Category: Cookies

Lemon Ricotta Cookies from the Nordstrom Cafe

Living in the Northwest my entire life, I grew up shopping at Nordstrom and eating at the Nordstrom cafe.  To this day, one of my favorite dishes to get is still the kids grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.  If you haven’t ever experienced Nordstrom’s creamy, slightly space tomato soup – you must try it. I have so many amazing memories being a little girl and cruising through the little girls department with my mom shopping for the latest in Guess Jeans and Esprit sweatshirts after devouring my luscious lunch.

In recent years I have come to love more than just the grilled cheese and have found their Lemon Ricotta cookies.  Nordstrom came out with a  cookbook called the Family Table Cookbook and once while waiting for my takeout order I picked up the book and noticed that the recipe for these delectable cookies were in there.  I was sold!  I purchased the cookbook and the rest was history!  These cookies are so soft and delicious it is almost like having a cake in cookie form.  As you can see from the pictures these are not crisp cookies.  They are soft, creamy and luscious. See inside one…

Now I have to warn you – PLEASE read the directions for these cookies.  The first time I planned on making these cookies I made sure I had all the ingredients but had no idea all the steps you had to take with the dough prior to actually putting them in the oven.  Unfortunately these are not cookies that you can easily whip up in one afternoon – these take planning due to having to let the dough rest, then freeze, etc.   On the plus side, these can be made in advance and you can bake them the day of and have a fresh treat that people will be in awe of.

I hope you try making these cookies.  They are delicious minus the frosting – but if you are a frosting lover like me, frost them and you will find them OUTSTANDING!

Benefits of Maca Powder

I have read about the many, many benefits of Maca Powder and wanted to come up with some tasty and delicious ways to work this magical ingredient into my day.

I was perusing Pinterest one day and wanted to know how to incorporate this item into my daily life and came across this article from the Paleo Mama highlighting 14 Benefits of Maca Powder.  They are numerous so before I share a couple of my favorite ways to incorporate Maca, here are the reasons why you should pick up some Maca for yourself.

  1. Increases Energy – Maca has a reputation for boosting energy levels without stressing the adrenals (like coffee can)
  2. Increases Libido and Sexual Function – Maca is a known aphrodisiac among native Peruvian culture. It has been known to increase the libido among men and women!
  3. Improves Fertility – Black Maca has been known to increase sperm count and volume in men and Red Maca has been known to balance female hormones and ovulation cycles.
  4. Regulates Hormone Balance – Maca has a vast variety of amino acids, which are known as the building blocks of hormones.
  5. Reduces Depression – When you take Maca regularly, Maca can work to increase positive emotional moods. Maca has a very unique nutrient called macamides, which aid in decreasing depression and anxiety.
  6. Reduces Anxiety – Maca has a positive effect on your individual mood and can help to reduce any self-perceived anxiety.
  7. Helps with Menopause – Many Maca uses report a significant decrease in hot flashes after using Maca powder.
  8. Enhances Mental Clarity – Black Maca has been shown to have a beneficial effect on learning and memory. Maca is safe for both children and adults!
  9. Improves Blood Circulation – a very interesting property of Maca, is that it has been seen to improve blood circulation.
  10. Improves Acne – When acne is related to hormone imbalance, taking Maca can be very productive for improving hormonal acne.
  11. Improves Muscle Gain – More and more athletes and bodybuilders are using Maca powder to increase their athletic performance.
  12. Improves Thyroid Function – Due to the hormone balancing properties in Maca, it has been known to stimulate thyroid function.
  13. Improves Strong Teeth and Bones – Black Maca is great for increasing bone density and strength.
  14. Improves Skin Tone – Maca has a strong nutrient content and hormone balancing effect on our skin.
  15. Improves Hair Growth – Maca has been traditionally used to stimulate hair growth, as well as prevent hair loss.

I don’t know about you, but ever since reading this I have been trying to incorporate Maca into my everyday life.  Here are a couple of my favorite recipes using Maca.  The first is for a Maca Iced Coffee.  This drink is super simple to make and a very refreshing way to enjoy some iced coffee.  The second recipe is for Maca Oatmeal Cookies.  These are a yummy snack and I often enjoy these as a delicious breakfast cookie.  Feel free to add dried fruits or nuts, anything that suits you!

I hope you enjoy try these recipes and incorporate this healthy powder into your everyday life.

Fudgy Quadruple Chocolate Chip Brookies

Have you ever ate a whole lot of something and then found yourself feeling bloated and guilty? I have, plenty of times. However, I ate a ton of these Fudgy Quadruple Chocolate Chip “Brookies” (brownie + cookie = brookie) and they were so good, I concluded that they were totally worth it.

If you love chocolate, you have to try these cookies. I almost think they should be called, “brookies” since they are a cross between a brownie and a cookie. There are four different types of chocolate that go into these little gems and they are oh so decadent. Again, if you love chocolate you must try these.

*Warning – consumption of these may cause permanent damage to your skinny jeans.

Ina Garten’s Coconut Macaroons

I am many things – wife, mama, cook, daughter, sister, friend and an avid coconut lover. It is funny how taste buds work. Sometimes you just love eating something and you meet someone else that just hates it and you wonder, “how could that be?” I am that way with coconut. I LOVE it, my husband hates it. I kinda don’t get it, but I know so many people that hate coconut that I guess it is just one of those acquired tastes. On the other hand, my husband LOVES mushrooms and I loathe them. Oh well, the finicky taste bud…

My husband was away for a few days on a golf trip and since he was gone I decided to indulge my love of coconut with my absolute favorite recipe for Macaroon’s. This is Ina Garten’s recipe and there are only five ingredients to these little clouds of bliss. So good, so easy. What else could a coconut lover ask for?

Corn Starch Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I adore chocolate chip cookies.  I have an obsession with them and have made countless batches always searching for the next best recipe.  I am sure I will try other recipes on occasion, however this is hands down a new classic for me.I got this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction website.  Click here to see her recipe as well as her absolutely stunning pictures.  There are several differences in this recipe compared to others I have tried – the three being that you use melted butter instead of softened (which means NO mixer needed!!!!), one egg and a yolk as opposed to two eggs that most recipes call for and 1 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch.  I was a bit skeptical at first, however these have come out heavenly again and again.   The recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips.  I like to mix this up with part dark chocolate, part milk chocolate and part cacao nibs.
 Even though these are still cookies, I like to sneak a little extra added health benefits wherever I can.These cookies are chewy, soft and incredibly delicious.  They remind me of a Mrs. Fields cookie, but without the $2 price tag.  I hope you try these out and let me know what you think.  

CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES (uses cornstarch) – adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
INGREDIENTS
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup  light brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, cacao nibs and/or some M&M’s

DIRECTIONS
Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.  

In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.Roll the dough into balls, about 1-2 tablespoons each. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

The inside: 
Another shot of this pretty: