Rocky Road Cookies

I found this recipe on a cookie blog while I was at work (my job is not overly demanding and mostly involves waiting for students who never show up).  It was not originally authored by that blogger, but I think that it is a fabulous recipe.  I was looking for something with marshmallows, because I just LOVE marshmallows, and then I thought, “Why not look for a rocky road recipe?”  And sure enough, I found a plethora!

Rocky Road Cookies
(Adapted from Great Cookies by Carole Walter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used a mix of natural and Dutch)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup broken toasted pecans
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 cups mini-marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350oF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together 3 times. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat 1 minute longer. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Stir in the sour cream and the vanilla.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans and chocolate chips.
5. Scoop the dough into tablespoon-sized lumps. Bake for 10 minutes or until just starting to set on top. Remove from the oven and press 4 or 5 mini-marshmallows at random onto the tops. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 2 minutes or just until the marshmallows start to soften. WATCH CAREFULLY. Do not allow the marshmallows to become too hot or they will melt, and you will have a mess.
6. Let rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes or until firm enough to handle before loosening with a large metal spatula. Remove to a wire cooling rack.
Makes 20

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Ok, these cookies are seriously amazing. They are a sort of cookie-brownie hybrid, as the name indicates, which basically means they have a very fudgy interior (it’s a plus, trust me). I’ve recently started experimenting with putting instant pudding mix into cookie dough, which makes the cookies more moist once they have been baked, and I have not tried that approach here, but it may be suitable. Personally, I think they are pretty great as they are, though.

chocolate brownie cookies

Chocolate Brownie Cookies
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4” chunks
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 c granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 c sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c (about 3 oz) chopped nuts (your preference—I prefer pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts)

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375oF. Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate and 5 oz of the semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
3. In a  large bowl, beat the chocolate-butter mixture with the sugar until well mixed, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix completely.
4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.  Stir in the remaining semi-sweet chocolate and the nuts.  The dough will be very soft, almost like a thick batter.
5. Shape 2 tbs of dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in size and place 1 1/2” inches apart on the baking sheets.  Bake 9-11 minutes.  The cookies will be quite soft in the middle but have a crisp exterior.
6. Cool completely on the parchment paper on wire racks.

Makes about 30 cookies

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies

I was shocked to learn that many people don’t like coconut.  I like coconut so much, that on a recent venture to Grand Cayman, my friends and I actually managed to get a coconut out of a tree to eat.  The ingredient that thew me in these cookies, which I think have a somewhat Hawaiian theme, was the macadamias, which my local grocery store apparently does not carry (yet I think they stock every Goya product known to mankind…go figure.).

coconut macadamia cookies

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies
1/2 c plus 2 tbs salted macadamia nuts
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 c) butter
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1 c sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbs lime juice
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 325oF. Spread the macadamia nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them about 10 minutes, or until they are light golden and fragrant. Let them cool, then halve about 22 of the nuts. Finely grind the remainder and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the 2 eggs, vanilla and lime juice. Add the flour mixture, ground macadamia nuts and coconut. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
3. Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface and shape into an 11-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 350oF, and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough log from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Place on baking sheet.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tbs water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each cookie with the egg wash. Sprinkle with some coconut and press a macadamia nut into the center.
6. Baking until the edges are golden and the coconut on top is lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 44 cookies