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!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Yayyy!  I finally managed to bake something.  It was quite a process and it wasn't easy, what with the feedings and burpings and changes in between.  but I did it successfully and now I'm attempting to even blog about it.  Go me, Go.

I found this lovely recipe on pinterest and its really quite delicious and very Oreo-like.  I think I'll even try that sometime with a simple sandwich cookie.  But this time around, i decorated some sugar cookies for our upstairs neighbors, who just welcomed a little person of there own, only a few days before us.

1/2 lb. (two US sticks) butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 scant cup dark cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

So, this little adventure started out with this....

You see: sleeping baby.  I see: Opportunity. So I gathered my baking tools.  Which included cookie cutters, and a baby monitor...

Then I got to work!

First off, I whipped up the dough according to the recipe.  Then I went to feed the baby and came back several hours later....

Roll out, and cut into various baby and holiday themed shapes.

I particularly liked the advice to refrigerate the cut outs for 30 minutes, which allowed them to better keep their shape in the oven.  Fabulous advice.  And gave me an opportunity to check on this guy.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350F

So, that was about all I could accomplish in one parenting filled day.  However, after a night of hanging out in tupperware, I managed to whip up some quick frosting and decorate these bad boys.
I decorated a few for us too, some were cuter than others.  The Christmas bells were particularly bad.
Into a little gift box  and we're ready for delivery!
Hopefully it wont be too long until my next baking endeavor.  I'll definitely be doing some Christmas baking if time (and Hunter) allows!
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gingerbread Baby Madness

Hey everyone!  Happy Holidays!  In true Buell family fashion yesterday was our first Gingerbread Man baking day for the year.  This time around we had a couple new helpers added to the tradition, My baby cousin, Aubrie Lorraine...

And my son, Hunter James!

Hunter got to meet 3 of his great aunties...
And we made a crap load of gingerbread men.
Quality family time all around :)
This week, I'm really really really going to bake some new fun cookies.  I promise.  I've decided to start saying no to so many visits so I can get some stuff done and get a handle on this "mom" thing.  Stay tuned!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Hey blog folk! Its been far too long since I posted a new treat, and believe me, I've made baking attempts in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, a little certain someone keeps interfering with my well intended efforts:

Introducing, Hunter James DiStefano! This little cookie tester was born November 14th at 9:17 PM after lots of labor and an unplanned c-section. We are totally in love with our little time-sink baby, but daily activities and hobbies have suffered as we figure out this whole "parenting" adventure.

Regularly scheduled cookie programming will continue in due time. Until then, I'll be doing a lot if this:

Happy baking!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My husband has been squawking as of late regarding the lack of chocolate chip in our lives.  I myself am not a huge chocolate chip cookie fan.  I know, I know, everyone loves them, and I'm a cookie aficionado.  How can that be?  But truly I am usually underwhelmed, so I don't make them all that often.

Until now, I whipped up some simple cookies with chopped up Hershey Bars, making a few changes to my usual "chip" cookie recipe, and man oh man, I couldn't stop eating them!  Maybe pregnancy has cured me of my chocolate chip prejudice.  Or maybe I just love any baked good available at 38 weeks pregnant.  Regardless, these were really good.  Try them.

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 egg
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/8 cup flour
2 king sized Hershey bars, roughly chopped.

Mix together your butter and sugar.  Add in the egg and vanilla and finally the dry ingredients.  scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Lastly, add in your chocolate. yum.  Roll into bite sized balls and bake at 375F for about 10 minutes.

Yummers.  Good stuff. These bad boys, definitely contributed to this:

Hugeness.  Come on baby.  Mama wants her abs back ;) Until then, cookies it is.

Happy Baking.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Toffee Oatmeal Cookies

Happy Sunday blog readers! While it seems that everyone in New England is Battening down the hatches for Hurricane Sandy, aka "Frankenstorm" I decided to ensure that we will have fresh baked goods on hand if it is in fact the end of the world.  I've had a bag of toffee bits in the pantry for a while, so I thought they might be a nice addition to a standard oatmeal cookie.  here's what I came up with.

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups oats
10 ounce bag of toffee bits

Per the usual process, mix together your butter and sugar, add in your wet ingredients, and lastly your dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Add in your toffee last.  Some walnuts or even some chopped pecans might be tasty in this also.

Roll your cookies into tablespoon sized balls, and space them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Definitely give these guys room to spread out, and don't skip the parchment.  The toffee makes the final product sticky, and could be tough to get off a bare cookie sheet.

