Chocolate Surprise Cookies

Risking sounding like a broken record, Scott and I played our weekly game of “What kind of cookie do you want this week?”  His answer is always the same, and I usually end up making something that I want anyway.  So, back to Pinterest for inspiration for something that he will like.

I’m hoping that the upcoming holidays will spark a wealth of new cookie recipes, because I seem to not be able to find anything that sparks my interest in cookie making.  I hope that others have the same problem I do: I look at things that I have pinned and think to myself, “Why on earth would I pin something like that?”

Original Recipe Is Here: http://www.bakingandmistaking.com/2010/06/chocolate-peanut-butter-suprise-cookies.html

What You Need:

For the centers

¾ cup peanut butter

¾ cup powdered sugar

For the outer cookie

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 stick butter, softened

¼ cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup cocoa powder

½ tsp baking soda

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the peanut butter and the powdered sugar. Form into balls slightly bigger than 1 tsp.  It will make about 30 little balls.  Place the peanut butter balls on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer (or a plate if you have a teeny freezer like I do.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients while they are in the freezer
  4. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer, and mold the chocolate cookie dough along the outside of the ball until covered.
  5. Slightly flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass.
  6. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the tops just start to crack.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

I gave one of the still pretty warm cookies to Scott to try, to which he said that he will tell me what it tasted like once it stopped being as hot as the surface of the sun.  What a jokester.  It wasn’t that hot.  Mostly.  Once they cooled completely, he tried another one.  That prompted a response of “Those don’t suck”, which is Scotty speak for “Dang, those are pretty good!”  At least I think he likes them. They keep disappearing when I look the other way…

These were supposed to be flattened with a sugar-dipped glass, but I thought that I would try them without.  The cookies aren’t super sweet, which is a nice change for a peanut butter cookie.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

 

Update:  So, I had this in the queue to post, just waiting to take pictures of the final result…until I came home from work to find them all gone!  Sorry to say, no pics for this one, so hopefully you can use your imagination!

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Butterfinger Cookies

I can see how this recipe could be adapted to use up all the upcoming leftover Easter candy that we are all about to have next week. Maybe nothing terribly soft, but definitely some of the crunchier chocolate candies. I had a lot of fun working with the little Butterfingers, and luckily I found a 10 oz. package in the candy aisle of unwrapped miniature Butterfingers, so a lot of the breakdown work was done for me!

Original recipe is here: http://www.plainchicken.com/2010/08/butterfinger-cookies.html

What You Need

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 egg whites

1 ¼ cups chunky peanut butter (or smooth)

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

5 (2.1 ounce) Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

And Here’s What You Do

1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Cream together the butter and sugars. Add in the egg whites and mix well. Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in chopped butterfingers.

3. Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies just start to turn brown. Let sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely. What I Did

It was fun to get out the mighty chocolate knife again. And Scott was sure to help me clear up the bigger pieces (i.e. he ate them).

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These smelled very good while they were baking. Scott had to test a few right out of the oven, of course. I don’t think they were supposed to turn out as flat as they did, however. I would like to see if this one can be improved with a little tweaking.

I could see how these could be really good with vanilla ice cream…yum!

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Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Apple Bars

The holiday season has come and gone once again, and “Frosty the Snowman” has been replaced with Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers commercials on tv.  Ugh, so depressing.  Makes a person just want to eat more to overcome the sadness of the holidays being over.

In an effort to get back on the wagon, lots of fruits and vegetables have appeared at our house.  Granted my mom came to stay and she loves fresh fruit, but I like to think that she was a good influence.  So, we have a lot of fresh apples around.  Now, I like apples.  Actually, I like granny smith apples, and apples that have been baked in the oven with cinnamon and sugar and butter.  I know, not exactly a combination of healthy alternatives.

In my crazy efficiency, I was putting cinnamon apple oatmeal muffins together for breakfast this week when I got a little chop-happy.  Which led me to having about a cup of leftover chopped apples.  I knew I had to get them baked into something quickly before they got all brown and yuck.  So, thanks to Google, I discovered the following recipe.

Original recipe is here: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/peanut-butter-apple-bars/

(I really need to spend more time on that website)

What You Need

For the bars:

½ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup diced and peeled apples (I used Honeycrisp)

For the peanut butter glaze:

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

And Here’s What You Do

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray or butter.

2. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter until creamy and combined. Set mixture aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

4. Add the eggs to the peanut butter mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir until batter is smooth. Carefully fold in the apples.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove bars from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.

6. While the bars are cooling, make the peanut butter glaze. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars.

What I Did

I think I turned the heat up a little too much on the brown sugar and butter because it had started to stick to the bottom of the pan and it was slightly grainy.  After mixing in the peanut butter, the wet ingredients never really got smooth until after the eggs were added

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I was a little concerned that the batter was so dry.  It was a little harder to press smoothly into the pan, but I was hoping that the fresh apples would add a lot of moisture to the bars.  Luckily, I was right!

I added a little more milk to the glaze since I like it a little thinner.  My experience with glaze tends to run on the thick and gloppy side, and I can never make it pretty when it is that thick.

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Scott really likes these little babies.  He has a sweet tooth, but he likes that these bars aren’t terribly sweet.

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I like them because I can fool myself into thinking that they are halfway healthy because of the apples.

Until next time,

Peace, love, and cupcakes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I’m off the pumpkin, but only for a little while…

It feels as though we celebrate all things fall for so long that we should be past Halloween by now.  But, here we are, staring at another eight days before the spookiness begins.  Of course, that also means that all I want to do is eat and bake, and then eat more!  Besides, that is what you are supposed to do when the weather gets cool, right?

Right, this is Florida, and we’re getting a resurgence of 90 degree weather.  Awesome.  I’ll go back to wearing my shorts and sipping on my icy drink…

Anyway, after being absent for a few weeks, I thought that I would start off with a standard cookie for you to enjoy.  Life gets in the way a little bit sometimes, and so does that cruise ship that we got off of a week ago!  Speaking of which, if you’ve ever been on a Carnival ship, you can understand my obsession with their warm chocolate melting cake.  I have found the recipe online, and I am determined to try it!

So, here’s the cookie of the week:  Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I need to come up with a better name..

Original Recipe is Here: http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2012/12/oatmeal-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip.html?m=1

What You Need:

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup peanut butter

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup oats

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

 

And Here’s What You Do

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to wet mixture until combined.
  4.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  Flatted with the bottom of a glass, or press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern.
  5. Bake for 6-9 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

 

What I Did

Sometimes I feel like the laziest baker in the world.  You know where it says ‘sift together the flour, baking soda…” above?  I didn’t.  I added it all straight to the wet mixture, starting with the baking soda.  Measured it straight into the mixer.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Do I feel like a cheat?  Sometimes.  Have I noticed a difference when I follow the directions to the letter?  No.  Does Scott love me any less because I don’t follow the recipe exactly?  No.

I guess my point here is: You can make some short cuts in baking and still have things turn out perfect.  Since I discovered what “cream together until light and fluffy” meant, that is one step that I haven’t skipped.  But it doesn’t mean that my cookies were inferior because I didn’t take the time.  Long story short, don’t feel bad if you don’t mix things in the right order or forget to sift the flour.

However, this is cookies we are talking about.  Cake is a whole other subject.  There’s a reason I don’t make many cakes (if ever).

Anyway, moving on.  It says to bake these cookies for 6-9 minutes.  At 6 minutes, the edges were lovely and brown, but the cookies themselves were in no shape to move from the sheet.  So, I let them stay there and set up for a while.  Now they are holding up like little champions!

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Scott didn’t say much about them when he first tried them.  However, there is a distinct lack of cookie from the time I went to work this morning to the time that I came home.  I will take that as a good sign.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Bake Sale Part 2 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Brownies

A friend of mine posted a link to these on my Facebook wall, practically begging me to make them for the bake sale.  How can you resist that kind of request?  Truly, there wasn’t much convincing that had to happen.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, especially peanut butter frosting!!

Original Recipe is here: http://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/2013/04/12/reeses-peanut-butter-brownies/

What You Need

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

3 eggs

¾ cup melted butter

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup mini chocolate chips

 

Frosting

1 stick of butter (softened)

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons of milk

 

And Here’s What You Do

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Put all brownie ingredients into a bowl and mix until just combined.  Try not to over mix them!  Spread the mix into a greased 9X13 pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

2. While the brownies are baking, prepare the frosting.  Blend all ingredients until fluffy (takes about 4-5 minutes).

3. Cool those brownies completely before frosting!  Carefully spread the frosting over the brownies.  Top with Reese’s Pieces candy and drizzle with melted chocolate.

What I Did

Due to Scott’s amazing foresight, I had a 7 pound bag of chocolate chips at my disposal (yes, 7 pounds.  Sam’s Club is amazing.)  So, the mini chocolate chips didn’t make their way in to the brownies.  But their regular-sized cousins did!  I also used soy milk in the frosting instead of dairy milk.  We’ve pretty much gone off dairy milk at our house.  Since discovering that it was fewer Weight Watchers points than the 2% that Scott likes while having pretty much the same taste, it was an easy decision to make.

I didn’t drizzle with melted chocolate, but I don’t think that they were missing any of the flavors. 

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While cutting these up for packaging, one of them ‘accidentally’ broke, so we had to sacrifice it to the Quality Control Gods.  Oh dear!  Oh dear is a good way to put how delicious these turned out!  All glorious chocolate and peaks of peanutty fluff in one delightful package! 

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I’ve made these again since the bake sale (this time for Scott to take to work), leaving off the frosting.  For those, I included a heaping tablespoon of marshmallow fluff to make them delightfully gooey.  Apparently, they went over just as well without the frosting as they did with!  I think I may have found a keeper “from scratch” brownie recipe!

And my friend won’t say what he bought, but I know he spent about $20.  I hope he enjoyed the brownies!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

 

Nutella Filled Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

Thankfully, Nutella has come back to store shelves after the German thieves stole 5 and a half tons of it a while ago.  I’m sure it’s been back for a while, but it was nice to go to the store and have it on the shelf versus trying figure out another recipe.  I truly enjoyed making these cookies, and I ended up with 36 ½ cookie sandwiches.  The half helped with quality control!

 

Original Recipe is here: http://www.daringgourmet.com/2013/02/02/peanut-butter-sandwich-cookies-with-nutella-marshmallow-cream-cheese-filling/

 

Here’s What You Need

 1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

 

For the filling:

½ cup cream cheese

½ cup marshmallow fluff

½ cup Nutella

 

And Here’s What You Do

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. Beat the butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy.  I’ve learned that this step is very important.  It makes all the difference in how your cookies turn out.  Add the peanut butter and beat for a few seconds until combined.  Add the eggs and vanilla, beat another few seconds.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix together using a rubber spatula.  Gently fold to combine.  Make sure to not over-mix.  The dough does start to get hard to mix together after a minute or two.

4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press a grid pattern into the top using the tines of a fork.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.

5. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Prepare the filling by combining the cream cheese, Nutella, and marshmallow fluff until well mixed.

7. Using a knife, spread the filling on the bottom of one cookie, topping it with another cookie after filling is spread

8. Should make about 36 cookie sandwiches

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I baked these on Saturday while Scott was asleep (still need to work on that whole working overnight thing), and I knew that the divine smell of the peanut butter baking was going to wake him.  Sure enough, I was pulling batches out of the oven and he came shuffling down the stairs, bleary-eyed, and sniffing the air.  Nothing wakes that man up like peanut butter baking.

So, after cooling and frosting, the testing had to happen.  And more testing happened.  And a little more testing.  Now, taking into account the fact that he loves plain peanut butter cookies, I’m going to take it as a compliment that he keeps eating these cookies, seemingly by the handful.  Of course, he may not have any left for work this week, but at least he will have gotten to enjoy them!

I would definitely like to make these again.  We’ll see if I ever run out of recipes!

 

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Reece’s Pieces Pudding Cookie Mania!

We were missing the cookies around here.  Not that the brownies and bars weren’t delicious…not at all!  But my Scotty loves his cookies, so to cookies we return!

Original recipe is here: http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2012/04/peanut-butter-pudding-cookies/

What You Need:

3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Reese’s Pieces
1 cup dried banana chips, broken
 
And Here’s What You Do

1. Cream together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter until fluffy.

2. While creaming the butter mixture together, mix together the flour, pudding, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

3. Now that the butter mixture is fluffy, add in the eggs, vanilla, and honey.  Now mix that all together and make it happy.  Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, and be careful not to over-mix the dough.  I stand pretty close by and shut off my mixer when I can no longer see flour in the bowl.  It takes just a few seconds, so watch!

Image4. Mix in the chocolate chips and the Reese’s Pieces with a rubber spatula.  Try not to eat handfuls as you are adding them to the dough.

5. I probably should have mentioned that you preheat the oven to 350.

6. Drop by rounded spoonful onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 3-4 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack for cooling.  Try to refrain from eating them long enough to get into an air tight container for storage.

What I Did

I omitted the banana chips all together.  Not that I don’t like them and I didn’t have them on hand, but I just didn’t feel like adding them.  Having tasted these, I can’t say that I would miss the banana.

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I’m writing this out as dinner cooks, and Scott just passed by with one in his hand, blissfully munching away.  He’s my quality control expert.  He just wants to make sure that they are perfect.  Before dinner.  And probably after dinner too.

The pudding in the dough makes them super chewy and soft, very much like the cookies that you buy in a store (the soft bake ones that Pepperidge Farm does, or the ones made by the elves in the tree).  I’m itching to try different flavors of pudding in other cookie recipes…this could be the start of something AMAZING!!!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!