Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My dad visited us a week ago and while he is not a huge sweet lover he does have a special place in his heart for chewy chocolate chip cookies. Not the cakey type, but just a nice soft cookie that you can sink your teeth into and that will hold up well after a quick dunk in some cold milk. Determined to please my father’s craving, I whipped a batch of cookies that I knew would fit the ‘soft and chewy’ bill.

I have had this recipe for what seems like a decade. I rarely make these, not because they are not good, but because I never seem to have their ‘special’ ingredient in my pantry. These cookies use vanilla pudding mix as their secret weapon  that allows them to remain soft and chewy long after cooling. It is the cornstarch in the pudding (or so I hear) that holds the magical power. You can use other flavors, I like butterscotch and vanilla the best. 

Just as I knew these would, they baked up gorgeous (slightly lighter in color that other cookies) and had the perfect texture my dad was looking for. How was the flavor? Well, for a non-sweet  eater, the proof in the taste was that he ate 6 of them right after he finished off steak and potatoes for dinner.

Like I said, these are not cakey but do bake up a bit fuller than other cookies. They remail soft and chewy after cooling and have great taste. If you have the ingredients, take some time and whip these up!

I am unsure where I received this recipe or where it originated from since it is on a random piece of paper in my cookbook but will give credit to the blog that most recently made these in my google.reader account.

I rate these cookies an 8.5
My dad rates these a 9.5

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
as seen here

2 1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup  brown sugar
1/4 cup  granulated sugar
1 small (3.4oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix (or other flavor)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips (i used milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate)

Preheat your oven to 350. Line yourbaking sheet with parchment.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing  bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the pudding mix and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition eggs. Add vanilla.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop rounded spoonfulls of cookie dough onto prepared pan.
Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden and set.
Let  cool on sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool fully.


No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

It seems as though I am on a chocolate and peanut butter kick lately, must be the stress and anxiety of waiting for Spring to finally arrive!

I am sure many of you have already made these cookies or have at least eaten one. This is a quick and easy recipe that whips up in no time and does NOT require an oven or any baking making them perfect when the warm weather comes around and you are not wanting to heat up the oven but still desire a sweet treat. This recipe is one my family has been using for years so I am unsure of its origin, if you know, drop me a line and I will include it in my blog.

While this recipe includes common ingredients and whips up in no time, I do find these cookies can be a bit  temperamental. Ideally, you will end up with a cookie that holds its shape but is still fudgelike upon cooling. Many people either have problems with their cookies not setting up and remaining too gooey or being too dry and crumbly after cooling. These problems can both be avoided with the proper boil time. You could use a candy thermometer I suppose but why dirty another item and frankly, I don’t like them. I prefer to be more diligent and careful when boiling the mixture.

If you don’t boil the mixture long enough the final cookies will not firm and set up nicely (Though will still taste marvelous). If you boil too long, the final cookie will be dry and fall apart easily (and not too marvelous).

I find that timing 60-90 seconds once the mixture comes to a ROLLING boil (not just a simmer) work out well for me every time.

Now, on to the final cookie. If you are not familiar with these cookies their texture and flavor is like eating a piece of chocolate fudge with a slight peanut butter flavorlingering in the background. The oatmeal gives these structure and helps them keep their shape and texture.   Be sure to work quickly as they tend to begin to set up in about 3-5 minutes making scooping out difficult.

I like to tell myself because oatmeal is included these are ahealthy snack and can and should be consumed at breakfast. Want more reasons to make these? Ok, you can eat the ‘dough’ and lick the spoon (shouldn’t do this until done with scooping out all of the dough. No one wants slobber on their cookies) since there are no raw eggs, you can make these all different sizes since they don’t need to cook (just keep in mind if they are too big they will need more time to set up) and lastly, well, anything with peanut butter and chocolate has to be great right?

Give these cookies a try, they are great to make when you don’t have a ton of time as it does not take long for them to set up, if you are transporting them, however, I would wait for them to set up at least an hour at room temperature or 30 minutes in the fridge or they may still together. Also, I would keep them stored in a single layer or with multiple layers separated by waxed paper.  Keep these stored in a covered container so they don’t dry out (not that they will last that long).

