Posts Tagged: cookies

Make This Tonight: The Easiest Ever Pumpkin Cookies

There’s a type of recipe I like to refer to as “mom food.” You know how when you scroll through your Pinterest feed you see these casseroles that consist entirely of, like, cans of cream of mushroom soup and packages of shredded cheddar cheese and have descriptions like, “My picky kids asked for seconds!” or whatever? Not that I’m implying my mom cooks like this (she doesn’t) or that there’s anything wrong with cooking like this (there’s not, and if you’d like to read someone who judges people based on their eating habits, well then I hope you enjoy the rest of the internet! Okay, so sometimes I judge people based on their lunch choices.). It’s just that, as someone who has no children, I don’t spend a ton of time freezing my casseroles for the week, you know?

But I’m all for convenience and quick meals, and sometimes those Pinterest moms know what they’re talking about. Such is the case with these pumpkin cookies. When I read that you just had to combine a box of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin, I said, “Whaaaaaaaaat?” in my head for, oh, about 15 minutes. That doesn’t even make sense. How is it possible? I don’t know, you guys! Cake mixes are mysterious and magical creations that I cannot begin to comprehend.

Here’s what you need:

1 box of spice cake mix

1 can of pumpkin


And here’s what you do:

Mix those ingredients together. It will be pretty thick. Drop the batter into cookie-shaped lumps on your greased cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean…it took me about 13 minutes.

After they cooled, I made a glaze out of powdered sugar and water (I didn’t measure the quantities…get real).

I took these to a party and H. ate like 15 of them. And then my picky kids asked for seconds! Just kidding.

Image via Peanut Butter Fingers

Make This Tonight: Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

coconut oil trader joes
I have some advice for those of you who might be planning weddings: elope.

Okay, so I’m kind of kidding. But also? I’m kind of not. Most people who give me wedding advice say some variation of “Girl, do you!” And I’m trying. But it’s proving a little harder than I suspected, and even though I vowed not to let planning a party stress me out so much, here I go, getting stressed out.

Enter stress-baking.

Sometimes, when you’re annoyed and exhausted, the best thing to do is bake something delicious. You may have noticed that this is my solution to most problems, but you know what? It works.

This week, I whipped up a batch of double coconut chocolate chip cookies. The coconut double shot consists of toasted coconut AND coconut oil. I was late to the coconut oil party, I’ll admit, but now I’m into it. I saw it all over the internet and I ignored it. Then Jordan suggested I try it and I was like, “Maybe!” And finally, Mama W. and I were at Trader Joe’s and she was like, “Look, there’s coconut oil. Didn’t you want to try it?” and I was all, “How did she KNOW?” because I always forget that she regularly reads my blog and then makes no mention of it as if I’m not going to know (Hi Mom).

Long story even longer, I bought that coconut oil and I’ve been using for every. damn. thing. in the kitchen. Sauteeing? Don’t mind if I do! Smoothies? Why not? Opening the jar and just smelling it every once in awhile? Sadly, yes.

And now baking!

The internet tells me that coconut oil can be subbed for butter in most recipes, so I decided to use it in chocolate chip cookies. The best part is that you can totally pretend these are good for you because, you know, healthy fats. Just ignore all the sugar and focus on the healthy fats.

These were awesome, and I made some without chocolate chips for H. so they’d be 100% dairy-free. And then I ate all the extra chocolate chips on my own. Don’t judge me. Also, please don’t judge this terrible picture. It’s winter and there’s no light around here.
double coconut chocolate chip cookies

Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

about 1/3 cup shredded sweetened (or unsweetened, whatever) coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspon baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toast the coconut by stirring it around in a hot skillet until it turns brown. But be careful, because it burns easily! Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together coconut oil, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until very well mixed. Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour, mixing together until all are incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips and toasted coconut. Roll into golf-ball sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or just until the outside of the cookies have browned ever so slightly around the edges. Cool them on a cooling rack (or wherever, if you don’t have a cooling rack) and then make your fiance take them to his friends’ place so you can get them out of the house.

Coconut oil image via The Kitchn

The Joy (the Baker) of Comfort Baking

The months of January through March are always tough for me. It’s cold, it’s dark, and everyone’s taken down their twinkle lights. There are no holidays to look forward to, it seems like winter will never end, and I hate leaving the house. Basically, it’s time for comfort baking.

You all know how much I love Joy the Baker’s cookbook, right? The woman makes a mean apple crisp. It turns out that everything in her cookbook is amazing. These are the perfect recipes to make when you’re snowed in and grumpy, which is a situation I often find myself in.

It’s hard to feel bad when your house smells like cinnamon and there’s something warm to stuff your face with. I mean, that’s just a fact. I’d advise making anything from Joy the Baker’s cookbook or website, but especially her Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies and Baked Coffee Cake French Toast.

Alex and I made the Baked Coffee Cake French Toast one weekend when I was home a few months ago. It wasn’t really in Winter, but whatever…sometimes you need comfort baking even when it isn’t cold outside! It was insanely good, and the recipe isn’t on her website, but you can find it here.

But the real winner is her Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies. There are few foods I love more than sweet potatoes, and I’ll add them to everything that I can. So of course these cookies were one of the first recipes I made from the book. They’re pillowy-soft and perfectly spiced. Adding to the comfort baking factor, they also taste almost exactly like the chocolate chip cookies my grandma used to make when I was a kid. She didn’t add any vegetables to hers, but she did add spices. It was such a wonderful tastebud flashback.

The recipe for these isn’t on the website, but you can find the very similar pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

If you haven’t purchase Joy the Baker’s cookbook, then seriously, what are you waiting for? It’s January! You have comfort baking to do!

Lady Tip #1: Bake A Little Something For Your Guests

I’ve discussed my love of self-help books in the past. Whether they’re about work, writing, happiness, what have you…if it’s about self-improvement, I will probably read it/listen to it in my car. We can get into the (weird, cynical, and completely unwarranted!)stigma around self-help books later. I know that, for me, they’ve been an enormous help. Over the past year, self-help books have helped me change my attitude towards myself and actually start accomplishing the things I’ve wanted to do my whole life. It’s kind of amazing!
Anyway, since I’m constantly listening to podcasts about creativity, reading books about achieving your goals, listening to audiobooks about writing and reading generically positive “you can do it, girl!” websites, I thought maybe I should share with you guys the things I’m learning. Hence LADY TIPS, which I like because it almost sounds dirty, but I don’t know why. Like, I’m not even going to let my brain go down that path to figure it out. If I found some nugget of wisdom through a book, website, or podcast I’ll link to it, but today’s Lady Tip just came from my own life. That will be rare, because I do not often learn from either my mistakes or my successes (end self-deprecating aside). And anyway, who do I think I am, Oprah (oh, hold on, it’s still going)? We’re just talking about the things I’m doing to make my life better/be a better friend/produce more/write more.

Lady Tip #1: Bake a Little Something For Your Guests

I don’t keep snack food in my house. I know, it sounds like a nonstop party around here…no snacks AND no TV? Who wants to visit? Since I don’t want any hungry guests to rummage through my cabinets and be like, “Umm, I guess I’ll eat this can of beans?” I always try to bake a little somethin’ somethin’ if I know a friend is coming around.
My ultimate model of hospitality is my mom. She will drop everything to make a person feel at home. Even if that means making one of her famous turkey-bacon sandwiches at 11 p.m, or even if that means buying ingredients she would never normally have in the house for someone with a dietary restriction. You will, guaranteed, always leave her house with a bag of cookies or a plate of food.
I’d like to have at least a little bit of that welcoming warmth in my place, even though I definitely can’t compete. So I always try to have something baked when people show up. Brownies, cake, cookies, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I forget or run out of time, and I always regret it when that happens. It’s a quick thing you can do for a friend that says, “I’m glad you’re here!”
Of course, it’s important to make something your friend can ACTUALLY EAT. Very important! For example, I know Lauren doesn’t like broccoli (I KNOW!), so I would not make broccoli cookies for her. I wouldn’t make broccoli cookies anyway because those sound gross. Just kidding, I would totally make them! Please send any and all broccoli cookie recipes to welcometoladyville(at)gmail(dot)com!
My gal pal Jayne came over this weekend, and she is not a Sugar Eater. I wanted to bake something sweet she’d be able to eat, so I remembered a recipe I make often when I need a quick cookie. There are only four ingredients: peanut butter, sugar, an egg, and vanilla. I remembered seeing Paula Deen’s recipe for these cookies, which used sugar substitute. Bingo! I decided to use natural peanut butter to go with the unnatural sweetener.

Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
from Paula Deen

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar replacement, plus extra for doing those fun little fork criss-cross things (Paula recommends Splenda)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar replacement, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar replacement to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar replacement. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Note: I typically make these using real sugar, and I personally prefer them that way. But then again, I’m a big ol’ sugar eater. They were a little crumbly this time around, but they got the job done.

Yay for cookies!