Month: March 2009

Double Delight Peanut Butter Honey Cookies

So this is my first blog entry ever! To start my foray into the blogosphere right, I took out a little insurance. This recipe is an adaptation from a post I found from www.visionsofsugarplum.com. This recipe is originally from the winner of the 43rd Pillsbury Bake off and the original recipe can be found here. Since my hubby loves peanut butter, I knew I had to try it. It is slightly more work than a drop cookie, but my coworkers think it is well worth the effort! Two quick notes though: 1) I found the filling dry so I added a little softened butter to force it to behave better and 2) I didn’t have to grease my pans, which is great because I hate that for some reason…

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Double Delight Peanut Butter Honey Cookies
Print Recipe

Dough

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 Tbsp honey

1 egg

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

  • Cream the first 5 ingredients until combined. Beat inĀ  egg, salt and vanilla. Sift in remaining ingedients and mix on low until incorporated. Chill ~ 20 minutes.

Filling (make while dough chills):

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. butter, softened

Topping

1 cup honey-roasted peanuts,coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 375 oF. Measure out a scant teaspoon of filling and roll into a ball. Repeat for rest of filling. To form cookies, measure out 1 tablespoon dough and flatten in your palm. Wrap dough around filling and squeeze gently to form it into a disk. Continue until all the dough is used up.
  • Press into peanuts and place on baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Let rest on pan until firm and transfer to a cooling rack.

Cookies will look puffy and be very soft to the touch but don’t let them fool you- if they are browning, they are done!

Wilton Heaven

No recipe today, but I had to blog about the Wilton Homewares store. Yesterday, Val and I went out to Darien, IL to visit the Wilton Homewares store. Yes, an entire Wilton store. It was heaven. The store is stocked with pretty much every Wilton product ever made – cake pans, cupcake liners, fondant, tips, you name it, they have it. I took a photo of the sprinkle aisle:

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And speaking of Val, she will likely become a co-author of this blog. She has far more baking experience than I do (she’s one of those super-talented people who can make a 3D teddy bear baby shower cake complete with a fondant diaper) — so I can’t wait to see what she makes! I have a lot to learn from her. :)

Double Chocolate Oreo Bars

The following image is food porn for women. A FIELD OF CHOCOLATE!

I haven’t made anything super chocolate-y in a while! These bars are SO easy. They took a half hour to make – start to finish. A lot of people ask me, “how do you have the time to do all this baking?” The answer is that I don’t really make anything that takes very long. My labor-intensive baking adventures (like the crazy holiday cupcakes) are few and far between simply because they take so long.

So here is the super simple recipe for these delicious bars — I ate one this morning and they are awesome. But I’m a sucker for anything that involves Oreo cookies. :)

Double Chocolate Oreo Bars
Print Recipe

16 oz. crushed Oreos (use a food processor if you can to crush/grind them)
3/4 cup butter, melted
14 oz. condensed milk
2 cups mini semisweet chips, divided

1. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Pat into bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan. Combine milk and 1 cup chips in microwave-safe bowl — heat until melted, stirring until smooth.
2. Pour the milk/chips mixture over the crust. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips. Bake for 10-12 min at 350F. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe credit: Taste of Home

Lemon Bars

Today is a disgusting, dreary, cloudy, rainy day. What better pick-me-up than to make cheery, yellow, happy lemon bars? The recipe is simple and I had all of the ingredients I needed (I love it when that happens).

Lemon Bars
Print Recipe

1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
— Sift the flour and sugar. Cream the butter and slowly blend in the flour/sugar mixture. Flatten into a 9×9 pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350F

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
— Beat the eggs. Add the sugar and salt. Beat until light and lemon-colored.

2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
— Mix together. Fold into the egg mixture. Pour over crust and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still hot. Cool and cut into bars.

Omi’s Cut-Out Cookies

I call my grandma “Omi”. And I have “inherited” her recipe book. Her Christmas cookies were legendary and I’m pretty excited to have all of her recipes in my gritty little hands. My grandma is still alive, but Alzheimer’s has taken its toll on her, so she doesn’t remember much and she certainly doesn’t bake like she used to. The best part about making these cut-out cookies was that my apartment was instantly filled with the smell of my grandma’s house – it was wonderful. Many people say that out of all the senses, scent conjures up the strongest emotional response. I definitely think this is true.

I couldn’t wait until Christmas to make her cut-out cookies, so I decided to celebrate all things spring instead.

Omi’s Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe

2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon nutmeg*

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients gradually. Chill the batter overnight or for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350F until golden (in true fashion, my grandma didn’t give a specific baking time. I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes).

*The nutmeg definitely gives these cookies a distinct flavor. Mike’s comment after trying one was “wow, these are really good, but I can’t put my finger on what tastes different”. It’s the nutmeg. And you either love it or hate it. My mom is not a fan, so my grandma would always bake a separate batch of “Jeanne’s cookies” – sans nutmeg.

Omi’s Frosting
2 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons scalded milk
3 cups (or more) powdered sugar

Beat all ingredients together besides the powdered sugar. Gradually add the powdered sugar until you get a smooth and creamy consistency.