Double Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

With Easter just around the corner I decided to whip up some cookies using the fun pastel colored coconut M&M’s.  This recipe is based loosely on the Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal  cookie recipe that I love so much.  I basically adapted the recipe based on what ingredients I had on hand.  I typically toast my coconut before using it is baked goods but skipped that step this time around.  I found that the untoasted coconut (while not as ‘nutty’ flavored as the toasted coconut) caused the cookies to remain nice and chewy, so long as you don’t over-bake them. I enjoyed the coconut M&Ms in the cookie but to be honest would break them up next time. I found the size of them (about the size of a peanut M&M if not larger) was a bit too large for these cookies.  They were fine right out of the oven when the chocolate was all melty and gooey on the inside, but once they cooled, the chocolate pieces were large and awkward to eat in the cookie. The chopped M&Ms may not look as pretty but I think the size would better compliment the cookie.

I rate this recipe an 8
Double Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

14 TBS  sticks butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 ¾ cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 cup coconut M&Ms

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, mix the butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla; beat well.

Slowly add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add oats and coconut; mix well.

Fold in the M&Ms

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Recipes Revisted

With Spring weather finally here, I haven’t been in the kitchen long enough to bake anything worth blogging about lately. I have received several emails asking for recommendations for desserts so I thought I would take a minute to link back to a few of my favorite recipes over the years. One would think that the top rated recipes on my site would be the only ones I recommend, however, there are so many recipes that I remake time and time again that my Taste Tester or friends and family love.

Here are a few that I think are worth taking a look at and giving a try:

Quick Berry Tart
The dessert my Taste Tester requests most often

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oat Bars

The Ultimate Bar Cookie
*Don’t judge by my poor picture

White Chocolate Toffee Pecan Blondies

Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

Frozen Dream Crunch Bars
*I love this dessert in the summer!

 

 

 

One bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze

I don’t bake cakes too often as you can probably tell by looking through my blog. I like cake but always feels it takes forever to make. I can rarely just make a cake without frosting too, and if I make frosting, then I need to make it look half-way pretty but decorating it. Overall I think cakes take too many ingredients, have too many steps and in the end aren’t worth my effort.

I have had chocolate cake on my mind lately. Not sure why but I can’t stop thinking about it. I gave in and finally paged through my cookbooks only to find this super simple, super quick cake recipe that did not call for ingredients (you know, like cake flour or buttermilk) that I usually don’t buy. Just plain and simple. Plus it came with a very quick ganache recipe to pour on top instead of frosting. SOLD!

What I had after 45 minutes (30 of it baking) was a moist but dense chocoate cake with thick, sweet liquid chocolate fudge (best way I can describe it) on top. Oh my, I was in heaven! Now this is not the best ever chocolate cake in the world but it did more than satisfy my craving and the amount of hands on time it took was so minimal I was in awe at how great it turned out.

I did pour the glaze over the cake while it was still warm and I would do so again in the future. I ate this cake every night for a week, simply nuked for 20 seconds to get the frosting a bit melted and dug in! So yummy!

I rate this recipe a 9 

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze
from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Grease an 8×8 pan,

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat 2 minutes more.

Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Glaze
4 oz chocolate (I used bittersweet and semi sweet)
3 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
3 TBS hot water or cream

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave (in 20 second intervals) until melted. Beat in powdered sugar and water. Add more powdered sugar or water until pouring consistency.

Pour over cake.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies for Valentine’s Day

I wanted to make some super simple and quick cookies for Valentine’s Day to take to work. I have used a similar recipe before with great results but changed up the proportions a bit. Not sure if I was just in a chocolate mood but these were better than I was expecting.
These cookies were a cinch to pull together and I was finished from start to finish in under 30 minutes. I love that this is kind of a ‘cheater’ recipe since you really only add ‘wet’ ingredients to a cake mix.

The end result is a rich, thick and chewy cookie that is sure to satisfy your chocolate craving. Feel free to mix up the flavor of cake mix to what ever you have on hand, I am sure they will all be good.

I rate these cookies an 8.5

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter softened
1/4 cup oil
1TBS water
Chocolate chips (I used 1 cup)
Sprinkes to make pretty

Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
 
In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, oil and egg. Add cake mix and blend well. Fold in chocolate chips or other add-ins.
Chill for 10 minutes.
 
Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
 
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely as they will break easily if moved too soon

 

Butterfinger Bars

If you are looking for  a recipe that takes VERY few ingredients, can be made from start to finish in 30 minutes and is super delicious, look no further. I have had this recipe for years, it was in a homemade cookbook that I got from a school teacher with recipes compiled from her students. There is no name or citation to this recipe so I apologize if this is your recipe (just email and let me know and I will give credit).

The base of the bars is a sweet, buttery oatmeal crust topped with a chocolate and peanut butter mixture. The finished product is like a sinful granola bar. I don’t think they taste a lot like a Butterfinger (since they are named that) but I love them none the less.

These bars are not for the calorie conscious but we all need a treat now and again right? The only down side to these bars is they are very crumbly when warm and still slightly crumbly when cooled. I have made these millions of times and can not get them to be less fragile (email if you find the cure). I keep making these because they take care of my sweet tooth with a small bar, so I don’t feel guilty about eating one (or 10).

I have added toffee pieces to the top of the chocolate mixture (while warm) for a bit of a twist.

I rate these bars a 9 (if for no other reason than they are so simple and easy)

Butterfinger Bars
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
1 cup butter (I use 3/4 cup)
4 cups oatmeal (I use quick cooking)
1 cup Peanut butter (I use creamy)
1 cup chocolate chips (about 6oz or a bit more)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a baking sheet (for thinner bars) or a 9×13 pan
In a medium bowl mix together the first 4 ingredients until combined and press into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden but not brown
Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips (I nuke in microwave stirring after every 20 seconds until smooth)
Poor melted mixture over slightly cooled bars.
Cool before cutting (I LOVE these warm and crumbly so I eat with a spoon in a bowl!)

*I have also halved this recipe and used an 8×8 pan and baked for about 15 minutes.

 

Rice Krispy Treats Sandwich Bars

I found this recipe in my google reader, I had added it months and months ago but never got around to making them. Having a few extra days off for Christmas and having not consumed enough sugar (yeah right), I decided now was a good time to try them out.

I am not sure if I did something wrong or what, but these really didn’t do it for me. I wanted to like these, I really really did! But, instead, I found these to be really dry and to have too much butterscotch flavor for my liking. I followed the recipe exactly so I am not sure if I was just unlucky in the kitchen that day or what. Looking at the comments it seems many others like these so it may just be my finicky tastes as well.

The end product kind of reminded me of what my family calls Special K Bars except not nearly as good and a bit more work to make. I am willing to give these another go and maybe add more peanut butter next time to balance out the butterscotch flavor but I think next time I am craving a cereal snack bar I will stick with ones I know will satisfy my cravings!

I rate these a 6 (but would be willing to try again) 

Rice Krispy Treats Sandwich Bars
found here
3 cups (1 ½ 11-12oz bags) butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups (384gm) creamy peanut butter
12 cups (1 12oz box) crisp rice cereal
4 cups (2 11-12oz bags) semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup (1 stick / 4oz) butter, cubed
2 cups (240gm) confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons water

Line the bottom of a 9×13” pan with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray (tip: use nonstick cooking spray to help the parchment paper stick to the pan – seems to go against the name of the product, but it works.)

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butterscotch chips and peanut butter, stirring. When smooth, remove from heat and add the crisp rice cereal. Stir to coat. Place half of the cereal mixture into the pan and pat down evenly. Place in the refrigerator to let it firm up a bit while preparing the chocolate.

Place the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt together in the microwave over medium-low heat, stirring every 60-90 seconds, until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar and water.

Spread the chocolate evenly over the cereal layer in the pan, then gently pat the remaining cereal mixture evenly on top. Refrigerate for at least two hours, then cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Makes 42.

Cowboy Cookies

I have had this recipe for what seems like years (probably because it has been years, my time flies). I first made this recipe after a pretty bad break-up and these soon became my go-to-when-ever-you-need-a-big-hug cookies. The recipe is very simple to follow though the ingredient list is a bit longer than cookies I typically make. I don’t know where they got their name as the recipe was given to me from a friend. I have noticed other similar recipes and it seems the recipe below is based off of Laura Bush’s cookie recipe (though I had this recipe long before Laura Bush’s was made public, go figure).

What you end up with is a sturdy but not dry, oatmeal cookie with tons of flavor. I have described these cookies as a little party in your mouth with all of the flavor and texture going on. With each bite you get a subtle hint of cinnamon, the crunchy pecans, a bit of coconut and smooth creamy chocolate. Really, what more could a girl ask for to put a smile on her face?  I know some of you don’t like cinnamon (I am not a lover, especially with chocolate) but the flavor here is mild and just provides that little ‘extra’ flavor profile without taking over the cookie. 

I like making the dough one day and baking the next, I find the chill time really enhances the flavor of the finished cookie, but I have also baked these right away and did not have any go to waste (if you know what I mean??).

There is really nothing I would change about this recipe, I will caution not to overbake or the cookies will become crunchier than what they should and the coconut can burn a bit (espeically if it is sticking out of the dough ball).

I rate these cookies a 9.5

Cowboy Cookies
based on this recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon. baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1  cup sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 (to 3 1/2 cups)  cups old-fashioned rolled oats (depends on wetness of dough, start with 3 cups and increase from there)
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

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

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in bowl.

In a large bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.

Gently stir in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.

Stir in by hand the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.

For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.

Bake in 350 F oven 17 to 29 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool.

NOTE: I make regular size cookies and bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden on the bottem and the sides are set. I allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes and then transfer to a papertowel lined cooling rack.