Category Archives: Favorite Cookie Recipes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies That Can Be Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free or Vegan

Buckwheat, which is gluten-free, gives these cookies a dark gray-brown hue.
Buckwheat, which is gluten-free, gives these cookies a dark gray-brown hue.

Now that I’m trying to consolidate and minimize my trips to the grocery store, I have been on a quest to clean out my freezer of miscellaneous flours to create more space for other things.

You know, like tubs of ice cream. Kidding. Sort of.

So when I spied this recipe for “Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies,” I knew it would help me use up a bag of buckwheat flour languishing in the deep-freeze.

The recipe is from “Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats” (The Countryman Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Angela Garbacz, the owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, NE.

What makes this cookbook especially intriguing is that every recipe has suggested ingredient swaps so you can make it easily gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan, if you prefer.

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Claudia Fleming’s Honey Madeleines

Dainty madeleines flavored with honey and browned butter.
Dainty madeleines flavored with honey and browned butter.

When my mom suffered a stroke years ago, the only thing she wanted to eat for a long time was — inexplicably — lemon meringue pie.

When my elderly aunt was hospitalized last year, the only food that could comfort her was — surprisingly — madeleines.

Say what you will about the women in my family, but there’s no denying they like their sweets.

I readily admit I take after them, too.

When I would visit my aunt in the hospital, I’d pick up madeleines from a French bakery to take to her for a real treat. Because believe it or not, even though I bake up a storm at home on a regular basis, madeleines were not something I’d ever made.

Wanting to surprise my aunt, I bought madeleine pans this year. I was going to bake her some fresh to deliver in person. But then COVID-19 crushed those plans mercilessly.

As I wait out shelter-in-place until it’s permissible to drive an hour to visit someone her age again, I decided to break in my pans with a madeleine test-run.

I found the perfect recipe in the newly reissued classic cookbook, “The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern” (Random House) of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by the incomparable Claudia Fleming, the former pastry chef at New York’s landmark Gramercy Tavern.

Originally published in 2001, the book became coveted not only by home-cooks, but top pastry chefs. If the latter prize it so much, you know it’s got to be worth having in your collection, too.

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Maida Heatter’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples

Made with a chocolate dough and a peanut butter dough, no two look quite exactly alike.
Made with a chocolate dough and a peanut butter dough, no two look exactly alike.

In my household, there is a clear division of labor.

My husband is responsible for mowing our minuscule lawn, unclogging drains, and figuring out which smoke detector in the house is causing that incessant beeping.

Me?

I make sure we always have a stash of home-made cookies on hand.

It’s an important job, and one that I take seriously.

Oh sure, my husband will indulge my whims to bake cookies with ingredients such as cardamom, rose water, chicharrones, corn nuts, or five-spice — as long as I don’t neglect the mandatory chocolate on a regular basis.

That’s why “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ripples” appealed so much. After all, when I practically have to hide all the mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from him until after Halloween, I knew this cookie would be right up his alley.

It’s a recipe from “Cookies Are Magic: Classic Cookies, Brownies, Bars, and More.” Have truer words ever been printed?

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A First: DoubleTree’s Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The one and only honest-to-goodness DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The one and only honest-to-goodness DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie recipe.

They’re craved by legions of sweet-tooth travelers. Home-cooks have tried in vain to come up with copycat recipes for it for years. And such is its stature, that it was the first food to actually be baked in orbit — aboard the International Space Station this January.

For so long, the only way to sink your teeth into a bona fide warm DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookie was to check into one of its hotels, where you’re gifted with one for free with your room key.

Until now, that is.

Yesterday, in a thoughtful goodwill gesture in these horrific times, DoubleTree released a home-version recipe of its famed cookie to the public.

And faster than my printer could spit out the recipe, I was already putting sticks of butter out on my counter to soften.

At a time like this, don't we all need a cookie? Especially a DoubleTree one?
At a time like this, don’t we all need a cookie? Especially a DoubleTree one?

Knock on wood, I actually had all the ingredients on hand, too — no easy feat in this pandemic that has stripped store shelves and online sources of many baking products, as we all hunker down to shelter in place, and apparently stress-bake to no end.

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Toasted Sesame-Chocolate Chip-Cashew Cookies

A wonderful mix of ingredients creates a powerhouse of nuttiness in these cookies.
A wonderful mix of ingredients creates a powerhouse of nuttiness in these cookies.

Are you making a list and counting it twice…

To figure out which cookie you should make and eat next?

Then, prepare to add this one to it.

“Toasted Sesame-Chocolate Chip-Cashew Cookies” is an unexpected mix of so many good things you love that you wonder why nobody thought to put them all together before.

It’s from the new “Betty Crocker Cookies: Irresistibly Easy Recipes for Any Occasion” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

It comprises more than 150 cookie recipes. There are short-cut ones such as “Santa Heart-Shaped Cookies” that make use of Betty Crocker cookie mix. But if you’re more inclined to make your cookies entirely from scratch, there are plenty of those types of recipes, too, including boozy “Bourbon Old-Fashioned Cups” (that includes bourbon and Angostura bitters), “Sparkling Orange Ricotta Sandwich Cookies” that makes use of orange juice, orange zest and candied orange slices, and “Chocolate Coconut Cookie Tots” (that require no baking at all).

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