Cookies and Bars

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

by Shawnda on December 20, 2014

in Citrus,Cookies and Bars,Grapefruit

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

I’d like to introduce you to some of the best Christmas cookies I’ve ever made.

And there’s nothing about this cookie really screams “Christmas,” except I first made them for the cookie exchange I attend every year. And it’s December and the start of the beautiful winter citrus season. And these cookies make my house smell really, really amazing and they make me really, really happy. Like Christmas morning.

And to think, this recipe started with one of my least favorite cookies ever: the sugar cookie.

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

I hate the way sugar cookies smell fresh out of the oven. They smell like… well, they smell like eggs. Hot eggs. [gag]

These cookies, though? With a triple-punch of grapefruit, they are completely incapable of smelling anything but amazing.

Grapefruit Sugar

These perfectly chewy cookies are crispy along the outside edge and chewy in the center. The dough is infused with grapefruit sugar and a grapefruit juice reduction and then they are rolled in more grapefruit sugar.

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Have a safe and Merry Christmas! We’ll see you back here next week with some great appetizer and cocktail ideas for New Year’s Eve.

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 grapefruit*
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 2 eggs
  • *Choose grapefruit that have skin with pretty red-orange blush. You will use the zest from all 3 grapefruit and the juice from 1/2 grapefruit. Might I recommend juicing the remainder of the grapefruit for grapefruit margaritas?

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Zest the 3 grapefruit and add it to your mixer bowl with the sugar. Using your mixer, a spoon, or your fingers (your hands will smell awesome for hours!), really work the zest into the sugar for a couple of minutes - this releases the oils and flavors the sugar. I put the mixer on medium and let it do the work while I'm gathering the other ingredients.
  4. Remove 1/2 cup of the grapefruit sugar and place onto a a small shallow dish - you'll use this to coat the sugar cookie balls before baking.
  5. Add the butter to the remaining sugar and cream for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Juice 1/2 of the grapefruit - you'll end up with ~1/3 cup juice. Put the juice into a small sauce pan over high heat and reduce to 1 Tbsp of liquid. Remove from heat and swirl for a minute or two to bring closer to room temperature.
  7. Add the grapefruit reduction to the butter mixture and mix.
  8. Scrape down the bowl and add the two eggs until well blended.
  9. Add the dry ingredients and mix for 30-60 seconds on medium-high.
  10. Scoop the dough into balls and drop into the reserved grapefruit sugar, rolling and tapping off any excess.
  11. Place 8 cookies on each lined baking sheet and refrigerate the dough balls for 15 minutes. (I actually scoop it all at once, onto two plastic wrap-covered plates to get it over with).
  12. Bake for 10 minutes - the edges should be light brown and the centers will look pale and barely set - this is perfect.
  13. Leave the cookies on the pan to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  14. Store cookies in zipper bags for... I don't know. 5-7 days? They just never last that long around here.

Notes

Yields: 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Adapted from AllRecipes

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Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

My name is Shawnda and sometimes I eat cookies for breakfast.

But only sometimes. Usually on days where I’ve said something like, “I thought about running 4 miles, I half-way earned it!” (The things we tell ourselves, huh?)

Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

These cookies could lovingly be called “Road Trip Cookies.” Because a gas-station granola bar somewhere between Houston and Lafayette inspired them.

And since I knew there would be a weekend of calorie-bomb debauchery in New Orleans ahead of me, they just seemed like a smart idea. At least, smarter than the Funyuns that I usually get.

Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

Just like in that granola bar, the combination of dark chocolate, tart dried cherries, and a sprinkle of sea salt is completely amazing. But unlike that granola bar, they aren’t trying to hide under a healthy label.

These are cookies. Made with butter. And chocolate.

Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

I took one of my favorite chewy cookie dough recipes and loaded it with a bag of 63% [swooooon] Guittard Dark Chocolate Chips, cherry-flavored craisins (because holy crap, dried cherries are $18/lb!), and finished them with a sprinkle of sea salt straight out of the oven.

Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

Chewy, rich, sweet, tart, and salty. If that doesn’t say “breakfast” and “the perfect road trip food,” then I don’t know what does.

(Besides Funyuns.)

Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

Salted Dark Chocolate & Cherry Cookies

Thick and chewy cookies studded with dark chocolate, tart dried cherries, and sprinkled with sea salt.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 243.0 | Fat: 11.0g | Fiber 2.9g | Protein 2.5g | Carbs 36.5g

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 7.5 oz dried cherries (or 1 1/2 bag Cherry Craisins)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicon mat.
  3. Place butter and sugars in a mixer bowl, mix on medium high until well-combined, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix on low just until combined. Add chocolate chips and cherries, just until combined.
  6. Chill dough 15 minutes. Scoop scant 1/4-cup dough balls onto a lined baking sheet (my scoop is just under 1/2 cup and I break the dough into 2).
  7. Bake 12-16 minutes, until the edges brown and the center is still soft.
  8. Sprinkle with salt when they come out of the oven.
  9. Let cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes

Yields: 24 cookies

Cookie dough base adapted from Cook's Illustrated

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Chewy Butter Pecan Cookies

Cookies and craft beer. That’s what Landry leaves out for Santa. The jolly old elf’s tastes sure have changed over the years!

Cookies & Beer for Santa

30 years ago, his choice of treat while making the brief stop at our house was always a glass of milk and a slice of chocolate pie. I remember asking my dad why we didn’t leave cookies out like everyone else did.

“He eats cookies all night, Shiner. By the time he makes it to Texas, he’ll be hankerin’ for somethin’ different.”

Chewy Butter Pecan Cookies

(Yep, my dad still says “hankerin.” And yep, I had a nickname that would end up the name of a popular beer. Go look up foreshadowing if you need to and then giggle.)

You can be sure, though, if something had prevented Santa from visiting our house, a fear we 4 kids secretly had… and all secretly had pre-pinned fault on my troublemaker sister Kristen, that chocolate pie would have never gone to waste.

Because coincidentally [wink wink], it was also my dad’s very favorite pie.

Chewy Butter Pecan Cookies

We were pie people. So on Christmas Eve, before and after we visited my MeMaw & PaPa’s house to open gifts, we baked pies. And when we woke up before dawn on Christmas morning, there was always a single bite of chocolate pie left on the plate – fueling our belief in Santa that much longer.

Because no way in hell would my dad had ever left a perfectly good bite of chocolate pie behind. (I can just see that heavy-whispered argument go down between my mom and dad, as much tradition in our house as the slice of pie itself, no doubt: Don’t eat it all! Why not? Because! Because why? Because it needs to look like Santa ate it! BUT IT’S CHOCOLATE PIE!!!)

Chewy Butter Pecan Cookies

The Santa of today prefers cookies and a glass of Texas beer on his brief stop in Katy, Texas. So cookies he will get. Chewy cookies studded with butterscotch chips, pecans roasted in browned butter, and a sprinkle of salt over top.

As for the beer, Santa will get a tall frosty mug (unless he decides to bring me those fancy beer glasses I’ve been wanting) of our homebrew Cousin Eddie’s Christmas Ale – it’s a strong ale flavored with oak, bourbon and vanilla bean. Although, at a whopping 9% ABV, he’ll probably have to settle for a flight glass unless he wants to stick around a while :)

Merry Christmas Eve!

Chewy Butter Pecan Cookies

Thick and chewy cookies studded with pecans roasted in browned butter and butterscotch chips.

Ingredients

  • For the pecans
  • 6 oz pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • For the cookies
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus an extra pinch for sprinkling
  • 12 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz pkg of butterscotch chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Over medium heat, brown the butter in a small sauce pan, scraping the bottom occasionally to prevent the milk solids from sticking and burning.
  3. When the mixture has turned a nice amber color, turn off the heat and stir in the pecans until complete coated.
  4. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt.
  5. Roast for 7-10 minutes, until browned and fragrant.
  6. Let cool and set aside.
  7. Lower oven temp to 325. Line two baking sheets (I move the pecans to a bowl and wipe down the "pecan pan") with parchment or a silicon mat.
  8. Place butter and sugars in a mixer bowl, mix on medium high until well-combined, 2-3 minutes.
  9. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla.
  10. Add dry ingredients and mix on low just until combined. Add butterscotch chips and peanuts until distributed.
  11. Chill dough 15-20 minutes. Scoop 1/4-cup dough balls onto a lined baking sheet.
  12. Bake 12-16 minutes, until the edges brown and the center is still soft.
  13. Sprinkle the warm cookies with a pinch of salt and then let cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes

Yields: ~18 large cookies

Cookie dough base adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Estimated time: 50 minutes

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