It has a become a tradition in my home to bake Chanukah cookies during the month of Kislev. My kids love to take turns adding the ingredients to the bowl, mixing it up, rolling out the dough, cutting out the shapes, and most of all – decorating the cookies! I have to be careful though, if I turn my head, they’re bound to stuff a handful of sprinkles down their throat! We had a blast making these, and even more fun eating them. They are delightfully crisp, sweet and altogether perfect! Put some in a pretty box, tie with bakery twine and decorate with a draidel – it makes the perfect hostess gift for your next Chanukah party!
Mary’s Sugar Cookies Betty Crocker’s Cookie Book
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Beat powdered sugar and butter until combined. Stir in vanilla, almond extract and egg. Add flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Press dough together to form a ball. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Heat oven to 375. Roll out pieces of the dough to about 1/8″ thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookie shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles or sugar. Bake for8-10 minutes or until light brown.
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For many of you, this will be your last crumby Shabbos and I was thinking to myself, what is the most indulgent, delicious, chometzdik food I can post? I could not think of anything better than chocolate chip cookies. The cowboy cookies that I posted back in January where one of my most popular posts, which is really telling. I think people just love cookies, especially chocolate chip ones. This recipe takes them to a whole ‘nother level. Imagine biting into a crunchy cookie, and the inside starts oozing warm chocolate ganache? Well that’s what this recipe tastes like. And when you hear how easy it is to make, you’ll be on your way to the supermarket for some frozen cookie dough!
Now since these mini cakes/pies are made using individual cookie dough cubes, you don’t have to feel guilty about having one. It’s as if you ate ONE chocolate chip cookie. How many of us can eat just one? But with these, the chocolate syrup makes them rich enough that one cookie is more than satisfying. And they taste just as good as those molten cakes you get at the restaurant, even better!
I made these for the first time this past Shabbos and I wasn’t sure if they would hold up on the blech for my Shabbos day guests. Not only did they hold up, they were amazingly delicious! One of my guests took a bite and was shocked to taste a warm dessert! So, if you’d like to surprise your guests at your day meal, go ahead and keep them on the blech, just not too close to the fire or they will burn and dry out.
1-2-3 Decadent Molten Chocolate Chip Cakes
1 box frozen cookie dough (I used Ostreichers) or make your own
1 package tart shells (mini pie crust)
I barely have to give you directions, this is as easy as …well…pie! (pun intended!)
Go ahead and unwrap your pie crusts. They come in mini pans. I found the easiest way to bake these is to put them in aluminum muffin tins. Pour a squirt of chocolate syrup into pie crusts. Set a frozen cookie dough cube on top of the syrup. Bake at 350 until cookie is golden brown (watch them carefully!).
Note: The pie crusts take longer to brown than to bake the cookie. I find that no one really eats the pie crust, just the inside, so I don’t mind if it’s not browned, just baked (it will be done if you bake with the cookie, just not brown). I would say not to worry too much about the pie crust turning brown, it’s more important that the cookie doesn’t dry out. If you really want, you can prebake the piecrusts for a little so that when they bake for longer with the cookie, they will turn brown.
Credit: I found this recipe on the facebook group “I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes” posted by Ahuva Edelstein- Rabinowitz and Chanie Adler Tilis. Thanks!
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but I’m not that big into baking. I do it every once in a while, but not all the time. Why? Well, first of all, I don’t particularly enjoy it. It’s too technical. I like the creative freedom that I have with food. Baking on the other hand, it’s very scientific. You need to follow the recipe to the tee, otherwise, it won’t come out right. Also, it makes a huge mess. Not that cooking doesn’t. But baking, I just feel like there are the measuring cups, spoons, bowls, the mixer, the gazillion ingredients. And lastly, most importantly, it’s just so fattening! I’d rather eat food! With that said, I did make some really yummy pumpkin whoopie pies yesterday. I halved the recipe, because who needs all that temptation lurking.
Based on my experience, I’d like to make a suggestion. If you decide to halve a recipe, do yourself a favor, and rewrite it, because chances are, if you work off the original, and you think you’re gonna make the calculations in your head, halfway down the line you suddenly forget and you screw up the entire recipe and have to start from scratch all over again!
Now being as I have a daughter who’s severly allergic to milk, I decided to make these parve, using toffuti cream cheese. I also substituted smart beat light margarine for the butter. This resulted in a runnier filling (see pics). I would suggest going with the original dairy recipe, or, see my other alternative below.
To make the pies, I used organic pumpkin puree that I found at Pomegranate around Thanksgiving time. I think it adds that extra richness of flavor to the pumpkin. (Trust me, I’m no organic addict, I just find that when I do buy organic, the flavors are more full-bodied) The pies come out so incredibly moist, with that kick of spice you get from nutmeg and ginger, and the warmth of the cinnamon. Really yummy on a cold winter day. B’teavon!
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Adapted from browneyedbaker.com
Yields about 2 dozen assembled whoopie pies, depending on the size you make them. These are medium.
For the Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling: (see below for a delicious alternative to this filling)
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside. In a separate bowl, Mix the sugar, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture until completely combined. Using a scoop or tablespoon, drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.
To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.
ALTERNATIVE TO CREAM CHEESE FILLING (PARVE):
Now, as an alternative to the cream cheese filling, I must tell you about this DELICIOUS maple butter I bought recently (available at Benzs Gourmet). It was sitting in my pantry, waiting to be paired with the perfect match. And I have to say, pumpkin whoopie pies is it! The butter is like thick creamy maple syrup, sticky and sweet! I couldn’t resist spreading it on a few sandwiches. The result was extremely rich-tasting, too much for more than a couple of bites.
We decided to throw together a quick Game Night on Motzei Shabbat with the family. I told everyone they could bring something. As for myself, I whipped up a quick batch of cowboy cookies a’ la Martha Stewart. This recipe is chock full of flavor, using chocolate, coconut, pecans and oats. I’m not the biggest coconut fan, but in these, they offer an added chewiness that’s worth it. Why are they called Cowboy Cookies? The origin is unclear, but the cookies do seem hearty enough for the Wild West. As for game night, the girls won by a landslide!
(Yields 3-4 dozen cookies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I used 1 tub of Smart Balance Light)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (I used 1 cup of chocolate chips)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup pecans (3 ounces)
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until darkened and fragrant, 10 to 13 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Into a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Beat in oats, chocolate, pecans, and coconut until just combined. (Dough can be covered with plastic and refrigerated up to 3 days.)
Coat baking sheets with cooking spray; line with parchment, and spray parchment. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared sheets, about 3 inches apart.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges of cookies begin to brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.