Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cookies and Keeping Warm

Dave has a whole week off--woo-hoo! It's so neat to have him around the house more than the usual 2 or 3 days a week. We decided not to go anywhere this week since we have so many home improvement type projects going on, so we've been hanging out here and taking some short road trips.

The big thing is that our heating/AC unit is broken, and not just a little broken, but so broken that it will probably need to be replaced. So, we've had people coming out giving us estimates all week. In the mean time, we've been using three space heaters to keep the house warm, and though they do an okay job, I've also been baking like crazy since having the oven on keeps the house very warm. So basically, I've been baking for warmth.

I made three cookie recipes--James Peterson's Chocolate Chip Cookies, Katie Lee's Mexican Wedding Cookies, and Peanut Butter Cookies (I think I found the recipe on the side of some package). All three were good but the chocolate chip cookies were really nice since there were no actual chocolate chips, just finely chopped chocolate. Though I do like chocolate, I do not like chocolate chunks in anything, so these cookies definitely won me over.

James Peterson's Chocolate Chip Cookies
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips (I chopped my chocolate, VERY finely)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Unless you are using silicone baking liners or nonstick sheet pans, brush 2 sheet pans with soft butter. If you're using a chunk of chocolate, chop it into 1/2-inch pieces by hand or with a food processor. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

You can make dough by hand, with a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a food processor. Mix together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla and add the flour mixture all at once. Stir or mix on low to medium speed until there's no loose flour visible. Stir in the nuts and chocolate.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F. For each cookie, measure out 2 tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Flatten each ball into a 2 3/4-inch disk with the bottom of a glass or your hand.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies brown slightly. Let cool until set and then transfer to cooling racks.

Katie Lee's Mexican Wedding Cookies
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, ground

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla. Stir in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and pecans. Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Roll each cookie in the remaining powdered sugar. Let sit 15 minutes then roll a second time. Store in an airtight container.


  1. These all look delicious! I love how the chocolate chip cookies look with the chopped up chocolate.

    I hope you're staying warm! It's been above freezing here this week which has been great.

  2. Your cookies look delicious! How fun to have Dave home with you all week. Sorry that your heater is broke. One of the apps on my new IPod Touch is a weather button and I put in the zip codes of all my family members that live away from me. So I have been checking your weather all week and see that it is quite cool (of course, not as cool as here, but it's all relative)...in the 50s. Stay warm.

  3. I think the chocolate chip cookies look like they have freckles - and there's another recipe I'll have to try!