Candied Ginger Macadamia Nut Cookies

Candied Ginger Macadamia Nut CookieThe taste and texture of these cookies is unique and addictive.  If you are a fan of ginger or a fan of any cookie with macadamia nuts, you will want to try these.  In the past, my husband made the vegan version of these cookies from the cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, but I have adapted the recipe to be non-vegan.  This is what happens when you don’t have soy milk on hand so you say, forget this flax seed and canola oil nonsense!  Wow.  I wish that I could admit that my inner dialogue is more interesting than this.

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Enjoy!

Candied Ginger Macadamia Nut Cookies

ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces dry roasted but unsalted macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces candied ginger, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I used convection and it went okay.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, coconut extract, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, careful with the last few tablespoons as not to make the batter too dry.  Depending on how you sift and measure the flour, you may or may not have too much flour.
  5. Mix in the chopped macadamia nuts and candied ginger pieces.
  6. Scoop* onto a non-stick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for approximately 12 minutes.  Cookies are done with edges have lightly browned.

* I use a cookie scoop manufactured by Chip Clip and purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond.  There is a picture of it here.

MonsteRolo Cookies

Monster Rolo CookiesMy co-workers, otherwise known as my official taste-testers, are presented with a baked item of their choice on their birthdays.  Danielle requested Monster Cookies, which are essentially chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter, oatmeal, and M&Ms.  The name is Monster because you are supposed to make them larger than average in size.  I had never heard of, nor tasted Monster cookies, but since I am friendly with (read: om nom nom) chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies and have a peanut butter problem (seriously, we have 7 types of PB in the cupboard right now!) these seemed to be a recipe that I should try.

As I stood in the candy aisle at the store, I spotted a bag of Rolo’s and remembered that Danielle has a fascination with Rolo’s.  Let’s put some Rolo’s inside of her Monster Cookies!  Yes!  We have Monster-Rolo Cookies!  And because I make up words for cookies, like the Smookies, these are christened as MonsteRolos, which I pronounce Monster-o-lo.

I adapted the following recipe from here.

Monster Cookie with Rolo

MonsteRolo Cookies

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used dark choco chips)
  • 1 cup candy-coated milk chocolate pieces
  • 4 dozen Rolos candies, unwrapped

Peanut Butter Rolo CookieDirections

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I used convection and it went okay.
  2. In a very large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and baking soda.
  3. Break and beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add the eggs to the larger bowl of mixed ingredients.
  4. Add the oats, chocochips and M&Ms to the mix slowly.
  5. Spoon a ball full of batter into your hand and press the Rolo into the center, making sure to mold the batter around the Rolo candy.  Place the dough balls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie

These cookies were fantastic and I would totally make them again!  They stayed very moist and chewy, which is how I prefer my cookies.  I was surprised how well the recipe turned out without using flour.  Enjoy!Monster Cookies with Rolo Candies

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men RecipeWhen Andy and I started dating he called his mother for this recipe.  She has had it on file since he was in kindergarten when his teacher made these cookies for his class.  Apparently Andy was so taken with the cookies that his mom had to get the recipe and they have been a staple of his diet ever since.

Last year he took crumbled up cookies and mixed them into homemade ice cream with maple syrup.  It was divine.

Andy’s Gingerbread Men

Made 45 cookies using a 4″ tall cookie cutter; only one batch fits in a Kitchenaid mixer at a time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses (I used blackstrap, but you are probably better off using regular molasses or a combination of the two)
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 5 cups flour (plus more for rolling)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • .25 tsp cloves

Directions

  1. Sift together dry ingredients.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar.  Add egg.  Add molasses and vinegar.
  3. Add one cup of dry ingredients to wet ingredients at a time and mix well.
  4. Chill for 3+ hours or overnight
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I used convection and it went okay)
  6. Roll the dough to .25 inch thin and cut out desired shapes.
  7. Place on greased cookie sheet OR parchment paper (parchment paper is such a dream)
  8. Bake for 5 minutes.  (5 minutes is not enough time if you don’t roll them thin enough.)
Gingerbread Men Blackstrap Molasses

Before the Oven

Smookies

or S’mores Cookies to those of you who don’t make up words
Two Smookie Cookies

Before I get into how to make these calorie bombs, I have a few points to make tonight.

