Dessert

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The day is finally here for the last recipe in our 12 Days of Cookies! These Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies are one of the easiest and there is no dough chilling required. Since we’re so close to the holiday and if you’re like me you’re probably busy with a million things while also trying to soak up time with your family so I’ll keep today’s post short and sweet.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Having a go-to peanut butter cookie recipe is a staple and I’ve finally found mine! I find a lot of peanut butter cookies deliver on the peanut butter flavor, but are too crumbly. I prefer a cookie that is soft and chewy. These Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies have brown sugar in the cookie dough, which helps bring that chewy texture.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Rolling the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar gives them an added little bit of sweetness and shimmer as they spread out during the baking

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The original recipe calls for them to be done around ten minutes, but I found mine needed closer to thirteen minutes. They do firm up a little after baking, but I love the chewy texture from these peanut butter-packed cookies.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy holidays, everyone!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Yield: 18-20 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling the cookie dough balls
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just a few streaks remain.
  4. Put some granulated sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out a dough ball then roll in the granulated sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat for the remaining dough. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly brown and they’ve just started to set. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Repeat for the second baking sheet of cookies.

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Cherry Kiss Cookies

Cherry Kiss Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Friday! Here we are at day eleven of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies and I’ve definitely been saving some of the best for last. First of all, let’s just discuss how pretty these Cherry Kiss Cookies are! With their pink hue they certainly would be fitting for Valentine’s Day, but they also add a great pop of color to a Christmas cookie platter.

Cherry Kiss Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If there was ever a cookie to be described as melting in your mouth, it would be these pillowy Cherry Kiss Cookies. They are soft, buttery and have just the perfect amount of cherry flavoring. There’s also a chocolate Hershey Kiss in the center of every cookie, which is always a delicious bonus.

Cherry Kiss Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cherry flavor in these cookies comes from cherry extract and chopped maraschino cherries, both which get mixed right into the batter. If you remember my Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops I had a difficult time finding cherry extract in the grocery store so instead I used raspberry extract. Since I now have a big bottle of raspberry extract from those cookie pops I actually used it instead of cherry extract for these cookies as well. So I guess they are technically Cherry Raspberry Kiss Cookies. Either way you make them I’m sure you will be hooked. I saved these for right before Christmas because the dough requires no chilling and they’re very easy drop cookies to make so they would be a great last minute baking project.

Cherry Kiss Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cookies look very soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool. I left mine in the oven until I noticed just a couple of the cookies had started to very lightly brown on the edges, which can be difficult to notice at first since the cookies are pink.

Cherry Kiss Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used milk chocolate kisses since that is what I had on hand, but you could experiment with different kinds as I think the dark chocolate kisses would be extra tasty in these. Okay, only a few more days until Christmas! What are you baking this weekend?

Cherry Kiss Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Cherry Kiss Cookies
 
Yield: 28 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cherry extract, see note
  • 5 drops red food coloring
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • 28 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, making sure oven racks are in the upper and lower thirds positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt on low speed to combine then medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, cherry extract and food coloring. Beat until combined. Add the flour and beat on low until only a few streaks remain. Use a spatula to stir in the chopped cherries.
  3. Use a medium cookie scoop to balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. I put 14 on each of my half sheet pans; the cookies spread a little, but not a lot. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a couple of the cookies just start to very lightly brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Once the cookies have cooled for 2 minutes on the pan, remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Notes
If you don’t have cherry extract, raspberry extract also works really well.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re here for day ten of the Lemon & Mocha 12 Days of Cookies! Even though I have three more recipes scheduled to post before the end of 2019, the post for these Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies that you are reading now is the last one I wrote right before my post-baby blog break started!

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The only reason I was shuffling around the kitchen baking these cookies in my compression socks and the last remaining outfit that would fit over my big belly was because I had to wait for the red and green M&M’s to arrive in the stores. I wanted them to look pretty and festive for the photos, especially since the post is so close to Christmas. Usually I’m the first to shake my head when I see grocery stores putting holiday items out months in advance, but of course this time I was actually complaining about them not having Christmas items out early! Go figure.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

So let’s talk about these Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies. They’re buttery, chewy and definitely chocolate-packed. I’m declaring these cookies the chocolate chip cookie lover’s perfect holiday-spiced cookie.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

They have the same soft, chewy texture and buttery brown sugar flavor you get from chocolate chip cookies, plus the added bonus of gingerbread flavors through molasses, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Also, between the chocolate chips and the M&M’s they are chock-full of chocolate goodness.

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The good news is, as my swollen feet/ankles/calves/aka everything-below-my-belly can attest to, these cookies are super simple to whip up so you can be done in the kitchen and kicked back eating platefuls of Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies in no time! Enjoy!

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Soft Gingerbread M&M Cookies
 
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 10-ounce bag M&M’s (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar, for rolling
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves and salt until combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture then beat on low speed until only a few flour streaks remain. Add the M&M’s and chocolate chips (leaving some aside - we’ll press these into the rolled balls so they look pretty!) and stir until just combined. Scoop out 1½ tablespoons of dough (if using Oxo cookie scoops use a medium cookie scoop) and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into the granulated sugar then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining cookie dough. Lightly press an M&M and a chocolate chip into the top of each cookie ball. This will make sure they look nice and pretty!
  5. Bake for 12 minutes then let cool on the cookie sheet placed on a wire cooling rack for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to the wire cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with 1 cookie sheet for the remaining cookie dough.

Recipe adapted from Something Swanky.

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last holiday season I was experimenting with a bunch of new cookie recipes and I wanted to try something that was a little lighter. I instantly thought of meringue cookies since they are definitely light and have that sort of melt in your mouth texture about them. I didn’t want to just make plain meringue cookies though; what’s the fun in that?!

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though I don’t drink coffee I like coffee flavored desserts, especially if they’re paired with chocolate, so I went seeking out a coffee flavored meringue recipe. Thankfully it led me to this delicious espresso meringue kiss cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour. So for day nine of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies we have Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses.

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Making meringue cookies is actually really simple and requires only a few ingredients. Egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, espresso powder, coffee extract and sugar are beaten until you have stiff and glossy peaks. Making sure the peaks of your meringue are stiff is key otherwise they will start deflating and not holding their shape when you go to pipe them out into the star kiss shapes. Alternatively, you could always just drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto your baking sheet; they don’t need to be perfect!

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

The finicky part of meringue cookies is the cooking and cooling since they cook on a really low temperature for quite a while and then have to sit in the cooling oven after it’s turned off for a few more hours. However, once they’re done, you get to dip them into melted chocolate for that espresso mocha flavor combination that is out of this world. The cookies are crispy, light and good luck eating just one!

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Meringue Kisses
 
Yield: about 54
Ingredients
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon coffee extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy. Add the espresso, extract and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe 54 cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Alternatively, you could drop heaping teaspoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheets.
  5. Bake the meringues for 1½-2 hours, switching pans from top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Meringues are done when they are barely dry on the outside and soft in the middle. Turn off the oven and let cookies cool in the oven for 1-3 hours.
  6. Put the chocolate chips and the vegetable oil in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Dip the bottoms of the meringues into the melted chocolate and let the excess drip off. Set on a baking sheet lined with wax paper to allow the chocolate to harden. You can speed up the hardening time if you put them in the fridge. Repeat for all the meringues, melting more chocolate as needed.

Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember the Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies? Of course you do. I shared the recipe three weeks ago and they were fudgey and chocolatey and exceptionally delicious. I made the recipe from my Food52 Genius Desserts cookbook and I figured if the first cookie recipe I tried was that good that I definitely needed to bake another cookie recipe from the cookbook before the cookie season was through.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

So, today, on day eight of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies, I’m sharing the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle. This cookie brittle is for all the crispy cookie fans out there. The cookie dough is baked in a half sheet pan and then cracked into pieces once it’s cooled.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

This unconventional cookie requires an unconventional cookie dough. In this case, the cookie dough doesn’t have any eggs or any leavening ingredients. In fact, we’re just combining melted butter, turbinado sugar, flour, vanilla and salt and spreading it super thinly onto that half sheet pan. Don’t forget the chocolate chips!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since this is a stripped down type of cookie with plenty of chocolate chips you’re definitely going to want to use high quality chocolate. Stick with semisweet or bittersweet; my go-to brands are Ghiradelli or Guittard.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt couldn’t get enough of this crispy, crunchy confection and I’m glad to have found another hit from my cookbook. This cookie brittle won’t be replacing my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies anytime soon since I’m more of a soft and chewy cookie fan, but if you’re looking for a crispy cookie fix then this Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle is just what you need!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle
 
Yield: about 3 dozen pieces
Ingredients
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring in 20 second intervals until the butter is almost fully melted. Alternatively, you could melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, making sure you don’t let it come to a boil. Whisk until the butter is melted and the sugar has mostly dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk until the mixture is thick, smooth and doesn’t look separated, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and salt, whisk until combined. Add the flour and stir with a spatula until no streaks remain.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a rimmed ungreased half sheet pan (about 12-inch x 17-inch) and use your hands to pat it into a thin, even layer. It won’t look like you’re going to have enough dough to completely fill the pan, but you will. Keep pressing the dough to the edges; the layer will be very thin. Once you’ve filled the pan, use an offset spatula to smooth the top before sprinkling the chocolate chips all over. Lightly press the chocolate chips down with your hands.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes (rotating the pan every 7-8 minutes), or until light golden brown and slightly firm. Place the baking sheet on a wire cooling rack and let cool completely in the pan. Use a thin spatula to loosen the edges of the brittle from the baking sheet then break into pieces and let the pieces cool completely on the wire cooling rack, while trying to avoid smudging the chocolate chips. Alternatively, if the brittle is already completely cool you can put the pieces straight into an airtight container with layers of wax paper or parchment paper in between the brittle layers and store at room temperature.

Recipe from Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake.
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