Tag Archives: cookies

Easter Cookies

I had in my mind to make a certain kind of Italian Easter cookie. Buttery, flavored with orange zest, dipped in multicolored sprinkles… Only as far as Google can tell me, this cookie has never existed. I made it anyway, but I guess I can’t call them Italian.

And then I made them again, because they were really, really good. You can leave off the nonpareils if you don’t want them – my mom didn’t like them – but I love the color and texture they add to the cookie.

Easter Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • zest of one large orange (~1 Tbsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp orange extract*
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 oz. nonpareils in a small pinch bowl

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Cream together the butter, sugar, and orange zest. Watch it carefully, due to the orange zest, it only lightens in color subtly when it is properly creamed.

Mix in the orange extract and eggs. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix into the wet. Roll 1″ balls of cookie dough, and dip the top into the waiting nonpareils. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake trays of cookies at 375 F for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just turning golden brown. Don’t over bake.

Cool on wire racks.

* a note on orange extract. Mine is from Penzey’s and is 61% alcohol. If you substitute a baking emulsion, I would start out using less and add more if the flavor is insufficient.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Delayed because yesterday was crazy.  Hatch Tortilla soup later today.)

Okay, confession time.

I have never liked chocolate chip cookies.

I can’t explain why.  Something about the interplay between the semisweet chips and the cookie, it was all just too sweet and I didn’t care for them.

But I had this funny impression that Boy (v.1.0) did like them, and they seemed like a good cookie to make to give him a treat without me just absentmindedly eating all the cookies.  But I wanted to make cookies that I could at least tolerate eating at the same time.  So I took the Wakefield cookie recipe and ramped up all the things I liked (or ought to like) about them.

The result?  I absentmindedly ate all the cookies.  Which worked out, since Boy (v.1.0) didn’t like them.  Augh.

Now I make these all the time.  Even more than my previous favorite, the chocolate-espresso cookie.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups extra dark (60+%) chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nuts.  If you’re a heathen.

My main changes here are:

1) up the amount of brown sugar, and use a darker brown sugar.  If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can make it from white sugar and molasses!  Combine a cup of white sugar and 1 or 2 Tbsp molasses to make light or dark brown sugar respectively.  Stir it around till they’re well mixed.  Kitchen substitutions are awesome, aren’t they?  Although this isn’t really a substitution, since it makes real brown sugar.

2) use bread flour instead of all purpose.  More gluten means chewier cookies, and I like my chocolate chip cookies to have some bite in them.

3) more vanilla.  Me, I have a big bottle of double strength vanilla extract, but I sometimes forget to halve the vanilla I add.  This was one of those times, but the double dose of vanilla turned out to be delicious.

4) extra dark chocolate chips.  I use Guittard 63% dark.  I don’t like a sweet chocolate in my cookies.  The cookies are sweet enough by themselves

5) extra large eggs.  This isn’t a deliberate change, they’re just the eggs I normally buy.  I increased the flour by half a cup to compensate for the extra liquid.  If you want to use large eggs, drop the flour down to 2 1/4 cups and it should be fine.

Cream your butter, dark brown sugar, and white sugar.  Cream it well, at least 3 minutes in the stand mixer, until the color has lightened and it’s nice and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla and the eggs.  Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda, then add this by batches to the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla in the mixer.  Get all the flour worked in and then add the chocolate chips and turn the mixer up a notch or two.

Go do something else for at least 2-3 minutes and forget about your running mixer.

Remember those cookies we were making?  Turn the mixer off and use a 2 tablespoon scoop to portion the dough out onto parchment lined baking sheets.  It’ll be 30-36 cookies.

Because this is Texas and it’s summer and hot as hell here, put those baking sheets in your fridge for 30 minutes.  Otherwise they’ll spread too thin.  In the meantime, preheat your oven.

When the 30 minutes of chill are over, pull a sheet out of the fridge and put it straight in the preheated oven.  Bake 15 minutes at 350 F.  When the cookies are done, slide the whole sheet of parchment off the baking sheet and onto a wire rack to cool.

(If you do this right, neither the baking sheet or the wire rack ever get dirty.  So they don’t need washing.  Yay.)

Consume, with whole milk.  These cookies are too good to waste on skim.

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