1)  Tonight was pretty much a baking fail.  I forgot to add the chocolate chips before putting the first batch in the oven.  My second batch turned out too flat, probably due to the jumbo sized eggs I have.  The third batch turned out alright, but I had already decided that the second batch needed more graham component, so I added little graham hats to the cookies.  Lastly, I burnt my final batch because I had already started typing this paragraph and got distracted.

2)  I have been listening to the radio a lot lately and decided that I could not possibly listen to another radio commercial as I spent the next hour plus in the kitchen.  I turned on the CD that was already in the player and it was Barry White.  To begin with, I own this CD since my Dad and Step-mom thought that it would be a good Christmas present to me and my husband to set the mood for our anticipated procreating.  Next, this CD was in the player because my husband has subsequently decided that it is ‘easy listening’ for when he is doing school work.  As I got my ingredients out and the mixer started, Barry White was a pretty good baking partner since he was less annoying than that Katy Perry Alien Sex song.  Somewhere in the midst of baking fail, when I was starting to get frustrated, I realized that I’m having some sort of emotional moment with my Smookies.  They say that chocolate and sex induce the same chemical reaction in your brain, right?  Now, not only do I think of my Dad and Step-mom when I hear Barry White, I also think about romantically placating my inner fat kid with cookies.  Conclusion, I will never be able to have a true romantic moment when Barry While is anywhere within listening range.

3)  Last Wednesday was National S’mores Day which was pretty big water cooler news at the office.  It was only about 2 months ago that one of my coworkers bought S’mores ingredients at the closest Rite Aid (which due to our proximity to Lexington Market, is actually a buddy-system type errand).  All of us were taking turns going to the back microwave to make S’mores.  S’mores are not something that you can casually eat at your own desk so we were all hiding in others’ cubes with marshmallow stuck to our fingers, hoping that our boss doesn’t choose this moment to stroll around the office.  Anyway, as a few of us were looking at National S’mores Day websites last week, I declared that I was going to make Smookies and Smakepops, which is erin-speak for S’more Cookies and S’more Cake Pops.

4.  I started googling for S’mores Cookie recipes and found my long lost twin.  Her name is Risa, she is from DC and she also got married last summer.  More importantly, she runs a baking blog and I am pretty certain that we were separated at birth.  Check out Baked Perfection!  I used her recipe for S’mores Cookies (pasted below), except I added graham hats!  (and I had baking fail to additionally include that her cookies looked way cuter than mine did).  Humph.  I blame Barry White.

Baked Perfection’s S’mores Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon salt
1 dash of cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a few pieces of hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Erin’s Almost Famous Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookie

Oatmeal Cookie

I have been making these for a few years and my coworkers absolutely love them! Sometimes I substitute in whole wheat flour, which I typically do not recommend as a practice for sweets; however I do recommend this for oatmeal cookies.

Ingredients to make over 3 dozen
.5 cup butter
.75 cup firmly packed DARK brown sugar
.5 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
.5 teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked oats
.75 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat butter with sugars; add in eggs and vanilla
3. Add in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
4. Add oats and raisins
5. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake for 10-13 minutes. (my oven was taking 13 minutes using convection setting).

Tips:
1. Use your standup mixer. I can get two batches in my mixer, but it is a strain on the mixer with the final adding of oats.
2. Use slow cook oats
3. If you make very rounded (tall) dough balls, the centers will remain chewy and moist after cooking.
4. There are no issues if you choose to make the batter ahead of time and refrigerate for later. The cooled dough seems to make slightly taller cookies once baked, but I still recommend as okay practice.

Batter