Salted Halvah Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Our daughter, Hilary, gave us a mid-eastern cook book for Christmas. This recipe was in that book and, with the unusual ingredients of tahini and halvah, we just had to make them. Our grandson, Hunter flattened them out with the bottom of a glass and our granddaughter, Pippa pressed the halvah into the tops of the cookies. They came out very tasty, kind of like peanut butter cookies but different.

Recipe By:

Eating  Out  Loud

Yield:

12

Ingredients:

1⅓  cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup salted butter, at room temperature
  cup tahini paste
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
½ cup small chunks of halvah, (see Note)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the butter, tahini, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add half the flour mixture, and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix to combine, scraping down the sides with a spatula, if necessary.

5. Use a spoon or spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least hour or overnight. (You can actually do this up to a week in advance!)

7. Heat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

8. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scooper, form dough into balls. Place the cough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Push down a little on each ball to flatten it slightly. Place a couple little pieces of halvah on top of each cookie and gently press them into the dough. Sprinkle with the sea salt.

9. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes:

The author says that if you can’t find halvah, you can mix together 2 tablespoons of tahini with 2 tablespoons of honey. After you’ve flattened the cookies on the baking sheet, press small dents into each cookie and spread about a teaspoon of the mixture on each cookie. Finish with the sea salt. I can’t say how this would turn out but the melted halvah was the best part of the cookie, in my opinion. It was easy to get both the tahini and halvah on line:

 

Peanut Butter-Miso Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies


Shari and I went to Carlsbad for a week during Covid-19. McKenzie had this recipe and invited me to help her whip them up. They are lovely cookies to look at. The texture was nice but the flavor a bit nondescript. The chocolate drizzle fixed that!

Recipe by:

New York Times Cooking

Yield:

18

Ingredients:

  cups all-purpose flour, 225 grams
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon baking powder
½  cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup 1 cup (220 grams) light brown sugar, 220 grams
½  cup granulated sugar, 100 grams
  cup white miso paste
¼  cup chunky peanut butter
1 large egg
  teaspoons vanilla extract
½  cup Demerara sugar, *see notes

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder, and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3. Add miso and peanut butter to the mixing bowl, and continue to mix at medium speed, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated, and mix a bit more if needed. Add egg and vanilla extract, and mix until just combined.

4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, and mix on low speed until flour mixture is incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour mixture in two batches until all of it is incorporated.

5. Place 1/2 cup Demerara sugar into a small bowl. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out a ball. Drop the piece of dough into the bowl of Demerara sugar and turn to coat. Transfer each ball to a parchment-lined baking sheet, arranging them about 3 inches apart. Repeat with all of the dough.

6. Refrigerate for 2 hours and up to overnight. (Even 15 minutes of refrigerator time will help the dough firm up, and the flavors meld. The longer the dough is refrigerated, the more mellow the flavors will be.)

7. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, until crisp at the edges and slightly puffed in the middle. They should still be a bit underdone in the center. Pull out the baking sheet and hit it against a counter. Place back into the oven to finish for about 3 to 4 minutes. When cookies are firm at the edges and slightly puffed in the center, pull them out and again hit the baking sheet against the counter. The cookies should appear flat and crinkly at the center. **see notes

8. Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes:

* I use Sprinkle King Con AA White Coarse Sugar from supplyvillage.com.

** I found that, cooked this way, they were overdone. I skipped both the counter banging and the second trip to the oven and they turned out great.

***As McKenzie and I were making these, the idea came up to put some chocolate on them. She melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips, stirred in some coconut oil then drizzled it over them. A great improvement in these interesting cookies!

Chocolate Thumbprints with Caramel and Sea Salt

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

These are more complicated to make than a lot of cookies but they came out striking looking and are delicious.

Recipe By:

Sunset

Yield:

12

Ingredients:

COOKIES
1 cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sparkling sugar or powdered sugar for rolling, or just leave plain

CARAMEL* see notes
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tbsp.-size chunks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus about 1/2 tsp. for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Make cookies: Heat oven to 350°.

2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

3. In another bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.

4. Reduce speed to low and add egg yolk, cream, and vanilla.

5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

6. Scoop dough into rounded 2-tablespoon portions and roll into balls. Roll balls in sparkling or powdered sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

 

7. With end of a thick-handled wooden spoon, gently press an indentation into center of each cookie. (I use a cork that we have had in our kitchen for years. I don’t think it has any other reason than to make thumbprint cookies.)

8. Bake until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes. (The depressions tend to fill in a bit as they bake, so as soon as they’re out of the oven, give them another press with the spoon if necessary.) Slide parchment with cookies onto cooling racks and let cool. If you’ve used powdered sugar, sift a little more onto the cookies.

9. Make caramel: Put granulated sugar in a large nonstick frying pan; spread evenly. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps but eventually will melt and turn into a dark, amber-colored liquid, about 6 minutes.

10. As soon as it’s liquefied, reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in butter until incorporated.

11. Stirring constantly, drizzle in cream. Boil 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Scrape into a bowl and let cool completely.

12. Assemble cookies: Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel into each cookie. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt.

Notes:

You’ll have more caramel than you need, but that’s never a bad thing–it’s great on ice cream. Don’t be tempted to cook a half-batch of caramel, as it won’t cook right and will seize up.

I used the Peter’s Caramel block I had in the cupboard. Shari shaped a 12-gram discs of caramel for each cookie. Three minutes before they were to be cooked, I took the baking sheet out of the oven, placed a caramel disc on each cookie then returned them to the oven to finish cooking. I sprinkled the sea salt on when they came out.

Coconut-Oat Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Sometimes, people in the emergency department would ask me to make eggs-free cookies. Other than coconut macaroons, it was hard to come up with something for them. Here is an egg-free cookie that is lovely to look at and delicious to eat.

Recipe By:

Food Network.com

Ingredients:

1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
½ cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon pure coconut extract
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used more)

Directions:

1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350˚ F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Toast the coconut in the oven or on the stove top until browned but not burned. Combine 1/2 cup coconut flakes with the granulated sugar in a blender and process until the sugar is finely ground and the coconut is in very small pieces. Set aside.

3.  Put the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Let cool slightly.

4. Stir in the coconut-sugar mixture, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and coconut extract. Then stir in the oats. Add the flour and ½ cup coconut flakes and stir to combine.

5. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough and gently shape into 2-tablespoon balls. Arrange about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edges and the centers are puffy, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool 3 to 5 minutes on the pans, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

6. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small resealable plastic bag and snip a corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies, then sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Let the chocolate set, 10 to 15 minutes.

Cheesecake-Stuffed Snickerdoodles

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

 

As I worked to seal these big blobs of cheesecake filling between the cookie dough discs, I thought they would never survive baking. I was sure they would be a huge mess but I was so wrong. They baked perfectly round with a wonderful filling. I also thought the graham cracker crumbs was a great idea. I am going to try them in my regular snickerdoodle.

Recipe By:

Food Network.com

Yield:

12

Ingredients:

Cheesecake Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Generous pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie Dough
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup honey graham cracker crumbs
4 ounces softened butter
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg

Coating
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup honey-graham cracker crumbs
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. To make the cheesecake filling, using the bowl of your stand mixer, add all of the ingredients and blend on low to combine. Scrape the bowl and beater and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Portion the cream cheese mixture onto a parchment-lined plate in heaping tablespoon portions, making 12 scoops total. Freeze at least one hour. (I had to keep the balls in the freezer and take them out only one at a time as I stuffed the cookies. They really need to stay frozen.)

2. To make the cookies, using a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and graham cracker crumbs and set aside.

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix on low to combine. Raise the mixer to medium speed and beat until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat the mixture for another few seconds.

