Category Archives: Cookie

Coconut Macaroons

Coco-macs 001

This recipe has so few ingredients, and seems so simple I had to try it. I discovered that the hard parts are getting the ingredients well mixed, and then finding the right baking time.

Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients

  • * Butter for cookie sheets
  • 1 bag (14 oz.) shredded coconut
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Liberally butter two cookie sheets and set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
  • using a tablespoon size scoop (#64) tightly scoop the batter into half-balls and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown and tops have a tinge.
  • Cool on the pan for 5 minutes
  • Using a sharp-edged spatula or turner, remove the macaroons to cookie racks to finish cooling completely


Because the cooking is to brown the bottoms of the cookies, I used my cookie pans rather than the cookie sheets which have a layer of air between the heat and the cookies. I also used the butter to grease the pans rather than the silicon mats; I wanted to make certain that the bottoms of the cookies felt the heat.

I started trying to mix the ingredients in too small of a bowl; I had to transfer everything to a larger bowl. In fact, I would recommend mixing the ingredients in the stand mixer; I had difficulty getting all of the coconut moistened with the milk and vanilla doing the mixing by hand.

I don’t have a #64 scoop, so I used my #60. That should be slightly larger than a tablespoon. Even so, I was able to get 36 cookies out of the batter.

Baking the cookies was tricky; the first batch was not cooked long enough, and was slightly sticky until they dried completely. The second batch I increased the time by 2 minutes, and the bottoms were darker than “golden brown”. The third dozen I had to quickly prepare a new pan, and it was a dark pan; that group came out very dark. I would suggest making time adjustments in only 1 minute amounts at a time.

Even though the pans are well buttered, the cookies really stick to the pans. The wording about using a “sharp-edged spatula or turner” is correct. Even then, be careful to not squash the cookies. I found that when I used the metal turner upside down to press under the cookies I got the best result. And I didn’t try to go all the way under the cookie from one side, but worked my way around the cookie.

Peppermint Pattie filled Bon Bons

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The other day I saw the York Peppermint Patties now came in the mini size, and knowing that one of my friends is very taken with the York Peppermint Patties, I decided I had to try using them as a filling for the Bon Bon cookies. As you might be aware, I like the Bon Bon dough, and like trying to fill it with different flavors. Of course, there are all the different Hershey Kisses anymore, and not just the milk chocolate that the original Bon Bon recipe used. And I have also used the mini Rolos to make a salted caramel filled Bon Bon. What I learned from that experiment was that filled chocolates tend to be harder to use than the Kisses. More about that in a minute.

I used the regular recipe for the dough of the Bon Bon, using almond flour for the nut flour. The tricks with the filled chocolate center are to use plenty of dough in the cookie, to cook it a little under in time, and to cool it longer on a flat surface before moving it to a rack. Let me explain.

Normally, when I make Kiss filled Bon Bons, I use my 1/2 tablespoon scoop to get the dough. When I do the salted caramel (SC) or the peppermint pattie (PP) filled Bon Bon, I need to make certain I have a full Tablespoon of dough to mold around the filling. I use my #60 scoop to collect the dough.

The recipe for the Kiss filled Bon Bons calls for a 12 minute cooking time; I shortened that to 10 minutes for the SC and PP filled Bon Bons. The cookie isn’t quite as brown as with a 12 minute cooking time, but the center hasn’t broken through the dough as often either.

As I learned with the SC filled Bon Bons, the center that liquifies melts the dough on the bottom of the cookie and leaks out. If you move the cookie before that liquid solidifies, it will drip through the cooling rack giving you horns on the bottom of the cookie. So for these versions of the cookie, I let them cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before moving them to the cooling racks.

This is a repeat of the recipe for the chocolate filled Bon Bons:

Peppermint Pattie Filled Bon Bons

  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very finely ground nuts (pecans or almonds)
  • 1 bag York mini peppermint patties

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together Crisco and both sugars. Add egg, vanilla and extract. Beat well. Add flour, baking powder, salt and nuts.

Form dough into 1″ balls (1 full Tablespoon of dough). Press each ball around a mini pattie so that the patties is completely enclosed. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes—do not overbake. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to the cooling rack.

You may decorate the tops of cooled cookies with frosting and sprinkles. Or, sprinkle tops of uncooked cookies with chocolate shot.

