cranberry-pistachio icebox cookies

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Ok, now that you’ve endured weeks of healthful meals from me, I thought I would reward you with some cookies.

These crumbly sables combine salty pistachios and tart cranberries which just happen to pair perfectly with the sweet, buttery cookies. Oh, and then I rolled them in big chunks of decorative sugar for some sparkle and crunch. Because who doesn’t love sparkles – especially when you can eat them and be sparkly on the inside! (It IS what’s inside that counts, right?)

I first made these cookies around the holidays and tucked them away into the freezer so they would be ready for when the holidays rolled around.  I had every intention of sending them out with my Christmas cookies but there were… technical difficulties.

Mostly that I ate them.

And while, yes, the red berries and pale green pistachios were super cute when I first made these for Christmas cookies, no one will complain about consuming them during a non-Christmas time of year.  Not to mention they are ice-box cookies, which means even if you make them around the holidays and stuff them (tightly-wrapped) in the freezer, they will still be every bit as delicious once July rolls around… :)

cranberry pistachio cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 38 minutes

Yield: Appx 24 cookies

Ingredients

    For the cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • For baking
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup decorative sugar (preferably coarse)

Instructions

    Make the cookies
  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and orange zest at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add flour mixture in 2 batches and mix on low, just until the dough comes together in clumps, then add pistachios and cranberries. Mix just a few moments longer to combine.
  3. Pour dough onto a lightly-floured surface and press together into a single mass. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, then form each half of dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until very firm, at least 2 hours. (Or you can freeze the logs until you are ready to bake them)
  4. Bake the cookies
  5. If from frozen, let cookies set out about 30 minutes. If from refrigerated, no need to let them sit.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F. If baking both sheets at once, put racks in upper and lower third of oven, if only baking one at a time you can leave the rack in the middle.
  7. Beat the egg and pour sugar into a shallow dish long enough to roll the log in (I used a paper plate).
  8. Brush egg over all 4 long sides of bars (but not ends) and press bars into sugar, coating well.
  9. Cut each bar crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rotating bar after cutting each slice to help keep square shape. (It may be crumbly, just smoosh the cookies back together).
  10. Arrange cookies about 1/2 inch apart on lined baking sheets and bake until edges are pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes total.

Notes

Recipe source: Gourmet, December 2006

http://wee-eats.com/2014/07/09/cranberry-pistachio-icebox-cookies/

 cranberry pistachio icebox cookies | wee-eats.com

samoa cookie bars

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Saturday morning a strange thing happened – someone knocked on the door.

This might not seem that strange to you, however, we live in a pretty quiet area and we know approximately zero people so we basically never get visitors. Like, ever.

And when we do, we follow a strict protocol involvng things like muting the TV and waiting for the person to leave.  This time, however, our front door was wide open and we were sitting in the living room (which is where the front door leads into) so I wasn’t confident that the whole “muting the TV” thing would work.

Unless we could also convince them that we were statues…

FH told me to “handle it” so I got up to assess the situation and there she was – standing no more than three feet tall, quite possibly the smallest Girl Scout I had ever seen.  Normally I am a firm believer of the “stranger danger” motto, but she was pretty small so I was pretty sure I could take her if things went south.

She mumbled something shyly about cookies and I assumed that in this case “handle it” meant to find any cash I had on hand and throw it at her in exchange for cookies, so I yelled for FH to get his wallet. If FH’s “handle it” meant for me to tell her to go away he was sadly mistaken, because who can say no to a little girl? No one.  Well maybe this guy could, but I don’t have any Knuckle Blasters so that’s not even an option.

Even if I could say “no” to a small child, I definitely couldn’t say no to cookies, especially since for the other 11 months out of the year I listen to FH go on and on about how much he loves samoas and how delicious they are. So I quickly purchased a box of Samoas from her and ran back inside, closing the door behind us to prevent any future incidents.

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FH hurried into the kitchen and ripped into them, took a bite, and… groaned?

It wasn’t the usual “these are so good” sound that you might hear when you eat your favorite cookie. It was a more whiny tone filled with dismay and dissatisfaction.

I asked him what was wrong, hoping for something cool like finding a finger or a dead bug or something like you hear about in those news stories. But, no. Nothing so exciting.

His “problem” was that just last week I made these samoa bars for him and apparently the flavor was still fresh in his mind and now he real samoa cookies, the ones that inspired the very bars that I made because he loved the cookies so much, are now “ruined” for him.

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Ruined.

His word, not mine.

I will admit that these bars are bit more “grown up” than their ancestors. Rather than just being a vessel to carry the caramel, this cookie layer is thicker than that of the original samoa with a bit more crunch and a more intense vanilla flavor. Meanwhile, the caramel layer is a bit more complex with a hint of saltiness, and the dark chocolate gives the perfect bit of bitter-sweet to compliment the sweet caramel and cookie.

Oh yes, and don’t let me forget the ground unicorns and cocaine, but those ingredients are optional.

So at the risk of ruining the legendary Girl Scout cookies for someone you love…

And at the risk of putting thousands of young girls out of business…

Give these bars a try.