4. Beat the egg into the sugar mixture, mixing on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.

5. Add the flour and graham mixture to the mixer bowl and mix on low until combined.

6. Portion the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet in heaping tablespoon portions, making 24 scoops total. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

7. Make the graham cinnamon sugar by combining all ingredients in a small bowl.

8. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line two half-sheet pans with parchment.

9. Take one cookie dough portion and flatten it in your hands into a 2-inch disk.

10. Place a frozen portion of cream cheese on top.

11. Top with another portion of cookie dough, pinching the edges of the dough together to encase the cream cheese. Roll the dough in your palms slightly, and then roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 12 filled cookie dough portions. Roll all portions of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar and then place 6 dough balls on each half-sheet pan. Don’t flatten the dough balls. Bake until puffed and golden around the edges, turning the pans about halfway through baking, about 17-18 minutes. Cool and enjoy! (I usually enjoy cookies best right our of the oven but these really do need to cool before being eaten.)

Butter Brickle Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Made these for Covid-19 indulgence. The recipe didn’t call for the chocolate chips but I would certainly add them. They were rich and tasty.

Ingredients:

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces toffee bits
12 ounces chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

3. In your mixer, cream butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Mis in sugars and vanilla.

5. Stir in eggs.

6. Gradually mix in flour mixture until incorporated.

7. Fold in toffee bits and chocolate chips.

8. Drop by 2 tablespoon balls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

9. Bake 9-11 minutes or until slightly brown. Cool on wire racks.

Baltimore Berger Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

I was in the mood for something chocolatey to get my mind off of Covid-19 so I had Hunter and Pippa come over and help me make them. Given the need to ice them with lots of chocolate icing, they didn’t really make too much of a mess and we had a great time.

 

Recipe By:

King Arthur Flour

Yield:

24

Ingredients:

Cookies
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup milk

Icing
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line with parchment paper two baking sheets.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder.

3. Beat in the sugar, then the egg.

4. Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter.

5. Using a spoon or a tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. The balls of dough should be about 1 1/4″ in diameter. Flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 1 1/2″ across; wet your fingers or a knife, or grease the buttered bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to do this. Leave 2″ to 2 1/2″ between each cookie, for expansion.

6. Bake the cookies for about 10 to 11 minutes, or until they’re a mottled brown on the bottom (carefully tilt one up to look), but not colored on top. You may see the barest hint of browning around the edges, but these cookies are supposed to be soft and cake-like, so don’t over-bake them. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan as you make the frosting.

7. To make the icing: Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup, vanilla, and cream into a large microwave-safe bowl, or into a large saucepan.

8. Heat the mixture until it’s very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.

9. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Let cool to warm room temperature while you make the cookies. Dip the top of each cookie into the warm icing; swirl the cookie around to really give it a good coating. Set the cookies back on the baking sheet.

10. Spread the remaining icing evenly atop the cookies. If it’s too soft and flows off the cookies, let it set a bit, until it’s firmer. It’ll feel like you’re piling on a lot of icing; that’s precisely the point!

11. Allow the icing to set completely, then store the cookies airtight in a single layer.

Baltimore Berger

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

 

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these during Covid-19 lock down.  I usually translate all the measurements in recipes from Great Britain into American but I found the recipe to be enjoyable as it is so I am just saving it pretty much like he wrote it.

Recipe By:

The Boy Who Bakes

Yield:

24

Ingredients:

225 g unsalted butter, diced
380 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
220 g caster sugar
220 g light brown sugar
3 large egg yolks
240 g sourdough starter discard (100% hydration)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions:

To make the cookies we first need to brown the butter. Don’t be tempted to skip this because this isn’t just done for flavour it also removes the water content from the butter which is being replaced by the starter, if you skip this step the resulting recipe will have a very different texture. Place the butter into a saucepan and over medium/high heat cook until the butter melts, bubbles and then foams. Keep a close eye on it as it can burn quickly, when the milk solids have browned the water will have been evaporated off so remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes or so, to cool slightly. Once browned you should have 185g unsalted butter left (that’s if using butter with an 82% fat content).

