Sometimes it’s really great to have easy and yet delicious desserts that you can whip up with no planning. I have a couple items that I regularly make when I need to do a last minute dessert for a coworker’s birthday, a friend’s bad day, or just because I’m craving dessert RIGHT now. The key is really that the ingredients all reside in your kitchen. These blueberry crumb bars are about as easy as it comes, and if you’re like me, and keep frozen fruit in the freezer, you’ll generally have all these ingredients around.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a simple, no-frills chocolate chip cookie. People often try to gussy up their cookies, and I’m not saying those are bad because they’re in fact quite good, but there’s still something satisfying about a simple gooey chocolate chip cookie. You’ll note that I say gooey. I’m a firm believer that chocolate chip cookies should not be crunchy. It’s all about achieving the perfect consistency between still being cookie dough and then being overcooked. It’s something I’ve tried hard to perfect.
So after trying lots of different cookie recipes, I’ve decided the Nestle one (yep the one that comes on the back of the chocolate chip bag) is the best. When I’ve brought cookies to people after using the Nestle recipe, I always get way better feedback than I do when I use other recipes. I guess it makes sense that Nestle would have perfected the chocolate chip cookie, but it still somehow surprises me that we all look for the perfect recipe, buy books dedicated solely to chocolate chip cookies, and then the one on the chocolate chip bag still ends up tasting the best.
When it comes to sugar cookies, there are good ones and bad ones. My favorite happen to be the ones you find in a grocery store that are light and fluffy, and a little bit thicker.
For Valentine’s Day, I decided to make cookies for everyone I know here in DC and had looked at tons of recipes trying to find one that would give me this perfect end product. I ended up settling on the “Olinger family recipe” with a few small tweaks. My coworker had brought her family cookies in at the holidays, and I had fond memories. And I wasn’t let down! They were a big hit!
These double chocolate peppermint cookies are a bit of a legend in my house. My mom makes them every winter, and quite often, a good chunk of the dough doesn’t even ever get baked because my brother and I eat it before it ever hits a cookie sheet.
In order to earn the name “double chocolate,” these cookies require a LOT of chocolate. This does make them a bit time intensive (and expensive), but this year I tried using the Cuisinart to replace some of the chopping, and I have to say, I think they’re just as delicious.
So it’s that time of year where we all eat way too many cookies and treats in honor of the upcoming holidays. I decided to contribute by making cookie plates for all of my friends, co-workers, and the other people I wanted to thank. The list got kind of long and I ended up doing five different kinds of cookies (with four of the recipes doubled). I might have been a bit too ambitious because it ended up taking nine hours. But oh well. They all turned out well and I made so many that we had lots of leftovers! I made chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies, seven layer bars, Mexican wedding cookies, double chocolate peppermint cookies, and cranberry streusel shortbread bars.