Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m a huge fan of blueberries and white chocolate. Remember the White Chocolate Blueberry Fudge? A few weeks ago we had a “Cookie Sunday” at church. Basically one Sunday school class brings in cookies and pastries and then everyone comes in to share! How cool is that? Cookies before lunch! ;oP

I knew I wanted to make a gluten free alternative for Jamison so I whipped up a batch of gluten free peanut butter cookies, but I wanted to do something completely different for the other cookies we would take. I also ended up sending a couple of loaves of banana bread too.

For a while I tossed around a white chocolate/macadamia nut/key lime combo, but decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to go. I also thought about doing some sort of cookie bar, but decided I didn’t want to go that route either. I finally got the idea to put some dried blueberries into the cookie batter as you would a raisin and these lovely little gems were born! If you like white chocolate and blueberries then this is the cookie for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of natural brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 – 11 ounce bag of white chocolate chips
2 cups of dried blueberries

Mix together butter, organic cane sugar, brown sugar and eggs until creamy. Add baking soda and salt and mix until just incorporated. Slowly add flour and mix until dough forms. Stir in white chocolate chips and blueberries and chill dough for at least 4 hours.

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Dough

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place scoops of dough onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Your scoops should be roughly 1 tablespoon per scoop. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 3-4 minutes and then place cookies on a rack to cool completely. Repeat until you run out of dough.

(Note: When you are not scooping the dough place it back in the fridge so the butter won’t get too warm. Cookies with butter bake better when the dough is completely chilled.)

Makes 4 1/2 to 5 dozen cookies.

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Peak Inside

Notes: You could use dried cherries or goji berries in place of the blueberries if you liked. Or a mix of dried fruit would be good as well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate and peanut butter…Such a fabulous combination as you well know! A few weeks ago when our neighbor did us a favor I decided to play around with the two ingredients and this cookie is the result! These cookies are tender and almost cake like and the flavors of the chocolate and the peanut butter just meld so well! I wish Jamison could have tried these, but alas with the gluten it just wasn’t an option! These would have been fabulous for him though! Regardless, if you are a peanut butter/chocolate lover then these are the cookies for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 ounces of baking chocolate
1/4 cup of half and half
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup of peanut butter powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 – 10 ounce packages of peanut butter chips

Melt baking chocolate with the half and half in the microwave until smooth. (Note: My microwave actually has a setting for melting chocolate and it works great! You want to be extremely careful when you melt chocolate in the microwave that you don’t let it go too far and burn. Do the first round at 30 seconds and then do each additional round at 20 seconds if your microwave doesn’t have a setting.) Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of your mixer cream together butter, peanut butter powder, vanilla, eggs and sugar until completely smooth. Add cooled, melted chocolate and mix well. Next add sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa to the wet mixture and mix on low until incorporated. Slowly add flour and mix until just mixed. Add peanut butter chips and stir to incorporate. (Note: You can do this with a spoon or you can just mix them in with the mixer on low. I prefer the mixer method.) Place dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Drop dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake for 8-12 minutes until cookies are done through. Remove from oven let sit on the cookie sheets for a couple of minutes and then remove the cookies gently to a cooling rack. Once the cookie are cooled store in an airtight container.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Notes: You could add in chopped peanuts as well if you liked.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

What You’ll Need:
3 cups of organic sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1 cup of chopped peanuts
3 tablespoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

In a large bowl cream together sugar, eggs and peanut butters until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts to incorporate and then add vanilla and stir to mix. (Note: These cookies don’t “spread” out when they bake so you can put them rather close together as seen above. Be sure to leave a little room for the next step.) Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies: Baked

Once cookies are baked take the back of a fork and gently press down to flatten slightly. Let cook and then store in an air tight container.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Variation for Jamison:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using the same instructions as above mix 2 cups of creamy peanut butter, 2 cups of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 1 package of milk chocolate chips and bake the same way. Once baked take the back of spatula and flatten the cookies slightly. Let cookies cool and store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cow Drop Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Drop Cookies

These cookies are one of Jamison’s all time favorites. As a child we called them “Cow Drop Cookies” and I’ll let you just imagine why! 😉 I have made these many times over the years and I have even made a gluten free non-oat version in the past since I haven’t been able to locate gluten free oats that don’t cost a bazillion dollars a pound.

See there I go digressing again…Where was I? Oh yes!

