the best ever cookies & cream cookies

the best cookies & cream cookies EVER // Glazed & Confused

I've been neglecting my roots lately. And no, I'm not talking about my hair. Those are so far gone that labeling my overgrown roots as ombre is totally passable. 

Let's put the hair drama aside, I'm talking about my baking roots. 

Like many a home baker, my journey through the wonderful world of sugar started with pre-made cookie dough. Looking back, I shudder at the very thought of cookie dough that isn't congruent with my regularly scheduled fantasies of mountains of dough made with fancy European butter, Tahitian vanilla, or twenty plus dollars worth of quality chocolate. You can say I've spoiled myself, I just like to think I take my cookie dough very seriously. 

oreeeeeooooosssss!!!!

Given that I haven't posted a cookie recipe in more than a hot second and I was beginning to quite literally feel the absence of brown sugar-laced mounds of deliciousness from the blog, I'm sharing one of my absolute favorite recipes today: the famed cookies & cream cookies. 

These cookies are a total fan favorite. Every baker has an arsenal of perfected cookie recipes, but these are easily the most requested of the bunch. I oblige at every request, mainly just so I can eat some of the cookie dough before I bake them and wrap them up for my friends. Beware cookie dough bingers! This stuff is LETHAL. 

the best cookies & cream cookies EVER // Glazed & Confused
the best cookies & cream cookies EVER // Glazed & Confused

I could write an entire fan fiction about me and these cookies, but to spare you the ranting, I have developed a super helpful list of why you should drop everything and bake these immediately: 

  1. Uh, there are COOKIES inside of COOKIES. This is a good enough reason on its own. (Side note: Can we make #cookieinception a thing?) 
  2. Because dipping Oreos in milk is the greatest and these cookies are the cookie equivalent of going through a whole sleeve of Oreos and a glass of milk in five minutes flat. 
  3. The cookie dough itself is out of this world. Like... eat-four-cookies-worth-of-dough-every-single-time good.  
  4. There's cream cheese and brown sugar involved, so these bad boys will stay soft for days and days. This means that you can have a cookie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five consecutive days without them going stale on you. Caloric hoarding, ftw! 
  5. You'll be introduced to the wonderful world of milk powder, which is essentially the MSG of the baking world. 
  6. THEY HAVE ACTUAL, REAL LIFE GROUPIES. (I'm looking at you, Ali, Ashley, Abbey, and Brooke.) 
  7. Do I need to mention the fact that there's Oreos in them again? 

Just bake the damn cookies. Seriously, you won't regret it. 

the best cookies & cream cookies EVER // Glazed & Confused

Graham's Notes:

  • My special secret to the deliciousness of these cookies lies in the addition of milk powder to the dry ingredients. Milk powder makes creamy, milky flavors more pronounced. Milk powder can be found in the powdered drink aisle of your local grocery store, or by the powdered baby formula. (But please, for the love of God, don't use Similac in these cookies.)
  • When baking with white chocolate, I try to stray away from baking chips, as they are generally of pretty poor quality. Unless you're using the Whole Foods brand of baking chips, do yourself a favor and buy individual bars of white chocolate and chop them up yourself. I prefer Lindt or Callebaut. 

Cookies & Cream Cookies 

  • 4 oz. (half a block) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons instant milk powder ** (see note) 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped oreos (about 18-20 cookies)
  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate 
  • sugar for rolling

make: 

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine oreos with 2 tablespoons of instant milk powder and set aside. 

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and creamy, about a minute. Add the brown sugar and egg and beat on medium-low speed for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the coated oreos and white chocolate. 

Measure out 1/4 cup portions of cookie dough. Roll each cookie in sugar and arrange on the prepared baking sheets, providing at least 3 inches between each cookies. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes, until edges begin to brown but the middle is still relatively gooey! Cool and enjoy with a big glass of milk!  

 

blood orange mimosa cake — #madewithchobani

blood orange mimosa cake — blood orange chobani yogurt cake, champagne whipped cream, and blood orange dessert caviar // Glazed & Confused // #MadeWithChobani

Do you ever feel like everything is moving in hyper speed?

