The holidays are here, which means I’ll be baking more cookies this month than I do in a year. We don’t eat most of what I bake: instead, we give them to family and friends, a couple of neighbors, and the kids’ teachers, as well as Ryan’s TSS. My first tip for baking: stock up on excess of everything, even random things like vanilla paste, corn starch, cocoa powder, and heavy cream (side note: you can make buttermilk from milk + white vinegar or lemon juice; and you can make evaporated milk with milk + heavy cream). And my second tip? Use these cookie recipes:
Chocolate chip cookies: Sally’s Baking Addiction: Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Why I like this recipe: The use of dark brown sugar as well as the inclusion of corn starch (I also add a tablespoon of heavy cream) results in ultra-thick, ultra-gooey cookies that do not turn crunchy or crispy. If crispy chocolate chip cookies are your thing, try these: Brown Eyed Baker: Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” Chocolate Chip Cookie
Sugar cookies: Christmas Sugar Cookies
Why I like this recipe: the addition of almond extract gives the traditional sugar cookie flavor a distinct twist, and the dough works well with cookie cutters.
Shortbread cookies: Christmas Shortbread Cookies
Why I like this recipe: this has been my go-to shortbread cookie recipe for the last seven years because these are thick and crispy yet soft, and absolutely delicious. Plus, they’re cute!
Almond cookies: Almond Cookies III
Why I like this recipe: I’m a sucker for Voortman’s Iced Almonette Cookies (I first tried these when I was only six or seven years old!), but pre-packaged cookies for the holidays are obviously a no-go. And, Voortman is a brand that’s hard to find around Lancaster (whereas they’re all over in Philadelphia). I add a tablespoon of corn starch to this recipe to increase their softness.
- if you overly soften your butter, toss the dough in the fridge to chill before baking
- if you use imitation extracts, add a little extra to compensate for the somewhat weaker flavor
- always add baking powder and baking soda last, and mix the dough only just enough to combine ingredients — over-mixing can lead to stiff dough
- consider using both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips for more flavor in cookies; and if you use M&Ms or other more “decorative” chocolates, stir them in by hand to prevent them from breaking up
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been stockpiling baking ingredients and pinning recipes. Tonight, after an early dinner, I sprung into action and made (from scratch, no boxed mixes) triple chocolate cupcakes (with vanilla frosting and Oreo cookie crumbles on top), best-ever chocolate chip cookies (with red & green M&Ms as well as semi-sweet […]
Ryan’s hair is getting long. Really long. If I glance at either child quickly I’m not always sure who I’m looking at, simply because of the hair. Fortunately he’s getting better with brushing, shampooing, and conditioning. There’s still screaming and crying, but not as much as before. Baby steps. We’re reviewing a really awesome fish […]
I don’t know why I thought our appointment at Social Security wouldn’t take very long. We were there for almost two hours. But it went well: I had filled out Ryan’s application online, entered in all of the medical information online, and brought along every single type of documentation I can think of, so even […]
Our Black Friday plans consisted of nothing more than me meeting up with my mom to swap protein bars (I don’t mind the taste, but they feel like bricks in my stomach pouch) for protein powder (she hates the stuff; I’m not fond of it but I need it so gimme!) and to pick up […]