Baking with B: Chocolate Spice Cookies

Do you ever get tired of making the same thing, over and over again? (I used to feel that way about birthday cakes.) I was searching for something to serve during a recent family visit and none of my old standards were really grabbing me. Trying something new didn’t really appeal to me either- I didn’t have the time or energy for experimenting.

I was beginning to feel discouraged until I thought- hey, why reinvent the wheel? You know a lot of great classic recipes, B. Why not spice one up so you can have the best of both worlds?

I took my own advice. Literally. I whipped together the ingredients for my favorite butter cookie recipe (also featured here) and turned things up a notch. I’m pretty pleased with the results, too- these Chocolate Spice Cookies melt in your mouth just like a butter cookie, but taste like a gingersnap, with an extra splash of chocolate to keep things sweet.

Chocolate Spice Cookies (makes 28)

3/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

Cream together butter and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift together spices and flour and mix with wet ingredients, adding one spoonful at a time until ingredients are fully combined. Divide the dough and shape into two flat discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Use your hands to shape dough into desired shape, before placing on a parchment-lined cookie sheet approximately one inch apart. Press down each cookie with a fork before baking 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cookie rack until fully cooled.

Melt chocolate in a double-broiler or microwave until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate before placing on waxed paper. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

B’s Tip: Just because I used chocolate chips doesn’t mean you can’t use your favorite baking chocolate or chocolate bar to make the melted chocolate! You may want to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies instead, or skip that step altogether and throw your chocolate chips into the dough before baking.

The best thing about making over a classic recipe like this is that the variations don’t have to stop there- you can change up the chocolate, switch out the spices, or add nuts or your favorite dried fruit for even more flavor. Your cookies don’t even have to be the same shape- I tried molding mine into logs before squashing with a giant serving fork, instead of the usual circular cookies I make. See? Spicing up your old routine can be addictive. I highly suggest you try it too. You never know what you might come up with!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Homemade Applesauce

KBB_baking_homemade_applesauceWhat is it about apples that make it seem like autumn has arrived? I know for most people the all of quintessential fall foods have something to do with pumpkin spice, but for me it’s the smell of apples baking in the oven in a pie, or simmering on a stovetop that brings me back to my childhood when my parents used to drive my sister and I out of the city to pick our own apples.

And nothing says childhood more than making your own homemade applesauce which is (somewhat) nutritious, delicious and easy as pie…except that it’s applesauce.

Homemade Applesauce (makes 6 cups)

4 lbs. apples (my favorite is Gala)

¼ c. lemon juice

3 tbsp dark brown sugar

This recipe is so simple you’re not even going to think it’s real but it is: just peel, core and slice your apples. Pop them in a large pot with lemon juice and 1 ½ c. water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until apples are very soft and falling apart. Mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor. Add sugar. If you’re feeling super fancy, you may want to add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, or both! Let cool and transfer to an airtight container. It keeps for 5 days in the fridge or you can freeze the leftovers for later, up to 2 months.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.