Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Filling

IMG_5047This entire holiday season, I’ve been dreaming of a particular type of ginger cookie. The soft, pillowy kind that you could take a nap in. Or just eat a lot of. I found a recipe for “Soft Vegan Ginger Cookies” on Joy the Baker and since I trust everything she does, I knew these had to be great. I also believe that all desserts should be as close to a molten lava cake as possible, so these happen to have an ooey gooey chocolate surprise waiting for you at the center! They’re also vegan and relatively healthy, as well as tasty. So you can eat a billion! Sweet.

The easy part is making the dough. The hard part is waiting an hour for the dough to firm up in the refrigerator. The fun part is stuffing them with chocolate…
steps to cookie…and rolling them in sugar.steps to cookie2It’s like stuffing a turkey at Thanksgiving, but people expect there to be stuffing in there, whereas here, they don’t see it coming. They don’t really change shape, so make sure you flatten them out before popping into the oven. Kind of like giving them a slow, horizontal high five. You could easily make these in the original version without the chocolate in the middle, but I think it adds a nice touch, and the chocolate and ginger flavors play nicely together.

They harden up a bit after cooling, so make sure not to overbake. And when you’ve gotten over feeling full from the first 5 cookies and want more, stick them in the microwave for just a short bit (13 seconds worked perfectly for me) and they taste just like they did when they first came out of the oven- which is soft, perfectly gingery, and so delicious.

Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Filling adapted from Organic and Chic Cookbook via Joy the Baker

Makes ~28 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup crushed ginger snaps

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ginger

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar to roll the cookie balls in

approx. 1/4 cup chocolate chips (use vegan ones if you’re sticking with the vegan theme

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the sugar and flaxseed (flour x2, crushed ginger snaps, baking powder and baking soda, salt, ginger). In a separate bowl, combine the ground flaxseed, sugar, oil, applesauce, and lemon juice.

Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Started off with a spoon, but eventually turned to using my hands for optimal squishiness and mixing. Highly recommended. When dough forms, wrap it in plastic wrap in a disc-like shape and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When the dough is chilled, remove it and preheat the oven to 350℉, lining 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Break off little pieces of the dough and roll into walnut-sized balls. Poke a hole in the middle and fill with 4-5 chocolate chips. Form the balls back into shape and roll in granulated sugar. Place on baking sheet and use your palm to slightly flatten the dough ball.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden but the cookies are still a bit soft in the middle. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before nomming. Enjoy!

IMG_5057 …I sat at my kitchen table with the entire plate of cookies and went through about 7 to get a good picture of the gooey chocolate innards. Oops but nom.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

I have returned to the United States!! Greece was absolutely amazing. Again, if you want to read about it all, visit this blog for what I ate, bladder anecdotes, and everything in between. As much fun as I had, I really missed my kitchen when I was away. Specifically in regards to kitchen-related acts like cooking and baking, but sometimes kitchen is just a companion and we hang out. I figured the first thing I made should involve homage to where I spent the last 6 weeks! Also I was inspired by this adorable little flag that I once got as a cupcake topper a couple years ago and saved. So I made cookies.

Had to.

There are lemons in Greece so I decided between that and decorating them with the flag, they can be called Greek cookies. Although if I were really doing this Greek style I would have tried using olive oil instead of butter. Or maybe lamb grease (slightly kidding). But I thought of that as I was rolling out the dough so perhaps next time. Also they aren’t too lemony, so if you’re into that then up the dosage of lemon extract or add some lemon juice/lemon zest.

Fun fact is that this is actually just my favorite ever roll out Christmas cookie recipe but with lemon extract. So to make those, just subtract the lemon extract! And by subtract I mean just don’t add. It would be maybe painstaking to extract extract (ha!) from a ball of dough. When I was little this was always my favorite cookie because I loved decorating them. We have a GIANT bag of cookie cutters, because just one type of santa cookie cutter is frankly NOT enough, and it was always so much fun to go through them and pick out our favorite shapes. But I am not going to start waxing poetic on Christmas when it’s the beginning of August so I’ll leave it at that. Although while we have 4 different gingerbread men we do not have a plain rectangle cutter, so I just free handed it with a knife. You could probably also make a cookie cutter with tinfoil or something, but it’s not really necessary since it’s so easy to cut out! Even though straight lines are hard. It’s okay, flags generally wave in the wind anyways.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

adapted from Joy of Cooking (I think, but more so just a family recipe)

makes about 40 2″ cookies

For the cookies

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon extract

For the glaze

2 Tbsp milk (I used almond milk)

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus some

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp lemon extract




In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, flour, baking powder, and extracts. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before rolling.

When ready, preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to around 1/8″ thickness, cut shapes, and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 7-12 minutes, until slightly golden on the edges. While they’re cooling, make the glaze- whisk together the milk and sugar, adding sugar until you have the desired consistency. Decorate and enjoy!

Not exactly the most beautiful paint job in the world BUT that’s okay. I think there’s probably a direct relationship between quantity made and straightness of lines. But I only have so much patience. These are Greek flag themed, and as exciting as rectangles are they can be cut into any shape your heart desires. Maybe we should all make Euro shaped cookies and mail them across the Atlantic! …sorry Greece, too soon.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

…Whoa. I promise that I know words other than ones that start with C. Anyway. A while back, I was trying to make some kind of fall time recipe that called for cinnamon chips, but when I went to the grocery store to find some, they were nowhere to be found. I stood there looking for 10 minutes, as though by some miracle they would appear out of thin air. After all, it was kind of close to my birthday, so I figured it was possible. Unfortunately no miracles occurred in Stop and Shop on that day, so I settled for butterscotch chips (NOT the same. Similar color though!) and while the recipe still ended up tasting fine, I still really, really wanted to find cinnamon chips so I could yell at them for not being there for when I really needed them. So one day a month or so ago, I was in the grocery store at home, strutting up and down the baking needs item as is totally normal to do, and I FOUND CINNAMON CHIPS!!!! I seized on the opportunity to gain vengeance and immediately bought a bag. With no real goal in mind, just…to have. Thus concludes the epic battle with cinnamon chips.

I’m a firm believer that everything is better with a bit of cinnamon, and that there’s nothing more delicious than a classic Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie. So the other day when I went to take out the chocolate chips for the cookies I was making and saw the cinnamon chips sitting next to them, I decided to combine the best of both worlds.

I made these for some friends the first time and forgot to take pictures..but definitely had zero issue with making them again! I only had about 1/4 cup of normal chocolate chips though, so the second time around the cookies contained normal chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks. Plus the cinnamon chips. Chips on chips on chips, in a wonderful, wonderful way.

To be honest…I didn’t measure out the cinnamon the first time so I have NO idea how much was in there. Use your nose to see if it seems cinnamony enough. Start smallish though, because you don’t want to overpower the cookies too much. Or maybe you do. Which is cool too. My uncle’s response after trying them was “It tastes like Halloween.”  Cinna-success. (..I promise I won’t try to make that become a thing)
Eeeaaatttt meeeeee says cookie

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 48 cookies (I can never get 60 out of the Tollhouse recipe)

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup cinnamon chips (or more!)

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Beat together the butter, both sugars, and vanilla until creamed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.

Drop using a rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they’re nice and browned on the edges. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Dayum. Check out the curves on dat thing.