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    Entries in cookie! (11)

    Thursday
    Mar072013

    No Bake Cookies

    In my house that term referred specifically to these cookies.  Growing up, I never realized ‘no bake cookies’ was actually a family of cookie, like drop cookies or cookie bars.  I just assumed it was the name of these chocolate and oat cookies, as chocolate chip cookies is to, well… chocolate chip cookies.  Not until I started cooking on my own did I realize that there is a huge variety of no bake cookies and that the term actually referred to the method in which they are made.  For me, no bake cookies will always be these.  Most recipes for these call for peanut butter, but since Seeley already made a peanut butter no bake cookie, and since the ones I grew up on didn’t use it, these are just chocolate. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 cup butter
    • 2 cups sugar
    • ½ cup milk
    • 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 3-3 ½ cups oats
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • ½ teaspoon salt

    Measure 3 cups of oats into a large mixing bowl and set it aside.

    Put the sugar and salt into a fairly large saucepan.  Sift in the cocoa powder. 

    Yes, you really do need to sift it.  Cocoa powder is always lumpy.  Technically you should sift it before you measure, but even I’m too lazy for that.  Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, break up all the lumps and shake them through the sieve. 

    See, nice and lump free. 

    Now, so that it doesn’t clump back up when you add the milk, whisk it into the sugar. 

    Then pour in the milk.

    Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the pan. 

    Turn the heat to low and stir everything together. 

    Once the butter has melted, you can turn the heat up to medium. 

    Continue stirring until it comes to a boil. 

    Cover it for 2 minutes.  Wash your spoon or get a clean one.  It needs to be free of crystals. 

    I know, this is looking a lot like making fudge.  Well, truth be told, it basically is.  ‘Cookies’ is probably a misnomer for these.  They might be more aptly called oatmeal fudge patties, or chocolate oatmeal candy, but let’s be honest, those don’t sound very appealing.  But just like fudge, if you don’t get rid of the crystals, these will end up with a grainy texture. 

    So when the 2 minutes are up, remove the lid, turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla.  Pour the mixture over the oats, and again like fudge, don’t scrape the pan. 

    Stir until all the oats are well coated.  If it’s too runny, ad more oats ¼ cup at a time.  You’re looking for something like this. 

    Scoop out a tablespoon or so and plop it onto a sheet of parchment or foil. 

    Repeat until you’ve basically scraped your bowl clean.  They should hold their shape nicely and not have puddles around them.  If they run, they need more oats. 

    They aren’t the prettiest things ever, but boy are they tasty.  I actually only made a half recipe because they’re addictive, and I’m afraid I might eat them all either way. 

    What are your favorite no bake cookies?

     

    Friday
    Jun082012

    Snickerdoodles - The Old Reliable of Cookies

    Well, since Seeley decided to take a break from cookies the last few weeks, I thought it would be a good time for me to make some.  I’m not doing anything crazy, though.  Like with the chocolate chip cookies I made last, I’ll be going traditional.  If it ain’t broke and all that… right?  Besides, who doesn’t love snickerdoodles?  Anything named with the words snicker and doodle has to be good.  To make it even better, they’re quick and easy to make. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • ½ cup butter
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    And to roll them in:

    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

    Cookies come together pretty quickly, so go ahead and preheat your oven to 350°.  As always with cookies, everything needs to be room temperature.  Drop your softened butter into a mixing bowl along with ¾ cup sugar. 

    Mix those until they are light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla.

    Scrape everything down and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

    You can mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, but I was being lazy, so I just added the flour and sprinkled the soda, powder, and salt on top.  Mix until it all comes together.  The dough should be soft, but not really sticky. 

    Now for what makes a snickerdoodle, a snickerdoodle.  In a small bowl, put ¼ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon (make sure it’s fresh.  It should be really fragrant), and ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg.  What?  Nutmeg?  Snickerdoodles don’t have nutmeg.  Well, they do when I make them.  It adds a little extra spice that perks them up just a bit. 

    Stir or shake those together until you have a nice even mixture.  Now, prepare your assembly line.  Dough, spoon, cinnamon mixture, and parchment lined cookie sheet. 

    As you’ve probably noticed by now, there is a much different backdrop in my pictures these days.  My move has been mentioned briefly, but I haven’t said much else.  Now is probably a perfect time for me to say how much I love my new kitchen.  I went from a big, but old kitchen with nowhere to put anything, to all of my gadgets and toys having practically a whole room to themselves. 

    Except my Kitchenaid, which is used often enough that it gets to live in the main part of the kitchen.  We all win. 

    Anyway, I could go on for hours about all the things I love in there, but I don’t want to bore you, so we’ll return to your regularly scheduled program.  Back to cookies.  Scoop a rounded tablespoon of dough and drop it into your sugar mixture.  Roll/toss your balls around until they are completely coated. 

    Place them onto the prepared sheet pan, leaving plenty of space between them.  Apparently I forgot to take a picture of that part, probably because I was anxious to get them into the oven so I could eat them.  That being said, bake them for 10 – 12 minutes.  They’ll be just starting to brown round the edges. 

    Allow them to cool on the pan for a minute or two and then move them to a rack.  Although, one of them will likely find its way into your mouth along the way.  Crispy edges, chewy in the middle, sweet and spicy, they are irresistible. 

    What is your favorite part of your kitchen?