Monday, May 21, 2012

Cookie Pizzas + Beachtown Adventures.

Right now... I am fully looking ahead and loving life. 

I'm looking forward to summer. I'm looking forward to fireworks and funnel cakes and block parties and True Blood. I'm looking forward to late nights and drive-ins and strawberries in everything.

I'm looking forward to Disneyland in October, homemade pumpkin lattes, and crisp fall weather. I'm really looking forward to riding this monorail

I'm looking forward to splurging on this mixer.  
And, I'll be real with you, I'm already looking forward to Christmas. Too soon?

I'm also looking back. 

I'm looking back on cookie pizzas. 
These were good. 
I'm looking back on the mocha cookie crumble frappuccino I had for lunch today. Being a grown-up means sometimes having dessert first.

And I'm looking back on sunny, summery beachtown adventures.

Welcome to Monterey!
I stayed here for two days. It was good living. 
I don't know, but I really liked this wall. It was crumbly. It told a story. 

There were views like this.
Go ahead. Fall in love with blue. I know I did.
There was sand and sun and waves.
Otter waves too, if you will.
Aquarium dates.
... and bat rays! I pet them.
Vacation food. That's all I have to say.
These guys. Groomsmen? Best friends? Boy band? They kept leaping into the air.
Oh and breakfast in bed. There was that and it was always a good thing.  
This summer, live! Eat dessert first. See some blue. Pet a bat ray. Wear capris and blazers and leap into the air with your best friends.

And I don't about you, but today should definitely involve some sort of oversized chocolate chip cookie baked in a pizza pan, don't you think? I love you.
Cookie Pizzas

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup M&Ms 
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Two 12-inch pizza pans (I used disposable aluminum pizza pans

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two pizza pans and set aside.

Cream together the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the shortening mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. 

Divide dough in half; press each half evenly into pizza pans. 
Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and the center tests done with a toothpick. 

Cool completely in pans, then slice into thin wedges or break apart to serve. Enjoy!

Makes 2 12-inch pizza cookies.  

Source: This recipe

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Want to Marry You Cookies.

I'm not going to lie to you. 
I made these cookies entirely because of their name.

That and their promise of on-the-spot declarations of love and/or immediate proposals of marriage. 
Did they work? 

Well... I just got back from a romantic weekend in Monterey, California, full of fancy hotels, aquarium dates, breakfast in bed, ocean-view dining (... and pomegranate margaritas), summery weather, walks on the beach, and sneaking chocolate chip cookie-covered candy apples in to see The Avengers... so I'll let you decide. 
Whether these put a diamond on my finger or whisked me away for a whirlwind weekend of romance and sandy adventures, these are without a doubt my new favorite chocolate chip cookie

I tested at least every last cookie a dozen cookies to fully commit to this conclusion... from scoops of oat-y delicious cookie dough to hot off the baking sheet... and cooled, dunked in milk, at midnight, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and hugging a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Basically I'm in love.
They're full of white chocolate, chocolate chips, oats, and a dash of cinnamon. Who doesn't need a little bit of all that in their life? 

And they're made in one pot!
Isn't that different? I love it. Since I don't have a stand mixer for creaming together butter and sugar, mixing it by hand is a serious arm workout. Here, butter and sugar is melted together on the stovetop into a rich, toffee mixture I wish I could use as a face scrub, cooled slightly, and then loaded up with all the other ingredients. No separate bowls, no extra dishes. I'd marry that.
I Want to Marry You Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in dark brown sugar and granulated sugar, until incorporated and smooth. Place in refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. 

Remove from refrigerator and stir in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. 

Add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix together. 
Stir in white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips (dough will be really thick so I found it easier to do this by hand). 

Roll by hand or use a cookie scoop to scoop out large tablespoon-sized dough balls* and place on a cooking sheet. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
*The original recipe says to scoop out 24 large bakery-sized cookies... I used my cookie scoop (with generous scoops) and got 43 regular-sized-but-still-bakey-delicious cookies. More cookies is always a good thing.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place 12 chilled dough balls on sheet. Leave the rest in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake them. I flattened mine just slightly with the back of my hand before baking to make them more round than pillowy.   

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool five minutes on baking sheet, then remove to counter to cool completely. 

Source: Recipe from Melissa, found on