Tag Archive | Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Ultra Gel

It occurred to me today that somehow in several years of writing this blog I have never shared a true pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe. We’ve done some close versions, like our pumpkin oat cookies, but as this is one of my absolute favorite Halloween cookies I’m certain you need the real thing.

My favorite things about this cookie are how moist it is and the perfect balance of pumpkin to chocolate chip. This is achieved by combining pumpkin and Ultra Gel in the batter and then using mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips. I know there are a lot of folks who are fans of big chips, but for me I want the chocolate to melt in my mouth and meld with the soft pumpkin for this perfect little moment. Big chocolate chips don’t melt just right. Yeah, color me a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie snob. I’ll take it.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Ultra Gel

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons good vanilla

2 cups (1 15 ounce can) pumpkin puree

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add Ultra Gel, vanilla and pumpkin. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients and spoon into pumpkin mixture, stirring until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

This is a very soft dough and easiest to work with using a disher that helps you release the dough. I like to use a 2 teaspoon disher, which makes slightly smaller cookies because I don’t feel as guilty about eating more of them. It has pumpkin in it, it’s healthy right?

Scoop dough balls onto a cookie sheet, spacing at least an inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and your desired firmness is attained. Some folks like these cookies really soft, and others want them more set. You’ll need to play with your oven to find the exact right time for your cookies.

Let sit on the tray for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack and cooling completely. Do not stack these without waxed paper between them as they will stick to each other and you’ll get one mondo stack of cookie.🙂

Lime Crinkle Cookies

I looove lemon crinkle cookies. I’ve made and eaten a lot of them. A few days ago I wanted to make them, but all I had in my fruit bowl was limes. Undaunted I decided I’d just adjust my favorite lemon crinkle cookie recipe to make a lime one.

You’ll be happy to know that lime crinkle cookies are amazing. They’re not quite as bright as the lemon ones, but I think lime crinkle cookies are more flavorful and a little more mellow. Besides…they’re green, and you can’t go wrong with green cookies!

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Lime Crinkle Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

Zest of one large or two medium limes

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add Ultra Gel and beat to combine. Whip in vanilla, egg, lime zest and lime juice. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients except powdered sugar. Fold into creamed mixture. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again. Pour powdered sugar onto a plate. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and roll in the powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes until bottoms begin to brown. Remove from oven and cool for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

A few weeks ago I was attending an all day conference and knew I was going to get the munchies. As I was packing up I had a craving for cookies, specifically peanut butter cookies. My family doesn’t love peanut butter cookies in the way I do and this was a great opportunity to try a really fast gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe I’d seen online and all over Pinterest. I ended up making the recipe twice, and it’s kind of an amazing recipe because it has less than five ingredients and counts on the protein from the peanut butter and egg and the candy properties of the sugar to make a cookie without flour or any leavening. It works really well. The reason for twice was that I did have one complaint about the first batch. It was very dry…so Ultra Gel to the rescue! And it worked fantastically.

I may have eaten all 2 dozen of the cookies in about 3 days. Don’t tell anyone.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter cookies

1 cup sugar (this will work with as little as 3/4 cup)

1 egg

1 cup peanut butter (Chunky or creamy)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine all ingredients until very well mixed. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes before scooping out. Cook at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until the edges are light brown. Allow to cool on the tray for 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

These would be delicious drizzled with a little chocolate, though not as easy to take to conferences without making a big mess.🙂

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

This caramel stuffed chocolate cookies recipe is one that I made during Christmas time but it kinda got lost in the shuffle. However, as it’s an easy and yummy recipe (Starts with a cake mix!) I think it deserves to come back to light. And it’s chocolate and caramel and if that isn’t a great option for Valentines I don’t know what is.

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Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

12 ounces rolos chocolate covered caramels

1 box devil’s food cake mix

1 eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 Tablespoon water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, eggs, Ultra Gel, water, and vegetable oil. Wrap dough around individual rolos and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before moving to a rack to complete cooling. This is a very important step as moving the cookies too early can lead to caramel leaking out the bottom!

Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Frosted Soft Ginger Cookies

We’ve made a couple of versions of ginger cookies in this space before. It should surprise no one that I love a good ginger cookie. I love the spice and the burn and the…yum. However, I’ve never really found a ginger cookie that I liked with an icing. Until now.

These cookies are based on a Swedish Ginger Cookie and they are a delightful spiced cookie with a nice chew and are awesome with a dab of cream cheese icing. Perfect for Christmas!

If you make them in small sizes they’re also great sandwich cookies. I’m fairly certain they could hold up to a drizzle of dark chocolate as well, but I’ll stick with my cream cheese icing for now!

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Frosted Soft Ginger Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1 Tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup molasses

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat smooth. Add Ultra Gel, water, vanilla and molasses and beat well. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and beat until just mixed.

Portion dough with a spoon or disher and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. If your oven bakes at all unevenly, rotate baking tray half way through the cooking time. Let the cookies cool for 2-3 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool fully.

Ice with cream cheese frosting and devour.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons Ultra Gel

1 pound powdered sugar

1-2 Tablespoons milk – as needed

In a stand mixer (or with an electric mixer) combine all ingredients except for the milk. Add milk and/or additional powdered sugar as needed to reach a spreadable consistency. Store any leftover icing in the fridge.

Adding Ultra Gel to Cookie Dough

For many people Christmas is the time when cookies take over. There are cookie exchanges and count downs and family favorites shared with the ones we love. These days I never make a cookie without adding Ultra Gel. I’ve talked about the reasons for this before, but to review:

1: Adding Ultra Gel holds moisture in the baked cookies so they will last longer. This is very important with cookies which are being shipped, or made ahead of time for Christmas parties.

2: Adding Ultra Gel allows you to freeze baked cookies and have them thaw beautifully with a nice chew and good moisture.

3: Adding Ultra Gel allows you to freeze cookie dough to give as gifts or to have on hand for quick baking.

4: In some recipe Ultra Gel can fully replace the egg to help with allergies or other concerns, while keeping the dough balanced and tender.

Cookie balls

So there are all the reasons for using Ultra Gel in your cookies, or at least some of them. However, the bigger question is often how to figure out how MUCH Ultra Gel to add. It is true that too much Ultra Gel can actually steal moisture in a very dry cookie (such as lace cookies or shortbread), but a little practice and you’ll know exactly how much for each recipe. My general rule of thumb is that I add one Tablespoon of Ultra Gel and 1 teaspoon of additional water for each egg in the recipe. If the recipe has pumpkin, applesauce or other very wet ingredients in it then I do not add the additional water. If the recipe is a dry cookie like a shortbread then I add 2 teaspoons of water per Tablespoon of Ultra Gel. This isn’t a perfect measure for every recipe out there, I’m sure, but gives you a good place to start!

Now, I have cookie to make. Who’s with me?

 

Brownie Cookies

About a week ago I was having a night filled with serious chocolate cravings. However, I didn’t just want any old chocolate bar I wanted brownies. Fudgy and chewy and decadent. It sounded perfect, but I didn’t want just any brownies either. I wanted brownies that were all corners since you get even more chew that way. Now, there are Pans designed to give you more edges, but I don’t own one of those. Honestly I agree with Alton Brown about unitaskers (in general) and it’s just not a pan I have space for given the number of times I’d use it. So what’s a chocolate craving girl to do?

Cookies. Brownie cookies. One batch gives you more servings than an 8×11 pan and everything is edges with this gooey yum right in the middle. And with the addition of Ultra Gel these moist cookies freeze really well. My daughter loves them to munch on when we go for an afternoon walk, and when it comes to ice cream sandwiches you just can’t go wrong!

Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flour

Combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in 30 second bursts, stirring between until the chocolate is melted smooth. ((You can also do this over a double boiler if you prefer)). In a separate bowl or stand mixer combine eggs, sugars, cocoa powder, Ultra Gel and vanilla and beat smooth. Add chocolate mixture to creamed mixture to mix to combine. Combine dry ingredients and add to chocolate mixture until just combined. If desired add white chocolate chips or mini chips for even more chocolate death. Drop spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.