Pecan Chews with Small Batch Bourbon

Season’s Greetings! Feliz Navidad! Merry Yule! Joyeux Noël!

Whatever it is you are celebrating this winter, I’m pretty sure it is an occasion where family and friends and cookies are involved.

Pecan Chews with Small Batch Bourbon~ Erin's DC Kitchen

I love doing traditional Christmas cookies this time of year. I’ve already posted some of my family favorites which I make literally every year, here and here and here. Um, what is there not to love about adorable little holly wreaths laced with marshmallow creme? Or buttery, flakey little cookies sandwiched with a whipped frosting tinted holiday colors? Nothing, that’s what.

But, my dear husband requested something “new and interesting”. I promptly informed him I would be making the traditional cookies as I always do, but suggested he pick out a recipe or two from my Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies special issue magazine and I would make it for him.

Pecan Chews with Small Batch Bourbon~ Erin's DC Kitchen

He zeroed in on these delightfully chewy, nutty and very grown-up cookies. These drop cookies come with an extra boost of holiday cheer from a key ingredient– small-batch bourbon. Not only are they yums, but small scale distilleries are all the rage right now (God, is that saying even used anymore? Apparently yes, and by me) so these cookies are a perfect gift for the boozy trendsetter in your life.

Okay, to the recipe!

Pecan Chews with Small Batch Bourbon

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • scant 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup small batch bourbon, we used Four Roses
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans*

Combine flour, salt, spices and 1 cup of the chopped pecans in a bowl, set aside. In a small saucepan, warm the molasses and butter over low heat, stirring often until the butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool, then stir in the bourbon. I highly recommend not adding the bourbon when the mixture is too hot, it is will immediately cook off the alcohol. Take your time to let it cool, and you will be rewarded with a finished product that actually tastes a little boozy. 🙂

Next, whisk the brown sugar into the molasses-bourbon mixture and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and chill the dough for 1 hour or more. The dough needs to be nicely chilled because it is too soft otherwise which makes rolling the dough into balls difficult.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a tablespoon size scoop of dough, roll it between your hands to shape a ball, then roll the ball into the remaining 2 cups of chopped pecans. Here is a picture of the pre-baked balls.

Pecan Chews with Small Batch Bourbon

Place on a baking sheet, allowing a little room between the cookies to spread. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes– cookies are done when the edges are browned and they have flattened out. The center may look slightly undone, but it is fine as long as the edges are browned. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack, as the warm cookies are very floppy. As the cookies cool completely, they will firm up, but still stay deliciously chewy inside.

*Note: To toast pecans, spread whole pecans in a single layer onto a cookie sheet and bake in 350° oven for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the nuts smell fragrant, take them out of the oven, the oils in the nuts allow them to scorch quickly.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Enjoy!

– Erin

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chips Cookies

If for some reason you are planning to have an open house in the near future, I suggest you have a tray or two of these cookies baking at all times during the event to make your home seem as inviting as possible.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chips Cookie Dough

These oatmeal cookies smell so heavenly when baking, like sweet vanilla, butterscotch and wafts of cinnamon.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

A while ago I bought a bag of Hershey’s cinnamon chips out of sheer curiosity, and they worked quite well in this recipe. My fear was an overwhelming cinnamon taste, but the brown sugar mixing with the chips really create a nice butterscotch and spice combo.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

I brought these to a coworkers ‘moving party’ and they were gobbled up with many a compliment from my more than willing  guinea pigs, er I mean colleagues.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chips Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cup quick cook oats
  • 1 10 oz bag cinnamon chips

Heat oven to 350°. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add in eggs and vanilla, beat well. Combine flour and baking soda and add bit by bit to the butter mixture. Mix well. Stir in oats and cinnamon chips.

Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Don’t overdo the scoops, the cookies will spread when baking. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size. Cookies will be browned on edges and mostly set in the center. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on a wire rack. Best eaten warm or within a couple days.

Recipe from Hershey’s

Enjoy!

– Erin

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Hello chocolaty little crinkle cookies.  Aren’t you cute!

Crinkle Chocolate Cookies

What? You want me to be your Valentine? Ok.

Mexican Chocolate Cookie

Oh, you’re spicy? That is a nice little secret.

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Nom nom nom.

Spicy Chocolate Cookies

This relationship was pretty one-sided.  But tasty.

Well apparently I’ve sunk to a new low, having conversations with food. Am I starved for attention? Maybe.

Cupid’s holiday will be here pretty soon. If you want to get attention from your significant other, try giving him or her these cookies. 🙂

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

  •  2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon for mix, 1 tsp for coating
  • 1/2 tsp ground smoked chipotle chili for mix, 1/2 tsp for coating

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine flour, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and chili in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until pale and fluffly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides or bowl and mix in the eggs one at a time.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture, beat until combined.

In small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of  sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp chili. Scoop out dough by the tablespoonful and roll into balls. Roll the bowls in the sugar mixture to coat. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, give 2 inches room between each ball, and bake for 4 minutes. Rotate the trays and bake for another 4 to 6 minutes. Don’t over-bake or these get to crunchy. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

*Note: The original recipe calls for 2 tsp cream of tartar. I’ve made it that way and using only 1 tsp tartar. I preferred using less because the cookies got less puffy and were more chewy, which I prefer.  However, my coworkers all loved the cookies made with 2 tsp so I think it is personal preference!

Enjoy!

– Erin

Original recipe from Martha Stewart’s 2010 Holiday cookie magazine

Russian Mint Cookies

Usually I reach for my recipe box for old family favorites or Martha Stewart’s 2010 Christmas cookie magazine special (totally awesome, best selection ever!) but I saw these in last week’s Washington Post and fell in love.

Russian Mint Cookies

When I pulled these out of the oven, they looked really fugly and I was concerned. Unless it is a sugar cookie decorated by your apple-cheeked 6-year-old niece, there is no place for ugly cookies at Christmas.

Standards people, get some. 😉

Drizzling these with some peppermint glaze really helped perk the cookies up.

Russian Mint Cookies

My only complaint with this recipe is the dough is very crumbly- almost like there is too much flour. I would take out 1/3 cup or so next time.

IMG_3450

Overall the mint flavor was awesome and the cookie was sweet and chewy, I will make them again!

Russian Mint Cookies

For the cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract (or more to taste)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp peppermint extract
  • food coloring of choice
  • 4 tbl heavy cream

For the cookies: Combine the sugar, water and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in the peppermint extract and egg.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 baking sheets with nonstick cooking oil spray.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled syrup mixture. Roll teaspoons of dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheets. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the balls just slightly.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, just until the cookies are slightly golden and the tops have cracked a little.

While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, peppermint extract, food coloring, if using, and enough of the cream to create a thin glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies while they’re still on the baking sheets. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

Enjoy!

– Erin

Christmas Holly

Oh, by gosh, by golly, it’s time for mistletoe and holly. Thanks for the intro Frank, these treats deserve it. 🙂

Christmas Holly

Sticky, gooey, marshmallowy Christmas holly. Nom nom nom.

Christmas Holly

This recipe is first up on my list of oldie-but-goodie family recipes that I break out every Christmas. These treats are really easy to make- one pot on the stovetop is all it takes!

Don’t these add a lovely pop of color to Santa’s Christmas Eve cookie plate? He’s coming soon, stop reading this and go get in the kitchen!! 😉

Cookies for Santa

Red decorators frosting made the ‘berries’ on this holly treat, but you can go with Red Hot cinnamon candies if you wish.

Christmas Holly

  • 1 stick (1/4 lb) butter
  • several tablespoons green food coloring*
  • 35 large marshmallows (standard package)
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • red frosting or red cinnamon candies

In a large pot, melt butter and marshmallows together, stirring often. Once smooth, add in vanilla and food coloring, stir. Dump in the cornflakes 2 cups at a time and mix well to coat. Drop by the tablespoon full onto greased, wax paper. Dot the holly with red candies while hot, or, wait until cooled and dot with red frosting to make berries.

Enjoy!

– Erin

*Note: You will need to use A LOT of food coloring, it almost seems like an unholy amount. But if you want a nice, deep green, don’t hold back!

Chocolate-Toffee Cake Batter Cookies

Sometimes, you just want need a cookie or two.  A big, chewy and chocolaty cookie.

Warm chocolate + Crunchy toffee= Heaven

I understand, I’m here for you. I have a cookie recipe for you…come follow me, read on:

Recently a fellow coworker [and reader of my blog 🙂 Hi] was chatting with me about making cookies out of boxed cake mix.  Making a cake from a box mix was somewhat of an aberration in my house growing up, so I wasn’t very familiar with this idea but I was intrigued. Could this satisfy my cookie craving?

It could, and it was awesome.

Aside from tasting like a chocolate cookie party in your mouth, this recipe is really easy and it makes a baker’s dozen. That means you can eat one cookie warm, straight out of the oven, and still have a dozen cookies left!  No one will be the wiser!  But try and eat just one, it’ll be hard 😉

Cake Batter Cookies (approx 13 cookies)

  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate cake mix*
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (I used Heath Bits ‘0’-Brickle)


Heat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking soda. Then add the egg, vegetable oil and toffee bits. Stir until combined, the dough will be pretty thick. You can alternate stirring and smushing the dough with the spatula to incorporate the toffee bits if needed.

Scoop up the dough one tablespoon at a time and roll into balls just over 1 inch wide.

Place on lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Slightly cool the cookies on the sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.

To bad we don’t have smell-o-vision, because this just baked cookie scent is amazing

Enjoy!

*Note: This is half of a 16.5 ounce box of cake mix. You can save the other half in an airtight container to use at a later date (I have another recipe coming!). You could try doubling this recipe, but I haven’t tried that and cannot vouch for it.

Daily Question: Do you have any novel uses for boxed cookie or cake mix?

– Erin 🙂