Hot Cocoa Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

DSC04043 hot cocoa

My daughter, McKenzie sent me this recipe and they are wonderful. They mixed up easily and looked great. They are rich and tasty, even though they are not so dark a chocolate because of using hot chocolate mix rather than cocoa powder.

Recipe By:




1¼  cups butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3¼ cups flour
4 packs hot chocolate mix (not sugar free)
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Marshmallow Bits,  * See Notes


1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

3. And eggs and vanilla. Blend well.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients, including hot chocolate mix.

5. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to wet ingredients.

6. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow bits.

7. Drop onto cookie sheets in 2 tablespoon balls.

8. Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for approximately five minutes before removing from cookie sheet.


* Original recipe says you can use mini marshmallows. If you do, they will turn out completely different. The Bits keep their integrity whereas mini marshmallows melt and caramelize. Both have their appeal but they are not equivalent. Unfortunately, the Bits are harder to find. Nob Hill and Lucky, the two grocery stores closest to us don’t carry them but I was able to find them at Safeway.

Chocolate Chipotle Cookies With Smoky Salted Caramel

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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Don’t bake these if you want a subtle, light cookie. These really get in your mouth. First, the flavors. Chocolate from lots of cocoa. Smoke from chipotles and smoky sea salt. Bight from chipotle and black pepper. Oh, and some cinnamon. Then, they are pretty sweet and quite salty. Don’t plan on eating more than one.

Recipe By:

Mercury News


8 sandwich cookies


1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour, 4.5 ounces
¾ cup sifted unsweetened high quality cocoa powder, 2.25 ounces
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (or ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika or cayenne)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs, chopped (optional)
1 cup cream
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of cream of tartar
½ teaspoon smoked or sea salt


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut parchment to fit baking sheet(s).

2. Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, chipotle, salt and pepper.

3. Using electric mixer, cream butter and 1 cup sugar for 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until blended.

4. Add dry ingredients and cocoa nibs. Beat on low speed just until incorporated. Don’t over mix.

5. Shape dough into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze dough for 10 minutes to firm. (I didn’t find this to be needed.)

6. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough ¼-inch thick. Using a cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are soft to the touch and no longer shiny, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

7. For caramel sauce: In small saucepan set over medium heat, reduce the cream to ¾ cup. Set aside.

8. In another small saucepan, combine sugar, water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil — do not stir — and cook until the caramel turns an amber color. (You can do this on high heat but just watch because the time from amber to burnt is very short.) Remove from heat.

9. Carefully add reduced cream and smoked salt, stirring until smooth. Cool completely.

10. To assemble: Place a dollop of caramel on a cookie. Top with a second cookie to form a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies.


Make sure to reduce the cream to at least ¾ cup. If the cream is too runny, the caramel will be, too, and they will be a mess. I even had to add some powdered sugar to them caramel one time to keep it from running out of the cookies.

Speculoos Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

A few years ago, our kids took us to eat Belgium waffles at Bruges Waffles & Frites in downtown Salt Lake City. One option to top the waffles was speculoos cookie butter. Every since that tasty introduction, speculoos cookie butter has been a part of our lives. When we first started to eat it, I had to order it online. Now, we can buy it at our local Nob Hill or Trader Joe’s. It is basically peanut butter made by grinding vegetable oil with crunchy speculoos cookies instead of peanuts. Here is a recipe to try to reproduce those spicy, crunchy cookies.


Recipe By: King Arthur Flour
Yield: 24-48


1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup toasted almond flour, or almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon aniseed powder
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg


1. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg. Mix until well blended.

3. Stir in the flour mixture.

4. Form the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.


5. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

6. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.

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7. Use any shape cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

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8. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets and freeze for at least 30 minutes. This helps the cookies retain their shape while baking.* See Notes.

9. Fifteen minutes before baking the cookies, heat the oven to 300°F.

10.  Bake the cookies for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re light gold around the edges. Remove them from the oven, and cool them right on the pan.


My baking sheets will not fit in my freezer. I have to place the cut-out dough on a plate covered with wax paper and place the plate in the freezer.


Hot Chocolate Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Kim. I have shared other recipes on this blog that I got from her and here is another good one. They are VERY rich and chocolatey. The marshmallow and piece of chocolate on top make them look really cool and they have a great texture. Fun cookies! Thanks, Kim!

Recipe By:

Adapted from Averie Cooks


½ cup unsalted butter
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½  teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces dark chocolate, diced into ½ -inch pieces
12 large marshmallows, cut in half


1. Heat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment or spray with cooking spray.

2. To a medium, microwave-safe bowl add butter and chocolate chips. Heat on high to melt for 1 minute. Stop to check and stir. Heat in 15-second bursts, stopping to stir after each burst, until chocolate has melted and can be stirred smooth. Allow melted chocolate mixture to stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

3. To a separate large bowl add brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed just until blended, about 1 minute.

4. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat on medium speed until just until combined, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Add cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed just until combined, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

6. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, form dough balls and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges and tops have just set, even if slightly undercooked and glossy in the center.

7. Remove baking sheet from oven, add 1 piece of dark chocolate to the center of each cookie, pushing down very slightly just so it breaks the surface and sinks down.

8. Place one marshmallow half on the top of each piece of chocolate on all the cookies, pushing down very slightly so the marshmallow adheres.

9. Return baking sheet to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or just until marshmallows have puffed; don’t let them brown and don’t over-bake. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.


Chocolatey? I made a triple batch for the ED so that was 36 ounces of chocolate chips as well as the ¾ cup cocoa and the chocolate on the top.

Black Dog Ginger Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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I got this recipe from my daughter-in-law, Elizabeth. My favorite ginger cookie, without a doubt, is the Taku Ginger Cookie. Takus are chewy whereas these are very dense and firm.  I twisted this recipe, as I so often do, by adding chocolate chips. That causes a complication in that the dough is already stiff and doesn’t flatten out very well. Filling it full of chocolate chips only makes them less likely to flatten out. They are really good! (But not at good as Taku Ginger Cookies.)

Recipe By:



½ cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1½ cups canola oil, divided
4 cups granulated sugar, divided
¾ cups molasses
3 eggs
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5¼ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
7 cups flour
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 350°.

2. Mix fresh ginger with ½ cup of the oil in a food processor until well-minced. Strain out the fiber and throw it away. Set aside the ginger-infused oil.

3. In a large mixing bowl blend 3 cups of sugar, molasses and eggs.

4. Add ginger oil plus the remaining 1 cup of oil to the egg mixture and blend until smooth.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and flour.

6. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and blend well.

7. Stir in chocolate chips.

7. Line  cookie sheets with parchment paper.

8. Scoop the cookie dough into 2 tablespoon balls and roll in the reserved 1 cup of granulated sugar.

9. Place on prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 8-12 minutes. About half way through, remove them quickly from the oven and flatten each ball with the buttered bottom of a drinking glass, dipping it into sugar between each flattening, the return quickly to the oven to finish baking. Bake just until the tops crack and the cookies are flat. They will look raw even after 10 minutes even though they are golden brown. They will stiffen up. The original recipe calls for you to drop the baking sheet onto the counter three times as you take them out of the oven, so they flatten even more.

10. Cool completely on wire racks.

Lemon Poppy Seed Sandwich Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies


You better like lemon poppy seed if you are going to make these. And be ready with your ingredients. I made a quadruple batch for the emergency department and it took THREE bottles of lemon extract! As is usually the case with good sandwich cookies, the filling really makes them.

Recipe Adapted From:




For the cookies:

½  cup butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1¼ cups flour
½ cup cornmeal

For the lemon butter cream frosting:

½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Yellow food coloring, optional
1½ cups powdered sugar,  * SEE NOTE


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Set aside.

2. In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Add egg and extracts. Beat on medium speed until combined.

4. Combine baking powder, salt, poppy seeds flour and cornmeal.

5. Stir into butter mixture, just until combined.

6. Scoop tablespoons of dough into balls and place on cookie sheets at least 1.5″ apart. Flatted with the bottom of a drinking glass that has been buttered and dipped into sugar, redipping the glass bottom back into the sugar before flattening the next ball.

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7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.


8. While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting.

9. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.

10. Add salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract and food coloring. Beat until combined.

11. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar.

12. Frost the bottoms of half of the cookies. Cover the frosting by pressing with the bottoms of the other cookies, forming sandwiches.DSC03955



I like to sift the powdered sugar when I make frosting.

Peanut Butter Spice Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Our daughter and son-in-law live in Jacksonville, Florida. He sent me this recipe, which he found in a local food magazine. What caught his attention was that it calls for NO flour. Flourless chocolate cake I have made but, other than macaroons, I think these are the first cookies I have made with no flour. They are dense and the spice is quite subtle. Dr. Alvarez said these were his favorites, so far, after the ube cookies I made at his recommendation.

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Adapted from


1¼ cups white sugar
2¼ cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
3½ cups peanut butter
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla


1. In a bowl, mix together sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Set aside.

2. In a standing mixer, beat peanut butter and sugar mixture on low speed until just combined.

3. Combine eggs and vanilla. Mix into peanut butter mixture until just combined, about 15 seconds. Do not over mix. If oils start to leak from the peanut butter, the cookies will not bake properly.

4. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, form dough into balls. Flatten balls to ½-inch-thick and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Freeze the cookies for at least 45 minutes before baking.* SEE NOTES

5. Bake at 325° for about 16–20 minutes, until golden brown but still slightly shiny in middle.** SEE NOTES


* I baked them frozen and not frozen and I don’t understand why they said you need to freeze them. I thought they were good both ways.

** I baked them for at least 20 minutes, especially if they were frozen.


Almost Cherry Garcia Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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Using a name like “Cherry Garcia” will always catch your attention and I am sure raises expectations. Obviously, these cookies are not anything like the famous ice cream (which is my favorite,) but they are good. I had to look all over for cherry brandy. I finally found “cherry-flavored brandy,” at BevMo. I am not sure but I am suspicious this is like imitation cherry brandy. Since I know nothing about booze, I am not sure. If you are not up to looking all over town, I am sure they would be good with just regular cherries. I would probably skip the softening in boiling water, as well, to give the cherries more character in the cookies. I like chewy dried cherries in my cookies.

Recipe By:




1 cup dried sour cherries
1/3 cup cherry brandy
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
¾ cup coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts (optional)


1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Plump dried cherries by soaking them in boiling water to cover for a couple of minutes. Drain well and toss with cherry brandy.

3. Let cherries sit in brandy for a couple of hours, or even overnight for the best flavor. Drain before using.

4. Cream butter with both sugars.

5. Blend in egg, vanilla and almond extracts.

6. Fold in salt, baking soda and flour.

7. Fold in cherries, chocolates and nuts.

8. Drop in 2-tablespoon balls onto baking sheets.

9. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 12-14 minutes.

10. Cool on racks.

Mango-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

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My daughter-in-law, Elizabeth forwarded this recipe to me. It is not a cheap recipe to make. I used two bottles or macadamia nuts and a big, Costco-sized bag of mangos to make a triple batch for the emergency department. So, they are not for just any cookie craving but they are wonderful for a special event.

Recipe By:

Earthbound Farms via Elizabeth




½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup white chips
1 cup dried mangos, diced
¾ cup salted macadamia nuts, chopped


1. Position rack in the middle of the oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, brown and white sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

5.  Add flour mixture to the egg-sugar mixture, mixing on low speed just until combined.

6.  Stir in chips, mango, and nuts.

7.  Form dough into 2-tablespoon balls. Arrange 12 on each baking sheet with at least 1-1/2 inches between them. Bake until just golden, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets.


Cajeta Thumb Print Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies


When I lived in Mexico, I learned to like cajeta. It is basically caramelized goat’s milk. It comes in various flavors in bottles and can be used like our caramel sauce. Dulce de leche (sweet of milk) is all the rage in flavors now, so no big surprise, I came across a Dulce de Leche Cookie recipe. Rather than make my own dulce de leche, I bought some cajeta from our local Mexican market.

The cookie is just a basic shortbread cookie and super simple to make. The work is in the steps of thumb printing, putting in the cajeta and piping the chocolate.

Recipe adapted from:

Melissa’s Cuisine


1½  cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3⅓ cups flour
1½ cups cajeta or dulce de leche, * SEE NOTE
½ cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter


1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.

2. Slowly mix in flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl.

3. Roll dough into 2-tablespoon balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Using your thumb,** press the center of the ball to create an indentation.

4. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, until the edges of the cookie are golden brown. The cookies will have risen slightly, so re-press the indentations if needed. Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.

5. Spoon some dulce de leche into each thumbprint.***  Melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave and stir until smooth. Scoop into a pastry bag and drizzle on top of the cookies.



* Here is a link for various ways to make dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk.

**I used a cork that was just the right size to make my indentations.

*** Shari was helping me make these. She recommended that we put each cookie, after placing the cajeta, in the microwave for a few seconds until the cajeta flattened and smoothed out a bit. It made them look a lot better.

Copyright © 2014 Bad Tad, MD