Blueberry Muffin Cookies

Ok everybody, gather round, I’ve got some rather big news to share.  As an impending wedding present to Bashful Bao, I have purchased a domain name and hosting space.  See where I’m going with this?  Bashful Bao is going to be moving to bashfulbao.com!

The site is live, and my archives have been successfully transferred, but I’m currently reformatting the posts, so I won’t be forwarding to the new domain until after the wedding.  I’ll be posting in both locations starting today, so feel free to check out the new site, and re-subscribe (via email or RSS feed) so you don’t miss a recipe when I stop posting here.  Also, let me know what you think of the new header/layout.

In other news, our wedding is only a week away…eeeeeek.  That’s a squeal of excitement by the way, not stress.  I can’t wait for the big day to arrive.

But let’s get back to the present.  I was planning on posting about some sort of breakfast item since it’s Sunday, but then I saw the pictures of these cookies and couldn’t keep them from you.

They totally count as breakfast, right?  I mean, they are blueberry muffin cookies.  And yes, they do taste exactly like blueberry muffins, only better because they’re just the top.  We all know the best part of a muffin is the top.

These cookies have a brown butter base that lends its sweet nuttiness to the cookie dough that pops with bright blueberries as a cinnamony streusel embraces it from above.  They truly are a fantastic cookie/breakfast, perfect for a Sunday morning and after Sunday dinner. Now that’s versatility!

Blueberry Muffin Cookies

Adapted from Baker’s Royale

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

For the streusel topping:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

8 Tbsp (I stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the cookie dough:

10 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup sour cream

1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

10 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)

 Place butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and heat until butter becomes brown and smells nutty. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Place sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat until blended. Add in melted butter and beat until combined. Add in egg and beat until mixture becomes light and opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Add in vanilla and sour cream and beat until combined.

Sift together cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then add this mixture into wet mixture and beat until combined.  Gradually add in flour and beat to combine.  Finally, fold in the blueberries. The dough will be sticky.

Scoop the cookie dough out with a large spoon and drop about 2 Tbsp of batter spaced 1” apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake one tray at a time for 8 minutes. Remove cookie filled baking sheet and heavily sprinkle streusel on top of cookies and gently press onto each cookie, about 1 tablespoon per cookie (don’t worry if it spills onto the sheet). Return baking sheet to oven and bake for another 4 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Today, let’s pretend it’s fall.  Let’s think of cool breezes carrying the slight chill of inevitable winter.  Let’s think of leaf peeping and pumpkin patches and multicolored mums sitting out on everyone’s doorstep.

Let’s not think about how it’s supposed to break 100 in New England today.  A few days ago, Luke and I talked about moving to Alaska.  But then we’d never see our families, and I don’t think there are many software engineering jobs up there.

So we’re stuck near Boston where it’s hot, sticky, muggy and gross.  So I’ve made something with the flavors of fall to distract my mind from the magma flow that is today’s weather.  Thankfully we were able to put an air conditioner in the kitchen last night.  Whewww.

These cookies taste pretty much like fall incarnate.  Warm spices, cinnamon chips and mashed sweet potato all wrapped up in a buttery cookie with oatmeal added for extra texture.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy oatmeal cookies, as long as they aren’t oatmeal raisin. Ew.

If you’re looking to whisk your taste buds away to a cooler, more comfortable place, these cookies just might do the trick, if you can stand to turn on your oven that is.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted loosely from My Baking Addiction

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter; softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed sweet potato (or pumpkin puree)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add sweet potato, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture, combining until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in cinnamon chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely and enjoy!


Banana Bread Snickerdoodles

Heads up guys, this post is a wee bit introspective, so feel free to skip to the recipe.  For those of you still with me, I’ve been turning over a question in my mind recently.

That question is about voice.  Specifically, my voice and how I represent it here on Bashful Bao.  Sometimes I feel like my writing style is everywhere at once, but at the same time, I find it difficult to pick one mode of writing and stick to it.  There are times when I want to tell stories punctuated with phrases like oh-muh-gawd and other spelled-out colloquialisms, and there are times when I want to describe a dish to you in a manner that would speak to your inner foodie.

