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!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peanut Pie

Yo Peeps! Yesterday I brought some tasty treats over to my mom's house for our Easter dinner. I wanted to try something different than my usual apple or pecan pie, so I decided to give this peanut pie a shot.

So I whipped up a quick pie crust....

And got to work....


2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup dark corn syrup

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup salted peanuts

Beat your eggs, then add in your vanilla, corn syrup, peanut butter, sugar and melted butter.

Mix until creamy.

Add in your peanuts....

Pour it all into your pie crust. It smelled delish.

Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes....


I was pretty happy with this pie! Although, it was very similar to a pecan pie. I thought the peanut butter in the filling would make it more creamy and less gooey. All in all, pretty tasty though! A scoop of vanilla ice cream sealed the deal.

I also made some brownies for sundaes :)

Hope you all had a great Easter!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Royal Icing Lady Bug Cookies

Happy Weekend Blog Friends! Last night I finished my first ever hired-cookie-job. A friend of mine is hosting a baby shower tomorrow and asked me to make her lady bug cookies for the favors. I was pumped to have a paid cookie job, and excited for a challenging project. My client (hehe, I have a client) asked for sugar cookies, and we decided to jazz them up with chocolate shavings inside the dough. I used my standard recipe and added about 1/3 cup of grated semi sweet chocolate when I mixed in the flour. Then I rolled out the dough and cute out the cookies with a lady bug shaped cookie cutter.

Yum. For elaborately decorated cookies like these, its best to use a royal icing recipe. royal icing used to be (and sometimes still is) made with egg whites, which gives the icing a shiny, smooth look after it dries. It also dries completely hard which is great for these kinds of cookies, they won't smudge, chip etc...

Nowadays Royal Icing can be made with Meringue Powder, instead of egg whites, for those who have salmonella concerns. I went with the powder.

In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 tablespoons Meringue powder, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 3 cups of powdered sugar until evenly blended. Add in 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix slowly at first until e well blended, then beat on high for 5 minutes or so until it's firm.

With royal icing, it's best to use gel food coloring, the regular food coloring will give you pastel like shades, and it's tough to get the true color. It's messy though, beware.

I got my red and my black going....

Then I watered down half of the icing for a "flooding" consistency. Basically the idea is you draw the borders of your designs with the thick frosting, then flood the middle with the liquidy frosting so you get a clean, smooth finish when it dries....

Ready to rock.

I decided to do all of the black first, then do all of the red.

The cookie on the left was my ugly first attempt. Good thing I got better as I went.

After making the outlines, I "flooded" my little bug-heads with the liquid black frosting.

Then I added little white non pareils for eyeballs. Next up was the red outlines and filler. Below is a "red progression" from outline, to flooding, to the final effect. I used a tooth pick to push the flood frosting up against the outside line and to smooth it out.

Starting to come together.

Lastly I went to work on the dots, which was actually the easiest part of the whole decorating process....

Hehehe, so cute!

I put some antennae on this guy....

Then it was time for packaging....

A little branding never hurt anybody! ;)

And we're done!

I'm pretty proud of how these turned out! I can't wait to hear the feedback from the baby shower.

Happy Baking!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Tale of Two Cookie Presses. Part 2

Happy Friday Blog-people! Tonight I took on part two of my cookie press comparison experiment with the press my mom got me for Christmas. It came in this fancy-schmancy carrying case.... Apparently it's a Kuhn Rikon, from Switzerland. Sounds fancy. It kind of looks like a weapon, don't you think?
Anyhoo, I decided to try a slightly different recipe. So I went with a "Chocolate Chip Spritz" cookie.


1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup coarsely grated chocolate

2 1/4 flour

Mix up your dough by the usual process. I had to grate some semi sweet chocolate. At first the grate was too fine, so I nuked the chocolate in the microwave and it helped get more of a "course" texture.

Woops chocolate dust on the floor.

Mixed into the dough, the chocolate specks looked like little tiny chocolate chips. yum!

This dough was DELISH. I actually liked the dough better than the cookies. Haha. It tastes just like the dough in cookie dough ice cream. I was tempted to roll up some little balls of it and mix it in some vanilla....future project perhaps.

Enter the Swiss cookie press....

This thing actually had a "trigger" type apparatus, which measures out the amount of dough for you. For a novice cookie-presser, I think this was simpler (instead of trying to figure out the best amount of dough for each press.

However, I did have some trouble with it. Because of the smaller amount of dough it allowed through the press at once, I kept getting incomplete cookies. Slightly annoying...

After a while though, I got the hang of it, and made some pretty flowers...

Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. these cookies were less doughy and smaller than those from the pampered chef press, so the bake time was quick. I actually had a few burn victims.

Powdered sugar sprinkle, and we're done!

Both of these presses have their pros and cons. I think the pampered chef version, although a little less "high-tech" allows for a little more control and variation, which I think will be better once I'm more practiced at this whole "cookie-pressing" skill. The Swiss version is cookie pressing for dummies, which actually would have been better for round 1 I think.

Pampered chef: bigger cookies. Swiss: more delicate cookies.....

I guess it just depends on the mood. I'm sure I will use both in the future. They're both good products and made two yummy batches of treats!

Happy baking and happy weekend!