered sugar for dipping

Sift flour with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, and baking soda. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat 2 eggs and brown sugar until light and somewhat glossy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture and nuts until well combined. Dough will be a bit sticky.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with baking paper. With wet hands, pinch off dough by tablespoonfuls. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the tops are just barely cracking. Remove to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. In two batches, place cookies and a good amount of powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Roll cookies around until well coated then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks and try to let them age a few days before gobbling them up!

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***IF you want to be ambitious and make the divinity glaze, you will want a stand mixer that you can leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Divinity Glaze:
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream tartar
2 egg whites

In large saucepan, combine sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, 5 minutes, or until mixture forms a 2-inch thread when dropped from spoon or to 235 degrees on candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Pour syrup in continuous stream slowly into egg whites beating constantly. Beat until mixture thickens slightly and starts to lose shine, 6-8 minutes. Drop cookies a few at a time into glaze; with fork, turn to coat all over. Lift out and, using two forks, place on wire rack (with cookie sheet beneath to catch drips) until dry. Store in tightly covered container at least one week before eating.

Striped Citrus Meringue Cookies

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Striped Citrus Meringue Cookies by twocarolines.com

While sitting with my 3 year old on the couch I did a quick browse on my Instagram and a video popped up on my Wilton feed with these beautiful little Meringue cookies – Millie excitedly said “Mom! They are like rainbow chocolate chips, we have to make them!” fullsizeoutput_657cObviously I am not capable of denying a face like this so we spent the afternoon making these beautiful cookies and then had a blast delivering them to friends.  Millie felt very strongly that they needed to be pink with stripes, so we put a touch of red food coloring in our stiff peaks, but you can do these so many ways.  They are the perfect cookie for any occasion that calls for “cute” such as a baby shower, childrens birthday or even a fun wedding.  I thought they were pretty but was not expecting them to taste too exciting, and I’m happy to report, they were just delicious!  Bright and sweet with a beautiful texture and nice vanilla lemon flavor.  They really are a joy to make and to eat! -CK 2.0

  • 6 large egg whites (fresh work best)img_4557
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • zest of 1 lemon, orange or lime (I used lemon and loved it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • food dye of your choice
  1. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper.  I ended up having leftover even after filling 2 cookie sheets so you might need another or you can just discard or eat your leftover meringue.  Preheat oven to 200
  2. put your 6 egg whites in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer (you can use any heatproof bowl and a hand mixer too – but stand mixers are nice for meringue because stiff peaks take a while).  Add a pinch of salt and whisk it up a bit to break up your whites.  Next add your sugar and whisk all of that for a minute then put it over a pot of boiling water.  Continue whisking until your mixture is a little warm and the sugar granules are dissolved so you don’t feel them between your fingers.  Once the sugar is dissolved, take off the heat and add your 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar.  Set in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip on a high setting until your get nice glossy stiff peaks. Once you have pretty stiff peaks add your citrus zest and vanilla.  We also added a touch of red coloring at this stage so our base color would be pink.
  3. Take a few dots of meringue and use it as glue between your parchment and cookie sheet so the parchment paper doesn’t try to come up while you pipe out your cookies.  To prepare your piping bag, find a tip that’s about 1/2 inch round – I used the Ateco 808 which worked perfectly.  I also used Wilton disposable piping bags, which are so handy, but you could fill any bag and I think it would work fine.  You could also use a star tip, but make it a large one.  Next, cut the hole in the bottom of your bag, make sure your tip is a tight fit, then paint with any paintbrush (or even your finger if you don’t have one) stripes down the sides of the bag of whatever color you want to pipe out.  We used blue and purple in ours which was really pretty, but suit yourself.  The color might not show up until you’ve piped out a few cookies FYI.  I put my bag into a tall vase and fold the top over all the way around.  This way I have a hard surface to scrape off and push down the meringue filling, but I can still get a clean twist at the top to squeeze with.  Piping out the cookies is easy, just apply a little pressure from the top with your tip close to the cookie sheet then stop pushing before you pull it up in a little twist.  There are lots of shapes you can do – have fun with it!
  4. Bake in a 200 degree oven for a good hour and a half.  Rotate somewhere in the middle of that and to let the cookies cool, just turn off the oven and let them cool in the oven.  They will be crisp, come off easily, but not brown.  I used tongs to put them on plates for friends because they did stick to my fingers a little.  Enjoy!

