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!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mini Muffins!

Ripe Bananas + New fun bakeware = a stellar excuse to make some muffins. Joe's lovely family seriously outfitted me with new Pampered Chef bakeware for Christmas, so I decided to put it to good use tonight...

First up on the new stuff inventory....Joe's mom Birdie got me this awesome non-stick mini muffin pan...

So I googled this recipe for mini banana muffins:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and cinnamon all together in the bowl of an electric mixer.... Then add the Bananas....yummm

Then, if you're as lucky as me, bust out your new adjustable teaspoon measure from your future sister in law Vickie....

And add in your dry ingredients....seriously this thing is so clever! Love it!

Mix it all together until well blended.... the batter is pretty tasty....

Then, spoon the butter into a greased mini muffin pan. You could probably make large muffins with this recipe too, you'd just need to up the bake time by 10-15 minutes...

I topped these little guys with a mixture of white and brown sugar...

Bake at 375 for 13 minutes. These came out perfect and slid out of the muffin cups quite easily. They're like little two bite bits of heaven. Joe and I ate about half of them while they were still warm....

Thanks Birdie and Vick! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ginger Snowflakes

Included in my cookie gift boxes this year were some delicious, spicy gingerbread snowflakes. I gave this new recipe a shot, which I actually thought was very good. These cookies are light and a bit crunchy, very different from the Buell gingerbread men, but still quite tasty. The star of the show is definitely the freshly grated ginger, which adds a lot to the flavor of the cookies.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup Molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp shredded lemon peel

Creamy White Frosting:
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk

Grating madness....
Mix together the butter, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves....

add in your molasses and egg....

Add in your flour, baking soda, and lemon peel. Once the dough is evenly blended, form it into 2 balls and chill for 2-3 hours....
This dough was super easy to roll out, which was nice.... no crumbling or breaking. love it.

I used a snowflake cookie cutter :)

Pretty. Bake at 350 for about 7 minute. Let them stand on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before moving them to a wire rack....
While the cookies are cooling, you can whip up the frosting.
Mix about half of the sugar with the shortening and extract, then add in the milk a couple tablespoons at a time.
Add in the rest of your sugar and milk, and mix until the frosting is a nice piping consistency...

Then start decorating!

I like this one....

These came out really well. Festive and yummy additions to the cookies gifts :)

I wrapped them up in pretty gold boxes...

Along with the Chocolate biscotti and snicklerdoodles....

Also on the menu for the day was a cherry pie....It looks really pretty in the picture below...but don't be fooled, I burned the crap out of it while I was taking a shower....so sad....

And I made a mini apple crisp for my grandma.....

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!!! Happy Baking!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

Christmas = Baking madness in my household Today I made the following: three types of cookies, two other desserts, a TON of Green beans and baked butternut squash....
The Kitchen is a war Zone.

Here's the recipe for my triple chocolate Biscotti:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Blend together the butter, sugar, cocoa and baking powder as shown above :)

Add in your eggs....

Then blend in all of your flour, followed by the chocolate yumminess....

Form the dough into 2 9 inch logs. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Let the logs completely cool before starting to slice... I took this opportunity to start my gingerbread snowflake cookies (a post I will write at a later date...)

oh, and I did 2 batches of these guys.,...

Once cool, slice the logs diagonally, forming your biscotti :)

Line em back up on the cookie sheet, reduce the oven temp to 325, and bake for 7 minutes on each side....
Delish. These were really good warm with all the melty goey chocolate...

Then I wrapped them up for their final destination....my annual cookie gift boxes! (finished product to be blogged at a later date)

Now I'm off to run around like a crazy person!! Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cookie Kits!

Usually for Christmas I bake a whole lot of cookies. That won't change this year (post coming later this week) but I also decided to try something a little bit different for a select few people. I love giving the gift of cookies, but I also wanted to give the gift of BAKING somehow.

I came up with these "cookie kits". I took two of my favorite recipes (white chocolate macadamia nuts cookies, and snickerdoodles) and put together all of the ingredients in an easy, 3 step system that's all pre-measured etc....

Then I wrapped them all up in pretty boxes.

And wrote out instructions on pretty paper with silver pens.....
Then I finished them off with pretty bows!

Ta da! I hope the people I give these to are as excited about them as I am ;) We'll see how it goes! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!