cookie dough truffles, and a giveaway!

One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay Landis of Love and Olive Oil, has come out with a gorgeous cookbook.

It’s entirely about cookie dough! No more sneaking naughty tastes of raw egg dough straight from the bowl: Lindsay’s recipes are egg-free, so there’s no guilt.

You can make dreamy concoctions like cookie dough cheesecake…

Mexican chocolate cookie dough tartlets…

Cookie dough ice cream sandwiches…

And cookie dough layer cake, for a special someone’s birthday.

I was most intrigued by her recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough truffles, so I gave them a go. All you do is mix up a quick, egg-free chocolate chip cookie dough…

Form into balls and dip in chocolate (I decided to make them into pops–it made them easier to dip and fun to eat)…

And swoon. Cookie dough wrapped in chocolate? Dude. This lady is genius.

The best part about her new cookbook? You can win it. Right here, right now.

To enter, just leave me a confession in the comments: do you eat raw cookie dough? Me: yes. Always. With a spoon. Or a finger. Or a spoon and a finger. And the winner is: MeganM . Congrats, Megan! I’ll be emailing you for your address soon.

The fine print: U.S. Addresses only. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner a week from today (monday, June 11). Good luck! 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

Makes: 30 to 40 truffles  Active Time: 1 hour   Total Time: 2 hours

For Cookie Dough:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For Chocolate Coating:

  • 8 ounces dark-chocolate candy coating

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in milk and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and arrange them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place sheets in freezer for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler or microwave according to package directions, being careful not to overheat it. Using a fork or dipping tool, dip truffles one at a time in candy coating to cover. Tap fork on the edge of the bowl to shake off excess coating, and return truffles to baking sheets to set. If you have any leftover coating, transfer it to a piping bag or squeeze bottle fitted with a small round tip and pipe decorative lines over top of truffles—or simply drizzle coating with a fork for an abstract finish.

Refrigerated in airtight container, truffles will keep for up to 1 week, though I dare you to make them last that long.

mint thins, and a giveaway

*Contest Closed*

As a food blogger, you get offered a lot of odd things for free. My all-time favorite? Kangaroo meat. I wish I were joking.

It’s every blogger’s own decision whether to accept swag or not. Personally, I believe that my blog is all mine, and I don’t do any sponsored posts here. If companies want to send me something, I’m cool with it. I just don’t promise to write about it.

My other rule of thumb is that when I receive things that I honestly do like—things that I would recommend to you all—I have to give them away to you guys. That’s why I’m excited to be handing over this great cookbook from Quirk Books, and a little bummed that I’m not keeping it for myself.

The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando (who also writes for Serious Eats), is yes, you guessed it—an cookie encyclopedia. It’s cute and colorful and full of tips for churning out perfect cookies. I do believe this cookbook was tailor made for me.

There are recipes for chocolate lovers.

Recipes for ambitious bakers.

Pretty photos to gaze at even if you don’t bake at all. And if you love to bake, there are recipes for every cookie under the sun, from buttery to spicy to fruity.

I even found a recipe for one of my all-time favorites: mint thins. Or in Girl Scout land, the über popular “Thin Mints.”

It would be irresponsible of me to not test out a recipe from the book before handing it over to one of you. So I just *had* to make them. And as it turns out, they weren’t as labor-intensive as I thought they would be. And worth every minute of preparation.

You begin by churning a thick, buttery dough in the mixer.

After letting it chill, you roll it out and cut into circles.

Bake, then dip in a blissful blend of chocolate and peppermint…

…and twiddle your thumbs as they cool.

In Lucy’s case, twiddle your tiny, very impatient thumbs.

Savor. Lick the melted chocolate from your fingers.

They are, in my approximate estimation, about 11,957 times better than the Girl Scout version. No offense, little ladies.

Try them for yourself using the recipe below. And if you want to try your hand at other types of cool cookies, enter to win The Cookiepedia in the comments. I’ll announce the winner next week!

Contest Rules

  1. To enter to win The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando, simply tell me in the comments: What is your favorite type of cookie?
  2. U.S. addresses only, please. I’m paying for the shipping myself, y’all. One entry per person.
  3. A magical random number winner picker computer thingie (that’s it’s technical name) will choose the winner next week.
And the winner is…
Karen! Karen said, “My favorite cookie is chocolate chip. Maybe a little boring but eating one while still warm from the oven with a glass of milk always makes me smile.” Karen, you’re my soul sister. Soul. Sister. I’ll be emailing you with the details. Thanks everyone for entering!

Mint Thins from The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando        printable version

Nobody you know will not come by when you say you’re baking homemade mint thins. (If they don’t so much as ask, consider defriending them immediately.) The question is: Do you want to share? The baking and dunking takes no time (especially if you taste as you go), but these bite-sized treats do hold up best (and taste yummiest) once the mint chocolate has had ample time to set. If you’re protective of your stash, store them in the freezer. They’re best with a chill anyway.

Preheat oven to 350F. Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

  • 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 c unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint flavor
1. Cream the butter until it’s light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture by halves, beating to incorporate after each addition.

2. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and form it into a disk with your hands. Split the disk in half and place them in the fridge to firm up for 1 hour.

3. Working on a floured surface (you’ll need a decent amount, since the dough is sticky), roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Shape the cookies using a 1 1/2-inch round cutter and place them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, then let cool completely.

