Cookie Recipe Round-Up: Peanut Butter, Cookies & Cream, Snickerdoodle, and Strawberry Shortcake

There’s a part of me that dreams of becoming a caterer. I briefly considered that career path, until I realized how much I value my weekends and holidays. The hours just aren’t for me, yet I still get so excited when I have to opportunity to plan and execute a menu for an event, no matter how big or small. Usually, that’s pretty limited, but L’s and my graduations gave me two new excuses to get in the kitchen and bake/cook up a storm. Unfortunately for my sanity, they fell on the same exact weekend. Fortunately for my sanity, I was only taking care of a portion of the desserts and none of the main dishes for L’s, and although I was “catering” my own from start to finish, it was a much more intimate gathering and therefore significantly less stressful. And since I’m sitting here typing this update for you, it means I survived to tell you all about it.

Almost all of the recipes I made were a success, yet I didn’t really change much about any of them so I thought rather than featuring each individual recipe on this blog, I would write two round-up posts: one for L’s graduation from Saturday, and one for mine, which was yesterday. I have plans to tweak and play with some of the recipes so you’ll surely be seeing more of them and in more detail in the future, but for now, you can at least see all of the delicious food that tore me away from blogging this weekend!

So for L, his mom had ordered a cake from a local bakery and had asked me to supplement it with essentially whatever else I wanted. This, I translated to whatever else L wanted. He had previously told me that he wanted gingerbread, but I teased him into embarrassment accidentally because I thought it was endearingly uncommon to choose such a Fall-associated flavor for early June. I threw out a ton of options, mostly focusing on his school colors as my inspiration, all of which were met with total unenthusiasm. Needless to say, it took some back and forth before we settled on a sure crowd (and L) pleaser: cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

The first request was for a peanut butter cookie, one of L’s favorites yet one that he doesn’t get to eat all that often. I made him a batch for a birthday a few years back (one of the most popular recipes on the blog!), but used Jif peanut butter because people swore to me that my beloved all-natural varieties would crumble to pieces when used in a cookie. And while L loved them and they looked beautiful, it was time for me to defy all the nay-sayers and give my natural peanut butter a chance to shine. I found a recipe from Joy the Baker for cookies that specifically called for natural peanut butter, and decided that was the one. The ingredient list was short and the preparation was simple – what more could you ask for? Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of them because I knew they weren’t blog ready after I snuck a bite from the cooling batch. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loved them, but they’re not quite it. The recipe isn’t perfect. I found it a little too sweet, and although L didn’t use those same words, he did say that the peanut butter flavor could have been stronger. The dough wasn’t the easiest to work with, either – the cookies did not crumble in the end, but the dough was delicate and not as cohesive as I would have liked. I think I can remedy this without adding chemical-laden artificial peanut butter to my dough, so I’ll be experimenting with those little tweaks and hope to have The Perfect Peanut Butter Cookie for you in the somewhat near(ish) future.
Note: the picture above is from the last time I made peanut butter cookies. As I said, I don’t recommend them because they call specifically for non-natural varieties of nut butter, but other people did enjoy them and I know not everyone buys into the must-eliminate-all-hydrogenated-oils thing so…there you have them.

Next, we pinpointed a dining hall favorite of L’s: Oreo cookies. No, I don’t mean actual Oreo’s or homemade versions of actual Oreo’s. I mean cookies, coated completely in Oreo crumb deliciousness. These were hands down the hit of the party. People couldn’t get enough of them! The dough is pillowy and rich – breaking one in half is like eliciting a symphony straight from heaven, and taking that first bite brings you one step closer to nirvana. And believe me, it is with great pain that I say this, because I recently gave up high fructose corn syrup only to find out that Oreo’s contain it, meaning I let myself try half of one (for experimental purposes, folks! The things I do for you…), and then cut myself off. I’m not really sure what to do about it, either, because these cookies are absolute perfection and there’s no way around the HFCS. For the Oreo crumbs I bought an Oreo pie crust and crumbled it with a fork, and though there may be knock-off Oreo cookies, there are not knock-off Oreo cookie crusts. I also don’t think it’d be possible for me to go the rest of my life without ever having these again. It’s quite a conundrum, but I’m actually considering breaking my rules for the occasional batch of these beauties. Me, little type A personality, stick-to-the-rules-for-the-sake-of-sticking-to-them, me. If that doesn’t convince you how good they are, I really don’t know what will.

After the Oreo cookies, we decided on a Snickerdoodlerecipe. If there’s one thing L loves, it’s cinnamon, and a soft and chewy cookie rolled in the stuff is right up his alley. I ran into some snags with these – to be fair, already that day I had baked up nearly 7 dozen cookies and was probably not in the clearest state of mind. I was pulling out raw cookie dough from the oven thinking they were done, knocking a few of the unbaked dough balls right off the cookie sheet and onto the scorching hot oven floor (and then nearly blinding myself when later trying to reach into the oven only to be met with stinging smoke from the burnt cookie remnants from those dough balls), running out of oven space, baking them for nearly twice the amount of time the recipe indicated…I was terrified that I was going to wind up with little saucer bricks of cinnamon and sugar. They weren’t as pillowy as the ideal snickerdoodle is (in my book), but people still loved them and could not say enough nice things about them. They were not little sauce bricks – they were soft, cinnamony, and enjoyable. I just don’t know if the recipe has a few flaws or if I need to give them a second try on a day when I’m not on cookie overload, so I don’t want to feature them on here just yet. You’ll definitely be seeing versions of these in the hopes of redemption in the future of Floptimism, though – I promise.

And, finally, I was given Baker’s Choice – I could choose any fourth cookie I wanted. I still wanted L to be pleased with the results, so I settled on this little gem – a Strawberry Shortcake Cookie. These were the last cookies to be baked on Friday. By the time they went in the oven I had been in the kitchen for 12 hours and had over 10 dozen cookies packed up in Tupperware. If I thought my mind was elsewhere with the Snickerdoodles several hours earlier, I was really in questionable shape by the time this dough was ready to come together. Still, it was easy to do, and interesting in that it employed mixing techniques more akin to a pie crust or scone than a cookie. They wound up being like little cakes in cookie form, very delicate but ultimately a pleasant surprise that everyone raved about. The strawberries had a bit of a tang to them, a little bite that was almost reminiscent of a cranberry baked good. It really countered the sweetness of the cookie itself beautifully. I wonder if the cookies were meant to be sturdier, but then I added a little too much extra heavy cream and consequently changed the texture a little bit. Like I said, I was more or less delirious by the time I was going through the motions of this dough so, like the Snickerdoodles, I want to play around with the dough more before I devote an entire entry to them. However, people also went crazy over these, so I couldn’t leave them out of this round-up. In fact, last night L was just slightly hungry so he opened up the container, took one out, closed the container, and ate it…and then opened the container back up and ate three more because they are “so good that they make you hungry.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So there you have it, the 13+ dozen cookies from L’s grad party in all of their glory. I couldn’t have been much more pleased with how they turned out, and hope to have the opportunity to play around with them and share the absolute, hands down, perfected versions with you later on.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment