28 April 2011

A crap load of cookies

How do you like them alliteration? Nice, right?

Well, let me start off by apologizing if I left someone actually in suspense. Last week's innovative flashlight use in the kitchen was so that I could break up the mini cadbury eggs and add them to some cookie dough. These eggs hands down constitute my favorite candy (I scoured 3 stores before I could find them last week) and I simply had to take advantage of them!

I incorporated my little pretties into two different cookie recipes I found online that had received rave reviews, with one being vanilla, the other chocolate. While, my dad stated it best later that weekend upon trying one of each type with, "You are certainly not afraid of using sugar", I must warn that the chocolate cookies are truly only for those craving chocolate in a concentrated form, not for pseudo-chocolate lovers. (Actually, perhaps Andy said it best when he said I could an enabler for adult onset diabetes.) