cinnamon roll palmiers

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ah what loveliness can happen when you get distracted.
the other day i was supposed to be making a healthy, well-rounded meal for my good friend who just had a baby, but i was a bit distracted by cinnamon and sugar. palmiers had been on my mind for quite sometime and i was itching to play with an idea.

about a month ago, while nursing a sick little one on the couch, we were watching the barefoot contessa make these savory palmiers, which had goat cheese, pesto, and pine nuts in them. (SWOON) i jotted down a note to make them asap, but then i began to play with the palmier in my head… what if i made them sweet instead of savory? (i know this has actually been done before and i am not the first to come up with this genius idea, but up until recently i had not made a palmier… but ooohhhoo i have eaten my share though!) and what could i do with them?…

i finally got the chance to test out these palmiers i had been dreaming about and come up with a recipe for them. they were barely out of the oven before i was drooling and googly-eyed and talking to them and telling them how pretty they were. then the icing happened…

let’s just say there weren’t many left to take to my friend.

[frozen puff pastry generally comes in a box with 2 sheets – if you want to defrost & use the whole box, just simply double this recipe. *ALSO make sure you follow the box’s instructions to thaw the pastry.]

cinnamon roll palmiers
makes 12

ingredients

1 sheet (1/2 box) frozen puff pastry, thawed*

2 tbsp softened/room temp butter

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk (plus a tsp or so, to thin the icing)

2 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled

1 tbsp brewed coffee

1/2 tsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

directions:

1. preheat oven to 400. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. on a clean work surface or a large cutting board, unfold and lay out the thawed puff pastry. gently spread the softened butter evenly over the entire pastry. in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon to combine, then sprinkle evenly over buttered pastry. use your fingers to spread out and press in just a tiny bit.

3. starting with the left side of the pastry, fold over 1/4 of the sheet. next fold over 1/4 of the right side. repeat, so that the left and right side are now just touching in the center. now, fold the left side over the right side, forming a roll. using a sharp knife, cut the roll into slices – you should get 12 slices out of one rolled pastry. lay flat on prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart (they will spread). bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges of each palmier are just beginning to golden. remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes.

4. while the palmiers are cooling, make the icing: combine all icing ingredients and stir with a small spatula to combine. add a little milk if the mixture is too thick. it should not be too runny – you want to be able to easily drizzle it. (use icing pretty soon after you make it. the top will harden up after a bit and you won’t get that perfect consistency for long.)

 

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popcorn cookies with chocolate chips

popcorn + chocolate chip cookies

ok, so imma be real with you.
i burn popcorn.

like pretty much every time i make it.
no matter how closely i listen to the microwave as it’s popping, i still burn it.
i follow the directions – i swear – and then stand patiently by the microwave as it pops, listening for the break in the popping… i pull it out as soon as i AM SURE i got it at just the right moment and without fail, i open the door to a slightly burnt smell. and see the little black flecks inside the popped kernels. poor things…
then i deliver the sad attempt to my husband, head hung low. every friggin time.
he can vouch for this. and yet he continues to ask me to make it for him. #smh #sorryhoney

so until i can learn to pop popcorn correctly – and this is not a paid ad – i will remain a HUGE fan of angie’s boom chicka pop. a friend and a client introduced me to it a couple years ago and i have kept it stocked in our pantry ever since. naturally when i came across the idea to put popcorn into a cookie – and it called for popping your own in the microwave for the recipe – i was all, SHYAH RIGHT, i got this.

i adapted a recipe from my favorite design magazine, canada’s house and home (like these maple pudding cakes) and these have quickly become a favorite in my house. the savory, salty element in these cookies is awesome.. and the combination of it with the melty chocolate chips is THE JAM.

popcorn cookies with chocolate chips
makes 28 cookies

ingredients

5 cups popcorn (pick through + remove any unpopped kernels)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1 stick butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup chocolate chips

directions

  1. preheat oven to 325. place top rack in lower third of the oven. line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until smooth. add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. with a spatula, stir in dry ingredients. then mix in the popcorn, and then the chocolate chips, until evenly distributed.
  3. with a 2-tbsp cookie scoop or large spoon, drop cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. with clean fingers or a fork, smash them down a bit. bake for 12-13 minutes, until cookies are browning around the edges.

the el grande chewy chocolate chip cookie

grande chewy chocolate chip cookies | via she likes to eat
once, i thought you should look for and keep only one chocolate chip cookie recipe. pretty sure my beliefs have changed and i now agree that life is too short to only make one recipe.

these cookies are the result of lots of advice, tips from others, and searching the depths of my soul. one friend of mine has always said a good chocolate chip cookie (CCC) is BIG, definitely not on the small side (although sometimes i am fine with a small cookie because i feel ok about eating more of them). another wise source, claims that CCCs come out best when baked at 360, and not 350. i personally love a little espresso powder in mine, but i added only a little in this recipe. it truly lends so much depth to the batter. lastly, there is a little “secret ingredient” that i have added, after just playing around with different ideas: ground pecans (these are the things i think about before i fall asleep at night). FOR REALS it makes these cookies crazy good, giving them this chewy but thick puffy texture and SO much flavor. (of course, if you’re allergic, you can omit the pecans.)

these cookies have a special place in my heart, as do these of course, for they are classic and perfect and ohmygoodness i have a hard time eating just one.
so maybe i should say they have a special place on my thighs in my smile!

the EL GRANDE chewy chocolate chip cookie
makes about 14 cookies

ingredients

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp espresso powder

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/3 cup pecans, ground

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)

directions

1. preheat oven to 360. line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. put pecans into a small food processor and ground until fine. set aside.

2. in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and espresso powder. set aside.

3. in a separate large bowl, beat softened butter and sugars on medium speed, until light and fluffy. add in vanilla and eggs. with a spatula, mix in ground pecans. add half of flour mixture and mix. add the rest and mix by hand until *almost* completely incorporated. add in chocolate chips and stir to combine.

4. scoop batter with a large cookie scoop, or spoon into balls about 1/4 cup in size, onto a cookie sheet. keep about 2 inches apart – you should get about 4-6 cookies per cookie sheet. bake for 11-13 minutes – they should be just beginning to brown along the bottom edge. bang sheet lightly on the counter after removing from the oven (this gives them the pretty lines on top that i just love). allow to cool a bit on a cookie rack – but not too long if you want them all melty & gooey 🙂

maple brown sugar oatmeal cookies

maple brown sugar oatmeal cookies | via she likes to eat

i was blazing through target a few weeks ago – the way one does when accompanied by a 4-year old and a 2-year old who are not into shopping the way you are and goldfish snacks are no longer cutting it – and i barely glanced at a display of packaged cookie mixes, all in autumn-inspired flavors. only later did this register and i began to dream of a similar cookie that i had seen, with maple syrup and brown sugar… i thought i would maybe mix in some oats… my wheels were turning.

so i looked in my trusty recipe box – the one you are looking at right now – and went to my oatmeal biscoff cookies with vanilla-soaked raisins recipe, figuring i could edit it to make this cookie recipe i was working on in my head. although i thought it would take a few tries to get it just right – since cooking with maple syrup can be tricky..well, baking PERIOD can be tricky when experimenting – but the first batch, really, was MONEY.

i done it all by mine-self, y’all. (insert ozarks backwoods accent here.)

these babies are a comforting, classic fall cookie. the oats give them texture and they are perfectly crispy on the outer edges and yet gloriously chewy in the center. they are the cookie i crave on a cold fall day, when i don’t want anything fancy, just simple, with a glass of cold milk.

maple brown sugar oatmeal cookies
makes about 34 cookies

ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup plain quaker oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temp

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1/3 cup pure maple syrup (not imitation syrup)

directions

1. preheat the oven to 350. line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt – set aside. in another bowl, cream together butter and both sugars with a mixer (handheld or standing), at medium speed until light and fluffy. add in vanilla, then add in eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. add in maple syrup. continue mixing on low to medium speed for another 1-2 minutes.

3. add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together with a spatula until just combined. using a cookie scoop or a spoon, place balls of cookie dough an inch or more apart (they will spread a bit during baking) onto prepared cookie sheets. bake each sheet separately, baking for about 13-14 minutes each, until the cookies begin to darken around the edges and are set in the center. allow cookies to cool on a wire rack before removing from cookie sheets.

oatmeal biscoff cookies with vanilla-soaked raisins

oatmeal biscoff cookies with vanilla-soaked raisins | via she likes to eat

biscoff is quickly becoming one of my favorite ingredients.
i constantly find myself dreaming of other ways to use the creamy shortbread cookie butter. almost like it’s my job. these cookies were one of the first things i baked with biscoff and they have remained one of my favorites. they have also become my go-to oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. the biscoff makes them ultra creamy and when they are straight out of the oven, ohmy i have a hard time finding the words to explain to you how dreamy they are. on the right day, these hit the spot just as well as some warm chocolate chip cookies, with a glass of cold milk.

if you are unable to find biscoff at your local grocer, you can find it on amazon, or at the biscoff website – it’s actually cheaper here.

the trick to these cookies is soaking the raisins in the vanilla. it keeps them moist and really plump, even throughout baking. (although, for a fun twist if you are making these for an adult crowd, you can soak the raisins in rum instead. just add the vanilla to the batter.) also, if you are like me and have a dear friend who loves oatmeal cookies but doesn’t like the raisins, you can make these cookies minus the raisins. they still turn out perfectly. (just add about 1 tbsp vanilla in with the eggs.)

oatmeal biscoff cookies with vanilla-soaked raisins
adapted via the earnest baker

ingredients

2 tbsp vanilla extract (preferably homemade)

1 heaping cup raisins

2 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, at room temp

1 cup creamy biscoff spread

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

directions

1. in a sandwich-size ziploc bag, place the raisins and the vanilla extract and seal tightly. lay flat on the counter to make sure all the raisins are sitting in the vanilla liquid. about 10-15 minutes later, flip bag to opposite side, to ensure they really soak it up. let them soak for at least 20-30 minutes, or up to overnight. this will make the raisins plump and will stay large & juicy through baking. (while you’re at it, lay out the butter to soften. by the time the raisins are ready, the butter will be too.) do not drain.

2. preheat the oven to 375. line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

3. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. in a separate large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars, at about medium speed until light & fluffy. add in the biscoff and mix until completely incorporated. add eggs and mix until completely incorporated. mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes.

4. add in flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. then add in pre-soaked raisins and mix in with a spatula until just combined. using a cookie scoop, place balls of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

5. bake for 10-11 minutes, until the cookies are beginning to brown around the outer bottom edges. (make sure to not overbake.) allow cookies to cool on the sheet on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes. these babies are best served warm:)

enjoy!

my favorite chocolate chip cookies

my favorite chocolate chip cookies - she likes to eat
as every normal american girl, my life has been a quest.
a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

it’s not something i daily think about per se, but in the back of my mind, almost subconsciously, i have always been searching for my favorite. as someone who likes to cook, i have tried so many cookies and recipes over my life and loved so many. my grandma used to make some pretty great ones. phoebe’s mom’s friend mrs. nestle tollhouse has a pretty decent one. several of my close friends have really good ones too. but until recently, i wouldn’t have been able to say “i’ve found my favorite”. my go-to for picnics or to take to a friend. my favorite recipe that i always make when i just need some chocolate chip cookies.

this recipe is the one. it is a perfect chocolate chip cookie with a round buttery taste and a bit of saltiness, with just the right amount of chocolate chips that you can still savor the cookie that’s in between. i love adding the depth of the espresso powder but these cookies are just as wonderful if you choose to omit it. (interestingly, the espresso puffs up the cookies a little bit during baking. without it, they are a little flatter.)

recipe edited just a bit on 1.25.2015

my favorite chocolate chip cookies
makes about 30 cookies

ingredients

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp instant espresso powder  [see this page for where to get it]

1 heaping cup chocolate chips

directions

1. preheat the oven to 350*. line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. set aside. in a large bowl, with a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together, until light & fluffy. add egg and vanilla and mix well. add flour mixture and mix with a spatula until just combined. add in chocolate chips. (the batter is quite thick, so using your hands is helpful here.)

3. using a cookie scoop or your hands, form dough into balls and place on cookie sheets. bake sheets one at a time in the oven. bake first sheet for 5 minutes, then take cookie sheet out & bang lightly on the counter (this gives you the yummy-looking lines on top of the cookies). then rotate the pan (so they bake evenly) and put it back in the oven. bake another 4-5 minutes, until the sides are set and golden brown, but the center is still under-baked.

4. repeat with the other 2 cookie sheets. once you remove each sheet from the oven, bang the pan lightly on the countertop to create more lines on the tops of the cookies. cool cookies on wire racks.

enjoy!

recipe adapted from the vanilla bean blog
*sometimes my cookies spread better when cooked at 375 – depends on your oven and how hot it gets.

chewy chocolate spiced molasses cookies

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the other night i attended my first ever cookie exchange.
super fun & super yummy.. except. a party where there is a large table covered with loads-o-cookies and you can’t eat any of them?! not right.

the good part came when i got to take a big plate home and share them with the hubby, who happens to have a devoted & unhealthy attachment to sugar cookies. (read: i didn’t get to eat any sugar cookies that night).

the reigning winner of the cookie exchange for the past few years just happened to be a lady whose husband made the winning cookies for her (you know who you are:) so i probably don’t have to tell you there were a lot of sweet ladies at the party who were out to take him down this year.

the competition is pretty much based on looks and not taste, so i knew i wouldn’t take the gold medal home this year (not with all the “melted snowmen” and reindeer cookies with pretzels for antlers) BUT as for when each lady got home and tasted these babies – yeah, i felt good about that. these cookies are a grown up, holiday version of everyone’s favorite chocolate chip cookie and are simply yet complexly (is that a word?) delicious! (adapted from an old martha stewart recipe)

chewy chocolate spiced molasses cookies
makes 18 large cookies

ingredients

2 tsp baking soda

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 cups all purpose flour (just a little heaping)

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup molasses

one 12-oz bag mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)

directions

1. preheat oven to 325. line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. in a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 3 tsp boiling water; set aside.

3. in a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until combined. in another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. slowly add to butter/sugar mixture & mix until almost combined.

4. add baking soda mixture and molasses; mix to combine. stir in chocolate chips. mix well.

5. using a 2 inch cookie dough scoop, scoop dough and then roll in granulated sugar. place cookies on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 18 minutes. let cool 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

enjoy!