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!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Salted Almond Biscotti

Happy weekend blog people! My latest cookie endeavor was for my dear friend Kyle's annual Wine Tasting extravaganza night, which entails a mind blowing assortment of culinary bites prepared by her delightful husband Jeff.  Unfortunately, I was too busy eating all the yummy creations to photograph any of them.  Next year I'll have my camera at the ready, because mini beef wellington, meatballs with polenta squares, spicy tuna cucumber wraps and oysters on the half shell definitely deserve some cookie blog highlighting.  Man, was it all delicious.

I knew from past experiences with Jeff's cooking that I was in for some high class stuff, so I decided I would come up with a fancy biscotti with the hopes that it would fit in amongst the other delicacies.  After taking stock of my pantry, I decided to go for an almond biscotti.  Dressed up almond biscotti that is.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoon almond extract
2.5 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Chocolate for dipping
Sprinkles and course sea salt for dipping

Details after the jump....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Currant Scones. Oh My Yum.

I am having one of those days when I love baking so so so much my heart could explode.  Cheesy? Yes.  Slightly odd? Yup. True? Absolutely.  I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to bake for a living, opening up a storefront, or setting up an online store.  This is likely a long way off if it ever happens at all, but when I think about what I would want my business to look like, it would look like this place.  Concord Teacakes, a tiny but charming sit in bakery in my home town started out as one lady baking cakes that she loved. Now they are serving breakfast, coffee, lunch and selling adorable gifts out of its small town storefront.  It is a very charming, very delicious establishment, but the reason I always stop in when I'm in town is simple.  Scones.

I love Concord Teacakes scones so much that I think I have put off attempting to make them until now just because I was convinced I'd be disappointed.  I've looked longingly at recipes many times, but never pulled the trigger.  Finally today I gave it a shot.  And WOW was I surprised.  I am so absolutely delighted with how these came out.  I will probably eat every single one of them (if my husband doesn't beat me to it).  They are Bomb.  I am proud of them.  And I made them just for fun, and just for me.  I. Love. Baking.

The recipe after the jump....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

100th Blog Post! Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Well hello dear friends, and welcome to my 100th blog post!  Although I've been at this for a while now, it's significant to note that this year the traffic on my blog has increased significantly, I've had more and more interest in my custom cookie-for-hire projects, and I've really upped my cookie and dessert game. Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to read my silly little blog.  I hope you've found something on here that you love to make, and I hope you keep on reading.  I will certainly keep on writing (and baking!)

Today I whipped up a twist on an old staple for a Birthday celebration for an adorable 1 year old stud muffin named Cameron (Joe's cousin). I love me some oatmeal raisin cookies, but I don't like blogging about the same cookies over and over so I decided to mix it up a bit and add some coconut into the mix.  I tweaked the base recipe a bit to accommodate the extra yumminess.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2.5 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 cup coconut

First off, mix together your sugars, softened butter and shortening, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Then add in all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the outs, flour, raisins and coconut....

Finally, add in your last four ingredients, and mix until Just combined, don't over mix.  Then it's on to the cookie sheet.....


And into the oven at 375 for 9 minutes.  Make sure to leave these on the cookie sheet for a good 5 minutes before attempting to move them.  They are VERY soft right at of the oven.

Ta-Da!  I actually love these.  The coconut adds a little extra sweetness and texture to these classic cookies.  Definitely give them a shot!

Happy Baking!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Flourless Nutella Cookies (SO EASY)

Here's a quick and easy one for you guys!  I realized today that I've been making an awful lot of (mini) muffin type baked goods and thought that it was high time I refocused on what is important in life: Cookies!

Our dearest cuzzie Danielle is coming over for dinner tonight with her new boy, and although I wasn't planning on doing a dessert, these were just too easy to NOT make. 

There are 3 ingredients.  You heard me.  3. And one of the ingredients is Nutella.  Score.  I found this on pinterest (actually everything I've cooked in the last 5 days I found on pinterest, let's be honest) and it came from a very cool blog called The Wicked Noodle.  They are Wicked good.

All you need is 1 cup of Sugar 1 cup of Nutella, and 1 egg.   That's it.   Just mix.....

Plop em on the cookie sheet (they will spread out A LOT because of the lack of flour, so make sure to give them room).

and bake for 8 minutes at 350.  Let these cool for a good 5 minutes before you try to take them off the cookie sheet.  These are thin and chewy and packed with yummy Nutella flavor.  I liked them immediately.

I am typically a soft and buttery cookie person, as opposed to a thin and crispy cookie person.  However, I really like these cookies.  They are tasty, they are different, and come on, 3 ingredients!? I'm still in awe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mini Champagne Cupcakes for My Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day blog friends! I hope you are all having a lovely time on this most controversial of holidays.  Love it or Hate it, you must admit it is a great excuse for some special baked treats and some special Bubbly :)

My Lovely Husband generally does something very sweet for me along the lines of this:

So to make sure he feels special too today I decided to make some Champagne Cupcakes that I spotted on pinterest.  The recipe is originally meant for four regular sized cupcakes, but in all my wisdom I have misplaced my muffin baking pan.  I have not, however, misplaced my mini muffin baking pan.  Mini Cupcakes it is.

This recipe is stirrable by hand, which I love.... I decided to forgo the pink food coloring, since I was using regular champagne and not pink champagne.  And I didn't wanna make it too "Girly" for The Hubs.

I baked these for 10 minutes which may have been about 30 seconds too long.  I would check them at 9 next time....

Then it was frosting time, I opted for a simple swirl, and some gold and red sprinkles....

Ahhhh heavenly champagne cupcakes.....ahem....I mean mini cupcakes....

Ready for another great valentines day... These were pretty delish actually!  Very subtle flavors, definitely pretty, and of course a little special. 

Even if Valentine's day isn't your thing, definitely give these little cupcakes a shot.  New Years, Birthdays, Graduations or retirement parties.....the possibilities are endless.

Happy Baking! And Happy Valentines!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Mini Muffins

Greeting bloggers!  This weekend I am tasked with painting our newly gutted and re-built bathroom so that the floor, vanity, toilet etc... can be installed in the next week or so.  I suckered my darling sister into coming to help me paint, so I thought it was only fair that I bake some yummy treats to go with our coffee as we work....

I've recently joined Pinterest (and I'm obsessed) and this awesome recipe from a very cool blog called "The Kitchn" was one of the first "Repins" I posted on my recipe board.  I love lemons.  I love blueberries.  And I love mini muffins because they make me feel better about myself because they're so small (when really it doesn't matter if you eat 8 of them instead of 1 big muffin, but hey, leave me to my fantasies).

First off, I mixed together the dry ingredients, including the fresh lemon zest.  I LOVE fresh citrus zest.  The process is annoying, yes, but the pay off is HUGE.  So fragrant and yummy smelling.

Then its time to mix up the wet ingredients.  Give them a quick whisk to combine, and then pour them in with the dry ingredients.  And add the yummy berries.

Pour your batter into a mini muffin pan that's been greased somehow ( I just used cooking spray...)

Then it's into the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.....


All in all I like these little guys!  I think it would work better to make them when blueberries are really in season, and you can find the itty bitty berries in the grocery store.  My berries were somewhat humongous so when you bite into these the entire muffin is a melty berry.  Its almost like having a jam filling.  Tasty though!

Ok, enough procrastinating.  Time to paint!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

History of a Cookie Project

Hello Blog friends!  Well my Patriots just royally blew it in the super bowl so I suppose it's time for a blog post!  I have been MIA for a couple of weeks largely because I've been meticulously planning for my latest for-hire project, which was by far the biggest and most elaborate paid job to date (There seems to be a trend no?)

My good friend Jenny works as an outside sales manager for Oxford University press, and has a new History book she really wants to push out in her territory.  Months ago she asked if I would be interested in doing a "world/earth" cookie with the author's name on it as a promotion for the new book.  I was obviously pumped about it, and started planning way back in December.  There was a lot of excitement when the baking weekend finally arrive, and a lot of pressure! Check out the process after the jump.....