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Tag Archives: cookies

Homemade Nutter Butters – Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

3 Jun

Our family keeps peanut butter in business.  The first time I heard peanut butter was banned in preschool years ago, I panicked.  Stood there and racked my brain for alternative lunch box ideas my then-three-year-old would eat without cajoling.  Since then, we’ve settled into many nut-free lunch options.  But at home, we do peanut butter.  Lots of it.

Homemade Nutter Butters

From Peanut Butter Muffins for breakfast to Peanut Butter Brownie Cups for dessert, we’ve got it covered.  Peanut butter cookies are a hands-down winner around here.  Especially if they resemble the nostalgic Nutter Butters my mom used to bring home, back in the day.

Homemade Nutter Butters 2

These Homemade Nutter Butters are unquestionably the ace of sandwich cookies.  They are the boss of all peanut butter cookies.  The cookie part is addictive all on its own, but when that famous nutter butter filling gets slathered on, these become out of this world.

Homemade Nutter Butters 3

Homemade Nutter Butters taste just like the packaged ones, except these are softer, with an deliciously toothsome bite.  The peanutty filling is fluffy, soft, and reminds me exactly of the store-bought cookie filling.  Without any tongue-twisting ingredients.  You just have to make these cookies yourself to grasp how tasty they are.

Homemade Nutter Butters 4

The cookie shape is all up to you.  Make it a nut, make it round, make them big, make ’em small.  My later batches went towards bite-size sandwich cookies, and they were my favorite.  Sorry, my camera was out of the picture by then 😉  The bite-size cookies were super cute, easier to fill, and less likely to break apart when smashing the little sandwich together.

Any shape or size, these Homemade Nutter Butters are a hit.  Enjoy!

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HOMEMADE NUTTER BUTTERS (PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH COOKIES)
(makes roughly 30 larger cookies or 60 smaller ones)

INGREDIENTS
For the Cookies:
1 cup salted butter, room temp (just slightly soft, not melty at all)
1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

For the Filling:
1 cup salted butter, room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temp
3 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 TB whole milk

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  Set aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter, and both sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium-high.  At medium-low speed, add eggs one at a time and vanilla, mixing until well incorporated.  At low speed, slowly mix in the dry flour mixture.  When dough is combined, wrap tightly in cling wrap, and place in fridge to chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375F.  To make peanut shape, form cookie dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into a long oval shape (1″ x 2″) about 2 inches apart.   Use a fork to make criss cross pattern, and pinch center gently to create peanut shape.  Keep rest of dough cold while you make one batch at a time.  (To make round cookies, flatten 1 inch dough balls into circles about 1/2 inch thick, and use a fork to press pattern on them.)

Bake 8-9 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  Pinch cookie centers again, if needed, to keep peanut shape.  Sprinkle hot cookies with granulated sugar.  Cool a few minutes on baking sheet and finish cooling on wire rack.  Once cookies are completely cooled, they can be filled.

To make the filling:  In a large bowl, beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth and fluffy.  Gradually add in powdered sugar and beat until filling is smooth.  Add 1 TB milk at a time, until desired consistency.  Fill to your heart’s content!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from cookiesandcups.com

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Russian Tea Cakes (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

2 May

It’s about time I posted these Russian Tea Cakes.  These cookies are fabulously popular during the winter holidays, and though Christmas was five months ago, these cookies know no boundaries in time.  Russian Tea Cakes are otherwise known as Mexican Wedding Cakes and Snowballs.  My personal favorite moniker for these cuties are Southern Pecan Butterballs.  Ultimately, they are simply one thing:  melt-in-your-mouth-amazing.

Russian Tea Cakes 4

The simplicity of Russian Tea Cakes is quite deceiving.  Like, don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover deceiving.  They are far more than meets the eye.  These cookies are perfect morsels of nutty sweetness.  They are tenderly crisp and melt into a buttery bliss bite after bite.  After bite.

Russian Tea Cakes 2

Russian Tea Cakes are made with just six ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.  I love the flavor that pecans impart, so I stick with pecans for my nuttiness 🙂  Grinding the pecans allows the texture of the cookies to remain light and airy, and the flavors to infuse seamlessly.

