To-Die-For Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Sugar Cookie

Brown butter. I mean, c’mon. What is better than the nutty, complex, delicious flavor of brown butter? Nothing much and it’s what makes these cookies from the Sally’s Baking Addiction website absolutely out of this world! You can click right here to access her original recipe as well as hundreds of others. I love sugar cookies but I often find that many recipes fall flat in flavor and texture. This variation is everything you want a sugar cookie to be and more. They are chewy, soft, slightly crisp on the edges and have a very complex, vanilla forward flavor. I really love them and I think you will too!

Take note, the cookie dough contains a good amount of butter, 1 cup in fact, so you will find that the dough is a little greasy. That’s totally okay though, it’s what gives the cookies their to-die-for flavor. Because you’re using melted butter in this recipe it’s very important you allow the dough to chill as directed to prevent them from over spreading during baking. The best thing about these cookies is that you can even make them ahead of time! Freeze the shaped, unbaked cookie dough balls for up to three months. They can be baked right from the freezer, no thawing needed. Just be sure to bake them 1-2 minutes longer. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups + 2 tbs (265g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles and/or nonpareils for topping

Instructions

First, brown the butter. Slice the butter into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep whisking occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning– you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat immediately, pour into a heat safe bowl. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to the brown butter. Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together on medium-high speed until relatively combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and begin beating together on low speed, slowly working up to high speed until everything is combined.

Roll the dough into balls, about 1 tbs of dough each, and dip the tops into sprinkles. Place dough balls tightly together on a lined baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and  place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Line chilled dough balls onto baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Chef Emerson’s Brown Butter Blondie Bites

Blondie Bites Emme

If you love brownies you will love its vanilla forward cousin, the “blondie”. The texture and chewiness of a blondie resembles a traditional, fudgy brownie however, the cocoa is substituted for vanilla and brown sugar replaces the granulated sugar. Being a bonafide vanilla lover myself, I really enjoy the delicious flavor of a well executed blondie.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it’s super kid friendly so you can get your little chefs in the kitchen and let them have it! The recipe comes from a great, easy to follow cookbook for kids entitled, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen which in my opinion, is one of the BEST cookbook publishers out there. Their recipes are always easy to follow, delicious and fail proof.

My daughter made these beauties all on her own and except for a few very minor substitutions, she followed the recipe as written.

Emme Blondie Baker

The nice thing about this recipe is that because the blondies are baked in individual muffin cups they both bake and cool much more quickly. To enhance the flavor and give the blondies a more complex, nutty flavor she decided to first brown the butter which turned out to be an excellent idea. It really added to the richness and overall flavor. She also substituted the white chocolate chips that were called for and instead used Heath® Bit o’ Brickle pieces. Needless to say, these were a big hit in our home. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed (light or dark) brown sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or Heath® Bit o’ Brickle pieces

Instructions

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cooled melted butter until nice and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Add to the wet ingredients the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips or toffee pieces.

Using a spoon or cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups filling them up about halfway.

Bake for about 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, place the blondie bites on a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

*To brown butter – In a light colored pan*, melt the desired amount of butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After 4-5 minutes the butter will begin to foam and bubble, keep stirring and watching it closely at this point. As the foaming begins to subside watch the color of the butter, once it looks slightly golden brown remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl to cool. You will know the butter is browned and ready by the aroma, it should smell nutty and fragrant at this point.*

S’mores Cookie Bars

smores bars.jpg

There is nothing quite like S’mores, they are a warm, gooey, scrumptious bite of heaven. They are without a doubt one of my most favorite desserts and they are always a crowd pleaser as well. I love this particular recipe because it makes it easy to serve them up to a bunch of people without having to make them one by one. In fact, they are so easy to make that even your kids will be able to whip these up, it’s the perfect recipe for those little budding chefs to try their hand at!

These amazing S’mores Cookie Bars comes from one of my favorite baking sites, Sally’s Baking Addiction , you can click right here to link to the original recipe. These are absolutely perfect as written, the only minor change that I made was to use bittersweet chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet because I really love dark chocolate.

Take note, when the bars are done baking, it is very important that you allow them to cool completely otherwise they will be a warm, gooey mess and very difficult to cut. However, if you don’t care about appearances, attack that pan and go crazy! I always love a nice warm S’mores so even if they have cooled and been cut, you can give them a quick zap in the microwave to warm back up. Any leftover bars will keep for about a week in a tightly covered container. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100g) graham cracker crumbs (about 9-10 graham crackers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping cup marshmallow creme

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars when they have cooled. Set aside.

In a large bowl using handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium-high speed. Beat for about 2 minutes until smooth and combined, then add the vanilla extract and egg, beating until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl down as needed. Set aside.

