Geneva Cookies

12 Days of Cookies
– Day 12 –

I’m in love with Pepperidge Farm cookies. It takes a lot of restraint for me not to pick up a bag of Milano cookies or a tin of Pirouettes. Another favorite is their Geneva cookie, so when my friend pointed me in the direction of a DIY version on Izy’s site, Top With Cinnamon, I knew these were a must make!

Plus.. today is Day 12 of the 12 Days of Cookies!! Yay!! While I’m a bit sad to be done with this series (mainly because I have SOO many other cookie recipes I want to make), I must admit I’m relieved as it was awfully time-consuming and, frankly, I’m tired of washing dishes!! ;-)

With that being said, I’m going to be taking a break from here until the New Year. While I have things I want to share with you all, I just don’t have the time to post during the holidays. I’d rather take that time to work on some new things to share with you all starting in January. So, enough about that… time to focus on this last batch of cookies!

Geneva Cookies

Mmm… cookies.

These are super easy to make, although a little time-consuming with the rolling process. Izy suggests you can simply press them into circles, but I really didn’t find the process all that hard. Plus, while one batch is baking you can simply work on the next batch, and so on and so forth.

The dough is thrown together using the basic creaming method. Yes, that’s a lot of vanilla and yes, it calls for that much lemon juice. Trust me, it’s necessary and makes them taste soo good! The basic process after that is scooping, rolling (2x) and then pressing. I’ve included a picture below with the 4 steps.

Geneva Cookies

Geneva Cookies

I started out real nice and fancy with my pressing method, as can be seen above. However, by the 2nd and 3rd batch I found myself simply pressing them flat with 3 fingers in about 2-3 motions. I mean, they’re going to get covered in chocolate and a topping of your choice, so does the shape/size really matter that much? The main thing you need to focus on is trying to press them evenly to about 1/4″. Otherwise, it’s a free-for-all. :)

After the cookies are baked, the chocolate of your choice (I used bittersweet!) is spread on top and then the topping(s) of your choice are sprinkled on top. I didn’t have a lot of time to grab stuff, so I used what I had on hand which was crushed candy canes and toasted coconut. Mmm…

Geneva Cookies

Geneva Cookies

Geneva Cookies
Adapted from Top With Cinnamon
Yield: Approx. 40 cookies (#70 scoop)

7 ounces (14 Tablespoons) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Glaze:
8 – 10 ounces chocolate (I used bittersweet)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and lemon juice/vinegar.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.

4. Using a #70 scoop (1 Tablespoon), scoop the dough and roll into balls. Roll each ball until it’s approximately 2″ long and place on the cookie sheet. Using your fingers, flatten the dough until it forms an oval shape, approximately 1/4 inch thick. Space the cookies about 1/2″ apart. I turned them to an angle and was able to fit 12 cookies (3×4) on my 1/4 sheet.

5. Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until they are lightly golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

6. Melt 8 ounces of chocolate with the coconut oil in a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% heat. Spread approximately 1/2 teaspoon onto each cookie and then sprinkle your desired toppings on top. Cool completely at room temperature. Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.

Variations: Feel free to use your imagination with these and put any number of ingredients on top, but some suggestions I have are:
– spread different chocolate on top (white, milk, semisweet, dark)
– nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, walnuts)
– crushed candy canes
– coconut (toasted or un-toasted)
– seeds (sesame, sunflower)
– crushed pretzel pieces
– chopped dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, cherries, apricots)


Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

12 Days of Cookies
– Day 10 –

I will fully admit that I’m bad about finding healthy alternatives to baking, or rather, alternative ingredients for my baking. I don’t pay much attention to sugar-free, gluten-free, etc. as it’s admittedly not my forte. I found this recipe on Food52, though, and was curious because not many cookies can claim to be “gluten-free” unless they use a non-wheat flour. Much to my surprise, these don’t contain any flour at all!

These whip together in seconds and are held together by egg whites. I found the recipe fun and easy to alter as well, some variations of which I’ll include at the end of the recipe. They bake up quickly in 15 minutes flat, and they stay crunchy and chewy for days.

I do want to make note that people with a severe gluten intolerance need to be careful as powdered sugar does contain cornstarch, and to varying degrees, so if your body is super sensitive to gluten these still might affect your stomach. If you’re just trying to eat gluten-free, though, these will be a perfect cookie to try!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Food52
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen cookies (slightly heaping #50 scoop)

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (see note)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. Using an electric mixer, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt on low until combined. Add the egg whites and vanilla, and mix on low for a few minutes until the batter comes together. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. If batter doesn’t flatten, press down with fingers to flatten a bit. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the surfaces are cracked.

4. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on tray before removing to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


1. Chocolate Peanut Butter – Add 2 Tablespoons peanut butter to the batter before folding in the chips.

2. Orange Chocolate – Fold in 1/8 teaspoon Boyajian Orange Oil to the batter before folding in chips.

3. Chocolate Almond – Remove 1/2 cup chocolate chips and replace it with slivered or sliced almonds. For extra almond flavor, also fold in 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

4. Chocolate Coconut – Remove 1/2 cup chocolate chips and replace it with shredded coconut.

5. Spiced Chocolate – Replace the cinnamon with 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.

Cook’s Notes

The original recipe calls for semisweet chocolate chips, but I found this to be very sweet since the batter is mainly composed of powdered sugar. I used half 60% chips and half semisweet chips and enjoyed that flavor balance. Feel free to play around with different chocolates until you have your desired taste!

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

12 Days of Cookies
– Day 9-

These cookies are super tasty! As previously noted, I’m a major chocoholic. I’m also a huge coconut fan and have been craving it as of late, so this recipe kind of satisfied all my cravings. :)

They’re super easy to whip up, and the recipe can easily be halved or doubled if you want more/less. The original recipe was actually half of this and only yielded 15 cookies which seemed a bit small, so I doubled it for a normal 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

The batter will be very soft and so I did two different bakings – one with soft, warm dough and another with stiff, chilled dough. They produced the exact same result, so feel free to do either! This would be a prime candidate for a cookie dough that you make the night before and bake the day of, plus they bake quickly in 10 minutes flat.

Try to stick with using baking bars instead of opting for chips. Also, try to stick with bittersweet as the cookie itself is pretty sweet enough. I just buy the Ghirardelli baking bars and used the 60% cocoa bars for this recipe.

Please note that I increased the flour a little as my cookies turned out a bit flat. The original recipe calls for 2 cups and I increased to 2 1/4. They taste just fine the way they baked, but 1/4 cup should help them a tad to bring in the shape a bit more. Either way, these cookies have an awesome flavor and nice texture, so they’re sure to please. Happy Baking!

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen (#50 slightly rounded scoop)

2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4-6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see note)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

2. Spread coconut on cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Stir coconut halfway through to ensure even color. Set aside to cool.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between additions. Add the vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix on low just until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate and toasted coconut.

5. Drop dough by tablespoons or a slightly rounded #50 scoop on the cookie sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until lightly brown on the edges. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Cook’s Notes

The original recipe calls for 4 ounces of chocolate. I found that a few of my cookies didn’t have much chocolate in them, so next time I’m likely going to add another 1-2 ounces of chocolate to ensure that each cookie has enough. Feel free to adjust according to your taste.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

12 Days of Cookies
– Day 7 –

Chocolate is one of those things I can’t get enough of… unfortunately. ;-) It doesn’t matter what form it’s in – a cake, a cookie, ice cream, hot fudge sauce, etc. In my eyes, you can never have enough chocolate!

I’ve had this recipe for years and honestly can’t recall where I first got it, but what I do remember is that it makes a very rich, chocolately cookie. These are “triple” chocolate cookies, but really the recipe should be named Quintuple Chocolate Cookies because there are 5 kinds of chocolate in these puppies! Well, technically 4 because white chocolate isn’t really chocolate, but that’s a whole other discussion for another time.

So yes, 5 kinds of chocolate! You start off melting some semisweet and unsweetened chocolate. This is mixed into the creamed butter/sugar mixture, along with the eggs and vanilla. Your flour mixture (which contains cocoa powder) is then folded in, followed by milk and white chocolate chunks. Really, I wasn’t kidding when I said these were chocolately!

I have a note that these were originally slice ‘n bake cookies, but it just seems like such a hassle to me to roll these into logs, refrigerate and then slice/bake. I know you won’t want to hear this, but I do recommend chilling the dough slightly before baking them. The cookie dough is very soft and sticky, and the cookies need to be flattened before baking as they don’t flatten much on their own. Trying to flatten sticky dough is not a pretty sight, thus the recommendation to slightly chill the dough before scooping and baking.

It’s always hard determining the perfect cooking time with dark cookies since you can’t exactly gauge it based on the color, but I found that 13 minutes was perfect for these. I baked them for 7, rotated and then baked another 6 minutes.

These will no doubt satisfy any chocolate craving you have (and then some), plus your friends will love you forever if you bake these for them. *wink, wink* :) Just be sure to have a glass of milk on hand!

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Triple Chocolate Cookies
Yield: 26 cookies (#30 flattened scoop)

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup light brown sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temp
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white chocolate, chopped (or you can use chocolate chips)
1 cup milk chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between additions. Add the vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix on low just until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

4. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Scoop level scoops of dough, spacing them 2 inches apart, and flatten with the palm of your hand. You want to flatten these pretty well because they won’t flatten or spread much on their own.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 13-14 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. As noted above, mine cooked perfectly at 13 minutes.

6. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before removing to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

There are a lot of flavors that I associate with the holidays, one of which is gingerbread. It contains a myriad of different spices and flavors that combine together to create a very complex taste. I found this particular recipe while browsing Food52’s site and knew I had to make it. The recipe has some unique ingredients, such as dry mustard and beer, that contribute to the depth of flavors. It also contains chocolate both in and on top of the cake, so you really can’t go wrong. ;-)

The recipe does contain beer, but all alcohol gets cooked out during the baking process. If you’re concerned about using beer (or are just too lazy to buy some), you can easily substitute water in its place. I highly recommend sticking with the beer, though, as it really does amp the flavor. The recipe calls for a Porter, Ale or any similar dark brew. There are a lot of gingerbread cake recipes that call for Guinness as well, but I opted for a Porter. More specifically, I used Black Butte Porter as it had a 97 rating by some beer reviewer. ;-) You only use 3/4 cup and will therefore have leftover beer, so you might as well purchase a kind you’ll actually want to drink!

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This recipe originally derives from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Elisa Huntsman, which is a book I bought just a few months ago on amazon for $34. Just one month later, used hardcovers were going for double that and new were going for $200+. The book is out-of-print and apparently now considered a rare book, so man, am I glad I purchased it when I did!! :) You will no doubt see many more blog entries from that book over the next few months.

This cake is very easy to make and is simply mixed by hand in a large bowl. Some melted chocolate is added to some of the batter and then swirled together. I just used a skewer and did circular motions around the cake once to create the marble effect.

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

The original book recipe uses a chocolate buttercream frosting on top, while the Food52 revision calls for a chocolate glaze. Since I was doing this in a tube pan, I felt the glaze would be the easiest and look the best. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I do not own a decorative bundt pan, despite being certain I owned one. So, the sides of my cake look a bit raggedy, but I assure you it does not take away from the flavor at all! :)

Once the cake is fully cooled, place it on a cooling rack. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and then place the rack on top. This will help collect any glaze that falls off the cake. Pour the melted chocolate glaze on top and then cool in the fridge until it’s set. I wanted the cake to be completely covered, but you could also simply drizzle it on top if you don’t want it to have too much chocolate. I’m not sure there’s such a thing as too much chocolate, though. ;-)

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

I personally think the cake tastes best at room temp, so I would remove it from the fridge a good 30-45 minutes before serving. Be sure to use a hot knife when cutting it. This cake is moist and rich and full of flavor, and it would be a perfect addition to your holiday menu! Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from Food52
Original recipe from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Serves 12-16

2/3 cups canola or vegetable oil
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cups dark beer (See note)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon canola oil

Chocolate Glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Grease and flour a large (10-12 cup capacity) bundt or tube pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, molasses, eggs and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder and baking soda.

3. Pour half the flour mixture on top of the eggs and fold the batter a few times. Add the buttermilk and fold until smooth. Pour the rest of the flour mixture on top, fold a few times and then add the beer. Fold until completely mixed. Remove 2 cups of batter and set aside; pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan.

4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and 1 teaspoon oil on low; stir until smooth. Stir or fold into reserved cake batter.

5. Pour chocolate batter on top and use a skewer to swirl the two together. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to cool.

6. To make the glaze, combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan on medium just until it starts to boil. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit untouched for 5 minutes. Then, gently stir the mixture until it is smooth. This will take a minute or two, and a whisk can be used to gently whisk it together. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set up the chocolate, and then serve the cake at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes

Guinness, Porter, Ale or any other dark beer would be perfect for this cake.

