Tag Archives: Cookie

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies

in a box

You know that it is time to stop posting new cookie recipes on your blog when your inbox begins to fill up with comments from readers who tell you that they have baked several batches of your cookie recipes and now their clothes are feeling a little snug. Hey people, I got my own tight pants problems here!

So, that being said, I promise that this is my last cookie post for December. These cookies were inspired by Alice Medrich. In her book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, I was transfixed by a recipe for Salted Peanut Toffee Cookies. After reading her description, I knew I had to try these.

“Encrusted with toffee-coated peanuts and accented with flaky sea salt, these updated peanut butter cookies have a tender, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread texture. “

I whipped up a batch but sadly, I found the cookies to be a bit dry. I was envisioning a chewy peanut butter cookie with a crunchy coating. And then I remembered Mom Mom Fritch’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. My sister sent me this recipe almost 12 years ago and we had a good laugh over the name Mom Mom.

You see, when my first son was born, almost 23 years ago, he was my parent’s first grandchild. We asked my dad what he would like to be called, perhaps Zaidy or Grandpa. He said no, since he called his dad Pop, it only seemed fitting that now he would be called Pop Pop. As a joke, my husband said to my mom, and we’ll name you “Mop Mop.” We all laughed but somehow the name has stuck and 13 grandchildren later she is called Mop Mop (or more affectionately Moppy) by all those near and dear to her.

As it turned out, Mom Mom Fritch makes killer peanut butter cookies.  There is no flour in her recipe, so they are super chewy and moist. Rolling them in chopped honey roasted peanuts before baking adds a wonderful crunchy texture which contrasts so well with the chewy cookie in the center. I decided to take them up a notch further and pressed a nugget of white chocolate into each cookie as soon as they came out of the oven. (That genius idea was courtesy of Alice Medrich.) Heaven!

Spray your measuring cup with Pam and the peanut butter will slide right out!

spraying measuring cup

package of peanuts

chopping peanuts

Using a 1 tablespoon spring loaded scoop makes easy work of forming the balls.


Roll peanut butter ball in egg wash and then into chopped honey roasted peanuts. You will need to press the chopped nuts into the ball to get them to stick.

dipping in egg

rolling in honey roasted nuts 2

Press a nugget of white chocolate into each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven.

pressing white chocolate into warm cookies

Click here to print recipe for Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies.

cooling on tray 5

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

with milk 1

Usually at this time of year I am the one packaging up and sending cookies out to everyone I love. So this year, it was a wonderful change of pace to be the recipient of some cookies. As a participant in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which I wrote about a few days ago, I received three packages in the mail, each containing a dozen very delicious cookies.

There is something so exciting about getting a package in the mail. I suspect that little thrill of finding a parcel in my mailbox is the primary  factor contributing to my on-line shopping addiction. By the time the box arrives, I have completely forgotten about it, so it comes as a wonderful surprise. (Lovely, that is, until the credit card comes later in the month reminding me that I bought myself these gifts!)

My bounty from the Cookie Swap included:

  • Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies from Dana of  hot pink apron. In the accompanying note she said,”They’re simple yet painfully addictive – you’ve been warned!” She was right!
  • Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Kate of kate’s plate. Deep and dark and deliciously satisfying with my morning latte!
  • Sour Cream Softies Cookies and a beautiful handmade origami ornament from Lisa of  je suis alimentageuse.  The tang of the sour cream kept these cookies from going over the sweet edge.

I am a big believer in sweet generosity! I have always felt that baking for other people is one of the most thoughtful gifts that you can give. Rather than shop for gifts for all the people in my life for whom I am grateful, I decided many years ago to bake. And somehow, over the years my gratitude has grown to include a circle of about 44 people!

While I may get a little bored baking the same treats year after year, certain items in my gift box are mandatory or there may be an uprising. Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark and Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies are sacrosanct.

I decided to add Chocolate Toffee Cookies to the mix this year.  These cookies take chocolate loving to the next level. Deep dark bittersweet chocolate combines with toffee bits to create a chewy cookie with bits of crunchy toffee in the center. A sprinkling of Maldon Sea Salt on top of the cookies adds an incredible textural component as the little salt crystals crunch gently between your teeth and then dissolve on your tongue. After my friend Edward received his box of cookies he sent me the following brief email:

Subject: Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Are you insane? You should be locked away. They are “O.F.S.”……..out f^#*ing standing.

High praise indeed for some pretty yummy cookies!

The toffee in these cookies comes from chopped up Skor bars. Chop up more Skor bars than the recipe calls for since the little bits of chopped up toffee have a mysterious way of disappearing! I wondered where those little bits had gone to and then I discovered them on my hips this week!

skor bar packages

Eggs and brown sugar are mixed well for about 5 minutes.

sugar and eggs

sugar and eggs creamed

Add cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture and then the chopped Skor bars.

adding melted chocolate

adding chopped skor bars

An ice cream scoop works well to portion dough so that all your cookies are exactly the same size and bake evenly.

scooping out dough

Halfway through the baking I like to sprinkle the tops with a bit of Maldon sea salt. The cookies are done when the tops have a beautiful crackly surface. They will still look a bit wet on top but remove them from the oven anyways. If you bake them for too long you will have a dry crumbly cookie instead of a chewy one.


on tray

Click here to print recipe for Chocolate Toffee Cookies.

with pink ribbons 1

World peace Cookies V 4.0

with milk 1
If you found yourself in the post office last week, chances are that the lineups were long and they seemed awfully short-staffed. Were they off sick with the flu, or perhaps hung-over from last night’s office party where our loyal postal workers may have tied one on? No, not quite. I have, in fact, uncovered the real truth. Many of these postal workers were in the storage room in the back of the post office where all the parcels are kept. These mild-mannered civil servants were shedding their conservative navy blue uniforms and changing into their alter ego costumes; several were caught red-handed and charged with tampering with federal mail. The guilty parties could be seen with cookie crumbs caught in the folds of their fur and around their mouth. You see, December 5 was the postal deadline for mailing your cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Over 600 food blogger across North America had signed up to participate. With over 1800 boxes of cookies being shipped all across North America, who could blame these postal workers for breaking into the booty?
It all started at the beginning of November when I received an email invitation to participate in a cookie swap. My automatic response was to hit delete. This sort of thing is fraught with landmines. Having people over to your house and then having to be polite and pretend to like their green christmas tree cookies or spritz cookies with a maraschino cherry in the center. Smiling and nodding with a mouthful of vegan shortbread when a fellow baker asks you, “Can you believe they weren’t made with butter?”

Before I hit the delete button, I read a bit further and realized that this cookie swap did not require any human contact. This was my kind of get together! “The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap.” This creative endeavor is the brainchild of Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen. They “hosted” their first swap last year and had over 600 food bloggers participating. I hit reply and before I knew it, I had the mailing addresses of 3 food bloggers to send my creations to. The last time I impulsively hit reply and joined something resulted in my becoming a food blogger, so more goodness could only follow. The rules of this swap stipulate that you can not submit any cookie recipe that has previously been posted on your blog.

I have over 25 cookie posts on this blog! That meant I’d have to come up with something new and completely different. My brother-in-law Richard came to the rescue and presented me with a new cookbook, “The Sugar Cube” by Kir Jensen. Kir is part of the exploding food cart scene in Portland Oregon. Her tiny little pink food cart turns out some majorly delicious treats. I was immediately taken with a little cookie called Kir+DorriePierre. How could I not try these with a name like that! It turns out that the Dorrie behind these cookies is cookbook author Dorrie Greenspan and the Pierre is the famed Parisian chocolatier Pierre Hermé. This is a well-travelled little cookie!

In Version 1.0, Parisian chocolatier Pierre Hermé created these chocolate sable (French butter cookies) for the Paris restaurant Korkova. Pierre’s version pushed the traditional sable envelope by using light brown sugar in addition to white sugar and adding cocoa powder, chunks of bittersweet chocolate and enough fleur de sel to make them completely addictive. In 2000, Pierre passed the recipe onto cookbook author Dorrie Greenspan and she dubbed them Korkova cookies. When her neighbor Richard tasted them Version 2.0 was born.  He renamed them “World Peace Cookies”, because he was convinced that a daily dose of Pierre’s cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness. These cookies went viral on the blogosphere. Then Kir Jensen, owner of the charming Portland food cart “Sugar Box” took the recipe and tweaked it to create Version 3.0. She substituted dark brown sugar for light brown, added an egg yolk for additional fat, mixed in some cacao nibs, rolled the edges in sugar and sprinkled the cookies with extra fleur de sel. I followed Kir’s recipe, but found the resulting cookies “too chocolatey”. I know that this phrase may be blasphemy to some of you chocoholics out there, but the nuances of the three different types of chocolate in the cookie (cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate chunks and unsweetened cacao nibs) were not detectable.

chocolate versionchocolate baked 2

Enter Version 4.0. I removed the cocoa powder and replaced it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour. I feel that this modification really allows the bittersweet chocolate chunks and the unsweetened cacao nibs to really shine through. I hope that Pierre, Dorrie and Kir would approve. These are not the typical chewy gooey chocolate chip cookie. You get a nice little crunch from the rolled edge of turbinado sugar when you first bite into these cookies. The inside is tender and slightly crumbly and the bitter note of the unsweetened cacao nib plays off beautifully with the bittersweet chocolate and the deep molasses flavour of the dark brown sugar. The flakes of sea salt take this cookie to the next level. These cookies are perfect for mailing because they will keep well in an airtight container for up to two weeks. These cookies deserve the best quality chocolate you can find. I chopped up 10 ounces of  66% bittersweet Valrhona feves.

.10 oz of chocolate

Cacao nibs are added to these cookies as well. Cacao nibs are the edible part of the cocoa bean after it has been harvested, dried, fermented and hulled. Cacao nibs have a similar taste to roasted coffee beans. They add some textural crunch and a hint of bitterness to these cookies which sounds strange but really complements the sweetness in these cookies. cacao nibs

I shaped the dough into a rectangular loaf and then wrapped and chilled it. forming square 2

After an hour in the fridge they were ready for slicing. slicing 1 slicing 2

The edges were rolled in some fine turbinado sugar and then they were baked. finishing sugar cooling on baking sheet 1

Click here to print the recipe for World Peace Cookies Version 4.0. 


Holiday Baking Day 3: Oatmeal Lace Sandwich Cookies

On Day 3 of my holiday baking I present to you “Oatmeal Lace Cookies. My day 2 cookies, Chocolate Chunk Caramel, would qualify for the heavyweight division. Loaded with shards of dark chocolate and melting pools of caramel, these are a hefty cookie, not for the faint of heart. Oatmeal Lace Cookies, on the other hand, fall into the lightweight division. Gossamer thin, crispy,  delicate, and dare I say, a little fragile, these are a beautiful cookie. They may look a little anorexic next to the chocolate chunk caramel, but rest assured, they are no lightweight in the taste department.

These cookies are the creation of Nick Malgieri. They come from his book, “Cookies Unlimited” (Harper Collins 2000). I have been known to have my celebrity chef crushes. A few years ago it was Jamie Oliver, lately I have been lusting after Chuck Hughes. But these are mere dalliances, compared to my feelings for Nick!

Oh dear, just read that last paragraph back to myself, and even to my ears it sounds a little creepy and stalkerish. Nick, if you’re reading this, please don’t be concerned. My admiration for you is purely professional. I have been a longtime student and admirer of Nick. His book, “How to Bake” was really my baking bible. His recipes are clear and methodical, leading to outstanding results every time. In 2008 he published The Modern Baker.  A Challenge to bake the entire book was set up by a blogging friend of mine. Modern Baker is filled with creative contemporary recipes that offer great time-saving techniques. However, I think that, of all of Nick’s books, Cookies Unlimited is my favourite.

The cookie batter is simple to put together. No mixmaster required. One bowl and a wooden spoon and you’re ready to go. Start with large flake or quick cooking (not instant) oats. They will need to be ground up a bit in the food processor or blender. They should be finely chopped but not ground to a powder. They should look like the second photo here.

Add some melted butter, sugar, eggs, orange juice and

Forming the cookies is not difficult, but it does take a little time. Here is a video showing you the best technique and tools for the job.

Leave lots of room between cookies on the baking sheet, as they will spread.

This year I sandwiched 2 cookies together with chocolate ganache to make a sandwich cookie. Plain melted chocolate will also be a perfect filling. They freeze beautifully, carefully layered between sheets of waxed paper, in an airtight container.

Click here to print the recipe for Oatmeal Lace Cookies.