Into the oven at 350F for 12 minutes.

Chewy goodness.  Definitely let these cool off on the cookie sheets for a while before you move them, as they're quite soft right out of the oven.

Delish.  Enjoy!  And to the east coasters, I hope everyone fares well with the impending storm of doom.  I myself am slightly skeptical, but if you are easily frightened, don't turn on the weather channel.  Those guys convinced even pregnant me to take in all the patio furniture.

Happy Baking!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cinnamon Mini Cupcakes

Hey Folks!  Last night Joe and I went over to our dear friends the Haley's house and of course I brought along some sweet treats.  This week at the grocery store I spotted some "cinnamon chips" which sounded pretty tasty, and I thought they would make a fun little cupcake dessert for our dinner date.  Here's what I came up with:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, added one at a time
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
pinch sat
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Cinnamon Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 table spoons milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Wednesday night after dinner I enlisted Joe's mixing assistance and we whipped up the batter, butter and sugar first, followed by the eggs and vanilla, and then the dry ingredients.  I meant to get a photo of Joe the magical mixing husband but, I was too busy telling him what to do ;)

Into a 375F degree oven for 15 minutes.

Tada!  Let the cupcakes cool completely, then whip up your buttercream.

Pipe onto cupcakes, and decorate as desired.  I just dotted mine with some extra cinnamon chips.

These were very tasty!  Kind of coffee cake-ish, but definitely fit in for the fall.  And of course buttercream frosting makes anything delicious.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Strawberry Macarons

In the culmination of my self proclaimed Macaron Month, I finally achieved a (almost) fully successful Macaron endeavor!  Hooray for me!  I only had about 15-20% crackage on this go around, which is far better than the 50% crackage rate of my previous attempts.  I followed some helpful tips from my fellow food blogger and KKG Kirsten, tried out a new flavor, and all and all had a successful baking afternoon.  Huzzah.

115 grams blanched almond flour
230 grams powdered sugar
144 grams egg whites
72 grams sugar
2 tsp Strawberry Flavoring
1/2 tsp salt
a smidgen of pink gel coloring

Following the same process for the most part as the First Round of Macarons this month, I worked on my meringue, and then folded in my measure almond flour and powder sugar.

Ah.  Lovely.  I think some of the cracking issue may have been a mixing issue.  As in I was undermixing before.  So I made sure I got everything well incorporated.

Very focused pregnant baker. Haha. More after the jump.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Brown Sugar Stars with Maple Buttercream Filling

Hey blog friends!  I hope you are all having a good weekend.  Today I am cranky.  I tried napping, walking, cleaning and nothing could snap me out of my pregnant crankiness despite my efforts, so I resorted to making myself some tasty treats.

I pretty much decided to wing it, based on my ingredients on hand, and I'm happy with these results.  The brown sugar cookie stars are very buttery and delicious, and the maple filling seems to fit in with the beginning of fall.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
dash salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

Maple buttercream:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/12 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Mix together, your butter, shortening and sugar until well blended, add in the rest of your ingredients except for the flour, and blend.  Finally add in the flour a little at a time, until you have a nice even dough.  Form into 2 balls, and pop it in the freezer for a couple of minutes.

Roll out your dough and cut out your cookies into your desired shape.  I obviously went for a star to switch things up, though for sandwiching purposes, a simple circle would probably be easier.

Bake at 375F for 8 minutes. The bake time on these was perfect.  Let the cookies cool and prepare your frosting.

Homemade frosting is so easy to make. And so very delish.  First off, mix together your softened butter and flavoring (in this case maple syrup).  Then slowly add in your powdered sugar on low speed, in order to avoid powdered sugar explosions.  Finally mix in your milk a little at a time until you reach the desired consistancy.  I used a hand held mixer for all of this.

Yum.  Pipe your frosting onto the bottom side of half of your cooled cookies.  You could also just spread it with a knife, but I was trying to keep things neat.

Then sandwich :) And refrigerate.  I think I should have thickened up my frosting a little bit more, as it was pretty gooey.  Tasty for sure, but gooey.

Ta Da!  I'm happy with these, very yummy.  You could even do a little sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar on top.  Definitely worth a try.  As for my pregnant grumpiness, they didn't really help that much, save for the few moments of blissful cookie eating.  But it was worth a shot.

oh yeah.... Munch helped :)

Happy Baking!