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Baby Button Cookies

7 May

A good friend of mine has a beautiful new son; however, before he arrived, I helped host a baby shower to celebrate! Since I have a stationary fetish, so this was an excellent opportunity to make some invitations too.  There are several recipes from the day to share, but I’m starting off with the most “festive”, baby button cookies.

I was originally skeptical about the cornstarch, and I still think I might play with the recipe a little to increase the sugar and decrease the cornstarch, but these were a fun little shortbread-type cookie to munch on.  The lemon flavor is really key here so don’t leave it out or feel free to increase it as I did, reflected below.

Baby Shower Invite {peasandcues}

Baby Button Cookies {peasandcues}

Baby Button Cookies

Makes ~ 4 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or lemon) extract
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Coating:

  •  1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse butter and powdered sugar until combined.   To that, add cornstarch, extract, zest and flour,  processing until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece of the dough into a skinny log- about 12 inches long. Cut each log into 12 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball.

Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. These cookies spread very little. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown but the tops are still light.

While baking, mix powered sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl.  Remove the cookies from the oven and while still warm, roll in the sugar mixture.   Place on a wire rack, and use a toothpick to poke four holes in the top of each cookie to make a the buttonhole pattern.  Cool completely.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (adapted from Food and Wine)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

20 Apr
Initially these cookies are very unassuming.  In fact, they kind of look just like brown lumps until you take a bite.  Then, you discover that they contain quite a tasty surprise, especially when eaten while still just slightly warm!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprises {peasandcues}
Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for dipping
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugars, butter and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter until light and smooth. Add in the vanilla and egg, beating to combine. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and set aside.

For the filling, cream together the powdered sugar and remaining 3/4 cup of peanut butter until smooth.

For the cookies, put some additional granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Portion out a generous tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough and flatten into a circle with your hands. Scoop a small amount of peanut butter filling mixture and place in the center of the chocolate dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter filling, pinching ends together to seal. Roll the cookie to smooth into a ball then roll it in the bowl of granulated sugar and place on the cookie sheet.

Use the bottom of a glass to slightly flatten the cookies. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes being careful not to over bake.  Move to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe sourceLiv Life found at Pennies on a Platter

Peanut Butter Surprises!

18 Feb

These are the cookies you take as your contribution to a get together, because they never fail to please.  I’ve made several times since first making them a couple years ago and honestly can’t believe I haven’t shared them yet.  The likely culprit is there aren’t usually any left for picture taking!  These generate requests from friends (Hi, Dan!), cause awkward comments when brought to other people’s homes (“these are the best thing here!” – it’s okay…that whole day was awkward), and basically, you should make them immediately.

Peanut Butter Surprises {peasandcues.wordpress.com}

Peanut Butter Cup Surprises

Makes 24 cookies

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 mini Reeses peanut butter cups, unwrapped
  • Mini marshmallows
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (original recipe called for 1/2 cup but I usually find it’s more liquidy than I like)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water (original recipe calls for 2 Tbsp.)
  • mini M&Ms


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together peanut butter, sugar and eggs until well combined.  Divide dough evenly between 24 wells of a mini-muffin pan.  Make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until almost done.

Remove from the oven and press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie until the peanut butter cup is flush with the top of the dough.  Top each cookie with 3-4 mini marshmallows.  Return the pan to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes, until marshmallows have puffed up.  Transfer pan to a wire cooling rack and allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before removing them.  They will fall apart if you try to remove them while still warm.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, transfer them to a wire rack over a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil.  Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the cream, sugar and water to a boil, then pour the liquid over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds.  Gently whisk the mixture together until smooth.  Leave ganache to sit until it thickens to your desired consistency, then drizzle over the tops of the cookies.  Sprinkle with mini M&Ms before it hardens.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats; cookies adapted from Picky Palate, ganache from Baking: From My Home to Yours 

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

23 Feb

While I’m still in search of my perfect oatmeal raisin cookie.  These are definitely an acceptable start to the search!  I think I want something slightly less buttery and without cinnamon, but these were quite good nonetheless!

