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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Not Your Grandma's Cookies

Or maybe they are? Happy Tuesday everyone! Today happens to be my birthday and my amazing husband bought me my favorite kind of cake - cookie cake. I just love the combination of a giant soft cookie smothered in sweet frosting! So in honor of cookies everywhere, I give you a few unusual recipes over which you can salivate.

Oatella Cookies
Dagmara Kokonas

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • One 13-ounce jar Nutella
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the shortening with both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl. Add the Nutella and beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then beat in the oats.
  2. Scoop 1-tablespoon mounds of dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and the cookies are just set; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Immediately transfer the cookies from the pan to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
MAKE AHEAD The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Korova Cookies
Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces; 150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (120 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits
  1. Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together and keep close at hand. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy. (Alternatively, you can do this and all subsequent steps by hand, working with a sturdy rubber spatula.) Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated—the dough will look crumbly, and that's just right. For the best texture, you want to work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface and squeeze it so that it sticks together in large clumps. Gather the dough into a ball, divide it in half, and working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter. (Cookie-dough logs have a way of ending up with hollow centers, so as you're shaping each log, flatten it once or twice and roll it up from one long side to the other, just to make certain you haven't got an air channel.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 2 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)
  3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close at hand.
  4. Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick. (Don't be upset if the rounds break; just squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie.) Place the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) spread space between them.
  5. Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies stand until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature—it's your call. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.
Notes: Dough can be made ahead & chilled or frozen. If frozen, the dough needn't be defrosted before baking—just slice the logs & bake 1 min longer. Packed airtight, baked cookies will keep at room temp for up to 3 days; they can be frozen up to 1 month.

Blackberry Walnut Cookies
Paul Grimes

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, cooled, and finely chopped
  • About 1/2 cup seedless blackberry or raspberry jam
  • Garnish: confectioners sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  2. Blend together butter, sugars, vanilla, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl with a fork. Stir in flour and nuts (dough will be sticky).
  3. Form level tablespoons of dough into balls (total of 40) and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased large baking sheets. Flatten balls to 1/3 inch thick using bottom of a glass dipped in flour. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
  4. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam onto flat sides of 20 cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies.
  • Unfilled cookies can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Cookies can be filled with jam up to 8 hours ahead.

Happy baking!

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