Russian Tea Cakes 3

I think these are Hubby’s new favorite cookie.  The kids inhale them, of course, because what kid doesn’t love plenty of magical powder sugar?  I personally had to share them with friends so I wouldn’t pop all of them into my mouth in one afternoon.

These cookies are known to keep superbly well for many days (even weeks!) in an airtight container.  But seriously, let’s be real – nobody can keep them around that long.  Sounds good in theory.   Enjoy!

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RECIPE for Russian Tea Cakes (40-50 cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup salted butter, room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1 TB vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and finely ground (not to the point of it becoming a paste)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon, depending on taste

DIRECTIONS

Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 5-8 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended.  Add flour and nuts, beating until incorporated.  Remove dough and divide roughly in half.  Wrap each half in plastic and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F, rack on lower middle position.  Whisk together remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and cinnamon in a pie dish.

Take out first half of chilled dough.  Make 1-inch cookie balls and arrange balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.  Bake cookies just until bottoms are light golden brown, 16-17 minutes.  Cool for 5-10 minutes on sheet.  Carefully toss warm cookies in the cinnamon sugar mix, coating completely.  Place cookies on wire rack to finish cooling.  Once fully cooled, re-coat each cookie in cinnamon sugar mix and serve.  Repeat with other half of dough.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

27 Jan

We’re in the final days of Back-to-Healthy month (aka January), and we are still quite oatmeal-happy here in our kitchen.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies 4

My new year’s non-resolution (no official resolutions here) was to eat a lot more oatmeal, a lot more often this year.  I haven’t exactly kept up with my one-bowl-a-day ambition, but healthful oats are finding their way into my everyday baking.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

True, true… these are cookies.  Cookies with chocolate, at that.  But, hey… they are also laden with robust old-fashioned oats.  Not the quick-cooking oats, but the good ol’ old-fashioned oats.  Heartier, chewier, and bigger oat-y taste senstation is the result.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

These are unbelievably scrumptious oatmeal cookies!  For one, they taste like chocolate.  Like a rich chocolate chip cookie with texture…soft in the center and lightly crisp at the edges.  For another, the use of old-fashioned oats give these cookies a satisfying chewiness that you can sink your happy sweet tooth into.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies boast a perfect balance of sweetness with a bit of saltiness, loads of semi-sweet chocolate, and chock-full of natural oats.  Can this combo be any better?!  Oh, yes, they can – because these fab cookies naturally bake up nice and full, without spreading too much.  You can count on a perfectly thick, dense cookie that stays soft and chewy.  Just the way you like ’em. 🙂

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RECIPE (40-50 medium sized cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup regular butter, softened just to room temp (not too soft)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 TB vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
1 (12oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels

DIRECTIONS

In the large bowl of stand mixer, cream together room-temp butter with the white and brown sugars, until fluffy.  Several minutes on medium-high should do it.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Mix in the oats.  Gently work in the chocolate morsels until incorporated.  Dough may be thick and heavy.

Preheat oven to 350F, adjusting rack to lower-middle.  Keep cookie dough in fridge while waiting for oven.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Drop rounded balls of cookie dough, about the size of a walnut, 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Flatten each rounded ball to a 1/2 inch thick cookie.

Bake 8 minutes in preheated oven.  Cookies will seem underdone, but remove them from oven.  If you’re making much larger cookies, remove at 9 minutes.  The key is not to overbake.  They will set upon cooling.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from allrecipes

Note:  If you want less salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp salt.  Cookies stay soft and chewy for a couple of days in airtight container.  They are best on the day they’re baked, but nobody complains about leftovers!  Cookie dough can be wrapped up tightly and kept in fridge for up to a week.

Orange Chocolate Lace Cookies

18 Dec

‘Tis the season for cookies.   Cookie exchanges, cookies on the dessert table, cookies for gift-giving… and cookies in our own cookie jar.  We’ve already been giving away many of our favorite cookies this season.  What to bake up next?

Orange Chocolate Lace Cookies

Orange Chocolate Lace Cookies!  I’ve always admired pretty lace cookies, but they look like they’d be way more work than the usual drop cookies.  In a sudden spirit of adventure, I talked my preschooler out of Word World so we could create  crunchy cookies together.

Orange Chocolate Lace Cookies 2

Surprisingly, these orange lace cookies are unbelievably easy to pull off.   So easy and deliciously tasty.  These cookies boast a fabulous crispiness and depth of flavor that reminds me of toffee.  Only better, because they’re infused with lively orange and then drizzled with chocolate.

orange chocolate lace cookies

Because these orange chocolate lace cookies are super crisp, they keep extremely well.  No worries about the cookies drying out or getting stale.  These little pretties are probably one of the easiest treats for mailing or gifting because of how well they keep.

The kiddos will enjoy watching the bubbling lace pattern develop in the oven.  Science project-slash-dessert?   Yeah, maybe just dessert.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (about 25-30 cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup tightly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup regular butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 TB Cointreau
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup + 2 TB all-purpose flour
1 TB orange zest, finely chopped
4-6 oz semi sweet chocolate morsels, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F and place rack on lower middle position.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, Cointreau, and orange extract in a small but heavy saucepan.  Stir over low heat, until butter melts.  Remove from heat and add flour and orange zest.  Stir to combine.

Drop heaping teaspoons of batter onto parchment lined baking sheet, 2 1/2 inches apart.  Wet hands for easy dough handling.  Place baking sheet in oven and bake until cookies are spread out, bubble up, and golden brown.  About 11-13 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool several minutes before transferring to wire rack.  Finish cooling on wire rack.  Continue baking batches, stirring batter occasionally.

When cookies are completely cool, it’s drizzle time.  Melt chocolate morsels in microwave safe bowl (20 second intervals, stirring in between.)  Scrape melted chocolate into ziploc bag.  Cut a tiny hole in corner of bag, and drizzle on as much warm chocolate as you want.  Cool completely.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Notes:  You can also dip the cookies halfway in melted chocolate in lieu of drizzling.  If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make cookie-curls.  Cool cookies just 1-2 minutes, or until they are warm and pliable.  Curl around handle of wooden spoon.  When firm, slide cookie off.

Double Chocolate Biscotti Cookies

10 Dec

Is anyone else in the heartland feeling the sudden freeze?  The frost has definitely found us in MN.

To all my beautiful Californian family & friends:  I love you dearly and miss you more than you know…but I just can’t read any more Facebook posts about your “weather” out there.   Because it makes me want to cry and go stare longingly at my collection of flip flops.

I need cookies.  Double Chocolate Biscotti cookies to the rescue.

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I know many people in our current Midwestern stomping ground who are enjoying the sudden blanket of heavy snow today.  True, I do enjoy how pristine and beautiful fresh snow can be.  To say the kids were excited is an understatement.  They immediately donned their rugged snow gear and threw themselves into the thick white powder, and “helped” Daddy shovel.

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But some snow days (today) are semi-crazy.  When huge snow plows can’t keep up, when too many cars are stuck on the side of roads, and when people (Hubby) spend all of Sunday clearing the driveway… well, that’s not such great fun.  Semi-crazy days like today are good for staying in.  Ok, we didn’t really stay in…not at all.  But it would have been a good day for it.

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For those mornings or afternoons when you can stay in and sip on a hot mug of coffee or tea… bring in these double chocolate Biscotti cookies.  They are the perfect dunking cookie.  I used to think Biscotti would be tricky to make from scratch, but I started making these a few years ago and fell in love with homemade Biscotti.  They are pretty straighforward, extremely flexible (any fave add-ins would be yummy), and best of all?  They keep so, so well.  Biscotti is classically crisp in texture (dunking perfection) and they stay nicely crunchy at room temp for days.  Or frozen for much longer.

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This recipe will make enough Biscotti to give away as yummy Christmas treats, or you can keep some in the freezer for a quick morning or afternoon treat when you need it.   In fact, I just made a batch to give to my girlfriend’s lovely family.  There was enough leftover to go with Hubby’s coffee at breakfast.  And kids’ afternoon snack.  And my breakfast + snack.

To make it Christmas-y, I added dried cranberries.  They are a perfect addition for a holiday breakfast/brunch or cookie exchange.  Enjoy these cookies, stay warm, and romp a little in the snow.  If you’re lucky enough to get snow 🙂

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RECIPE (approx. 40-50 cookies)

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup canola or light olive oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 300F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix oil and sugar until well blended.  Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and eggs.  Beat until well incorporated.  Gradually stir egg mixture in with the flour mixture.  Mix in cranberries and semi sweet chocolate chips by hand.  Dough may be sticky; place in fridge for 30 minutes to help with stickiness.