Toss the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder together until combined. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.

Press 2/3 of the graham cookie dough into prepared pan. Spread the marshmallow creme on top. Sprinkle the marshmallow creme with chocolate chips. Mold the remaining cookie dough into flat pieces and layer on top of the chocolate chips. (There will not be enough dough to make one single layer so some chocolate chips will be exposed.)

Bake the bars for 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely with the pan set on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Bars stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Venezuelan Polvorosa Cookies

Vene Polvorosa Cookie_n

These cookies are SOOOOO good!!! I can’t believe I didn’t discover them until just recently but now that I am “in the know“, these easy cookies have been added to my cookie rotation. A little while back I was asked to do a cooking lesson with my friend’s Girl Scout troop and the focus was, “Snacks From Other Cultures“, and I thought these would be a nice treat to bring in for the girls. They are a traditional Venezuelan cookie that is typically made around the Christmas holiday but truth be told, they are a wonderful treat anytime of the year!

I came across this recipe online at the “Mommy’s Home Cooking” blog site, you can find the original recipe right here . It is such a super easy recipe to make and the ingredients are things that most everyone should have on hand. The recipe calls for pure vanilla extract as a flavoring but since this is a very “vanilla forward” cookie, I decided to amp up the flavor by using vanilla paste (I love all of the flecking in the cookies!!) and my homemade vanilla sugar instead of plain granulated sugar. It was absolutely delicious with these two additions however, they aren’t necessary to use in order to make a delicious cookie. The cookies are still excellent even if you’re using plain granulated sugar and vanilla extract.

This cookie is a crumbly, sandy cookie which I found to be delicious but it’s important to NOT over-bake them or they will really dry out and have an unappealing texture. Watch them carefully towards the end of the baking time, you’re looking for a light colored cookie with just very slight browning on the sides. I didn’t let mine go past the 25 minute mark and they were absolutely perfect. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for coating 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix shortening on medium speed until creamy, about 20 seconds. Blend in sugar and salt and mix to combine. Add in vanilla and cinnamon.

With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in the flour and mix just until combined.

Roll balls of dough, about 1 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Arrange the balls on a large baking sheet, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. Press fork into the tops to flatten them a little.

Bake for 20 -25 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the sides. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cookies are cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

EASTER SUGAR COOKIES

I love ALL things vanilla! It’s my most favorite flavor and smell and when made right, nothing beats a good vanilla sugar cookie. This recipe comes from an amazing cookbook that I picked up a few months back entitled, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques by Shauna Sever. If you love vanilla this is one cookbook you’ll want to add to your collection. It’s filled with delicious recipes for cookies, cakes, puddings and even candy!

I followed this recipe as is however, instead of just using pure vanilla extract I also used vanilla paste because I really wanted to bring out and highlight the vanilla flavor of this cookie. I used two teaspoons of vanilla paste and one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract in the cookie dough. I did have to restrain myself from throwing the whole bottle in! The combination of vanilla paste and extract really made for an exceptionally flavored cookie! I highly recommend investing in a bottle of vanilla paste if you haven’t already done so. It is a little pricey nowadays but in desserts that are very vanilla forward such as these cookies, it’s really worth using.

While most cookies are incredible when they come right out of the oven, I have found that these cookies actually improve in flavor as they cool and “age“. As they cool the vanilla notes really pop and the texture becomes that perfect combination of sandy, chewy and crispy. I thought that the next day, they were even better and more perfect. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar*
  • colored sanding sugar

*If you do not have vanilla sugar, plain granulated sugar is also fine to use.*

Instructions

Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Preheat to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. In another small bowl, whisk together the oil and egg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, confectioners sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale in color, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the oil/egg mixture until smooth. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low-speed until smooth. The dough will be soft.

Roll dough into balls, about 1 tbs in size and place them about 2″ apart on the baking sheets. Pour the vanilla sugar onto a plate and dip a flat bottom glass into the sugar to coat, press into each ball to flatten to about 1/4″ thickness. Re-sugar the glass after every cookie. Sprinkle the cookies with colored sanding sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are pale golden and just beginning to lightly brown at the edges. Rotate the cookies sheets from top to bottom and from front to back about halfway through baking. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for about 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

**Tip** – Make vanilla sugar by taking used, scraped vanilla beans and submerging them in granulated sugar. Store in a tightly sealed container and within a few weeks you will have vanilla sugar which is perfect to use in all baking applications.

Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies

killer choc chip1_n

For Christmas this past year I received an awesome new cookbook by renowned pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini entitled, “Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking“. If you’re interested, you can get yourself a copy right hereIt’s packed with a ton of awesome tips and recipes for delicious treats such as a Pineapple Coconut Meringue Torte, Crumb Cake, Double Lemon Tarts, and the Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made below. This book is great for experienced bakers but it’s also perfect for newbies because he takes a lot of time and care to explain technique while walking you through each recipe step-by-step. It’s a fantastic cookbook and I highly recommend adding it to your collection, it’s been a great addition to mine!

