Showing posts with label cookie contest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookie contest. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2011


by Sheila Connolly

We're having so much fun with this contest!  We've received a lot of great recipes and we're testing a bunch of them, so we have plenty of cookies to go around (my husband thanks you, my daughter thanks you, the bookstore where my daughter works thanks you...).

I love cookies, both the making and the eating, and I have quite a few cookbooks dedicated to them.  That's why it's a treat to find new recipes that aren't quite like anything I've tried.  I'm presenting you with two today, one which incorporates graham cracker crumbs, and one which combines ginger and chocolate in an interesting way.

Treasure Chip Cookies

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder 
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup butter/margarine, softened
1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
1 12-oz. package chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.
In a larger bowl, beat the sweetened condensed milk and the butter/margarine until smooth. Add the dry mixture, mixing well. Add the coconut, chips and nuts.

Drop in rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet (cookies will flatten somewhat). Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on the cookie sheets for a minute or two, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Double-Ginger Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 Tblsp cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli Natural

   Unsweetened Cocoa)
12 Tblsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1 large egg yolk
½ cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coarsely chopped candied ginger
1 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used one bar of

   Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, spices and cocoa in a large bowl. Set aside.

With a mixer, cream together the butter and brown and white sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 min.).

Beat in egg yolk. Add molasses and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix until flour is well blended. Stir in ginger and chocolate.

Chill dough until firm.  Place ½ cup sugar in a bowl. Roll tablespoonsful of cookie dough into balls, then roll in sugar. Place 2" apart on parchment-lined cookies sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating pan after 5 minutes, until cookies are beginning to crack and edges are just set. Do not overbake. Let cookies cool briefly on baking sheet, then transfer to rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Ready to Bake

Ready to eat!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Almond Brownies Recipe

Our cookie contest is on!!!!  What beautiful cookies (including bars) coming our way...and therefore your way.

And I am having so much fun.

Denise Zaky offered this recipe, which she found from King Arthur Flour, but she amended it, so we’re using the recipe that she provided. King Arthur Flour asked for candied cherries and their flour, of course. Denise amended to suit her cupboard’s needs – as I would have done.

Now many of you know that I need to eat gluten-free, so I made two batches of these. One with all of Denise’s ingredients and one gluten-free. 

{And one more, which I’ll explain at the end of this post.} My taste-testers were over on Thanksgiving and loved the brownies!!!  All of them. What was interesting is they couldn’t taste the difference between my first batch of brownies, GF or regular. Ha!  But again…read on for the “rest of the real” story.

Cranberry Almond Brownies from Denise Zaky


           1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

·         1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (brandy or apple juice)

·         3/4 cup semisweet chocolates

·         1/2 cup butter

·         1 cup sugar

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2 large eggs

·         3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour  [**NOTE: for gluten-free, use ¾ cup sweet rice or rice flour and 1 teaspoon Xantham gum]

·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/2 cup diced almonds

·         1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolates

            If you want to have chocolate for coating these delicious morsels, you’ll need one more cup of Semisweet Chocolate and 2 tablespoons water or milk.  (*see note below)


1) Place dried chopped cranberries in a microwave-safe container,  
sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Amaretto and cover. Microwave for 45  
seconds. Set aside to soften and cool. (Note, I forgot to chop these. But they were fine because they’re small.)
Gluten-free 9" round

Regular mix 8x11" rectangle
2) Melt together the semisweet chocolate and butter over low heat, or in the microwave. {If you do in the microwave, which I did, only go on medium high for 15-20 seconds at a time so they don’t overcook.) Stir in the sugar and salt. Whisk well. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. [Okay BIG NOTE -- the rest of the real story – I forgot on the first batches to add the sugar and they turned out great, so I think that’s because the original recipe called for unsweetened chocolate and sugar. Since Denise had called for semisweet chocolates, the sugar was already in the mix, so to speak. When I remade the brownies using the sugar, they were a tad too sweet, but I think they both worked. It just depends on what mood you are in, don’t you think?]

3) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" x 8" square pan or  
9" round pan.  [I used an 8 x 11 rectangle for the regular brownies and an 9" round for the GF to make sure I didn't get them mixed up.]

4) Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. Stir in  
the flour (or gluten-free flour and Xanthan gum) and baking powder, then the soaked cranberries and extra semisweet chocolates.

5) Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30  
minutes, until set. Remove from the oven, and cool before cutting.

6) To dip brownies in coating chocolate: Cut brownies into 1 and 1/4" squares,  
patting crumbs into sides of brownies. Wrap and place in the freezer.  [Note: I did not put them in the freezer. Once cool, they were fine to dip. But you could freeze. I’ve got extras in there right now. Yum!]

All the brownies looked like this without chocolate! Light and fluffy.
7) Melt the 1 cup of semisweet chocolates and water or milk.  Melt coating chocolate by microwaving it in 15-second  bursts, and stirring between bursts until most of it is melted. To  make a dark, shiny glaze, mix ½ cup + 1 tablespoon hot milk with the  melted coating chocolate. Stir vigorously, until the grainy mess  smoothes itself into a dark, shiny glaze. The glaze will be firm but  not hard, like the chocolate glaze on your favorite snack cakes.

8) Using a chocolate dipping fork [I used wooden skewers], skewer a brownie and plop the brownie into the glaze, and  pull it out. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the dipping bowl to remove excess coating.  Place on parchment to set.  [Note: I used a long barbecue-style toothpick; I could have used a fondue fork, I imagine]  **Also, I had two separate bowls to do the dipping between regular brownies and gluten-free brownies.

Yield: Denise said 3 dozen dipped brownies but I only got 16 brownies from 8 x 11 pan. I think perhaps mine were cut too big? Whatever...delicious!!!! And so pretty and glossy.

* * * *

You can learn more about Avery by clicking this link.

Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for my mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, coming out February 2012.

* * * * * * * *

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

You might have noticed something new here at Mystery Lover's Kitchen this morning.  It's our little Halloween treat for you!  We have finally added a recipe index!  Look for this recipe index icon in the sidebar and click on it to go to our index.

Hopefully, it will now be easier for all of us to find our favorite recipes.  We have divided them into categories that we hope will be easy to scan when you're looking for a dish to make.  Some recipes fall into two or more categories, so be sure to cross check.  For instance, vegetarian and pasta dishes are also terrific main courses.  Blogger only allows a certain number of pages, so we have grouped a number of different categories on the pages.  If you select Cookies, for instance, you'll go to the Desserts page where pies, cookies, and cakes are listed as well as other desserts.  Just scroll down to the section you want.

The index is still a work in progress.  We're trying to figure out why the names of the recipes appear in different colors.  That pink is hard to read and we're working on it.  (Update: they're pink in Firefox, but not in Safari.) Whew!  We've posted over 900 recipes on this blog!  We'll be adding more of them as time allows.  If you can't find a recipe, let us know.  We appreciate your feedback, too.  If there's something that would make the index easier to use, please let us know about it.  We do have some limitations, of course, but you might think of something clever that we overlooked.

There's a lot more news.  It's going to be lively around here with the holidays approaching.  We have some amazing weeks planned.

Christmas Cookie Contest

Our second annual Christmas Cookie competition is on starting today!  Here's how it will work.

You send your favorite Christmas cookie recipe to KristaDavis at KristaDavis dot com.  Recipes submitted last year which were not among the winners may be submitted again this year.  We're also interested in gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes this year.

Sheila, Wendy, Avery, Jenn, and Krista will each select two finalists.  We will be testing and posting your recipes. 

Those ten finalists will be listed on a ballot here and our readers will pick the overall winner! 

We're still discussing the prize for the winner, so if you have suggestions, we're listening!  Start sending your recipes today!

Easy Holiday Dinner

November 12th through 19th, we'll be featuring an entire menu for an easy holiday dinner.  One of our readers suggested this last year, and we think it's a great idea.  If someone in your family doesn't eat meat, don't miss Wendy's vegetarian recipe!

Penzey's Week

Since this is the season for baking and cooking with all sorts of wonderful spices, in December we're bringing you recipes made with spices from Penzey's, one of our favorite on-line and retail store sources of seasonings.

Now you didn't think I would let Halloween pass without a little trick, did you?  Rumor has it the photo of my Chicken Scary-aki Monster Fingers had grown men running from the room!  If you're squeamish, if you prefer the sweeter side of Halloween, or if your name is Christi, you might want to miss this little trick.

Once again, it's Monster Fingers!  But these take about four minutes to make and only require three ingredients.  They're great for breakfast or an after school snack.

Monster Fingers

almond halves or slices
any red jam or jelly

Cut the banana in half.  Slice lengthwise.  Press an almond slice on each pointy end as a fingernail.  Dribble a little jam on the finger as blood.

Are you still reading Christi?  Cover your eyes!

Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd alsoshare this interesting little story.  Last year I visited a haunted mental hospital.  No kidding.  Some of the paranormal investigators claim it's the most active site they've seen.  They claim ghosts have touched them, and that they've heard footsteps.  People report all sorts of strange things and the place has even been featured on TV shows that investigate haunted buildings.

No ghosts in the bowling alley!

The building is over 100 years old.  A lovely staircase and huge moldings leave no doubt that it was once a grand dame.  Today it is in a sad state of disrepair.  My friend Amy was a good sport to go with me, but we didn't experience anything spooky.  We didn't hear voices or see anything ghostly.

But maybe we weren't alone after all . . .

This is a photograph that I took in the radiology department.  Pretty boring, right?  Look closer.  Just above the middle and to the left.

This is that spot enlarged.  So what do you think it is?