Category Archives: cookies

Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies


Chocolate chip cookies are delicious but some days you just need a slightly different type of cookie. And there are so many variations to the traditional chocolate chip cookie that are equally as good and worth discovering. I am also a huge fan of buttery shortbread cookies so this recipe Savory Simple immediately struck chord with me.

These cookies combine three of my favorite cookies into a single bite of baked deliciousness. Chocolate chips, buttery shortbread and chewy oatmeal combine for a simply yet tasty treat that is sure to be a hit and disappear in no time. Go ahead and double the recipe so you can be sure to have enough.


1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the mixer speed down to low and add the vanilla, followed by the flour mixture and then the oatmeal.
  • Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, tun the mixer to low speed ands slowly add the chocolate chips.
  • Use a wooden spoon to ensure that the chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, portion out the dough evenly onto the baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass, slightly flatten the balls into discs.  Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden on top.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.

Yields 3 dozen cookies

South African Chocolate Pepper Cookies


Who doesn’t love chocolate? I know I do and since moving to Belgium my love of it has only increased. After all, there are so many delicious quality chocolates to be had. And quality is the key word here. I would rather have a single bite of a great piece of chocolate than unlimited amounts of a mediocre one. And the same rule applies for cooking with chocolate as it does for eating it straight up. If I wouldn’t eat it plain I certainly won’t use it in my cooking.

And as these cookies from Food 52 demonstrate, chocolate can be paired with surprising ingredients to create delicious treats. In this case freshly ground black pepper, yes black pepper, enhances the chocolate providing these cookies with a surprising pop of spice. The cookies are soft, slightly chewy and filled with flavor in every bite. And to increase the flavor quotient in them I use two types of chocolate, a bittersweet and a semi-sweet. These cookies are so good that you might want to make a double recipe.


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and divided

12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup brown sugar

large eggs

cups all-purpose flour

2/3 teaspoon baking soda

tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Melt 4 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate and 4 ounces of the semi-sweet chocolate and set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter until light and airy.
  • Add the sugar and beat until completely incorporated into butter.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.
  • With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to to butter mixture, beating until just incorporated.
  • Add the melted chocolate into the butter mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  • Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate and the ground pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate until dough is cool and firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart on sheet.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until crisp on outside but still chewy inside.

Yields: 40 cookies



Snickerdoodles are simple cookies with a funny sounding name.  There is really nothing fancy or exotic about this dessert but whether I make them for bake sales, cookie swaps, or dessert tables, they are snapped up in just a few minutes.  Snickerdoodles are a New England staple and I can always spot the New Englader in the crowd since they are the first ones to pounce on the cookie tray.  This recipe is courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen (another New England tradition) and comes together almost as fast as the cookies get eaten.


1 3/4 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tarter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 eggs

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  • Place 1/4 cup of the sugar and all of the cinnamon in a small shallow dish.  (A pie plate works well).  Combine with a whisk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.
  • Place the remaining sugar in a separate large bowl.  Add the butter and vegetable shortening.
  • Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the ingredients together until they are combined and the entire mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the flour.  Beat until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
  • Place two tablespoons (use 1 for smaller, bite sized cookies) dough in your hands and roll into a small ball.
  • Roll each ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture then place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (8-10 for smaller cookies).  The cookies will be soft and puffy when done.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow the cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cookies and allowing to cool completely.

Lemon Milano Cookies

I grew up in a home where pretty much everything was homemade. Cereal was granola and shredded wheat was a special store bought treat; cakes were baked from scratch and a cookie was fresh baked from the oven. With one exception. Every once in a while Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies would appear in the house and no matter how well the paper bag was hidden, the cookies disappeared in a matter of minutes. Perhaps it was the novelty of a store bought cookie that enticed me but to this day there is something about those soft and tender cookies sandwiched together with a bit of dark chocolate that simply excites me. So naturally it was just a matter of time before I decided to make my own Milano treats.
My cookies combine zesty lemon with rich dark chocolate. The cookie recipe comes from The cookies are tender and thanks to the use of lemon in three forms–zest, juice and extract–filled with tangy flavor in every bite. It pairs perfectly with the complexity rich dark chocolate. If you prefer you can substitute milk chocolate but the results will be creamy and slightly sweeter.

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

Zest of 2 lemons

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½ teaspoons pure lemon extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup powdered sugar

8 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest using an electric mixer set on medium speed.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, lemon juice and lemon extract mixing thoroughly to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixing until just incorporated and scraping the bowl as necessary.
  • Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl.
  • Scoop 1½ tablespoon sized cookie dough balls and roll them in the powdered sugar.
  • Place the cookies on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake  for 9 to 10 minutes until the cookies are just golden.
  • Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and liquid.
  • Using a narrow spatula or a knife, spread the melted chocolate over the bottom half of a cookie then top with another cookie. Set aside until the chocolate is firm.

Yields: 20 sandwich cookies



Mexican Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies


You can celebrate your valentines any day of the year and my favorite way to do that is with my heart shaped cookie cutter and these intensely chocolate sugar cookies adapted from

On the surface these cookies appear to be simple sugar cookies but all it takes is one bite to realize that you are in for something special. The addition of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of fiery cayenne pepper adds a surprising burst of flavor in every bite. These spices pair so nicely with the dark chocolate. And while these cookies do contain a very generous amount of sugar they are anything but sweet. Rather they are complex and flavorful making them the perfect sugar cookie.

So go ahead and grab your rolling pin and your favorite cookie cutters and bake this treat today. You won’t be disappointed.


6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1-1/4 cups dark cocoa powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups  unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • In large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and salt. Set aside.
  • Fit your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. To the mixer’s bowl, add the butter and sugars and beat until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined.
  • Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  • Add vanilla and blend.
  • Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2″ thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough. Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone rolling mat and roll the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick.
  • Repeat with the remaining ball of dough.
  • Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 325° F.
  • Remove the dough from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  •  Place the sheet with the cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
  • Bake until cookie edges are just crisp, about 16 minutes.
  • Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling.

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Dusty Bliss Chocolate Espresso Cookies


Chocolate is good. Coffee is good. And when you combine these two delicious ingredients you have something truly amazing; case in point these chocolate espresso cookies from Saveur magazine.  All I can say is “oh my”.

I like to add a touch of espresso powder to my chocolate baked goods since it enhances the complexity and depth of the chocolate taste. But when you add more, here a full 1/4 cup, you are rewarded with an intense dose of coffee flavor that is actually tempered by the chocolate. The pecans, both mixed into the dough and then dredged on top of the finished cookie (with more chocolate of course), adds crunch. These are really amazing cookies and are quickly becoming a favorite in my house.

So why don’t you try them for yourself? They make the perfect mid afternoon pick-me-up –with or without a cup of coffee.


34 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
14 cup instant espresso
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
23 cups finely chopped pecans, divided
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • Heat the oven to 375°. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the sugar with the espresso powder and butter on medium speed of a hand mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the egg, beating well until smooth, then beat in the bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.
  • Add the flour and beat on low speed until the dough just comes together, then stir in 1 cup pecans.
  • Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1 12-inch balls then place the prepared baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart.
  • Press each cookie gently with the palm of your hand to flatten, then bake until set, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to a rack and let cool completely.
  • Pour the melted semisweet chocolate into a bowl. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate then dredge in the remaining 23 cup pecans.
  • Transfer the dipped cookies to a sheet of parchment paper and let the melted chocolate set before serving.
Yields: 3 dozen cookies


Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Cranberry Shortbread


We’ve made it; today is Christmas and your holiday baking should be done. But, if your like me and you love to hide out in your kitchen and bake, your still at it. I know I am. But today’s recipe is super quick and filled with holiday cheer. Merry Christmas!

These buttery cookies from Bake or Break are perfect for your last minute baking.  There are only a handful of ingredients which are mixed together in a single bowl. Allow the dough to chill for a bit then bake away. It really couldn’t be easier. You can even make the dough several days ahead of time and keep it wrapped tightly in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake your cookies. And the results? Rich, buttery and filled with cranberry deliciousness in every bite.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried cranberries

  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the flour, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until combined. Dough will be crumbly but will hold together when pinched.
  • Mix in the cranberries.
  • Gather dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough to a 10-inch square, about 1/4-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares.
  • Carefully transfer squares to baking sheets.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields: 25- 2 in ch cookies


Pumpkin Biscotti


Christmas is tomorrow  and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

What is fast to bake and delicious to eat? Biscotti. I love all kinds of biscotti but this pumpkin version from King Arthur Flour has fast become one of my favorite holiday treats. (OK, I seem to love all holiday treats but this one is right up there on the top of my list). Try them for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree.


4 tablespoons softened butter, salted or unsalted2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 cups all purpose flour

Colored sugar for sprinkling (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened butter, sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  • Beat in the egg and pumpkin purée.
  • At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.
  • Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Divide it in half, and shape it into two 10″ x 2 1/2″ logs. Pat the logs into long rectangles, and smooth their tops and sides.
  • Sprinkle with the decorative sugar if desired, pressing it in gently.
  • Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.
  •  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. 
  • Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. 
  • Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 40 to 45 minutes, until they’re starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Turn off the oven, crack the door open a couple of inches, and let the biscotti cool right in the oven.
  • Remove the biscotti from the oven when they’re completely cool. Store airtight at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 30 to 40 biscotti

Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Cinnamon Bun Pin Wheels


Christmas is just three days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Warm cinnamon buns bursting with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans are the perfect morning treat. But who says these flavors have to be saved for breakfast? Not King Arthur Flour; these cinnamon bun inspired cookies are the ultimate holiday indulgence. They are the perfect compliment to your holiday baking and they taste pretty darn good when served slightly warm.

I’ve even been known to keep a roll of the dough in the freezer so I can bake up a fresh batch when the mood strikes. And why not? It is the holiday season after all!



½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all purpose flour


¼ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 ½ cups all purpose flour


To make the vanilla dough:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. 
  • Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To make the cinnamon dough:

  • In a saucepan combine the sugar, honey, salt, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon.
  • Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly. 
  • Transfer the cinnamon mixture and the toasted pecans to a food processor, and process until smooth.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the pecan mixture and flour to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To shape the cookies:

  • Place parchment or waxed paper on your work surface and dust it lightly with flour.
  • Lay the vanilla dough on the parchment and roll it into an 18″ x 12″ rectangle. Set it aside.
  • Using more parchment paper or waxed paper, roll the cinnamon dough slightly smaller than the first, into a 17 ½” x 11 ½” rectangle.
  • Place the smaller piece of dough on top of the larger piece of dough, using the parchment to transport.
  • Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log, with no gaps.
  • Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment, and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on a clean work surface. Let it thaw for 15 minutes, or until it’s soft enough to cut. 
  • Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into ¼” slices. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, place it back in the freezer briefly. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  • When cool, store airtight, at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.
  • Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Frangelico Crinkles

Christmas is just four days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

For me, nothing says Christmas more than plates of freshly baked cookies.  Traditional sugar and gingerbread cookies are nice but in order to add an element of surprise to my cookie plates I always make sure I include one or two new types each year.  However, as much as I love chocolate, I usually shy away from chocolate based cookies since their presence on the cookie tray is often overpowering.  This year I stumbled upon a chocolate cookie that sounded too good to resist.  Combining the amazing flavors of dark chocolate and hazelnut, these Frangelico crinkle cookies from Mary Lee’s Desserts in Vienna, Virginia were too decadent and enticing to pass up.  The sophisticated flavor combination makes this a very adult cookie.  As an added bonus you can freeze them so they can be made ahead of time and brought out for any cookie giving occasion that pops up.

Don’t let the batter like dough scare you.  Once it sits in the refrigerator it firms up and the result is a dough that is the perfect consistency.


1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
12 ounces top-quality dark baking chocolate, chopped
6 Tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  •  Heat a few inches of water in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Combine the chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl that is large enough to sit over the saucepan.  Heat just long enough for them to melt, stirring to incorporate.  Remove from the heat.
  • Whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand in a mixing bowl until the mixture has lightened in
  • Add the cooled chocolate mixture, vanilla extract, cream, and liqueur, stirring to incorporate, then
    gently and gradually fold in the flour mixture to form a soft dough.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.  Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the
    sifted confectioners’ sugar on a plate.
  • Shape a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball, then roll to coat completely in the confectioners’ sugar.  Repeat to use all of the dough, spacing the dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  • Bake one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes; the cookies will be puffed and cracked but soft in the center.  Do not over bake.
  • Remove from the oven.  Cool for 2 minutes on the sheet; transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before serving or storing.
YIELDS:  36 cookies
The cookies may be stored in an airtight tin for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
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