Loaded Festive Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are obviously a holiday classic. But this version, loaded festive chocolate chip walnut cookies, are overloaded with festive and colorful chocolate chips. If we’ve got to eat cookies, they might as well be pretty!

Loaded Festive Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

The holiday season means chocolate chip cookies are absolutely imperative. I know Christmas is really overloaded with cookies everywhere. But chocolate chip cookies are the most classic, the most desired, the first to disappear from every plate. You can’t go a holiday season without whipping some up. It’s just fact.

But even the most traditional of cookies and treats can use just a little tweaking now and again. For years, we used the recipe straight from the package of Nestle Tollhouse. It never failed, was always good and was easy enough to accomplish. But lately, we’ve been playing around with some cookie recipes in our house. A well-intentioned science fair project spurned this quest to find the ultimate in chocolate chip cookie ingredients. Batches were tested with cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and any mixture of the three. It was a hard experiment but someone had to do it.

Loaded Festive Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

 What we’ve found is one leavener alone doesn’t do the trick. The baking soda yielded some crispy cookies, perfect for those who love the crunch. But it didn’t stand the test of time. The cookies were hard two days later. Cornstarch alone left our cookies fluffy but a bit dry. Baking powder worked out better than the rest, giving us cookies that were soft and long-lasting. But once we started playing around with the cornstarch/baking powder combo, we were wowed. These cookies were our favorites, by far. Soft and fluffy, a little chewy, perfectly tasty three days later. This is the recipe we’re using now and it doesn’t fail.

Of course, it’s Christmas so we had to go a little nuts with these. We tossed in some chopped walnuts for a great textural difference. And instead of standard chocolate chips, we used festively colored ones in red, green and swirls. But that’s not where the craziness ends. We made sure these cookies were packed to the absolute brim with chocolate chips. It is not the season for moderation, after all. And so we went with two cups of chocolate chips, plus additional swirled chips to stud the tops. Every cookie is filled with a ton of chips, allowing for maximum chocolate. What more could you really ask for at Christmas (well, except a Matthew Mcconaughey Dazed and Confused t-shirt)?

Recipe Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction 

5.0 from 2 reviews

Loaded Festive Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
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Serves: 2 dozen
 

Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix until fluffy.
  3. Add in egg and mix to combine. Add in egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt and mix slowly until just combined.
  5. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Set the mixture in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place it on the parchment paper, 1 inch apart. Place additional chocolate chips on top of the dough, pressing down lightly.
  8. Bake 12 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely.

 

Put To Bed Cookies

These put to bed cookies absolutely must make your Christmas baking list. They are simple, no-fuss and low-calorie. So you can eat more without feeling guilty!

Put To Bed Cookies

There are a few good things about going to a small Catholic school for 8 years in grade school. First, you already know all the teachers and they know you. They had your older brother/cousin/friend and already know your name. Second, you already know your way around, having gone to countless PTA meetings with your mom. And third, you form these weird and lasting friendships that start based on lack of other options and build from there into long, loping friendships. The kind where you can text someone and say “Hey, we haven’t had a chance to catch up for months but what is that cookie recipe your mom used to make in high school? You know the one.” And you don’t even need to explain which recipe you are talking about because they know you mean the cookies that were so irresistible, you’d stuff the entire box into your face on the bus before you even got to school.

These cookies – put to bed cookies, if you will – are those cookies. My friend Lorraine, who I’ve known since first grade, used to have her mom make them. And when were in high school, she’d bring them to school and we would eat them all. Down to every last tiny crumb.  My mom never totally understood the fascination, they were just so simple. And really, they are.  That is why they are so perfect. A simple meringue, some chocolate chips and a long sleep in the oven overnight is all you need for these babies. Eating one is like eating a bite of a fluffy, soft cloud that’s been pumped up with some sugar and dotted with chocolate chips. It’s no wonder we would stuff these in our faces, no shame.

Put To Bed Cookies

The good part about these cookies, I’ve realized now that I’m an adult, is they are low-calorie. I’ve done the math and for one cookie, it’s only 40 calories. I’m not saying it’s healthy to sit around, noshing on cookies all day. But if you must indulge in sweets (and you know I must), these are certainly a great option to choose. I made two big batches to include in my holiday gift platters and can’t wait to see what people think. I hope they love them as much as I do!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Put To Bed Cookies
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Serves: 32
 

Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 6 ounces mini chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place egg whites and cream of tartar.
  2. Whisk until the whites form soft peaks, then slowly add in the sugar with the mixer on medium low. Turn back to high and whip until the mixture forms stiffer peaks.
  3. Turn off the mixer and fold in chocolate chips. Using a spoon, spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet. You should have 32 cookies.
  4. Place them about ½ inch apart. Place the baking sheets in the oven, then turn the oven off. Leave the cookies sit in the oven overnight. Keep in an air-tight container.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 40 Fat: 1.5 Carbohydrates: 6.51 Fiber: 0 Protein: .33

 

Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies

Brownies and cookies are two excellent treats any time of year. But brownies and cookies combined? Well, even better in these salted caramel brownie cookies. 

Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies

Christmas truly is cookie season and I adore it with every bit of my heart. You know in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” when his heart grows three sizes larger? That’s basically my stomach this time of year. It expands so that I can fit in more treats, especially cookies. I essentially start planning my holiday baking list in mid-July and dream about it until it is finally socially acceptable to start announcing its start. So when my blogging friend and real-life neighbor Christin asked me if I wanted to participate in a cookie swap, you can bet your entire year’s salary that I said yes in a hot minute.

