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ancientgrainscookies12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I came up with these cookies after noticing boxes of “ancient grains cookie mix” at the grocery store – for $7 a box! When I use alternative flours I try to work with the different textures rather than against them. These cookies are chocolate peanut butter because everyone expects peanut butter cookies to have a more shortbready, crumbly texture by nature.

I used a blend of quinoa flour and spelt flour, in combination with some regular unbleached white flour and some extra wheat germ. These are good keepers, and are great with a cold glass of milk on the side.

Ancient Grains Cookies, Makes about 36 3″ cookies

  • 1/4 c. butter, at room tempertaure
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c. natural peanut butter (The ingredient list should read: Peanuts.)
  • 4 T. dark cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark.)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. quinoa flour
  • 1/2 c. spelt flour
  • 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3 T. wheat germ
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy.

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Beat in the eggs one at a time.

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Beat in the peanut butter.

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Then the flours, baking powder and baking soda.

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Beat in the cocoa and then the chips. You should have a nice creamy batter.

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Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Cool complete and then store in an airtight container. These keep nicely for about five days. Freeze in a ziplock for longer storage. I freeze half the baked cookies and use them to replenish the cookie jar – but they aren’t bad frozen 😉

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Four years ago: Champagne Sabayon
Three years ago: Chard Quiche
Two years ago: Burmese Chicken Soup
One year ago: French Breakfast Puffs


gingercreams7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I’ve never an actual copy of Farm Journal magazine, but I LOVE their cookbooks and whenever I find them in antique stores I buy them. This recipe is based on one from their Homemade Cookies cookbook, and if you can imagine a Lofthouse molasses cookie this would be it. They are big, soft and while there is a lot of molasses in them the flavor is more mild than a traditional molasses cookie.

The whiteness of the icing starts to fade after a few days, just FYI. I made a few changes to the original recipe, including the addition of fresh ginger. They are amazing with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot tea. They also cut out beautifully, and would make beautiful hearts if your Valentine is a fan of molasses cookies.

Ginger Creams, Makes about 40 3″ cookies

  • 1 c. butter, at room temp
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. dark molasses
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh ginger
  • 1 T. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 5 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt

Icing

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. white vanilla
  • 1 t. water

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream until light and fluffy.

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Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vinegar, ginger and molasses.

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Beat in 4-1/2 c. flour, the baking soda, baking powder and salt.

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You should have a pretty brown dough. At this point you can chill it for 30 minutes if you like.

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Generously flour a work surface and roll out a portion of the dough. Cut out your shapes and put them on a lightly greased baking sheet.

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Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. Repeat, roll out and bake the rest of the dough.

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Stir together the icing ingredients. Add a bit more water if necessary, to achieve a spreadable consistency. Ice each cookie with a thin layer. Let the cookies sit out until the icing is dry.

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These cookies, when iced, are best within three days. Freeze uniced cookies in an airtight container for longer storage.


Three years ago: Meatloaf Sandwiches – The Lazy Cook’s Super Bowl Sunday
Two years ago: Grandma’s Chocolate Cookies
One year ago: Salted Butterscotch Pots de Creme


applepiebars15_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It’s hard sending a child to college, it’s harder still when they come home down two jean sizes! So part of the reason I don’t post as much lately is simply that I spend a lot of time baking and mailing. While I do bake a lot of my son’s favorites to send, I do try to mix in surprises – like these apple pie bars. Apple pie is one of his favorite desserts, but it’s hard to deal with in a dorm room with a tiny fridge and no place to wash up.

Given that, I tried to pack all the pie goodness in these individual servings that he can take out of the freezer as need arises. I started with a base from my chocolate oatmeal bars and took it from there. You could have these as-is, or you could fancy them up by plating them and topping each one with a scoop of ice cream.

Apple Pie Bars, Makes about 16 2.5″ servings

For the bars:
2½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. light brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 large eggs
3 cups old-fashioned oats
5 c. peeled and sliced baking apples

For the glaze:
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. water

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and mix well.

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Beat in the eggs.

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Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.

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Reserve a cup of the mixture, press the rest into a greased baking sheet (mine’s about 14″ square).

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You’ll have to flour your hands, the dough’s quite sticky. Put the sheet into the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.

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While the crust is baking, heat two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. When the butter’s melted add the apple slices.

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Saute over medium heat until the apples are just barely tender.

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Reduce the oven to 375. Spread the sauteed apples over the hot crust and sprinkle with cinnamon.

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Then dot the top with the rest of the reserved crust mixture.

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Return the sheet to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, until the streusel is brown.

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Cut into squares while still warm.

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When the bars are cool stir up the glaze (just stir all the ingredients together) and drizzle it over the top.

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Once the glaze has set you can package them (for college shipping!) or store them in an airtight container. I would put them in the refrigerator to keep longer than two days.

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secretcookies13_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These cookies are a little kooky for me, but I guess sometimes I’m as susceptible to the charms of decorations as anyone else! And, if you can’t go all out during the holidays – when can you?

These cookies are really all about fun, fun on the outside, fun on the inside. I’ve adapted a recipe from an article I cut out years ago from a magazine.

Secret Cookies, Makes about 30 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 t. almond extract
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar for coating

Preheat the oven to 375. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl, cream well.

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Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

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Then the flour.

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Stir 3/4 c. of dough into the chocolate.

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Roll a 1″ ball of chocolate dough and then cover it with a thin pancake of vanilla dough.

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Then roll each ball in sprinkles or sugar.

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Put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for about 10 minutes.

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I added an extra white chocolate drizzle to the plain sugar ones to dress them up for a party!

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lemonsugarcookies11_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Anyone who’s been with this blog through the winter holidays knows that I have the same cookie lineup every year, but I continue to audition new prospects because never let it be said that I’m one to rest on my cookie laurels 😉

This is the first audition – a soft sugar cookie (which American readers will recognize as Lofthouse style). It has that same addictive cakey quality as the store-bought version, but with the twist of lemon poppyseed. It’s based on a compilation of recipes online with a few changes of my own. Sorry for the crappy picture, we’re really short on daylight at the moment!

I like the Scandinavian white-on-white coloring, but if you want to get crazy with frosting colors or sprinkles now would be the time!

Soft Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Cookies, Makes about 36 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. lemon extract or bakery emulsion
  • Zest from two lemons
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 T. poppyseeds

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 c. butter, at room temperature1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. almond extract
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 6 T. heavy cream

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Then beat in the lemon flavoring and zest.

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Combine the remaining dry ingredients and half of them to the bowl. Beat well. Then beat in the yogurt.

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Add the second half of the dry ingredients and beat for another minute.

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Scoop the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it up as a ball and refrigerate it for at least an hour. When you’re ready to bake preheat the oven to 425. (I know, hot for a cookie recipe!)

Turn the dough out.

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Roll it out to about 1/3″ thick and cut. (I only worked with part of the dough at a time so I could make sure I kept the thickness consistent.)

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Put the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 6-7 minutes. I took them out right around the 7-minute mark.

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While the cookies are cooling make the frosting. (I didn’t do the step by step here to keep the post length down.)

Beat the sugar and butter together, drizzling in the flavoring and half the cream. Mixture will be thick. Continue beating, drizzling in the remaining cream as you go, until you reach your desired spreading consistency. I have a stand mixer so I just turn it to high and let it run for about five minutes at this point. The longer you beat the creamier your frosting will be.

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When the cookies are completely cool frost them.

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You can leave them out, uncovered for an hour or so, and the frosting will crust over just a bit. I froze mine on the sheet and then stacked them between sheets of waxed paper in a freezer container to freeze until the holidays.

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Four years ago: 12 Days of Cookies
Three years ago: Russian Braids
Two years ago: Apple Clafouti
One year ago: Holiday Biscotti


lemonricottacookies13_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

First off let me note that I have not fallen off the wagon and gone whole-hog on the food coloring – that bright fuschia icing is from freeze-dried raspberries! I know, right? Perfect for upcoming holiday cookies! But I digress.

This cookie story starts with a trip my little slice of heaven on Earth – Whole Foods. I could wander that store for hours. In the bakery of the Whole Foods in question is a display of international cookies, including a lemon ricotta coated in pale pink raspberry icing. They are delicious.

So the quest began. Finding a recipe for the cookie was easy enough, and while I tinkered with it a bit they are basically the same. But the icing was going to be the hard part. I finally hit paydirt when I read a piece on a pastry chef who uses pulverized freeze-dried fruit for macarons.

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I got this bag at Target for $3.99 and only used about a third of it for this recipe. The color is spectacular and I’m going to experiment with this idea more in the future. I touched up the flavor with a bit of raspberry bakery emulsion and voila! These cookies are delicate, cakey and while you could use a lemon glaze if you want I think the raspberry really sets them off.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Raspberry Glaze, Makes about 30 3″ cookies

  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 container of part-skim ricotta (15 oz.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 c. granulataed sugar
  • Zest of two lemons, finely grated
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. lemon bakery emulsion
  • 2-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c. freeze-dried raspberries
  • 1-2 T. water
  • 1/2 t. raspberry bakery emulsion

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together well.

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Beat in the ricotta, then the eggs one at a time, beating well after addition.

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Beat in the flour and baking powder.

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Stir in the lemon zest, juice and flavor. You should have a thick, creamy batter.

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Drop by tablespoons until a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake about 12-15 minutes, until the edges are light golden brown.

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Cool the cookies while you make the glaze. The freeze-dried raspberries are an amazing color, and they taste like raspberry popcorn.

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Put the raspberries in a spice grinder and run until finely ground to a powder.

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Add the raspberry powder to the powdered sugar.

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Drizzle in water until you have the desired consistency.

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Spoon the glaze over the cookies. You can do the whole cookie, or just a lacy pattern if you don’t want as much raspberry flavor.

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Let the glaze air-dry for about two hours and then store the cookies in an airtight container.


Four years ago: Apple Pie
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Pie
Two years ago: Ginger-Chocolate Scones
One year ago: Quick Orange Cinnamon Rolls


cheesecakebars11_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris-Brady

Thanks for sticking with me gang, while I get this off-to-college/graduation business sorted out! Here is a nice, quick little recipe that would make a lovely Mother’s Day dessert to have with tea or coffee. It’s super easy, a great one to do with the kiddos.

You can vary the flavors with this to suit, I used orange flavoring and mini-chips but you could use citrus or almond as well. This comes from Maida Heatter’s Book of C0okies, and they freeze well if you want to make them ahead. It’s tempting to cut them in larger squares, but the smaller 2″ squares seem just right.

Cheesecake Bars, Makes about 16 2″ squares

  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 8 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese at room temp.
  • 1/4 c. granulated sguar
  • 1 t. flavoring (vanilla or other)
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour and oatmeal. Blend until well mixed.

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Set aside a cup of the mixture and press the rest into a lightly greased 8″ square pan.

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Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, cream the egg, sugar, flavoring and cream cheese together well.

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Pour it over the hot crust.

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I added a few mini chips here to compliment my orange flavored filling.

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Top the cheesecake with the rest of the crumbs.

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Return it to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

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Cool thoroughly and then refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut it into squares with a sharp knife and serve.

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Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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pbcookies4_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Thanks for sticking by me everyone – it’s going to be a rocky road until June I’m afraid post-wise, as I mentioned earlier I have a son ready to fledge and we are going through all the college signups at the moment with graduation hot on its heels. I do think of you every day, regardless, and wonder what amazing things you are cooking up!

These little cookies are like a Reese’s in reverse, crunchy-tender peanut butter cookie with a center of dark chocolate. They are great on their own, or with milk. It’s worth noting I only use natural peanut butter, the ingredients on the label should say Roasted Peanuts and that’s it.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Makes about 36 3″ cookies

  • 10 T. softened butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 2-3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60%)

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and the sugars, then cream in the eggs one at time, followed by the vanilla and peanut butter.

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Beat in the flour. Beat for about two minutes, until the flour is hydrated and the batter goes back to being more creamy.

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Drop tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.

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Criss-cross them with a fork, and push two-three chips into the center of each one.

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Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

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Three years ago: Lemon Curd
Two years ago: Charred Asparagus
One year ago: Butter Pecan Banana Cake


holidaybiscotti3_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

If you see the word biscotti and automatically picture those behemoth jawbreakers in the cannisters at the coffee shop, let me just say, these are not those. These are both crunchy and tender, and are gone in two-three bites. Because of their small size they are just as at home on a cookie plate as they are in pretty bags for gift giving.

They include dried cranberries (you could use dried cherries too), pistachios and a coating of white chocolate on one side – because it’s the holidays and we’re being fancy. However, you could mix in anything – or leave them plain.

Holiday Biscotti, Makes about 36 2-1/2″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter, soft
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 3/4 c. pistachios
  • 8 oz. white chocolate couverture (chocolate tempered for melting)

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together well, then beat in the eggs and baking powder.

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Beat in the flour.

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You’ll have a lovely soft moldable dough.

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Divide it in three parts, divide the berries and nuts evenly among them, and knead them in.

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Roll each one into a log about 9″ x 2″. Put them on greased cookie sheets and push them down with a spatula to flatten them a bit.

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Bake them at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.

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Reduce the heat to 325 and take them out of the oven. Let the logs cool a bit, then slice them into pieces 1/2″ wide. Lay them on the cookie sheet on their side.

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Put them back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, flip them, and bake for another 10 minutes. This will toast each side lightly without the bottoms getting too dark.

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Cool the biscotti on racks while you melt the white chocolate. Spread the chocolate on one side of each cookie.

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Let it harden, then serve or store them at room temperature in airtight containers. These will keep nicely for about two weeks, freeze for longer storage.

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Three years ago: Swedish Visiting Cake
Two years ago: Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie
One year ago: Apple Clafouti


browniecookies7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Good news! The days of agonizing over whether to make brownies or cookies are over. Sometimes you CAN have the best of both worlds.

These cookies bake up thick and chocolately. If you like them fudgy, take them out when the center is still a little bit glossy. If you like them cakey, wait until the tops are matte. Either way these are perfect companions to a glass of cold milk.

Brownie Cookies, Makes about 40 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 6 T. dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1-1/2 t. vanilla
  • 2 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips (or dark chips)

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the butter, oil and sugars in a mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, about four minutes.

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Beat the eggs in one at a time, beating for two minutes between each addition.

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Add the dry ingredients.

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Then beat in the chips, water, milk and vanilla.

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You should have a thick, creamy batter. Drop by tablespoons-full onto greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly.

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Bake about 10-12 minutes, see my note on baking time above.

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Store in an airtight cookie jar.

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Three years ago: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Soused Mushrooms
Two years ago: Chocolate Mint Cookies
One year ago: Salted Caramel Banana Cake

 

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