Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles

This week I will be traveling to Greenville, South Carolina, to see my daughter participate at the American Mock Trial Association’s National Championship Tournament, so I decided to bake a different version of her favorite Snickerdoodle cookie. I made her some Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles! Since the recipe contained espresso instant coffee, I had to search the Internet as to where to buy it. Fortunately, I was able to purchase the espresso at my local Target store. You can also find more expensive ones at Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table.

My husband absolutely loved this cookie! It is slightly underbaked to have a chewy consistency, but it has a wonderful chocolatey flavor that is enhanced by the addition of espresso. I had to keep “yelling” at my hubby to stay away from the cookies! If you are looking for a delicious and simple chocolate cookie, you should definitely try this one. I found this recipe on a post by Abby Capalbo, posted on February 20, 2016, on the Style Me Pretty website. You won’t be disappointed and neither will Laura and the rest of her team!

Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles

 

Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles


Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cups Hershey’s Cocoa Natural Unsweetened
  • 1½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons espresso instant coffee
  • 1 cup organic light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2 organic large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons organic granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Using a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter, coffee, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add one egg and thoroughly blend, before adding second egg and vanilla extract. Add flour-cocoa mixture in two batches. Mixing until just combined. Refrigerate batter for an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Mix together cinnamon and granulated sugar in a small shallow bowl.
  6. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, make 1-inch balls with cookie dough. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on parchment lined cookie sheet, 2-inches apart. Flattened balls slightly with bottom of drinking glass.
  7. Bake to 8 to 10 minutes, until cookies are flattened and crackly. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring to cooling rack. 

 

Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Espresso Snickerdoodles

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Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

The first and only time I ever made gingerbread cookies was years ago. The recipe I used was terrible and it ended up in the garbage. Recently, I came across the Ree Drummond’s recipe and thought I would give it a try. Ree is more commonly know as “The Pioneer Woman.” I tried to make her cookies as healthy as possible by using almost all organic ingredients and reducing the amount of salt by using unsalted butter. The only place I could find natural flavored maple extract was at Target. My local grocery store had artificial flavored maple extract and it wasn’t available at my local Whole Foods.

I have to say that Ree’s gingerbread cookie has the perfect blend of spices! It didn’t dawn on me that the cookie would be hard, as opposed to be crisp; but it has to been hard so that you can make all those pretty gingerbread houses during the holidays. My husband told me that he doesn’t like that particular cookie, but guess who was begging to eat more of them before they were decorated! Now, that is quite the endorsement coming from my picky husband!

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup organic unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups organic brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract
  • Mini M&Ms or decorations of your choice

Directions:

  1. Using a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Very slowly, add the molasses, making sure it is well-combined by scraping the sides of bowl several times while mixing. Add eggs and maple extract and mix thoroughly. Add flour in batches. (I found the cookie dough to be on the “dry” side).
  3. Cover dough in bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimal of 2 hours. (I did not need to refrigerate the dough, so I divided it half and made 2 “balls”).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of wax paper, until it is about ¼-inch thick. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake between 10 and 12 minutes, until cookies are baked through, but still soft. Be careful not to over bake, because the cookies will be hard. Cool cookies.

Royal Icing

The recipe below is from Alton Brown of the Food Network. Don’t be alarm if the icing appears to be “tan” in color from the vanilla. As you add more sugar, the icing will get “whiter” in color. I also found it helpful to use a rubber band at the end of the pastry bag to keep the icing from “leaking” out. I have never made royal icing or used a pastry bag before, so these are my observations as a beginner!

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Using a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla until frothy.
  2. Gradually add sugar at a low-speed, until blended and shiny in appearance.
  3. Turn up speed on mixer and beat until you get stiff, glossy peaks.
  4. Transfer icing to a pastry bag.

Gingerbread Cookies

Organic Sugar Cookies

Organic Sugar Cookies

When baking one of my favorite cookies, I was able to use all organic ingredients, except for the baking powder and the decorations. I did search the internet for organic colored sugar, but could only find “natural” sugar. I was able to find organic food coloring, but it was $9.99 for 1 ounce and the manufacturer could not guarantee the flavor, if subjected to heat. I would then have to make my own sugar. Fortunately, no one in my family has any known sensitivity to food dyes. With that being said, I decided to use what I already had in my pantry, since I rarely bake and decorate cookies. For those who prefer not to use colored sugar, the cookies are still quite festive using Halloween cookie cutters and plain sugar!

The sugar cookie recipe that I am sharing with you is one that my mother used when baking cookies for my sister and me. In fact, my mom made them using margarine, OMG! These delicious cookies are tender and with a delicate buttery taste and hold their shape well for decorating, whether you decorate using sugar or royal icing.

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup organic butter
  • ¾ cup organic sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon organic vanilla
  • 1 organic egg
  • 2 cups sifted organic flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Colored sugar
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (ghost’s eyes)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, thoroughly cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add egg and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into cream mixture, blending well.
  3. Divide dough in half. Cover. Chill 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut into desired shape using a cookie cutter. Decorate with sugar. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Makes about 2½ dozens cookies.

Organic Sugar Cookies

 

My Favorite Little Pumpkin

The pictures below were taken twenty years ago, when my daughter, Laura, was five-months-old. They were taken on a beautiful fall day in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. I was quite crafty back then, because I made her costume. I was quite practical too, because she wore it the next year as a walking pumpkin! These pictures bring back fond memories of our little girl and our days in Colorado! For those of you, who participate in the holiday, wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!

Laura's First Halloween 2

Laura's First Halloween

Organic Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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Recently, I had a craving for the thumbprint cookies my mom used to bake. Of course, I couldn’t find her old recipe, so I had to search the internet for a new one. The cookie recipe on the Food Network caught my interest, because I could use all organic ingredients, except for the baking powder. It was quick and easy to make and I loved the “pop of color” from the preserve. Although this cookie wasn’t exactly like the one my mom used to bake, it had a delicious buttery flavor. It tasted yummy with the raspberry preserves, but you could use any flavor of preserves or jams you want. Thinking ahead, this cookie would make the perfect sweet treat for the holidays!

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Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup organic salted butter (1½ sticks)
  • ⅔ cup organic sugar + more for rolling
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla
  • ⅓ cup organic raspberry preserves or jam

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whip together the butter and sugar using a mixer, until fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and blend thoroughly. Mix in dry ingredients, until incorporated.
  4. Using a spoon, make dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar and place on the cookie sheet 2-inches apart. Press thumb into the center of each ball, approximately ½-inch deep. Add a generous ½ teaspoon of preserve into the indentation.
  5. Bake until edges are golden for about 15 minutes. Cool cookies. Makes 24 to 30 cookies.

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Butter Rich Spritz

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It’s that time of year to start baking some Christmas cookies and to send my daughter a care package for finals week! I don’t know how much time I will have for baking this year, but I thought I should start with a family and childhood favorite, Butter Rich Spritz cookies! The recipe came from a very old Pillsbury cookie recipe booklet that my mother had and she passed it on to me. I would have called this an organic cookie, except for the fact that the green food coloring and the cookie decorations are definitely not organic! For me, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without these rich buttery cookies to bake and eat!

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup organic butter
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 organic egg
  • ½ teaspoon Simply Organic Almond Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Cream butter, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract and vanilla extract.
  2. Add food coloring, if you are going to use it.
  3. Gradually add the flour and mix well.
  4. Put dough into cookie press.
  5. Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Place on a nonstick, ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.

Money saving tip: Whole Foods was having a sale on Simply Organic extracts and with the store and manufacturer’s coupons, I saved a few bucks! The following is a link to Simply Organic, where you can print money-saving coupons for their products.

http://www.simplyorganic.com/simplyorganic/documents/coupons.php

 

Organic Peanut Butter Cookie with Hershey’s Kiss

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With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to bake one of my favorite cookies using entirely organic ingredients. I tried to find a suitable replacement for the Hershey Kiss, but was unsuccessful. Oh darn! So here is the recipe for Hershey’s “Peanut Butter Blossoms” using organic ingredients, except for the famous foil-wrapped Kisses!

Ingredients:

  • 48 Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup organic butter
  • 3/4 cup organic creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic light brown sugar
  • 1 organic egg
  • 2 tablespoons organic nonfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • Additional organic granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the foil wrappers off the Kisses.
  2. Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl, until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar, beat ingredients until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract, beat until well mixed. Stir in flour and baking soda.
  3. Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a Kiss in the center of each cookie. The cookie will crack around the edges. Place on a wire rack to cool. Makes about 48 cookies.

Blogger’s Note: I omitted the salt, used nonfat milk, and only rolled the top half of the cookie dough balls in sugar. I always try to reduce sugar, fat and salt, whenever I can.

https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5191

Organic Snickerdoodle Cookies

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Since my daughter is away at college, I thought I would send her a care package with some of her favorite cookies. This is the first time I am using almost all organic ingredients. This classic cookie has been around for a long time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic butter
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 2 organic large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted organic flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Blend in flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Chill dough for about an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in small shallow bowl. Shape dough into rounded teaspoonful balls. Roll balls into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. I like using parchment paper when I bake, because the cookies don’t stick to the sheet or get too brown. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.