Peanut Butter Cookies

Today I share with you the very first recipe my Taste Tester ever made for me. We had only been dating about a month and he surprised me with these when I stopped by to visit one rainy afternoon. After the first bite of these warm and gooey cookies, I knew, he was a keeper.

I ate far too many of these that afternoon. This recipe produces big, soft chewy cookies with a nice peanut butter flavor. He found the recipe in some old church cookbook his mom (now my mother in-law) had purchased for him. Little did she know it would help him snag a wife :)

Whenever I have a bad day, or if he just wants to cheer me up, these are cookies he makes for me and they always bring a smile to my face. If you are looking for a great basic peanut butter cookie recipe, here is one to try!

I rate this recipe a 9

Peanut Butter Cookies
no author

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup butter flavor Crisco (or butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Reese’s Pieces (as many as you want)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray mini muffin pan with cookie spray

In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix until combined. Stir in Reese’s Pieces.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out about 2 TBS of dough, shape into a ball. Slightly press down on baking sheet.

Bake for about 8-12 minutes or until golden. Do not overbake.

.Remove from oven to cool.

Neiman Marcus Cookies

I have been making this recipe since I was 10 years old. It is one of the first cookie recipes I ever made on my own.  I never knew the controversy behind it (we are talking pre-internet days in the rural Midwest). I never knew the story behind this recipe and thought it was just another cookie recipe in my mom’s church cookbook. I loved trying recipes out of those books! It was so neat to make recipes submitted by our neighbors and family, heck they were celebrities in my mind. I wanted to get a recipe into that cookbook so bad. Ah, dreams as a child.
I must have been living under a rock (or the MIdwest) because it wasn’t until recently that I realized the cookies I enjoyed making as a child are actually quite famous. I know there are a few variations of the recipe but this is the one I am most familiar with and used to make.

These cookies were a favorite in my family. I enjoyed using the blender to whirl the oatmeal, it made this recipe a bit more special than others I made. The blended oatmeal creates a chewy texture and a bit of nuttiness that takes this cookie to another level flavor wise. Over the years I have modified the recipe a bit but the original I used to make is the same as the one in the link below.

I have found that a tad less butter does not sacrifice flavor or texture and a larger ratio of brown to white sugar gives a creates a chewier texture and a deeper flavor profile. I also don’t blend the oatmeal to a flour but instead allow a bit of the texture to remain, sort of in between flour and oatmeal. I have also found I much prefer the mix of semisweet and milk chocolate chips, they play off of each other so well! I also highly recommend the walnuts (toasted preferably). They really compliment this cookie. If you have never made these before, go ahead and try the original (from the link) and adapt to your own preferences.

Overall these are a great cookie when you want a chocolate chip cookie but something a little bit out of the ordinary (not totally crazy). My Taste Tester enjoyed these but not as much as I do. He suggested next time to add a bit more flour to make them a bit “thicker” to suit his preferences. I also would like to brown half the butter next time to further develop the nutty undertones.

I rate these cookies an 8

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
adapted from here

2½ cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature or slightly softer
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract6

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces milk chocolate chips
1½ cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 . Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Blend the oats in a food processor or blender to a course powder. In a medium bowl whisk together the blended oats with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. On low speed gradually mix in the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. With a rubber spatula fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Roll the dough into 2-ounce balls  and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cookies should be lightly brown and set on the outside but still look a little undone in the middle. (this will keep them soft after cooling). Store in an airtight container.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My dad visited us a week ago and while he is not a huge sweet lover he does have a special place in his heart for chewy chocolate chip cookies. Not the cakey type, but just a nice soft cookie that you can sink your teeth into and that will hold up well after a quick dunk in some cold milk. Determined to please my father’s craving, I whipped a batch of cookies that I knew would fit the ‘soft and chewy’ bill.

