Peanut Butter Cookies

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For this weeks treat for work I went with Peanut Butter Cookies.  I have never made ‘real’ peanut butter cookies before, I have made the 3 ingredient Kraft ones, but not the real thing.  I found a couple recipes that looked really good.  I picked this recipe because I had all the ingredients.  This recipe is from Arctic Studio Garden.  The name of this one caught my attention, Bake Shoppe Peanut Butter Cookies.  I did make an addition of chocolate chips!

Bake Shoppe Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Arctic Studio Garden

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

Directions:

**NOTE: Dough should chill for 3 hours before baking

1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and set aside.

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2. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy (this should take about 5 minutes on medium speed).

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3. Scrape down the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated, about 3 minutes.

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4. Beat in the peanut butter, both creamy and crunchy until thoroughly combined. (I only had creamy, so I just used 1 3/4 cup if it)

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5. Slowly add dry ingredients with the mixer on low-speed. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined, but be careful not to over mix. As soon as the dry ingredients are incorporated, turn off the mixer.

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*5b. I added chocolate chips, mix on lowest speed to combine.

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6. Scoop the dough into a covered container and refrigerate for about 3 hours before baking the cookies.

Really wish I had noticed this part of the recipe when skimming over the ingredients.  I did not start making them until 6 pm.  Needless to say, these did get refrigerated for 3 hours, only about 1.5 hours.

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7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Line the top cookie sheet with parchment and drop the dough in 1/4 cup balls onto the baking sheet. Space about three inches apart.

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9. Flatten each ball slightly and use a fork to give it the criss cross pattern.

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10. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let them sit on the baking sheet to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

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Look at the size of these cookies, they more than doubled in size!

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They look delicious!

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These were pretty good.  I am not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies.  It’s not that I don’t like them, I just would prefer a chocolate chip or an oatmeal cookie.  The texture was not as I was expecting.  The only peanut butter cookies I have had were all soft, these were different.  These cookies had a bit of a crunch to them.  The outside had a crisp shell and the centre was a little more soft.  I would say they are comparable to some chocolate chip cookies. They were also not very sweet, maybe this is why I was not a huge fan.  When I think cookie I want a sweet treat!  I will make these again, they were a hit.  Although, I will make them smaller, I was not expecting them to get that big!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels

I saw this recipe a few months ago, they looked delicious! I mean what’s not to love, salty pretzels (love them), peanut butter (love it), chocolate (love it) all three together? It has to be delicious! I would love to meet the person who thought it would be a good idea to put chocolate and peanut butter together, Genius!  I got this recipe from Stephanies Kitchen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels

1 cup of peanut butter

2 Tbsp softened butter

1/2 cup icing sugar (you may need more)

3/4 cup brown sugar

Pretzels (the waffle shaped ones)

1 bag good quality chocolate

1.  In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter and butter, mix until smooth.

2. Add icing sugar and brown sugar, stir to combine.  This is where you may need to add more sugar.  You want to be able to roll the mixture in your hands without it being sticky.  Try it, if it is too sticky add more icing sugar until it reaches the right consistency.

3. Use a teaspoon to measure out equal amounts

4. On a cookie sheet, lay out a single layer of waffle pretzels

5. Place peanut butter balls between 2 pretzels and press together, place in the fridge

6.  Melt your chocolate in microwave or in a double boiler, which ever you prefer

7.  Dip cooled pretzels in chocolate and place on a parchment lined sheet.  Allow chocolate to set.  Enjoy!

These were pretty good.  Not quite as good as I expected.  Next time (and there will be a nice time) I will use the filling I put in my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Squares.  I found that the brown sugar made them kind of gritty, it really didn’t dissolve.  I may also use mini regular shaped pretzels, not quite as much ‘pretzel’ in them, as it was a little overpowering.
It was a good first try.

Monster Cookies

These cookies caught my eye a few months ago.  They seem to be appearing on many of the foodblogs I frequent and Everyone gave rave reviews!  I had made a few “flops” over the past few days and needed to redeem myself.  I had all ingredients on hand so I figured this was the recipe that was going to do it!

Monster Cookies

Adapted from Recipie Girl

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Smarties

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper or a silpat mats.

2. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter with the sugars and butter.

3. Use an electric mixer to mix until well combined

4. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

5. Mix in the oats and baking soda.

6. Then stir in the chips and Smarties.

7.. Drop the cookies by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

These seemed a tad big, so I also made some which were 2 tablespoons

8. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. (this was nowhere near enough baking time for me, the cookies were still raw.  I added an additional 10 minutes, but watch yours as all ovens are different). Do not overbake.

9. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets until cookies are set.

10. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

These cookies were every bit as delicious as everyone described them to be!  The were very chewy, which I love in an oatmeal cookie.  You could taste the peanut butter, but it did not over power.  I loved the extra crunch of the Smarties. Next time I think I would cook them just a tad bit longer, but they were fantastic! These cookies have made the favourites list!

My Top 10 of 2011!

Wow! Where did 2011 go?  Seems as I get older the years just fly by.  This year  I did a lot of baking, most were good, some were amazing and a few were total flops!  There were some  new recipes and others were tried and true favourites.  The Daring Bakers took me way out of my comfort zone as I was truly dared with some amazing recipes.  As for the “flops” I posted them too, not everything can turn out well.  I thought I would end the year with a “top 10” list of my favourite recipes of the year.

 10. Perogi Day

Perogi Day was a day I will never forget! Mom, Etta, Jen and myself were at it for almost 12 hours.  We made 9 different flavours, used 25 pounds of potatoes, 7 tubs of sour cream, almost 2 bags of flour and a lot of bacon, cheese and onions.  We ended up with, get ready for it……471 perogies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were delicious, not sure I will be able to go back to the frozen ones from the store.  It was a great day and the results were amazing! We all agreed that we would definitely do it again, just not anytime soon…

9.  Apple Sauce Muffins

These Apple Sauce Muffins were something I stumbled across when visiting Gramma one afternoon.  They were hot and fresh and delicious!  You can’t really taste the apple sauce, they are a little bit sweet and have an amazing texture.  I think I have made them at least 6 times since then.  A wonderful recipe with simple ingredients, Thanks Gramma! 🙂

8.  Baklava

This one was special for me.  I was asked to be the host of the June Daring Bakers Challenge!  Being host meant that I was able to pick any recipe and have all the members make their variations. I had always said, way back when I joined, that if I ever got the chance to host I was going to pick Baklava.  It was amazing to see the different variety of baklava that were made.  I was a little daring (mean) and had everyone make their own phyllo dough.  Some people enjoyed the process, a lot did not, but all in all it was a wonderful experience.  It was a true honour to be picked to be the June 2011 host.  My baklava was delicious.  I will definitely be making it again but, like many other members, I will probably use pre-made phyllo!

7.  Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow was new for me, I had never even heard of it.  Jen had come over to do some Christmas baking and she brought all the ingredients for Puppy Chow…hmmm.  I was pleasantly surprised!  Unlike the name this is a wonderful treat!!!  Very simple, cereal, chocolate, butter, peanut butter and icing sugar.  It is very addicting!  It was a great gift to give away in little Christmas sacks.  Thanks Jen for a great recipe that I will be using for many years to come.  I may have to come up with a more appealing name….

6. Cupcakes, Cupcakes and more Cupcakes!

This was a scary one! Making 130 cupcakes for Kris and Selena’s Wedding!  I had never done anything like this before.  I mean I had made cupcakes but never 130 in one day!  I was a nervous wreck, as I think the wedding cakes is a huge deal.  Sadly it’s the food aspects that people remember more at a wedding then the actual ceremony.  I thought if they don’t turn out I’d have people thinking “god, their cake was horrible”.  Thank goodness everything went smoothly and the cupcakes were a hit!  So much so that there was not near enough 😦 If there is a next time, I will know people will eat more than one! Thanks Kris and Selena!

