Friday, October 2, 2015

Pecan Pie Cookies

It sure has been a busy week at work! We’re setting up a history of technology in the library, and I’ve been there late a couple of nights with my husband, who was the keeper of many of these old computers. We’ve gotten home fairly late, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for baking! Thankfully, I always select the recipes I am going to make in advance, so I am ready to go when I do have the time.

I saw these pecan pie filled thumbprints and I knew they would be great for fall. The cookie is a brown sugar cookie base, and the filling is just four ingredients. There’s nothing extra here, and the cookie and the filling pair together beautifully. This recipe makes way more filling that I needed, so now I need to figure out what to make with the rest of the filling. These cookies are quite sweet, so they are best served with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

Pecan Pie Cookies
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again to combine. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour and baking powder. Beat just until the dough comes together.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the pecans and brown sugar. Add the whipping cream and vanilla and stir until the mixture is cohesive and the nuts are evenly distributed.

Shape the cookies into 1” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Using your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, press an indentation in each cookie. Fill the indentation with the pecan/brown sugar mixture.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Oatmeal Scotchie Brownie Bars

I had pinned this recipe as soon as I saw it, way back in late spring. For me this type of cookie: a substantial bar cookie with chocolate and butterscotch, screams fall to me. I went looking for a bar cookie to make this week because I was short on time and I needed to bake them one night and cut them the next day. I guess I pin too many recipes as I had to scroll through a lot of recipes before I found these again. These would be perfect! And by some miracle I had all of the ingredients on hand.

This recipe uses homemade brownie mix, but you could also use any boxed mix that makes a 9” x 13” pan of brownies. I sometimes keep a couple of brownie and cake mixes on hand, but I haven’t restocked in a while so I opted to make the homemade mix, which was really simple. I had more mix than I needed for these, but there’s just about enough mix left to make a small pan of brownies. You can check out the options on the Crazy for Crust site.

These are fairly quick to put together, even though if you look at the list of ingredients they seem a bit involved. Spreading the oatmeal scotchie dough over the brownie batter is a little tricky. I just take pieces of dough, flatten a bit and the fit it over the brownie batter kind of like a puzzle. I didn’t completely cover the brownie batter but it doesn’t have to be perfect. These are very interesting. The chocolate of the brownies pairs well with the oatmeal and butterscotch.

Oatmeal Scotchie Brownie Bars
3 cups homemade brownie mix*
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 tablespoons water
3 eggs

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups oats
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil and butter the foil, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the brownie base: in a medium bowl mix the brownie mix, oil, vanilla, water and egg. With a spatula stir just until combined, the batter may still have lumps but that’s ok. Spread the brownie batter in the prepared pan.

Make the oatmeal scotchies: in a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir again to combine. Add the flour and oats and mix on low until almost fully incorporated. Add the butterscotch chips and stir again on low until the completely mixed.

Working with spoonfuls of dough at a time, top the brownie batter with the oatmeal scotchies dough. You won’t perfectly or completely cover the brownie batter, but do the best that you can. Press down the dough lightly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the oatmeal scotchies begin to brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
*Homemade brownie mix: in a large bowl whisk together 2 cups sugar, 1 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup flour and ½ teaspoon salt. This recipe makes more mix than you need for these bars.

Recipe from Crazy for Crust

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

I know that a lot of folks these days are going gluten free, are eating paleo, and following many other specific diets. I sometimes come across recipes that look great, but I’ve found that some recipes that follow specific diets use some unusual ingredients. I think it’s great that there are so many recipes out there for those who need to follow special diets, but I won’t always go and find those varied ingredients. This recipe looked great, and only later did I realize that these are gluten free and lower fat.

This cookie is a little bit different for me, as they don’t start out with butter and sugar! These cookies don’t contain butter at all and the only fat is what is in the mix-ins: chocolate chips, caramel bits and pecans. The original recipe stated that the dough would be wet, but I found my dough to be super sticky and heavy. Better to make a gooey cookie with I guess!

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies. It seems like there isn’t very much dough, and how the dough will handle all of the mix-ins seems impossible. But it all works out in the end. These are a cookie that you certainly don’t want to over bake. The look cracked and dry when they are done, but still gooey in the center. Make sure you give the cookies a chance to cool before removing from the baking sheets. I tried to rush it a little and the cookie fell to gooey bits as soon as I placed it on the rack. Oops! They cookies have an intense chocolate flavor, just made better by the caramel bits and nuts.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add in the salt. Add in the egg whites and vanilla and whisk until combined. Switch to a spatula and stir in the chocolate chips, caramel bits, and pecans. Dough will be sticky.

Scoop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until the cookies look dry. They will still be soft inside. Allow to cool and set at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Recipe from Handle the Heat