Salted Oatmeal Tahini Cookies with Boozy Cherries and White Chocolate

Tahini Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, since I promised to have this recipe up last week and then totally dropped the ball (I’m the worst…..I know) – I’m going to keep today’s post short and simple. These Salted Oatmeal Tahini Cookies are quite possibly my new favorite cookie. First of all, they help fuel my out of control tahini addiction (I seriously cannot get enough of it!) and second of all, the flavor combo is AMAZING. There’s just something magical about the combination of tahini and cherries. They play off each other beautifully with the tart, sweetness of the cherries being the perfect balance to the nuttiness and earthiness of the tahini. And the white chocolate just adds a little extra sweetness to bring everything together.

There are a couple keys to this recipe. One is the bourbon soaked cherries. It takes a little extra forethought to soak them ahead of time, but trust me – it is sooooo worth it. It plumps up the cherries and adds a nice depth to the cookie. And you’re left over with some cherry infused bourbon, which is never a bad thing! The second key is using the best tahini you can find. It’s the star and base ingredient in this recipe, so please do not skimp. I’m partial to Soom and highly recommend seeking a jar out. It’s by far the best tahini I’ve ever had and is like 99.99% responsible for my newfound tahini addiction…..most of the time you can find me eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon (don’t judge me til you’ve tried it).

Alright, I promised a short post – so let’s get on to the recipe. Make them, love them, and PLEASE tell me all about it so I can eat vicariously through you…..cause I can’t have sugar or barley for another week and that makes me sad.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cowboy Cookies with Bourbon and Smoked Sea Salt

Cowboy Cookie with Bourbon and Smoked Sea Salt

Sharing is caring or at least that’s what they say. In most cases, I’m all about sharing – especially when it comes to food I’ve made. However, there are a couple areas in my life where sharing is a little harder. The first is french fries (there’s never enough!)…..and the second is recipes. Let’s be honest here, every baker or chef has at least one recipe they don’t want to share. That one recipe they’ll protect fiercely and keep to themselves. The recipe they’re most proud of and the thought of sharing it physically pains them. This one is mine……..

Ohhhhhh Cowboy Cookies. This cookie is my baby…..no joke. I developed it four years ago and it took me FOREVER. I’m talking dozens of different iterations and me eating a LOT of cookies to get them exactly how I wanted. It quickly became one of my best-selling items at the farmer’s market and has inspired a very loyal following of Cowboy Cookie crazed fans.

It started with a simple enough idea. I found an incredible hickory smoked sea salt that smelled just like a campfire and I wanted to create a cookie to use it in. The smoky fire smell of the salt conjured up images of cowboys sitting around a campfire at night telling stories and staring up at the stars (I have no idea if cowboys actually do this – but in my head they totally do). I wanted a tough cookie to go with this idea. A cookie that a bad ass cowboy/cowgirl could proudly eat. Basically, I wanted a cookie that would kick every other cookie’s ass.

I tried to think of ingredients that would compliment the smokiness of the salt. Brown butter was an obvious choice. As was bourbon…..because who doesn’t love a little booze in their baked goods?? Chocolate came into the mix, but not as just one chocolate BUT three different types (milk, dark, and semi-sweet). And since I love a little extra crunch and texture in my cookies – I figured why not throw some toasted almonds in there. I had all the components, but for some reason it just wasn’t doing it for me. The cookies were missing something and I couldn’t figure out what it was.

One day, I was drinking espresso and intensely staring down at the latest batch of cookies wondering, “Why won’t you work?!” and then it hit me…..I had an idea. To see if my hunch was right, I took a sip of my espresso and then a bite of a cookie. It was perfect. All the cookies needed was a little bit of instant espresso powder. They had been missing that backbone and one ingredient that melds everything together, which is exactly what espresso powder does. It’s kind of a magical ingredient. When added to recipes, you don’t necessarily taste the espresso. It just enhances all the other flavors and ties them together. With my missing piece in place, the cookies were finally everything I had hoped for.

Okay…..so now you know how long it took me to develop the recipe……and the slight internal struggle I had when deciding whether or not to share it. I seriously hope you love the cookies as much as I do!

Continue reading

Homemade Samoas

Homamade Samoas

We all have our favorite Girl Scout cookie. That one cookie we dream about all year long until cookie season finally arrives. For some it’s Thin Mints. For others it’s Tagalongs or Do-si-dos. But for me, it will always be Samoas. There’s just something about their caramelly, coconutty, chocolatey goodness that I can’t get enough of and I don’t know why. Now I’m sure there’s some sort of article or quiz that can tell me “What Your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie Says About You!”….and, actually, if there is one – can someone please send it to me?? Cause I legit want to know. Like is one cookie personality better than the other? And what does it mean if you’re Team Samoas and your husband is Team Thin Mints??? Oh man, this is going down a seriously strange tangent. I should probably get back on track……and obviously Google all these things later.

The biggest downside to Girl Scout cookies is that they’re only available a few months out of the year…..which is almost cruel. I mean they give us these delicious, irresistible cookies and then rip them away from us. Why would they do that?! Which means if you want to get your Samoas fix all year long – you only have two options: 1. Be that person who buys like 50 boxes and freezes them (which only works if you have insane self-control and don’t eat them all in the first month) or 2. Make your own at home. I’m a big proponent for option two. It might take more work, but let’s face it – homemade is always better. Which is why you’re here.

This recipe might look long and it does have a few steps, but it’s surprisingly easy. Especially if you break it up and make the cookies ahead of time. Like the originals, these Samoas have three basic components: a cookie base, a coconut caramel toppping, and a chocolate coating. The cookie base is a simple sugar cookie that’s rolled out and cut into 2-inch circles. You could go super traditional and cut out a hole in the middle of each cookie to create the “classic” Samoas shape, but it’s really not necessary. And no hole in the middle means there’s that much more room for the coconut caramel topping AKA the best part.

Thankfully, the coconut caramel topping is fast and easy to make. It’s just dulce de leche thinned out with a bit of heavy cream and with toasted coconut folded in. Either homemade or store bought dulce de leche is fine…..and yes, I know I said homemade is always better – but you’re making homemade Samoas so you get a pass on this one.

The part that takes the longest is assembling the cookies. It takes a little bit of patience to top each cookie with the coconut caramel and then coat the bottom of each one in chocolate……and then drizzle more chocolate on top. But it’s sooooooo worth it. Plus this recipe makes close to 36 cookies, so that should last you at least a couple days……right???

Continue reading

Cookies and Cream Cookies

Cookies n Cream 1

Random fact about me……I’m not the biggest fan of Oreo cookies. I’m not sure why, but Oreos just don’t do it for me. Here’s where it gets a little weird though – even though I don’t really like Oreos, I loooooove anything Cookies and Cream! It makes no sense, I know!! But man, if you put Oreos in just about anything (ice cream, donuts, cake….) I’m all over it. These cookies were inspired by my love for all things Cookies and Cream. They have both crushed and chopped Oreos in them and a little white chocolate and milk chocolate to balance out the flavor. The end result tastes like the perfect bowl of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream…..but in cookie form! Hope you guys like them as much as I do!

Continue reading

Best Ever Butterscotch Cookies for My Pops

front pic

Today is kind of a big day.  Today is what I like to (jokingly) call my Dad’s “Old Man Birthday.”  That’s right….today my Dad is turning 70 and Fiancé and I are in town to help him celebrate.  And yes, Boyfriend is now Fiancé and since I feel so weird and even a little pretentious typing out the word fiancé all the time – he will now be referred to as “Dude” (per his request).  So as I was saying, Dude and I made a special effort to make sure we were able to spend my Dad’s birthday with him.  For me, it was especially important to be there.  I mean this is the man who taught me how to bake and has in so many ways shaped the person I am today.  While most girls like to say, “I’m turning into my Mother” – the phrase you’re more likely to hear out of my mouth is, “Holy crap, I’ve turned into my Dad.”  I usually say this about once every couple of months to Dude, who whole heartedly agrees with my statement.

Continue reading

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dark Chocolate and Pecans

Today marks the first official day of Summer (best day ever), which means the hot sunny days of ice cream and BBQs are finally here.  Last week I was in Miami and had my first ice cream craving of the summer.  So I stopped by Whip N Dip (a staple for all born and raised Miami folks) and decided to buy an ice cream sandwich that was, no joke, the size of my face.  It was incredible.  I’m not sure if it’s because it was crazy hot outside or because it was the largest ice cream sandwich on the face of the earth, but I started wondering why I don’t make these more often.  When I was in college I used to make ice cream sandwiches all the time for my roommates and myself……….that could explain why we all weighed a good 5 to 10 pounds more back then.  To me, ice cream sandwiches are synonymous with Summer.  When I was a little kid, I used to love getting a Chipwich from the ice cream truck.  There was just something about those soft chocolate chip cookies and cold vanilla ice cream rolled in mini-chocolate chips that spoke to me.  It was and still is the perfect dessert for a long hot summer day.

Continue reading

What I’m Baking: Oatmeal Raisin Biscoff Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Biscoff Cookies

I had a few requests for the Biscoff Cookie recipe I mentioned in Monday’s post, so I figured I would go ahead and share it with you guys.  The original cookie I made was a Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Biscoff, but after tasting them I decided I wanted to make them into a more classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.  I thought it would be a better flavor combination and, personally, I prefer raisins over chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies.  I didn’t have any raisins on Monday hence the chocolate chips.  I tweaked the original recipe ever so slightly by adding in more Biscoff (because in my world you can never have too much Biscoff) and replaced the chocolate chips with rum soaked raisins and toasted walnuts.  After tasting the newly revamped cookie, I can tell you it’s even better than the original.  This one will definitely be going on The Earnest Baker menu.

A couple notes about the recipe.  Soaking the raisins in rum is an optional step, but if you have the time I highly suggest doing this.  It plumps up the raisins and makes them juicy and boozy and delicious.  Don’t worry, the cookies won’t taste like rum, but it will add a really lovely subtle note to the raisins and guarantees you won’t have dried out raisins in your cookies.  Toasting the walnuts is also an optional step, but I’m a firm believer in toasting nuts.  It brings out their flavor and it’s an easy touch that makes people feel like you went that extra mile (even though it’s ridiculously simple).  If you want to see the difference toasting makes, try toasting some nuts and comparing them to raw ones.  It will make you a believer.

My technique to make cookies is a little different.  In fact, I do some things that some people will specificially tell you not to do.  I’ve always made my cookies this way though and it’s how I get the exact texture and chewiness I like.  Oddly enough, when I got the Milk Bar cookbook I discovered Christina Tosi makes her cookies the same way.  I’ll go into detail about the technique in the recipe and have provided lots of pictures this time (yaay!).  Hope you guys enjoy the cookies as much as I do! I’ve already eaten two while writing this and am eyeing up a third……I’m writing them off as fuel for my 5 miler today (that makes it okay – right???).

I’m trying a new recipe style that goes into more details and provides more helpful tips and tricks.  Let me know what you guys think about it!

Continue reading

Balancing the Fun with the Not So Fun

Choc Chip Cookies

Starting your own business requires a lot of focus and self-motivation, especially when you’re working out of your home.  I try to maintain a relatively normal work schedule Monday through Friday.  My goal is to be as productive as possible those days.  I can get a wee bit distracted and if I don’t have a schedule my days might look a little something like this: “Oh wow it’s actually warm outside? I should get a quick 4 mile run in.” Followed by, “I wonder what’s on TV……holy crap a Boy Meets World marathon?! I should probably watch that.” Which would inevitably lead to, “I wonder how production is going on the Boy Meets World spin-off…….I should Google that!”  As you can see, it’s really best for everyone if I keep myself on track.

At this point, I spend most of my days testing and researching recipes.  Unfortunately, today I was waiting on an ingredient to arrive from Amazon and didn’t have anything to test.  This meant I had to figure out another way to be productive.  There is something I have been putting off, but knew I had to do……the dreaded kitchen inventory.  Rooting around my cupboards is not my definition of a fun morning, but it was definitely necessary.  I have a ton of random baking supplies and have been meaning to do an inventory so I can see exactly what I have and exactly what I need to buy.  The upside of doing this means I’m totally justified in buying more baking supplies (yaaaaaay).  The downside is that I realized I HAVE to buy more baking supplies (stupid lack of income).  Turns out, I have some incredibly random supplies and am lacking some very basic ones.  For example, I have a deep dish tart pan, but no pie pan. How this happened, I have no idea.

Continue reading

What I’m Baking: Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

???????????????????????????????

Today is Valentine’s Day.  A holiday that, if I’m being honest, I’m not too keen on.  I have a hard time getting behind a holiday that puts pressure on couples to be super romantic and makes single people feel bad about their lack of a relationship.  I do, however, really enjoy the whole eating tons of chocolate part of the holiday.  That part I can get behind.  My boyfriend and I don’t exchange gifts or really do anything out of the ordinary for Valentine’s Day.  Although, maybe I could get him to watch the new episode of The Vampire Diaries with me tonight by playing the Valentine’s Day card……….interesting.  Anyways…..in the spirit of eating chocolate, I decided to be a good girlfriend and surprise my boyfriend with his favorite cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.

These aren’t exactly the sexiest or fanciest cookies, but my boyfriend loves them.  I’d actually never had one before dating him and my first experiences with the cookie left a lot to be desired.  Most of the recipes I found were way too sweet (and that’s saying a lot coming from me) and the chocolate and peanut butter flavors got lost in the overabundance of sugar.  Since these are Boyfriend’s favorite cookies, I knew I’d have to figure out a way to create a No-Bake Cookie I could love.  I wanted something that downplayed the crazy sugar overload and let the other flavors shine through.

I found a great recipe in the book Baked Explorations that was almost exactly what I was looking for.  It contained chunky peanut butter, which added a nice texture to the cookie, and used dark cocoa powder.  The recipe was still a little sweet for my taste, so I dialed back on the sugar, added a little salt, and threw in some semi-sweet chocolate to up the chocolate quotient.  The end result was perfect.  It was a No-Bake cookie I could get on board with and, more importantly, my boyfriend loved them.

If you haven’t tried a No-Bake Cookie before or have had some bad experiences with them, I highly recommend giving this recipe a shot.  It made me a believer in them.  And if you need help justifying eating this cookie – I’m kind of a pro at that, so here you go……….oats have lots of fiber and are considered  a “superfood,” whole milk has calcium which some say helps burn belly fat, and peanut butter has protein.  I mean when you really think about, these cookies are pretty darn healthy.  Like I said, I can justify just about any dessert.  Hope you enjoy these cookies and Happy Chocolate Eating Day!!

Continue reading