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Blog

Filtering by Category: cookies and bars

Chewy Chewy Chewy Molasses Cookies

Patricia Reitz

Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, really yummy, and chewy is how I describe these fantastic molasses cookies. They’re my new cookie obsession! Yes, the intoxicating sweet and spicy aroma of these cookies will pull you in, but their delicious flavor and chewy texture will keep you coming back for more!

Feel free to pull out your stand mixer if you like, but this simple recipe can easily be mixed with a hand mixer.

Start by whisking together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and fine salt in a medium mixing bowl.

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Set aside.

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In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, molasses, and egg.

This is where your mouth starts to water. Just sayin’!

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.

Mix on medium speed until no traces of dry ingredients remain.

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Use a #50 scoop to portion the dough. You can place the dough directly on a silicone-lined sheet pan, or….

Roll the dough in the palm of your hands; then coat with granulated sugar.

Sometimes time is a factor and rolling the dough can eat up precious minutes in one’s schedule, but I have to say, the sugar-coated cookies look the most festive after baking.

Bake as directed and allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container to maintain chewiness.

Items used to make this recipe:


Chewy Chewy Chewy Molasses Cookies

makes 24 cookies (#50 scoop)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup neutral flavor vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 large egg

  • optional: 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275F and place rack in center position.

  2. Line 2 half sheet pans with silicone liners; set aside until needed.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; set aside.

  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, molasses, and egg.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use and hand mixer to combine on medium speed until no traces of dry ingredients remain.

  6. Use a #50 scoop to portion dough, 12 cookies per silicone-lined half sheet pan (optional, roll dough into balls and coat with granulated sugar before baking).

  7. Bake cookies, one tray at a time, in center of preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

  9. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Note: if the cookies lose their chewiness, place in an airtight container with a damp paper towel. The cookies will soften nicely within a few hours.

adapted from Shelby at The Queens Cabinet.

Snowball Cookies

Patricia Reitz

Whether you call them snowballs, Russian tea cakes, or Mexican wedding cookies, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a must for so many people during the holidays. It seems no cookie platter is complete without them. I like to make them with ground pecans, but feel free to substitute ground walnuts or almonds.

This cookie dough is extremely easy to make as long as you start with room temperature butter. Just place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine until no traces of dry flour remain. If you use BeaterBlade attachment, you won’t have to stop and scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Tip: Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to microwave cold butter to soften it - melted butter and softened butter act very different in recipes so just be patient and wait until the butter reaches room temperature naturally.

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Use a #60 cookie scoop to portion out the dough.

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Place them evenly on a silicone lined half sheet pan and bake as directed below. If you like, roll the dough into balls (I don’t because they roll all over the place).

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Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before rolling in confectioner’s sugar.

Tip: I like to store used vanilla bean pods in my confectioner’s sugar. It really improves the flavor.

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Just remove the vanilla bean pods from the confectioner’s sugar while you roll the cookies so they don’t get in your way. Replace them when you’re done.

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Mmmm… your kitchen is going to smell like vanilla!

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Allow the cookies to cool completely and, if you like, give them a 2nd toss in the confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Snowball Cookies (aka Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies)

makes 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature (70F)

  • 1/2 cup (63g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon (4g) pure vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup (90g) finely chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts or almonds)

  • extra confectioner’s sugar for coating the cookies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and place rack in center position.

  2. Place the first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade or paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until no traces of dry flour remain (if you us a paddle attachment, scrape down sides of bowl as needed).

  3. Use a #60 cookie scoop to portion 12 cookies per tray; bake one tray at a time for 8-10 minutes.

  4. Remove cookies from oven and allow to rest on tray for 5 minutes before rolling in confectioner’s sugar; return cookies to tray and allow to cool completely before rolling in confectioner’s sugar a second time.

Note: to toast pecans, place in a 350F oven for 5 minutes; cool completely before using.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Salted Caramel Russian Buttercream

Patricia Reitz

During my last post I taught you how to make Russian Buttercream with a Mexican Twist (in the form of dulce de leche), and now I’m going to add a little French je ne sais quoi to the buttercream by giving it a salted caramel flavor profile, which pairs perfectly with Chocolate, or should I say Chocolat. Ooh-la-la!

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Start by making delicious chewy chocolate cookies, which are perfectly divine on their own, and sandwich two together with a layer of salted caramel Russian Buttercream in the middle. It’s a heavenly combination.

Seriously, try not to eat all the chocolate cookies before you turn them into sandwich cookies!

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You can serve these cookies at room temperature, but I think they’re even better slightly chilled (10-15 minutes in the fridge). Enjoy!


Chocolate Sandwich Cookies w/Salted Caramel Russian Buttercream

makes 12 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 6 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa, sifted (use really good quality)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • extra granulated sugar to coat roll cookies in before baking (or use vanilla sugar)

Filling:

  • 1/4 pound (113g) unsalted butter at room temperature (70F)

  • 1/4 pound (113g) canned dulce de leche, chilled

  • fine table salt to taste

Directions

To make the cookies:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside until needed.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater or BeaterBlade attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes until it lightens in color.

  3. Add egg and vanilla; continue to mix until no traces of egg remain.

  4. Turn mixer speed down to low; add cocoa mixture and combine until no traces of dry flour or cocoa remain, scraping bowl if needed.

  5. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

  6. Preheat oven to 350F, place rack in center of oven, and line 2 half sheet pans with silpat liners.

  7. Using a #50 scoop (about 1 tablespoon), roll level scoops of chilled cookie dough in the palm of your hand to form a ball; coat with granulated sugar and space evenly on sheet pan, 12 per pan.

  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes; remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat room temperature butter using a hand mixer for 2-3 mites, until light in color and very fluffy.

  2. Add chilled dulce de leche and continue beating with a hand mixer for 1 minute.

  3. Taste the buttercream carefully and add just enough salt to achieve the level of salted caramel flavor you desire, beating well so the salt is evenly distributed.

Simple Heart Cookies

Patricia Reitz

You don't need the skills of a pastry chef to make these adorable cookies - with just a few simple tools, you can make them too!  Follow me into the kitchen and I'll show you how it's done. 

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To begin, you'll need waxed paper, a rolling pin, rolling guides (1/8-inch and 1/16-inch thicknesses to make these cookies)....

How to make professional looking heart / Valentine's Day cookies with no skills! Recipe and how-to photos.

And fondant plunger cutters.  The large heart cutter is available in this set, and the small one came from this set.  If you want a large heart that can be personalized to say anything, check out this set.

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You'll also need some good quality fondant.  Some of the brands available in my area that I like are satin ice, fondarific, duff goldman, and fat daddios.  I do not care for wilton. 

I always keep white fondant on hand because I can custom color it any way I like, but it's also nice to keep darker colors on hand (red, brown, black) because it's hard to achieve the deep saturation mixing gel colors in manually.

(this isn't a necessary tool, but it sure is handy) 

When I'm working with large quantities of fondant, I keep it in a bread proofing box set at 90F (keeping the fondant sealed in an airtight container the whole time).  When I'm ready to work with the fondant, it's warm enough that I can roll it easily without first having to knead it until it's soft and workable.

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Love my bread proofing box from Brod & Taylor.  It's great for proofing bread dough, of course, but it has a temperature range of 70-120F, so it's good for making yogurt, melting chocolate, and keeping tempered chocolate in temper too.  The newest model has a temperature range of 70-195F.

Best cookie decorating hack ever!

Alright, while the fondant is still warm and soft, roll it out between two layers of waxed paper (1/16-inch thickness) and use fondant plunger to cut shapes and imprint designs.  

How to decorate cookies with fondant

Remove scraps and allow fondant shapes to sit at room temperature until needed (they'll firm up as they rest).  Do this step before baking the cookiesbecause you'll want them ready to go when the cookies come out of the oven.

Check out this clever way to use fondant plunger cutters.

For the cookies:  roll cookie dough between two layers of waxed paper (1/8-inch thickness) and use fondant plunger to cut out shapes (no need to imprint the designs here).

Note:  If the cookie dough cutouts get too soft to move without getting distorted, slide the waxed paper onto a sheet pan and pop it in the fridge to firm the dough before transferring the cutouts to a silpat lined half sheet pan to bake as directed (as shown in this graham cracker post I shared a number of years ago).

The easiest way to decorate cookies ever!

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place the prepared fondant cutouts on top. 

Cookie Decorating Hack for any holiday or occasion, with recipe and photos. Valentine's Day Cookies, Easter Cookies, Baby Shower Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Halloween Cookies, Fall / Thanksgiving Cookies.

As the cookies cool, the residual heat will melt the fondant cutouts just enough that they will bond to the cookies.   

Awesome cookie hack

Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


CHOCOLATE CUTOUT COOKIES

makes 40-60 cookies

Ingredients

Directions

To make the cookie dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the BeaterBlade attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed for 30 seconds.

  3. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine.

  4. Add flour mixture and beat until incorporated.

  5. Remove dough from mixer bowl and wrap well with plastic wrap; chill for 1-3 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 375F.

  7. Roll each dough portion to 1/8-inch thickness between 2 layers of wax paper.

  8. Cut out desired shapes with plunger cutters, without plunging the design into the cutout (dust cutter in flour if needed).

  9. Chill dough before transferring cutouts to sheet pan to prevent distorting.

  10. Place cookies 2-inches apart on silpat lined sheet pan.

  11. Bake for 6-8 minutes; remove from oven and top with fondant cutouts (cut to 1/16-inch thick) that have the design pressed into them.

  12. Cool completely before serving. Store in airtight container between with wax paper between layers.

Note:  Recipe makes 40-60 cookies, depending on size.  Plan to use about 1/2 pound fondant (I like to buy white fondant so I can color it any way I like).  Fondant cutouts can be made a day or more in advance if stored on wax or parchment paper in an airtight container.  If the cookies cool before fondant toppers are applied, you can warm the cookies for a few seconds in the microwave (but I recommend applying the fondant to cookies as soon as they come out of the oven).

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Patricia Reitz

I know what you're thinking.  There's no way gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are going to be any good.  Right?  Wrong!!  These cookies are super soft and chewy and incredibly delicious.  Since the recipe contains no flour, it's vitally important to make sure the cookie dough is well chilled before baking.  Let me show you how easy these are to make.

Note:  Depending on your dietary standards concerning eggs and chocolate chips, these cookies may conform to vegetarian and paleo diets.

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In a bowl, combine almond meal, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

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Next you'll need pure vanilla extract (please use the good stuff), almond butter, coconut palm sugar, liquid coconut oil, and an egg.

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Combine those ingredients together well.  I've used my stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment, but you can certainly mix it by hand, just be sure  to mix until any coconut sugar lumps disappear. 

Now add the almond meal mixture.

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Mix to combine.

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Add bittersweet chocolate chips.

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Mix one last time until the chips are evenly distributed through the batter.

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Transfer the batter to a quart-size zipper bag and chill for at least an hour, but you can do this step a day or two in advance. 

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When you're ready to portion the dough, simply rip the bag open and cut the dough into 24 even portions.

Easy!

gluten free almond cookie recipe and how-to photos - ButterYum

Roll each portion into a ball and place on a sheet pan.

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This step is completely optional, but I like to press a few extra chips on the top of each dough ball.  Now before we bake the cookies, it's really important to chill the dough again - I just pop them back in the fridge while my oven preheats.

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When the oven has preheated, space 12 dough balls evenly on a silpat lined sheet pan and bake for exactly 10 minutes, then allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the pan.

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies. almond meal chocolate chip cookies. almond flour chocolate chip cookies. gluten-free almond meal and coconut oil cookies.

Enjoy!! 

Items used to make this recipe:


Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together almond meal, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment, combine the coconut palm sugar, coconut oil (melt gently in microwave to liquify if necessary), egg, almond butter, and pure vanilla extract on medium speed for 30 seconds.

  3. Add reserved almond meal and mix on medium for 30 seconds; add chocolate chips and mix just until combined.

  4. Transfer cookie dough to a quart size storage bag and seal well, pressing the dough into an even layer; chill for at least 1 hour.

  5. To bake cookies, preheat oven to 350F, place rack in center of oven, and line two half sheet pans with silpat liners.

  6. Divide chilled dough into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls; return to refrigerator to chill for 5 minutes or longer.

  7. Place 12 chilled dough balls each on two silicone lined half sheet pans and immediately bake for 10 minutes (one pan at a time, chilling the remaining dough until ready to bake); remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely before removing from the pan; repeat with the 2nd pan of cookie dough.

Kitchen Tip: What's The Best Surface for Baking Cookies?

Patricia Reitz

Silpat vs Parchment - which is better?

Silpat vs Parchment - which is better?

What's the best surface for baking cookies?

Here's a tip I want to share - when I bake a new cookie recipe for the first time, I like to test various baking surfaces to see which one produces the best results.  

is parchment better than silicone when baking cookies?

Here's an example of two cookies that were made from the same recipe and baked side-by-side, on the same sheet pan, at the exact same temperature, for the exact same length of time.  One was baked on parchment paper and the other on a Silpat liner.

In some cases, the finished cookies bake nearly identically, but in this particular case, the cookie baked on the silpat was the clear winner.  


And here's another example - the differences are more subtle than the cookies above, but there are differences.  I'll post larger photos so you can see them better. 

testing baking surfaces - which baking surface is best?

Cookie tops - the ones baked on a Silpat have a much nicer appearance.   The ones baked on parchment are lumpy and seem to have developed a few air holes that broke through the surface.

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Cookie bottoms - again, the ones baked on a Silpat look so much better.  The ones baked on parchment have wrinkled and unevenly browned bottoms, and you can see where those air holes started - weird.

parchment vs silpat

And here's a different cookie recipe with more dramatic results - as you can see, the cookie baked on parchment stuck so badly that it broke when I tried to pull it from the paper, but the cookie the cookie baked on the sipat released perfectly. 

Lyle's Golden Syrup Cookies

Patricia Reitz

Lyle's Golden Syrup is one of my favorite ingredients - it has a rich, caramelized flavor just can't be beat and I'm thrilled to see it gaining in popularity.  Here's the flavorful syrup is paired with oats, butter, and vanilla to make chewy cookies.  Incidentally, leftover cookies freeze beautifully (just in case you're tempted to eat too many in one sitting).  

golden syrup cookie recipe

Start by whisking together all purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder. 

cookies using lyle's golden syrup - ButterYum

In a medium saucepan, heat butter, sugar, and golden syrup together until melted and smooth.

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Mmmm.

how to use lyle's golden syrup in recipe

On a side note, Lyle's Golden Syrup is available in cans, squeeze bottles, and jars (see here).  The squeeze bottles are the least messy, like honey.  

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Stir in pure vanilla extract - be sure to use the good stuff!

secret ingredient oatmeal cookies

Now stir in old fashioned oats and the flour mixture.

how to use golden syrup

Stir until no traces of dry oats or flour remain.

what size ice cream scoop to make cookies?

For this recipe, I use a #50 scoop to ensure all my cookies are the same size.  I have a number of scoops in different sizes, but this is the size I use for the majority of the cookies and mini muffin recipes that appear on this blog.  

NOTE:  when buying portion scoops, check for "#__" on the sweeper arm.  This scoop is a #50 (that means 50 scoops will equal one quart).  WARNING:  some vendors sell their scoops by diameter size (example:  50mm).   DO NOT order a 50mm scoop if you want a #50 scoop.  The diameter of a 50mm scoop is almost 2 inches, while the diameter of a #50 scoop is much smaller at 1 1/4 inches.    

what's the best surface to bake cookies on?

Pro Tip:  whenever I bake a cookie recipe for the first time, rather than commit an entire tray of cookies to unknown variables such as baking time, baking temperature, and baking surface, I do a small test batch first to refine those unknowns (all of which can make or break your recipe).

First I preheat my oven fully and check my oven thermometer to ensure the interior temperature is accurate, then I bake for the suggested time directed (you'd be surprised how often the directions are wrong).  In addition to verifying baking time and temp, I check to see which baking surface produces the best results.  Here you can see I baked one cookie on parchment paper and one on a small silicone baking mat (like this one).  

Let's check out the results below, shall we?

which nonstick surface is the best for cookies?

The differences aren't always this clear, but for this particular recipe, it's obvious the cookie baked on silicone turned out much better than the one baked on parchment paper (and obviously, the suggested oven temp was too hot - thankfully I didn't ruin an entire tray of cookies discovering that fact).

Back to baking surfaces, silicone almost always wins my baking tests - not quite as dramatically as shown here, but I encourage you to give it a try and discover your own results.  

cookies made with lyle's golden syrup

Alrighty - pour yourself a glass of cold milk and enjoy! 

Items used to make this recipe:


Lyle's Golden Syrup Cookies

makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons lyle's golden syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder, set aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan, heat butter, sugar, and golden syrup until melted and smooth; remove from heat and stir in pure vanilla extract.

  3. Add flour mixture and oats and stir well to combine.

  4. Place cookie dough in an airtight container and chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat oven to 325F and place rack in the center position.

  6. Line two half sheet pans with silpat liners (parchment doesn't work well for these cookies).

  7. Use a #50 scoop to portion dough, 6 cookies at a time, evenly spaced on sheet pan.. NOTE: I suggest baking only one tray of cookies at a time, being sure to place chilled dough on room temperature (not hot/warm) sheet trays.

  8. Bake for 8 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Blue Ribbon Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Patricia Reitz

Blue Ribbon Chewy Chocolate Cookies - ButterYum

Blue Ribbon Chewy Chocolate Cookies - ButterYum

Today I'm sharing our family's favorite chewy chocolate cookies, which means you're only 8 ingredients away from these national cookie contest winners becoming your family's favorite too.  They're so good, every time I share them, I hear, "Oh my, you MUST give me this recipe!"    Let me show you how easy they are to make so you can whip up a batch whenever you want.

Start by creaming unsalted butter and sugar together until light and creamy.  I do this with a BeaterBlade attachment so I don't have to stop and scrape down the bowl of my stand mixer.  Love that thing!  

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In a separate bowl, whisk together sifted cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and fine salt.

Be sure to use really high quality dutch-processed cocoa powder for really good flavor.

Add the cocoa mixture to the butter and mix until no signs of dry ingredients remain.  Then add the egg and pure vanilla extract.

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic and chill for a least 1 hour.  This step is really important so don't skip it.  

For professional looking cookies, use a #50 scoop to portion out the cookie dough (it's roughly the size of a tablespoon).  If at any time the cookie dough gets too soft, pop it back in the fridge.

Incidentally, the cookie dough freezes beautifully (as do the baked cookies).  Just be sure to wrap the dough very well in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container - this can be done as a whole batch of dough, or individual balls.  Thaw the wrapped cookie dough in the fridge before unwrapping, rolling, and coating with sugar.  

Roll the cookie dough into balls, then coat with granulated sugar.  Vanilla sugar is nice too.

Space 12 cookies evenly on two silpat lined half sheet pans (bake only one pan at a time).  You can use parchment paper, but I've test both surfaces and silpats work better for these cookies.  

Bake for about 9 or 10 minutes - cool completely.

Blue Ribbon Chewy Chocolate Cookie Recipe with how-to photos

These cookies are simply spectacular.  Enjoy!

Items needed to make this recipe:


Blue Ribbon Chewy Chocolate Cookies

makes 24 cookies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 6 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa, sifted (use really good quality)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • extra granulated sugar to coat roll cookies in before baking (or use vanilla sugar)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside until needed.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater or BeaterBlade attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes until it lightens in color.

  3. Add egg and vanilla; continue to mix until no traces of egg remain.

  4. Turn mixer speed down to low; add cocoa mixture and combine until no traces of dry flour or cocoa remain, scraping bowl if needed.

  5. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

  6. Preheat oven to 350F, place rack in center of oven, and line 2 half sheet pans with silpat liners.

  7. Using a #50 scoop (about 1 tablespoon), roll level scoops of chilled cookie dough in the palm of your hand to form a ball; coat with granulated sugar and space evenly on sheet pan, 12 per pan.

  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes; remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.