Category Archives: Cookie

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing – Connecticut

Connecticut’s unofficial nickname is the Nutmeg State. This comes from the alleged practice, in the 18th and 19th centuries, of shrewd Yankee peddlers who sold unsuspecting customers wooden nutmegs instead of real ones. Then again, some claim that certain less

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

culinary-inclined customers might not have realized that whole nutmeg (which indeed looks like a little wooden bead) needed to be grated to be used. Swindlers or not, the moniker stuck.

We consider ourselves to be cookie connoisseurs but we had never even heard of these Nutmeg Logs until a few weeks ago. They use a generous amount of nutmeg and make your house smell like all kinds of Christmas when you bake them. And nothing goes better with nutmeg than eggnog, thus the eggnog icing. The fun part is running the fork tines over the icing before it sets to create a log effect.

Visit the Mark Twain house in Hartford, a terrific example of American High Gothic style, where Twain lived from 1874 to 1891. One writer has described this house as “part steamboat, part medieval fortress and part cuckoo clock.”

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg for topping

Instructions

For the cookies:

In the bowl of the electric mixer, add butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until fluffy and light. Add egg and nutmeg. Mix until just combined. Add flour. Mix until incorporated. Take batter and divide into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into three logs approximately ½ inch in diameter. Cut each log into 3 inch pieces. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown.

For the icing:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and confectioner’s sugar. Mix on medium speed. Add vanilla, then 1 tablespoon eggnog. If icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of eggnog until desired consistency is reached.

Once cookies are completely cooled, spread icing on cookies. Run the tines of a fork over the icing to make the “log.” Top with grated nutmeg. Let icing set before packaging cookies.

Black and White Cookies – New York

The Black and White Cookie is to New York as Jambalaya is to Louisiana. Both dishes are synonymous with a place — which, come to think of it, is kind of the point of this blog. Made famous by the

Black and White Cookies - New York

Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine go to a bakery for a chocolate babka (we’ll have to do a post on that one someday), this cookie features a delectable vanilla-lemon base, iced half with chocolate and half with vanilla. Several years ago, we traveled to New York City in search of the perfect Black and White Cookie. We found a lot of terrible ones. They can’t be shrink wrapped in cellophane. They can’t be stale. The base must be more cake-like than cookie. And the icing must remain soft rather than hard and crunchy.

We found a recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen that we slightly adapted that fits the bill on all accounts. The batter for these cookies is more like cake batter. Black and White Cookie batterThe addition of cake flour and baking powder gives these cookies some loft. Because they are more cake than cookie, these will go stale quickly so we challenge you to finish them within a few days or pop them in the freezer for the next time you need a Black and White fix. As for eating them, we’re with Jerry, each bite has to have a little of both flavors. “Look to the cookie!”

NYC’s Wine and Food Festival takes place October 13-16, 2016, featuring tastings, celebrity chefs, hands-on classes, demos, and seminars.

Black and White Cookie

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Recipe credit: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

For icing:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

Instructions

To make cookies: In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light yellow. Add eggs, one at a time, then extracts. Add one third of the flour mixture. Beat just until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add next third, then scrape down sides of bowl. Add final third and then scrape down sides of bowl. Scoop batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until tops are puffy and edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let cool completely. Place cookies in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while making icing.

To make icing: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine confectioners sugar, corn syrup lemon juice and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and stir until smooth. Add additional water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. The icing should be not too thin that it will run off the sides of the cookie and not too stiff that it will not be spreadable. Divide icing in half into another bowl and add cocoa powder. Add additional hot water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. Spread vanilla icing first on one half of each cookie, then repeat with chocolate icing. Let icing set before transferring to an airtight container with waxed paper separating layers.

Oh, Give Me a Home: Cowboy Cookies – Wyoming

We will not say one discouraging word against the Cowboy Cookie. A variation on the tried-and-true chocolate chip, this cookie is satisfyingly crisp on the outside and chewy in the center. The origin

Cowboy Cookies

of the name is as fuzzy as spring duckling. Some say it has something to do with the addition of coconut, oats and pecans, which help keep a cowboy fortified in the saddle. Sounds mighty sensible to us. The StateEats kids gobbled these up before we could utter “giddyup.”

Cowboy Cookies - Wyoming

If you’ve never seen it, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is a wonder to behold. It is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and is known for its striking rainbow hues.

Cowboy Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 35 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the shortening and two types of sugar on medium speed until thick and creamy. Add eggs, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Stir by hand until well combined. Then add oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Stir by hand until well combined. Drop walnut size dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to wire rack to cool. Transfer to an airtight container.

Lunar and Luscious: Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies – Tennessee

Nothing is more Southern than a moon pie and a RC cola. If you’ve never indulged, a moon pie is a graham cookie marshmallow sandwich enveloped in chocolate. Invented in 1917 as a snack for

Homemade moon pie

coal miners, the Chattanooga Bakery has been producing this beloved snack for close to 100 years. They are also closely associated with Mardi Gras as moon pies are a throw (a giveaway thrown from a parade into the crowd) at Mardi Gras celebrations across the South.

With a little bit of effort and time, you can make moon pies at home. We had fun with our moon-shaped cookie cutter. Check out the (very quick – 15 seconds!) Instagram video at right if you want to see us making them in action.

If you planning on checking out the Great Smoky Mountains, consider the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest, April 9, 2016, in Gatlinburg.

Homemade moon pie

Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies

  • Servings: 18 pies
  • Time: 2 hrs. 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For marshmallow filling:

  • 1 envelope Knox gelatin
  • 2/3 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For chocolate coating:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shortening

Instructions

For cookies:

With the paddle attachment of the electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add two types of flour, salt, baking powder, honey and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to make cookies, turn half the dough to a well-floured surface. Return other half of dough to fridge. Roll out until 1/8 to ¼ inch. Cut out cookies and lift with a spatula onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining half of dough. (If you use a 3-inch round cookie cutter, it will yield about 18 cookies, a half moon or smaller round cutter will yield about 36 cookies). Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For marshmallow filling:

In the meantime, add 1/3 cup cold water to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add one package of gelatin. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup water. Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to the soft ball stage, 234 degrees with a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool a few moments.

Using the whisk attachment of the mixer set on low, slowly add the hot sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until marshmallow forms and is light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Set aside if marshmallow is still warm.

Once the mixing bowl is room temperature, gently spread marshmallow on half of cookies and top with remaining cookies, being careful not to break cookies (you can also use a pastry bag and pipe the marshmallow on). Return cookies to refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until marshmallow sets.

For chocolate coating:

Add chopped chocolate and shortening to a microwave save bowl. Heat in one minute bursts until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the moon pies in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Don’t worry about covering all the edges with chocolate.

Transfer moon pies to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Continue until all moon pies are dipped. Return to fridge until set, then transfer to an airtight container.

Ono Sweeeeet: Macadamia Nut Blondies – Hawaii

This week’s bitter cold and snow had us dreaming of Hawaii. The sun, the crashing surf, the soaring peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Hawaii has some great food that we’ve talked about before, and no list would be complete without the macadamia nut.

Macadamia Nut Blondies - Hawaii

Macadamias are not native to Hawaii (Australia takes credit for that), but they have a long history in the Aloha State. Trees were first planted in 1881, and commercial cultivation began in the 1920s. The state has 700 macadamia nut farms. While other states including California and Florida produce this nut, they are very much associated with the Aloha State. Walk into any shop or restaurant in Hawaii and you’ll find macadamia nut confections, including ice cream, pies, cookies and chocolates.

Cookie bars are always a hit with the StateEat kids so we decided to try our hand at Macadamia Nut Blondies. We got crazy and used two kinds of chocolate but if you don’t like white chocolate, just use the semi-sweet. Truly ono (Hawaiian pidgin for delicious)!

If you are lucky enough to be headed to Hawaii soon, don’t miss Mt. Haleakala on the island of Maui. You can hire an outfitter so you can bike down, or just go up on your own for some hiking and to watch sunset. But bring warm clothes, it dips into the 40s when the sun goes down.

Us Hiking Above the Clouds on Mt. Haleakala, 2010
Us Hiking Above the Clouds on Mt. Haleakala, 2010

Macadamia Nut Blondies

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 40 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

 Instructions

Add macadamia nuts to a sauté pan over medium heat. Toast, tossing the nuts every few minutes, until the edges of the nuts begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool before chopping.

In mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix by hand, just until incorporated. Gently add the chocolates and nuts.

Grease a 9×9 glass baking dish. Add dough and smooth evenly and into corners. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.

Good with Vino or a Cappuccino: Biscochitos – New Mexico

Hello friends! Is your holiday baking well underway? You might want add the biscochito (bis-ko-CHEE-toe) to your repertoire, New Mexico’s official state cookie. This melt in your mouth confection is

Biscochitos - New Mexico

flavored with anise, cinnamon and brandy and is often associated with Christmastime. In the Spanish culture, with the tradition of Las Posadas, where actors reenact Mary and Joseph looking for shelter for the birth of the Christ child, biscochitos are often served in the celebration following the event.

It seems every family thinks their abuela (grandmother) or tia (aunt) makes the best biscochito. Call us crazy, but our idea of fun would be to taste test biscochitos to come up with our favorite. This recipe is adapted from one found on the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau. This dough does get soft quickly so put it in the fridge when you are not working with it so it stays cold. And yes, equally delicious with a glass of wine or a cappuccino.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Santa Fe Plaza, December 31, with bonfires, hot chocolate, music, food trucks and more.

Biscochitos

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups shortening or lard
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons brandy (can substitute apple juice)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

 In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, anise seeds and brandy and beat until incorporated. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Gradually add to the shortening/sugar mixture, mixing until dough forms. Remove dough onto cellophane. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To make cookies, roll out batches of dough (keeping unused dough refrigerated) to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Mix cinnamon and the 3 tablespoons of sugar on plate. Dip each cookie in cinnamon-sugar mixture on one side and place on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until cookies are browned at the edges.

Hey Hun: Berger Cookies – Maryland

If you grew up in or near Baltimore, you are well-familiar with the Berger cookie. A cousin to New York’s black and white cookie, this confection is a soft vanilla cookie heaped with chocolate frosting. And we do mean heaped. In fact, some would say the cookie is just a vehicle to deliver more frosting.

Berger Cookies - Maryland

Berger Cookies began in the mid-1800 when Henry Berger emigrated from Germany and shortly thereafter opened his eponymous bakery in East Baltimore. The recipe has only changed slightly since that time and today Berger Cookies employees hand dip 36,000 cookies per day.

These cookies are very easy to recreate at home. We slightly adapted the King Arthur Flour recipe. The StateEats kids killed a half gallon of milk gobbling these up.

If a visit to Charm City is in your future, check out Fort McHenry National Monument, widely regarded as the birthplace of the “Star Spangled Banner. ” You can visit all summer and listen to ranger talks on artillery and the flag, participate in children’s activities, hear fife and drum concerts and more.

Berger Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen cookies
  • Time: 50 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

For the cookies: Cream butter and sugar together using a mixer set to medium speed. Add salt, vanilla, egg and baking powder. Beat one minute. Gently add in flour alternating with milk until thoroughly blended.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of dough, about 1 ¼ inches in diameter, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Flatten cookies with palm of hand or bottom of a glass coated with cooking spray. Bake cookies at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or just until the edges begin to brown. Do not overcook. Let cool on pans.

For the frosting: Place the chocolate chips, corny syrup, vanilla and cream in a large bowl. Microwave in short bursts about 90 seconds, stirring in between, until chocolate begins to melt and the cream bubbles. Stir until chocolate mixture becomes smooth. Add in the confectioners sugar, mix until incorporated. Let cool to room temperature.

Spread frosting on top of the cookies. If frosting slides off the cookies, allow it to set a bit longer.

Oh, Hi Yo: Peanut Butter Buckeyes – Ohio

The Buckeye State got its name from the proliferation of Buckeye trees (Aesculus glabra) around the state, yes. But William Henry Harrison, the nation’s ninth president, also may have had a hand

Peanut Butter Buckeyes - Ohio

with the nickname as he used the image of the buckeye tree in his presidential campaign against Martin Van Buren. Besides Harrison, who was born in Virginia and later claimed Ohio as his home, seven other presidents are Ohio natives, which is why Ohio is sometimes called the “Mother of Presidents.”

Buckeye seeds are dark brown and shiny and have a lighter colored center that looks like a deer eye, according to native Americans.

Buckeyes

Naturally, someone clever eventually decided to make a confection that looks like the buckeye. You can now find these commercially made all over the state, but give this recipe a go. Homemade is always best.

Check out the Columbus International Festival, November 8-9, 2014.

Peanut Butter Buckeyes

  • Servings: 60 pieces
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Mix the peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer until completely combined, approximately 3 minutes. Add salt and vanilla, mix again for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar a half cup at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl, until all sugar is incorporated.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls and place evenly on the baking sheet. Place baking sheet into the freezer for the balls to firm up, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat 1 cup of chocolate chips in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between until all the chips have melted. Add a bit of vegetable oil until the chocolate reaches desired consistency.

Remove baking sheet from the freezer. Place a toothpick in the peanut butter ball and dip about three-quarters of the ball into the chocolate. Place back on the baking sheet and remove toothpick, smoothing out the hole. Repeat with the remaining balls, melting more chocolate when it runs low. Refrigerate until firm.