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, October 23, 2011

Banana Crumb Muffins

Happy weekend bloggers!  This weekend was my first "hunting widow" weekend, with Joe off in the woods trying to track down Bambi with a bow and arrow.  The good news is....Joe got a deer!  Which means I will be cooking a ridiculous amount of Venison for the next 6 months.  Venison cookies? maybe not, but I'll figure something out.  Maybe I can bake some kind of meat pie.  hmmm.

Anyway, I was home alone all weekend and I decided to make a sauce from scratch with Joe's Italian Grandmother's recipe.  Delish.  There's wine and whiskey in it.  This is my kind of sauce.

Making this sauce is quite a process, and it required that I stand in and around the kitchen for about 5 hours.  While I waited on my simmering concoction, I couldn't help but bake something.  Why not right?  Since apparently my husband has not been eating his daily banana in his lunchbox, I had a small pile of overripe fruit to work with.  I looked up a quick muffin recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 mashed bananas
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Sift together your dry ingredients, then mix (I used a hand mixer) your sugar, butter, egg and mashed bananas.

Slowly pour your flour mixture into your banana mixture and mix on a medium speed until just combined.

Next up, mix together your topping ingredients in a small bowl.  I actually used a pastry blender to cut in the butter.  Then pour your batter into prepared muffin cups, and crumble to topping over the top.

Bake at 375 for 18 minutes.


I ate, oh, about 5 of the 10 muffins this recipe yielded.  There are a few left for Joe when he gets home, toting about 70 lbs of deer meat.  OH BOY.  Stay tuned for an odd but hopefully successful combination of baking skill and fresh venison. 

Happy Baking!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good Old-fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wow, is October flying!  I can't believe it is almost November, and the opening of Hunting Season!  As a result, I am what some may call "a hunting widow" every weekend until January, which on the bright side means that I will likely be doing quite a bit of baking-while-bored in my empty house.

Last night I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies for my husband and his best man/hunting buddy Brian.  I used my go-to recipe that, at this point, I know by heart. Man, is it good.

I cranked these out while Joe was packing the car for the weekend.  Munch looked outside longingly while he did so.

Joe made a couple of pit-stops during the process to sample the goods.

After 9 minutes in the oven, we had some ooey-gooey fresh cookies.

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Anise Biscotti

Happy Hump Day blog friends.  Last night I whipped up some anise biscotti to send into work with my husband.  Apparently I have been slacking on providing the family biz with baked goods, so I thought these would be right up their alley.  I enjoyed one this morning with my coffee.  I'm not gonna lie they were pretty delish.

I got the recipe off of one of my favorite sites for new cooking ideas, allrecipes.com.  The only changes I made were 1) I didn't add almonds. 2) I baked them on parchment paper and not foil. and 30 I sprinkled them with some powdered sugar at the end, because who doesn't love powdered sugar.

First off, I mixed together the softened butter and sugar.  Then it was time to add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the egg was totally mixed in before adding the next.  Add in your extracts next. (I actually made a fourth change I am just now remembering) Change 4:  I added 2 teaspoons of anise extract instead of 1.  I like the smell.

Very sticky, but Very yummy dough.

Form your dough into 2 3x10 inch logs.  They look smaller than you would think, but they will expand as they bake.

Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.

Let the logs cool, then slice diagonally to form your biscotti.

Crank up your oven to 325 and bake the slices flat side down for 10 minutes.
Flip and repeat.  I actually only let them go for 8 minutes the second time around because they were already browning nicely.

If you choose to sprinkle with powdered sugar, do so while they are still hot.  This will make the sugar stick more easily to the cookie.  You could also dip these in chocolate to make them more dessert-ish.  That was actually my original plan but I didn't have enough chocolate in-house, and I was too lazy to go to the store.

These were a huge hit!  It's only 10 AM and I've already gotten good feedback from the Fam ;) Definitely give these a shot, they're super easy, even though they're a bit more time consuming than your average cookie.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ginger Snaps

Hello bloggers! Now its time to blog about one of my favorite all-time cookies, the Ginger Snap.  I actually used to make these all the time because they are fast and easy and involve many of my favorite ingredients such and molasses and cloves.  They are a great "fall" cookie, to go along with your apple cider or pumpkin beer.


3/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 14 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar for rolling

First off, mix together your wet ingredients, then slowly add in your dry ingredients until everything is well blended.

When your dough comes together, roll into tablespoon sized balls, and roll each bar in the extra sugar to coat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes, or until just set.  Cool on a wire rack, and enjoy!

Happy Fall Everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

As part of the cookie platter I made for yesterday's card party I made a quick chocolate spritz cookie That turned out pretty well.  It isn't super sweet, so its more like a tea cookie which was perfect for a brunch time event. I only made half of the batch because the whole recipe makes about 40 cookies.  Double the below ingredients to make a full batch.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 an egg  
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup flour

First off as usual, mix together your butter and sugar, and add in your egg and vanilla, and mix until smooth.

Next up, mix in your dry ingredients until just blended. 

Fill up your cookie press with the dough, and start cranking out cookies!  I used a wreath plate to get make tiny chocolate circlets.

Some were prettier than others.  I think my dough was a bit on the sticky side.

Bake for 10 minutes, and cool on a wire rack.  You may want to let the cookies stand on the sheet for a moment, as they are very fragile while hot.

I finished them off with a sprinkle of powder sugar, then it's on to the platter!

Happy Baking!  I've got one more cookie to blog about from the weekend, then I may try to make some kind of biscotti later in the week.  Apparently I've been slacking on sending baked goods in to work with the hubby ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banana Cake

Saturday night I attended a birthday gathering for my (Step mom in law?) Husband's Step Mom's 50th birthday.  I decided I would make some kind of a cake for the occasion, but I figured there would already be a birthday cake present.  As I pondered baking ideas for the event, my eyes wandered to the counter where I spotted these:

Over-ripe inspiration!  Banana cake it is!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

First odd, mix together the butter and sugar, then add in your eggs one at a time.  This is actually a banana bread recipe that I made more "cake-like" by adding another egg and sifting the flour.  And adding frosting, that seems to help too ;)

After that's mixed together well, add in your bananas and vanilla.

Sift your flour and add it into the mixing bowl, mixing at medium low-speed.  Along with the rest of thew ingredients.  Mix until it comes together evenly.

Bake for about 1 hour (I would check it at 50 minutes as ovens tend to vary) when the middle is set and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, it is done!

This cake also gave me a chance to break in my new bread pan from Williams and Sonoma, courtesy of my friend Wilcox. Thanks dude ;)

Next, I whipped up a quick vanilla butter cream frosting, and got to work.....

I managed to only eat, you know, like 5 tablespoons of frosting out of the bowl....

I sprinkled the top of my cake with some shredded white chocolate a little cocoa powder, and then moved it to a clean, pretty plate.

This was pretty delicious!  I'm sorry I never got a picture of it sliced, I mean to take one this morning of my leftover piece, but I remembered after I ate it for breakfast.  Woops.

Happy Baking!