Cookie Palooza: Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to day 4 of Cookie Palooza. Today’s cookie is basically a kitchen sink cookie. Don’t worry, there are no food scraps in this cookie, but, there are a bunch of add-ins, hence the kitchen sink analogy. There are pecans, dried cranberries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, oatmeal and coconut. And while I know many people are not a fan of coconut (it seems people either love it or hate it) don’t fear, this cookie does not have a coconut flavor. The coconut adds texture to the cookie. And I am sure I may have lost some of you already as I know people are not always fond of a cookie with texture, especially a cookie like this that already has so much going on, but, trust me, all of the ingredients work so well together you will forget that there may be an ingredient or two you don’t like. Unless you have an allergy to one of them of course.

I got this recipe from Food Network’s 50 Chocolate Chip Cookies, and while there were quite a few among those 50 that sounded yummy I opted to make this one because it reminded me of another cookie I like to make around the holidays, a White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookie, that I just realized I have never posted about. I’ll have to do that this holiday season as I am sure I will be making it again. Something I did realize though going through some old posts, I need to stop taking pictures at night. Unfortunately I do a lot of baking at night, but, I will have to refrain from taking picture then because they just do not post well.

The recipe called for 1/4 cupfuls of dough (about an ice cream scoop size) to make about 10 cookies, I opted to use a cookie scoop to make mine. Which yielded about 30 cookies. A nice amount to gift or to have on hand for a holiday guests.

 

 

Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2/3 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup chopped pecans

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until set around the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Food Network

Chocolate Chip Muffins

It seems like I am on a muffin kick… Last week I brought you Blueberry Crumb Muffins and this week I am bringing you Chocolate Chip Muffins. The real reason why I made these muffins… I was going on a road trip and thought they would be a good snack/treat/breakfast for the road. When you have chocolate chips in a muffin they can be for anything I think. While this recipe was written for 12 servings (aka a cupcake size muffin) I opted to make 6 large ones as I didn’t want that many muffins for the road.

 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Servings: 12 small or 6 large
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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F and line a muffin tin with liners and then spray it with baking or cooking spray. This is just in case the muffins bake onto the pan so you can easily remove them.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold together until just combined.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake at 425F for 5 minutes and then lower the oven to 375F and bake for another 12-15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and enjoy!

 

Recipe from Little Sweet Baker

Cookie Palooza: Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the first week of December, are your ovens ready? It’s time to bake until your hearts content and then bake a little more! It’s probably one of the best things about the Holiday Season… Sweets everywhere! And I am here to help… Every day this week I’ll be bringing you a new cookie recipe that may become part of your baking repertoire or give you some inspiration to create a new recipe for yourself. I’ve scoured my cookbooks and old holiday cookie magazines to gather recipes that are easy to make, are a bit traditional with a twist and one that combines three favorites in one. That’s today’s cookie… One that combines oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips together. So, welcome to Cookie Palooza 2016 on Bead Yarn & Spatula… Up first Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 30-36 cookies
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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars and use an electric mixer to cream together. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

The unofficial end of the summer is upon us! A bittersweet time… the lazy days of summer are coming to an end, kids go back to school (yay for crazy morning traffic – that being said in my most unenthusiastic and sarcastic voice) and temperatures begin to drop. Granted, that last fact is a welcome change to me. Fall is upon us! If you didn’t know, it’s my favorite season! There’s pumpkin everything (I’m actually eating a Chobani Flip Pumpkin yogurt as I write this), apple picking, the crisp air in the morning, the leaves changing color and so many other wonderful things. It also leads us to my other favorite time of the year… The Holiday Season! You know, that time between Thanksgiving and Three Kings Day. Well, that’s what I personally consider the Holiday Season to be, I know for some it ends with the New Year. But, before we get to all that and our ovens working overtime baking wonderful holiday treats, I have a dessert for you that’s perfect for any BBQ’s you’ll be heading to this holiday weekend and for any of those random 90+days that are sure to come… An icebox cake, more specifically a Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake.

 I first saw this recipe on Food Network’s Instagram feed. It’s from Ina Garten aka “The Barefoot Contessa” and I knew I had to make it. And then a few weeks later it was featured in their magazine. Its super simple, only requires 1 bowl for mixing and you have don’t have to bake it. You assemble it and let it set overnight in your fridge – hence icebox cake.

 In a large bowl combine heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, Kahlua, cocoa powder, espresso powder & vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, mix on low speed until combined and slowly raise the speed until stiff peaks form. Before using this mocha cream of course I had to try it and it tasted similar to the cream used in Tiramisu… Delish!

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Once the cream is made it was time to assemble the cake. I arranged a layer of thin & crispy chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan. I used Tate’s cookies, which are famous for their thin & crispy texture. If you can’t find Tate’s or you just don’t feel like ordering them, you can try Chips Ahoy’s new Thins Chocolate Chip Cookie. So, after arranging the first layer of cookies, I spread about a fifth of the cream evenly over the cookies. Next, another layer of cookies and then the cream. I continued this layering pattern until I had 5 layers of each, ending with the cream. I then smoothed the top, covered it with plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight.

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The following day to unmold the cake I ran a sharp knife along the sides and then removed the ring and topped the cake with some shave chocolate.  

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Delicious is an understatement for how good this cake is! The cookies soften due to the cream, but, are left enough with enough texture that you don’t feel like you’re eating mushy cookies… Gross! And the combination of the mocha cream and chocolate chip cookies is just perfect!

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Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream, cold

12 ounces mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

24 ounces thin & crispy chocolate chip cookies, about 35

Shaved semi-sweet chocolate, for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, Kahlua, cocoa powder, espresso powder & vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer mix on low speed until all ingredients are combined, gradually increase the speed until firm peaks form.

To assemble to the cake, arrange the chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, breaking the cookies as necessary to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Spread a fifth of the mocha cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies lying flat and then another fifth of mocha cream. Continue this layer pattern until there are 5 layers of each, ending with the mocha cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, run a sharp knife along the edges and remover the ring. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and serve cold.

Recipe from Food Network

 

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Happy National Ice Cream Day!!! While I can pretty much eat ice cream any time of the year – frigid temperatures do not deter me from enjoying this creamy treat – summer is the ideal time to enjoy it. Which makes July the perfect month to celebrate National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month National Ice Cream Day!

I love texture when it comes to most things, i.e. nuts in brownies, sprinkles on cupcakes (and ice cream of course), so it’s no surprise that while I do enjoy plain old vanilla and chocolate ice cream I am partial to those flavors that have some sort of bite to them. Hence me making Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Well, the other reason for me making this particular flavor… Once the weather gets warmer mint grows wild around my yard. Usually I ignore it and let it grow as it is a good deterrent with squirrels digging holes everywhere in search of food, but this year I got the idea to make mint chocolate chip ice cream with it.

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After collecting and rinsing 2 cups of fresh mint leaves…

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I combined them along with whole milk, sugar, cream and salt in a saucepan and simmered the mixture over medium heat, stirring it occasionally until the sugar dissolved. I then removed the pan from the heat and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.

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Following that I strained the mixture and returned it to the saucepan and heated it on medium-low heat

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I took a cup of the warmed milk and slowly added it to a bowl with whisked egg yolks; while adding the milk I whisked the mixture constantly to temper the eggs. If tempering is not done properly you can end up with scrambled eggs.

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Once the eggs where tempered I added them to the remaining milk mixture on the stove and stirred the combined mixture constantly to form a custard.

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Following that I strained the custard through a sieve into a medium-sized bowl. After letting the custard cool for a few minutes I covered it and refrigerated it overnight. I was a bit concerned when I saw that my custard was yellow – I feared that my ice cream was going to be this color. Green & white are cool for mint ice cream, but yellow not so much!

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The following day I transferred the mixture to the bowl of my ice cream maker and once it started to firm up I added in chopped semi-sweet chocolate to the ice cream.

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And finally I transferred the ice cream to an airtight container to place it in the freezer so the ice cream could firm up.

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Final outcome… Well, thankfully it didn’t end up being yellow! The flavor is definitely different than store bought mint chocolate chip ice cream. It has more of an earthy flavor and doesn’t have the aftertaste that I find with some store bought ice creams. Also, since the base was custard and not a liquid like I normally make for ice cream it was definitely much creamier and reminded me of ice cream that you sometimes get from “old-time” ice cream shops. I definitely want to try to make this again, but, I think I would use less mint leaves and sugar and instead of making custard I would steep the leaves in milk similarly like when I made Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh mint

1 cup whole milk

1 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch of table salt

6 large egg yolks

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

1. Combine the mint, milk, sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

2. Strain the milk mixture through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the mint. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and place medium-low heat.

3. Set the sieve over a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add 1 cup of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until combined. Return to the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to custard and coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the custard from heat and strain. Let sit until slightly cool, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

5. Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Fold in the chocolate. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.