C is for Cookie

Written by Heather KW Brown

Photography by Robert Steven Smith 

As basic as it might seem, baking cookies — the gooey, chewy, soft and satisfying ones that send us into a tasting tizzy — is not so simple. Perhaps this explains why I love to eat them rather than make them. In hopes of continuing my ongoing quest for cookies, we asked our readers to submit their favorite cookie recipes. Thankfully, we’ve got a number of bakers in our midst … one of which even calls herself Keebler Karen, which coming from the self-appointed Points North Cookie Monster, I found to be quite clever. Turns out, she does have a knack for cookies as her cookies were voted as the office favorite. Then again, whether the cookies crumbled or not, we still ate them and here, we share the recipes of our finalists with you.

Victorian House Tour Cookies

Recipe submitted by Karen Christanell (a.k.a. Keebler Karen)

2 sticks of butter at room temperature,
salted butter is preferred
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ to 3/4 teaspoon of salt
2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of pecan pieces
1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Gradually add in the flour and salt,
mixing well to form the dough. Add both types of chocolate
chips and the pecans. Mix together all ingredients.

Drop by mounded teaspoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten the cookie dough slightly before baking. Bake cookies until lightly browned, about 14 to 15 minutes. (My oven takes 15 minutes to bake these but we prefer them crispy.)


Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

Recipe submitted by Shelby Marston

1 bag (11.5 ounces) Ghirardelli 60-percent
Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 bag (12 ounces) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, about 4 ounces

In a double boiler over hot water, melt the bittersweet chips and butter. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick, then stir in chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder, stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chips and walnuts.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into two logs, each about 2 inches in diameter and about 8 inches long. As dough will be very soft, use plastic wrap to hold dough in log shape. Wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Unwrap dough, then with sharp knife, cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top, but interior is still soft.

Cool on baking sheet. Enjoy!


Karen’s Chocolate Biscotti

Recipe submitted by Karen Goldstein

½ cup sugar
½ cup oil
2 eggs
¾ teaspoon baking powder
12-ounce bag chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli milk chocolate, or semi-sweet)
1 tablespoon of imitation vanilla, butter and nut flavoring
2 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Sugar and cinnamon mix to taste

Mix together sugar and oil, add eggs and baking powder, then mix. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix ingredients and add unbleached flour in batches until absorbed. Have a mix of sugar and cinnamon available.

Grease a large cookie sheet with oil. Have some oil in a small dish for your hands. Grab a large handful of dough and place on cookie sheet. Gently form a loaf about 2 ½ inches wide and ¾ inch thick. Loaves don’t spread, so you can fit a few on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.

Bake at 350 F for 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. When done, remove cookie sheets from oven, and turn oven down — not off — to 200 F. While oven is still on, let loaves cool for 10 minutes. Be sure to keep oven on, at this point. Now, slice loaves diagonally into pieces about ¾ inch thick. Turn each piece cut-side up and place back on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar mix and put back into oven.

Now, you can turn off oven and let the cookies dry for several hours or overnight.


Pecan Praline Cookies

Recipe submitted by Kim Brown

½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

For the icing
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whole pecans
Heat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 ½ cups brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; mix into butter mixture to blend thoroughly. Form tablespoons of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 10 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.

To make icing: In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix brown sugar and cream; bring to boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in powdered sugar; stir until smooth. Dip bottoms of pecans into icing and place two on each cookie; drizzle tops with icing.  


Colossal Cookies

Recipe submitted by Diane Malucci

½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar packed firmly
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peanut butter
6 cups rolled oats
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat butter and sugars together in a very large bowl. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add peanut butter. Mix well. Stir in baking soda and baking powder and oats and chips. Variation:  you can add peanuts, raisins, butterscotch chips, M & M’s sunflower seeds, peanut butter chips, coconut, etc.  

Drop by ice cream scoops onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.