Wednesday, November 16, 2016

C is for Cookie, and That's Good Enough for Me

If you know me in real life you also know I love to bake. I pull out my KitchenAid stand mixer in honor of birthdays and special occasions, for friends when they or their family members are under the weather, to celebrate elementary school teachers and staff, to support fundraisers and events, and to encourage attendance at meetings. Oh, and on "Cookie Wednesdays" and "Cake Fridays" (my own inventions), because everyone deserves a sweet treat both on hump day and to kick off the weekend.

I've never made these cookies, but they
look like exactly what Hallie would make
if given free reign in the kitchen.
Recently I've had a few requests for some of my favorite cookie recipes. So here they are, in honor of Cookie Wednesday and because the holidays are just around the corner. Happy cookie baking, friends!

  • I make chocolate chip cookies at least once every couple of weeks, and I use the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip package. I do, however, decrease the amount of sugar: the recipe calls for 3/4 of a cup of both white and brown sugar, and I use less than 1/2 cup of each.

  • When I still want chocolate but want to mix it up a bit, I make The Pioneer Woman's chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I use only semi-sweet chocolate chips because I don't like white chocolate chips, and I cut the called for 2 cups of sugar down to about 1 1/4 cups of sugar.

  • Another favorite is my oatmeal raisin cookies. I frequently make these cookies exactly according to the recipe (the sugar has already been cut in the recipe instructions), but almost as often I omit the raisins and sub in chocolate chips or a combination of craisins and white chocolate chips.

  • Every summer I make these Raisin Bran cookies, and every summer Will and Hallie tell me they taste like sand. (Quite the salesmen, aren't they?) I, on the other hand, love them. They remind me a little of bran muffins - still tasty, but somewhat healthier than chocolate chip muffins...especially when you use 1/2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. brown sugar, and butter instead of margarine. 

  • For the candy bar lover, bake these almond joy cookies. Even with 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar, they are plenty sweet and sure to please!

  • In the fall, these carrot cake cookies hit the spot. I've made them both with and without raisins, and while I prefer the version with raisins, both Will and Hallie prefer raisin-less. I also use 1/4 cup - rather than 1/2 cup - of brown sugar. Also of note, these cookies taste best the day they're made and don't last longer than about 48 hours. 

  • Pumpkin snickerdoodles are another fall favorite. I use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the cookies, and for the topping I use only sugar (no cinnamon). Also, instead of rolling the dough balls in sugar and then flattening them, I flatten the dough balls first and then sprinkle them with sugar. Like the carrot cake cookies above, these cookies taste best the day they're made.

  • If carrots and/or pumpkin cookies don't satisfy your fall sweet tooth, give these apple cookies with butterscotch frosting a try. I use 3/4 cup sugar and granny smith apples in the cookies, and for the frosting I use melted butterscotch chips (instead of butterscotch ice cream topping) and 3 - rather than 4 cups of powdered sugar. 

  • When I want the taste of a sugar cookie but don't have time to chill, roll out, and use cookie cutters on the dough, I make these Amish sugar cookies. (I use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce instead of 1 cup oil, and I use 3/4 cup of both sugars.

  • In the spring, when I need a fresh and light cookie, I make these key lime coconut cookies. (I use regular limes and skim milk rather than whole milk. If I use sweetened coconut I cut the sugar down to about 3/4 cup, but if I use unsweetened coconut I use the full amount of sugar - the sweetness is needed to counteract the tartness from the lime juice.)

  • And last but certainly not least... These gingersnaps - courtesy of the Ferris family - are by far the most popular cookie I ever make. Don't cut the sugar here; this recipe is perfect just as it's written. The keys to these cookies turning out perfectly are to 1) leave them in the oven for exactly 9 minutes without opening the oven at all until the timer goes off, and 2) leave them to cool slightly on the pan for exactly 5 minutes before moving them to a cutting board or a cooling rack.  

  • Happy fall cookie baking, friends!

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