Monday, October 29, 2012

Snickers Cookie Bars

Last Halloween I saw a recipe in Woman's Day magazine for Snickers blondies. I finally got around to making my own twist. These bars are chewy and have plenty of gooey goodness from the Snickers. Plus they're easy and fast to make! You can substitute Milky Way, but the peanuts add a nice crunch. Be sure to let them cool completely before slicing.
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
10 fun-sized Snickers (about 1 1/2 cups), chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg. Gradually add in the flour mixture.  
Pour the dough into a 8x8 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Push the dough into all corners. Put the Snickers candies on top and push into the dough.
Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. 
Yields 16 bars.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Banana Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I promised myself I would stop at two! (Of course, while they were baking I ate six or seven peanut butter minis, so I had to control myself when they came out of the oven.) I think I stopped at five. The soft cookie with the combination of banana, peanut butter, and chocolate is one of my favorites.
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
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, and mix well. Mix in banana. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter cups.
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

Monday, October 22, 2012

Butterfinger Sugar Cookies

I love Halloween and Halloween parties, but last minute events are not always the most fun. I like to have time to plan and prepare when I need to bring something. I admit to not being the most spontaneous type... Boring, I know... Oh well! For most people a couple of days notice would be enough, but I like at least one week. 
These turned out OK, but the Butterfingers themselves were a little chewy. I recommend freezing them before wrapping them with dough. You can certainly swap out any other Halloween candy you have extra of.

1 tube of sugar cookie dough
20 miniature Butterfingers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Surround the Butterfinger 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 20 cookies

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peanut M&M Bars

With all of the candy around this time of year (plus my love for M&Ms), this was a perfect treat to make. Bar cookies are so fast, which is always a plus. What's your favorite Halloween candy?
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter or margarine softened
1 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups peanut M&Ms
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat sugars, butter, shortening, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in peanut  M&Ms.
Spoon dough into a 9x9 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.
Yields 16 bars

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Daily Cookie & Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Anna Ginsberg from Cookie Madness has just published an amazing cookbook called The Daily Cookie. Her book has a cookie for every single day of the year. Besides the great recipes and pictures to go with every recipe, she includes a fun story about the day or the cookie recipe. Another great feature is the index. Not only does it list by the names of recipes, but also by type and size of the batch. The book is set to go on sale in November and is a must for your cookbook collection. I'll have some more great recipes to share with you this fall.

Today I made peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The recipe called for chunky peanut butter, but I used the creamy I had in my pantry and didn't miss the crunch. I also used all-purpose flour only. This is a great recipe that I will be making again.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup extra-crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place a rack in the center. Have ready two ungreased baking sheets.
Mix both flours, the baking soda, and the salt together in a medium-sized bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add both sugars and beat for about 3 minutes, or until light. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and beat in the eggs, beating just until mixed. By hand or using the lowest speed of the mixer, beat in the flour mixture. When the flour is incorporated, stir in the oats and chocolate.
Drop generously rounded tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the cookies appear set. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yields 48

Thursday, October 11, 2012

No Bake Butterfinger Bars

As if you need more sugar at this time of year, these crunchy chocolate no-bake bars are sweetly delicious and easy to make. It’s a great use of extra Butterfinger candies, too. This recipe is very versatile. Use any extra Halloween candy you have around. You can even omit the peanut butter (add in butter to replace it) and put in candy canes for a holiday treat.

⅓ cup butter
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 ½ Tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 graham cracker squares
8 fun-sized Butterfingers
¼ cup mini marshmallows

In a small saucepan, melt together butter, peanut butter, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and chocolate.
While this is melting, crumble the graham crackers and chop the Butterfingers.
After the butter mixture has melted, remove from the heat. Stir in graham crackers, Butterfingers, and marshmallows. Press mixture into a loaf pan and refrigerate for one hour. Slice and serve. Store extra in the refrigerator.
Yields 10 servings.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Be sure to save some peanut butter cups this Halloween for a great addition to the filling of these peanut butter whoopie pies. These are delicious! I brought them to work, and people could not stop eating. The peanut butter cups add more chocolate flavor and a great texture. 

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla 
Peanut Butter Filling
1/3 cup butter softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
20 mini peanut butter cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla.
Gradually add in the flour mixture and buttermilk in stages, starting and ending with the flour.
Spoon dough onto baking sheets (size of the drops should be two tablespoons).
Bake 11-13 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add in confectioner's sugar. Add milk until filling is at the desired consistency. Stir in peanut butter cup pieces. Spoon one tablespoon of filling onto a cookie and press another cookie on top to form the whoopie pie.
Yields 12 whoopie pies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Supermarket Finds

Today I have two cookie options you can pick up at the grocery store. The first is Trader Joe's Journey to the Center of the Cookie. Amazing!!!! It's a chocolate chip cookie (big and thick like it was made in a jumbo muffin tin) with chocolate in the center. It comes frozen and just takes 8-10 minutes to bake. A package of two is $3.99. The checkout clerk recommended a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. With or without ice cream, it was still delicious. I need to make a copycat version since I will go broke buying these!
Next is Keebler's Cinnamon Roll Cookies. I wasn't too sure about these, but I gave them a try since they were half off (normally $2.99 for 18 cookies). The cookies were soft and chewy and tasted just like a cinnamon roll. They weren't too sweet, so I would rather have them as a morning snack instead of an indulgent afternoon treat.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banana Chocolate Bars

I wanted something sweet to take to work for an afternoon snack this week, but I didn't want it to be too rich (I actually want to be able to work through the afternoon and not be stuck in a food coma!). These did the trick. The bars were chewy and fudgy, and I didn't need a nap after eating them. :) Next time I will add some finely chopped walnuts for some crunch.

6 Tablespoons tub margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan with non-stick spray.
Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the mashed bananas and egg white until well-blended. 
Gradually add in the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.
Pour dough into the 9x9 pan. Bake for 18 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
Yields 16 bars.