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper or a silpat onto a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.  Gently add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

Chill the dough in the fridge (either chill then scoop or scoop the cookies onto a sheet – 2″ apart – and then chill the whole tray), then bake.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Allow the cookies to sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Festive Cookie Mix

4 Jan

Since our marriage, I finally “officially” have four nieces and a nephew.  Dating for 9 years made that more of an inevitable since I was already “Aunt Pammy”. ;)  Unfortunately they all live in California, so we do not get to see them very often although we do have a trip coming up!  Since I didn’t get to see them during the holidays and participate in any holiday activities together, I wanted ship something out they could do with their respective siblings.  Enter the cookie mix! I’ve seen this idea over the years on blogs, at craft shows, in magazines, etc., but I decided to try it for myself using Bakerella’s recipe.  I also wanted to put something with it so I included a couple other things like a cute brownie mix I found and the embroidered aprons shown at the bottom.

Word of advice…make sure you pack, pack, pack the ingredients in.  Lesson learned…let’s just say it was a good thing I hadn’t planned to include the pecans!

I wanted it to get to them before Christmas, so I didn’t search for smooth Ball jars or cute fabric to wrap around the lid, but this could easily be a fun party favor in my future!  Coordation of the M&M’s colors, labels, and fabric to the party….HEAVEN.

Cookie Mix

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup m&ms
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I omitted.)

Start with a 1-quart smooth Ball jar.

Layer the ingredients:

Bottom/First:  Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt
Second: Oats
Third: M&Ms
Fourth: Chocolate Chips
Fifth: Brown Sugar
Sixth: White Sugar
Seventh: Chopped Pecans

Pack each level down VERY, VERY tightly (or it won’t all fit). Ingredients should be flush to the top of the lid when you seal it up.

FOR THE LABEL OR RECIPE CARD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add:

  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, slightly melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use the back of a large spoon or your hands to combine it all together.

Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes.

Recipe found at: Bakerella

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

21 Dec

I shockingly have only made one batch of Christmas cookies this year.  Between school, work, and overall lacking motivation, it just didn’t happen this year.  Probably the fact that I knew there would be a ton at my parents’, and I really don’t need five dozen cookies didn’t hurt either.

We were supposed to go to a holiday party for Corrie’s work, but it got canceled due to inclement weather…twice.  These were originally supposed to go there.  I unfortunately really liked the way these tasted…very peppermint-y like the candy cane cookies.

I did use a slightly larger cookie scoop then I meant to so I got a few less out of the recipe, but they were obviously just as tasty!

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1¼ cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract, optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses
  • Granulated sugar
  • 30 unwrapped Candy Cane Kisses

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Use the mixer, on medium speed, to combine the powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl often until creamy, 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix, scraping bowl often, until well blended (1-2 minutes).   The mixture will be slightly crumbly. Stir in the chopped up Kisses.

Scoop dough into ¾-inch to 1-inch balls, and roll in granulated sugar. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.

Allow to cool for 5-6 minutes, and then press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie.   Use your fingers to help the cookie keep its shape while you’ll do this (they’ll crack a little bit).

Store in a covered container at room temperature.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Recipe slightly adapted from Recipe Girl

SCRUMPTIOUS Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

20 Dec

My mom made these cookies when we were home for Thanksgiving, and they are totally delicious.  I’m actually not a huge chocolate cookie fan, particularly no crispy cookies for me, but these are not a traditional chocolate chip cookie taste.  Not crispy but not super soft.  They are so good in a “I just tried to eat my weight in them” sort of way, so essentially make them immediately.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ lb butter
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 345 degrees.

Cream the butter, sugars, eggs together.  Add the vanilla, salt and baking soda.  Scrape the sides and add the baking powder and flour. Mix until incorporated.  Add the walnuts and chocolate chips just till mixed.

Scoop and bake for 13-18 minutes depending on your oven until the bottoms just turn golden brown.

Recipe found at: Bravo TV (Top Chef) Just Desserts Made by my Mommy!



No Bake Cookies

8 Dec

Somehow I’ve managed to make these way more times than my jeans would like, but I haven’t blogged about them yet.

They were unfortunately an excellent treat to make when it was too hot outside to turn the oven on inside.  Even now that I’m in the South I’m beginning to forget what that was like….brr!

These are too easy to make and unfortunately I usually have the ingredients on hand.  One day, as you can see from the “rear” cookie, I decided to also add some marshmallows to the mix!  Now I’d like to also inform you that this mixture is delicious eaten from a spoon if you can’t wait the very short time they take to harden, but how would I know? ;)

No Bake Cookies

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • marshmallows, optional

Add butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder to a 4-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let it boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

Add the peanut butter and vanilla stir until smooth, then stir in the oats (and marshmallows if using).

Drop by heaping tablespoons (mine are huge in the picture…so I may have used several heaping tablespoons) onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.  Then, let cool until set.

Recipe found at Brown Eyed Baker, adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

Guest Post: Shortbread

12 Mar

When I started my current job, I opted to work longer hours every Monday through Thursday in exchange for every other Friday off. I think I tried to make it sound like a reasonable adult decision by pointing to the elimination of a 45-mile round trip commute twice a month, but really I just wanted to sleep in 26 times a year when my poor wife has to get up and work.

But once I’ve overdosed on sleep and video games, twinges of guilt start to gnaw at me as I hear her making calls and firing off e-mails. So on many of these Friday afternoons I’ve tried to pay back all the reasons I’m thankful for her (many of which you’ve read on this site) by tackling one of her favorites in the kitchen.

Case in point: Shortbread. I really had only had these cookies out of ugly red plaid plastic sleeves before, so this recipe was kind of daunting. However, this is very manageable and the final product turned out very well (I’m pretty sure we killed it in about 24 hours).

One key is managing the shape of the dough. Using a spring-form pan to set the initial size and then unclasping it to set the final boundary was pretty clever. Hat-tip to the goofy guy with the bow-tie in Cook’s Illustrated for that.

The other key is getting the texture right, and Cooks Illustrated’s twist, creating a flour out of rolled oats, added the right amount of coarseness to the dough. I toyed with the idea of candying bacon and incorporating it into the dough or sprinkling it on top at the end, but it felt a little too Willy Wonka.

A little while after I made this, my Aunt Debbie brought her own homemade shortbread to our Christmas festivities, and she used finely crushed potato chips instead of the oat-flour. I liked the little extra saltiness this brought to the cookies with the same textural differentiation. Sadly, I don’t think she has a blog for me to link to for you all.

Shortbread

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstrach
  • 2/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 14 Tbsp. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pulse oats in a spice grinder or blender until reduced to fine powder, about ten 5-second pulses.  In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oat flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds.  Add butter to dry ingredients and continue to mix on low speed until dough just forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place upside-down (grooved edge should be at the top) collar of a 9- or 9 1/2-inch springform pan on parchment lined rimmed baking sheet (do not use springform pan bottom).  Press dough into collar in even 1/2-inch-thick layer, smoothing top of dough with back of spoon.  Place 2-inch biscuit cutter in center of dough and cut out center.  Place extracted round alongside springform collar on baking sheet and replace cutter in center of dough.  Open springform collar, but leave it in place.

Bake shortbread 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees.  Continue to bake until edges turn pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer.  Remove baking sheet from oven; turn off oven.  Remove springform pan collar; use chef’s knife to score surface of shortbread into 16 even wedges, cutting halfway through shortbread.  Using wooden skewer (or a fork), pork 8 to 10 holes in each wedge.  Return shortbread to oven and prop door open with handle of wooden spoon, leaving 1-inch gap at top.  Allow shortbread to dry in turned-off oven until pale golden in center (shortbread should be firm but giving to touch), about 1 hour.

Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool shortbread to room temperature, at least 2 hours.  Cut shortbread at scored marks to separate and serve.

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (November and December 2009)

XOXO Cookies

12 Feb

I love sending care packages, because I think it’s not only fun to get mail but to surprise other people it too.  I haven’t sent as many as I’d like, since a) school, or at least avoiding schoolwork, takes up a lot of what would be my free time and b) I always worry about things being stale upon arrival.  Future plans include compiling a list of yummy treats that stay fresh for a few extra days!

In Valentine’s spirit, I sent these to my brother who sent me a picture from his iPhone which is composed so much better with the milk in the cute jar, etc. than mine ever are.  It cracked me up; he’s creative, what can I say.

The “X” and “O” cookies were inspired by here, although I decided to make full-size cookies and to fill the entire cookie with icing to keep them fresher during shipping.  The recipe is the same one I used here.  Now all I need is to get some Americolor Red to be able to make actual red and try this again…

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