Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookie Whole Wheat

Book:  I started Ron Chernow’s “Washington” and it reminds us how little decisions have such a big impact.  How did Washington at such a young age get to where he needed to be?  His family was not upper class nor lower.   He may not have become a figure at all in history.  But he was the right person in the right place at the right time.  And what formidable stuff was he made of!  Travelling 250 miles in November through the northeastern United States (yes yes we weren’t the United States then) on horseback in pouring rain and snow!  His brother Lawrence happened to marry Anne Fairfax – one of the most prominent families in Virginia.  This marriage gave George Washington access to people and culture that was not possible before.

Plus, George went with Lawrence to Barbados to help cure Lawrence’s tuberculosis.  George contracted a mild form of smallpox and recovered there in the Caribbean.  As a result, George Washington became immune to the #1 killer of men during the American Revolution: smallpox.  Lawrence returned to Mount Vernon and died.  He left the estate to his wife Anne.  After she had died, Lawrence left the Mount Vernon estate to George Washington.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookie Whole Wheat

Recipe: We have zucchini growing out of our ears!  🙂  After freezing some zucchini bread, we decided to try a new twist – chocolate chip cookies.  These were so good!  The recipe is similar to our favorite all-time chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookie Whole Wheat

Why we love this recipe:

  1.  It freezes well.  Make as many or as few as you like.  Keep the rest for Christmas even!  Just store in an airtight bag and remove the air with a straw.
  2. You only need 1 bowl.  One bowl = less mess 🙂
  3. The ingredients are fairly standard and found in the pantry.
  4. They taste amazing!
  5. When baked, they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
  6.  Many of the ingredients are weighed – so just place your bowl on the scale and dump!  No mess and no measuring cups scattered about.  Plus they will turn out the same and perfect every time when you weigh the flour.

    Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookie Whole Wheat
    A note on King Arthur Flour recipes (this is one of them and mentioned in the notes):   they always weigh their flour or they scoop their flour and add it to the measuring cup.  The company doesn’t put the measuring cup into the flour and scoop and level like you see on TV.  This creates a difference in their recipes and I have received some complaints about the recipes not turning out.  Every single time it is the same: I didn’t weigh the ingredients.  Please weigh, or scoop and put into the measuring cup to get accurate results.

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
 
:
Serves: 30 medium size cookies
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter (melted) or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup minus 2 Tb. (6.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips (we used semi sweet)
  • 1 cup (4.25 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 and ½ cups (4.5 ounces) quick oats or old fashioned oats
Instructions
  1. In a great big bowl: mix the melted butter, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and egg with a fork.
  2. Add the zucchini and mix well.
  3. Add the chocolate chips, flour and oats. Mix until just combined.
  4. For nice rounded cookies, take a piece of parchment or silicone mat and place it on a rimmed cookie sheet. Using a small or medium size cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours or more. You do not absolutely need to freeze them. They will bake, but they will spread and I like my cookies not to be flat.
  5. Bag any cookie dough balls you want for later.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes. They will take a little longer from frozen. The bottoms will be golden brown and the tops will not be gooey but just set. I wait for the tops to stop looking gooey.
  7. Then remove from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. I pull the parchment or silicone mat off the cookie sheet and onto the cooling rack to stop the cooking process.
  8. Cool slightly and eat! Store in a airtight container up to 1 week.
Notes
Recipe adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour

Weigh the ingredients for accurate measurements.

 

 

Hamantaschen (or Thumbprint Cookies!)

Hamantashan Cookies 11 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Good morning!  The recipe for this week is for my friend Jackie – she stayed with us for a week and Purim fell on one of those days.  So, we made hamantaschen cookies.  You may know them as Thumbprint cookies – and this recipe is SO easy and delicious!

