Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Raspberry Crescents

My Best friend from College, the lovely Natasha, was in town this weekend and we decided (weeks ahead of time) to have a little baking date during her stay. After a quick trip to the grocery store for supplies, we settled on a slightly experimental cookie creation, with a sugar cookie base and a raspberry filling.

Naturally, we enjoyed some delicious Brie and French Baguette during the process. Oh and maybe a little bit of wine too.


2/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
dash salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour

4 ounces raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon orange liquor
a few dashes of cinnamon sugar

(This recipe originally called for apple butter for the filling, but we thought the raspberry preserves looked more inviting, and decided to wing it)

First cream together the butter and sugar in your electric mixer. Then, gaze longingly at your baking powder, as pictured below.

Haha, Add in the baking powder and salt. Mix for a bit, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Then add in your eggs and vanilla. Mix until smoothly blended.
Next, add in your flour a little bit at a time. careful not to overmix your dough.


Roll your dough into two equal balls, and chill. The recipe said to chill this for at least 3 hours, but we just stuck it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. It worked out quite well.
When your dough is chilled, bust out your rolling pin. On a lightly flour surface, roll out your dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick, or to whatever looks good to you. Use a 2-inch round scalloped cookie cutter to cut out little circles of deliciousness.

Place your cookie circles with their floured sides facing up. This will be the inside of the cookie, so the pretty side will be showing.

At this point, Natasha pondered our filling experiment over a glass of Cabernet.

She came up with this. Quite tasty.

Add a scant amount of the filling to the middle of each cookie circle. We probably could have added a bit more, but we tried to avoid jam explosions.

We decided to REALLY go crazy and add some brie in the middle of a couple of them. Unfortunately, as this blog is being written, I have yet to find a secret hidden brie treasure, as I accidentally mixed them all in together when I took the finished cookies out of the oven. Woops. I'll report back once I find one.

Wet your fingertip with a little bit of water, and trace the outside of each circle to moisten. Then fold each in half, covering the jam, and forming a little crescent shape. Seal the eadges by pressing lightly, or by scoring with a fork.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. We let ours go for about 9, and they came out perfectly.

Move the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. We thought that a light drizzle of a simple glaze, or maybe even a white chocolate could be a really nice touch to these little babies. Maybe next time.

All in all, I'd say these were a successful experiment. We gave a few to our friends Kristin and Meagan at the bar afterwards, and they seemed to enjoy them. No one, however, found the elusive brie. We may never know the true scope of yumminess.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake

Joe and I were headed to my mom's new condo yesterday for dinner, and of course we wanted to bring something along to contribute. Mom naturally asked me to bring dessert. Since it's been so hot and humid, the thought of bringing a heavy batch of cookies wasn't really appealing to me, so I thought I'd try something different. I came across this recipe and decided to give cheesecake a shot. How hard could it be? Turns out, it's pretty damn simple, and pretty damn delish.

I accidentally printed out the recipe on company letterhead. woops.

1 15 ounce container Part Skim Ricotta
4 ounces sour creem
4 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest
4 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
Sliced fresh strawberries
First off, blend the ricotta cheese in a food processor until it is light and smooth and fluffy. This is a pretty essential step so your cake has the right texture.
Next, blend in the sour cream and the cream cheese. I did these seperately from the ricotta because all I have is a teeny weeny food proccessor. Someday, I'll get a big one. sigh.
Put all your creamy goodness in a large mixing bowl.
Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix all the wet ingredients together until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Then throw in all your dry ingredients.
Lastly, blend in the orange zest. This added a really nice undertone to the final product.
Pour you batter into a greased 9 inch cake pan. it will be pretty thin and liquidy, that's A-OK.
Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
Let your cake cool completely before attempting to remove it from the pan. Actually I would consider chilling it for 3 hours or so first, as it will be pretty fragile and easy to break.
While the cake is chilling, bring about 4 ounces of strawberry jam, and 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur to a boil. Mix together well. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then brush it evenly over the top of the cheese cake.
Next, bust out your sliced strawberries.
Arrange your strawberries around the top of the cake, like so....
Keep working toward the center of the cake until you've covered the whole thing. Chill for another hour or so to let everything firm up. Then slice and enjoy! I was pretty satisfied with this cheesecake. It was light and not heavy, and had a really nice flavor to it. Definitely give it a shot!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Happy July Everyone! I hope you're all headed out to some cookouts and fireworks and fun this weekend. I myself plan on heading to a barbecue this afternoon, so I made one of my favorite cookies to bring along. These are definite crowd pleasers. And they're easy. I'd highly recommend giving them a shot.

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tso salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
First off, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Next, add in all your dry ingredients (except the nuts and chocolate) and mix until the dough comes together.

I usually mash up my macadamia nuts a little bit, so they're not all whole and enormous in the cookies. Because the nuts are so big, they tend to make the cookies fall a part a little bit. smaller pieces help the dough stay together.
I used my ice cream scoop as a masher. It worked out quite well :)


Add in all your goodies, and mix.

Definitely try a bit of this dough raw. Or more than a bit. I myself had to go for a 45 minute run after making these to clear my conscience of all the raw cookie dough I'd just eaten.

Roll the cookies into tablespoon sized balls. Take care to get some chocolate and some nut into each.

Bake at 375 for about 9 minutes.
When the tops are this lovely golden brown, they're ready! These cookies will be very fragile right out of the oven, give them a minute or two to cool before you move them :)

And viola! I'm not kidding when I say these are crowd pleasers. They are without a doubt my most requested cookie. They're also addicting. Bet ya can't eat just one ;)