Despite the fact that I dream about my baking list for months, I still wasn’t sure what cookies to bring for the swap. I needed something that’d be amazing, soft but crisp at the same time. And once I hit the store, I was immediately back at square one. This year, the holidays have really upped their game. There’s filled morsels, holiday chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Andes mint chips, white chocolate, dark chocolate. I probably spent a good twenty minutes in the baking department before finally going for everything. And the caramel-filled chocolate morsels? Well, they were the ones that struck my fancy most.

Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies

It would have been easy to just throw together some chocolate chip cookies, toss these in and call it a day. But I needed more. I needed something chocolatey and sweet but also a little bit salty. A little sassy. And so the salted caramel brownie cookie was born. The cookie base is a perfect brownie, with a little crunch but a softness and a rich, chocolate, fudgy flavor. Then you toss in the caramel-filled morsels for the caramel twist. Sprinkle a little sea salt on for good measure and bam! Salted caramel brownie cookies, for the ultimate Christmas win!

Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies

Salted Caramel Brownie CookiesBe sure to check out Christin’s blog and see what she’s cooked up! And check back in later this week to see a round-up of all the lovelies who participated in the cookie swap! There are quite a few local gals on here so you know they’ll be great!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies
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Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, soft
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups caramel-filled morsels

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs, one a time and beat well between each addition. Stir in vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and mix slowly until combined. Fold in morsels.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto the baking sheets with about an inch between. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly crisp.

 

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

Cookie season is upon us and there is no better way to start than with these coconut oil dark chocolate pistachio cookies. 

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t want to immediately stuff into my face. Out of all the treats, desserts and snacks on this planet, they are my favorite, hands down. So when there is a list of desserts that need making and testing and trying and eating, of course I’m starting with cookies. For real. And even though it isn’t really the holiday baking season yet, I don’t care. I’m breaking the rules and living on the edge. Cookies, people.

This cookie infatuation made it pretty challenging to choose a recipe for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. I was assigned Life on Food and I can’t pretend that I wasn’t really excited to see Emily’s blog in my email. Just recently, she made these macaroon blossoms that almost had me swayed. But then, there were dark chocolate pistachio cookies. Seriously, these cookies were absolutely amazing. We cannot. stop. eating. them. All the cookies. I’m pretty sure that by Christmas, my butt will be as big as the tree and I’ll be happy about it, because I’ll be fulfilled and satisfied and full of sweets.

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

I made a few adaptions to Emily’s recipe. I skipped out on the butter and went with coconut oil instead. A word on using coconut oil, be sure that your ingredients are at room temperature. Coconut oil is different than butter and the cold ingredients will affect it differently. Also, I added in a good bit of cornstarch to the batter to give these cookies a bit of fluffiness. You can skip out on it and they’ll taste just fine. It’s really your choice here. Emily’s original recipe using real butter can be found here if you’d rather just skip out on the fussiness of the coconut oil.

No matter what you choose, these absolutely must be added to your holiday baking list. The pistachios are salty and crunchy and the dark chocolate chips are so perfect. You won’t be sorry if you whip up a batch of these.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
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Serves: 6
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped pistachios
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together sugars and coconut oil. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Add in the flour, cornstarch and baking soda and mix until fully combined.
  4. Fold in pistachios and chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the dough into balls and place them on parchment. Chill for at least one hour.
  5. Once chilled, place the dough onto the parchment with 1½ inches of space between the cookies. Bake for 17 minutes until golden.
  6. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wild Blueberry Jam Thumbprints

Jam Thumbprints

There are certain items, both in every day life and in the kitchen, that need a good splurge. For example, a great mascara is something to spend a few extra pennies on. Your lashes will never achieve their full potential with Covergirl. You need to hit up Sephora, grab something better quality and really revel in your long and luscious lashes. Or boots. I’ve had a few different pairs of boots and none have lasted as well or been nearly as comfortable as the ones I splurged on.

The same can be said for lots of items in the kitchen. Vanilla extract will do but the caviar from a real vanilla bean just adds something special. And let me tell you about why you need to spend the few extra bucks and buy a good quality ice cream/cookie scoop. It will save you so much time, so much money and so much hassle. And jam. If you are using your jam for more than just a little schmear on an English muffin, you really need to spend the extra pennies and get the good stuff.

I knew when I made these jam thumbprints that I needed good quality jam, since it’s really the highlight of the cookie. The cookie itself is a simple shortbread style treat that gets coated in walnuts for a little extra pizzazz. The shining star, however, is the jam. It gets plunked down in the center of the cookie and then baked to an almost caramelized perfection. If you use crappy jam or jelly, it will be clear immediately. The taste is different, the texture doesn’t come out quite right and the cookie will not be what it could be had you splurged.

And if we’re going there and talking good quality jam, we have to talk about Bonne Maman. It’s the cat’s pajamas, if you ask me. I used wild blueberry and raspberry preserves in these cookies but really, the wild blueberry stole the show. I’m now using it on just about everything. Bonne Maman is in the grocery store next to the rest of the jams and jellies so be sure to pick up a jar in any flavor, they’re all delicious.

Note: A lot of specialty stores, such as Homegoods or even a local garden center that carries local products, usually have lots of different jams and jellies. I was actually aiming for a champagne blueberry but it was gone this year.

Wild Blueberry Jam Thumbprints
Recipe type: cookies, holiday, dessert
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Serves: 10
 

These jam thumbprint cookies are a little crunchy, a little sweet and a little addicting.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • wild blueberry jam for filling

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream butter. Slowly add sugar and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and flour. Slowly add to the mixer and beat until incorporated.
  4. Place the chopped walnuts in a bowl. Take rounded tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Roll the balls in the nuts to cover.
  5. Using your thumb (or a wine cork if you like uniformity), press down a small well into the center of each dough ball. Use a small spoon and add a bit of jam into each well.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before storing.