In the photo you will see that the tops of these cookies have some green sprinkles on them. I wanted to identify the “mint” cookies from the chocolate or salted caramel cookies, and using colored disco powder is an easy way to do that without adding texture or taste.

Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everybody tries to improve on the Toll House cookie by making it bigger or adding to the flavor. But for me, the Original is still the best. There are enough parameters that you can manipulate to make the cookie just as you like it. By that, I mean it can be either a soft, chewy cookie, or a crisp, crunchy cookie. It all depends on what you want to do about cookie spread.

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Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

*If omitting nuts, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

Now we need to know how to control cookie spread in order to change the characteristic of the cookie from crisp, to chewy. When the cookie is cooking and spreads, it drys out and becomes crisp. To make a chewy cookie we want to delay the spread. The easiest way to do this is to allow the cookie to be less cooked. This can be done in a several ways- reducing the heat of the oven, reducing the time the cookie is in the heat, and finally, making the cookie colder before it goes into the oven. Also, be careful that you are not dropping the next pan of cookies onto warm cookie sheets; this starts the cooking process before the pans goes into the oven.

As the recipe is now, I get a medium crisp cookie. I have gotten more moist, chewier cookies in using all the different suggestions. I have reduced my cooking temperature by 25 degrees; at other times I have reduced the cooking time by 5 minutes. And I have placed the pan of cookies in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to cool them.

I think all the additions and variations on the chocolate chip cookie recipe have failed to make it any better. This original recipe still has a lot going for it.

S’more Bites

I have a couple problems with the S’mores Bars Recipe, and so I have been working on a slightly different version. I do not like to work with marshmallow creme, and decided I needed a version of the recipe that uses plain old marshmallows instead of the creme. I also don’t like pan cookies, and these seemed to be bad because even as they were cut into bars, with the many layers showing, they were messy to eat. I wanted to encapsulate the chocolate and marshmallow in a crust. I also like small, 1 or 2 bite cookies that even a child can enjoy; nothing so large that it is going to break and get all over the floor.

Smores 010

My first attempt at the getting rid of the marshmallow creme was to just use marshmallows in the pan cookie bars. That failed in that the marshmallows are protected from the heat by the top crust, and they never melted. But that also didn’t answer my desire for a more encapsulated cookie.

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My next attempt was to use the basic recipe, but then to form the cookies in my miniature muffin tins. The first trial I used melted chocolate and mini marshmallows. as filling for a crust cup I formed in the muffin tin cups. In that trial, I also put a top crust on the cookies. I didn’t like the total encapsulation of the cookie in that it no longer showed that it was S’more based. That trial and results are shown in the S’mores Bars recipe as Update 1. Since the basics of the S’mores Bites is different from the bar cookies, I decided to continue my exploration here as a separate article.

Daughter Mindy also pointed out that she likes to see a slightly cooked- brown on the marshmallows, and totally encased, that was missing. She also suggested that I look at using the chocolate spread that is now available rather than melting the chocolate.

Now, I have made those adjustments, and I feel that both taste-wise and looks, we have a fairly nice cookie- the S’more Bite.

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S’more Bites Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jar of chocolate spread
  • 1 bag miniature marshmallows
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 36 miniature muffin tins.

    In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

    Scoop 1 Tablespoon of the dough into each muffin tin. With fingers, push and pat the dough into the shape of the muffin tin cup. Place some chocolate spread in each cup- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. Place mini marshmallows (3-4) on top of the chocolate.

    Bake for 12 minutes. Cool in the pans on racks. Remove from the muffin tins; before trying to lift the cookie out of the tin, chip any overflow of marshmallow away. I had to get my finger nails down the side of the cookie to pull it out.

    In this picture, the step-by-step process of preparing the S’more bites for cooking can be seen.

    Smores 004

    I also discovered that you can use cupcake papers in the muffin tins and do away with the greasing of the tins; the result are papered S’more Bites which are less greasy to handle and easier to extract from the muffin tins.

Slutty Brownies

This is the second recipe that I got when I visited daughter Mindy in August. I have cooked it here at home a couple times, and feel I need to put some effort into changing it slightly. As it stands, the recipe calls for a 9 x 9 inch pan; that is an area of 81 square inches. I felt that when Mindy cooked the recipe, it was overflowing the pan; she used an 8 x 8 inch pan.

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Few people I know have a 9 x 9 baking pan; the common size is 8 x 8 or 64 square inches of area. So I feel I need to reduce the recipe to about ¾ of its current size. That will take some experimenting since it is difficult to take an integer number of eggs and use only a fraction; i.e. the recipe calls for 1 egg in the cookie dough part, and 2 eggs in the brownie layer part. Reducing the recipe straight on would make that ¾ of an egg and 1 ½ eggs. Ouch! A bunch of the other measures would also lead to inconvenient values- not the ¼, 1/3, ½, 2/3 and ¾ values for which we have measures.

I am now adding two new versions of the Slutty Brownie recipe. The first reduces the amount of ingredients so that it fits nicely in an 8 x 8 pan. Even when I reduced the size, I still felt the brownies were too tall; that it was difficult to get my mouth around them. So I reduced the recipe still further so that the final brownies are thinner; about 1 inch high. Both of these recipes are at the end of this article; you can get there by clicking on this update.

So I am committed to re-editing this article when I have found the correct combination of ingredients. When I did make this recipe, the first time I used a 10 inch cake pan; surprisingly that is indeed an 81 square inch area. (Area = pi * radius squared; 81 = 3.14 * r squared; r squared = 81 / 3.14 = 25.8; square root of 25.8 = ~5.0; 2 * r= diameter = 10 inches). I was quite happy with how the recipe worked. I was unhappy with the many pieces that were triangular in shape when I cut the brownies because the pieces were along the round edges of the cake pan.

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The second time I made the recipe, I used a 7 x 11 baking pan; that has an area of 77 square inches that is really quite close to the 81 of the 9 x 9 pan. I think if you have a 7 x 11 pan, this is one place to use it.

Okay, here is the recipe for an 81 square inch area.

Slutty Brownies 81

Cookie Dough Layer

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie Layer

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup AP flour

Oreo Layer

Ingredients

  • 1 package Oreo cookies (either regular or double stuffed)

Directions

Cookie Dough Layer:

Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the egg and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Brownie Layer:

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder once the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and continuously whisk until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix.

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking pan with foil and then spray the foil with baking spray.

Layer the cookie dough on the bottom of the 9 x 9 baking pan, pressing down to form the bottom of the slutty brownies.

Layer as many Oreo cookies as can fit on top of the cookie dough layer. Do not overlap the Oreos, but I cut some Oreos to fill the larger gaps in this layer.

Pour the brownie batter on top of the Oreo layer and make certain it’s evenly layered on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a knife to see if the center is done. (it might still show some chocolate on the knife, but not much and not very liquid). Let the brownies rest before cutting and serving.


I hope you were able to follow the idea that the key is the area of the baking pan, and it needs to be as close to 81 square inches as possible. When I finish experimenting and learn how to make the brownies in an 8 x 8 pan, I will add that information to this article. If you would like a personal email when I get to that point, and are not a subscriber to my WidowerRecipes blog, send me a note and I will let you know when I have upgraded this article.


And so here we are with the promised updates for an 8 x 8 pan. As mentioned near the front of this article, there are two recipes; I call them Slutty Brownies 64 Thick, and Slutty Brownies 64 Thin to differentiate the one which only reduces the ingredients enough to make a nice 8 x 8 pan that is almost identical to the original 9 x 9 recipe which is labeled Slutty Brownies 81. The second recipe reduces the height of the brownie from about 2 inches to about 1 inch.

Slutty Brownies 64 Thick

Ingredients

Cookie Dough Layer:
• 6T butter at room temperature
• 3T brown sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup AP flour
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 3/8 tsp baking soda
• 3/8 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie Layer:
• 8 Tbsp butter
• 1 cups white sugar
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• 1/3 cup AP flour

Oreo Layer:
• 16 Oreo cookies (either regular or double stuffed)

Directions

The directions are identical to the original recipe except to use an 8 x 8 pan.

Cookie Dough Layer:

Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the egg and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Brownie Layer:

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder once the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and continuously whisk until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix.

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 8 x 8 baking pan with foil and then spray the foil with baking spray.

Layer the cookie dough on the bottom of the 8 x 8 baking pan, pressing down to form the bottom of the slutty brownies.

Layer the 16 Oreo cookies on top of the cookie dough layer. Do not overlap the Oreos; I found the 16 Oreos were a perfect fit in the 8 x 8 pan.

