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Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies

Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies

This recipe was originally from Yummy Addiction via Pinterest.  I’ve made it a few times, and have been known to shift around flavors and mix-ins based on what I have available!

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Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies
This is an easy recipe to halve, if you have part of a container of ricotta cheese that needs to be used up. The texture of these cookies is very different from an ordinary cookie--a nice chewy change of pace.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
For the cookies:
For the glaze:
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
For the cookies:
For the glaze:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or a Silpat liner. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and poppy seeds. Stir with a whisk to blend. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add butter to the mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the orange juice, vanilla and ricotta cheese. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and beat for another minute to make sure everything is incorporated.
  4. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. The dough will be moist and a bit sticky because of the ricotta cheese.
  5. Spoon/scoop about two tablespoons of dough for each cookie on a baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from oven and and let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. While the cookies cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest. Whisk until smooth. Spread about a teaspoon of glaze on the top of each cookie. Let glaze harden before serving. Enjoy!
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Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies

Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies

Baking Bites via Pinterest provided this yummy recipe.  The cookies are great on their own, and even better when stuck together as a peanut butter sandwich!

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Toffee Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies, or 20 sandwich cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth, followed by 1/2 cup peanut butter.
  4. With the mixer on low speed or working by hand, gradually blend in the flour mixture, then stir in the toffee bits.
  5. Drop scant 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are golden.
  7. Cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. When cookies are cooled, sandwich each pair with 2-3 tsp smooth peanut butter.
Recipe Notes

Original recipe (with more explanation and photos!) is from Baking Bites

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my go-to classic chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It took me years to find just the right one, and this is it!  Hooray for Pinterest…

The original (with much better photos and explanations) is from Over the Big Moon–read it there!

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Caroline's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cream butter, Crisco, and sugars in mixer.
  2. Then add eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt.
  3. Mix again and then add 2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips and walnuts if desired.
  4. Then add 3 1/2 c. flour.
  5. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto a foiled or greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are turning golden brown.
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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

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Coconut Macaroons
This is a gluten free version of classic coconut macaroons. It is from my classic America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. It is a little on the sticky side, so I prefer my other recipe that has a bit of flour in it, but these will do when needed!
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pulse the coconut in a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds, and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Process the egg whites, sugar, salt, and almond extract together in the food processor until light and foamy, about 15 seconds.
  3. Stir the egg mixture into the coconut mixture until combined. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and coat lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or wet hands, scoop 1 Tbsp. of mixture into a ball and place on prepared sheets, 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake until macaroons are light golden brown, 13-15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Let macaroons cool completely on sheet, about 30 minutes, before serving.
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Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

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Cherry Pie Bars
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Set aside 1 cup of batter and spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish.
  5. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Crumble the remaining batter evenly over top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven about 40-50 minutes or until crust is fully done. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from the one I found at http://www.cookingclassy.com/cherry-pie-bars-aka-cherry-kuchen-bars/

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Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones

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Buttermilk Scones
This recipe was given to me by a long time friend, back in our "newly married-let's have a tea party" days. I've made it for baby showers, wedding showers, and plenty of breakfast and brunch occasions. I have included some flavor variations at the end, but the original cranberry white chocolate version is the one I'm sharing here.
Servings
dozen small scones
Ingredients
Servings
dozen small scones
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Put dry ingredients into a bowl or the bowl of a food processor. Stir briefly to combine.
  3. Using the food processor or two knives, cut in the the 6 Tbsp. of butter. Pulse or chop until mixture forms coarse crumbs. If using a food processor, move the mixture into a mixing bowl.
  4. Gently stir in buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Only mix until combined. Sometimes I have to add a bit of extra buttermilk at this point (about 1 Tbsp. or so).
  5. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop scones onto prepared baking sheet--I use my standard sized cookie scoop and end up with about 2 dozen scones.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, or just until scones become firm and begin to turn golden around the edges.
Recipe Notes

Flavor variations: (Use these in place of the cranberries and white chocolate)

Mocha: 1 tsp. instant coffee granules and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Toffee: 1/2 cup toffee baking bits, sprinkle scones with brown sugar before baking

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Gingerbread

Gingerbread

December 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #12

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • A December rich in favorite activities and traditions (in contrast to our Senegalese adventure from last year)
  • Nathan as Gabriel and Katya as a black sheep in the Christmas pageant
  • The annual studio Christmas recital
  • Celebrating the season many different times with groups of family and friends

