Cocoa Snickerdoodles

If you have seen this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine you know they are getting their readers ready for the Holidays with a slew of cookie recipes. While they all sound amazing one of them stood out from the rest for me… Cocoa Snickerdoodles. What is there not to love about a cookie made with cocoa and then rolled in cinnamon sugar?

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I began by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar (which I just recently learned is the key ingredient that makes a Snickerdoodle and Sugar Cookie different. The addition of the cream of tartar prevents the cookie from having the crunch of a Sugar Cookie and instead a soft and cakey inside.)

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Next I beat room temperature butter along with granulated and light brown sugar until it was light and fluffy.

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I then added in an egg and vanilla extract.

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And finally I beat in the flour mixture until the two mixtures were just combined.

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Before placing the cookies on the baking sheet I rolled them in a mixture of sanding sugar and cinnamon.

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Since I knew these cookies would spread while baking I was sure to give them ample space on a parchment lined baking sheet prior to baking them in a 375 F oven for 9 minutes; rotating the pan after the first 5 minutes.

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My first batch right out of the oven… I let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once cooled I couldn’t wait to try one… Here’s a close-up of the soft cakey texture I mentioned.

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And while these cookies were delicious once cooled they were even better the next day once the cinnamon sugar mixture had more time to seep into them. The only bad thing about this recipe… It only yields 18 cookies!

 

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup white sanding sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla; reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

2. Combine the sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls with damp hands; toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Arrange about 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets.

3. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edge, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies

Another month has rolled in and it’s not just any month, it’s December – the month where everywhere you look there is something sweet to eat and it’s almost impossible to say no to all of the deliciousness. One thing synonymous with December is baking, especially baking Christmas cookies. Personally I don’t think Christmas cookies are limited to those decorated with red and green sprinkles, for me it’s any cookie baked  this month – hey, it’s Christmas season, not just the day. So to kick off the baking festivities I would like to share with you a cookie that is right up my alley. I may have mentioned once or twice before that my favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so imagine my delight when I came across a cookie recipe that was a swirl of chocolate and peanut butter flavors. (I should also note that I am a big fan of peanut butter cookies as well!) The recipe is officially called Best of Both Cookies and I came across it in a special edition of Taste of Home magazine highlighting Christmas cookies and candies, but, for the purpose of this post I am going to call them Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies.

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I’ll be honest I was a bit apprehensive about making these cookies for two reasons; they are slice and bake cookies (I prefer making drop and bake cookies) and it involved making two separate doughs and then mixing them together (I thought the doughs would be difficult to meld.) Luckily I was wrong on both fronts. Incorporating the two doughs and forming them into logs to be sliced was super simple.  First up was the peanut butter dough. I creamed together peanut butter, softened butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until it was light and fluffy and then added in an egg. In a separate bowl I combined flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt which I then mixed into the peanut butter mixture.

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To make the chocolate dough I creamed together butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar once again until it was light and fluffy. I then added in an egg and vanilla extract. And finally I added in a mixture a of flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

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I divided each of the doughs in half and kneaded one peanut butter half and one chocolate half a few times until it began to swirl and then formed the combined doughs into a 10-inch log.

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I then wrapped each of the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerated them until they were firm – at least 3 hours.

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Once firm it was easy to slice the dough for the cookies.

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I then placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet and baked them for 7 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven.

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I let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Overall these cookies were amazing… Not one thing negative to say about them. Depending on how the doughs swirl together you may get a cookie that is more peanut butter than chocolate or vice versa, but, either way it’ll be delicious. Neither of the doughs is overpowering with flavor so it’s the perfect marrying of peanut butter and chocolate!

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies (Best of Both Cookies)

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Dough:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Dough:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. For the chocolate dough, in another large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

3. Divide each portion in half. Knead one peanut butter and one chocolate portion together 5-10 times or until it just begins to swirl. Shape into a 10-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets (or parchment lined baking sheets.) Bake 6-8 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

 

 

Marbled Nutella Banana Bread

A few months ago I came across a recipe for a Marbled Nutella Banana Bread on a fellow bloggers’, My Ninja Naan, blog  and I have wanted to make it ever since. I was all set to make it last weekend but then my dad ate one of my perfectly ripened bananas. It was probably for the best though, the bananas were practically over-ripened in my book so I am sure the taste of the bread would have been overpowered by the banana taste and the Nutella flavor would have gotten lost in it. While I am a fan of bananas I prefer to eat mine when they are pale yellow without any spots – when most people would say they are not ready to be eaten – so they won’t have the overpowering banana taste I am not fond of. So, I bought three bananas that were on the verge of turning a darker shade of yellow and let them sit for a week to ripen up a bit to make the bread.

I started off by sifting together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. While I do have a traditional sifter, I prefer to use a sieve to sift my dry ingredients as it’s much quicker and I find that it does the job just as well.

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I set the dry ingredients aside and I began to mix together the wet ingredients. First up, I mashed three ripe bananas.

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Next, I added in the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract and used my hand mixer to combine them all.

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I then mixed in two eggs.

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And finally I added in the flour mixture.

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Once the batter was well combined I divided it into two bowls and added the Nutella to one of them.

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To get the marbled effect I alternately spooned the banana and the Nutella-banana batters into my prepared 9-inch loaf pan (I just sprayed it with baking spray) and then swirled it with a knife.

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After baking for an hour in a 350 degrees F preheated oven the bread was done.

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I let it cool for a bit and then sliced a few slices to see the marble effect and of course to try it and it was delish!

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Marbled Nutella Banana Bread

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift the together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and well combined – about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined – about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide 1/2 of the batter into a medium bowl; stir in Nutella until combined.

Alternate spoonfuls of batter into loaf pan until all of the batter is used up. Swirl batter gently with a knife (not too much!).

Bake 1 hour or until well risen, deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Makes 1 loaf.