Category Archives: Cookies

Banana Pudding Cookie Cake

Banana Pudding Cookie Cake​

By now, you all know I love a cookie cake. I mean, what’s not to love about a giant shareable cookie with a frosted edge?!

Banana Pudding Cookie Cake​

I’ve made all the classic flavors at this point: chocolate chip, double chocolate, red velvet, Funfetti. They are all wonderful, but sometimes I want a cookie cake that’s a little more…niche. Like one that tastes exactly like the signature banana pudding cookies from my favorite bakery in New York City.

As Shakespeare said, specificity is the soul of good baking. Or something like that.

Banana Pudding Cookie Cake​

You may notice that there isn’t any boxed pudding mix in this banana pudding dessert. Instead, the dough contains the three primary ingredients in instant pudding mix: sugar, cornstarch, and powdered milk. When combined with the banana, vanilla, and white chocolate, they perfectly mimic the flavor of classic banana pudding.

Banana Pudding Cookie Cake​

This Banana Pudding Cookie Cake is a dreamy dessert year-round, but is somehow especially good in summer. I mean, think about it. Banana pudding is a classic summertime dessert, right? Well, take all that banana-vanilla loveliness, add some white chocolate chips, and bake it into a giant cookie. Finish it off with a vanilla buttercream border, then slice it up and prepare to be both shocked and delighted that it tastes *exactly* like the best cookies in NYC…which taste *exactly* like banana pudding.

Banana Pudding Cookie Cake​
Banana Pudding Cookie Cake
makes 1 9-inch round cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
~1 1/2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips + more for topping

For decoration:
Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)
white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter. Line the bottom with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, non-fat dry milk powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together melted butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk in egg, followed by mashed banana and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, then fold in 1 cup white chocolate chips. Transfer dough to prepared pan and spread into one even layer. Bake 28-30 minutes, or until the top is no longer jiggly & a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs (not batter). Top with more white chocolate chips for aesthetics, if desired.

Let cookie cake cool completely in the pan on a rack. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan before inverting the cake onto the rack. Revert onto a serving plate. Decorate with Vanilla Buttercream and sprinkles as desired.

Decorated cake will keep at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Vanilla Buttercream
makes enough for 2 dozen cookie cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in confectioner's sugar in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla. Add heavy cream by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.

How to pipe: Stand a piping bag fitted with a coupler and star tip in a tall cup and fold any bag overhang over the outside. Use a silicone spatula or spoon to “load” 1/3-1/2 of the buttercream into the bag. Unfold bag overhang and lift piping bag out the cup.

Press frosting toward the tip. Twist bag overhang closed and hold tight between your thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand, letting the main portion of the bag be held by your palm and remaining fingers. Use your non-dominant hand to tap the bag a couple of times to dislodge any air bubbles. Pipe a dab or two of frosting onto a surface or small plate, just to get the buttercream going in the right direction.

Pipe a buttercream border onto the cookie cake, refilling the bag if/when necessary.

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Nutella Sandwich Cookies​

I promised you new Nutella recipes almost two months ago, and I am finally delivering in the form of the cutest, tiniest, most delicious Nutella Sandwich Cookies you ever did see.

Made with a buttery hazelnut sugar cookie dough and filled with a spoonful of Nutella, these are completely irresistible. Their texture isn’t crunchy or hard, so Nutella won’t squidge out the sides when you take a bite, but they are still sturdy enough to stack—it’s a little difficult to explain, but it’s so good.

I suppose the best endorsement I can give these Nutella Sandwich Cookies is that I have not shared even one with any of my friends or acquaintances, which is remarkable when you consider that the batch size falls around 8 dozen!

Nutella Sandwich Cookies​

I’ll be the first to admit it: 8 dozen is a lot of cookies. But hear me out. Making sandwich cookies is a whole production, so you might as well make a ton at once to get your energy’s worth, right?! Also, they’re teeny tiny—1 1/2 inches in diameter, smaller than an Oreo. I can easily put away three or four at a time. If you’re still concerned, know that Nutella Sandwich Cookies keep for a while—longer than a week—so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling.

Honestly though, I don’t think you’ll have a whole lot of trouble putting these away. I mean, I’m over here by my lonesome and I’m managing just fine.

Nutella Sandwich Cookies​
Nutella Sandwich Cookies
makes about 8 dozen small cookies

Cookie Dough:
2/3 cup whole raw hazelnuts
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Assembly:
~1 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350F. Scatter hazelnuts on a dry rimmed sheet pan. Let toast for 5-7 minutes. Remove pan to a rack and turn off oven. Let hazelnuts cool to room temperature; no need to peel.

When hazelnuts are room temperature, add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a fine meal forms—do not over process or you’ll have hazelnut butter.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Divide dough into quarters, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Take one quarter of chilled dough at a time, roll it to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut cookies with a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place cut cookies an 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 6-7 minutes, until no longer raw-looking. Let cookies cool on the pans for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with any remaining dough.

If not sandwiching immediately, store cookies in an airtight container for up to a couple of days.

To assemble sandwich cookies, place half the baked cookies on a surface bottom-side-up. Spoon or pipe about 1/2 teaspoon of Nutella on each cookie before gently topping with another cookie, bottom-side-down. Repeat until all cookies have been filled.

Cookies may be eaten immediately, but I like to let them sit in a single layer for a bit so that the cookies soften slightly against the Nutella; this way the cookie stays intact when you bite in.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.

Cookies & Cream Cookies

Cookies & Cream Cookies

Oreo turned 110 last week, but that’s not the reason I made these Cookies & Cream Cookies.

Cookies & Cream Cookies

No, I made them just because I like cookies & cream, and because I do my best to never be too far from a family size pack of Oreos. I’m not in the business of telling people how to live their lives, but I do endorse that as a lifestyle choice.

If you’re thinking “but why did you put Oreos in cookies when they are already cookies themselves?” Well, that is also a lifestyle choice that I endorse. Cookies in cookies is the kind of energy that I’m bringing in 2022.

Cookies & Cream Cookies

Cookies & Cream Cookies are so good, with irregular chunks of Oreo and white chocolate chips folded into my favorite soft sugar cookie dough. They bake up tall and thick, with tender centers and golden undersides. While the Oreos in these cookies won’t retain their crispness, their flavor and magnificent dark color are all over the place—they meld in here perfectly.

Cookies & Cream Cookies

If you’d like a crisper cookies & cream treat, check out these fabulous blondies. Or better yet, make time for the cookies and the blondies. Now that is my kind of lifestyle choice.

Cookies & Cream Cookies
Cookies & Cream Cookies 
makes about 2.5 dozen cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
16 Oreos (regular or DoubleStuf), cut into quarters
1/2 cup white chocolate chips + more for topping

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in granulated and light brown sugars. Mix in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating until combined. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in chopped Oreos, followed by 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

If chilled longer than a few hours, let dough sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes for easier scooping.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Scoop chilled dough in 2 tablespoon increments, and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes, until puffy. Once out of the oven, dot the tops with additional white chocolate chips, if desired.

Let cookies cool on baking sheets for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat process with any remaining dough, letting the baking sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Cookies will keep extremely well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints

Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints

Have I made icing thumbprints on here before? Sure have! But I’ve never made them vegan and gluten-free, probably because I didn’t have a great vegan, gluten-free cookie base yet.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints

But, as you might have guessed, I do now. On my never-ending quest to feed all my various people, I spent a good chunk of the holiday season figuring out a dairy- and egg-free almond flour dough that works for a multitude of cookie applications. So far, I’ve made some stellar gingerbread and linzers that taste shockingly close to the real deal, and I’ve got all sorts of variations ready to be doled out as the need arises (as it has today).

Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints

While using this dough for a completely different cookie recipe last week, it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked to see if it would make good thumbprints. My traditional sugar cookie recipe thumbprints (using it as a verb) like a dream with a tiny adjustment, but would this one?

Well, yes. Yes, it would. It does! And with no adjustment at all, which is a dang delight. These cookies bake up somewhere between crisp and chewy and are sturdy enough to hold up against all that icing. What can I say? With a quality base recipe, I am unstoppable. Unstoppable and full of cookies.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints

As for the filling, don’t you love these little wells of colorful icing? Say what you want about food coloring, but you can’t deny its cheer factor. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I went with a vibrant pink and red motif for these, but do whatever makes you happy! I imagine that a display of these in team colors would make for a very festive Super Bowl dessert.

That said, if you’re making these for any occasion, please invite me.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints
Vegan, Gluten-Free Icing Thumbprints
makes about 2.5 dozen cookies

Cookie Dough:
3 cups blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup or light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Icing:
1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar, divided
pinch of salt
2 vegan gel or liquid food colorings of choice
2-3 tablespoons (6-9 teaspoons) unsweetened non-dairy milk, divided

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium-large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat vegan butter until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add sugar and confectioner’s sugar and beat until fully combined (about 2 minutes). Beat in maple syrup and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing completely after each addition. Dough may look rubbly, but should hold together extremely well when pinched.

Divide dough in two. Form each half into a disk, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Place oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 325F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll each int a ball. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. They may crack a bit—just smooth them with your fingers. If dough gets too warm and sticky, freeze for 10 minutes.

Bake cookies 13-14 minutes. Cookies are done when puffed and no longer wet-looking. When you remove the cookies from the oven, press the back of the small spoon (I use 1 teaspoon measuring spoon) into the centers again. Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with all remaining dough, letting the cookie sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Make the icing. Place 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar and tiny pinches of salt in each of two small bowls. Stir 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of non-dairy milk into each bowl. Add desired food colorings to the separate bowls. Whisk each with a fork until combined. Add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon until icings are very thick, but pourable.

Transfer icings to piping bags (or ziptop sandwich bags) twist them tight and snip off very small corners. Fill wells in cookies as desired.

You can serve the cookies almost immediately, but the icing won’t set to a non-drippy texture for a few hours. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. Place parchment or wax paper between layers for easiest storage.

One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie

This is a break from my regularly scheduled Savory January programming because I have a new One Big Cookie and it’s too good to wait to share.

One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie​

What’s a One Big Cookie, you ask? Why, it’s basically my favorite dessert: a recipe for exactly one cookie the size of my hand. It’s perfect for random dessert cravings, or when you want a dessert you don’t have to share (though you can if you’re kinder than I am).

One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie​

I’ve made several One Big Cookies over the last few years, so whether you’re into chocolate chip, chocolate M&Ms, snickerdoodle, oatmeal, or peanut butter cookies, there’s one to fit your tastes. Today’s has been a long time coming: One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie! It’s got all the buttery vanilla flavor and chewy texture you love in a classic sugar cookie, plus a ton of crunchy, colorful sprinkles. Truly, this is the cookie of my rainbow sprinkle dreams.

Just like all my other variations, this big cookie is measured in spoons and mostly mixed with a fork. Form the resulting soft dough into a ball, then press it into a puck before baking for optimal crinkly top formation. Crinkly cookie tops bursting with sprinkles are one of my love languages.

Basically anything with rainbow sprinkles is one of my love languages.

One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie​

That said, if you are one of those people who doesn’t like sprinkles, this recipe will work without them. I may fundamentally misunderstand you as a person, but you can still have a helluva sugar cookie all to yourself, and that’s what really matters here.

One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie​
One Big Sprinkle Sugar Cookie
makes 1 large cookie

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon water (not cold)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

Make the dough. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together melted butter and sugar. Mix in water and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk until a dough forms; a silicone spatula may be helpful here. Fold in sprinkles.

Use your hands to form dough into a ball. Place on parchment and use the heel of your hand to press down gently, just so that the dough is more of an inch-thick disk/puck and less of a ball.

Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the top is craggy and appears just slightly underdone.

Let cookie cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes before using a spatula to remove it to a plate. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.