My 2-Minute Tip for Gourmet-Looking Cookies

posted by Andrea | 07/6/2017
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As many of you know, I’m not normally one for “gourmet” cooking or baking. Yes, I love good-tasting food, but I definitely don’t want to spend lots of extra time in the kitchen (or lots of extra money at the grocery store) just to make gourmet foods for my family every day.

We are all MORE than satisfied with simple casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, sandwiches, and from-a-box brownie mixes!

That said, I’ve always had a “weakness” for the huge gourmet cookies they sell at coffee shops and places like Panera Bread. They look so fancy and delicious — but there’s not much of a chance that I’d pay $3 or more for one cookie (especially when I can buy 3 box mixes for $3!)

Several months ago, I was searching for tips to make “gourmet cookies” when I stumbled across a YouTube video that literally changed how I make all my cookies now.

Of course, I can’t find that video anymore — but to be honest, I only took one of her tips anyway, so the rest of the video wasn’t helpful for me.

She used all sorts of fancy ingredients, expensive vanilla beans, gourmet chocolates, special baking flour, etc. etc. — NONE OF WHICH I DO.

However, the one tip I gleaned from her video was to smash a bunch of extra chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, M&M’s, or other candies on the top of the cookie dough balls before I bake them… and honestly, I feel like my cookies look so “gourmet” now!Β 

It literally takes me 2 extra minutes after I make my cookie dough balls and before I stick the pan in the oven to add extra candies on top and you would not believe how many compliments I get on my (otherwise very basic) cookies.

It’s crazy how something so simple and easy can make such a huge difference!

And just to clarify, I make whatever cookie recipe I’m using exactly as it says (with any chocolate chips, M&M’s or other candies in the dough) and then add EXTRA candies to the top.

Also, I’ve found that mini chocolate chips and mini M&M’s seems to work and look better because you can fit more of them on the cookie dough balls, so the finished cookies have more “candy coverage” than if you use full-size chocolate chips and M&M’s.

So the next time you need to bring cookies for a party… or the next time you want to really “wow” your family, try this simple tip!

With just a couple extra minutes, you can have gourmet-looking cookies!

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Also, here are a few of my favorite cookie recipes!

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25 comments

  1. Denise Z

    07/08/2017

    Your cookies look SO much better than the M&M type cookies at Panera! Have you ever noticed the weird colors of the candies in theirs? Ick! (Now their frosted sugar cookies! We call them “Crack Cookies” because they’re SOOO good!)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I’m an M&M snob — if they aren’t “real” M&M’s I don’t eat them πŸ™‚
    We really like the triple peanut butter chunk cookies from the cafe’s in Barnes and Noble!

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  2. Luba at Healthy with Luba

    07/07/2017

    Isn’t it amazing what a small, extra touch can add to cookies?

    Now what if we applied this concept to our relationships and places of employment? Everyone loves an extra special touch added to something they receive. πŸ™‚

    A vase of flowers on the table, a bookmark or small gift card sent with a note . .. the possibilities are endless.

    Thank you for the inspiration, Andrea. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, exactly!

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  3. Amy

    07/06/2017

    Thank you!!! I just so happened to be baking cookies for my book club today and cannot believe what a big difference this made!

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    Andrea Reply:

    isn’t it amazing! Every time I do this, I get SO many more compliments on my cookies (even using the exact same recipe!) I’ve even tried making half with the extra candies on top and half without — the half WITH the extra candies is always gone first!

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  4. Karen

    07/06/2017

    What a difference…….why have I never thought to do that? Here’s my current cookie obsession ~ https://abountifulkitchen.com/2017/01/levain-bakery-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe.html
    Of course I just use a cookie scoop to make small ones…..

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yum! thanks for sharing Karen!

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  5. JJ

    07/06/2017

    We have 2 kids with dairy allergies, so I often find myself spending $2 each for a big cookie at a local drive thru coffee place that sells them. Then I found a recipe where I can easily use EnjoyLife allergen free chocolate chips(they are amazing!!!). I will have to try your trick. My kids will love it! What size are your dough balls? Also, I normally use stone bar pans for cookies but noticed you use parchment paper on cookie sheets. Does that help them not to burn? Curious incase I use my cookie sheets! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I always use parchment paper (and then I don’t even wash my cookie sheets!). I keep the parchment paper in my baking drawer and reuse it several times — it makes cleanup so easy and the cookies never burn or stick to the pan.

    Also, my dough balls are between 1″ and 2″ — definitely not exact!

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    Jean Reply:

    I used to make a gazillion Christmas cookies. Instead of parchment paper (and much much less expensive) I use baking sheets from Gordon Food Services. They are $3.99 per pack of 50 and the dimensions of each sheet are 16.5″ x 24.5″. They are so economical compared to parchment paper. I can dispose of them without feeling wasteful and love that no clean-up of the cookie tray is necessary.
    (I sometimes use them twice in an afternoon of baking.) Because they are sized for a commercial bakery/oven, I simply cut them in half with scissors. I have given them as practical Christmas gifts to other bakers.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good to know — I’m totally going to look for these!! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    JJ Reply:

    Andrea, Good to know! I have a roll of parchment paper, so I will try it out! You have such practical tips, which really do simplify life! Thanks so much!

    Jean, do you order them online?

    Tina, yes, they have been amazing to have since 2 of my kids have allergies, and I’m still nursing one with allergies. So, Mama needed some chocolate–haha!

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    I don’t know about on-line because I have always marched in to my local Gordon Foods store and bought them (they are always in stock – I called yesterday to get the exact price and dimensions for my reply). You could contact Gordon Foods to see?

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    Tina Reply:

    I love the enjoy life brand too! Plus they aren’t genetically modified like alot of the other chocolates which is a bonus!

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  6. Jean

    07/06/2017

    What a great tip that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. That reminds me of the chocolate chip cookies from Mary’s Kitchen Port in Traverse City. which are exceptional. They add walnut halves to the tops of their cookies which makes them “prettier” and tastier. I am guessing they “toast” the walnut halves before they put them on top of the cookies to bake. All nuts seem to benefit (flavor-wise) from a little toasting before they are added to any recipe (salad or baked goods).
    On a side note, do you have any good recipes for ‘breakfast cookies”?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sorry, no breakfast cookie recipes — I’m not sure my kids would go for that!

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  7. Deb

    07/06/2017

    This is one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes (time consuming, but VERY cute when finished) and that is where I first heard of that idea. It does definitely make for a better looking cookie and more chocolate makes it better of course! πŸ˜‰

    http://www.cookingclassy.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-bites/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yum… thanks for sharing!

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    Karen Reply:

    Deb ~ thx for sharing! I’m definitely going to make those…..

    [Reply]

    Deb Reply:

    They are really good. Different because they have cornstarch and VERY time consuming with 1/2 teaspoon of dough per cookie, but they are so cute and bite sized, which just means you have to eat 5 to equal one normal cookie! I have taken them to showers where you get those tiny plates and have lots of good choices! πŸ˜‰

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    Andrea Reply:

    could you just make the cookies bigger and bake them longer? I feel like that would really cut down on the time involved — or do you think the tininess makes them better?

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    Deb Reply:

    Not better, but definitely “cuter’, would probably use the regular toll house recipe for bigger ones and full sized chocolate chips. πŸ˜‰ The size is the best part, but I don’t have small children! πŸ˜‰ Would probably just make blonde brownies in a 9×13 if I did!

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    Brittany Reply:

    I actually made these last night. The recipe yielded 2 cookie sheets of 20, so 40 small cookies total. I thought it’d take forever, but I scooped the dough out from a teaspoon onto the sheet with my finger. They’re really good, and I’ll make them again! The mini chips on top added a cute finishing touch. My only complaint is they’re easier to accidentally touch and smear the chips because of all the chocolate coverage on top!

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    Brittany Reply:

    A couple time-saving ideas—I didn’t roll them into balls, and I made them into rounded teaspoonfuls (instead of 1/2 tsp.) I usually make my choc chip cookies in the #40 scoop, which is 1 1/2 tablespoons, so these are still mini and cute to me! πŸ™‚

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