Un-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipes for cookies without chocolate chips are nothing new, of course, but when I posted a picture of my “un”-chocolate chip cookie on Instagram two weeks ago I had quite a few people asking for the recipe, so I thought a blog post was in …

chewy chocolate chipless cookies on parchment paper

Recipes for cookies without chocolate chips are nothing new, of course, but when I posted a picture of my “un”-chocolate chip cookie on Instagram two weeks ago I had quite a few people asking for the recipe, so I thought a blog post was in order. While I personally love a warm pan-banging chocolate chip cookie, I have found that cookies without chocolate are also just as tasty. And, with a good friend who hates chocolate (what?) and another friend allergic to chocolate, I wanted something I could quickly make that would keep everyone happy and safe. What Makes this Chocolate Chipless Cookie Recipe Different This cookie is my Chocolate Chip Cookie 2.0 recipe with a few small changes. Since the chocolate is omitted, I do chill the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes; I’ve found that this helps the cookie not to spread and keeps its cute round shape. Increasing the oven temperature to 400F [200C] helped the cookies turn golden brown on top and bottom, and also helped them crisp beautifully. And sprinkling the flaky salt on the tops of the cookies before baking vs after brought out more flavor without tasting overwhelmingly salty.  I also really like dark brown […]

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Flaky Homemade Croissant Twists

I love my Foolproof Cheater Croissant Dough and use it for many applications (including these Apple Morning Buns), but I have to say that these fried Croissant Twists are insanely good, and may be my new favorite thing to make with it. Frying anything …

croissant twists on white backround

I love my Foolproof Cheater Croissant Dough and use it for many applications (including these Apple Morning Buns), but I have to say that these fried Croissant Twists are insanely good, and may be my new favorite thing to make with it. Frying anything is not my favorite past time, but the process was worth it. These twists are simple to form (especially if you have some croissant dough already made and stashed in your freezer), and the fry up rich, flaky and light. I loved them with a simple glaze, which added some sweetness and kept the middles tender. Each bite reminded me of a cross between a croissant and an old-fashioned doughnut, which is a perfect mash-up in my mind. I am imaging a rhubarb-glazed version as soon as my stalks are ready to pick. Important Tips for Making This Recipe Make sure your kitchen isn’t too hot! This will affect how your dough rolls out. The yeast will began to release gas as the dough warms up, so a cool environment is important. If at any point your butter begins to melt or your dough begins to warm and stick to your work space, you can move the […]

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Cherry Rhubarb Crisp with White Wine

Rhubarb is an important plant to all Minnesotans. Not only can it be found in nearly every neighbor’s garden and growing alongside walking paths and trails in local parks, but for those of us living in the North, it is also a symbol of winter&#82…

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp in a skillet pan with spoon

Rhubarb is an important plant to all Minnesotans. Not only can it be found in nearly every neighbor’s garden and growing alongside walking paths and trails in local parks, but for those of us living in the North, it is also a symbol of winter’s end. As its green leaves and pink stalks start to peek out of the ground, there is a collective sign of relief among us all. Winter has come and gone. Spring is here at last. I grew up in a neighborhood where neighbors and friends often sent over a rhubarb crisp, and wanted to recreate the nostalgia while also giving this dessert a little update. Sweet cherries were a delicious addition and also added beautiful color (some rhubarb is green and bakes up a disappointing brown), and sweet white wine added flavor while also helping me use up the end of that box of wine. About this recipe Using Wine in a Fruit Crisp I often bake with alcohol; I find the addition of wine or liqueurs adds good flavor and moisture to what I am making. I added sweet white wine here on a whim and loved how the cherries, rhubarb, and wine all […]

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Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Often, when chocolate cookies are strutting around a bakery case, sending out their sexy, glossy vibes, the humble oatmeal cookie is completely overlooked. Small and round, filled with dried fruit and a handful of spices, this unassuming cookie doesn&#…

oatmeal raisin cookies on baking sheet

Often, when chocolate cookies are strutting around a bakery case, sending out their sexy, glossy vibes, the humble oatmeal cookie is completely overlooked. Small and round, filled with dried fruit and a handful of spices, this unassuming cookie doesn’t always make a big splash. Its charm is subtle; it hums quietly while other confections roar. But, in all honestly, I’m fine with the majority of people passing by these raisin-filled circles because it means there are more for me. Main Ingredients for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Rolled vs Quick Oats: I find either kind of oat works well in this cookie. Rolled oats will give them a little more chew, and my kids prefer quick oats because they don’t feel quite as “oaty”. Spices: I use cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg in these cookies. Cinnamon has always been a must in oatmeal cookies (I grew up making the quaker oats recipe on repeat), but I love the extra flavor of nutmeg here. It has a slightly bitter but warm flavor profile that compliments the cinnamon and elevates the cookie. Raisins: I use regular grocery store raisins in this recipe. Make sure they are fresh, and not dried out or hard, […]

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Homemade Blueberry Muffins

What Makes This Blueberry Muffin Recipe Different? My blueberry muffin experience started with a blue boxed mix, complete with tiny dried blueberries. My mom would often make them to accompany dinner, and we would devour them slathered in too much butt…

blueberry muffins on a sheet pan

What Makes This Blueberry Muffin Recipe Different? My blueberry muffin experience started with a blue boxed mix, complete with tiny dried blueberries. My mom would often make them to accompany dinner, and we would devour them slathered in too much butter. I started baking them from scratch while working at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse; I always loved that their recipe added nutmeg and I took that little trick with me when I left. This recipe is revamped from my first book and now included in my latest cookbook, 100 Morning Treats; I found adding almond flour keeps the crumb tender and light, and also adds rich flavor. Bumping up the baking powder and adding another egg helped those muffins dance beautifully over the rim. You’ll find nutmeg incorporated in the perfectly sugary top (please don’t skip this!); the crunch being a perfect contrast to the moist muffin. Why Do You Fill Every Other Muffin Cup? Filling the muffin cups so that every other cup is empty can help the muffins bake higher. Leaving that extra space in between muffins gives them more room to rise, and their tops won’t bake into each other in the pan. This does mean you […]

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Tender Shortbread Cookies (pan-style)

Shortbread has many aficionados, but like all intense passions, there is a great divide among enthusiasts about principle and purpose. Many fanatics argue over whether to work the butter into the flour toward the end of mixing, or cream butter and suga…

shortbread in a pan

Shortbread has many aficionados, but like all intense passions, there is a great divide among enthusiasts about principle and purpose. Many fanatics argue over whether to work the butter into the flour toward the end of mixing, or cream butter and sugar together initially. In this version I use the latter method, and bake my shortbread in a pan for crisp, golden shortbread rectangles, or fingers as they are sometimes called. How this recipe differs from others: I like my shortbread crisp, so I use a 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking pan. The shortbread bakes up thinner. If you like a thicker shortbread, you can use a 9 by 9 in [23 by 23 cm] square pan. Both ways are delicious.  I bake my shortbread a little longer, so it is golden brown, because I like it crisp, which is why I give a large baking time range in the directions. It does turn dark golden quickly, especially on the edges, so keep an eye on it if you are letting it bake a little longer.  I like to use both granulated and confectioners’ sugar and a good bit of salt, and also add an egg yolk to add both […]

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Almost every coffeehouse I worked at in the late 90’s made sure to offer four kinds of cookies: chocolate chip (of course), peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and the very fancy (at least for suburban Minnesota) white chocolate macadamia nut. Chocola…

white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on plates

Almost every coffeehouse I worked at in the late 90’s made sure to offer four kinds of cookies: chocolate chip (of course), peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and the very fancy (at least for suburban Minnesota) white chocolate macadamia nut. Chocolate chip was my number one pick each time, and I never was a huge fan of the latter: the white chocolate was overly sweet, and the macadamia nuts were left in huge pieces that could crack a tooth. Years later when I was developing cookie recipes I finally found a white chocolate that I liked, and discovered that using that good chocolate and finely chopping the macadamia nuts so they weren’t so overwhelming made for a delicious cookie. I use it often; my Half-n-Half White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies which are another favorite. This cookie is based on my Chocolate Chip Cookie 2.0 recipe, with a small change: I use more brown sugar here than white sugar for a little more rich, caramel-y sugar profile to shine through. I also have a variation (see notes) that includes cacao nibs and orange, which I love equally as much as the original. The bitter complexity of the cacao nibs really balance the sweet […]

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Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies

These Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies are a variation of both the Pan-Banging Sugar Cookie and the Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookie with Rum Butter Glaze, which are all also off-shoots of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies …

red velvet cookies with glaze on parchment paper

These Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies are a variation of both the Pan-Banging Sugar Cookie and the Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookie with Rum Butter Glaze, which are all also off-shoots of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies have buttery, rippled edges and a chewy center as a result of using the pan-banging cookie technique. They also mimic the famous red velvet cake (like my Red Velvet Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies), with both red food coloring and a little bit of cocoa powder in the dough to create the beautiful burgundy hue, and a partial dip in cream cheese icing to complete the classic “red velvet” flavor combination. These cookies are perfect for the holidays, and have made it onto my Top 24 Holiday Cookie recipes list. What Are Pan-Banging Cookies? Bakers tapping their cookie pans in the oven isn’t new, of course, but the pan-banging technique I use here is unique in that the pan is tapped in the oven every few minutes, creating ripples on the edge of the cookie. This creates two textures in the cookie: a crisp outer edge, and a soft, gooey center. I have a whole chapter of these recipes in my 100 Cookies cookbook. Just […]

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Cranberry Maple Syrup

Growing up, my parents would occasionally take the whole family out to dinner on Friday night. My favorite spot had breakfast for dinner on the menu, which I always made sure to order, and pancakes were usually my item of choice. To my delight, syrup w…

cranberry syrup on waffles with whipped cream

Growing up, my parents would occasionally take the whole family out to dinner on Friday night. My favorite spot had breakfast for dinner on the menu, which I always made sure to order, and pancakes were usually my item of choice. To my delight, syrup was always delivered in a bundle of three: regular maple, apricot, and blueberry. I slathered my short-stack with the blueberry each and every time, and now as an adult, I find prefer the tartness of gently cooked berries mingled with my maple syrup. Raspberry Syrup is now a family favorite when we make our own breakfast-for-dinner (especially in the summer when they are fresh off our bushes), but this winter-y month was calling for cranberries, and they are also quite delicious in syrup. The beautiful red shade of the syrup is very holiday-esque, and served with some whipped cream and sugared cranberries on waffles would make for a lovely Christmas morning. But you don’t need any jingling bells to partake; a regular Wednesday night in February will also work just fine to serve this syrup. Cranberries do have a skin that takes a little longer to break down; I find pulsing them in the food […]

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Homemade Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Both of my children have cold weather birthdays, one in the later days of Autumn, and the other very close to Christmas. While in their early years they begged for chocolate cakes covered in sprinkles, middle school brought on new requests for birthday…

mini cinnamon rolls on pink plates

Both of my children have cold weather birthdays, one in the later days of Autumn, and the other very close to Christmas. While in their early years they begged for chocolate cakes covered in sprinkles, middle school brought on new requests for birthday celebrating, in the form of either Maple Oatmeal Scones or Pillowy Soft Cinnamon Rolls (that are also a reader favorite). But as our family has grown, both with more people and also in size (growing teenagers + grocery shopping = wow), we have discovered that one pan of cinnamon rolls doesn’t cover everyone equally. At our family birthday gatherings, my little nieces eat a couple bites of that giant roll and move on to something else, while uncles and grandpas can eat three giant cinnamon rolls with no problem. Why You’ll Love Mini Cinnamon Rolls So mini cinnamon rolls have now entered the picture. Thirty-six small buns all tucked into a pan, their tender base baking into each other to create pillow-like dough, and their cinnamon centers expanding into beautiful golden-brown spirals. Little ones can grab one and be satisfied, and growing teenagers and grandparents can sneak back and take seconds and thirds with plenty to spare. […]

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