Aimee’s Pretty Palate: How the Cookie Crumbles

Photos by Aimee Broussard

Many, many moons ago I was working up north, in Pennsylvania to be exact, when standalone cupcakeries were popping up on every street corner. In fact, I spent one weekend traveling to New York City and participating in my own pseudo cupcake tour. At the time of writing this article, I was delighted to see that Sugar Sweet Sunshine is not only still rated No. 1 but they’re also still open! These novelty cupcake shops would also make their way to the Capital City, though these days it seems as though cupcakes have taken a backseat to the cookie craze. 

And one might say for good reason, too. Cookies are a quintessential treat appropriate just about any time. They’re perfect for on the go, they have a certain nostalgic quality, they’re easy to whip together, and they’re typically fewer in calories. 

My Small Batch Chocolate Turtle Cookies are a delightful combination of the traditional turtle candies paired with a cakelike cookie. They’re chocolatey, they’re caramelly, they’re nutty, and with only six cookies you have just enough sweetness to satisfy your craving but not an abundance of extra cookies. 

The Jumbo Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are also small batch and perfect for after-school snacks as we head into the back-to-school season. I add raisins to mine because my grandmother always did, but I omit them for my husband. These cookies flatten as they bake and are super fun for kids as they end up being larger than small hands! 

Not quite ready to say goodbye to summertime? Then prolong the season a bit longer with some Lemon Drop Cookies. These citrus bites of wonder are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. While still teetering in the small batch arena with just 10 cookies, you’ll be glad you have more than just six. It’s virtually impossible to eat just one, or two! 


 

Small Batch Lemon Drop Cookies

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups flour
½ Tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
¼ cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside. 
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and egg, and mix until combined. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, to bowl, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; combine until smooth. 
Use a mini cookie scoop or spoon (about 2 Tbsp. full) to drop rounded cookie batter onto prepared baking pan, being sure to leave about 2 inches between each for spreading. Gently flatten each cookie. Using a sifter, generously sift powdered sugar over each cookie. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes until edges are golden brown but cookies are slightly underbaked in the middle. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet where they will finish baking. 
Sift any leftover powdered sugar on top, if desired. 
Tip: While cookies are still warm, use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to create perfectly round and evenly shaped cookies. 
Makes 10 cookies.

Small Batch Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Ingredients:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup caramel bits
¼ cup chopped pecans 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, to bowl, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. 
In a microwave safe dish, heat ½ cup caramel bits with 1 Tbsp. water in 30-second intervals. Stir vigorously until smooth and creamy, adding additional water as needed. 
Use a mini cookie scoop or spoon (about 2 Tbsp. full) to drop cookie batter onto prepared baking pan, being sure to leave about 2 inches between each for spreading. Dough will be wet. Use back of spoon to gently flatten batter while also making a swirl indentation. Use a teaspoon and drizzle melted caramel into crevasses in each cookie. Sprinkle each with a bit of chopped pecans. 
Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Makes 6 generously sized cookies. 

Small Batch Jumbo Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
18 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
18 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup raisins (optional)
Vanilla Icing Ingredients:
13 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 to 2 tsp. milk 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside. 
In a small food processor, pulse oatmeal a few times until oats are partially chopped but not completely ground. 
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and oatmeal. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, to bowl, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Fold in raisins, if using. 
Use a mini cookie scoop or spoon to drop rounded spoonfuls (about 2 Tbsp.) of cookie batter onto prepared baking pan, being sure to leave about 2 inches between each for spreading. These cookies spread A LOT. 
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for soft cookies. Bake for an additional 2 to 4 minutes for a crunchier cookie. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For Vanilla Icing, in a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 1 tsp. milk. Add just enough milk, up to 1 tsp. more, to reach desired consistency. Spoon over center of each cooled cookie, gently pushing icing across top of cookie. Allow icing to set for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 
Makes 6 jumbo cookies. 

Aimee Broussard is a Southern food blogger and award-winning cookbook author. Seen on QVC, Rachael Ray and more, she is a self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur with a penchant for porches and sweet hospitality. Find her online at aimeebroussard.com.