Category Archives: Cookies

Butter Cookie with Dark Chocolate, Fresh Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

Buttery, crispy, sweet-tart and so good!

Buttery, crispy, sweet-tart and so good!

Imagine this….  a buttery sugar cookie laden with dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and fresh cranberries for a perfect balance of melt in your mouth sweet-tart goodness.  If you can convince yourself there are enough cranberries and dark chocolate pieces in each cookie to offer a real anti-oxidant blast, well then you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating them!   Yesterday, I varied up my favorite butter cookie recipe and swapped 1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries for the dried apricots and toasted almonds for the pecans.  One word – SCRUMPTIOUS

Easy Tip:

Once cranberries are back in season, I pick up a few bags each time I am at the store (okay, not really each time I am at the store, but that would be a noble goal, wouldn’t it!) and finely chop them in the food processor, bag them in 1 cup measurements and start stockpiling in the freezer to use all year long.  Since it is practically impossible to find cranberries out of season, and because it is messy and time consuming to chop them, this is definitely worth my time to do in large quantities when the red berry is available.  Then I just grab a bag whenever I want it for a recipe (like Gluten Free Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread)  and enjoy the “no chopping, no measuring, no mess” of it all.

One more thing about why I take the time to chop them…. I like to use cranberries unsweetened to minimize sugar intake.  But wow are they tart!  Biting into a whole, unsweetened cranberry, even if it is mixed into a sweet medium, is a shock!  So I chop them finely to disperse them evenly in the batter for a subtle, tart offset to whatever sweet goodness I’m baking up.

For the unofficial record, two bags of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries chopped down to approximately five cups.  Happy cranberry season!

 


Butter Cookie with Dark Chocolate, Dried Apricots and Pecans

This is a quickie post with no photo – these are the cookies I made for the first Christmas party of the year – my extended family!  Great party, lots of fun, “auction-style” gift exchange and a cookie exchange – yum! 

I love these cookies – they use the much feared, often reviled and generally shunned trinity of  processed white sugar, processed white flour and butter……  But they are so good!

This recipe started as a Land O Lakes butter cookie recipe – I have added ingredients to it over time until I came up with this “perfect combination” (to my taste, anyway…) last year. 

Ingredients:

2 Cups Sugar

1-1/2 Cups Butter, softened (and I do like Land O Lakes!)

2 Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1-1/4 Cups Dark Chocolate Chunks (or more – to your taste!)

1-1/2 Cups Dried Apricots

1 Cup Pecans

Directions:

Toast the pecans on a baking sheet – I used a 250 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Watch very carefully – don’t burn them or they will be bitter.  Cool.

Use a food processor to chop the apricots, nuts and chocolate in this order:  First the apricots, then the pecans, then the chocolate.  Why?  Because if you chop the chocolate first, you have to wash the food processor bowl before you do the apricots or they get “kind of an unattractive appearance” from the chocolate in the bowl and on the blade – trust me…

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. 

Combine the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until creamy.  Scrape often.  Add the baking powder, baking soda and 2 cups of the flour and mix until just blended in.  Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix in.  Then stir in the chopped apricots, pecans and chocolate.  Dough will be stiff.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  (I use a small ice cream scoop.) Get a small bowl of sugar and a small flat-bottomed glass.  Touch the bottom of the glass with some cookie dough, then dip it into the bowl of sugar.  Use the sugar-coated glass bottom to “flatten” each cookie to about a 1-1/2″ circle. 

Bake 9 to 11 minutes.