I know, I know- it’s DECEMBER. “Why on earth is this crazy woman sharing a no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream recipe?” In our house, ice cream is supreme over all things, and the combination of peppermint and Oreo cookies is always a favorite too. This simple frozen treat is one all of my people enjoy, and I thought that if you, like us, feel the same, you might want a nibble of this.
But first, let me just tell you that this has been such a special week. Truly. Last week’s release of my first book, Her Daily Bread, found me on the receiving end of SO. MUCH. LOVE. I was over the moon for all of the encouragement, and so many of the heartfelt texts, emails, and DMs had me in tears. Her Daily Bread is truly an outpouring of my heart, and it means the world to see so many people embracing it as such. We won’t talk about the book on this site forever, but I just couldn’t let the moment pass without saying thank you.
In addition, Christmas is just around the corner! My kids have been out of school for a few days now, and I have enjoyed doing all the fun Christmassy stuff: cookie decorating, movies, crafts, and way too much Pentatonix. My kids love to get in the kitchen with me almost as much as they enjoy eating the fruit of that labor, and, as a result, this no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream has been made twice this month. A favorite in our house, this simple frozen dessert is a go-to when our pantry is overflowing with candy canes and cookies from class parties and gift baskets. If you like peppermint and ice cream, this one will definitely be a winner for you.
I hope the next few days are full of the good stuff: rest, joy, and lots of no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream. Don’t forget to slow down long enough to enjoy every bit of it. Merry Christmas to you all!
If you like this no-churn peppermint cookie ice cream you should try:
This no-Churn Peppermint Cookie Ice Cream is loaded with crushed candy canes and chocolate sandwich cookies and can be made in less than 5 minutes without an ice cream machine!
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup finely crushed candy canes or peppermints
1–1/4 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 12 cookies)
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sweetened condensed milk and whipping cream and whip on medium speed until it thickens to a fluffy, cloud-like mixture. Fold in the crushed candy canes and sandwich cookies until well combined. Spread the mixture out into a 9×4″ loaf pan or freezer-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil to protect. Allow to freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight. Enjoy!
It’s here!! It’s here!! HER DAILY BREAD is finally out in the wild, available for your immediate consumption all over the United States. As of today, I am officially a published author, and if you find me with little red marks all over my arms, it’s probably because I’ve been pinching myself ever since I woke up this morning. In a lot of ways, I’m kinda in shock; I’ve waited for this day for a few years now, and even long before that, I was endlessly dreaming of it. I’ve heard people say that writing a book is a lot like having a baby, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: they’re not wrong.
From the bottom of my big, wide-open (and slightly anxious!) heart, I want to thank you for your support here on this site. Wood & Spoon Blog was one of the first leaps of faith I ever dared to take, and there’s been very few days since that I haven’t been fully grateful for being given the chance to do so. This book, HER DAILY BREAD, is the culmination of all the recipes, social media posts, email blasts, and burned batches of cookies. All that work, the support from this community, and a whole lot of favor has opened more doors than I probably would have dared to dream of a few years ago, and I am just so incredibly grateful. Thank you for showing up here. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for sharing your stories with me and for welcoming me into your kitchens. My hope is if you buy HER DAILY BREAD (and I hope you will!), that it feeds your heart in special ways. I hope you’re encouraged, filled up with love, and inspired to connect with the people around you in meaningful ways.
These peppermint brownie cookies are a recipe from my book. Anything peppermint + chocolate is always a win in our family, and these chewy baked treats are no exception. Here, melted chocolate and cocoa powder lend rich flavor and texture, and peppermint extract adds a subtle pop of flavor that makes these cookies undeniably holiday-ish. I love these cookies for Christmas parties, after-dinner treats, and cookie exchanges, and if you happen to be one of those people who can’t choose between brownies and cookies, these will knock your socks off. Promise.
Enjoy this brand new recipe for peppermint brownie cookies, and don’t forget to check out HER DAILY BREAD. It would make a terrific holiday gift for the special ladies in your life, and there’s still plenty of time to get it before Christmas! Learn more about the book here, and, again, THANK YOU, thank you, thank you. Happy baking and happy reading!
If you like these peppermint brownie cookies, you should try:
These peppermint brownie cookies are chewy, chocolate and peppermint scented cookies with crackly brownie tops and flakes of sea salt!
Total Time:20 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Fleur de Sel, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add a cup of water to the bottom of a small saucepan, and place a medium heat-safe glass bowl, one large enough to sit on top of the saucepan, on top. Add the butter and chocolate chips to the bowl and heat the pan over medium heat, stirring the butter and chocolate regularly to melt gently. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly while you start on the eggs.
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and thickened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the extracts and the carefully drizzle in about a ¼ cup of the warm chocolate mixture, mixing in right away to prevent the eggs from cooking. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and stir just until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and pinch of salt and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the batter. Once uniform throughout, use a medium cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out 1-1/2 tablespoon sized rounds of batter on the prepared cookie sheets. The batter is very loose, so be sure to space out the cookies, at least 3 inches apart. Bake the pans one at a time in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the cookie tops are cracked and the crack lines no longer appear extremely wet. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Repeat this process with the remaining dough until it has all been used. Enjoy once cooled!
Do you any family traditions? I’m not talking about the special things you do on Christmas Day or the exciting stuff you look forward to on your birthday; I’m talking about the mundane things that keep your days full and happy. Admittedly, we don’t have many (although I’m always on the hunt), but one of our favorite things to do together as a family is to watch AFV (America’s Funniest Home Videos). Although the days of Bob Saget that millennials remember (*raises hand*) are long-gone, the hilarious snippets of people falling, dogs walking on their hind legs, and toddlers saying downright hilarious things are still alive and well. Please, just give me all of the broken trampolines and babies afraid of their shadow- I AM HERE FOR IT.
After a summer of watching AFV nightly, my kids haven taken to performing the tricks, pranks, and challenges that are regularly featured on the show. The old disappearing-behind-the-blanket trick and the whipped cream challenge are two of their favorites to attempt themselves, and while cleaning whipped cream up off the floor and, oh, I don’t know, the baby’s face, are not among my very favorite things to do, I love seeing them get all into it. It’s pure and fun and all the things I remember childhood being.
These funfetti ice cream sandwiches have been another happy spot in our summer. Anything with sprinkles, ice cream, and cookies is bound to be delicious, but treats like these are a showstopper for my kids (and probably yours too!) There’s something so extra about them (Who knows- maybe it’s the sprinkles? the double cookies? the ice cream?), and when I first suggested we make them, my kids thought I was a wizard. Call me Meatloaf, because, truly, I will do anything for love.
The cookies in these funfetti ice cream sandwiches are a riff on my original funfetti cookies which continues, to this day, to be one of the most popular recipes on my site. For good reason- they’re chewy with crisp edges and have all the birthday cake flavor you’d want in a sprinkle cookie. The filling is equally simple: a no-churn funfetti ice cream loaded with sprinkles and that same nostalgic box mix cake flavor. If you’re in a time crunch, you can skip the no-churn ice cream and stick with a store-bought variety, but if you haven’t made no-churn ice cream before, this is a call to action: DO IT. It’s easy and delicious.
Tell me about your family traditions. Where do you cram sweet fun and delight into the everyday? If you are looking for a yummy and festive treat to enjoy with all the little (or big!) kids in your family, definitely consider these funfetti ice cream sandwiches. Particularly during the summer, these are bound to be a delight. Happy Friday to y’all and HAPPY BAKING!
If you like these funfetti ice cream sandwiches you should try:
These funfetti Ice Cream Sandwiches are chewy sprinkle sugar cookies stuffed with a no-churn birthday cake-flavored ice cream!
For the ice cream:
2 cups (480 gm) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon clean vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
6 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles
For the cookies:
12 tablespoons (170 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 gm) sugar
½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar
2–1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
2–1/4 cups (295 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup (160 gm) rainbow sprinkles
To prepare the ice cream:
Line a 9×13” or jelly roll pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil. Be sure the foil extends just beyond the sides of the pan for easy removal. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream and clear vanilla extract on medium speed until it thickens to fluffy, stiff peaks. Fold in the sweetened condensed milk, being careful to not overwork, followed by the sprinkles. Spread it into the prepared pan. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
To make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare sheet pans by lining them with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and egg, beating on low until incorporated. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar, and beat on low speed just until the dry ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the sprinkles. Beat just until combined.
Chill the dough in the fridge until it has thickened to a Play-Doh consistency- usually about 30 minutes in the fridge for me. Once chilled, scoop out 1-1/2 tablespoon sized scoops (I use a medium cookie scoop) and roll each dough ball briefly in your hands to smooth out the rough edges of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for about 11-12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have just begun to crack and the edges are set. They will look slightly underbaked- this will help to keep them soft even when frozen. Allow to cool on the sheet pans for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to complete cooling.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Use a large round cookie cutter or the lip of a wide-mouth mason jar to cut out rounds of ice cream. Place in between two cookies and refreeze the sandwiches quickly. You can save the leftover edges of the ice cream in a sealable container or freezer-safe bowl. Keep the sandwiches covered while in the freezer to protect their taste.
Clear vanilla extract give these cookie that classic funfetti box cake mix flavor that we all know and love. Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste can be substituted, however, the flavor will differ.
We all have our fair share of good intentions. I, for one, could fill a book with all the well-meaning words and ideas that I’ve failed to bring to life: the things I meant to say, the opportunities I meant to pursue, and the dreams and goals that got tossed on the back burner until further notice. Those forgotten intentions are casualties of the busy pace of life that so many of us are accustomed to, and sometimes, our good intentions just fall through the cracks.
I see the daily effects of this when it comes to parenting my kids. At any given moment, my head is filled with all sorts of things I want to teach or experience with them, but more often that not, they get set aside for another day, another season, or a later time when life has slowed down. In years past, those unrealized good intentions have left me with a healthy dose of The Mom Guilt, but I’m learning that those feelings just aren’t mine to carry; most of us are doing the best we can, and it’s important that we offer ourselves grace for whatever is left undone.
So cue my Summer of Good Intentions. As my kids have been wrapping up their school years, we have spent some time coming up with a Summer Bucket List: two months worth of small, daily bits of happiness to chalk onto our calendar in the coming weeks. The idea is that each day of the summer will have one designated activity (go on a picnic! paint a picture! play hopscotch! swim at the pool!) that we’ll jot out and capture via a photograph or some kind of memento, and at the end of the summer, I’m going to upload the pictures into a quick photo book to save for years to come.
I fully anticipate there will be more than a few hiccups. Although I’m sure we’ll wind up with some disaster days that no one wants to rememberer a few bellyflopped activities that never even happen, I’m eager for my kids to have proof that the intention was there. I want to partner with them in making memories that they’ll have a tangible record of, and even if this project falls through the cracks with all my other good intentions, I know that this will at least keep me in pursuit of a full and memorable summer. It feels right for the season we’re in, and if you find yourself with the capacity to do something similar with your own family, I hope you’ll join me! I need a few more ideas to round out our summer bucket list, so if you come up with any fabulous options, send them my way.
As Aimee and I were brainstorming bucket list activities, it was so fun to see how many of her ideas happened in the kitchen. Probably a fifth of our list has to do with cookie dough or homemade popsicles, and every time she suggested another food activity, my heart soared. She is truly a girl after my own heart. So today, I’m sharing these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies, a recent baking project from Aimee and I, that I think you’re really going to enjoy.
A few weeks ago, Aims asked if we could bake cookies and immediately pulled out my bag of fancy white chocolate faves. I added in a few spoons of espresso powder for grown-up flavor, and the baked end product was simple and incredibly delicious. It turns out that terrific white chocolate pairs perfectly with espresso and muscovado sugar cookie dough, and thus, espresso white chocolate chunk cookies were born.
The dough for these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies is one that you can reference all year long. The muscovado sugar keeps them chewy and caramel flavored and it is sturdy enough to handle a wide variety of mix-ins. Since then, we’ve added pecans, dark chocolate, and even some crushed pretzels, and I can tell you absolutely none of those varieties have been a disappointment.
Check out the recipe for these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies below, and, while you’re at it, fill me in on all of your summer happenings! I am eager to start penciling in all of my favorite things, and I look forward to hearing from you too. In the coming weeks, we’re going to transition to a full-on summer recipe deep dive, so prep your palates for frozen treats, berries, and more. Happy Wednesday and Happy Baking!
If you like these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies you should try:
These cookies are made chewy with muscovado sugar and are flavored with chunks of white chocolate and espresso powder throughout!
Total Time:15 minutes
1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (200 gm) muscovado sugar
1 cup (200 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
3 cups (410 gm) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground espresso or instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate, chopped into large pieces
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. In a large bowl stir together the butter, sugars, and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the eggs. Add the flour, espresso, powder, soda, and salt and stir until almost combined. Stir in the chocolate. Scoop 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized rounds of dough 2” apart on a cookie sheet prepared with a sheet of parchment. Freeze for a couple of minutes until the dough is no longer warm but is cool to the touch, then bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and set. Allow to cool briefly before consuming!
Growing up, I remember hearing the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Even now as a 33-year-old woman, I can honestly tell you that I still don’t have a clue what that saying means. Sure, we can’t always get what we want and there will certainly be circumstances in which we’re forced to choose between two desires, but when it comes to dessert, I think it can sometimes be both. Maybe we can have our cake and eat it too.
Like with these brownie shortbread bars. Why should we have to choose between cookies and brownies? Isn’t it plausible to think that, every once in a while, we can indulge in two wonderful things simultaneously? I would argue YES. Absolutely. So today, I’m going to tell you all about how to make these brownie shortbread bars in hopes that when the craving strikes for both buttery soft shortbread and gooey fudge brownies, you don’t have to choose. You can have the best of both worlds.
These brownie shortbread bars have two layers. The bottom layer is a simple shortbread crust made from little more than butter, sugar, and flour. The crumbly mixture comes together in a single bowl before being patted out in an 8″ square pan. While the crust bakes slightly in the oven, we begin to mix up our brownie batter. On the stovetop, butter, sugar and chocolate are melted together until smooth. Eggs come next followed by the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, and just a smidge of salt. After a quick bake, the brownies are fragrant crackly-topped, and ready for absolutely devouring. I hope you’ll give these brownie shortbread bars a try and let me know what you think! Have a terrific weekend and happy baking!
If you like these brownie shortbread bars you should try:
These brownie shortbread bars feature a vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackled brownie top!
For the crust:
¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the brownie:
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1–1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
To prepare the bars:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with foil. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Add the flour and salt and stir just until combined to crumbs. Gently press the mixture down flat into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until set. In the meantime, begin making the brownie filling.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, gently melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and sugar, stirring regularly to melt evenly and prevent scorching the chocolate. Once melted and smooth, set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed with a mixer until they lighten in color and fluff up, about 2-3 minutes. Gently stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring just until combined. Pour the batter on top of the prepared shortbread and smooth. Increase the oven heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out only with a couple of small brownie crumbs. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely prior to slicing.
I hope you all enjoyed an Easter full of hope, joy, and (well, obviously) cookies. Happy baking!
Total Time:25 minutes
Yield:48 Mini Cookies 1x
For the cookies:
1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1–1/2 cups (170 gm) powdered sugar
1 large egg
1–1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2–3/4 cups (330 gm) cake flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
¾ cup (170 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups (340 gm) powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1–1/2 – 2 tablespoons milk
Food coloring and sprinkles, if desired
To make the cookies:
In a large bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar together with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg and extracts, beating on medium just until combined. Add the cake flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir on low just until combined and a dough comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill until it comes to a play-doh consistency, about 1 hour. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to portion out 1-1/2 teaspoon sized rounds of dough. Roll them in your hands briefly to smooth and place 2” apart on the prepared pans. Flour the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup and gently press each round of dough down until it is just over ¼” thick. Bake in the oven until the edges and tops are barely set, about 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.
To make the frosting:
In a large bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and pale. About 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir together on low until combined and then beat until smooth. Add additional milk to bring the frosting to your desired consistency. Add food coloring and spread on the cookies, adding sprinkles if desired.
What’s the song about it being sunny and 75? Well, it might as well be an anthem to my world right now, because we are experiencing some incredible weather in central Alabama and I AM HERE FOR IT. In a few months, I’m sure I’ll be begging for some cloud coverage, absolutely dying for any bit of reprieve from the heat of the sun, but for now, I’m just grateful. It’s affording me time to be outside and to thaw from the winter.
The other day, I was pushing Charlie through the backyard in his little toy car. To be honest, it was one of those afternoons where I just wanted to sit, relax, and be left alone, but he tugged on my pants leg until I got up to play, so here we were- scooting through the grass in his plastic car. Our days are made up of a hundred moments just like this- nothing out of the ordinary, nothing wildly fun or special- just casual, mundane, normal stuff, and to be honest, its the kind of stuff I often grow tired of, particularly on weeks where I’m craving the quiet space to be alone. As we moved through the yard, me walking and him riding, the thought occurred to me that this was the kind of moment I would one day look back and miss. Years down the road, when kids were older, more independent, more wanting to be with friends or absolutely anywhere I wasn’t, I’d look back on afternoons spent in the yard as the good ones; I’d remember those hours of being needed and wanted as caregiver and playmate as the ones that tended to my heart in significant ways. Even when the days feel draining and tiresome, deep down, I know they’re quietly feeding my soul.
The point is this: what if we’re living the good years right now? What if, while we’re longing for more independent children, for freedom to travel and go and do, for an existence that is different from whatever it is we’re living, there are beautiful, life-giving joys right under our noses that are waiting to be discovered and fully appreciated? In a year that has been loaded with setbacks and pain and disappointment, I truly do believe there is goodness to be found. My walk in the yard with Charlie was a silly reminder of that, but I’m hoping I don’t forget it for a while. I’ m hoping it stays at the front of my brain until it truly sinks in.
These vegan peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies are nothing fancy either. They’re the kind of everyday sweet that just about anyone can make, but you know what? That’s why I love them. Now, more than ever, I’m leaning into the comforting, feel-good flavors that feel like home, and if that’s you too, you’re gonna love these. To make vegan peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, we start with a base of coconut oil, peanut butter, and sugar. A flax seed egg is stirred in next with some vanilla, and then we add the dry ingredients: flour, leavening, and the mix-ins. I chose to use rolled oats and chunks of vegan chocolate, but you can make these your own in a variety of ways. Maybe sub in half of the oats for chopped peanuts. Maybe you use chocolate chips or chunks of white chocolate instead. The dough is pretty adaptable, and you can use the base ingredients to change it to your preferences.
Be sure to read the notes on these cookies as different modifications may yield cookies that are slightly different. After a few years of making vegan cookies, I’m finding that different brands or products yield different results, so truly, every batch is different. Either way, I think you’re really going to love these. If you’re in the mood for yummy, everyday vegan cookies, give these vegan peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies a try! Thanks for following along today and have a terrific week!
If you like these vegan peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies you should try:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir to combine the flaxseed meal and water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil, peanut butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined, about 30 seconds. Add in the flaxseed mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add in the oats and chocolate and stir just until combined. Use a large cookie scoop or spoon to measure out 3 tablespoon-sized rounds of dough. Roll the dough balls and place them 3” apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the pans one at a time for about 12-13 minutes or until turning golden around the edges. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.
If you don’t have a problem with using regular granulated or brown sugar, you can substitute that here, however, most standard sugars are not truly vegan. I used Wholesome Cane and Brown Sugar for these cookies.
Be sure that your coconut oil is not liquidy or melted. This recipe was tested using solid coconut oil, although there were some small differences between brands.
If you choose to use chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips instead of large chopped chocolate, the shape of your cookie will differ. I prefer to pat my dough balls down a bit when using chocolate chips as they will not spread quite as much as with the large chunks.
You can substitute GF flour here, although the cookies may spread slightly differently. Test the baking out on one or two to verify that they will bake as you’d like. If they spread too much, refrigerate the dough, and if they stay more puffed than you’d like, slightly press down on the dough balls.
I use Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Baking bar which is accidentally vegan. If you don’t have a variety you love, standard chocolate can be used. Please read my tips above regarding chocolate chips vs. baking bars.
I want to wish you a Happy Friday, but if we’re being honest, this is NOT a happy Friday. It’s a sad, terrifying, and absolutely disgusting one; it’s a toe-curling, vomit-inducing, squirmy wormy kind of day. Why, you ask?
There’s a mouse in my house.
Well, to be more specific, there was a mouse in my house. Now, there’s what used to be a mouse and one hyperventilating, 30-something year-old women clutching her heart and a broom while sitting curled up in the fetal position in her office desk chair. Just a few days ago, I found signs of an intruder in our home, and this morning, those fears were realized. With no husband, unsuspecting toddler, or handyman nearby to remove the little fellow, I was left to fend for myself. If this is adulthood, I want out.
To be fair, this isn’t my first mouse rodeo. 5 years ago, Brett and I encountered not one, but three mice in our rental home, and it nearly was the end of me. For weeks, I was filled with paranoia, checking and rechecking every food box, randomly silencing the television and radio to determine if any critters were making a racket in the next room over, and closely inspecting every speck of dirt to make sure it wasn’t, well, you know… poop. I’ll never look at brown sprinkles the same. From that point on, I was the crazy lady who insisted on weekly pantry clean-outs and nearly dog-cussed my husband every time he left the outside door even slightly ajar (which was, okay, basically always). Those three mice were responsible for many a glasses of wine and fights in that rental house, and when we moved to our current home, I gladly welcomed the clean slate and tight seal of a brand new home.
I’m learning that taking responsibility for the messy, inconvenient, and unexpected things in life is one of the most challenging parts of adulthood. A mouse intruder is a silly example, but the truth is, we’ll all find ourselves with some unwelcome things in our [literal or proverbial] closets, and there’s rarely someone there to clean up the mess for us. This past year has found me in more than a handful of those scenarios, and I’ll be honest- facing those challenges head on is anything but palatable. While I’ve often heard people say that challenging circumstances offer you the empowering opportunity to see what you’re made of, I’d like to just say that sometimes, just as importantly, they’ll show you what you’re not made of. Whether you find yourself in a rut, a failure, or straight-up terrified of a 2″ rodent, I think it’s perfectly okay to look at those weaknesses, fears, and insufficiencies and call them what they are. It’s okay to not get it right or lose your marbles every once in a while. It’s okay to not be okay.
So while I collect myself and prepare to Lysol my house from the inside-out, let’s digress and move onto something that is palatable: shortbread cookies.
I sought to make a shortbread cookies recipe that could be translated into a number of flavors. After what seemed like a million test batches, I landed on one I liked: buttery, slightly sweet, and tender to the tooth, but with enough structure that the edges and insides held their shape nicely. When it was all said and one, I would up making close to ten flavors: coffee, lemon, chocolate chip, white chocolate peppermint, lemon lavender, maple nut, funfetti, and lime coconut. The possibilities here are endless. My hope is that you’ll take this shortbread cookies recipe and make it entirely your own.
To make these treats, we start by creaming the butter with two kinds of sugar: granulated and brown sugar. Next, salt and extract are added, followed by flour and cornstarch. The cornstarch helps these cookies to stay tender and almost melt in your mouth. Finally, the mix-ins come in! Nuts! Chocolate! Sprinkles! Citrus zest! The world is your oyster. Mix and match and test out any combination, and let me know if you land on a winner. I can’t wait to hear about it!
Thanks for hanging in there with my mouse terrors. I hope you guys do have a great, mouse-free weekend, and that some shortbread cookies are included. Happy Friday!
If you like these shortbread cookies you should try:
These shortbread cookies are simple and easy to adapt to your flavor preference. Add you favorite chocolates, nuts, and zest to make them your own!
Yield:40 Cookies 1x
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1–3/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
Mix-Ins of your choice (see below)
Cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar just until barely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour and cornstarch. Mix just until barely combined. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and bring the dough together into a ball with your hands. Roll it out into a log about 1-1/2-2” thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for two hours or overnight if desired.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice into ¼-1/2” thick slices and place 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set. Allow to cool prior to enjoying.
For chocolate chip: Add 6 tablespoons of finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and finish the baked cookies with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
For white chocolate peppermint: Add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract in with the vanilla and ¼ cup of finely chopped white chocolate in with the dry ingredients. After baking, drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top of the drizzles.
For funfetti: Use 1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract in place of regular vanilla and add ¼ cup rainbow jimmies.
For lemon: Add 2 tablespoons lemon zest in with the vanilla.
For maple pecan: Add a scant ½ teaspoon maple extract in with the vanilla extract and ¼ cup finely chopped pecans in with the dry ingredients.
For lime coconut: Add 1 teaspoon lime zest in with the vanilla and add ¼ cup finely chopped sweetened coconut flakes in with the dry ingredients. Drizzle finished cookies with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes.
For honey lavender: Add 1-1/2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender to mixture. Top with a simple powdered sugar glaze if desired.
For espresso: Add 1-1/2 teaspoons espresso powder in with the dry ingredients. Top baked cookies with a glaze made by combined one cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon espresso powder and just enough milk to make it into a thick glaze to drizzle on.
Do we have time for one more recipe before the new year? How about something comforting and familiar to wind out the period-of-exhaustion-and-calamity-formally-known-as-2020? These chocolate chip cookie bars are nothing fancy, not too tricky to make or sophisticated in flavor profile, but what they lack in bells and whistles they make up for in flavor, chewy texture, and crispy, caramelized edges. Let’s talk about them.
I’ll be honest: I’m not really sure what makes a blondie a blondie, but I think these chocolate chip cookie bars are close. I almost landed on “blondie” as a name but ended up deciding they would need a glossy top and gooey insides to qualify as such. Instead, I landed on cookie bars, because that’s exactly what they are: cookie flavored, cookie texture, and even a cookie technique involved to make them. All that’s missing is the cookie shape!
So why make make these chocolate chip cookie bars over a regular chocolate chip cookie? One word: EASE. Here, we have no scooping, no rolling of dough, no spacing dough balls out on a sheet pan and praying they don’t roll around, spread out, or burn in the oven. Instead, we have a single dough that is smoothed into a small pan and baked in one batch in the oven until the edges are crisp and the insides are barely done. This recipe makes over 20 bars, closer to 40 if you cut them in manageable portions, and they’re crazy simple to make. So, all in all, that’s why these bars might suit you over a classic cookie.
Even though we’re saying goodbye to 2020, I’m hoping to see more of you in the coming year. I’m currently wrapping up some heavy duty projects that will hopefully allow for more time spent on this site- more chatting, more recipes, more stories, etc. In the meantime, know that it’s been my pleasure to write and bake with you all this year, and I can’t wait to do it more in the future. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
If you like these chocolate chip cookie bars you should try:
These chewy chocolate chip cookie bars feature warm brown sugar flavors, a hint of espresso powder, and loads of sweet and salty goodness throughout.
Total Time:40 minutes
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1–1/2 cups brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2–1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder or instant coffee
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2–1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1–1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1–1/2 teaspoons salt
2–1/2 cups semisweet/dark chocolate chunks (depending on your preference)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13” pan (or line it with foil and then grease for easy removal). Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar with the paddle attachment until fluffy, about 2 minutes.. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the espresso powder followed by the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until each are incorporated. Add the vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the center is set and no longer jiggling. Bake time may differ depending on the type of pan used. Allow to cool and then slice and enjoy!
At the risk of overwhelming your email box two days before Christmas, I wanted to share one last recipe with you to get you in the holiday spirit: peppermint brookies. Part cookie, part brownie, these chewy bars are scented with peppermint, studded with Oreo cookies, and seriously full of delicious chocolate flavor. You’re definitely going to want to keep reading.
We’ve talked about brookies before, remember? My original brookie recipe was inspired by my childhood memories of a similar dessert I used to enjoy with my Nana. Those nostalgic recipes have a way of seeping into the deep corners of your heart, and they always come to mind at special times of year like this. These peppermint brookies are similar to the original, except this time, I’ve added the festive flair of peppermint extract and a few crushed Oreos. Honestly, if you can’t get away with adding Oreos to your desserts during the holidays, when can you?
Luckily, these peppermint brookies are really simple to make. It’s a combination of two stovetop dough that are swirled together in a small baking dish. The end product is similar in texture to a brownie but with all the sweet and saltyness of a chocolate chip cookie. If you’re that person who can never decide between a cookie and a brownie, it’s your lucky day. These are just the thing you’ll want to make.
I’m sure we’ll chat again before the new year, but I do want to wish you a really sweet and joyful last few days of 2020. There aren’t enough hours, words, tears, or bottles of wine to be able to fully unpack all the things we learned and experienced these past few months, but I do know we have reason for hope and plenty of good things to look forward to. My prayer for each of you is that you’d be reminded of the goodness in your life, wherever it happens to exist, and that these coming days, weeks, and the new year would offer you the rest, joy, and love that our world so desperately needs. Merry everything to you.
If you like these peppermint brookies you should check out:
These peppermint brookies are brownie cookie bars flavored with peppermint and studded with crumble Oreo cookies!
Total Time:45 minutes
For the brownie:
¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (70 gm) sugar
1/3 cup (70 gm) packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Oreo sandwich cookies, crushed into ½” pieces, divided
For the cookie:
6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup (70 gm) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (130 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup (85 gm) semisweet chocolate chips, plus more as desired
To prepare the brownie batter:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the bottom with baking spray.
Melt the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the egg and extract. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Fold in half of the oreo bits and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the cookie mixture.
To prepare the cookie dough:
Melt the butter, brown sugar, and sugar over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until almost combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Begin spooning in alternating dollops of the brownie and cookie mixture to create a swirled effect. Be sure to try to evenly disperse the two batters so that each piece has a bit of both brownie and cookie. Press the remaining Oreo chunks into the top of the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes before pulling the aluminum foil and bars out. Once cooled, slice into squares and sprinkle with additional salt if desired.