Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The fall and winter really awaken my desire to bake! I think chocolate and peanut butter are an excellent combination in desserts and usually a big crowd pleaser. I tend to make peanut butter-chocolate kiss cookies the most but wanted to try something new. These were great because you get nice big chunks of chocolate in addition to your peanut butter taste.

My one piece of advice is that your dough consistency may turn out differently depending on the type of peanut butter you use. My dough was a little oily, probably because I used a natural peanut butter that usually separates from its oils. If you used something like Skippy, it may turn out better.

This recipe is from Home Cooking Adventure and I’ve pasted below for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 oz semi-sweet chocolate, cut into chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.
  3. In a separate large bowl, add peanut butter, butter, sugar and dark brown sugar. Mix well with an electric mixer until creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly add in dry ingredients, in increments, to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  7. Using a cookie scoop, drop cookie dough on a baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart.
  8. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar, press down each cookie to flatten it slightly.
  9. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Orange Cranberry Cookies

I’m a big fan of the orange and cranberry flavor combination and these cookies capture it perfectly! With the glaze, they almost remind me of scones, especially since they are soft. I found this recipe on My Baking Addition and it was pretty easy to put together. (Except chopping cranberries took longer than I thought …) A perfect recipe for the upcoming holiday season, too. (Thanksgiving cookies?)

I’ve posted the recipe below for convenience but the actual blog post has a lot of great pictures and tips too.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • orange zest, from one large orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp + 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whole cranberries, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high for 2-3 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, light brown sugar and orange zest. Use fingers to mix well.
  4. Add sugar mixture to the butter and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Beat in egg, vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of orange juice. Mix until combined.
  6. Add dry ingredients slowly, in increments, and mix well after each addition.
  7. Carefully fold in the cranberries.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on sheets for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  12. When completely cool, make glaze by mixing 3 tbsp orange juice and confectioners sugar. Add more sugar to make it more thick, if needed.
  13. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies. Allow it to stand until set.

Strawberry Cardamom Linzer Cookies

I haven’t been cooking much lately (unfortunately) but I did volunteer to provide desserts for this year’s Easter festivities. I decided to make my tried and true Banana Bread, as well as linzer cookies, which are not only super delicious but also look very cute.

I came across this recipe from the people over at Home Cooking Adventure (which is also one of my favorite YouTube channels):

The recipe includes the cookie and the jam, and also added a new spice to my rack: cardamom!

In general, the cookies turned out really good and everyone said they looked adorable. My one problem was that I couldn’t get the jam to thicken up as much as the video, so my cookies weren’t as solid as I hoped. I put them in the refrigerate to harden a bit, especially right before transporting. I’ll have to work on that part.

I pasted the recipe below for convenience but you should watch the video for a more detailed version! You can prepare the jam a day or two in advance, or while you’re making the cookies. The recipe makes about 30 cookies total.

Jam Ingredients

  • 14 oz strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Jam Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, add all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  2. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until the mixture is thick.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ground almonds, toasted or plain
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Cookie Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom.
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture and ground almonds, stirring to combine.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap and press into small disks.
  7. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
  10. Cut out the cookie “bottoms” and place on a baking sheet. Re-roll the dough scraps to make more cookies.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  12. Repeat the same steps to make the cookie “tops”.
  13. Invert the cookie “bottoms” and add a small scoop of jam to each one.
  14. Dust the cookie “tops” with powdered sugar and put on top of each bottom to make a sandwich.
  15. Let stand for several hours before serving.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Usually I make some sort of dessert for Thanksgiving at my mother’s house. Last year, I made Turtle Cookies (which were super tasty) but this year I wanted to make something a little more decorative.

I came across this awesome video of Turkey Cupcakes from Kawaii Sweet World and decided to try them:

I won’t go into detail about the decorating part, but what I liked about her video was how nice her cupcake recipe was! It made the most perfect cupcakes, especially for decorating, with nice round tops. They did lean a little on the sweet side, but you could probably adjust the sugar if you want. Her video also comes with a frosting recipe, so click through if you want that too.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in one egg at a time.
  4. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.
  6. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine.
  7. Add the milk and combine.
  8. Finish adding the dry ingredients and combine.
  9. Divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners.
  10. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Also, my own turkeys turned out pretty cute too!

IMG_20151120_231938

Brownie Cookies

I wanted an easy but delicious cookie recipe to bring to Easter. These Brownie Cookies from Pioneer Woman seemed perfect and I’m glad to say they were a hit. (Most of her recipes are!) Just like their name suggests, these are kind of a cross between a cookie and a brownie and will have that familiar brownie taste. My one mistake is that I made my cookies a little too big and some of them melded together into Franken-cookies when baking. (Didn’t affect the taste, though!) You could also do this recipe without a mixer, but I imagine it’d be really hard. I used a hand mixer and my arm was sore afterward!

I pasted the recipe and instructions below for convenience. If you follow the link to the recipe, there are lots of helpful and nice pictures too.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz baking chocolate, unsweetened or bitterwseet
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the baking chocolate according to package instructions. Stir and let it cool.
  3. Using your mixer, mix the sugar and butter together until well combined.
  4. With your mixer on low, add cooled chocolate and combine.
  5. Mix in the eggs one at a time, combining in between.
  6. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  7. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one scoop at a time, mixing in between.
  9. Mix well until all is combined.
  10. Scoop cookies onto a baking sheet, about 1 tbsp per cookie.
  11. Bake for about 11 minutes, until done.
  12. Remove from oven and let them cool on the sheet for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  13. Dust each cookie with powdered sugar on top.

Turtle Cookies

I wanted to make some fun cookies for Thanksgiving this year and when I found this recipe from The Kitchen Is My Playground, I thought they looked really yummy. The recipe seemed simple too. They’re a cookie version of the popular turtle chocolates, where nuts are dipped in caramel and chocolate (and kind of look like a turtle after).

I’m happy to say these were a big hit. I personally think they’re super delicious! They’re very rich and the chocolate cookie part almost has a brownie taste and consistency. The gooey caramel adds a great texture to the crunchy nuts. I also think they look really nice, too, with the chocolate drizzle on top.

I’ve pasted the recipe below for convenience. I used my food processor to finely chop the pecans. I think I made my cookies a bit too large because I only ended up making 20 cookies using the recipe (and they said it makes about 30 cookies).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg separated (plus 1 additional egg white)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 14 soft caramel candies
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 oz semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp shortening

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Mix together.
  5. Add flour and mix until combined.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  7. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy. Place chopped pecans in another bowl.
  8. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Dip each ball in egg whites and roll in the pecans until coated.
  9. Place each ball 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Make an indentation on top each ball using a small spoon.
  10. Bake about 12 minutes, or until they slightly start to crack.
  11. While the cookies are baking, put caramel candies and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about a minute and stir until caramels are melted.
  12. When cookies are done, remove from oven. Re-indent each cookie with the small spoon.
  13. Fill each indentation with a small amount of the melted caramels.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  15. Place chocolate and shortening in a small zip bag. Put in a bag of warm water to soften.
  16. Knead the bag with your hands to completely melt and mix the chocolate.
  17. Snip off a small corner and use the bag to drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Banana Bread

Banana bread is such a delicious thing and it’s one of my favorites. It’s great to have for breakfast, with dinner or as a dessert. This version comes out very moist and delicious, and since this recipe comes from Cooking Light, I’m hoping it’s on the healthier side. (But who are we kidding? That’s a lot of sugar and butter) It definitely has more of a cake texture than a bread texture, but it’s still not overly sweet.

I’d definitely recommend waiting until your bananas are completely brown and almost inedible. This will not only make the cake more moist but you’ll also have a stronger banana flavor. Also, I find that adding a bit more yogurt helps keep it moist. Mine bakes in about 1 hr 15 min, but it’ll depend on your oven.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk in a bowl.
  3. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and combine with a mixer until well-blended.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each.
  5. Add banana, yogurt and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  6. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients little by little. Beat at low speed until just moist.
  7. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.