I Am Baker

chocolate caramel ginger cookies

Let’s talk ginger.

Not the hair (although that would be fun too because I happened to have given birth to ginger baby).  The vegetable.  Or as most refer to it, the herb or spice.

Are you a fan?

Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies!

After seeing this recipe you will be, in one form or another.  Of this I am confident.

Know why I am so confident?  Because it is a subtle infusion.

It’s a hint of ginger.  An essence if you will.

I started out with a beautiful ginger infused caramel.

Ginger Caramels

But before I get into that you probably want to know why I am making ginger infused caramels.  Well, a little while back I was asked to participate in a challenge for Caribou Coffee.

Challenge: create a new holiday recipe inspired by Caribou Coffee’s Gingersnap Cookie Mocha using ground or fresh ginger. 

Once I saw the challenge was from Caribou Coffee I jumped at the chance to participate.  My husband is a huge fan of the coffee as well as the fabulous local coffee houses and spends a good deal of time there most weekday mornings.

But then I got totally thrown off by the whole “ginger”thing.  Shy of making their exact coffee blend into a cookie, how was I going to create a sweet and delicious treat inspired by ginger?

1. Make it into caramels.

2. The end.

Ginger Caramels!

Kidding.

I had my heart set on a cookie.

My vision was a decadent cookie resting precariously on the side of a steaming coffee mug in front of a roaring fire.  Feet up, cozy slippers on, Christmas music in the background and children happily reading books next to me.

As with all visions, it should start with baby steps.  So first, the caramels.

Next, the decadent cookie.

Process shot of Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies

I knew I wanted to stuff that amazing carmel into a cookie dough, but finding the perfect dough was a challenge.  Most chocolate cookies that I tried were cocoa based and couldn’t hold their own when paired with the caramel.

But, I finally was able to find a recipe that worked.  This recipe uses only actual chocolate to flavor the cookie which is exactly the pure and intense zing I was going for!

Ginger Caramel Recipe

chocolate caramel ginger cookies

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces mini bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into chunks
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Ginger Caramels cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 teaspoon crystallized ginger

Instructions

  1. Place chocolate and butter into a heat safe bowl and set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water.
  2. Stir chocolate until fully melted then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Whisk in eggs and sugar until fully incorporated.
  4. Now add in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until dough comes together and then chill for about 2 hours.
  5. When ready to prepare cookies, remove dough from fridge and using a small cookie scoop, prepare 12 scoops of dough. (Each cookie will use 2 cookie dough balls.)
  6. Be sure your cookie sheet is lined in parchment.
  7. Press the dough ball flat to about 1/2 inch thickness and place a ginger caramel inside. Press another flattened dough ball on top and press sides together, making sure there is a tight seal.
  8. Do this six times and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake six cookies for 8 minutes. (you will be baking for one more minute after adding ginger. If not adding crystallized ginger, bake cookies for 9 minutes.) Repeat until dough is gone.
  10. If adding crystallized ginger pieces, add 5-7 pieces evenly dispersed over cookie. Cookie will spread out considerably, so place ginger pieces all the way to the edge of the cookie.
  11. Put back in oven for 1 minute.
  12. Allow cookies to cool slightly before eating.
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Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com.

Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies!

So the cookie isn’t resting on the mug, but I think next to it will do.

Tips & Tricks

I recommend making the caramels at least one day before making the cookies.  They worked best cooled to room temperature and cut into squares.

If you are using crystallized ginger make sure you chop it into VERY very small pieces.  (After a great deal of feedback I think my pieces on the cookies above were much too big and too close together.)  It is extremely potent stuff and will overpower the chocolate & caramels.  When placing the pieces onto the hot cookie, try sprinkling it like it is sanding sugar.  Make sure the pieces are spread out over the cookie as much as possible.

The dough can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.  Cookies will last about 1 week in an airtight container.

HINT: Put the cookies in an airtight container that is slightly bigger than you would need.  Set cookies in, then place a piece of bread in the container.  The bread will turn hard and the cookies will stay soft!

Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies!

We have decadent cookies.  We have a hot cup of fabulous Caribou Coffee.

I guess the only thing left is the roaring fire, and I think that is up to you.  The rest of it… well.  I will just be happy with the cookies. :)

HOLIDAY GIFT BUYING ALERT!!!

SurpriseInsideCakesCoverSale

 

For a VERY limited time my new book Surprise Inside Cakes is over 90% off!!  As of today, Nov. 26th 2014, you can get it for $1.99!!!

HUGE SAVINGS!!  Also, you can choose to “Give as a Gift”.  You can pick the day the book is received (like Dec. 25th?) and the recipient will never know you purchased it for less than $2!

I Am Baker

Naked Cakes and Live TV

One of the perks of living in MN is Twin Cities Live.  It is a local show that is nationally recognized for the talent and quality of programming.  I am slightly biased because I happen to adore one of the hosts (well both actually!!) , Elizabeth Ries.  But even if I didn’t know her, I would still be a huge fan of the show!

Not only am I a #bigfan of the show, but occasionally I get to be a guest!  My most recent appearance was all about Naked Cakes.

Cookie Crisp Naked Cake!

This bottom of this cake is three layers of yellow cake prepared in 9-inch round cakes pans.  I used two yellow cake recipes and divided it between three pans.

The top tier is one yellow cake recipe equally divided between two 6-inch round cake pans.

Cookie Crisp Naked Cake!

Peaking out just a little bit is the frosting that I used between the layers… cookie dough frosting!  This is a really subtle way to create a cookie dough flavored naked cake.  You could also make the layers themselves with chocolate chips and yellow or white cake.

Cookie Crisp Naked Cake!

For the embellishment around the cake I used Cookie Crisp cereal!  Talk about a flash from the past.  You knew it was a special occasion if you got this for breakfast!

You could also make mini chocolate chip cookies if you prefer.

Naked Fruit Cake!

I also prepared a Chocolate Naked Fruit Cake.  This is two recipes of chocolate cake divided between four 8-inch round cake pans.  For the sake of travel and TV, I chose to only use three of the four layers.  It just got to be too high with four.

Naked Fruit Cake!

I used white buttercream in between the layers and added grapes, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and a beautiful pear on top.

I sprinkled the cake with powdered sugar right before the segment.  And of course, using a rustic cake stand helps to create a rustic feel!

fruitnakedcake

To serve you may want to have a cut up pear on hand (as well as more of the other fruit) so that you can leave the decorative pear on the cake as long as possible.

Also, I love the idea of drizzling a fruit syrup over the cake right before serving.  Since fruit is a living thing, it will move and squish and leak wonderful fruit juices over the cake.  (which I love) If you want to incorporate that into the design the fruit syrup drizzle will help!

This is how the cakes looked a few minutes before the segment.  I ended up making it through the hour long drive with minimal damage, but you can see the frosting really seeped out of the bottom layer of the fruit cake.  I added a bit more fruit around that spot to try and cover up the mishap.

As I mentioned, RIGHT before I added the powdered sugar.  (which you can see in the actual segment)

See that pretty pink pastry bag in the back?  That is from Bakerella’s new line of products!!  I am super excited about her new line and have been so impressed with the quality if everything I have used so far.

Elizabeth Ries and iambaker.net!

Miss Elizabeth is going to have her first baby in just a few weeks! Such an exciting time.

If you want to check out my segment here it is!  Also… I cannot be held responsible for rogue cake decorating.  #justsayin #lookingatyouSteve

Are you local to Minnesota and have an idea that would be perfect for Twin Cities Live?  Just contact them here and let them know!
HOLIDAY GIFT BUYING ALERT!!!

SurpriseInsideCakesCoverSale

 

For a VERY limited time my new book Surprise Inside Cakes is over 90% off!!  As of today, Nov. 26th 2014, you can get it for $1.99!!!

HUGE SAVINGS!!  Also, you can choose to “Give as a Gift”.  You can pick the day the book is received (like Dec. 25th?) and the recipient will never know you purchased it for less than $2!

I Am Baker

christmas cookie sandwiches with wondra

As a baker there are two things that I value greatly:

1. Time

2. Quality ingredients

Holiday Cookies!

Sometimes, as much as it pains me, I have to set certain recipes off to the side because of the time involved.  This is never a fun choice because we all know that the care put into a recipe is often a direct correlation to the quality and flavor of that recipe.  I mean, cake mix cookies are fine in a pinch, but having a chocolate chip cookie from quality ingredients that took 48 hours to prepare is a magical thing.

Sugar cookies is one of those recipes that benefits greatly from ‘rest’.  Chilling in the fridge (anywhere from one hour to overnight!) is a line that is in practically every roll-out sugar cookie recipe.

Holiday Sugar Cookies!

I recently tried a new (to me) product in the world of baking.  It is called Wondra® and is from the folks over at Gold Medal Flour.

