Top 10 Recipes

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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.

Double Butterscotch Cookies

I love fall, the cooler weather makes it the perfect time for baking. Usually, when baking for myself, I lean toward recipes that involve peanut butter or chocolate or a combination of both! Today I turned to a new cookbook I received for my birthday, The Taste of Home Cookbook. I would highly recommend you add this cookbook to your collection. It offers everything from appetizers to desserts and many of the recipes are simple and use ingredients often already found in your kitchen.

After paging through all of the cake, brownie cookies and bar recipes I decided I was in the mood for some cookies. What drew me to this recipe was that these cookies are meant to be slice and bakes. You prep the dough, form into logs, wrap in Seran Wrap and chill until ready to bake. When the craving hits, you just cut off slices of dough and bake as many as you like. How perfect is that for times when you crave only a few cookies or when you have friends stop by unexpectedly and you want to serve up some yummy treats in a snap?

I was very impressed by this recipe and the dough was sooooo yummy.  I prepped the dough as directed but then instead of forming all of the dough into logs as the recipe states, I baked some right away as drop cookies. Let me tell you, as much as I love chocolate and peanut butter, these cookies were great! They have a depth of flavor lacking in most cookies and were so tender (bordering on cakey but not overly so). After cooling they remained tender and the brown sugar/butterscotch flavor became more pronounced and was enhanced with the pieces of pecans and toffee bits.

I formed the remaining dough into logs as directed and chilled. After 5 hours I sliced and baked cookies from the chilled logs of dough. These cookies were great as well. They were not puffy like the first batch and had a nice crisp exterior that you can see in the pictures.

I imagine you could bake thicker slices for a thicker cookie but I followed the directions and sliced mine 1/2 inch thick. Next time I may slice them thicker and see if that changes their texture. If I had to choose between baking the dough right away as drop cookies and forming into logs to slice and bake later I would choose the former. I enjoyed the texture more. Either way, however, these cookies are great. Next time I may form the dough into balls and then chill and freeze until ready to bake to keep the convenience of baking a few at a time and still achieve the texture I enjoyed more!
*I have included pictures of both the drop and the slice and bake cookies.

I highly suggest you make these soon. Bake a few right away and form the rest into logs for later. You  be the judge of which way you prefer to enjoy this winning recipe! I loved them and will be making them time and time again. I may even add mini chocolate chips next time to jazz them up, but honestly, they really don’t need anything more in my opinion!

I rate these cookies (drop method) a 9
I rate these cookies (slice and bake) an 8

Double Butterscotch Cookies
Taste of Home Cookbook (recipe is halved)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening (I used trans-fat free butter flavored Crisco)
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 TBS vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup English Toffee bits (like Heath bar bits)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I toasted mine first)

Preheat oven to 350 (if going to bake immediately)
In a large bowl cream the butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix until combined. Gently fold in the toffee bits and nuts.
*If baking immediately, drop dough by spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes until edges are set and light brown. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Shape dough into 2 12 inch rolls Wrap each in Seran wrap. Chill for 4 hours or unitl firm.
When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 350. Unwrap and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lighlty browned. Cool for 1-2 minutes on sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

*UPDATE: Ok, seriously, this dough tastes FANTASTIC out of the fridge, I am slicing off pieces just to eat! The flavor is amazing after chilling 1 day and the nuts and toffee bits only enhance the deep butterscotch flavor! It tastes a lot like an uncooked blondie!