Top 10 Recipes

cork

I hope that 2008 was a good year for you and that 2009 brings with it the  joy and happiness we all strive for in our lives. Here is a list of some of my favorite sweet recipes I think you need to make this year and why.  I can’t wait to begin baking in 2009!

I am interested in hearing from you! Which recipes from my site have you tried and what have you thought about them?

10. Frosted Marshmallow Bars
WHY: A family favorite for years that is sure to please. I love the subtle chocolate flavor the brownie has, making it the perfect base for marshmallow and chocolate frosting layers.  Trust me, if you like chocolate, these bars will be sure to please.

9. Blondies
WHY: So simple, so easy, so quick, so good. With endless varieties (check out my ‘blondie’ category) these are the perfect dessert. You can really take the base recipe and make them your own, I can’t wait to try more combinations of add-ins this year!

8. Intense Chocolate Shock Cookies
WHY: Usually I am not a fan of chocolate cookies but these grabbed my tastebuds and my heart. So rich and full of possibilities. I have added chopped PB cups, white chocolate, nuts etc. to them and they have turned out rich and fabulous every time.  Don’t trust me? How about Anna?

7. Oatmeal Carmelitas
WHY? These bars are so gooey with layers of chocolate and caramel sandwiched between an oatmeal base and topping. I have been making this recipe for years and years. It has always been one of my favorite dessert recipes.

6. The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
WHY: These are the best PB cookies I have had. They are soft, chewy, peanut buttery and I love that they have PB and Chocolate chips in them. The roll in sugar before baking really takes them over the top.

5. Chewy Ginger Cookies with Cinnamon Chips
WHY: These are perfect for the holiday season with their flavor combination of ginger and cinnamon.  I absolutely loved these cookies, they remained chewy for days and the little bursts of cinnamon chips through out the cookie made these stand out from the ordinary ginger cookie.

4. Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oat Bars
WHY? These don’t require baking, making them perfect for days when you don’t want to use the oven. Their combination of peanut butter, chocolate and oatmeal is one of my all time favorites, a sure winner!

3. Oreo Fudge Bars
WHY: If the title alone doesn’t tell you, I am not sure what else to say.  These have been requested by my friends and co-workers alike. The best part is they are so simple to make, require few ingredients yet can be ‘dressed’ up to look like a fancy dessert if needed.

2. Double Butterscotch Cookies
WHY: These have turned out to be one of my all time favorite cookies ever. I am in LOVE the flavor of these cookies. The dough can either be dropped and baked or formed into logs and frozen for slice and bake cookies later.  I prefer the drop method but either way these did not last long. 

1. Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies
WHY: My all time favorite and most requested brownie recipe. If you are a fan of PB and chocolate, look no further than this recipe. Make them soon and make them often. These are worth cheating on your New Years resolution to diet. Trust me.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

december-066

MMM, I do love the combination of Chocolate and Peanut Butter and what better way to enjoy that combination than in a nice and rich, creamy cheesecake? I rarely make cheesecakes, they are not difficult but I find it hard to resist and end up eating way more than my waist and thighs can handle!

I needed to bring a dessert to a baby shower this past weekend and knew this would  be a hit (I had to grab a pic quick before serving).
This recipe is so quick and easy, it is based off of this recipe, my go-to cheesecake recipe.  After looking online for a tried and true Peanut Butter cheesecake recipe, I decided to make one  up on my own. I was very pleased with the end result. The batter was so thick and creamy with a peanut butter flavor that was not overwhelming.  It baked up beautifully and did not crack a bit!  After chilling for 24 hours I tasted this wonderous creation. So rich and creamy with a light Peanut Butter flavor that complimented the chocolate cookie crust perfectly. I loved the layer of Peanut Butter and Chocolate between the crust and the cheesecake and enhanced the flavors perfectly.  My only complaint is that the crust crumbled a bit more at the tips of the cut pieces than what I would want for serving company. It may have been my fault though because I pried up the cut pieces with a fork (possibly breaking the crust in the process). It still tasted wonderful, just not the best presentation.

Next time I might dress this up a bit with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a milk chocolate drizzle before serving.

I rate this recipe an 8.5

Peanut Butter Cheesecake
2 cups Oreo Cookie crumbs
3-4 TBS butter, melted
1 TBS sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter (slightly  melted until easily spreadable)
1 cup Milk chocolate chips
 
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.)  Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease 9-inch springform pan.
Fill an oven safe cake pan (I use a 9×9 pan) 3/4 full with warm water. Set on bottom oven rack while oven is preheating.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine Oreo crumbs and butter, stir to combine.  Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and increase oven temperature to 350.

Spread 1/3 cup softened peanut butter over the crust and evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the peanut butter layer. Set aside.

 In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sweetened condecember-063densed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Add sugar and flour, beat to combine. Add  eggs one at a time beating only to combine after each addition. When adding the third egg, also add the vanilla extract; beat until combined.

Gently pour batter evenly into prebaked crust, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until edge is set and center moves slightly. Watch carefully and do  not overbake.

Shut oven off and allow cheesecake to cool in oven for 1-4  hours. Run a warm knife around edge of cheesecake after 1 hour.
Place in fridge to cool completely. (Remove the pan of water)
Allow to chill at least 24 hours before serving for best flavor and texture.

Oatmeal Jumbos

I was wanting to make some cookies using up some oatmeal. Usually I turn to my favorite cookie recipe for Monster Cookies when I am looking for a yummy cookie to whip up quickly. Today, however, I wanted to try a new recipe.

Like my monster cookies these are loaded with oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate! What a winning combination? The dough to chocolate candy ratio is small so these cookies are not as sturdy as some but boy are they good! I used Old Fashion oats instead of quick oats in this recipe which created a chewier, softer and more fragile cookie. The higher ratio of brown sugar to sugar gives these cookies a nice depth of flavor and balances out the peanut butter and candy nicely without being overly sweet. You can cut down on the amount of candy and chocolate if you prefer to make them a bit sturdier and ‘healthier’. Either way they will be great!

If you are looking for a chewy cookie that is loaded full of your favorite candies than look no further! This recipe makes about 4 dozen average size cookies or 2 dozen ‘jumbo size’ cookies.

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Oatmeal Jumbos
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s
1 cup Reese’s Pieces

Preheat oven to 350.
In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and butter  until blended. Add the brown sugar, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well mixed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined.

Gently fold in the oatmeal, chocolate chips and candy.
For Jumbo Cookies: Drop dough by 1/4 cup balls onto parchemnt lined baking sheet about 5 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool on sheet for 10 minutes before tranfering to rack to cool completely.
For average cookies: Drop dough by medium scooper on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown and just set around edges. Cool on sheet for 10 minutes before transfering to rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

This recipe is another one from the cookbook of my Grandma’s favorite recipes. She does not site a source for any of her recipes, but a quick google search brought up the same recipe at several sites, including this one. Because the original source is unknown, I am giving my grandma credit on this one unless someone knows where this recipe originated.  After searching a bit it seems that several people make these cookies and stick a Hershey’s Kiss on top of the baked cookie (while it is still warm). I had these several times as a kid but that is never the way my grandma made these.  You see, one of the qualities that makes these cookies irresistable is their crinkley top that gets hidden by the addition of a Kiss!

These are so simple to make and produce a cookie that would be a welcomed addition to any bake sale or holiday tray! They really do catch your eye and stand out from your typical Peanut Butter cookie recipe.  Their eye-catching crackly top is the produced by rolling the dough balls in powdered sugar and slightly flattening the tops of the balls before baking.  

Let me tell ya, the dough tastes phenomenal as do the finished cookies. They have a slighlty crisp (not crunchy) exterior but a soft and chewy interior. I did not find these overly sweet (even though they are rolled in powdered sugar) and they have a wonderful peanut butter flavor. These did not last longer than 48 hours in the house but kept in a tupperware container they did stay soft for those 2 days.

Next time I might press down a Holiday edition PB M&M in the center of a warm baked cookie to add a little pop of chocolate and more peanut butter! Plus, who doesn’t love the holdiay colored M&M’s???

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar (or more as needed for rolling)

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchement paper.
Place powdered sugar in shallow bowl.
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 eggs and vanilla.
In a large bowl wisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined.
Chill dough for 10-20 minutes.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Genlty roll the dough balls into powdered sugar and place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Carefully press down on each ball with a glass to flatten tops slightly.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until top is crinkley and edges are set. Cook on sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to baking rack to finish cooling.

Peanut Butter Blondies

What to do when you sweet tooth calls but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or go to the store for ingredients?? Make Blondies!!

I love Blondies!! It is no lie. They are so simple to whip up, use easy to remember measurements (no recipe card needed, yeah!) and can be easily doubled to serve a larger crowd. Best of all they taste great and are so adaptable to what ever ‘add-in’ ingredients I have on hand and can be changed to meet the preferences of pretty much anyone. (Anyone who has a sweet tooth that is!)

As any reader of this blog knows I am a BIG BIG fan of sweets that have Peanut Butter and Chocolate. I took the recipe for my Basic Blondies but decided to add Peaut Butter in place of some of the butter and of course added some chocolate chips. The result? MMMM Good. These have a light peanut butter flavor and are great warm or chilled. I enjoyed one warm with some vanilla icecream. Later I had one cooled with hot fudge and chopped Reese’s cups. Either way these satisfied my sweet tooth and cured my craving for a peanut buttery treat! Definately a keeper that I can’t wait to make again.

Next time I will add chopped Reese’s PB cups on top the last 10 minutes of baking for an extra burst of Peanut Butter flavor!1

I rate these bars an 8.5 (I think the addition of chopped Reese’s would make them great)

Peanut Butter Blondies with Peanut Butter Cup
4-5 TBS butter, almost melted
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Creamy)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used a combination of Milk Chocolate and Semi-Sweet)
*Next time I will chop some Reese’s PB cups (maybe 4 or so) and press them gently on top the last 10 mintues of baking. Or substitute some PB chips for some/all the chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8×8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.
In a medium microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter for 20-30 seconds until almost/all melted. Allow to cool for 5 mintues.

Stir the peanut butter into the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the brown sugar to the butter/peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine.  Add the flour, baking powder adn salt to the peanut butter mixtuer and stir just to combine. Gently fold in chocolate chips and any other additions (chopped nuts, chopped Reese’s cups, Reese’s pieces, etc).

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until set in the middle. (I baked for 24 minutes)

Cool on rack before cutting.

For another version of PB blondies check out a fellow blogger who also made some yummy treats!!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oat Bars

I love to bake, that is no surprise but during the hot and humid summer months I do not like to turn on my oven (unless I have to). Because my sweet tooth cares not about the weather, I need to find recipes to satisfy it but not heat the house to temperatures comparible to those Hell. ha ha.

The internet came to my rescue yesterday and I found a recipe that included two of my favorite treats: Peanut butter and Chocolate. Food of the Gods I say.  I did adapt the recipe a bit, my changes in parenthesis, and would do the same in the future as I felt they turned out great!! In fact I have made them three times in two days!

This recipe comes together in about 10 minutes but needs about 3 hours in the fridge to chill and set. These bars are gooey and need to be eaten with a bowl and sppon if not chilled/set but still very good. I like to take them out about 15 minutes before serving to soften a bit but still keep their shape. I served these to family and three people demanded the recipe. That is when I know it is good!! So good, I actually had to make these twice yesterday because the first pan was eaten before dinner in about 10 minutes! That is another reason to love the recipe, you can whip up another batch in no time flat! They chilled while we cooked and ate dinner and were perfectly set and ready to eat afterward.

*Next time I may sprinkle some chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups on top with the oat topping to enhance the peanut butter flavor!!

I give these bars a 9.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
adapted from allrecipes.com
1 cup butter (I used 2/3 cup butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats (I used between 2 3/4 and 3 1/4 cups, just enough to keep moist but not too wet or too dry)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1 1/4 cups, a mixture of Milk and Semi-Sweet chips)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used 3/4 cup)

Grease a 9×9 inch square pan. (I lined an 8×8 pan with foil and sprayed with PAM)

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended.
Press half of mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. (I pressed 2/3 mixture in bottom of pan)
Reserve the remainder for topping.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon.

Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently.
Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies. Period

It is no secret that I love the combination of PB and chocolate. To me there is no better combination when it comes to sweet treats. Needless to say, I will use any excuse to make treats involving this delicious combination.

This recipe is by far my favorite Peanut Butter cookie recipe ever; and believe me, I have tried many many recipes (Like I said ANY excuse to try more Chocolate/Peanut Butter combinations). The recipe below has been six years in the making. I first received the original recipe as part of a recipe exchange in a club I was involved in my junior year in college (Thanks Heidi). Not being much of a baker back then I liked the recipe but did not know how to tweak it to better meet my preferences (tender and chewy with a lighlty crisp exterior). Don’t get me wrong it was a good cookie to begin with but felt there was potential for more. There were things I LOVED about the original.

I have tried many recipes for Peanut Butter cookies since first receiving the original recipe but have always come  back to the one from Heidi. One thing I love about this recipe is that there is more than twice as much Peanut Butter than butter. I firmly believe that Peanut Butter should not share the spotlight with butter in ANY cookie that claims to be a Peanut Butter cookie! I also love the addition of chocolate and Peanut Butter chips (genious) and that you roll the dough balls in sugar before baking. This creates a slightly crisp exterior that compliments the delicate texture of the interior perfectly!

As my experience in baking grew I began to tweak the origianl recipe each time I made it and I am happy to say I am finished tweaking.
It now meets and exceeds my expectations of what a Peanut  Butter Cookie should be. I know everyone has a different idea of their “perfect cookie” so these may not be your cup of tea, but I do suggest at least trying them. I make these often and every time I take them somewhere people comment on their wonderful light texture and great Peanut Butter flavor.

There are a few Hints/Tips to making these bad boys:
1. I like to chill the dough for about 15 minutes before baking and keep it chilled while one pan is baking (especially during the warm months as Peanut Butter tends to ‘melt’ easily and makes the dough harder to work with). Chilling helps the cookies keep their shape while baking and helps with the delicate texture of the baked cookie.
2. You need to let these cool on a baking sheet for at least five to ten minutes after removing from the oven, if not they will fall apart because they are so tender! You can finish cooling on a wire rack before storing.
3. To keep these nice and soft, store a piece of bread in a sealed container with the cookies, make sure it is not touching the cookies (I place it on a piece of wax paper on top of the cookies in the container)
4. If freezing the balls for later baking, Chill dough, roll into balls and freeze. Don’t roll in sugar until ready to bake.(See photo)
5. These are delicate cookies and can be difficult to transport. I find a single layer of cookies transports beautifully. If needing to stack cookies to transport, place a few sheets of waxed paper in between layers.

I rate these cookies a 9 (hey, there is always room for improvement right? ha ha)

The Original Peanut Butter Cookie (from Heidi)
tweaked by bakingblonde
1 cup + 2 TBS peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 TBS milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Peanut Butter chips (I recommend the Reese’s brand, the generic are not the same)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Sugar (for rolling dough balls, may need more or less)

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchement paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter, 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 chocolate and peanut butter chips. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Genlty roll the dough balls into sugar and place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Carefully press each ball with fork tines to create a criss-cross pattern.
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.