Chewy Sugar Cookies

Happy How To’s Day! Today’s How To is about baking…my favorite subject. In another life, I must’ve owned a bakery. I served fresh bread and cookies to people looking to retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. When you’re eating baked goods, it is really hard to worry about anything (except maybe fitting into your pants the next day).

These cookies are a little sweet, a little salty, and a lot delicious. I made a double batch last time just so I could eat eight a few of them myself. I found this recipe on Pinterest as I was planning Gray’s first birthday party and I’ve made them several times since then. They’ve been a hit every time.

cookies-6-Edita

Chewy Sugar Cookies
2 cups cake flour
2/3 all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, 1 stick at room temperature, 1 stick melted and slightly cooled
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 turbinado sugar (decoration)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda and the salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until completely incorporated.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two batches, beating just until the dough comes together.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop each cookie into your hand, dip the top into the turbinado sugar, then place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. You can use a large cookie scoop for bigger cookies – just increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes.
  7. Bake (one sheet at a time) for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are set and light golden brown. I always under-bake my cookies a bit because I can’t stand crispy cookies.
  8. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough, alternating baking sheets.

Recipe adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

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Marble Cheesecake Bars

In honor of National Cheesecake Day, I made these Marble Cheesecake Bars.  Not that I really need an excuse to bake.  Making an entire cheesecake just sounded like too much work, so this easy version satisfied the cheesecake craving in just a portion of the time.

Marble Cheesecake Bars

You will need:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or bar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Combine cake mix, 1/3 cup butter and egg in a medium sized bowl.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Press the cake mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan.
  4. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  5. Gradually add the powered sugar and combine.
  6. Blend in the 2 eggs, vanilla, and coffee.
  7. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cake mixture and even out with a spatula.
  8. In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips or bar.
  9. Drop small spoonfuls over the cream cheese mixture.  Drag a butter knife through the drops to create the marble effect.
  10. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes.
  11. Cool completely and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.

Lime Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Some pregnant women crave pickles and ice cream.  I can’t get enough citrus.  Lately, I’ve been making homemade lemonade and garlic lime chicken on a weekly basis.  After visiting Lauren’s house today and tasting these Glazed Lemon Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod, I knew I had to try my own version.  I had some cream cheese and limes in the refrigerator, so I decided to go with that combination and Lime Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting were born.  Let’s hope that Grayson’s birthday is just as easy!

Lime Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting (Makes 2 Dozen)

You will need:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime zest (1 large lime)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Set aside.  Note: If you do not have parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, place the dough directly on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and lime zest.  Rub the sugar and zest together with your hands to combine.
  4. Beat butter and sugar/zest mixture until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
  6. Slowly beat in the flour mixture on low speed until blended.  Dough will be thick.
  7. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Gently flatten dough with the palm of your hand.  Note: I will make these cookies bigger next time.  I won’t get as many, but they will be a little softer in the middle.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cookies are just set.  Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to wire racks.  Cool completely.
  9. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to a medium bowl and beat until smooth.  Add the lime juice and combine well.
  10. When cookies are cool, use a knife to ice.
  11. Let icing dry before packaging.  You will want to share!
Source: Slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Chocolate Chip Cookie Craving

I’ve learned over the last five months of being pregnant that once I get an idea of what I want to eat, it isn’t going away.  Today, someone at work said, “A warm chocolate chip cookie sounds really good right now.”  Guess what?  I happen to believe that a warm chocolate chip cookie sounds good anytime.  So…the thought was stuck in my head and I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work to grab the missing ingredients.  This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  On the next cloudy day, make these and sit on the couch to watch your favorite movie.  You won’t regret it (until you get on the scale the next morning).

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening (butter flavored is best), softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups (11.5 ounce package) chocolate chunks
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.  In another bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, shortening, and vanilla extract until creamy.  Beat in egg.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by slightly rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (I like mine to be slightly undercooked).  Cook on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks or foil sheet to cool completely.
Source: Slightly adapted from The Cookie Bible, 2004