Wondra® Quick Mixing Flour has always been known as your go-to flour for extra- creamy, lump-free gravies and ultra-flaky and crispy pie crusts. Its lightness and easy mixing qualities have made it perfect as the dredging flour for fish and poultry. But new research behind the product has revealed a hidden quality that will take this product from the unsung hero of the kitchen to the holiday baking tool that everyone is talking about!

Holiday Sugar Cookies!

No chilling. No refrigerator time.  No down time.

Immediate sugar cookie gratification.

I decided to try it.  I prepared my dough with all room temperature ingredients and looked at it on my counter.

It took everything in me not to wrap it up and put it in the fridge!  But I didn’t.

I rolled it out immediately and started punching out cookies.  I put those un-chilled cookies right into the oven and backed away slowly, expecting the impending doom of unrecognizable blobs of crispy browned sugar cookie dough.

But… it didn’t happen.  They baked up beautifully!  The flavor and consistency was just like my go-to sugar cookie recipe.  And they held their shape quite quite well!

This product is nothing short of revolutionary for sugar cookie artists!

sugar cookies with wondra

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups Wondra Quick-Mixing Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheet. (or prepare as you prefer)
  3. Divide dough in half. Roll out first half 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured (with Wondra!) surface. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  4. Bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on wire rack.
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To make the sugar cookie sandwiches in this post, I used a very small cookie cutter and cut out the tree image before baking.

Christmas Sugar Cookies!

After baking allow cookies to cool slightly and sprinkle the cookies (with tree cut out) with sanding sugar or dusting powder. (I used red and green)

Place a solid cookie face down, fill with about 1 tablespoon of buttercream, then place cut out tree cookie on top.

You now have a perfectly festive, quick, easy and delicious Holiday Sugar Cookie Sandwich!

Holiday Sugar Cookies!

A few tips before using Wondra®:

Do not expect it to look and feel exactly like your traditional all-purpose flour.  Do expect it to work the same, if not better.

Do not be alarmed if your cookie “puffs up” while baking.  Do smile brightly when you remove it from the oven with it’s shape perfectly in tact.

Do not expect it to taste different.  Do expect it to taste delicious.

Do not waste one more second waiting on chilling dough or sticky dough or cookies that taste stale in 2 days.  Do use Wondra® and roll out beautiful dough that stays fresh longer!

This post brought to you by Gold Medal Flour and myself.  All recipe testing, opinions and images are my own.

I Am Baker

pumpkin rose cookies

Making things into roses is kinda my thing.  I have an Original Rose Cake, Neapolitan Rose Cookies and Red Velvet Rose Cookies.  I recently decided to re-vamp my Pumpkin & Brown Butter Sandwich Cookie’s and make them into rose cookies!

Which is kinda weird, I admit.  I mean, the correlation between roses and pumpkins is not exactly obvious.

Except here at iambaker! Then it’s like, da.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

I simply used my Homemade Spice Cake mix and added a can of store bought pumpkin puree.

The cookies are basically the same as the Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Buttercream, only I made then a tad fancier.

I’m so fancy.  You already know.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Just kidding.  That’s a song that I heard once by accident.  Think it was made for the young kids to listen to.

I am more of a worship music kinda gal.  And 80’s Hairbands, monster ballads and stuff.  Yup, I am weird.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Ok, back to these beauties.

Spice Cake Mix + 15 ounce can Pumpkin Puree + Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting =

AWESOME

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

To get the rose effect I placed (1/2 at a time) of the pumpkin cookie batter (it is thick) into a pastry bag with a Ateco 846 closed star tip. I then piped out rosettes onto a parchment lined baking sheet. These cookies do not spread, so whatever design you pipe out is what it will look like when done baking.

Allow to cool and pipe out a dollop of frosting onto one cookie, place another cookie on top, then take a bite!  Er, I mean, set aside and make another. Although I did take a lotta bites. They are kinda irresistible.

You can pair these with that fabulous Caramel Cream Cheese or feel free to use any fabulous cream cheese frosting recipe.  (Or the brown butter buttercream I have linked to above!)

I Am Baker

coffee sugar cookies

I was hanging out on Pinterest the other day and came across some Coffee Sugar Cookies.  Intrigued by the picture I clicked on the pin and low and behold… I made them!  Ha.  Talk about forgetfulness.  I think it’s post-pregnancy-i-have-five-children-and-nine-chickens-brain.

Coffee Sugar Cookies!

Seeing how horrible my original pictures were I decided to update the recipe and shoot some new shots.  Also, the idea of coffee sugar cookies seemed fabulous!  Two of my favorite things in one place.

