Russian Tea Cakes

I had a lot of ambition to make so many different Christmas cookies this year, but it just didn’t happen and time completely snuck away from me! Luckily, I got to make a few of my favs (maybe I’ll just have to start calling them New Year cookies or something so I can make the rest :)) and one of the must-haves were my favorite Russian Tea Cakes.

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They’re super simple (you can find versions of this recipe that literally have 4 ingredients) while also really elegant and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. These honestly are one of my favorites and hopefully you love them just as much as I do!

A quick tip: make sure to do the first powdered sugar layer while the cookies are still slightly warm (let them rest for less than 10 minutes) and then the second layer of powdered sugar once they are completely cooled.

You can find the full recipe here.

Enjoy! Leave a note below and let me know what holiday (or New Year’s :)) cookies you  are still making this year!

xx Jess

 

Molasses Cookies

Molasses is a flavor that just makes me feel like the holidays. A little bit gingerbread-esque, it’s a perfect warm, homey-ness (and it makes me lose all self control when it comes to cookies!).

These Molasses Cookies are seriously so good (can I say crack? They taste like crack). I will say that when I was looking up recipes, the first I came upon used 1 1/2 cups of butter as the first ingredient. I love butter probably more than most, but geez that’s aggressive. The recipe I ended up going with has half the calories of the first recipe I looked at, and they still taste absolutely amazing.

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Perhaps it’s just me getting used to our oven since the move, but putting two cookies sheets into the oven did not work for this one. Those on the top rack were perfect, cracked just like they were supposed to, and still very soft on the inside. Those on the bottom never cracked and frankly burned a little bit on the bottom as I left them in for some extra time to see if they were going to get there. So for these, it’s a one-sheet-per-oven situation (or at least for me!).

Let me know how these turn out for you! Do you have other favorite molasses cookie recipes you swear by? I’d love to hear them!

You can find the full recipe here.

xx Jess

Salted Chocolate Chunk & Pretzel Cookies

It’s our first cold and truly windy day in Chicago. I’m not too intimidated by the cold, but I’ve been bracing for the wind, and I must say, it is not messing around! Today was high 40s / low 50s, but crazy windy and let me tell you, that makes it seriously cold. When we’re looking at zero degrees (or worse) and this much wind…. I can only imagine (I foresee a lot of cooking in my future when we get there!).

DSC_0386Anyhow, I of course spent the afternoon in the kitchen whipping up some vegan Salted Chocolate Chunk & Pretzel Cookies with a recipe from Evergreen Kitchen. In my book, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and pretzels (salty sweet is the best!) so I knew these would be phenomenal. The original recipe is vegan, but also gluten free. I used regular flour, so my version wasn’t, but it was nice to make truly vegan cookies. I also used peanut butter rather than almond butter, but I’m sure both are great.

I will say, my husband walked in the door (arriving home straight from the airport) this afternoon and said “it smells SOOOO good in here!” so I know I’m doing something right! The combination of peanut butter + chocolate was heavenly.

I did have to cook these a few minutes longer than the recipe recommends, but be cautious of cooking them too long. The bottom will burn before you notice it on top, so it’s ok to pull them out of the oven even if you think they’re still a little under (better than burning!).

Whip up a batch — or two or three — of your own and let me know what you think!

You can find the full recipe here.

Happy baking!

xx Jess

Sea Salted Brown Sugar Cookies

This past weekend was one of those weekends where I was just determined to cook everything. Way overly ambitious (you know that Saturday morning feeling), I had about 10 recipes in mind, but come Sunday night, I needed some ooey gooey cookies. Salty / sweet is my favorite dessert combination, and these Sea Salted Brown Sugar Cookies from the Cafe Sucre Farine delivered.

Full transparency, my cookies look much lighter than they are in the recipe as I used regular brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar (use what you have!). Other than that, I followed this recipe to the T. And let me tell you, when these come right out of the oven, and they’re still melty and you almost wonder if they’re a bit undercooked, they are the most amazing thing. Crisp on the outside, warm and melty on the inside; the perfect combination of sweet and salty. These really hit the mark!

I was recently asked what I do with all of the stuff that I cook / bake. 1) I eat it. 2) I give it away, and the easiest (and luckiest) bunch of people are my coworkers at the office! I brought some of these in earlier this week, and three days later I’m still getting shout outs (holla!) and requests for more. I do love eating what I bake, but as just the two of us, we don’t need to eat an entire batch of cookies / whole cake / full sheet of brownies, etc. (not to say that it doesn’t ever happen…. not judging!).

So my words of wisdom. Make these. And then get ready for everyone to ask you to make them again, and again and again 🙂 I’m actually sad I don’t have any left over and am not eating one as we speak….

This Jess ranking:

  • Making it: 6/10 – very easy. I do admit to blowing up the butter in the microwave and making a colossal mess, but once we got past that point….
  • Eating it: 10/10 – so good. Truly sinful.
  • Looking at it: 9/10 – I think the cookies look better with the darker color (dark brown sugar), but that’s personal preference and these were still really beautiful.

You can find the full recipe here.