Category Archives: Cookies

Shortcut Blood Orange Cranberry Biscotti

The first time I made shortcut biscotti, I took the recipe from a fantastic beach read. I loved it so much that I made it my own and blogged about it. Go ahead, check out the Shortcut Mocha Macadamia Nut Biscotti. Since then, I’ve been swapping out biscotti ingredients based on items that I have in my pantry.

Shortcut Blood Orange and Cranberry Biscotti

Shortcut Blood Orange and Cranberry Biscotti

Here, I’m using blood oranges. They looked gorgeous and tasted fantastic when I first purchased them. But after some time, I needed for the oranges to fulfill their destiny in a glorious way. Baking! And these fantastic biscotti came to existence. Go ahead and use regular oranges, mineola oranges, etc. Whatever citrus you like!

Enjoy!

Squeezing the juice from the blood oranges

Squeezing the juice from the blood oranges

Putting all of the ingredients together

Putting all of the ingredients together

Combine all of the ingredients. The dough shouldn't be too watery. You'll have to form rectangular logs with the dough

Combine all of the ingredients. The dough shouldn’t be too watery. You’ll have to form rectangular logs with the dough

Biscotti logs...

Biscotti logs…

After the first bake, cut the loaves into pieces, put them back on the baking sheet to bake a second time and dry them out

After the first bake, cut the loaves into pieces, put them back on the baking sheet to bake a second time and dry them out

Baked biscotti!!! (they look dark because of nighttime lighting)

Baked biscotti!!! (they look dark because of nighttime lighting. Makes me appreciate sunlight!)

Shortcut Blood Orange and Cranberry Biscotti

Shortcut Blood Orange and Cranberry Biscotti

Shortcut Blood Orange Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients

1 package store bought cake mix (any white/butter flavor)
1 cup AP unbleached flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
Zest from 4 blood oranges
Juice from 4 blood oranges (between 1/4 and 1/3 cup)
2 teaspoons orange extract (optional)
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Pinch kosher salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F. 

1. Cut parchment paper to fit large cookie sheet.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except for the dried cranberries and raisins (if using). Mix to combine.
3. Add cranberries and raisins. Mix to incorporate evenly into the dough.
4. Using your hands, separate the dough in half. On the parchment paper lined baking sheet, shape the dough into two even rectangles. Each piece should be approximately 3” wide and ½” thick. Leave space in between, because the dough will rise.
5. Bake for 25 minutes.
6. Remove pan from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
7. Cut biscotti into even horizontal strips, approximately 1” wide. 
8. Lay each biscotti on its side on the cookie sheet, leaving space between each one.
9. Bake at 350º F for another 10 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 200º F and continue baking for another 40 minutes. 
10. Cool on wire rack.
 
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Lemon Icebox Cake (No-Bake)

Baking requires a beautiful precision; a precision that I rarely have the patience for. This No-Bake Icebox Cake is my go-to dessert when I’m tight on time (always) and when the kids idle hands are dangerously close to becoming mischievous (always). Takes about 20 minutes to pull together and it’s a guaranteed hit for large parties (combine ingredients in a 10″ springform pan) and barbecues (individual cups). The creaminess of the whipped cream softens the thin cookies and becomes a wonderfully soft layered cake.

Lemon Icebox Cake (No-Bake)

Lemon Icebox Cake (No-Bake)

It’s a fool-proof recipe that can be modified based on the ingredients that you have on hand and what’s available at the store. If your store has chocolate cookie thins (also called wafers), bypass the lemon zest and swap out the lemon extract for vanilla extract and you’ll have a delicious Oreo-esque cake on your hands. You might also see ginger or orange flavored thins (Anna brand), which work very well in this recipe. Any flavor will work!

Perfect for a dinner party, kids party, or anytime… the springform pan can stay refrigerated for up to 2 days. Perfect for a picnic: throw those individual cups into a cooler in the morning and your individual cakes will be ready by lunchtime!

Enjoy!

Trader Joe's Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins

Trader Joe’s Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins

Whip the cream to stiff peaks

Whip the cream to stiff peaks

Set up your base (individual containers here)

Set up your base (individual containers here)

Build your cake

Building our individual cakes

The dollop of whipped cream looks so pretty

The dollop of whipped cream looks so pretty

A tower of ease and goodness...

A tower of ease and goodness…

Lemon Icebox Cake (No-Bake)

Serves 8-10

3 cups cold whipping cream (heavy cream)
1/2 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
2 tsp lemon extract (optional)
2 packages Trader Joe’s Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins

Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, sugar, lemon extract (if using) and lemon zest.
2. Turn mixer on LOW to combine ingredients (about 1 minute). Then raise the speed to MEDIUM/HIGH for another 3-4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Don’t over-beat it or you’ll start to make butter.
3. Place the cookies in a single layer on the bottom of a springform pan (or individual cups), covering as much of the bottom as possible.
4. In a thin layer, spread whipped cream over the cookies.
5. Add another layer of cookies and whipped cream. Repeat until your form(s) is/are filled. You will most likely have some leftover cookies and whipped cream.
6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Being a mom with school aged kids, I feel like I’m forever feeding someone. Whether it’s play date snacks, school lunches, potluck parties, bake sales or just dinner… the demand for feeding exists. I’m always looking for recipes that keep well, travel well, sell well or can feed a crowd.

Peanut butter cookies haven’t entered my lineup until recently because some of the kids classmates have nut allergies. Luckily, my kids aren’t sensitive to peanuts and most of their friends aren’t either. So why not whip up a batch?

Tip: Go ahead and put jelly directly on the cookie for the ultimate PB&J Cookie… GENIUS!!

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Salted PB Cookie Dough

Salted PB Cookie Dough

Salted Peanut Butter Cookie

Salted Peanut Butter Cookie

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Maldon Salt Flakes (or sea salt)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy.
3. Add the peanut butter and beat to combine.
4. Add the eggs and beat to combine.
5. Add half of the flour mixture and beat to combine. Repeat with remaining flour.
6. Using a 1 tablespoon sized (35mm) ice cream scoop, scoop onto a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet. Leave 2 to 3 inches in between each cookie.
7. Using a fork, create a criss-cross pattern on the cookie by pushing the fork to flatten it a bit. Cookies should be approximately 1/2 inch thick.
8. Sprinkle a few pieces of salt onto each cookie.
9. Bake cookies for 16-18 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

There are a few things that I’m not very good at. One of them is rolling out sugar cookies. It’s an unfortunate thing because I really LOVE sugar cookies. In all of the recipes and variations that I’ve attempted, I’ve never been able to pinpoint why I can’t roll out a thin layer of dough and successfully cut it with a dinosaur shaped cutter. It’s just not meant to be.

I love that you can see the basil and lemon zest. So pretty!!

This hasn’t discouraged me from making sugar cookies though. My sugar cookies just aren’t in fun shapes. They’re round and that’s how I like them. Round. Round sugar cookies are just as delicious as cowboy boot cookies. At least that’s what I’ll continue telling myself (and the kids) until the day that I’m able to master cookie cutters. At that point, I’m sure that I’ll go into deep philosophical discussions about how heart shaped cookies taste superior to fire truck cookies.  In the meantime, I’m just happy to eat sugar cookies!

This is Alton Brown’s basic sugar cookie recipe that has been modified a bit to add some UMPH. It’s versatile enough to take on a wide variety of flavors.  Here I’ve added lemon zest, lemon juice and basil. 

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon lemon extract (substitute vanilla if you don’t have lemon)
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
4 pods frozen TJ’s basil (or about 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped fresh basil)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Put the basil pods on a plate and bring to room temperature (this will take about 15 minutes)
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
3. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. 
4. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. 
5. Add lemon extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and defrosted basil and beat to combine. 
6. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. 
7. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
8. Using a 1.5 teaspoon ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between each dough ball. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, until the bottom just starts to brown. (Don’t over brown. They’ll harden as they cool down.)
9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

One of my (many) weaknesses are sugar cookies.  I can’t seem to perfect them.  Sometimes I get the dough right, but then have a hard time rolling them out into an even thickness.  Or I mess up the cookie cutters… Or the cutting part works out well, but the cookie itself is dry.  ::sigh::  While I continue to work on a butter cookie recipe that will work for me time and time again, I will continue to ROCK cookies that DO NOT have to be cut with cookie cutters!


Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These lemon crinkle cookies can be eaten immediately or kept in an airtight container up to a week; although you’ll see them disappear long before that!  These are fantastic for cookie sharing parties or for holiday presents. Their flavor flexibility also extends beyond any single season… they’re perfect anytime!

Combine wet ingredients in a stand mixer, or with a hand held mixer
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix to incorporate.
Stir in dried ingredients, just long enough to combine.
Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl
Roll dough in powdered sugar
Place cookie balls on parchment paper lined baking sheet
Baked cookies
mmmmm…. Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Cooling the cookies before they’re devoured!


Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Makes about 7 dozen teaspoon cookies or about 2.5 dozen Tablespoon cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 whole eggs
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar in a shallow bowl (for rolling)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

1. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
2. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. 
3. Sift together all dry ingredients (except for the powdered sugar).
4. Add dry ingredients to stand mixer and mix to combine.
5. Using a teaspoon measuring spoon or ice cream scoop, measure out dough. Roll them into a ball in your hands and then cover in powdered sugar.
6. Repeat ball making, placing each ball at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until bottoms are barely brown  and the top has softly crinkled.
8. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Spinach & Carrot Puree Brownies

Right around the time I started paying more and more attention to the foods that I was giving to my kids, Missy Chase Lapine and Jessica Seinfeld came out with cookbooks.  The recipes highlighted hiding vegetables in foods where kids wouldn’t notice them.  At first, I thought that it was genius… but shortly thereafter I realized that I was doing my kids a disservice.  Shouldn’t they know that they’re eating vegetables at dinnertime?  

Spinach & Carrot Brownies


I took on a new strategy.  While I used some of the ideas from the books, I wanted the kids to know exactly what was in their dinner. And so began the game of “Guess What Vegetables Are Hiding In Your Dinner?”  If a guess was incorrect, I’d write it down as an idea to incorporate for the next time. Inspiration coming from my smallest sources! Now that they’re older, we don’t play as often as we once did, but I still use some of the techniques that I picked up from the books.  


Spinach & Carrot Puree Brownies

Adapted from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious Brownies

Ingredients

Canola Oil for pan
5 ounces TJ’s pound plus dark chocolate or other semisweet chocolate 
3/4 cup carrot, puree*
3/4 cup spinach, puree** 
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (or dark) 
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
3 large egg whites 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt 

Confectioners sugar (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°

1. Generously coat a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with canola oil
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave: 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment. Let cool. 
3. To the bowl with cooled melted chocolate, add the vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. 
4. Whisk in egg whites. 
5. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon. 
6. Pour the batter into the pan.
7. Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Cool completely. 
9. Dust with confectioners sugar (optional)
10. Cut into bite size pieces, or larger bars. 

Serve cold or at room temperature. If eaten warm, there will be a hint of spinach flavor.

*To make the carrot puree: steam 1/2 pound of peeled carrots for 10 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender.


**To make the spinach puree: steam 10 ounces of fresh spinach for 2 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender. 

Store unused purees in freezer cubes or add to pasta sauce or combine with cheese for quesadillas!

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!

Shortcut Mocha Macadamia Biscotti

You ever read a beach-read novel that talks about food so much that it actually includes recipes at the end of the book?  No?  Me neither… until a few weeks ago. The recipe for biscotti seemed so easy. Too easy. So easy that I had to try it.  

The super secret shortcut?  Boxed cake mix! The same boxed cake mix that I’m always tempted into buying and that stands in my pantry until I throw it out, usually opting to make a from-scratch cake.

The result FAR surpassed the ease of the recipe. Next time, and there will be a next time, the only change that I will make will be to create two blocks of dough, rather than one large rectangle.  The resulting cookies will be easier to manipulate and heck, they’ll look cuter!


Add macadamia nuts to the dough

Shape into a rectangle
(or as close to an oval-ish rectangle as you can get it)


Baking the biscotti after they’ve been cut into slices and each slice in half

Mocha Macadamia Biscotti, ready to be shipped (or eaten immediately)

Mocha Macadamia Biscotti


Ingredients

1 package butter or white cake mix

2 TBSP Dutch process cocoa
1 TBSP instant espresso
1 TBSP instant coffee
½ cup all purpose unbleached flour
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs

½ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F. 

1. Cut parchment paper to fit large cookie sheet.
2. In a large bowl, blend dry ingredients for biscotti. 
3. Add eggs and blend just to mix.
4. Add melted butter into biscotti mixture. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
5. Add the macadamia nuts. Continue to blend until thoroughly mixed.

6. Using your hands, shape the dough into a log and lay it on the parchment paper. Roll it out to approximately 5” wide and ½” thick. Shape into a rectangle. (I would make two rectangles next time.)
7. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Remove pan from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
9. Cut biscotti into even horizontal strips, approximately 1” wide. 
10. Lay each biscotti on its side on the cookie sheet, leaving space between each one.
11. Bake at 350º F for another 10 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 200º F and continue baking for another 40 minutes. 
12. Cool on wire rack.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!