It's raining today, I love a good summer rain. At least there is not thunder, which means the dog does not have to spend the day under a bed, hiding in fear of the loud sounds from the sky. And the vineyard, it really needed some water. Needless to say I am ecstatic about this sudden change in weather. Thank you mother nature.
Now, let's talk cookies. I've been craving a soft baked variety, which led me to trying all kinds of versions and I have settled on this recipe, which is fabulous. And if you aren't into nuts, feel free to make them with chocolate chips. The recipe is a keeper and very easy and adaptable to add whatever you like to this beautiful cookie base.
And cashews, I have been obsessed with eating them since I was a child. They were definitely the nut picked out of the mixed nut dish first. It always drove me nuts that we did not just buy tins and tins of cashews only. It was a question I posed often as a child and always received the same response..."they are so expensive".
Luckily they are now available in bulk and I buy them in pounds and never seem to get enough. I now understand what makes this nut so pricey. Have you ever read about where the cashew comes from? It's fascinating.
I was in the mood for a cashew cookie and not just little chopped pieces, I wanted the whole nut "en masse" in a sugar cookie.
I know you have seen me make many cookies in my whoopie pie pans (and eggs too). In fact, I'm kind of done making cookies on a baking sheet. I want my cookies uniform and beautiful, not flat and thin, and the whoopie pie pan ensures that.. By following a few simple instructions, you too can have gorgeous cookies every time.
How to Make Beautiful Cookies Every Time
If you want uniform shaped cookies, a baking scale is your best investment. When your cookies all weigh the same (my cookie balls are always 36 grams), they bake evenly and all finish at the same time. You will not end up with batches of cookies where some are burnt and the others underdone. I have used a lot of baking scales, but this one is my absolute favorite.
If you are adding things to your cookies, chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit etc., place the amount called for in the batter and stir in as usual. However, after rolling your cookie balls, place more chocolate chips or nuts on the outside of your cookie balls by pressing them to the outside parts of the dough. The additions on the inside will sink into the cookie, but those on the outside will stay on top and look beautiful. The above picture shows my cookie balls with cashews (2 cups) stirred in. The picture below is what the cookie balls looked like after I pressed on extra nuts. It makes a big difference in the look of your final cookie.
For uniform shaped cookies, a whoopie pie pan is your cheapest and best investment. I have three so that I am never placing cookie dough on a hot pan (you never want to do that). Having three saves time too. The wells of the whoopie pie pan are shallow enough to make the perfect shaped cookie, without having to chill the dough. The cookies do not go flat and thin and spread out and touch each other. The pans are also very thin and easy to store.
Do not bake your cookies to absolute doneness in the oven, take them out a few minutes early and let them finish baking in the pan. This keeps the cookies from being too crunchy and burnt around the edges.
Beautiful cookies do not just happen, however with a few little tricks your cookies will be gift-worthy every time. Remember, we eat with our eyes first.
These are ready for the oven.
A little bit of glaze, made these the perfect cookie indulgence. I hope you try them soon.
Soft Baked Cashew Filled Sugar Cookies
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole cashews, roasted and salted (plus more for pressing on outside)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners')
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare whoopie pie pans by spraying with cooking spray.
- Using a stand mixer, cream together shortening, butter and granulated sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until combined. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add it slowly to the mixing bowl on low speed, mixing until just combined. Stir in cashews.
- Per the above commentary about making the perfect cookie, make cookie balls into balls weighing 36 grams each (about 1-1/2" in size) and place one in each well of the prepared whoopie pie pan. Press on extra cashews to the outside of the cookie balls.
- Bake cookies for 13 minutes, remove from the oven and let them sit 7-10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.
- When cookies are completely cool, mix together powdered sugar and milk and drizzle the glaze over each cookie. Place cookies in a tightly-sealed container for storage. They freeze well too.
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