Cooking with Claire: Cookies galore

“Cooking with Claire” is an introduction to dining beyond the dining hall using easy, fast and cheap recipes.

As we approach the holiday season, there will be a lot of extra cooking and baking, so you might as well start preparing now. When your mom asks you to provide dessert for the big dinner, consider baking cookies to wow her and Aunt Betty. Here are my three favorite cookie recipes.

Toffee Triangles

Graham cracker toffee bars, a holiday cookie similar to Galvin's toffee triangles. (jeffreyw/Flickr Creative Commons)

Cookie Dough:

  • Three-quarters cup unsalted room temperature butter
  • Three-quarters cup packed light brown sugar
  • Two egg yolks
  • Two and one-half cups flour
  • One-quarter teaspoon salt

    Topping:
     
  • One cup packed light brown sugar
  • One-half cup butter
  • One-half cup honey
  • One-half cup heavy cream
  • Four cups (one pound) chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, extending beyond the sides.

2. Cookie dough: Beat together on medium-high speed butter, sugar and yolks in bowl until fluffy, which should take about two minutes. On low, beat in flour and salt. Press in even layer over bottom of pan.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and edges brown slightly.

4. Topping: Heat sugar, butter and honey in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat to melt butter. Gently boil for three minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream and nuts. Spread over crust.

5. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and topping is bubbly. Let it cool in the pan. Lift foil to remove cookie from pan. Remove foil. Slice. Store in air-tight container.

Oatmeal cookies, a classic cookie that is perfect for just about any holiday. (Phoebe/Flickr Creative Commons)

Oatmeal raisin cookies

Dry ingredients:

  • Two cups all-purpose flour
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • One teaspoon baking powder
  • One teaspoon kosher salt
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • One teaspoon cloves
  • Three cups oats (not instant)
  • One and one-half cups raisins

Wet ingredients:

  • One cup unsalted butter, softened
  • One cup sugar
  • One cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • Two large eggs
  • Two teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk dry ingredients except for oats and raisins; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.

4. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.

5. Add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate.

6. Drop two inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.

7. Bake for 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Chocolate Revel Bars

A tray filled with pecan toffee bars, which are made in a similar fashion as Galvin's chocolate revel bars. (Steve Johnson/Flickr Creative Commons)

  • Three cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • Two and one-half cups all-purpose flour
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • One-half teaspoon salt
  • One cup butter or margarine
  • Two cups packed brown sugar
  • Two eggs
  • Two teaspoons vanilla
  • One and one-half cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Two tablespoons butter or margarine
  • One-half cup chopped walnuts
  • Two teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Stir together rolled oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl beat the cup of butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat till fluffy. Add eggs and two teaspoons vanilla, beat well.

4. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture and mix till well combined.

5. In a saucepan combine chocolate, condensed milk and two tablespoons butter. Cook and stir over low heat till chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and two teaspoons vanilla.

6. To assemble the bars, pat two-thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. Spread the chocolate mixture on top of the oat mixture. Dot with the remaining oat mixture.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or till oat mixture is lightly browned (chocolate layer will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

The oatmeal cookies are my dad’s favorite, the toffee cookies are my sister’s and my mom’s and the bar cookies are my favorite. The nuts can be easily taken out of the bar cookie recipe, but the toffee cookies need the nuts. Nuts, other dried fruit or chocolate chips could be added to the oatmeal cookies. Cookies are great finger foods for parties and can be shared and swapped easily. Enjoy!


Claire Galvin is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.