Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from an old church cookbook I have had forever. I have been trying to go through all of my cookbooks and actually try some of the recipes I have marked that sound good. I tend to get into a routine and bake the same few desserts over and over again that me and my Taste Tester love.

These cookies lived up to the title, they were soft and chewy but not overly cake-like. I really enjoyed them but do prefer a few other on my site more. My Taste Tester enjoyed them and has said I can make them again, so I guess they have his seal of approval.

These are nothing ‘special’ just a good old cookie recipe.

I rate this recipe an 8

Soft and Chew Chocolate Chip Cookies
from the St. Mary’s Cookbook 2009

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup nutsPreheat oven to 350.

Line baking pan with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add the bread flour, flour,  baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix just until combined.
Add chips and nuts.
Drop by spoonfulls on baking sheet. Bake about 8-12 minutes until just golden. Do not overbake. Cool on rack or baking sheet.

Store covered and sealed.

Flourless Peanut Butter Oat Bars

I made up this recipe based on the Hand Mixed PB Cookie recipe I love. The great thing about both the cookies and the bars is that they are flourless. I have no dietary restrictions but I know several people who do and they struggle to find good cookie or dessert recipes that don’t call for strange ingredients in the place of flour.

These bars did not even require a mixer, I just stirred by hand. They were thrown together in less than 5 minutes and with 20 minute bake time were ready to enjoy in no time.

The bars came out chewy in the center and a little more crisp around the edges,  a little mix of texture to please everyone. I found these to not be too sweet and a small bar satisfied my craving. These would be good for a quick treat when you don’t want to dirty a bunch of bowls or use your mixer.

I rate these an 8 (if for no other reason than they are super simple)

Flourless Peanut Butter Oat Bars
adapted from here

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 to 1 cup oatmeal  (add 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency, oatmeal should blend in but dough should not be dry or too stiff)
chips (optional)

Spray an 8×8 pan with Pam.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl stir together peanut butter and sugars. Add egg and baking powder. Stir to combine. Add salt and oatmeal. Stir until mixed. Gently fold in chips if using.

Press into prepared pan.

Bake for 15-22 minutes (do not overbake)

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

I love some good sugar cookies. I usually only make them around the holiday season but had a craving this week that I needed to satisfy. I typically only make my sugar cookie recipe since I know they are great and my friends and family love them and I like rolled sugar cookie recipes. Since I was going to be the primary person consuming this batch of cookies I took the opportunity to try a new recipe.

I have had this recipe down to try forever so gave it a whirl. The dough came together super quick but did require some chill time before baking. The end result are as the title promises “soft”! In fact, it has been 4 days and they are still super soft, almost too much so. These turned out much more cake-like than I would typically like but they did have a great flavor and were a pleasant change of pace.  I topped with a simple buttercream frosting and found the frosting was the perfect compliment to the cookie. I may add a bit more vanilla to the recipe next time if I make them again as I found they could use a bit more flavor in my opinion. With the frosting they were fine, but alone needed a little something more.

If your family loves super soft cookies, these will be right up your alley. My Taste Tester enjoyed them but admitted he really enjoyed eating them just to get eat the frosting. He has been known to eat this frosting with a spoon so that is no surprise to me.

I rate these cookies an 8

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
from here

4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

*frosting recipe below can easily be doubled for a cake
Recipe from a cake decorating class I took years ago

Buttercream Frosting
4-5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1/2 cup shortening (NOT butter flavored)
2 TBS vanilla extract
3-4 TBS milk or cream
Gel Food coloring (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
Slowly add the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed.
Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball.  Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart.

Bake about 10 minutes or just until set.  (Do not overbake!  The edges should be no more than very lightly browned if at all.)  Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting. Cream the butter and shortening with a mixer until combined. Slowly add sugar a bit at a time. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Add milk or cream 1 TBS at a time until a spreadable consistency is achieved. Keep beating frosting for 3-6 more minutes until fluffy. Tint with gel food coloring if desired.  Frost cookies. Store in an airtight container.


Mixed Berry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart

I first saw this recipe here and knew since my Taste Tester loves a berry tart, I needed to try this recipe sooner than later. I used our favorite mix of berries: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Though there are several components to this recipe, none were difficult and it came together fairly quickly. You do need to plan ahead a bit as this is not a last minute type of dessert. The dough needs to chill for a while before baking and the crust and topping should be baked and cooled before assembling the tart.

My Taste Tester enjoyed the crust and the crumble of this tart but preferred the pastry cream from our usual tart recipe over the cream cheese filling in this one. He said he could not tell the difference between the two crusts but did really enjoy the crumble and has asked if I can make the topping again and add it to other baked goods. I may try it on top of our usual tart and see how that tastes.  My thoughts are that this tart seems like a more sophisticated version of a fruit pizza, while it is good, the cream cheese filling just didn’t do ‘it’ for me.

I would make this again for company as I do think it is a crowd-pleaser and would be great for a summer dessert.

I rate this recipe an 8

Mix Berry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart
recipe adapted from here

Cookie Dough Tart Crust:
2 tablespoons slivered almonds (I used 1/4 cup)
6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 8 pieces
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond Crumb Topping:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
¼ cup slivered almonds, coarsely chopped (I used a bit more)
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
16 ounces fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved (quartered if large) (I used a variety of mixed berries)

1. Make the Tart Crust: Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter and pulse again repeatedly until no visible pieces of butter remain (about 10 pulses). Add the yolks and vanilla and continue pulsing until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, shape into a thick disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften at a cool room temperature for about 20 minutes, just until it is soft enough to roll without cracking, but still firm. Unwrap it and place it on a floured surface. Use the palm of your hand to press it to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Flour the work surface and the dough and gently roll the dough into a 13-inch disk, adding pinches of flour under and on top of the dough as needed. Transfer it to a 10-inch tart pan. Evenly fit the dough into the pan, making sure it’s flat against both the bottom and side of the pan. Trim away any excess dough at the rim of the pan by rolling over with a rolling pin or scraping it away with the back of a paring knife. Slide the tart pan onto a cookie sheet, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight before baking.

3. When ready to bake, arrange the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

4. Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the chopped almonds. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the butter until all of the dry ingredients have been evenly moistened. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, then use your fingertips to break the mixture into ¼- to ½-inch crumbs. Scatter the crumbs on the prepared pan.

5. Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Line with a piece of parchment paper and fill the pan with pie weights. Bake the tart crust in the lower third of the oven and the crumb topping in the upper third. After 10 minutes, remove the paper and pie weights from the tart shell and place it on the upper rack, and move the crumbs to the lower rack. Continue baking the tart shell until it is dry and light golden, 15 to 20 additional minutes. Bake the crumb topping until it is deep golden and firm, 10 to 15 additional minutes. Check the crumbs around the 10 minute mark and then go from there Cool the crust and the topping on wire racks.

6. Make the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed just until it is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until lightened, about 1 minute.

7. Assemble the Tart: Spread half the cream cheese filling on the bottom of the tart crust and arrange the sliced strawberries on it, cut side down. Spread the remaining filling over the strawberries. Evenly scatter the crumb topping over the filling. Right before serving, lightly dust the topping with powdered sugar and garnish with additional strawberries, if desired. Unmold the tart from the pan and place it on a platter. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers.

Note #1: You can omit the nuts in both the crust and the crumb topping. No need to substitute anything else.

Note #2: You should assemble the tart within a few hours of serving it, as the crust will soften after it has been refrigerated.

Red Velvet Brownies


I have seen this recipe floating around several blogs for some time now. I have been delaying making these since they didn’t say “Summer” to me. Now that the air is cooler, I thought it would be great to give these a try. I printed this recipe off so long ago, I am unsure where I originally found it. Google “Red Velvet Brownies” and you can take your pick at who should get credit for these.

Typically in our household chocolate, peanut butter or lemon has dominated our top favorites. These little brownies however took our hearts. They are dense with a slight chocolate undertone. My Taste Tester described them as “tasty”.

I typically do not care for cream cheese frosting but I loved it on these. I made my own frosting recipe up combining butter, cream cheese, vanilla, milk and powdered sugar until I achieved the flavor I liked. It was light, creamy with a slight cream cheese flavor. Overall it was great.

I would make these again, they would be great for a potluck or school function. I think these would please chocolate lovers and non-chocolate lovers (those people exist?) alike. You can double the recipe easily to make a larger pan for large groups if needed. For the 2 of us the smaller size was perfect.

I rate these a 8

Red Velvet Brownies

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz red food coloring (this is one small bottle or a scant 2 tbsp)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8″x8″ baking pan.

In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until no lumps of cocoa remain. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla.  With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, then turn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color.  Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined.  Do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.

Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack, about 45-60 minutes.  Frost with favorite frosting

Taste Tested Lemon Bars

As you know, my Taste Tester loves a good lemon dessert. Instead of whipping up my tried and true cheesecake, I decided to use another blogger’s detailed taste-tested research and recipe reviews to whip up a great pan of lemon bars.

As Bridget suggested I used the crust recipe from Tartine and the filling recipe from Cooks Illustrated. The end results were great.

We do prefer the lemon cheesecake over these bars, but they were great none-the-less. The crust was slightly sweet, a bit crumbly and a tad buttery (just the way I like it). The filling was tart with a lovely lemon flavor. It was a bit overpowering with tartness at first but with a bit of powdered sugar sprinkled on top the flavor mellowed out a bit. Overall these are a great desert to take to a summer picnic or potluck. They were easy to make and scream ‘summer’.

I would recommend keeping them chilled and would advise not layering them as they will stick together and the crust will become a bit soft. They will still be good but just not ‘as good’ ya know?

I rate these an 8

Taste Tested Lemon Bars
as seen here

Crust (from Tartine)
½ cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1½ cups (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (2 ounces) pine nuts (optional) (I USED ALMONDS)

Lemon filling (from Cooks Illustrated)
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1⅓ cups (9.33 ounces) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest from 2 large lemons
⅔ cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
⅓ cup whole milk
⅛ teaspoon table salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

To make the crust: Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the flour. Add the butter and pine nuts (if using) and beat on low speed just until a smooth dough forms.

Press the dough evenly into the pan and allow it to come up about a ½ inch up the sides of the pan. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. (I chilled mine in the freezer for 10 minutes) Bake the crust until it is a deep golden brown, about 25-35 minutes. (I baked mine for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned)

For the filling: Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl, then stir in the lemon zest, juice, milk, and salt to blend well.

To finish the bars: Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir the filling mixture to reblend; pour into the warm crust. Bake until the filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack; cool to near room temperature, at least 30 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, fold the paper down, and cut into serving-size bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts, as necessary.

Sieve confectioners’ sugar over bars, if desired.

Neiman Marcus Cookies

I have been making this recipe since I was 10 years old. It is one of the first cookie recipes I ever made on my own.  I never knew the controversy behind it (we are talking pre-internet days in the rural Midwest). I never knew the story behind this recipe and thought it was just another cookie recipe in my mom’s church cookbook. I loved trying recipes out of those books! It was so neat to make recipes submitted by our neighbors and family, heck they were celebrities in my mind. I wanted to get a recipe into that cookbook so bad. Ah, dreams as a child.
I must have been living under a rock (or the MIdwest) because it wasn’t until recently that I realized the cookies I enjoyed making as a child are actually quite famous. I know there are a few variations of the recipe but this is the one I am most familiar with and used to make.

These cookies were a favorite in my family. I enjoyed using the blender to whirl the oatmeal, it made this recipe a bit more special than others I made. The blended oatmeal creates a chewy texture and a bit of nuttiness that takes this cookie to another level flavor wise. Over the years I have modified the recipe a bit but the original I used to make is the same as the one in the link below.

I have found that a tad less butter does not sacrifice flavor or texture and a larger ratio of brown to white sugar gives a creates a chewier texture and a deeper flavor profile. I also don’t blend the oatmeal to a flour but instead allow a bit of the texture to remain, sort of in between flour and oatmeal. I have also found I much prefer the mix of semisweet and milk chocolate chips, they play off of each other so well! I also highly recommend the walnuts (toasted preferably). They really compliment this cookie. If you have never made these before, go ahead and try the original (from the link) and adapt to your own preferences.

Overall these are a great cookie when you want a chocolate chip cookie but something a little bit out of the ordinary (not totally crazy). My Taste Tester enjoyed these but not as much as I do. He suggested next time to add a bit more flour to make them a bit “thicker” to suit his preferences. I also would like to brown half the butter next time to further develop the nutty undertones.

