Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies on www.inthiskitchen.com

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies on www.inthiskitchen.com

This year the beginning of September and Labor Day happened to coincide with the temperatures dropping a good 20 degrees here in the DC area. It’s been close to 90 (and humid) most of summer, but the past few days its been more like low to mid 70s, and all of this combined means people are going crazy getting excited for fall.

Even I’m a little excited for fall, which is always a surprise for me because I start to shiver around 55 degrees. But around here we probably have at least two months before we have to endure temperatures below freezing, and for that I am happy. I can get behind some good pumpkin spice, squash, apple pastries and boots. And beautiful fall colors… yeah, okay, I’ll begrudgingly admit it: I like fall. Now I just need to get through what I’m sure will come next: the typical DC Indian summer.

In any case, I’m much more interested in cooking and baking now that the temperatures have fallen a little. I’ve been trying to find more recipes with tahini in them – I absolutely love it, and I find it to be the best alternative to peanut butter. Cashew and almond butter are way too different from peanut flavor-wise, but sesame packs a similar punch. I love it in sauces (like these fantastic otsu noodles or mixed with yogurt for these pita sandwiches), and of course in classic hummus.

But I also love tahini in sweets – enter: tahini cookies.

These tahini cookies are reminiscent of peanut butter cookies, and also of chocolate covered halvah. They are nutty and sweet, with a hearty amount of chocolate chips inside (if you prefer a less chocolatey cookie, you could cut the amount of chips in half). The sprinkling of salt on top is perfect with the decadent cookie below it. And you probably have all the ingredients in your house already (unless you need to get your hands on some tahini).

The cookie dough does require at least 12 hours to chill – so plan ahead! I promise it is worth it though.

Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies on www.inthiskitchen.com

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Lemon Mascarpone Cookies

Lemon Mascarpone Cookies

Lemon Mascarpone Cookies

I’ve been trying to get better at doing things on the weekends, a far cry from my high school and college days when every break from school meant doing nothing at all. Now that I’m older and wiser more anxious, I always feel like 2 days for a weekend is just never enough and how could I possibly maximize the precious time I have, and oh no it’s already Sunday again!? Even though my social life isn’t exactly overflowing, I still manage to feel like there’s not enough time to do all the reading, cooking, going for long walks, watching tv or movies, hanging out with Dan – not to mention chores, grocery shopping, and other stuff shopping. It’s even worse in summer, because there’s so many things you always *could* be doing (like this weekend the DC Pride Parade is down in Dupont and we didn’t go to check it out, womp womp).

In any case, cooking and grocery shopping are two things that are an absolute necessity, and I love to make at least one sweet and one savory thing each weekend. A few weeks ago I came across these lemon mascarpone cookies and I knew I had to procure some mascarpone as soon as I could.

These lemon mascarpone cookies are full of bright lemon zest and creamy, slightly tart mascarpone; they’re soft and a little crumbly, not tough in the slightest. I think they are as refreshing as a cookie can be. You can make them even smaller than I did here so that they’re basically bite-size, or make them a little bigger for a more traditional-sized cookie. Either way, they are the perfect simple dessert for those hot days that are certainly coming soon.

Lemon Mascarpone Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth and chunky both work)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark brown and it was good!)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then in a large bowl, mix together the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt.
  2. In another large bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until they are fully mixed and begin to be fluffy. Add in the sugar and brown sugar and mix together until fully combined. Then add the egg, and mix until fully incorporated. Then add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, and then stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  3. Place sprinkling sugar (about 1 tablespoon of sugar) on a plate. Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar,and then put them on ungreased cookie sheets. Allow space in between the cookies. Then use a fork to flatten each cookie, making a crossed pattern on top, but leave each cookie still slightly rounded. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Try not to overbake them - they may still look a little underdone when you pull them out but they will firm up after taking them out of the oven.
  4. Allow them to cool a bit on their baking sheets and then move them to a cooling rack to fully cool down.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen (& the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on www.inthiskitchen.com

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

It has been nothing but rain, rain, rain here for the past, oh, 2 weeks. Honestly, it hasn’t been bothering me much – as long as it’s not cold outside, I don’t mind the rain. It feels refreshing and maybe being from Arizona makes me appreciate it more. I know when summer hits and we are all outside in the blazing sun we will be wishing for weather like this!

The rain does mean more staying inside though, and staying inside often makes me want to cook and bake. I actually made these chocolate chip peanut butter cookies a while back, but have been waiting to share them here.

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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anzac cookies

Anzac Cookies recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Anzac Cookies recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

It’s been a good couple of days off of work. The Big Scary Blizzard came and went from DC, leaving behind it mini-mountains of snow and a 4-foot long, 1-foot thick huge icicle outside my apartment. I’ve been vacillating between being parked at my kitchen breakfast bar, where I like to sit around on my laptop, to the kitchen itself to cook simple meals, and to the bed where I relax and watch through the fourth season of Angel on Netflix.

There’s a very different feel to snow days than there are to any other time off from work. To me it feels like a gift, an unexpected swath of time, and because of that I oddly feel pressured to make the most of it. I can’t go outside, so I might as well do something with my time inside, right? So I tweaked some things here and there around this blog, as well as finding a ton of new recipes I want to try out once I’m able to get to a grocery store again. That feels slightly productive, even if it’s not much, and it makes me feel less guilty about the aforementioned lounging.

In any case, today I come with a recipe for wonderful little cookies (or biscuits) known as Anzac cookies. The lore of the Anzac cookie (Anzac being an acronym for Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) is that they were sent to soldiers in World War I, because they don’t contain eggs or milk, and therefore won’t spoil in the post. They’re rich, and slightly deep and molasses-y from the brown sugar, with a golden color and flavor. They are usually made with golden syrup (such as Lyle’s), but I couldn’t find it anywhere and so substituted it with honey. It’s still fantastic.

Anzac Cookies recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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almond butter buckeyes

almond butter buckeyes [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Peanut butter buckeyes have always been something I’d seen but not had, due to being a little allergic to peanuts. When I saw this recipe for almond butter buckeyes, I of course jumped at the chance to try them. I’m sure the flavor with almond may be slightly milder than with peanuts, but I think these almond butter buckeyes are a great decadent little treat, like an almond butter Reese’s cup but hand-made.

almond butter buckeyes [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I realize that buckeyes are typically a holiday treat, but I see no reason to have them any time of year. They’re easy to make, no baking required, and each one is so rich that they’ll last a good while in the fridge!

I wish I had one right now to help quell the nervousness I’m feeling about starting a new job tomorrow… though I’m sure by the next time I post here I’ll be settled in and my fears will be gone. Wish me luck and enjoy almond butter buckeyes!

almond butter buckeyes [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Almond Butter Buckeyes
from Food52, author Sarah Jampel
Makes anywhere from 15 to 30 buckeyes, depending on how big you roll them

3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, as needed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Cream together almond butter and butter until light and a bit airy. Mix in vanilla and stir. In a separate bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, and pour into the almond butter mixture a LITTLE bit at a time – start with 1 cup and see how dense the mixture becomes after it is thoroughly mixed. If your almond butter is more oily, it may take more sugar to make it firm and rollable, but mine only required about 1 and a quarter cups of sugar. It is ready when it is firm enough to stay together on its own and be rolled into solid balls. Roll into balls about the size of 1-2 tablespoons (to your desired size), and place each onto a parchment lined sheet. Place in the freezer to chill and firm for 20-30 minutes.

After the balls have chilled, in a small bowl, melt your chocolate chips over a double boiler slowly, or in the microwave, microwaving in 20-second bursts, stirring between each burst so that the chocolate cooks evenly. Dip each almond butter ball into the chocolate, and rest them on the baking sheet again. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt (this provides great contrast with the sweet almond/sugar mixture). For easier eating, poke each with a toothpick for serving.

triple chocolate brownie cookies

Triple Chocolate Brownie Cookies on www.inthiskitchen.com

triple chocolate brownie cookies recipe [ inthiskitchen.com ]

When I found this recipe, the picture is what caught my attention. A crackly, slightly crisp outside of a chocolate cookie, with a super soft, darker brownie-like inside. It looked so good that I immediately had to add it to my to-make list.

I got to make it this past week, and it really delivered what it promised: a cookie-brownie hybrid that is super soft and tender, and very chocolatey. They were originally deemed “brookies” (as a brownie cookie hybrid), but I looked up brookies and that seems to be more commonly associated with a cookie dough/brownie dough hybrid (hello, new addition to my to-make list). So I think it’s safe to call these guys brownie cookies – a brownie, in cookie shape.

triple chocolate brownie cookies recipe [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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just 2 chocolate chip cookies (single serving recipe)

just 2 chocolate chip cookies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Sometimes, you just want 2 chocolate chip cookies. This happens to me all of the time. I want a super indulgent, rich and buttery chocolate chip cookie, but don’t want to make the whole 36 of them which I’d inevitably inhale over about the same amount of hours. So this is a recipe for making just 2 cookies. And it uses ingredients you might already have laying around anyway. It is great.

just 2 chocolate chip cookies [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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snickerdoodles

snickerdoodles

I had been wanting to make snickerdoodles for so long – and the only reason I hadn’t was… because I didn’t feel like buying cream of tartar. I don’t know of anything else that would require cream of tartar (although I know there are things out there do require it) and I couldn’t bring myself to buy it just to make cookies.

But of course, if for nothing but the sake of experimentation, I finally just broke down and bought the stuff. And voila, snickerdoodles could be made. Now I just need to figure out what other recipes have cream of tartar, or make truckloads of these cookies…

snickerdoodles

This recipe is called “soft snickerdoodles,” and they were very soft on the first day out of the oven, but turned completely hard and crunchy the next day. Fine with me, though; they still tasted good!

Snickerdoodles

from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: About 4 dozen

2¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat and put in refrigerator to chill.

2. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until the flour is blended.

5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

6. In the meantime, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

7. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat.

8. Place on chilled cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.

9. Chill the dough and cookie sheets between batches.

10. Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container.

“the” chocolate chip cookies

Choc chip cookies

These cookies are damn awesome. My roommate said they are like “scone cookies”… really soft and pillowy. The recipe has the odd ingredient of a pack of instant vanilla pudding mix. It made about a billion cookies (3 dozen).

The NYT/David Leite/Jacque Torres chocolate chip cookie recipe still remains my favorite, but that one requires 2 different types of flour, 24 hour refrigeration prior to baking, fancy chocolate feves – not something you wanna make on a whim. This simple one takes a lot less work, time, and the ingredients are simple and easy.

choc chip cookies

From A New Bloom

Chocolate Chip Cookies (made about 3 dozen for me)
Ingredients

  1. 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  4. 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  5. 1/4 cup sugar
  6. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 12 ounces semisweet (or special dark) chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (ingredients 1 through 3) and set aside
  3. In a stand alone mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy
  4. Add eggs
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing and scraping the sides as you go
  6. Add in the vanilla extract
  7. Manually mix in chocolate chips and scoop batter onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes