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, April 26, 2012

Orange Scented Biscotti with a Chocolate Drizzle

Happy Thursday everyone!  I hope your week is moving right along an you're looking forward to a nice weekend.  I myself am kicking it off a little early tonight with a small gathering of lovely ladies at our recently renovated hacienda.  Our bathroom is done (yay!) and to celebrate I'm hosting a Lia Sophia Jewelry party which is a perfect excuse to have people over, share some wine and appetizers, and bake some cookies.

I decided on some biscotti that mimic one of my favorite flavor combinations: Orange and Dark Chocolate.  I used my anise biscotti recipe and tweaked it a bit for the effect.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
zest of 1 orange
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
dash salt
Melted chocolate mixed with 2 tablespoons shortening

 Mix your butter and sugar, then add in the eggs one at a time.  Add the extracts and zest.  The slowly mix in all the dry ingredients until the dough comes together.  Form into two, 11 inch logs....

Then bake at 300 for about 30 minutes.  Allow the logs to cool completely.  In the meantime, I mopped.

Slice.  And bake again, pumping up the temp to 325 for 9 minutes.  Flip and repeat.

Ah.  A nice golden brown.  While these cooled off, I quickly melted some baker's semi sweet chocolate with a little bit of shortening to make it more liquidy.

I decided this wasn't exactly liquid enough to drizzle with a whisk, so (with the assistance of the hubby) I transferred it into a large ziplock for some impromptu piping.

Tada.  I'm pretty happy with these.  I do wish they were a little bit more "Orangey".  Perhaps next time I will up the zest.  Or even add a little extract to the melted chocolate.  They are definitely pretty though!  Looking forward to sharing them tonight with my ladies :)

Happy Baking!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been throwing out a lot of bananas lately and was feeling bad about it, so I decided I would save the two over-ripe fellows I found sitting on the counter this morning from such a dismal, wasted fate.  There's only so much banana bread one can make in a lifetime, so I decided to look up a quick recipe for Banana Cookies. 

I followed the recipe pretty closely but made a few changes.  I reduced the flour by a quarter of a cup, omitted the nuts and added chocolate chips instead.  Also, I lowered the oven temperature to 375, which I actually think was still too hot.  I had a couple of burn victims.  I'd suggest a bake time of 13 minutes at 375, or maybe 15 minutes at 350.

I was too lazy to bust out my Kitchen Aid today, so I went ahead and used my little hand mixer which worked just fine.  I was also too lazy to bust out my real camera.  iPhone photos it is.  Apologies.  It's a lazy kind of day.

When I pulled these out I thought they looked a little too dark/burny, so I decided to use a quick fix for not-so-pretty cookies: drizzled glaze.  Works like a charm, I'm telling ya.  And all you need is a cup of powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla and a few tablespoons of cold water....

Ah, much better.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Strawberry Tart

Happy Easter!  Today Joe and I had the pleasure of hosting our moms and my sister for an Easter Ham dinner.  Of course I wanted to have a dessert to go along with it, and thought I'd try to wing something based on a lovely photo I saw on pinterest.

That recipe is for a strawberry tart on top of a frozen puff pastry sheet.  Since I tend to be a "made-from-scratch" snob, I thought I would use one of my favorite sugar cookie dough recipes for the pastry, then layer sugared strawberries on top for the "tart" appearance.  All in all it was very tasty!


for the crust:
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 cups flour
zest of one orange
For the Topping:
Sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shaved white chocolate
pinch salt

I rolled out the dough into a large circular type shape, and cut the edge with a scallop pastry tool to make it a bit fancier looking....

I threw together the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl, and went to work arranging them on my crust.

Ready to bake!

Into the oven for around 15 minutes, or until the crust becomes a golden brown....

I was pretty happy with the results!  We paired it with a scoop of homemade cinnamon ice cream, and we were happily full after a nice Easter feast.

I hope everyone had a lovely Holiday!  Back to work tomorrow, Boo!  Happy Baking!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Yummy, Easy, Corn Muffins

Greetings weekenders!  I hope you're all getting ready to celebrate a nice Easter Holiday with Family and friends.  This morning I was baking up some desserts for tomorrow's festivities, when an unmistakable Corn Muffin Craving Came over me.  Probably because I saw the unopened bag of cornmeal sitting in my pantry.

A quick visit to Allrecipes.com and I came up with a simple, quick recipe for sweet corn muffins.  I was but 40 minutes away from Corn Muffin Bliss.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk, divided

I actually halved this recipe since I was baking these for my hungry muffin-craving self, and figured I really did not need a whole dozen muffins....  I came up with a perfect 6.

First up, mix together all your dry ingredients.  Easy peasy.

Then add in your egg, Shortening and half of your milk.  Mix until well blended, then add in the remaining milk and mix until just combined.

Then its into the muffin tray, lined with paper muffin cups. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar if you'd like....

Then into the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the muffins pass the toothpick test.


Craving Satisfied.  Happy Easter Everyone!