#68 Valentine’s Day Soft Sugar Cookies

It’s that time of year! The bakery section of your grocery store is overflowing with pink & red goodies. From cookies to cupcakes, I’ve even seen dyed breads, anything that can be dyed pink or red basically.

One of those special cookies that I use to always cave into buying where those fluffy sugar cookies with the pink frosting and sprinkles. They’re like big fluffy sugar pillows, how could you not resist.

Well these cookies are based on the infamous store bought sugar cookie, except they are way better and don’t have any of those nasty preservatives in it. I warn you, they are so addicting. I keep going into the cookie jar and taking a half a cookie…and then coming back 10 minutes later for another half…and then another half…you see where this is going.

I found this adorable little book about looove that I signed inside with the D’s backwards and in huge writing. It was quiet adorable to see.

I used a tiny bit too much food coloring in the frosting, so the pink turned out a little brighter than I had hoped for, but they’re fun regardless.



#66 Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti

Is it just me, or does Christmas feel like it was way more than just a month ago? If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have noticed back in December that I was posting a bunch of pictures of counter tops over flowing with cookies, but I never shared any recipes! I know, how inconsiderate of me. That day I joined my sister in law and her fellow culinary school friend to bake cookies for the holidays.

Normally, I would be all up in that mixer and covered in flour, but my almost 2 year old niece and her adorable little friend were just so irresistibly cute, I ended up playing with them on the floor most of the time.

One of my favorite cookies out of the bunch was the Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti. I am typically not a fan of biscotti. They are just so hard and dry, and always seemed so flavorless. These are quite the opposite. This biscotti packs a ton of flavor from the combination of cranberries, pistachios, lemon, and corn meal. They taste lovely with a nice cup of Raspberry Tea. I’ve been staying away from the coffee/caffeine recently, it was starting to make me kinda crazy, but i’m sure it would taste amazing with a nice cup of hot coffee too. 🙂

Burlap is kinda hairy? Who knew…so strange. Ignore the little fuzzies 😉

The prep for this recipe is so simple, it can be done in about 10 minutes and then it’s popped into the oven. So quick and easy!



This entry was posted in cookies.

#55 Salted Chocolate Pecan Cookies

This year I participated in a cookie swap and not just some amateur local one. This my friends was put together by the lovely ladies over at Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. The idea is genius really. Combine the powers of the amazingly talented food bloggers all over the country, ship a box of cookies to three different people, you get three different boxes of cookies, and in the end everyone writes a nice little post about! Fun! [If you’re interested in participating next year, sign up for their emails here]

Well here I am at stage three writing a nice little post about this event. This event was a lot more than just shipping your cookies to random people around the country. Blogging about anything can seem really closed off sometimes. You don’t get to see the people who are reading your blog or interact with them like you would if you were cooking for a group of friends. This event brought together about 500 food bloggers over the common love of cookies. Personally, I went on Twitter way more just to look through all of the tweets about the cookie swap. It was nice to bond virtually over the trials and errors of making the perfect cookie, and through the process I found a few more people to follow online.

My cookies ready to ship

I want to give a shout out to the three blogs that I sent cookies too:

KarmaCucina – my new go-to “real” cooking site! Lots of different variations on delicious food.
Life of a Bama Girl – another young chef blogging about life and food 🙂
From My Sweet Heart – a lovely woman living her life the best way possible – through sugar 🙂

The bloggers that I received cookies from:

Addicted to Recipes – she sent some yummy Gingerbread Snickerdoodles which was so appropriate. I love the two of them separately this season, so combined it was heavenly.
Grumpy’s Honey Bunch – she sent two different types of cookies [a nice result from reading directions when stressed :)] One was a peppermint bark filled bon bon (Mom loved these!) and some Cardamon Sugar cookies (yum!)
Decadent Philistines Save the World – she sent Maple Walnut cookies, which sadly must have been man-handled by the USPS because the box of cookies was opened inside when i got it and the cookies were a little hard 🙁 BUT I did try them and they tasted good regardless!  There should be a stamp for packages that says “HANDLE WITH CARE – COOKIES INSIDE”

I should probably tell you about the cookies I made now, huh? Recently I have fallen in love with the idea of sea salt on desserts, like cookies and chocolates. I know some people who havent experienced it yet are a little hesitant about the idea, but trust me, you’ll be hooked.

I was going to make a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt, but that was too simple. So these cookies ended up as a mixture of a few different cookies. I only got to eat one of them because I didn’t make enough to devour myself, but that one cookie was mouthwatering. These will be made a few more times this holiday season, that’s for sure.



#50 Snickerdoodles

Ideal Me is sitting at her desk, listening to some calm yet productively upbeat music while working on those soul sucking college essays for transfer apps.

Actual Me is sitting on the couch watching Top Chef: Texas while looking at pictures of food that I made, but sadly do not have any more. Why don’t I have this food, because it gets eaten so damn fast now! I make a batch of cookies and POOF!

Even my brother, who has a diet that consists of mostly pasta and anything easy (he’s a law student), makes these cookies! Clearly, they’re good cookies if even he is making them. I love you…:)

The name of this cookie is just so silly I cant get over it. Who even thought of that? Why aren’t they called Cinnamon Sugar Cookies? It’s just out of control.

Aside from the ridiculous name, the cookies are amazing. I’m such a chocolate lover, and it is so obvious, but snickerdoodles hold a place in my sweet little heart. I can never just have one snickerdoodle, but then again I can never really just have one of any cookie..can you?

The Snickerdoodle recipe that my mother always used was the Betty Crocker one, and it was the one I always used too. I decided to look online and see what other people were using and found this recipe that got over 3,000 reviews averaging with 4 1/2 stars. Crazy, I know. The funny thing is that the only difference between the two recipes is that this one has vanilla extract, where as Betty’s doesn’t. Next time I think I might do half vanilla and half almond extract. Hmmmm, the possibilities




I’ve got to start figuring out what to make for Thanksgiving! Eek!



#47 Ghost and Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I apologize for the delay in posts the past week, lots has been going on work, school and personal life wise. I want you all to know that I appreciate the support and love that I get from you guys. When I started this blog, all I knew was that I loved baking and I wanted to show my friends and family the things that I made. I hope all of you go after the things that make you happy like I did. It may just seem like a little blog about dessert to you, but to me its so much more than that. Thanks for the support :).

I needed to study this past Sunday for a test on Tuesday. I hadn’t baked anything in days and it was starting to make me a little stressed. Is it weird that I was more stressed about not baking something than I was my test? The solution: put computer with the slides for my test next to me while I baked a double batch of sugar cookies.

This right here is the most amazing thing you will ever own if you ever roll out dough. In the past before we had this lovely invention I would attempt to roll out dough on a wooden cutting board that was way too small for the job. The solution to all my problems (in terms of cookie making) is a circular piece of wood covered in canvas – tada! It’s main purpose is for rolling out the dough for Lefse, which is a Norweigen flat bread made from potatoes. My mom makes it every year, maybe we’ll get a post out of it this year! It’s so good!

TIP: When rolling out dough, put a sheet of plastic wrap on top of it. I use the one that I wrapped the dough in while it was chilling in the fridge – reusing things = less waste = happy environment (PSA from your friendly environment lover). It comes out perfectly smooth with no flaws, and the rolling pin wont stick to it! This way you just need to put a little flour on the bottom, and not all over the dough, which can dry it out. It’s little things like this that make this process so much easier.

Pipe an outline, let it dry for 30 minutes

The thing about gorgeous sugar cookies, like the ones you see on Bake @ 350, is that no body tells you how long this process is! I kid you not, I spent probably a combined 5 hours chilling, baking, cooling, piping, decorating these damn cookies! Oh and don’t forget the massive clean up. In the end I like to think its worth it, but man is it just an exhausting process!

Torey shows up during decorating to say hello and take random pictures
Finally done! 