Pour the brownie batter on top of the Oreo layer and make certain it’s evenly layered on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a knife to see if the center is done. (it might still show some chocolate on the knife, but not much and not very liquid). Let the brownies rest before cutting and serving.



And next is the thin version of the recipe. You will find the cookie dough layer quite different from the above versions of the recipe because there is no way to reduce 1 egg into a fraction of an egg. As a result, the cookie dough is very soft; rather than pushing and patting it into the bottom of the pan, you will need to pour it in, and then spread it with a small offset spatula.

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We also reduced the height of the Oreo layer by reducing the Oreo cookies to crumbs. I put them into a gallon freezer bag and beat them up until they were crumbs, held together by the white center creme; the center almost completely lost its identity since the crumbs cling to it and the white no longer shows through. Other than that, the recipes are similar.

Slutty Brownies 64 Thin

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough Layer:
• 3T butter at room temperature
• 1 1/2T brown sugar
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup AP flour
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 2 ¼ oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie Layer:
• 4 Tbsp butter
• 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 large eggs
• 5 Tbsp AP flour

Oreo Layer:
• 10 Oreo cookies (either regular or double stuffed) smashed to crumbs

Directions

Cookie Dough Layer:

Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the egg and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Brownie Layer:

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder once the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and continuously whisk until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix.

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 8 x 8 baking pan with foil and then spray the foil with baking spray.

Pour the cookie dough on the bottom of the 8 x 8 baking pan,smoothing it out to form the bottom of the slutty brownies.

Layer the Oreo cookie crumbs on top of the cookie dough layer. Push the crumbs around to cover the cookie dough layer as well as possible.

Pour the brownie batter on top of the Oreo layer and make certain it’s evenly layered on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test with a knife to see if the center is done. (it might still show some chocolate on the knife, but not much and not very liquid). Let the brownies rest before cutting and serving.

S’mores bars

During my August trip to Seattle, my daughter Mindy had made these S’mores bar cookies for us. They disappeared fast enough that I asked her for the recipe, and have now made it a couple times at home. I have made some adjustments to it to fix things I felt were wrong.

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I very much dislike working with marshmallow creme, and I also like a smaller, 2-bite type of cookie. So I kept working with this recipe trying to fix what I didn’t like. I don’t have good results yet, but what I did is shown in Update 1down below.

S’mores Bars Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large milk chocolate bars (each should be 4 inches x 8 inches)
  • 7 ounces marshmallow creme
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

    In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.

    Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough (2 large Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate, if necessary, to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick).

    Spread marshmallow creme over chocolate layer. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the marshmallow (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small, flat shingles and laying them together).

    Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars

    smores 003

    I have a couple words of advice in making these bars. First, when preparing to top the marshmallow layer with the final dough layer, I found if I rolled the dough out into a piece as near to 8 x 8 as I could, it was easiest to put it on the marshmallow layer. I placed the dough ball under a sheet of plastic film, rolled it, cut it into four pieces about 4 inches x 4 inches, and then used a large offset spatula to lift the dough off the rolling surface and place it on the marshmallow creme.

    The second piece of advice is to indeed completely cool the cookies before trying to cut them. Even though the pan feels cool, and the top of the dough feels cool, the chocolate might still be liquid. That happened to me; I cut the bars before the chocolate had set up again, and it was running all over. Not cool. So maybe you will want to cool the cookies in the pan overnight before cutting them.

    Update 1

    My work on making this recipe into a small, 2-bite cookie was not a great success. The results were very inconsistent. However, I feel I need to show what I did, and how it worked. Here is a photo of one of the results.

    Smores 001

    What I did was form the cookies in the cups of a mini-muffin tin, and use chocolate chips and mini marshmallows to get the flavoring. The details are as follows:


    Make the dough as in the original recipe. Spray the muffin tins.

    Place 1 Tablespoon of the dough into each of 23 of the muffin tin cups. Using your finger, press the dough into a cup shape; as you press the bottom down, the dough will naturally build up the sides of the muffin tin.

    Place 4 chocolate chips and 3 mini marshmallows into each of the 23 cups.

    Place 1/2 Tablespoon of the dough on top of each of the 23 muffin tin cups; push the dough down and around to join the dough that has formed the cup, totally enclosing the chocolate chips and marshmallows.

    Cook at the 350 degrees F used for the original recipe, but only for about 17 minutes. Cool in the muffin tins.

    It is interesting but having tried this direction several times now, I can only get 23 cookies from the recipe; if I try for 24, I don’t have enough dough to cover the last 2 cookies. That is not all bad; the cookies come out with the browned marshmallows showing on top.

    The cookies tend to blossom over the top of the muffin cups- and besides I don’t want you using a knife on the tins. I found that by holding the outside edges of the cookie- finger and thumb on opposite sides- and rotating the cookie slowly and evenly it loosens and will come out of the muffin tin in one piece.

    My disappointment in these cookies is that they seem to be inconsistent depending upon how well I am able to get the top dough sealed to the bottom cup dough. And, the marshmallow seems to melt into the dough and not stay visible. So unlike a real s’more, the marshmallow and chocolate are hidden. Still, the cookies are very addictive.

    I have given up on the 2-bite version of the recipe for now- I’m full of s’mores. But I want to still work on placing the top dough on the original version of the recipe; that seems like it could be done better than what I did before.

Rolo filled Bon Bon Cookies

Ever since I made the salted caramel filled Bon Bon cookies, I have wanted to make the filling a Rolo rather than the chips I had used; Rolos seem to be the desired source for caramel because they are available at all types of markets. It took me several attempts before I came to what I felt was a success.

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My early attempts would find the cooked cookie cracked and leaking caramel- not something I would want to serve. I had started my attempts by only replacing the chocolate Kiss with the Rolo; then I even tried cutting the Rolo in half since the weight of the Rolo is almost twice the weight of the Kiss.

Finally, I decided I had to see how others were keeping the Rolo embedded in their cookies. The place I focused was a website where the author – Sally- was making a caramel embedded chocolate chip cookie. I started by following her recipe and making a batch of the cookies. I must say, they answered the question about how to embed a Rolo in a chocolate chip cookie. If you like that idea for a cookie, then head on over to the website and check it out –Sally’s Baking Addiction.
These salted-caramel chocolate chip cookies are really big- about 3.5 to 4 inches in diameter!

I have a couple notes from making Sally’s recipe. She reserves a half cup of chocolate chips for pressing onto the top of the cookie just before baking; I found that probably 1/4 cup of chocolate chips was enough to reserve, but I would not put the rest into the dough- the 1/2 cup there is enough. Making the dough does not need a mixer; a whisk and spatula are enough as the dough is quite soft at this point. It hardens in the refrigerator, and then is almost too hard to scoop; you may want to wait more than 10 minutes for it to soften after it comes out of the refrigerator. Because the cookies are so large, I found it safest to move them from the cookie sheet to the wire racks using a pan cake turner.

From making that recipe, I learned three things that I needed to change in the Bon Bon recipe to use it with the Rolos.

  • The amount of dough surrounding the Rolo has to be increased.
  • The cooking temperature needs to be decreased.
  • The cookies need to be cooled on a flat surface, not a wire rack.

In making the chocolate chip cookies, Sally uses a total of 3 Tablespoons of dough. Now her dough has chocolate chips in it, so the 3 Tablespoons doesn’t translate directly to Bon Bon dough. I tried both 1 Tablespoon and 1.5 Tablespoons and I think the answer is at least 1 Tablespoon and maybe a bit less than 1.5 Tablespoons. Okay, the original chocolate filled Bon Bon I was measuring the dough with a #110 scoop; since a #64 is 1 Tablespoon, the #110 is more like 60% of a Tablespoon, or just under 2 teaspoons. For my experiments, I used a #50 and a #60 scoop. The #60 is just more than 1 Tablespoon (#64) and the #50 is just less than 1.5 Tablespoons (#48).

The Chocolate filled Bon Bon recipe uses an oven temperature of 350 degrees; I noted that Sally uses the temperature at 325 degrees with about the same cooking time. So I lowered the temperature for the Rolo filled Bon Bon by 25 degrees to 325 degrees.

Finally, the above steps stopped the cracking of the cookie and the obvious leaking of the caramel but there is still a soft spot on the bottom of the cookie. (I noticed that Sally’s salted caramel chocolate chip cookies also had this soft spot). If I cool the cookie on a wire rack, the hot caramel sometimes would leak through the soft spot and drop through the holes in the wire rack. If the cookie is cooled all the way on the cooking sheet, then the caramel can’t escape and the cooled cookie looks perfect. Sally cools her cookies for a full 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them, so I suggest the same treatment for the Rolo filled Bon Bon cookies.

