Friday, May 25, 2018

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Snowballs

I feel like this week kind of got away from me, and it got fairly late in the evening and I hadn’t baked yet! I had a cookie planned, but I didn’t figure that I had enough time to make them. So I went searching for another recipe, something quick and fairly simple. I had time to go to the store, I guess, but I was hoping to find something that I had all of the ingredients on hand.

I went looking though the recipe that I had pinned, and most of them are more involved. Bar cookies are great but they do take time to bake up and then cool. I discovered that I pin a lot of bar cookies! I came across this pin, which in the original blog post is described as a Christmas cookie. The recipe was very simple, and honestly, chocolate and peanut butter are timeless. I had everything on hand, so this was my choice.

These cookies are very similar to Russian teacakes, or Mexican wedding cakes, whatever you call them. They are a shortbread cookie, and instead of pecans they have peanut butter in the dough and chocolate chips. I love Russian teacakes, the cookies are always a little under baked, but for some reason I love that. These bake for quite a while, but you need to be careful to not over bake or they will be too dry.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Snowballs
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups mini chocolate chips
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, add the butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Mix on medium until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour and stir on low. When the flour is almost incorporated into the dough, add the chocolate chips and stir on low until the dough forms.

Shape the dough into 1-1/4 inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until set. The cookies will still be soft, but you do not want to over bake the cookies. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove from the baking sheet and gently roll in the powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, roll again in powdered sugar once the cookies are cool.

Recipe from Wine and Glue

Friday, May 18, 2018

Biscoff Caramel Toffee Bars

I traveled for a conference recently, and on the plane, they served Biscoff cookies. It was a pretty short flight and that was about all they served. Short flights are fun, they serve the drinks and then it’s time to land. My friend from work hadn’t had Biscoff cookies before, and was thinking that they were coffee-flavored, a flavor that isn’t her favorite. I told her they weren’t coffee-flavored at all. I figured that it was time to make something with Biscoff spread.

I have made a very similar bar cookie to this before, but it only had a caramel filling and not a caramel and Biscoff filling. And it didn’t have toffee either. I recall that those bars were quite rich and buttery, and this recipe just guilds the lily, really. You do want to cut these into smaller bars, as they are very over the top. I like the combination of the caramel and the cinnamon Biscoff. The Biscoff is the strongest flavor; I think the toffee bits just add crunch but not a lot of extra flavor. These aren’t as sweet as you might think them to be, but they are very, very decadent.

Biscoff Caramel Toffee Bars
2 cups butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups flour
11 ounce jar salted caramel sauce
14 ounce jar Biscoff spread
1-½ cups toffee bits

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on medium until light. Add the flour and stir on low until the dough forms. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the remaining dough. 
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Pour the caramel sauce over the partially baked base. Microwave the Biscoff spread for about 20 seconds and then top the caramel with the Biscoff spread. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the Biscoff, covering the filling as much as possible. Sprinkle the dough with the toffee bits.
Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and the caramel is bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Recipe from The Domestic Rebel

Friday, May 11, 2018

Glazed Pineapple Cookies

I wanted to make something more springy for this week. I know that baking doesn’t always seem springy or summery, but there are certainly ways to incorporate sunnier flavors into baking. I found this recipe online, in an article that talked about cookies for summer. Some of their options didn’t seem like I would want to make them in the summer: who wants to roll out cookies and then decorate them in a hot kitchen? I wouldn’t; but these seemed like they’d be great for this time of year.

I really like pineapple, and I have made a handful of pineapple recipes. I liked these as they were a simple cookie, but with the glaze and the optional sparkling sugar jazzed these up a lot. This doesn’t make a huge batch, about two and a half dozen. I stated my glaze with three tablespoons pineapple juice and it was too runny, so I had to add quite a bit more powdered sugar. They looked too plain just glazed, so I searched the cupboard for sparkling sugar and I had some smoked sugar that I used to finish the cookies. The cookies are soft but crisp around the edges, with the great sweetness of pineapple shining through.

Glazed Pineapple Cookies
8 ounce can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice; set aside the pineapple juice for the glaze. In a large mixer bowl, beat the shortening and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg and mix on medium to incorporate. Add the drained pineapple and vanilla; mix well on medium-low. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir on low, just until the dough comes together.

Scoop onto the prepared baking sheets, using about 1-1/2 tablespoons dough for each cookie.

Bake for about 17 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom and set but still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before glazing.

Make the glaze: in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and two tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice. Continue adding pineapple juice, about ½ teaspoon at a time, until the right consistency for glazing. Glaze the cooled cookies. Top with sparkling sugar, if desired.
Recipe from Taste of Home