This weekend I had the pleasure to photograph eight families in 15 minute sessions.  This was a fundraiser for MOPS at Living Lord Lutheran Church.  The session fee goes to MOPS and Teen MOPS and the photographs go to the families.  It was SO much fun!!  Here are just a few highlights:

Bollman copy

Bricklemyer6 copy

Clayman9 copy

 

Kelly10 copy

These cookies use orange zest which gives it that light, spring time taste and scent.  Everyone here loved the cookies.  What is also fantastic is that you can choose whatever filling you want.  We used apricot jam because it is one of our favorites.

Hamantashan Cookies 4 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

But, you could make your own filling or use your own favorite jam.  Or, you could use caramel apple filling, nut filling, poppyseed, or Nutella.

 

The recipe begins like a typical sugar cookie.  The kids had fun shaping them dough and forming the cookies.

One of the great things about this recipe is you can really make it your own.  You can shape the cookies into triangles.  You can fold them different ways.  You can add your own extracts to the dough.  You can create your own fillings.  I used my Fiori di Sicilia extract in the dough with a little bit of vanilla.  Plus, the dough is freezable!

To form the cookies:  

Step one:  Roll out the dough between 1/4″ and 1/8″.

Step two:  Cut the dough with a 3″ circle cutter or biscuit cutter.

Hamantashan Cookies on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Step three: Dollop 1 teaspoon of filling into the center (overfilling can result in messy cookies!)

Hamantashan Cookies 2 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Step four:  Fold one third of the cookie over – see photo.

Hamantashan Cookies 5 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Step five:  Fold the other side of the cookie over (one third).

Hamantashan Cookies 6 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Step six:  Carefully fold the last third over.  Tuck in one side under the fold and fold over on the other side.   The top of my cookie  should have been tucked in side each other!  Sorry about that.  This way you get a pinwheel effect.

Hamantashan Cookies 3 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Step seven:  Bake, cool and eat!

Hamantashan Cookies 9 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Hamantaschen (or Thumbprint Cookies!)
 
:
Serves: 2-3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (1 and ½ sticks or 6 oz.) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or ½ tsp. Fiori Di Sicilia and ½ tsp. vanilla)
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest (not the white pith, just the orange outside)
  • 2 and ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2-5 tsp. water
  • 1 cup of filling: fruit preserves, nut filling, caramel apple filling, poppyseed filling, etc.
Instructions
  1. In a great big mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy - about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add egg, extracts and zest. Mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt. Mix until just barely combined. It will be a little crumbly.
  4. At this point, you can use your mixer or your hands. Add about 2 tsp. of water and mix slowly. The dough should become a ball that is smooth and not sticky. If it is not smooth, just keep adding water 1 teaspoon at a time.
  5. Split the dough in half. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge covered for 2+ hours or chill faster in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper, cooking spray or silicone mats.
  7. Roll out one disk of dough to about ⅛" to ¼". ⅛" is hard to work with if you are not used to it - but if you are go for it and you will get thinner and delicate cookies. Follow the photo steps in the blog post: Cut out a 3" circle. Dollop 1 tsp. of filling in the middle. Fold over ⅓ of the circle, but you can still see the filling. Fold over the other ⅓. Finally tuck under the final one third.
  8. If you wish, you can store in the freezer on cookie sheets until the oven is up to temperature and all the cookies are ready to go.
  9. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or starting to get golden brown on the edges and/or bottom.
  10. Cool and eat!
  11. Store at room temperature in a sealed container. Since there are preserves, I will store in the fridge if left out more than one day, but that is my personal preference.
Notes
Recipe is from http://toriavey.com/

 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.0

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Whisk Together.com

 

NEW FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE ALERT!

This is my sister’s new FAVORITE chocolate chip cookie.  This is my new favorite chocolate chip cookie.  And everyone around here thought they were really, really good too.  So I am definitely sharing the recipe!!!

And that is saying something because if you know me, I don’t care for chocolate.  I’ll take a lemon bar over a piece of fudge any day.  But I LOVE these cookies.

 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Whisk Together.com

 

One thing I will reiterate and suggest is to weigh the flour.  My scoop of flour will be different than your scoop.  The source of the base for this recipe (King Arthur Flour) doesn’t scoop the flour, but spoons the flour into the measuring cup.  This can create a difference of up to 1/8 cup of flour per cup and change the results!

If you are not certain about white whole wheat flour, it is VERY versatile.  It is the only flour I use mainly unless it is Christmas time and I am baking more for other people.  I use white whole wheat flour for our pancakes, waffles, muffins, cinnamon rolls, bread, and rolls.

Also, I always freeze my cookie dough balls first.  The cookie doesn’t come out flat, but comes out puffy and chewy the way that I like them.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Whisk Together.com

Why is this cookie so good?

  1.  It is chewy and gooey on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside the day they are baked.
  2. It is a chewy cookie the next day with a galore of chocolate chunks.
  3. There’s only 6 tablespoons of sugar in the whole batch.
  4. It uses 100% white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose or bread flour.  You can also use regular whole wheat, too.  But it might change the flavor in the end result.
  5. The mixing method, ingredient list and baking are all simple.
  6. It uses more chocolate chips than a standard bag – so make sure to buy two!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Whisk Together.com

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.0
 
:
Serves: 36 small cookies
Ingredients
  • 6 Tb. (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2.4 oz. (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 3.75 oz. (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 3 Tb. honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tb. cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 8 ounces (1 and ½ cups) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 and ⅓ (14 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Prep one large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a great big bowl, add butter, sugars, honey, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add cider vinegar, egg, baking soda and baking powder. Beat until smooth and creamy again.
  4. Add flour and gently stir. Add in chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  5. Using a small or medium size cookie scoop (depending how large you want your cookies), drop the cookie dough balls onto the rimmed cookie sheet. It will fill up the pan. Lay them in the freezer for 30-60 minutes.
  6. Once frozen on the outside, you can choose to bake them, bake some and save some, or save all of them for later. If saving for later, place them into a ziplock freezer bag. Remove the air as best you can and seal. Store in the freezer.
  7. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cookies 2" apart on a cookie sheet that has been greased or prepped with parchment or silicone mat. Bake the frozen cookies for 10-12 minutes. The time will vary depending on the cookie size.
  8. The cookies will be done when you see them brown on the bottom and the edges will just barely be brown. Allow to cool 10 minutes and put on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Store at room temperature. Or, freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Notes
Recipe adapted (very slightly) from King Arthur Flour

 

Chewy Molasses Ginger Chocolate Chip Bars

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Bars on Whisk Together-4572

Book:  What if we all had tags like at the greenhouse nurseries?  Or what if our actions and deeds had tags as well?  How different would life be?

20151011_080558_resized

I was walking early in the morning at Home Depot because they had advertised half off roses, trees and bushes.  They are pretty good prices overall anyway and half off is quite a deal.  Even Lowes had some perennials for $1, but I didn’t have room in my car.  So, I head over there early knowing generally what I wanted: some bushes for the full sun part of the house, something for the shady side of the house.

The tags help a lot because I don’t know more than hostas like shade.  That’s pretty much it.  So, I go look at the pretty crape myrtle trees.  Full sun, great.  Pretty blooms, awesome.  Grows to 15-25 feet tall and spreads to 6-15 feet!  Yikes!  Not something I want for along side of my house.  But, it’s so cute and pretty.  It has such nice blooms and pretty colors!

I leave them alone and go find the knock out roses which I know would work in the front landscaping instead.

Without that tag, I never would have known what I was getting myself into.  Without that tag, I never would have known that little pretty tree would grow into a great big tree with blooms and probably wonderful planted in another part of the yard.

What if our action of talking to our friend on the phone had a tag?  A ten minute phone call had an impact of one week of happiness?  Or a meal brought to a friend’s house allowed her to take care of her child better and made a better decision that impacted the rest of their year?  Or a friend that flies across the country to stay the week and help her grieving friend who just lost her child?  It could impact how she sees the world forever.

 

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Bars on Whisk Together-4578

 

Recipe:  These bars are a quick and easy version of my favorite Fall/Winter cookie of all time.  The Chewy Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Yum!  It is FULL of flavor with molasses, ginger and chocolate.   You wouldn’t think that ginger and chocolate would go together…. but they do.  These bars are great because they are fast and easy with some standard winter baking ingredients.

I must warn you they have similar to the cookie in that they taste 20 times better the next day.  I am always disappointed and think I did something wrong when I try them.  Then, they sit overnight and magic happen and they taste fantastic.  So, with a little planning just try to make these at least 1 day ahead of time.  Or freeze them for weeks down the road.  That works too.

Why I like this recipe:
-Lots of flavor
-one bowl to mix
-not your standard every day bar
-fast cooking time with just throwing all the dough in a pan instead of rotating cookies

Chewy Molasses Ginger Chocolate Chip Bars
 
:
Ingredients
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup, 4 ounces) butter, melted (or sub ¼ cup Greek yogurt and ¼ cup butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses (not black strap. Grandma's or Briar is fine)
  • 1 Tb. vanilla
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 and ¼ cup flour
  • 1 and ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with cooking spray or baking spray. For easy removal, line the pan with parchment or non-stick foil. That way you can lift the whole thing out of the pan after cooling.
  3. In a great big microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. If substituting half Greek yogurt and half butter, still just melt the butter only.
  4. Let that cool for just a few minutes so it isn't too hot and won't scramble the egg.
  5. Add the egg and Greek yogurt if using. Stir well.
  6. Add the brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and spices. Stir well.
  7. Now, fold in the flour until the batter just comes together. Leaving a few streaks of flour is fine.
  8. Fold in 1 and ¼ cup of the chocolate chips. Leave a handful (1/4 cup) off to the side.
  9. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the rest of the chips on top.
  10. Bake 32-34 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. I advise eating them the next day for more flavor.
Notes
Recipe from Averie Cooks

 

For My Favorite “PEEP” Cookies

Easter Cookies-1988 on Whisk Together 2

Here are some great Easter tips and recipes if you are still searching for something to bring on Sunday.  Or, if you just want something “spring”y to take to work – these cookies would work perfectly!

Royal Icing

Sugar Cookies (I did not use baking powder)

I used an egg shaped cookie cutter from my big 100 count bag of cheap, plastic cookie cutters.  I used 20 second (probably more like 15-20 seconds) icing.  I am just too lazy and impatient to outline and flood every cookie when I can get the same effect using this icing.  Plus, since I am using wet icing on wet icing, the outlining might be counterproductive.  The Wet on Wet technique is super easy and pretty.  Flood your egg cookie with flood icing.  After 5 seconds, take another color and draw a straight line across the egg.  Draw another one using another color – alternating as in the photo.  Then, drag your toothpick up and down to create the swirls.  Dry for 8-12 hours.

Easter Cookies-1998 on Whisk Together

 

The bunnies and peeps were made with the Wilton Peeps Cookie Cutter.  I found the set at Walmart for $1.88.   Or keep your eye out on Monday when all the Easter stuff goes half off.   The bunnies are Americolor Fuschia which I really like and think it mimicked the real peeps perfectly.  Of course, it would be super cool to also sprinkle some sanding sugar on them while wet to make them look like real marshmallow peeps covered in sugar.

Easter Cookies-2010 on Whisk Together

Ouch!

Easter Cookies-2024 on Whisk Together

 

This is my “GO TO” Ham recipe.  Like forever and ever.

Best Ham Ever on Whisk Together

This is my favorite Fruit Pizza Recipe.  Although now I change it and add Fiori di Sicilia to the cream cheese mixture.  If you don’t have this – it is awesome and worth the splurge.  Or, use orange zest – about 2 teaspoons, or 1 tsp of zest and 1 tsp vanilla.

*Tip*  It is difficult to spread the gooey cookie dough.  I have tried olive oil sprays, silicone spatulas and everything.  The best thing that has worked for me is a metal offset spatula – like the one you use for frosting cakes and such.  The metal doesn’t even need oiled.  It just slides over easily and is the best method for spreading the gooey cookie dough into a pizza shape.

Below was my attempt at St. Patrick’s Day Fruit pizza with shamrocks made of kiwi.  I think this shape or 9×13 worked better for a crowd than a pizza pan as I have done in the past.  Fruit Pizza-1857 - on Whisk Together

For decoration, I took some pastel eggs I cut from cardstock and then put “Happy Easter” on them.  I was going to put them in the foyer straight, or over a long wall in the house.  But, they looked so cute when I put them near the round mirror in the foyer and almost looked like a flower.  Super easy and cheap.  The letters could be written in.  Or, cut by hand.

Easter Egg Banner-1985 on Whisk Together

100 Calorie Fruit Pizza Bites

Mini Fruit Pizzas on Whisk Together

 I am so encouraged and inspired by all the wonderful readers on Whisk Together and Money Saving Mom following my How I Lost 33 Pounds and Kept It Off for 3 Years.  A lot of great ideas in the comments as well.  I tried to keep the blog post down to the essentials.  Everyone is different and has different motivations and tricks.  What works for one person might not for another, but these tricks worked for me and they may for other people as well.

To the new followers:  You will notice a difference in photos and number of posts now than if you view my previous blog entries.  We recently sold our house and living in an apartment with one large window blocked by our sectional!  No light and no kitchen space leads to different output.  The house should be done in early September though and back to rolling out the meal plans and recipes like usual!

Tips and Motivation:
1.  Buy or use a food scale.  If you notice boxes at the store use weight (ounces) and not volume (cups) in order to package their food.  This is because food shifts while in transit and completely normal.  But, the thing is that the nutritional facts are often also in weight measurements as well.  A food scale just made everything easier to get my plate and less messy.  Less mess is always good and my prime reason for weighing my baking ingredients!

2.  Go to sleep in your workout clothes if you need to.  If you need to workout in the morning and have trouble getting motivated, go to bed in your workout clothes.  It’s a great motivator, reminder and time saver in the morning.  When I used to exercise more at night, I wore my workout clothes all day to remind myself.

3.  If you lapse in your exercise or calorie intake, just start over.  Don’t think about it.  It’s a new day.  Just get back doing it again.  Easier said than done… I know!

4.  You WILL be hungry.   I have heard this complaint from some others that they didn’t like to diet because they were hungry.  Of course you are!  Your body loves homeostasis.  Your body wants to stay the same and in order to do that, it wants a certain number of calories to maintain that weight.  When you eat fewer calories, you are forcing the body to go out of homeostasis.  That’s why I roll my eyes at these diets that promise you won’t be hungry.  Of course, hunger is all relative and each person is different.  Hunger is a powerful tool your body uses.

How do you avoid hunger?  The things I tried were drinking lots of water and tea.  Chewing gum.  Finding a new hobby to work on.  Exercise during my hungriest time – evening – to keep me busy.  Eating almost zero calorie foods like celery.  Taking a multivitamin.

Mini Fruit Pizzas_1 on Whisk Together

**Book Update**  The new book I’ve been reading is Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo.  I taught public speaking for a few years and found a lot of the information very helpful.  There are some GREAT ideas like “practice”. Seriously.  The people that prepare for TED talks practice a lot and make their talk look so easy.  If you haven’t heard of TED talks, they are 18 minute presentations on “ideas worth spreading”.  You may have seen or heard of the most popular talk by Sir Ken Robinson on how “School Kill Creativity.”  The book is an excellent resource for anyone that has a public speaking engagement or in sales.  He suggests to use humor in your speech and  to create “wow” moments like when Bill Gates unleashed mosquitos during his malaria presentation.

Mini Fruit Pizzas_5 on Whisk Together

**Recipe Update**
The last recipe, Summer Vegetable Tian, was quite healthy.  So, I thought I would add this one to the blog because it was so successful.  I have also started coding all the nutritional information for future posts for myself and also for my husband because he started Lose It last week.  This recipe is the same as my Homemade Fruit Pizza  only I put them in a mini-muffin pan for portion control.  The toppings and ideas would also be delicious on those “Brownie Bites” they sell in stores – a super easy and quick makeover for a delicious store bought treat.

Mini Fruit Pizzas_3 on Whisk Together

I also love the fact that these treats have NO artificial colors or flavors.  View the cookies I made with just some strawberries and blueberries.  Recipes can be cute without resorting to artificial stuff!

Calories: 101;  Fat: 4.9 g; Carbs: 13.6 g; Sugars 9.4 g; Protein 1.4 g   (Calculated using 1 cup blueberries for topping)

Mini Fruit Pizzas_4 on Whisk Together  Mini Fruit Pizzas_6 on Whisk Together

100 Calorie Fruit Pizza Bites

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 1/2c. butter, soft
  • 3/4c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Topping:
  • 1 pkg. neufchatel cream cheese, soft (8 oz.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-2 cups sliced fruit: strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, mandarin oranges, fresh cherries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, etc.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a great big bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. In a not so big bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually and mix until it makes a dough. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Think cookie dough log at the grocery store. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Spray a mini muffin pan with baking spray or cooking spray. You need two pans, or reuse your 1 pan.
  5. Cut the log into 1" disks. Cut those disks into fourths. You should have about 30-36 cookies. Place each cooking into the muffin well and press down slightly.
  6. Bake 12-16 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking. Remove when the edges just start to turn golden brown.
  7. After about 5 minutes, press the tops with your fingers or indent with a spoon just to make sure the top isn't doming. After 10 minutes, remove from the muffin pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. For the topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Put into a pastry bag or a plastic freezer bag with the corner trimmed off with scissors. Squeeze and top each cookie with the cream cheese. Top with fruit. Store in the fridge until serving.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/07/14/100-calorie-fruit-pizza-bites/

For the Crust:
1/2c. butter, soft
3/4c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1   1/4c. flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Topping:
1 pkg. cream cheese, soft (8 oz.)*
Optional: 1-2 teaspoons of lime or lemon zest  LOVE this addition!!
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups or so of sliced fruit: pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, mandarin oranges, etc.)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, tartar, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually and stir until it makes a dough.  Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.  The shape is just like the cookie dough logs at the store.  Put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
2. Spray the mini muffin pan with baking or cooking spray.  Cut the roll at 1″ increments.  Then, each of those circles cut into fourths.  This is the messy part.  It’s okay. Put each 1/4 cookie into the wells.  Bake 12-16 minutes.  Rotate halfway through baking.  Remove when the edges just start to turn golden brown.  
3. Beat all of topping ingredients together except fruit.  Pipe onto cooled cookies using a pastry bag or plastic freezer bag with corner trimmed off.   Top with sliced fruit.
 

Spritz Cookies and Cookie Sheet Discount Code

Spritz Cookies_23 on WT

Book Update:  This is a review and book update!  The wonderful Heirloom Cookie Sheet company is creating a super awesome cookie book, and they were nice enough to ask me to be a part of it.  I received a cookie sheet and a cookie recipe to make and review.  The only compensation was a cookie sheet – no money or anything exchanged hands. Now, I have been using a couple airbake cookie sheets for the past few years.  But, the Heirloom Cookie Sheet is built to last and bakes well and very evenly.  Just after getting the box I knew this cookie sheet would be different from the others.  It is heavy!  But not too heavy to handle.  It is made of stainless steel instead of thin aluminum like many cookie sheets.  Did I mention it’s made in the USA and dishwasher safe?  Cool, huh!?

Heirloom Logo - Final-1

Here is your coupon code for your own Heirloom Cookie Sheet to enjoy for years to come:  WTNOV13
10% off 2 or more sheets (limit 10)
This coupon code is ONLY valid during the month of November.  Their website again is Heirloom Cookie Sheet.

Spritz Cookies_33 on WT

Spritz Cookies_24 on WT

Recipe Update:  These spritz cookies are very popular around Christmas.  With spritz cookies, it is so easy to make different shapes by switching out the metal disks from pumpkins to bells to wreaths to whatever you have.  The dough can be colored with food coloring or left plain and sprinkled with colored sugar and/or frosted with icing.

**TIPS**  The key to this or any spritz cookie recipe is to have the cookie sheets in the fridge or freezer while you are making the dough.  The sheets need to be COLD and UNGREASED.  This will allow the room temperature cookie dough to stick to sheet.

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Cut the butter up and leave on the counter for 20 minutes.  This will evenly soften the butter and the butter will become softer more quickly.

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Spritz Cookies (Print Version)

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

½ tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

Red and Green food coloring

Step one:  put the cookie sheets into the refrigerator.

Cream butter; add powdered sugar gradually.  Blend in egg yolks, extracts, flour and salt.  Mix well.

Divide dough into thirds.  Tint one part red, one part green and leave one part white.  Knead each part in hands until soft and pliable.

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Press dough through cookie press (using different discs for each color) onto ungreased HeirloomCookie Sheets.

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Optional – Decorate with colored sugar or candies.    Bake at 400 degrees 7 – 9 minutes.  Makes approx. 7 dozen

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Giant Double Chocolate Cookie

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Book Update: Since my last book was on exercise, I thought I would read another to answer some questions I’ve always had or challenge the view that I was taught 15 years ago while in high school.  “Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?” by Alex Hutchinson is even better than the last book I read “The First Twenty Minutes”.  I like the “cheat sheets” at the end that summarize the chapter, the conversational tone as well as the Question and Answer format.

For example, you can actually exercise in just 4 minutes.  Yep.  FOUR minutes of HIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can yield the same results as an hour of exercise.  In the study, cyclists pedaled for 20-30 seconds and then rested for 4 minutes.   Then, pedaled again in that pattern until they reached 4 minutes of actual exercise.  Now, it has to be extremely hard – the hardest you can possibly go – in order to get results. But, I still found it an interesting shortcut.

Recipe Update:  I guess this recipe isn’t the most ideal to talk about exercise… or perhaps it is actually the best.  You can eat this and not gain weight… if you exercise!  🙂

But anyway, I made these giant chocolate chip cookies the other day and they were delicious and HUGE.  As you can see, it takes up the entire width of the silpat mat.  Very chocolatey and gooey.  I do not advise multiplying the recipe – or if you do just measure your eggs.  I didn’t measure the egg, but estimated instead since 1 egg equals 3 TB, and ended up with really cakey cookies.

If you want some really really good normal size cookies like this one, then make the double fudge cookies here.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie
yield: 1 BIG cookie

2 Tb butter, soft
2 Tb. sugar
2 Tb. light brown sugar
2 Tb. BEATEN egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup AP flour
2 Tb. natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tb. chocolate chips: dark or semi-sweet

1.  Let’s do the cookie method!!  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with silicone or parchment (unless you plan to store the dough in the fridge and make later).
2.  In a large bowl:  beat your butter and sugar together for about a minute.
3.  Add your egg and vanilla.  Beat to incorporate.
4.  Add your dry stuff:  flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
5.  Mix to combine.  Stir in the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.  Form the dough onto the cookie sheet and dot the top with the 1 Tb. of chocolate chips.
6.  At this point, you could refrigerate the dough or put it in the oven for 14-15 minutes.  Cool and eat!

Giant chocolate cookie on Whisk Together

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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