More Valentine’s Day Goodies

Because, really, you can never have enough cookies to hand out on Valentine’s Day. No one has ever been disappointed because of too many cookies!

Remember elementary school when everyone used to hand out cheesy paper Valentines with Spiderman on them? I haven’t done that in a long time, but I think these are much better anyway. I put these in little goodie bags with my heart cookies and some candy to hand out. They’re so cute!

double choc cookies

These cookies are quick and easy to make, and they don’t have to be for Valentine’s at all! I used the Valentine’s M&Ms, but you could use regular ones, or even just chocolate chips. Next time I think I’ll add some walnuts, too.

mm batter

Double Chocolate M&Ms Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen.

Ingredients
1 C flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 stick butter
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C M&Ms

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Melt chocolate and butter together on the stovetop or in the microwave.
4. In a large bowl, cream eggs and sugars. Add vanilla.
5. Gradually beat in flour mixture until combined. Stir in melted chocolate and butter.
6. Fold in M&Ms.
7. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

double choc cookies2

How To Become Popular

So you want to learn how to make yourself popular, do you? Well, everyone says money can’t buy you love or friendship or happiness. True, but money can buy you all the things you need to make lots and lots of cookies. Which is basically the same thing. Make these and everyone will love you. You’ll be the coolest kid in school with a million friends, that one person everyone wants to be. This is a piece of advice I wish I had known in my middle school days… When I have a daughter going through her awkward preteen years, I will teach her to make these cookies.

cookies1They’re ridiculously impressive, but much simpler to make than they look. I’m not going to lie and say they’re easy, but you don’t need any special skills or tools. Just a few hours to kill.

I used the recipes for the cookies and icing from Bake at 350 just like when I made my Android cookies. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?

vday cookies

Marbled Sugar Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen.

Ingredients
1 batch sugar cookies, cut in your favorite shape, baked, and cooled completely
1 batch royal icing
food coloring
2 #2 piping tips (or plastic bags with a tiny bit of corner cut off)
a toothpick or a paring knife
lots and lots of patience

Instructions
1. Start by mixing your colors. Take about 1 cup of icing and mix to your accent color. Do not thin. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a #2 tip (you could use a #4 if you want your stripes to be thicker). Then mix the remaining icing to your base color. Transfer 3/4 cup to another piping bag with a #2 tip. Thin the remaining icing.

dec1

2. Outline your cookie in the base color using the thick icing.

dec2

3. Fill cookie using thinned icing. Bake at 350 recommends using a squeeze bottle to do this, but I prefer just spreading it with a butter knife.

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4. Pipe horizontal lines with your accent color.

dec4

5. Run your toothpick or knife lightly up and down through the stripes to create the pattern.

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6. Continue moving back and forth until you have a beautiful cookie! Let the icing dry for a few hours before serving.

Some Things to Remember
1. Once you get the hang of it, you can do more than one cookie at a time to make things go faster. I can handle about 5 at a time before I get overwhelmed.
2. You will probably make a big mess all over your table. Tape down some plastic wrap over whatever surface you’re working on and save yourself some scrubbing!
3. If it’s not perfect, probably no one besides you will notice.
4. If you mess up, you can wipe away the icing and try again. If it’s unsalvageable, don’t get upset. Just remember that it’s only a cookie. Eat it and you’ll feel better.
5. This design can be done on any shape cookie in any color for any occasion. Get creative!

cookies2Get out there, make some cookies, and pretty soon you’ll have a million people dying to be your Valentine. Or make them for the Valentine you already have! The love for you will be overflowing, I promise.

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I’m old!!

Hooray! I’ve been super late on posting because I’ve been far too busy to bake… Seeing as I spent last weekend in Las Vegas! Twenty-one. Finally.

So normally I don’t like to bake things that are so… plain. I don’t know, maybe that’s not the right word. I guess I mean normal. Oatmeal raisin cookies? Everyone has heard of those. I like trying new things. But there’s a certain someone on my team at work who won’t eat anything else when it comes to dessert. I bring everything I bake into the office and he always turns it down. He’s a crazy person. So I decided to bake him a special batch of cookies.

I asked him if it was okay if I put chocolate chips in them. He said, “Why would you ruin them with chocolate?!” Like I said, crazy. So I only put the chocolate chips in half the batch.

I actually wanted to use golden raisins, which I thought would be good with the chocolate chips. I went to the market, bought a box of raisins that had a picture of green grapes on the front… And there were PURPLE raisins inside. What?! I was so mad. Why put green grapes on the box if there aren’t golden raisins inside?!!

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen.

Ingredients
1 stick butter, softened
1 C white sugar
1/4 C brown sugar, packed
2 tsp agave
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 C rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
1 C combined raisins and chocolate chips (ratio is up to you!)

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugars. Mix in agave, eggs, and vanilla.
3. In another bowl sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually stir into the butter mixture to form a thin batter.
4. Fold in oats, raisins, and chocolate.
5. Drop spoonfuls on the sheet at least 2 inches apart – they spread out a lot! Bake 10 minutes until browned. Let cool before serving.

