Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I just cannot get enough of the peanut butter and chocolate combination! These chocolatey, brownie-like cookies were a hit at the potluck I brought them to. (I didn't want to share!) The rich chocolate flavor was just right for the peanut butter cups, and even though they were cakey, they were not dry. The cookies hold their shape while baking, so I recommend pressing down on the tops slightly for a more flat cookie.  
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups mini peanut butter cups

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Beat the cold butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until it is mixed in. Gradually add the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture until just mixed in. Stir in the peanut butter cups.
Spoon tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Yields 18 cookies

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cookie Pizza

A few weeks ago, we went to to Max Brenner in Las Vegas. We order a half dessert pizza. The idea and the toppings were great, but the "crust" was flavorless. I set out to make my own this weekend, and it turned out wonderful! I caramelized the bananas this time, but I will skip that step if I am short on time. Besides the great taste, what I like most about the cookie pizza is how easy it is to customize. It's super easy and fun, too!

1/2 tube of sugar cookie dough (or 1/2 of this sugar cookie recipe)
1/3 cup hazelnut spread
1 large banana, sliced
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press cookie dough into the bottom of a pie pan and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Spread hazelnut spread over the cookie.

Sprinkle sugar over bananas and cook under the broiler until light brown. Top pizza with bananas. Then top with marshmallows.

Return the pizza to the oven and broil until marshmallows are lightly browned.

Yields 8 servings.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have been wanting to try MILK for a long time and finally had a chance this weekend. It definitely lived up to my expectations. Their bakery case had loads of sweet options. It was so hard to decide what to do! I almost got myself a small cookie basket (2 of every kind of cookie- $25), but I exercised a little bit of self-control and only tried four cookies (Only 4 cookies! Ha!). Cookies are $1.50 each and are on the small side, but the great quality is worth it. The "Oreo" was $2.50. Brownies and bars are also $2.50.
Here's the rundown:
Chocolate Chip Walnut- Unfortunately this was just average- thick and cakey with lots of chocolate chips and a few walnuts.
Snowcap- This chewy, chocolately bit of deliciousness also had white chocolate chunks. I wanted to save some for after dinner, but it was too hard to wait!
Gooey Chocolate- AMAZING! This rich cookie was almost like a disk of chocolate chips held together by just a little bit of chocolate cookie.
Oreo- The filling tasted just like an Oreo cookie. It was a good cookie, but I prefer the real thing. 

Other cookie flavors available include molasses, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, oatmael with dried fruit, and chocolate chip. It was hard to focus on cookies, since MILK also serves fantastic ice cream treats and shakes.

MILK is located at 7290 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles. For details, visit their website:

Milk on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies

I originally was a bit intimidated by this recipe from Sarah Copeland's The Newlywed Cookbook since it was featured on Martha Stewart's show earlier this year. Of course she tries to make everything on the show look easy, but it isn't always! This recipe is not difficult, but you do have to invest some time with the preparation of the layers and refrigeration of the dough. The result is worth it, though! The cookies are soft on the inside with crispy edges, and there's plenty of chocolate! It's what every chocolate chip cookie should be. I kept the dough in the refrigerator over the weekend and just made a few after dinner each night (and two for a Sunday afternoon snack!).

The recipe from the cookbook is below. Next time I may do 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar instead. I did not do the egg wash or sprinkle with fleur de sel. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet chocolate. This is my entry for AlphaBakes hosted on The More Than Occasional Baker this month. What a fun challenge! 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, two at a time; add vanilla and mix to combine.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix to combine.
Divide dough into three equal portions. Wrap each portion with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator; let chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, coarsely chop chocolate into thin shards. Set aside.
Unwrap one portion of chilled dough and place on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle with half the chocolate and top with a second portion of chilled dough. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate and top with remaining portion of dough.
Lightly dust with flour and gently roll out dough to a 9-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Using a 2-inch-round cutter, cut out 10 rounds of dough. Gather scraps and lightly pat into another 1 1/2-inch-thick rectangle and cut out remaining cookies. Place on prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with fleur de sel, if desired.
Transfer cookies to oven and bake until cookies are set, 12 to 15 minutes, switching baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking. Let cookies cool slightly on baking sheets, about 3 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Yields 1 dozen.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sugar Cookie Oreos

This has been a busy few weeks, so in need of an easy recipe and a way to use the remaining half tube of sugar cookie dough from earlier this week, I made a variation of a friend's recipe. (She covers Oreos in homemade chocolate chip cookie dough.) Be sure to refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. They will spread a lot otherwise. 

I had promised myself I would just eat one, but after eating one (and waiting ten minutes as the experts suggest!), I gave in for a few more. Delicious!

1/2 tube of sugar cookie dough
10 Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Surround the Oreo with cookie dough (put one ball of dough on top and another ball of dough on the bottom and press around the cookie).
Refrigerate the cookies for 15 minutes.
Bake for 14 minutes. Cool completely.
Yields 10 servings

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marshmallow Sugar Cookie Cups

This was a fast, easy recipe that produced delicious little bite-sized treats. I used half of a tube of sugar cookie dough (about one cup of dough). Next time I will use baking cups to make them a little easier to get out.
1/2 tube of sugar cookie dough
36 mini marshmallows
48 chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin tin with baking cups or grease well with cooking spray.
Press balls of sugar cookie dough into the center of the mini muffin tins, pushing down in the center (so you can put in the marshmallows and chocolate chips later).
Bake the cookie cups for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place 3 mini marshmallows and 4 chocolate chips into each cookie. Return them to the oven and bake for about 3 minutes more.
Allow to cool slightly in the pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.
Yields 12 servings

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Carnegie Deli and Wynn Gift Shop- Las Vegas

I love Las Vegas! I hardly gamble, but I find plenty to eat, see, and do. On our most recent trip, we saw LOVE- The Beatles Cirque de Soleil show. It was fantastic! On our way out, we stopped by Carnegie Deli in The Mirage for a late night snack. Everything there is huge! Plus, two cookies come standard with one order. These aren't ordinary cookies either. They were big, saucer-sized chocolate chip cookies. They had a texture of a muffin top and a lighter taste while still providing a full chocolate flavor. An order of two cookies is $4.75.

My next late-night cookie stop was at the gift shop at The Wynn. Since we were leaving the next morning, the packages of bite-sized cookies were perfect. I tried the Wynn's chocolate chip cookies (thin, crispy, chocolatey, and dangerously addictive!) and chocolate banana cookies from Byrd Cookie Company (strong banana flavor, crispy cookies). The Wynn cookie box was $9, and the Byrd cookie box was $7.95, which isn't too horrible for a Las Vegas gift shop. I'd get the Wynn cookies again to keep me entertained on the way home.
What's your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

I cannot get enough banana these days, although not in its whole state. It's banana baked goods that I cannot stop thinking about! I guess this is a better thing to be craving than chocolate... These not-too-sweet cookies turned out to be a great mid-morning sweet snack at work. Their soft texture is balanced out by the crunch and chew of the walnuts and oats.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium banana, mashed
1 cup oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
Put butter and sugars into a bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in oats and walnuts.
Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies until golden (about 12 minutes).
Yields 2 Dozen

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this incredibly easy recipe in the June issue of Woman's Day. With so few ingredients, I was very skeptical they would turn out well. They actually were very tasty and had a soft chewy texture. I'll be making them again, especially when I am short on time.
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
Yields 18 cookies.

A few weeks ago I tried Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach. Wow! What a delicious meal! The service was a bit snobby, but the great food made up for it. Our dessert came with two bite-sized rosemary cookies. It was the perfect sweet and savory combination. For more details, visit