Cookies/Brownies

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

I was in Atlanta last week for work (hence my silence) and when I’m there, I like to go to a cute little spot called The Cookie Studio. The first time I was there, I immediately proclaimed “This is the kind of place I want to own.” This time when I was there, I said the same thing to the owner who handed me some tea and told me how hard it is. I always say that when I’m done working, I just want to make cookies. And while my dreams aren’t dashed, I realize owning my own cookie place will probably never happen. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t make cookies anytime I want to. A day after flying home, I was eager to make some cookies. These Chocolate Pretzel Cookies were exactly what I had in mind.

Chocolatey cookie dough is mixed with pretzel pieces and semi-sweet chocolate chips before being dropped onto a cookie sheet and topped with a whole mini pretzel. Chocolate and pretzels? Mmkay! The only thing that would be better? A little peanut butter. My wheels are turning. Anyway, these cookies are a perfect treat when that after dinner sweet tooth starts talking. The worst part is trying to just eat one. Making cookies is so satisfying to me. Whether I ever make cookies for a living or just make cookies at home, making cookies will always be the sweetest thing I do.

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Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 2 minutes, until fluffy.

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Beat in egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Pour in flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Carefully fold in chocolate chips and chopped pretzels.

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Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Press down lightly to flatten. Gently press a whole pretzel on top of each cookie.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Family Circle magazine

Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars

I’ve already given away dozens of the cookies and treats I’ve featured this week but I still have so many left in my house. It’s killing me. I’m trying sooooooo hard not to eat them and for the most part, I’m doing pretty good. Or at least I was. But these Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars are evil little magic waves of sweetness and they are torturing me. They appear in my dreams, whisper my name when I’m standing strong, and wrap their sweet scent around me everywhere I go. My knees are getting weak.

Inspired by traditional Hello Dollys, I changed things up by using pretzel crumbs in place of graham crackers, caramel topping instead of butterscotch, peanut butter filled morsels in place of plain chocolate, and almonds instead of pecans. The result is basically…well…crack. I was doing so good on watching my sugar and this week it’s all down hill. I know that’s what happens during the holidays but I thought I could keep it under control. This is the problem with working from home. I no longer have an office to take all these leftover cookies to so instead they sit in my kitchen. They taunt me. Make fun of me. Call me names. This weekend may turn into a real battle. Me against them. I have a feeling these layer bars will be the victor.

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Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars (adapted from Hello Dollys)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 ground pretzels
  • 1 9-oz package Nestlé Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels with Peanut Butter Filled DelightFulls(or 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and 3/4 cup peanut butter chips)
  • 1 12.25-oz jar caramel topping
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in 13 x 9 inch pan and melt in oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides with butter. Spread pretzel crumbs evenly over bottom of pan. Layer morsels over pretzels crumbs followed by caramel topping and almonds. 

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Pour condensed milk over almonds. Sprinkle coconut over condensed milk.

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Bake 25 minutes until edges are golden brown and bubbly.

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Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

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Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti

I didn’t grow up familiar with biscotti. I’ve only ever made it once and each time I make it, it seems daunting. But even though there are a few steps, it really is easy. I took some of this Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti to the Philadelphia Eagles tailgate I went to on Sunday and saw someone eat one, then walk over and grab another one. I hadn’t even tasted one yet so I tapped him on the arm and asked him how they were. “The best biscotti I’ve ever had,” he said. His wife agreed and said she’d never seen him eat TWO biscotti. I was thrilled!

With a chocolate dough base, these biscotti have dried cherries (my fave!) and pistachios mixed into the dough giving little flecks of red and green that seem so appropriate for the holidays. Dried fruit and nuts are such an amazing combination and putting them in a cookie is a great way to enjoy them without having to cut into a fruitcake. With one end dipped in a little semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate, these will sure to satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

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Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until blended.

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Stir in pistachios and cherries.

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Place half of dough on each prepared baking sheet. Shape each half into a slightly rounded log about 10 x 3 inches using floured hands. (Dough will be very sticky.)

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Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is firm to the touch. Let cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack.

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Transfer logs to a cutting board, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-wide slices with a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes on each side or until crisp. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Dip ends of biscotti in dark chocolate, and drizzle with white chocolate, if desired.

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Place on wax paper to set.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living magazine

Chewy Molasses Cookies

This really is my favorite time of the year. And I’m not just talking about Christmas time. I’m talking about cookie time! I know I can make cookies at any time during the year but the truth is I don’t. So I get giddy like I a little kid when I can carve out a weekend day to spend hours in my kitchen covered in flour baking batch after batch of cookies and treats. I had a lot going on this past weekend but I didn’t let anything get in my way when it came to baking on Saturday morning. The first cookie I decided to make were these Chewy Molasses Cookies.

Similar in flavor to gingerbread, these molasses cookies are soft, chewy, and mouthwatering. With warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves, these treats scream happy holidays and belong in anyone’s cookie jar. Ginger and spice and everything nice? Check! As much as I love baking cookies, I don’t like having cookies in my house so I bake for my family instead. We all live far apart and I love nothing more than filling up a tin of cookies, shipping them away, and having my family thankfully appreciate them. It makes me warm and fuzzy. Kind of like these cookies.

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Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place butter, 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg; beat 30 seconds.

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Add molasses; beat just until combined.

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Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed or just until combined. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 24 balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Roll balls in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or just until set.

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Cool 3 minutes on pan; remove to a wire rack.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Cherry Flavored Filled DelightFulls™

Oh my goodness, you guys. First of all, roaming around the baking aisle of my local grocery store or Target this time of year can make my heart go pitter patter. I found myself stocking up this weekend on baking supplies (even though I wasn’t planning on doing any holiday baking for another month) all because of these flavor filled morsels. Say whaaaat? I get pretty excited about chocolate-covered cherry things so when I saw the cherry flavor filled morsels and this recipe for Dark Chocolate Brownies with Cherry Flavored Filled DelightFulls™, I was sold. I loaded up my cart and started some early baking.

Dark chocolate chips give this batter a rich, deep flavor (way better than boring old cocoa). Cherry flavor filled morsels are then folded into the batter which ups the ante. Chocolate-covered cherries in a brownie? Yes, pleeeeeeaaaase! There isn’t much else I can say about this other than if you don’t like chocolate-covered cherries, I would recommend some of the other flavors like peanut butter, caramel or mint. These brownies are too good to pass up. And the best part? The recipe doesn’t call for the whole bag of morsels so you’ll have plenty left over to nosh on while you wait for the brownies to bake.

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Preheat oven to 325° F. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with foil. Lightly grease. Heat dark chocolate morsels, sugar, butter and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate and butter are melted. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in eggs, one at a time, with wire whisk until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour and salt; stir well.

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Stir in 3/4 cup DelightFulls morsels. Pour into prepared baking pan.

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Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup DelightFulls morsels over batter.

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Bake for 42 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Lift out by foil edges to cutting board. Carefully remove foil. Cut into bars.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: verybestbaking.com

Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

After talking the other day about how I haven’t been eating so good lately and need to eat more salads, well this is part of the reason why. I can’t help but bake. I love it. If I could bring you guys a cookie, brownie or cake recipe every single day, I would. In fact, I think I’ve only ever made one cake for this blog and it was around Thanksgiving when I was having my family for dinner. Otherwise, how am I going to eat a whole cake? Or a whole batch of cookies? Or a whole tray of brownies? Well don’t tempt me because it can be done! But here is the great thing about these Fudgy Oatmeal Bars: they freeze perfectly so even if you only want one brownie, freeze the rest and forget about them. They’ll always be there when you get that chocolate craving.

Creamy brownie batter is poured over a toasted, light oatmeal crust and topped with even more sprinkles of oatmeal goodness. The result is a cookie-ish brownie that is rich and chewy and begs for a glass of ice cold milk. A little addition of espresso powder melts into the background making the bittersweet chocolate really shine. For a low-calorie brownie, this is mighty tasty. So pour yourself a glass of milk and dig in. Brownies are meant to be enjoyed, not regretted.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add canola oil and butter; toss with a fork until crumbly. Remove 3/4 cup of oat mixture; set aside.

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Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with baking spray. Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.

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To prepare filling, weigh or lightly spoon 3.4 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

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Combine milk and espresso granules in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until espresso dissolves. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla, and eggs to milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring to combine. Fold in chocolate.

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Spread batter over prepared crust in pan. Sprinkle with reserved 3/4 cup oat mixture.

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Bake at 350°F for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a rack.

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Cut into 28 bars.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

 

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

You’ve got to be kidding me with these.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have witnessed my shock at the discovery of these pumpkin-spice morsels. Have these been around before and I just didn’t notice? I usually go to the grocery store with a list of things to buy and I’m pretty good at not impulse buying. But these chips? You better believe I scooped them up. The morsels themselves taste like little bites of pumpkin pie so I was pretty happy to find a recipe for Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies on Nestlé’s website which makes them taste even better.

Oatmeal cookie dough is spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg and kept soft and chewy with the addition of canned pumpkin. The pumpkin spice morsels add even more pumpkin flavor which is irresistible for any pumpkin lover. And even better? There is no egg is this recipe so eat as much dough as you want! They are buttery, soft, spicy and packed with flavor. These cookies taste like little slices of pumpkin pie which are a perfect little Autumn snack.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil; lightly grease. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.

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Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until combined. Add pumpkin.

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Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

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Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

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Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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Store tightly covered.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: verybestbaking.com

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