Cookies

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!

201710301lemonandmocha

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.

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

Happy Halloween! I wanted to post a recipe that would utilize leftover Halloween candy and I came across this idea in a magazine. Cookies are delicious, but what makes them even more decadent? Candy! Most people usually have leftover Halloween candy so you may find yourself in this very situation tomorrow. Maybe you didn’t get that many trick-or-treaters this year or you bought too much because you were worried about running out. Or maybe you live in an apartment building with no kids, but bought a bag of Halloween candy anyways because you have serious chocolate addiction problems that you should really see someone about.

For all you leftover candy havers it’s time to reinvent your candy. Sick of all those miniature Milky Ways? Transform them into cookies! Suddenly it’s a whole new food group. For all those less fortunate folks who got picked clean from those neighborhood rascals, don’t pout just yet. Now all the Halloween candy is on sale; unless they already replaced it with Christmas candy, which is both extremely possible and incredibly ridiculous. So go buy some so you can put it in these cookies.

I used miniature candies for these, but if you’re one of those houses that hands out the full size candy bars, first of all kids everywhere thank and applaud you. Second, you can just add an extra step and cut your large candy bars into one inch squares to use in this recipe.

The cookies are soft and chewy, which nestles the gooey candy center perfectly. I used a chocolate chip cookie base without the chocolate chips, but if you’re feeling extra devilish this Halloween you can always add one cup of chips to the batter. Muhahaha!

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies
 
Yield: 16 cookies
Ingredients
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 16 unwrapped miniature chocolate candies
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 10 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. While the butter is melting, whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. When the butter has melted, keep it on the heat and swirl the pan until the butter is a golden brown. This should take 2-3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Continue to stir until completely melted then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the brown sugar, sugar, vanilla and salt to the bowl with the butter. Whisk to combine.
  6. Add the egg and egg yolk to the butter mixture. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes then whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat this 1 more time so that the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  8. Using a rubber spatula carefully stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. If you were including chocolate chips you would add 1 cup of them to the batter after this step.
  9. Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of batter and press one of the unwrapped candies into the center. Carefully form a ball with the batter and the candy in the center with your hands then place on the baking sheet.
  10. Continue this process until you have 16 cookies total, 8 per baking sheet.
  11. Bake 1 tray at a time for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have begun to set and the cookies are golden. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.
  12. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and let sit for a few minutes then transfer cookies to the wire rack using a spatula to cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from May & June 2009 issue of Cook’s Illustrated.
Inspiration from October 2011 issue of Everyday Food.