I hope you all have a fun, crazy, but safe, halloween!

Sugar Cookies 


1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour

Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. Yields about 40 cookies.

I’ve tried a bunch of different frostings for sugar cookies and the most traditional way is Royal Icing which uses egg whites, but I find that this recipe with Meringue powder is a million times easier, and tastes better in my opinion.

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder (Found at specialty food stores like Sur La Table or the craft store Michael’s)
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  If you would like to add color, I suggest using gel and not liquid because it changes the consistency of the icing.

To flood cookies: Thin out the icing so that it is about the consistency of thick honey. Some people use squeeze bottles, which is the best way of doing it, but if you don’t have any you can just spoon it onto the cookie. Use a toothpick to push the icing into all the spaces. Let sit for a few hours to completely set up. Do not put into air-tight container until frosting is completely hardened.


Recipe from Annie’s Eats



#46 “Black and Orange” Cookies

My father has worked in video games since I was young, so I’ve always had video games around me. Even with that video game noise of my brother playing Final Fantasy and Zelda in the background of my life, I never was really that interested in it all. (Except for the Karaoke games and Little Big Planet because that sock puppet is just too damn cute). Recently, my parents have been playing Bejeweled on their iPad’s, non-stop. They compete with each other to see who can get a higher score, and I’ve been making fun of them for the past few months. Well, finally after all of that poking, I decided I should give it a try to see what they’re so obsessed with. I’ve been sucked in. It’s disgusting really. The worst part about it is that my parents are BETTER than me, a lot better than me. I think that is what is fueling this problem. My name is Madeline, and I have a bejeweled problem. I tell you this in hopes that it will fix my problem through pure embarrassment.

Now that I have that dirty little secret off my chest, lets get to the food.

It’s mid-october, which obviously means black and orange halloween things are going to be shoved down your throat for the next few weeks. You could try and hide from it, and act like you don’t like it, but lets just own up to the fact that themed holidays are just THE BEST.

I want to make everything black and orange, and I think I successfully-ish did so with these cookies. My only problem is that I didn’t have Dutch Processed Cocoa which produces are much darker chocolate side of the cookie. That is what gives it the true “black” in black and white cookies. So if you don’t have Dutch Processed Cocoa, its completely acceptable to use normal cocoa, it just wont be as dark.

I have loved Black and White cookies since I first made them a few months back. So since it is the Halloween season I needed to change it up a bit and died the white side to orange. I know, its blowing your mind right now.

You should be expecting lots more halloween themed desserts for the rest of this month…just a heads up. 🙂

from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
Black and White Icings (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes,scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add whole eggs and egg yolk, one at a time; beat until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the cream. Beat until just combined.

Use an ice cream scooper to scoop dough 3 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the edges just begin to turn golden and the centers are cakey and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack (turn them upside down) to cool for 10 minutes.

On the flat side (bottom) of each cookie, use a small offset spatula (or a spoon) to spread cholocalte icing over one half of the cookie, creating a line straight down the center. Spread white frosting on the other half. Set cookies back on wire rack until icing is set, about 30 minutes.

Black and Orange Icing

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I only had limes but it still tastes good)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
Orange food dye (I used gel dye, but you can use liquid too)

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl until smooth. Add more water, if needed, until mixture is slightly thicker than honey. Set aside half of sugar mixture and add a few drops of orange food dye. Stir cocoa into remaining sugar mixture to combine (for black icing); thin with water if needed. Use immediately.




#43 Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies


Back to food…

It’s funny how your tastes for things can change so quickly. I find myself craving things I used to hate, despise really. For example, guacamole. I hated guacamole. I can’t even explain to you how bothersome it was to me when I would go and get tacos, which happens often, and they would put a giant glob of guacamole on it. It kept happening, and I would be all disappointed each time. Then I found my stomach craving it, but my head being like “Do not go and get guacamole. You don’t like it! Remember?” That silly little voice is far, far away now and I find myself ordering a side of guacamole when I go to Chipotle now. I know, its embarrassing.

The reason I say all of this is because I had the same issue with White Chocolate. First of all, its not even chocolate! Did you know that? According to the FDA (who knew chocolate was so official?), to be considered chocolate it has to contain cocoa solids, which are what makes up chocolate liquor, which is in milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I felt like white chocolate was the weird traitor of the chocolate family and I refused to enjoy it. Then, once again, white chocolate appeared in things like cookies and on top of cakes and now I can’t help but like it!

These cookies are amazing. They are now on my Top 5 Cookie list. They were originally supposed to be White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies but man are Macadamia nuts expensive! So I switched them out for Pecans, who doesn’t love Pecans? (If you feel like shelling out the big bucks for some Macadamia nuts, it would be the same recipe just swap them out.) Obviously my family liked these too because the cookies were devoured in less than 24 hours. Made them at 6pm in the evening and they were gone by 11am the next day.

It was really hard to control ourselves (Torey and I) from eating this batter.

I use too large soup spoons for dishing out cookies, and an ice cream scoop for cupcakes.

Set all your ingredients out 30 minutes before you start baking. I’m sure you’ve heard this 5 million times as you creep through the food blogosphere, and trust me I thought it was stupid before too, but it makes a difference! Your butter will cream effortlessly and everything just comes together beautifully. It’s easy, really. Take everything out, put it on the counter, watch an episode of The Office (or if you’re bad Teen Mom/Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it’s okay I don’t judge), and then come back and get to it!

Vivi came to visit for a sleepover. Pure happiness.

Special thanks to Torey who was the official taste tester and took the baking action shots! 🙂

Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the pecans and white chocolate.
3. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Adapted from Allrecipe.com




#40 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Comfort food is really important in all of our lives. It’s that food that you don’t think about the calories or how many sticks of butter is in it, and you just eat, enjoy and escape from what is plaguing your mind.

I know quite a few people right now that are in need of some comfort food. This post goes out to Libby and her soon-to-be mother-in-law, Evan and his Uncle, Mrs. Frank (my favorite High School English teacher) as she battles cancer for the second time, James for his long journey to Taiwan, and Jennie from In Jennie’s Kitchen as she recovers from a loss, as well as anyone else who needs a little love.

One of my comfort foods is Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies, but specifically my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. There is something about this recipe that is so different from the others. It is like a hardy version of a chocolate chip cookie. These are a full proof guarantee to comfort as you sit on the couch and watch The Real Housewives of whatever or the Food Network for a few hours.

If it wasn’t enough that the cookies are amazing, the dough to these cookies is so tasty I always have trouble when it comes to not eating it. I lack self control when I am near this dough so I try and bake these earlier in the day and not near dinner…

Fresh out of the oven

These lasted about 3 minutes


I hope you make these for the people in your life that you love and care for, and for the people who need a little comforting in their lives.

James – I know you have been dying for this recipe for 2 years now. Well here you go 🙂 Use it well.

Oatmeal Chocolate  Chip Cookies

Makes 3 Dozen


1 ¼ cups butter
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt [1/2 if salted butter]
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375° F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together butter and the sugars until creamy. Add in egg, vanilla and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add in flour mixture to butter mixture until combined. Mix in oats, then chocolate chips. Using a spatula or spoon, stir together dough to make sure all the chocolate chips are evenly spread out and not sitting at the bottom. Drop tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes.




#37 Madeleines

This dessert is special to me in a sense, but only because of its name. Madeleines are delicious when you’re having a nice cup of coffee, sitting outside enjoying the day. Part of me was challenged from within to make these again because my last attempt, about 5 years ago, did not turn out well. First off, it was a different recipe and I must say I do like this new one much better. After I made them the first time, I instantly tried one after it came out of the oven, like any normal person would do. They tasted odd…just plain not very good. I ended up throwing out one of the pans of the Madeleines and continued baking the rest of the batter hoping it would be different. I put them in a container and then had one the next day…delicious! I dont know what it was but fresh out of the oven they really were not very good.

This time was very different. I had one right out of the oven and it was just as delicious as it was the next morning dipped in my coffee. Madeleines are little French tea cakes that have a sponge cake feel to them. They really do taste best when you are drinking tea or coffee, but of course these could be enjoyed on their own.

The recipe says to butter and then flour the Madeleine pans

I also did two pans in sugar

The pans buttered with sugar turned out with a little bit of a crystalized shell which was nice to compliment the soft spongey inside. I think for future Madeleine baking I will do sugar instead of flour. The sugar also ads another level of flavor, where as the ones coated with flour had a bit of a dull taste when you first bit into it.

Careful to not fill them up too much!

My unevenly heated mini me cookies


My oven has been having some issues with unevenly heating so I tried using the Convection setting, but I really dont think that did anything for me. If anything it just made them cook faster but they still came out unevenly golden. Anyone have any suggestions?


So delicious

These are the best served with coffee

You can also try dipping them in chocolate. Just melt some chocolate and dip them on in!



The two Madelines

This is definitely something I would make a batch of and then put into little bags and give to my friends and co workers. Even if you’re not a big dessert person, its just something to munch on with your coffee in the morning. If you don’t have a Madeleine pan, which most people probably don’t, you can pick one up from any cooking store or Bed Bath and Beyond (bring a 20% off coupon and its only about $10).

On a completely different note, I love listening to music while I bake. If you walk in on me in the kitchen, 9 times out of 10 I will be dancing around while whisking and singing to myself. I thought I would share what I was listening to while I baked these Madeleines. On this bake day, I was listening to Little Dragon’s new album Ritual Union. Check it out here and let me know what you think!


From Bon Appetit Magazine

Printer Friendly Version


2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Pinch of salt

1 cup all purpose flour

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly


Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter and flour pan for madeleines (found at Bed Bath and Beyond). Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.

Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and the edges are light brown, about 8 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch.

Dust cookies with powdered sugar.



#34 Chocolate Macaroons with Espresso Ganache (Again)

A few months back, I attempted to make French Macaroons for my friend Debby. No one told me that they were such a pain to deal with! They didn’t cook right, the ganache didn’t ever set…it was just a straight disaster.

For some reason, I was feeling adventurous and attempted these little suckers again. To my surprise, they turned out! Although macaroons are very tastey, they just are not really worth all of the effort in my opinion.

First thing about macaroons is that a lot of the stuff is measured out using a scale


Waiting for the oven

Just like many other cookie recipes, this one needs some type of sheet down when you’re cooking. If you don’t cook a lot, the easiest approach is parchment paper. If you do cook a good amount, and honestly if you dont cook a lot I wouldnt suggest making this for your first kitchen adventure. The best thing to use for these, and pretty much all other cookies, is the Silpat. Everything comes out evenly cooked and the bottoms look gorgeous.

These were cooked with the Silpat:

How gorgeous is the bottom of this?


All of them came off the pan without any problem at all

These were cooked with parchment paper:

Not such a pretty bottom!

So sad


Moral of the story: Buy a Silpat. Seriously.



Chocolate French Macaroons with Espresso Ganache

110 g blanched almonds
200 g minus 2 tbsps powdered sugar
2 tbsps cocoa powder
3 egg whites (about 100 g), room temperature
50 g sugar

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and pulse until well-blended. Whip the egg whites until foamy and gradually add the granulated sugar while whipping until a shiny meringue forms (but not too dry). Add the almond mixture to the meringue and quickly incorporate the mixture into the meringue while taking care not to overbeat. You want to achieve a batter that flows and “ribbons” for at least 5 seconds. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large plain piping tip (Ateco 809 or 807) and pipe small rounds onto a baking sheet lined with silpat (or parchment paper). The rounds should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and at least an inch apart.

Let the macarons sit out for an hour to develop a hard shell. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size.

Espresso Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs granulated sugar
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp instant espresso powder

Heat the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place 8 ounces semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and espresso. Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.

(Recipe from userealbutter.com)