Traditions

cookie time 3We have a tradition in our house. Close to Christmas, I bake a batch of sugar cookies and my girls decorate them. We’ve been doing this for the past few years and it’s just me and the three of them. They asked this year if daddy was going to help and I told them “It’s a girl thing”. And I’ll admit, it can be trying at times during the process because I happen to be a bit neurotic when it comes to my kitchen, i.e. I don’t like messes. But luckily, they’re pretty good about keeping it fairly clean. Plus, they like being able to do it on their own and it’s something they look forward to. And, they get to eat the fruits of their labor. So it’s a win/win for them.

I always let each kid pick out what cookie cutter they want and this year they chose a Christmas tree, a snowman and a gingerbread man. And although they really like decorating the cookies, I think their favorite part is actually when I roll out the dough, and they get to cut out the cookies.

cookie timecookie time 2cookie time 4I think they turned out pretty cute. And they taste really good too!

If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie recipe, click here. I’ve tried a few different ones and this one is a definite keeper. I haven’t altered or changed a thing about it. I follow it to a T and they turn out perfect every time!

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

choco cookies 4As I’ve told you in the past, my baking skills are ehhhh….. Take for example the cake disaster of 2011. It was one of my daughter’s birthdays and I wanted her to have a beautiful cake with homemade fondant for her party. The previous year I’d made this delicious chocolate cake that my BFF had given me the recipe for and it turned out great. So I figured I’d make the same cake again and do some different decorations. Well, I followed the directions to a T. And it didn’t turn out right. It got stuck in the pan badly and just didn’t look right. I had to toss it. I persevered and made another one. Guess what? That one didn’t turn out right either! At this point, I was pissed which resulted in a lot of yelling/crying, my frustrations being taken out on a cake pan that I slammed repeatedly into the trashcan trying to get the cake out of it and my husband telling me to just go buy a cake. He’s always the voice of reason when I reach THAT point. And I was probably at like an 11, on a scale of 1-10! I didn’t listen to him though and I went ahead and made ANOTHER cake, but used an old standby and it turned out fine. Anyways, it’s incidents like that (and that wasn’t an isolated one!) that make me leery of baking.

BBBBUUUUTTTT, I’m getting better and taking on much smaller baking projects. Like, cookies! My hubs is usually the cookie baker in our house but (and I love him dearly!) his cookies are never consistent! They always taste good but they look different every time. So I’ve taken over the cookie duties lately and here’s the result of one of my baking experiments.

Although it’s a double chocolate cookie, it’s not overly sweet (which I’m not a fan of!) but has just enough choco goodness. And this is a great cookie base so if you want to switch out the chocolate chips for something else, that would work too. I’ve got some white chocolate chips in the pantry that are calling my name!

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies (makes 3 dozen cookies)

  • 1 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 2/3 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, or a large bowl using a hand mixer, add in the butter and sugar. Beat for several minutes until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix together. Scrapes the sides in between mixings. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda and whisk together. Add half of this to the mixer and mix until combined. Then add in the rest of the dry ingredients. Add in the chocolate chips and mix once more just until combined. Using a cookie scooper, scoop the dough and place onto baking sheets. I usually do 12 cookies on 3 baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes. The cookies will puff slightly. Remove from oven and let sit for about 3 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. The cookies will flatten as they cool. Once completely cooled, place in an airtight container or a large Ziploc bag.

choco cookieschocolate cookies 2choco cookies 3Enjoy my fellow chocolate lovers!

Soft Chocolate Chip Cakies

cc cakies 11What are cakies you ask? Something like a small cake like cookie. Hence, cakies. Well, I don’t know about you but I have a preference when it comes to cookies. I like them soft and chewy. I’m not a crispy cookie eater, AT ALL. And although I love chocolate chip cookies, I do not love baking them. I basically have a love/hate relationship with baking. I love sweets. I hate baking. Yes, you’re reading my food blog. I know…. But in case you haven’t noticed, dinner is my forte. Despite my past baking disasters, I still chug along and continue to bake every so often. Usually, with it ending in frustration. However, after making these chocolate chip cakie creations, I finally achieved sweet success. Literally!

Here’s my problem with my typical cookie baking. My cookies are never uniformly the same size. Even though I use a cookie scooper and they’re the same size when they go into the oven, they aren’t the same size as each other when they come out of the oven. They spread too much. They get crisp after cooling. And the list could go on. So you can see what I was aiming for in creating the cakies. None of that nonsense basically!

These cakies are chewy, soft, spread very little, are uniformly the same size and lastly…. yummy. And although they are a little taller than your average cookie, they TASTE just like a cookie.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cakies (makes approximately 3 dozen cakies)

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 10 ounce bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (only use 3/4 of the bag)

Preheat your oven to 350. In a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and mix until fully combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix together. Then add the baking powder and salt. Mix. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scooper, scoop the dough and place the cakie dough balls onto a baking sheet. (I used 3 baking sheets and I sprayed them with cooking spray. Except the one with the Sil Pat on it.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until the underside of the cakie turns slightly golden. These cakies do not get golden on top. Only the bottom please! Leave on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. When cakies are completely cooled, place in an airtight container.

cc cakies 10cc cakies 9cc cakies 8cc cakies 7cc cakies 6cc cakies 5cc cakies 3cc cakies 4cc cakiesThese cakies will stay soft for days! If they last that long….

P.S. They’re delicious with a glass of milk or as they’re eaten in our house, IN a glass of milk.