Milky Way Cookies

Milky Way Cookies are exactly what they sound like (if you’re not thinking of the constellation)… chopped fun-sized Milky Way bars mixed into a basic cookie recipe.  The chopped up Milky Way chunks create craters of oozing caramel that occupy the landscape of a chewy, buttery cookie.  But don’t stop at just Milky Ways, this cookie is also a solid base for other add-ins.  So get your creative juices flowing and stuff these cookies to your heart’s content.

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Milky Way Cookies

(from Cookies & Cups)
Makes about 3 dozen medium sized cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, 2 sticks, room temp
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 (11.24 oz) bag of fun sized Milky Way bars, chopped (I usually cut the the bars into 6 pieces)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.  This is very important as the caramel from the Milky Ways will ooze out and stick to the cookie sheet if it’s unlined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and sea salt, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together.
  5. Add and mix in the eggs one at a time.
  6. Add the vanilla, and mix well.  Scrape down the sides as needed
  7. Turn mixer to low, and add in the flour mixture.  Don’t overmix.
  8. Stir in the chopped Milky Way.
  9. Using a cookie scoop or spoons (the dough will be soft), drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet, and space the dough balls about 2″ apart.
  10. Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes until the edges are golden.  The caramel may ooze out the sides, or the cookie may lose a little of its nice rounded shape, but don’t worry, they’ll still be delicious.
  11. Remove the cookies from oven, and let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes.  Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Cookies (aka Ugly Cookies)

It’s never a good day in my kitchen when baked goods come out of the oven ugly.  But I’ve found an exception to that rule.  These Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Cookies (aka Ugly Cookies) are the most addictively delicious ugly cookies ever.  They’re crispy on the edges like a delicate thin sheet of caramelized sugar and chewy in the center with crunchy pockets of flavor speckled throughout from the Fruity Pebbles clusters.  From start to finish, these cookies take extra time, effort, and patience, but the enjoyment from eating them is endless.  IMG_9041[1]

Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Cookies (aka Ugly Cookies)

Makes approximately 15-20 large cookies or about 3 dozen smaller cookies
(from Milk Momofuku Milk Bar)

Ingredients

Fruity Pebble Crunch

1/4  (17-ounce) box (2 1/2 cups; 120g) Fruity Pebbles cereal
1/4 cup (20g) milk powder
1 tablespoon (12g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, melted

Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Cookies

16 tablespoons (2 sticks; 225g) butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup tightly packed (150g) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (240g) flour
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1.5g) baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons (5g) kosher salt
1 recipe Fruity Pebbles Crunch
1 1/4 cups (65g) mini marshmallows (I used fruity marshmallows but regular mini’s work too. Make sure the marshmallows are not stuck together.)

Directions

Fruity Pebble Crunch

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the Fruity Pebbles, milk powder, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  3. Add the butter and mix until the cereal is fully covered.
  4. Spread the cereal mixture on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until the cereal mixture looks toasted, smells buttery, and is crunchy when cooled slightly and chewed.
  6. Cool the Fruity Pebble crunch fully before storing or using in a recipe (this took about 15 minutes for me). (Note: the Fruity Pebble Crunch can  be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for about a week or in the fridge or freezer for about a month).

Fruity Pebbles Marshmallow Cookies

  1. Using a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and light brown sugar on medium-high for 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7-8 minutes.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until the dough comes together (no more than 1 minute).  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula,
  5. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the Fruity Pebble crunch until evenly distributed through the dough (30-45 seconds).
  6. Stir in the mini-marshmallows until incorporated.
  7. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, portion the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Flatten the dough balls slightly.
  8. Wrap the sheet pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.  Or put the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  (Important note: do not bake the cookies using room temperature dough.  They will spread too much and become a big mess.).
  9. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  10. Place the chilled dough disks at least 4 inches apart on a parchment or Silpat lined sheet pan (I usually only bake 6 cookies per sheet pan.)
  11. Bake the cookies (1 cookie sheet at a time, and rotate half way through baking time to ensure even baking) until the edges are slightly browned, and the center is no longer doughy (You will have to experiment with bake times.  If you refrigerated your cookie dought, the approximate bake time for 2 3/4 ounces dough discs is 18 minutes; bake time for a tablespoon cookie scoop is about 7 minutes.  If your cookie dough is frozen, add about 1 minute extra to the bake time.).
  12. Cool the cookies on the sheet pan.

Note: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Homemade Oreos

The grocery store cookie aisle is no longer the only place where you can find delicious Oreos, because this recipe for Homemade Oreos is one of those rare instances when a knockoff is a surprising improvement over the real thing.  These “Faux-re-os” taste just like Oreos, with a creamy vanilla filling sandwiched between two intensely dark, chocolately cookies.  The homemade version has a slightly softer texture and a more condensed, rich flavor. But just like store-bought Oreos, these cookies will transport you into a cookie eating twilight zone where you start off with eating one, and suddenly a whole row of them have disappeared.

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Homemade Oreos

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size
(from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer – All the Good Cookies)

Ingredients

Cookies

1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Black Cocoa but the orginal recipe also recommends Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Filling

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the egg, and mix well.
  5. Add the egg yolk, and mix well.  Scrape down the sides as needed.
  6. Add the vanilla, and mix well.
  7. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder until well mixed.
  8. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the egg-sugar mixture, and beat until well combined.
  9. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.
  10. Using a level small (2-teaspoon size) cookie scoop, drop the dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  11. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough.
  12. Transfer to the oven, and bake until the edges begin to firm up, about 9 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets on the oven racks halfway through the baking time.
  13. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes.
  14. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.
  15. Repeat with the remaining dough on cool cookie sheets.

Filling

  1. Place the butter and shortening in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk and beat until creamy.
  2. On low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined.
  3. Increase the spped of the mixer to high and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Assembling the Cookies

  1. Spread a scant teaspoonful of filling onto the bottom of half of a cookie, and top with another cookie.
  2. Gently squeeze the cookies together so the filling spreads to the edge.

Note: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen up for to 3 months.

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Typically I don’t have much interest in baking gluten-free sweets.  But recently I reached a threshold number of friends who are gluten sensitive/intolerant, and thus have made a more concerted effort to provide a few gluten-free baked goods options.  These Flourless Fudge Cookies will make any chocolate lover swoon.  When you don’t have flour to work with, you pack a cookie with flavor-rich ingredients like cocoa powder (use a good quality cocoa powder like from Penzey’s) and espresso powder.  This light-as-air cookie has a delicate crispy top and a delightfully chewy center, all while packing an intense chocolate punch.

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Flourless Fudge Cookies

Makes 16 large or 32 small cookies
(from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 cup (3 ounces) cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process cocoa
3 large (3 3/4 ounces) egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (8-12 ounces) chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and/or chopped dried fruit, optional (I don’t use add ins as the cookies are pretty delicate and thin, and I don’t want them weighed down)

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and grease the parchment.  These cookies will stick, so greasing the parchment is a must.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, salt, espresso powder, and cocoa powder.
  4. Pour the egg-vanilla mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir together to mix well.  Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir until the batter is smooth.  The batter should be the consistency of thick syrup.  It will not look like your typical cookie dough, but do not be alarmed.
  5. Add the chips, nuts, etc. if using.  I prefer not to add these in as the cookies are delicate.
  6. Drop the batter onto the baking sheets in 3″ (for large cookies) or 1 3/4″ to 2″ (for smaller cookies) rounds.  I like using a cookie scoop for this as it gets messy because the dough is so liquidy.  Let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350°F.  Don’t skip the dough resting step as it allows the cookies to bake more evenly.
  7. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes (for small cookies) or 8-9 minutes (for larger cookies).  The cookies will spread slightly while baking, and become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan.  When they’re nearly cool, loosen them from the pan with a spatula.

Brownie Cookies

Craving a brownie but also want a cookie?  Don’t despair!  Brownie cookies are the latest trend uniting the cookie and brownie communities.  In less than an hour, you too can solve your brownie-cookie dilemma with this easy recipe for Brownie Cookies.  Crispy edges, a soft and chewy center, slightly gooey right out of the oven, and ultra chocolately, these cookies are irrefutable evidence that you CAN have your cake (or in this case, brownie and cookie) and eat it too.    

In case you needed a closeup…

Brownie Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies
(from All the Good Cookies)

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips (using bittersweet chocolate chips instead of semi sweet chocolate chips keeps these cookies ultra rich and not too sweet)

Directions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on high for about 60 seconds, stirring once or twice halfway though.
  2. Stir until smooth and the butter is completely melted.
  3. Cook the butter-sugar mixture for an additional 20 seconds, until just hot (110°F to 120°F).  Stir the mixture until it’s slightly shiny looking (This heating dissolves more of the sugar which creates a shiny top crush on your cookies).  Cool for 5 minutes (you don’t want your butter-sugar mixture to be too warm because when you add it to the eggs, it might scramble the eggs a little).
  4. Place the eggs in a large mixer bowl, and beat until light yellow and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the butter-sugar mixture and vanilla to the eggs, beating well to combine.
  6. In a separate medium size bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder until well combined.
  7. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until just combined.
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 2 days.  This will make it easier to scoop the dough.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Using a level, small (2-teaspoon size) cookie scoop, drop the dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  13. Bake until the cookies begin to firm around the edges, about 10-13 minutes.  Rotate the cookie sheets on the oven racks halfway through the baking time.
  14. Cool on cookies sheets for 3 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Hazelnut Molasses Spice Cookies

These hazelnut molasses spice cookies may look understated and almost overbaked, but if you look closely, they’re studded with small chunks of hazelnut and pack a flavorful punch.  Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves make them reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie but without the spicy bite.  Thin and crispy, rich and buttery, and not too sweet, they’re a perfect complement to tea time.

Note, the dough needs a few hours in the fridge to firm up, so make sure to leave enough time for that.
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Hazelnut Molasses Spice Cookies

Makes about one hundred 2 1/2 inch cookies
(from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies)
My notes are in [   ] below.

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups (7.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) raw hazelnuts, skin left on
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) sugar
1/4 teaspoon slat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup light unsulfured (but not blackstrap) molasses

Directions

  1. Put the flour, hazelnuts, and baking soda into a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground.  Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves until well combined.
  2. In a mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.
  3. On low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture followed by all of the molasses.  Add the remaining flour and beat until just blended.
  4. Shape the dough into a cylinder about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter lengthwise on an 18-inch-long sheet of wax or parchment paper. Wrap tightly.  Refrigerate until firm enough to slice, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  6. Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper. [I always use parchment paper because it makes for easier clean up.]
  7. Cut slices 1/8 inch thick from the cylinder. [Make sure the dough is evenly sliced so the cookies bake up evenly and are done at the same time.]
  8. Place the slices about 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined or greased cookie sheets.
  9. Bake for 7-12 minutes [the original recipe indicated 10-12 minutes, but my cookies were done by 7-8 minutes so make sure to keep an eye on them.], until golden grown with darker edges [my cookies darkened quickly, so again, make sure to keep an eye on them and check to see how dark the bottoms are too.].  Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway though the baking time.  The cookies will puff up and then settle down before they are done.
  10. For lined pans set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks.  Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Tahini Cookies

The day has finally come when it feels like I have made nearly every variation of chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal, shortbread, ginger, snickerdoodle, and chocolate cookie.  So, it’s time to experiment with Tahini Cookies.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Apparently tahini is not just for hummus anymore, as this sesame seed paste (with a texture kind of like smooth peanut butter) is just as delicious in a cookie.  The sesame flavor, while mild, builds in your mouth as you chew it.  And while this crunchy cookie is very lightly sweet, an optional drizzle of honey on top will satisfy any sweet tooth.

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Tahini Cookies

Makes 36 (2 1/2-inch) cookies
(from the kitchn)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup coarse-grain sugar (I like turbinado sugar)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together; set aside.
  2. Cream the butter, tahini, and brown and granulated sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the egg to the wet ingredients, return the mixer to medium speed, and mix until completely incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and the paddle.
  4. Return the mixer to low speed and slowly add the flour mixture. Stop the mixer when almost all the flour is incorporated, then use a rubber spatula to incorporate the last of it by hand.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the batter starts to firm up, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Place the coarse sugar in a shallow, wide bowl or pie plate.
  8. Scoop the dough by level tablespoons and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to lightly coat.
  9. Place the dough balls on the baking sheets 2 inches apart, 12 per baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.  Make sure not to crowd the cookies as they’ll spread during baking.
  10. Bake two sheets at a time (rotating the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time) until the cookies are a light golden-brown around the edges and on the bottoms, 11 to 14 minutes.
  11. Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Vanilla Bean Tuiles

One day, several months ago, I had grand dreams of making the best fortune cookies ever.  So, I found a vanilla bean tuile cookie recipe that looked manageable, got my fortunes to be stuffed inside the cookies ready, and started baking.  Sadly my first attempt at a fortune cookie resulted in the paper fortune sticking to the cookie, and my dreams were dashed in an instant.  I decided the only way to salvage my dream was to roll up the cookie into a cigar-shaped tuile and cast aside the fortunes.  Well, 5 minutes later (after the cookie had cooled), I took a bite of my tuile and declared it one of the most delicious things I’ve ever baked.  The butter and vanilla really shine through in these cookies.  They’re extra rich, very light, and delightfully crispy and crunchy.

A few things to keep in mind if you decide to bake these cookies.  1.  It make take some time to bake up all the batter as you’ll need to individually shape the cookies while they’re warm, so don’t put more than two baking pans in the oven (unless you have several pairs of hands helping you shape the cookies).  I only baked one cookie sheet at a time (with only 6 cookies per cookie sheet) to ensure I could work quickly enough to shape the cookies while they were warm.  So, you’ll have to find the technique and rhythm that works best for you.  2.  It helps to have fingertips that can withstand some heat as these should be rolled as soon as it’s bearable to touch them after they’ve been removed from the oven. So tender fingers should be especially careful.  3.  You’ll need to line your cookie sheets with silicone baking mats.  The original recipe states that you can use heavy-duty foil, dull side up, but I haven’t tried that.  You’ve been forewarned!

Vanilla Bean Tuiles-AMedrich

Vanilla Bean Tuiles

Makes about forty 2 1/2 inch tuiles
(from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich)

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm,  plus extra for greasing the pan liners
2/3 cup (4.625 ounces) sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground vanilla beans (I used an equal amount of vanilla bean paste)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  3. If using foil, smooth it to remove any wrinkles, which would distort the cookies. Grease the silicone mats or the foil lightly but thoroughly with melted butter.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until blended.
  5. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  6. Drop level teaspoons of the batter 2 inches apart onto the cookie sheets.  Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, and in a circular motion, spread the batter evenly in 2 1/2 inch rounds about 1/16 inch thick.
  7. Bake, watching carefully, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tuiles are golden brown half to three-quarters of the way to the center but still pale in the center.
  8. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. If the cookies are not baked long enough, they will not be completely crisp when cool.

     8a.  If Using Silicone Mats (This is the method I used) – As soon as you can, use a thin metal spatula to 1) transfer a cookie to a rack to cool flat or 2) shape it by draping it over a rolling pin, nestling it into a little cup, or rolling it into a cigar shape with your fingers (the last option is the one I did). Try to work as quickly as possible to remove the remaining tuiles.  If the cookies cool before shaping, you can return them to the oven for 30 seconds to reheat/soften them.
     8b.  If Using Foil (I haven’t tried this but below are the directions from the original recipe) –  Slide the foil sheet of cookies onto a rack to cool flat. Or, for curved tuiles, grasp the edges of the foil when the sheet comes from the oven (without touching the hot pan or the cookies) and roll it into a fat cylinder, gently curving the attached cookies like potato chips. Crimp or secure the foil with a paper clip. When cool, unroll the foil carefully and remove the tuiles. Alternatively, remove individual tuiles from the foil while they are hot (as soon as you can coax a thin metal spatula under a cookie without destroying it) and shape them as described above. Flat or curved, tuiles are easiest to remove from the foil when they are either very hot or completely cool.

Repeat until all of the tuiles are baked. To retain crispness, put the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool.

NOTE:  Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Chocolate Wakeups

Big kudos to my baking buddy, G, who has a gift for choosing good cookie recipes to bake.  During our recent baking session, out of the hundreds of cookie recipes in my 528 page cookie cookbook (King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion), G chose Chocolate Wakeups.  These crunchy edged, tender center shortbread chocolate cookies are highlighted by cinnamon with a touch of heat from black pepper and cayenne pepper, and the sprinkling of turbinado sugar on top gives them an extra crunch.  And if that’s not tempting enough, these are easy and fast to make.

Chocolate Wakeups- KAF Cookie1

Chocolate Wakeups

(from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)
Makes 5 dozen cookies
My notes are in [  ] below.  I also rewrote some parts of the recipe to be more in line with the order that I like to mix together my ingredients.  

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
Pearl sugar or turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  3. In a medium size bowl, stir together the cocoa and flour until well combined.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, peppers, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Beat in the egg to the wet ingredients.
  6. Add the flour-cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients and mix.  The dough will be very stiff.
  7. Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheets [I used a small cookie scoop.] .  Lightly flatten the cookies to 1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar. [If you slightly grease/butter the bottom of the glass, the sugar will stick to a bit better.]
  8. If desired, press some pearl or coarse sugar onto the top of each cookie. [I sprinkled turbinado sugar on top, and I liked how it gave the cookies and extra crunch.]
  9. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes.  They won’t look any more brown than the raw dough, and they won’t feel done, but that’s the correct time and temperature.  Remove the cookies from the oven, transfer them to a rack, and let them cool.

Chocolate Rolo (Caramel) Cookies

One of my most profound discoveries from my college years was coming across this Chocolate Rolo (Caramel) Cookies recipe among the little recipe books stuffed in shelves at the supermarket checkout line.  Over the years, I’ve made these cookies for nearly every occasion, celebration, commiseration,etc., and anyone who  knows me remotely well and/or has lived in somewhat close proximity to me has at some point in their lives tried these cookies.  The soft, fudgey chocolate cookie with slightly crisp edges gently cradles a single Rolo in the center, which right out of the oven oozes with caramel when you split the cookie down the middle.  After the cookies have cooled a bit, the caramel firms up to a chewy texture which provides yet another dimension to the cookie.  I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe over the years so you could say it’s reached the “old family recipe” status of awe.

A few minutes out of the oven…
Chocolate Rolo Cookies- 1

Chocolate Rolo (Caramel) Cookies

(The original recipe is from Pillsbury, but I’ve made a few tweaks to it over the years.)
Make approximately 4 dozen (or more) cookies

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder [I like to use half unsweetened cocoa powder (Penzey’s makes a good one) and half sweetened cocoa powder (I like Ghiradelli sweet ground chocolate).  I feel like this combo adds more depth to the chocolate flavor.]
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
48 Rolo® Chewy Caramels in Milk Chocolate, unwrapped (from 13-oz. pkg.)
Sugar for rolling cookies

Directions

1. In medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In large bowl, beat together 1 cup of sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy. I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one to ensure everything is mixed really well. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
3. Add the vanilla and eggs, and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and make sure everything is mixed well (scrape down the bowl), but do not overmix the dough.
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or more until the dough firms up a bit.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. For each cookie, scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough, and wrap it around one Rolo, making sure to completely cover the Rolo. (Note: If the dough doesn’t fully cover the Rolo, the caramel will melt and leak out of your cookie while baking.)
7. Roll the dough into a ball. Then roll the dough ball in sugar to create a light coating.
8. Place cookies approximately 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
9. Bake at 375°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are set and the tops are slightly cracked. They will still be a bit soft and puffy, but do not overbake as the bottoms may burn.
10. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes. This is important because the cookies are really delicate right out of the oven and can break easily. Plus, their centers are heavy (because of the caramel), and if you move them before they’ve firmed up a little, the centers will fall out. Then remove the cookies from the cookie sheets and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes or until completely cooled.

Notes: I highly recommend eating some cookies before they’re completely cooled so that you can experience the caramel oozing out of them. However, be very careful as the caramel can be hot.

These cookies are best the day that they’re baked, and they will keep well for about 1-2 days. After that they get a bit dry and crumbly.