Snowballs

Cookies, Unfussy

Man oh man are these good. My grandmother made these with all oatmeal and called them a humbler version of Mexican wedding cakes. I like to split the difference and do half oats and half pecans. I don’t think it’s possible to mess these up.

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toast pecans on a baking sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer with paddle attachment. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour, salt, oats and cooled pecans and mix until combined thoroughly.

Scoop or shape into balls and place on a lined baking sheet – only about an inch apart as these do not spread. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Coat in powdered sugar and let cool completely on cooling rack before storing.

Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate and Ginger

Cookies, Unfussy

These are my favorite shortbread-style cookies – the dough is easy to work with for rolling and cutting out. Chocolate and ginger is a tasty combination, but you could put anything in there. Or nothing. Perfect for that card club you’re hoping will gain some traction.

  • 1 1/4 cups (142g) powdered sugar
  • 18 TBSP (255g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (326g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (165g) chopped candied ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) chocolate chips

Combine sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt and vanilla in a stand mixer with paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, add the ginger and chocolate chips, stir until well mixed.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove from refrigerator and let dough soften for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out to the thickness of the chocolate chips, using extra flour to keep from sticking, if necessary. Cut in desired shapes, place on cookie sheets leaving about an inch between cookies (they don’t expand much at all).

Bake 15 minutes, until the edges just start to show some color.

This recipe is modified from King Arthur Flour

Brownies

Cookies, Unfussy

These are everything I want in a brownie. My sister-in-law, Lindsay, kept trying different brownie recipes until she found her favorite, and her dedication paid off. Now it is the favorite of everyone I know. This recipe is from King Arthur. Himself.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose or a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used mint chips, pictured)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease, or line with a foil sling, a 9×13″ pan.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and stir until hot but not bubbling. Remove from heat. Stir in cocoa, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, and whisk until incorporated. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. (I opted to sprinkle mint chips on top… this time)

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the middle is set. Cool completely before cutting. Or not.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookies, Unfussy

These are my favorite peanut butter cookies. I wouldn’t kick you out of bed for putting chocolate chips in them. This recipe is from the Fannie Farmer cookbook, one of my favorite cookbooks of all time.

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I prefer Trader Joe’s salted creamy)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
  • extra 1/2 cup granulated sugar for coating fork

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or grease lightly.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat well, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add peanut butter and beat to blend. Add baking soda and flour and stir to combine well. Add chocolate chips if using.

Scoop onto cookie sheets, or roll into balls and place on cookie sheets – about 3 TBSP per cookie, spaced about 2-3 inches apart. Put extra sugar in a small bowl, using a fork, dip in sugar, then press down on each cookie into criss-cross pattern, smushing the cookie to flatten quite a bit (they don’t spread much when baking).

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to show some color, but do not over-bake.

Pumpkin Buttery and Gooey Bars

Cookies, Unfussy

I haven’t lived in St. Louis long enough to fully understand the gooey-butter bar, so I wouldn’t be so bold as to claim that is what these are. But this bar is definitely buttery, and a little gooey due to a caramelized pumpkin situation going on. This is made in a jelly roll pan (12x17in) so it makes a lot of bars, but if you cut them in giant squares it helps the cause.

  • Crust:
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Melt butter in a small skillet until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Add baking powder, salt and flour and mix to combine thoroughly.

Spread in a greased 12×17-inch jelly roll pan with an offset spatula.

  • Pumpkin filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, and finally the pumpkin puree.

Pour pumpkin filling on top of the crust and smooth top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the pumpkin is set and the sides are starting to brown.

Cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into squares.

These will keep for several days at room temperature.

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Chip Bars

Cookies, Unfussy

These little tasties are somewhere between a snack cake and a brownie. I make these every year and use some of that pesky whole wheat flour that is always sitting around. From King Arthur’s whole grain baking.

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 9x13i-inch pan with non-stick foil.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and stir over heat until sugar has melted and starting to bubble. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool.

Beat in vanilla, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Stir in pumpkin, flour, cinnamon chips and raisins/nuts (if using). Mix thoroughly. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting.

Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie

Cookies, Unfussy

Qualities of a Cookies & More chocolate chip cookie: crispy on the edges, soft and chewy in the center – borderline underbaked. Good ratio of pecans and chocolate chips, obviously. Leaves a grease mark behind when you pick it up.

  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBSP dried milk powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toast pecans on a dry cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Chop pecans.

Combine butter, sugars, and oil together in a mixer. Beat on medium high for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy – scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, dried milk powder, and baking soda. Mix in flour, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to incorporate entirely. Mix chocolate chips and pecan pieces in until incorporated.

Line cookie sheets with parchment. Using a 2 or 3 TBSP cookie scoop, drop onto cookie sheets about 4 inches apart, with only 5 or 6 cookies per sheet.

Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until light brown on the outside.

Special thanks to Mrs. Fields for all her work.

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Cookies, Unfussy
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP dried milk powder
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 bars good quality white chocolate, cut into small rectangles
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine butter, sugars, and oil together in a mixer. Beat on medium high for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy – scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, dried milk powder, and baking soda. Mix in flour, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to incorporate entirely.

Line cookie sheets with parchment. Using a 2 or 3 TBSP cookie scoop, drop onto cookie sheets about 4 inches apart, with only 5 or 6 cookies per sheet. Place 3 or 4 white chocolate squares on the top of the cookie dough ball.

Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until light brown on the outside.