Hey guys!

Today we’re making cookie bars, and if you haven’t tried making cookies in one giant sheet, now is the time to start. I’m not saying all cookies should be baked this way, but man, it’s SO much easier.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 1

Don’t get me wrong, the effect is slightly different when you bake them in one big sheet. You won’t get crisp edges around each cookie, for example, if that’s what you’re into. And sometimes that’s right for a cookie.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 2

But with these, you can bake the whole dang batch at once, with very little work, and without scooping out cookies and switching pans and baking 4 separate times. So that’s a pretty big take away. That being said, you can totally scoop and bake these cookies as well if that’s what you’re feelin.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 6

So, these cookies stem from a simple concept- I wanted chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate. I know, I know. Everyone loves chocolate, and me too, but sometimes you aren’t in the mood for chocolate. So here we are.

The browned butter kind of just kicks up the flavor on these. It’s only barely noticeable, but it’s worth it for the overall effect. It’s a very simple cookie, which means every little step counts. So we brown the butter. And let it cool back down to room temperature, which can take some time- go watch some TV while you wait or whatever.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 3

The espresso powder does not make these taste like coffee, so don’t be afraid of it if you aren’t into coffee flavors. It just pops out the other flavors in here, like the brown butter, and adds to the whole end result flavor, which I promise you’ll love!

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 7

Last, we’re sprinkling coarse salt over the top right when it comes out of the oven, which helps it stick to the cookies without baking in during the actual, well, baking time. The salt is just enough to make these bars totally addicting.

Brown Butter Cookie Bars 5

The rest is really simple, so I hope you guys enjoy this one- plus I hope it converts you to making cookie bars occasionally, I think it’s a great trick! Enjoy!

Brown Butter Cookie Bars

Servings 32 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter (plus water, as needed, see instructions)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. coarse salt (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, brown the butter over medium-high heat. This takes me about 10 minutes. Your butter should melt, become frothy and foamy, and eventually will start to brown on the bottom. Transfer to a heat-safe glass measuring cup. Add enough water to the hot butter to make 1 1/2 cups total liquid in the measuring cup. Cover, and let the mixture cool on your counter to room temperature, about an hour. 

  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12 by 18 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside. 

  4. In a large bowl, beat together the browned butter mixture, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients slowly, and beat until completely combined. 

  5. Scoop your dough onto your prepared baking sheet, and spread evenly. It should fill the entire sheet. Bake in your preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, or until the cookies have set around the edges and are just starting to become golden. Sprinkle the coarse salt over the cookies right after they come out of the oven. Cool in the sheet pan for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy! 

brown butter

Hey guys!

Still no baby haha!

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. Basically, people do a lot of really interesting things to make chocolate chip cookies extra special, and I rarely ever try any of them. And honestly, this is a really classic cookie, you don’t always need to do it fancy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Speaking of which, if you aren’t interested in fancy, here’s my traditional recipe for chocolate chip walnut cookies– they are super easy and fantastic too!

So, onto the fancier version. I took many of the tips used here from this video/article by Tasty, and it’s definitely worth a look. I wanted to apply some of these tips to my favorite recipe, and work from there. Here’s the things I tried, some from Tasty, some not:

  • Browned butter- to bring another layer of flavor in.
  • Espresso powder- it won’t taste like coffee, but it’ll make the chocolate pop.
  • Scooping and then chilling the dough before baking- this affects the butter solids.
  • Salt on top- I used coarse salt.
  • Chopping the chocolate- this allows the smaller shreds of chocolate to disperse throughout the dough.
  • Bread flour- to keep the cookies chewy.
  • Cornstarch- again, to keep the cookies chewy.

Anyways, there’s even more tips and tricks about this classic recipe out there, but those are the changes I made to my classic recipe. I’ve got thoughts. So basically, I definitely think there’s much to be said about using these tips and making the fancier version. The flavor is SUPER good, and it’s definitely more complex than the original.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

BUT, if you want cookies in a hurry, this just won’t cut it. When you add in the time it takes to brown and cool the butter, and chill the dough before baking, it takes far longer start to finish. Also, things I’m not sure make a big difference include the salt on top (probably a taste thing- if you add more, I bet it’s more noticeable), and the bread flour switch. Since I normally add cornstarch anyways, I’m not sure it really matters to use both.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 5

Here’s what I know for sure; there are a TON of recipes for chocolate chip cookies out there, and A LOT of them are great. It’s such a classic, and there’s so many variations that depending on your taste, you’re likely to find many versions that you truly love. For me, this is definitely a great one, as long as you’ve got the patience to work with it!

Enjoy!

Fancier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs. coarse salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, bread flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside. 

  2. To brown the butter, melt and cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown flecks start to appear all over, and then pour into a bowl to cool. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat the cooled browned butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, and water. Slowly add in the flour mixture until completely combined, and fold in the chocolate chunks, including any smaller flecks. 

  4. Scoop the dough into 2 tablespoon-full balls onto a baking sheet. You're going to chill these, so you can put them right next to each other. Sprinkle the coarse salt evenly over the top of all the dough. 

  5. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or longer. When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick sheets. Place the pre-scooped cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, and press down with the bottom of a glass until they are about 1/2 inch thick. 

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

fancier chocolate chip

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope yours is filled with baking and an already-clean house and absolutely no chores whatsoever. That is not what mine looks like, but man, we are gettin close to this baby comin’ around you guys.

Funfetti Shortbread 6

Today I’m sharing one of those recipes that just brings a smile to your face. And I mean, what recipe filled and covered in sprinkles isn’t like that? I have no idea.

Here’s what I love about shortbread cookies; they hold their shape, they don’t have any eggs so you can munch away on that cookie dough to your hearts content, and they are SUPER easy to make. There’s only 7 ingredients in the whole recipe you guys, and while you DO have to chill them for a bit, the rest requires minimal effort.

Funfetti Shortbread 5

We’re starting by beating up softened butter and powdered sugar until smooth, and then adding in vanilla and almond extracts for that flaaaavor. Beat in the flour, salt, and sprinkles, and you’ve got yourself a happy little bowl of cookie dough.

Funfetti Shortbread 1

Next, divide your dough into four even-ish sections, and roll each into a log that’s about 1 1/2-2 inches thick. Have some sprinkles poured into a baking sheet on hand, and roll the whole dang log in it. It’ll look something like this:

Funfetti Shortbread 2

Then comes the hard part- you have to wrap each log in plastic, and chill them for about an hour. I know it’s hard to wait guys, I get it, and I apologize. but it’s worth it, I promise.

Funfetti Shortbread 3

Plus, when the wait is over, you just have to slice up the logs and place each little disc onto a lined baking sheet. Bake ’em up, try not to eat them all, fail, and eat them all.

Funfetti Shortbread 4

P.S. If you’ve got someone who needs a little cheering up, this is where it starts you guys. Cookies. Sprinkle cookies that taste like cake and go down easy. It’s the real road to recovery. Enjoy!

Funfetti Shortbread 8

Sprinkle Slice and Bake Shortbread

Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles, for dough
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles, for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla and almond extract, flour, and salt, and beat together until a dough forms. Fold in the 2/3 cup sprinkles. 

  2. Pour your remaining sprinkles onto a clean baking sheet. Set aside. 

  3. Divide your dough into 4 even-ish sections, and roll each section into a log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. This does not have to be perfect. 

  4. Roll each log into your remaining sprinkles on the baking sheet, pressing the sprinkles into the dough. Then, wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

  5. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  6. Slice each log into cookies about 1/2 inch thick. Work through one log at a time, keeping the others chilled while you work, and place the cookies onto your baking sheet. They will not spread while baking, so they can be pretty close together. 

  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges have just barely started to become golden brown. Cool completely, and enjoy! 

Sprinkle Shortbread Cookies

Peanut butter cookies today guys, let’s do it.

I’ve been baking up a storm lately because I know I’m about to totally lose all my freetime in a few months when our little baby girl comes around. I’m both terrified and excited, seems legit at this point.

Peanut Butter Cookies 3

This is one of those classic recipes that always works, always pleases, and you’ll love the results. There’s a lot of recipes out there for peanut butter cookies that are more simple, even some 3 ingredient recipes. This is not one of those.

Peanut Butter Cookies 1

BUT the results are more hearty. When I want a cookie, I want something with a little crunch and texture on the outside, and a nice chew on the inside. These have all that, plus chocolate chips. Have I talked about how chocolate is basically health food? It is. Plus PB has tons of protein right? These cookies are basically health food.

Peanut Butter Cookies 2

This is actually a remake of one of my first cookie recipes on this blog, where I threw bacon into these cookies. P.S.- not my idea. I originally saw this recipe in an issue of Food Network Magazine.

Peanut Butter Cookies 5

Peanut butter cookies are indulgent. The flavors are strong, lightly sweet with just a hint of salt from the peanuts, and those pops of chocolate running throughout. Speaking of the chocolate though- it’s optional. I mean, it’s a great option, but optional nonetheless.

Peanut Butter Cookies 7

Also, my coworkers requested this recipe for ages, so smiles were had all around when I finally made em and brought them to the office. As Elliott says, “Link in bio, cookies in office!”

Anyways, enjoy guys!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment or non-stick sheets. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the canola oil, butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. 

  4. Beat in the eggs, water, and vanilla extract. 

  5. Slowly add in the flour mixture, and beat until fully combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

  6. Scoop the cookie dough in two tablespoonfuls onto your baking sheet, and press down slightly. 

  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies have just started to become golden on the edges. Cool and enjoy!

Copy of blueberry

Hey guys!! It’s been awhile. Here’s why- 

A few weeks ago my best friend in the whole world got married to the man of her dreams. It was an incredible wedding, and also made for a very hectic few weeks! 

Final5

Also, I just spent an amazing week in Seattle at a conference with some of my favorite co-workers! The conference was so good, and I got to meet some of my SEO heroes, which was so exciting. 

Final1

Anywho, today I’m keeping things simple. I’ve only been back home from Seattle for a couple days, and somehow still feel exhausted, so I’m taking the easy road on this one. Still though, this recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket. 

Final2

Shortbread cookies are buttery, lightly sweet, and they don’t have any eggs which means a few things- one is that if you are out of eggs, it’s ok. Two is that if you’ve got kiddos, this dough is a bit more safe to eat raw, plus you can roll and cut it into shapes!

Final4

I feel like shortbread cookies are pretty elegant honestly. You can flavor them with anything- vanilla, lemon, almond, thyme, rosemary, honey- literally anything you like. I’ve chosen vanilla with a hint of lemon extract for this go around. 

Final3

Experiment with them, bake em up, enjoy em anytime guys! 

Buttery Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon extract, or the flavorings of your choice.
  • Beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms.
  • Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and chill for 30-45 minutes. (I know chilling dough sucks, but it does matter for this one, I promise!)
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick sheet.
  • Roll one half of the dough out to about 1/4 inch-1/2 inch thick, and cut into your desired shapes.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. Cool and serve!
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I have no original recipes to share with you guys today. I do, however, have wonderful news. This year, for the first time literally ever, I’ve made cookies that actually look presentable. Real talk, cookies are flippin difficult to decorate. 

Pinterest is full of like all these fantastic photos of amazing cookies that look like they were made by the best chefs in the world. And every single year, I try to make cookies that at least resemble these. And then I end up with messy, fairly horrifying situations. 

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This year, success. I used a lot of great recipes from other blogs out there, and baked way too many cookies, but I did get a good amount of them decorated and adorable. First off, here’s the recipes I used this year: 

All of these worked perfectly for me. I think the biggest thing was figuring out the right consistency for my icing, and having the patience to practice. I’m gonna confess something right now, and it’s serious. I actually am kind of bad at following recipes completely. Like I just want to add more vanilla to everything, and I never measure flour correctly because who has time for that. This is probably where the real icing problem was, not gonna lie. 

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My second tip- do it with friends. Seriously I made so many cookies, and it took longer than expected because I really just wanted them to look perfect, and I was EXHAUSTED by the end. Decorate with friends, it’ll help. 

Lastly, use the piping bags and the tips and the whole thing. Setup and cleanup are harder, but the entire rest of the decorating is soooo much easier. It’s worth it! I can’t tell you how much celebrating I did both inside my head, and out loud to other people when I got these babies right. 

Merry Christmas you guys!

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