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Ground unicorns and cocaine optional.

samoa bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: One 9-by-13 pan

Ingredients

    For the cookie layer
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • For the caramel layer
  • 3.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 11-oz packages caramel bits
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the chocolate drizzle
  • 6 oz dark chocolate (I used the Ghiradelli melting wafers)

Instructions

    For the cookies:
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and milk. Add flour and mix on low until just incorporated. It will be on the dry side.
  3. Pour out onto parchment paper and form into general rectangle shape. Roll close to 9 x 13” and transfer into 9 x 13 baking pan. Press into bottom of pan until it reaches the edges, leaving a slight lip on the edges.
  4. Poke holes in shortbread with a fork and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Cool completely in pan before topping.
  5. For the coconut/caramel layer:
  6. Toast the coconut by placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet and baking at 300F for about 15 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Coconut is done when it is a golden-brown color. Set aside to cool.
  7. Melt the caramel bits with the milk and salt per package directions, until smooth. Once metled, stir in the vanilla extract and the coconut.
  8. Pour onto the cookie layer, spreading into an even layer with a spatula and pressing down with your hands.
  9. For the chocolate layer:
  10. Melt chocolate at 50% power in the microwave starting for 1 minute, then continuing in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Drizzle over coconut layer and allow to cool completely. Once hardened, cut the cookies into bars and store at room temperature in an airtight container.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/02/09/samoa-cookie-bars/

[ shorbread adapted from here]

samoapin

Christmas Cookie Box Roundup

snickerdoodle blondies from wee eats

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peanut butter sandwich cookies from some kitchen stories

gently-spiced double chocolate cookies from movita beaucoup

cranberry + orange cookies from a periodic table

vanilla sugar cookies from life tastes good

molasses spice cookies from minimally invasive

brown butter oatmeal toffee cookies from elephant eats

meyer lemon roll-out cookies from every little thing

deep dish pistachio + plum jam thumbprint cookies from of agates and madeleines

giant peppermint florentine cookies from shikha la mode

world peace cookies from wee eats

peanut butter + jelly + potato chip thumbprint cookies from spoon fork bacon

hazelnut shortbread cookies from playing with flour

s’mores cookies from wee eats

chai-spiced pistachio snowdrop cookies from savory simple

m4s0n501

soft pumpkin cookies

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It’s Friday, so let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we?

These soft, cakey pumpkin cookies really don’t need a story or explanation… then again, they didn’t need any icing either, but I gave it to them anyway because… why not?  Look how pretty they are with their adorable little icing stripes.

To recap:

Soft.

Cakey.

Filled with pumpkin.

Covered in icing. (Optional, but way prettier)

If you’re still dying to read words, you can see words from me and many other talented bloggers over at A Periodic Table’s “Just One Question” project!

soft pumpkin cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Continue beating to incorporate, another minute or so.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat just to combine.
  5. Drop tablespoon-sized cookies onto baking sheet, slightly flattening the top, and bake until set and edges begin to turn golden; about 12 minutes

Notes

If you would like to ice these cookies, I used my usual cinnamon-bun icing - Just take about a cup of powdered sugar and add a bit of vanilla extract (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, depending on your personal preference), and just enough milk to thin it to the consistency of your liking (1 to 2 tablespoons of milk should do the trick) If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk. TADAA!

http://wee-eats.com/2013/11/15/soft-pumpkin-cookies/

mini chocolate chip cookie cups


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These tasty bite-sized treats take your ordinary chocolate chip cookie and turn it into a deep, chewy, cookie cup.  Plus, they’re perfectly bite-sized (hello, portion control!).  In case you, like me, are unable to eat just a bite of a giant cookie.  Or a regular-sized cookie.  Or, of anything…

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Yes, that’s me texting the BF …  Self control, I have none.

So yes, the beauty with these is that you don’t have to try to limit yourself to just a bite.  Instead, just to one cookie… or maybe two.  You can always stuff the rest in the freezer for convenient snacks for the future you.

I also took the opportunity to stuff a bunch of chocolate into the middles of them to make them like little molten-chocolate-stuffed cookies once you reheat them in the microwave… which is totally normal.  Because, everyone reheats their cookies before they eat them, right?

Although the BF seemed to think it was “too much” chocolate, as if that’s a thing!

I borrowed this recipe from Shannon over at A Periodic Table, you can get the recipe there or you can see it below :)

mini chocolate chip cookie cups

Yield: 24 cookie cups

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375?F; lightly grease the cups of a mini-muffin pan
  2. 2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugars and butter together until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and add vanilla and continue beating 30 more seconds until incorporated.
  4. 3. Add the flour mixture in 2 parts, beating on low just until incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.* Place dough in refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes.
  5. 4. Once chilled, remove dough from refrigerator and form into 1-inch balls. Place a dough ball in the muffin tin, pressing down to flatten the tops. Continue with the rest of the dough until each muffin tin has dough in it.
  6. 5. Bake for maybe 7-12 minutes, checking them at the 7 minute mark for doneness. Let the cookies cool in the muffin tin on a metal rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to continue cooling. If you have any issues getting them out you can wedge a thin knife or spatula between the cookie and the tin to loosen it.

Notes

* Alternatively, you can press a large chocolate chip or a couple of them into the middle of each cookie dough ball once it is in the muffin tin

http://wee-eats.com/2013/08/20/mini-chocolate-chip-cookie-cups/

[ Recipe from A Periodic Table ]

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