Cookies

maple-chocolate-chip-cookies-2

I really love pancakes. So much so that I would add “being able to order the kids’ pancakes at brunch” as one of the best things about having kids. And what’s the best thing about pancakes? The syrup, of course.  My best friend, who lives in Wisconsin, has started making her own maple syrup and oh man. There are no words to describe how good it is. She sent me a jar when I was pregnant, and to this day I can’t really tell you what happened to it. Pancakes? Ice Cream? Oatmeal? Spoon? I don’t know. I finished it in about a week and it’s all one big maply blur.  (hint hint, Christa, I’m accepting more maple syrup).

So anyway, these cookies are like pancakes in a cookie. Not made with homemade maple syrup because that would be a waste, but made with pure maple syrup to give it that really delicious sweet amber flavor. I know amber isn’t really a flavor.

Recipe

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • ~1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla, baking soda, corn starch, and salt. Slowly mix in the flour and then the maple syrup. Add the chocolate chips.  Cover cookie dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.  Drop rounded balls onto baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

chocolate-chip-cookie-for-one

Yesterday I had a craving for a chocolate chip cookie so strong I could barely see straight. Does that ever happen to you? Probably not. I had also been cooped up all day in stormy Texas weather and found myself doing a lot of standing around in the kitchen. Reaching for a cheese curd, eating a cracker, looking through the freezer. But nothing was quite doing it for me so I decided to make myself a cookie. You guys, it really improved the overall quality of my day.


Recipe

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (1/2 brown and 1/2 white)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Dash vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • Handful chocolate chips

Melt the butter in a bowl, then mix in all other ingredients except the chocolate chips.  Set the oven to 350. While it’s preheating, place the cookie dough in the freezer to cool it down (otherwise the cookie will turn out really flat since the butter is already warm and will spread in the oven).  Cool for at least 15 minutes. Mix in the chocolate chips, then place in a flattened ball on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes.

chocolate-butterscotch-cookies

I’m going to invest a lot of my time and efforts into butterscotch this year. I started with this Butterscotch Pie, I made Butterscotch pudding last night (the Jell-O boxed version), I made these cookies last weekend, and I’m making a ton more butterscotch stuff going forward. I don’t know why we’ve all been turning a blind eye to butterscotch all these years, but it stops right here, right now.

That being said, if you DON’T like butterscotch, you will not like these cookies. Sub ’em for plain old chocolate chips then.

Recipe

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups butterscotch chips

Cream the butter and sugars together.  Add the eggs and vanilla, then slowly mix in the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.  Stir in the chips.  Form dough into balls, place in a ziploc and freeze for at least an hour (this is an important step to avoid flat cookies). Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Almond Sugar Cookie Bars

almond-sugar-cookie-bars

Did you guys study Dia de los Muertos in high school? Day of the dead. Loved that celebration. It was like Halloween but spookier and the traditional celebration food included a delicious little skull cake that was loaded with almond extract. That little skull – and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called or what else was in it – but that little skull started my lifelong obsession with almond extract. Love, love LOVE almond extract. For a long time, before my baking exploration really took off, I would randomly taste almond extract in things and not be able to place what it was – but remember that it was in the skull cake and that I loved it. I can’t remember what enlightening event occurred that tipped me off to the extract, but I am forever thankful. Love that stuff.

So these bars are a dream if you like that flavor. It’s like a sugar cookie bar but almond-y. I made these on Saturday, and they were gone by Tuesday.  Someone needs to pop by my house every day to remind me that I’m going on a beach vacation next month.

Recipe

  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1.5 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups slivered almonds, for topping

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream the butter and sugar; add in the eggs, vanilla, & almond.  Mix in the powder, soda, corn starch, salt, and flour. Press dough into a greased 9×11 inch pan, sprinkles with almonds, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Center should be not quite set for maximum chewy deliciousness.

PB & B Oatmeal Bites

pb-b-oatmeal-bites

I have been dying for Girl Scout Cookies all year. Dying. And I can’t find them anywhere. I even tried to solicit some girl scouts on our neighborhood website by posting a request for these apparent elusive cookies. Eventually I did come across a cookie stand outside a nearby school, but they were out of the very cookie I was in search of: the Samoa. Or the Caramel Delite. PS did you know they are called two different things depending on what region you live in? I have lived in both regions but like to call them Samoas because it’s more exotic sounding. Anyway, out of the Samoas!! Doesn’t sound like these girl scouts were prepared for anything, as the Girl Scout Law promises. Actually I don’t think the Law promises that but I do remember preparedness being a major tenant when I was a young Brownie. Anyway, I have been craving the Samoas day in and day out.

These are like Samoas in almost no way. Except for the flaked coconut on top, I simply didn’t have it in me to attempt baking girl scout cookies. So, I used what was in my pantry (the beeeeest kind of recipe!), and came up with these delicious and healthy things! What a perfect addition to your coffee in the morning.

Recipe

  • 2.5 cups oats
  • 2 large bananas, mushed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse/kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Flaked, unsweetened coconut (optional)

Place the oats in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the bananas and milk. Add the baking soda, salt and vanilla. Mix together with the oats, then beat in the egg. Mix in the syrup and PB.  Throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips.  Spoon into 12 greased muffin tins, top with some flaked coconut, and bake at 350 for 12 minutes. PS they are pretty low in sugar, but if you want them more dessert-like, add more syrup! Or brown sugar!

fruity-pebble-marshmallow-treats

Believe it or not, these are not organic. And I won’t be hash-tagging #cleaneating.

When I scroll through my Instagram feed, or search hashtags like #food and #dinner, I fear for the future of Fruity Pebbles. And for my boys’ future mornings with Fruity Pebbles. And Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And Golden Grahams. And Lucky Charms!

Instagram is inundated with health food! Vegan noodles and green smoothies and vegan non-dairy gluten-free low-carb cupcakes. What?? What ingredients are left?! My sister just told me she saw hummus mixed with cold-pressed juice. I mean WTF.

While I really do enjoy a very healthy diet, it’s all about checks and balances for me. Occasional sugary non-nutritional cereals and real pasta noodles and cupcakes with all the ingredients are the little things in life that bring pure enjoyment. And while I do love Kashi cereal, I know that my childhood wouldn’t have been complete without the days when my mom let us splurge on Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Puffs (never Lucky Charms though. Why mom?).  So, I fear for Fruity Pebbles and all other non-organic non-whole non-natural minimal-nutrition food. I feel like before we know it foods like that will be illegal and we’ll all be feeding on seeds and hay.

Anyway…I love Fruity Pebbles. And because it’s NATIONAL CEREAL DAY, I decided to turn mine into a version of Rice Krispie Treats.

You guys, these are good. Extra marshmallow, extra butter, and yes probably all sorts of unnatural food dyes like red 57 and yellow 49 or whatever. So worth it.

Recipe

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups mini marshmallow
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4  cups Fruity Pebbles

Frosting

  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the marshmallows, continuing to stir until melted. Turn off the heat and mix in the almond extract. Combine Fruity Pebbles and marshmallows, then press into a greased 8×8 inch pan.

To make the frosting, mix all ingredients, then spread evenly over the cooled bars.

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