These cookies came out delicious, soft and chewy in the middle with a slight crisp on the edges. Everyone loved them, even my picky kids!! I followed the recipe as is however, I did not have Maldon sea salt for the garnish so I substituted with Fleur de Sel which is also a light, flaked salt. The only change that I would make in future batches of this cookie would be to decrease the amount of cinnamon to just a 1/4 tsp. I don’t care for a pronounced cinnamon flavor in my chocolate chip cookies but other than that small change these cookies were, as the name suggests, killer!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (232 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (110 grams) cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • Maldon sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and toss with your fingers until the butter is coated. Attach the paddle and beat the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until a thick paste forms with no visible butter lumps. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

With the mixer on low, add the egg and egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the Kosher salt over the top. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture stopping frequently to scrape down the bowl. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate by hand.

Using a small (1/2 ounce) ice cream scoop, scoop level balls of dough and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. Use the bottom of a glass to slightly flatten the dough balls and then sprinkle a little Maldon salt over each cookie.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, rotating the pans once, until the cookies are just set and beginning to brown. Cool for 10 minutes on the pans before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container, they will keep for up to 3 days.

Thick and Fudgy Brownie Cookies

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I’ve been making these fudgy brownie cookies for years and they are always a hit with everyone. They are SO good. Soft, fudgy, and bursting with chocolate flavor. The best part? They are super easy to make and require only a few ingredients that most everyone will have on hand. For this batch I added some Sno-Caps® candy to the top but you can either leave them plain or add any other topping that you wish. Be sure to watch these cookies closely as they bake. They can go from perfect to overdone quickly and you want to be sure to not overbake them or you’ll lose that soft, fudgy middle.

These cookies also make great holiday gifts! I’ve made big batches of them, packaged them nicely into holiday cookie tins and then secured a bag of good quality coffee to the top of the tin with pretty, festive ribbon. It’s the perfect gift for bus drivers, teachers, group leaders or anyone else on your holiday gift list! You could even assemble the dry ingredients into Mason Jars and secure the recipe to a tag on the jar and that way your gift recipients can make a batch of fresh, warm cookies at home. These are also great cookies to bring for your next cookie swap! Enjoy!!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (the darker the better)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Cream the butter and sugars. Add in egg, yolk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add half of the dry mixture to the butter mixture.

Pour in the heavy cream and mix until combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop 2 tbs of dough (I use a medium cookie scoop) onto the cookie sheets. Flatten tops slightly and leave about 1.5″ between cookies. Bake for 9-11 minutes. The tops should be puffy, rounded and set. DO NOT OVERBAKE or they’ll be too dry. Let cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes exactly 2 dozen cookies.

 

Halloween Candy Cookie Bars

Halloween Cookie BArs

If your house is anything like mine then I am sure once the kids are done with their trick-or-treating you’re left with about 4 tons of candy in the house. Why not take some of that delicious chocolate and turn it into Halloween Candy Cookie Bars! They are easy to pull together, so delicious and fun to make with the kids since they can choose their favorite add-ins.

I came across this recipe on The Today Show website, you can find the original recipe right here . It did not specify what size pan to bake the cookie bars in so I went with a 9X9 square pan lined with parchment paper. The baking time listed, 45-50 minutes, was about right. Just watch them to make sure they do not over brown and get burnt, test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. It should come out mostly dry with a few moist crumbs adhered to it.

For the add-ins, use whatever chocolate you have on hand and feel free to use a mix as well. In my cookie bars I used toffee bits, M&Ms® and chopped up Milky Way®, Kit Kat®, 3 Musketeers®, and Snickers® bars. I added a few mini chocolate chips on the top too! They were delish!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups assorted Halloween chocolate candy, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Chop the Halloween chocolate candies into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine both sugars and the melted butter. Mix until the sugars and butter lighten in color, about 6-8 minutes.

Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix. Then add in the salt and flour and mix until everything is well combined.

Stir in the Halloween candy and then spread the cookie batter into a 9X9 pan that is lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies

Giant Crinkle Choc Chip

When I was in junior high school the cafeteria use to serve these delicious, barely baked, warm chocolate chip cookies. They were SO amazing and I’ve spent years trying to find a recipe that replicated that cookie but to no avail. Then I made this recipe! Out of the oven, they reminded me so much of those giant, warm cookies from school. Score!!

