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Recipe Review: Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

4 Mar
Whoopie Pies….doesn’t that sound like yummy goodness?  I think so and decided to make a batch after seeing whoopie pies featured in the current issue of Taste of Home.  I scored an awesome deal of 10 pounds of ripe bananas for a whole dollar and wanted to use them up quick.  This was my first attempt at making whoopie pies.  The method is simple but they do require a bit of time. 
The cookie is soft and very moist.  I found that refrigerating the dough about 30 minutes before baking made it easier to scoop it out evenly.  You want to bake the cookies and watch them carefully.  After making the first few batches, I realized that my edges were a bit more brown that I like (as you can see in the photo).  When I make these again, I will pull them out just as they are starting to brown on the edges. 

The filling is very soft and I realized as I was putting the filling onto the cookies that it would have been better to let it set up in the refrigerator as well.  The next time that I make this, I think I will pipe the filling onto the cookies. 
My family enjoyed these very much and they were gone quickly.  This is a great recipe that I will be making again.
Go Bananas Whoopie Pie
(recipe from Taste of Home)
Ingredients 

COOKIE:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


FILLING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Additional confectioners’ sugar


Directions


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  For filling, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies, about 1 tablespoon on each; top with remaining cookies. Dust with additional confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Linked To:
 * My Sweet and Savory:  Let’s Do Brunch
 * EKat’s Kitchen:  Friday Potluck
 * Designs by Gollum:  Foodie Friday
 * Paisley Passions:  Fun With Food Friday
 * Sweet As Sugar Cookies:  Sweets for Saturday
 * Lamb Around:  Not Baad Sundays
 * Fudge Ripple:  Tuesday Night Supper Club
 * Don’t Waste your Homemaking:  Unwasted Homemaking Party

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Recipe Review: Oatmeal Craisin Breakfast Cookies

20 Feb
I am always looking for breakfast recipes that I can make for my kids during the rush of getting out the door for school.  When I saw this recipe from Prairie Story, I knew that I had to give it a try.  If you love oatmeal, then you will love these cookies.  They are not very sweet, have a crunchy edge and soft inside.  While my kids were not crazy about them, the adults in the house definitely loved them.  They were all gone within 24 hours.  I will keep this recipe in our family cookbook simply because I loved them!
Enjoy!
Oatmeal Craisin Breakfast Cookies
(recipe from Prairie Story)
Beat together:
3/4 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla


Mix in:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt


Fold in:
3 cups oats
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 coconut shredded, sweetened


Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet.  Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

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For another healthy cookie recipe, see my recipe for Andes Mint Cookies
made with white bean puree.

Linked To:
  * Don’t Waste your Homemaking:  Unwasted Homemaking Party
  * My Sweet and Savory:  Let’s Do Brunch
   * Simply Sugar and Gluten Free:  Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
   It’s A Keeper:  It’s A Keeper Thursday

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Countdown to 2011: Desserts

2 Jan

Okay, so I am a day late in this post but I wanted to share some of the desserts I made over the past year.  I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s countdown. 

Here is some of the delightful goodness we enjoyed!

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Recipe: Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars aka "Twix Bars"

4 Dec
What?  Christmas can’t be around the corner.  There is so much to do in the next couple of weeks.  Lots of baking and these are going on the list for gift baskets.  They are awesome!

They taste like a Twix candy bar but better.  They are sweet but the salt on top helps cut some of the sweetness.  I cut my bars a bit smaller because they are rich.  The recipe looks time consuming and difficult and although it takes some time it was very easy.

Enjoy!

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars

Crust
9 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp table salt

Chocolate Caramel
10 1/2 oz milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 water
6 tbsp butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tbsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make the crust:  Line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides.  Butter parchment, excluding overhang.  Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add flour and salt beating until just combined.  Press dough evenly into pan and bake until lightly browned, about 25 – 30 minutes.  Make the chocolate-caramel:  Place chocolate in a medium bowl.  Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until amber colored, about 10 – 12 minutes.  Wash the sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming.  Remove from heat and add butter, heavy cream and salt.  Return to burner bringing to a boil, stirring until smooth.  Pour over chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes.  Stir to combine and let stand for another 10 minutes until cool.  Pour chocolate mixture over crust.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.  Run a knife around the edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Trim edges and cut into 16 bars. 

Bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Print

Linked To:
  * Mommy’s Kitchen:  Potluck Sunday
  * A Southern Fairytale:  Mouthwatering Mondays
  * 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven:  Homemaker Monday
  * Balancing Beauty and Bedlan:  Tasty Tuesday
  * From My Tiny Kitchen:  Gold Star Wednesday
  * Simply Sweet Home:  Holly Bloggy Christmas Recipe Party

Week 10 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

Recipe: Cranberry Pecan Cookies

22 Nov

Cranberries and pecans….is there any better a combination?  I think not…well made add some chocolate in there and you have a winner in my book!  These cookies are quick and delicious and you don’t have to dip them in chocolate, but why not? 

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups AP flour

1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-6 oz bag dried cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans (I toasted mine)

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 to 2 tsp oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in cranberries and pecans.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Flatten just slightly.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on pan for a few minutes and then transfer cookies to a wire cooking rack.


To Dip in Chocolate:  Melt chocolate in microwave until smooth.  You may add oil as necessary if your chocolate is a bit lumpy.  Dip one half of the cookie in the melted chocolate and allow to dry on a wire rack.

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If you like cranberries, try this awesome recipe:

Recipe: White Chocolate Cookies

7 Nov

The weeks are flying by!  Before you know it, it will be Thanksgiving and in a blink of an eye….Christmas!


I decided to try a new recipe this week and boy I am glad that I did.  Do you love white chocolate?  I LOVE it and these are fantastic.  I added pecans in half the batch as my Zo-Zo does not like nuts in her cookies.  Next time I make them, I think I am going to try to substitute white bean puree for some of the butter.  And, I think cranberries would be so awesome in these.  The hint of orange really makes them very tasty and gives the cookies a different yet subtle orange taste.


I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

White Chocolate Cookies
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2 1/4 cups AP flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp orange extract (or 2 tsp grated orange zest)
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, optional
1/3 cup white chocolate or chips, for melting
1/3 cup semi-sweet chips, for melting (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease or line baking sheet.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in the egg and extract.  Add the dry ingredients, mixing until blended.  If adding nuts, mix until just combined.  Scoop by the tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

When the cookies are at room temperature, place them on waxed paper.  Melt the chocolates separately over low heat.  Drizzle the white chocolate (or both) over the cookies.


Linked To:

 Week 6 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies – Week #3: Frosted Butterscotch Cookies

16 Oct

It’s week three of the twelve weeks of Christmas Cookies and I thought I would try out a new recipe.  I also used white bean puree and butter to replace the shortening that was used in the original recipe.  These cookies remind me of the Buttermilk Cookies that I made a while back.  They are sweet and tasty and would be perfect for holiday gift baskets. 

Enjoy!

Frosted Butterscotch Cookies

Cookies
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 shortening (I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup white bean puree)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups AP flour
8 ozs sour cream
2/3 cup pecans (walnuts would be good too!)

Browned Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 tsps boiling water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or silpat.  In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and shortening (or butter/white bean puree replacement).  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Add baking soda, baking powder and salt; beat until combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Alternately add flour and sour cream beating on low speed after each addition until combined.  Stir in pecans.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoons two inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, in a medium saucepan, cook and stir butter over medium-low heat until golden brown (do not scorch).  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, water and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined.  If necessary, beat in additional boiling water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a frosting of spreading consistency.  Immediately spread onto cookies.  If frosting starts to set up, stir in a small amount of water.

Linked to: 

 Week 3 Twelve Weeks of Christmas: