Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

Browsing Category The Best Cookies In The World

Blog / The Best Cookies In The World

Cookies are very distracting . . .

. . . not just when they’re sitting there tempting you to skip supper and just pig out on sugar, but you know what? Making cookies is more fun than revising a manuscript, too! At least right now! At least this scene!

Aargh, what a day, just had to FORCE myself to sit down and work on this one scene. Not like it was exactly hard, just so not in the mood to work on it. Good thing I don’t depend on, you know, being in the MOOD.

Meanwhile! Here is a totally fantastic cookie that is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Chocolaty Double Crunchers

1/2 C butter or margarine
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C quick oats
1/2 C flaked coconut
1 C crushed cornflakes — whirl ’em in a food processor, you don’t want powdered cornflakes, but you want ’em more crushed than you can easily do by rolling a rolling pin over them or whatever.

Filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C powdered sugar
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and stir in. Shape into balls smaller than seems reasonable . . . like about a tsp or so . . . and set on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in flour. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on racks.

Now, soften the cream cheese and chocolate chips in the microwave, stir until smooth, then add the powdered sugar.

Make sandwich cookies. Like many sandwich cookies, these are best after they have had time for the cookie to absorb a little moisture from the filling. They freeze perfectly and, in fact, are very tasty right out of the freezer — no need to thaw, imho.

These don’t look especially fancy, but they’re very very good. The cornflakes are key, don’t substitute plain oatmeal cookies. Well, unless you really want to, I guess.

Now, here’s a much fancier cookie that will definitely make everybody’s top ten list! They’re fiddly and you might want to recruit some helpful child if you have one handy.

Caramel Pecan Treasures

1 C butter (no substitutes)
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

30 caramels, cut in half and each half flattened as flat as possible. I suggest leaning on each half hard with the flat of a chef’s knife. I also suggest delegating this part if possible.

6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 Tbsp shortening
60 pecan halfs. Halves? Whatever.

Now: as always, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla. Combine the flour and baking powder and stir that in. Roll into 60 balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly with a glass dipped in flour. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden.

Quickly place caramel halves on each cookie while cookie is still as warm as possible.

Melt the chocolate with the shortening. I suggest you do this in the microwave, but if you love your double boiler, suit yourself. Drizzle or pipe or spread a little chocolate over each cookie. Top each cookie with a pecan half before the chocolate sets.

If you have willing help, you might want to double this recipe, because you will love it but it IS a pain in the neck, all those dratted caramels, I mean, honestly.

Also! Puppy update! Yep, still cute! In fact, very much in the cute sluglike stage because their eyes aren’t open yet. You know, a puppy this age? The brainwaves are the same whether it’s asleep or awake, isn’t that an entertaining little bit of trivia?

But the little boy rolled on his back today and yawned and stretched and waved his feet in the air and, okay, I have to say, major cute moment there.

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Blog / The Best Cookies In The World

Once more into the breach! Plus, cookies.

Okay, NOW I’m working on revising BLACK DOG. Actually I think it’s going pretty well and won’t take too long, though possibly I’m asking for trouble to sound optimistic.

I’m adding flashbacks and personal memories of the past, but so far very short ones. Though doing this is forcing me to figure out a more detailed past scene, which then has ramifications every single time somebody thinks about the past.

So I see a complete read through would once more be a good idea when I think I’m done. If I can stand it.

Then to be nice to Caitlin, I really should mark the important changes in red so she can see what I’ve done a little more easily.

Still, it’s going okay. So far.

Meanwhile! Watching puppies grow. They’re just about 12 oz today, which means they did just about double their weight in ten days like good little puppies are supposed to. They are quite fat, actually. I need to add another picture to my other website. Tomorrow, if I get to it.

Also! Onward with the promised cookies!

These are something of a pain, but well worth it once a year, if you want to splurge on macadamias:

Chocolate Macadamia Meltaways:

1 C butter (no substitutes)
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
7 oz macadamia, finely chopped.

1 C semisweet cocolate chips
1/2 C. additional coarsely-chopped macadamias

Cream the butter and sugar in the standard fashion; beat in vanilla; gradually add flour; stir in nuts. Dough will be stiff.

Melt chocolate chips and stir in coarsely-chopped nuts. Drop by 1/2 tsp on waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill 20 minutes.

Now, count the dabs of filling. Divide the dough into that many little balls (each will be about a tsp of dough). Shape a piece of dough around each little dab of filling and roll into a ball between your palms. This is a fiddly little job and you will find it’s hard to roll the cookies quite into balls because the chocolate dabs will be flat on one side. Do the best you can; they’ll be fine.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar to coat. Serve to gasps of admiration from all your friends and relatives.

There! After that, you deserve a casual easy cookie that isn’t the least bit fiddly. Try this popular little item:

Snow Bites

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C butter
3/4 C margarine

(the original recipe called for those proportions, but I’ve used all butter and all margarine and the thing that matters is the cream cheese, you can vary the other two)

2 C sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
5 C flour
2 C dried cranberries or mini chocolate chips or whatever floats your boat

Cream the cream cheese, butter, and margarine. Beat in sugar. Beat in egg, salt, and vanilla. Gradually stir in flour. Stir in cranberries or chocolate chips or whatever.

Drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets or else roll into balls and place on cookie sheets, if you want a slightly fancier presentation.

Bake at 350 degres of 12-14 minutes, until slightly golden on bottom but still quite white on top.

There you go, everybody will love these, I promise!

Place cookies

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Blog / The Best Cookies In The World

The most amazing cookie recipe in the world

I make tons of fancy cookies for Christmas, and lots of them are in the running for BEST IN THE WORLD. I thought I’d post my personal picks for top ten and let other people try ’em. The one I think is the VERY BEST, I’ll post tenth. If I know where the original recipe came from, I’ll say so, if not, then I have no idea.

So! Onward, to make your name as a cookie goddess!

Caramel Swirls

1 C butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 C brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp maple flavoring
2 3/4 C flour

30 caramels
6 oz cream cheese

Cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Beat in egg yolk and maple flavoring. (This is the ONLY recipe I like maple in, so if you’re not a big maple fan, try it anyway.) Stir in the floor. Wrap dough in plastic and chill three hours or longer.

Meanwhile, peel all those caramels. This would be a good job for a compliant child, if you have one handy. Melt the caramels with the remaining cream cheese (I do this in the microwave).

Now, divide the dough in half. Place half on a large sheet of waxed paper and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll out into a sizable rectangle. Um, about 18″ by maybe 10″? Not paper thin, you know, but thin-ish.

Spread half the caramel filling over the rolled-out dough, going all the way to the edges.

Roll up like a jelly-roll, using the waxed paper to help manipulate the roll. Finish by letting the roll sort of spill off the waxed paper onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap up roll of cookie dough and place on cookie sheet in the freezer.

Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and filling.

Freeze until good and firm, at least a couple of hours or for as long as is convenient. A month is fine.

Unwrap and slice into 1/4 inch cookies. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets at 350 degrees for about 12 to 14 minutes. Serve to universal acclaim.

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Blog / The Best Cookies In The World

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

So a few weeks ago I mentioned I was going to make a lot of different kinds of chocolate chip cookies, each purported to be the BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE IN THE WORLD, and have a taste test.

I actually have seventeen different chocolate chip cookie recipes in my “everyday cookie” file, each of which looks different enough or interesting enough to keep. I didn’t have time to make all seventeen kinds for the test, but I made eight. One doesn’t really count because it had vanilla chips and dried cranberries in it, but no real chocolate chips. (I knew at least one person didn’t like chocolate, and she did like these.)

So, seven cookies — pretty paltry, but enough for a first wave of testing, right? The recipes varied in whether they called for shortening, butter, or margarine (yes, one called for margarine specifically); in the proportion of white to brown sugar; and in the use of oats and / or nuts. I used top-quality Gheradelli chocolate chips for all the cookies. They’re by far the best chocolate chips I know of — I did my own taste test for chips first.

We actually had a tie between a pretty ordinary cookie with one interesting twist and a very unusual cookie. Just in case you’re interested in trying out some fantastic chocolate cookies, here are the winners!

1) Lindsay’s Chocolate Cafe Cookies

These are from an article I saw someplace that featured them as The Best in the World. I don’t remember where I saw the article, but I googled Lindsay’s Chocolate Cafe, and it turns out it’s in St. Louis, so it may well have been a local newspaper or something. These are basic chocolate chip cookies, but very good. The use of butter rather than shortening and the inclusion of walnuts and grated chocolate are what set these apart. Shortening is used in lots of chocolate chip cookie recipes, including the (quite decent) Tollhouse Cookie recipe. It gives a good texture to the finished cookie, but of course misses the butter taste, which is one reason I think Lindsay’s cookies were one of my winners.

2 1/2 C rolled oats
2 C flour
1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C chopped walnuts
4 oz grated chocolate (easiest to grate cold chocolate in a food processor)

And the standard directions for cookies: Combine the dry ingredients, cream together the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs and vanilla, stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts and grated chocolate, drop on cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or so.

Yum!

Now, the weirdest recipe, also a winner and my personal favorite! I have no idea where this recipe came from. Some ingredient or combination of ingredients gave these cookies this fantastic chewy texture. If you don’t like graham crackers, try these anyway — the graham cracker taste morphs into something completely different and far superior when used in these cookies.

2) Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 C butter, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 C fine graham cracker crumbs (grind in food processor)
3/4 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 C English toffee bits

Beat together the butter and condensed milk. Combine the dry ingredients and stir in. Stir in chocolate chips and English toffee bits. Drop on cookie sheets, back at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or so. I always line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and I definitely suggest it here, as I suspect the toffee bits would stick if the sheets were unlined.

Enjoy!

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