Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_7777IMG_7761I have not always been a “cookie” girl…I preferred cake, ice-cream, brownies or really any other dessert.  To me, there were so many other interesting desserts that caught my attention until I married my husband.  He is a “cookie” guy :)  I swear, there can be the most gourmet and decadent desserts around and he will go for the classic chocolate chip cookie.  

I kind of get it now, I love a good cookie.  Now that we have kids and they LOVE cookies as well, I am always on the hunt for the best cookies in town.  They don’t have to be fancy, actually I prefer them to be classic flavors, just the best flavor.  Texture is a big thing for me as well…edges need to have a little crunch, center needs to be soft and chewy and they cannot be overly sweet.

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies filled with semisweet chocolate chips, chopped pecans, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt on top is now one of my favorites!  After a few rounds of different oatmeal cookies, some plain and some with peanut butter, this was the winning combination.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  6. 1/2 tsp baking Soda
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla Extract
  10. 1 1/2 cups oats
  11. 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  12. 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  13. sea salt (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oatmeal (set aside)
  3. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract into butter mixture and mix until fully combined
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans
  7. Scoop dough into 3 ounce balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  8. Gently press the top of the dough ball down (just to take the dome away)
  9. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the top of each cookie (optional)
  10. Bake for 15-16 minutes, the edges will become golden brown and the centers will still be light in color
  11. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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How to Host a Cookie Exchange

img_5835Are you ready for the nonstop parties, gatherings, and abundance of cooking and gift giving? While some of us love entertaining, for others it may be a bit stressful. If you need to cut back on your baking, gather your friends and host a cookie exchange. You only have to bake one kind of cookie, but you’ll get several dozen to bring to your holiday table.

My sister and I started hosting cookie exchanges for our friends several years ago, and we look forward to it every year. The cookies get better and our friends get more creative with the recipes. There is no need to be a professional or invite only friends that are good bakers. Invite the friends you want to share the holidays with. Exchange cookies, enjoys sips and bites, and spread the holiday cheer!

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Here are the steps you need to know so that you can host your own Cookie Exchange.

Invitations
Just like any party, you must start with a guest list, set the date and send out the invitation. Choose 10-20 (or more) of your friends who have a sweet tooth like you. For the sake of time, sending an emailed invitations such as an Evite or Paperless Post is perfectly acceptable for this type of gathering. Choose a date for your cookie exchange that is close enough to the holidays so that you can enjoy your assortment of cookies with your family

Cookies
Now it’s time to choose the cookie that you want to bake and share with your friends. You can be a simple or fancy as you would like, but remember you have to bake several dozen to share. The week of your cookie exchange, let your guests know how many people are attending so they can start baking. We recommend each guest bring one type of cookie and bake enough cookies that everyone gets to take 2-3 of each kind. So if you are inviting 12 people have your guests bake and bring 2-3 dozen cookies.

Packaging
Once all the cookies are displayed on the table for everyone to admire, it is time to start swapping. Have a table ready just for packaging up these scrumptious cookies. Boxes for each guest, tissue paper to line the boxes, ribbon and a gift tag will be the perfect way to send your friends off with a beautiful assortment of cookies.

Snacks
Last but not least, make sure you have some savory snacks and cocktails or mocktails for your friends to enjoy. They will not be able to survive just on cookies alone, so 3-4 bite size appetizers and a signature drink for the night is the perfect amountimg_5816

Peppermint Meringue
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Egg Whites
  2. 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  3. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
  5. Red Food Coloring, gel
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a mixer with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy and turns into stiff peak
  3. Reduce the speed on the mixer and slowly add in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  4. Once the sugar is fully combined and the eggs become a little glossy add in the peppermint extract
  5. When you have stiff peaks, stop the mixer and gently fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar
  6. Take a 1/2 of the meringue into another bowl and fold in red food coloring until combined (do not over mix)
  7. Using a piping bag and a star tip, fill the red meringue on one side of the bag and the white meringue on the other side of the bag and start piping
  8. Pipe meringue onto prepared baking sheets into 2” cookies
  9. Bake at 200 degrees F for approximately 1 hour or until the meringue cookies have dried out.
  10. Remove the meringue from the oven, allow the cookies to cool and store in an air tight container until ready to serve
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Chocolate Marshmallow Whoopie Pie
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Ingredients
  1. Chocolate Whoopie Pie
  2. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  3. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  4. 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  5. 1 tsp Salt
  6. 1 Cup Buttermilk
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  8. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  9. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  10. 1 Egg
  11. Marshmallow Cream Filling
  12. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  13. 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  14. 2 Cups Marshmallow Fluff
  15. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Chocolate Whoopie Pie Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk together
  3. Cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy
  4. Add egg to butter mixture beat until combined
  5. Slowly alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk and beat until smooth
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp size mounds of batter onto prepared baking sheet
  7. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cookie springs back when you touch it
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely before assembling
Marshmallow Cream Filling Directions
  1. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and marshmallow fluff together until smooth. 
Cover and set aside until ready to use
Whoopie Pie Assembly
  1. Pipe the marshmallow cream to cover the flat side of one cookie
  2. Sandwich two chocolate cookies together
  3. Serve or store in an airtight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Lemon Shortbread

lemon 5It’s friday, YAY!  This was our back to school week and all went well, but I am excited for the weekend.  It is always interesting when summer is over and the routine comes back into our lives, but this year my oldest daughter started kindergarten and I might be feeling the emotion much more than she is :)  So, we are thankful for a great week, but going to celebrate the weekend with these perfectly tangy lemon shortbread cookies.  Hope you have a great weekend!lemon 2lemon 1lemon 3

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
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Cookie
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  3. 1 cup granulated sugar
  4. 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  7. 2 Tbsp lemon juice
Lemon Icing
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  3. (more or less depending on how thick you want the glaze)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl
  3. Cream sugar and shortening with a paddle until light and fluffy
  4. Add egg, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until combined
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients until fully incorporated
  6. Scoop into 3/4 ounce dough balls
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown
  8. Once cookies are cooled combine powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the glaze (add more or less powdered sugar, depending on how thick you want it)
  9. Add a small amount of icing to the top of each cookie and garnish with lemon zest
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

SONY DSCIt is definitely the holiday season and our home has been filled with lots of sweets!  I have made and tasted more cookies this year, and kind of loving it.

For my 2nd year to be involved in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I was excited to share these yummy oatmeal chocolate cranberry cookies.  Although I have been a part of several cookie exchanges this year, this one is very special; we got to share our cookies with three fellow food bloggers and most importantly it benefits a great cause, Cookies for Kids Cancer.  

With so many cookies to choose from, I chose a one of my favorite classic oatmeal cookies, but added a holiday twist.  With the addition of cranberries, chocolate chunk, pistachios and a white chocolate drizzle, I may never go back to the original recipe.  

Just as excited as I was to share my cookies and recipe with three bloggers, I loved receiving cookies from the talented ladies behind Yumology and  Pint Sized Baker.  These ladies made this cookie exchange very special with incredible cookies and cute packaging to go along with them.  Check out their cookie recipes as well as many others at Yumology and Pint Sized Baker.SONY DSCSONY DSC

Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Cookie
Yields 36
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, unsalted (2 sticks)
  2. 2 cus brown sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups all purpose flour
  6. 1 tsp baking soda
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 2 cups quick oats
  9. 1 cup dried cranberries
  10. 1 cup chocolate chunks
  11. 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped (optional topping)
  12. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted (optional topping)
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. cream butter and brown sugar
  3. add in eggs (one at a time) and vanilla extract
  4. combine flour, baking soda, salt and oats and add to butter mixture
  5. mix until all ingredients are combined
  6. using a spatula, fold in dried cranberries and chocolate chunks
  7. scoop 1 ounce cookie dough balls and place onto parchment lined pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown
  8. once cookies are cooled, drizzle each cookie with melted white chocolate and chopped pistachios (optional)
  9. store in an airtight container
  10. Enjoy!!!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

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Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

SONY DSCPumpkin season is in full swing and I know we all have our favorite pumpkin recipes, but this cookie is perfection and must be added to your fall baking!  Soft and cake like, they have the right amount of sweet and spice that brings your right into the wonderful flavors of fall.  Once you get past the pumpkin, you will enter into a marshmallow cream filling with a dash of cinnamon…like I said, Perfection! Enjoy!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies
Yields 36
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Ingredients
  1. 2 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  3. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 1 1/4 tsp Salt
  5. 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, Ground
  6. 1 1/4 tsp Ginger, Ground
  7. 3/4 tsp Nutmeg, Ground
  8. 3/4 Cup Butter, Unsalted
  9. 2 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
  10. 2 Eggs
  11. 1 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
  12. 3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
  13. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Prepare sheet pan with parchment paper
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  4. Cream butter and sugar together with paddle
  5. Mix in eggs, one at a time
  6. Add pumpkin puree, evaporated milk and vanilla to butter mixture
  7. Slowly add flour mixture until combined
  8. Pipe or scoop batter into 1 1/2" rounds (leave room between, they will spread)
  9. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the cookie springs back when touched
  10. Allow cookies to cool completely before filling with Marshmallow Cream (recipe below)
  11. Serve immediately or store in air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Marshmallow Cream Filling
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, Unsalted
  2. 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  3. 1 (17oz) Jar of Marshmallow Fluff
  4. 1 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a bowl with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar, mix until combined and creamy
  2. Add marshmallow fluff and cinnamon, mix completely
  3. Pipe filling into cooled Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies and sandwich two halves together
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches

carrot cake cookieLots of Easter menu planning is going on over here and I typically love to have a traditional coconuty carrot cake on my table, but this year I have opted for something even better! I have a thing for cookies lately, I just think they are so easy and everyone loves them and eats them.  Sometimes I find when you have cake, no one wants to wait for the cake to be cut, so they don’t eat dessert.  So this year I have created the perfect combination of the simplicity of a cookie with your favorite carrot cake flavors.  I also felt I could make it even better….Pineapple Cream Cheese Filling!  Carrot cake cookie sandwiches will be a great addition to you Easter celebration…or any celebration for that matter!  

Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick)
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/8 tsp salt
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. 1/2 tsp ginger
  12. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  13. 1 cup old fashion rolled oats
  14. 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  15. 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. combine sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy
  3. add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined
  4. in a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  5. slowly add the flour mixture to butter mixture
  6. mix in oats, carrots and coconut
  7. chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (until firm)
  8. scoop dough into 2" balls using ice cream scoop
  9. bake until light brown
  10. allow the cookie to cool completely before filling with pineapple cream cheese filling
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Pineapple Cream Cheese Filling
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2lb butter (2 sticks)
  2. 16oz of cream cheese
  3. 6 cups powdered sugar
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 cup chopped pineapple (DRAINED)
Instructions
  1. With paddle beat butter and cream cheese until smooth
  2. add powdered sugar and vanilla extract
  3. fold in chopped pineapple (make sure it is drained very well)
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Cinnamon Sugar Grahams

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Graham Crackers are not only for kids, but I will have to say I kind of forgot about them until I had my girls.  This is a cracker that never goes out of style and I know why!  This is one of my favorite recipes that can be used for so many different occasions.  Right now, with Valentine’s on my mind, I love these graham crackers for school parties or to make gourmet s’mores with your love! 

graham 1  This dough is a little bit dryer than other cookie doughs, so you have to have patience when you are rolling it out…it will crack.  After the dough is rolled out and you have cut your perfect shape, take a skewer and put a pattern of holes in each cookie…this will keep the cookies from puffing up.  If you like the idea of cinnamon sugar, sprinkle each cookie and then bake. 

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Cinnamon Sugar Graham Crackers
Yields 20
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 cup butter, unsalted (2 sticks)
  6. 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  7. 4 tbsp honey
Instructions
  1. combine both flours, baking soda and salt; set aside
  2. in a large mixing bowl combine butter, brown sugar and honey
  3. beat at medium speed until light and fluffy
  4. add flour mixture slowly, scraping down the sides of the bowl
  5. transfer dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  6. once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper
  7. roll out dough to approx 1/8 inch on slightly floured surface and cut with desired shape
  8. sprinkle each cookie with cinnamon sugar
  9. bake cookies for 12 minutes, rotating in between
  10. let cookies cool on baking sheet before removing them
  11. store in airtight container or use for s'mores
Adapted from brown eyed baker
Adapted from brown eyed baker
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
graham 5ink-foods_signature

Iced Sugar Cookies

sugar cookie 9

These wonderful iced sugar cookies were not on my menu for the week, but when I decided we needed a craft and baking day because it is to cold to play outside, this was the perfect cookie for all of us.  Sophie asks to bake and cook with me on a daily basis, which I absolutely love, so I try to come up with recipes that she can help me with from start to finish!  So we quickly whipped up a batch of these super soft sugar cookies and the incredible buttery icing, while we waited for my niece and nephew to come over to help us ice and sprinkle.  I have to say, I am normally  a shortbread cookie kind of girl, but this sugar cookie recipe is the perfect combination of soft and sweet with a touch of almond that I love!  Enjoy

sugar cookie 1sugar cookie 2sugar cookie 5sugar cookie 6sugar cookie 8

Iced Sugar Cookie
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. Sugar Cookie
  2. 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  3. 2 tsp cornstarch
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 cup butter, unsalted @ room temperature
  7. 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  8. 1 cup granulated sugar
  9. 1 eggs
  10. 1 egg white
  11. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  12. 1/2 tsp almond extract
  13. Vanilla Icing
  14. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, unsalted
  15. 5 cups powdered sugar
  16. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  17. 6 Tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into a large bowl
  2. in bowl attached to mixer, combine butter, shortening and sugar and whip until pale and fluffy
  3. scrape down sides
  4. add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix to combine
  5. slowly add dry ingredients and mix to combine
  6. refrigerate dough for 2 hours before baking
  7. while dough is cooling prepare the icing (see below)
  8. scoop cookies into 2" balls and slightly flatten the dough
  9. bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes
  10. allow to cool before icing
  11. Vanilla Icing
  12. in mixer beat the butter and powdered sugar
  13. slowly add the milk and vanilla extract
  14. mix until creamy...add more milk if needed
  15. decorate cookies with icing and garnish with sprinkles
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Adapted from Cooking Classy
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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