Ginger Spice Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

Ginger Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

This past week has been filled with the typical pre-Christmas craziness. I finished up all my shopping last weekend and got my last box of gifts wrapped and in the mail this morning. I ‘adopted’ a kid off the Angel Tree at work this year and had so much fun shopping for him last weekend. Boomer’s Christmas present also arrived last week- I got him a new dog bed and he loves it!

Wrapping presents ~ Boom lounging on his new bed

In addition to shopping I’ve done quite a bit of baking lately- and most of it has been ginger and molasses flavored! I debating making these amazing Cranberry Bliss Bars for a cookie exchange but at the last minute I decided to try out a new recipe. It’s always a little risky doing a new recipe for an exchange, especially when I was making some adaptations to the recipe, but it turned out great and the cookies were a huge hit at the cookie exchange. The cookies have a slightly crispy edge and a soft, chewy center. I loved the combination of the ginger cookie and the cream cheese filling. If you have trouble finding the candied ginger try looking in the supplements section of your grocery store. The candied, or crystallized, ginger adds great texture to the cookies but if you can’t find it the cookies will still turn out really well.

Ginger Spice Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped crystallized (or candied) ginger
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar for rolling
  • 5 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  • 3 1/2 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 lemon
Directions
  1. Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Mix in the molasses, egg and vanilla and stir until well combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the candied ginger. Mix until just incorporated.
  3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Pour the coarse sugar into a shallow bowl. Scoop out cookies into 1-inch balls and slightly flatten the ball between your hands. Roll the cookie disk in the sugar then place on the pan. Repeat with the remaining cookies then bake for about 10 minutes until the cookies are just set on the edges. The center of the cookies should still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Prepare the cream cheese frosting by creaming the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Decrease the speed and add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Then, increase the speed again to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and lemon zest. Frost half of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies to make a sandwich.
Makes: About 22 sandwiches
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and Annie’s Eats

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy PB Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Earlier this summer I attended a potluck with some coworkers. I had planned to make a tart, but my defective oven turned the tart crust to charcoal and I had to quickly improvise a new dessert plan that didn’t involve an extra trip to the store. Luckily I had everything I needed to make these tasty cookies and they were a total hit at the potluck.

I love all things peanut butter, and peanut butter cookies are certainly no exception. Some chocolate chips and a sprinkle of sea salt tops these chewy cookies off perfectly!

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • course ground salt
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cream the putter and peanut butter on medium high for one minute. Add the sugars and beat for another minute until fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with course ground sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes: About 2 dozen
Source: Foodie Bride

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Oaty Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

To say the last two weeks have been busy would be a bit of an understatement. Early last week the office where I work at Organic Valley suffered from a major fire. Luckily, no one was injured in the fire and the firefighters were able to save a portion of the building including the area where my desk was located. After the fire it took a few days to get in the building to pick up some of my items including my work laptop. In a bit of unfortunate timing, my personal laptop also died (from non-fire related causes) the night of the fire and isn’t repairable so I was both computerless and too busy to cook!

After helping at the office for a while on Sunday, I came home and decided I needed to spend some time in the kitchen. I’ve taken a few stabs at recreating the cookies from the Double Tree Inn hotels, and I think this recipe comes pretty close! These cookies have a thick, chewy texture thanks to the ground oats and the hint of cinnamon makes them warm and comforting.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup oats, ground
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Directions
  1. Whisk the ground oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then set aside.
  2. Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and toasted walnuts.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, then preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are light brown on the edges. Cool for several minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy!
Makes: About 2 1/2 dozen
Adapted from Cookie Madness

Triple Chocolate Cherry Cookies

IMG_4931

Sorry for the long delay in posting a new recipe! Last week I was really busy with a work event and then I took a long weekend to see my family. I had a great time with my family; it was a low-key weekend with lots of time for talking and tons of delicious food.

These rich cookies are filled with chocolate flavor from  the cocoa and chocolate chips. The tart dried cherries are a great contrast to the chocolate and they really turn this into an awesome cookie.

Recipe Title

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • Additional chocolate to melt and drizzle (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder together and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter on medium-high speed until light then add the sugar and brown sugar and cream until fluffy. Add the almond extract.
  4. Stir in half the flour mixture followed by the milk and the remaining flour. Add the white and semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoon to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Gently press down on the top of the cookie to flatten it slightly. Bake for 14-15 minutes then allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. If desired, melt additional chocolate or white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the cookies.
Source: My mom

Buckeye Cookies

Buckeye Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Peanut butter and chocolate is  a pretty unbeatable combination. Reese’s have long been one of my favorite candies and I love making buckeyes around the holidays. These cookies are basically the cookie version of a buckeye. There is a thick chocolate cookie on the outside wrapped around a creamy peanut butter center. Once the whole thing is rolled in sugar and lightly sprinkled with a little coarse salt it turns into a pretty awesome cookie. A glass of milk is definitely required!

Buckeye Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • sugar
  • coarse sea salt
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream the powdered sugar and peanut butter together. Use a small (1 tsp. size) cookie scoop to measure out the mixture. Place the peanut butter balls on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet. Put the peanut butter balls in the freezer while you prepare the cookie dough.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt then set aside.
  4. Cream the sugars, butter and peanut butter with a mixer for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Measure out approximately 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and flatten into a disk. Place one of the peanut butter balls in the center of the disk and fold the dough around the peanut butter. Roll the dough in your hands to smooth it out, then slightly press to flatten it. Roll the ball in sugar and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat the process for the remaining cookies.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!
Makes: About 2 dozen
Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Peanut butter filling on the left, chocolate on the right. Delicious either way!

I think anyone who bakes with much frequency has a few ‘go-to’ dessert recipes. Those recipes that you know will turn out fantastically every. single. time and that people always seem to enjoy, no matter where you take the dessert. These cookies definitely fit that description for me. I’ve honestly lost track of how many times I’ve made them, but they’re always devoured  The oatmeal gives the cookie a wonderful chewy texture and they have just the right amount of peanut butter flavor.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies 1 ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

These cookies are great on their own without any frosting, but I love to serve them with either chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream or with peanut butter frosting.

Recipe Title

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup quick-cook oats
  • 4 1/2 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 5-6 tbl. heavy cream
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Use a mixer to cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the oatmeal.
  4. Use a small cookie scoop (about 2 teaspoons) to evenly portion out the dough. Place the cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet with a few inches of space to allow them to spread. Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting. Follow this recipe to make a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, or follow the recipe here for peanut butter frosting.
  6. Combine the butter, peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar and 5 tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy; slowly add additional cream if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency.
  7. When the cookies are completely cool, frost half the cookies then top them with the remaining cookies. Gently push down on the top cookie to sandwich them together.
Makes: About 1 1/2 dozen
Adapted from All Recipes

Andes Chip Cookies

Andes Mint Cookies 2~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Peppermint patties and Andes mints are some of my favorite candies, I love the refreshing mint flavor . I was actually just thinking the other day that I can’t believe I haven’t tried making some mint chocolate chip ice cream. But, before I start working on mint ice cream, I have to share the recipe for these amazing mint cookies. The cookies come out soft and chewy and full of the Andes mint flavor.

Andes Chip Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

This recipe uses Andes Baking Chips; I was able to find them easily at the local grocery store, but if you can’t find them in your area you could coarsely chop some Andes mints and use those instead.

Andes Mint Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package (10 oz.) Andes Baking Chips
  • Extra Andes Baking Chips to top the cookies (optional)
Directions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder then set aside.
  2. Use a mixer to cream the butter, dark brown sugar and sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs and stir until combined.
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture and Andes Baking Chips, stir until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  4. After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a medium sized cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and place the cookies on a non-stick baking pan. Slightly flatten each ball.
  5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes being careful not to over bake the cookies. If desired, sprinkle 1 tsp. of Andes Baking Chips on top of each cookie. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Use the back of a spoon to swirl the melted Andes Chips.

Makes: About 2 dozen cookies

Adapted from Andes Mints

Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies

Cookies 'n Cream Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

This is a recipe I’ve made dozens of times since I first tried these cookies a few years ago. They may not be the most visually impressive cookies out there, but the taste is incredible. Being ‘Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies’, of course they have pieces of chopped up Oreos in them. But there’s more, there are also chunks of Cookies ‘n Cream candy bars and some Oreo instant pudding mix that gives these a wonderfully soft texture. Naturally I’ve tried this recipes with the flavored Oreos, which is delicious, but the original Oreos are sill my favorite for this recipe.

Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (4.2 ounce) package instant Oreo Pudding mix
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Hershey’s Cookies N Cream Candy Bars broken into small pieces
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars, add the pudding mix and stir until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl, then gradually add to the batter. Stir in the Cookies ‘n Cream candy pieces and chopped Oreos. The batter will be thick.
  4. Use a small to medium sized scoop to place the dough on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, be very careful not to overbake. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes: About 2 dozen

Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Ah, traveling over the holidays. I’m supposed to fly out tomorrow morning to see my family, but the weather warning currently includes the phrases “travel will become impossible” and “it can not be stressed enough the severity and historical nature of this situation” so… I’m not overly optimistic that my flight will be leaving tomorrow!

In the meantime, I’m hanging out in a hotel near the airport and really wishing I had saved one (or two!) of these cookies before I sent them out in gift boxes this morning. Last week I was at a conference and had a scoop of orange ice cream with chocolate chips that was delicious. I love that flavor combo, so when I saw this recipe for Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies on Pinterest, I was all over it. I made these cookies for a potluck earlier this week and loved them so much I decided to make another batch to include in gift boxes. The bright flavor from the cranberry and orange will certainly stand out this time of year!

Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Use a mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and orange zest for about 4 minutes until it is pale and fluffy.
  3. While the butter is beating, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk to combine, then set aside
  4. Add the egg and egg yolk to the butter mixture. Stir in the orange and vanilla extracts. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  5. Use a medium sized scoop (1 1/2- 2 tbl.) to make the cookies. Slightly flatten each cookie. If desired, press two or three cranberries and chocolate chips on top to give them a pretty appearance. Bake for about 10 minutes until slightly brown around the edges. Cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy!
Makes: About 2 1/2 dozen
Adapted from Cooking Classy

Chewy Gingersnaps

Annie's Cooking Lab ~ Chewy Gingersnaps

I feel like ‘Chewy Gingersnaps’ is kind of a misleading name. Gingersnaps are supposed to snap right? And a chewy gingersnap doesn’t snap. But, regardless of the semantics in the name, these cookies are good. Really good.

This recipe has been a favorite in my family for a long time. Sometimes I turn them into sandwich cookies with a simple vanilla frosting in the middle, but I enjoy them just as much on their own. The outer edge is a crisp and the inside has a delightful, chewy texture.

I try to avoid cooking with shortening when I can, but I’ve tried the recipe with butter in place of shortening and it just wasn’t as good. Not to say those cookies were bad, but the texture wasn’t as chewy and wonderful as it should have been. I would definitely recommend following the recipe as written and using shortening.

Chewy Gingersnaps

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tbl. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • dash cinnamon
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk together, then sift an additional time and set aside.
  3. Use a mixer to beat the shortening until creamy, gradually add the white sugar. Mix in the egg and molasses. Slowly add the flour mixing until just combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Use a small cookie scoop (mine is about 2 tsp.) to form the cookies. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture before placing on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the tops are slightly cracked. Cool the cookies on a wire rack then store in an air-tight container.
Makes: About 3 dozen
Source: All Recipes