Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cookie-Palooza

Last week was Cookie-Palooza.  I decided to put together 4 giant care packages and make as many different kinds of cookies as I could manage in one week to send out for a slightly-after-Thanksgiving treat (dern holiday is early this year or else these would have been a pre-Thanksgiving treat). I may be crazy, but at least it manifests as hundreds of cookies and not something weird like macaroni art or spinning thread out of dog hair.

So during Cookie-Palooza, I made 16 different cookie recipes for a grand total of 754 cookies in a single week, 688 of which were sent out in care packages yesterday (along with the rest of my leftover Halloween candy, yay!).  The remaining cookies were taste-tested by me, my friends Karen and Karyn (I'm considering changing my name to Karin), and some went to work with Lee.  I know someone out there wants all the deets on what I made : )  So here you go!  These are more or less in the order in which I made them, not ranked by how much I like them.  'Cause I can't choose a favorite cookie.

1.  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
I started out with my mom's signature recipe.  One bowl, one measuring cup, one measuring spoon, and all awesome.  When my parents dropped me off at college for the first time, Mom handed me a container of these and told me to go introduce myself to the other girls on my floor and offer them cookies.  Two months into my first semester, my suitemates started trying to get me to go home more often to bring back more cookies.  I could have sworn that I'd posted this recipe before, but it looks like I haven't...that will be remedied shortly!  Scroll to the bottom of this post if you can't wait.

2.  Chocolate Peppermint
I started with this recipe for double chocolate dream cookies, and then instead of chocolate chips, I added chopped Ghirardelli peppermint bark.  I don't like mint, so I didn't try them, and Lee said he's not over-fond of mint either, so I have no idea how good these might be for those of you who do like mint.  The Ghirardelli stuff is expensive (it took about a bag and a half to get 2 cups) so maybe try crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, or chopped candy cane Hershey's Kisses?  I couldn't find those here.  I got the original recipe out of this cookbook.

3.  Peanut Butter Lovers
I used this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction because it was a good way to get rid of some leftover Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from Halloween.  I am not a giant peanut butter fan (yes I know I'm crazy, I also dislike dark chocolate) so I didn't actually try these.  And I'm a little worried because I used reduced-fat peanut butter and I think maybe that will make these cookies really hard by the time they arrive at their destination?  Oops.

4.  Spiced Apple
I don't remember why I started Googling apple cookie recipes but I found this one at the Naptime Chef and OMG YUM.  I made tablespoon-size cookies because all my other cookies are that size, but I think these might actually be better teaspoon-size because they are dense and spicy and totally delicious.  I may try adding butterscotch chips to these when I make them again, because apple and butterscotch just belong together.  Or maybe raisins, as suggested by the Naptime Chef.

5.  Apple Butterscotch Chip
I found several apple cookie recipes so I made these ones from cooks.com too.  I didn't do the glaze though since it's easier to go glaze-free for mailing cookies.  These are different from the spiced apple ones; much lighter color, not nearly as spicy, but still good (just the other ones are better IMHO).  I doubled the recipe thinking it might not make very many based on the paltry amount of mix-ins, and then I used the entire bag of butterscotch chips for the doubled recipe.  Because I can do that.  These were my friend Karen's favorite even without the glaze.

6.  Double Chocolate Cranberry
I got this recipe out of The Cookie Bible and it's another one I'll have to share on here (scroll to the very end of this post if you can't wait).  I only found it earlier this year but I've already made it several times for care packages--it's totally yummy.  Chocolate cookie dough with dried cranberries and chocolate chunks = YUM.

7.  White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
I recently started looking for a good white chocolate macadamia nut cookie recipe...I tried one a few weeks ago and it was okay, but then I tried this one from The Brown-Eyed Baker (hey, I'm a brown-eyed baker too!).  I did change it up a tiny bit though--the first recipe I tried had almond extract and vanilla in it, so I did 2 teaspoons of each instead of the 1 tablespoon vanilla called for in this recipe.  I *love* the almond extract with these.

8.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Another new-to-me recipe, this one courtesy of Baking Bites.  They got two thumbs up from Lee, so this is the peanut butter cookie recipe that will stay in my personal cookbook.  I actually did try one of these, and the crunchy peanut butter makes it seem like you added peanuts to the cookies without having to actually do that extra step, which is kinda awesome.

9.  White Chip Orange
Another recipe I got from the Nestle cookbook I've had for years, though you can also find it on their website along with a nice picture.  I've been making these for several years now and I always use the dried orange peel you can find in the spices at the supermarket.  One of these days I'm going to get myself a microplane zester and try it with fresh grated orange peel!  In my cookie odyssey last week, I ran across the suggestion to rub the freshly-grated orange zest into the white sugar before mixing up the cookie dough, as that's supposed to suffuse the sugar with the orange flavor and make it that much more orange-tastic.  I want to try that.  Plus, if I do fresh orange zest, then I have to eat the orange, and I have a feeling I should eat more fruits and veggies.

10.  Chewy Chocolate Chip
This is another recipe from Baking Bites and it was awesome.  Warm out of the oven, this cookie was phenomenal, and it's still totally yummailicious the next day.  Again, I dropped these by tablespoons to be consistent with the rest of my cookies (and because the bags I'm using to package them are only 4 inches wide at the top, I do two cookies back-to-back in each bag and they're labeled because I'm that nice), and I also used an entire bag of chocolate chips because it annoys me when recipes only use part of the bag.  My only other annoyance with this recipe is that it didn't make a billion cookies because that's about how many I could have eaten (but I was good, they almost all went into the care packages).

11.  Oatmeal White Chocolate Cranberry
This recipe is courtesy of Vicki's daughter Brittany (I swiped it off Vicki's blog) and I think they should come with a warning label because you cannot eat just one.  Or two.  More like six.  And it makes a nice big batch too; I got 62 cookies (tablespoon-size) out of it.  My dad was asking about using white chips in my mom's oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I told him to try this one instead 'cause YUM.

12.  Macadamia Nut White Chip Pumpkin
These are again from the Nestle cookbook (can you tell I've used that cookbook a lot?) and you can find the recipe on their site, plus I've posted it here before too.  I first tried this recipe not too long after Lee and I got married and thus was born my love affair with all things pumpkin.  Well, I'd always loved pumpkin pie, but these cookies proved that pumpkin wasn't a one-trick gourd.  These cookies are soft and spicy and pumpkin-y and totally delicious.

13.  Orange Cranberry Brownie
I got this one from Baking Bites, and at first I was thinking it wasn't different enough from my double chocolate cranberry chunkies to warrant keeping this recipe too.  Then I tried one of these that didn't fit in the care packages and ZOMG YUM.  A couple days after baking and it was still all soft and yummalicious with just a hint of orange flavor and I think I may have to keep it after all.  I used semisweet chocolate chips since I don't go for dark chocolate, but that's just me.

14.  Oreo Cheesecake
Here's another one from Sally's Baking Addiction, though mine didn't really look like the ones she has pictured on her blog.  She said to crush the Oreos into tiny pieces in the recipe, so I did (that part was fun too, smashing them with a meat mallet is a good way to release any pent-up hostility), and my cookies were much more speckled (though still yummy).  Again, I did these with tablespoon-size cookies rather than the monster cookies she posted, but I need to do some tinkering with the oven temperature and/or bake time.  At 325° for 10 minutes, my cookies still looked a bit underdone even after cooling on the baking sheet (since cookies keep baking a bit if you leave them on the baking sheets).  Don't get me wrong, I love a slightly underbaked cookie, but even though I'm theoretically immune to salmonella from eating cookie dough for all these years, that doesn't mean everyone else is.  Still, this was the one cookie that Lee stole off the cookie racks, so what does that tell you?

15.  Snickerdoodles
Here's a classic cookie recipe for you that I got once again from Baking Bites (can you see I've found a couple new favorite baking sites?).  Generally I make drop cookies (as evidenced by the 14 other drop cookie recipes you've seen thus far on this post) but these are such a classic cookie that I decided I needed a snickerdoodle recipe in my stash.  Really, it wasn't that hard to roll 'em in sugar even though it's not quite as simple as plunking them down on the baking sheet and away you go.  Yummy recipe and appeals to weirdos like Lee (I love you honey) who prefer their cookies without nuts (lucky for me Lee loves me even though *I'm* nuts)...there's also a peppermint snickerdoodle version if you go for that kind of thing.

16.  Oatmeal Scotchies
Yes, this is totally the recipe on the back of the bag of butterscotch chips, but I'm rather fond of these and I thought we needed more butterscotch in the care packages.  Maybe I just need more cookie recipes that use butterscotch chips.  I could add them to one of the chocolate cookie doughs, would that be weird?  Maybe I should just try them in the apple spice cookies instead.

So that's all the types of cookies I made, and somehow I still missed gingersnaps and oatmeal raisin, and I still have quite a stack of other recipes to try.  There's always next time, I suppose, though I'm not planning another crazy escapade like this any time soon (ok, so there is a cookie drive next month...but that's a long time from now and don't burst my bubble and tell me it's coming soon 'cause I'm not listening).  And since I promised, here are the recipes for oatmeal chocolate chip (my mom's signature cookie) and double chocolate cranberry chunkies.  Enjoy!


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe from Christy's mom, Nina)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick oats
2 cups chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate, you could do semisweet if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 375
°.  Cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add eggs and mix until fluffy.  Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt; finally stir in the oats and chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoon (or, if you're me, tablespoon) onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 9 to 12 minutes; cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.




Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies




1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
3/4 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.  Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.  Gradually beat in flour mixture, then stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until set; cool 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  To make a dozen giant cookies, drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls and flatten slightly before baking.

1 comment:

Thoughts by B and M said...

Crazy! My dad wants to know more statistics....how many bags of sugar, flour, sticks of butter, etc. I can't imagine doing that! But it sounds fun!