Chocolate Hug Cookies
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 bag Hershey’s Hugs Kisses, wrappers removed
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Gently stir with a whisk to evenly distribute. Set aside.
Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and cream the butter, both sugars, and vanilla until light and creamy. Add the eggs and mix until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the ingredients are just combined.
Use a tablespoon to place the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Do not flatten the cookie dough balls. Bake for 12–14 minutes. Do not over-bake.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Then, gently press a Kiss into the middle of each cookie. Cool for 15–20 more minutes then serve warm. Or, let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing.
I promised you more answers to your baking questions…and here we are! Many thanks to Cheryl Day from Back in the Day Bakery, once again! Her answers are in red; mine are in blue.
When baking pies, cookies, cakes, tarts, cupcakes, rolls, breads, etc., how do you know which rack to put the goodies on to have optimal browning along with ultimate doneness? Is there a rule of thumb? Bottom for pies? Middle for cookies?
Great question. Your best friend for baking is an inexpensive oven thermometer, which will help determine if your oven is running hot or cold or just right. Unfortunately, all ovens are not created equal unless they are perfectly calibrated, but this tool will allow you to adjust your temperature accordingly. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend using the top oven rack for biscuits, scones, and puff pastry, which bake better with high heat. The “sweet” spot for most ovens is the middle rack and the lower third of the oven. We recommend using the middle rack for baking breads and rolls. The lower third of the oven is great for cakes, pies, cheesecakes, tarts, and cobblers, which tend to have a longer baking time. You can also rotate between the two racks when baking two pans of cookies, cupcakes, or muffins; rotate halfway through the baking time.
When a cookie recipe calls for flour and a 1/2 cup of oatmeal, can I substitute flour for the oatmeal? And how much flour would I use?
Oatmeal is considered an add-in ingredient. You can always replace oatmeal with another ingredient, like chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, nuts, etc. Adding more flour will make your cookies tough and hard. Adding more flour takes away the moister from the recipe.
Could you or anyone else share a cookie dough recipe that would be good to mix, roll into a log, wrap, freeze, and give as a gift with recipe?
You can do that with virtually any kind of heavy cookie dough…think chocolate chip, shortbreads, snicker doodles, peanut butter, gingerbread, or sugar. I've got lots of great freezer-friendly cookie recipes on my Recipe Page. My Chocolate Hug Cookies are great, too. Avoid freezing light-textured dough or those with an egg white-base, like meringue cookies. Just be sure to tightly wrap the dough before freezing it to protect it from freezer burn and prevent it from absorbing freezer odors. Tell your recipients to thaw the dough in the fridge before baking.
Why do my cookies always flatten out during baking?
Lots of folks asked about flat cookies. And the problem could be a combination of things. First, make sure you're using a brand-new box of baking soda and/or powder to ensure they rise properly. Second, make sure you've not over-greased your baking sheet(s). And third, make sure the baking sheet(s) aren't too warm when you're adding new dough. If they're too warm, they'll start baking before they ever reach the oven.
Here's more expert advice on the subject from the chefs at America's Test Kitchen.
And here's another awesome cookie recipe from those talented folks: Chewy Sugar Cookies!
Let's get back to that cookie exchange for today's blog question. It's better to give than receive, so what cookies do you like to exchange? Chocolate chip? Pizzelles? Oatmeal Raisin? See you Wednesday at 9pm ET.
Keep it flavorful!