Friday, September 21, 2018

Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I really like making cookie cups, and there are so many possibilities for different flavor combinations. This cookie would actually be good to make after Halloween, if one were to have left over candy. There is a lot of different components in these cookies, and honestly you could adapt the elements to whatever you have on hand. The caramel is essential, but you could use any candy. This version uses regular and white chocolate peanut butter cups. I’ve never had the white chocolate ones before!

When I make cookie cups, I usually use a mini muffin pan. This recipe uses a regular sized muffin cup, which makes for large cookies. The original recipe makes 24 cookies, and I did, but I had enough dough left over to make another dozen. Of course, in writing up this recipe, I realized that I used too much brown sugar, but hey, these are super sweet anyway, so it seemed not to be much of an issue. These are very gooey, tasty things, and now I need to figure out what to make with the remaining cookie dough I have left!

Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
24 square caramels
8 oz Mini Peanut Butter Cups
8 oz White Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 12-cup regular-sized muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again on medium. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using a 1-1/2 tablespoon scoop, scoop the dough into the muffin cups. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the muffin pan.

Partially bake the cookies until the edges start to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. In each muffin cup, place a caramel square, then two mini peanut butter cups and two white chocolate peanut butter cups. Sprinkle each cup with some peanuts.

Return the cookies to the oven and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Using a flat metal spatula, loosen each cookie from the muffin pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from This is Not Diet Food

Friday, September 14, 2018

Chocolate Chip Fudge Bars

I’ve started back to work full time this week, and while I work some during the summer, it’s a bit of a shock to the system getting back into the swing of things. I almost posted a “Flashback Friday” as I just wasn’t sure that I had the energy to bake this week. I hadn’t planned ahead, and I was having trouble deciding what to bake. I kept looking and recipes and I couldn’t make a choice. I figured that I would need to stop at the store on the way home from work, but that would require that I know what I was going to bake.

I had pinned these bars, and I showed them to my husband and he was all for me making them. While they do need to refrigerate before cutting into bars, they don’t take long otherwise. We ate an early dinner out and then stopped to get the needed ingredients, which included 2 packages (24 ounces) of chocolate chips. How could I be out of chocolate chips? Oh yeah, we haven’t been to Costco, where I buy the giant bag.

These bar cookies are a classic recipe, and I imagine that they originally came from the manufacturer of sweetened condensed milk. I’ve made several recipes from that company and they are usually good, but very rich. Making the fudge with chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk is very easy, and I was happy at how quickly the mixture came together. It is a little tricky to get the top layer of cookie dough to cover the fudge, so take your time with that. They are very rich, but the fudgy filling is so good and decadent!

Chocolate Chip Fudge Bars
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/3 cups all flour
2 cups chocolate chips

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips

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

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again on medium to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, and flour and stir on low until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Press about 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. In a microwaveable bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate chips. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Spread the fudge filling over the cookie dough base. Using greased hands, carefully flatten the remaining dough and piece it on top of the fudge filling. Try to cover the fudge as much as possible, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the bars to cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Back for Seconds

Friday, September 7, 2018

Cinnamon Toast Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I have been thinking of this recipe for a while, and this is the week that I finally put it together. A couple of months ago, I was at Trader Joe's and I saw that they were carrying chocolate bars that contained bits of cinnamon toast cereal. I bought a bar and planned to eat it, but I must have bought it at a time when we had a lot of other candy in the house, because I never ate it. That’s not really a common thing in my house!

I had been thinking that they would be interesting to put into cookies, and that I could also use cinnamon toast cereal in the dough, either in its whole form or crushed into crumbs. When thinking of recipes, I knew that I had made ranger cookies that had different mix ins. I figured that I would adapt that recipe to use the chocolate bar and the cinnamon toast cereal. This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook (1969 edition).

The original recipe called for oats, coconut and wheat flake cereal. I figured that crushing up the cereal would be somewhat similar to the oats, and then used the whole cereal and the chopped chocolate bars to substitute for the other ingredients. As long as you keep the ratios about the same, your cookies will work. These cookies brown a little more quickly because the cinnamon sugar that coats the cereal browns fast. The cinnamon really stands out in these cookies and they have a nice crunch to them. This was an experiment, but I think that they turned out quite well!

Cinnamon Toast Chocolate Chunk Cookies
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cinnamon toast cereal crumbs
1 cup cinnamon toast cereal
2 cinnamon toast cereal chocolate bars, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg and the vanilla and mix again on medium to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir on low, just until the dough comes together. 

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, using about 1-1/2 tablespoons per cookie.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook