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    Entries in cookie! (11)

    Monday
    Sep122016

    Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Well, here in Utah, Zucchini season is starting to wind down, but if you grow zucchini, you will have already had sautéed zucchini, breaded zucchini, baked zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini pasta, zucchini casserole, zucchini bread, and, of course, the oh so fad-tastic zoodles. *shudder* That word is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Anyway, my point is, we can all use more zucchini recipes. Options are a good thing. These cookies are cake like, in texture, with a bit of chew from the oats, warm spices, and plenty of chocolate.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • ½ cup butter (1 stick) – softened
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup grated zucchini
    • 1 cup flour
    • ½ cup whole wheat flour
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon spice mix
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup oats
    • 2 cups chocolate chips 

    Preheat your oven to 350°. Then go ahead and grate your zucchini. I like to just use a box grater. Even though I still make a mess, it’s much easier to clean up than the 87 parts of the food processor.

    There we go. This looks like a lot, but I was doubling the recipe, so just ignore that.

    Now, in your mixing bowl, beat the butter for about a minute, until it’s nice and soft. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed for about two minutes, scraping everything down a time or two in the middle.

    Add the egg.

    Mix until it’s thoroughly incorporated, scraping everything down again, and then add the vanilla.

    When that’s mixed in, add the zucchini. Just a quick note, the zucchini should be room temperature when you grate it, so if you’ve had it in the fridge, make sure you pull it out ahead of time.

    Once the zucchini is incorporated, step away from that for a minute to deal with the dry ingredients.

    Let’s talk spices for a minute. Along with the cinnamon, I used Penzey’s Pie Spice. It’s just a mix of spices. Cinnamon (China, Korintje, Ceylon, Vietnamese), vanilla sugar (sugar, vanilla bean), mace, ginger, nutmeg, anise seed and clove, to be exact. I also added an extra bit of mace, because I just love the stuff. You can really use whatever mix of spices you like, though. Put them into a bowl along with both flours, soda, powder, and salt.

    Give that a good whisk to get rid of any lumps and get everything evenly distributed.

    Now, when you go back to your zucchini mixture, it’s going to look like a swampy mess, but don’t panic. The zucchini just needed to give off some water. 

    Give it a quick stir and then add the dry ingredients. See, everything is fine. 

    Add the oats. I like to use a combination of old fashioned and quick oats, but if you only have one or the other, it will be just fine either way.

    Stir them in. This is going to be unlike a typical cookie dough. It will be more like a thick cake batter in its consistency.

    Add the chocolate chips. I have a couple opinions when it comes to chocolate chips. Firstly, as long as they’re good quality (I like Ghirardelli, but Guittard is also a good brand.) you can never have too many of them. And secondly, in baked goods, a combination of types of chocolate (milk, semisweet, dark, etc.) is always better than using just one. I used milk, dark, semisweet, and mini semisweet. Use whatever combination you like.

    And, one last stir. I like to just use a silicone spatula for this one, and just sort of fold everything together. 

    Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. I would definitely use parchment for these cookies, because they tend to be a bit sticky. My scoop is about 1 ½ Tablespoons, which I think is the perfect size for these cookies.

    Into a 350° oven for 14-15 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll be dry on top and just starting to brown around the edges. And look how lovely they are with their bits of green and loads of chocolate chips.

    Allow them to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

    Here’s a look at that wonderful cakey texture I told you about. They’re soft, chewy, and simply fabulous. I have a feeling even picky eaters will love these. Hubby (who is probably the pickiest eater I know) said they are the best cookies he's ever tasted. 

    Are you sad to see summer coming to an end, or just glad to finally get a break from the heat?

     

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    Monday
    Dec212015

    Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

    I gave Vanilla Sugar to most of my friends and family this year, so I decided I should probably create a recipe that uses it. These Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies are just the thing. They’re simple, but with a fantastic vanilla flavor, chewy texture with just a bit of crunch from the sugar, they are anything but boring.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
    • 1 ½ cups vanilla sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup vanilla sugar for rolling 

    Be sure all of your ingredients are room temperature before you get started, then preheat your oven to 350°. Drop your two sticks of butter into the bowl of your mixer.

    Beat them for a minute or two until the butter I nice and soft and fluffy.

    Add 1 ½ cups of vanilla sugar and beat for another minute.

    Add one egg and beat until it’s incorporated.

    Scrape everything down and add the second egg and the vanilla.

    Mix again, until everything is completely incorporated.

    Now it’s time for the dry ingredients. For cookies, I usually just add them on top. The only time I bother to mix the in a separate bowl first is if there are lots of different spices or something. So go ahead and add the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt.

    Mix just until it’s combined. Your dough should be soft, but not sticky.

    I used a scoop that is about 1 ½ tablespoons, but size doesn’t matter. You can make them whatever size you like. For smaller cookies, subtract a minute from the cooking time and for larger ones, add a minute. Whatever size your balls are, drop them into a bowl of vanilla sugar and roll them around until their coated.

    Place them on a parchment lined sheet pan. See the little black seeds from the vanilla sugar? That’s what makes these cookies so delicious!

    Leave plenty of room between the cookies because they will spread as they bake.

    Now into the oven for 11 – 12 minutes.  When they’re done, they won’t be browned, but they’ll puff up nicely and start to get cracks over the surface.

    Allow them to sit on the pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a rack to finish cooling… except for the one you eat for ‘testing’ purposes. 

    I will be enjoying the holiday season in San Diego, because in my world, there is nothing better than a sunny beach on Christmas Day. What is your favorite holiday tradition?