A few weeks ago our neighbor did us a huge favor and I wanted to send something home with him for helping us out. My mind immediately set on these cookies! They are quick, easy and beyond delicious and just perfect for when you want to whip something up fast to share! I also sent a batch to work with Jamison the next day, because why not share all around! ;o)

What You’ll Need:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of natural brown sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
2/3 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of oats
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Melt butter with both sugars, cocoa and half and half in a medium sized pot and bring to a quick boil over medium heat. Boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until the peanut butter is completely melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and then add oats. Drop by the rounded tablespoonful onto a baking sheet that has been lined with waxed paper or a silicone baking sheet. Let set for an hour or two and serve. Store in an airtight container.

How simple and delicious is that?

Notes: You could use crunchy peanut butter if you liked.

The Perfect Sugar Cookie

The Perfect Sugar Cookie

Sugar cookies are the quintessential kid snack. They’re fun to make, they’re fun to decorate and they’re fun to eat…That is if they aren’t hard as a rock and taste like cardboard! We’ve all had that sugar cookie that looks perfect, but then you bite into it and you break a tooth because you could hammer a nail with that sucker! This recipe ends up anything but a hard, projectile like lump of flour and sugar! Time and time again this cookie turns out sweet and tender and that is exactly what a sugar cookie should be!

On a side note I haven’t lost track of time. The afternoon before Easter Alexis and I set out to make some cookies for the Easter Bunny. As you can see the shapes are springy and Easter themed I just haven’t gotten around to posting them until now. These sugar cookies are perfect for any season though, I mean who doesn’t like sugar cookies (other than Jamison of course! ;oP) Next week I’ve got a recipe coming up that uses that left over Easter ham, which again I made a while back, but I’ve got a ton of recipes in the back log so stay tuned!

The Perfect Sugar Cookie: Sprinkled and Ready to Go

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt

Cream butter until it turns pale yellow. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture to butter mixture and mix until dough forms. Chill dough for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

The Perfect Sugar Cookie: Cookie Cutters

Roll out dough 1/8″ thick on a well floured surface. Use cookie cutters and cut out cookies.

The Perfect Sugar Cookie: Cut Out

Bake on an ungreased baking sheet (I always do this on a sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet.) Bake for 5-8 minutes until edges are golden. Cool on a rack.

The Perfect Sugar Cookie: Alexis Adds Sprinkles

Notes: You can ice these cookies with royal icing, use sprinkles or decorate them any way you see fit. You could also add in a few tablespoons of lemon juice and/or zest to make a lemon sugar cookies. The possibilities are endless.

Gingerbread Cookies or Ornaments

Pissy Gingerbread Boy and Christmas Tree

What’s Christmas without a little gingerbread? Gingerbread houses, gingerbread cookies and even just plain old gingerbread! All of those things make you think of a wonderful holiday season! You can make this recipe as cookies or you can paint the gingerbread after it cools, seal them with varnish and make lasting ornaments. Whichever path you choose, you’ll have fun none the less! (We choose the painted path for the ones pictured here.) And the best part is whether you make cookies or you make ornaments this makes the perfect gift!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup packed natural brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Gingerbread Reindeer

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In large bowl cream brown sugar, butter and molasses until smooth. Add water and mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.

Gingerbread Star

Sprinkle some flour onto the surface you’re working on and roll dough out to between 1/4-1/8th of an inch. Cut with the cookie cutters of your choice. If you are going to use the cookies for ornaments remember to make a hole for the string or ribbon to tie them onto your tree. You can do this by using a straw to make a hole at the top of each cookie.

Bake for 9-10 minutes until done and cool completely on the pan.

Gingerbread Snowman

Decorate with icing, candy, sprinkles, raisins or other embellishments if you’re going to cookie route. Whatever you like works. Just let out your inner cookie creator! 😉

If you’re making ornaments paint them with craft or acrylic paints and let dry completely. Once the paint is dry you can “seal” the ornaments by painting or spraying on a coat of polyurethane if you want them to last for many years.

If you want to make “Pissy” Gingerbread boys and girls use a fluted cutter to cut a “bite” out of the side of their heads or even their foot if you want, because after all wouldn’t you be a little pissy too if someone did that to you? ;o)

Pissy Gingerbread Boy and Girl

Notes: This really is the best gingerbread I’ve ever tasted. I’m not a huge fan of molasses by itself, but in this recipe it really brings out the flavors of the other elements.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream and cookies…What’s not to like? You could easily do this recipe with bake off cookies and store bought ice cream, but why not make it a very special treat and go all out? Any kind of cookie you like would work, as well as any kind of ice cream. It’s the ultimate do it yourself dessert!

What You’ll Need For The Cowboy Cookies:
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of natural brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 cups of rolled oats
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 package of chocolate chips
1 cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Cream together sugars and butter until smooth. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add dry mixture to sugar/egg mixture until smooth. Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips and nuts. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonful onto a baking sheet that is lined with a silicone baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minute until slightly browned.

What You’ll Need For The Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
1/2 a quart of half and half
1 small carton of heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 vanilla beans, cut and scraped, pods reserved
1-3 teaspoons of vanilla (More if you like it really vanilla, less if you don’t)

Mix ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan, along with the actual vanilla bean pods, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld. Remove from heat and strain to remove pods and any large chunks that might have separated from the pod. The easiest way to do this is by straining the mixture. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Once cooled pour mixture into ice cream freezer and freeze according to your model’s directions. For harder ice cream, like you will need for the ice cream sandwiches, put the softly frozen ice cream in an air tight container and store in the freezer until completely firm.

Note: This recipe is designed to fill this ice cream maker, but you could easily double or triple it to fill a larger model.

Meringues

Meringues

I love Meringues, but I always just bought them from Miss Meringue. The thought of actually making them myself was a bit intimidating, but I decided it couldn’t be that hard and I’m always up for a cooking challenge.

The first batch I made I added vanilla and cream of tartar, but I didn’t like the flavor. It was a bit tangy. Meringues are supposed to be sweet, not tangy. It had to be the cream of tartar that did the trick as vanilla has a more smooth flavor. Whatever it was I just didn’t like the flavor, so I went back to the drawing board.

With the next batch I decided to try and make Mint Chocolate, but I couldn’t get the whites to become stiff so that batch was scratched. I think the peppermint oil might have been the issue. I was going to make some mint brownies with the spoils of that battle, but I put the egg mixture in the fridge and promptly forgot all about it until today when I found it had soured. That’s a story for another time. I’ll be trying the chocolate version again soon. I refuse to be defeated! 😉

Finally I settled on simple and straight forward and this is the result. Not only are they completely delicious, sweet, light and crisp, just like they should be, they also have roughly 20 calories per meringue! Now there’s a dessert you can get behind, or perhaps more aptly put it won’t show up ON your behind! 😉

What You’ll Need:
3 egg whites
2/3 cup of sugar

Preheat oven to 225 F.

Beat egg whites and sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form (roughly 8 minutes). Place stiffened whites into a pastry bag with a very large flower tip and pipe onto a baking sheet that is lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. (Note: If you don’t have a large star tip you can just pipe out blobs without a tip. They will still be pretty and it won’t affect the taste! ;o)) Bake for 50 minutes to one hour until meringue are stiff and not spongy. (I like to cook them for 30 minutes and then check them every 10 minutes after that to make sure they don’t go too far, but I’m a bit OCD! 😉 )

Let cool for 30 minutes and then store in an airtight container.

Makes roughly 24-30 meringues depending on how big you pipe them.

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A few years ago I saw Ina Garten (I love her!) make cookies similar to these and I tried them out and decided they needed just a little tweaking. I usually don’t mess with her recipes because they are usually right on the money (and this one wasn’t bad to begin with), but it just needed a little something and it was one of those you could easily play around with!

In my version I added more chocolate, less flour, less vanilla and less salt. Sometimes I even like to stir in a cup of coconut and some Macadamia nuts along with the white chocolate for a tropical treat, but any way you bake them, they won’t stay around long. They’re delicious!

What You’ll Need:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of dark brown molasses sugar
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup of cocoa
1 3/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
4 – 4 ounce Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream butter, sugars and eggs until smooth. Add cocoa and mix until completely incorporated. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt and add to chocolate mixture. Mix until flour is just mixed. Add white chocolate and stir to mix.

Drop dough by large tablespoon full onto a baking sheet that is lined with a Slat. Bake for 12-15 minutes and remove from the baking sheet to a cookie rack to cool.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Notes: As I mentioned in the introduction you can easily add things into this dough. Nuts would be a nice addition, as would chocolate chips along with, or in place of, the white chocolate. Mint chips or even peanut butter chips would also be delicious! There is no wrong answer when it comes to cookies. Mix it up and make it your own!