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.

Peanut Butter Snack Cookies

I made this recipe up based on some snacks I had left over from a party and wanted to use up. This was quite a yummy experiment and I may make these again whenever I am craving something a little different than my typical stand-by Peanut Butter cookie recipe.

These cookies have a delicate peanut butter flavor, not overpowering at all. This subtle flavor is a nice backdrop for addition of the variety of snacks I used. In this case I had some pretzel sticks, M&M’s, peanut butter M&Ms and threw in some peanut butter and milk chocolate chips for good measure. I also added a few quick cooking oats which enhanced the chewiness of the cookie without being too detectable (for the oatmeal haters out there, gasp)

I chilled my dough for about 5 hours since I had a house to clean. Even if you don’t have chores to do, I would recommend letting the dough chill for at least an hour or two to allow the flavors to blend and the chilled dough will help the cookies keep their shape while baking.

Make sure not to over bake these, if you do they will be pretty firm out of the oven, I made this mistake with one pan. If you watch them and take them out when they just turn golden you will be very happy!

The end result of this little experiment is a chewy cookie packed with sweet and slightly salty flavors. The outside of these cookies baked up slightly crisp while the interior remained soft and chewy. Fresh out of the oven these were very hard to refuse! After a day or so these did harden up a bit more than I would have liked but I threw a slice of bread in the sealed container with them and they softened right back up. A 10 second jolt in the microwave before eating will produce the same results but also provide you with a warm and gooey treat as well!

I rate this recipe an 8

Peanut Butter Snack Cookies
1 stick (8 TBS butter) softened
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
½ TBS milk
2 cups flour
½ cup quick-oats
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup peanut butter chips
¼ cup chocolate chips
½ cup broken pretzel sticks
½ cup M&Ms
½ cup peanut butter M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350.

Line baking sheets with parchement paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Once combined beat in the white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

In a large bowl wisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined.

Fold in the oatmeal and snack additions just until combined.

Chill dough at least 60 minutes.

With a tablespoon, place balls of dough on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes until sturdy enough to be transfered to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thick and Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies

May 026While searching for a new brownie recipe to try I came across this recipe that I had bookmarked from one of my favorite cookbooks, America’s Test Kitchen. This has been a great all-around-cookbook. It has everthing from salads to desserts and I have been more than pleased with the outcome of each recipe I have tried. These cookies are no different.  I am usually not a fan of chocolate cookies, there are a few exceptions, but really I would rather have a brownie any day than a chocolate cookie. These, however, satisfied me more than any brownie could have. 

My oh my. These cookies are like a  rich, chocolatey, chewy brownie only in cookie form. Each cookie is studded with chocolate chips which only serve to intensify the chocolatey flavor. I adapted the recipe a bit based on what I had in my kitchen and my own preferences (with my changes they are more like a quintuple chocolate cookie).  These cookies take a little longer to make than most, first you have to melt and cool chocoalte before adding it to the butter/sugar mixture, then after mixing the dough you need to let it firm up for at least 30 minutes (could be sped up by chilling in the fridge) at room temperature. Let me tell you though, if your sweet tooth is calling, these will surely answer and are well worth the little extra time and effort making the dough. 

The dough itself is rich and fudgelike and gives you a sweet glimpse of what the finished cookies will look and taste like. Chocolate is the star of the show so I would suggest that you use a fair to good quality chocolate for melting and adding to the dough. The chocolate flavor is only deepened and enhanced by the addition of Instant Espresso powder. I know some people may be leary about adding it, but as noted, I added less than called for and could not taste it one bit, neither did anyone who ate devoured inhaled these little gems.  These kind of remind me of Outrageous Brownies, only in cookie form. 

The cookies bake up soft with slighlty shiny tops after they cool. They are fragile right out of the  oven so it is best to let them rest a bit before transfering them to a rack to cool. With chocolate cookies it is hard to tell when the cookies are finished baking many bakers tend to overbake them resulting in tough, hard, dry cookies. I baked mine for 10 minutes and 30 seconds and they came out PERFECT. Chewy, chocolatey, rich and gooey from the chunks of chocolate in each cookie. I could not have asked for more from a brownie or cookie. 

After storing these at room temperature overnight in a sealed container they are still chewy; firmer, but chewy none the less. Next time I might add some chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups because that is how me and my peeps like to roll: on the Peanut butter train all the way to chunky town.  These would also be great with chunks of Oreo cookies or toasted walnuts added to the batter. 

If you love chocolate and are looking for a nice and rich, flavorful brownie or cookie recipe, I highly recommend you give this recipe a try and see for yourself the glorious chocolateyness that they behold.

I rate this recipe a 9 

 

Double-Chocolate Cookies, Thick and Chewy Cookies
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
To melt the chocolate in a microwave, heat at 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stir, then continue heating at 50 percent power for 1 more minute. If not completely melted, heat an additional 30 to 45 seconds at 50 percent power. We recommend using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to scoop the dough. Resist the urge to bake the cookies longer than indicated; they may appear underbaked at first but will firm up as they cool.
Ingredients:
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
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
Directions:
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
Melt chocolate in medium heatproof bowl set over pan of almost-simmering water, stirring once or twice, until smooth; remove from heat. Beat eggs and vanilla lightly with fork, sprinkle coffee powder over to dissolve, and set aside.
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 seconds. Beat in sugars until combined, about 45 seconds; mixture will look granular. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in egg mixture until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Add chocolate in steady stream and beat until combined, about 40 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer at low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overbeat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudgelike, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each ball, scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets with 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop.
Bake, reversing position of baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until edges of cookies have just begun to set but centers are still very soft, about 10 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets about 10 minutes, slide parchment with cookies onto wire racks, and cool to room temperature. Cover one baking sheet with new piece of parchment paper. Scoop remaining dough onto parchment-lined sheet, bake, and cool as directed. Remove cooled cookies from parchment with wide metal spatula and serve.
Variation — Thick and Chewy Triple-Chocolate Cookies:
If you like bursts of warm melted chocolate in your cookies [and who doesn’t? —Alex], include chocolate chips in the batter. The addition of chips will slightly increase the yield of the cookies.
Follow recipe for Thick and Chewy Double-Chocolate Cookies, adding 12 ounces (about 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips to batter after dry ingredients are incorporated in step 3.
 Thick and Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (the original recipe calls for all semi-sweet chocoalte) 
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
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
1 cup Milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips 
*Could use all semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, whatever you have on hand. The original calls for all semi-sweet chips
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 combinedMay 029 

Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Do not overbeat.
Cover with dough with lid or plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudgelike, 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 transfering to racks to cool completly. 

Alton Brown’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

may-126

Oh yes, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. I may have found my new Go-To recipe!!
Many bakers seem to be searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I too, have been searching for the ‘perfect chocolate chip cookie’ I do have a tried and true recipe that I fall back on that I know will not fail me but like many bakers, continue to seek out and try new versions of this classic. I have received almost a dozen emails from my blog readers requesting I try another chocolate chip cookie recipe and several have requested this recipe in particular. It comes from my beloved Alton Brown.

Several bloggers have already tried other versions of his chocolate chip cookie recipe so I decided to go with a recipe that I have had saved for over a months now. I was emailed the recipe by a friend and I do not own the book from which it originates, if my citing is wrong, please drop me a line and let me know.

I chose this recipe for a few reasons. It calls for no special ingredients,  it calls for an unusual method of mixing the ingredients and it implements the use of unconventional baking temperatures. Like my last cookie recipe, no mixer is needed to whip up this recipe, however, a little arm power is essential for adequatley mixing the chips into the dough. The dough came together in less than 15 minutes and after a short chilling in the fridge (the recipe does not require this but I feel it enhances the flavor of the baked cookie) these were ready to bake.  As stated before, unlike usual cookie recipes that call for one constant baking temperature, this one starts the cookies out at a higher temperature and then has you lower the temperature right after placing them into the oven to bake. I am asuming the higher initial temperature helps set the edges and the lowering of the temperature ensures consistent baking (no burnt bottoms and underbaked centers) producing a cookie with crisp edges and soft, chewy centers. What better combination in a cookie??

The texture of these cookies is great, everything I would look for in a cookie, phenomenal actually. They are slighlty crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middles.  They taste great out of the oven (after cooling for 10 minutes). I can’t wait to try them after they cool completly.
The depth of the flavor is also phenomenal, the perfect combination of brown sugar and butter. I was surprised that the cookies came out as chewy as they were and that thebrown sugar flavor was as pronounced as it was, given I used equal proportions of white and brown sugar. Once again I used a combination of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips and found that proportion was just perfect in my opinion, sweet but not overly so.

I do have two complaints about this cookie. First, the finished cookies were too greasy in my opinion.  After realizing this with the first pan, I allowed the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then transferred to paper-towel lined cooling racks to cool completly. This seemed to help soak up a bit of the grease. Second, you really need to monitor the cookies closely while baking as you need to constantly increase and decrease the temperature of the oven. This was fine today as I was in the kitchen cleaning, however, these may not be ideal for those who are multi-tasking and want to bake up a batch of cookies quickly (it took my oven 5 minutes to reheat to 375 between baking the batches).

Overall I loved these cookies. So much so that I am going to make another batch tomorrow for a party. I will decrease the butter by a 1/2 stick to see if that helps with the greasiness of the baked cookies. If I can make these less greasy while maintaining the flavor these may be my new favorite cookie. If you try adapting this recipe with great results PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know!

One last thing, Alton also gives directions on how to bake the dough as one large pan cookie which would be perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and parties. I would love to try baking it this way and then decorating with a little buttercream frosting!

I rate these cookies an 8
Only because I thought they were too greasy in my opinion, these would be at least a 9 for flavor and texture alone

Chocolate Chip Cookie #10 
Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food Cookbook

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I only used 1/2 tsp and felt that was enough)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup un salted butter, melted and slightly cooled (I used salted butter, like always) **
2 cups chocolate chips (1 used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees*.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the melted and cooled butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla until may-128combined. 

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the butter mixture and  fold the ingredients together just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine. Do not overmix.
I chilled my dough for 2 hours because I always do, but Alton does not call for this step.

For individual cookies, use a spoon or a disher and dish out your cookies, 2 inches apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *

Bake for 12-15 minutes (Mine were done in 12).
Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined counter top.

*As soon as you put the cookies or cookie cake into the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Alton Brown swears by this initial temperature boost.

Alternate Option:
For a cookie cake, dump the dough into an ungreased pizza pan or whatever kind of pan you have and gently press down until the dough is evenly distributed around the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or light golden brown.

**UPDATE: 5/4/09:
I made these again, only this time I used only 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 TBS) and found the baked cookies to be less greasy without sacrificing the flavor. I did chill the dough overnight so that may help keep and enhance the flavor of these cookies. I highly recommend chilling the dough at least a few hours before baking.
I also allowed the cookies to cool on paper-towel lined cooling racks for about 5 minutes and then transferred them to a regular cooling rack to cool completley. I found the paper towels to help absorb any grease from the warm cookies while the regular cooling rack allowed the bottoms of the cookies to firm up alowing the edges to become crisp upon cooling achieving the texture I  desire.
All in all I would recommend this recipe and suggest you play around with butter amounts and cooking/cooling methods that suit your tastes and preferences. I can’t wait to make them again!

Hand Mixed Peanut Butter Cookies

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It has been a while since I have baked up a treat using one of my favorite ingredients, Peanut Butter. I was craving cookies and as you know, I have my all-time-hands-down-ain’t-no-other-better peanut butter cookie recipe, however I decided to play around with another recipe instead. I am sure many of you have seen the 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. I have made it a few times when I needed a Peanut Butter fix in a pinch, when I have run out of flour, butter or was too lazy to pull out my mixer. Yep, these babies are so simple plus you get a small workout while stirring the dough. That is great because it means you can enjoy more of these babies once they are finished (or just eat some of the dough)!  This time I decided to bump them up a notch and play around with the ingredients.

As you can see, they are no longer only 3 ingredient but they are still super simple and don’t require flour, butter or even a mixer! Because I was looking for a cookie that was chewy, I added brown sugar in combination with white sugar to get the texture I was craving. If you want, you can use any proportion of brown and white sugar you want (as long as it equals a cup or a little less) to reach what texture you are wanting. White sugar tends to create a cookie with a slightly more crisp texture than a cookie made with brown sugar. I found the proportion I used to be just right for my tastes.

In addition to using brown sugar, I also added some baking powder to inhibit the cookies from spreading too much. A dash of vanilla and salt rounded out the flavors of the dough nicely. To jazz them up a bit more I added chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (how can you go wrong?). 

The final result was a chewy cookie that was not cakey at all. They were better than I had expected. While they won’t replace my favorite recipe, (I can’t wait to try chopped Reese’s  when I make them again) these did not disappoint anyone who tried one. The chunks of Reese’s complimented the Peanut Butter flavor in the cookie and provided the right amount of sweetness (though it may be a little too sweet for some). These were quick, easy and best of all used fewer ingredients than most recipes. Another bonus is that they contain no additional fat other than the peanut butter, require no flour and can be mixed by hand in minutes! Nothing says homemade like hand mixed cookies!

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Hand Mixed Peanut Butter Cookies
adapted from this recipe
1 cup Peanut Butter (I like creamy)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (more or less to taste)
sugar for rolling dough balls

Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.april-09-127
In a large mixing bowl mix together the peanut butter, sugars and salt until combined. Add the egg, vanilla and baking powder. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the chopped candy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Drop spoonfuls of dough into a bowl of sugar and gently roll to coat. Place onto the prepared baking sheet and press down with fork so they are even thickness. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully and do not overbake!
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to rack to cool completly. These are very tender and fragile until cool and set.

Butterscotch Rice Krispies Cookies

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One of my favorite treats is the Scotcharoo.. You know, those addicting Rice Krispies treats that pack a mouthwatering butterscoth flavor that keeps you coming back. I didn’t have Peanut Butter or enough Rice Krispies on hand to make a batch of Scotcharoos so I decided to make some cookies that called for Rice Krispies and incorporated that same great butterscotch flavor.  I used this recipe but adapted it a bit. 

The end result is a flavorful cookie with a crisp exterior and a chewy yet crispy interior. The flavor enhanced as they cooled and the Rice Krispies made sure the texture of the cookies was light and crisp.. The texture of these cookies is chewy with crisp little pops of the Rice Krispies in each bite. The combination of butterscotch chips and Rice Krispies is a winner in my book.

If you are looking for a cookie that is a little different from your usualy chocolate chip cookie, give these a try.  Next time I will substitute Peanut Butter for some of the butter and add some chocolate chips in addition to the butterscotch chips. I can’t wait to make these again and feel that these changes will push these babies over the edge into greatness. 

 I rate these cookies an 8

Buterscotch Rice Krispies Cookies
AKA Scotcharoo Cookies

1 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unslated butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons hot water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1  cups Butterscotch chips
 In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each. Mix in hot water and vanilla. Add flour mixture, in two batches, beating just until combined – be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a wooden spoon, fold in butterscotch chips and Rice Krispies. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min. or night-out-105longer. 

Preheat oven to 375. Scoop out tablespoons of the dough and roll into balls. Place all balls on one baking sheet, and chill at least 30 min. Remove from fridge and place 12 balls on cookie sheet at a time. Bake until the middle looks just set and the edges begin to turn a light golden – about 8-12 minutes. Remove and let sit on the sheet for a minute. Move cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.

 While these cookies took a bit to make (with all the chilling time), they were well worth the work. Their small size means you get a lot of cookies with one batch of dough. The Butterscotch Chip and Rice Krispie combo is a winner!

Magic Make it Your Way Cookies

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I had a can of sweetened condensed milk to use up and decided to search the Eagle brand website for a cookie recipe. Usually I make 7-Layer bars but was in the mood to try out something new today. Well, needless to say I was under-impressed by this recipe as a cookie but it is promising as a muffin top cookie, read on.

One plus is this dough comes to together quickly, infact the directions don’t even call for a mixer. I did however have a difficult time stirring the dough as it was very sticky and I think a mixer would have helped a great deal. (but who couln’t use a little work out while baking?)

I decided to divide the dough into two batches and added chocolate chips to one batch and 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts and 1/2 cup cinnamon chips to the second batch. Boy am I glad I experimented a bit with the ingredients, it was the saving grace for these babies.  I chilled the dough for 20 minutes as I felt it was way to sticky to bake right away.

The first sheet of cookies I just dropped on the sheet using my cookie scoop. This resulted in cookies that baked up puffy and very cake-like with rounded pale tops and golden bottoms. After trying a chocolate chip one I felt they had no flavor (I believe because their is no  sugar in the recipe, only what is in the sweetened condensed milk). The second sheet I again used my cookie scoop to scoop the dough, this time, however, I rolled the dough balls in a cup of sugar and placed them on the sheet. I pressed down slighlty with a cup to flatten the tops. I enjoyed these results much more when prepared this way (the chocolate chip version is still lacking deep flavor however but looked better). The cookies are still more cakey than cookie but I feel the roll in sugar is a welcomed flavor boost, especially in the cinnamon nut version. 

I enjoyed the cinnamon nut vfebruary-124ersion of the cookie much better than the chocolate chip version (little flavor and too cakey for my liking). The cinnamon nut cookie was almost like eating a cinnamon nut muffin in cookie form. The nuts, cinnamon and cinnamon chips really shined through and made up for the lack of flavor in the dough itself.
I would not reccomend the chocolate chip version but think adding coconut, dried fruits, almond extract, nuts etc. may have potential if cakey cookies are your thing.

Overall these were not horrible cookies and would work in a pinch if you are out of sugar and desperate to bake something. Needless to say these will not be taking the place of my favorite chocolate chip cookie any time soon.  However, I did enjoy the cinnamon nut version and may make them for brunch as I think these are better as ‘muffin’ top cookies than traditional cookies.

I rate this recipe a 5 (chocoalte chip version)
I rate this recipe a 7 (cinnamon nut muffin top version)

Magic Make it Your Way Cookies
adapted from Eagle
 3 cups all-purpose flour
 3 teaspoons baking powder
 3/4 teaspoon salt
 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
 2 eggs 
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
 One favorite ingredient (ingredients below) 
1 cup sugar for rolling dough (can add some cinnamon for the cinnamon nut version)

*I divided the dough and added 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips in half the dough and
   1/2 cup cinnamon chips, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup toasted walnuts in the other half of the        dough
   
 Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. february-123
If using nuts, spread on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 mintues stirring every 5 minutes for even toasting. Do not burn. Take out and allow to cool.

 In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir in butter, eggs, vanilla and EAGLE BRAND®. Fold in one of your “favorite” ingredients.

 Using a cookie scoop drop dough balls into a bowl of sugar and roll to coat.
Place on prepared baking sheet and press down slightly with the bottom of a cup. 
Bake  10-12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

Remove at once from baking sheet. Cool. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.
 
 
Notes: “Make It Your Way” with your favorite ingredient (pick one): 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 1/2 cups raisins 1 1/2 cups corn flakes 1 1/2 cups toasted shredded coconut