Category: cookies

A Tale Of Two Cookie Doughs: One Made From Beans & One Made From Butter

Within the past week, I made cookie dough made with beans and cookie dough made with butter.

This story began in Chicago while we were staying with my cousin and his family. Sara mentioned that she makes a “healthy cookie dough” made from beans that her kids just love. Jake was especially intrigued and, when we returned home to Iowa, asked many times if I could make it. I usually prefer savory over sweet and avoid recipes with healthy substitutions (like swapping applesauce or pumpkin for butter) so I was very wary of making this.

Sara prepares Healthy Cookie Dough Dip from the blog Chocolate Covered Katie and recommends using half the amount of sugar.

My healthy cookie dough smelled slightly beany but did actually taste like a peanut buttery cookie dough. I can see how this could make a nice snack or dessert for kids, especially when using less sugar. I probably wouldn’t make this again just for the two of us, but would if we have a kids someday. Cookie dough is not a treat that I enjoy eating more than a bite of and it makes too much for Jake. 

The original recipe recommends using a food processor. We don’t have one so here’s my take using a blender. I added salt and sugar to taste, with just enough milk to facilitate blending. 


1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
Salt, a couple pinches or to taste
Baking soda, a pinch (not sure what this does)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter (we used natural, sugar-free peanut butter)
3 teaspoons oats
Brown sugar or honey to taste
Milk, enough to allow the mixture to blend (we used almond milk)
Chocolate chips

Add the beans, salt, baking soda, vanilla, peanut butter and oats to a blender. Add about a 1/4 cup of sugar and a couple splashes of milk. The mixture will be thick and difficult to blend. Alternate between pulsing and adding splashes of milk. Stop the blender often and scrape the mixture around with a spoon. The dough won’t be as smooth as if you had made it in a food processor, but it will be good enough as long as you don’t add too much milk.

Taste it and decide if you want to add more sugar and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

When I worked at Josie’s Coffee Corner Cafe, before moving to Iowa, I especially liked their Chocolate Chipper cookies. They differed from ordinary chocolate chip cookie because they contained puffed rice cereal and coconut and had a shortbread texture. I can’t just pop over to Fargo any more, so I tried this recipe for Oh My D-Lux Chocolate Chip Cookies on hoping they’d turn out similarly.


I followed this recipe as written, except I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Even though I used salted butter, they were a little bland. If you choose to make them, I’d recommend adding a whole teaspoon of salt. Also, once you drop the dough onto the cookie sheets, smash it down. The cookies don’t spread much during baking and flattening the dough balls ensures the bottom doesn’t burn before the top gets cooked through and golden brown.

Don’t get me wrong, we are enjoying these cookies and I love the crunch from the cereal, coconut, and pecans. However, they did not taste like those Chocolate Chippers I remember.

Oh well, I’ll just have to bake another batch of cookies, later. In the name of research, of course.

My Grandma’s Grandma’s Soft Ginger Cookies With Spring Rhubarb

I must confess that before this recipe, my experience with rhubarb had been limited to eating an occasional slice of rhubarb pie.

When I noticed fresh stalks of rosy rhubarb at Sidney’s Health Market in Moorhead, MN, I grabbed a fistful.

The past work week was kind of a doozy, so I decided to bake a treat that I hoped would provide a little cheer.  Or some delicious empty calories, at the very least.

I found my Grandma Bossen’s recipe for her Grandma Bossen’s ginger cookies in an old, cloth covered cookbook published by her church’s alter guild, circa 1976.  For as long as my mother was living, we baked these ginger cookies each Christmas season.

We rolled the dough into little balls and dunked them into brightly colored sugars and sprinkles.  Now that I think of it, I don’t remember eating these ginger cookies since my mom passed away.

I took a gamble and added fresh rhubarb to the cookie dough.  The fruit added a tiny burst of tartness that melded nicely with the fragrant ginger cookie.  My grandma’s cookies were hard and ginger snappy, while the fruit also lent some moisture to mine.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 Tbsp. light molasses (I used 3 Tbsp. “regular” molasses)
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp each of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, & salt
1 1/2 stalks of rhubarb +, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the molasses.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.  Add the salt and incorporate.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding half at a time.

Roll the dough into small balls, dip into sugar, and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  The cookies should crackle at the top.  Mine were firmer out the outside and soft on the inside.

Cool completely before storing.

The Saddest Santa Bear Cookies: Cookie Fail, Frosting Win

The other weekend, I brought home this amazing Santa Bear Sandwich Cookie Pan, circa 1986.

So many of us who grew up in the Twin Cities have fond memories visiting Dayton’s 8th floor Holiday displays in Downtown Minneapolis.

Jake and I both remember cuddling with lots and lots of Santa Bears in our childhood rooms.  My mom did not collect as many Santa Bears as Jake’s, but accumulated this heavy, cast iron Santa Bear sandwich cookie pan around Christmas of 1986.  I have no idea where my mom stored this cookie pan as I have never seen it before.

I stayed in my apartment with a cold on Saturday and spent the morning seasoning my unused, cast-iron pan by heating it and brushing it with oil, letting it cool, and repeating.

I made homemade frosting and followed the cookie recipe on the box, making a double batch.

The recipe seemed strange and included a large proportion of flour, corn syrup, orange juice, and both vanilla and almond extracts.

The directions instructed me to press the dough into the mold.  Therefore, I assumed my dough was made correctly even though it seemed dry.  I tend to be flighty but made sure I doubled all of my ingredients.

The flour would not fully incorporate into the dough so I kept adding orange juice until it held together.  Then, I pressed the dough into the molds.

 I baked each pan for 17 minutes and removed the cookies to cool.

Santa Bear cookie butts, all in a row.
Uh oh.  
The Santa Bear halves were extremely large and heavy as rocks.  With a double batch of dough remaining, I persevered through my doubts that anyone would want to eat two of these giant rock cookies sandwiching anything.  
After making enough Santa Bear front and backsides to make nine, enormous sandwich cookies, I gave up.  
With lingering shreds of hope, I optimistically filled the sandwich cookies with a homemade buttercream icing.  
Then, I took a bite.  
The cookies tasted as dense and they felt and were blandly floury.  How one would ever want to eat a whole cookie is beyond me.  I passed my maimed sandwich cookie to Jake.  
After one bite, he handed it back.  We agreed that the cookies could not be redeemed.  They all had to go, as well as the leftover dough.  
I accidentally dropped a cookie on the floor and was mildly amused when it did not break, let alone dent.  Or chip.  
Lonely, unwanted Santa Bear sandwich cookie
Dear Dayton’s Company, circa 1986. . . did you actually test these horrible cookie bricks?  Not only do they taste unappealing, but pose as a hazard in the kitchen.  
And in life.  
Just one half of these sandwich cookies could severely injure a small individual or maim a large beast, if tossed in their general direction.  
I will not re-post the recipe because it’s truly craptastic and I would hate for any of my readers to accidentally make these cookies, Santa Bear mold or not.  
What I will post is the yummy frosting recipe I found on this thread on Chowhound.  It may not be authentic buttercream, but it’s good enough for frosting haters like myself and easy to make.  The original recipe came from the a poster named Axalady’s grandmother.  
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: The only redeeming element of my Santa Bear cookies

4 Tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup of butter (two sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Place the flour and milk in a saucepan and slowly heat over medium low-medium heat.
Whisk constantly until the liquid thickens into a paste.  
Set the paste aside to cool.  
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Stir in the vanilla extract and slowly beat in the cooled milk-flour paste, little by little.  
As you beat the mixture, the sugar will continue to dissolve.  I used granulated sugar and my finished frosting was smooth except for a few, stray sugar granules.  
Enjoy your Santa Bear-less frosting.  

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