 

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striped lemon meringue cookies by twocarolines.com

Recipe adapted from Renee Conner – I got it from her youtube video that had some other fun videos too – check it out!

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by twocarolines.com

It’s the last day of October and we have dedicated this month to ALL THINGS PUMPKIN! We have brought you Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Dulce de leche Pie, Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce, and the unforgettable Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese frosting that we featured on Elevate Everyday, but you can find it here too!  In order to properly round out our pumpkin dessert collection, we need to share with you a bomb pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.  This recipe is a family favorite from my friend Rachel who actually shared it with me years ago before I had a dessert blog and I’m so excited to finally drop this knowledge on all you lovely people.  What I really liked about her cookies is that they didn’t slime out as pumpkin cookies tend to do – and they have butter, because she’s a reasonable person, but they also have applesauce adding to the moisture and taking from the fat so they are for sure a lower calorie cookie option than their traditional CCC counterpart.  She insists on Guittard milk chocolate chips- which are so creamy and good, but I liked them a touch better with semi-sweet because I’m just drawn that way.  Use whatever you like and have a fantastic Halloween!

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin (don’t use more, it will make them sticky)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 of a bag (11.5 ounces) guittard milk chocolate chips
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  1. Preheat oven to 375 and either lay down a silpat, parchment or spray a few large cookie sheets.  My friend Rachel always doubles this recipe, so feel free to do that, but this makes loads of cookies, so only double if you’re baking for a crowd.  She suggests one and a half a bag of chocolate chips if you double.
  2. Cream the butter, applesauce, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Add the pumpkin to the wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add chocolate chips.  My friend insists on the Guittard milk chocolate chips, which are super good, but I did a few with semi-sweet and liked them even more, use whichever you prefer, I think about 9 ounces or 1 3/4 cups was about right, but use as many as seems right to you!
  3. Either use a cookie scoop or just eyeball about 2 tablespoon sized cookies and space them on your prepared cookie sheet with some room to expand.  Bake for about 10 minutes until cookies are clearly golden brown around the bottom – these are not like normal chocolate chip cookies where you want to underbake them, make sure they are done.

    Recipe courtesy of Rachel Clark

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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It’s hard to believe that I didn’t like coconut when I was younger. The Mounds bar was one of the most dreaded Halloween candies (besides Circus Peanuts, let’s be real). I hated the texture and couldn’t get past it. I’m not actually positive as to when I hit the turning point in my relationship with coconut, but I’m so glad I did! Now I’ll take it ALL. The more coconutty-the better. Maybe one could say, I’m nuts for coconuts? I’m so sorry—that was bad and you guys deserve better. To make up for it, here is the recipe for the goodness that is pictured above…

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

  • 3/4 cups egg whites (6-7 eggs)
  •  1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1-2 drops of butter flavoring (not necessary, but I think it adds a little something)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups sweetened flaked coconut

For the chocolate dipping sauce:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Directions

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until just frothy. Add the sugar, almond extract, butter flavoring, and salt; mix well. Stir in the coconut, two cups at a time.

Use a small cookie scoop to form the macaroons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Use your hands to mold the cookies a bit and lightly press down the tops.

Bake for 13-17 minutes or until set and light golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely before the next step. (and do some scientific taste testing, amiright?)

Prepare clean cookie sheets with was paper. Melt the chocolate and shortening and mix until smooth. Quickly, dip half the cookie (you only need to dip the top side of it) into the chocolate and place each one on wax paper to set. Set for at least two hours before ravenously consuming.

 

 

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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double chocolate chunk cookies by twocarolines.com

These came about when I wanted to bring a treat to my daughter’s soccer practice, but needed to mindful of a nut allergy and the fact that 7 year olds are kind of lame sometimes about awesome stuff like coconut and oatmeal.  These cookies were a huge hit with the Huntington Beach “Kickers” and it’s no wonder with their perfectly chewy texture, and loads of rich chocolate flavor.  I am continuing to fuel the team with baked sweets because it’s working, we are UNDEFEATED!  And I’m sure double chocolate chunk cookies have a lot to do with that, because practice etc. really pales in comparrison to the power of an epic dessert.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (you can also use natural Hershey’s or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate or dark/semi-sweet, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks.  Chunks are delicious and add to the texture, but chocolate chips will work great too
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

  3. Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, you still want them looking shiny and undone in the middle, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies