John’s Kitchen Sink Cookies

Kitchen catastrophe. My favorite cookie scoop BROKE – I know, we aren’t supposed to play favorites with our cookie scoops, but this one was my favorite! Perhaps from exhaustion due to over use. Perhaps a mutiny from the other scoops in the drawer. But somehow its poor little cogs slipped and it wasn’t pushing the dough out.

Do I buy a new one? Do I attempt to fix this one?

Attempt. Attempt is the key word. I knew what was wrong. I knew what needed to be done to fix it. I just couldn’t manage to get it to do what I wanted. I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS! Yes, perhaps a little unrealistic. But I want what I want when I want it and not being able to get the @&$*%# cogs to line up properly was making me NUTS (yes, more nuts than usual).

Enter a cowboy in a white hat. It was much like John Wayne riding in at the last moment to save the fair damsel in distress. ‘Don’t worry, sugar plum, I can fix your beloved cookie scoop for you. But it will cost you …” GULP! We’ll just gloss over the sugar plum part. I mean, he is willing to repair my scoop! For that he could call me twinkle toes! COST ME? This could be scary. Impinging on my virtue even (QUIET! SHHH!!! Say nothing! Giggles allowed!)

“Cookies, sugar plum, it will cost you cookies.” Ooooohhhhhh … can you tell I am not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed!

Cookies? I can do cookies.

Enter Everyday Food and the amazing John Barricelli AND an Every(thurs)day Food posting. Look at all the things accomplished with one stone! A fixed scoop, a new cookie recipe, and an Every(thurs)day Food event. Well, damn I’m a good sugar plum.

An aside, if you don’t have John Barricelli’s SoNo Baking Company Cookbook – get it!

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 C packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 t light corn syrup
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans
  • 1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
NOTE: Hate raisins. I really can’t even explain why. Yuck. I used dried cherries instead. Dried cranberries would work as well. Also, I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup. No sinister reason, it’s what I had! Oh, and I used dark brown sugar. Again, what I had.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture just until combined.

With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chunks, raisins, pecans, and oats.

Drop 2-inch balls of dough, spaced 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten dough balls slightly. Bake 12 to 16 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned, rotating sheets halfway through.

Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Maya Galletas de Chocolate

I know a day (well, 2) late and a dollar short. Cinco de Mayo was 2 days ago. Sigh. But look at those chocolatey beauties … surely, I can be forgiven! And, trust me, they are delicious, chocolate, slightly sweet, with just ‘un poco calor’ at the end.

I do have a perfectly good excuse. For Cinco de Mayo I made Arroz con Frijoles Negro so I could participate in the Holiday Recipe Club. If you don’t belong, you should check it out!

These may be overdue for the FIESTA, but they are totally worth the effort!

Below is the full recipe. I made half a batch. Wasn’t sure how the addition of some heat to the cookies would work for the folks I lovingly bake for.

  • 3/4 C vegetable shortening
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 C flour (7.8 oz)
  • 3/8 t salt
  • 1 ¼ C natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2 t baking soda
  • ¼ t ground pepper
  • 1/8 t cayenne
  • 6 oz finely chopped dark bittersweet chocolate (70% Lindt Intense Dark)
  • Mixture of ½ cup granulated & 1 teaspoon cinnamon for rolling


  • 1/4 C + 2 T vegetable shortening
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 C + 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C + 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 large eggs
  • 3/4 C + 2 T flour
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 C + 2 T natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t ground pepper
  • 1/16 t cayenne
  • 3 oz finely chopped dark bittersweet chocolate
  • Mixture of 1/4 C granulated & 1/2 t cinnamon for rolling
NOTE: OMG is it a LEAP of faith halving a baking recipe! I was terrified – especially the cayenne. Really, no one has a 1/16 measuring spoon, I eye-balled half of 1/8 t and it was fine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream shortening and butter in a large bowl with high speed of electric mixer. Beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until creamy (about 2 minutes). Beat in vanilla and eggs; beat only until they are mixed.

Stir together flour, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ground pepper and cayenne. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until it’s almost well mixed. Add the chocolate chips and stir until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in a mixture of cinnamon sugar.

Arrange on parchment paper lined sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 7 minutes, then remove from cookie sheets and place on a rack to cool.

Makes about 5 dozen for the full recipe and 2 1/2 dozen for the half batch.

NOTE: Let them cool on the sheets, otherwise they fall apart and you have to eat your mistakes! If there are any left over, the cayenne intensifies ever so slightly the next day. These really are fabulous!

Malted Milk Ball Cookies

Recently observed and overheard …

She sat – minding her own business – munching on Whoppers while reading a book.

He says – “Hey, I love Whoppers!”

She says – “That’s nice. I like them too.”

She glances coyly at him and says – “I love cookies.”

He says – “I love cookies too. How perfect would a cookie be that had Whoppers in them!?”

She thinks about this for a moment and asks – “What do you think of peanut butter?”

He answers – “I love peanut butter, especially with chocolate.”

By the look on her face, she thinks he might be the perfect man.

Watching this scene unfold, I think I need to find a cookie that has Whoppers in them – if for no other reason than to ensure that this couple has the perfect cookie!