Almost Famous

I’m so excited! I’ve gotten so many new views since I posted my mini cheesecakes on Foodgawker last week. Over 600 blog views just that day, and almost a thousand Foodgawker views! I can’t believe it. The fact that I’m even getting my submissions accepted is amazing – it means my photography is getting better! I know when I started this blog last year my pictures were awful. I still have a lot of room for improvement, of course, but I’m very happy!

I baked these with a friend last week. They were originally supposed to be cookies, but they came out a little more like cake than I expected. They were absolutely delicious, but I think to call them “cookies” would be a little misleading.

Chai Applesauce Cupcake Tops
Makes 2-3 dozen. Adapted from here.

Ingredients
for the cupcake tops
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 bag chai tea
1 C brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 egg
1 C + 2 Tbsp applesauce
for the frosting
2 Tbsp butter
2 bags chai tea
2 Tbsp boiling water
2 Tbsp milk
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2-3 C powdered sugar

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease cookie sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, spices, and tea (crush a bit before opening the bag).
3. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in egg applesauce.
4. Slowly pour flour mixture into applesauce mixture and mix well.
5. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are brown. Let cool completely.
6. When cookies/cupcake tops are almost cool, begin the frosting by browning the butter in a small saucepan.
7. While butter is browning, steep tea bags in water.
8. In a medium bowl combine butter, tea, milk, and spices. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached, adding more milk if necessary.
9. Coat cookies with a thin layer of frosting.

Googley

Disclaimer: This isn’t much of a recipe post.

I bought this cookie cutter last summer when I was working for Google in California, but I never used it. I always wanted to try decorating sugar cookies, but I’ve never seen meringue powder to make the icing at the store! Then this weekend I found out there’s a huge cake decorating store, NY Cake, only a few blocks from my apartment!

I used the recipes from Bake at 350 for the cookies and the icing – cut the icing recipe in half though. I was worried it wouldn’t come out so great because I don’t have a mixer – I had to mix the whole thing with a fork – but it was fine.

I forgot to pick up a squeeze bottle from the supply store though, so I had to flood the icing from a bag. They came out okay, but I made a huge mess all over my table!

I brought them to work today to share with my team. Naturally, they were a hit.

Sweet and Salty

I’ve really been enjoying the city, and since I’ve been here a few times before I’m mostly ignoring the touristy things and trying to really live here. I want to check out lesser known places and little things you might normally overlook.

Last week I went to Momofuku Milk Bar in East Village. I tried their Pretzel Milk, Birthday Cake Truffles, and a Compost Cookie. The Pretzel Milk tasted just like it sounds – so good! They really soak pretzels in milk to make it. The Birthday Cake Truffles, which are apparently kind of a big deal, were actually kind of gross. They’re basically just cake pops, but the were way too sweet. I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites of one, and the package came with three!

The Compost Cookie, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. The combination of sweet and salty has always been one of my favorites, like chocolate covered pretzels! The cookie came packaged with a label listing all the ingredients, so yesterday I made my first copycat recipe.

Compost Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen.

Ingredients
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp hot water
1 C flour
1/4 C quick oats
1 tsp coffee grounds
1/4 C corn flakes
1 single serving bag potato chips, crushed
1 1/2 graham crackers, crushed
10-12 mini salted pretzels, crushed
1/2 C chocolate chips

Instructions
1.
 Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, coffee, corn flakes, chips, grahams, and pretzels. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Mix in egg and vanilla.
4. Dissolve baking soda in water. Stir into butter mixture.
5. Mix flour into butter mixture. Slowly add the compost mixture until a dough forms. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Drop spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes until browned.

I’m pretty happy with the result. They’re not quite as chewy as the ones from Milk Bar, but they probably have about half the butter… Meaning I can eat twice as many!

Martha

I don’t like Martha Stewart. I tend to avoid her recipes and I never buy her craft supplies. I just don’t like her. But her macaron recipe is fabulous. I followed it exactly, so I’m just going to link you to it. I feel awful linking to her website because I really don’t like her, but you gotta do what you gotta do I guess.

I had whipped up a batch of mousse a few days before, so I used that as the filling for the macarons. The best part about this mousse is… it’s secretly healthy! Not to mention vegan. Which is kind of silly since I put it inside an egg based cookie, but you can eat this by itself too. Or use it as a dipping sauce for fruit or something. It’s not quite as fluffy as normal mousse, maybe a little closer to pudding, but still so delicious and summery.

Raspberry Mousse
Vegan.

Ingredients
1 block Mori-Nu silken tofu
1 1/2 C raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp almond, orange, or vanilla extract

Instructions
1.
If using frozen raspberries, thaw and drain.
2. Put everything in a food processor or blender until smooth.
3. Transfer to serving dishes or a large plastic container and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

For the macarons, I thought teal would complement the pink of the mousse nicely. Also, a note about the recipe – when it says beat the egg whites for 8 minutes, it means it. Don’t cut out early.

I used a frosting tip to pipe the batter out, but you could just snip off the corner of a plastic bag. They might not be as pretty, but they’ll taste the same!