Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s better than one cookie?

Two of these cookies.

Lame joke but an absolutely true statement.

I recently had a craving for a substantial flavor-filled cookie.  I found it.  These cookies are full of goodies:  chocolate chips, hazelnuts, toffee chips and oat flour.  What’s not to love?

With all the chocolate chips and toffee, I reduced the sugar in the original recipe.  The result?  Delicious and a great cookie with tons of flavor.  The oat ‘meal’ in the recipe adds a substance to the cookie and a flavor depth that you will notice and appreciate.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
slightly adapted from here

Ingredients:
–  1/2 cup rolled oats
–  2 cups all-purpose flour
–  1 tsp baking powder
–  1 tsp baking soda
–  1/2 tsp salt
–  1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
–   3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
–  1/2 cup granulated sugar
–  2 eggs
–   1 tsp vanilla extract
–  4 ounces toffee candy, finely chopped (I used one Skor bar; also can use Heath bars or the toffee chips you find in the baking aisle)
–  1 cup hazelnuts, lightly roasted and chopped
–  1 large cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Grind oats in a food processor or grinder until it resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Transfer the oats into a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the oat mixture.
  6. In your kitchen mixer (or a large bowl – if you are using a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until incorporated and mixed well.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until blended.  Don’t over mix.
  8. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
  9. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 minutes until cookies are golden brown.
  10. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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6 Comments

Filed under baking, Cookies, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze

I haven’t had a single bowl of pumpkin oatmeal yet.  How very non-seasonal of me.

It seems like I was subconsciously saving it for these.

Those my friends are pumpkin scones.  Yes, sir.  As beautiful as they are delicious.

I’ve never been a scone fan.  Most recipes leave  you with a bready, lackluster snack, which leaves me unsatisfied.  Not this one.

Not only are these scones delicious, they are moist, flavorful and perfectly sweet to disappear sooner than I wanted to some grubby family fingers.

You can tell from the dough that this scone will come out light and almost flaky.

Oh and did I mention that they come with a spiced glaze?  (The dough itself has very little sugar so the glazes are pretty necessary in my opinion.)

But you get to decide if you just need a drizzle or a full dunk.

Obviously I prefer a dunk and a drizzle.

I’m greedy like that.

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

Scones:
–   2 cups all-purpose flour
–  7 tbsp sugar
–  1 tbsp baking powder
–  1/2 tsp  salt
–  1/2 tsp cinnamon
–  1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
–  1/4 tsp ground cloves
–  1/4 tsp ground ginger
–  6 tbsp cold butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
–  1/2 cup pumpkin
–  3 tbsp milk (I used unsweetened almond milk and it came out just fine)
–  1 tsp vanilla extract
–  1 large egg

Initial Glaze:
–  1 cup plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
–  1/4 tsp vanilla extract
–  2 tbsp milk  (again, I used unsweetened almond milk)

Spiced Glaze:
–  1 cup plus 3 tbsp powdered sugar
–  2 tbsp milk (unsweetened almond milk for me)
–  1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
–  1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
–  1 pinch ground ginger
–  1 pinch ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a bowl.  Use a fork to cut the butter into the flour mix until you get a coarse crumbly mix and you can’t really tell that there are chunks of butter in the mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, vanilla and egg.  Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.  Make sure you don’t over mix.  Form the dough into a ball (the dough will be very soft).
  4. Put out the dough onto a floured surface and form into a 1 inch rectangle that’s 3 times long as it is wide.
  5. Then, with a knife, cut the dough twice width wise, making three equal pieces.
  6. Then, cut each of the three pieces into an X making 12 pieces total.
  7. Place each piece onto the baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  8. After baking, place on a wire rack to cool.
  9. To make the initial glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  After the scones have cooled, use a pastry brush to brush the initial glaze onto the scones.
  10. To make the spiced glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  Usually by this time, the initial glaze should have hardened on the scones.  Drizzle (or dunk – or both) onto each scone.  Leave for about an hour for the glaze to dry.

Serving sizes are relative.

Are you a fan of scones?  How have you used your pumpkin lately?

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Filed under baking, Bread, Vegetarian

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies – Virtual Cookie Swap

I have always wanted to participate in a holiday cookie swap.  However, as this year is filled with Isaiah, Rachel’s (aka The Avid Appetite) virtual cookie swap is just perfect!

Holidays would not be complete without cookies – and the more variety, the better.  To me, shortbread cookies are quintessential for the holiday season.  And, when I usually make shortbread, I keep it pretty traditional and plain.  I love the buttery, crisp and light taste of a shortbread cookie.

Not overly sweet so you can enjoy twice as much.  That’s how it works right?

This year, to quell my chocolate cravings, I paired shortbread with chocolate.  Could you imagine the fantabulouslness that would result?

If you can’t imagine, then here is proof:

Trust me when I say that you will want to make them.  And they are a delicious mix of rich chocolate with a light cookie.  These would be perfect with tea, a tall glass of milk, gifts for friends or a cookie exchange.

Or you can leave them out for Santa.

And by that, eat it as a midnight snack.  🙂

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients:
–  2 cups flour
–  1/4 tsp salt
–  1/2 cup white sugar
–  1 tsp vanilla extract
–  1 cup butter, softened
–   3/4  cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Directions:
–  Cream butter and sugar until light.
–  Mix in vanilla.
–  Add flour and salt.
–   Stir in chocolate chips.
–  On plastic wrap, roll dough into a log shape, 2 inches diameter.
–  Wrap tightly and put in fridge for about 2 hours to firm up.  You can leave for longer, but definitely put in the fridge so the dough easier to handle later.
–  After 2 hours, preheat oven to 350F.
–  Take out the cookie dough and cut into 1/4 inch circles.
–  Place on a cookie sheet about an inch apart.
–  Bake for 10-12 minutes.
–  Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

20 Comments

Filed under baking, Cookies, Desserts, Uncategorized