Coconut Cranberry Chocolate and Chunky Peanut Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies


I’ve had a hankering for some cookie baking, but was sorely lacking in the motivation department. Folks, I am just plain burned out on dishes. Washing them. Unloading/filling the dishwasher. Putting dishes away. Sick of dishes. And even more than that? Sick of mess in the kitchen. The thought of mess in the kitchen makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. So the Tigress saved me from a cookie-less December. And, incidentally, the kitchen is still looking cookie 2011 grow and resist

I have so many family memories from this time of the year. We moved a lot and rarely lived near other family (and sometimes were living in other countries), so it was often my immediate family only over Christmas. It never bothered me – I mean, I never knew anything else – but it saddened my mom to be away from more family I think. Consequently some traditions grew big. Like cookies. This time of year is jam-packed with memories of making and decorating cookies with my family.

I can’t even tell you how many varieties my mom made. Was it 10? 16? 21?  I don’t know. (Mom? Do you know?) It was A LOT. There were cookie exchange parties, but I really didn’t want to exchange my mom’s as they were always the best. I consumed about 67 pounds of sugar and butter (or shortening more likely at that point) seasonally – much of it in the form of frosting. According to (one of our few actual spoken rules):

Brown Family Rule # 32: When frosting a sugar cookie more IS better and artistic ability is totally useless unless said ability is combined with a shit ton of frosting. cookie 2011 grow and resist childhoodClassic me, circa 1973. I *might* still make this face when I’m frosting cookies.

My mom, bless her, made me something called a Creme Parisians every year. I’d beg her because these cookies were such a pain in the ass to make. But I loved them. Magical frosting sandwiched between little flaky wafer pastries that were like a bite-sized nubbins of all that was right in the world. Mmm. So good. I need to get that recipe. Ooh, and those addictive Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Meringue wonders too.

Despite all that nostalgia I didn’t make any family favorites! My “to-try” pile of recipes is embarking on diagnosable so it seemed more like a time to try something new.

Cooking with Kids

Cooking most everything from scratch with a kid is not for the faint of heart. It is messy. I tries my patience at times. (and by ‘at times’ I don’t mean just now and then. I mean at times during every session). But you know what is awesome? A 3-year-old that knows how to make bread that is what. So, I try to include the Babylady in any cooking she wants.  Mostly that is anything with a batter or dough. She loves to crack eggs. She is starting to want to do some chopping and likes to make coffee, but the mixer is her Culinary BFF. She has a dance for when the mixer is running and everything.

As I mentioned above, I have been seriously losing it over the state of clutter and kitchen mess. The thought of baking cookies with an almost four-year-old human flour and sugar sprayer had me in jitters. Until I remembered that I was the adult and I actually knew how to manage the situation.  Cooking with kids? Prepare ahead. It is easier for you. Easier for them. They have less time to stick their paws in and start eating butter or flour by the fistful. Everyone is happier. And in the end, there are cookies.  And a clean, or at least not destroyed, kitchen.

Supplies out and ready for 2 batches of cookies in the bowls they’ll be needed cookie 2011 grow and resist cooking with kids

Coconut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Sunset Magazine

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • zest of one organic orange (pesticide residual is largely in the skins)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chip


          1. Preheat oven to 350° regular (or 325° convection).
          2. Beat butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth in a mixer at medium speed.
          3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat on low-speed until dough comes together. The dough might be a bit dry/crumbly and that is normal but mix until it is all mixed together well.  It may take 5 minutes.
          4. Mix in cranberries, chocolate chips, and coconut.
          5. Note: I am a cookie “blopper.” I scoop dough out and squish it into a roundish shape. You won’t find me measuring out perfect scoops. You should, however, make sure all the cookies on one tray are roughly the same size though to prevent uneven cooking. Blop or shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets. Sometimes I use silpat sheets. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I use parchment paper. Sometimes I don’t. Your call. I never notice a difference, but maybe you will.
          6. Bake until cookie edges start to brown, 8 to 11 minutes (depending on your chewy-to-crispy preferences. A shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crisper cookie).
          7. Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheet and then transfer cookies to wire racks to cookie 2011 grow and resist cooking with kids

            Babylady getting her baking onholiday cookie 2011 grow and resist cooking with kidsBabylady is an official Cookie Blopper as well. We don’t need no stinkin’ measuring cookie 2011 grow and resist cooking with kidscan you just taste the buttery, sugary goodness?

I loved these! Very buttery and a bit crisp so they are perfect for dunking in cold milk. I might have even converted some coconut haters!

Chunky Peanut, Chocolate Chip, and Cinnamon Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

              • 2 cups all-purpose flour
              • 1 teaspoon baking soda
              • 1 teaspoon salt
              • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
              • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
              • ½ cup organic crunchy peanut butter
              • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
              • ½ cup granulated sugar
              • 2 large eggs
              • 1 ½ cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
              • ¾ cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
              • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


          1. Preheat oven to 350°F (325° convection).
          2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
          3. In a mixer, beat butter and peanut butter on medium speed until combined.
          4. Add sugars and mix. Mix in eggs.
          5. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, peanuts, and vanilla with a mixing spoon. Refrigerate dough until it is slightly firm and easier to ball (or blop) up.
          6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Space balls 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until starting to get golden, about 13 minutes.
          7. Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheet and then transfer cookies to wire racks to cookie 2011 grow and resist cooking with kids

            She has gotten pretty great at cracking eggs without a mess or shellsholiday cookie 2011 grow and resist cooking with kidspretty thin

I thought this recipe was… hmm… ok. The flavors themselves were great. The cinnamon with the peanut butter and chocolate chips was really nice. But they were so flat (chilled dough, chilled sheet) and too crispy. Too rich for eating, but were really good broken up in a bowl with milk. You know, like cereal. Oh come on… you do this too right?

Anyway, this is the second time I have used a Martha recipe for cookies and neither were up to snuff in my opinion. The last time, they were downright abysmal.  This time while ok, they weren’t up to a repeat. Though, if any of you lovely readers out there know how to make this recipe better I’d love to know!

What is your favorite cookie? Do you stick to family favorites or try something new every year?


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