Update: I have just made a new batch of these cookies, and found a couple pieces of advice to give you. First, I used the new Mini Rolos instead of the regular Rolos. One advantage is that you do not need to unwrap them; they come without individual wrappings. The second advantage is that you can now use less dough to cover the rolo; I was able to get nearly 100% perfect cookies using my 1 Tablespoon scoop. (Actually it is a #60). I am not changing the recipe below because it still reads correctly. Previously, when I was using the regular Rolos, I had to use my #50 scoop which is more dough (about 1.28 Tablespoons) and thus, a bigger cookie.

I also found that the Rolo wasn’t picking up the salt as much as I desired. To solve that problem, I moistened a paper towel, and placed a few Rolos at a time on it. I placed about a dozen Rolos on the moist towel while I was working on a cookie sheet; by the time I used them, they were picking up the salt nicely.

Rolo Filled Bon Bons

  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very finely ground nuts (pecans or almonds)
  • 2 Tablespoons course Salt (Sea Salt?)
  • 1/2 bag Rolos

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove foil from about 36 Rolo candies. You may need a few more or less depending upon how big you scoop the balls of dough; I measured the total dough at 48 Tablespoons.

Cream together Crisco and both sugars. Add egg, vanilla and extract. Beat well. Add flour, baking powder, salt and nuts.

Roll at least 1 Tablespoon of dough into a ball. Press a thumb-print into the ball. Pick up a Rolo, press it into the course salt, and then place it into the thumb-print in the dough ball. Press the ball around the Rolo so that the candy is completely enclosed. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Continue making Rolo filled balls and placing them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 minutes—do not overbake. Allow cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before moving them to wire racks to completely cool.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Two-Tone Brownies

What happens when you take the perfect brownie recipe, and then ice the brownies with a simple cream cheese frosting? You get a two-town brownie. But don’t leave it at that; add a simple chocolate ganache frosting on top of the cream cheese frosting and you have these wonderful brownies.

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To begin, the brownie recipe itself is perfect! the espresso powder really sharpens the chocolate taste of these little treats. The brownie is dense, and not all floury like so many recipes. For the brownie itself, this recipe is something you will want in your repertoire.

But then the toppings are added, and you end up with the most decadent brownie you ever tasted. Each of the topping layers by itself is good, but together and on the brownie you have perfection in a brownie.

The recipe only makes 16 pieces, but these brownies are rich, and you will find that the 16 pieces are a good number. And besides, if you really need more, you can always make the recipe again.

Two-Tone Brownies

Brownies:

  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 x 2″ square baking pan with aluminum foil with overhang; coat with cooking spray.

In a medium-size sauce pan, heat together over low heat stirring until melted and smooth the butter, chocolate and espresso powder. Remove from heat, add and stir until smooth the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Add the flour, cinnamon and nuts.

Scrape and spread into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until set in center. Let cool in pan on wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat in a small bowl at high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, all the ingredients. Spread evenly over cooled brownie base. Refrigerate until set -about 1 hour.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

In a small pan bring to simmering the cream and espresso powder. Add chocolate. Remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes. Add butter. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cream cheese frosting; spread in an even layer. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Cut into 16 bars.

Kammerjunkere (Groom’s Cookies)

I received this recipe from my sister Ann; she had it labeled as Groom’s Cookies. I have since learned that its name is Kammerjunkere. The cookie is rolled out paper thin and cut with cookie cutters. At first I was nervous about trying the recipe; it seemed to be weird in that it called for 4 cups of molasses, and 15 cups of flour. That was just too much in my way of thinking.

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So, I cut the recipe in half to try it, and it still makes a lot of dough. I am trying something different in cookie cutters- going very small, and so I could have nicely done with just one fourth of the original recipe. But, it doesn’t seem to divide directly into that smaller portion. Ann says that she has used cookie cutters as large as 4 x 5 inches to make these cookies. She also warned me not to ice the entire cookie, but to just use a few highlights on them. The molasses tends to draw moisture and that would interact with the icing to keep it from drying completely. (The hearts in the photo measure about 1.5 x 1.75 inches).

