PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

I’m having one of those days.  And not a bad day, but one of those amazingly good days where you feel like absolutely nothing can happen to dampen your mood.  I woke up a half hour before my alarm to sunlight streaming in from my window.  I found that since I’ve left my blinds open at night I have a much easier time waking up.  Something about the sunlight seems to send a message to my brain that I should be getting up, so I wake up well rested and ready to face the day.  Let me tell you, after one too many groggy mornings, that is not something to be taken lightly!

I’m proud to say that it is now six days into Lent and I have not touched a single baked good!  I’ve been tempted several times – cookies for a classmate’s birthday and little poppyseed muffins at church – but I’ve held strong. It’s getting easier.  I have to admit, though, when I baked those cookies I wanted SO bad to eat one of the leftovers.  It just seems like a crime to have all those cookies there and not eat one!  I then told myself to suck it up and in a few weeks I’d be able to eat them, so I got my act together and ate some grapes instead.

The entire time I was wishing they were cookies.  But, it’s fine.  It’s, what, another 34 days?  I can do that.  Totally.  I can control myself.  Just because I want cookies and muffins and scones (oh my!) does not mean I need to eat them.

Anyhoo, just because I can’t eat cookies doesn’t mean I can’t post about them.  In fact, I will probably post a lot of them.  I will live vicariously through my blog!  Today I bring you a recipe I made early in the my first semester here.  They were the first cookies I brought over to the neighbors, and are probably the only reason they tolerate me.

A delicate peanut butter cookie base is topped with a touch of strawberry jelly.  It’s your favorite middle school lunch staple in cookie form, which I pretty much think is reason enough to make these.  The cookies come together relatively quickly and keep well in a tupperware.  If you’re not similarly abstaining from sweets, I highly recommend these!  Even if you are, make them and share them with the people you love.

PB & J Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups crushed peanuts
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strawberry jam
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Mix the flour and peanuts and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Scrape down the sides and mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually add the peanut-flour mixture until combined.  You may have to use your hands to fully form the dough.
 
Drop tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet.  Press your index finger into the center of the cookie, being careful not to press too hard.  Bake 15-18 minutes.  Let cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a wire rack.
 
In a small sauce pan bring the jam to a boil.  Spoon into the thumbprints.  Let cool.
Source:  Joy The Baker
Advertisements

Pumpkin Bars

Earlier this week I had the grand idea to slowly wean myself off of sweets.  This is largely due to the fact that I ate nearly  half of a box of Fannie May chocolates in one sitting that spanned about five minutes.  On a side note, I feel like I need to add that I didn’t have even a bit of a stomachache after.  If that doesn’t impress you, well, I don’t know what will.

Anyway, after I saw the damage I’d done to that box of chocolates I decided that things needed to change.  I don’t typically like to eat that much sweets and I know it’s just a ring of fire where with each innocent mint meltaway I’ll be setting myself up for craving the next one even more.  So, I did what any other person trying to wean themselves off of sugar would do.

I made some pumpkin bars.

In my defense, they were not for me.  Neighbor dinner was last night and it’s just not a true neighbor dinner without some baked good.  Plus, I had a shit load of pumpkin in my pantry.  I only had two today.  So…progress?

I really loved making these bars because they don’t require a mixer.  If there’s anything I love in a recipe, it’s not having to use a mixer, because I’m lazy and really into not having to pull out my mixer and clean the two beaters.  Because obviously that requires so much effort.  Feel free to roll your eyes because I’m rolling mine with you.

These bars end up having a really nice cake-like texture, which makes them feel just a bit fancier than your usual blondie or bar cookie.  I didn’t do a cream cheese frosting, but that would be a great addition here.

Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1 2/3 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Combine the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and flour in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth.  Add the flour mixture and whisk until a batter forms.  Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.  It may take longer depending on your oven.  Mine almost took around 40 minutes, but I think my oven is just running wonky.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My goodness, these past two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind.  First there was driving back home and the wonderful reunion with my beloved DVR.  So many shows, and for once, so much time to watch them!  After that it was the holidays and then my brother’s girlfriend was in for the week to visit.  I feel like I haven’t had a moment to sit down until now!

Now, I know you all cannot see this, but I am currently typing this post up on my new MacBook Pro!  To say that I am excited would be an understatement.  After five years on my old one (named Ferdinand, if you were curious) it was about time for an upgrade.  And after the debacle that was my exam software not loading on my old computer for finals, I am very happy to have one now that will support all my law school needs.  I even notice some difference in blogging.  Love it!!

Anyhoo, this is a food blog, not Liz-goes-on-about-her-new-computer blog.  Today I am bringing another recipe from the old blog, purely because I left my camera up at school.  Yes, I am very responsible.

It feels like a day for a cookie.  In particular, it feels like a day for some cookies studded with chocolate chunks and enveloped in the rich, nutty taste of browned butter.  I actually think I may have put these here before, but that’s fine considering I make these about every other week.  Let this serve as a reminder that you need to make these as soon as humanly possible.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
chocolate chunks/chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, whisking constantly.  Continue to whisk until brown bits are at the bottom.  Remove from heat immediately (butter burns fast) and let cool 10-15 minutes.

Mix the butter with the two sugars.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in the flour mixture until a dough forms.  It will be crumbly, so use your hands to mix it all together.  Roll about 1 tbsp of dough into a ball and press chocolate chip into the center.  Top with another 1 tbsp dough ball and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars

Hello there.

DSCN6847

I feel like I haven’t posted a recipe on here in a kagillion years.  And yes, that is a real measurement.  It comes right after bagillion and kagibagillion.  Anyhoo, if you look it’s only really been about a week but it feels so much longer for me.  Finals isn’t really conducive for cooking and when I do find the time and energy to cook, the last thing I want to do is attempt to take semi-appetizing pictures of it all.

So, yes I made some dijon-crusted porkchops.  Yes, they were da bomb.  Yes, I DID just use the phrase “da bomb” and if I were able to post that recipe you’d be using it, too.  You’d all be going, “These pork chops.  They be da bomb.”  And apparently we’re all from one of those Barbershop movies, too.

Aannndd, I’m going on a very long tangent that is meant to lead to this cookie recipe, which is a repeat from the old blog.  I know it’s sort of lazy to repost, and I admittedly don’t really have a defense for the laziness argument.  But, I can tell you these are delicious.  And they will make you gain about eight pounds, but you won’t care because they are JUST THAT GOOD.  If those all-caps don’t make you believe, I don’t know what will.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars

DSCN6853

Ingredients:
 
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 8×8 baking dish.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
 
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and peanut butter.  Add the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides.  Put the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture.  Fold in the chocolate and coconut.
 
Pour the batter into the baking dish, smoothing it evenly.  Bake 30 minutes, or until the center is browned and the edges darken.
DSCN6848
Source:  Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
** Btw, I apologize if this post or any forthcoming posts over the next two-three weeks are scatter-brained.  Finals has done bad things to my mind.  Like completely obliterating it.  **

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cookies

This recipe brought out the Paula Deen in me.

2 sticks of butter?  Yee haw!

Image

I love shortbread cookies because they are unapologetically unhealthy.  Yep, there’s about half a creamery in them but they aren’t giving any excuses.  You want a healthy cookie?  Go bake something with oatmeal.

These cookies take regular old shortbread to a whole different level by adding melted chocolate and toffee bits.  It results in a delectably sweet and rich cookie.  Double chins be damned.  Jiggly thighs take a number.  These cookies mean business, and I am more than happy to partake.

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cookies

Image

Ingredients:

For the shortbread base:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 oz semisweet chocolate chips

For the topping:

6 oz semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups toffee bits

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.  Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugars.  Blend in the vanilla.  Carefully add the flour mixture and process until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into a prepared 9×13 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the shortbread is bubbling.  Remove from oven and put on a wire rack.

Sprinkle the shortbread with the chopped chocolate, cover with foil, and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly across the shortbread.  Sprinkle on toffee bits and press down lightly to adhere.  Let bars cool at room temperature.  One cool, remove from the pan and chop into squares.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Oreo Pudding Cookies

I typically don’t like to make cookies that have too many ingredients.  I’d like to say I’m a purist and appreciate cookies in their simplest form, but it’s really just because I’m a money-challenged-grad-student who doesn’t like shelling out money for random ingredients.  With that said, these cookies have a lot of random ingredients.

I made them last week for the previously mentioned Football Party – also known as that night we schemed to meet up with our crushes and ended up with a house-full of people that didn’t include them. I spent a lot of time trying to pick the perfect cookie for the night but pretty much knew my search was over when I saw this recipe on Cookies & Cups.  There’s a lot to love in these cookies, but they had at me at the chopped up cookies n’ cream candy bars.

I was OBSESSED with those candy bars during high school.  I used to get them whenever I went to the movie theater and it would pretty much be the greatest thing ever.  Well, it was the greatest thing ever until someone had the genius idea to put them in cookies.  Now, THAT is the greatest thing ever.  For realzies.

These cookies are pretty easy to make and come together quickly.  From what I saw at my party, they disappear quickly, as well!

Oreo Pudding Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 package Oreo pudding

1 tbsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/4 cup flour

3/4 old fashioned oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sat

2 cups chopped Cookies n’ Cream bars

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

In a bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream together the two sugars and  butter.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Next, add the flour mixture, making sure to scrape down the sides.  Fold in the chopped candy bars.  

Drop tablespoons of the dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until brown around the edges. Let cool 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source:  Cookies & Cups

The Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

I have such high hopes for my time spent in the law library.  I go in with my coffee and snacks and imagine all the reading and case briefing I’ll get done.  I’ll be so productive.  I’ll read ahead.  I’ll get all my work done and not have to schlep those eighty-pound casebooks home.

Then I end up on Facebook.

And email.

And this awesome Tumblr page that features famous guys with tiaras.

How is this not the greatest thing you’ve ever seen?!

Three hours later I leave with little accomplished and the usual, “Great, now I have to carry all of these books and commiserate over all the work I could have gotten done if I hadn’t been looking at pictures of men wearing tiaras.”

Then I go home and avoid more work by starting dinner at 4:30 and claiming that I HAVE to bake a batch of cookies.  Because, clearly, having sweets on hand is more important than being prepared for classes where you get called on randomly and potentially berated if you don’t know the answers.

Anyway, despite my waxing and waning on my lack of productivity, I actually do manage to get my work done every night and still have time for cookie-making and cookie-eating.  I made these last week and am just finishing off the batch.

The Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  

In a medium saucepan, melt 10 tbsp of butter.  Stir constantly and remove from heat when brown specks form at the bottom of the pan.  The butter will be golden in color and smell nutty.  Pour over the remaining 4 tbsp of butter and let come to room temperature.  

Mix with the sugars.  Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Don’t over-mix.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  

Drop roughly 3 tbsp of cookie dough for each cookie onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let the cookies rest on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source:  Eat, Live, Run

Brown Butter Chocolate-Stuffed Toffee Cookies

One of the things I looked forward to most about law school was joining the softball team.  When I was choosing between this school and Loyola, I literally made a pro-con list with soft ball on the U of I side.

Tonight was the first set of games and it was everything I thought it would be and more.  I have to admit I was a little nervous at first, especially when you realize there’s this relatively hard ball flying at your face.  Once you realize that the hulking-forty-three-dollar-glove protects your face from the ball, though, it gets better.  And then you find out there’s a keg and things get EVEN better.

We played my roommate Sarah’s team, and we totally won.  I’d like to say I contributed to the win, but all I did was yell out kitschy phrases and making “in the hole” jokes.

In retrospect, I totally contributed to the win.

In the upcoming weeks, I want to start bringing cookies to the field.  Basically so that I can become a Team Mom and force my baked goods on people.  Because really, what is better than forcing people to ingest large amounts of sugar?

Speaking of large amounts of sugar, these cookies are ridiculous.  RIDICULOUS.  I think eating just half could rot most of your teeth, but they’re so delicious you don’t even care.  Not even a bit.  I’m sure these will be made again some time in the future for a softball game.  Hope my teammates don’t like their teeth too much.

Brown Butter Chocolate-Stuffed Toffee Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups + 2 tbsp flour 

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup toffee chips

chocolate chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.  Stir constantly, until brown bits form on the bottom of the pan.  It will smell nice and nutty.  Remove from heat immediately.  Let the butter come to room temperature and then  stir in the sugars.  Stir in the flour mixture.

Fold in the toffee chips.  Take the dough and form two tablespoon size mounds.  Wedge chocolate between the two tablespoons and press together.

Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove gently to a cooling rack.

Source:  How Sweet Eats