I'm having a hard time believing that it's 2015 already. Like, can somebody please teach me how to stop writing 2014 on everysingleassignment. that my glittery One Direction pens touch? Forging the number 4 into a 5 makes for an absolute atrocity and my obsessive compulsive ways have been tested beyond their limits lately. To any of my classmates or teachers reading this, I apologize in advance for any sporadic outbursts featuring some, errrr, colorful language. 

Looseleaf-induced drama aside, my life seems to be in a state of eternal fast forward as of late. The holidays came and went in virtually no time, leaving me with a feeling of constant exhaustion and general delusion that I can only describe as a holiday hangover. My symptoms are near identical to the hell that is the morning after getting a little too... turnt, for lack of another word. (Minus all of the drunk text regret, thank GOD.) 

how to make dessert caviar // Glazed & Confused
blood orange dessert caviar // Glazed & Confused

A few weeks back, Chobani contacted me to take part in their #MadeWithChobani campaign and create an extra special recipe using their signature greek yogurt as a key ingredient. Given that I've been in desperate need of a lazy Sunday brunch and am a definite advocate for kicking a hangover with extra alcohol, I decided to cure my ailments with a mimosa cake. (Disclaimer: they also wanted something relatively healthy, but I'm a firm believer that: 1, cake is good for the soul and 2, calories don't count when you're curing a hangover. Duh!) 

blood orange mimosa cake — blood orange chobani yogurt cake, champagne whipped cream, and blood orange dessert caviar // Glazed & Confused // #MadeWithChobani
blood orange mimosa cake — blood orange chobani yogurt cake, champagne whipped cream, and blood orange dessert caviar // Glazed & Confused // #MadeWithChobani

This one-layer boozy citrus situation was inspired by this satsuma yogurt cake, a lesser-known gem from when I first started blogging. (Fun story: I've eaten that whole cake in one sitting on two separate occasions; it's that addictive.) I adapted that recipe to create a blood-orange scented cake made with Chobani's plain greek yogurt, topped it with a surprisingly light and airy champagne whipped cream, and then went all science-y and made blood orange "caviar" because champagne and caviar and honestly, who doesn't love a little extra drama. 

blood orange mimosa cake — blood orange chobani yogurt cake, champagne whipped cream, and blood orange dessert caviar // Glazed & Confused // #MadeWithChobani

Graham's Notes: 

  • I've always been enamored by the general drama of blood oranges, so I decided to replace traditional orange orange juice with the juice of some freshly-squeezed blood oranges. They're so delicious and perfectly ripe around this time of the year, so I recommend you use them. If you're not into them, no worries, you can always use traditional navel oranges. 
  • Please don't forget to add the vegetable oil at the end of the batter-making process. I did that on two separate occasions. *facepalm* 
This recipe was created in conjunction with Chobani Greek Yogurt for their #MadeWithChobani campaign, though all opinions about the deliciousness of their yogurt are my own. Take a look at what other bloggers have been dishing up by searching #MadeWithChobani on Instagram! 

This recipe was created in conjunction with Chobani Greek Yogurt for their #MadeWithChobani campaign, though all opinions about the deliciousness of their yogurt are my own. Take a look at what other bloggers have been dishing up by searching #MadeWithChobani on Instagram! 


Blood Orange Scented Yogurt Cake 

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Chobani plain greek yogurt 
  • 4 small blood oranges, zested 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fine salt 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed blood orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 

make: 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9" round cake pan with parchment and lightly grease and flour. 

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, greek yogurt, and orange zest until smooth and fragrant. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in the flours, baking powder, and salt and mix until just fully combined. Finally, stir in the the vegetable oil. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. 

While the cake is cooling, combine the blood orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture thickens and forms a syrup, about 5-10 minutes. Immediately pour and brush over the top of the cake. 

 

Champagne Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup champagne
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar 

make:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, the cream, champagne, and sugar until soft peaks form. Spoon onto the top of the cake and top with blood orange caviar. 

 

Blood Orange Caviar 

(adapted and inspired by Sprinkle Bakes

  • 2-3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 oz. packets of powdered gelatin 
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 oz. blood orange juice 
  • ice
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt for ice bath
  • a small squeeze bottle 

make:

Refrigerate the vegetable oil for at least 24 hours. The oil must be very cold to properly set up the gelatin for the caviar. When you're ready to make the caviar, fill a bowl with ice, cold water, and the salt to create an ice bath. Place the bowl of cold vegetable oil in the middle of the ice bath. 

Mix together the gelatin and cold water until no lumps are left. Set aside. 

On a stovetop over a medium-low flame, heat the orange juice until warm to the touch. (You can also do this in the microwave.) Once warm, whisk the juice into the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer this liquid into your squeeze bottle and let come to room temperature. 

Using the squeeze bottle, drop the orange gelatin liquid into the oil until balls forms. They will eventually sink to the bottom. Repeat the process until you have enough, then scoop them out of the oil and drain through a mesh sieve. Use immediately on top of the whipped ream or store refrigerated with excess oil for up to 10 days. 

 

king cake fries

king cake fries — cinnamon sugar sweet potato fries topped with brown butter cream cheese glaze and pecan praline sauce // Glazed & Confused #mardigras #kingsday

Well hello there internet, how have you been? I know I promised lots of Christmas craziness last time I posted on here, but real-life Christmas craziness took over and consumed my entire life. I initially felt pretty guilty about my online absence, but my internal batteries needed some quality time to recharge. You know, sometimes we all need a proper break away from reality, especially one that's full of drunken holiday ragers, becoming a bonafide recluse during family functions, attempting to turn that childhood dream of becoming a figure skater despite Louisiana's lack of ice into a reality, ringing in the New Year semi — no, definitely — trashed in the French Quarter, and watching Clueless four too many times. It's good for the soul. 

Despite the fact that my sleep schedule was totally ruined and I never stopped tweeting about it, I have finally emerged from the dead, ready to tackle the new year. (Speaking of that, please tell me that all of you guys are in the omg it's actually 2015 where are the flying cars and metallic space suits camp too.) 2014 was a rollercoaster, but 2015 is going to be even crazier. This year, I'll be turning 21 — I know what you're wondering; yes, I will be accepting bottles of gin, preferably Hendrick's, as a present — and in December, I am GRADUATINGFROMCOLLEGE. (!!!!!!!!!!!) 

The past year has also been such a wonderful time for Glazed & Confused. From all of the beautiful new virtual friendships I've formed to the lovely press write-ups that I've received, it's been a whirlwind full of lots of chicken and waffles cakes and beignet ice cream sandwiches and honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way. As cliché as it is, I am so eternally grateful for each and every one of you for making this site so special. Heart emojis for everybody! You're the best! 

king cake fries — cinnamon sugar sweet potato fries topped with brown butter cream cheese glaze and pecan praline sauce // Glazed & Confused #mardigras #kingsday
king cake fries — cinnamon sugar sweet potato fries topped with brown butter cream cheese glaze and pecan praline sauce // Glazed & Confused #mardigras #kingsday

I'm usually super into the whole new year's resolution thing, but the past two years I have decided to take an alternate route. Instead of my traditional list of strict, tangible goals, I've adopted the single-word theme approach. 2014 was The Year of Flourish, and I think I flourished rather well! This year's word, you ask? Savor

Savor may sound a little odd, but it's a principle that I've been needing to reestablish into my life for a long time. I've neglected the smaller things in life pretty consistently over the past few years and I often get so carried away in pleasing my inner critic  that I forget to enjoy the many beautiful things that surround me. I've battled with my fair share of challenges in the last year, but I've finally seemed to reach an emotional breakthrough — I am not my demons, my mistakes, or my criticisms. 

pecan praline sauce // Glazed & Confused
brown butter cream cheese glaze // Glazed & Confused
king cake fries — cinnamon sugar sweet potato fries topped with brown butter cream cheese glaze and pecan praline sauce // Glazed & Confused #mardigras #kingsday

As for the blog, a few big changes are happening for the year. Namely, I'll be posting a little less often — a new recipe every Tuesday and another post on every other Friday or so. The Friday posts will serve as extra recipes, special features, and more intimate glimpses into my personal life. My goal here isn't to deprive you guys of content, but to make it of a higher quality and more inspired. Disclaimer: the writing is probably going to be a bit longer, but I'll be sharing much more of what goes behind the scenes into each post, so grab your reading glasses. 

