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Birthday Cake Cookies

I discovered the most disturbing thing last weekend. There are people who (brace yourself…this is earth shattering news) don’t like cake. Seriously? I thought my crazy husband was the only genetically deficient (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) one. But apparently, there are more of you out there. One of them is my sister Elizabeth. Yes, the Lizzy of cowboy salsa and pirate’s punch doesn’t like cake. It is just so depressing. She does like pie though. Pumpkin pie specifically. So for her birthday last weekend I made plans to cook up some pumpkin-y fall deliciousness.

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Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie

A few years ago I went to Disneyland on a mission. That mission was food. Glorious, delicious food. You see, I’ve been enjoying Disneyland pretty much my whole life. I went several times as an adult with my sisters and cousin. No kids, just four 20-somethings having a blast. I took a trip after the birth of each of my children. A mommy break sometimes is absolutely essential to keeping your sanity. In all these trips however, I’d never truly realized the fabulousness of Disneyland food. Obviously there are things that are overpriced and a little bland (it is a theme park after all), but there are unexpected delights as well. I started reading Disneyland forums a few months before this particular trip. I was doing research (yes, it’s a sickness…I know) and compiling a list of all the great things people recommended consuming while at the Happiest Place on Earth. The list got very long very fast. Over 5 blissful days of appetite stretching, gluttonous eating I managed to taste everything on my list. Most items met or exceeded my expectations. One cookie blew me away. The forums just called it “the cookie”.

This cookie. A light sweet dough with white and chocolate chips swirled with raspberry. Bliss. Usually when something is overhyped as being simply divine, the real thing doesn’t measure up. I cannot express to you how excited I was when at first bite I realized Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie was everything I wanted it to be and more. It is beyond delicious. You can find it at Pooh Corner and at some of the shops on Main Street. Can you sense my joy at finally having one in my hands??

I’d heard that Disneyland will give you the recipe for things if you ask. Not true. At least, not true with this cookie. Perhaps because they don’t actually make it in the park. It’s made by a company called Selma’s. And they aren’t about to hand out their recipe (I can’t really blame them). Thankfully, my cousin Shannon (also a baker and a Disney freak) managed to piece together a close copy using Selma’s snickerdoodle dough as a springboard. I tweaked her recipe a little, using almond extract instead of raspberry. I also used a trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen and added an egg yolk for a super soft and chewy cookie. The result is pretty near a perfect match. Big and chewy, swirled with raspberry and the sweetness of two kinds of chocolate.

The only trick in making these is the swirl of raspberry. It is VERY easy to mix it too much and end up with a bright pink cookie instead of dancing raspberry swirls. Working 1/4 of the dough at a time is the key to getting the proper twirly action.

Dollup about 1 tablespoon of jam over the top of one quarter of the dough.

Then use a knife to sort of cut it in.

Don’t stir! There should still be clumps of obvious jam.

Then, using a cookie scoop, drop the dough on your prepared cookie sheet.

And flatten slightly.

Repeat with the remaining dough, working with one quarter of it at a time.

Depending on the size of your cookies, your bake time can vary from 8 minutes all the way to 17. I wanted mine to resemble the big bakery sized cookies they serve at the park. Only bake until the edges are faint golden and set. The middles will still be soft and puffy.

I can almost hear the faint screams of people going down Splash Mountain and the buzz of the pretend bees outside Pooh Corner as I eat these cookies. It was a vacation in my kitchen as the aroma of chocolate and raspberry started wafting out. At first bite I knew I was in deep trouble if I didn’t find someone to “gift” the batch to. They were so soft and chewy and the flavor of the dough and the mixed in jam & chocolate was exactly right!


If you’ve ever tried this treat in Disneyland and love it as I do, make sure you have people to help you eat these before making a batch. The temptation to sing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah while you consume the entire tray will probably be too great if you are by yourself with these. Partly because having another one isn’t going to cost you four bucks like it does at the Magic Kingdom! Without any monetary ramifications holding you back, there’s no telling what you might do. Seriously.

Print Recipe for Disneyland’s White Chocolate Rasberry Cookie

Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie
adapted from Rumbly In My Tumbly

2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Raspberry Jam (I used about 4 TBSP)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Cream the butter & sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg/yolk, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add white & semi-sweet chocolate chips.
2. Scoop out about 1/4 of the dough into a smaller bowl. Add about 1 T of jam and cut it in using a butter knife. Be careful not to MIX it, or your dough will turn pink, you want more of a swirl.
3. Take the jam swirled dough and scoop by spoonfuls  (I used a large melon baller/ice cream scoop) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or spatula and place in a 350° oven for 12-17 minutes. *Your bake time may be less depending on the size of cookie you make. I wanted mine big and bakery sized, so they took a little longer. Take them out when the edges are set but the center is still puffy and soft. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all the dough is used.

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Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookie Monster is a classic. A friend of mine shared this video with me saying this is how she feels every time I post a new recipe. She’s so sweet. Enjoy a good laugh by watching this:

A while back, this same friend gave me a cookbook full of deliciousness. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever baked out of it. Especially the Razz-ma-tazz bars. Oh yum. I decided to let my hubby choose something for me to bake in honor of Sabrina. I’ll bet you think shared with her too huh? No. I’m totally lame and didn’t realize until after I’d sent them to work with the hubster that I should have saved some for Bri. I’m such a spaz. I know, it’s not as nice a story now. Sorry. 😦

Put aside your disappointment and make some of these cookies. They are full of crunchy nutty goodness and rich chocolate. It’s a basic peanut butter cookie, kicked up with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. You’ll love them.

Next time Sabrina. I’ll share some cookies maybe.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
From NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12-oz pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Directions
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and peanuts.

DROP dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly to flatten into 2-inch circles. I used a glass dipped in a little granulated sugar.

BAKE for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chocolate is grand, but oatmeal raisin cookies will always be my favorite. Packed with hearty rich flavor and succulent raisins, these cookies are absolutely perfect. Big and thick, soft and chewy. I love them. I’d take these over any other cookie out there. Any day of the week. And twice on Sunday. Odd saying. Anyone know where it comes from?

Soaking the raisins in the egg mixture is the key to this recipe. It produces lots of plump juicy morsels to bit into with all that oat deliciousness.

If you’ve had hard, dry versions of this cookie before and been turned off the whole notion of Oatmeal Raisin, give this recipe a whirl. They are simply delicious.

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

-3 eggs beaten
-1 cup raisins
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 cup butter
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1- Combine eggs, vanilla, and raisins in a small bowl, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

2-Preheat oven to 350 F

3-In a large bowl cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. In another bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda, stir into creamed mixture. Then stir in raisin mixture, and rolled oats. Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just set on the edges. Cool 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.

Perfect Every Time Sugar Cookies

I started a cake decorating class this week. Can I just say (while doing a little dance) “woo-hoo!”.  I’m incredibly excited. Can’t wait to practice new techniques and learn how to make lots of beautiful things. For the first class, I had to bring blank canvases. Which, in a decorating class equals round unfrosted sugar cookies. Everybody needs a great rolled/cut out sugar cookie recipe. It’s perfect for any occasion.

This dough will not spread or bubble. It will stay exactly as you cut it. Just right for making angels and trees during Christmas, pumpkins and ghosts at Halloween, hearts for Valentine’s Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, stars for 4th of July…you get the picture. A good sugar cookie is buttery and rich. The perfect bed for sweet light buttercream frosting. My favorite is included below.
Perfect Every Time Sugar Cookies - Bakerlady

Look how perfectly these bake. Each one just right. Light and crisp exterior with a soft buttery inside.

I know, the round cookies are pretty boring, but the recipe is so perfect, I had to share it. I didn’t have any dough sticking anywhere when making them. No frustrating perfect circle turned into a blob of cookie. Just easily rolled out exact shapes that stay how you cut them.

Perfect Every Time Sugar Cookies
from Rumbly in my Tumbly

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp heavy cream

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add salt. Beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time. Continue to beat on medium-high speed for another 1-2 minutes until desired consistency as been met. Add food coloring if desired.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

You would never know it is the middle of June. At least not if you live anywhere near me. The famous line “It rains 9 months of the year in Seattle” is holding true. So far this month we’re running below average for temperatures (hovering near the mid 50’s…for a HIGH) and above average rainfall. Higher than normal for the Pacific Northwest means lots and lots of wet dreary days. It looked so much like mid-September out there today, I got the urge to make one of my favorite fall cookies.

I’ve wanted to recreate a treat I had over the weekend anyway, and the weather cooperating was a good excuse to do it sooner rather than later. While I was away last weekend, I stopped in four different bakeries to sample some goodies. Research you know. All for you.

These cookies are heavily spiced with cinnamon, cloves and ginger with a soft chewy texture that is  absolutely glorious. Perfect for warming you inside when it is all grey and gross outside. For those of you who live where  webbed feet are not a side-effect of your address, think of me huddled in a sweater as you enjoy one (or three) of these cookies with a nice glass of frosty-cold milk. Perfection.

There are a couple of tricks to getting perfectly craggly tops on your morsels of molasses. First, chill the dough. Second, do not overbake these. Mine were perfect right at 12 minutes in the oven. You want the edges to be just set, but the tops to still be all puffed up. As they cool down, you get those gorgeous cracks.

Finally, the secret weapon. Flicks of water. Yes. I know, it’s crazy. I read this in a cookbook years ago. After you’ve rolled your dough in sugar (to give it that beautiful crystallized finish), wet your hands slightly. Then, holding your hands over your baking sheet, pretend there’s a wasp flying into your face.  Bzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzz.

Protect yourself! Shake your hands around like a bit of a maniac, flinging water droplets on top of the cookies. Seriously, these are the kinds of things I do when baking. Also when a bee gets near me. One of the plus sides of the Seattle weather is the limited number of nasty bugs. Wasps are pretty much as menacing as they come around here. Your children (or husband) may think you’ve completely lost it as you flail around in the kitchen, but your cookies will look fantastic when they’re done. And if that isn’t worth a little ridicule, I don’t know what is. Bake and enjoy!

Ginger Molassas Cookies
Adapted from Paula Dean

3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and molasses and beat until completely incorporated. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and add to the mixture. Stir until combined.

Chill in fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in sugar. Place 2-inchs apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips. Wet your hands and flick water droplets over the cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until set at edges but still puffy. Cool on 10 minutes on cookie sheet (set on rack, not on the counter). Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Breakfast Cookies

I’m always trying to find new ways to use up bananas. Somehow, there are always a few growing freckles on my counter. Banana bread or delicious Monkey Bites are usually what I bake up, but a breakfast cookie intrigued me. These “cookies” have the texture of baked oatmeal, but since they’re dropped and baked on cookie sheets they get the cookie moniker.

These are dairy free, egg free and using gluten-free oats makes these babies a perfect snack for all you GF folks. They are soft and filled with flavor. Perfect for on-the-go breakfast or stashing in your bag for an afternoon snack. You could use blueberries or dried cranberries instead if you’re not a fan of raisins.

Here’s where the obvious food preferences of my children come into sharp focus. I called these cookies when offering them to my daughter, which made her decide not to even try them at first (she is her father’s non-sweet tooth child). Later in the day she consented to have one (and loved it) after I explained that it was oatmeal and not really a cookie cookie.

My son heard the word cookie from across the house and came bounding down the steps and lightning speed to gobble down three for breakfast. I was celebrated as the nicest, greatest mom ever because I said yes when he asked for more. The look on his face was priceless. Like he was trying to figure out what bizzaro world he’d woken up to where mom was doling out cookies for breakfast. It was great. Make up a batch and be a hero in your house too! Enjoy!

Breakfast cookies
makes 19 cookies

3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

I’m kind of in love with the combo of pretzels and chocolate right now. The salty and sweet together is just divine. There are a few photos of this type of cookie floating around on Pinterest and I’ve been dying to try one. After reviewing a few, I decided the ratio of cookie to “other stuff” was way too slanted in the stuff direction. I like to taste cookie in my cookie. And while adding peanut butter chips, toffee chips or butterscotch chips to this recipe would (I’m sure) still be incredibly delicious, I decided to hold back a little. Sometimes, simple is better.

I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie recipe that could hold a candle to this basic dough from America’s Test Kitchen. It is amazing. Perfectly sweet with a glorious texture. They stay soft and chewy and just delicious even after they’ve cooled.

The addition of pretzels gave it a salty crunch that was awesome. I loved it. As did my hubby, a rare thing in my little baking world. He ate more than one of these.Trust me. That never happens. Someone pulled out his sweet tooth as a child. It’s very sad.

As we were munching on rich chocolate, crunchy pretzel and sweet dough he remarked, “Now THIS is my kind of cookie”. You’ll love it too.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
12 tbsp/1½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup broken pretzel pieces

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips & pretzel bits by hand until incorporated.

Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies,  rotating sheet halfway thru baking, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t overcook!

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies With Brown Butter Frosting

I’m pretty conflicted about sharing this recipe. On the one hand, the cookies taste delicious. They are kind of like an apple crisp cookie. They have chewy oats and sweet apples with a hint of cinnamon. Delightful. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure the recipe was missing a key step. Chilling the dough. My cookies spread all over the pan and were very flat. I recently got a new (giant) baking sheet, and fit all but about three cookies in one batch. So I got a bunch of flat flat cookies.

When they came out of the oven I got pretty irritated. I had to smoosh the cookies back towards the middle after removing them from the oven to get them mildly presentable. I don’t really want to admit this recipe failed, and blogging it means that I have to fess up. I hate with a passion when a recipe does not turn out. I feel like I’ve wasted my time, energy and ingredients. Rgh. Annoying. I’m sure you’ve all had this experience. Which is why I’m sharing. Sometimes, baking doesn’t produce what you are expecting. At times like these, you shouldn’t throw your pans out and start claiming you are “not a baker”. No. Just blame the recipe. Seriously. Many times, you are just missing a step. Like in this case, I think the dough should have been chilled. The taste was excellent so I’ll try making these again, this time with some fridge time for the dough. The resulting things on my pan just were not really very appetizing without some chilling. This is after I’d smooshed them back in.

Here’s the tricky thing. Because these cookies have a brown butter frosting (which is amazing), I can pretty well cover the shortcomings of this recipe. Just slap some frosting on and everything looks great. I suppose I could have just shared the photo below and told you these turned out great.

Brown butter frosting covers a multitude of sins. In addition to tasting incredible, it turned these lumps of misshapen cookie dough into beautiful(ish) looking delights. See? I could have just showed you this, and you’d never have been the wiser.

But that wouldn’t be very nice. Then when your cookies spread (just like mine did) you might think you’d done something wrong. I’m just keepin’ it real here. You will never get a recipe from me that looks good but secretly didn’t actually turn out. Everyone has baking failures. All of us. It happens. So, I’m not going to pretend they don’t. Go ahead and make these cookies, but be sure you chill your dough before scooping it onto the pan. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend a whole lot of time reforming them as they are cooling to get anything close to resembling this.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting
from Lauren’s Latest

1/2 cup butter, softened
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup peeled, diced apple

for the frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon milk {approximately}
cinnamon, for garnish if desired

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla. Slowly incorporate all dry ingredients. Stir in oats and apples.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Scoop onto prepared sheet (I used a melon baller) and bake 10-12  minutes or until the edges are golden.

While cookies are baking, place 1/4 cup butter into small saucepan. With heat on medium, melt and brown the butter. Once the butter is a medium brown/amber color remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Beat in powdered sugar and enough milk to get a spreadable consistency.

Frost warm cookies and sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired. Serve.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Waffles

It’s time for me to fess up. I adore oatmeal raisin cookies. I know they get no love and, when compared to chocolate chip they are the wallflower of cookies. But I love them. These waffles have all the flavor of plump sun-kissed raisins and hearty oats, AND you get to top them with butter (and syrup if you like). I found them perfectly sweet on their own though. They are a great change of pace from your typical breakfast fare! I froze half this batch and then just popped them in the toaster during the week for a quick breakfast that I felt great giving to my kids.  They got a huge thumbs up from both my munchkins. Yours will love them too!

Delicious and full of raisins and cinnamon. Mmmmm. Yummy.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Waffles
adapted from Cuisinart

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal (regular rolled oats, not quick oats)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup raisins

Instructions

Crumble the brown sugar to remove any lumps and place in a medium bowl with flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Add buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in raisins. Let batter rest 5 minutes before using. Preheat your  Waffle Maker. Pour a scant 1/2-cup batter onto the center of the lower grid; spread batter using a heatproof spatula to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the grid. Close lid of waffle maker until indicator shows done. Open lid and remove baked waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. For best results, serve immediately. You may keep waffles warm until ready to serve on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven.

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