I can’t decide, so you guys are stuck with both.  Perhaps a blurring of the two is where my style lies, though it stills feels like I’m trying to figure it out.  Please bear with me folks, and in the meantime, enjoy some cookies.

I’ve made banana cookies in the past, but these are definitely my favorite thus far.  The ones I’ve made before were sometimes too soft, to the point where after a day, the outer layer of the cookie was so moist, it would come away if you touched it.  These, on the other hand, are moist but not excessively so, with a subtle banana flavor that tickles the palate.  I added cinnamon chips because, well, I like cinnamon with my bananas.  Feel free to add chocolate chips, or perhaps candied walnuts.

Banana Bread Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Mind Over Batter

Makes over 4 dozen cookies (feel free to halve this recipe)

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

large pinch of nutmeg

3 medium sized very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp banana syrup (from reduced banana juice)

 For the sugar topping:

½ cup light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

      In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and set aside. Place sliced bananas in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and make several slits in the wrap. This will allow steam to vent. Microwave on high until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer the bananas to a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl and drain, stirring and mashing the bananas with a fork to release the liquid. You are going to end up with a bit less than ½ cup of liquid, and about ¾ cup of banana puree. Transfer the banana puree to a small bowl and set aside.

Transfer the reserved banana liquid to a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid is syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugars and the banana puree and mix until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla extract and banana syrup.  Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients about one cup at a time. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and brown sugar.

Remove cookie dough from refrigerator, and using a large spoon, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar, making sure the dough balls are well coated. Place sugar-coated dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a flat bottom or your palm to flatten the balls. If desired, sprinkle additional sugar on the flattened cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10-14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely and enjoy!


Cookie Dough Stuffed Brownie Cookies

I have spent just under the last 24 hours in Connecticut.  We really need to stop meeting like this, home state.

See, all of my doctors are still down here, so whenever something needs some attention, a small trip must be planned, because I really don’t want to drive over 4 hours in one day if I don’t have to.  So I stayed over at my mom’s house for a night and am heading back up to Massachusetts this morning.

But not before posting about another fantastic stuffed cookie.  If you thought the last one was good, well, you’re aweseome, and you’ll probably think this one is even better.

It’s a chocolate cookie with a little ball of chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle.  A really simple idea, but such an amazing result.  I almost didn’t share them.  I almost decided to tell Luke they blew up in the oven and I don’t know what happened, but there are no cookies.

And since I shared with him, I only felt it was fair to share with my chocoholic father, who also loved them.  How could you not love this cookie?!?!

I mean look at that!  And that amazing hand model!  But in all seriousness, these are pretty easy to make, and will surely impress your summer visitors.

Cookie Dough Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Cookie Adapted from Galley Gourmet

Cookie Dough from this recipe 

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

For the chocolate cookie:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tap espresso powder
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the cookie dough:

½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
¼ cup (half stick) butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ Tbsp milk
¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease/line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.

First make the cookie dough filling. Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla in a small bowl until creamy. Add the milk and beat well. Add in the salt, baking soda, and flour and slowly mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.  Form the dough into balls roughly an inch across, place on a plate, and put dough in the refrigerator to firm up while you make the chocolate cookies.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder; set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Remove filling from the fridge.  Scoop out about 2 Tbsp of chocolate dough, make an indentation in the center of the dough with a finger and place one of the cookie dough balls in the indentation.  Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together to cover the center.  Roll the cookie in the palm of your hands to smooth it out.  Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until they have set (and you can smell chocolate). Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool and enjoy.


Chocolate Caramel Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Since it seems like another dreary week is on the way here in New England, I’m going to post a recipe I’ve been really excited about.

They seem like ordinary snickerdoodles, no?  Well, surprise!  They aren’t.  I bet reading the title of this post didn’t give that away at all…

I know pumpkin is wayyy out of season, so if you want to make regular caramel stuffed snickerdoodles, I wouldn’t be offended.  I’m just trying to use up our canned goods so we have less to transport in our move at the end of the month.  Because I cannot abide getting rid of our pantry to move 30 minutes away.  It’s just not happening.

So back to the cookies.  Eating one of these right off the baking sheet (with appropriate cooling times, we don’t want burnt tongues) is amazing.  Melted, gooey caramel enveloped by a soft cinnamony cookie; it’s something everyone needs to experience at least once.  After they cool, you can microwave the cookie for the same effect. And it’s still just as awesome.

Chocolate Caramel Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Cookie adapted from Crepes of Wrath

Makes about 20 cookies

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp all-spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
½  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tbsp molasses
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for coating the cookies
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon, for coating the cookies
20 chocolate or regular caramels, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg and cloves in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes, then add in the brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about another 2 minutes. Add in the molasses and pumpkin puree, and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the egg and beat until combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture, beating slowly until just moistened. Put the dough in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm it up.

Combine the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp of cinnamon.  Line or grease your baking sheets and scoop 2-Tbsp sized balls of dough out from your bowl. Flatten the dough with your hand, place a caramel in the center, then roll the cookie into a sphere, making sure there are no gaps.  Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then place on the baking sheet, about 2 inch apart from one another. Press down lightly with your palm. Repeat for the rest of dough and caramels.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly more golden and set – the edges should be firmed up but the center will still be a bit soft. Place the cookie sheets on cooling racks and allow the cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling directly on the rack.


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Meringues

Last night we had dinner with Luke’s sister at a local steakhouse.  Since I had made steak earlier this week (re: grill pan incident) I was leaning more towards other sources of protein.  I ended up with lobster and shrimp pasta, as when I go to restaurants, I like to order things I can’t make at home, and I am not brave enough to handle cooking a lobster.

It was a good dinner, though our waiter spent like 15 minutes talking to people at a table right next to ours, even though he hadn’t taken our order yet.  Also, a large group of shrieking women were seated next to us in an already loud restaurant.  I think my eardrums are still ringing.

Anyway…I was responsible for bringing in goodies for Luke’s birthday at the office yesterday (and I will be posting those recipes soon!), and we claimed the leftovers, so we now have a ridiculous amount of dessert in the apartment, even by my standards.  Want to drop by for a visit?

So I thought I’d move away from cake for today’s post, and go in a lighter direction.  I’m pretty sure meringues are as light as you can get.  Made with egg whites, these airy cookies are crisp on the outside but condense and become chewy as you bite into them.

Plus they have little chunks of chocolate floating around, which adds a nice texture contrast.  Be warned though, these guys don’t keep for too long, and be careful with them; they’re delicate.  Don’t accidentally drop the container they’re in because then you’ll be sadly sprinkling meringue ashes over your ice cream.  Or maybe you’d be happy with that, who knows.  Either way, these cookies are fun and different, and I recommend you give them a try.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Meringues

Adapted from Scientifically Sweet

Makes about 2 dozen meringues

3 large egg whites (100 g)

¼ tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp cornstarch

¼ tsp vanilla extract

2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

 Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Add egg whites, cream of tartar and salt to a medium clean, dry bowl and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer until foamy, about 25 seconds. While beating, gradually add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time. This will take a minute or two of beating. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.  The egg whites will be white, thick and foamy, like shaving cream.

Sift in cocoa and cornstarch and beat on low speed until combined. Beat in vanilla. Fold in chocolate with a rubber spatula.

Pipe 2-inch-wide rounds onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.  You can use a large Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off to pipe the batter. Let cool completely before removing from silicone mat/parchment paper. Cookies will only stay good for about 2-3 days.


Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Yesterday I got some very sad news.  I did not get my dream job.  It was quite disappointing, and upset me greatly, but as you can read, I’m being quite judicious in my reaction.

Though this throws a monkey wrench into the life plans Luke and I were tentatively forming, we’ll get through it.  With lots of mutual love and support and cookies.

I still have a couple small embers of opportunity out there in the teaching world, but I’m not getting my hopes up.  Instead, I’m going to focus on what I can do to be more hirable in the long term, and work on personal projects that give me purpose in the short term.

So I’ve got my positive face on.  Also, I just whipped up a batch of extremely tasty cookies, full of lemony goodness, so how can I be sad?

I just need to keep channeling some good vibes and not get down on myself.  And bake like crazy.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until ingredients are combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and the sugar. Beat the until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine.

Stir in the dry ingredients. Spoon the dough (about 1 tablespoon for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

To glaze the cookies: combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let glaze harden for about five minutes and serve.