Posts Tagged 'cookies'

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now that I’m getting closer to the end of my pregnancy, I haven’t been cooking or baking nearly as much as I used to.  There are two reasons for this.  First, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time preparing for my babies to arrive, and second, I just don’t have the energy to spend hours in my kitchen like I used to.  I used to cook or bake something almost every day, but now it’s more like only once or twice a week.  Lucky for me, I married a man that likes to cook too, so he has been making a lot of our dinners lately.  :)  These days when I do cook, I’ve been choosing simpler, less time consuming recipes, so that I have more time to rest (and tackle my never-ending to-do list!)

These peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a great example of the type of recipes I have been baking lately.  They take less than 20 minutes to make (plus cooking time).  If you’re fortunate enough to have your sister (or a friend) over to help you like I was, they take even less time!  :)  And all of the ingredients are common pantry items, so no special trip to the grocery store is needed.  These cookies are the perfect thing to make to satisfy your sweet tooth.  They are soft, chewy, and filled with the flavors of chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal – a classic and delicious combination.  I’m sure I will be making these cookies again and again!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and beat to combine.  On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined.  Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.
  3. If desired, you may refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, but no more than 36 hours.
  4. A few minutes before you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden and just set in the center.  Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: 16-18 cookies

Source: Kristine’s Kitchen; Originally adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

One Year Ago: Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few days ago I was in the mood for chocolate chip cookies.  Typically when I make chocolate chip cookies I use either Nestle’s Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe or Baking Illustrated’s Thick & Chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I love both of those recipes, but since I’m expecting, I wanted to try a recipe that was a little bit healthier, so I made these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies instead.  In reality, they are probably not that much better for you (cookies are cookies after all!) but the fact that there is quite a bit of oatmeal in them does make me feel better about indulging in them.  :)

These cookies are so delicious – I love the chewy texture and the oatmeal flavor really comes through in them.  The secret to these cookies is that the oats are finely ground into a powder (instead of being left whole) before they are mixed into the batter.  I really like how the oatmeal powder provides the flavor (and health benefits!) of oats but with a much smoother texture than other oatmeal cookies.  I used semisweet chocolate chips in my cookies, but you could also use dark or milk chocolate, or omit the chocolate altogether and just make plain oatmeal cookies.  I hope you find these cookies as irresistible as I do!

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (add a pinch more for softer cookies)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12-16 ounces chocolate chips (semisweet, milk, dark chocolate, or a combination – add more or less chocolate depending on your taste)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  3. After measuring out the rolled oats, place them in a food processor and process them until they turn to powder.
  4. Place all of the dry ingredients (oatmeal powder, flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda) in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix until fully incorporated.  Then add the chocolate and nuts and mix to combine.  Place rounded tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the cookie sheets (a cookie scoop works well for this).
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield:  Approximately 5 dozen cookies

Source: Adapted from a family friend

One Year Ago: Beach Ball Sugar Cookies

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

I am happy to report that I have finally found the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe!  Before finding this little gem, I tried a couple of mediocre recipes.  In my opinion, the perfect peanut butter cookie must be soft, chewy, and flavorful.  The other two recipes I tried resulted in crunchy cookies, which is the opposite of what I was hoping for.  After the first two recipes I tried (both from cookbooks that I own) failed to produce a soft and chewy cookie, I turned to the internet to look for a new recipe.  And what better way to find a soft and chewy peanut butter cookie recipe than to Google “Soft & Chewy peanut butter cookies” ?!  Several search results came up, and I came across this one.  With 39 five-star reviews, this Mrs. Field’s recipe sounded promising.

After making these cookies, this recipe certainly wins my seal of approval!  These peanut butter cookies are soft, chewy and perfectly peanut butter flavored.  And they are so easy to make too.  Both of the other recipes I tried required you to roll the cookie dough into balls and then into sugar… which is a lot of extra work if you ask me.  For this recipe, I just used my 1-inch cookie scoop to measure out the dough balls, placed them on the cookie sheet, and baked them- so much easier than having to roll each dough ball into sugar!  The hardest part about making this recipe is that the cookies must bake for 20 minutes, so that means you have to wait 20 minutes to eat one!  :/  But trust me, they are worth the wait.  :)

I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, so I added chocolate squares to some of the cookies. To do this, just press a small square of chocolate (I used Hershey’s) into the center of the cookie right after you take the cookies out of the oven. The chocolate will melt into the hot cookie.

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda & salt) together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined.  Add the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla extract; beat until fluffy.  On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just mixed into the butter mixture (do not overmix)!
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoonful, 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned, approximately 18-20 minutes.  Remove from the cookie sheets and let cool.

Notes –

  • Do not over bake the cookies or they won’t be soft and chewy.
  • The dough for these cookies is really soft.  I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes before baking the cookies, and it will be much easier to work with!

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies (depending on size)

Source:  slightly adapted from Food.com

One Year AgoLemony Couscous with Peas and Chicken

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The name of these cookies says it all – they are chocolaty, chewy and thick.  Even though they are large cookies, it’s still hard to eat just one!  My sister gave me this recipe, and it’s originally from the Baking Illustrated cookbook.  She said these are the best chocolate chip cookies she’s ever made, and I definitely have to agree with her!

One thing I like about this recipe is that it is so quick to make.  It literally took me less than 20 minutes to mix up the dough and put the cookie dough on the cookie sheets.  A few things  that speed up this process for me are to use a kitchen scale to measure the flour and sugars.  Then you don’t have to fumble around with different sized measuring cups, and it’s also more accurate.  Another trick is to use a ¼ cup cookie scoop to measure the dough balls before baking.  This is so much faster than “guessing” the amount of dough for each cookie, and the squeeze handle on the cookie scoop makes it so easy to release the dough onto the pans.  It also ensures that all of the cookies will be exactly the same size.

