Cookies

Lemon S’mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Look at that crispy gooey marshmallow! Look at it nestled up against the tart and creamy lemon curd! Have you ever seen lemon curd look more mouthwatering than this? I’ve already shared lemon curd paired with puff pastry, as part of a parfait, and even spread on a waffle so I wanted to come up with a completely different use for the citrusy treat I shared on Monday. Enter this Lemon S’mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies. Even though spring just started, the cold temperatures in Boston already have me daydreaming about summer. Between the bright lemon curd and the charred marshmallows, these s’mores combine spring and summer in the best possible mash-up.

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If it’s still a little too chilly to warm up the fire pit for a traditional roasted marshmallow, you can use your broiler or – carefully – use your gas grill. Roasting the marshmallow in the broiler doesn’t take much time so make sure you watch it carefully. You can broil the marshmallow right on top of one of the cookies or on a small piece of nonstick aluminum foil, but do not put the lemon curd in the broiler. If you still want that roasting on a stick experience you can be like me and – carefully – roast the marshmallow on a heat-safe skewer over a low flame of your gas grill. Mmmmm.

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I still haven’t gotten to the best part of these s’mores. Well, one of the best parts. Yes, I know there’s only three components, but don’t make me choose! The soft gingersnap cookies are so amazingly delicious. I’m not kidding when I say they are soft; they’re just like out of a bakery. The exterior is soft; the inside is soft; they’re chewy and sweet and the ginger, molasses and spices come together perfectly. Can you tell I’m a little bit excited?

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was deciding what cookie to use for the s’mores I knew a traditional graham cracker wouldn’t cut it. I didn’t want a crunchy cookie; I wanted the s’mores to have a soft perfect-bite quality, similar to a whoopie pie. If you want the classic graham cracker crunch then cinnamon graham crackers would pair well, but I would definitely recommend the soft gingersnap cookies for the most ideal lemon s’mores experience.

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The recipe below is for a full batch of the soft gingersnap cookies as well as how to make one s’more. The s’mores are pretty big so I would suggest planning on one per person. I would definitely recommend making the full batch of soft gingersnap cookies because, trust me, you will want s’more of those. This recipe wraps up my week on lemon curd here in the Lemon & Mocha kitchen – just in time for Easter! Do you have a favorite way to enjoy lemon curd? Or, which of these are you going to try first?! Enjoy!

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies
 
Yield: 24 cookies; 1 s'more
Ingredients
for the soft gingersnap cookies
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus additional for rolling the dough
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
for the s’mores
  • 2 cookies, per s’more
  • 2 teaspoons lemon curd, per s’more
  • 1-2 marshmallows per s’more, depending on size of marshmallows
Directions
for the soft gingersnap cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the egg and molasses and beat to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Place a few tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon of dough; roll into a ball then roll in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Continue, placing the cookie dough balls about 2” apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and the edges have started to lightly brown. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then carefully move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool.
for the s’mores
  1. Pick two cookies that are of equal size and slather one of them with the lemon curd. Roast your marshmallow or marshmallows. Place the roasted marshmallow(s) on the cookie with the lemon curd then sandwich with the other cookie, pressing down while you pull out your roasting stick or skewer.
Notes
This recipe is for a full batch of the soft gingersnap cookies as well as how to make one s’more. The s’mores are pretty big so I would suggest planning on one per person.

Gingersnap cookies from Taste of Home.
Lemon curd from Sketches and Scribbles.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was deciding what to bake up for Valentine’s Day I immediately thought of these Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies I made over Christmas. I initially made these more for Matt since he loves cherry, but they ended up being one of my favorite cookies.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These soft and chewy cookies are loaded with cherry preserves, dried cherries, and chocolate chips. The flavor of the cherry preserves is subtle because the dried cherries and the chocolate chips take center stage. The combination of the two, especially baked into a chewy cookie, is habit-forming.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorite things about these Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies though was that they stayed fresh in an airtight container for so long! Not that they will last that long in your house, unless you’re a crazy normal person like me and made 10 bazillion different kinds of cookies by the hundreds for Christmas. Then you’ll be happy to know that the dried cherries keep them tasting like you just made them the other day.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

You will need red food coloring to get that perfect color for Valentine’s Day. Between these and the Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies I have a whole bunch of boxes of food coloring lying around with the red missing so I either need to invest in just red food coloring or come up with something for my green, yellow, and blue!