Before I got started making the recipe, I decided to do a web search to see what others might have done for Groom’s Cookies. Most of what I found were regular old sugar cookies cut into hearts, and then frosted like a black tuxedo- nothing near for what I was looking. Then I found a site with Danish cooking recipes, and there with the title Kammerjunkere was the exact same recipe my sister had sent.

Groom’s Cookies (Danish Kammerjunkere)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. baking soda
  • 4 Tbs. water or milk
  • 3/4 lbs. butter, softened
  • 3/4 lbs. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. ground cloves
  • 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups molasses
  • 15 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 8 oz. brandy

Directions

Soak the baking soda in the water or milk.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the spices and molasses to the creamed mix and mix them in. Stir in the flour using a large wooden spoon, and then the lemon zest and the brandy. The dough should be very stiff; add more flour if necessary but cautiously. Then add the soda and water/milk.

Divide the dough into manageable units, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Roll the dough very thin- less than 1/8 inch in thickness and cut. Bake on greased cookie sheets, or on silicon mats until brown

Decorate with icing


Before I give you the ingredients for a half-size batch, let me give you some hints about what I learned.

I used milk instead of water for soaking the baking soda. When I finished the dough, I made it into 4 packets wrapped and flattened into disks; those packets still contain a lot of dough, and I probably would have been better served to make 8 packets. I ended up cutting the packet in half before putting it on my board to roll it out. (And my recommendation for 8 packets is for a half-recipe of cookie dough).

And I also caution you to use the large wooden spoon to stir in the flour; I started to use a hand mixer, and I nearly killed the motor of the mixer. There was smoke! So I saved the mixer and got out my big wooden spoon.

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HALF_RECIPE

Groom’s Cookies (Danish Kammerjunkere)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. baking soda
  • 2 Tbs. water or milk
  • 12 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 6 oz. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. ground cloves
  • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 7.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 4 oz. brandy


If you would rather work in volume instead of weight, the 6 ounces of brown sugar is 12 Tablespoons. I looked up some volume/weight equivalences for interest, and the 15 cups of flour is about 4 pounds, and thus the 7.5 cups of flour is about 2 pounds.

My experience in rolling out the dough to paper thin is that the dough is very sticky, and needs lots of flour on both the rolling pin and the work board. I even experienced that the flour was all absorbed, or moved from under the center of the piece as I rolled, and would be stuck when I went to cutout the cookies and move them. I learned quickly to only cut the cookies from the edge of the dough after I had rolled it, and to scrape the center part back up to start again with more flour on the board.

The direction to cook until brown is not the type of a direction that the nerd in me likes. I quickly learned on the first pan of cookies that “until brown” was about 5 minutes; much longer than that and you could start to smell burning.

Salted Caramel Cookies

A few weeks ago, I was at my favorite bake shop – Blake’s Decorette Shop– looking for chocolate and molds in order to make Easter bunnies. I mean, what is Easter without a chocolate rabbit from which to bite the ears? Anyway, in looking at the various types of chocolate, I happened to see a bin that said “Sea Salt Caramel Wafers”. I know how great Salted Caramel tastes; when Mindy and I go to Molly Moons for ice cream, we often have some salted caramel. So, I bought a package. At that time, I didn’t have any idea about how I would use it.

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So, this week I decided to put the salted caramel into cookies. I decided it should go into two different kinds of cookies- Bon Bons, and Chocolate Chip cookies. And I have just finished that exercise and have to say that it really puts a new flavor pallet on those cookies.

The Bon Bon cookies were quite simple to change to use the wafers instead of the candy kiss. I put two wafers in each ball, and the operation was no different than wrapping the dough around the candy kiss. Because the dough has so much nut flour in it, it is easy to handle.

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I can’t say the same for the chocolate chip cookies; I think I have said before that the Toll House cookie recipe is my favorite, and that is what I used this time. The dough is quite sticky, and you need to work around the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. I increased the size of the scoop/disher I was using to try to add more dough and help me seal the two salted caramel wafers inside the cookie. I tried to do an operation similar to wrapping the Bon Bon dough around the wafers. I have since read that you might make two small balls of the dough – about 1 Tablespoon each- and then squeeze the wafers between the two balls. I have also had a suggestion that refrigerating the dough for a while before working with it might make it less sticky. Again, I did not try that this time.