My friend Clarissa is an amazing cook and mother. (I wish I had a picture of her cooking!) She has five children, here are her two girls, and when you have that many kids you have to know how to cook. She doesn't like to bake though. I needed someone to make the favors for the shower and I knew she would do a great job. I wanted cookies as favors, I was thinking simple chocolate chip cookies in bags tied with brown ribbons. I had not really thought about it, so I gave her my idea and let her run with it. She surprised me by making three different kinds of cookies, and they were delicious! She said she wanted something simple with very few ingredients, well these were great!
*2 cups butter
*1 cup packed brown sugar
*4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 tsp almond extract (FYI: I love almond extract!)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
2. Cream Butter, brown sugar and almond. Add 3 - 3 3/4 cups flour. Mix Well.
3. Sprinkle board with the remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 3x1 inch strips. Prick with fork and place on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.
Gooey Butter Cookies-( I personally didn’t like these cookies but the husband and the boys loved them..go figure, this is Clarissa's note!)
Only changes-you can change the yellow cake mix to a scratch one and used palm sugar.
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 egg
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
• 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended. Roll into 1inch balls and roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.
Clarissa said that she used granulated palm sugar to roll the cookies in, and she used a yellow cake mix. I bet these would be delicious with lemon, orange, or chocolate cake mixes!
These next cookies are absolutely scrumptious! She made them with carob chips, but carob chips are very expensive so she made her own! She made the carob chips a few days in advance so that she wouldn't have to worry about them later, she kept them in the freezer.
Homemade carob chips/bark
• 1 cup coconut oil, liquefied
• 2/3-3/4 cup carob powder
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• stevia, to taste (or other sweetener)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl/saucepan.
Pour the mix into a rectangular baking dish lined with a sheet of wax or parchment paper. The size of the dish will depend on how thick you want your chips to be.
Put the dish into the freezer to set. It shouldn't take very long; maybe 20 minutes or less.
Take out baking dish and break carob into chips/chunks. Store them in the fridge.
No bake oat bars-only change is I used palm sugar and carob
• 1 cup butter
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 cups quick cooking oats
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
1. Grease a 9x9 inch square pan.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended. Press half of mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Reserve the other half for topping.
3. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon.
4. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.
I asked Clarissa if she had any hints about making these cookies. Here is her answer:
"For the carob chips, I hardened them in the freezer and melted them for the cookies….had to do it that way because I was making the chips way before the cookies AND I wanted to eat it like bark, yummy."
"With these 3 cookies, I mixed up the shortbread first and threw it in the oven….at the same time making up the gooey recipes, then moving on to the no bake last…so I was easily able to make 3 different recipes at the same time(not counting making the carob chips earlier)"
Thanks Clarissa for the yummy recipes, the favors were a hit, even though poor Siouxsie didn't get any!
Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about these cookies!