Baking · Dessert

What’s This

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

pudding_cookies

Even tho I am retiring from the “blogging life” or at least taking a hiatus.  I couldn’t pass as the opportunity to adopt an orphan blog from Group B of the Secret Recipe Club.   A Spoonful of Thyme is a blog I have purused before so I was more than happy to pick out a goodie.  Since it was hubby’s birthday on Friday and I knew there would be lots of family gatherings I decided to head straight to the sweet stuff.  I came ever so close to making her Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding until a quick double check indiciated that it had been a SRC post making it ineligible.   Thankfully there were a few DOZEN other recipes to select from and in the end I went with her Sprinkle Pudding Cookies.  I’m not a stranger to using pudding mixes as part of cakes in order to make them extra moist but this was a first for cookies and WOW!!!!  They cookies were so soft and moist – total melt in your mouth deliciousness.  I did have to swap out the sprinkles for chocolate chips as apparently most sprinkles taste nutty – which makes them a no go for my family.

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These were a huge hit with everyone – so much so that it’s a good thing we kept a few at home otherwise they would have disappeared before it was time for the picture!

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Baking · Dessert

On Without End

S’mores Cookies

smores_cookies

Welcome to a special edition of the Secret Recipe Club featuring Cookies!  All of today’s posts are centered on that class dessert – so if you check out every post you will have over 40 new recipes.  I was so excited to sign up for this challenge, and went to check out my assigned blog as soon as I got the email.  I have been checking out Amy’s Cooking Adventure for a bit of time now, so seeing her name in the email resulted in a rather embarrassing squeal of delight as I knew her blog was stuffed with delicious treats.  There are so many insanely good options on Amy’s blog, and picking one recipe was not an easy task.  Seven cookie recipes made my short list, and looking at back at my full list I must have been on a seasonal kick as almost every one of them features a common seasonal “ingredient”.  Ranging from two chocolate peppermint cookies, to pumpkin latte (!!!) to two s’mores variations – which is what I went with in the end.  Reading her post about the outdoor fire place made me very thankful for our fire pit, and it’s because of our fire pit that we still had many of the ingredients required for this post.   I did have to make a few changes to her recipe as I couldn’t find kosher mini-marshmallows which I know have to exist somewhere outside of the internet.  So I filled a cup with hot water and used my kitchen shears to trim the full size ones in to quarters – dipping the shears in the hot water as needed.

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So with this post SRC is finished for 2014!  I’ll be back in January posting an “orphan” blog with Group D and starting in February I’ll be posting with my regular group A.  This has been another fantastic year filled with tons of incredible recipes, and I’m thrilled that it ended on such a sweet note.

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking

Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

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These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

Baking · Dessert

If I Fall

Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

I try to avoid the sweets, I really do, but last week my company sponsored a bake contest as part of a BBQ and I couldn’t say no.  I debated a few different recipes, such as my peach cookies, before deciding to go all out with some hard-core chocolate brownies.  These brownies are not diet friendly, but they are incredibly delicious and sometimes one has to indulge in the tastier things in the life.  These brownies are inspired by the ones in the original Betty Crocker cookbook, and then adjusted for what supplies I had on hand in college when I first made these tasty treats.  So many of the recipes I enjoy as a married 20-something are based on dinners-gone-wrong from college, and a few of the desserts also fall in that category.  I perfected the “art” of refrigerator pizza/pasta and also learned the importance of having certain basics in the house at all time – such as those required for making chocolate chip cookies and/or chocolate chip brownies.  These brownies don’t require baking chocolate, cocoa powder, or anything else that wouldn’t be readily found in a dorm room which makes them the perfect recipe to have on hand for a last minute get together.

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Unfortunatly the picture that goes along with this post has gone missing – however after being hounded for the last week for the recipe by coworkers I’m going to go ahead and post it.  Once I find the picture I’ll make sure to add it, that or I’ll just have to make another batch of them!

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Here to Make

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie

I’ve been trying to be good, honestly I have, however the theme this week for /52weeks is guilty pleasures – which just screams for being bad.  I debated between the large range of foods I’m suppose to be avoiding right now: espresso brownies, 5 cheese manicotti, double fudge cupcakes, donuts, essentially the shopping list of every kid.  In the end I did decide to go with something sweet, but not as decadent as the Molten Lava cake that was the first runner-up.   I also decided to make my own caramel sauce in order to take things to the next level.  I had seen the caramel in slow-cooker recipe on Pinterest for months now, but had a feeling it was going to be more of a Pinfail so had blown it off.  Yesterday however I decided to finally give it a try, figuring that if it failed I had plenty of time to buy some caramel.  Success!  Total and complete success!  In order to avoid the rust rings a few people seemed to encounter I poured the sweetened condensed milk into an empty jam jar with a very secure lid.  Just popped that in the slow cooker with enough water to cover and let it go for 8hrs on low.  Once I let the caramel cool it was time to get to work on the cookie dough!

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I have a feel this caramel sauce would also go great with a dark chocolate cookie or turned in to a variation of a toffee cookie.  I’m going to have to forget how easy it was to make the caramel, otherwise it will become a regular occurrence which is just not a healthy thing.  These were a great treat at the end of my Downton Abbey viewing party – now just need dates for Season 4!

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Some Peanuts

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Last month Joe went out of town for a week, and I decided to use that week to try some recipes that had been the on the backburner for a few years.  These recipes all feature peanuts, which aren’t welcome in the house under normal circumstances.  Normally I avoid them even when Joe is going to be out for the weekend, but I figured a full week gave me plenty of time to sterilize the kitchen before he got home. While I did focus on savory dishes, I also made a few batches of some college favorite cookies.  This cook is the result of two roommates craving two different cookies and deciding to do a cookie compromise.  The trick to these cookies: mini chocolate chips!  We found in our very scientific experiments that the smaller chips allowed for the perfect melding of chocolate and peanut butter.

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These might not be your standard peanut butter cookie, but they will still take care of any peanut butter cravings!  After all, why have chocolate chip cookies OR peanut butter cookies when you can have Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies.

Baking

May the Force

Brown Butter (Star Wars) Pancakes

 

This week has been more than a little insane, but thankfully it’s all in the past and I can start to breathe a little bit easier.  With all of the insanity I haven’t spent nearly as much time in the kitchen as normal but luckily found some time over the weekend to work on my pancake technique.  I’ve never been a big breakfast person, something about eating soon after waking doesn’t sit right with my stomach.  However I am a huge fan of pancakes, and really REALLY want to break in some new toys.  Joe and I got a ton of Star Wars cooking supplies when we got married and while the cookie cutters have gotten multiple uses, the pancake molds had gone back to the cabinet after being washed.  I decided that the time had come for me to give them a whirl, and that such an occasion called for more than just my standard Joy of Cooking adapted pancake recipe.  So I went to the internet and started searching around for ideas.   In the end I decided to stick with my normal recipe with one twist: brown butter!

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I loved the nuttiness added by the brown butter, it gave them the right amount of something different without being too overpowering.    The chocolate chips were an indulgent treat and while I didn’t quite master the proper placement of chips to create eyes, they still tasted amazing which is all that really matters.