Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

When I have a favorite anything, I kind of dig my heels into it. New fave shoes? I wear them every day. New fave outfit? I wear it every day. Ok, not every day but I have been known to rock the same outfit twice in a row. (If you’re going to two different places with different people, it’s technically a new outfit. Senseless logic brought to you by me.) Fave nail polish? OMG I CAN’T STOP WEARING MINT GREEN AND CORAL!! Ahem, you get the point. I mean, why would anyone want to mess with elusive perfection once it’s found?! So when I find a cookie recipe that actually works in my finicky oven, I kind of can’t stop making it. And then I make them all the time… for everything.

Then the inevitable happens: I get into a rut and yell on my blog and whiiiiine because if I change anything about said perfection, it won’t be perfect anymore. What I sometimes fail to realize, is that change can help it become something even BETTER!! Say it with me people, change is good!!

Especially when it involves cookies. And chocolate. And peanut butter. And chocolate peanut butter. Baby steps…

So embrace the change with me, people! Let’s make a tiny adjustment to a cookie recipe and yell on the internet about how awesome it is (whining optional).

For these cookies, I took my go-to peanut butter cookie recipe and simply changed the peanut butter to one of my all time PB obsessions: Dark Chocolate Dreams. And the end result is simply amazing. I can’t wait to try this with the White Chocolate Wonderful!! And almond butter.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

*Note: Since the peanut butter I used is all natural, the texture was a bit different from the original cookies. They are a tad less chewy and a tiny bit more crumbly. But still completely delicious!

Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter (or your favorite chocolate nut butter)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or chunks! or nuts! or…)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350Β° , with a rack positioned in the middle of your oven (I don’t have the capacity to have two sheets going at once, I forget to flip/switch them.). Line a jelly roll pan or your standard cookie sheet with a silicone mat, foil or parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, stir together peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

With a cookie scoop (mine is 1 1/2 TBSP in size) scoop, level and plop equal portioned dough balls onto your prepared cookie sheet. Alternatively: with moistened hands, roll dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, into balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. (These are not huge spreaders! So if you want a slightly thinner cookie, gently press down on the top of the cookie to flatten it a bit.)

Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Promise me that you’ll have one warm from the oven?

Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Oatmeal Cream Pies

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Today is a special day.

It’s Mr. Picky-pants’ birthday today!!

It’s also Pi Day (03/14 = 3.14). How lucky he is to be born on Pi Day?! (I was born on Pecan Day and even though I have a very soft spot in my heart for pecans, I firmly believe that I was meant to be born on Brownie Day or I-ate-way-too-many-cookies day, just sayin’). He gets to enjoy all the wonderful pies that people around him make. Oh, wait… he doesn’t like pie. Not one single flavor. Commence eye roll. He’s Mr. Picky-pants for a reason, after-all.

Pie hating aside, I love him and I hope to make his birthday as special as I can. I’m taking him out for some of his fave food with good friends and sending him to work with his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re nice, I’ll share that recipe soon.

Until then, have some oatmeal cream pies.

Originally I wanted to make a mini fruit pie or at least a chocolate pie but motivation and ingredients were low. So Tracey helped remind me that there were loopholes. I quickly exploited that loophole and made these “pies.”

So, grab a cookie-pie and celebrate! Happy Pi Day!

Happy birthday hubby, I love you sooo much!!

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Oatmeal Cream Pies
Yields about 12 cookie sandwiches (24 cookies)

Ingredients:

For the cookies
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick cook oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 /2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the marshmallow filling
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 7-ounce container marshmallow creme
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together until thoroughly mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Scrape down the bowl with the butter/sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low setting until just combined (the flour just disappears).

Use a cookie scoop (mine holds 2 Tablespoons) to measure out dough balls on your prepared cookie sheets. Leave at least 1 inch between cookies (I fit 12 on each cookie sheet and it worked great!)

Bake for 8-11 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the filling:
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and marshmallow creme. Slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and fluffy.

Add a generous dollop of filling to half of the cookies and top with another cookie, lightly pressing down. Enjoy!

Recipe from Baked Bree

Not-So-Mini Madeleines (Rewind #2) – TWD

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I’m such a slacker.

The first “specialty” pan I bought when I first started baking was a madeleine pan. I have made madeleines a total of two times. TWO.

And I love madeleines. So much so that I named my kitty Madeleine. Not to be confused with MadeLINE.

Cute kitty name aside, madeleines are the perfect dessert for breakfast or to nibble alongside your afternoon tea. When made correctly, they are little melt in your mouth shells that have a delicate flavor and a slight sweetness that can warm anyone’s heart. (Way to sound like a Christmas commerical, Jeannette.)

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These were supposed to be mini madeleines but I don’t have a mini pan (and Tony would give me “the look” if I came home with a mini version of a pan I already have LOL) so I made these in a standard (non-stick) mad pan. I upped the salt a bit and added a bit more honey (I just can’t resist the flavor of honey!) I baked my mads with some help from Dorie (thanks for sharing Di!) and all was well πŸ™‚ I baked at 400 degrees in the bottom half of my oven to hopefully off-set them darkening quickly but 10 mins in the oven browned them pretty quickly either way. Still incredibly tasty and some even got the lovely humps πŸ™‚

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For the recipe, head on over to my good friend Di’s blog Di’s Kitchen Notebook.

Pumpkin Butter Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I wonder why, when October rolls around, that I look for ways to turn all normal baked goods into pumpkin baked goods.

I start thinking in pumpkin pies, pumpkin loaves, pumpkin pancakes, even pumpkin cookies.

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But I have never found a thin and chewy pumpkin cookie. The earlier ones I’ve tried were thick and cakey. There’s nothing wrong with thick and cakey but it’s not my favorite texture. Chewy is my favorite. I am in love with chewy.

Enter these cookies. I am in love with these cookies.

They come together just like a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe but have that added punch of pumpkin flavor. They are the epitome of a perfect Autumn spin on run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies.

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Pumpkin Butter Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
barely adapted from How Sweet Eats

makes about 24-30 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pumpkin butter (I used this one)
heaping 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars with a wire whisk until they are combined. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until mixed thoroughly. Stir in the pumpkin butter and mix until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture (I did this in 3 intervals) and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but work it with a rubber spatula and it will all come together. Fold chocolate chips.

Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Once firm, use a 2 tablespoon cookie dough scoop (or eyeball it using a regular spoon) and place on baking sheet with at least 2 inches of space between each cookie.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (mine took 13), or until cookies are crisp and slightly golden on the edges. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes to set, then remove them to a wire rack to cool. Or not cool. Your choice : )

*Note: Let cookie sheet cool between batches. Do not use a hot out of the oven cookie sheet as it will melt the butter and sugar resulting in a flatter cookie. You can quickly cool your baking sheet by popping it in the freezer for just a few minutes.

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Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

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Happy Halloween!!

I probably should have posted this recipe much sooner but if you’re a long time reader, you know how I roll. I procrastinate. And I’m sorry.

But who says the fun has to stop just because Halloween is over? You KNOW you’re going to have left over candy!! And I am going to give you a few ideas in the coming week to use up that candy. IF there is any candy left over by then πŸ˜‰

But for now, let’s talk cookies. These are your run of the mill sugar cookies divided into three batches and colored, stacked, sliced and baked. Simple stuff here folks, but BIG reward. If you want to take it a step further (I’m a minimalist; read: lazy), you can dip the tops in melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.

These cookies are your oyster. Ew. Let’s pretend I didn’t say that…..

It may seem that because there are a fair amount of steps that these are difficult cookies to make: they aren’t!! They involve a bit of chill time and some hands on time but nothing you can’t handle.

If you can handle me using oysters and cookies in the same sentence, you can make these πŸ˜‰

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Candy Corn Sugar Cookies
recipe adapted from Our Best Bites and Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
yellow and orange gel food coloring

Directions:Β 

Note: if you need some process pictures to help you along, head on over to Our Best Bites.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a sifter, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the flour mixture directly onto the butter mixture. Reduce the speed to low and beat until well mixed.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 3 equal portions (I weighed my dough then divided into three, each portion weighed 428 grams).

You’ll leave one of those portions as is (this will be the white part of the candy corn) and then you’ll color one of the remaining portions yellow and one orange.

Tip: When you’re coloring multiple things in a recipe, use one mixing bowl and color starting from lightest to darkest. That way you won’t have to wash your bowl in between.

Grab a loaf pan (it doesn’t matter what size) but if you have an option between a larger and a smaller pan, you might want the smaller one (I used an 8″ x 4.5″). Line your loaf pan with a big piece of plastic wrap leaving an inch overhang on all sides.

The first thing you’ll do is place your uncolored cookie dough in the bottom of the pan and spread it out as flat as you can.

You’re going to have 3 layers of cookie dough and the height of your dough will determine the size of your cookies. In my case, I made a small batch of cookie dough, and if I spread it out all the way in my large loaf pan each layer would be so thin that it would produce teeny tiny cookies so I didn’t spread my dough to the very end. Shoot for about 3/4 inch per layer at least. You can always make larger cookies if desired.

Place 1/3 of cookie dough in your mixing bowl, add a bit of yellow food coloring and mix until you reach your desired color (adding more food coloring as necessary); set aside. Do the same thing with the remaining dough coloring it orange. Place the orange dough on top of the uncolored dough and flatten out. Do the same with the yellow dough. Use the plastic wrap to even out the dough and cover it.

Place the pan in the refrigerator for a few hours, or the freezer for about 30-60 minutes. You’ll want this very chilled, all the way through so it cuts nice and smooth.

When it’s done chilling, unwrap and slice that loaf into about 1/4-inch slices, working a few at at time.

Now just slice your rectangles into triangle pieces.

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 350Β°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your cookie triangles on your baking sheet. Since these are slice and bake cookies, they won’t spread very much at all therefore you don’t need to leave a lot of space between cookies (about 1/2 inch).

Bake until the cookies are lightly golden on the edges, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Enjoy : )

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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As I’m sure I’ve said a billion and one times, I’m from Houston. And here in Houston, there really isn’t such a thing as Autumn. In my opinion, 80-something degree weather isn’t reminiscent of Fall.

But this isn’t me complaining (…yet, give me a few more weeks) but rather relishing in these last few weeks of warm weather.

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The last few weeks of shimmering, golden sunlight gently falling on your sleepy face, peeking through that tiny slit in your curtains that, if it were not for the sun, you’d never notice. The last opportunities to walk around the flea markets hand-in-hand with your husband as you point out all the fluffy, adorable puppies that you demand he buy you, but he never does. The last chances to simply stand outside, stretch and breathe in deeply, inhale the warmth of the sunlight. The last moments to enjoy wearing your favorite feminine, flowy, flowery (alliteration!) tank top before you sadly (and begrudgingly) have to banish it for a few months.

And the last few excuses you have to make delicious, creamy ice cream that reminds you of far away islands.

This ice cream is creamy, flavorful and chocked full of graham cracker goodness. And it’s super simple to whip up. Make this before it’s too late πŸ˜‰

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Cooking Light via Good Life Eats

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup lime juice*
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 graham cracker sheets, coarsely crushed

*Note: I used fresh squeezed lime juice but the original recipe states that bottled lime juice can be used. Just be sure that it is as fresh as possible.

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk; whisk to combine.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment and let it run for the suggested 25 minutes and my ice cream was not what you would consider soft serve, so I let it run for another 10 minutes until it became more solid.

Stir in the crushed graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges or lime zest if you wish.

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Ahhhh, who am I kidding? I love ice cream so much that I’m sure I’ll post more in the Winter months. After all, I am the loon who drinks hot cocoa and eats chili in the Summer and craves ice cream in the Winter.

Thick, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m a thick and chewy cookie kinda gal. I’ve tried crispy and crunchy, thin and chewy, thick and cakey, undercooked, overcooked… any which way you can try a cookie, I’ve tried them that way.

Definitely a thick and chewy girl. Wait, I’m not saying that I’M thick and chewy. And although that’s debatable, I was talking about the cookies.

So when I saw these gems on Jessica’s blog I had stars in my eyes.

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Stars in my eyes people. I’m talking serious cookies here.

These are super easy to whip up and you’re likely to have all the ingredients on hand. There’s no pesky refrigeration time for the cookie dough and no bringing the butter to room temperature. The cookies come out thick, chewy, melty and delicious and…

Like I said, STARS.

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Thick, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from here
makes about 18 cookies

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons of butter, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or sub for more AP flour)
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.

Add butter and peanut butter to a large microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Give the mixture a good whisk until combined and smooth. Let cool completely (pop into the fridge if you’re as impatient as me. Ps: I couldn’t wait for it to cool COMPLETELY, I proceeded with a slightly warm mixture and still yielded great cookies).

In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda and salt until combined and set aside.

In the bowl of the cooled butter/peanut butter mix, add sugars and whisk vigorously until they are combined and no lumps remain. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until combined. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms (I used a rubber spatula and folded in the flour mixture in three parts until just combined). Fold in chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into a ball the size of a golfball (I weighed my dough and divided by 18 to ensure equal sized pieces; mine were about 54 grams each). Place on prepared baking sheet two inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Let cool. Or not, your choice. πŸ˜‰

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