Birthday Cake Cookies

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Every year around the beginning of July (specifically July 7th), I’m reminded of how much my husband hates celebrating his birthday. I mean HATES celebrating his birthday. I’m not exaggerating here, he hates his birthday the way other people hate poison ivy and spiders. His loathing of any type recognition on his day not only borders on bah-humbugness, but it goes against every grain in my party-planning body. See, I love birthdays. And not just mine, either, I love everybody’s birthday. I love the cakes and the presents and the balloons, and all the other hoopla that goes along with a throwing big fete. To not celebrate his birthday every year is torturous for me, which is why I do it anyway. BUT, I do it very slyly, almost stealth-like, so that he doesn’t even notice that he’s celebrating. I begrudgingly forgo the streamers and the decorations, and instead opt for a few cards and unwrapped gifts, followed by a nice dinner at his favorite restaurant (and as much as I’d love to see him flush, I don’t ask the waiters to parade out and sing to him). And above all, and this is very important, there are no candles, and the cake comes in the form of a cookie. A birthday cake cookie! Pretty sneaky, right? Continue reading

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies

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The other day when I was jogging (which almost never happens), I was trying to decide how I would reward myself for my sudden burst of exercise — you see, that’s how I work, I run so that I can eat. Maybe I’ll stop for a doughnut, I thought, as I passed our local doughnut shop, Or I could get a bag of chips, I contemplated as I turned the corner by the mini-mart. Hmm, what do I crave, savory or sweet? And then around mile 2 I realized that I didn’t have any money on me, so I started rummaging through my mental inventory of snacks in my pantry. What could I do with the pittance I have in my cupboard? Let’s see, I have chocolate chips, pretzels, stuff to make cookies…wait, hang on a sec! At that moment I turned around and sprinted home to make my new favorite cookies, and they were exactly what I needed to satisfy every craving I’ve had since birth. Seriously, that’s how good they are. But I’ll warn you, don’t (DO NOT!) make these cookies unless you have a fresh gallon of milk in the fridge, because you will need it! These rich and salty beauties deserve a big, cold, creamy glass of milk to properly wash them down.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies

Makes 2-3 dozen

  • 1¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup coco powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ cups crushed pretzel sticks (preferably Snyder’s of Hanover Old Fashioned Dipping Sticks), plus 1-2 dozen pretzel sticks snapped into thirds for topping

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Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt. Working in two batches, add the flour mixture to egg mixture, mixing until just combined after each incorporation.

Fold in chocolate chips and pretzels. Using a spoon, scoop out 2 Tbsp. of cookie batter and roll into thick balls, place on a cookie sheet. Take a piece of pretzel and press into the top of each cookie, slightly flattening out the ball, like this…

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See, this way you’re guaranteed a crunchy, salty pretzel in every chocolatey bite — and it just looks cool.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until just cooked through (I recommend cooking for 9 minutes, then letting sit on the hot cookie sheet for another 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack). Serve with milk. Lots and lots of milk.

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Lemon Lace Cookies

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This recipe is older than I am, like, circa 1966 I think. It’s one of the first cookies I remember eating as a kid, and I’m not sure, but I suspect that it came from a cookbook specializing in meals that use 5 ingredients or less. You know the type of cookbooks, the ones that rely heavily on Jell-O and packaged soup mix? My mom had a bunch of these when she first got married, and although she phased them out as she became a skilled cook, this recipe stuck around. She tried to get rid of it, but it was a favorite of my sister and mine. We would beg her, plead with her to make them so that we could bring them to school for a party, or sell them at a bake sale or something. She absolutely hated these cookies. Hated them! She was embarrassed that they weren’t made from scratch; that the ingredients included cake mix and Cool Whip instead of flour and cream. Whenever anyone would ask her for the recipe, she’d wince and inevitably “forget” to jot it down for them. Regardless of the somewhat retro ingredients, these cookies are still one of my favorites and always mark the beginning of Spring for my sister and me. [On a side note, I’m betting that I’ll be receiving a call from my mother this afternoon scolding me for crediting her with this abomination of a cookie. But it’s worth it.] Enjoy!

Lemon Lace Cookies

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together all ingredients except powdered sugar.

Between the palm of your hands, roll about 1½ – 2 Tbsp. of batter into a 1-inch ball.

IMG_0889{I’ve found that the most effective way of cleaning batter off your fingers is with your tongue.}

Then roll the ball in powdered sugar, covering evenly.

IMG_0890{See how my pinky’s up? This is an important step that helps make the cookies more delicate.}

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let rest on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. See? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

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