I rate these cookies an 8.5

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1 ¾ cup sugar
½ cup milk (I use 1%)
1 stick butter cut into chunks
4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup cream peanut butter (could use crunchy)
3 cups quick cooking oats (I use a mixture of quick cooking and old fashioined as that is what I had on hand)
1 teasppon vanilla

Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper.

Measure out 3 cups oatmeal in a bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa.
Bring to a boil. One boiling time for about  1 1/2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Immediately stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add oats, and vanilla.  Stir to combine:

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper until set, store in sealed container at room temp.

Brownie and Mini Chip Roll Out Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Today you get a treat and get TWO recipes in one post! How sweet is that? Ok, enough with the bad puns.

I chose to veer away from the ordinary this Valentine’s Day and not make the usual sugar cookies. I knew I still wanted to be able to make them into cute hearts and decorate them up with frosting and sprinkles if time allowed. After searching for a while I decided on two roll-out cookie recipes.This chocolate one from Smitten Kitchen and a chocolate chip version from Very Best Baking.

Both recipes were whipped up in no time, about 10 minutes each. They both did require an hour chill in the fridge before being ready to get rolled and baked. That gave me plenty of time to wash up some dishes and get prepared with my rolling pin and cookie cutters.After an hour chill both doughs were firm yet easy to work with and roll. I had no problems with either dough sticking to the counter or pin. This may because I lightly covered the counter and the pin with cocoa powder for the chocolate roll-outs and powdered sugar for the chocolate chip roll-outs. Both recipes call for a 350 degree oven making it super simple to transition from one batch to the next. I have to say that I am very pleased with both versions of cut-outs.

The chocolate version had a slight chocolate flavor (I was wishing for more), tender texture and was sturdy enough to decorate after baking. Likewise the chocolate chip cookie was tender, a bit more delicate while warm but firmed up nicely after baking. Though sturdy and firm, neither cookie became crisp after cooling (a plus in my book).  Everyone at work loved these, especially the chocolate chip version. What’s better than a tender, chewy fun shaped chocolate chip cookie?

I will admit, I enjoyed the Chocolate chip version better than the chocolate brownie one which surprised me. I just felt the chocolate flavor wasn’t quite there to be called a ‘brownie’ cookie. My expectations could have been too high, these are good, don’t get me wrong, but they weren’t as good as I had hoped. Maybe if I would add some more cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips next time that would up them a bit.  The chocolate chip roll-out had a more delicate flavor than a chocolate chip cookie, almost shortbread like texture and the mini-chips just added that oomph that made me swoon. Maybe I was just in the mood for these or maybe it was the mini chips, but these made me smile.  I would recommend both recipes, especially if you want to try something a bit more fun than the basic sugar cookie.
These were both great plain but held up well when decorated with some frosting and sprinkles.

I rate the Brownie Roll-out Cookies an 8
I rate the Mini Chip Cut-out Cookies an 8.5

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies*Recipe from Deb’s mom
Smitten Kitchen
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened (Deb note: I don’t really see “lightly salted” much these days, so I used one stick salted, one stick unsalted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Mini Chip Roll-Out Cookies
Very Best Baking
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I used butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg yolk. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in 1 cup morsels. Divide dough in half; cover. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.

Roll half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness between two sheets of waxed paper. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Lift from waxed paper; place on ungreased baking sheets. Chill for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in preheated 350° F. oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Decorate as desired after cooling. Store in an airtight container.

Fruit and Nut Granola

July 006

As my faithful readers know, I typically post recipes for my favorite meal: Dessert. I rarely follow recipes for lunch and dinner and am not really a ‘breakfast person’ unless you count Peanut Butter oatmeal or cereal (no need to post a recipe). I really never eat breakfast unless I know I won’t get lunch until late in the day but am rarely hungry before heading to work. I have been looking for something transportable that I could snack on at my leisure to tide me over until lunch but that was not terribly unhealthy for me.  I decided to try my hand at granola and let me tell ya, it is addicting. I have been eating this for breakfast, snacks and desserts for a week now and have no intention on quiting anytime soon. I am an addict.

After searching through several granola recipes on the internet and in cookbooks, I decided to make up my own. The great thing about granola is that the recipe itself is so versitile and addaptable based on your tastes or ingredients on hand you really can’t mess it up. This is the recipe to which I am currently addicted. It is cruchy, has a nice balance of salty/sweet flavor which is complimented and deepened by the toasted nuts.

Granola can be a healthy snack but packaged granola can contain more than its fair share of sodium, fats and sugars (and can be very pricey!!). The thing I love about making this treat at home is that it is very inexpensive and  you can control the oil, sodium and sugars that you include (as well as the nuts, fruits and other goodies).  You can even make this recipe more healthy by adding a few TBS of wheat germ or flaxseed to the oat/nut mixture before baking.  Relatively speaking, this granola is fairly low in sugars (watch out for natural sugars in the dried fruit) and fat (depending on how many nuts and coconut you add).

I have eaten this for breakfast with vanilla or strawberry yogurt, with milk or on fresh fruit (I love raspberries, strawberries and blueberries). I enjoy this as a crunchy topping for ice cream, frozen yogurt or on warm pie filling (kind of like a crisp). Let’s face it, I have also eaten this plain by the bowl-full. SO good. I just can’t get enough.

Feel free to adjust the spices, nuts and fruit to suit your tastes. I have tried several different juices and really like either Cranberry Apple or Cranberry Raspberry. They provide a subtle base flavor to the granola that does not overpower the other flavors and adds that extra dimention of flavor that a milder juice (apple) would not. I would not use a heavily flavored juice as its flavors may compete with the overal taste of the granola in my opinion, (I did NOT like Tropical fruit juice, too acidic and overpowering).

You just can’t beat the flavor of toasted nuts, oatmeal, honey and fruit. The smell alone will draw you in and before you know it the flavor and crunch keeps you coming back for ‘just a little more’ until the whole batch is gone.

I look forward to adapting this recipe many more times.  I may add some white chocolate chips to the granola after it cools to add another flavor dimension. I may keep adapting this recipe as I am excited to incorporate peanut butter in my next batch and leave out the fruit.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Tropical Granola
Mix together in a large bowl:
2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup pecan halves
In a small saucepan (if heating on stove) or Glass measuring cup (if heating in microwave) combine the following ingredients:
1/3 cup Welch’s frozen Passion Fruit Juice Concentrate (thawed)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
Bring ingredients to a boil. Whisk till sugar is dissolved.
Pour syrup over dry ingredients. Stir to coats. Spread on baking sheet that has been sprayed with quick release spray.
Bake 20minutes at 350 degrees. At the end of the twenty minutes stir in the following ingredients:
1 cup dried diced pineapple
1 cup dried diced mango
1 cup dried sliced banana chips (I used unsweetened)
Bake another 10 minutes till ingredients are dry. But watch carefully it can over brown quickly.
Cool on the baking sheet. When completely cool store in tightly covered tin.
Serve with plain or vanilla non-fat yogurt.
Fruit and Nut Granola
by bakingblonde
In a large bowl mix:
2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup flaked coconut
.
In a medium bowl combine
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried pineapple
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried mango
.
In a small saucepan combine the following ingredients:
1/3 cup Welch’s frozen CranApple or CranRaspberry Juice (thawed)
2 TBS canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 TBS honey
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*salt (optional, I like to sprinkle a bit over the top before baking)
.
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed with PAM. July 003
Bring the above ingredients to a boi, wisking constantly until all sugar is dissolved.  Carefully, pour hot syrup over dry ingredients. Gently stir to coat.
Evenly spread on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt if desired.
.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring well after 10 mintues.
At the end of the twenty minutes stir in the dried fruits.
Bake an additional 10 minutes, stirring well after 5 mintues for even baking. Bake in 5 minute increments (stirring after every 5) until ingredients are toasted and almost dry. Watch carefully it can burn quickly!
Allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Store in airtight container.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars

 

Once again I bring to you one of my favorite flavor combinations: Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal. You may remember one of my summer favorites from last year because they require NO baking (meaning, no heated kitchen in the hot summer months).
I found this recipe over at this blog and the description and pictures tempted me too much, I finally caved in and decided to give them a try. I am sure glad I did! I changed up the recipe a bit as reflected in the ingredients and recipe below. These bars are wonderful! They have a slight subtle caramel flavor thanks to all that butter and brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar, which intensifies and deepens this flavor). The filling has a nice light peanut butter flavor without being too overpowering or sweet. Infact, I thought it would be sweeter than what it turned out, and was pleasantly surprised. The filling was is and provides a nice compliment to hte sweetness of the Milk choclate chips and Reese’s Candy bar pieces.
 
