Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Biscotti

There’s a very old saying that I’m quite fond of which goes something like this…. “You get what you pay for”.

And it’s true.

There’s another, albeit less well-known (less well-known to anyone under the age of 21, I suppose) saying that I’ve become quite fond as well – and I think it was on Ina Garten’s cooking show that I first heard it – “Don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink”.

And it’s true, too. 

Case in point (you knew this was going somewhere good..) last night I was preparing this recipe for Chicken Marsala, and against my better judgment, used a very, very inexpensive (read: CHEAP) bottle of Marsala wine.

** shudder **

In my defense, it was the only brand that Randall’s carried. The liquor store next door was closed, and the last thing I felt like doing last night was braving the traffic to trek over to HEB. If you are familiar with the congestion on 620N around rush hour, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Moral of the story? Next time, plan ahead a bit better, or suck it up and face the traffic.


My consolation prize was two of these biscotti with the last of my (good) wine.

They were delicious :)

Chocolate Chip Biscotti – adapted from Williams Sonoma

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.

Cream together butter, both sugars, and espresso powder until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, until light and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix until combined. Add chocolate chips.

Divide dough in half on baking sheets. Spread with spatula, forming logs about 3-4” wide and 3/4” thick. Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer logs to cutting board and cut into 1/2” diagonal slices. Place each cookie on baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake another 10 minutes. Cool. Makes about 3 dozen.

Skillet S’More’s

It’s the last day of June!

Which means……holy smokes…………. 82 days until MY birthday.

*** big grin ***

Yes, I’m going to start counting down, because this birthday is going to be really special. I mean, last year, I was in Italy on my birthday – which, by far, was the best birthday EVER!

Thank you Mom and Dad :)

But this year, I’m in a new state, with my posse and my beloved J……. all that’s missing are my parents, but hopefully I can persuade them to come out, because I think know we will all have an epic time.


I’m already planning my cake….. and you can bet your last dollar that it will contain mass quantities of chocolate :)

Skillet S’More’s – adapted from cookies and cups

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (Or cut large marshmallows in half, which is what I did)
  • 8-9 Giant Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°
In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla and mix until evenly combined, scraping sides as needed. Add in baking soda, continue mixing until incorporated. Whisk together the baking soda, graham cricket crumbs and flour, then stir into the butter mixture.

Spread half of the dough into skillet, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough. Top with mini marshmallows. Cover marshmallows completely with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While cookie is baking cut your giant marshmallows into thirds. Remove cookie from oven and top with marshmallows. Return to oven for 10 more minutes. If the marshmallows aren’t browned enough, turn oven onto broil and toast for 15-20 seconds until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

With our impending move imminent on the horizon, my next task (aside from not losing my mind) is to use up as much stock in the pantry as I can.

Operation throw-out-all-the junk-I’m-not-moving was a complete and total success – and quite frankly, I am giving myself a well-deserved pat on the back for being so organized and so productive this early in the game. The way things are progressing, it appears that my house may have sold much faster than I anticipated.

As in, the first people that looked at it put in an offer.

However, until there’s a signature on the bottom line (and the cash in the bank), I am not going to fret unnecessarily or alter the current course of action.

So ….. back to my plan. My freezer currently resembles a bachelor pad, which is a nice way of saying it contains ice….. and not much else….


Well, that’s not entirely true. Now, residing on the shelf at precisely eye-level, is a batch of these exceptionally tasty, soft and chewy mmmmmm mmmmmm good cookie bars. Which, based on how easy they are to make (and consume), will definitely be made again using chocolate chips to appease the non-raisin eater in the house *Alexander*.

Of course, the fact that I have a 5 pound bag of oatmeal to use up is a contributing factor as well…..

Oatmeal Raisin Bars – adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two sides; spray foil with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour, oats, and raisins; fold in just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 bars.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

Oh boy, am I in trouble.

Big trouble.

No, I didn’t blow up another appliance (although that was a good guess).

The source of my predicament? I am weak sometimes. Very weak. You know, I’m not perfect. Never claimed to be. I have lots of flaws. I do my best to hide them, yet sometimes they escape to the surface.

An unavoidable addiction to chocolate is one of my biggest flaws.

The chocolate craving hit me last night. I couldn’t resist. After pushing myself with a 15 mile bike ride, and a Cross-fit workout (don’t say it!), I caved in big time. I made myself this single serving chocolate chip cookie in a mug. It was delicious.

And then I had to shield my eyes from the envious glare of someone that could not partake in the craving with me.

I felt bad.

But not bad enough to not eat it.


And how I have to suffer the consequences, because she isn’t speaking to me…..

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug – adapted from Sweetest Kitchen

  • 1 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs. dark brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbs. all purpose flour
  • 2 heaping tbs. dark/semisweet chocolate chips

Choose a microwave-safe mug/ramekin/small bowl. Place the butter in the mug and melt in the microwave; do this in 15 second intervals at about 70% power (it should be melted, not boiling). When you have small bits of butter remaining, take it out of the microwave and gently swirl, or stir, the butter until the bits have melted. To the melted butter, add sugars and vanilla. Stir well. Add the egg yolk and stir well to combine. Add the flour, and stir until combined. The consistency of the dough should be similar to real cookie dough; if it’s too runny, add a touch more flour until the consistency is firmer, or if it’s too stiff, add a splash of milk. Add the chocolate chips and stir to evenly distribute throughout the dough. Flatten the surface of the dough with the back of the spoon. Microwave at about 70% power for 30-40 seconds. Do not overcook.
If you overcook it, it will be become dry and hard, so always err on the side of less cooking time.

My favorite Pizzelles

So here we are, 8 days into the New Year… and inquiring minds want to know…

Have you kept up with your resolutions?

I have.

insert wicked grin here...

Let’s just say that someone (no names mentioned) is learning the hard way that I say what I mean and I mean what I say.


Pizzelles – adapted from Villaware

3 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat a pizzelle iron and grease it lightly with nonstick spray.

Using an electric mixer, eat eggs and sugar together at medium high speed until light yellow and thick ribbons fall from the beaters, 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and vanilla and beat until blended.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder and fold into the egg/butter mixture.

Place about one tablespoon of batter into the center of each grid (my appliance has space for two cookies), close the lid and cook until the steaming stops, about 1 minute. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

LWK’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

So…. I have this friend……. (doesn’t every great story start out like that?)…. who possesses an unequivocal, unabashed and austere passion for cookies.

Not cake. Not ice cream.


Drop, rolled, filled….you get the idea. However, they must be texturally correct (read: crisp, not too thick, not too much chocolate – why do I feel like I’m dealing with Goldilocks some days?) …otherwise, *pfffft* ….out they go….. to the dungeon more commonly referred to as the trash can.

Serious stuff.

Anyway, it is a constant search on my part for the “perfect for this person” cookie. I’ve already mastered oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles, so it is with great pleasure (and a little pomp and circumstance thrown in for good measure) to present this friend’s favorite chocolate chip cookie.


One year ago: Potato Broccoli Croquettes

LWK’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from a recipe by lee napoli

8 tbs. unsalted butter
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs. flour
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a large bowl. When the butter cools to slightly warm, add the brown and granulated sugar. Mix well. Beat in the egg and yolk. Whisk together the flour and baking soda, then add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop dough (using a #30 cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten dough slightly using the palm of your hand. For best results, chill dough for at least an hour before baking. Bake until nicely browned, about 13-15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ranger Cookies – and where I’ve been..

As wonderful as it is to go away, it’s wonderful to be home. Especially after 3 planes, 15 hours of travel time, and a 9 hour time change.

What? Did I forget to tell you? Mi dispiace…… I was in Italy for 12 days.

** big grin **

Ahhhh…Venice, Taormina, Sorrento, Rome………. It was an epic, life changing adventure. How so? Let me count the ways:

Disconnecting myself and the posse from the internet/cell phones/twitter updates/Instagram/Snapchat (life change #1), pinpointing the exact cause of the majority of stress in my life - and how to change it (life change #2), the epiphany that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there are people you will never understand/come to common ground with and/or get along with (life change #3).

I feel better than I have in months :)

In the meantime, though, I’ve conquered 7 loads of laundry, completely unpacked, and now, I have to pack up the posse for school. I feel for those two – they missed 9 days of school and will have a TON of makeup work. But….. they received a historical education (The Colosseum! The Vatican!) and culinary experiences (pizza overlooking the Sicilian coast!) that they could never ever experience in a classroom.

And that, coupled with the time they spent with their grandparents (who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!), is priceless.


Ranger Cookies – adapted from serious eats

1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Adjust two oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture to bowl and beat until just combined.

Stir in cornflakes and chocolate chips. Drop dough by the rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets, leaving a few inches between each cookie. You should fit about 16 cookies on each sheet. Bake until golden, turning halfway through baking, about 12 minutes. Let cool 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.