Chocolate Chip Cookie Tips

There are approximately a billion chocolate chip cookie recipes, and everyone seems to have a favorite one. I made a big batch this week and wanted to share some of my favorite tips for making them more delicious, no matter which recipe you use.

1. Melt the butter before you start. I always forget to leave the butter out to soften it, and I usually want to get started baking RIGHT NOW. Instead of creaming the room-temperature butter together with the sugars at the beginning of the recipe, you can add melted butter instead. Some of the sugar will dissolve into the butter and the cookies will be delicious!

2. Get yourself a portion scooper for even-sized cookies. This one is good, but they come in a variety of sizes depending on what size cookies you like. It also makes scooping out a ton of cookies very easy.

3. Bake one sheet at a time. No matter how anxious you are to finish your cookies, only bake one sheet at a time. This ensures that the heat is even on all of the cookies, and stops you from opening the oven door a million times and changing the temperature.

4. Save some for later. Scoop the cookies out on a lined baking sheet and stick it right in your freezer.A few hours later, the cookie balls will be frozen through and you can drop them into a freezer bag or storage container. When all of your cookies from the first batch are gone, you’ll still have ready-to-bake cookies in your freezer (mine are sitting between a tub of cake balls and a tub of buttercream frosting). When you’re ready for more, just bake them like fresh dough.

5. Store baked cookies in an airtight container with a slice of fresh bread. The bread will keep the cookies moist, and will even bring hard cookies back to life. It is miraculous.

I may or may not be eating a plate of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies for lunch right now.


Mustache Cookies

For some reason my niece and nephew really like mustaches. They are little hipsters. When we were in Chicago a few weeks ago, I saw some mustache cookie cutters and I had to get them. I finally made a batch last week, and added sticks so they could hold them up before eating them. I brought a few to our Easter party this weekend – they were a big hit!They are perfect for a party and you can buy some in my etsy shop!

Easter Treats

I am baking for our family’s Easter party this weekend, and I made these Easter Egg sugar cookies yesterday. Usually I decorate actual eggs, but these are much tastier. I have a few more things on my list to make, including some of this good stuff:

The Secret to Chocolate Chip Cookies via America’s Test Kitchen

– This Asparagus Gruyere Tart from Martha Stewart has been on my list of things to try for a while, and I had it at the shower I went to last weekend – it was amazing!

Jello in Real Eggs from Just a Taste is hilarious, and I am thinking of giving it a try.

– If you’re crazy, you might try this tutorial from Shauna Sever – How to Make Your Own Marshmallow Peeps.

– This Arugula Pistachio Pesto from Love and Olive Oil looks delicious.

– I have a huge craving for these Mussels in White Wine Sauce and might give them a try next week.

– The 100 Greatest Cooking Tips of All Time from The Food Network.

Have a great (and delicious) weekend!

Tetris Cookies!

I gave Anthony a very late Valentine’s Day present this morning – Tetris Cookies. What they lack in timing, they make up for in awesomeness.

To make the cookie shapes, I printed out the tetris shapes on paper, cut them out, then set them on top of the rolled out cookie dough and used the paper shapes as a guide to cut out cookies. It was a little bit more involved than using cookie cutters, but not too bad.

For frosting, I piped the black outlines on the cookies first, then flooded the insides using a thinned-out royal icing. Next time I make them, I will probably coat the whole cookie with a color first, then pipe the black on top.

Anthony had fun setting them up on the table this morning, playing a game of cookie Tetris. He usually only gets to eat my rejects from cookies that I make for other people, so he was super excited to have a batch all to himself.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I made these cookies over the weekend and I am in love with them.There are a few different things going on.

For the small hearts, I used a small fondant cutter to make the cookies, then decorated them with light pink disco dust, hot pink sanding sugar and metallic silver spray.

For the medium hearts, I went freestyle with the love script, stripes, curves and silver dragees.

And for the large hearts (my favorite), I followed this tutorial, and they are much easier than they look.

I loved the way they came out so much, I almost packed them up and put them in a box to save forever. But the most fun part of making cookies (for me at least) is sharing them with other people, so I gave them all away before Anthony could finish them.

I hope that you are having a wonderful Valentine’s day! I am celebrating by finishing up some invitations for a wedding, shipping some glitter letters for another wedding, and making lasagna in cupcake tins. Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday, so if I get all of my work done in time I am going to take the day off and relax, do my nails, eat some junk food and watch some scary movies on Netflix.

Valentine’s Cupcakes

I spent a ton of time baking over the past few days, cookies and cupcakes for customers, plus some treats for my family. The first thing I made were some chocolate cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream.

If you have the time, patience, a hand mixer and a stand mixer, this frosting is THE BEST. It is light and perfectly balanced between buttery and sugary, plus it is really beautiful piped with a big star tip. I also made some small heart-shaped sugar cookies, which I decorated with my new pink glitter disco dust. I can get enough of this stuff – it is so pretty. I did some brighter pink ones too that I coated with hot pink sanding sugar.The recipe for the frosting can be found here, or in the Joy of Cooking (if you don’t have a copy, you should – it has everything). I’ll post more pictures of the cookies tomorrow – I made some really great ones.

Alphabet Cookies

Last week I used my alphabet cookie cutters to make a full set of letters for my niece and nephew.Before I let him have any cookies, I made Andrew spell his name.I think they were as fun to play with as they were to eat.

Next time I make them, I’ll probably double up most of the more popular letters, so it’s easier to spell more words. My cookie cutters are from a bigger Wilton set that included a ton of other basic shapes, but I like these ones from Williams Sonoma more.