pistachio dark chocolate sea salt cookies

I promise, just one more recipe before I open my backpack for the first time this long weekend. You may have read the title of this post and then proceeded to quote my good friend Daven: "Does this girl have to put pistachios in everything..."

No...yes....I don't know. But I do know that these cookies are yet another staple in my cookie repertoire, and pistachios are absolutely necessary!

In terms of looks, these cookies won't win any prizes, but they pack a delicious nutty crunch and boast that perfect salty-sweet combo that drives cookie-lovers insane. I strongly recommend using dark chocolate chips (as opposed to milk chocolate/semi-sweet) to add a bitter note, as the cookie base is already pretty sweet. Plus, dark chocolate is super indulgent and just makes you sound classy.

And with that, I'm off to start to start my Spanish homework.

Have a fantastic week!

-ck


Pistachio Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies

(from here)

makes about 24 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped coarse
sea salt for topping

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Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.   Add the egg and beat in for about 1 minute.  Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the mixture all at once to the butter mixture.  Beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Dollop or scoop cookie dough by the 2 tablespoonful onto prepared baking tins.  Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie.  Sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until just golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies will last, well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.

cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookies (from momofuku!)

My friends find this odd and slightly loser-ish, but I really really love grocery shopping. I could spend hours perusing the jam and butter aisle at Whole Foods (blueberry jam + maple almond butter = PB&J 2.0) or admiring Trader Joe's lovely hummus selection (might I recommend cilantro jalapeño). I have spent more Friday nights than I'd like to admit feeling perfectly content while I push a shopping cart through Giant. Sometimes I even dress up for these trips, just in case my soulmate also happens to be grocery shopping and we meet among the frozen pizzas and the bon bons.

Odd and slightly loser-ish?

Nah.

And so, after that whole spiel, you can probably guess where I headed after receiving this in the mail:

Though I've never experienced any of Momofuku's baked goods, I've heard they are legendary. I ordered this book online so I could attempt some of Christina Tosi's recipes for myself.

In addition to all the raving reviews, there are a few complaints about the obscure ingredients some of these recipes require (freeze-dried corn powder, anyone?). I decided to start with one of the easier recipes, cornflake chocolate-chip marshmallow cookies. The only somewhat unusual ingredient I had to find at the store was milk powder, but that wasn't a problem.

Like many of their recipes, this one has a recipe-in-a-recipe kind of thing going on, so first I had to make the Cornflake Crunch (you can find the recipe for that here). Besides that extra step, and the one-hour wait while the dough was chilling (waiting kills me), these cookies were a cinch!

Your job will be much easier with a stand mixer, as Christina Tosi's cookies require you to cream the butter and sugar for ten minutes. I'm still part of the ancient handheld mixer club, so I got my annual bicep workout from this process. (Still begging for that KitchenAid mixer in Aqua Sky, shout-out to my mom if she sees this.)

They turned out crunchy, crispy, chewy, chocolatey, all those fantastic "c" words that a cookie deserves. I thought they were a little too sweet and wasn't sure if I got the texture quite right, but my family was pretty enthusiastic about them. The best part is pulling the cookie apart and getting that melty marshmallow action. Just like this:

So there, finally broke in my new cookbook and stained the pages with buttery fingerprints to prove it! Good ol' Martha Stewart posted the recipe here if you wanna give it a shot. (Note: The recipe says to use a 1/3 cup measure for portioning out the dough. I reduced that to about 2 tablespoons, and the cookies still turned out pretty huge.)

Thanks to these cookies, I'll be snacking on leftover cornflake crunch the whole weekend. I discovered it also tastes great mixed in with homemade granola, which I'll be posting a recipe for tomorrow!

- ck

lemon cookies

Bakers aren't the most modest people you'll ever meet. A google search for "chocolate chip cookie recipe" will land you at least ten results for "World's BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies!" Oh my god, you say in panic. Suddenly you're on your own to figure out which recipe is world's bestest, or to eenie-meenie-miney-mo it out (if you're like me).

I haven't stumbled across any recipes I'd confidently label "world's best," but this one is pretty high up there. After I traverse the seven continents and the seven seas, I will be sure to give you an update.

These are lemon cookies, designed for the lemon fanatic but dearly loved and devoured by all. This is another AllRecipes gem, discovered two years ago while searching for a bake sale recipe. It was a success. My friend bought ten and inhaled them all in less than a minute. These cookies have converted lemon-haters into lemon-lovers. They have been described as "cloud-like pillows of lemony goodness". Everyone asks for these on their birthday. On several occasions, they have received the ultimate baking compliment: a request for the recipe. It is rumored that they may hold the cure to cancer.

And to top it off, they require no more than five ingredients, two bowls, and twenty minutes for prep and baking. If that doesn't scream "make me!!," I don't know what does.

I had only one qualm about this recipe, and it was that the main ingredient is a lemon cake mix. For all you baking purists out there, this may constitute a blatant form of cheating. But as with many cake mix cookies, these have a wonderful, fluffy cake texture on the inside and are chewy and crisp at the edges. "Appease your hearts," I now say. "It is resourcefulness, and it is delicious." 

And with that, my friends, I present to you:


Probably Not World's Best But Pretty Freaking Good Lemon Cookies

(adapted from here)

1 package lemon cake mix (18.25 oz)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
roughly 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon juice until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms and edges will be light brown, and the insides chewy. (I usually check on them at 10 minutes, gently flatten them with the back of a spatula, and give them another 3 minutes in the oven).

chewy crispy coconut cookies

By baking world standards, I am a newbie to the art form. However, if I have developed one personal baking philosophy over the years, it's this: Every baker should have a solid cookie repertoire in their hands.

Why? Because...

  1. Cookies are (almost) foolproof
  2. It's a known fact that raw cookie dough is good for the soul
  3. They are in and out of the oven in less than 15 minutes
  4. People will ask you for cookies and you will feel popular
  5. Cookies are happiness in the form of πr²

Really, it all boils down to this: Everyone loves cookies. Make cookies.

I stumbled upon this particular recipe last year on AllRecipes when I was hit with a craving for something crispy and coconut-y. These were immediately added to my own cookie repertoire, and so the rule still stands: when in doubt, turn to allrecipes.com. Basically you crush up some cornflakes, throw everything together, and in 12 minutes you've got the crispiest, coconuttiest cookie you've ever tasted.

Feel free to add chocolate chips or any other mix-in your hungry soul desires. Some people might find this cookie a little on the sweet side, so adjust the sugar to your liking! You can also toast the coconut beforehand on the stove or in the oven if you prefer that flavor.

Or if you just want to eat a handful of toasted coconut, in which case, we wouldn't judge you.


Crispy Chewy Coconut Cookies

(adapted from Melissa J's recipe on AllRecipes)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup crushed cornflakes cereal
1 cup rolled oats (I use Quaker's Old-Fashioned Oats)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips, nuts, M&Ms, or other mix-ins (optional)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; stir into the creamed mixture. Add the oatmeal, crushed cereal, coconut, and any other mix-ins and mix until combined.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should be light brown at the edges and on the bottom. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.