5. Bachlorette Cake

When Coralee asked me to make Chrissy’s Bachlorette Party cake I was thrilled!  I had just recently taken the Wilton Fondant course and figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give my new skills a try.  For my first try at creating a formed fondant covered cake, I think it turned out pretty good.  I hope to make more in the future.  Unfortunately I fell ill that night and was unable to make the party, so I didn’t get to try it.  Hope it was good!

4. Wedding CakeS!

No, I did not make a typo in the title I meant for the ‘S’ to be big!  This was by far my biggest baking event ever, let alone in 2011.  I was asked to make the cakes for Jen and Martin’s Wedding.  At first I was terrified and think I even tried to talk her out of it, as I mentioned above, the wedding cake is a huge deal!  When I calmed down I was truly honoured and accepted the challenge.  Jen had a wonderful idea of having a cake on each table.  The cake would then be “the wedding cake”, centre piece and dessert.  It really was a good idea.  It was a ton of work but I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again in a heart beat!  Thanks Jen!!

3. Povitica

This recipe was from the October Daring Bakers Challenge hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk.  She introduced me to something I had never heard of.  Povitica?? I could barely say it let alone make it.  As it was a bread recipe I was very hesitant in even trying it, bread and I do not get along well.  I was pleasantly surprised, it was an amazing dough and so versatile.  I was able to make both savory and sweet loaves out of the recipe.  They were delicious!! This one rang in on my top 3!  I will be making this a lot more in years to come.  Thank you Jenni!!

2. Whoopie Pies!

I was a little late jumping on the Whoopie Pie ban wagon.  Not sure what rock I had been living under but I just heard about these in July.  Apparently they were quite the craze a while ago.  There is even a “Whoopie Pie War” with two States as they both say they are the founder of the Whoopie Pie.  Well, I don’t care who came up with the idea, I’m just glad they did!!  These are little pieces of heaven!  Surprisingly they are not sweet, they have a lovely light texture and a wonderful marshmallow filling.  I have only made the “Classic Whoopie” but I have a book and plan on making many different kinds.  What a wonderful find!

Drum roooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllll…………………….

1. Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

Without question this was my favourite recipe of the year!  I mean look at at…it’s not only the best tasting dessert bar ever, it’s also a thing of beauty!  This recipe was not even intended for me, haha.  When Jen came over to do some Christmas baking, it was for her to take to her baking exchange.  I had one bite and almost had to sit down.  It is one of those treats that after your first bite you have to stop before you start chewing and your eyes grow twice their normal size as you cant believe this piece of magic in your mouth.  It then turns into an eyes closed slow chew as you take in all the textures and tastes, and then it hits you…the salt!  Your taste buds jump into high gear.  It is like no other dessert experience I have ever had.  Don’t believe me, Try them!!!  Thank you Jen for my FAVOURITE treat of the year!  This recipe will remain at the front of my recipe book to be made time and time again!

I would like to thank my many followers for stopping by throughout the year to see whats up in my kitchen. When I first started this whole blogging thing, I really didn’t think anyone other then family would read.  I was shocked and so happy to see when I had over 20,000 hits!

Thanks again and Happy New Year!  Please come back to see what’s baking in 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These delights were the third recipe of the day.  We started off with just making one thing and it snowballed from there, it was GREAT!   This recipe is from a wonderful food blog Jen introduced me to, Annie’s Eats.  She has a huge selection of fabulous looked deserts most of which I would love to try, and just may very well do!

When Jen suggested these I promptly went to the computer to check them out.  I was sold by the photo alone!!  I mean really, a chocolate cookie with huge chunks of peanut butter cups, how could you go wrong?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse salt
¾ stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk
2 cups coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided*
*Note: it was suggested to freeze the peanut butter cups for at least 30 minutes before chopping.  It makes them easier to unwrap, easier to cut, and helps them stay intact while you mix them into the dough.

