World’s Best Slutty Brownies

Preheat oven to 350. Cream two sticks softened butter with a cup of granulated sugar and a half cup light brown sugar until well-blended. Beat in 2 large eggs and a tablespoon vanilla extract. Separately, add a teaspoon baking soda and a teaspoon salt to 2 ½ cups flour,  blend into the butter/eggs, along with 2 cups chocolate chips to make a dough. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil, coat generously with cooking spray, and mash the cookie dough onto it. Add a layer of Double Stuffed Oreos. Top with a brownie batter made with a family size box of good brownie mix. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. And yes, slackers, you can use store-bought chocolate cookie dough. But it won’t be as good.

Apple Pecan Cookies

You don’t see many Southern recipes for apple cookies. Apples simply don’t do well in the South, and those that do are usually made into sauces, pies, or cakes. A quick scan of Southern Sideboards, Bayou Cuisine, River Road Recipes, Vintage Vicksburg, Gourmet of the Delta, The Jackson Cookbook, and The Mississippi Cookbook turned up nary a one, but I did find an apple cookie recipe in Hosford Fontaine’s Allison’s Wells: The Last Mississippi Spa, and you can’t get any more Southern than that.  I use Galas or Grannies.

3 cups of unpeeled diced apples
2 sticks butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A half teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup white raisins
¼ cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugars well, add eggs and flour mixed and sifted with spices and baking powder, then stir in apples, oats and nuts. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes, stirring once. Form dough into ping pong balls, and bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet with parchment paper at 350 or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. This recipe makes about two dozen wonderful, chewy, sticky cookies.

Coconut Macaroons

Sift 3 cups flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder. Mix in 2 cups light brown sugar (it doesn’t have to be packed, for Pete’s sake) and work in a cup of cold butter. Stir in 2 well-beaten eggs with a teaspoon each vanilla and almond extract. Add 2 cups grated coconut, mix well, and drop by spoonfuls onto a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake at 350 until tops are toasted and bottoms browned.

Banana Pudding Cookies

For best flavor, you must use bananas that are soft, aromatic, and with a light freckling. The vanilla wafers should just be broken up into small pieces, not reduced to crumbs. Some people top these with whipped cream and a banana slice, but that makes them soggy.

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ripe banana mashed
1 package banana cream instant pudding mix
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup smashed vanilla wafers

Preheat oven to 350, and line baking pans with lightly oiled parchment paper. Combine flour and baking soda, then set aside. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly, add the banana, pudding mix, and eggs. Mix until smooth and slowly stir in the dry ingredients, then blend in the chips and wafers. Use about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Bake until lightly browned, about ten minutes.

Lucky Charms Treats

They’re magically delicious!

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups Lucky Charms

Line a 9 x 13-in pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows. Heat stick butter to bubbling, add half the marshmallows. Remove from heat, add the rest of the marshmallows and the vanilla. When the marshmallows are melted, add cereal and stir until well-blended but still warm and gooey. Press evenly into baking pan, bake on center rack at 300 for about 20 mins. Cool at room temperature for an hour, and cut into squares.

Baked Cookie Dough

Cream 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar with 1 cup softened butter. Add two beaten eggs and a teaspoon vanilla extract; mix well. Then work in 3 cups flour that have been sifted with a teaspoon of baking soda. When thoroughly blended, refrigerate for an hour, then roll out on a floured board, cut into rounds, place on a flat, heavy baking sheet, and place in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before serving.

Oatmeal Date Cookies

Blend a coarsely-chopped cup of pitted dates with a ¾ cup brown sugar and a stick of soft butter. Sift in a cup of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon baking soda, and a teaspoon salt. Add a lightly beaten egg, a teaspoon vanilla, whatever spices fit your groove (clove and ginger are mine), and a cup and a half of quick-cooking oats. Mix until moist through. Spoon golf ball-size globs onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and place on the middle rack of a preheated 350 oven for about 20 minutes. You can also spread this divine, sensuous, mixture–the very essence of rapture itself–in a pan and slice into bars once cooled.

Hash Tag Cookies

People had been making a criss-cross impression on balls of cookie dough with a fork long before 1925, when George Washington Carver issued an agricultural bulletin with 105 recipes using peanuts, including three for cookies. Some people might tell you the imprint helps cookies bake evenly, but more likely a fork is nine times out of ten more at hand than a cookie press. How the criss-cross became a traditional hash tag for peanut butter cookies is material for a Beard Award. Here’s a good one-bowl recipe for this all-time American favorite.

Combine 1 cup packed light brown sugar with a half cup each of softened butter and peanut butter. Mix until smooth; add a beaten egg and a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix very well. Sift in a half teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder into a cup and a half of AP flour, add to peanut butter mix, and stir thoroughly until it forms a smooth dough. Shape into balls a little smaller than a ping-pong, roll in sugar (optional), and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls with a fork that has been dipped in sugar so it won’t stick. Make a criss-cross pattern, and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Peanut Butter Pecan Blossoms

Beat a half cup each white sugar, packed brown sugar, creamy peanut butter, and unsalted butter with a large egg until well blended. Use a table fork; trust me. Sift a teaspoon baking soda and a half teaspoon baking powder with a cup and a half of AP flour, and stir in a cup of rather finely-chopped pecans. Mix flour and butter mixtures to doughy consistency. Spoon dough into 1-inch balls—it helps to have a cookie scoop—and place on a lightly-oiled baking pan. Bake at 350 until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven, and immediately press a milk chocolate kiss in each cookie. Cool on a rack.

 

Corn Cookies

What you have here is rather much a sugar cookie made with cornmeal and masa. As with flour cookies, they’re often seasoned with various flavorings, herbs, and spices, these more often with savory herbs such as rosemary and verbena. This recipe makes a somewhat soft cookie that can be firmed up with the addition of a bit more masa. Chopped nuts and white chocolate chips add a festive note.

Whisk together a quarter cup of yellow cornmeal and a quarter cup of masa harina with a cup and a half of AP flour, a half teaspoon of baking powder, a half teaspoon of baking soda, and a teaspoon of salt. Beat together two sticks softened butter, a cup and a half of sugar, a quarter cup of honey, a large egg, and a teaspoon of vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add cornmeal mixture until just combined. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate in plastic wrap for about a half an hour.  Roll out to about a quarter inch, cut into rounds and bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet on the middle rack at 350 until lightly browned on the edges.