Showing posts with label Chocolate Chip Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chocolate Chip Cookies. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Welcome guest author Tracy Weber + book #giveaway!

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series.  The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel. 
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga, a Seattle yoga studio, as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible. 
Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their crazy new German shepherd pup, Ana. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, trying to corral Ana, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house. 
Her most recent novel, A Fatal Twist, was released in January, 2017 by Midnight Ink. For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website:

“Aunt Marcia’s” Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m absolutely delighted to be here today on Mystery Lover’s Kitchen, surrounded by posts from many of my favorite authors. 

There’s only one problem:  I don’t cook.


I don’t cook.


I had a minor panic attack when Daryl Wood Gerber asked me if I wanted to contribute.  The answer was, of course, a resounding yes!  But how?

Then I remembered my mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies.  To be honest, her cookies were never my favorites, but I was in the minority.  Everyone who knew her loved her cookies. She gave them out by the dozens. Mom’s cookies were so adored that they were mentioned in the eulogy at her funeral.

There was only one problem:  I didn’t have the recipe. Thankfully, one of my cousins, Valarie, did, and I was able to get it from her.

Problem solved.  Right?

I told my husband that I was going to bake cookies.  He looked at me drolly and said, “That seems highly unlikely.” I rolled my eyes and made my plans, only to discover that I lacked most of the basics.  I didn’t have flour. Or sugar. Or baking soda. Eggs? Not in this vegetarian’s refrigerator.  Vanilla?  Nope. Margarine or butter?  Not that either.

Chocolate I could manage.  Score one for me.

Then I realized I didn’t have a mixer.  Or cookie sheets. Or the fabled Tupperware containers that made them so fresh.  I have a Viking oven, but I’m not allowed to use it without supervision.
Sheesh!  What’s  a  girl to do?

I came up with a brilliant solution. I hired one of my yoga students. Hollie made the mistake of volunteering in yoga teacher training that she had a fantastic mixer, which got my addled mind to thinking.  Maybe she could make the cookies for me?

A short negotiation later, you have the result of this blog article.  Soft, chewy, milk chocolate chip cookies that will make your mouth water.  If Mom’s fans were any indication, these cookies are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

If you make them, please let me know what you think.  Heck, send me a dozen!  Starving yoga teachers (and their husbands) appreciate good food….

Photo by Hollie

Aunt Marcia’s Cookies


1 1/3 cup Gold-n-Soft margarine
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
12 ounces milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream together Gold-n-Soft, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop rounded spoons of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes

Store in Tupperware container.

According to my cousin, the secret is to not over bake them and to store them in an air tight bowl as soon as they are cool.  Mom used to put a slice of white bread (Wonder bread, at the time) in with them, claiming it kept them fresher.

Photo by Hollie


I am offering a giveaway today. Any of the four in the Downward Dog Mysteries—winner’s choice. Leave your email and let me know if you’re a cook or if you do yoga?

In addition to my website, you can find me here:
Twitter: @TracyWeberTypes

Monday, October 26, 2015

Spider Cookies

Happy Howloween! All week long we're bringing you Eat, Drink and Be Scary recipes to make your Halloween even more spooky and fun.

Over the years, I have whipped up enough recipes in my cauldron for an entire dinner. Including, of course, the famous Chicken Scaryaki that makes grown men run from the room. Hehehe.

I have offered vampire cupcakes, ghost potatoes, and Dead Man's Bones, which, make no mistake, is actually a finger-licking good rib recipe and not just for Halloween.

So this year, I really wanted to make something that busy parents and grandparents could whip up. Something that didn't require special ingredients or hours in the kitchen. I stumbled on just the thing at hungryhappenings.

Beth at hungryhappenings had the brilliant idea of spider-infested cookies. She used Cook's Illustrated's chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I had been eager to try. They use one egg and one egg yolk to get the right texture.

The great thing is that you can do this with your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's possible (but I haven't tried) that you might be able to do this with slice and bake cookies as well.

For those who are pressed for time and don't want to bake anything, I tried it on a store bought gingersnap cookie. You can see in the photo below that it worked out fine!

The chocolate will be wet, of course, so make your spiders far enough ahead for the chocolate to dry, unless your little goblins don't mind licking their fingers!

