Rudolph’s Cranberry Snapz

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies













I am not sure how I came across this recipe. Don’t make them if you are in a hurry. You need to have some time but they are well worth it. They would be a great cookie to show off at a holiday party.

Recipe By:


¼ cup orange juice
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup caramel topping
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup pecans, chopped finely
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped finely
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 2/3 cups flour, 16.5 ounces
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger


1. Pecan Topping: Combine 1 cup cranberries, 1 cup pecans, sour cream and caramel topping. Set aside.

2. Orange Glaze: In a mixing bowl, stir together powdered sugar and cup orange juice. Set aside.

3. Heat oven to 350°F.

4. Beat brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs, 1 cup cranberries, ginger, orange peel and vanilla. Beat until combined.

5. In medium bowl combine flour, pecans, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and salt.

6. Gradually beat flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until well combined.

7.  Drop 1 tablespoon balls of dough about 4 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lines with baking parchment. Flatten slightly, making and indentation in the center.

8. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pecan topping onto the center of each unbaked cookie.

9. Bake 12-13 min.

10. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

11. Drizzle with orange glaze.


These were a little complicated to make but are FABULOUS! Shari says the flavors remind her of the holidays.

Who the heck was Rudolph, any way?





Ranger Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









An unusual cookie ingredient will always catch my eye. Prunes caught my eye here. I have eaten cookies my mother made with prunes to take the place of butter and eggs but I never enjoyed them very much. These have the prunes for sweetness and moistness but are good because they still have the eggs and butter. They are more cake-like than most of the cookies I like but they are different and fun.

Recipe By:

San Jose Mercury News


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups pitted prunes, chopped
9 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
¾ cup raisins


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Sift together 2 cups flour, soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3. Place 2 tablespoons flour and prunes in food processor. Process until finely chopped. It will turn into a pasty mess. Set aside.

4. Beat together butter and brown sugar.

5. Beat in egg.

6. Beat in molasses.

7. Mix in prune mixture.

8. Mix in flour mixture.

9. Mix in raisins.

10. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Don’t over-bake them. Keep them on the soft side.


Chocolate Malted Whopper Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









I like malt and have tried several cookies with “malt” in the title and ingredients. Most of them are not really malty enough for me. These are pretty malty and fun to make and eat. Don’t cut the Whoppers too finely or you will loose the crunch.



1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 8 ounces
1 cup malted milk powder
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups chocolate-covered malted milk balls, coarsely chopped
2 cups chocolate chips


1. Position oven racks to divide the oven into thirds. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon mats.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until very smooth, about 3 minutes.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.

5. Beat in vanilla. Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. It will smooth out once the dry ingredients are added.

6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add half the dry ingredients, mixing until they just disappear into the batter.

7. Mix in milk, then remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will resemble frosting more than cookie dough.

8. With the mixer on low mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate chips.

7. With the mixer on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate pieces.

8. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on to baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between spoonfuls.

9. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes. When done, the cookies will be puffed and set slightly but soft to the touch.

10. Let cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to the racks to cool to room temperature.

11. Repeat with remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.


Though it is a pain, I have found that cutting each Whopper separately makes the cookies a lot better as they are crunchier. I cut each one in half and maybe in half again, depending on the way they crumble, so the pieces are about 1/3 to ¼ the size of the whole Whopper.


Apple Butter Cookies with Penuche Frosting

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









I found this in a little grocery-store recipe book called Home-Tested Cookie Recipes. When I Googled the recipe name, I found the same recipe all over. My dad makes penuche (he spells it panoche) and dips it in milk chocolate. It is one of my favorite candies so no big surprise I liked these cookies. I made them with some super tangy apple butter. We made it from little green apples we picked from a tree at the inn where we stayed in Downieville, California when I went mountain biking there in 2006. The cookies are a bit soft. We made some of them into whoopie pies*.


½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cup all-purpose flour, 9 ounces
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup cream or half-and-half
1 ½ to 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar


Heat Oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

Beat white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter until creamy.

Add apple butter, vanilla and egg. Beat until light and fluffy.

Add flour mixture. Beat again until well combined.

Stir in nuts.

Drop by tablespoons 2-inches apart onto sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Put on wire rack to cool. Frost with Penuche icing.


Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup brown sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes (mixture will begin to harden).

Add cream and stir until smooth.

Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Ice cookies. You can put icing on the bottom of one cookie and press the bottom of another on top to form a whoopie pie*.


I used pecans rather than walnuts because I always replace walnuts with pecans.

I just used milk in the icing. I am sure it would be creamier with cream or half-and-half but milk was just fine for me.


Sambuca Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









I am always interested in a strange ingredient for a cookie. What could sound weirder  in a cookie than anise flavored liqueur? The chocolate is intense and they do taste like licorice so not everyone will like these but I do and they are certainly different. And they are beautiful.


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
24 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Sambuca or other anise-flavored liqueur
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar


  1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate with butter in double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Lightly whisk together eggs, walnuts, Sambuca and granulated sugar in another bowl. Stir in flour mixture and chocolate. Dough will be thin. Chill, covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 350°F.
  5. Sift confectioners sugar onto a plate. Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll balls in confectioners sugar to generously coat.
  6. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-covered baking sheets and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until puffed and cracked but centers are still a bit soft, 10 to 12 minutes total.
  7. Transfer to racks to cool.


I used pecans and they were great.
If you leave the dough in the refrigerator too long, it will be quite firm and difficult to scoop with cookie scoop.


Cardamom Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

My mother-in-law has a cookbook called Bill Taylor Makes Desserts. I have tried several of his cookie recipes and this is the best and most interesting.

I have not used a lot of cardamom. In fact, when I found this recipe and decided to try it, I went looking in the cupboard for cardamom. Sure enough, I found a bottle which my wife and I figured we probably had since we were married over thirty years ago. I threw it away and bought a new bottle.

The combination of cardamom, coconut and dates makes for a pretty exotic taste.

Mr. Taylor uses a lot of shortening, rather than butter, in his cookies. I tried to “improve” these by making them with butter and they were worse. He also admits to using a lot of pecans in his recipes. I usually leave the nuts out if they are called for but when I did so in this recipe, they were not nearly as good. Bill got this one right!


1 ½ cups shortening
2 ¼ cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons vanilla
1 ½ cups dates, chopped
3 cups flour, 13.5 ounces
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cardamom
1 ½ cups shredded coconut
¾ cup rolled oats
2 ¼ cups pecans, chopped
4 ½ cups chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in dates. Let set a few minutes to allow dates to soften.

3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cardamom.

4. Stir flour mixture into shortening mixture until just combined.

5. Stir in coconut, oats, nuts and chocolate chips.

6. Form on balls on parchment-lined baking sheets.

7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until just brown around the edges and on the bottom.

Totally Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Recipe By:

We were invited to an open house by our friends, Tammy and Alex. We went to offer best wishes to their daughter, Ashley, before she left to do missionary work in Moscow. There, we had these cookies, which were made by their friend, Nigella Lawson. They were so good, I insisted they get me the recipe. These are very rich and decadent.

Serving Size:



4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup flour, 2.25 ounces

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg, cold

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Gently melt bittersweet chocolate and butter over double boiler or in microwave. Set aside.

3. Mix dry ingredients in bowl of electric mixer.

4. Stir in egg and vanilla.

5. Stir in butter/chocolate mixture.

6. Stir in chocolate chips.

7. Form into 2 tablespoon-sized balls and place on baking sheets covered in parchment paper.

8. Bake for about 18 minutes.


1.  I have baked them at 325 degrees in the middle of my oven for 18 minutes and they were great. I also baked them at 300 degrees on convection for 18 minutes as well. Every oven is different so you have to be careful, especially in chocolate cookies where you can’t use the color as a guide to prevent over-cooking. Don’t over cook them!

2. They are amazing with Breyer’s Natural Vanilla ice cream and Mrs. Richards caramel sauce. Just killer.

3. If you want to back off on the chocolate a bit, you can use semi-sweet chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The cookies are not as dark, of course, and don’t compromise much on the texture.

Speculoos Spread Chocolate Chip Cookies‬

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

I only recently learned about Speculoos. We went to Bruges Waffles and Frites* in Salt Lake City for breakfast. One of the options is Speculoos and crème fraiche on your waffle. It was so good, I had to get some at home. I found it online at The Belgium Shop.** I have subsequently seen it at Trader Joe’s.

My daughter-in-law came across this recipe online*** and forwarded it to me so I tried it right away.

Speculoos is a kind of crispy cookie made in the Netherlands. They grind the cookies up and mix them with something to make a spread that looks a lot like peanut butter. These are good but you have to spread a generous amount of Speculoos on the cookies to make them really interesting.

The irony fails to escape me: grinding cookies into a paste to be used to make cookies.


2 dozen cookies


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup Speculoos spread

1 cup chocolate chips

Additional Speculoos for filling


Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla and ½ cup Speculoos.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix just until incorporated.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, drop about 2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the parchment paper.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, make sandwich cookies by spooning more Speculoos in between two cookies. (Highly recommended.)






Troops Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

I like recipes that are simple and different and produce a great product. This recipe satisfies all three. The original recipe didn’t call for vanilla or chocolate chips but I think they are a great addition.




Recipe By:

San Jose Mercury News

Serving Size:



3 cups regular oats

3 cups all purpose flour

3 cups sugar

2 cups shredded coconut

1 ¾ cups butter

6 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

3 tablespoons boiling water

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 cups chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut. (I put them right in my Kitchenaid.)

3. Set aside.

4. Combine butter and corn syrup in saucepan.

5. Gently heat until butter melts. Set aside.

6. Mix soda in boiling water.

7. Stir soda mixture into butter mixture.

8. Stir vanilla into butter mixture.

9. Combine flour and butter mixtures.

10. Stir in chocolate chips. Watch out as they don’t mix well and tend to drop to the bottom of the pan. I usually just pour the dough out on the counter top to make sure the chocolate chips are distributed evenly in the dough as I form the balls.

11. Bake about 20 minutes until bottoms and edges just turn brown.


These have the most fabulous chew!


Mocha (Coco)Nut Butterballs

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

These sound a lot like those Mexican Wedding Cookies (which I don’t like)  so the recipe made me nervous but they really are good.



1 dozen cookies


1 cup butter, softened

½ cup white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 8 ounces

1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans or shredded coconut

Powdered sugar


Heat oven to 325°F. Place rack in middle position.

Combine butter, white sugar, vanilla extract, instant coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix well.

Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing after each addition.

Stir in the nuts or coconut and make sure everything is evenly distributed.

Use a 2 tablespoon scooper to form balls. Place them on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for about 12 minutes, until they are set. Do not over bake!

Move the cookies to a wire rack.  Let them cool completely.

When completely cool, dip in powdered sugar to coat.

Copyright © 2014 Bad Tad, MD