Checkerboard Cookies

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BM# 100: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Pick an alphabet

I make cakes regularly. Cookies – not so much, but I used to make it often earlier. The main reason was that my recipe sources were my cookbooks. I had excellent baking books and it was my habit to go through those regularly. I would try out the recipes and my first baking book – The Essential Baking, got me hooked to cookies. I never knew it was so easy to make cookies.

I have made checkerboard cookies also many times, but I haven’t had great success with the shape ever. I prefer making spiral cookies using the same recipe. The simple reason that it’s easier to make the spiral cookies. The shape doesn’t require you to bring out measuring tools.

Now a days, the recipe source for me has shifted from books to the Internet. So sometime back when I came across this recipe online for checkerboard cookies, I decided to give it a try. These were made as a gift and were well received.

Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe source: Taste of Home

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 sticks ( ~140 gms) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips, melted and cooled or 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Beat everything until its combined well. Slowly add in the flour in batches beating at a low speed until everything is well mixed.
  2. Divide the dough into two batches. Add the melted chocolate or cocoa powder to one part and mix it in.
  3. Follow this video for instructions on how to shape the cookies. Pictures or videos explain the process a lot better than words.
  4. Clingwrap and Refrigerate the dough until the time of baking.
  5. Pre heat oven to 350F/180C. Slice the cookie log into 1/4″ thick cookies. Spread them evenly on a baking pan, leaving some space between the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are set and edges start browning a bit. Take off the oven and let them rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. The cookie hardens as it cools.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

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Flourless Peanut cookies

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Bakeathon 2016, Day 2

My New Year resolution has been constant for years now. Weigh loss. Its not a resolution, its a prayer actually. Its almost like me closing my years and praying to all theGods to grant me this wish where I am ten kilos lighter immediately. Like Magic! My fervent prayers and wishes have gone unanswered all these years. So in 2016, my resolution stayed the same, but I decided to take small steps towards weight loss. One major decision was that I won’t bake without an occasion. As you clearly can see, I cannot be left with butter and sugar, all by myself!!

The point of the entire speech is that, I am not able remember why I made these cookies. I clearly remember that these were very easy to make and also that it tasted good (if you like peanut butter, that is!). But no clue about the occasion. I made these in early 2016, about two weeks after my solemn promise not to bake anymore than its absolutely necessary. Apparently that’s the maximum period of time I can hold on to my resolutions ;-). Anyway, I am fine since I did stop baking altogether except for birthdays of friends and family. And at this point, I am happy that I have these cookies to share for today’s post :-)

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Recipe adapted from Food.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 C. Grease and line three baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together the peanut butter and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating it in until combined.
  4. Add the baking soda and vanilla extract. Mix it gently and evenly using your hands or a silicone spatula.
  5. Now, add the chocolate chips and carefully mix it in with your hands or the spatula.
  6. Make 1 inch balls off the dough. Flatten them and line them in a baking tray. The cookies spread, so leave enough space when placing in the pan.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies are overdone if the edges are brown.
  8. Take the cookies off the oven. These are delicate, so do not touch them for at least 5 minutes. Let it rest in the pan itself.
  9. Once they are cool, store in airtight containers.
  10. This recipes makes about 3 dozen medium cookies.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


 

Eggless Peanut Butter Gems Cookies

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In yesterday’s post about chocolate chip cookies, I mentioned that I could bake only six cookies at a time as it spread a lot. So after a couple of batches, I decided to improve things a bit.

A little bit of searching landed me with a few treasures – two small packets of gems chocolate (Indian version of M&M), half empty bottle of peanut butter and some oats.

I mixed all this into the choco chip cookie batter (it was more batter like than a dough) till I got a reasonably stiff batter, again not a dough, but not a soft dough anymore. And baked them in tablespoonfuls again.

The results were outstanding. I loved these polka dot cookies the best! It had peanut butter, choco chips and gems in it. Baking with peanut butter is something beyond description!

The gems disappeared in the batter for the first batch. From the second batch onwards, I picked them out of the batter and pressed on top of the cookie. For improved looks, you know :D.

This recipe is off to Blogging Marathon 27. Check out the Blogging Marathonpage for more details.

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Ingredients:

  • Chocolate chip cookie dough, halved
  • Two small packets (or more)of Gems, M&M or any other chocolate
  • Peanut Butter: 1/2 cup
  • Oats (I used Quaker) : 3/4 cup

Method:

  1. Make the chocolate chip cookie dough as per the recipe. It will be a soft, but thick, cake like batter.
  2. Add the peanut butter and oats to the prepared dough. Note that you can add a bit more or cut a little less of the oats to the dough to get a stiffer consistency.
  3. Drop by heaped tablespoons in a baking tray lined with butter paper.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until the edges turn brown a bit.

gems cookies

Eggless Chocolate Chips Cookies

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Its fine when your flops are limited to your kitchen. It’s highly embarrassing if it happens at someone else’s kitchen.

Someone I know needed help with baking and I told them that I bake a lot. I should have stopped there, but went on boasting about my baking skills till they were looking at me with reverence. I was their Nigella Lawson, the baking goddess.

The next day, I noted down my all time favorite Best Brownies recipe and a basic yellow cake recipe and went to their place. The batter was made, the brownie was put in the oven, the sweet aroma filled the house. Took out the brownie and sliced it and tasted it.

It was THE worst cake I had ever made! Even my first dry cake wasn’t this bad, I tell you!! Well, red faced I proceeded with the yellow cake recipe. And it came out brown. Really brown!

Later I spotted that I had missed adding the eggs to the brownie batter and about the brown yellow cake, I have no clue what went wrong.

Luckily, they have a great sense of humour and we all laughed it off and with kids in preteens, everything got over finally. It was a relief that it didn’t end up in dust bin! It was that bad, I tell you…

Anyway, my boasting has stopped since then and I am very much back to earth now.

Now, the recipe here is a flop wrto the texture, it spread too much and turned out to be too thin and tested my patience a bit. But it was really tasty and chewy and had chocolate chips in it. So its fine, I guess. Chocolate chips make everything better in life, even failed brownies and brown colored yellow cakes!

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Recipe Source: Jeena’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • Butter    :  100g ( 1/2 Cup)
  • Light brown sugar : 6 tbsp (75 gm)
  • Flour     :      3/4 cup
  • Chocolate chips : 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder : 1 tsp
  • Milk            :  2 tbsp
  • Golden syrup (or honey)  : 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with butter paper.
  2. Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Keep aside.
  3. Cream sugar and butter till light in a big bowl. Add the milk, golden syrup and beat well. I used a hand mixer for all this.
  4. Once its all incorporated, add the flour mix and chocolate chips. The resulting dough will be soft, more like a cake batter and a stiff cookie dough.
  5. In the baking tray, add the dough in tablespoons with enough space for it to spread. I could bake only 6 cookies in a batch.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. When the edges are golden, remove and let it sit on the tray for a minute or two. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

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This recipe is off to Blogging Marathon 27. Check out the Blogging Marathon page to know more about a lot of fun, lot of recipes and lot of themes.

This was one of the cookies that I had packed for the BM 25 Meet.