Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

print2

ABM_1409067575

I feel that you should know this about me-I hate lemon extract. I think it has an alcohol-flavor to it, and when added to baked goods, it pretty much makes them taste artificial. OK, so now that’s out of the way we can get on to today’s recipe. Earlier this summer I was whipping up an assortment of cookies to bring to a party. I was making these awesome funfetti cookies from Avery Cooks, and these to die for chocolate sugar cookies from Handmade Charlotte.

I was thinking to myself that I needed a third cookie to round out my cookie tray and since it was the start of the summer I thought, a fruit flavor would be ideal. After taking stock of what I already had in the kitchen I decided to pair my lemons with some white chocolate chips that had been sitting in my baking pantry. I used the funfetti cookie recipe as my base and the recipe below is the result. They were such a big hit at the party that I decided to make them again and bring them to another get together. Throughout the summer whenever I needed to bring a dish to share or a dessert I made these lemon cookies, and every time they were a crowd-pleaser. After making them a few times I am finally ready to share this recipe with you.

Now, this is not the easiest cookie recipe you’ll ever make, but follow the instructions closely and the result will be a fluffy cookie with a cake-like texture packed with a fresh lemon flavor.

IMG_20140818_171834_383

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • zest from 2 large lemons
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 c white chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the butter and lemon zest on a low speed for 1 minute to spread it around the bowl. With the mixer running slowly add the sugar and beat on a medium speed until it has lightened in color and increased in volume slightly.  Add the egg and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

IMG_20140818_135646_170

Reduce the speed to low and add the lemon juice, mix to combine. Next, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the white chocolate chips and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.

Fair warning to all; this dough is quite sticky but do not worry. This next step is a bit messy, that’s part of the fun, right?

Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (this is an approximate measurement, above all else try to keep the dough in uniform size so they bake evenly and don’t let them get too big), and flatten slightly on a lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (do not skip this step!).

IMG_20140818_172031_131

While the cookies are chillin’ like villains in the fridge, let’s talk about baking cookies. I’m going to confess to you that cookies are not my strong point, and it took a lot (seriously, A LOT) of practice to get these just right. As one of my bosses used to say, cookies are just a touch thing. Meaning, it takes practice to know when to take them out of the oven at just the right time. These cookies are cakey, and soft. When you take them out of the oven, they are going to look raw to you. BUT trust me, and trust your baking instincts. The edges of the cookies should look set. The center of the cookies will look under cooked, aka pale and glossy. However, this is OK. You do not want the cookies to become very brown on the bottom. The cookies will firm up while they cool.

Here is what my cookies look like when I pull them out of the oven:

ABM_1409066482

Now on to my next point, not all ovens are created equal. I’m sure you know this but, baking times vary depending on both the size of your cookie and your oven. The suggested baking time works for my oven, so I recommend starting there, but you have the description above of what they should look like so use your judgement, if they need another minute or 2.

OK, back to the cookies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cookies out on lined baking sheets (do not skip this either, you should either be using parchment paper or a silicon baking mat), and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through the baking time.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

IMG_20140818_191843_044

 

If you like this cookie recipe, stay tuned, I’ve got another cookie recipe coming in a few weeks as well as some great dishes to kick of the fall season with! To make sure you don’t miss these posts, be sure to subscribe and become a Reckless Subscriber!

print2


Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • zest from 2 large lemons
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 c white chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the butter and lemon zest on a low speed for 1 minute to spread it around the bowl. With the mixer running slowly add the sugar and beat on a medium speed until it has lightened in color and increased in volume slightly.  Add the egg and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low and add the lemon juice, mix to combine. Next, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the white chocolate chips and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.

Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (this is an approximate measurement, above all else try to keep the dough in uniform size so they bake evenly and don’t let them get too big), and flatten slightly on a lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (do not skip this step!).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cookies out on lined baking sheets (do not skip this either, you should either be using parchment paper or a silicon baking mat), and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Skip the Chalky Conversation Hearts This Year

It’s true, I’m not really that into Valentine’s Day. It’s too over the top, too pink, and in general, just too much. However, Valentine’s Day happens to be a great excuse to bake adorable treats and share them with friends. Which, coincidentally, is something I really enjoy doing.

So this year, as I’ve done in the past, I’m skipping the paper valentines and cards, I’m skipping the candy and chocolate from the stores, and I’m making something tasty and sharing it with friends. How better to show my love than to share these tasty treats? With this spirit in mind, I’ve got two lovely desserts that I will be sharing with you. The first, are these adorable sugar cookie sandwiches with a brown sugar icing. The second will be a post on poached pears, which will be up next week.

IMG_7421

These are so much fun to make. Below is my go-to sugar cookie recipe but feel free to use any you like. I’ve paired it with this absolutely heavenly brown sugar icing, but any kind of frosting or your favorite jam will do. So, let me ask you, do you like sugar cookies? Do you like icing that tastes of marshmallows? Oh, you do? Then these cookie sandwiches are for you! Forget the sweets at the store, homemade goodies that come from the heart are always better.

IMG_7385

My Favorite Sugar Cookie

Slightly adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans

Directions:

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Using a stand or hand mixer cream the butter and the sugar together until well incorporated and fluffy. Add the eggs and extracts into the mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on a medium speed until well combined.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together. The dough might be a bit crumbly, but it will come together after some kneading by hand.

Now for the fun part! On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8 in thick. I roll these pretty thin since they are to become cookie sandwiches. Use any cookie cutter you like. I wanted something with fun edges so I decided to use these mini tart pans I got from my Nana. I liked the frilly edges, the variety of shape, and they are the perfect size.

IMG_7402

Arrange the dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Cut out a heart (or any other shape) to create a window in half of the cookies. These will be the tops of the sandwiches. Place the cookies sheets in the refrigerator and let them chill for 10-15 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shape when they are baking.

IMG_7391

While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Bake the mini hearts from the center of the cookies for 6 minutes.Allow them to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack for cooling.

IMG_7392

While the cookies cool, make the frosting you would like in the center of the sandwiches. I made a small batch of this brown sugar icing. It is fluffy and delightful and I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while, and now seemed like a good time to do so. You can use any frosting you like for the center of the cookie sandwiches, you don’t even have to use frosting at all. Jam is beautiful and tasty in between these cookies.

IMG_7427

After the cookie have cooled completely and your frosting is ready, it’s time to assemble the cookies. Separate the cookies onto two baking sheets or trays, placing the cookies without a cutout in the center on one tray and the other half of the cookies on the other tray. The cookies that are the bottom of the sandwich get a dollop of frosting (or jam). The cookies that are going to be on top get dusted with powdered sugar.

IMG_7404

Now assemble the cookies. Sprinkles optional.

IMG_7415

I love how dainty these cookies look, like they should be enjoyed while sipping on a hot cup of tea and discussing literature with a British gentleman who wears a monocle. Too much? Just enough.

IMG_7439

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these adorable cookies. Make them, share them with those you love (and/or you choose to tolerate but it would rude not to include).

IMG_7405

P.S. look at how adorable these little heart cut outs are? I could eat, like 20 of these!

IMG_7446 IMG_7455

 


 

print2

My Favorite Sugar Cookie

Slightly adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans

Directions:

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Using a stand or hand mixer cream the butter and the sugar together until well incorporated and fluffy. Add the eggs and extracts into the mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on a medium speed until well combined.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together. The dough might be a bit crumbly, but it will come together after some kneading by hand.

On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8 in thick. I roll these pretty thin since they are to become cookie sandwiches. Use any cookie cutter you like.

Arrange the dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Cut out a heart (or any other shape) to create a window in half of the cookies. These will be the tops of the sandwiches. Place the cookies sheets in the refrigerator and let them chill for 10-15 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shape when they are baking.

While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Bake the mini hearts from the center of the cookies for 6 minutes. Allow them to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack for cooling.

After the cookie have cooled completely assemble the cookie sandwiches; spread brown sugar frosting or jam between two cookies and top with powdered sugar.

 

print2

Brown Sugar Frosting

From I Wash You Dry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix brown sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil. (Be careful, as it will rise, so make sure the sides of your pan are taller). Let it boil at medium to medium high until the syrup drops like a hair from spoon (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from burner and set aside.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff.

SLOWLY pour the hot syrup in a THIN stream into egg whites, beating constantly. Beat until icing holds peaks, then blend in vanilla.

Let cool to room temp, then store covered in the fridge until ready to use.

 

 

Candied Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies

print2

*This article originally posted to www.Somerville.Patch.com*

This unique paring yields surprisingly tasty treats

According Wikipedia, there have been references to the combination of bacon and chocolate on the Internet as far back as 2005. This may or may not be true and really doesn’t reveal when chefs began pairing the two unlikely ingredients together, but this much is certain: The pairing of bacon and chocolate came from chefs and candy makers who were looking to push the boundaries between sweet and savory desserts.

At first I was skeptical of this combination. If someone were to hand me a chocolate bar with bacon bits in it, I’m not sure I would have willingly tried a bite; however, Angharad of the food blog “Writing for England” has made me a believer. I recently put her recipe for Candied Bacon-Chocolate Chip Cookies to the test and to be honest I might never go back.

The subtle combination of sweet and salty flavors is what makes this recipe successful. Think back to breakfast when the maple syrup you intended to cover only your pancakes also coated your freshly cooked bacon. What at first seemed like contamination is actually a winning victory for your taste buds as the sweet maple syrup mingles with the salty bacon.  The same love story applies to these cookies.

Simply enough this recipe begins with the bacon; 10-12 slices of thickly cut bacon are laid out in a foil-lined baking sheet, then coated with ½ c of brown sugar, and baked at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.

After the first 12 minutes the bacon needs to be taken out and turned over.  A word to the wise: At this point the bacon must be watched carefully as it can misbehave in all that heat! If the bacon is over-cooked it will result in bacon cemented in burnt sugar to the foil, never to be separated again.

After the bacon cooks it should be placed on a wire rack to cool.

At this point it’s time to select your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Below is an adaptation of Angharad’s recipe from her blog.

print2

For the cookies:

2 ¼ c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c softened unsalted butter

¾ c granulated sugar

¾ c packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 ½ c semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside. Next, using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy and well combined.  Then add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each egg. Slowly add the previously mixed dry ingredients and beat until well combined.

Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and chopped up candied bacon into the dough. On an ungreased cookie sheet drop the dough using either a rounded tablespoon or teaspoon, depending on how large you want your cookies to be. Space the dough at least 1 ½ inches apart from each other.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown.  After baking, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to finish cooling.

For the brave of heart and/or stomach, try the chocolate and bacon combination the way it has been celebrated in street fairs and high scale candy shops alike. Fry up 5-7 slices bacon and allow them to cool on paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Next, using a double boiler, melt 6-8 ounces of chocolate and dip the bacon in the chocolate.  Place the dipped bacon on wax paper and put in the refrigerator to cool. Finally, sample your newly made treat and go spread the word that chocolate and bacon is good news.