Fluffier Chocolate Chip Cookies

I tried a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that includes a bit of cornstarch in it.  I also used unsalted margarine instead of butter since my grandson may have a dairy allergy.  The cookies came out soft and fluffy and delicious.

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks unsalted Fleishmann’s margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1 extra large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 scant teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix margarine in mixer till quite soft.  Add sugars and beat till fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and mix till fluffy.  Add dry ingredients just until blended.  Add chocolate chip cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees till just beginning to brown around the edges.

Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies taste very close to regular chocolate chip cookies.  I’ve made them a few times, and they are really good.

  • 1 1/4 cups matzoh cake meal (sift after measured)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (eliminate to make totally kosher for Passover)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (scant teaspoon if using salted butter)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (may substitute margarine)
  • scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 12 oz. package of semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cake meal , baking soda, and salt in bowl; set aside.  Beat butter in mixer till fluffy. Add sugars and vanilla; beat until creamy.  Add eggs, and beat.  Slowly beat in cake meal mixture, and mix only until blended.  Stir in chips by hand.

Drop by tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake 9 to 11 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

Homemade Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been making homemade chocolate chip cookies forever.  I have definitely made more batches of these cookies than any other of my recipes.  The reason I made and still make them so often is because I love seeing the reaction of my kids when they realize this treat is coming.  As soon as the cookies are out of the oven and on the cooling rack, I call my kids into the kitchen with “The chocolate chip cookies are ready!”  Then they come bounding out of their rooms (yes, still at 24 years old for Danny and 21 years old for Benji), they grab plates, and then they very carefully select somewhere between 4 and 6 of what they consider the perfect ones.  Sometimes they fight over which cookies they want.  Then they sit down in front of the TV to eat their cookies.  The expressions on their faces are worth a million dollars to me.  Benji makes sounds and his eyes just say it all.  Danny just eats more quietly, but loves them just as much.  As Randi is in her own house, she gets them the next day, but loves them just as much.  In fact, Randi usually begs me NOT to make them in the interest of her health and figure. I love it all!  When my children were growing up, these cookies were a staple in our house.  I often would make up the batter, and bake one or two batches of cookies, and then refrigerate the remaining batter in a tupperware container. Then I could make a fresh batch of cookies every night until the batter ran out, and my children just loved eating them right out of the oven.  There really is nothing like a warm homemade chocolate chip cookie. Here are the recipes I have made over the years:

Standard Toll House Variety:

  • 2 sticks butter (unsalted)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon  salt (if your butter or margarine are salted, decrease to 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (I sometimes throw a pinch of baking powder in too)
  • 1 12 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips

OR

Same as above except increase light brown sugar to 1 cup and decrease granulated sugar to 1/2 cup

OR this one- which is perfect for baking in a 9 x 13 pan for some yummy chocolate chip squares:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter or margarine or a mixture of both (I use butter)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 extra large or jumbo egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (add a little more salt if using unsalted butter or margarine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 12 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips (I used about 10 oz. on Sept. 7, 2015)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream room temperature butter or margarine in mixer with paddle attachment, food processor with metal blade, or by hand.  Then add sugars and cream till fluffy.  Add egg or eggs, and vanilla, and mix till fluffy.  Add flour, baking soda (and powder), salt  on very low speed or by pulsing in processor, just till blended.  Mix in chocolate chips by hand.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined or greased cookie sheets about 7-9 minutes until just browned around the edges and till the tops of cookies appear dry.  Let cool for a minute, and transfer to cooling racks.  Store in ziploc bags at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

For chocolate chip squares, grease a nonstick 9 by 13 pan with butter (sides and bottom) and spread the batter evenly over bottom of the pan.  Bake for about 20-25 min. till nicely browned (not too dark!) all over.  Cool and cut into 24 squares.

Note:  You can use as much batter as you like, and just refrigerate the rest for up to a week and a half.

Another note:  I saw a video of Martha Stewart Chocolate Chip Cookies 101, and she uses my first variation under the recipe on top, the one changing the light brown sugar to 1 cup and the granulated sugar to 1/2 cup, but she uses all butter which I often do,  she uses 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, with everything else remaining the same, so I may try that next time and see how they come out.

Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan, And Coconut Cookies

I combined a few of my kids’ favorite ingredients and came up with a yummy recipe for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.  I used pecans in this recipe, but walnuts could be substitued.  I also used some white whole wheat flour, which you could either increase or decrease.  I am trying to “healthify” some of my recipes, and I really don’t know if it makes a difference with all of these very fattening ingredients!  These cookies are delicious at room temperature, but they taste really good when you eat them frozen, too.

  • 2 sticks unsalted or salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons kosher salt (If I am using salted butter,  I reduce this to 1  teaspoon)
  • 1 cup unbleached flour (I use King Arthur unbleached organic flour)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur Organic White Whole-Wheat Flour)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 heavy cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Beat butter with sugars in electric mixer till fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix.  Stop mixer.  Dump in flours, then pour your baking soda and salt right on top of your flours. Then on lowest speed, mix JUST until blended.  By hand,  fold in oats, coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips. 

Drop dough onto prepared cookie sheet using a small spoon so that your cookies aren’t too big.  You can fit about 16 cookies on your sheet.  Refrigerate remaining dough in between batches. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 7-10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.  Take out of oven; let set for a minute, transfer to wire rack to cool.  Repeat with remaining dough.  You can bake one or two dozen, and save remaining dough in fridge in a good tuperware container for about a week if you wish, or you can bake all of the cookies, and freeze a bunch of them.  This recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies.

*Here’s a great trick!  To avoid a step, I measure my flour, then pour it right into my kitchen aid bowl,  then I measure my baking soda and salt and drop it right on top of the flour in the bowl.  Then I turn the mixer on to low, and start mixing the dry ingredients.  This way, I don’t have to first measure my dry ingredients into a separate bowl. 

**  You can exchange more white flour for the whole wheat, or you can try exchanging more whole wheat flour for the white flour.     

Miniature Pecan Or Walnut Tarts

You Will Love These Miniature Pecan Or Walnut Tarts!  

These are like miniature pecan pies.  The filling of these cookies is so delicious, and the crust is the best; it’s a rich cream cheese and butter crust.  These  little tarts are nice to use when you are creating your own assortment of cookies for a dessert platter.

 This recipe makes 24 miniature pecan or walnut tarts.

for the dough:

  • 3 ounces very cold Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup(1 stick) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch granulated sugar

for the filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together the filling ingredients by hand in a medium mixing bowl; set aside. 

Make dough in bowl of food processor using the metal blade.  Put the flour, salt, and sugar in bowl and pulse one or two times.  Then cut cold butter and cream cheese into tablespoon size pieces and distribute over the flour mixture in food processor.  Pulse until comes together as a ball.  Flatten a little bit to make a round disk, cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Take out 2 miniature muffin tins.  Break off 24 small pieces of  dough.  Take each piece of dough and place them into the muffin tins.  Then, use your thumb or forefinger to press each piece of dough so that you make a crust that lines the bottom and sides of each muffin space. Use about a teaspoon to fill each crust with the filling.  Use up all of the filling. 

Bake about 30 minutes until crust is browned.  Cool on wire racks.  Serve or freeze in ziploc bags.

My Favorite Chanukah Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for buttery, sugary cut out Chanukah cookies.  When my son Benji was going to Hebrew School, he made these cookies in his class.  I got the recipe from his Hebrew school teacher.  I loved and still love making these cookies with my three children.  It was actually one of the few recipes I enouraged them to help me with.  I sometimes let my children roll the dough out and cut out the shapes with the Chanukah cookie cutters.  Then I always let them decorate the cookies.  They really went to town decorating their cookies with different colored sugar.  When the cookies came out of the oven, they each kept their own cookies.  It was so cute.  Their favorite shapes were the menorah, the dreidle, and the Jewish star.  The sad thing for me today was that I made a batch of these cookies all by myself.  It just wasn’t the same.  I  still have one third of the dough left, and I’m planning on forcing my son Danny, who is 22 years old and still lives with me, to make that last batch of cookies with me, and I will absolutely insist that he decorate the cookies too.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine (I use Fleischmann’s salted margarine) at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar (on 12/2011 I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup which turned out great)

1 extra large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt (if using unsalted butter which as of 12/2011 is my preference)

1 teaspoon baking powder

Variety of different colored sugar (I use blue, pink, green, red, and yellow)

In bowl of food processor with metal blade or mixer with paddle attachment, cream margarine or butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and mix.  Add the flour, and sprinkle the baking powder and salt right over the flour.  Pulse until mixture comes together as a ball.  Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board or piece of wax paper.  Turn it a few times and flatten slightly.  Cut it into 3 equal sections.  Wrap each section in plastic wrap or wax paper, and refrigerate at least one hour.

Take one piece of dough out or refrigerator.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.   Sprinkle a little flour on a sheet of wax paper.  Sprinkle some flour on top of the flour.  Roll out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out shapes.  Transfer the cut out shapes onto the cookie sheet.  Reroll the leftover scraps and cut out additional shapes.  Transfer to the cookie sheet.  Then sprinkle the cookies with the sugar to your liking.  Bake for about 10 minutes until the cookies just start to brown around the edges.  Cool on a wire rack.

Repeat process with rest of dough.  You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Judy’s Melt in Your Mouth Jam Diagonal Cookies

Of all my cookie recipes I bake, this recipe is my daughter Randi’s favorite.  She loves them.  I like to make a batch of these cookies, wrap them up in aluminum foil, and deliver them to her as a loving care package.  She puts them in her freezer, and then takes one, two, or three out for a night time treat.  What makes these cookies special is the delicious, melt in your mouth, rich flavor of the cookie dough combined with the yummy jam. And these cookies look as good as they taste!

for the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine at room temperature (these cookies come out best if you use Fleischmann’s salted margarine)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • scant 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 of 1 extra large egg yolk
  • about 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (Minute Maid lemon juice is just as good as fresh)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • jam or preserves (I use seedless raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry)

for the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of water (You can substitute a drop or two of lemon juice for some of the water)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large cookie sheet with butter or margarine, or put a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.

In food processor fitted with the metal blade (you can do this in an electric mixer, too), cream margarine with sugar, then add vanilla and lemon juice, and pulse to mix. 

Add flour and salt.  Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.  If it is too wet to come together, add another tablespoon of flour.  Dump the dough onto a floured piece of wax paper or plastic wrap or onto a floured board. Divide the dough into 3 sections, quickly make each one into a ball, and wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.  When you are ready to bake, take out one section of the dough.  Sprinkle a little flour on a board or counter.  Using your hands, roll the dough into a rope about 9-12 inches long.  It should be about 1  inch or so in diameter.  Then place the rope of dough on the parchment paper on your cookie sheet going horizontally.  Using your index finger, make a 1/2 inch hollow down the center of the rope.  Do not flatten the indentation too much, because that will cause the cookie to  will fall apart when you slice it.  Try to build the dough up on either side of the hollowed our area.  You want to do this, because the jam is going in that tunnel you are creating, and if the sides are not higher than the hollow, then the jam will run out.   

Fill the hollow with jam.  Repeat with the other two balls of dough.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until you can see that the edges are golden brown, but not burned!  Let these cool right on the cookie sheet.  When they are cool, make the glaze.  Blend the confectioners sugar and the water with a wire whisk until smooth.  If the mixture is too thin, add a little more sugar.  If you think it is too thick, then thin it out with a drop more of water or a drop of lemon juice.  It should not look too watery.  Take a spoon, put some glaze in it, and just drizzle the glaze over the logs so they look pretty.  Let the glaze set for about 20 minutes.  Then, using a sharp knife, slice the cookies slightly on the diagonal about 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick.  Transfer them carefully with a metal spatula to your serving plate.  You can make these in advance as they freeze well.  If you are doing this, then transfer the cookies using a metal spatula to a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap them up, and put them in a ziploc freezer bag.

Note:  The last time I made these, I used amazing jam which I bought in the supermarket, called Bonne Maman  Four Fruits Preserves which is a combination of raspberries, strawberries, red currants, and cherries.  The jam diagonals tasted incredible!

Judy’s Delectable Purim or Anytime Hamantaschen or Hamentashen

Triangle-Shaped Cookies with Jam in the Center

 Of all of my cookie recipes, this is probably my favorite one.  This was a recipe that I developed when my daughter Randi was going to  the wonderful Solomon Schechter Day School in Marlboro, New Jersey sometime around 1990.  Randi brought home a typed sheet of recipes for the Jewish holiday of Purim on a piece of pink paper from school (I still have and treasure that pink piece of paper).  I started experimenting with one of the recipes for hamantashen on the sheet.  I made some changes, including adding a touch of orange juice to the recipe.  I played with that recipe until it was perfect.  Back in those years, I loved the tradition on the holiday of Purim of putting together Shalach Manos (gifts of food), and delivering them to a few of my friends and family.  My gift platters always had some of my homemade chocolate chip cookies, some Hershey’s Kisses, and of course my homemade hamantaschen. My friends and family looked forward to receiving my homemade hamantaschen, but noone loved my hamantaschen more than Randi, Danny (my son), and, Nana (my mother).  My youngest son Benji only ate the hamantascen if I put chocolate chips in the center.  Every year as the holiday of Purim approaches, my children and my mother start asking me if I’m making my hamantaschen.   I try never to disappoint them.  Please, try this recipe.  I know that if you do, you will agree that the flavor of these cookies is out of this world!

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pre-sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Fleischmann’s salted margarine at room temperature(if you keep your margarine in the freezer, just take it out, cut it into smallish pieces, and pulse it in processor, it will work just fine)
  • 1 extra large egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup scant  pure orange juice not use from concentrate (scant means a little less than)
  • jam or preserves (I usually use a variety of flavors, but my favorites are raspberry, strawberry, peach, cherry, blueberry, or apricot)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Either grease your cookie sheet with margarine or use a sheet of parchment paper.  I like to grease the pan, because I like how they come out with the bottoms and edges being a little browned, but using the parchment paper makes the job much easier.

Combine the dry ingredients- the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.

In bowl of food processor fitted with the metal blade (or alternately using a hand held mixer or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream margarine with sugar- if your margarine is frozen, just pulse it first.  Add the egg and vanilla, and pulse until blended.  Add the orange juice and pulse until blended.

Add dry ingredients all at once.  Pulse until a ball forms.  If the dough is too wet, and it won’t form a ball, add a little more flour, 1 or 2 tablespoons.  Dump the ball of dough out on a lightly floured board or table and flatten it slightly so that you can divide it into 3 sections.  Form each section into a flattish round disk, around an inch or so high.  Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or wax paper.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Take one disk out of refrigerator.  I usually do this on a sheet of wax paper.  Sprinkle some flour on the wax paper.  Put the disk of dough on the wax paper.  Turn the disk over.  Sprinkle some more flour on the wax paper before you put the dough back down.  The idea is to make sure that the dough  will not stick to the paper or your board.  Then roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass (I use a glass that has a diameter of about 2 1/2 to 3 inches), press down to make your circles.  Gather scraps and reroll them to make additional circles.  Transfer the circles of dough using a metal spatula onto your prepared cookie sheet spaced about 2 inches apart.  Put about a teaspoon of jam or preserves in the center of each circle.  Then bring the sides up and squeeze together to make your triangle-shaped cookies.  Pinch dough tightly enough so the seams are no longer visible and the sides are taught enought o prevent the cookies from leaking the filling as they bake.   You will get about 1 dozen or so cookies out of the one third of the dough.

Bake about 25-30 minutes until the hamentaschen are browned around the edges.  Let them cool a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.  Store them in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days.

Note:  You can use one third of the dough, and then leave the remaining dough in the refrigerator for a few days, and make the rest of the hamentaschen later.  Make sure you put your leftover dough which is already wrapped in plastic wrap or wax paper in a ziploc bag to keep it fresh.

Melt in Your Mouth Lacy Oatmeal Cookies

When I was in high school, I was very friendly with a girl named Susan.  Her mother made melt in your mouth cookies that I loved. Of course, I got the recipe from her.  I was surprised when I realized that oatmeal was a main ingredient, because I  really didn’t taste the oatmeal in them.  When I make a big assortment of cookies for a party, I like to make these.  But because they are so delicate, they need a plate just for themselves. 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more for dipping
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon if you are using salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  On very low speed, add flour and salt.  Then on low speed, add oats and vanilla.

Grease cookie sheet with butter or margarine.    Put about 1/4 cup of granulated sugar on a small plate.  Then drop batter by teaspoons on cookie sheet , 4 to a row.  Grease the bottom of a glass with butter or margarine.  Then dip the glass into the granulated sugar on the plate and then press the sugar coated glass down on the cookie dough so that the cookies are about 1/4 inch high.  Repeat dipping the  glass in sugar and and flattening the cookie dough. 

Bake cookies about 8 -10 minutes until they are lightly browned around the edges.  Let them rest of the cookie sheet for a minute.  Then gently transfer them to a cooling rack.  Sift a light coating of confectioner’s sugar over them while they cool.  You may need to sift sugar over them a second time if the sugar melts in the first time.  You want to be able to see  a light dusting of the confectioner’s sugar on the cookies.