Dorie Greenspan and Baking: From My Home to Yours to the rescue! This is a great baking book. The recipes are great. The ingredients are obtainable. The instructions easy to follow.

This cookie is perfect. Chocolate, slightly malty, crunchy and melty Whoppers, the cookie slighty crispy and slightly chewy.

The only trouble with this recipe was trying to roughly chop Whoppers. CHOP WHOPPERS! They are round. They seemed to be trying to escape their fate. They were rolling off the cutting board onto the floor, into the range top.

While trying to cut these roly poly spheres of deliciousness, I was given the suggestion to use a serrated knife, score them, then cut each in half. ARE YOU KIDDING ME HERE OR WHAT!? A) That ain’t rough chopped and B) who has that kind of time!? (Now, you know this suggestion HAD to come from a man!) I ended up putting a dish towel around the edge to contain the little buggers and I didn’t have to search for the escapees. I must say, any Whopper that tried to escape ended up being punished severely – EATEN – that was a win for me!

  • 1¾ C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C malted milk powder
  • ¼ C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ C whole milk
  • 2 C (6 ounces) chocolate-covered malted milk balls (Whoppers), roughly chopped
  • 1 C chocolate chips (or 6 ounces chopped chocolate)

NOTE: Chopping the Whoppers was traumatic enough. I used chocolate chips. I just couldn’t face chopping another disagreeable ingredient!

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

NOTE: The original recipe says to sift. I hate sifting. I hate washing the sifter. And truth be told, I am a really messy sifter, the stuff goes everywhere – except the bowl.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

NOTE: It will look a little curdled, but the batter will smooth out once you put in the dry ingredients.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough. By hand, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate.

With the mixer still on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate chips.

NOTE: I would suggest a spatula. It took all that effort to roughly chop the little buggers, you don’t want them beaten by a mixer’s paddle now, do ya?

Drop about 2 heaping tablespoonfuls worth of dough onto the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffed and set but still slightly soft to the touch.

NOTE: I implore you, if you don’t already have scoops for your cookie baking – GET THEM! So much simpler and quicker than trying to dole out sticky cookie batter by spoons!

Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Now, off to find that Whopper cookie struck couple!

NOTE: Trader Joe’s makes a Whopper like candy that has a layer of peanut butter in between the chocolate shell and the malt ball itself. That might send these two Whopper, peanut butter, cookie adoring, star struck lovers over the moon.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been way too long.

I think I finally have this Mac figured out – sort of!

The longer you are away the longer it takes to get back into the blogosphere.

Most of you have been encouraging and patient. Some downright nasty (see my middle finger sticking up at you WHILE I type – I am multi-talented)

If I have to get my mind wrapped back around blogging, I may as well start with cookies! It’s the starting that’s the most discouraging. Once you get into the kitchen and get all the ingredients ready, start sifting and stirring, you realize just how much you miss the kitchen, the smells, the sounds, and definitely the tastes.

What better place to get my feet wet again than with Ree Drummond’s easy-breezy, comfort style of cooking and baking.

These cookies are so good. The malted milk powder gives it a wonderfully nostalgic taste of Whoppers. The cookies are chewy and crisp. An absolutely perfect bite of cookie!

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 C light brown sugar
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C (rounded) malted milk powder
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 1/4 t salt
  • One 12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips

NOTE: The second time I made these I tried semi-sweet chips. Didn’t like them as much! The milk chocolate and malted milk powder keep that Whoppers taste to the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cream the butter, then add both sugars and cream until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat slightly, then add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the malted milk powder and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture, beating gently until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir in gently.

Drop by cookie scoopfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Be sure to leave plenty of space between the cookies, they spread out A LOT. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. The cookies will be very flat and very chewy.

 Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan with a spatula.

WOW! Were these a great place to start! These are definitely going in the cookie rotation!

Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband has never met a chocolate chip cookie he didn’t like.

Truth be told, he would probably trade me in for a chocolate chip cookie.

Wait! That really wouldn’t work out well for him, would it? Who, then, would be baking chocolate chip cookies for him in the July heat?

I was looking for something different than the usual Toll House Cookie recipe he seems to be addicted to. I wanted something bigger (and part of that goal was to have the entire thing done on 2 baking sheets), crisp edges, gooey center.

Along came Danielle from Hugs & Cookies to the rescue. She does a weekly bake-along on Facebook. You should join in.

I am seriously terrible at keeping up with bake-alongs in anything that resembles a timely fashion. For example, this recipe was from Week 14! I think she’s up to week – well, let’s just say it’s a really big number  – WAAAAY past 14!

Simple, simple, delicious, big, soft, gooey …

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks soft butter
  • 1 C light brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 C semisweet chips
  • 1 C bittersweet Ghiradhelli chips

NOTE: I put the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Beat butter and both sugars until well blended. Add in vanilla, egg and yolk until light and creamy. Add in flour, salt and baking soda just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Chill if you have time.

Drop by 1/4 cup scoops onto parchment.

Mine baked 14-16 minutes …until edges are browned and centers no longer look wet.

Cool completely on baking sheets. IF YOU CAN WAIT THAT LONG!

The combination of the bittersweet and the semisweet chocolate is really nice. These aren’t really dense. They stay soft and get better as they sit and wait to be eaten. My husband was grateful for the no nuts part – have you guessed he can be difficult?

Sugar Cookie Bars

As many of you know, my darling son does not dorm at scollege. It was his choice. He has been heard saying – though of course not to me, lest he need to give up any of that ANGST – he likes his home, his parents and his mother’s cooking and care, so why would he sleep in a dorm 10 miles away.

He does, however, work at a performing arts camp from June 1st to August 31st as music staff (Tommy is a musician – bass trombone in case anyone out there needs a music teacher or musician for some reason!) and bunk counselor. Doesn’t pay exorbitantly well. The weather is spotty until mid-July. The work is hard. The food is terrible. My husband and I go up on visiting weekends and if that food is their best foot forward for the parents – MYOHMYOHMY what are they feeding my baby!?

That being said, he has a wonderful time. He loves his campers. He teaches music lessons. He plays some fantastic music. And, being it’s a performing arts camp, he has played in the pit orchestras of some amazing shows. The first amateur production of Hairspray anywhere. West Side Story using Leonard Bernstein’s original manuscript.

He always comes back from camp having lost at least 10 pounds and a list of dinners he wants as soon as humanly possible. Now, at 6’1″ and 130 pounds soaking wet, that’s a skinny boy every day, it is a scary skinny kid in August.

So, when he calls and says – PLEEEEEASE, Mommy (I am Mommy when he wants something), send cookies. I hear that voice asking me for cookies and I see this little boy to the left. I know, I know, he’s 21 and doesn’t look that way, but don’t we all see them as sweet little children? I picture him wasting away to nothing. To the right, that’s what he looks like now. Cute, ain’t he?

What is a mother to do? Bake! That’s what a mother does! Bake and mail. Bake and mail. Bake and mail. But these have to be cookies that travel well. These have to be cookies with no chocolate – with the exception of a few chips here and there. Did I mention MY son hates chocolate?  There can be no nuts whatsoever in the cookies – the camp has a strict no nut policy.

AND – AND – there are cookies for Tommy, and Tommy’s 2 best friends, and a little bribe for the mailroom folks. They are supposed to open every package and take out items that are verboten. It’s amazing what a bribe of sugar and flour will do!

I asked my Facebook buddies for suggestions and got some really good ones that will be making their way to camp this summer, but I suddenly started seeing these sugar cookie bars everywhere. They looked amazing and the recipe bakes on a half sheet pan so it makes a LOT of cookies. I traced the cookies back to Anissa’s Kitchen. Thank you!

Usually they are frosted, but frosting would not work for these. I thought it would be a terrible mess in the mail. I personally love sugar cookies with sanding sugar on top. Sanding sugar would be perfect for mailing. Sanding sugar it is!

You use a half sheet pan. Cookies/bars are as large or small as you choose to make them!  These are REALLY good and very easy to make.

  • 1 C butter; room temp.
  • 2 C sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 5 C flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda


Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl and mixing after each egg. Add vanilla and mix. Add in flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Spread on a greased 13×8 baking sheet (a half sheet pan).

If you are using sanding sugar, sprinkle top of cookie

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely and cut.

Cowboy Cookies

Summer is here. Baking for me becomes fast and furious.

Why – you might wonder – is this woman baking in blinding heat?

Well, I’ll tell ya …

My son chose to stay home while in college. He really had no interest in dorming or being away from home for school. Makes it tough on him though – he doesn’t get the wonderful care packages of baked goods that his friends and family get!

He does leave at the very beginning of the summer to work at Frenchwoods Festival for the Performing Arts. He is a bunk counselor and music staff. Gets him out of NYC for the summer and makes sure that he plays his trombone all day, every day.

This, however, is my chance to send my son goodies in care packages.

He doesn’t like chocolate (sigh). He loves oatmeal cookies. And I have an oatmeal cookie that I really and truly love. But every once in a while I just want to bust out of the box and try something new!

Enter COWBOY COOKIES from Baked Explorations the geniuses from Baked in Red Hook, Brooklyn. You’ve also seen Matt many times on the Martha Stewart Show.

I had been wanting to participate in BAKED Sunday Mornings, but I am seriously bad at keeping up with and being in time for bake-alongs. I love the idea of it, I am just never ready ahead of time or on time. Might be a serious anti-establishment streak I have buried deep inside. But heck, they’re just cookies so how serious do we need to get!?

Good, simple ingredients. I love the hint of espresso. And pretzels? Anything that give me that salty sweet tingle is okay in my book!

These come together really easily. The dough is very soft when done. The rest in the fridge for 4 hours, makes it firm and easy to scoop out.

The first batch I put in the oven I used a 2 tablespoon scoop. I think they were too small. Second batch I used a larger scooper and these cookies were much better.

Some pretzels go in the batter and some …

… get pressed into the top of the cookie. They are chewy and a bit caramel-y. Light, just sweet enough. Perfect.

They are now winging their way up to camp to my son and my adopted sons. Let’s see what they think of them!

I cannot share the recipe with you, but you can find it here.