Sugar + Coffee = Happiness Coma

Coffee Sugar Cookies!

 

 

However, I actually decreased the amount of coffee in the recipe.  You can see that the gorgeous flakes of caffeinated awesomeness are still thoroughly dispersed throughout.  There is more than enough to add a little spring to your step!

Which leads me to another alteration… I made it with decaffeinated grounds. I am still a nursing mom and in the slight chance that my kids might sneak one I figured it was for the best.  You can certainly opt for full caffeinated fun!

coffee sugar cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ground coffee (you can also use instant crystals or powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used kosher)

Instructions

  1. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. In a small bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, and coffee until fully incorporated.
  3. In separate bowl add together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Slowly add your egg mixture to the butter mixture until well combined. Slowly add flour mixture until fully combined, do not over beat.
  5. Chill this dough for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
  6. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Roll out dough on floured solid surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a circle cookie cutter, punch out circles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Allow cookies to cool completely before covering in any icing.
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Coffee Sugar Cookies with Pink Buttercream

 

Here is the thing with these cookies.  They are good, they live up to their name well.  But I actually prefer them when a few adaptations are made.  For instance, adding mounds of glorious pink buttercream frosting.  Cherry buttercream frosting to be exact.

The combination of the slightly bitter cookie with the subtle cherry frosting is kinda sorta totally awesome.

Then I took it one step further.

I made ice cream sandwiches.

Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches with Chocolate Ice Cream!

 

The ice cream was Double Chocolate Chunk and it was seriously amazing.  I keep trying to think of descriptive words and say things about how delicious they are and all I can think of is… amazing.

Double Chocolate Chunk Coffee Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Pretty sure I can officially retire from food blogging now.

Well, until the next crop of zucchini comes in.  Hello double chocolate zucchini cupcakes!

I Am Baker

Giant Sugar Cookies with Pink Buttercream

Somedays just call for obnoxiously big cookies covered in pink frosting and sprinkles.

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

 

I have been fighting the impending-winter-blues.  It’s almost a brain sabotage if you will.  The summer has been so lovely with so many blessings and so many adventures and I just can’t seem to enjoy the beauty in the moment, I have to go and dwell on winter coming.

Darn my silly tendencies and inability to just relish the moment!

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

 

Anyway, in a somewhat pathetic attempt to live in the moment and make amazing memories with my babies, I made these cookies.  Well, we made these cookies.  They (my sweet kiddos) are quite good at the art of sugar cookie dough, and even better at licking the spoon.

That is the true reward right?

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

 

I used my favorite (and seriously amazing) sugar cookie recipe and then a new recent love, this Cherry Frosting.

The combination is, it’s… well.

I need a moment.

Done.

It’s amazing.  I love it.  I want to eat all of it all the time ever.

And then head back to school for grammar lessons because, well, obvious.

Giant Sugar Cookies with Pink Buttercream

Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1-½ cup butter or 3 sticks(I use unsalted)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Cherry Buttercream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

    Cookies
  1. In a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in 3 eggs, the extracts and mix until just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to butter mixture and combine. (You can use a mixer or not, just depends on how strong you are.)
  4. I usually just mix ingredients until they are combined, if you over-mix this dough it will get tough.
  5. Put dough in some Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. (If your dough is sticky, add more flour, up to 1 cup.) When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. (325 for convection)
  6. Roll dough out, use a 4-inch round cookies cutter to cut out cookies, and bake for 6-8 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet. The cookies are better when slightly under-done, not golden around the edges.
  7. Cherry Buttercream
  8. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  9. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
  10. Top with Rainbow Sprinkles.
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Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

When I was a teenager I went to visit my aunt in Idaho and there was a bakery in the mall there that sold a cookie like this.  It was a sugar cookie with pink frosting.  I cannot remember the exact flavors, other than it was sweet and wonderful and brilliant.  I was trying to recreate that feeling and look, and just happened to recall that lovely pink cherry buttercream , so went with it.

I honestly had no intention of covering these in sprinkles, but it just seemed right.

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

Can sprinkles ever be wrong?

I Am Baker

Banoffee Pie

I have developed a newfound respect for all things U.K. lately, but most especially when it comes to food. The food traditions there date back much further than in the U.S., and it is fascinating to me how these recipes have been passed down for hundreds of years! Banoffee Pie! One specific recipe that seemed really interesting is the Banoffee Pie. A Banana + Toffee Pie! I had heard of a Banoffee Pie, but never experienced one.In my research, I would compare this pie to an American Apple pie in terms of adaptations. There are vast variations, modifications and differences in recipes. Each family seems to have a preferred style and texture that often varies from the next!

Banoffee Pie!Using a traditional base recipe, I simply modernized the look a bit by adding a (very American!) whipped cream swirl with sprinkles on top then drizzled in more caramel. I also used high-quality ingredients in my recipe, one of them being a Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar from Tate + Lyle®.

This made a huge difference in the flavor of my toffee pie, and had everyone begging for more. Upon looking into it more, I discovered that Tate+Lyle® Sugars has graced Britain’s finest tables, including those of royalty, making it an integral part of England’s epicurean history for over 130 years.

So basically this means the Queen and I are friends right? Since we are eating the same sugar and all. ;)

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 12 ounces fine shortbread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • Pie
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup Tate + Lyle® Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare 8-inch springform pan.
  2. Crust
  3. In a bowl, combine shortbread crumbs and 4 tbsps melted butter with a fork. Press mixture into springform pan.
  4. Pie
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup Tate + Lyle® Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar over a low heat, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Add the condensed milk and bring to a rapid boil for about a minute, stirring all the time for a thick golden caramel. (It took about 6 minutes for the mixture to come to a boil.) Spread the caramel over the base, cool and then chill for about 1 hour, until firm or until ready to serve.
  7. After pie has chilled, you can add the banana's. Slice banana's into 1/4 inch slices and place over the top of the pie. This can be done in concentric circles or just piled on, as the banana's will be covered with whipped cream.
  8. Whipped Cream
  9. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. (about 1 1/2 minutes) Beat in confectioners sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat.
  10. Place whipped cream in pastry bag and pipe out swirls onto the chilled pie, then cover in chocolate jimmies. (sprinkles)
  11. Drizzle with caramel sauce if desired.
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Banoffee Pie!

The final result of this dessert is nothing short of amazing.  That rich buttery toffee filling paired with the buttery shortbread crust then covered in the light and airy whipped topping is phenomenal.

 

Banoffee Pie!

I can completely understand why this dessert is so popular and has been for so long!

I Am Baker

chocolate zucchini cookies

Every now and then I get an idea for a recipe.  Usually it is simple as thinking about it, googling it, finding a previously published recipe, making it into my own, and getting on with my day.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

That was not the case with these cookies.  I really wanted to find a zucchini cookie that was not too ‘cakey’ and that actually had a significant amount of zucchini in it.  I wanted it to be full of deep, dark, rich chocolate.  And I could not find it anywhere!

And after quite a bit of testing (it all involved chocolate so I am definitely not complaining) I finally found a recipe we all loved!

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

It has three kinds of “chocolate.”  Cocoa, milk chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate.

The combination is pretty darn tasty.

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

Concerning chocolate chips in cookies, I have to share something that I have been doing lately.  Instead of adding all of the chocolate chips to the dough, I reserve a handful then add individual chips to the top before baking.  This helps people to identify what the cookies is should the chips not naturally be on the surface.

As you can see above, it is easy to see that there are two kinds of chips in the cookie!

triple chocolate zucchini cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or bittersweet)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (fine table salt)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup grated and drained zucchini

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt 2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate for 30 seconds. If chips are not melted, return to microwave in 10 second increments until mostly melted. Stir frequently. When melted, set aside.
  3. Using a grater, finely grate a medium sized zucchini. This should yield about 2 cups of zucchini. Place zucchini in a clean dish towel and squeeze vigorously, removing most of the liquid. You should now have about 1 cup of drained shredded zucchini. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Sift together with a whisk. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer, add in butter and sugars. Mix for about a minute, or until mixture is fully combined and starts to fluff.
  6. With stand mixer (or hand mixer) on low, add in egg and vanilla. Combine fully.
  7. Pour in melted chocolate and mix completely.
  8. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  9. Remove bowl from stand mixer (or remove beaters) and fold in zucchini and milk chocolate chips by hand.
  10. With an ice cream scoop (or large spoon) drop balls of dough onto cookie sheet, about 8 per sheet. Leave 2-inches between each ball of dough. (I did not flatten cookies at any point)
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
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One thing about zucchini recipes is people often refer to “small” or “medium” sized zucchini.  Since we tend to grow them huge around here, what exactly does that mean?  In my mind, a medium sized zucchini is about a foot long and has a larger girth than a golf ball.

I would consider a small zucchini (like what you buy in the grocery store) to be about 6-8 inches long and the girth of a half-dollar.

