Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Better than Chocolate Chip.

I must say I actually enjoy these cookies more than regular chocolate chip cookies which is something you will rarely hear from me. It is just a regular chocolate chip cookie which crushed Oreo chunks, but something about them puts them over the top. A friend of mine introduced these cookies to me my sophomore year of college and my entire dorm fell in love with them. I had not made these in quite sometime until my friend from college had us over for dinner. I knew my friends would enjoy having this blast from the past cookie and boy did they. Half the cookies were devoured before we even had dinner. If you are looking for something as tasty as a chocolate chip cookie, but a little different you should definitely try these cookies.

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package vanilla instant Jell-O Pudding (not prepared)
1 dash of cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
30-40 double stuffed Oreos, crushed into medium chunks (you really need the double stuffed kind, I used the Halloween ones just for one)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, package of vanilla pudding mix, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and Oreo chunks. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Recipe makes between 4 and 5 dozen cookies.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cracker Toffee

Don't let the name put you off.

So this was almost the bakers week off. My boyfriend's mom, who is an amazing cook and baker, sent us a package with several goodies including the delicious cracker toffee pictured above. We tried this candy when we were visiting with my boyfriend's parents back in July. I was definitely hesitant when I was told it was cracker toffee with saltines in the toffee, but I tried it anyway. I should not have been surprised by how much I enjoyed the candy because his mom had never let me down before when it came to dessert. She definitely did not disappoint with the toffee. When the toffee came in the mail I decided I would take photos of her candy and post the recipe and skip baking this week. Well I still ended up baking, which I will post at a later date, but here is the toffee recipe for the time being.

For those of you who celebrate Passover, matzos could easily be substituted for the crackers.

Cracker Toffee
recipe from Teresa Miller

Saltine Crackers, approx. 72 crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1-2 cups chopped nuts (pecans are pictures, but these are also great with peanuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 17x12 inch Jelly roll pan with heavy duty foil. Place saltine crackers side by side on entire cookie sheet, salt side up. Combine sugar and butter in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil for three minutes; pour over saltines and bake for 10-15 minutes. Immediately, sprinkle chips evenly. Whey the chips have melted, smooth with a knife and sprinkle with chipped nuts. Refrigerate. When completely chilled, break into pieces.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Sandra would be proud....

A friend of mine decided we needed to have a "family" dinner this past week. We used to have them all the time in college, but then we got real jobs and stopped living in the same buildings. You would think it would not be that tough for us to do more of these dinner since I live a total of 1.5 miles away, but alas our busy schedules often complicate things. The new goal if for us to have a "family" dinner once a month rotating who hosts. As I am the baker of the group I know I needed to bring something. The host was making a vanilla cake which I did not want to overshadow so I decided I would go with a brownie. Now there are many, many brownie recipes out there and I have tried many of them. I have come to the realization that my favorite brownie is not actually a recipe I have tried of even one a friend has served, but it is Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. When it comes to brownies I strongly believe these are the best so I use then in any brownie recipe I make. If you have your favorite recipe or mix I recommend you use it in this recipe.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
adapted from Martha Stewart

Brownie Batter:
Your favorite brownie recipe or mix (I used
Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix)

Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Make brownie batter according to recipe or mix directions.

Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Pour one-third of brownie batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Place dollops of filling (about 1 tablespoon each) about 1 inch apart on top of batter. Drizzle remaining brownie batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Place dollops of remaining filling on top.

With a butter knife, gently swirl filling into batter, running knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes (the peanut butter may still be wet). Let cool slightly in pan, about 15minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Sugar and spice and everything nice.

More Photos

These muffins are every bit as delicious as they look. I saw them a couple times posted on Tastespotting, and could not resist any longer. For those of you who know me, you know I love cinnamon. Love might actually be an understatement. I put so much cinnamon in my cereal on a daily basis that I actually said this weekend "I think I am growing immune to this stuff! I have a teaspoon of cinnamon in here and can barely taste it!." That should give you and idea of how much cinnamon I include in my diet. Needless to say these I could wait no longer to try these muffins. They were posted on both Laura Rebecca's Kitchen and Babe in the City - KL. I modified the recipe slightly, but kept the integrity of the original. I used half whole wheat flour and used low-fat yogurt instead of full fat. I thought I would try to make these a little healthier. Feel free to not use the whole wheat flour, but it really does not change the taste much if at all. If it were up to me I would have drastically increased the amount of cinnamon used in the recipe, but I am not the only one eating them so I just added a little to the batter. If you love cinnamon even a quarter as much as I do you will like these muffins.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
adapted from
Laura Rebecca's Kitchen

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper cups.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix with light strokes until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not overmix; batter will not be smooth.

Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted in one or two of the muffins come out clean, 12-15 minutes.

While the muffins are baking, melt 1/2 stick butter and place in a bowl just large enough to hold a muffin. Combine ½ cup of sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a small, shallow bowl. As soon as the muffing are done, dip them one at a time in the melted butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Set on a rack to cool.

Yields 12 standard muffins.