4. Break up the chocolate into a bowl and set it over a small pot of simmering water* (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Add the butter and the peppermint flavor and stir the mixture steadily until it’s fully melted and looks glossy and smooth. Remove the bowl and let the chocolate cool slightly.

5. One by one, drop the cookies in the chocolate, then scoop them out with a fork to let the excess drip off. (Tap the cookies against the side of the bowl to help drain the extra chocolate). Move them carefully to a wire rack or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. When they’re all coated, move the sheet to the refrigerator or freezer to set.

*Note from RDG: If the chocolate gets too hot, it will harden. To reconstitute it, add a little vegetable oil and/or milk and stir until it comes back to a smooth consistency.

 

nutella brownies

We have a bit of a civil war going on in our house. It’s the Nutella lovers versus the Nutella haters. I, because I am awesome and always right, love Nutella. Lucy, because she is a mini-me and equally awesome, loves Nutella.

Dave, human garbage disposal, will eat pretty much anything EXCEPT Nutella (I blame his formative years being spent in Europe, where they use this stuff like butter). Charlie is the tie breaker. She’s a baby who can’t eat Nutella yet. So she defaults into Dave’s category (although I’m very optimistic that she’ll turn the tables once she is older) .

Two for, two against. They say a house divided against itself cannot stand. But since I am the baker, I dictate what sweets emerge from the oven. And this weekend, it was Nutella brownies.

If you don’t know what Nutella is, you’ve been living under a rock  let me explain: it’s a creamy, chocolatey spread made from hazelnuts and cocoa. Think of it as chocolate-flavored peanut butter with a slightly nutty taste. Most grocers carry it on the peanut butter aisle.

To make these brownies, you’ll also need some vanilla extract, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, butter, eggs, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

What is there not to love about Nutella? It’s creamy. It’s chocolatey. It can be spread on bread or swirled into yogurt, dolloped on ice cream or dipped with a graham cracker.

I found hazelnuts on my grocer’s bulk foods aisle and they were pretty inexpensive. We’ll use them later to top these gorgeous brownies. It gives them a nice crunch and makes them purdy.

Begin by melting together the butter and sugar together with a few tablespoons of water. Stir often.

Just as it begins to boil, remove from heat. We don’t want scorched butter on our hands.

Stir in the Nutella…

…and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, too.

Whisk in the flour, baking soda and salt until smooth.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Have a tiny helper grease a baking pan for you. Sure, you have to wash butter hands afterwards, but look how much fun she’s having!

Spread the batter into the greased pan.

Chop the hazelnuts and sprinkle them on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 325F oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean (just make sure you’re poking the batter and not a melted chocolate chip—give the toothpick a little taste to make sure. Over-baking these puppies is not allowed).

Here’s the kicker: let cool completely before cutting. The chocolate chips will solidify and the brownies will become denser and more fudgy as they cool. Trust me, it’s worth it.

See? Told you.

The bittersweet chocolate chips add a perfect contrast to the richness of the batter, and the nuts on top give a nice crunch. These little squares disappear fast.

For the moment in our house it seems the Nutella lovers are winning. Poor Dave. He never stood a chance. But as they say, to the victor go the (nutty, chocolatey) spoils.

Nutella Brownies    printable deliciousness

It’s torture to let these brownies cool completely before eating, but you’ll be rewarded handsomely if you can stand it (as they cool, they become more fudgy and the chocolate chips solidify). Makes one 9″x9″ pan of brownies. 

  • 1/3 c butter
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3/4 c Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60% chips)
  • 1/3 c hazelnuts
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9″x9″ baking pan with butter.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter, sugar, and water, stirring often. When mixture just begins to boil, remove from heat. Stir in Nutella. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared baking pan.
3. Chop hazelnuts and sprinkle over batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over-bake. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

peanut butter chocolate chip blondies

Normally there is only one blondie in my life.

Her name is Lucy. She enjoys Play Doh, sunglasses, and tacos. Combs? Not so much.

But recently another blond has come into my life.

And these gooey peanut butter chocolate chip blondies are just as sweet as my walking (read: running), talking (read: broken record), taco-eating tot. The difference is, these you can have for yourself. Lucy is all mine.

To make them for yourself, gather some flour and salt, an egg, one stick of butter, vanilla extract, brown sugar, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.

Begin by melting the butter in a large bowl. Short bursts in the microwave work just fine.

Once the butter has cooled slightly (too warm and it will cook the egg—no good), add the egg, the vanilla…

…and the brown sugar. Mix until smooth.

Stir in the flour and salt…

…and fold in the chips.

Spread into a 9×9″ pan that’s been greased with butter or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned around the edges but still pale in the center. Let cool completely before slicing (I know, I know. But trust me).

Can a blondie be fudgy? Because that’s exactly the word to describe these gooey, peanut-buttery, chocolately treats that are ready in no time. You must have this blondie in your life. Plus, they require a lot less cleanup than my towheaded toddler.

-RDG

P.S. For baby updates check out haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com until further notice.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Yield: one 9×9″ pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c peanut butter chips
  • 3/4 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Melt butter and let cool slightly. Stir in the egg, vanilla, and brown sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in the flour and salt. Fold in the chips.
3. Spread into a greased 9×9″ baking pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (blondies will be slightly brown around the edges but still pale in the center). Let cool completely before slicing.