If You Give Anyone a Cookie...

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One of my favorite children’s story books is If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff. It’s a silly story about a mouse who is offered a cookie, but wants a dozen other things before finally getting the cookie. 

At my house you can always get them because I keep a bag of frozen baked cookies in my freezer at all times! Even better, I have bags of frozen cookie dough balls ready to pop into the oven.  In just minutes there are freshly baked cookies ready in case I need to bribe, console, or happy-up someone! 

My UPS driver (I call him my driver because he delivers to my house nearly every day) receives a “thank you” cookie from me often, and I’ve been known to pass out cookies to those who labor in my yard. It’s just a simple way to show appreciation, and I can’t tell you how many times I’m told, “I haven’t had a homemade cookies in years.” (How can that be?) 

I have to admit I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I rarely partake in the cookie party that comes out of my oven. I’d much prefer a wedge of cheese, but I know I’m in the minority. 

I’m probably most known for my triple chocolate cookies because they’re like a brownie on steroids. The citrus ricotta cookies are great too, and satisfy those people who love anything lemony. 

When my kids were in school I tried to convince them that taking cookies to their teachers was never a bad idea.  Sometimes at teacher conferences I would ask the teacher what her favorite cookie was, so I could file that very important information in my brain, and use it in the most necessary circumstances. I’d like to think at least one of those bags of cookies I sent to school helped soothe the stress and frustrations in the life of a teacher.  It doesn’t hurt to bake cookies for your spouse either. I’ve learned that a couple of warm cookies can cover a whole lot of mistakes, or at least I hope so!

But with that said, I have to mention Laura Numeroff’s recent book called If You Give A Man A Cookie, a funny parody about how a man asks for a cookie, but spends the entire day obtaining it.

I’ve chosen five of my favorite cookie recipes, which are on www.beadsandbasil.com, but here are two that are sure to make someone’s day.

Triple Chocolate Cookies 
Makes 2 dozen large, or 3 dozen small.

This is my most popular cookie recipe, and I’ve used it to make a lot of people happy.  Sometimes I make them big, and often I make small bite-sized cookies for larger events.  Either way, this is how you win friends and put smiles on their faces!

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter, bittersweet chocolate, and semisweet chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Alternatively, you can melt it in a glass bowl in the microwave by heating for one minute on high, stirring, and heating in thirty second increments until mixture is nearly melted. Then stir until completely melted. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until smooth and pale in color. Add the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla, and blend. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into mounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, placing the scoops 2” apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the tops begin to crack and look glossy. Cool cookies for ten minutes, and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Citrus Ricotta Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

You have to start these cookies a day before you want to make them, but they’re worth the wait! They’re also worth all the zesting you have to do with the citrus fruits (you can make a juice smoothie with the actual fruit juice).

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • grated zest of 1 orange

At least one day before baking these cookies, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a mixture with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for five minutes, until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the ricotta in small amounts, and then the lemon, lime, and orange zests. Stir in the flour mixture until just blended. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop the dough with a cookie scoop and place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Put pan into the freezer, and freeze until solid, about 8 hours. When ready to bake, line two more baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place frozen dough balls on baking sheets, two inches apart. Let set out for thirty minutes before placing in oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes, then place cookies on a rack to cool completely. Frost each cookie with citrus glaze and serve.

Citrus Ricotta Cookies

Citrus Glaze:

  • 1 stick (8 ounces) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • Grated zest of one lime
  • Grated zest of one orange

In a bowl, beat the butter with the powdered sugar until smooth. Add lime juice and all three zests and blend until combined.

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