Category Archives: Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, so I have a terrible habit of starting things and then not following through. I’m going to go ahead and say that my lapse in posting is not because I haven’t been making food (and even taking pictures!) but my routine got interrupted back in March by going on vacation and then having visitors come. I am nothing if not a slave to routine.

Anyway, despite having made some delicious things and even taken pictures of them, I’m not going to backtrack because I’m not excited about those things anymore. Instead, I really want to share with you my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Now, the recipe is actually for soft-baked white chocolate cranberry cookies from SallysBakingAddiction.com, which is also a great recipe. But the first time I made these, I discovered that I had found my version of a perfect cookie base. And trust me, I have tried many, many, many chocolate chip cookie recipes. I spent a few years in college trying and failing at making the most basic of baked goods, the American classic. I was baffled. I used to make chocolate chip cookies at home just fine at home. How was this happening?

Well, I still have no answers to why I failed so often, but I do have a solution to my many and varied failures. These cookies. I will never again bake a different chunk cookie recipe.

By the way, like I said, the recipe is great in the white chocolate cranberry version as given, but to change it to chocolate chips (or M&M’s, or marshmallows, or raisins) just sub in the same amount of chunky goodness as the white chocolate and cranberries.

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This photo belongs to Sally’s Baking Addiction.com

They are soft and chewy, with a nice crisp outside. Big and fluffy. Everything I think chocolate chip cookies should be. If you like crunchy chocolate chip cookies, you need to leave.

Ratings

Flavor – Five Stars: Delicious flavor. They stay chewy even after a couple of days (if they last that long!). I promise you will not want to stop eating these.

Skill Level – Low/Moderate: If you’ve ever made cookies from scratch before, you can make these. If you haven’t, I vote that it is time you give it a try. Just follow the directions, you’ll be fine.

Overall – Five Stars: I cannot say this enough. These are my perfect cookie.

choc chip cookies
Mine this time! I used dark chocolate chunks as well as semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
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Perfect Cut-Out Cookies

Ok, I know that cut-out cookies are traditionally a Christmas thing and February is… well, not Christmas. But I kept seeing a tutorial by SweetAmbs going around Facebook on cute and easy royal icing for Valentine’s Day cookies. I couldn’t help myself. I have a lot of free time right now (see: this blog) so I figured maybe I could learn a new skill. I called up a friend in town who is awesome at decorating cakes (you can check out her fab work over at APieceofCakeBend.com) and asked if she knew how to do royal icing and of course she did and said come on over! She’d make the icing if I bring the cookies. Fair deal!

Except, I hate making cut-out cookies. Every year, I make so many different kinds of Christmas cookies, and every year, I avoid cut-out cookies. I hate the rolling, the refrigerating, the re-rolling, and then most of all, I hate spreading thick messy frosting all over those cookies. Honestly, I don’t even think they taste all that great.

Too bad, so sad, get over it, Emily. If I wanted to learn to decorate with royal icing (a much prettier option than smearing regular frosting on top, in my opinion) I was going to have to suck it up and deal.

I searched Pinterest for a cut-out cookie recipe (of course) and very quickly I realized another reason I hate making cut-out cookies. They look so cute as dough, with their pretty, crisp edges, and then they morph into bloated images of their former selves as they bake. It’s always so disappointing.

I found a recipe for No Fail Cut-Out Cookies by Home Stories A to Z that promised perfect, non-exploding cookies that also taste great.

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This photo belongs to HomeStoriesAtoZ.com

Skeptical, I tried it.

Triumph! Success! As promised, perfect cut-out cookies that kept their shape beautifully AND tasted good. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll never use another cut-out cookie recipe again.

A word to the wise, though: This recipe makes A LOT of cookies. You can halve the recipe easily for a more manageable amount. Seriously though. It didn’t all fit in my Kitchenaid mixer.

Ratings

Flavor: Five Stars – Perfectly tender and not too sweet. Hubby says they’re like the Lofthouse cookies you can buy in the store! But without all the sugary frosting on top.

Skill Level: Low/Moderate – If you’ve baked cookies from scratch before, these are on par with anything else, though cut-out cookies are inherently more work because of the, you know, cut-outs.

Overall: Five Stars. Fifty stars. Great cookies. Get rid of your Nonna’s recipe and make these this year. (I’m kidding. …Or am I?)

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Look how perfectly non-bloaty they are!! Gorgeous.

And just because I know some of you will be curious as to how the icing turned out:

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They’re pretty dang cute. The best ones, though, were all my accomplished friend.