Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Last month I discovered foodgawker. Have you heard of it? It’s a website for foodies to submit photos of their culinary creations. Each photo links to the corresponding blog post that has information about the recipe. I was immediately hooked and spent quite a bit of time browsing around. I discovered lots of new-to-me food blogs, and that’s how I found this recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Two Peas and Their Pod. These cookies are different from any other oatmeal cookie I have ever tasted. They are very soft, moist, and almost fragile. Both the Hubby and I loved them — I even made them twice over the Memorial Day weekend!


Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies

Most of the time, I only write about food that turned out at least acceptably decent. Why waste time with recipes that I wouldn’t recommend, right? So while I like the food I post about, seldom do I say something is so awesome that you should make it now. But these Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies? Unless you are allergic to peanut butter, you should make them now.

Flourless Peanut Chocolate Cookies

Oiyi sent me the link to the recipe awhile back, and it’s been in my queue ever since. I was actually planning to bake brownies one night until I realized that I didn’t have enough sugar, but I had just enough on hand for these cookies. They use one bowl with no mixer required and are super easy and delicious. I omitted the salted peanuts because I didn’t have any. I did notice that the chocolate chips tasted just a little “off”, but I couldn’t put a finger on what was wrong. Coincidentally, a few days later I read the peanut butter cookie recipe in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, which uses milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. The recipe note indicated that semi-sweet chips can taste bitter with peanut butter. So maybe that accounts for what I tasted? Next time, I will try milk chocolate chips instead but I don’t think it mattered too much — the cookies were still a total hit with my colleagues!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

After my last post about peanut butter cookies, my friend Jennifer kindly gave me this amazing recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies. These cookies are really delicious and have made it on my list of all-time favorites. Here is the recipe, with my notes in brackets.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
From the book Cooking for Your Dragon (Leslie Brumagin, Managing Editor, with stories and lore by Bonnie Davis, based on characters created by Randal Spangler)

1 cup butter [at room temperature]
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa [unsweetened]
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (12 oz) package peanut butter chips [I only found the 10 oz package]

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until blended. [I whisked together the dry ingredients in separate bowl and then added to them to the creamed mixutre.] Drop in heaping tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes [12 minutes worked for me]. Makes about 3 dozen. [I must like my cookies smaller, because I got 2 dozen from a half batch.]

Make sure to have a glass of milk nearby!

On a related note, for those of you who love cookies but can’t finish your batch before they go stale — like yours truly — you can freeze half the dough and bake it later. I’ve done it successfully with these cookies and with regular chocolate chip ones as well. I use the King Arthur tablespoon cookie scoop and place the scoops of dough close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the dough balls for at least a couple of hours (so that they aren’t sticky anymore). Place the now-frozen dough into a ziplock bag, and you’re all set! I bake them straight from the freezer for the same amount of time as the recipe calls for. A quick Google search showed recommendations for baking 1-2 minutes longer, but I haven’t needed to do that. The results taste great and I love having easy access to freshly-baked cookies made from scratch.

Happy baking!


In Search of the Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but I have yet to find the perfect cookie recipe that incorporates both ingredients. Awhile back I tried the one from Smitten Kitchen (found here), but sadly they didn’t work out for me. They came out extremely flat and were way too sweet for my taste.

A couple of weeks ago, I baked a batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies using an Everyday Food recipe. I thought they turned out pretty decent. I used 8 oz of chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups) because that was all I had on hand. I also used a mixture of reduced fat creamy and reduced fat super chunky peanut butter. The peanut butter flavor came out quite good — I could taste it, but it wasn’t overwhelming. The only thing I didn’t like? The cookies became very hard and crispy after they cooled. I prefer a much softer cookie, so I ended up microwaving my cookies before I ate them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’m planning to try this recipe again, with the following mods in the hopes that I will achieve the texture I am striving for:
(1) use a cookie scoop to get more of a “mound” shape
(2) mix full fat with reduced fat peanut butter
(3) reduce baking time from 14 minutes to 13 minutes

Do any of you have suggestions that might work or a favorite PB chocolate chip recipe to share?


Andes Crème De Menthe Cookies

I first encountered the Andes Crème De Menthe Cookies at a party about a year ago. I asked the hostess for the recipe, but the problem was that I could not locate the requisite Andes Mint baking chips. Fast forward to last week, when a colleague of mine — the same one who gave me the the recipe for these other Andes Mint cookies — mentioned that he found the baking chips at the new Target in town.

Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies

The recipe was a bit interesting to me. I’m certainly not an expert baker, but most recipes I’ve used seem to call for the baking soda and baking powder to go in with the dry ingredients. This recipe (which is essentially the same as the one on the back of the package) has the baking soda+powder mixed in at the same time as the sugars, butter, and eggs. Second, most recipes call for brown sugar to be packed when measured. This one didn’t say either way, so I opted for somewhere in between packed and loose. Third, the recipe gave a weight measurement for the size of the dough balls instead of a volume or diameter measurement. Yes, I did bust out the scale.

While these cookies tasted perfectly fine to me, I can’t say I particularly lliked them. It felt like I was eating one large Andes Mint without really tasting any cookie. I guess my memory of them was better than the actual thing.


Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Recipe from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. This was my first time eating Mexican Wedding Cookies so I have no idea what they are “supposed” to taste like, but I thought these were pretty darn good. I love the flavors of the pecans and almond extract as well as the light and airy texture. This recipe has made my Favorite Cookie List as I can’t seem to eat just one! Photo taken by Hubby.


(Chocolate) Cream Cheese Cookies

creamcheesecookies.jpg

My mother-in-law has a tradition of gifting assorted homemade cookies at Christmas. By far, our favorite cookie is this fudge-y tasting one. I finally remembered to ask her for the recipe, which came from the Betty Crocker cookbook she received as a wedding present in the mid 1970s. I was rather surprised to discover the “secret” ingredient: devil’s food cake mix.

I found the gist of the recipe online here. The original recipe calls for either yellow cake mix or devil’s food cake mix, although obviously your results would be different if you use the former. I used reduced fat cream cheese. Also, if you make petite cookies the yield is more like six or seven dozen instead of three…which is a lot of cookies, so we gave most of them away!