Eggless Chocolate Egg Cookies

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Necessity is the mother of invention. These cookies were a necessity. They were made under less-than-happy circumstances. We’d just come to the realization that Indy was no longer safe living in our house and we had to take him back to the breeder as soon as possible in order to avoid compromising his physical and mental health and to start the hard road of Gren’s anti-anxiety conditioning right away. To say we were abjectly miserable would be a gross understatement.

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So I made these cookies as a bit of cold comfort for the situation. I’d already braved the supermarket with sunglasses and a hat to hide my red eyes in order to take advantage of half-price Cadbury Mini Eggs, but when I got back I discovered I was completely out of eggs, and I just didn’t have it in me to go back. So I simply went without. And here’s the recipe for it.

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In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

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In another, larger bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

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You can do this with a mixer but I did it by hand so as not to wake up my sleeping dogs. We were all having a spectacularly bad day.

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Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup milk or cream.

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Now gradually add in your flour mixture and stir until everything is uniform.

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Grab about 1 cup chocolate eggs (Cadbury’s are the best) and smash them up a bit (or don’t smash them, that’s up to you). Chuck them into the dough and mix it around. Now I don’t usually have the patience to chill dough but this stuff is much easier to manipulate if you chuck it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

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When you’re ready to bake, set your oven to 325°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Form the dough into little balls and press them onto the baking sheets. These don’t expand very much so you can make them whatever size you want.

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Bake for about 10-12 minutes and remove from the oven to let cool completely on the sheet, on a rack. I don’t recommend moving these until they’re more or less cool as they’re a little unstable when hot.

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

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The Pie LOVES peanut butter, but is not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies. I maintain that this is because he has not yet found the perfect recipe.  This one comes courtesy of Fake Food Free’s sojourn into a summer cookbook and I like the looks of it. I took these babies camping with us (with some Oatmeal-Raisin Scotchies) and they were perfect for the outdoors.

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Start by creaming together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

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This picture is blurry because I was so excited about peanut butter cookies.

Then add in 1 egg, 1 tablespoon half and half (or light cream), and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined.

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Sift in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and stir to combine completely, until you get a nice dough (TRUTHBOMB: I forgot the baking soda. Until like, wayyy later. You should always use a leavening agent when you make cookies – to avoid hard, terrible hockey puck cookies – so if you forget, sprinkle the soda evenly over the whole surface of your dough and then stir it in like crazy).

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Then tumble in like a full cup of peanut butter chips.  Or half a cup, which is what the recipe says. Or whatever. There are no Ingredient Police in my kitchen.

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Chill the dough for at least half an hour.

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Preheat your oven to 375°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the cookies onto the baking sheet in little balls. Flatten them with the palm of your hand and use a fork to make that peanut-butter-cookie-crosshatch on the surface.

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Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. The cookies will look underbaked but that’s totally fine, as they’ll continue to bake on the baking sheet once you take it out of the oven. That’s why you leave the cookies on the sheet for at least five minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely and then scarf those babies down.

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I gave some to my parents in these super cute treat bags because they babysat Princess Gren for the weekend.

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Mocha-maca-mel Monsters

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The first job I ever had that I got without the aid of nepotism was as a Subway Sandwich Artist at the local mall. Now, this was way back in the day, and by back in the day I mean so long ago that we only had two kinds of bread, one type of cheese, and we still cut the loaves in U-shapes (which, I maintain to this day, is still the better way to do it). My favourite Subway cookie was (and still is) the double chocolate macadamia nut, with a cocoa base, white chocolate chips, and a handful of crushed macadamia nuts.  So good.  And I don’t even like macadamia nuts. I don’t know how they were made (they came in little frozen dough pucks) but this recipe is an homage to my memory of burning myself on ovens for minimum wage. Enjoy!

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Preheat your oven to 375°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup instant espresso (for the mocha- part).

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I tried to line this up all cool and edgy but my kitchen door was open and kept blowing the flour around and the grains of instant coffee were too coarse to stay still. Turns out I suck at being cool. And at planning ahead.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar until super fluffy and glorious.  I know some of you don’t use refined sugars but you simply cannot beat the smell of butter and sugar getting to know each other.

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Add in 2 large eggs, beating them up individually – just like any kung fu movie involving one hero and multiple opponents.

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Slowly tip in your flour mixture and mix until totally combined (I used the shield, sorry Eli).

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Then smash up some macadamia nuts (for the -maca- part).

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I have no idea how many I have here, but I think I ended up with just over 2 cups after I smashed them with the end of my rolling pin.  Good times.

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I also added in about 2 cups butterscotch chips.  For the -mel (caramel) part.

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Drop in heaping tablespoons onto your baking sheet and bake, rotating halfway through for 8-10 minutes.

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Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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So tasty with a cold glass of milk.

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

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The Pie, like many boys out there, has a strong addiction to peanut butter.  He’s not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies, feeling that they’re often too dry, but this recipe was odd enough that he thought we should give it a shot.

For this, in addition to peanut butter, we’re also going to use peanut butter chips.  The Hershey’s Kitchen recipes are great because they tell you to just go ahead and use a whole package of those chips.  We’re also going to use this whole 320g back of pretzels.  The recipe calls for 4-5 cups broken pretzels and so I thought 5 cups was too much and would use the whole bag but I ended up regretting my decision and I should have done the whole lot.

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Anyway, break up your pretzels until you have about 5 cups broken pretzel pieces.

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Now, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup softened butter with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and keep going until it’s all lovely and fluffy.

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Then add in 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth but I bet this would be good with crunchy) and beat that up as well.

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Next toss in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until combined.

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In another bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda and then add that gradually to the rest of your dough in the mixer.

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Finally, stir in 1 2/3 cups peanut butter chips (this is a whole 300g/10oz package, by the by).

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Now grab some of your lovely dough and roll it into a small ball about 1 1/2″ wide.  Mine in this shot is a little on the big side.

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Roll the ball of dough in your pretzel pieces and gently press the pretzels into the dough.  Flatten the ball slightly onto your baking sheet.

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I made these ones too big and they took forever to cook (and I could only do eight per sheet) so I made the rest of them significantly smaller.

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Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown around the edges.  They don’t expand or flatten much.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing them to a rack to cool completely.

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Salty and sweet.  A hit as always.

Oatmeal Scotchies

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Every two weeks we have a team meeting that requires me to actually shower and change into real clothes physically attend at the office.  More often than not, when I do, I bring baked goods.  Obviously it’s a nasty habit I picked up as a law librarian.

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I hauled a package of butterscotch chips out of a box a few weeks back, so this formed the inspiration.  The recipe comes from Hershey’s Kitchens and might be a new favourite around the office.

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Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

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Look! I have a kitchen table for the first time in EONS!

Start with 3/4 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup brown sugar and chuck all that in a bowl.

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Beat the crap out of it until it’s fluffy, then add in 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

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In another bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

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Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture and beat until well-combined.

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Stir in 3 cups rolled oats, and then a whole package (or about 1 3/4 cups) butterscotch chips.

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Drop tablespoons of the dough onto your baking sheet (I ended up with just over three dozen cookies) and bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the centres of the cookies are just set the edges are starting to brown.  My oven seems to cook a little hotter so I ended up baking mine for only 6 minutes.

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Let those rest on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.  I may have enjoyed a few with my morning coffee (after a complete and nutritious breakfast, of course).

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Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies

 

Sorry for the late post, folks! I made a typo in the schedule before I left for Toronto and set this to air on Tuesday instead of Monday.  My bad!Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies 11

My first bake in the new house!  It’s still chaos, but we keep working and having evening engagements, and then we spent our first weekend of true occupancy in the house going to Toronto, so it’s a slow process.  Next weekend the Pie is back in Toronto and I’m helping the lovely Cait with her move, so who knows when we’ll have everything sorted?

But in preparation for Toronto, I wanted to clear the fridge of some lovely raspberries before they went bad.  I also hauled a package of white chocolate chips out of a box, so the idea was born.  I figured they’d make a handy host gift for my great-uncle in the Big Smoke, with whom we were staying.

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Preheat your oven to 325°F (I know, it’s a low temperature, but you don’t want the raspberries to burn) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Start with 1/2 cup room temperature butter, and cream that together with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar until all pale and fluffy.

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Go ahead and crack in 2 large eggs, one at a time, and beat until they’re fully combined.  Add in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract while you’re at it as well.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour (I used a mixture of 1 1/2 cups cake flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour  because I wanted to use up what I had and I figured the cake flour would make a puffier cookie) with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.  

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Slowly add the flour to the butter and eggs and mix until smooth and fully combined.

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Gently stir in about 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (I say “about” because I totally didn’t measure this part).  The raspberries will smush up but you want to be careful that they don’t get totally annihilated.  This might be an easier job with frozen raspberries, but this is what I got so this is what I’m usin’.

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Scoop up heaping tablespoonsful of the dough and plop it onto your prepared baking sheets.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes (this depends on your oven, the size of your cookie, fresh/frozen/dried raspberries, or even if you’ve had that second cup of coffee this morning), rotating halfway through for even baking.

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Haul the cookies out when they are just set in the centre and leave them on the sheets for another 3-5 minutes, to let them cook completely.

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When they’ve calmed down a bit you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Then you can eat them all in their cakey, gooey, fruity goodness!

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Bribery in Cookie Form

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For the past two weekends, my parents’ house has turned into an art gallery, because my mother is a member of the West End Studio Tour (this is also why the posts this week aren’t particularly complicated — hard to bake up a storm when your house is an art gallery).

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Because Gren is the expert watchdog that he is (he barks at everything), it behove us to remove him from the house for the duration of the show.  That’s four days of being gone from 10AM to 5PM.  You can definitely overstay your welcome if you camp out at someone’s house for that long … with your dog.  Accordingly, when we ended up at the Pie’s parents’ house for the second time, we brought baked goods.

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The Pie had found a recipe for a giant chocolate chip cookie baked in a cast iron skillet in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food and he thought we should give it a try.  This time around I followed the recipe but I definitely plan to play around with this easy dish in the future. We brought our skillet and ingredients with us, to further ingratiate ourselves with our hosts.

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Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and buttering the interior of a 10″ cast iron skillet.  The one I used was probably 8 or 9 inches so my cookie ended up a bit thicker and had to cook for a bit longer.  Just keep that in mind.  In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, mix together 6 tablespoons room temperature butter with 1/3 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar, until the butter is thoroughly mixed through the sugar.

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Crack in 1 egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and give that a good stir.

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Stir in as well 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

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When that’s fully combined you can stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips.  These ones were actually a little bit blue in hue — that’s not just the lighting.  I may have added a cup and a half.  I like my chocolate chips.

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Smooth your dough into the bottom of the skillet and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookie is just set in the centre and golden-brown on the edges.

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Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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Alternately, cut it into wedges before it cools and reheat it later.

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We served ours with ice cream and it was delightfully chewy.  Bribe successful!

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