Alternatives to Nuts

Whether you have an allergy or can’t eat nuts thanks to a diet, you’re in luck: there are alternatives to your classic walnuts and pistachios. These will also save you from missing a crunch, so you’ll have texture amid the soft. These are our favorite substitutes!

Seeds

If you crave the taste of peanuts, sunflower seeds are a great place to start for a close taste. But don’t worry— there are also flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds to replace that crunch. The best part: you don’t have to miss out on spreads, either, because there are butters of all seed types in your grocery store.

Rolled Oats

Looking for the crunch in your cookies? Add rolled oats. Roast them for a nutty flavor, or throw them into your food plain. They don’t have a strong taste, making them perfect for recipes where you simply want texture.

Dried Cranberries & Raisins

Dried cranberries are a perfect choice for muffins and cookies, because they add a sweetness that nuts don’t have… while still retaining a flavor similar to your favorites. Raisins are also great for the same reason, because they add texture and nutrition that you’re missing from your classic walnuts.

Pretzels

Do you have a pie crust you’re looking to crunch into, or a topping to cookies? Consider crushing pretzels up and using those instead. They’ve got the salt that comes from your usual nuts (especially peanuts), and they usually include wheat and/or sesame seeds. If you can’t have gluten, fear not – there are gluten-free options, too!

Chocolate Chips

You can’t argue with me when I say that chocolate chips are great replacements for nuts. Just choose the right one for you; for example, white chocolate doesn’t melt as well as other chocolates, so it can add a solid bite to your cookies. On the other hand, you can get a bitter taste from dark chocolate.

What’s your favorite alternative to nuts? Let us know in the comments!

Cookies and Cocktails

Everyone loves a good cookie, and all adults love a good cocktail. At restaurants, you’re given your drink, then brought out dessert… but if you’re home, you definitely don’t have to follow this. Our cookies pair perfectly with your favorite alcoholic drinks, and we thought we’d give you the best ones to pair with each cookie. Read on for the best (boozy) dessert you’ll ever have – promise.

Chocolate Chip & Cabernet

Cabernet goes perfectly with chocolate chip cookies because they’re both decadent. The black fruit notes will complement the chocolate chips, while the acidity will cut excess sweetness.

Cahootz & Champagne

White chocolate is the lightest chocolate (fun fact: it doesn’t even contain cocoa!), and champagne’s white cherry will add to the sweetness, while the orange zest cuts through the sweetness for a hint of citrus.

Almond Joe & Amaretto

The Almond Joe is an homage to the Almond Joy bar, featuring milk chocolate and toasted almonds. The Almond Atholl Brose feature amaretto liqueur, oat milk, and cream, adding a creaminess to the pairing.

Dr. Midnight & Kahlúa

Combining coffee and chocolate is easily one of the best pairings. The rich chocolate in Dr. Midnight mixes with the rum and coffee in Kahlüa, creating a rich, deep dessert.

Chocolate Chip w/ Walnuts & Bourbon Lifts

If you’re a fan of trail mix, then this pairing is for you. Chocolate chips and almonds go well together, as do almonds and walnuts, so combine the three with bourbon for a “lift” in spirits.

Ginger Spice & Moscow Mules

Moscow Mules have a tiny bit of ginger beer in them, but there’s just enough for a Ginger Spice cookie to solidify the taste and make it sing. Vodka and lime take a backseat but still give some oomph.

Mint Condition & Mojitos

You can’t go wrong with drinking a mojito with Mint Condition, because those mint leaves will mesh well with the mint chips in our cookies. Add a drop of honey syrup to bring out the chocolate, too.

Oatmeal Raisin & Tennessee Whiskey

The maple flavor in Tennessee Whiskey has a little spice, too. If you haven’t had whisky oatmeal porridge, you sneak a taste with this drink and cookie pairing – delicious when you’re looking to kick back.

Snickerdoodle & Moscato

Low in alcohol with a hint of sweet nectarine, peach, and orange, the cinnamon in your snickerdoodles will stand out and strengthen the flavor profiles. This is perfect if you’re looking to slowly sip with your cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip & Stout Beer

We couldn’t write this list without mentioning beer, of course! Stouts are a versatile base, allowing for different flavors to be mixed in. Made from malts and bitter chocolate, both will pair with the peanuts and, of course, chocolate.

Peanut Butter & Tallulahs

Jack and Cokes are classic, and you can update the drink with a dash of peanut syrup. The nuttiness in the drink will sing when paired with our Peanut Butter cookie, and the coke is an interesting add.

Lemon Drop & Lemon Drops

This one is pretty obvious, we know, but it’s highly recommended! The lemon and light sugar in in each pair well with one another, and the vodka adds a little adult edge to the indulgence.

Bakeware Splurges

If you’re a serious baker, then you know that quality equipment is necessary – simple mixers won’t cut it when you’re baking all sorts of pastries, cookies, and more. If you’re hoping to find your dream items, I’m here for you: I’ve got the top splurges you need in order to have an upscale, stellar, and extra-efficient kitchen.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

A staple in every baker’s kitchen is KitchenAid’s stand mixer. It’s heavy duty and can pretty much mix whatever you want. Whether you’re baking dozens of batches of cookies, whipping quarts of meringue, or needing to knead cold ingredients, this mixer will do it effortlessly. The five-quart size holds as much as you need, so you can say goodbye to multiple rounds of mixing. Bonus: it has tons of attachments, so you can go from baking to cooking in no time.

All-Clad 10-Piece Bakeware Set

Not only does this set come with literally every bakeware product you can think of, it’s high-quality, too. Including cake pans, sheet plans, a cooling and baking rack, and a muffin pan, you can make the perfect cupcakes, layered sheet cakes, and, of course, perfect cookies. It has a non-stick finish and is scratch-resistant, and its aluminum steel allows for equal heat among every inch of baking – no more crispy edges and raw middles.

Williams Sonoma Goldtouch® Pro Nonstick 3-Piece Sheet Pan Set

There’s no messing around with this cookie-dedicated bake set. Hot temperatures are no match for these superior sheets, thanks to its aluminized steel, which evenly heats cookies for browned edges and gooey (but not raw!) centers. Nonstick coating means those gooey centers won’t stick to the sheet, making clean-up a breeze. When you’re done, throw it into the dishwasher and be done with it.

The Essential Apron

It’s definitely a splurge, but this is one of the highest-quality aprons you’ll find – just look at the 4+ stars out of 327 reviews. It’s made of 100% cotton, and it withstands the washing machine and irons. It has an adjustable neck, so you won’t have to worry about feeling strangled or not protected, and the three pockets give you space to hold whatever you need, from a pen to measuring spoons.

Five Two Silicon Oven Mitts & Pot Holders

My hands are extremely sensitive to heat, no matter how thick your typical oven mitts are. That’s why discovering these mitts was a life (and hand) saver. The hands are made of platinum-grade silicone, withstand up to 650°F, but they’re still light and flexible, and the mitts go all the way up your forearms for adequate protection. They come with pot holders, with pockets so you can slip your hands inside for maximum grip.

What are your favorite bakeware splurges? Let us know in the comments!

Freezing and Unfreezing Cookie Dough

Sometimes, you just make too much cookie dough. Or you make enough because you know you’ll bake it later. Whichever the case, freezing cookie dough is bound to be a necessity eventually. But how do you properly freeze cookie dough? And more importantly: how do you bake frozen cookie dough? Don’t worry: we’ve got the answers for you.

Freezing cookie dough does not mean putting a bowl in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. Instead, you’re going to treat it as if you were baking the cookies. And that means treating all types of cookies in different ways.

Freezing Drop Cookies

For your usual chocolate chip and other drop cookies, take a cookie scoop (we recommend this one from our friends at Toque Blanche) and place the balls on a parchment-paper-lined sheet. Put them in the freezer uncovered until they’re firm, then switch them into an airtight container or Ziploc bag. You can freeze them for up to six weeks—but let’s be honest, you’ll probably bake them before then (I certainly do!).

If you’re freezing cookies that are usually coated in sugar, like snickerdoodles, don’t freeze after you’ve rolled them! Instead, freeze the dough like you would normally. When it comes time to coat in sugar, let them thaw and soften overnight so the sugar sticks.

Freezing Slice-and-Bakes

Slice-and-bake cookies have a different texture than drop cookies, which means you’ll have to freeze them differently, too. Rather than scooping into balls, work your dough into thick logs and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper. Because of its flakey texture, it may crumble if you slice into them right after taking out of the freezer. Let them thaw first in the fridge, then cut.

Freezing Cut-Out Cookies

It doesn’t get easier than freezing cut-out cookies. Simply roll out the dough (we love this rolling pin, also from Toque Blanche!), then place the flattened dough in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake, simply take them out and bake them as per usual.

Freezing Already-Baked Cookies

If you’ve made cookies and can’t devour them in one sitting, you can freeze cookies that have already been baked. Just place them in airtight containers and freeze for up to a month. When you’re ready to devour, remove them and let them thaw. Drop cookies can be warmed up in the oven at 300°F for five-to-seven minutes.

How to Bake Frozen Cookie Dough

Generally, you can let frozen dough thaw overnight and then work with it as the recipe details. But if you just can’t wait to eat it (no judgement!) or are invited to a last-minute potluck, preheat the oven to about 20°F less than the recipe says. This way, the dough will melt and spread out as you’d like, allowing for an even bake instead of crisp edges and undercooked middles. To summarize: any type of cookie can be frozen and thawed, leaving you with delicious treats whenever you want them. Happy eating!