Posts tagged ‘cookies’

January 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies (w/Browned Butter)

While watching the Famous Amos cookie story on Food Network (awhile back) it became apparent to me that you can use brown sugar in place of granulated sugar in cookies. There may have been more interesting useful tips but since it’s been months, and I didn’t write anything down, all I remember was the use of brown sugar. Since then I have been trying recipes substituting brown sugar for some or all of the granulated sugar. Brown sugar makes a softer cookie and adds a nutty, caramel flavor and that is what we all want out of a cookie – soft chewy and flavorful. Next time I will try this recipe with all brown sugar (just to see what happens). And, really, who doesn’t like brown sugar! My daughter calls it “chocolate sugar” and I thought that was just about right – I love brown sugar just about as much as I love chocolate! Any recipe with brown sugar in the title sells it to me. Speaking of, a friend of mine gave me her extra copy of The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham and this is such a great book – so much inspiration for breakfast! Anyway, there is a Chewy Brown Sugar Muffins recipe in that book – they are on the “to make” list. I drool just thinking of “chewy brown sugar.” 

Also in this recipe, I used what is called Fiori di Sicilia in place of vanilla and the orange zest. Fiori di sicilia is a mixture of citrus and vanilla.  You can get fiori di sicilia from King Arthur flour or google it. Of course if you want classic chocolate chip cookies use only vanilla and the recipe won’t be affect except for flavor.

(adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts book, classic chocolate chip cookie recipe)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp grated orange zest (I used ½ teaspoon of fiori di sicilia)
2 large eggs
2 cups of milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375° F.

1. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

2. Beat butter, sugars and extract in large bowl until creamy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. I use my small ice cream scoop and scoop dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.

6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Cool on wire racks.

Brown Butter:

Brown butter seems to be a new trend for desserts; my recent Bon Appetit magazine has a browned butter brownie recipe.  I have been seeing brown butter in lots of recipes lately. Brown butter smells so good and tastes just as good. You know “color adds flavor” and that is definitely true with brown butter. I usually brown my butter and then fry my eggs in it – Mmmm. You can use it in sweet and savory dishes – pasta, eggs, meat, fish, cookies, brownies, cakes – and more!

Technique: Brown the butter until the butter is foamy and starts to brown. You will see little brown bits in the butter and it will smell so heavenly!  Cool in the freezer or fridge until the butter until it is the consistency of softened butter so you can cream it with the sugar.  (see Chow’s how to brown butter)

(sorry for the lack of photos – I didn’t actually intend on posting this recipe when I made it – don’t ask me why)

December 23, 2010

T’was a Christmas Cookie Party

This year Linda Marrone invited me to fill in as a judge for her Christmas Cookie Party. I was super excited and felt honored to have my opinion count so much.  Going into this adventure I thought it would be simple – taste cookies and pick my favorites. However, it was not so easily done. The cookies were amazing and all had their own appeal. I spent at least 45 minutes tasting 13 cookies and deciding which was the best, and changed my mind along the way. Taking into consideration taste, texture, the look of the cookie, and how traditional the cookie. My kind side wanted everyone to win because they all put so much work into these cookies and they all were really really good. But I had a job to do, so I got down to business.

Like I said the task was not an easy one, but it sure was fun and yummy! I enjoyed meeting the ladies, they were all so creative and enthusiastic, and you can tell they loved being part of the Christmas Cookie Party and getting together with one another each year. No wonder this is the 30th year Linda has held this party! What fun!


Organizing such a party is no small task in itself, but everyone involved brought an appetizer, a white elephant (or used) gift, and everyone makes 15 dozen cookies and some even hand make containers for their cookies. Really a great time is had, the ladies laugh the entire time and really just enjoy themselves.  Holiday cheer is definitely in the air.

Below are some photos of the winners, cookies, containers and other randomness I enjoyed along the way! Thanks everyone you did a FANTASTIC job – all the cookies were great you are all really winners, I’d eat all the cookies (in fact I did).

Meet everyone involved (Yes the baby helped with cookies too):


Please excuse the photo quality – I was in low light at night…

FIRST PLACE – SWEDISH SNOWBALL COOKIES by Laura Vance and Laurie Oswald for Laurie’s mom’s recipe.


SECOND PLACE – PECAN EGGNOG ROUNDS by Breana Coons & Lauren Coons.

2nd Place Cookie





These are all the other cookies that were fabulous as well!



I am sorry I did not get a good shot of the third place winner Debbie Coleman’s Santa Head. She put a lot of work into these containers, but my photo didn’t come out sorry!  The container was a wonderful Santa Head with Santa’s beard filled with little bells.

FIRST PLACE – PHOTO COLLAGES (filled with memories over the years of the individuals who participate in the cookie party). by Linda Marrone & Kim Sayre


SECOND PLACE (also the second place cookie) – ELF BUTTS by Breana and Lauren Coons


FOURTH PLACE – SNOWMAN MITTENS by Darlene Cobbey and Carol Smith


These are some of the other containers – homemade and not.


We were lucky enough to have Christmas carolers from Carson High School choir stop by. I have never had carolers stop by my house and it was such a treat – a really neat Christmas tradition you always see in books and Christmas shows/movies, but in real life – I have to say I was thoroughly impressed and just topped off the evening.


Here are some random photos of Linda’s holiday decorations around the house. (I just love her house).