 Right out of the oven they are ooey, gooey and very good. You definately need a spoon to eat and scoop up every last drop of the filling from the dish! I did chill these until set and they are much easier to eat, I can’t decide which way I like them best, warm with melted chocolate and peanut butter all over my spoon and fingers (MMMM, I love to lick my fingers) or chilled and set making the filling seem almost fudge-like (only a bit softer). Either way these are sure to please any Peanut Butter and Chocolate lover, and with the oatmeal, these are almost a health food!
 
The down side is that I don’t think these will travel well or stand up to summer heat. They are great but messy, but heck, as complaints go, that is a minor one!
 
I rate these bars an 8.5
 
 
Oatmeal Bars
2 cups melted butter (starting out with melted butter… you KNOW they’re gonna be good!)
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
4 cups oatmeal
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups mini choc. chips or mini m&m’s
Mix together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.
Set aside 3 cups. Press the rest into a greased 15×10 pan. Remember I made a half batch. I couldn’t decide what size pan would be half of a 10×15. That’s 150 square inches, so half would be something that’s 75 square inches. An 8×8 is 64, a 9×13 is 117. So I picked the 8×8. Maybe I need more baking pans. Or maybe they don’t even make 8×9 pans (72 sq in) or better yet, 7 x 10.5, that would be perfect. Um, let’s see, I forget, were we baking or having Math class? 
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Mix peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Spread over the baked crust. Pour/drizzle worked great. Yum, doesn’t that mixture look good?! It is. I licked the spatula afterwards.
 
Mix mini choc chips or m&m’s with the reserved crumbs. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Enlarged to show texture. And that creamy caramelly peanut buttery layer. These definitely do not fit the ‘Oatmeal Bar’ name. In a recipe that has peanut butter and M&Ms and oatmeal, WHO would pick out the oatmeal and name them THAT?! So, Peanut Butter Dream Bars they will be. They are, of course, irrestistably good. They’re a bit crumbly, for example, you wouldn’t want the kids to walk around in the house eating them. But then, who’d ever let their kids do that anyway. Thanks for the recipe, Michelle! It’s a keeper.
May 117
Once again I bring to you one of my favorite flavor combinations: Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal. You may remember one of my summer favorites from last year because they require NO baking (meaning, no heated kitchen in the hot summer months).
 
I found today’s recipe on a fellow blog and the description and pictures tempted me to the point that I finally caved in and decided to give them a try. I am sure glad I did! I changed up the recipe a bit as reflected in the ingredients and recipe below and in my opinion, they changes were a success. 

These bars are just wonderful! The crust and topping has a subtle caramel flavor thanks to all that butter and brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar, which intensifies and deepens the caramel flavor). The filling has a nice light peanut butter flavor without being too overpowering or sweet, almost like creamy peanut butter fudge. Infact, I thought the filling would be sweeter than what it turned out, and was pleasantly surprised. The filling is smooth and creamy and compliments the sweetness of the Milk choclate chips and Reese’s Candy bar pieces that I added to the topping.

 
 Right out of the oven these bars are ooey, gooey and very good. You definately need a spoon to eat and scoop up every last drop of the filling from the dish! I did chill these until set and they are much easier to eat, I can’t decide which way I like them best; warm with melted chocolate and peanut butter all over my spoon and fingers (MMMM, I love to lick my fingers) or chilled and set making the filling seem almost fudge-like (only a bit softer). Either way these are sure to please any Peanut Butter and Chocolate lover, and with the oatmeal, these are almost a health food!
 
The down side is that I don’t think these will travel well or stand up to summer heat. They are great but messy, but heck, as complaints go, that is a minor one! Next time I might add more chopped Reese’s candy bars because I can’t get enough of those babies!
 
I rate these bars an 8.5
 
Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Dream Bars
adapted from here 
1 cup melted butter 
1 cup brown sugar (I used Dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups Quick Cooking oatmeal (NOT instant)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2  cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 King size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bars, roughly chopped
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
 
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil and spray lighlty with PAM. 

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.

Set aside about 1 cup or a little more.
Press the rest of the crust into prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. May 118
While crust is cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Once crust has baked, evenly pour and spread peanut butter filling over the baked crust.Be gentle so you don’t pull up the warm crust while you spread the filling.  
Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and candy bars/chips are melting. 
Allow to cool to make cutting and serving easier.  

Hand Mixed Peanut Butter Cookies

april-09-129

It has been a while since I have baked up a treat using one of my favorite ingredients, Peanut Butter. I was craving cookies and as you know, I have my all-time-hands-down-ain’t-no-other-better peanut butter cookie recipe, however I decided to play around with another recipe instead. I am sure many of you have seen the 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. I have made it a few times when I needed a Peanut Butter fix in a pinch, when I have run out of flour, butter or was too lazy to pull out my mixer. Yep, these babies are so simple plus you get a small workout while stirring the dough. That is great because it means you can enjoy more of these babies once they are finished (or just eat some of the dough)!  This time I decided to bump them up a notch and play around with the ingredients.

As you can see, they are no longer only 3 ingredient but they are still super simple and don’t require flour, butter or even a mixer! Because I was looking for a cookie that was chewy, I added brown sugar in combination with white sugar to get the texture I was craving. If you want, you can use any proportion of brown and white sugar you want (as long as it equals a cup or a little less) to reach what texture you are wanting. White sugar tends to create a cookie with a slightly more crisp texture than a cookie made with brown sugar. I found the proportion I used to be just right for my tastes.

In addition to using brown sugar, I also added some baking powder to inhibit the cookies from spreading too much. A dash of vanilla and salt rounded out the flavors of the dough nicely. To jazz them up a bit more I added chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (how can you go wrong?). 

The final result was a chewy cookie that was not cakey at all. They were better than I had expected. While they won’t replace my favorite recipe, (I can’t wait to try chopped Reese’s  when I make them again) these did not disappoint anyone who tried one. The chunks of Reese’s complimented the Peanut Butter flavor in the cookie and provided the right amount of sweetness (though it may be a little too sweet for some). These were quick, easy and best of all used fewer ingredients than most recipes. Another bonus is that they contain no additional fat other than the peanut butter, require no flour and can be mixed by hand in minutes! Nothing says homemade like hand mixed cookies!

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Hand Mixed Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from this recipe
1 cup Peanut Butter (I like creamy)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (more or less to taste)
sugar for rolling dough balls

Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.april-09-127
In a large mixing bowl mix together the peanut butter, sugars and salt until combined. Add the egg, vanilla and baking powder. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the chopped candy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Drop spoonfuls of dough into a bowl of sugar and gently roll to coat. Place onto the prepared baking sheet and press down with fork so they are even thickness. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully and do not overbake!
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to rack to cool completly. These are very tender and fragile until cool and set.

Coconut Cream Cheese Cookies

january-040

I was hungry for some cookies but after paging through countless recipes I still was undecided as to which recipe to make. I wanted to bake up something simple, that tasted great and used up ingredients I already had on hand. Not having much time to bake, I did not want a recipe that was too labor intensive today, rather I needed a quick recipe that I could whip up and chill until I had to bake the cookies later.

I was so impressed by the results of my Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I decided to play around with it a bit. I really liked the chewiness and richness that the cream cheese added to my traditional cookie recipe, the changes in taste and texture were subtle yet noticable.  After diggin in my freezer, I decided that this would be the perfect time to use up my bag of coconut in some cookies.

I am very pleased with the results. These baked up rich and flavorful with a wonderful coconut flavor. They kept their shape well with a slightly crisp exterior that gives way to a soft and chewy interior. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least 30 minutes. The incorporation of cream cheese in the dough keeps it very soft unless chilled which will lead to cookies that spread while baking and thus resulting in thinner and possibly crisper cookies. If that is your thing then feel free to experiment with chilled vs. unchilled dough.

Next time I will add some toasted pecans and toffee pieces to the dough. I think that those ingredients will push these over the edge into greatness! I can’t wait to make these again.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Coconut Cream Cheese  Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until room temp
5-6 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups coconut toasted

*I chilled the dough overnight before baking, which I recommend.

Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly on baking sheet.

Once oven is preheated place coconut in oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes for even toasting. Remove from oven when light brown. Do NOT burn. Remove from oven. Allow to cool completely before adding to dough.

Re-line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand.january-048
Mix butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until smooth. Add sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Beat in vanilla until combined.
Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in cooled coconut. Chill dough overnight. OR

Drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are light brown. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.