And just like that, it’s Autumn! Here in the northern Rockies, it’s like someone just flipped a switch and said, “OK, change of seasons”! I do love the beautiful fall colours and the crispness in the air, and the irresistible aroma of apples, pumpkin, and wonderful fall spices in my kitchen. These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are a crispy-exterior-chewy-in-the-middle kind of cookie with a perfect blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves-a delicious way to begin your fall baking. I topped these cookies with a store-bought caramel sauce (yep, I totally cheated, and yes, it has regular white sugar in it! Gasp!), then sprinkled the caramel with a pinch of medium-grain salt, but you can absolutely leave it off if you prefer a less-sweet cookie, and they’ll still be sooo yummy. I hope you’ll try these little gems and fill your home with the warm and homey scents of the season.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup maple sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup caramel sauce (I used King’s Cupboard brand)
- Medium grain salt for sprinkling (Fleur de Sel is good)
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with maple sugar. Add pumpkin and mix until completely combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop out a generous tablespoon of dough and lightly roll into a ball. Place dough balls onto a parchment paper or silicone sheet-lined cookie sheet, about 2” apart.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a pancake spatula, flatten each cookie slightly (so the caramel sauce doesn’t slide off). Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the drizzle, spoon caramel sauce into a microwaveable container and microwave for 15-25 seconds on high power. Pour sauce into a plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze a little onto the top of each cookie, spreading almost to the edge or just spoon about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel sauce on top of each cookie. When caramel has cooled completely, sprinkle with salt.
Dough will be stiff, but sticky.
Most everyone has their favorite Girl Scout cookie; I’ve certainly had my favorites over the years (frankly, I wouldn’t turn any of them down…), but the one that’s stood the test of time is the Do-si-do. Those yummy cookies with the creamy peanut butter filling sandwiched between tender oatmeal cookies somehow keep going in my mouth one after the other. These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies are a copycat of those wonderful Do-si-dos, but they’ve been made without refined sugar; which, despite the abundance of butter and peanut butter, still makes them more healthful than the original version. When you’ve depleted your stash of Do-si-dos, this recipe for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies will be waiting for you, calling your name….
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
- 5 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup of quick oatmeal
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- With a stand or hand mixer cream together the 3/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/4 cup of maple syrup until well combined.
- Mix in the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt until just combined.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using a two-inch cookie cutter, cut out the cookies.
- Place cookies onto a baking sheet, about an inch apart, and chill on the sheets for about 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack while you make the peanut butter filling.
- Add the butter, peanut butter, and remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup to a medium bowl and mix on medium speed until fully combined and fluffy.
- Pipe or use a spoon to spread a generous tablespoon of the filling on one of the cookies and top with another cookie to make the sandwiches.
Do I have any cookie monsters out there? How ’bout lovers of shortbread cookies? Shortbread is such a simple, classic cookie! Buttery, flaky, and with this version – maple-y! The easiness of these 4-ingredient Maple Shortbread Cookies make them even better, in my book. Most of the time in the recipes I bring you, you have the option of changing out the maple sugar for maple syrup or even regular granulated cane sugar, but these cookies, really need the maple sugar in them for the taste and texture to be just right. Also, I used cookie cutters this time (to celebrate the Valentines Day holiday), but they’re ready to serve in a flash if you just cut them into squares or rectangles. I hope you’ll give these maple shortbread cookies a try and see what you think; they could just turn out to be your new favorite cookie…. Hey, it could happen…. Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup maple sugar (NOT maple syrup)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed for a minute or two until it softens slightly. Add the flour and the salt and mix until the ingredients come together and forms an irregular ball.
- Place the dough on a piece of waxed paper, press it into a rectangle shape; then place another piece of waxed paper on top of the dough. Refrigerate until lightly chilled, about 30-40 minutes.
- When the dough is cool remove it from the refrigerator and roll it to about 1/4″ thickness with a rolling pin. To avoid making a mess on your counter, just leave the dough between the two pieces of parchment paper when you roll it flat.
- Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter or slice the dough into rectangles or squares with a sharp knife.
- Place the cookies on a cookie sheet pan and bake until they are set, and barely browned, 25-30 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but in my house, holiday treats begin and end with cookies and candy (usually chocolate…). For some, favorite Christmas cakes or fruit-filled stollens are what make their holidays bright; and of course, that’s awesome, but I look forward to this special time of the year when I can pull out the fun and festive cutters and indulge in traditional, as well as new recipes that I’ve been dying to try.
These Salted Chocolate Dipped Pecan Sandies are a wonderful way to get the celebrations off to a sweet start. Plus, these little gems ship really well if you mail holiday treat packages to friends and family. I promise Salted Chocolate Dipped Pecan Sandies will be a welcome addition to any cookie tray!
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling (I used Fleur de Sel)
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Carefully pour the dough onto a 2 1/2 foot long piece of plastic wrap, forming the dough into a rough 6-7” roll shape with your hands. Wrap the plastic around the dough, sealing it and roll it back and forth until it’s shaped into a smooth, round roll.
- Chill dough for an hour.
- Using a sharp knife, slice dough into approximate ½” slices.
- Place slices on parchment-lined baking sheets about an inch or so apart.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from baking sheets to cooling racks. Let cool completely.
- Heat chocolate and shortening in the microwave at 50% power, stirring after every 30 seconds; it usually takes about a minute and a half. If you have a few unmelted chips, just stir until they’re melted by the hotter chocolate.
- Dip the cooled cookies into the melted chocolate until one half of the cookie is covered with chocolate. Return to cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. When the chocolate is still soft and barely warm, sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt.
- Place in the fridge to harden the chocolate. Store in an airtight container.
Ah, cookies! In any shape, flavor, or form, they’re pretty much always welcome whenever I make them. Which, I’ll admit isn’t all that often because I’m kind of a lazy cookie baker. Shocking, I know…. Making the batter is fine and preparing the first couple of trays for the oven is okay too, but after that I tend to lose enthusiasm for the process. Enter…Raspberry Shortbread Cookies. Easy, small-batch, delicious and pretty to boot!
These were made with maple sugar for those of you reducing your refined sugar consumption, but they can easily be made with granulated sugar. When you’re having a cookie craving but aren’t feeling all that energetic, these little morsels will satisfy.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup maple sugar (or 1 cup granulated sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Seedless, fruit juice-sweetened raspberry jam
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate, if you prefer)
- 1/4 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- Beat butter and whichever sugar you choose with an electric mixer until blended.
- Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt; beat until smooth.
- Using a spoon, stir in the flour to form a stiff dough.
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into a rough cylinder. Wrap each dough cylinder in waxed paper; rolling back and forth on countertop until it the dough smooths out and forms a round, smooth 1 ½-inch diameter roll.
- Refrigerate dough until firm.
- Cut dough into ¼-inch slices. Roll each slice into a ball. Make an indentation in the center of each cookie with your thumb or use the back of a ¼ teaspoon (the round part) to make a more uniform indentation and fill with ¼ teaspoon raspberry jam.
- Arrange cookies about 2-inches apart on a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Place sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies should be lightly brown on the bottom.
- Measure chocolate chips and shortening into a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50% power for 45 seconds or until the chocolate is completely smooth when stirred (be careful not to overheat the chocolate – only microwave for additional 10 second intervals if needed to fully melt the chocolate).
- Dip a fork into the melted chocolate and drizzle each cookie. (I poured the chocolate into a squeeze bottle and then drizzled it, which gives more uniform results, but the fork method is a little faster and easier.)
- After cooling on a wire rack, place in an air-tight container until ready to serve.
You may have heard it said that chocolate makes everything better, and big surprise, you’ll get no argument from me!
Case in point: Palmier’s (those lovely, buttery cookies with the crispy layers) were served at a recent work event, but were obviously the least favorite of the goodies offered. So I’m looking at them, wondering why that would be, and it came to me. Chocolate! Of course, they need chocolate! What else immediately turns a relatively modest cookie into an irresistible delight?! And so I took the leftover Palmiers and turned them into chocolate dipped Palmier’s. Just call me the chocolate fairy! From the perspective of a chocolate lover…soooo much better!
Fair warning though, chocolate dipping is habit-forming, because there are just so many things that are made more yummy with the addition of a chocolate coating. Here are a few more options to get you started: Nutter Butter cookies, Oreos, piroulines, peanut butter filled pretzels, oatmeal cookies, Bing cherries, orange slices, shortbread cookies (of course!) and many more. Any of these dipped in chocolate are great for a gotta-have-something-in-a-hurry chocolate treat. I think most of them are elegant enough for a dinner party too.
I got my palmiers at Costco, but I’m sure you can find them in grocery store bakeries most everywhere. If you are feeling a bit more energetic, try this palmier recipe from the Food Network.
- 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (I used Ghiradelli)
- 2 tsp. vegetable shortening, divided
- Peanut butter stuffed pretzels nuggets
- Pirouline rolled wafers (various flavored fillings)
- Divide chocolate chips into two microwave safe containers (1 1/2 cups in each container). Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening to each container. If dipping rolled wafers or pretzel rods, you will want a sturdy water glass or other similar cylindrical container to melt your chocolate in so you can dip the wafers at least half way up. I used a large soup bowl in which to melt the chocolate for dipping the palmiers
- Melt chocolate in the microwave. It’s important to melt the chocolate slowly so it doesn’t get too hot; microwave at 50% power, stirring the chocolate every 30 seconds. Depending on your microwave, the chocolate usually melts in about a minute and a half total. If your chocolate isn’t fully melted and a few chips remain, stir until they’ve all been melted by the hot chocolate. If you feel the chocolate still needs more melting, microwave for an additional 15 seconds at 50% power. It’s also very important to not get any water in the chocolate – moisture will cause the chocolate to seize and become lumpy and unusable for dipping.
- For the palmiers: using your fingers dip one side of the cookie in chocolate until half is covered. Shake excess chocolate off the cookie and place on waxed paper lined baking sheet.
- For the pirouline wafers: again, use your fingers to dip the roll wafers into the melted chocolate in the cylindrical container until about half to three-quarters up the wafer, shaking the excess off and place on waxed paper.
- For the pretzel nuggets: use some small prongs to dip nugget in chocolate until fully covered, shake excess chocolate off and place on waxed paper lined baking sheet.
- You can leave your chocolate dipped delights at room temperature to harden or if you’re in a hurry, place them, still on the wax paper-lined sheets, in the frig until they set up. Store in an airtight plastic container until you’re ready to serve them.
Whenever I make butterhorns I remember my Mom making something very similar that she called “pie dough cinnamon rolls”. When she would make pastry for her pies there would always be the “scraps” of dough that were trimmed from the pie crusts; she would collect these, form them into a ball and roll them out. Then she’d sprinkled them with cinnamon-sugar, dot them with butter, and roll them up jelly-roll fashion and slice into mini “cinnamon rolls”. I loved her pies, but I loved those little morsels even more and would gobble every last crumb.
My version is basically the same except that it includes toasted pecans, and they’re shaped into crescents and you have the option to dust them with powdered sugar or brush them with a glaze. Also, I short-cut the process by using Marie Callender’s pie crusts, which are wonderful when you’re time-crunched or low on baking energy/motivation. Give them a try. I hope they’ll become a new favorite.
- 2 packages of Marie Callender’s pie crust dough (4 individual pie crusts), room temperature
- ¾ cup of butter (1 ½ sticks), softened (should be spreadable)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting, optional
- On a lightly floured board or countertop, unroll one of the pie crusts.
- With a rubber spatula, spread 3 tablespoons of the softened butter evenly over the pie dough. Spread it all the way to the edge of the dough.
- In a medium bowl, mix the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans together until thoroughly combined. You will have 2 cups of this mixture.
- Take ½ cup of the sugar mixture and sprinkle it evenly over the butter layer; again, sprinkling it to the edges of the dough.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into eight triangles.
- Beginning at the wide end, gently roll the dough to the pointed end. Place butterhorns 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed cookie sheet. The pointed end of the butterhorn should be down. Repeat with remaining triangles.
- Bake on the middle oven rack for 20-25 minutes, until the bottoms of the butterhorns are lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack. If you choose to sprinkle confectioners sugar on your butterhorns, wait until they’ve cooled completely.
- Repeat steps 1-7 for remaining 3 pie crusts.
Oh my! If your sweet tooth is calling-this is how you answer it! And if you want to treat the sweethearts and valentines in your life to chocolatey, creamy, fun-to-eat deliciousness, these Chocolate Whoopie Pies are just the thing!
I confess that this is my first whoopie pie baking experience. Well let me tell you, I’ve been missing out on some serious cookie fun! This is another recipe using a cake mix as it’s base; it’s such a great shortcut making it super easy! And there can be so many variations with these cookies; just choose your favorite flavor of cake and share the love!
- 1 box devil’s food cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Sprinkles for decoration (optional)
- Combine cake mix, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. The dough will be sticky.
- Scoop out chunks of dough that are approximately the size of a walnut (about 1 tablespoon).
- Roll dough between hands forming a ball. Place each ball on the cookie sheet 3 inches apart. Press down with your fingertips until it forms a half-inch disc.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- For Cream Cheese Filling: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract and one-half cup of the powdered sugar at a time, beating after each addition, until you’ve added all of the confectioners’ sugar.
- Spoon filling onto the bottom half of the cookies, smoothing until it’s about 1/4” from the edge of the cookie, top with another cookie and roll in sprinkles to decorate.
Oh my, these Hazelnut Orange Cookies are so good! Toasted hazelnuts complemented with zesty orange and topped with semi-sweet chocolate drizzle… yes, we have a winner!
I must admit that I’m biased, because hazelnut and chocolate are two of my most favorite flavors; but then when you add orange to the mix in these cookies, you take it up a couple of notches. And they’re great too because they go together easily; you can make them ahead, leaving them to chill in the frig for a day or two until you have the time to pull them out, slice and bake them. Yet another cookie recipe for my “favorites” list.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- zest from 2 oranges (approximately 2 tablespoons)
- 2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, melted in microwave (about 1 minute on high). Stir until smooth.
- Cream together butter, both sugars and salt.
- Add vanilla and orange zest; beat well.
- Mix in flour and hazelnuts to form a soft dough.
- Divide dough in half and form each into a 10 inch log, (approximately 2″ diameter) cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Cut ¼ inch slices from the logs. Place on a greased baking sheet 1” apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.
- When cookies have cooled, drizzle with chocolate.