Snickerdoodles

Score all the bear hugs from the cinnamon lover in your life with this easy recipe for tangy, chewy, cinnamon-sugar-crusted snickerdoodles.

The post Snickerdoodles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Score all the bear hugs from the cinnamon lover in your life with this easy recipe for tangy, chewy, cinnamon-sugar-crusted snickerdoodles. The best part is that you probably already have everything you need to make a quick batch right in your pantry!

Overhead shot of snickerdoodles next to a glass of milk.

What Is A Snickerdoodle?

A snickerdoodle is a sugar cookie made with cream of tartar. The dough is rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking, creating a crackly pattern all over the surface as it cooks. Some historians say the snickerdoodle scored its name from the German term schnecke knödel which translates to “snail dumpling.” Others say the cookie was named by New England cooks that loved to give baked goods goofy names. Either way, it’s a must-have recipe in your cookie arsenal.

Why Cream Of Tartar?

Cream of tartar stops the sugar in the dough from crystalizing, yielding a chewy cookie instead of a crunchy one. It’s also what gives snickerdoodles their signature tang. Since most snickerdoodle recipes use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda, I used baking powder to reduce the list of ingredients. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar, with a touch of cornstarch thrown in to keep the two powders from clumping.

Overhead shot of a hand holding two snickerdoodle cookie halves and showing off the inside crumb.

How To Know When Snickerdoodles Are Done

Snickerdoodles are made from pale white cookie dough, so it can be hard to tell when they’re done, as their color won’t deepen much. It’s best to set a timer, so you don’t have to play a guessing game about when to pull your cookies from the oven. There are also two visual cues that you can look out for:

  • the edges darken a touch
  • the top of the cookie will crack slightly

Can I Freeze The Dough?

You can absolutely freeze snickerdoodle dough. First, shape it into two-inch dough balls, but do not roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Freeze the balls on a sheet pan in a single layer, and once they are frozen solid, place them in an airtight container. Separate layers with parchment paper. Defrost them in the fridge in a single layer. When you are ready to bake, roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

How To Store Snickerdoodles

You have two options for storing snickerdoodles: keep them at room temperature or freeze them. Avoid refrigerating the cookies, as it can dry them out and dull their flavor. Wait for the cookies to cool completely before storing them in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel to soak up moisture. They’ll stay fresh on your countertop for up to five days and in your freezer for up to six months.

Overhead shot of snickerdodle cookies, with one cookie with a bite taken out of it.
Overhead shot of snickerdoodles.
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Snickerdoodles

Score all the bear hugs from the cinnamon lover in your life with this easy recipe for tangy cinnamon-sugar-crusted snickerdoodles.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($3.83 recipe / $0.24 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 205kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp salted butter, softened $1.20
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided $0.40
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.18
  • 2 large eggs $0.78
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.57
  • 2 tsp baking powder* $0.13
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon $0.24

Instructions

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325°F. Add the softened butter, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and the brown sugar to a bowl.
  • Mix with a hand beater or stand mixer until the butter has lightened in color and has the consistency of a mousse, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg. Mix to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Add the second egg and the vanilla. Mix to incorporate.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, salt, and sifted flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two batches, incorporating it fully between additions, until a dough forms. Rest the dough, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the tablespoon of cinnamon. Shape 2-tablespoon portions of the cookie dough into balls and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar twice.
  • Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan front to back. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until the sides of the cookies deepen in color. Wait a few minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Use aluminum-free baking powder; otherwise, you will have a metallic aftertaste. If you don’t have baking powder, you can make your own with 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead shot of snickerdoodles.

How to Make Snickerdoodles – Step by Step Photos

White sugar and brown sugar with softened butter in a white bowl.

Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325°F. Add 1 cup of softened butter, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar to a bowl.

Creamed butter in a white bowl.

Mix with a hand beater until the butter has lightened in color and has the consistency of a mousse, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Egg and vanilla being mixed into creamed butter in a white bowl.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg. Mix to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Add the second egg and the teaspoon of vanilla. Mix to incorporate.

Dry ingredients being mixed into wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix the 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two batches, incorporating it fully between additions, until a dough forms. Rest the dough, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Balls of snickerdoodle dough being rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the tablespoon of cinnamon. Shape 2-tablespoon portions of the cookie dough into balls and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roll all of the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture once. Then repeat.

Eight baked snickerdoodles in a sheet pan.

Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan front to back. Bake for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until the sides of the cookies deepen in color, and the tops have a distinctive crackle pattern. Cool the cookies on the sheet pan for a few minutes before using a spatula to place them on a cooling rack. Try not to eat them all in one sitting! (Beth and I failed.)

Overhead shot of a hand holding a stack of snickerdoodle cookies.

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Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a Christmas cookie classic made with a shortbread dough, sweet fruit jam, and a nutty coconut coating.

The post Thumbprint Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

These jam thumbprint cookies have to be one of my favorite Christmas cookies ever. Do I say that about all the cookies? Maybe. But how could they not be my favorite with that snow-ball-like coconut coating and the little jewel-like dots jam in the center? But they’re not just pretty! These little show-stoppers are every bit as delicious as they are nice to look at. Plus, they’re SO easy, so make sure they’re on your cookie platter this year!

thumbprint cookies lined up closely on a wire cooling rack.

What is a Thumbprint Cookie?

Thumbprint cookies are made with a rich shortbread dough that is shaped into small balls with small depressions, or “thumbprints,” in the center filled with jam or other sweet treats. The slightly salty shortbread is the perfect contrast to the sweet jam center and together they make beautiful little jewel-like additions to a cookie platter or afternoon tea.

Coconut or no Coconut?

If you’re not into coconut, you can absolutely make these thumbprint cookies without the coconut coating. Simply skip dipping the cookie in egg whites and rolling in the coconut, and continue with the rest of the directions as usual. Another great option is to roll the cookie in granulated or powdered sugar for an icy or snow-like finish!

Close up of a jam thumbprint cookie with the rest of the cookies in the background.

What Kind of Jam to Use

This is where these cookies get fun. You can use any flavor of jam you’d like, so this recipe is a great way to use up the odds and ends of jam jars in your fridge. We used a combination of raspberry, strawberry, and orange marmalade for the cookies in the photos. You can also fill them with other spreads, like lemon curd, caramel, Nutella, or even candies like Rolos or chocolate kisses.

How to Store Thumbprint cookies

Make sure to the thumbprint cookies to cool completely to room temperature before storage. Once fully cooled, keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. For longer storage, the cookies can be frozen. Thaw the frozen thumbprint cookies at room temperature before enjoying.

Overhead view of a pile of jam thumbprint cookies.
Overhead view of a pile of jam thumbprint cookies.
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Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a Christmas cookie classic made with a shortbread dough, sweet fruit jam, and a nutty coconut coating.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $2.69 recipe / $0.17 serving
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 133kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature $1.00
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar $0.11
  • 1 large egg, separated $0.21
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract $0.14
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut $0.83
  • 8 tsp fruit jam $0.26

Instructions

  • Add the room-temperature butter and sugar to a bowl. Use a mixer to cream the sugar and butter together on high speed until the mixture is light in color and creamy in texture.
  • Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and mix to combine. Set the egg white aside for later.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the four and salt until evenly mixed. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter mixture, and mix on low speed until a slightly crumbly dough forms. No dry flour should remain on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • When you're ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly whisk the reserved egg white until it's slightly runny. Place the shredded coconut in a separate bowl.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces and roll each one into a ball. Dip each ball into the egg white, then roll it around in the shredded coconut to coat. Place the coated cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Use the back of a round ½ tsp measuring spoon or your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill each indentation with about ½ tsp jam.
  • Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or just until the coconut becomes slightly golden on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool before serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g
Side view of thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack.

How to Make Thumbprint Cookies – Step By Step Photos

Creamed butter and sugar with egg yolk and vanilla.

Use a mixer to cream together 8 Tbsp salted butter and ⅓ cup sugar until the mixture is light in color and creamy in texture. Separate one large egg and set the whites aside. Add the yolk and ¼ tsp vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and mix until light and creamy again.

flour and salt added to the cookie batter.

In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup of all-purpose flour and ¼ tsp salt. Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the butter and mix on low speed until a slightly crumbly dough forms.

Cookie dough in the bowl with the mixer on the side.

The dough should be just slightly crumbly, but no dry flour should remain on the bottom of the bowl. If you squeeze the dough together in your hand, it should form a cohesive ball of dough.

Dough wrapped in plastic.

Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Dough being divided into 16 pieces.

When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces. The easiest way to do this is to first divide it into four, then divide each of those pieces into four again.

Cookies being dipped in egg white and coconut.

Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Lightly whisk the reserved egg white until it is slightly runny. Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a separate bowl. Dip each cookie ball into the egg white, then roll in the coconut to coat. Place the coated cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

Making indentations in the cookies.

Use the back of a round ½ tsp measuring spoon or your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

Cookies filled with jam on the baking sheet.

Fill each indentation with ½ tsp of your favorite jam (we used raspberry, strawberry, and orange marmalade).

baked thumbprint cookies on the baking sheet.

Bake the thumbprint cookies in the preheated 350ºF oven for 15 minutes, or just until the coconut becomes golden brown on the edges.

A pile of jam thumbprint cookies with different colors of jam.

Allow those beautiful little cookies to cool before serving! 😍

The post Thumbprint Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sweet Potato Cobbler

This non-traditional sweet potato cobbler is foolproof and incredibly delicious. A mouthwatering cozy cobbler, this simple sweet topping makes this dessert one
The post Sweet Potato Cobbler appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

This non-traditional sweet potato cobbler is foolproof and incredibly delicious. A mouthwatering cozy cobbler, this simple sweet topping makes this dessert one

The post Sweet Potato Cobbler appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are budget-friendly, simple to make, and a delicious way to make memories that will last a lifetime.

The post Sugar Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sugar cookies are budget-friendly, simple to make, and a delicious way to create memories that will last a lifetime. Whipping up a batch of this sugar cookie recipe and spending the afternoon decorating them with family and friends is my favorite thing to do during the holidays.

Overhead shot of round sugar cookies.

Why These Are The Best Sugar Cookies

  • The dough comes together in minutes.
  • They have a subtle vanilla flavor and aren’t overly sweet.
  • They bake up firm but are still soft and chewy.
  • They don’t shatter when you bite into them.

6 Tips For The Best Sugar Cookie

  1. Cream softened butter with sugar until it doubles in size and lightens in color. This creates air pockets in the dough, giving you a light and airy cookie.
  2. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Any thicker and the cookies will lose their shape. Any thinner, and they won’t be able to hold the weight of the icing.
  3. Chill the dough after you roll it out, and then cut it. Giving the butter time to harden will make the cookies easier to cut out and help your cookies keep their shape as they bake.
  4. Use simply shaped cookie cutters. Anything too intricate will likely break off or lose its shape as it bakes.
  5. Bake the cookies just until they’re set. You’re not looking for a golden brown; as they bake the cookies will lighten in color. Overbaking them leaves you with a dry, rock-hard cookie.
  6. Cool your cookies completely before decorating them with icing. Spreading icing on warm cookies will melt the icing, so it doesn’t hold its shape and drips all over.
Hand holding a white sugar cookie with sprinkles in the foreground with red and white sugar cookies in the background.

How To Soften Butter

Perfectly softened butter will form an indentation when you gently press a finger into it—like play dough. Here are three ways to achieve this consistency:

  • METHOD #1 Pick a warm spot in your kitchen and leave the butter out at room temperature for an hour or two.
  • METHOD #2 Fill a large glass with boiling water. After a minute, carefully dump the water out. Stand the stick of butter (still in its wrapper) straight up on your work surface and cover it with the heated glass for five minutes.
  • METHOD #3 Chop the stick of butter into four pieces and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the butter in 5-second increments, being careful not to melt it. Press your finger into the butter after every five-second increment. As soon as there is any give to it, pull it from the microwave.

How To Cut Sugar Cookies

Traditionally cookie cutters are used to shape sugar cookie dough. While metal cutters are the most popular, I prefer plastic cutters, as they don’t bend or rust. Of course, you don’t need to invest in cookie cutters to shape your dough. You can use the mouth of a glass or the ring of a mason jar lid, as we did here. If you want to create a different shape, draw it on paper, cut it out, and place it on the dough. Use a knife to trace the outline. Always cut dough that’s been rolled out to 1/4 inch thickness and chilled to create clean lines.

How To Fix Cookies That Have Lost Their Shape

If you open your oven to find that your cookies have lost their shape, it can be an easy fix. First, allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan for a minute, then reshape them by pressing the cookie cutter into them and using a butter knife to separate the trimmings from the cookie. Work quickly; the more the cookie cools, the more likely it is to shatter. Don’t throw out those trimmings! They’re crispy and a total delight.

Overhead shot of round sugar cookies on a cooling rack. and a counter top.

Decorating Sugar Cookies

You can eat plain sugar cookies, but decorating them is always so much fun. Traditionally royal icing is dyed with food coloring and piped onto the cookies to decorate them. But if you prefer a simpler method, you can also garnish the cookies with a bit of icing, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, or a pinch of zest. They will still look and taste amazing. If you want to steer clear of food coloring, grate freeze-dried raspberries or blueberries into a powder and sprinkle them into the icing to create a vibrant pink or purple hue.

How To Make Royal Icing

Royal icing is a stiff white icing that’s dyed with food coloring and used to decorate pastries. It can be plain or flavored with vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon zest, or orange zest. When decorating cookies, there are three textures you should make:

  1. Stiff consistency: When you dip a spoon into stiff icing and lift it out, the icing will form a stiff peak that won’t disappear. Use this icing to pipe flowers, leaves, or ruffles.
  2. Piping consistency: When you drip a line of icing across the surface, it will take 20 to 25 seconds to disappear. Use this icing to outline the cookie and prevent flooding consistency icing from spilling over.
  3. Flooding consistency: When you drip a line of icing across the surface, it will take 15 to 10 seconds to disappear. Use flooding consistency icing to fill in the cookie quickly.

How To Store Sugar Cookies

Store sugar cookies in an air-tight container for up to a week at room temperature. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container, separated with layers of parchment or wax paper, for up to 3 months. Don’t refrigerate sugar cookies, as it can dry them out and dull their flavor.

Overhead shot of round red and white sugar cookies, with a bite taken out of one of them.
Hand holding a white sugar cookie with sprinkles in the foreground with red and white sugar cookies in the background.
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Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are budget-friendly, simple to make, and a delicious way to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($4.41 recipe / $0.37 serving)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 199kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp salted butter, softened* $1.50
  • 1 cup sugar $0.32
  • 1 tsp vanilla $0.57
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.24
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder $0.05
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar* $1.00
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar $0.10
  • 2 large egg whites $0.42

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the softened butter & sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla to the creamed butter and mix to incorporate.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.
  • Add half the flour to the creamed butter and mix just until a wet dough forms. Add the second half of the flour and mix gently until a stiffer dough forms.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Cool for thirty minutes in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Once the dough has hardened, cut out the cookies, remove the scraps from the cookie sheet, and leave the cookies behind. Roll any scraps out on a separate piece of parchment, and chill before cutting them into cookies.
  • Place the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on a sheet pan. Bake the cookies at 350°F for 3 minutes. Next, rotate the sheet pan, so the front faces the back—then bake for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Cool the cookies in the sheet pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Decorate when cookies have cooled completely.
  • To make the royal icing, combine half of the pound of powdered sugar and all of the cream of tartar in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and whip the mixture to soft peaks.
  • Add half the sugar and mix it at a lower speed to keep the powdered sugar in the bowl. Next, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the icing is stiff and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Thicken the icing with as much powdered sugar as necessary to create a piping consistency for outlining—thin the icing with a bit of water for flooding.
  • If coloring your icing, separate it into as many bags as necessary to create your palette. Then, follow the directions on the food coloring package to make your palette. Next, close the bag and squeeze and press it to disperse the food coloring throughout.
  • Remove as much air as possible and twist the top of the bag to close it. Secure the twisted end with a rubber band. Snip off the tiniest bit of the bottom corner of the bag.
  • Next, gently squeeze the top of the bag while moving it steadily to outline the cookie with the stiffer icing.
  • Then flood your cookie with the thinner icing. Allow the icing to dry before enjoying your sugar cookie!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground salt (like fine sea salt) or 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (like kosher salt) to the butter
*If you don’t have powdered sugar, you can make your own by processing a pound of sugar in a blender until it forms a fine powder.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cookies | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 66mg | Fiber: 0.3g
Overhead shot of round red and white sugar cookies.

How to Make Sugar Cookies – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of creamed butter and sugar in a white bowl.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the 12 tablespoons of softened butter & cup of sugar until fluffy.

Overhead shot of egg and vanilla being added to whipped butter.

Add the egg and the teaspoon of vanilla to the creamed butter and mix to incorporate.

Overhead shot of hands mixing flour and baking powder in a white bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cups of all-purpose flour and the 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder.

Overhead shot of hands holding sugar cookie dough over a bowl of sugar cookie dough.

Add half the flour to the creamed butter and mix just until a wet dough forms. Add the second half of the flour and mix gently until a stiffer dough forms.

Overhead shot of sugar cookie dough being rolled out between two sheets of parchment.

Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Cool for thirty minutes in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Overhead shot of sugar cookies being cut with a band and a mason jar lid.
Once the dough has hardened, cut out the cookies. Remove the scraps and leave the cookies behind. Roll any scraps out on a separate piece of parchment, and chill before also cutting them into cookies.
Overhead shot of naked sugar cookies in a sheet pan.

Place the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on a cookie sheet or sheet pan.

Overhead shot of baked sugar cookies in a sheet pan.
Bake the cookies at 350°F for 3 minutes. Next, rotate the sheet pan, so the front faces the back—then bake for 3 to 4 minutes.
Overhead shot of egg whites being poured into powdered sugar.
To make the royal icing, combine half of the pound of powdered sugar and the 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and whip the mixture to soft peaks.
Overhead shot of icing being mixed with a hand blender in a white bowl.
Thicken the icing with as much powdered sugar as necessary to create a piping consistency for outlining—thin the icing with a bit of water for flooding.
Overhead shot of icing being spooned into a plastic bag.
If coloring your icing, separate it into as many bags as necessary to create your palette. Then, follow the directions on the food coloring package to make your palette. Next, close the bag and squeeze and press it to disperse the food coloring throughout.
Overhead shot of hand piping icing onto a sugar cookie on a tray of sugar cookies.
Next, gently squeeze the top of the bag while moving it steadily to first outline the cookie with the stiffer icing.
Overhead shot of decorated red and white sugar cookies.
Then flood your cookie with the thinner icing. Allow the icing to dry before enjoying your amazing sugar cookie!

Other Great Cookie Recipes

The post Sugar Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Candied Walnuts

Caramelized and toasted, these crunchy candied walnuts use brown sugar and spices to deliver the perfect snack or topping.

Continue reading Candied Walnuts on 101 Cookbooks

The best candied walnuts are oven-baked. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s worth knowing how to make them and there are many reasons to keep candied walnuts on hand. First off, buying them can be wildly expensive. Second, they’re infinitely snack-able. And, they have a knack for making salads, popcorn, crumbles and cheese plates extra special. Once you nail down a great base recipe and technique for candied walnuts you can tweak them a thousand different ways with different spices, herbs and flavors. Today we’re going to talk through all of this.

Candied Walnuts on a Sheetpan

What Makes Good Candied Walnuts?

This is subjective, of course, but I like candied walnuts with a thick, brown sugar bark. So much coating it becomes hard to see the definition in the curves and swirls of the walnuts. The optimal size of the walnut pieces is up for debate. The merit of perfectly candied whole walnut halves is hard to argue with. It’s my preferred size for salads, snacking and the like. But, candied chopped walnuts, in smaller pieces, make a wonderful topping for scoops of ice cream, mixing into popcorn, integrating into fruit crumble and crisp toppings or adding to granola. This round I stuck with halves.
Walnuts in a Bowl coasted with Brown Sugar Mixture

Baking Versus Skillet?

There are two common methods for making candied walnuts – in the oven or in a non-stick skillet. You will likely have success with either method, but let me tell you why I prefer baking the walnuts. Toasting walnuts in a skillet is always awkward. They’re craggy-shaped and where nuts touch the pan they either get too dark or the rest of the walnuts stay too light. It’s more challenging to know when your sugar is hot enough to set when using a skillet. It’s basically automatic in the oven, so you don’t sweat it as much. The oven envelops the walnuts in dry heat and you get much better toasting and browning. The dry heat of the oven also seems to strip the water from the egg whites while the sugar toasts resulting in crunchy snappy candied walnuts. Exactly what you want when they’ve cooled completely.
Candied Walnuts

Candied Walnuts: The Technique 

I’m going to call out a few important techniques and tricks here. This way you won’t breeze over them once you’re deep in the recipe.  

  • Coating the walnuts: You are going to get in there and stir these walnuts at TWO points, for minutes at a time. Once to initially coat the walnuts with the egg whites. And again once you stir in the brown sugar mixture. Really go for it. See photo below.
  • Separate the walnuts for baking: Try to separate the walnuts so they don’t bake into clumps on the baking sheets.
  • Avoid under-baking: Use all your senses to know when to pull the candied walnuts from the oven. I look for a few things. Things should smell toasty when you open the oven. The sugar coating should be nice and deeply golden at the edges, where the coating touches the pan. You need to bake long enough that the sugars bake and will be snappy once cooled.
  • Let the walnuts cool completely: Let the candied walnuts cool  for ten minutes or so before moving them around or taking them off the pan. It will be easier to break them up, the texture is best and they won’t burn your mouth.

Ingredients for Candied Walnuts

Variations:

There are endless ways to switch things up here. How about…

  • Add some zest. Avoiding the white pith, use a vegetable peeler to strip the zest off a lemon, Meyer lemon, or orange. Cut into the narrowest slivers. Stir into the sugar mixture.
  • Experiment with seasonings and spice blends. My rule of thumb here is…if it is good in a cookie or pie, it will likely be good here. Think gingerbread spices, pumpkin pie spice, Bahārāt, quatre épices.
  • Try an alternate nut. Pecans are a great substitute. Or a mix of walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts. I also like to throw some sliced almonds (skins on) into the mix.
  • Crunchy Chewy Candied Walnuts: Add some dried or freeze dried fruit. You can use chopped figs or dates here. Or stir in chopped dried banana and/or pineapple before baking.
  • Rosemary Sesame Candied Walnuts: this is a version I used to make regularly. Add 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves, 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1/3 cup chopped dates or dried figs to the brown sugar mixture.
  • Less Sweet: Scale back the brown sugar to 1/2 cup.
  • Spicy Candied Walnuts: Add a scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Keep the curry powder from the original recipe or leave it out.
  • Espresso Candied Walnuts: add 2 tablespoons finely ground espresso powder to the brown sugar. Skip curry powder.

Walnuts Coated with Sugar Mixture Before Baking

How To Serve Candied Walnuts

I’ve thrown out some ideas up above, but there are so many great ways to serve candied walnuts. Use them:

  • Always in salads. Use them in kale salad, apple salad, even this wedge salad as a finishing touch.
  • On their own or as part of a cheese platter or (these days) a butter board.
  • As a topping to add crunch to blended soups.
  • As a component in a yogurt or granola bar for brunch.
  • In baked goods. Work them into your favorite quick breads and batters. Imagine a favorite gingerbread or brownies dotted with candied walnuts!

Two Pans of Candied Walnuts Cooling

How to Store Candied Walnuts

You have some options here. But the first step is to let them cool absolutely completely. Then store in any air-tight container, like a mason jar, or re-usable baggy. Always reseal the container tightly after snacking. You can also freeze candied walnuts, in a tightly sealed container, for up to a few months.

Two Pans of Candied Walnuts Cooling

The recipe makes a one pound batch, so you’ll have plenty to share or just keep on hand. Here’s a photo of little baggies filled with candied walnuts accented with rosemary and lots of sesame seeds. So tasty. Enjoy!

Continue reading Candied Walnuts on 101 Cookbooks

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut butter blossoms are a classic Christmas cookie that features a chewy peanut butter cookie topped with a sweet chocolate kiss.

The post Peanut Butter Blossoms appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Peanut butter blossoms, also known as “kiss cookies”, are a Christmas cookie favorite, but if you ask me, that classic peanut butter chocolate flavor combo is great any time of year! Plus, because these cookies so are so incredibly easy, they’re great for new cooks or baking with your kids. So pull out that mixing bowl and butter, and let’s go make some cookies!

Overhead view of peanut butter blossom cookies on a wire cooling rack.

What Are Peanut Butter Blossoms?

Peanut butter blossoms start with a chewy peanut butter cookie that has been rolled in a little sugar to make a nice sweet and crispy exterior layer, then each cookie is topped with a creamy chocolate kiss pressed down into the center. They’re super easy to make (no need to chill the dough), and they have a super cute shape that just makes them fun to eat! Plus they look really good as part of a Christmas cookie platter.

What Kind of Peanut Butter to Use

One thing I love about these cookies is that you can use either natural-style peanut butter, which can tend to be a bit runnier, or a commercial style like JIF or Peter Pan. Despite the texture differences between the two styles of peanut butter, the cookie still comes together well either way.

While you can technically substitute other types of nut butter, keep in mind that a lot of other nuts and seeds have a much more mild flavor than peanut butter, so the cookies might not have quite as big of a flavor punch.

Make them Festive!

If you want to go all in on the holiday theme, there are a couple of ways to make these cookies look a little more festive. You can roll the cookies in red or green granulated sugar, or use a special holiday-themed Hershey’s kiss that has different colored chocolate so they stand out even more on that cookie platter.

How to Store Peanut Butter Blossoms

It’s incredibly important to make sure your peanut butter blossoms cool completely to room temperature before storage. Because the chocolate kisses are pressed into a hot cookie, the kiss will remain soft until the cookie cools, and you don’t want to mess up the shape of that cute kiss! Once the cookies are cooled and the chocolate is firm again, store the cookies in an air-tight container for about 5-7 days. These cookies also freeze very well!

Side view of peanut butter blossoms lined up on a cooling rack.
Side view of peanut butter blossoms lined up on a cooling rack.
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Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut butter blossoms are a classic Christmas cookie that features a chewy peanut butter cookie topped with a sweet chocolate kiss.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.10 recipe / $0.23 each
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18 cookies
Calories 203kcal

Ingredients

  • 18 chocolate kisses $1.23
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature $1.00
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, room temperature $0.61
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar $0.16
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed $0.22
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.29
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour $0.18
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (for coating) $0.04

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Unwrap the chocolate kisses and place them in the freezer.
  • Add the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a bowl. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat them together on high speed until the mixture looks like, creamy, and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and beat over low speed until it is incorporated. Add the remaining flour and beat until a soft dough forms with no loose flour on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Divide and shape the dough into 18 balls of dough. Place the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar in a small bowl and roll each ball of dough in the sugar to coat. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until they are slightly puffed, a few small cracks appear around the bottom edge, and they're just barely golden brown on top.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately press a frozen chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack using a spatula. Enjoy warm or allow to fully cool before packing and storing.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g
Side view of peanut butter blossoms scattered on the cooling rack.

How to Make Peanut Butter Blossoms – Step by Step Photos

Unwrapped Hershey's kisses in a bowl.

Start by preheating the oven to 375ºF. Unwrap 18 chocolate kisses, place them in a bowl, and pop them in the freezer. You’ll want the kisses to be frozen by the time you press them into the cookies.

Butters and sugars in a mixing bowl.

Add ½ cup room temperature butter, ½ cup peanut butter, ½ cup white sugar, and half cup light brown sugar to a bowl.

Creamed butter and sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer on the side.

Beat the butters and sugars together on high speed until they appear light, creamy, and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

egg and vanilla added to the butter and sugar.

Add one large egg and ½ tsp vanilla extract and beat on high speed again until well combined (1-2 minutes).

Flour added to the batter in the bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together 1.5 cups all-purpose flour with 1 tsp baking powder. Add about half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and beat again until combined.

Peanut butter cookie dough in the bowl with a spatula.

When all of the flour is incorporated, the dough should form a soft dough, similar in texture to play dough, with no dry flour on the bottom of the bowl.

Cookie dough being rolled into balls and coated in sugar.

Place 2 Tbsp granulated sugar in a small bowl. Divide the dough into 18 portions, about 1.5 Tbsp each. Roll them into a ball, then roll the ball in the small dish of granulated sugar to coat. Place the rolled and coated cookies on a parchment-lined baking dish.

cookies on a cookie sheet ready to bake.

Space the cookies out about 2-inches from each other (I did 12 on the first sheet, six on the second). Bake the cookies in the preheated 375ºF oven for 8-10 minutes, or just until you see a little cracking around the bottom edge and only a slight golden browning on the top, but no more.

Kisses being pressed into the cookies.

The cookies won’t spread very much, they mostly puff up into nice little dome shapes. As soon as they come out of the oven, press a frozen chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. It’s important to do this while the cookies are still hot and very soft.

peanut butter blossoms scattered on a cooling rack.

Allow the cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet so they firm up enough to be able to pick them up with a spatula without bending. Once slightly firmed, transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Side view of peanut butter blossoms on a cooling rack, lined up together.

Enjoy the cookies when still slightly warm and soft, or wait until they cool completely! YUM!

The post Peanut Butter Blossoms appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Smoked Chocolate Mousse

A deep, concentrated dark chocolate mousse made with gently smoked chocolate. I’ve used my stovetop smoker for many things, but chocolate didn’t occur to me until recently.

Continue reading Smoked Chocolate Mousse on 101 Cookbooks

Gently smoking chocolate is amazing. The fat in the chocolate is receptive to whatever you’re using for smoking – I’ve used cherrywood, applewood, hickory, and rosemary in the past. The trick is maintaining those wonderful smoky notes when you take the next step. I haven’t had much luck using smoked chocolate in cakes and cookies, but when you use it in more direct (and concentrated) desserts like pudding and this chocolate mousse, it can be a delightfully surprising game-changer. 
Smoked Chocolate Mousse in a Small Glass

How We Got Here

The road to this chocolate mousse recipe wasn’t linear.  On a whim, I decided to smoke chocolate in my donabe & it blew my mind. I smoke all sorts of things in the ibushi gin (smoker donabe) – tomatoes, veg, nuts, hardboiled eggs, tofu, etc. But the first time I tried smoking chocolate was this summer. I used Guittard 72% (because I almost always buy Guittard) and the chocolate ended up tasting subtly smoked but also like dark caramel was threaded in. I was blown away. My first idea was to use it in basic molten chocolate baby cakes, but that was a big fail. The flavor just baked out. 
Smoked Chocolate Mousse in a Small Glass From the Side

Serendipity

Around the same time, I was chatting with Amy Guittard, telling her what I was doing & she asked me to be part of a holiday promo campaign along with Sylvie from Just Date (who I’m also a big fan of from my San Francisco days). So here we are. I started thinking about where the smoked chocolate might really shine. I ended up developing this smoked chocolate mousse recipe & love, love, love it. You can see the smoker in action here. The chocolate mousse ended up being a great vehicle, but I can also imagine chocolate frosting, a thick hot chocolate drink, or maybe a smoked chocolate fondue working beautifully as well. I used Guittard 72% Sante Dark Chocolate Chips made with coconut sugar and Just Date organic date sugar. If needed, you can substitute another chocolate (shoot for 60% – 80% cacao), and granulated cane sugar will also work.

Smoking Chocolate

If you don’t have access to a stovetop smoker, no problem, an unsmoked version has long been a family favorite. This is the stovetop smoker donabe (ibushi gin) I use:  The main thing to be considerate of is strength. You’re much better off under-smoking ingredients versus overdoing it. Taking good notes has been helpful. As I experiment I make note of what is being smoked, the wood source, timing and “notes to self” for next time.

Smoked Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Make-ahead Chocolate Mousse

This is the perfect make-ahead dessert, and it’s best when you make it a day ahead of time. It’s the perfect dessert for holidays or when you’re having friends over. You need time for the mousse to set and can do everything in the days before serving. Serve straight from the refrigerator.

Lastly, as noted below, this recipe does feature raw egg* The standard disclaimer recommends children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an immune system disorder should avoid eating uncooked egg because of salmonella risk.

More Chocolate Recipes

There are a lot of chocolate recipes on the site, so have a look around. A few favorites include these all-time fave chocolate brownies, chocolate puddle cookies, and this flourless chocolate cake

Continue reading Smoked Chocolate Mousse on 101 Cookbooks

Cranberry Pie

Perfect for Christmas, this fresh cranberry pie recipe is a slightly tart (as all cranberries are) and savory dessert dish that will
The post Cranberry Pie appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Perfect for Christmas, this fresh cranberry pie recipe is a slightly tart (as all cranberries are) and savory dessert dish that will

The post Cranberry Pie appeared first on Salty Side Dish Recipes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you’ll fall in love at first bite. The chocolate chip cookies are chewy with crispy edges.

The post Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you’ll fall in love at first bite. The cookies have a hint of salt, so they don’t come off too sweet. They’re chewy with slightly crispy edges. They have deeply developed flavors with nutty notes of brown butter. They truly are exceptional. The best part? You don’t need fancy ingredients, just a few tricks.

Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.

How To Make A Better Chocolate Chip Cookie

Here are my Top 5 Tips to slay the chocolate chip cookie game:

  1. Brown your butter. This one step adds a deep, nutty flavor that takes the humble chocolate chip cookie to a whole new level.
  2. Sift your flour. Humidity and packaging affect the volume of flour. If you don’t use a scale, get a correct measurement by sifting it first.
  3. Use granulated sugar and brown sugar. Granulated sugar adds color and crispness, while brown sugar makes the dough moist and chewy.
  4. Rest your dough. Chilling the dough uncovered helps create a dough with concentrated flavors, a firm texture with less spread, and deeper browns.
  5. Use an oven thermometer. Most ovens can be off by up to 50°. A cheap thermometer can be the difference between a cookie win and a big, fat fail.
Overhead shot of a chocolate chip cookie on a black rubber spatula in the foreground with a sheet pan of chocolate chip cookies in the background.

How To Cool Chocolate Chip Cookies

Never remove cookies from a sheet pan right out of the oven. They are still very soft and are likely to break. Instead, leave them on the sheet pan for five or so minutes and then use a spatula to place them on a cooling rack.

How To Store Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies should be cold to the touch before storing. Placing a warm cookie in an air-tight container will make it mushy, and you worked too hard for that. Once cooled, place them in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel. Separate layers with wax paper to prevent them from sticking together. Top the final layer of cookies with plastic wrap to reduce exposure to air. They will last at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Refrigerating baked cookies will dry them out. Instead, for longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months.

Can You Freeze THIS Cookie Dough?

Absolutely! Portion the dough with a small cookie scoop or in 2 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls. Freeze them on a sheet pan with a bit of separation so they don’t stick together. Once they are frozen solid, add the dough balls to a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible. If using a container, top each layer of dough balls with plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air.

Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk next to it.
Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you'll fall in love at first bite. The cookies are chewy with slightly crispy edges. They have deeply developed flavors with nutty notes of salted brown butter.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($4.58 recipe / $0.25 serving)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 18 cookies
Calories 204kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp salted butter* $1.50
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar* $0.22
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar* $0.08
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.57
  • 2 eggs $0.42
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $0.18
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.03
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips $1.58

Instructions

  • In a light-colored, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat until the solids separate and turn golden brown.
  • Place the brown butter in a large bowl to cool for a few minutes. When it is no longer steaming hot, set the bowl in the fridge or freezer until it hardens.
  • Once the butter has hardened,break it apart and add the brown and white sugar to the bowl.
  • Use a hand mixer (or elbow grease) to cream the butter and the sugars on low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract and one egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg. Mix on low speed until combined, and scrape down the bowl again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and baking soda.
  • Pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix on low speed until it barely comes together. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the remaining flour, and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate chips are interspersed evenly throughout the dough.
  • Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in your refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
  • When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Press the chilled cookie dough balls down with two fingers.
  • Bake the cookies for 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan, front to back. Bake for an additional 4 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off and cooling them on a rack.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground salt (like fine sea salt) or 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (like kosher salt) to the butter.
*Use either light brown or dark brown sugars. Dark brown will give your cookies a touch more spread and chew.
* If you prefer a crispy cookie, omit the brown sugar and use 3/4 cups total of granulated white. The cookies will rise more and spread less.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.

How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of butter browning in a silver pan.

In a light-colored, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, the milk solids will separate from the water in little specks. Continue to cook the solids until they have turned golden brown. The air will smell of hazelnuts.

Overhead shot of chilled brown butter in a silver bowl.

Once the butter has been browned, immediately remove it from the heat and place it in a bowl to cool for a few minutes. Once it is no longer steaming hot, set the bowl in the fridge or freezer until the brown butter cools to a softened butter consistency.

Overhead shot of brown and granulated sugar with chilled brown butter in a silver bowl.

Once the butter has cooled and solidified into a mousse-like consistency, add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and the 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar to the bowl.

Overhead shot of creamed sugar in a silver bowl with hand beaters settled on the rim..

Use a hand mixer (or elbow grease) to cream the butter and the sugars on low speed until incorporated.

Overhead shot of eggs and vanilla in silver bowl with hand beaters settled on the rim..

Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and one egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg. Mix on low speed until combined, and scrape down the bowl again.

Overhead shot of dry ingredients in a white bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix on low speed until it barely comes together. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the remaining flour. Continue to mix on low speed until the dough barely comes together. Do not over-mix, as this will give you a tough cookie.

Overhead shot of chocolate chips being mixed into cookie dough with a red and white rubber spatula in a silver bowl.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 1 cup of chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate chips are interspersed evenly throughout the dough.

Overhead shot of cookie dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in your refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

Overhead shot of two fingers pressing down on refrigerated balls of cookie dough on a lined sheet pan.

When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Press the chilled cookie dough balls down with two fingers.

Overhead shot of of baked chocolate chip cookies.

Bake the cookies for 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan, front to back. Bake for an additional 4 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off and cooling them on a rack.

Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan.

The post Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.