I have had this recipe for what seems like a decade. I rarely make these, not because they are not good, but because I never seem to have their ‘special’ ingredient in my pantry. These cookies use vanilla pudding mix as their secret weapon  that allows them to remain soft and chewy long after cooling. It is the cornstarch in the pudding (or so I hear) that holds the magical power. You can use other flavors, I like butterscotch and vanilla the best. 

Just as I knew these would, they baked up gorgeous (slightly lighter in color that other cookies) and had the perfect texture my dad was looking for. How was the flavor? Well, for a non-sweet  eater, the proof in the taste was that he ate 6 of them right after he finished off steak and potatoes for dinner.

Like I said, these are not cakey but do bake up a bit fuller than other cookies. They remail soft and chewy after cooling and have great taste. If you have the ingredients, take some time and whip these up!

I am unsure where I received this recipe or where it originated from since it is on a random piece of paper in my cookbook but will give credit to the blog that most recently made these in my google.reader account.

I rate these cookies an 8.5
My dad rates these a 9.5

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
as seen here

2 1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup  brown sugar
1/4 cup  granulated sugar
1 small (3.4oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix (or other flavor)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips (i used milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate)

Preheat your oven to 350. Line yourbaking sheet with parchment.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing  bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the pudding mix and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition eggs. Add vanilla.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop rounded spoonfulls of cookie dough onto prepared pan.
Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden and set.
Let  cool on sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool fully.


Chewy Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate, Toffee, Peanut Butter and Almonds

After polishing off an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” ice cream, I was craving more………….must be the weather.  Instead of buying and eating another entire carton of ice cream I decided to make a cookie that encompassed the same flavors as my Ben and Jerry’s because it is harder to eat an entire batch of cookies than it is to inhale that tub of ice cream (or maybe not, as I found out).

I started with this recipe that I have used a number of times when I craved chocolate but didn’t feel like a brownie but modified it a bit.

The recipe produces a soft, chewy cookie that lends itself to being the perfect backdrop for a number of add-in possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, the cookie itself still shines, it just does so in a ‘not-in-your-face’ sort of way. I have to say that this recipe more than hit the spot. I found myself grabbing one every time I entered the kitchen which I made sure was quite frequent. Like many chocolate cookies, I find the flavor only improves as they cool and seems to intensify a bit.  After cooling a bit the cookie remains soft and chewy with a bit of creaminess from the white chocolate, a bit of saltiness from the peanut butter cups and a bit of sweetness from the toffee and a bit of crunch from the nuts. All in all, these cookies have something for everyone.

These were so dangerous for me, I ended up taking them to a work event just to get them out of my house. Needless to say these were polished off in no time flat by the gentlemen and several commented “these are so much better than anything my mom every made”. The best compliment one can get in my book.

I have amounts for the ‘add-ins’ listed below but feel free to add more or less of an ingredient, I just eye-balled it and when by what I had on hand.

I rate this cookie a 9

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate, Toffee, Peanut Butter and Almonds
inspired by Ben and Jerry’s Everything But…. ice cream 

2 cups flour
½  cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½  teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
4 oz. good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
½ cup chopped chocolate covered Almonds (or regular almonds)
¾  cup toffee pieces
1  heaping and overflowing of cup chopped peanut butter cups (I used Reese’s)

*again, add more ‘add-ins’ if you want, i just didnt’ have any more on hand or i might have upped the amount of white chocolate and almonds for sure!

In a small bowl wisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Melt the semi-sweet and bittersweet chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Be careful not to scorch or burn chocolate. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl wisk the eggs, vanilla and Espresso powder until combined.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat another minute. Add the egg mixture until well mixed. Gently add the melted and cooled chocolate and beat until combined

Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Do not overbeat. Gently fold in your ‘add-in’ options.
Cover with dough with lid or plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudge like, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set but centers are soft.

Allow cookies to cool on sheets about 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

It seems as though I am on a chocolate and peanut butter kick lately, must be the stress and anxiety of waiting for Spring to finally arrive!

I am sure many of you have already made these cookies or have at least eaten one. This is a quick and easy recipe that whips up in no time and does NOT require an oven or any baking making them perfect when the warm weather comes around and you are not wanting to heat up the oven but still desire a sweet treat. This recipe is one my family has been using for years so I am unsure of its origin, if you know, drop me a line and I will include it in my blog.

While this recipe includes common ingredients and whips up in no time, I do find these cookies can be a bit  temperamental. Ideally, you will end up with a cookie that holds its shape but is still fudgelike upon cooling. Many people either have problems with their cookies not setting up and remaining too gooey or being too dry and crumbly after cooling. These problems can both be avoided with the proper boil time. You could use a candy thermometer I suppose but why dirty another item and frankly, I don’t like them. I prefer to be more diligent and careful when boiling the mixture.

If you don’t boil the mixture long enough the final cookies will not firm and set up nicely (Though will still taste marvelous). If you boil too long, the final cookie will be dry and fall apart easily (and not too marvelous).

I find that timing 60-90 seconds once the mixture comes to a ROLLING boil (not just a simmer) work out well for me every time.

Now, on to the final cookie. If you are not familiar with these cookies their texture and flavor is like eating a piece of chocolate fudge with a slight peanut butter flavorlingering in the background. The oatmeal gives these structure and helps them keep their shape and texture.   Be sure to work quickly as they tend to begin to set up in about 3-5 minutes making scooping out difficult.

I like to tell myself because oatmeal is included these are ahealthy snack and can and should be consumed at breakfast. Want more reasons to make these? Ok, you can eat the ‘dough’ and lick the spoon (shouldn’t do this until done with scooping out all of the dough. No one wants slobber on their cookies) since there are no raw eggs, you can make these all different sizes since they don’t need to cook (just keep in mind if they are too big they will need more time to set up) and lastly, well, anything with peanut butter and chocolate has to be great right?

Give these cookies a try, they are great to make when you don’t have a ton of time as it does not take long for them to set up, if you are transporting them, however, I would wait for them to set up at least an hour at room temperature or 30 minutes in the fridge or they may still together. Also, I would keep them stored in a single layer or with multiple layers separated by waxed paper.  Keep these stored in a covered container so they don’t dry out (not that they will last that long).

I rate these cookies an 8.5

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1 ¾ cup sugar
½ cup milk (I use 1%)
1 stick butter cut into chunks
4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup cream peanut butter (could use crunchy)
3 cups quick cooking oats (I use a mixture of quick cooking and old fashioined as that is what I had on hand)
1 teasppon vanilla

Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper.

Measure out 3 cups oatmeal in a bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa.
Bring to a boil. One boiling time for about  1 1/2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Immediately stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add oats, and vanilla.  Stir to combine:

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper until set, store in sealed container at room temp.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These cookies have been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. Many of my Christmas’s were spent hanging out by the treat tray gobbling these up without being too obvious. I ate way more than my fair share and often had a stomach ache by dinner.

Were these worth it? Yep.There is something about the combination of peanut butter and chocolate that makes me go weak in the knees. While these have been a favorite of mine for years, this is actually the first time that I have made them! Usually I wait all year long for Christmas and gorge myself on the ones my relatives make.

However, an urge, a strong urge, called me to make these now and not wait. Maybe it is the changing weather, maybe it was the stressful week at work, whatever reason I gave in to my craving and just like Christmas, enjoyed too many to count. I am sure many of you are familiar with the recipe or at least the concept of the cookie.

Basically it is a peanut butter cookie baked in a mini muffin pan and then a miniature Reese’s peanut butter cup is smooched into it before they cool. What you end up with is a sweet and slightly salty peanut butter and chocolate treat. The size makes them perfect for enjoying more than 1 or 2 or 5 in one setting.These are a breeze to whip up but without a couple of tips can be frustrating to make.

First whip up the dough. I rolled them into balls, lightly rolled in sugar and then placed them into the lightly greased muffin tin. I used the back of my ½ Tablespoon to make an indentation into the balls so placing the peanut butter cup would be easier and less messy. (I have found if you press the dough using your fingers up the side of the cups that the edges do not turn out smooth and even but rather look jagged and less ‘cute’). Second, make sure your peanut butter cups are cool (I chill mine while the cookies bake). This makes them easier to push into the hot cookies. Last, I pop them back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes after I push down the peanut butter cup, this makes them melty and more cohesive.

Since I lightly grease the pan before baking these are usually a breeze to come out after cooling down. Overall, these have a special place in my heart not only for their taste but for the memories they bring back to me everytime I bite into one.

Go ahead, make some memories for yourself and bake some up today! Maybe these can be your Spring-is-coming cookie!

I rate this recipe a 9

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Adapted from allrecipes.com
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
30-40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped (depending how many cookies you make), chilled
Sugar for rolling dough balls (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray mini muffin pan with cookie spray

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla and milk. Continue mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix until combined.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out about 1 TBS of dough, shape into a ball.
Lightly roll in sugar. Place into mini muffin pan.

Bake for about 8 minutes.Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Brownie and Mini Chip Roll Out Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Today you get a treat and get TWO recipes in one post! How sweet is that? Ok, enough with the bad puns.

I chose to veer away from the ordinary this Valentine’s Day and not make the usual sugar cookies. I knew I still wanted to be able to make them into cute hearts and decorate them up with frosting and sprinkles if time allowed. After searching for a while I decided on two roll-out cookie recipes.This chocolate one from Smitten Kitchen and a chocolate chip version from Very Best Baking.

Both recipes were whipped up in no time, about 10 minutes each. They both did require an hour chill in the fridge before being ready to get rolled and baked. That gave me plenty of time to wash up some dishes and get prepared with my rolling pin and cookie cutters.After an hour chill both doughs were firm yet easy to work with and roll. I had no problems with either dough sticking to the counter or pin. This may because I lightly covered the counter and the pin with cocoa powder for the chocolate roll-outs and powdered sugar for the chocolate chip roll-outs. Both recipes call for a 350 degree oven making it super simple to transition from one batch to the next. I have to say that I am very pleased with both versions of cut-outs.

The chocolate version had a slight chocolate flavor (I was wishing for more), tender texture and was sturdy enough to decorate after baking. Likewise the chocolate chip cookie was tender, a bit more delicate while warm but firmed up nicely after baking. Though sturdy and firm, neither cookie became crisp after cooling (a plus in my book).  Everyone at work loved these, especially the chocolate chip version. What’s better than a tender, chewy fun shaped chocolate chip cookie?

I will admit, I enjoyed the Chocolate chip version better than the chocolate brownie one which surprised me. I just felt the chocolate flavor wasn’t quite there to be called a ‘brownie’ cookie. My expectations could have been too high, these are good, don’t get me wrong, but they weren’t as good as I had hoped. Maybe if I would add some more cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips next time that would up them a bit.  The chocolate chip roll-out had a more delicate flavor than a chocolate chip cookie, almost shortbread like texture and the mini-chips just added that oomph that made me swoon. Maybe I was just in the mood for these or maybe it was the mini chips, but these made me smile.  I would recommend both recipes, especially if you want to try something a bit more fun than the basic sugar cookie.
These were both great plain but held up well when decorated with some frosting and sprinkles.

I rate the Brownie Roll-out Cookies an 8
I rate the Mini Chip Cut-out Cookies an 8.5

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies*Recipe from Deb’s mom
Smitten Kitchen
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened (Deb note: I don’t really see “lightly salted” much these days, so I used one stick salted, one stick unsalted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Mini Chip Roll-Out Cookies
Very Best Baking
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I used butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg yolk. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in 1 cup morsels. Divide dough in half; cover. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.

Roll half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness between two sheets of waxed paper. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Lift from waxed paper; place on ungreased baking sheets. Chill for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in preheated 350° F. oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Decorate as desired after cooling. Store in an airtight container.