Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ultimate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This was one of the very first recipes that I posted on this blog. Of course, at that time, I didn't even have a camera, so there was no picture. Which is such a pity because if any cookie deserves to have a picture, it is these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. Yes, I realize they're not the most eye-catching cookie around. However, if you close your eyes and let your tastebuds be the judge, you'll see why these cookies are #1 in my book.

Crispy edges? Check. Soft, chewy middle? Check. Bursting with all the peanut butter flavor you could ever want? Oh you better believe it. After trying this recipe, I have never and will never try any other. They are just too good to be beat.

Sure you can add chocolate chips, or drizzle them with chocolate. You can even do as the actual recipe from Allrecipes states and make a peanut butter filling to sandwich them together just like the ones from the Girl Scouts. But, in my opinion, these cookies are more than delicious enough to stand on their own without all that jazz. They're peanut butter oatmeal cookies at their very, very best.

And that is why I just had to make them again and post about them once more, this time with a picture.

Ultimate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (from Allrecipes)

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. rolled oats

Cream the butter with the peanut butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture. Mix in the oats. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 10 min. or until cookies are firm to the touch. (You may have to use a spatula to flatten the cookies down halfway through the baking time.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sweets for a Saturday #58

I was so surprised and tickled pink to find out that my Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars made it to the top spot this week. That brightened my day! If you loved them, you're also gonna love the other treats from last week's Top 5. They're to die for!

1. Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars - Sweet as Sugar Cookies

2. 18 Desserts Men Love - Something Swanky

However will one choose???

3. Mini Twix Cheesecake Bites - Angie's Sweet Natured Treats

With their mini size, I think three is just about right.

4. Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie - What About Second Breakfast

Chocolate peanut butter heaven!

5. Baked Fudge - The Boys Made Me Do It

Chocolate is always a good thing.

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you are going to love these cookies. I got the recipe from Picky Palate. The only change I made was to use peanut butter M&Ms in place of the white chocolate chips and pretzels since that's what I had. Notice the M&Ms are the ones from Valentine's Day? Yup, gotta love those day after Valentine's Day candy sales.

I took a bite out of these cookies and oh my gosh, it was like eating a rich, chocolatey, chewy brownie. I'm talking super fudgy. The peanut butter taste in the cookie itself wasn't that strong, so I'm glad I used the peanut butter M&Ms because they added a nice little peanut buttery burst in every bite. I guarantee these will satisfy any chocolate craving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies (adapted slightly from Picky Palate)

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. peanut butter M&Ms (or more if you want)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat well. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir till incorporated. Mix in the M&Ms with a wooden spoon.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 min., should still be soft in the center (I baked mine for 15 min. and they were still nice and chewy). Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 min. before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Marbled Banana Cookies

Would you believe that I found bananas on sale for only 29 cents a pound? Seriously!!! Well, actually, they were 39 cents a pound, but . . . the extra ripe ones could be bought for the cheaper price. So, let me get this straight, not only are they selling me the bananas for a song, but they've also already over-ripened them for me too? Oh bless you. As you know, banana recipes require the bananas to be as ripe as possible. My problem is that I hate having to wait for days until the bananas reach that point. My grocery store just saved me the trouble. And they think I'm doing them the favor by being willing to buy those bananas.

Anyway, with those bananas ripe for the picking, or rather, overripe and ready to be used, I decided to try these Banana Cookies that I saw on Pinterest. Up to this point, I had never tried a banana cookie before, only banana breads and biscotti. So, I was definitely eager to taste it.

I did make a few changes, however. First of all, I didn't have any toffee bits on hand, so I had to leave those out. Also, I'm not crazy about white chocolate. I'm a dark chocolate person all the way. So, I decided to sub in some dark chocolate chips. But, I kind of wanted to experiment a little too. So, instead of merely adding some chocolate chips, I came to the conclusion that I would melt the chocolate and add it to the batter to give the cookies a marbled look.

Here's how I did it. I melted down some dark chocolate chips (maybe about 2-3 Tbsp. for the whole recipe). Then, I spooned it into a small ziploc bag and cut off one tiny corner so that I could use it like a piping bag. Once the cookie batter was made, I then squeezed in the melted chocolate a little at a time and folded it into the batter with a rubber spatula. Make sure you do this very carefully because you want it to be chocolate marbled banana cookies, not chocolate banana cookies. Then, I chilled the dough for about 30 min. in the freezer to let the chocolate set up a little before baking the cookies.

The result? You get this awesome marbled look on the top of the cookies and, when you bite into them, you can see these tiny ribbons of chocolate running through them. These cookies were super soft and cakey, just like banana bread in cookie form and the chocolate here and there added in just the right amount of flavor. Looks like the experiment was a success!

Chocolate Marbled Banana Cookies (adapted from The Kitchn and created by Lisa of Sweet as Sugar Cookies)

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 c. mashed bananas
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2-3 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and egg and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda until incorporated.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Scoop it into a small piping bag, or put it into a small Ziploc bag with a tiny corner snipped off. Squeeze the melted chocolate into the cookie batter a little a time, using a rubber spatula to carefully fold the chocolate into the batter after each addition. Keep going until the batter is marbled enough to your satisfaction. Chill the dough for at least 30 min. in the freezer or 1 hour in the fridge to let the chocolate set up a little.

Drop in spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 min. or until edges are golden brown and cookies are set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweets for a Saturday #57

Looks like red velvet is in this week. After all, it was Valentine's Day. But, red velvet or not, your heart is gonna go pitter pat for these Top 5 treats:

1. Red Hot Velvet Cinnamon Rolls - Piece, Love, & Cooking

Be still my beating heart.

2. Homemade Gourmet Twix Bars - Piece Love & Cooking

You'll never want to go back to plain old Twix bars after this.

3. Caramel Apple Salad - The Royal Cook

Snickers bars in a salad? Oh yeah!

4. Microwave Caramels - Eat Cake for Dinner

Who knew making caramels could be this simple?

5. Red Velvet Monster Cookies - Something Swanky

I'm definitely feeling the love for these cookies!

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Orange Cookies

Do you like chocolate? I know, who doesn't, right? Well, how about oranges? And, how about chocolate AND orange together? It's certainly one of my favorite combos. Alright, I have a lot of favorite flavor combos, but who said you could only have one favorite.

At any rate, the two come together harmoniously in these cookies. Eating them is pure bliss. You take a bite and the crisp orange-sugar crust shatters the moment it touches your lips. Then, your teeth sink into soft, chocolatey cakiness. One bite and you'll definitely be craving more.

Chocolate Orange Cookies (Dulce Dough)

2 Tbsp. orange zest
1 1/3 c. sugar, divided
2/3 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Combine 2 tsp. orange zest with 1/3 c. sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is orange and fragrant.

Rub the remaining orange zest into the 1 cup of sugar with your fingers until it is orange and fragrant. Cream with the butter. Add the egg and mix well.

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll each ball in the orange-sugar mixture.

Place balls of dough at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-12 min. or until set. Cool slightly and remove from cooking sheet.

1. The recipe doesn't say to do this, but I'd recommend chilling the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling. My dough was very sticky (like thick cake batter) before I chilled it, but was much more manageable once it was cold.

2. I ended up using 2 tsp. of zest for the rolling sugar (which was double the amount originally stated in the recipe) and then using the other 4 tsp. for the cookie dough. I couldn't really taste the orange in the cookie itself, so next time, I'd probably increase the total amount of zest to 2 Tbsp.

3. I found that the chilled dough made for thicker cookies, which I liked. The dough that got warm out of the fridge made for flatter cookies.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars

There was a potluck at my church and I had signed up to bring dessert. The only question was what to make. I had neither the time nor the energy to make something complicated. But, I still wanted it to be delicious and appealing (naturally) and, if possible, I wanted to try something new. Then, I remembered the much raved about Sugar Cookie Bars. Simple, quick, super easy - mix it up, throw it in a pan, and bake it up. It was exactly what I needed.

I decided to try the Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars that Dreaming of White Chocolate linked up to last week's Sweets for a Saturday. True to form, those bars were done in no time at all with very little mess or fuss. Whip up some pink buttercream icing (it is close to Valentine's Day after all), go sprinkle crazy, and you've got a super pretty treat that can't be beat.

Of course, looks are important, but taste is even more so, right? Well, these were amazingly soft and tender, almost like cake but a little denser. With the buttercream frosting adding the perfect sweet touch, these are melt in your mouth good.

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars (Dreaming of White Chocolate)

1 c. butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (I used lowfat cream cheese)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease a jelly roll pan (15x10x1).

Cream butter with cream cheese and sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. With mixer on low, add in your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spread the dough evenly into your prepared pan (dough will be sticky). Bake for 20-30 min. until edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool completely then frost with buttercream frosting.

Buttercream Frosting (by Lisa of Sweet as Sugar Cookies)

3/4 c. margarine or butter
3 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
milk (just enough to make it spreadable)

Cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar one cup at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Add milk as desired until you've reached a consistency you like.

This recipe is linked to:
A Little Birdie Told Me
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Bake with Bizzy
Cast Party Wednesday
These Chicks Cooked
Full Plate Thursday
Sweet Tooth Friday

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sweets for a Saturday #56

Ready for some sugary fun? Then let this week's Sweets for a Saturday begin! Here are your Top 5 from last week:

1. Best Frosting Trick - The Farm Girl Recipes

This little tip will change your life!

2. Chocolate Heart Cups - Home is Where the Boat Is

Valentine's Day will be super elegant with these.

3. Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Farm Girl Recipes

This recipe is on my to-make list.

4. Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Cake - Dreaming of White Chocolate

I made these last night and they are fabulous!

5. Cheesecake Dip - The Royal Cook

Grab a cookie, a cracker, a spoon, anything and dive right in!

The Rules:
  1. Please link up to the URL of your post, not the URL of your main blog. When it asks for "Name", type in the name of your treat.
  2. Please leave a link back to this post in your post or Grab My Button.
  3. Share your delicious sweets from this week. If you've made more than one during the week, feel free to link them all up.
  4. Leave me a comment telling me that you've linked up.
  5. Please visit at least two others and comment on their wonderful additions to this party.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies and My 2nd Blogiversary

As I mentioned earlier this week, I just couldn't decide on only one recipe from Fake Ginger's blog. So, I made not one, but two recipes from it. The first was these Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies. The second was these Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. The title alone is a mouthful, but then again, these cookies are chock full of all sorts of goodness. You have lots of fiber from the oats, anti-oxidants from the cranberries, and white chocolate chips (cause you always need something sweet).

These cookies were absolutely delicious. It was a fantastic oatmeal cookie base, thick and chewy. I just know it would work well with spices added in or other fruits or nuts. As far as oatmeal cookie recipes go, this one's a keeper!

And, wouldn't you know, today is my 2nd blogiversary! It's been one amazing year with even more recipes, more blogger friendships, and tons of sweets that you've shared on Sweets for a Saturday. I've loved every day of it. Here's to another sweet year!

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies (Fake Ginger)

2/3 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. dried cranberries
2/3 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well.

Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes about 30 cookies

Monday, February 6, 2012

Red Velvet Chip Cookies

Well, after two months, the Secret Recipe Club is finally back!!! I couldn't be more excited. For this month, I was assigned to Amanda's blog, Fake Ginger. I've actually been following her beautiful and tasty blog for some time now, ever since we both participated in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies two years ago. She has a ton of delicious looking sweets on her blog, and you know how I love sweets! The only difficult part was choosing which sweet treat I wanted to make. The answer is that I wasn't able to narrow it down to just one, so I'll be posting about one today and the other one later this week.

Seeing as how it's getting close to Valentine's Day, and also how much my family loves red velvet cake, I decided to make her Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies. The red food coloring gives these cookies a total wow factor. The only change I made was to use a little milk mixed with vinegar instead of plain milk or cream. I figured it would give these cookies that twang that red velvet cake is known for.

So, I'm sure you're all wondering, did the cookies actually taste like red velvet cake? Not really. But, the thing is, when I took a bite of these cookies, with all that gooey, melty chocolate bursting out of every bite, my immediate reaction was, "I don't care what these cookies are supposed to taste like, because I LIKE how they taste!!!" I have no doubt that you're going to feel the exact same way if you try them.

There's only one thing I'd do differently the next time I make these and that is that I'd make MORE of them instead of just one batch. This time around, I was making them to give to someone else and, after setting aside that person's cookies, I only had three left to savor for myself. Yeah, with cookies as good as these, I think I need at least a dozen of my own to be fully happy.

Thank you Amanda for one awesome keeper of a recipe!

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies (Fake Ginger)

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. milk (I used 1 tsp. vinegar + skim milk to make 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used about 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and heavy cream and combine until smooth. Beat in red food coloring. Stir in cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out 1 tablespoon of dough and set on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

*If you are using liquid food dye, you will need less milk. I suggest leaving the milk as the last step (before chocolate chips) and adding as needed.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sweets for a Saturday #55

Welcome back to another Sweets for a Saturday. Let the sugar rush begin!

Your Top 5:

1. Big Pan O' Sugar Cookies - Lark's Country Heart

Yup, you're definitely gonna need a big pan of these.

2. Perfect Bourbon Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie - Piece Love & Cooking

Pecan pie perfection indeed!

3. Cake Balls - The Royal Cook

What a great way to make cake twice as good.

4. Cinnamon Rolls - Moms Every Day

Homemade cinnamon rolls are always a treat.

5. Chocolate Chip Pizzookie - The Royal Cook

The best way to make chocolate chip cookies.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Like I mentioned the other day, my sister requested that I send her lots of cookies for her birthday. Well, next to cookies, she is crazy about chocolate. So, I made sure to include a chocolate cookie in the package as well.

The recipe I chose was the Double Chocolate Cookies from Annie's Eats. I saw them on Pinterest and totally had to repin it. Then came along this perfect opportunity to go ahead and make them. The only change I made was to use a mix of chocolate and mint chips in place of the chocolate chips. Not that there's anything wrong with regular chocolate chips, but when that package of mint chips is on sale, well, what're you gonna do?

The cookies came out perfectly. Each one was nice and chocolatey with that cool breath of mint contrasting beautifully with it. I only wish that I had used dark cocoa powder so that I could get an even more intense flavor, though they were still totally good regardless. I just love it when I try a new recipe and it's a success!

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies (slightly adapted from Annie's Eats)

1 c. cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 c. chocolate chips and mint chips

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Place scoops of dough onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 min. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 min., then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.