I first made these cookies last summer for a BBQ (they were devoured so quickly!), and I made them again this past weekend to have on hand for whenever I get a cookie craving!  If you have extra cookies, I recommend storing them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag to keep them fresh.  Eric likes to eat them crunchy and cold straight from the freezer, but I prefer to warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds – this makes them soft and gooey, just like they are when they come out of the oven.  Whether you prefer to eat them cold or warm, they are delicious!  And, truth be told, there are only 2 cookies left in my freezer… and I only made these 4 days ago.  Maybe having cookies on hand tempting me from the freezer is not such a good idea after all! :)

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended.  Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips to taste.
  4. Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball (a ¼ cup cookie scoop works great for this).  Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 ½ inches apart.
  5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.  Cool the cookies on the sheets.  Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.

Yield: about 18 large cookies

Source: slightly adapted from Baking Illustrated

Using a cookie scoop makes measuring out the dough so easy!

See how thick these cookies are?

Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I added a few M&Ms to these cookies to make them look a little more festive!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Here are a few photos of the sugar cookies I made for Christmas this year.  I used cookie cutters in the shape of presents, peppermints, Christmas trees, candy canes, and holly leaves.  I also used my crinkle-edge-square cookie cutter to make cookie place cards/favors for a family Christmas dinner.  These cookies were so much fun to decorate!  The recipes for the sugar cookies and royal icing are posted below.  Enjoy!

Presents. This is a new cookie cutter that I got from Target this year. It would be perfect for birthday present sugar cookies too.

Lots of Christmas trees!

 

Holly leaves

 

Peppermints. The cookie cutter is from http://www.coppergifts.com. And the design was inspired by the book “Cookie Craft Christmas” by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer.

Candy canes

 

Cookie favors and place cards

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Blend in the egg, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and flour.
  3. Chill the dough until firm.
  4. Roll the dough out to ¼” thickness on a well-floured surface.
  5. Cut with cookie cutters.  Place on greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheets, and bake at 375° for 8-10 min. The cookies should not brown.
  6. Frost and decorate the cookies when cool.

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on size

Source: Annie’s-Eats

Royal Icing

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons meringue powder
  • scant ½ cup water
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • few drops almond extract (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine the meringue powder and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat until combined and foamy.
  2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)
  3. Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. (The corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.) Increase the speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.  (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining cookies or piping details onto cookies. To fill in the cookies, add water to the icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. (This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”)

Yield: This will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies in 2 colors.  (I usually double this recipe.)

Source:  Bake at 350

And here is a photo of the Christmas cookies I made last year (in 2009).  This was the first time I had ever used royal icing to decorate cookies.  As you can see from this photo, practice really does make perfect!  This year, my royal icing colors were so much richer (ie- they are actually red and dark green instead of pink and pale green!)  To get the icing colors to look like this, I now use only Americolor gel food coloring.

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Cookies

Yesterday I visited Kristine (my sister), and since we enjoy baking together so much, we decided that we needed to try a new recipe.  Last time we made Apple Pocket Pies, but today we wanted to make something a little quicker and easier.  These chewy chocolate cookies were the perfect choice, and they satisfied our afternoon chocolate craving!

The combination of cocoa powder, melted dark chocolate, chocolate chunks, and espresso powder make these cookies ultra rich and super chocolaty. We recommend enjoying these cookies with a cold glass of milk.  Dark Chocolate-Espresso cookies would also be a great addition to your holiday baking list.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces melted and 4 ounces coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350, with racks in upper and lower third positions. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla. Combine espresso powder and melted chocolate; beat into butter mixture. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  3. Drop dough by two heaping tablespoons, 3 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are dry, 14 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. (To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.)

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

Source: Martha Stewart

One Year Ago: Broccoli Soup




Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

I recently purchased Fine Cooking Magazine’s special holiday cookie issue, and when I flipped through the magazine, this was one of the first recipes that caught my attention.   I made these cookies for a family BBQ last weekend and they were a big hit.  The base of the cookie is a chocolate shortbread, and the centers are topped with a mint-chocolate filling.  For a festive touch, I sprinkled a few Halloween colored nonpareils on top.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 5 ¼ oz. (1 cup plus 2 ½ Tbsp.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ oz. (1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. table salt
  • granulated sugar, to roll the cookie dough balls in before baking

For the Chocolate- Mint Filling:

  • 4 oz. (3/4 cup) chopped semisweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
  • 1 ½ oz. (3 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • Scant ¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract

Directions

Make  the cookies:

  1. Sift the flour and cocoa together into a medium bowl. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt; continue beating until blended and smooth, about 1 minute more. Add the flour-cocoa mixture and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll into balls, 40 to 60 minutes.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.
  3. Using your palms, roll heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough into 1-inch balls.   Roll each ball into granulated sugar to coat.  Arrange the dough balls 2 inches apart on the lined sheets. With a lightly floured thumb or index fingertip, press straight down into the middle of each ball almost to the cookie sheet to make a deep well. (Or use the end of a thick-handled wooden spoon.)
  4. Bake one sheet at a time until the tops of the cookies look dry, 8 to 9 minutes. Gently redefine the indentations with the end of a wooden spoon. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and then let them cool completely on racks.

Make the filling:

  1. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of almost simmering water. Stir with a heatproof spatula until almost melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until melted and smooth, about 30 seconds more. Stir in the mint extract.
  2. Let the filling cool, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and a bit warmer than room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes. Spoon the filling into a small pastry bag with a small plain tip. (Or use a small plastic bag and cut a tiny bit off a bottom corner of the bag.) Pipe the filling into the center of each cookie. Cool completely before serving or storing.  The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Cookies, Brownies, & Bars Issue


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