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and enjoy these Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies!

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies
 
Yield: about 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup cherry jam or preserves
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup sweetened dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red sanding sugar
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat the butter, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar with a mixer on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat to combine, then add the jam, both extracts, and the food coloring. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flour mixture on low speed and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and dried cherries. Tightly cover the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough needs to be firm; I left my dough overnight both times.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set side.
  4. In a small bowl combine the confectioners’ sugar and sanding sugar. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in the confectioners’ sugar mixture to coat completely. Repeat with the rest of the dough and space about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden and the cookies are cracked on top, making sure not to overcook. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 Recipe from December 2017 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boo! Look at these little monster cookie sandwiches! How cute are they? I’ve been wanting to make some special Halloween treats for a couple years now, but I haven’t made anything since these Witches’ Cauldron Cupcakes or these Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies. We always end up being away on my favorite month of the year – I guess that’s what happens when it’s your birthday month and your anniversary month!

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though it seemed like we were away for most of October this year I was determined to finally make a new Halloween treat. I scoured Instagram and Pinterest trying to find a chocolate dessert that wasn’t shaped like a spider, but I had no luck. So after being inspired by the candy monster eyes I had in my baking drawer (doesn’t everyone have candy monster eyes in their baking drawer?) I came up with these cuties.

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

The best part is that they taste so good. Or maybe the worst part if you were hoping to not devour five of them and then not fit in your pants. That’s okay, go buy some leggings. Anyways, this is my first time making these sea salt dark chocolate cookies and it will definitely not be my last. I made them smaller so the cookies sandwiches wouldn’t be so big, but if you were making them just for cookie purposes you could double the size to two tablespoons of dough. The marshmallow filling has the right amount of sweetness and the creaminess balances nicely with the dark chocolate.

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

So go ahead and make these tasty monster cookie sandwiches – no special decorating skills required! And have a happy Halloween!

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Also one recipe note that I want to point out in advance – the cookie dough needs to be made ahead of time. It has to chill for at least three hours so definitely plan ahead!

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches
 
Yield: 12 cookie sandwiches
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
for the filling
  • 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff, about 2 ½ cups
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Neon gel food colors
  • Candy monster eyes
Directions
for the cookies
  1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, both kinds of cocoa powder, the baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix the butter on medium speed until smooth, about one minute. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on high speed until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. On low speed, carefully pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. On high speed mix in the milk until combined, then the chocolate chips. The dough will be very thick and sticky (and tasty!). Avoid eating it so you have batter to make cookies with and put it in the fridge, covered, to chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
  4. When you’ve properly chilled the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes if it sat in the fridge for longer than 3 hours so it’s easier to scoop.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough (I used the Oxo medium cookie scoop) and roll into a ball. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. I had 12 balls on each cookie sheet (maybe could have had more, but some dough got taste-tested). Sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of sea salt.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack. Let cool completely. If not frosting right away, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
for the filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, carefully combine the fluff, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt on high speed. Once fluffy divide into smaller bowls depending on how many different colors you want to use. Add the food coloring and mix until the desired color is reached.
  2. Spread about a tablespoon of filling on a cookie then sandwich with another cookie. Continue until all cookies have been sandwiched. The filling is not very thick so do not put too much on or it will ooze out the sides. You could try thickening it with more powdered sugar, but I thought it would make it too sweet. Press monster eyes into the sides.
Notes
I prefer to use Ghirardelli chocolate chips, either their semi-sweet or their bittersweet.

Salted dark chocolate cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Marshmallow filling from Bakerita.

Half Moon Cookies

Half Moon Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Late last summer a bakery a couple blocks away from my apartment closed. I had recently discovered it and quickly became addicted to its treats. I think its closure was due to the universe saving me from gaining 50 bajillion pounds, although technically, they were just unable to renew their lease.

Half Moon Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorite treats of theirs was their half moon cookies. Monstrous in size with a light cakey texture and the perfect amount of chocolate and vanilla icing.

Half Moon Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Shortly after their closing I was craving these delightful cookies and realized that Matt’s half birthday was coming up. I had never done anything for Matt’s half birthday before, but thought it would be a fun surprise. Half moon cookies for a half birthday, what could be better than that?

Half Moon Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was a little intimidated about the icing portion since my patience for decoration is minimal, but they were actually very easy to frost. And even better to eat of course. With just a hint of lemon in the cookies themselves I must admit that I enjoyed these even more than their counterparts from the closed bakery. So take that universe!

Half Moon Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

To get true white icing for your half moon cookies be sure to use clear vanilla extract. You can buy it here, in your regular grocery store or in a large craft store chain, such as A.C. Moore.

Half Moon Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Half Moon Cookies
 
Yield: 22 cookies
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (not non-fat)
for the vanilla icing
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract
for the chocolate icing
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
Directions
for the cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt and lemon extract with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
  3. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time, beating after adding each egg until combined.
  4. Gently stir in 1 cup of the flour followed by ¼ cup of the milk. Continue alternating carefully stirring in 1 cup of flour and ¼ cup of milk, ending with the last ½ cup of flour.
  5. Drop the dough ¼ cup at a time onto the prepared baking sheets. Wet the bottom of the measuring cup (so it doesn’t stick) and press onto the dough to flatten and spread it into a 3” diameter circle. Try to make sure the circle of dough is an evenly flattened. Leave 2” to 2½” between each cookie because they will spread.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes and cool them on the pan to give them time to fully set before moving them to a cooling rack
for the vanilla icing
  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, hot water, corn syrup and vanilla extract.
  2. Once the cookies are completely cooled, use a butter knife or icing spatula to carefully spread the vanilla icing over half of each cookie. It is okay if you ice them a little more than half because you will be adding the chocolate icing.
for the chocolate icing
  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, hot water, corn syrup and vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and stir until smooth and well combined.
  2. Once the vanilla icing has set on the cookies carefully spread the chocolate icing on the other half. Let the cookies rest on the cooling racks until the icing has set.
Notes
*If you don’t want to purchase clear vanilla extract you can use regular vanilla extract, but your vanilla icing won’t be white.
*Store at room temperature

Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I would be surprised if there is anyone who doesn’t have some sort of special memory related to chocolate chip cookies. They are just one of those foods that tend to remind you of home and comfort. My memory has to do with my grandma, as most of my food memories do. She was known throughout my family and friend group as having delicious chocolate chip cookies, so much in fact that they were dubbed “Babu Cookies.” (Side note: we call my grandma Babu, which is short for Babushka, or grandmother in Russian).

The best part was that there was always a batch of them somewhere in the house. Whether they were stocked in the freezer or a fresh batch was sitting warm and gooey on the cooling racks in the kitchen, Babu made sure we never were lacking chocolate chip cookies.

I have not been able to perfect the Babu cookie as I remember it, slightly cakey and chewy, and part of that is probably because the memories associated with some foods can tend to elevate them in your mind. So instead, I have taken a cue from Cook’s Illustrated, the know-it-all of baking science, and now make my own delicious chocolate chip cookies.

The inclusion of browning the butter and using mostly dark brown sugar gives the cookie a rich flavor, while the addition of an extra egg yolk lends to its chewy texture. Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips are a must and bring this cookie to a straight-up heavenly status.

I could eat the entire batch of these cookies, but Matt would never let me get away with not sharing. Even though it takes an enormous amount of willpower to not devour them as soon as they’re out of the oven, my favorite way to eat them is cold out of the fridge. So make these perfect chocolate chip cookies and make some food memories. Or at least make your tastebuds extremely happy.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Yield: 16 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda, then set aside.
  4. In a small skillet over medium-high heat melt 10 tablespoons of the butter. Keep cooking, making sure to continuously swirl the pan, until the butter is golden brown in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the browned butter into a large heatproof bowl. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until melted.
  5. Add the sugar, brown, salt and vanilla to the large bowl with the butter. Whisk until incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk until smooth. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 more times to make the mixture thick and shiny. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be thick at this point so mixing in the chips will be a little hard, but do the best you can without over mixing.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to arrange dough balls, about 3 tablespoons each, 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake the cookies one tray at a time on the middle rack for 10-14 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time. Cookies are done when they are golden brown, puffy and the edges have just started to set, but the centers are soft. Once removed from the oven let cook on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then carefully remove to a cooling rack.

Recipe from May & June 2009 issue of Cook’s Illustrated.