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

2. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars.

5. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.  Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk.  Blend until smooth.

6. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

7. Add in 1½ cups of the chopped peanut butter cups and fold in gently with a spatula.

8. Use a large dough scoop (we used a tablespoon and over filled it, it was recommended to use a 3 tablespoon scoop, but that seemed too big) to drop rounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing 2-3 inches apart.  Gently press a few pieces of the reserved peanut butter cups into the top of each of the dough balls.

9. Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  (The cookies may seem too soft immediately after coming out of the oven but they will set as they cool.  You don’t want to over bake them.)  Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container

These were quite good! I loved the hint of peanut butter right in the cookie as well ask the chunks of peanut putter cups.  As good as they were, I was not fussy about the texture, kind of chewy (not in a good way).  I will just have to make them again (that’s a shame I know! lol) to play with the texture.

Puppy Chow

No, I have not lost my mind entirely and bought a dog!  I’m talking about Human Puppy Chow.  I am sure you are thinking the same thing I was, ewwwww!  When Jen first told me she thought we should make Puppy Chow I was less than impressed, then she started listing off the ingredients.  With each item it sounded better and better.  I slowly started to lose the image of smelly chewy dog food.

This was one for the many things we made on our baking day.  It comes together so quick and easy, a perfect thing to make as we were waiting for another recipe to finish in the oven.

Puppy Chow

9 cups Chex or Chrispix Cereal

1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Peanut butter

1/4 cup Butter

1 tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 cups Icing Sugar

Directions: 

1. In a large bowl (bigger the better, If you have a large plastic bowl with a lid it will save you time later) measure your cereal and set aside

2. In a double boiler melt chocolate, peanut butter and butter

3. Stir in vanilla and pour over cereal, stir

*Photos are so much easier with anothe baker 🙂

4. Add icing sugar, place lid on and SHAKE! (if you don’t have a big bowl with a lid, now you will need to transfer to large freezer bags to shake.

5. Spread out on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool

6. Store in an air tight container (recipe says in the fridge, not sure why.  I just stored mine on the counter)

This was delicious!  The crunch of the cereal was not compromised in any way by the hot mixture.  Each bite was very crunchy and quite tasty.  You just get a hint of peanut butter and the sweetness of the icing sugar.  This was a definite hit.  I can see making this again in the future.  Not too often though as I could not stop eating it!!!!

Thanks Jen!

*later in the evening as I was snacking on the puppy chow we were thinking of other varieties.  Thought about replacing the peanut butter with Fluff and adding some grahm crumbs to the icing sugar.  Almost like a smores mix!

Jersey Food

We went to Jersey this weekend and they always have different foods that you just can’t find here in Canada or our area of Canada.  Some were excellent and some were not.  Just thought I would share a few…

 

On the way down we stopped at a 7/11 and I saw this, Ben and Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream.  At the 7/11 it was $6.00!!! had to pass on it.  Later in the week we were at ShopeRite and it was on sale for $2.49, I could not resist.

When we got home I don’t even think I helped put the groceries away before I dug out a spoon to try the ice cream…

Looks delicious doesn’t it??

Well….

I hated it!!! So disappointed.  I did try a second spoonful, but that was it.  I should have stuck with my favourite Half Baked.

 

The next treat was from Dunkin’ Donuts.  Mike’s Mom had seen these ‘Iced Hot Chocolate” and thought we should give them a try.  Seemed like a good idea to me.

It was OK.  Just tasted like a Chocolate Milk Slushy.  Probably would not get another one

 

Oreo’s were on sale when we were there.  I gotta say, in my life I have never seen anything like it. People had upwards to 10 boxes of Oreo’s in their carts.  They go crazy for them down there.   They have a much bigger selection of Oreo’s then we do

Loved the triple double.  Both the vanilla and chocolate filings were great together.  Was not a big fan of the peanut butter ones though.

Glad to be back home to home cooked meals and no new tempting treats