It just so happens that this Tuesday is King's Day! The Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, serves as the official start of Carnival here in New Orleans. Though we've still got a few weeks until the parade grounds are littered with beer bottles and tourists start thinking it's acceptable to flash their breasts for a strand of plastic beads, today marks the beginning of king cake season! The traditional king cake recipe combines sweet French or Danish pastry, cinnamon sugar, and a generous dousing of powdered sugar glaze and purple, green, and gold sugars. I'm not in the mood to bore you with a recipe for the classic king cake ... or really any king cake for that matter. Seriously, y'all know me better than that. 

Blogosphere, meet king cake fries.

In my quest to create the closest thing possible to dessert poutine, I made this absolute showstopper of a dessert chock-full of vitamin A. Imagine a steaming hot pile of cinnamon sugar-dusted sweet potato fries, covered in a brown butter cream cheese glaze, praline sauce, toasted pecans, and hella sparkly sanding sugar. If that isn't heaven to you, that's okay. More fries for me! 

king cake fries — cinnamon sugar sweet potato fries topped with brown butter cream cheese glaze and pecan praline sauce // Glazed & Confused #mardigras #kingsday

Graham's Notes: 

  • Before tossing your sliced sweet potatoes in coconut oil and cinnamon sugar, give the slices a good dusting of cornstarch. This allows the fries to form a crispier skin for the optimal crunch factor that we all know and love. For extra crispiness, crack the oven door after the fries are done baking and let them cool a bit inside the oven.
  • Some call me difficult, but I'll let the insults slide as long as I can continue using vanilla bean paste. Seriously, this stuff is one of the greatest purchases any baker could make. I use vanilla bean paste over traditional extract whenever I need a deep vanilla taste and want to see little flecks of bean throughout my glaze, frosting, cake batter, or even cookie dough. In this recipe, the paste makes the brown butter cream cheese glaze extra beautiful!  
  • Speaking of that glaze, you should make it to your desired consistency since you're the one who has to eat it. (Like that's a chore!) Personally, I like mine a little thicker (this is especially good for reheating if you're not eating all of your fries immediately), so I use only 3-4 tablespoons of milk. If you want your glaze to be thinner, just add extra milk by the tablespoon until you reach whatever you deem perfect! 
  • If you're alone or can't eat the whole plate of fries while they're warm, it's perfectly acceptable to reheat them later on. Microwave the fries for about 15 seconds, making sure to stop once you hear the praline sauce bubbling like crazy. Pro tip: don't burn the roof of your mouth. I know you want to eat them immediately, but please wait the five seconds until they're cool. Trust me, it's worth it in the end. 

Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

(adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, washed and peeled 
  • cornstarch**
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 batch of brown butter cream cheese glaze (recipe below)
  • 1 batch of praline sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted 
  • purple, green, and gold sanding sugar

make:

Preheat oven to 400° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

With an extra sharp knife — because it's absolutely miserable to cut with a dull knife — slice the washed and peeled sweet potatoes into halves, then quarters, then individual slices. Desired thickness should be somewhere around 1/4-inch thick. 

Once sliced, toss the potatoes in a dusting of cornstarch. Remove all excess powder and toss them in the melted coconut oil, making sure to coat each fry thoroughly. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar, setting aside 3 tablespoons of the mixture for later. Add the the cinnamon sugar (not the 3 tablespoons!) and toss to coat. Divide the coated fries evenly among the two baking sheets.

Bake the sweet potato fries for 18 minutes on one side, flip them, and then bake for another 15 minutes. Once done, you can remove them or let them cool slightly in the oven for 20-30 minutes for extra crispiness. Coat the warm fries in the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Pile the warm fries onto a serving plate and drizzle with brown butter cream cheese glaze and praline sauce. Top with toasted pecans and purple, green, and gold sanding sugars. Serve immediately, turn on Mambo No. 5, and share with your most loved ones — these are extra special.

 

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste* or extract 
  • 3-5 tablespoons milk** 

make: 

In a small sauce pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, continue to cook the butter until brown flecks form at the bottom of the pan and begins to smell nutty. 

In a medium-sized bowl, pour the brown butter over the cream cheese and whisk together until smooth. Once fully combined, sift in the confectioners' sugar. Mix in the vanilla and milk until desired consistency is reached. 

 

Praline Sauce 

(from my New Orleans sister and pretty much neighbor,  Joy the Baker). 

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 1/2 tsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste* or extract

make:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and sea salt. After the butter melts and mixture becomes homogenous, let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes. It will bubble and thicken pretty significantly during this step. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.