Fresh Strawberry Cookies

These bright pink cookies are made with REAL strawberries!  They’re extra fluffy, super moist, and loaded with strawberry flavor.  I don’t know if you noticed but…they’re PINK! These are the perfect treat for any pink occasion! heartcookie So!  Valentine’s Day is on Saturday!  That’s exciting, right?  Anybody else excited?

….?

Okay! Moving right along…

I figured since love is in the air this time of year I would post a recipe for something that you might love.  It is safe to say that I love these cookies, so I hope you do too.  They are bright pink, which is kind of a funny color for a cookie, but they taste really good!  Let me describe how they taste:  let’s say you had a moist, fluffy, frosted strawberry cupcake in your hands.  If you took that cupcake and flattened it in between your hands and shaped it into a round cookie, you would have a….mashed up, sticky, not-so-pretty strawberry cupcake cookie.  However, it would still taste good!  If you love the taste of strawberry cupcakes, but you’d prefer a sophisticated cookie over a messy cupcake, you will love this recipe! IMG_6670I have a confession.  The only reason I’m beyond excited for Valentine’s Day this year is because I’ve convinced myself that my boyfriend is going to propose.  I really shouldn’t get my hopes up, though.  Any time we go out somewhere, I start to think it is going to happen.  So it probably won’t happen.  But I think about it all the time. It’s BAD.

That is all I am going to say about that.

Cookies! heartcookie4 

Fresh Strawberry Cookies

  • Servings: Makes around 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • red food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 3 oz box strawberry jello
  • block of cream cheese, softened
  • powdered sugar
  • water

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed or liquefied. Set aside. (If you don’t have those things, mash strawberries with a fork until they are a pulp.)
  3.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add in pureed strawberries and mix until evenly blended.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda with a fork.
  7. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture one cup at a time and mix well. (Batter will be thick.)
  8. Stir in pecans and 5-10 drops of red food coloring to the dough if you’d like.
  9. Drop tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350(F) until edges are slightly brown.

**While cookies are cooling, you can make a simple frosting!

  1. In a small bowl, blend together a block of cream cheese and a package of strawberry jello using an electric mixer.
  2. Beat powdered sugar into mixture and add drops of water until you reach desired frosting consistency.
  3. Frost cookies with a spoon, or place frosting in Ziploc bag, cut the corner, and decorate!
  4. ENJOY!

 

NOTES** Frosting these cookies is the key to making them exceptionally moist!  You can create just about any frosting you want.  I frosted mine in several different ways and stored them in a sealed container and they stayed moist until they were all gone!  I also tried rolling some dough up into plastic wrap (like a tube) and threw it into the freezer to bake later.  This works just as well!  It’s kind of like slice and bake cookies from there! If you tend to like a little less sweet, opt for no frosting, but keep these cookies sealed up in storage for moisture!

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for all things Chocolate Chip Cookie.  No doubt about it.  I’ve used the same recipe to make cookies, cookie bars, and even little cookie bowls!  I’ve never had a cookie recipe that is so multipurpose! choc3I don’t know what it is about Chocolate Chip Cookies, but they rule the roost in the dessert world.  If someone asked me what my favorite dessert was, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was Chocolate Chip Cookies.  BUT, for some reason, whenever I make them, the dough tastes so good that I can’t stop eating it.  It’s like the Chocolate Chip Cookies get into my brain!  Wait, here’s another good one: I wake up in the morning and I am feeling extra “good”, so when I make my coffee, I have it with almond milk and a little Stevia instead of loading it with creamer.  Good job, right?  Wrong.  My eyes are immediately drawn to the Chocolate Chip Cookies and I decide I’ll eat two of those for breakfast instead of real food.  WHAT?!  …Like I said, Chocolate Chip Cookies seem to dominate the {dessert} world.

They own me.choc5My Uncle Jim is the one who got me into these Chocolate Chip Cookies.  He lives in a small town in Northern Illinois and people know him as “The Cookie Man”.  I’ll never forget the time I went to his house and he showed me his ways.  Here are three things he taught me that affect how good (or bad, I guess) your cookies will turn out.  You have to have the perfect combination of white and brown sugar.  If you don’t, your cookies will flatten out or burn to a crisp.  Another helpful hint is to use instant vanilla pudding in the recipe.  It adds an all-around better taste than adding vanilla extract to your cookies.  Lastly, you need to beat in your eggs separately.  A lot of people overlook that step.  Don’t forget to mix them in separately!   choc8

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: About 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 3.5oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, brown and white sugars, and vanilla pudding with mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in one egg. Then, beat in second egg.
  4. In small bowl, measure 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix with fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture slowly and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in bag of chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes until just barely golden for chewy cookies. (If you want crunchy cookies, cook until golden.)
  9. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to plate!
  10. ENJOY!

**Notes: This recipe is extremely versatile.  If you want to whip up a batch of cookies and store the rest in the fridge for later, go for it!  Just keep your dough covered.  The cookies are just as yummy if the dough is chilled.   Also, if you want to make cookie bars instead, just use a 9″x13″ pan and bake them until the tops are golden.  Those are divine.

 

 

 

Nutter Butter Truffles

nutterbutter3When I was in college, my roommate crushed up some cookies, added cream cheese and then covered little scoops in white almond bark.  I have been tainted ever since.  End of story.

Truffles are habit-forming.  Literally.

hab·it–form·ing

adjective \ˈha-bət-ˌfȯr-miŋ\

: causing a strong need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something

:  inducing the formation of an addiction

Mmhm...check, and…check.  Truffles cause a need in my life.  My roommate made her truffles with Oreo cookies back in the day.  I took it a step further and tried it out with Nutter Butter cookies.  My oh my, the results were astounding.  nutterbutter4

Nutter Butter Truffles

  • Servings: Makes 25-35 truffles (varies by size)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 16oz package of Nutter Butter cookies
  • 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 24 oz block of vanilla almond bark/vanilla coating
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • cocoa powder for garnish

What to do:

  1. Empty package of Nutter Butters into a food processor and pulse until cookies are ground up finely. (If you don’t have a food processor, just crush up the cookies inside a gallon-size Ziploc bag)
  2. Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to processor and continue pulsing until thick dough is formed. (If using the Ziploc bag, just add cream cheese and powdered sugar to bag and knead it with your hands)
  3. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls (I wouldn’t go any larger) and place balls onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Freeze until firm (30 minutes-1 hour)
  5. Melt almond bark or candy coating per package instructions in the microwave.
  6. Dip frozen balls with a fork one at a time into almond bark, let excess run off, and place back onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet. (Because the inside is cold, they should harden quickly)
  7.  Transfer extra almond bark/candy coating and peanut butter to small Ziploc bag and knead until combined.
  8. Cut a VERY small opening in one corner of the bag, creating your own icing bag.
  9. Drizzle truffles in a zig-zag motion, or whichever pattern you please!  **Any plain truffles can be sprinkled with cocoa powder as well!**
  10. ENJOY!

 

**Notes: Truffles should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and are best served chilled.  They tend to crack open if they get too warm. Have fun! nutterbutter1

No-Chill Cutout Cookies

IMG_4859Thursday night and feeling CRAZY!!!!!

Not really.

But I did just get home from a cookie decorating party! Wahoo!

And my teeth are coated in sugar.  I was struggling.  Sometimes you just have to be in the mood to decorate cookies.

Sometimes you just want to bake cookies.  Then sometimes, you just want to eat the cookies.  Sometimes, you think it would be so fun to decorate cookies and then all of a sudden you realize it is just not that fun tonight, so you start eating the peppermint M&Ms one by one and……the rest is history.  Judging from my candy-coated canines, I’ll bet that I put more sugar in my mouth than on top of cookies tonight. IMG_4852I love a delicious cutout cookie.  Notice how I said a delicious one.

My ideal “delicious” sugar cutout cookie has to be thick.  It has to be soft (but firm) and chewy, just barely on the verge of being golden, and has to have a hint of almond extract.  Deeee-licious!

This is my absolute favorite recipe for cutout cookie perfection. It is my go-to recipe. ZERO chilling of the dough, which is huge for me.  I hope you love it like I do.IMG_4867

No-Chill Cutout Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a big bowl, cream softened butter and sugar with a mixer. (Softened butter is VERY important here.  If it is too solid, it won’t cream in with sugar. If it’s too liquid, it will clump sugar together.)
  3. Beat in egg first, then add in both extracts.
  4. Grab a small bowl and combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little bit at a time until both parts form a thick dough. (It should seem fairly dry.)
  6. Divide dough into two balls and roll each ball onto a floured surface, one at a time.  (Ideal thickness for me was about 1/4 inch, but I’ve left it as thick as a 1/2 inch. The thinner you roll the dough, the quicker they brown.)
  7.  Use cookie cutters or a glass to cut your cookies into desired shapes and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet using a metal spatula.
  8. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just barely begin to brown.
  9. Let cookies cool completely before frosting or decorating and share with your family and friends! YUM!

**Store in an airtight container to keep cookies from drying out! Cookies also freeze well!

 

 

Adapted from the Wilton.com recipe for Roll-Out Cookies