Divide dough into equal thirds (using wet hands here will help with sticky fingers.)  Form each third into logs, about 12×3 each, on the parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake 35-40 minutes on middle rack, until lightly brown and mostly firm to the touch.  Place light cloth over logs and cool for at least 30 minutes or until they are almost room temp.  Turn oven down to 275F.

Carefully cut cooled logs on diagonal, into slices that are a little less than 1 inch thick.  Depending on your knife, you might either press down very gently to get clean cuts, or you might use a gentle sawing motion.  I use my sharp bread knife.  Lay Biscotti onto their sides, on parchment covered baking sheets.  Bake 10 minutes.  Flip and bake 10 minutes more.  Biscotti is done when they feel dry.  Cool on cooling racks.

Melt white chocolate in small bowl in microwave, in approx. 30 second increments, until smooth and melted.  Transfer melted white chocolate into a plastic baggie, cut a very tiny hole in bottom corner, and drizzle over Biscotti.  Happy dunking!

By: Chewoutloud

Note:  If desired, you can do an egg wash over the dough logs before baking.  Just beat 1 egg with 1 TB water and brush onto logs.

Pumpkin Bars with Biscoff Crumble

13 Nov Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

There’s no denying it … ‘Tis the season for pumpkins galore.  Gone with the carving variety, in with the baking ones.  Actually, you won’t find my baking pumpkin inside these particular pumpkin bars, since my cute little orange gourd is awaiting its transformation into our Thanksgiving pie.  But, back to the bars.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

If you’re looking for something scrumptiously pumpkin, that’s not followed by the word “pie,” and that’s a fool proof crowd-pleaser, search no further.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

“YUM!!”  That’s exactly what I scribbled on my recipe notes after taking a bite into these.  I am fond of baking dessert bars, as they are pretty fuss free and generally turn out well.  I’ve wanted to make pumpkin bars for awhile, and decided to try out these Biscoff ones because they sounded exceptionally delish.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

Can you capture the delightfully tempting aroma and taste of these little squares, just a little teensy bit?  Imagine something in between a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin bread.  Sink your sweet tooth into a chewy, moist, flavorful filling – sandwiched between a crisp bottom crust and a crunchy cookie topping.

Biscoff Pumpkin Bars

The bottom crust stays nicely crisp with the inclusion of oats and pecans.  The crumb topping is heavenly, with lots of Biscoff cookie goodness.

I must credit my father-in-law for his hand in my Biscoff cookie addiction, as he has a knack for bringing us packages of it when he visits.  After I realized they aren’t studded with artificial anything, I started looking for them at stores, and noticed how quickly they flew off shelves.  Now I keep some in my pantry just in case someone needs a natural pick-me-up 🙂

Bake a batch and watch them disappear.

RECIPE (one 9×13 pan)

INGREDIENTS

Bottom Crust
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup pecans, diced

Crumb Topping
1 cup of the above crust mixture
1 cup crushed Biscoff cookies
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Filling
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/8 cup olive oil
2 cups pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F.

Crust:  In a large bowl, combine both flours, oats, sugar, butter, baking soda, and salt.  Beat at low speed until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in nuts.  Reserve 1 cup for crumb topping.  Press remaining mixture on bottom of a greased and floured 13×9 baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes on middle rack.  Set aside to cool a bit while you make the filling.

Filling:  In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, butter, oil, and pumpkin until well mixed.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger.  Fold dry and wet ingredients together until well incorporated.  Pour filling onto pre-baked crust.

Topping:  Mix together 1 cup of reserved crust mixture, 1 cup Biscoff cookies, and cinnamon.  Sprinkle on top of pumpkin filling.  Bake 30-33 minutes on middle-lower rack.  It’s done when toothpick comes out mostly clean.  (A few tender crumbs attached is perfect.)

Cool and chill before cutting.  Once that first piece is out, the rest should be easy.  Cut into bars and store in fridge until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

By chewoutloud, adapted from Biscoff Recipes

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