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!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coffee Snap Cookies

Happy hump day blog readers!  Time for me to share one of my all-time favorite cookies.  I don't know why I love these so much, but I do.  They are different and light and super yummy with a nice cup of coffee or tea.  The recipe is slightly adapted from the frequently mentioned Ultimate Cookie Book.

1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon hot water
1 egg
2 cups flour
sugar for dusting
whole coffee beans (about 36)

First off, cream together your butter, shortening and sugars until well blended. (Check out the action shot). Add in your baking powder and salt.

Next up dissolve your instant coffee in 1 tablespoon of hot water.  Then add that into your butter mixture, along with the egg.

Form your dough into 3 7-inch long logs.  The width of the log will be the size of your cookie, so don't go too thin.  Then it's time to chill the dough.  I stuck mine in the freezer for about an hour or so.

While the dough was chilling, I got my little work station set up, complete with a cup of coffee and baileys.  Yum.

Start slicing your cookies about 1/4 inch in width.  They will spread out a little bit on the cookie sheet, so definitely don't make them too thin....

Then it's time to adorn them with a little extra sugar sprinkle and a coffee bean.  I went for one bean on each cookie, but the original recipe called for 3, along with a sprinkle of espresso powder.  I opted to keep things simple.

Into the oven at 375 for 9 minutes.

These definitely weren't the prettiest cookie on the platter.  But I love them. Like really love them.  It's a good thing I gave them all away.  Otherwise I would have eaten every. last. one.

 All in all, it was a good holiday for baking.  I also whipped up a pie:

And oogled over my cat:

I hope you're all having a good week settling in post-holiday.  Enjoy your New Years and Happy Baking!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip and Confetti Sugar Cookies

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas yesterday!  As a part of my big cookie platters this year, I took 2 ideas away from the huge Food Blogger Cookie Swap round ups: Confetti Cookies which I did a bit differently but used the some basic concept (so pretty!) and Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies which are just as ridiculously wonderful as they sound!

For the confetti cookies, I decided to use my own basic Sugar cookie recipe (I like sticking to the tried and true) and add in the confetti sprinkles.  I then decorated them as I normally would rolled sugar cookies, although I will definitely try them as sandwich cookies at some point.  Yum.

I really love the concept of these cookies, they are so so pretty and festive. 

I used the same pink/red (really it was pink) frosting and a few white decorating sprinkles to come up with these cute little guys.  They were my Cousin Steve's favorite.

Next up I worked on the oreo-Stuffed chocolate chip cookies. 

These bad boys were ENORMOUS.

Haha, I think I maybe put a little too much dough around the outside of the oreos....but hey, who doesn't love a giant cookie?

I didn't bite into any of them because I only got about 14 out of the batch.  But you can sneak a peak at an oreo here:


Stay tuned this week for a full recipe for MY favorite cookie from this years Christmas platter: The Coffee snap.  Happy shopping to those who are braving the malls today.... I will be plopped in front of the fireplace for the duration.

Happy Baking!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Baking: Rice Krispie Wreaths

Merry Almost Christmas!  Today was my annual bakepalooza day where I made 5 different kinds of cookies for both a cookie platter headed to our Buell Family Christmas Eve party and also Cookie gift boxes that I've been giving out to friends and family the last couple of years.  I will Share the recipes for each of the cookies above, but for now I'll star with the Rice Krispie Wreaths.

Following the same basic recipe I've used in the past, I basically just added TONS of green food coloring to the melted Marshmallow and Butter.

Then I folded the green stuff into the awaiting rice krispies....

Then I shaped the ooey goey mess into little wreaths, like so...

Then it was time to decorate them with little bows.  I didn't have an gel food coloring (fail) so I used regular red food coloring, which really just gave me pink frosting.  But hey, I like pink.  I went with it...

I also made the anise biscotti that was such a big hit a few months back to add to the cookie boxes....

Recipes to come: Confetti Sugar cookies, Coffee Snaps, and (brace yourself) Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies!  I'll get the recipes up as soon as I can!  Everyone have a fabulous holiday, enjoy, relax and be safe!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Andes Creme de Menthe Biscotti

Happy almost Holidays everyone!  Last week I received a request from the lovely ladies who organized the huge Food Blogger cookie swap for volunteers to bake a batch of cookies for some people who did not receive all of their packages (due to a litany of reasons, flaky bakers, mistyped addresses what have you).  Seeing as this presented another exuce to bake, I happily volunteered!

I didn't have all of the necessary ingredients on hand to recreate the  Dark Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti I initially made for the swap, so I whipped up something very similar, and I think I actually like them better!

Following the exact same process and basic recipe, I subbed in Andes Candy pieces for the chocolate chips, and gave them all a powdered sugar sprinkle instead of a chocolate dip.

Then I wrapped them up and sent them on their way to sunny California.  I hope they make it in one piece!

In other news, I made a really yummy Drunken Venison Stew this weekend.  It's Drunken because there is wine and beer involved.  My kind of Stew.

I also participated in the second day of Gingerbread madness for the season.  We meant to make 60 cookies.  We made 110 instead.  Woops. Extras to the shipping guys at work!

I have some really fun Holiday cookie boxes planned this year, and I'm hoping to get the posts up on Friday or Saturday so stay tuned!  Happy last minute shopping!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Holy Cookies!

Hey Everyone!  Just a quick update with you guys that the EPIC cookie swap I just participated in was a huge success!  The two Blog writers who organized the event have posted "round ups" of all of the recipes (over 600!) 

For some really awesome cookie ideas check out: Part One  and Part Two

My Peppermint Chocolate Biscotti are in Round up Part one.  Take a second to browse these two food blogs as well, They're both great!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

GingerBread Madness!

Merry Christmas Season Blog Friends!  Any of you who know me very well will know that Christmas time means primarily one thing for the Buell family: Gingerbread Men. For decades now we have gotten together in one form or another to bake several battalions of the spicy holiday favorite.  I blogged about these in detail last year so I will just share with you a few of the special moments of this years baking marathon....

First up, a photo op:

All the ladies at work (actually, I was just pretending to work for the sake of the photo, really I was fiddling with m&m's):

Minor powdered sugar disaster. Major hilarity:

Jame hard at work:

Decorating, holy hand cramps:

And finally victory!

Afterwards we all had a well deserved beverage of the alcoholic persuasion:

All in all we made upwards of 150 cookies.  Day two of gingerbread madness (yes, there's a day 2) is the week before Christmas, which only calls for around 50.  Thank Goodness.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my post about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  Can't wait to share the experience!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti

Hooray!  It's finally time to share with you all my recipe for the great Food Blogger cookie swap! I sent out my cookies the last day of November, and hopefully they made their way in one piece to:

Georgia: http://foodvictorian.blogspot.com/
Ohio: http://www.sorelleecibo.com/
and New York: http://snacktimemunchies.com/.

 I wrapped them up as tightly as possible, but the first Postal Service employee who touched them literally tossed them into a bin full of boxes.  It was horrifying.  My poor baby biscottis.

Anyhoo, here is the recipe I came up with.  I pretty much winged it, although I used  a basic chocolate biscotti recipe as jumping off point from The Ultimate Cookie Book.

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips
6 ounces Bakers Dipping chocolate
1/2 cup starlight peppermint candies, crushed

To my horror, I turned on my camera to start documenting this project and saw this sad broken screen staring back at me.  My 10 year highschool reunion was the weekend before.  It was a rough night.  As a result, I had to take all of these pictures with my iPhone, apologies for the lower-than-normal photo quality.

First things first, mix together your softenened butter and sugar, then add in your cocoa powder, baking soda and extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Then add in your eggs, one at a time.  This smells SO SO very yummy. 

Candy time.

When everything is mixed, form your dough into 2 logs, about 9 inches long and 3-4 inches wide.  Beware, the dough is very sticky.  Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes until the logs pass the toothpick test.

Let them cool completely on a wire rack.  This is an opportune time to cook dinner for your husband, who can't understand why you spend so much time in the kitchen, covered with flour....

Once the biscotti is cooled, slice each log at an angle, cutting pieces about 1/2 inch in width.  I'm really bad at guestimating distance of any kind, so mine were probably closer to an inch.

As a result, I only had about 32 biscotti when all was said and done, so I had to whip up batch number 3.  This was complicated by the fact that my kitchen aid bowl and paddle were already washing away in the dishwasher.  Fortunately, I had a back up plan:

Now, on to the reason why biscotti takes so long: The triple baking.  Lower your oven temp down to 325, and lay your biscotti pieces out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 9 minutes.  Flip them over, then bake for 6 or 7 more.  Get them nice and crunchy and dried out :)

Yum.  While they cooled off on the wire rack, I got my Peppermint candies going in the food processor.  This was actually the maiden voyage of our new appliance, we recieved it as a wedding gift from my lovely cousin Steve and his girlfriend Megan :) it's pretty Bad Ass.

Then it was time to dip dip dip.  I set up a little work station on my dining room table, and went to work. 

I dipped the biscotti in Baker's Dipping Chocolate first (I kind of felt like I was cheating by not actually melting down chocolate in a double boiler but... man was this a convenient shortcut).  Then I rolled each one in the crushed up peppermint candies.  Then it was onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and into the fridge to harden up.

I put some extras aside on a plate for me and the hubby. They were gone within a half hour.

I let the cookies chill overnight in the fridge, and packed them up in the morning before I went to work.  I picked up 3 window gift boxes at A.C. Moore, and pulled out some of my new business cards and blog-stickers to dress up the boxes.

A little ribbon and packing paper, and they were ready to go!

I was really happy with how these turned out, and I hope they made it to their destinations in one piece!  I was the happy recipient of some delicious Treats as well!

New Orleans Praline Disks from Phyl Divine in Ohio : Of Cabbages and King Cakes

Peppermint Sables from Sarah Reid in Vermont (www.dailynibbles.com)...

And finally Sprinkled Chocolate Thumbprints from Natalie Herr at www.ovenlove.blogspot.com!

I thought this was such a fun project, and a great way to connect with other bloggers, discover new blogs, and as always, discover new cookies.

Happy Holidays!