Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s officially my favorite time of the year–FALL! It’s time the for holidays (here’s looking at you, Halloween and Thanksgiving) and comfort food, so you can bet I’ll be spending the next two months cooking up a storm. Well, four months. Let’s throw winter in there, too, seeing as how fall and winter are a pair.

I’m still on a peanut butter high (yup) and since I really liked the way those peanut butter cups turned out, I decided to make peanut butter cookies. I’ve never been a huge fan of pb cookies, but I thought that adding a bit of powdered sugar–the thing that makes peanut butter cups so delicious–might help with that, and I think I had the right idea. Top these cookies with sugar and chocolate, and all is well.

I think I’ll add orange frosting to the next batch and make them Halloween-themed :)!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 2 tsps sugar, for rolling

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl on low speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Add flours, baking powder, baking salt, and salt to butter/sugar mixture. Beat on low speed until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  5. Shape dough into balls and roll into sugar.
  6. Place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cookies are a light, golden color. If adding Hershey’s kisses, press kiss into the center of the cookie immediately after removing the cookie from the oven.

Peanut Butter Cups

I’ve been craving peanut butter lately–and I’m always in the mood for chocolate–so I thought I’d play around with my peanut butter cup recipe. I have to say that I like this combination the best so far, and I believe it’s because of the milk chocolate/dark chocolate combination.

Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp(s) melted butter
  • 4 ozs of milk chocolate, crushed
  • 4 ozs of dark chocolate, crushed
  • Sea salt, optional

Directions:

  1. Place butter in a small bowl and melt butter in microwave (about 15 – 20 seconds).
  2. Add powdered sugar, peanut butter, and salt to melted butter and stir until well combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with 12-13 mini muffin wrappers (the number of wrappers you fill will vary, depending on how much chocolate you eat beforehand).
  4. Add crushed milk chocolate and crushed dark chocolate to a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly until most of the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat immediately, and continue to stir until remaining chocolate has melted.
  5. Add a small amount of chocolate to each muffin wrapper (about 1-1  1/2 tsp of chocolate).
  6. Drop a small amount of the peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate in wrappers.
  7. Top peanut butter with another 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of chocolate.
  8. If desired, sprinkle a dash of sea salt onto peanut butter cups.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 30- 45 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.

 

 

Butter Post II – Now with Truffles!

I finally got around to using the Target brand butter and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The butter has a good taste to it, albeit it does have a greasier texture than the Land O Lakes butter I’m used to. The greasiness isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it does produce a smooth, creamy truffle just as my go-to butter does.

While I’m not convinced that it’s the best butter out there (I’m stubborn), I’d definitely buy again based on the outcome of these truffles. Still, that’s not going to stop me from running more tests, just to be sure.

Buttered cheese grits, anyone?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps + 1 tsp milk
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 14 ounces Baker’s Dipping Chocolate Cups
  • 2 wax paper-lined cooking sheets!

Optional Toppings:

  • Crushed M&M, crushed peanuts, or sea salt sprinkled over chocolate coating

Directions:

  1. Combine sugars and butter in a bowl and beat on low-medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until very smooth and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla extract and milk and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add flour and salt and mix together until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Remove cookie dough from plastic wrap. Scrap out 18-22 balls of dough using a 1 tbsp measuring spoon.
  6. Place cookie dough bites on wax paper-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Heat Baker’s Dipping Chocolate according to directions on label (or over very low heat on stovetop, stirring constantly. Dipping the dough will be easier if you use a very small boiler.)
  8. Remove roughly half of the cookie dough bites from the freezer.
  9. Place one cookie dough bite on a spoon and submerge in chocolate. Cover the top of the cookie dough bite with chocolate using another spoon (I recommend a coffee spoon). Gently slide dough off spoon and place on another wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate.
  10. Repeat process until all of the cookie dough balls are covered (don’t forget to remove the ones from the freezer after you’ve coated the ones that are already out).

Notes:

  • You’re welcome to melt a chocolate bar or chocolate chips to use for the chocolate coating. Just be mindful that chocolate bars/chocolate chips don’t tend to harden as well as baking chocolate.
  • You might insert a toothpick or lollipop stick into the dough before you freeze it to use as a dipping handle. Use the method that works well for you.

Moon Madness II – Sailor Mars Red Velvet Brownies

This week’s Moon Madness dessert is a little bit Sailor Mars, a little bit Sailor Moon. We’ve got the purple-red motif that Mars wears coupled with the sweet taste that Usagi lives for. Mars and Moon are the best of pairs, so I think it’s a good choice!

Every once in a while, I like to cheat when I bake, especially when I’m baking two desserts back to back (stay tuned for the second posting). Today’s red velvet brownies (cut in the shape of Mar’s brooch) are made easy with red velvet cake mix. Don’t worry; they still taste delicious!

Sailor Mars Red Velvet Brownies

Ingredients:

  • Red velvet cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter, for pan

Frosting

  • Plain vanilla frosting
  • Red and blue food coloring gel

Tools

  • Frosting tips
  • Frosting bag
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutters
  • Aluminum foil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 light metal pan with aluminum foil. Grease the inside of the pan with butter and set aside.
  2. Combine melted butter, water, vanilla extract, and egg in a large mixing bowl and mix for 2-3 minutes on low speed.
  3. Add red velvet cake mix to wet ingredients. Combine using baking spatula. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  5. Let the brownies cool for at least 1 hour. Watch the “Food Fetish” episode of Sailor Moon while you wait.
  6. Add red and blue food coloring to frosting. Spoon frosting into frosting bag and set aside.
  7. Use the ends of the aluminum foil to lift the brownies from the pan. Cut brownies into heart shapes using heart-shaped cookie cutters. Save the scraps! We’ll use them for something else.
  8. Frost, serve, and enjoy!

¬†Question: Who’s your favorite sailor scout?

Mars eating

Save the scraps! Usagi will eat them. Or we’ll make cake pops.