Cotton Candy Meringue Nests

cotton candy meringue cookies

cotton candy meringue cookies

Today’s post is going to be so quick and easy I am almost embarrassed to share. These easy cotton candy meringue cookies took about 10 minutes of prep time and 1 hour of cook time. Seriously one of the easiest treats I’ve made in ages.

I was decorating my little brother’s birthday cake when Patrick’s daughter wondered into the kitchen. Lately, the kids have been so wrapped up in Pokemon that they really haven’t asked to help out in the kitchen. So when Sophia asked if we could make cookies for dessert I needed to find something fast and easy.

cotton candy meringue cookies

These meringue cookies were inspired by the sprinkles sitting on the counter in all honesty. I had never made a meringue cookie before, but I knew they were fairly simple. So into the bowl I tossed my egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Boom and done.

So here it is… the easiest cookie recipe… ever.

Cotton Candy Meringue Nests
Author: 
Recipe type: cotton candy meringue cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cookies
 
Easy meringue cookies that taste a lot like cotton candy!
Ingredients
  • For the cookie
  • 4 egg whites at room temp
  • ⅛ tsp of cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • food coloring if you choose
  • sprinkles
  • For the frosting
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with a mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a clean dry mixing bowl whip the egg whites and cream of tartar.
  3. After about 2 minutes slowly add in the sugar.
  4. When the mix begins to resemble whipped cream add in the extract and food colorings.
  5. Whip until you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites stay put!
  6. Fill a pastry bag or ziplock with the egg whites and pipe onto the pan.
  7. I made little nests.
  8. Add sprinkles.
  9. Bake for one hour until firm and crisp.
  10. Do not let brown.
  11. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  12. For the frosting:
  13. Whip the ingredients on medium high for about 5 minutes then pipe into the meringue nests.
  14. Sprinkle again :p

cotton candy meringue cookies

You can definitely skip the buttercream, but I think that adds to the cotton candy flavor. Feel free to change up the shape too! These are so fun to make and easy to customize! Perfect melt in your mouth goodness.

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Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

triple chocolate chip cookies

triple chocolate chip cookies

One of the best parts of only giving myself one cheat day a week is having 6 days to brainstorm these concoctions. I’m now heading into my 4th week of eating clean and I am wishing I had thought to remake these cookies. Triple chocolate chip cookies are now a thing in our house. These cookies measure about 4 1/2 inches wide. They are soft, chewy, and oooooh so chocolatey.

triple chocolate chip cookies

I drizzled dark chocolate and white chocolate on alternating cookies. The kids were skeptical at first. They have a hard time believing there is white chocolate. According to them chocolate is brown and anything white is icing. I say that is fair. The white chocolate drizzle does add a really nice vanilla flavor where the dark chocolate adds enough bitterness to break up the triple chocolate inside the cookie.

triple chocolate chip cookies

I scrolled through dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes online that were quoted as “the best”. I know everyone has a different idea of what “the best” is. Patrick thinks a cookie that is super chewy and close to cake-like with lots of melty chocolate is the best. I personally love something a little closer to the classic Nestle recipe. Slightly crispy on the outside and very soft in the middle.

triple chocolate chip cookies

These cookies have the slightest crunch on the very outside, but the rest of the cookie is so soft and soooo packed with chocolate. Using dark brown sugar helps give almost a toffee like flavor which is definitely my favorite!

triple chocolate chip cookiestriple chocolate chip cookies

 

 

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of chocolate chips- milk, semi sweet, and dark
  • 2 eggs at room temp
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2¼ cups of AP flour
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of water
Instructions
  1. Cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs 1 at a time.
  3. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. In a mixing bowl whisk the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour into the butter mixture mixing at low speed.
  6. Mix on low until fully incorporated.
  7. Add the in the tbsp of water.
  8. Fold in the chocolate.
  9. Roll 3 tbsp of dough into uniform size dough balls.
  10. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  12. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.
  13. Bake about 5 cookies at a time for 10 minutes or until center has just barely set.

If you are trying to eat healthy- I am so sorry! BUT once you try these triple chocolate chip cookies there is no going back. I know they will be your favorite!