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Gingerbread
This is the gingerbread I have made every year since Than and I were married. If you don't roll it too thin or bake it too long, the cookies stay soft and spicy for weeks. We decorate them with white royal icing, sprinkles, and lots of red hots. An annual tradition, for sure, and one that we have happily shared with many different guests over the years.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly stir together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, butter, and oil until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and 2 1/2 Tbsp. water until well blended.
  3. Turn mixer speed to low and blend in as much of the flour mixture as possible. When it gets too strong for your mixer to handle, knead in the remainder by hand until the dough is smooth and shiny. If the dough is too stiff and dry, add up to 3 Tbsp. more water. If it is too soft, stir in more flour until it is manageable.
  4. Cut 6 pieces of waxed paper. Split the dough into 3 pieces and place each piece on a sheet of waxed paper. Cover with the additional 3 pieces of waxed paper. Roll each dough piece out to an even 1/4-1/2 inch thickness (thinner for crispier cookies, thicker for softer cookies). Stack the rolled dough in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray several cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  6. Working with one portion of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of waxed paper. Use cookie cutters to cut out the dough and place the cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 6-12 minutes, or until just darker at the edges and barely firm when pressed in the centers. Baking time varies based on the size of your cookies and on how soft or crispy you want the finished product to be.
  8. Reroll dough scraps between waxed paper sheets. Continue cutting, rolling, and chilling dough until everything has been used.
  9. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes in order to firm up slightly before transferring to the counter or to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Wait until cookies are completely cool before decorating as desired.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett.

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Chocolate Crinkles

Chocolate Crinkles

November 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #11

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • A 90th birthday party for Grandpa Train
  • A second story for the treehouse
  • Thanksgiving road trip to Salt Lake, San Francisco, and back again

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Chocolate Crinkles
I got this recipe from my sister-in-law and have loved it ever since. Katya requested "just plain dark chocolate cookies" this year, and these always fit the bill.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix oil, cocoa, and sugar well in a large mixer bowl.
  2. Blend in one egg at a time until mixed well. Add vanilla.
  3. Gradually blend in flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Chill dough for several hours (overnight is best).
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease several cookie sheets.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or teaspoon to shape dough. Roll dough in sugar (either granulated or powdered) and place on prepared sheets.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes, until set and tops begin to crack. Don't overbake. These are best soft!
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Candy Cane Thumbprints

Candy Cane Thumbprints

June 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #6

A favorite photo…

 

A few highlights…

  • Nathan turns 11
  • Super fun vacation Bible school with an international missions theme
  • Katya finishes Suzuki Piano Book 1
  • Summer backyard barbeques begin
  • Extended family comes for a weekend to watch Beauty and the Beast on stage

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Candy Cane Thumbprints
I got this recipe from a fellow pastor's wife at a cookie exchange many years ago. Even though there is no chocolate involved, they still end up as one of my favorites each Christmas! I always double the recipe when I make it, and then freeze half of the finished cookies for eating later in the month.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Peppermint Filling
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Peppermint Filling
Instructions
  1. Beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar and salt and cream well. Add egg and vanilla.
  2. Mix in flour until well combined. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned just around the edges.
  4. Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, use the back of a rounded measuring spoon or a melon baller to make an indent in the center of each cookie. Allow to cool completely.
  5. While cookies are cool, mix peppermint filling ingredients together. DON'T ADD THE CANDY CANES! Whip everything else well to form a soft, fluffy icing that holds its shape.
  6. When cookies are cool, spoon filling into indents and then sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top.
Recipe Notes

Cookies can be stored at room temperature for several days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

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Mexican Wedding Cakes

Mexican Wedding Cakes

August 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #8

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • Local park adventures with friends
  • Watching the summer Olympics
  • Squeezing in some final fun craft projects before school
  • Back to School for a 6th grader and a 3rd grader

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Mexican Wedding Cakes
These are one of Katya's Christmas favorites. The recipe is too big to double in my mixer, but it still makes a generous amount. I use the instructions from my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, but I know this is a common one that comes from many places.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. To make superfine sugar, process 1/3 cup sugar in food processor for about 30 seconds. I usually process 1 cup or more and store it in a jar for future use.
  3. Put the 1/3 cup superfine sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, along with the butter. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. Process 1 cup of nuts in a food processor to the texture of coarse cornmeal, about 10-15 seconds. Dump into the butter mixture and barely stir in.
  6. Process the remaining 1 cup of nuts until just coarsely chopped, about 5 seconds. Add them to dough and barely mix.
  7. Stir in flour and salt and blend just until the dough becomes cohesive.
  8. Working with a scant Tbsp. of dough at a time, roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees until the tops are pale golden and the bottoms are just beginning to brown, about 18 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Place powdered sugar in a lidded tupperware container or bowl.
  11. Roll warm or room temperature cookies, 3-4 at a time, in powdered sugar to coat well. Store at room temperature for a week or more. If desired, roll in additional powdered sugar just before serving.
Recipe Notes

This dough can easily be shaped and frozen, then baked at a later time.  Just add 2-4 minutes to the baking time.

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