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Posts tagged ‘cookies’

labeled cookies

If there’s one thing I love about the farmer’s market, it’s the constant discoveries I make each and every time I go. We’re in the middle of cherry season and I love cherries. Every year I count the days from the moment the stone fruit season ends until it starts up again and it always starts with cherries.

If you’re a cherry fan you know the classics like Bing and Rainier, but did you know there are several other kinds that all have slightly different tastes? There are Lamberts, Minnie Royals, Royal Anns and Stellas just to name a few. I’ve enjoyed both the Bings and Minnie Royals as well as the Rainiers, but last year I experienced a new cherry that absolutely blew my mind. They’re called Tartarians and they’re AH-MAZING!

close up on rack

I don’t even know how to describe these awesome little red spheres. They’re rich and sweet and have such a powerful burst of cherry flavor. You only need to taste one before you’re craving them all year long. I’m not kidding. After I sampled these delectable stone fruits last year, I couldn’t get enough. And then like Keyser Soze, they were gone. Seriously. One week later I couldn’t find them anywhere. So, I waited. And waited. And waited for the season to come back around.  As soon as cherries started popping up at the farmer’s market this year I searched and scoured for those Tartarians. No one had them. But then last week, the vendor I bought the Tartarians from last year appeared, and he had them. Of course I bought a few baskets, and just like last year I came right home and created something sweet.

Last year I made some Cherry Peach Yogurt Pops. This year I decided to go for something a little richer. Something that would last on a platter or could be taken to a picnic or potluck. Something that you could eat with your hands and enjoy with either an after-dinner drink or a simple glass of milk. These cookies do all that and more. They’re sinful, decadent and definitely worth a taste. I know I’ll be making another batch. But it’s gotta be soon because just like last year, I only have one more week before these cherries are gone. So, I’m grabbing a few more baskets because there’s just no way I can wait another 11 months for that spectacular cherry flavor… or these cookies.

overhead shot

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup cherries, stemmed, pitted and chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium heat. Cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
  4. Beat together the sugar, eggs and corn syrup in a medium bowl until thick, about 3 minutes.  Gradually beat in the melted chocolate, then the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips and cherries.  Freeze cookie dough for 15 minutes.
  6. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto each prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies apart (they’ll spread as they cook).  Bake until cookies are softly set, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.  Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Labeled bars

Every year in February something amazing happens. Little girls in brown and green (sorry it’s blue now) start showing up at my door and in front of supermarkets all over the country selling some of my favorite cookies in existence. That’s right, I’m talking about Girl Scout Cookies. Every February I stock up on Thin Mints and Samoas because they’re only here for a short time and I love me some Thin Mints… especially if they’re frozen.

You can understand then, why I was super excited when my friends over at Melissa’s asked me to create a recipe using their fresh produce in combination with those awesome cookies from the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Council.  See, now I could get my favorite flavors and try some new ones, all in the name of recipe testing.  How did I choose which flavors? Easy. It all came down to what recipe I wanted to make.

lemons

Meyer lemons are in season and if there’s one thing I love to make with Meyers it’s lemon bars. But recently I was thinking about that other popular lemon recipe, lemonade. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of restaurants aren’t just serving plain old lemonade anymore. They’re serving flavored lemonade, the most common of which is strawberry. So, I thought, instead of making the same old lemon bars, I’d make strawberry lemonade bars. And because I just can’t get enough of that lemon flavor, I knew the Girl Scouts’ Savanah Smiles would make the perfect crust. Not only are they crunchy and buttery, they’re also super lemony which means you’re going to have that awesome tart citrus flavor from the first bite all the way to the last.

box of cookies

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been buying (and selling) Girl Scout cookies since you were little. But I was by no means the first Girl Scout to sell cookies to my friends and neighbors. This business has been going since 1917 when the first Girl Scout cookie was created. Believe it or not the first cookie wasn’t today’s popular Thin Mint. Instead it was a sugar cookie similar to the Trefoil. That simple sugar cookie was the beginning of the Girls Scout Cookie Program which is the largest girl-run business in the world. By selling these cookies, girls all over learn about business, improve their people and business entrepreneurial skills, and gain leadership experience. As a matter of fact, more than half the women out there who are in business today, say that the Girl Scout Cookie Program was big part of developing those skills.

So, it turns out February isn’t just about satisfying your cookie craving. Buying a box (or two), set girls all over on a path toward success; and the good news is you still have another week to stock up, as they’re available through March 6th.  Want to find a troop selling them? Just go to girlscoutcookies.org, type in your zip code and you too can buy as many Thin Mints, Samoas or Savannah Smiles you want. Enjoy them straight or do what I did and convert them into something else entirely. Either way, you’re not only benefitting yourself, you’re helping the little girl who sold them to you make her way in the world.

close up

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 box of Savannah Smiles
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg, divided

Filling

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 pint strawberries, juiced

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Grind up all the Savannah Smiles in a food processor until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  3. Add the butter, flour and egg yolk and pulse until well combined. Toss the dough in a resealable bag and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  4. Spread the crust in the pan and up the sides. Pour the egg white over the dough and spill off the excess. Put in the fridge to chill for another 20 minutes.
  5. While the crust chills, whisk together the the lemon juice, lemon zest, 2 cups of sugar, flour and eggs until well combined.
  6. Pour the lemon mixture over the chilled crust.
  7. In another bowl whisk together the strawberry juice and remaining sugar. Pour the strawberry mixture over the lemon mixture. Then take a butter knife and swirl the strawberry mixture into the lemon mixture to make whatever pretty design you like.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick when inserted comes out clean.  Let cool and serve.

Labeled cookies

If you follow this blog, you know that I’m a huge cookie fan. But more than that, I’m a chocolate fan. Combining the two make me the happiest pinup in the world.

I’ve been making chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies since I could hold a spatula but I’ve never combined the two. Sure, I’ve tasted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, I’ve just never made them. Then about a month ago Liz Berg of That Skinny Chick Can Bake posted a recipe for Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. Her recipe wasn’t just loaded with oats and chocolate chips, but nuts and fruit as well. They sounded amazing and she said they were a big hit. So, I decided to try them. But before I did, I needed to make a few changes.

top view

First, I live in a nut-free house since Hubs is deathly allergic to any and all nuts. Second, while I love cherries, we’re right in the middle of cranberry season. I love chocolate and fruit together so I thought rather than dried cherries, I’d go with dried cranberries. They’re a little more tart and would give the cookies a more festive, holiday feel. Sure these cookies will be great all year long, but they’re perfect for your holiday party.

So, thanks, Liz for a great recipe that inspired this holiday twist. They were yummy and I can’t wait to make them for my holiday party and many parties to come.

coffee and cookies

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugars, and mix until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined.  Add the vanilla and beat for another minute.
  4. Chop the bittersweet chocolate into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing well. Add the rolled oats, followed by the chopped chocolate. Mix well. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips. Chill for about 15 minutes before scooping onto the baking sheet.
  6. Spoon the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake 12 minutes or until the cookies have set and are just starting to brown. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet and serve.

I look forward to Mother’s Day every year because it’s always fun to see what my boys have made me in class. These days, A’s presents are always a surprise because he makes them in his classes. But T is still too young to go to school. His classes are Mommy & Me classes. So the Mother’s Day presents or cards he makes are really cards that I make. Since I’m the one cutting, drawing and gluing while T plays, I pick whichever poem, colors or designs I like. Then I sign his name, date it and give it to Hubs to give to me on the big day. That way years later when my memory starts to fade, I’ll be able to remember what “T” made me.

This year was no different. And when I discovered one of the poem choices was a cookie recipe, I knew that was the one “T” was going to glue inside his card. I didn’t take a close look at the recipe, I just knew that as a mother who loves to cook, that was the one I wanted. It was only as I glued the recipe inside the card that I actually read it. This wasn’t your average cookie recipe. Then again, Mommy’s Cookies are never going to be average.

While the ingredients definitely make this a super yummy cookie choice, it’s actually the directions that make it “Mommy’s Cookies”. No, I’m not going to reveal the directions here. You’ll have to read the recipe below and make the cookies with your kiddies. I know at first glance the directions seem long and involved, but trust me they’re not. And please make sure you read each and every step. If you do, I guarantee a fun way to spend Mother’s Day that will bring quite a few giggles during the baking process.

Mommy’s Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coconut

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Tie daughter’s shoes.
  3. Mix sugar into the butter.
  4. Answer the phone.
  5. Get out two eggs while fixing a bottle of juice.
  6. Add the eggs one a time to the butter and sugar.
  7. Change the baby’s diaper, put your son on the counter to watch and give him some Cheerios to snack on. Wash your hands.
  8. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  9. Answer the door.
  10. Mix together the egg mixture with the flour mixture.
  11. Measure out the oatmeal.
  12. Clean up the broken egg that fell on the floor. Find the recipe and tape it back together. Take son off the counter and give him some crayons and paper.
  13. Measure out the chocolate chips and the coconut.
  14. Take a minute or two to find your son by following the trail of crushed Cheerios. Set him in the pack & play with his favorite toys.
  15. Fold the oatmeal, chocolate chips and coconut into the dough. Chill the dough for 10-15 minutes.
  16. Clean the counters and the floor.
  17. Take the crayons out of the baby’s mouth. Tape the crayon drawing to the fridge. Wash your hands.
  18. Drop cookies by the spoonful on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure you set the timer!
  19. Smile and pour the milk. Serve the cookies.
  20. Go take a nap with the kids and never forget how important all those “extra ingredients” were to make these very special cookies.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there.

Okay, I’m not gonna deny it. I didn’t make a Valentine’s-Day-specific dessert this year. Bad Kitchy Cooker. Bad. But while I was hanging my head in shame I realized I’ve made plenty of desserts for the blog and some of them have even been chocolate. (Who am I kidding? Most of them have been chocolate.) And since I’ve seen plenty of Valentine’s Day roundups this year, I thought why not do one of my own? I mean, I’ve always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. And no, it’s not because of the cards… although getting cards and presents are always nice. It’s because of all the chocolate.

Yes, my name is Jennifer Richmond and I’m a chocoholic. So of course I live for the one holiday a year where it’s all about chocolate. The only thing that makes chocolate better? Why adding fruit to it of course. And if you can combine those two things while adding a splash of pink… oh my god, I’ll do whatever you say.

But if you’re not the chocolate fan that I am, I won’t hold it against you. There are plenty of Valentine dessert options out there that don’t have one ounce of chocolate in them.  (I’ve even made a few. Please don’t tell anyone.) Below is a list of some of my favorite sweet treats perfect for the upcoming heart-shaped holiday. I even included one that isn’t chocolate but is just as tasty because I am trying to venture outside my comfort zone. Really… I swear.

  1. Maraschino Whoopie Pies
  2. Black Forest Brownies
  3. Chocolate-Port Cake
  4. Chocolate Potato Cake with Raspberry Frosting
  5. Blood Orange Valentines
  6. Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream