Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies



If you are looking for a thick, rich, indulgent cookie; look no further. This is it. 

The basis of the cookie is cake mix, something I have been meaning to try for a while. I had heard it resulted in a thick, chewy cookie and that is certainly true in this case. The batter is so thick, in fact, it must be flattened a bit on the tray so it takes the shape of a cookie.
It is also such an easy way to make cookies. Other than unwrapping and crushing the peanut butter cups this took me hardly any time to put together. 

These aren't really classic holiday cookies, but I have a bunch frozen to bring out later this season. Personally I think a good chocolate peanut butter cookie is good any time of the year. :-) 

Adapted from Taste of Home

 Ingredients:

1 Box Devils Food Cake Mix
1 stick (8 tablespoons) Butter, melted
1 large Egg
2 cups Mini Chocolate Chips
25 Mini peanut butter Cups, crushed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Pour cake mix into a large mixing bow. Add melted butter (I melted the butter in the microwave. Having the butter completely melted makes mixing the batter easier.) egg, chocolate chips and crushed peanut butter cups. I put the peanut butter cups in a Zip lock bag and ran my rolling pin over them to crush them.  It's a very thick, heavy batter and I ended up using my hands.

3. Using a tablespoon or a medium cookie scoop drop dough onto a baking sheet about 1 inch apart. The dough does not spread much so they can be closer together then most cookies. With a spoon or your fingers press down slightly on the top of each dough ball.

4. Bake for 11-13 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. I am normally not good about doing these but these fall apart unless they are allowed to cool

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pumpkin muffins


I did some baking this week to donate to a bake sale to benefit the local animal shelter. Anything with animals is a cause near and dear to my heart.

I made these chocolate pecan pie bars that are beyond delicious. My plan was to donate half the pan and keep the other half frozen and have for Christmas. I think they would have to be frozen and stored across town to survive much longer. It doesn't help that they are amazing even straight out of the freezer.

There was leftover pumpkin puree from Thanksgiving so I decided to try this pumpkin muffin recipe. They are nice for a light breakfast or a quick snack. I didn't have sunflower seeds, but I think they would be a nice addition. I could also see mixing in some nuts; pecans sound really good.  Husband thought cream cheese frosting would be good, sort of a pumpkin bar in muffin form. I can't argue with that, but I left this batch as is.



I donated six pumpkin muffins, a plate of chocolate pecan pie bars and some milk chocolate fudge.



Adapted from Parade Magazine

Ingredients:


2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger
¼ tsp Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, softened
½ cup Brown Sugar
2 large Eggs
¾ cup Pumpkin Puree
¼ cup Milk
Sunflower Seeds, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Beat butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Fold in pumpkin puree and milk.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Fit a regular muffin pan with liners.

Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups ( a cookie scoop works well ) and sprinkle with sunflower seeds if desired. Bake until muffins are puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.