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Royal Icing For Cut Out Cookies

royal icing

There is a little story about this royal icing. I decided I wanted to make little cut out cookies for all my friend’s children this Christmas. I started with my gingerbread recipe then my go to sugar cookies. I tried a chocolate chip shortbread and some chocolate shortbread.

Now the night before I knew I wanted to ice these I made sure I had all my cookies ready to go. All separated into little freezer bags waiting to be iced. I woke up extra early and drove over to Michael’s to pick up a few extra food colorings and a few more piping tips. Who knew the craft store would be poppin at 9am. I stood in line with my handful of items for 30 minutes then drove back home. After setting up my sugars and food coloring I realized something… I forgot to buy meringue powder.

royal icing

There was no way  I was getting back into that line so I started browsing the internet. There are a lot of ways to pasteurize your own eggs so I made a very basic icing recipe, but I heated the eggs over a pot of boiling water to help kill off any bacteria.

royal icing

If I learned anything this weekend it is definitely to plan ahead when making an iced cut out cookie. There is so much time in drying each layer. A few times I tried to rush and my icing would just melt into another color. Do one batch at a time. Have all your piping bags ready. Icing colored and covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to use it. It takes forever for each layer to dry, but some how they dry so fast when you need to sprinkle. So definitely have all your accents ready to go.

You can see with my gingerbread men there is a slight variance between some of them. I made the icing way to thick my first go and the next morning I made another batch thinning out my flood icing. The hard part is finding that perfect consistency that can make a border then still have enough liquid to very quickly fill the border. Practice and patience are huge here. At one point a was working on the very last color in my icing layers and Patrick watches me and says “hmm it looks so easy in all the videos.” That is so true. All the research I did before trying these out and that is definitely what I took away from it all – it is not easy. Once I got the hang of it I really was on the finally touches. The little red scarves. I had the perfect consistency on that red and the red sugar held it together so nicely.

Patrick and I did go to a friend’s birthday party while all my little cookies were drying. We had a great time and it was really nice to have a reason to dress up a little. By the time we got back all my cookies were dry and ready to be packed away.

Royal Icing For Cut Out Cookies
Recipe type: Baking, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cookies
 
A royal icing recipe you can make from items you probably already have at home!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar, with more for thickening up
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tsp of cream of tartar
  • 3 tbsp of cream
  • clear vanilla flavor
  • food coloring
  • sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. Create a double boiler by boiling water in a small pot.
  2. Top with a mixing bowl that rests just on top of the pot.
  3. Add the egg whites, vanilla, and 2 cups of sugar to the bowl.
  4. Whisk very quickly until the mix is hot to the touch.
  5. To be EXTRA safe you can heat to 150 degrees, but I just eye balled mine.
  6. Pull off the heat and add 1 tbsp of cream.
  7. Whisk quickly.
  8. You should be able to cut with a butter knife and it takes 10-15 seconds to seal back over.
  9. Use the cream and sugar to thicken and loose the mix.
  10. Add your food color. ( I prefer gel)
  11. Use separate bowls for individual colors and keep the main mix to the side in case you need a thickener.
  12. I used Wilton tips 3 and 4.
  13. Make sure you leave at least 15 minutes dry time between ever color. Best to let cookies dry on the counter over night once complete.
  14. The icing will keep a lot of moisture in the cookie itself.

Get creative with your designs! I found so many ideas on Pinterest and tons of inspiration at the craft store. Happy Holidays!

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Classic Chocolate Ganache Macarons

maracons

Hi this is my first attempt at macarons! As in my first successful attempt. These delicate cookies only have a handful of ingredients, but are truly the most high maintenance cookie I have ever made.  I made 5 batches yesterday using a variety of methods I found online. This is what worked best for me.

image1 (100)

Almost every recipe I found required you to run the almond meal through a food processor. I did not see much of a difference when I did this so I skipped it for my final attempt. I also tried 3 batches using the sugar syrup method. I am not sure if I just did not get the syrup into the eggs before they cooled, but I was not getting that super crisp shell. This recipe I just added the sugar straight into the eggs.

image3 (36)

The first couple of batches I did not let the batter dry out enough before baking. The pictures show the final attempt when I left them on the counter for 5 hours before baking. These had a perfect crispy shell and nice chewy center. I also had a much better result with the “feet” the longer my cookies rested before baking.

image2 (52)

Probably the most important lesson I learned was DO NOT OVER MIX. I was very confused when I read a lot of recipes comparing the batter to lava. I don’t know about you, but I am around cake batter more often then lava. The egg whites still need to be airy. They definitely deflate when mixed, but you can still see a slight bounce to the mixture once folded. If the batter is runny that means it was over mixed.

Classic Chocolate Ganache Macarons
Recipe type: Cookies, Macarons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Classic French Macarons With Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients
  • Cookie Shells-
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3 room temp large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ cup of sugar
  • Filling-
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • ½ cup of salted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl whisk the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. In a separate clean bowl beat the egg whites and vanilla on high speed until white and frothy.
  3. Add in the ⅛ cup of sugar.
  4. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
  5. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites stay in place.
  6. Very gently fold the egg whites into the dry mixture.
  7. Do not over mix.
  8. The mix should look like very thick cake batter.
  9. I used a piping bag with a round tip.
  10. I used two baking sheets with baking mats.
  11. I found that the baking mats were much easier then parchment paper.
  12. Pipe batter in even circles about 1½ inches. I fit about 20 per sheet.
  13. Let sit on the counter untouched for at least 2 hours.
  14. My best results came from 5 hours.
  15. Preheat the oven to 350.
  16. Bake for about 5 minutes then rotate.
  17. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  18. Let cool before filling.
  19. For the filling-
  20. Mix together the sugar, butter, cocoa. Add cream as needed. I left my ganache slightly loose so it would not disturb the delicate shells. I wanted something easy to mold.

When you pipe the batter on the baking sheets you will see a little curly cue from the piping bag. The perfect batter will flatten out slightly and that point will disappear. When letting the discs dry before baking you will know they are ready when the tops are already hardened slightly and not sticky.

I hope you try these! Once I got the hang of them it was pretty routine. These cookies really are beautiful and so easy to switch up!

 

 

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New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you remember the show What Not To Wear? I used to be obsessed with watching Stacy London and Clinton Kelly surprising regular people and updating their wardrobe. After the show ended and Clinton Kelly moved to the Chew I was convinced that he could do no wrong. He knows fashion and now he is in the world of food. My two favorite things.

When the first season aired I remember my mom emailing me about a chocolate chip cookie show down hosted by Clinton. I scoffed, convinced I knew the perfect recipe and there is no way this long complicated recipe was better. A few weeks later I visited her and she had rows of these huge chocolate chunk masterpieces cooling on the counter. Overflowing with melting chocolate and sprinkled with fat flakes of sea salt. It was my every cookie dream.

I am sure I have referenced Home Alone 2 before? When he is in the hotel with the chocolate cookies the size of his head? These are those cookies. So perfectly dense and chewy with layers of chocolate and salt. If you have the time there truly is no better cookie.

new york times

I will link the original recipe here. Listed below is my version. Same concept, but tweaked to my taste buds.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Dessesrt, Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Oversized chewy dense chocolate chunk cookies topped with sea salt.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups and 2 tbsp of cake flour
  • 1½ cups of bread flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 sticks and 1 tsp of unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups of light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1¼ pounds of chocolate - chopped bittersweet, dark chocolate chunks and semi sweet chips (even white chocolate if you please)
Instructions
  1. Mix the butter and sugars until pale.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Whip in the eggs until mixed, do not over mix.
  4. Add in the mixture of dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon).
  5. Once combined hand fold the chocolate in.
  6. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350.
  9. Form the balls of dough.
  10. Roughly 2 tbsps each.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Do not over bake.
  13. Pull out when the edges are golden brown.
  14. The middle will continue to cook on the pan.
  15. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Seriously, if you have the time try these. There is nothing like them. Perfect bakery style cookies.

chocolate chip cookies

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