Cookies

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have a confession that you may or may not have noticed. I skipped the May Food Network Magazine cookies. The May cookies are strawberry french macarons and at first I was intimidated, but excited. French macarons have been on my kitchen bucket list for years now. I bought all the ingredients to make them, read through the recipe (which was my ultimate mistake – always fully read through a recipe before committing to it!)… and just couldn’t get psyched up to make them.

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The Food Network Magazine recipe did a few things differently from other recipes I’ve read and I’ll be honest, sometimes the magazine recipes can be really hit or miss. When it came down to it, if I was finally going to make french macarons, something I’ve been excited about for years, but have never gotten around to, should I really be using a Food Network Magazine recipe with no reviews instead of my trusted cookbook or blogger sources? So, I put everything aside, ate a bunch of strawberries, and decided to move right along to the June cookies.

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies are definitely not to be skipped! They are chewy and bursting with lemon flavor. A couple weekends ago we had an awesome long family weekend with Matt’s parents and brother, Nick, in the Catskills. Nick is a lemon and lime fan so I brought some of these cookies along. They were a definite hit; my mother-in-law, Theresa, even ate some, which is a big deal since she is not usually a dessert person!

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The way you get the pinwheel effect is by laying two sheets of cookie dough on top of one another, rolling them up, then slicing and baking the cookies. The lighter dough is a sugar cookie dough with lemon extract. The yellow layer is that same lemon sugar cookie dough, but with lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon gelatin powder amping up the lemon flavor. There’s also a little yellow gel food coloring.

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you like lemon then I promise you will love these cookies! Make sure you read the recipe thoroughly well in advance because there’s two separate chilling steps so you most likely will want to give yourself at least two days to make them. Enjoy!

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemonade Pinwheel Cookies
 
Yield: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • ¼ cup lemon gelatin powder (from one 3-ounce box), divided
  • Lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon yellow gel food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons yellow sanding sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon coarse white sugar
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the egg, beat, then add the vanilla and lemon extracts and beat, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flour mixture on a reduced low speed until just combined.
  2. Place half the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap, flattening the dough into a disk as you wrap it. To the remaining dough, add 2 tablespoons of the gelatin powder, the lemon zest, lemon juice and the gel food coloring. Beat until just combined then wrap that half of the dough in plastic wrap, also shaping into a disk. Refrigerate both disks of dough until firm for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove the plain colored dough from the fridge and roll it out into a 10-inch by 11-inch rectangle on a lightly floured. I found it easier to move the dough if I rolled it out on a floured piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Put aside. Remove the yellow dough from the fridge and repeat the rolling process. Place the yellow dough rectangle on top of the plain colored dough rectangle. Trim the edges then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the yellow sanding sugar over top. Starting with the long end, tightly roll up the dough to form a log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap then refrigerate until firm for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of gelatin powder, 1 tablespoon yellow sanding sugar and the coarse white sugar. Remove the dough log from the fridge and roll it in the sugar mixture, pressing to help stick. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into ⅜-inch thick slices. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, switching the pans halfway though. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Notes
Make sure your dough sheets are equal sizes and wrap the dough together tightly when you roll it. The ends of my dough log were all uneven and not very tightly wrapped so I got about 14 or so perfect looking cookies and the rest of my cookies were kind of odd shaped because they were closer to the ends of the dough log.

 Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

How cute are these Easter jelly bean cookies?! These Carrot Cake Nest Cookies are the Food Network Magazine’s April cookies, which is perfectly fitting because they just scream springtime. After last month’s complicated Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies I was very excited to see a classic drop cookie – with a twist of course.

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cookie batter is filled with all the carrot cake staples: grated carrots, chopped toasted walnuts, and the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Using brown sugar and an egg yolk gives the cookies that ideal chewy texture, which are similar tips I use in my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. Before being baked, the cookie dough balls are rolled in shredded sweetened coconut. In addition to the chewiness, I love the crunch and texture you get in each bite from the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut.

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If it stopped there I would still gladly chow down on these carrot cake cookies any day of the week. But there’s more! Piped onto each cooled cookie is a pocket of sweet and buttery cream cheese frosting and some pretty jelly beans. Carrot cake is not complete without cream cheese frosting so it only makes sense for us to frost these cookies to make them truly carrot cake cookies! The little dollop in the middle of the cookie gives just the right balance of cookie to frosting.

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though they’re so cute, I thought I was going to end up picking off the jelly beans and eating them separately, but I actually really loved a bite of everything all together! Something about the added texture and sweetness of the jelly bean was a nice touch. I also used some of my favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors so that might have been part of it!

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The recipe calls for blue and white jelly beans, but if you don’t have enough feel free to branch out into other fun Easter pastel colors. I used the blue and white combo ones for the photos, but I had other cookies in this batch topped with pink and purple jelly beans as well. I hope you all enjoy these Carrot Cake Nest Cookies – they were one of my favorites so far!

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Carrot Cake Nest Cookies
 
Yield: about 22 cookies
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup finely grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1¾ cups shredded sweetened coconut
for the frosting
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Blue and white jelly beans, for topping
Directions
for the cookies
  1. Place oven racks in the upper and lower thirds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla then beat again until well combined. Add the carrots and walnuts then beat again. Slowly add the flour mixture while on low speed and beat until just combined.
  3. Scoop tablespoons of dough then roll the balls into the shredded coconut. I used my medium Oxo cookie scoop. Place 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or something round similar in size to make a deep indentation into the centers of the cookies. Bake the cookies, switching the baking pans halfway through from top to bottom, for 22-24 minutes, or until the cookies are set and the coconut is golden brown. Let cool completely on the pans placed on wire cooling racks.
for the frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag with the corner snipped or a pastry bag fitting with a round tip. If you aren’t ready to use right away, keep refrigerated. Pipe the frosting into the indentation if each cooled cookie then top each cookie with 3 jelly beans.

 Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have to admit that I was completely dreading these March cookies from the Food Network Magazine. The photos looked incredibly intimidating, especially since it’s a magazine so of course the rainbow cookies in the photograph was absolute perfection. Then I looked at the recipe and saw it involved tinting the cookie dough six, yes, six, different colors and these weird instructions for rolling, measuring and wrapping the dough that somehow gives you these cool rainbow cookies. I’m committed to completing this monthly cookie challenge so I rolled my sleeves up and dove in.

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The actual cookie dough is a very simple, buttery cookie recipe. You then divide the dough into six pieces so you’re going to want to make sure you have a lot of bowls ready! I used my kitchen scale to divide the dough since the recipe specified the amounts in ounces. Side note: if you don’t already have a kitchen scale, I highly recommend one if you do a lot of baking. They are fairly inexpensive (under twenty dollars) and are necessary for many baking recipes. Particularly for when you are baking something with layers, for example I make Matt those Italian tricolor cookies every Christmas and it is definitely key to make sure each of those thin layers has an exactly even amount of batter.

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, back to these crazy rainbow cookies! So once you have your dough divided up you tint each section with gel food coloring. Food coloring typically comes in a pack of red, yellow, green and blue. You could combine colors to make the orange and purple, but I used the same neon gel food coloring that I used for my Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches, which ended up being a lot easier and didn’t use up all of the red food gel. Now, I bet you’re wishing I would stop babbling about food coloring and are wondering how to get that cool layered rainbow shape!

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The gist of it is that the purple section gets rolled into a log. The blue section then gets rolled into a rectangle that wraps around the log, then the green section gets rolled into a slightly larger rectangle that wraps around the now larger log and so on until you have a big roll of cookie dough. After the dough log has had a chance to chill, you slice rounds, like a classic slice-and-bake cookie, then cut each round in half to get that rainbow half-circle shape. Voila!

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was relieved to discover that making these cookies wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, but if I ever had a desperate need for rainbow cookies in the future I would most likely just pipe rainbow frosting on top since mixing gel food coloring into cookie dough – six times – takes far too long to make it worth it in my opinion. What do you think? Would you give these pretty Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies a shot?

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Rainbow Slice-and-Bake Cookies
 
Yield: about 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon each red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food coloring
  • 1 cup white candy melts
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla then beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed until just combined.
  2. Divide the dough: 2 large pieces (about 7 ounces each), 2 medium pieces (about 5 ounces each) and 2 small pieces (about 3 ounces each). Tint 1 of the large pieces of dough red and tint the other one orange. Use a rubber spatula (so it doesn’t stain) to work the food coloring into the dough. Repeat with yellow and green for the 2 medium pieces of dough. Repeat with blue and purple for the 2 small pieces of dough.
  3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap, about 12 inches long, on a clean work surface. Take a large piece of wax paper, about 12 inches long, and lightly flour it. Put on gloves so you won’t get food coloring on your hands and so you can easily move from one color to the next. On the floured wax paper, roll the purple dough into a 7-inch log. It will be about ¾-inch thick. Set aside on the plastic wrap. Brush any purple dough off your gloved hands or the wax paper; dust with more flour if needed.
  4. Use a rolling pin to roll out the blue dough on the wax paper into a rectangle, roughly 3½ inches by 7 inches. Place the purple log on the edge of the blue rectangle and use the wax paper to help you tightly roll it around the purple log, lightly pinching the seam where the 2 long blue edges meet. Set the log back aside on the plastic wrap. Brush any blue dough off your gloved hands, the wax paper or the rolling pin; dust the wax paper with more flour if needed. Repeat for the remaining colors, in these sizes and in this order: green 5 inches by 7½ inches; yellow 6 inches by 8 inches; orange 7 inches by 8½ inches; red 8 inches by 9 inches. Wrap the plastic wrap around the whole log then refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight or place in the freezer for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. Cut the ends off of the log. Slice into ⅜-inch thick rounds then slice each round in half. If any of the cookies have a slight gap between the layers in spots just gently press them together. Place the rainbow cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets then place them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This helps prevent spreading when they bake.
  7. Take one pan out of the fridge and bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes. The cookies will be just set around the edges. When you take them out of the oven, if the bottoms of the rainbow have puffed out a little, carefully use a spatula to help press the bottom of the cookie to be flat. You have to do this while they’re right out of the oven because once they cool their shape will be set. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Remove the second baking sheet from the fridge and repeat the baking and cooling instructions.
  8. Once the cookies are completely cooled, melt the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwave and stirring in 20 second intervals until smooth. Place the melted candy melts into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip or in a resealable plastic bag with the corner snipped. Pipe the little clouds on the ends of each rainbow cookie then let set for at least 5 minutes.

 Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m posting the February cookies early so you have plenty of time to make them for Valentine’s Day next week. Which you will definitely want to do because how cute are these heart cookie pops? They are also game-changer cookies, but I’ll get into that in a bit. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about making these cookies because the recipe called for two things I’ve never done before; making cookie pops and making royal icing. I am happy to report that both were easier than I anticipated and there is no reason to be intimidated about making these Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops!

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops  |  Lemon & Mocha

The dough could not be easier to make since you whip it up in a food processor. I know not everyone has a food processor (if you are thinking of getting one I highly recommend the 14-cup Cuisinart I have), but I imagine you could use a stand mixer instead. The butter gets cubed up and added into the dough while it’s cold, just like when making a pastry crust, so there’s no waiting around for your butter to come to room temperature. Since the dough is cold from the chilled butter, it’s very easy to roll out without any stickiness.

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had to re-roll my dough because I initially rolled it too thin. You need the dough to be about 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch thick in order to insert the lollipop stick, which is thicker than you would think so break out that measuring tape! Since the dough was so thick, inserting the lollipop sticks was easy – first challenge complete! When I was cutting out the circles of dough I cut them tightly together so I was able to get all twelve circles from the initial rolled dough. The recipe says to gather, refrigerate and re-roll the scraps to cut out more cookies. Twelve cookie pops was already plenty for me so instead I just baked the scraps as is after I was done baking the cookie pops. They looked like funny bat winged cookies, but they still tasted delicious!

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops  |  Lemon & Mocha

Next up was the royal icing. Basically, the recipe has you make an icing that’s pretty stiff, which you pipe around the edge of the cookie. You then thin the icing and fill in the rest of the cookie within the piped line. I found it a little difficult to pipe a smooth line around the edge of the cookies, but after a few wonky lines I had it down. I don’t think I’ll become a cookier anytime soon, but they look so nice when they’re done. I went with a little heart on top instead of the swirl rose design on the original Food Network Magazine recipe.

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops  |  Lemon & Mocha

Okay, now back to that game-changer comment I made earlier. These Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops taste so good! As in, both Matt and I called them dangerous and tried to hide them. Matt hit the flavor spot on – they taste like a buttery version of that Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle. I couldn’t find cherry extract in my grocery store, which the original recipe calls for, so I went with raspberry extract and I’m happy I did because the flavor was subtle, fruity and complements the chocolate cookie perfectly. There’s also something really satisfying about eating a cookie off a lollipop stick. This chocolate cookie base is definitely going to be a new regular in my cookie rotation. Next time I’m going to try chilling it in a log to make slice and bake cookies. And I might even slice them thick enough to stick lollipop sticks in them again. Yum!

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops
 
Yield: 12 cookie pops
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the icing
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • ¼ cup water, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon raspberry extract
  • Red gel food coloring
Directions
for the cookies
  1. Prepare two sheets of parchment paper that are sized to line a baking sheet. Set aside. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, granulated sugar and salt. Once combined, add the cold butter cubes and the vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture looks like it has larger crumbs and will hold together when pinched. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or clean work surface and press the dough into a ball. Knead the dough a few times. Place the dough ball on one of the pieces of parchment paper then top with the other sheet. Press the dough to flatten then roll out the dough until it’s ⅜-inch to ½-inch thick. Refrigerate the dough slab for about 1 hour, or until firm.
  2. Make sure oven racks are positioned in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees F. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, cut out 12 cookies and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Carefully insert a 6-inch lollipop stick about ¾ of the way into each round cookie. If needed, form the scraps into a ball, refrigerate and re-roll to cut out more cookies. Or, refrigerate the scraps as is to bake as odd shaped scrap cookies once the other cookies are done baking.
  3. Bake the cookies until they are set for 25-30 minutes, switching the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Mine took closer to 30 minutes. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the pan on a wire cooling rack then transfer cookies to the wire cooling rack to cool completely.
for the icing
  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the powdered sugar and the meringue powder. Add the water and raspberry extract then beat with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until there are soft glossy peaks. Tint the icing with the red food coloring. I found that I needed a lot of gel food coloring to achieve a red color (almost half a tube). The icing should be able to be piped without being runny. If the icing is too thick add up to 1 more tablespoon of water. I needed to add about 2 teaspoons more water.
  2. Put ½ cup of icing into a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag and snip a corner. If you wanted to be more precise you could use a small round pastry tip (I didn’t do this, but I would probably do it next time). Apply firm and even pressure to pipe the icing around the edge of each cookie. I found it piped cleaner when I made sure I didn’t have the tip of the bag too close to the cookie. Set the piping bag aside for decorating the heart detail later.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to thin the remaining icing in the bowl until it is the consistency of runny yogurt. Put the icing into a new pastry bag or resealable plastic bag (no need for a pastry tip) and pipe a bunch of icing within the outline of 6 of the cookies. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out the icing and bring it all the way to the piped edge. You want to pipe enough icing that it’s easy to smooth, but not so much that it is spilling over the piped outline. Repeat with the remaining 6 cookies then let set at room temperature for about 1 hour. Use the reserved original piping bag of icing to pipe the heart details onto the cookies.
Notes
The cookies have a nice crispy texture to them. I stored them without the icing in a plastic container and they stayed that way. However, probably because of the icing, after storing them with the icing on, they became soft. They tasted really good both ways. I’m not sure if there is a way to avoid them from becoming softer because of the icing.

 

Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Game Day Cookies

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m stopping the Lemon & Mocha healthy January posts a couple days early, but it’s for a good reason. I still have plenty of healthy recipes on the schedule, they just won’t be the sole focus of my posts. I hope you enjoyed them though; I definitely did! The very good reason I’m cutting out early is because I have to post the monthly Food Network Magazine recipe. Last year was all about the muffins and if you’re new here you can read about it in my Muffin of the Month Round-up. At the end of that post I guessed that the monthly treat for 2019 would be cookies so I was super excited when I opened up my January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine to see their Calendar of Cookies!

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was even more excited after looking at the recipes for each cookie because the types and flavors look so good. However, they are definitely fancier than the typical cookies I make. My go-to cookie is usually a drop cookie, like these Game Day Cookies I’m posting for January, but for the ones coming up we have cookie pops, different colored dough, sandwich cookies, pie cookies and even macarons! It’s a little intimidating to go from easy one bowl muffins to these cookies, but who knows? Maybe they will end up being easier than they look. I like that it’s a challenge to push myself out of my baking comfort zone a little each month. I hope you’ll join me on this fun baking challenge!

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First up, we have these crazy snack-packed Game Day Cookies that are perfect for those Super Bowl parties! When I say packed I mean it; these cookies are loaded with candied bacon, pretzels, chocolate chips, mini M&M’s and potato chips. The base is like your normal chocolate chip cookie dough plus some of the bacon fat to replace some of the butter and to really bring home that bacon flavor.

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve never made candied bacon before, but the recipe calls for you to crisp bacon in a skillet then drain the fat and continue cooking the bacon with some brown sugar. If you normally think crispy fresh-cooked bacon is addictive, wait until you try this candied bacon! It was hard to save it for the cookies.

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

With all the different snack additions to these cookies they are the ultimate sweet and salty treat. Matt loved them especially because he is a huge bacon fan. I liked them, but I’m more of a sweets person so every time I ate one I found myself wishing it was less savory and more sweet. And had more chocolate, since as you all know I love to stuff my cookies with tons and tons of chocolate. So far, the Food Network Calendar of Cookies is off to a good start and I can’t wait to try the February cookies! Stay tuned!

Game Day Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Game Day Cookies
 
Yield: about 16 cookies
Ingredients
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup broken pretzel sticks
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup mini M&M’s
  • 2 cups kettle-cooked potato chips, broken
Directions
  1. Make sure racks in the oven are in the upper and lower thirds so you can fit bake both baking sheets of cookies at the same time. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until crispy and browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly then measure out 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and place in a large heatproof bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Safely discard the remaining bacon grease or save for another use (like the Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins!). Add 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar and the water to the drained pan with the bacon and cook for about 1 minute, or until the sugar is dissolved, making sure to stir. Transfer the bacon to a plate and spread it out to let it cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter to the large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer that has the bacon fat already in it. Add the remaining ½ cup brown sugar and the granulated sugar then beat on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla then beat until combined. Add the flour mixture then beat on low until a few flour streaks remaining. Add the pretzels, chocolate chips, M&M’s and candied bacon then beat until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the potato chips.
  4. Use a large OXO cookie scoop or a large spoon to scoop out large dough balls that are about 3 tablespoons each. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the middle, about 13-15 minutes, switching the baking pans halfway through from top to bottom. Place the pans on wire cooling racks and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to the wire cooling racks to cool completely.

 Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!