This recipe comes from The New York Times , you can find the original recipe right hereTo ensure that these cookies came out EXACTLY like the ones pictured I weighed all of my ingredients instead of just measuring them out. With baking, being as precise as possible is the key to perfect, consistent results. That being said, if you don’t have a scale in your kitchen that is fine, just use measuring cups and spoons. Make sure you follow the directions very carefully, it’s imperative that you freeze your dough for the right amount of time and then watch those babies like a hawk once they are in the oven so that you can bang the pan at just the right time. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Banging the pan not only allows the cookies to bake more evenly but it creates crispy edges, a gooey center, and those cool looking crinkle rings on the surface. Don’t be afraid to give them a good whack, you need the center to fall in on itself.

The recipe calls for 6 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, I decided to use Ghiradelli® brand. I was short 2 oz. though so I make up the difference with a Ghiradelli® Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree bar. It’s a nice dark chocolate so it worked well as a replacement and it also added a hint of salt to the cookie which I really love. Do NOT use chocolate chips in this recipe, you will NOT get the same result both in appearance and flavor. Buy full bars of chocolate (you can find them in the baking or candy aisle) and roughly chop them with a chefs knife. The variation of chunks, shards, and bits really adds to the cookie. Lastly, in place of the pure vanilla extract I used vanilla paste and I increased the measurement to 2 teaspoons. I just love vanilla so for me, the more the better!

Trust me, these cookies are a keeper! They were out of this world and HUUUUUGE!!! You can definitely make them smaller but be sure to adjust the baking time if you do. Watch them carefully so they do not over bake. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (256 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (302 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate (about 60 percent cacao solids), chopped into coarse pieces, bits and shards

Instructions

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil, parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water, and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture, and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter. (At this point, the dough can be refrigerated for several hours or overnight)

Form the dough into 3 1/2-ounce (100-gram) balls (a heaping 1/3 cup each). Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan, and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. After you put the first baking sheet in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the baking sheet and let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down. Bang it down, if necessary, to make the center fall.

After the cookies puff up again, 2 to 3 minutes later, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times, every 3 minutes, to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out, and the edges are golden brown, but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool before removing the cookies from the pan.

Repeat with remaining cookies.

 

Autumn Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Squeal!!! Sally McKenny has a brand new cookbook, Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More, and to my delight, there was an outstanding recipe for Autumn Spice Oatmeal Cookies. (page 42) There isn’t one word in that title that doesn’t make me happy. Let me repeat: AUTUMN SPICE OATMEAL COOKIES!! What’s better than fall spices, oatmeal, and cookies??!! I’ll tell you, not much!

Due to my high blood sugars, I’ve been hesitant to bake much lately but I really couldn’t resist these cookies so I decided to go ahead and make them. I thought it was good opportunity to try and turn them into a treat that was a touch healthier and lower in sugar so that I could enjoy them too. I followed the recipe as written making only a few substitutions with regards to the ingredients. First, I substituted the granulated sugar with Truvia Baking Blend Natural Sweetener in order to cut down on the calories. Be aware that Truvia® does NOT measure one-to-one with granulated sugar so it’s imperative that you adhere to the conversion chart that is printed on the side of the bag.

I also cut down the molasses from 1 tbs to only 1/2 tbs, I felt that using a little less would still impart the molasses flavor while lessening the overall calorie and sugar count. Instead of sweetened coconut I used unsweetened as it allowed the texture of the cookie to remain the same without adding the extra sugar. In place of ordinary dried cranberries I used  Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar Craisins Dried Cranberries  which again saved on calories and sugar. Lastly, I eliminated the pepitas that were called for (simply because I do not like them) and instead, I added half of a finely diced Granny Smith apple to the cookie dough. I adore apples and I thought it would be a perfect addition to these fall inspired cookies.

The cookies were fabulous and were everything you want a fall cookie to taste like. They were chewy, delicious, and bursting with flavor. The best part was that the substitutions I made resulted in an excellent cookie and I certainly did not miss anything by reducing the sugars where I was able to. Of course, these still need to be enjoyed in moderation but it’s nice to know that when a sweet craving hits, I have something on hand that I can eat with minimal guilt.

**I listed to ORIGINAL recipe below noting my substitutions in the parenthesis.**

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (OR 1/8 cup Truvia Baking Blend)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbs unsulphured or dark molases (OR 1/2 tbs)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut (OR shredded unsweetened coconut)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (OR Craisins Reduced Sugar Dried Cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely diced (optional)

Instructions

Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on medium-high until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Beat on high speed until combined, scrape down the sides as needed.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. With the mixer on low, beat in the oats. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips, coconut, cranberries, and pepitas or apples if using them. The dough will be thick and sticky. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Scoop balls of dough, about 2 tbs each, onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 2″ apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look a little soft.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

**Tip – The cookies will stay fresh for up to a week when stored in an airtight container**