For the record, the recipe calls for baking the cookies at 325. I tried that but thought they seemed too dry. I turned the heat up to 350 for a batch and liked those better.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Cook's Illustrated via Beth at

12 tablespoons butter
2 1/8 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, separated 9 ounces + 3 ounces

Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir with a fork to combine. Set aside.

Beat the butter with the sugars for a couple of minutes. Beat in the egg and the egg yolk. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing well. Mix in 9 ounces of chocolate chips. The dough will be very thick.

Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to make rounds about the size of a golf ball and set them on the parchment paper about three inches apart. If there are no chocolate chips on the top of the mounds, press a few of the remaining chocolate chips where you need them as the bodies of the spiders. Bake 14-18 minutes until golden brown on the edges but soft in the middle. Cool on a rack. Cookies must be cool to decorate with spiders.

Chocolate Spiders

Melt 2-3 ounces of chocolate chips. Can be done in the microwave in short 15-20 second bursts, stirring in between. Cut a tiny notch in a disposable pastry bag or a zip top bag. Spoon the melted chocolate into the bag. Squeezing the bag, make a head for your spider and add eight legs. Repeat on the next spider.

Thick dough!

About the size of a golf ball.

Store bought gingersnap with spider!

Bandana colors. Not all colors available in all sizes.

As you probably know, MURDER MOST HOWL is coming in less than a month! Now that I'm counting the days, I have some bandanas to give away!

They come in three sizes:
TEACUP - 10x10x15 inches for tiny dogs, (7 lbs and under)
SMALL - 14x14x20 inches for small dogs
ONE SIZE FITS MOST - 22x22x31 inches for medium to large dogs

If you would like a bandana, leave a comment with your email address, preferred size, and color! Good luck!

And have a very

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Blame It on Aimee" Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bombs

Many of you know Aimee Hix, friend to cozy readers and writers 'round the globe.

She's also a devoted baker.  In fact, I was tickled beyond belief to receive a care package of her homemade cookies for my birthday this year.  I told Mr. Wendy about those cookies, but I sure didn't 'fess up to the true number.  Mr. Wendy has mad math skills after all.

Well, a week or so back, she posted about making her daughter's birthday treat:  Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.

Go on ...

I'm not 100% certain how she accomplished that particular baking feat, but it got me started thinking of all the other tasty treats that could be stuffed into a cookie.  First up?  Mini-Reese's peanut butter cups.

The result was completely off the chain (that's really good, by the way).  Unbelievably rich, but I still had to give them away lest I eat every last one and make myself sick.

Next up in my experiment?  Rollos.

"Blame It on Aimee" Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bombs

Prepare for Awesome
  1. Make a recipe of my Hippie Chippie cookie dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Unwrap enough mini peanut butter cups to make your cookies (I ended up with about 25).
  4. For each cookie, pull a chunk of dough and wrap it around the peanut butter cup, being sure the candy is fully covered.  The dough balls will be bigger than for regular cookies, and you can't flatten them.  (See below.)  No worries, just place them on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, spacing a good 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes; cool on pan for 5 before removing to rack to cool completely.
  6. Try not to have your mind completely blown on the first bite.

Fat balls of dough pre-baking

    After baking - see how they flatten out?


    Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook. She also writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries under the name Annie Knox; you can follow Annie on Facebook, too! 

      Monday, May 2, 2011

      Agatha Winners!

      I am overjoyed to announce that Mystery Lover's Kitchen has not one, but two Agatha winners! At the award banquet on Saturday night, Avery Aames won the Agatha award for Best First Novel, and Mary Jane Maffini won the Agatha award for Best Short Story. We're so proud of you both!

      Alas, none of us were present when Julie Hyzy won the Lovey award for the Reader's Choice for Best Traditional Mystery earlier this year, but we're excited and so proud of Julie, too!

      After all that excitement, cookies are a bit of a snore!

      For reasons that I haven't quite figured out, chocolate chip cookies are in great demand at my house. One reviewer said of The Diva Runs Out of Thyme that Sophie had a seemingly endless supply of chocolate chip cookies. That used to be the case for me. I always had a roll of homemade chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. I can't quite put my finger on the reason, but now I'm always out of them! Horrors!

      Since I'm baking all these cookies of the same type, I have decided to make it fun -- Krista's Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest. The Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies I made at Christmas will be hard to beat, but sometimes you don't want something quite so chocolatey. Last time I posted Bobby Flay's recipe, with the Kosher salt that turned out to be such a terrific addition. I liked Bobby's recipe a lot.

      Is anyone else watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? What an eye-opener. I've been looking for his healthy version of chocolate chip cookies but haven't found it yet.

      Today's recipe comes from the Food Network Kitchen's How to Boil Water and is apparently the recipe of someone named Meredith.

      What struck me about this particular recipe is how much they taste like Chips Ahoy. Which brings me to my theory that we often want food to taste familiar. Okay, well, not if it was something we hated. But people are always saying something doesn't taste like it did when mom made it. I wonder if we develop taste preferences based on what we already know. It's fun to try something new, but maybe familiarity of flavor is the reason that one of us loves a certain recipe and another thinks it's not quite right.

      Among taste testers who tried both the Bobby Flay recipe and this one, we're tied. It's an even split. I found the Bobby Flay cookies to be chewier and these to be more cakey.

      Food Network Kitchen's Chocolate Chip Cookies by Meredith

      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
      3/4 cup packed dark sugar
      3/4 cup sugar
      2 large eggs
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      2 1/4 cups flour
      3/4 teaspoons baking soda
      1 teaspoon fine salt
      1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks

      Preheat oven to 350.

      Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

      Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the eggs and mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients and the vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips.

      Bake 12 to 16 minutes.

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      Reader Appreciation Day!

      I love our readers! They're the nicest people. Please pat yourselves on the back!

      Lynn was kind enough to send me these pictures of cookies she made with the cookie cutters I sent her. Her daughter had a birthday and a Super Bowl party, so Lynn used the football cookie cutter, as well as the birthday cupcake cookie cutter.

      I am so impressed! Don't you love the perfect lacing on the footballs and the candles on the cupcakes? I bet everyone enjoyed them, Lynn!

      Helena Georgette, who won cookie cutters for her Raggedy Anne Cookie recipe sent me this beautiful crocheted snowflake. It has a special place on my kitchen wall and reminds me of Helena Georgette every day. She also sent some favorite recipes. I've advised her to hold onto one for our Christmas Recipe Contest this year. It might become a Christmas tradition at my house!

      And in case you missed it, Dru posted these photos on Facebook. She made Misa Ramirez's Spanish Rice with the Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Legs. To quote Dru, "They were GOOD!"

      It's such a joy to know that people like Dru, and Helena Georgette, and Lynn are here with us sharing the good times. Thanks to all of you who make Mystery Lover's Kitchen such a warm and lovely place to visit each day.

      And now, can you stand another cookie recipe?

      I have come to the conclusion that I am the cookie monster. Years ago, when I lived in New York City, every errand, every movie, even just our paths home from work, took my roommates and me by a David's Cookies. I think we paid the rent for the David's Cookies in the Citicorp building.

      That was a long time ago, but things haven't changed. After baking all those wonderful cookies in the Christmas contest, wouldn't you think I would be burned out on cookies? But nooooo! My mother dropped some major hints that it was time for more cookies, so I'll blame it on her. Although I have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, this time around I tried Bobby Flay's recipe, which is posted at Food Network.

      When I read his recipe, I couldn't help musing about the number of variations on a simple chocolate chip cookie. Would Berkley let me do a series called the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mysteries? Seriously, eggs and vanilla extract seem to be the only unwavering ingredients. We could use whole wheat or gluten-free flour, not to mention a variety of brands of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.

      Then there's sugar. White sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, or in the case of Bobby Flay's recipe, muscavado sugar. I had to look it up. The Gourmet Sleuth says it is "partially refined brown sugar with sticky crystals."

      Let's not forget the very controversial subject of butter vs. vegetable shortening. There are those who believe a chewy cookie must contain vegetable shortening or a combination of vegetable shortening and butter. And there are those who think butter is the only way to go in any cookie.

      You think I'm through with the ingredient dilemmas don't you? Not quite. There's baking soda vs. baking powder or a combination thereof.

      Like eggs and vanilla, I thought salt couldn't possibly be a variant, unless it was to leave it out altogether, but Bobby Flay has even made salt an issue by using Kosher salt!

      We're talking about the most simple sort of cookie and look how many possible variations there are. Unbelievable.

      I followed Bobby's recipe precisely, except for the muscavado sugar. I used plain light and dark brown sugars instead. I did use Callebaut chocolate, which I recommend very highly, but I happened to have their chocolate chips on hand, so I used 10 ounces of chocolate chips instead of chunks.

      If you want to see Bobby's instructions, click on the link below. I have shortened them a bit.

      • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
      • 1 cup granulated sugar
      • 1/3 cup dark brown muscavado sugar
      • 1/3 cup light brown muscavado sugar
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      • 1 (5-ounce) block semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (recommended: Callebaut)
      • 1 (5-ounce) block milk chocolate, chopped into chunks (recommended: Callebaut)

      Preheat the oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

      Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.

      Beat the butter for one minute. Add the sugars and beat. Add the eggs and beat. Add half of the flour and mix. Add the remaining flour and mix. Stir in chocolate chips/chunks.

      Drop the dough onto the baking sheet by the spoonful and bake 11 minutes. They should be slightly crispy on the edge but soft in the middle.

      If you don't want to bake all the cookies, the dough freezes very nicely in a log.

      The results? This may be my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. The cookies came out looking flatter than the recipe I normally use, so I had my doubts, but the texture was great.

      They were soft and chewy in spite of the fact that they don't contain any vegetable shortening. A lot of chewy chocolate chip cookies are hard as rocks the second day, but that wasn't the case with Bobby Flay's cookies. I refrigerated them overnight and they were every bit as delicious the next day and even five days later.

      I was skeptical about that Kosher salt, but it's wonderful. You can taste just the tiniest hint of salt, giving the cookie a more complex flavor without overpowering it. Good call, Bobby!

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      Hippie Chippies

      Those of you who attended Malice Domestic last spring probably remember me as "the lady in the boot." I had a tendon injury, and the boot was one of many attempts to fix it. Unfortunately, neither the boot nor anything that followed actually worked. So last week I learned that I have to have surgery (again), and I need to do it next week (to coincide with my spring break).

      This means three things: (1) If you see me at Malice this spring, I will once again be in the boot. What a fantastic tradition! (2) I'm frantically trying to get my ducks in a row before I go under the knife, so I don't have any pictures of my food. And (3) I'm craving comfort food like you wouldn't believe.

      Here's the thing about me and "comfort food": My mama did not raise me on health food. No sir. I ate sugary cereal, processed meats, and plenty of delivery pizza. And, alas, my tastes have not changed. I still dig salty, sweet, and fatty, especially when I'm feeling blue or anxious.

      Now, though, I'm aware of what I ought to be putting in my body. My brain understands that whole grains and organic veg will allow me to live a longer, happier, healthier life.

      But, um, French fries? Chocolate? No matter what my brain tells me, my tummy and my taste buds want deliciousness. I have become this strange hybrid of junk food junkie and hippie, eating vegan vegie burgers on whole wheat buns with a side of cheese doodles.

      In honor of my increased awareness (and increased cholesterol), I've been working for some time at slimming down some of my favorite dishes, making them a smidge more hearty healthy (and waist-friendly). This interpretation of my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe delivers a hearty snack, satisfying and chocolatey but not too sweet or oily. They're certainly not low fat . . . oh, no. But ground oats and whole wheat flour add significant fiber and mitigate my guilt a bit. Yet they're every bit as tasty as their white-flour cousins . . . and right about now, I could down a dozen of them!

      Hippie Chippies

      2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
      1 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour*
      1 tsp. baking soda
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1/2 c. butter (room temperature)
      1 c. light brown sugar
      1/2 c. white sugar
      2 eggs
      1 tsp. vanilla
      1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Finely grind the oats in a food processor or blender. Pulse in flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or a large mixing bowl), cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients and then the chips.

      Working with 2 Tbs. of dough at a time, form balls and flatten slightly. Place on ungreased cookie sheet (ideally, lined with a silpat or parchment paper). Bake about 12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on the pan and then remove to rack and cool completely.

      * White whole wheat flour is whole wheat flour made with white wheat (instead of the more common red wheat). White whole wheat flour has a milder, less nutty taste. It behaves like whole wheat flour, though, so keep this in mind if you use it for baking things like bread.


      Wendy writes the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web. Better yet, come befriend her on Facebook and keep her company while she convalesces after surgery!