I rate these cookies an 8

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
adapted from here

2½ cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature or slightly softer
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract6

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces milk chocolate chips
1½ cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 . Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend the oats in a food processor or blender to a course powder. In a medium bowl whisk together the blended oats with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. On low speed gradually mix in the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. With a rubber spatula fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Roll the dough into 2-ounce balls  and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cookies should be lightly brown and set on the outside but still look a little undone in the middle. (this will keep them soft after cooling). Store in an airtight container.

Granola Bars


I had about 3/4 cup of Rice Krispies cereal sitting in my cupboard (does this happen to anyone else? Having small random amounts of foods left over?). I was not in the cereal eating mood so turned to my online BFF Google.

About 30 seconds later my BFF  introduced me to this recipe. It calls for 1/2 cup Rice Krispies…perfect! I can finish this box up and use the newfound pantry space for a big bag of Cheetos, double win!

These bars were a cinch to make, you basically just dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, press in a greased pan and bake. Easy Peasy. I did adapt the recipe just a bit based on what I had on hand. The end result was great. Mine did not turn out quite as chewy as the original claimed (thus my removing ‘chewy’ from the title of these bars). There were still great. The flavor of the peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch was a winning combination and I found it rather addicting.
I easily ate 3-4 of these bars over about an hour by simply breaking peices off every time I went into the kitchen.  Next time I may not bake them quite as long to see if they will turn out a bit chewier, but I really did enjoy them crunchy. My only complaint was that they crumbled a bit when removing the edge peices. now worries, just  easier to shovel in my mouth.

These bars taste hearty yet sweet. I think these will be perfect to take on hikes, boating, sporting games. Pretty much anytime you need a sweet treat on the go this Spring and Summer. Don’t be afraid to mix and match ingredients to suit your family taste preferences. These would be great with almonds, cranberries and white chocolate or mini M&Ms and peanuts. Really, use your imagination!

I rate these an 8

Granola Bars
original recipe here

2 1/2 cups quick rolled Oats
1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal (I used about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter (my addition)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup  butter, softened  (I used 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with PAM.
In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir until combined well. Press into pan.
Bake for 16–20 minutes or until golden.

Cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Cut into bars.

Donut Muffins

Who is not in need of a quick, yummy and oh so easy muffin recipe? You can have these on  your table in  under 35 minutes (from start to finish, once your oven has preheated). Heck, I can’t even get my hair dry in that time!  I used this recipe, but there are a ton similar floating around, not sure who is the ‘originator’ of this recipe.

Now, if you are looking for a light-as-air textured muffin, these are not for you. I feel these are only called ‘muffins’ because they are baked in a muffin tin. Don’t get me wrong, these are great, but definitely have the texture that more dense like a donut hole. Now, I have yet to meet a donut hole that I don’t like, so, really, their texture is fine with me. Even my taste tester (aka, the hubs) loved these and he usually enjoys his muffins topped with struesal and nuts.

This recipe is so straight forward and easy to follow that even my taste-tester can pull these off. I would watch the bake time closely as mine were finished in about    minutes. I did add a teaspoon vanilla to the batter as indicated below and did not use nutmeg at all (we are not huge nutmeg in muffin lovers).  I let them cool for about, oh, 30 seconds before I dipped them in melted butter and then a mixture of cinnamon, sugar. I do think these would be  equally good with some sort of powdered sugar or chocolate glaze (however, they would be more work and dirty dishes).

These muffins are best eaten warm and fresh but do hold up for a day or so if kept sealed in tupperware. I would nuke for about 10-15 seconds before eating however because they do tend to get a little tough (much like day old donuts) room temp.

I did make a few small changes to the recipe as indicated below.

While these will not be my ‘go-to’ muffin recipe, they will be my ‘i-have-45-minutes-and-need-a-breakfast-or-brunch-muffin’.

I rate this recipe an 8

Donut Muffins
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp cinnamon instead)
1/2 c. milk

Topping:
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, stir together the  oil, sugar, and egg.  In another bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg or cinnamon.

Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Fill greased muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove immediately from pan.  Roll in melted butter, then cinnamon sugar mixture.  Serve warm.

Makes 6 full-size muffins. (I got 12 muffins)

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.