Tag Archives: chocolate chips

Turtle Cookies

I am the only girl that works in my office. My boss is a dude; the guys in the factory are all, well, guys. So when the time came for us employees to put together a Christmas present for our boss last month, I was called upon.

I think many men assume that females have that magical present-creating touch, so on a Tuesday I was told in no uncertain terms to come up with a present by Thursday. I knew there was no wiggling out of this, so I quickly concoted a plan that has generally pleasing results and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg either: baking. Everyone appreciates a homemade gift, and what do you give to the man who has it all?

Well, chocolate is a start.

Add some pecans and caramel bits, and even better.

Wrap them up in pretty tissue paper, stick them in some cute packaging, and you have a winning gift that everyone is happy with, givers and receiver alike.

Hence, from this recipe by the lovely baking wonder Veronica, an appropriate gift was created, a card was signed, and much happiness reigned. I think I’ll just pop in a quote from Veronica’s blog which accurately describes how great these cookies are: “Soft, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, gooey with caramel and studded with chocolate & pecans.” Thank you for summing it up so concisely, my dear.

And now let’s make ’em!


(Makes 36 cookies)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1TBS vanilla extract
½ tsp white vinegar
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 F and cover the baking sheets with parchment paper (if not, the caramel bits will stick to the bottom).

Spread the pecans on a microwave-safe plate and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring with your fingers in between, for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and toasted.

Chop up the nuts.

In a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and vinegar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and baking soda, and beat until combined.

Add the flour, mixing until just combined.

Like so!

Feel free to lick your fingers at this point, unless raw eggs wig you out.

Stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and caramel bits, until evenly mixed.

If you seek perfection in sugared confection . . .

Portion the dough in balls onto the baking sheets, leaving an inch between the cookies.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to get golden brown around the edges. Remove the sheets from the oven, and let the cookies sit for 5 minutes.

Remove the cookies to a cooling rack.

And that is that, mes amis!

Consume, or give them to your boss for maximum boss-pleasing. Chances are he/she’ll offer you one anyway–and maybe even a raise in the rush of sugar-induced euphoria that’s bound to follow.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Turtle Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve shared before that I’m not much of a baker. I like the immediacy of the cast iron skillet and the smell of frying garlic and onions, the excitement of modifying recipes as you go, and the mincing and dicing of fresh ingredients. Kneading dough and mixing flour and sugar . . . hasn’t been my thing. So it’s been up to my husband to supply the cookie needs of our little household. They used to just be his own cookie needs, but slowly he’s gotten me a little addicted. Cookies are pretty great for breakfast–they go so well with coffee!

Lately when we agree that it’s time for some baking to happen, I’ve been putting my oar in. I prod and plead and whine and beg my husband to let me try a new recipe. Pleeeeease? I just came across this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, see, and I think it could really be awesome . . .

See, my baby likes the old favorites. He’s faithful, loyal, and true–to his friends, but also to his cookies. Here he is feeling skeptical about this uncharted baking territory.

He’s like Just call me Mr. Skeptical.

I’m like Hey Mr. Skeptical. I really like you. But we can’t cling to the old ways! What about the sweet smell of culinary progress??

By the way, you’re hot.

My addiction to the smell of progress is the reason that sometimes dinner ends up in the trash . . . yep. I like living on the edge.

So back to cookies: this recipe is great. I’m not going to go around shouting through a bullhorn that it’s the best cookie recipe in the world. It might be, it might not be–I just don’t have that much experience with cookies. All I can say is that I have trouble when it’s time to stop eating them. That I had them religiously for breakfast until the cookie jar was empty. They are hearty and chewy, which is exactly what I want at 9am in the morning. My husband (so faithful to his regular recipe) says the jury is still out for him, because the quick oats give them a kind of grainy texture. But I love them that way! So I’ll share with you. And if any of you have to-die-for cookie recipes that this here cookie novice needs to try, please send me a link or give me instructions in the comments! I have so much to learn.

To flex the muscles of this new baking impulse, there will be more recipes for sweet treats coming up Monday and Tuesday. I hope you don’t mind. We’ll break things up with a delicious savory recipe soon enough, don’t worry.


2 sticks butter, softened

1 c brown sugar, packed firmly

1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 ½ c flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

3 c quick oats

1 c chocolate or butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, enlist some man-hands to unwrap the softened butter so that your camera doesn’t get greasy.

Thanks, man-hands.

Put the butter in a mixer bowl, and add in the white sugar . . .

. . . and the firmly packed brown sugar.

Beat together the butter and sugars until they’re creamy. Sorry for the butt-ugly picture.

Add the eggs–looks like I had just enough!

Add the vanilla, too–I was plumb out of extract, but had this cool vanilla paste thingy that I got from a trade show last year. It’s thick like a syrup, and smells like paradise.

Hello, batter! I hope you’re not teeming with salmonella, because my finger is about to make the journey from bowl to mouth.

Now beat that good stuff until it’s nice and mixed.

Now if you’re a good boy or girl, you will mix together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and then add them to the wet batter all at once.

That avoids clumps of salt or baking soda and the like. However, I couldn’t be bothered with getting another bowl dirty, so I dumped it all in and then did a little mixy-mixy-mixeroo among the dry ingredients with a spoon before turning the mixer back on.

Here goes the flour:

Followed by the salt . . .

. . . and the baking soda.

I skipped the cinnamon–I didn’t feel like it for some reason. But you’re welcome to add it!

Mix it for a couple minutes. It will come together pretty quickly.

Time for the quick oats!

Mix them in, too.

It will get very, very thick at this point, and start sticking to the stirry thingamadging on your mixer.

Pause briefly for a taste, if that’s your thang . . .

. . . and pour in the chocolate chips.

Oh yes.

At this point the dough was so thick that I abandoned the mixer and grabbed a trusty old wooden spoon to finish the job. Much cookie dough was eaten along the way.

Shape the dough into rounds and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. You can make smaller cookies (heaping tablespoonfuls of batter) and bake 10-12 minutes:

Or you can go with larger ice-cream scoop sized cookies and bake them for about 15 minutes.

We chose both options. Note: these cookies will not flatten out very much during baking, so I like to press the balls of dough flat with the palm of my hand before baking, to get a wider cookie as opposed to a taller one.

Let them rest for 1 minute when they come out of the oven before moving them to a wire rack to cool.

As a non-baker, I was surprised at how mushy and gooey they were right out of the oven, and I wondered if they were really done or if they needed more time in the oven. So if you are inexperienced as I am, don’t be alarmed! They will solidify as they cool.

The bottoms: perfect.

If only my bottom were that perfect.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here!

We’re talking about these cookies. And how great they are, tops, bottoms, and middles.


Have a great weekend, and see you Monday for another sugar-laden experience.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies