Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies. A mouthful of words, a mouthful of deliciousness. Seriously you guys… there is SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS in these lil cookies. Dried cranberries. Pistachios. Lemon. Orange. Butter. Yum yum yum.

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies | thepajamachef.com

I made these cookies for the 2013 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and sent them to Alicia at Balancing Motherhood [who I found out is a fellow KD sister! AOT!], Renata at First Time Foods, and Emily at Pink Tiger in the Kitchen. I hope y’all liked them! I know we certainly did. They are buttery and nutty, full of holiday cheer.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

I’m usually wary of baking with nuts and dried fruit, even though I love both on their own. I guess I associate nuts and dried fruit in sweets with old people cooking, or something weird like that [no idea why]. I’ve been trying to think of an exception for a good five minutes, but no can do. WAIT! THESE cookies are the exception. The nuts and dried fruit are totally necessary for adding the right amount of crunch to the chewy citrus butter cookies. If you don’t like cranberries and pistachio, feel free to swap out your favorite alternatives. Cherry-pecan? Blueberry-walnut? Whatever your little heart dreams up is what you should make. Unless you like directions. Then stick with cranberry-pistachio. :)

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies | thepajamachef.com

In addition to sending out cookies, participating in the cookie swap means you get some in the mail too! I was fortunate to receive Double Coconut Macaroons [top] from Mary Beth at A Carrot and A Cupcake, and Cranberry Pistachio Pudding Cookies [bottom] from Starr at Chicago Foodie Girl. Both were sooo good and I’m anxiously awaiting the recipes! Hopefully I’ll be getting my third batch soon!

cookies

Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
two years ago: Cranberry Pineapple Sauce

Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies [from Vanderbilt Wife]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Place butter and sugars in a bowl and cream with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add milk, lemon juice, orange zest, and egg, then mix on low to combine.

Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda, then mix on low until combined. Fold in pistachios and cranberries with a wooden spoon.

Spoon onto cookie sheets by tablespoons. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are brown. Centers may look a little soft. Let rest on cookie sheets for 3-4 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Store in airtight container.

Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

Notes: Dough can get pretty soft, so just pop in the refrigerator between batches. These cookies freeze and ship well, too!

Linked up with: Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck.

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Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies

One of my favorite snacks in the fall is apple slices and creamy natural peanut butter. I enjoy this treat year round, but in the fall it is especially delicious since apples are in season! I love finding new ways to enjoy this combo, such as in yogurt parfaits or oatmeal, so I was super excited a year ago to see this recipe for Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies from Jessica at A Kitchen Addiction.

Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies | thepajamachef.com

Somehow though I didn’t get around to making this recipe until this fall, but let me tell you… these cookies were worth the wait! Usually I’m not a huge fan of soft oatmeal cookies, but the combination of apples and peanut butter just won me over here! These cookies are absolutely addicting, and the best part is that they are pretty healthy, for a cookie at least, so you don’t feel weighed down after eating one [or three].

Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies | thepajamachef.com

Though these cookies come together pretty quickly, the most time consuming part of this recipe was shredding the apples. I’d recommend using a food processor if you can, and then straining out the excess juice with a mesh strainer. The juice is delicious–the best, freshest apple juice out there! :) But when these chewy and thick cookies come out of the oven, better make sure you have a tall glass of milk handy because they are perfect for dunking! Enjoy!

one year ago: Mom’s Lasagna
two years ago: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
three years ago: Tofu Shrimp Bowls

Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies [from A Kitchen Addiction]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup or honey
  • 3/4 cup no-stir natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cup quick (not instant) oats
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded apple (tart apples work best), strained to remove excess juices

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream together sugars with butter. Add eggs and vanilla, beating on low until creamy. Then add in corn syrup/honey and peanut butter.

Gradually add in flour and baking soda until just combined. Then, using a wooden spoon, mix in oats and apple. Dough will be very thick!

Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets in 1/4 cup scoops. Bake for about 11-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Time: 40 minutes.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Weekend Potluck, and Foodie Friday.

Funfetti Cookies

I debated sharing this ‘recipe’ because it’s basically a four ingredient dessert that’s semi-homemade and has been done over and over and over again on the internets. But then I decided this is my blog, I like these cookies, and I just wanted to blog about them! :) Haha. Anyways, Funfetti Cookies probably don’t need much of an explanation, but humor me, will you?

Funfetti Cookies | thepajamachef.com

These cookies are super simple because you make them with cake mix [and some eggs and oil], and then frost them with frosting from a can! Definitely not gourmet, but definitely delicious and crave-worthy. They combine everything I love in a good cookie. They are soft and sweet, are iced, AND have sprinkles. What’s not to like? Sprinkles just makes everything better, I think! Don’t you agree? :) The sprinkles are just my favorite part of these cookies. I know I can make homemade funfetti cake mix and then make super soft cookies from scratch, but sometimes a box is necessary on busy days when you don’t want to experiment and just want to go with the tried and true.

Funfetti Cookies | thepajamachef.com

Additionally, I know I have friends who are scared to cook [and maybe you do too, or maybe this is you]. Well, these semi-homemade recipes are great for them because then they see that they can just combine a few ingredients and make something at home that’s just as tasty as storebought. Then next time, they can make something from scratch. Baby steps! No shame in starting off easy… or indulging in ‘easy’ once and awhile. These cookies are just perfect for that! Enjoy!

one year ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce
two years ago: Pumpkin Brownies
three years ago: Twice Baked Apple Crisp for Two

Funfetti Cookies [from Pillsbury]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 package [15.25 ounce] Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can [15.6 ounces] Pillsbury Funfetti Frosting [you won't need it all]
  • extra sprinkles, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together dry cake mix, oil, and eggs. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, then place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Flatten slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass, then bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Centers should appear set.

Cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheets, then remove to cooling racks. Immediately frost warm cookies, then top with included sprinkles [and more from your collection if you'd like!] Let frosting and cookies cool completely before storing.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Chip Orange Cookies

I never make plain ‘ole Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s rare that I’m craving a chocolate chip cookie in the first place, and if I absolutely had to make one, I normally add a bunch of other things like pumpkin, coconut, peanut butter, etc. But a few weeks ago I needed to make a dessert for our small group and these cookies just sounded good. I think it was the orange and chocolate combo. Even though it’s summer, and the citrus chocolate thing is so Christmasy, I had to have it. And I am so glad I did, because these cookies are out of this world!

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies | thepajamachef.com

This may be my new go-to chocolate chip cookie altogether. The cookie itself is practically perfect–chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside. They stay soft for days–though I bet they won’t last long! When you add in orange zest and juice, the flavor gets even better!

And the best part of these cookies besides their incredible flavor and texture? The fun faces in a couple cookies as they baked. See below. :) Yes, I’m a dork.

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies | thepajamachef.com

OH! And one other thing. I know there’s some debate in the cookie world about how to do the butter. Melted? Softened? Throw it straight in from the fridge? [I know some people actually do that, and if you cream it well enough it actually sorta works.] The original recipe calls for melted butter, but I prefer using softened, so I just did that and it worked out fine. Click on over to the original if you prefer melted [or need to hurry up the process]. One thing I wouldn’t hurry up is the chilling! Chilling the dough is essential. It deepens the flavor [tried the dough before + after and found a definite difference!] and it firms up the dough so it doesn’t spread as much. The thicker the cookie, the better imo. Hope you try these fabulous orange chocolate treats. They’re a fun twist on a classic cookie. Enjoy!

a year ago… Brown Sugar Squash Muffins
two years ago… The Best Panini Ever
three years ago… Creamy Lemon Squares

Chocolate Chip Orange Cookies [slightly altered from Crazy for Crust via Chef in Training]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest [from 1 large orange]
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Cream together butter and sugars until soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low in between. Then add vanilla, orange juice, and orange zest, and beat on low for 1 minute until combined.

Gradually beat in flour and baking soda, then fold in chocolate chips. Do not overmix.

Chill dough, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes–but an hour + is best.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while you form the dough into balls. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silpat, then scoop dough into 1.5 to 2 tablespoon balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown around the edges but still slightly soft in the middle. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Time: 30 minutes, plus time to chill.

Yield: 3-4 dozen depending on how size.

Linked up with: Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck.

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

Soo….these cookies. Total Pinterest find. Wasn’t really sure how I felt about the recipe itself even though they looked amazingly delicious. See, I’m not a big chocolate cookie fan. But I loved the idea of the M&Ms, which then became the sole reason for a trip to Target, the only place where White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms can be found. As if you need a reason for a Target trip. Right? [But truthfully, for me, I do... as Target is pretty much on the opposite side of town and a huge pain to get there.] I digress…
White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies | The Pajama Chef
These cookies are everything I thought they would be… AND MORE! They are rich and chewy… and absolutely beautiful. Don’t you think?

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies | The Pajama ChefTwo kinds of chocolate and two kinds of mint is a combination that cannot be beat. I mean, chocolate and mint together is classic, but white chocolate peppermint in the M&Ms provides the extra boost to the more traditional cocoa that makes the cookies uber chocolatey and thick as well as to the epitome of peppermint during the Christmas season: candy canes.

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies | The Pajama Chef
I know it’s Christmas eve, and you probably have a billion things to do. But I highly suggest that you head on out to Target to get some White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms before it is too late and they disappear for another year. These cookies are so worth it. And in case you’re finding this recipe many months after Christmas, do not despair–I think the base chocolate cookie for this recipe is the best I’ve ever had, so other M&Ms and candy/chips would be an awesome substitute. I’m thinking peanut butter M&Ms and peanut butter chips? Or Reese’s Pieces and dark chocolate chips? Or Coconut M&Ms and semi-sweet chocolate chips? Or even something really outlandish like Skittles and sprinkles? Why doesn’t anyone ever bake with Skittles? Oh, the mysteries of this life… [note to self: try this one day]. In the meantime, I think I’m off to have another cookie.

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies | The Pajama Chef
P.S. I’ll be back with more recipes, menu plans, and more after the New Year, but until then probably won’t be around much. :) Merry Christmas!!

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies [slightly adapted from no. 2 Pencil]
click to print
Ingredients:
  • 14 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 small candy canes, crushed [~ 1/3 cup]
  • 1 bag White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts and mix on low until combined. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing on low after each addition.
Slowly add flour and baking soda, mixing on low until dough forms.
Fold in candy cane pieces with spatula, then roll dough in balls of about 1 tablespoon each.
Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly, then press in 4-5 M&Ms on top of each cookie.
Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 28-30 cookies.