Triple M Cookies

I’m back with another awesome cookie recipe. Did the name intrigue you? Well, don’t get too excited. I was just too lazy to write out the full name. ;-) I found this recipe on one of my favorite foodie sites Food52. On the site, they’re called Magical Marvelous Memorable Cookies. That’s just too much of a mouthful, no pun intended. So we’re just going to call these Triple M Cookies and be done with it. :)

These cookies are an excellent idea for a person who wants to make cookies on the fly. They’re essentially a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe with other stuff tossed in for fun. The beauty of this cookie is you can make it a thousand different ways depending on what you put in it. The author suggests granola or any other cereal, crushed pretzel pieces or some other salty snack food, chocolate chips or chocolate candies, any type of nut and various spices, such as cinnamon, allspice and cardamom (if desired). You could even toss in dried fruit, such as cherries, raisins, currants or chopped up apricots. Really, the possibilities are endless.

I made these cookies twice. The first time I used up some leftover Rice Krispies, crushed pretzel sticks, pecan pieces, milk chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips. They were awesome, although I couldn’t really taste the Rice Krispies. The second time around I made them exactly the same, except I substituted granola for the Rice Krispies. I liked that result much better, plus it allowed me the chance to find the perfect baking time.

As is my new method with most cookie recipes, I immediately scooped the batter into balls onto a cookie sheet, wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them for a few hours or overnight. If you’re too impatient to wait, I’m sure they’ll work just fine. The cookie will have an overall better texture, though, if you can allow them to chill for at least 1 hour. :) I lightly pressed these cookies down and, in my opinion, they spread just the perfect amount. These cookies are amazing out of the oven and have a crisp and chewy texture. The next day they’re not quite as soft, but they still have wonderfully crisp edges and a chewy center (so long as you don’t overbake them!)

I definitely plan on having some fun with these cookies and trying out different candies, cereals, chocolate, fruits and nuts. Let me know if you come up with any fun flavor combinations!

Triple M Cookies

Triple M Cookies
Adapted from Food52
Yield: 2 – 2 1/2 dozen

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granola (or other cereal)
1/2 cup crushed salted pretzel pieces (or other salty snack food)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or other chocolate pieces)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts, optional (See Note)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice or cardamom, if desired

1. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy; scrape bowl well. Add egg and vanilla, beat for about 30 seconds and then scrape the bowl.

3. On low speed, add the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the granola, pretzels, chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Scoop dough by rounded scoopfuls and place on a parchment-lined pan. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Alternately, you can freeze them for about 20 minutes and then bake them.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (218 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

6. Place chilled cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and lightly press down to flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, or until the edges are lightly brown. Do not over bake!! My cookies were perfect at 11 minutes, but you’ll need to check them closely as all ovens are different.

7. Put cookies on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cook’s Notes

1. If you do not add nuts, replace that 1/2 cup with more cereal, pretzels or chocolate chips. Otherwise, cookies might spread too much

Goat Cheese Brownies

First of all, my sincerest apologies for disappearing for over a month! My beloved cat, Clyde, suddenly passed away a month ago, and then I had 3 vacations and a business trip that were nearly back-to-back with one another. I feel like my life is just now resuming some resemblance of normalcy! One of my trips was to Denver to see my older sister, so I took advantage of my free time to make her a batch of my goat cheese brownies.

A lot of people grimace or make an odd face when I mention this dessert as they wouldn’t normally pair the two flavors together, but I personally think it’s an awesome combination. These brownies taste almost identical to cream cheese brownies, but the goat cheese provides a nice tangy flavor and makes them seem a bit more sophisticated – at least that’s what I tell myself. :) If you’re not a huge goat cheese fan, feel free to substitute equal parts of cream cheese for the goat cheese and they’ll be almost as amazing as these.

Goat Cheese Brownies

These brownies are super easy to make, too, so don’t be intimidated by them at all. The two mixtures are whipped up, swirled together and then baked. The result is a very rich, very dense brownie and a little bit goes a long way!

Goat Cheese Brownies

Goat Cheese Brownies
Yield: 2 dozen

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 oz. butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Goat Cheese:
20 oz. goat cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line a 13×9 metal baking pan with parchment paper and coat lightly with cooking spray.

2. Melt chocolates and butter in a double-boiler until completely melted. Alternately, heat them in the microwave at 50% power for 30-second increments until melted. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate! Set mixture aside to cool.

3. Combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in melted chocolate mixture. Combine the flour and salt and fold into the chocolate mixture; set aside.

4. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, combine the goat cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour half the chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Drop half the cheese mixture by spoonfuls on top. Pour remaining chocolate batter on top and drop remaining cheese mixture by spoonfuls on top. Using a knife or skewer, zig zag from top to bottom and left to right to swirl the mixture.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the brownies have puffed along the edges and the cheese mixture is very lightly browned. Do not overbake! Cool completely and cut into squares. If desired, sprinkle lightly with high quality sea salt and enjoy!