Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookies

http://assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.jsWhat does one do with leftover buttermilk? Don’t use it for your cereal like Chris suggested. Unless you want/like sour tasting cereal (shudder). Use it for these cookies instead!

I bought buttermilk for a cake I made and ended up with lots leftover. When I saw these cookies, I wanted to give them a try since they looked so different. They were really chewy and had that melt-in-your-mouth taste.  I drizzled chocolate syrup on top of the cookies before baking them to make them even more palatable to the eye.


I will be on vacation all of next week! Chris and I are flying to Seattle tomorrow and spending a day there before heading up to Whistler/Blackcomb. I am excited to learn how to snowboard and not fall down a bazillion times. My predictions are that I will be very sore if not broken by the week’s end. But I will be one awesome snowboarder. On the way back, we’ll get to spend a day in Vancouver before flying home. I’m so excited! Above all, I am looking forward to being with my two cousins from New York. Family rules! Oh and boyfriends are cool too.

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites
Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies depending on cookie size

Get

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 10 oz chocolate chips
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

Bake
*Preheat oven to 350 degreees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
*In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
*Melt the butter in a small, microwave safe bowl.
*In a large bowl, combine the melted butter (still warm) with cocoa powder and whisk until very smooth. Whisk in sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.
*Drop dough in 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about two inches between cookies to allow to spread.
*Drizzle chocolate syrup over dough if using.
*Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges.
*Cool for 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet, transfer to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: I cut the sugar in half for this recipe and the cookie was still sweet! I also used Nestle Toll House’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Premier White Swirled Morsels for the chocolate chips. It added a cool visual to the cookies but feel free to use regular chocolate chips.   

Enjoy!

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A New Year and Butter Nut Cookies

Looking back, 2011 was a big year. I started it in Boston at a quiet corner bar, seated around my best friend Candice, her then fiancee, my friend Kat, and Chris who I was kinda dating at the time. We talked about New Year’s resolutions and I said mine would be to get a new job. Little did I know I would actually fulfill it! And that it would happen 3,000 miles away in San Francisco.

Other highlights included going snowboarding for the first time! I fell on my tailbone, hard. Like if you were there, you would have heard a crack. I also jumped on a trampoline. Luckily, I didn’t snap my ankle or bounce off and hit the ground. I witnessed two of my friends get married, at Vegas and at West Point. I won 20 cents in Vegas! I did not cash in my voucher yet. I’m waiting until I have a whole dollar.

Baller!


I ate fish stomach, pig brain, and tuna. I really didn’t enjoy any of it.

Pig roast feast.

Two family members passed away and our family was reunited twice. I traveled to Ethiopia, Germany, Thailand, Mongolia and back and forth from NY to SF five times.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Holy crap, right? I’ve reach Silver status with Delta! That means absolutely nothing. I’m still a second class citizen when I fly.

Now looking ahead to 2012, I started this year in New York City at a bar in Harlem with my cousin, her boyfriend, her roommate and Chris.

I’m a walrus. 

All I can hope for this year is that everyone remains healthy. My New Year’s resolution will be to not move and stay in the same job; basically be stagnant. And maybe lose three pounds. We’ll see how that goes.

I am getting ready to head to Boston today! I had a lot of fun at home. My mom made her Butter Nut Cookies that we all go crazy for. She got the recipe from a coworker. They’re so good right out of the oven, so buttery and crumbly with a nutty texture.

Nom nom nom.

Butter Nut Cookies

Get

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 6oz bag of chopped walnuts
  • powdered sugar (for rolling)

Bake

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
*Sift flour, sugar and salt. Work in butter and vanilla until well combined. Fold in walnuts.
*Roll dough into balls (about a tablespoon of dough) and place on baking pans.
*Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned.
*Let cool for 5 minutes or until the cookies are not hot but warm.
*Roll in powdered sugar. Place in small baking cups (1 5/8 or 41mm).

Enjoy! Happy New Year!


Gingerbread Cookies and Cookie Swap

Back in Boston, my job would host a cookie swap every year in December. It was awesome. You get to try out a new recipe or improve a familiar one. There would always be more cookies than anyone could ever want. And then of course, the inevitable sugar high after sampling everyone’s cookies is part of the fun.

To carry out this tradition in my new city, I invited friends over to my little shoebox of an apartment to swap some cookies and get cracked out on sugar.

I had a hard time deciding what to make – there are too many good cookies out there! I ended up making gingerbread; a Christmas classic. I used tree cookie cutters and decorated them with store bought cookie icing and mint M&M’s.

The cookie swap was a success. The full list of sweets included Chocolate Peppermint Buttons, Muddy Buddies, Chocolate Sambuca Crinkles, Black Sesame Seed Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies, Chocolate Covered Macaroons, Coconut Drop Cookies and Cranberry Orange Bread. People told me I had to make it an annual event.

It made me think of my coworkers in Boston.  I can’t wait to go back to Boston in January to see them! Yup, that’s right. I’m excited about freezing my face off in January. I need to embrace the cold and keep my thick skin otherwise I’ll become weak sauce living out here. Yesterday I overhead a lady saying, “It’s freeeeezing. It’s 48 degrees out!” I was thinking oh girlfriend, you don’t even know what cold is.

Anyways, hope all of you are enjoying lots of holiday treats! Make these gingerbread cookies if you are cookie-deprived 🙂

Gingerbread Cookies
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Get

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg

Bake
*In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients; mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap; pat into an 8-inch square. Wrap well; chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half), place dough on floured counter; roll out 1/8 inch thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm, about 20 minutes.
*Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes, and transfer to baking sheets. Decorate with sugar or sprinkles, as desired.
*Bake until firm and edges just begin to darken, 10 to 18 minutes, depending on size. Cool completely on baking sheets.

Note: I baked mine for 10 minutes and they came out perfect. I used 3″ cookie cutters. 


Enjoy!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Happy 236th Birthday to the Marine Corps! Go hug a Marine! Only if you know them of course. Unless you’re into hugging strangers. 
Speaking of the Marines, I wanted to send my Marine friend serving overseas a care package. 
And what’s a care package without some baked goods?
This is my third pumpkin post…hmm, I guess I’m a little addicted.
I saw these pumpkin snickerdoodles a while ago and bookmarked them for another time. I only thought of them when I was researching the best cookies to send in the mail. When I saw snickerdoodles made the list, I thought it was time to try this recipe.

They are so freakin’ good! And light and chewy and perfectly spiced with cinnamon. The pumpkin flavor is subtle which I like so it still reminds you of a traditional sniickerdoodle cookie yet it is also seasonal in taste.

I hope they arrive safely!

If you would like to send something to my friend, let me know and I will provide you with the address. Care packages are awesome especially to men and women in service. 
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Get

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Bake
*Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
*In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
*In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
*Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon for rolling a shallow bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1 1/2 inch ball, roll the ball in the sugar mixture, and place it on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart. 
*Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and just beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet about 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool at room temperature. 
Note: I found that placing the dough in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes before rolling into cookies helped made the dough easier to work with. 

Enjoy!

Pistachio M&M Pudding Cookies

Ever since I saw Picky Palate’s Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Pudding Cookies, I like using pudding mix in baking. Such a brillant way to keep cookies soft and pillowy. I had this idea to use vanilla pudding mix to make cookies with the seasonal fall M&Ms that just came out.

Though when I came home, I realized we had pistachio pudding mix so I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a try. Pistachios go well with chocolate, right?

Yes. Yes, they do. Chris ate two of them out of the oven and if I’d let him, he would have ate even more. Fair warning – the cookies come out with a hint of green coloring. Pistachio pudding mix is green, go figure.

But they’re delicious! And that’s all that matters in the end, no?

Recipe adapted from Picky Palate
Makes about 3 dozen.

Get

  • 2 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I only used brown sugar, excluded the white.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup of AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 box instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 bag of M&Ms

Note: I like to leave the butter and eggs out a couple hours before baking. Overnight would be ideal but a couple hours would work just as well.  It’s important to get these ingredients to room temperature! Cold butter and cold eggs will not whip as easily and they affect the taste of your baking.

Bake

*Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
*In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. I like to prep the dry ingredients before the wet, so it will be all set to go when ready to combine.
*Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about a four – five minutes. I’ve found that you want your butter and sugar to be really creamy so when you think you’ve beaten them enough, beat them for 30 seconds longer.
*Add eggs one at a time until combined and then mix in the vanilla.
*Slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet. If you are using a stand mixer, do not mix on high right away otherwise you’ll be covered in flour.
*Next, add in the pudding mix until just combined.
*Fold in the M&Ms. I used 3/4 of a bag. Feel free to use less or more depending on your liking.
*With a tablespoon or medium-sized scoop, place little dough balls evenly spaced onto the baking sheets.
*Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cookies are cooked through. I like to check the bottoms for “doneness.” If the bottoms are lightly browned, they are perfect to me.

Enjoy!

What cookie combinations do you enjoy?