Fluffy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Let’s talk cookies.

I live, eat and breath cookies. I run on the treadmill dreaming of cookies. I like all cookies; both big and small. I make the boyfriend cookies probably once every week – mostly because I can get my cookie dough fix. It’s an added bonus, I guess, that he gets sent to work with a container bursting with sweet cookie goodness.

These cookies are almost my favorite. I would say they are my favorite, but let’s be honest, all cookies are my favorite. However, these cookies are so good, the boyfriend has learned to bake them for his friends at work. By the way, “the boyfriend” likes being referred to in this manner because “it makes him sound like a super villain”. Yes, he actually sad that and yes, he actually baked cookies. I don’t know what’s more surprising.

What I really love about these cookies is that they are fairly easy to make and you can make the batter a day ahead of time. There have been so many times when I’ve made the cookie dough for these at like eleven at night, put the bowl in the fridge and baked the batch the next day. I like things that sit overnight because the next day it feels almost like hassle-free baking; no assembly required and not many messes to be made.

Except, of course, when it comes to photographing; this is secretly where all the biggest messes are made. It’s when I’m allowed to take bites out of five cookies because it looks cool in the picture (and then after I’m done photographing, I get to eat those) and it’s also when I dirty about seventy percent of my dishes trying to find the right one. It’s also when I get lazy and sometimes leave my cookie/food photo shoot set up in my living room until after I get back from class. These cookies, however, could not be left out in fear that I would surely eat the whole batch. They disappeared quiet fast, though, as I was generous enough to share.

Fluffy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
(Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies)

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar, plus more for rolling
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 c. pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

In a bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add pumpkin, egg, maple syrup and vanilla; mix well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix well. Chill the dough for at least an hour.

After the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, rolls balls of dough and then dip the tops in a bowl of sugar. Place on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are puffed up and golden around the edges.

It’s rainy and cloudy today, which means its the perfect day for more cookie making.

The Best Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie & A Birthday

It’s Monday again. We all know I hate Mondays. You want to know something that can make any day just a little bit better? A giant cookie.

Too bad I already ate this one, otherwise I would have something right now to help solve my Monday morning afternoon blues. But it’s okay, because I know you’re going to make one and you’re going to eat it and it’s going to make your Monday or Wednesday just a little bit brighter, sweeter and just totally delicious. Trust me, cookies and milk solve all problems. Except perhaps the not being able to fit into pants problems.

I’d like you to meet the boyfriend’s Valentine’s present. You can’t beat edible presents of Valentines day, especially when they’re homemade. Everyone gets a box of chocolates or a dozen chocolate roses but how many people received giant, homemade, love-filled chocolate chip cookies? Yeah, I didn’t think there were many.

And okay, maybe a giant cookie was the lazy way out of making an entire batch of cookies but you what? It was freaking delicious and with all the cookie dough in the oven at one time, I was less tempted to eat massive amounts of cookie dough while waiting for a batch to bake; so I’d say this is a win-win situation. This is the perfect dessert for birthdays and any other celebrations; plus it’s so incredibly easy.

On a side note, yesterday was my wonderful Mom’s birthday. Unfortunately, I was unable to see her on her special day. If I had, I definitely would have made her a special birthday treat; maybe not a giant cookie…but there definitely would have been a cake to sing and blow out candles with.

Mom, this is for you; a virtual birthday cake of some sort. I love you so much and I miss you and everyone at home more everyday. I hope you know that every time I’m baking or cooking in my kitchen that I’m always thinking of you or Dad, trying to remember how you made things, what your cookies tasted like and if mine match up to yours. I’m sorry I was not there for your special day but I just wanted to thank you for all that you have taught me both in life and in the kitchen because certainly I would not be able to do any of this without you. Happy Birthday!

The Best Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie
(Makes one really big cookie)

3/4 stick of butter, softened
1 c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips (any kind)
Wax or parchment paper

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until creamy. Beat or mix in the egg and vanilla. Sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and baking soda) and gradually add them to the butter mixture. The mixture will be sort of dry and crumbly, add the applesauce a tablespoon at a time and using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix the cookie dough together until combined. Add chocolate chips.

Cut out a round circle of either parchment or wax paper and place at the bottom of a round cake pan to stop the cookie from sticking. Spoon the cookie dough into the pan and gently press down to spread it out. Bake for about 25-35 minutes until cooked through and the edges are golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes in the cake pan before removing it. To remove, place a plate upside down on the cake pan and flip over, then repeat with another plate to get the cookie face up. Serve with ice cream.

Feel free to just take bites out of the cookie, only weirdos cut it into slices and eat them with forks. Cookies are meant to be eaten with hands.

Peanut Butter & Fluff Tagalongs

I hope you’re prepared for the most addictive cookie in the universe.

As far as I’m concerned, pretty much all of the girl scout cookies are addictive. Luckily for me, I tend to grocery shop at odd hours and therefore never run into anyone trying to sell me cookies. Actually, maybe I should say unluckily; my life is seriously lacking in the thin mint department.

Let’s forget about thin mints for the moment and get back to my obsession with all things peanut butter. I’m not lying when I say these taste exactly like a tagalong cookie and I can very easily eat twelve without feeling that guilty.

These will satisfy all of your sweet/salty cravings and with just four ingredients, I don’t understand why you’re not off making them right this second. You can obviously omit the marshmallow fluff for a more traditional tagalong cookie but I wanted to be fancy. And you can’t get fancier than marshmallow fluff.

Peanut Butter & Fluff Tagalongs

• Ritz Crackers
• Peanut Butter (any kind)
• Marshmallow fluff
• Chocolate chips or bars (dark, white, milk, etc.)
• Sprinkles (optional)

Make small peanut butter and fluff sandwiches with the crackers. Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Using a spoon or fork, carefully dip and coat the cookies into the melted chocolate. Place on wax or parchment paper, sprinkle with sprinkles or crushed up crackers and wait until the chocolate hardens. (You may want to speed up that hardening process by placing them in the fridge and leaving them there until serving. They melt easily).

These should be on your Superbowl dessert table because amongst all the yelling, grunting, cheering and beer spilling, it will be nice to eat something so refined (except when you start fighting over the last one).

Toasted Coconut & Walnut Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

I literally just made these yesterday and I’m dying to share.

I love all things about this cookie. It’s sweet, it has a little crunch to it and it’s just so packed with flavor.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t too sure how they were going to turn out but I ate three right out of the oven. The roof of my mouth hates me right now but it was worth it. You can’t beat cookies straight from the oven.

The dough was probably my favorite part. I’m sure this recipe could make about four dozen cookies…I only got about three but then again, I did eat my weight in cookie dough. The calories don’t really count until it’s in cookie form, right?

What’s really great about these cookies is that you can totally adjust the recipe to your liking. If you’re a huge coconut fan, go ahead, add an extra handful or two. Not feeling the chocolate drizzle or it’s too much of a hassle? Totally cool. They taste just as great without it, trust me, I did ample sampling. Although there is definitely something beautiful about that chocolate drizzle on top.

Especially when you’re the one doing the drizzling (or being the drizzler) because you get to melt all that wonderful chocolate and secretly hope there’s going to be extra so you can lick the bowl, spoon, bag etc. Also, feel free to use any type of chocolate. I only had semi-sweet mini chocolate morsels but I’m positive that dark chocolate would be absolutely gorgeous drizzled on top. White chocolate would be great as well, I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

Toasted Coconut & Walnut Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

1/2 c. butter (1 stick), softened
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. coconut (I used the sweetened kind by Baker’s)
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
1 c. chocolate chips or chocolate bar, any kind

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. {This is optional: On a greased cookie or baking sheet, spread coconut and walnuts on the sheet and toast them for 5 – 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the coconut. Allow to cool before adding to batter}

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Then add the eggs and vanilla; mix well. Mix in the flour, oatmeal and baking soda. Add coconut and walnuts;
mix well.

You can either drop the dough by the spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or chill the dough for about thirty minutes, then rolling the dough into a loose ball and dipping the top into coconut for extra flavor, then also baking 8 – 10 minutes. It’s up to you, they both taste equally fantastic; I did half and half.

Melt chocolate in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes and spoon into a small ziploc bag. Make a very small cut in the corner of the bag; drizzle chocolate over cookie. Allow chocolate to cool completely before storing cookies in a jar or tin.

With all this coconut talk, I really want a piña colada.