My preference in all zucchini consumption?  HUGE zucchini that rival baseball bats.  Not even kidding.

Also, I usually leave the skins ON, as I prefer for people to see the zucchini and know what they are in for.  If you want to be more ninja-like in your baking, simply peel the zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

These are one of the best cookies I have ever had, zucchini or not.  The depth of flavor is going to be heaven to any chocolate lover.  And the fact that there is so much zucchini in there makes you feel good about what you are eating.

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

If any of these cookies make it to day 2 or 3, be sure to pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds before nibbling.  (Love that you can see the milk chocolate and dark chocolate right next to each other in this picture!  I was mid-bite, but had to share)  There is something about the warm, oozing chocolate bits that make your eyes roll up in your head.

#trustme

I Am Baker

“marry me” cookies

I saw these delightful creations on the Cooking Channel website and knew I had to try them.  The official name is, “I want to Marry You Cookies” and they are from the genius mind of Melissa Stadler.

"marry me" cookies!  So good, they will propose!

 

Her recipe includes pretty much every favorite ingredient of mine.  Sugar, (da) brown sugar, oats, chocolate, white chocolate… I get happy just thinking about it.

And she is right, they are downright delicious!  What makes them amazing is her method; she uses one saucepan!  It’s quite inventive.

"marry me" cookies!

 

I think I was impatient and didn’t wait long enough during cooling times, so my cookies are a bit flatter than hers.  In all the pictures I have seen these cookies are puffed up and thick, so I will stress that you should follow the directions better than I did!

I also opted for a good quality semi-sweet chocolate chunk.  It really makes a difference in my opinion, as I love the deep rich cocoa flavor among the sweet (oh so sweet) sugary cookie dough.  You could even go more pure with your chocolate selection, and find something over 60% cacoa.

"marry me" cookies!

 

Then there is that white chocolate.  I love white chocolate with a passion in my soul, and what it brings to this cookie is nothing short of confection perfection.

“marry me” cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until melted, over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes. (Do not skip this step. You can also transfer the mixture to a different bowl so that it is no longer being heated from the pan.)
  3. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together with a spoon.
  5. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips.
  6. Chill dough until it is firm enough to be hand rolled, about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.
  9. While the dough is chilling, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden. (Do not overbake)
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Recipe just barely adapted from Cooking Channel.

"marry me" cookies!

 

Now, since I am already married, I will need to harness to power of these cooking into other notable pursuits.  Maybe convince a husband that my new home office is a little bit higher up on his honey-do list than he previously thought.

Or rewarding some thoughtful and well deserving kids.

 

"will you marry me" cookies!

Or even just for me, as a treat for making it through another week. ;)

I Am Baker

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Yesterday, three of my boys left.  My husband took our oldest and second oldest (Colton and Parker, respectively) to Canada fishing.  This is an annual trip for him, but the first ever for Parker.  Colton is already a veteran with one year under his belt!

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

As I mom I am torn when these events come up.  As a wife I get it, a hunter and fisherman is who I married.  I know Chad’s passion lies in the great outdoors and that for him, fishing and hunting is soul refreshing.  He is a true hunter/gatherer!  Him leaving for days and weeks at a time to pursue angling dreams is ok with me. (mostly, with five kids it come sometimes get tough alone)  Heck, I love that his passions are so rudimentary in their core.

But as a mom there is something entirely different going on.

Those are my babies, not being babies.

Those are my sweet angels, learning how to forage and survive in remote back country.

My babies, becoming men.

And I just don’t know if my heart can take it.

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

My tradition for the annual trip is that I make my Monster Cookies.  This is one of Chad’s favorite cookies, and the rest of the guys on the trip always seem to enjoy them too.  But this year I left the baking down to the very last minute (bad mom), as in I literally had 3 hours to get the cookies prepared, baking, cooled, and packaged for the trip.

So I asked them what flavors they wanted.  Chocolate Chip!  Peanut butter!

Ok.  I can do that.

Granted, I will be baking through a blurry haze with all my mommy-hood blubbering, but whatever.

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (I set my convection oven to 325) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Remove bowl from mixture and fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden.
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Recipe slightly adapted from bag of Guittard Chocolate Chips.

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

The kids loved the cookies and I hope every time they eat one they are reminded how much mom loves them.  I have plenty to keep me busy while they are gone, with a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a very precocious 5 year old princess-in-training.

But I sure will miss my babies.

So if someone can send me a large shipment of cheap wine and romantic comedies that would be great.  This is going to be a long week!