Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chocolate Chip Blondies

I adapted this recipe from a recent episode of Dessert First on the Food Network for Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies. (Do you watch the show?) I don't have fleur de sel sitting in around in my pantry, and there were a few other changes I wanted to make. She also uses a jelly roll pan, which I do not have. Bar cookies are so easy to make, and these were no exception. The result was a thick, cakey bar with plenty of gooey chocolate!

2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars very well- roughly 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix. 
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 
Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Stir in chocolate chips.
In a 13x9 pan sprayed with cooking spray, pour in the mixture and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 25 minutes until light golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Yields 36 bars.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Uncle Biff's Copycat

I tried Uncle Biff's cookies for the first time over a year ago and just loved them! (See my original post). The California Killer cookie was definitely the best and obviously a favorite (I've had many people come to me searching for a copycat version). The wait is over! I made mine a little smaller than Uncle Biff, so use two tablespoons of dough and increase the baking time if you want to mimic the size.
If you have tried Uncle Biff's, try this recipe and let me know what you think!

1 1/4 cups of flour
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sticks butter
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl whisk cups of flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add in vanilla and eggs.
Gradually add in the flour mixture. Stir in chips. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets.
Roll dough into balls and place onto cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 12 minutes until light golden brown.
Yields 36 cookies.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I was not able to resist a second cookie stop in Key West at Mattheessen's. Fresh cookies sitting in the window and the sign advertising half-pound cookies were too tempting! You may be wondering if I really meant to write half-pound, and yes, each cookie is 1/2 pound each!

Mr. Sleuth and I downed the fresh, chocolatey and gooey chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie in record time. It was so delicious that I could have eaten a whole one all by myself! The cookie was buttery with a perfect amount of chocolate chips. The macadamia nuts provided just the right amount of crunch and saltiness. Because the cookie was so soft, nuts are definitely needed to give the cookie a better texture.

In addition to chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, Mattheesen's offers oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, chocolate chip, chocolate chip with pecans, and chocolate chips with peanuts. Cookies without nuts are $5.00 each, and cookies with nuts are $6.00 each. For ordering information, visit

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kermit's Key Lime Shop

You can't go to the Florida Keys and not have key lime! In Key West, we visited Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shop that specializes in everything key lime. From key lime salsa to key lime honey and of course, key lime pie, Kermit's has it all, including key lime cookies!

The two varieties offered are key lime coolers and white chocolate key lime. The key lime coolers had a very strong key lime flavor and were super soft. Delicious! The white chocolate key lime cookie's slight lime flavor would be good for those who want a slight twist on a regular cookie or are in need of a crunchy snack. The individual serving package of key lime coolers was only $1.95. A 6 ounce tin is $12.95. An 8 ounce box of white chocolate key lime cookies was $7.00. I would definitely buy the key lime coolers again, but skip the others since they lacked flavor (though I did like the crunch!).
For more information on shipping and store locations, visit

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip

This is a great cookie if you want a little bit of everything. Between the oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips there are enough flavors and textures to satisfy whatever you are craving. Perhaps that's why I ate five of them while I was cleaning up my kitchen! This recipe comes together very quickly, too. No single flavor dominates, so add more chocolate, walnuts, or oats depending on your preferences. In its current form, the recipe produces a cakier oatmeal cookie with hints of chocolate and crunchy walnuts.

1/2 cup cold Margarine or butter
1/2 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
1/8 cup Granulated sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips 

Heat oven to 350 F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. 
Stir in oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
Yields 2 dozen.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter

This was a fun cookie with a soft peanut butter base and a crunchy chocolate shell. The flavors and textures of each contrasted each other perfectly.

For the chocolate, I melted about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I refrigerated the cookies for 30 minutes after I dipped them to cool the chocolate and form a hard shell.
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar 
1 large egg 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
Chocolate for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. 
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture. 
Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
Bake until cookies are golden brown- about 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely.
While the cookies cool, melt chocolate in a microwave safe dish. Dip 1/2 of each cookie into the chocolate and place on wax paper to cool and harden.
Yields 1 Dozen

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Norman Love

While on our Florida trip, we were excited to make a stop in Fort Myers and take the Molded Candies class at Norman Love Confections. If you have the opportunity, it is definitely worth a visit! The class was three hours, and we learned the candy molding process from start to finish from wonderfully experienced chefs. Plus each student got to take home 32 of their very own molded candies! Take a look...

In addition to chocolate, they sell cookies, brownies, macaroons, croissants, and other delicious pastries in their chocolate salon. I sampled the oatmeal raisin cookie and two French macaroons. The oatmeal raisin cookie had the added bonus of having raisin-sized chocolate pieces mixed in as well. Chewy throughout, the cookie had crispy edges and a soft middle. The macaroons were light and fluffy with just the right amount of filling. The cookies and cream macaroon was delicious! I could have eaten many more of them! The strawberry macaroon had an artificial taste. Cookies are $2.50 each. Petite macaroons are $1.75 each.
Everything at Norman Love Confections is handmade, and they will ship anywhere in the country. For more information, visit their website at:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oatmeal Butterscotch Chewies

I had a cookie emergency this weekend and needed to whip these up to feed some hungry friends. This recipe produces an extremely chewy cookie that stays fresh for several days.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars. Add egg.
Stir in butterscotch chips and oats.
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
Yields 24 cookies.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Mr. Sleuth and I just got back from a fabulous Florida vacation. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale and drove in a big circle around the state. Of course, what trip to Florida is complete without a trip to Orlando and Disneyland! We spent a hot (but not very crowded) day at Epcot. I love the Mickey shaped ice cream bars, so I was hoping to find a cookie with his likeness. No luck!

Fortunately I did find a tasty chocolate chip cookie (with chocolate chunks and chocolate chips) at Boulangerie Patisserie in the France pavilion. For just $2.25, it was one of the best deals in the park! It was a very average cookie, but the warm weather made the myriad of chocolate chips very gooey, and the whole cookie seemed extra indulgent!
P.S.- For dinner, we ate at Via Napoli (very tasty), and for lunch we had tacos at La Cantina (not so tasty). Do you have a favorite Disney meal or snack?