Saturday, October 27, 2018

Oatmeal Cookies - Levain Bakery copycat

Oatmeal Cookies - Levain Bakery copycat - made dough September 8, 2018 from Fran's Favs

My friend Rick reminded me that I haven’t mailed him oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in awhile. He was right. So I broke out this recipe that I’ve been meaning to try for some time.

I don’t have a standby oatmeal cookie recipe and I don’t try new recipes for them that often. Unlike Rick, I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies. They tend to be pretty filling, maybe a little too filling because I like my cookies to be chubby and have some heft. Add oatmeal and I get hefty all right. Me and the cookie.

These cookies didn’t spread very much and they were supposed to be Levain Bakery-esque so I made them big. Each cookie was a behemoth. Like a scone version of a cookie. I ended up eating two halves on two separate days because they were a little filling and . They were pretty good but, not being a big oatmeal cookie fan, I don’t know if I’ll remember them a month from now and I’ll probably keep searching for more oatmeal cookie recipes to try.
Oh and don’t tell Rick but I never was able to get to the post office so I didn’t mail him these. I gave them away at work instead. Whoops.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted, optional
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips
  1. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar and brown sugar just until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until just incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, if using. Add in the oats and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter, mixing until just combined. Fold in walnuts and raisins or chocolate chips.
  3. Divide dough into 12 portions, each weighing 4 ounces. Form into large balls and cover and chill for several hours or overnight. 
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly space dough balls. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 12-14 minutes or until edges are golden and middles no longer look shiny or raw. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pecan Sandies

Pecan Sandies - made dough October 7, 2018 from She Wears Many Hats
My cousin gave me bags of pecans last month and I was happy to incorporate them into my baking. As a general rule, I don’t like nuts in my cookies (or cakes or brownies) but they’re acceptable in some cookies. I mean, how do you make pecan sandies without pecans? You don’t.

Pecan Sandies aren’t quite like a chewy cookie like chocolate chip cookies. They tend more towards the shortbread end of the spectrum. Like a Mexican Wedding Cake on steroids. Which you can interpret to mean that I made these a bit bigger than the Buttery Tea Balls.
These turned out pretty well. Two tricks to making this cookie: first, make the dough discs fairly thick. These don’t spread very much and you don’t want these to be too thin or they’ll crumble more easily due to their texture. The other tip is to underbake them. I know, I know, I always say that but if you bake these fully, they have a tendency to have a drier mouthfeel rather than a melt-y one because the composition is more like shortbread and not like a moist, chewy cookie. Oh, and third trick – toast the pecans first to bring out their flavor. 
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ice water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plain flour (I used all-purpose)
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add ice water, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add flour in two additions, beating until just combined. Add in pecans and beat until just mixed; do not overmix.
  3. Portion into golf-ball-size dough balls and pat slightly into thick discs. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are light golden brown and middles are no longer shiny or raw.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Nutella Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

Nutella Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies  - made dough September 9, 2018, modified from Real House Moms

I’m way, way behind on updating my blog. But I couldn’t go on much longer without posting this one. Probably one of the best cookies I’ve made in the last few months. It’s a snickerdoodle. It’s Nutella. It’s a sandwich cookie. It’s a Nutella Snickerdoodle sandwich cookie. All the OMG goodness that name implies and then some.

As if all that wasn’t enough, they’re really easy to make too. The dough is just your standard mix-in-your-mixing-bowl cookie dough, you scoop out small dough balls (since it’ll be a sandwich cookie, you don’t want to go too big or you’ll eat yourself sick), chill them, roll them in cinnamon sugar, bake them, then sandwich them with Nutella once they’re cool.

Of course you never, never overbake them and you can be as generous with the Nutella filling as you want. I like to make them small so they look more dainty. And so I can kid myself that having two or five isn’t that bad.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup Nutella
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Nutella for filling
  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, Nutella, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs and vanilla then add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Portion dough into small balls of uniform size then flatten slightly into thick small discs. Cover and chill or freeze for several hours or overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Roll chilled or frozen dough discs in mixture, coating completely. Evenly space on prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and middles are no longer raw. Do not overbake.
  5. Cool cookies completely on wire racks then sandwich with Nutella.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies - made dough August 11, 2018, modified from Crazy for Crust
These originally had macadamia nuts in them but I only like macadamia nuts in white chocolate cookies or white chocolate coconut cookies so I omitted them from these.

So they're just double chocolate cookies with one chocolate being the cookie itself and the other being the white chocolate chunks in them. I also kept the semisweet chocolate chips so maybe I should call them triple chocolate cookies.

They spread a bit more than I normally like but they weren't thin. They still had enough heft to them to be chewy. As with all chocolate cookie recipes, time them since you can't just go by appearance as to when they're baked. The best giveaway is they don't look raw or shiny in the middle. Take them out when they look barely done and let them cool on the baking sheets. Chocolate will set as it cools and you'll get that rich, fudgy texture when they're at room temperature.

These tasted pretty good but the richness of the chocolate flavor will always (always) depends on the quality of your ingredients, especially the cocoa. I only ever bake with Pernigotti cocoa. It's expensive, whether you get it from Williams Sonoma or amazon, but worth it (to me). As I always say, if I'm going to eat empty calories, they have to be the best empty calories I can bake.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I recommend Pernigotti's)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  1. In medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and flour; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth and combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
  3. Portion dough into golf-ball-size dough balls, cover and chill or freeze several hours or overnight. 
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Evenly space frozen cookie dough balls on prepared sheets and bake 9 - 11 minutes or until middles no longer look raw. Do not overbake. Let cool on baking sheets for several minutes before transferring cookies to wire rack to cool completely.