If You Give Anyone a Cookie...

By: Shannon Smith | Category: Restaurants | Issue: August 2019

World traveler and professional chef, Shannon Smith, owner of Beads and Basil.

World traveler and professional chef, Shannon Smith, owner of Beads and Basil.

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
Triple Chocolate Cookies 

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.

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
Citrus Ricotta Cookies 

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 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.

Shannon Smith Profile Picture

About Author Shannon Smith

I’m Chef Shannon Smith, creator of chefshannon.com, a website where I share my travel adventures, cooking experiences, jewelry creations, life stories, world travels, recipes, cooking classes, and jewelry art. In the past ten years, I’ve traveled to 52 countries, and I hope to add at least that many more over the next ten years. In every country, I am blessed to meet interesting people, learn new cultures, and try all kinds of delicious food. I take cooking classes, join food tours, meet with chefs, and often dine with people in their homes or restaurant kitchens. I’ve lived in Tulsa for over 30 years, and I love teaching people how to cook, especially dishes learned while traveling around the world. Some of my favorite cuisines are Indian, Moroccan, Turkish, Israeli, and Italian, although Indian is the cuisine that makes me the happiest. I’ve collected numerous recipes and methods for making delicious food, and I share those recipes on beadsandbasil.com. I teach classes several times a month when my travels allow. Those classes are advertised on the website but are almost always filled within hours after posting, so I also occasionally teach cooking classes to private groups. My readers and viewers get to learn about my cooking adventures, utensils and appliances. At last count, I have eight grills, two tagines, 22 knives, and ninety-four thousand serving dishes - at least according to my husband. My refrigerators are filled with nuts, cheese, and dried fruits I’ve brought from other countries. And my spice cabinets contain a menagerie of exotic and odiferous seeds, pods, and dried herbs that I use so many ways. Jewelry art is my other favorite activity. I create jewelry from beads and trinkets collected on my travels, including amber from Russia and Estonia, glass from Murano, Italy, paper beads from Rwanda, and old Yemen prayer capsules from Israel. I have an Indian friend who has some of the most beautiful semi-precious stones that he cuts into beautiful shapes. Several times a year, I attend national bead and jewelry shows where I search for unusual items to complete my creations. Many more adventures are planned for the future, and I’m excited to share them with you in my monthly column in Values Magazine, including recipes, cooking tips, interviews with my favorite Tulsa area chefs, cookbook recommendations, travel stories, my favorite local food trucks, and ways we can give our time and talents to our fantastic community of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram at Chef Shannon.

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