Whilst the butter is browning, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and whisk together to combine. When ready to make the cookies place the butter and sugars into a large bowl and using an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk for a couple minutes to combine and to break up any lumps.

Add the egg yolks and whisk for 2-3 minutes on medium/high. Don’t worry if this looks separated or greasy at the moment, it will come together once we’ve added the starter.

Place the bowl on your scale and measure in the required sourdough discard, adding the vanilla as well.

Mix in for a few minutes or until the mixture becomes smooth and fully combined, it should look a little like a thick cake batter.

Add in the flour mixture and mix in on low speed, just until everything comes together as a dough.

Finally, switch to the paddle attachment and add the chocolate, mixing briefly until evenly distributed. Press a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface of the cookie dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before baking (my preferred time frame to bake these is between 4-24 hours). When ready to bake preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) and line a couple baking trays with parchment paper. Roll the cookies into balls roughly 70g in size, placing 6 per baking tray, with plenty of space between each one as these will spread. Sprinkle the cookies with a little flaked sea salt.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 16-18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the outside. If the cookies come out a little puffy looking give the baking tray and firm tap on the counter to help them flatten a little. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Stored in a sealed container these will keep for 4-5 days. You can also freeze these balls of cookie dough for up to a month, baking straight from frozen with just a minute or two of extra bake time.

Notes:

Note: With my regular cookie recipes I will leave the dough in the fridge for up to three days but with these remember that even though the discard may be less active than your usual starter you are adding sourdough to fresh flour so overtime the dough will ferment a little more, so the longer you leave the dough the stronger the finished flavour.

Once the dough is chilled and you’ve rolled them into balls you can freeze these for up to a month. To freeze place the balls onto a parchment lined baking tray that will fit in the freezer. Freeze the cookies until frozen solid, at this point the cookies won’t stick together so you can add them to a freezer bag or Tupperware to save on space.

For the chocolate I normally like a high-quality dark chocolate but you can really use whatever you have, be that a milk or dark, bars, chips or wafers. Each one will make a slightly different cookie with different textures and tastes but they’ll all be great.

Big Chewy Brownie Cookies with Dried Cherries and White Chocolate Chips

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

Recipe By: The Mom 100

Summary:

First made during Covid-19 shut down.

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups sugar, more for flattening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup roughly chopped dried cherries

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.

2. Over double boiler, melt butter, unsweetened and semisweet chocolates, stirring frequently, just until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

3. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4. In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until creamy and yellow, about 1 minute.

5. With mixer on low speed, blend in flour mixture, in a few batches, until just combined.

6. Beat in chocolate mixture until smooth. The batter will be very thick.

7. Stir in white chocolate chips and dried cherries.

8. Scoop out two-tablespoon balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet.

9. Butter the bottom of a drinking glass. Dip it in sugar. Flatten a dough ball. Re-dip glass before flattening each of the other balls.

10. Bake about 13 minutes until tops are crackly and edges are set.

11. Remove from oven and let sit for one minute on baking sheet (the cookies will sink slightly), then transfer to a wire rack.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

banana chocolate chiip

This recipe was marked “vegan.” I changed oil to butter and threw in an egg. They also had to be cooked way longer than one would expect, maybe because of the water in the banana. I picked this recipe because I had one banana that I needed to use of put in the freezer for future use.

Recipe By:

Adapted from: NYT Cooking

Yield:

16

Ingredients:

1 very ripe medium banana
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, of course)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment.

2. In mixing bowl, mash banana well. Add butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix well.

3. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

4. Stir in oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix well, making sure oats are well moistened.

5. Use cookie scoop to form into 2 tablespoon balls. Butter the bottom of a drinking glass. Dip buttered bottom into sugar. Flatten balls somewhat. Redip in sugar before each ball. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.

6. Bake until lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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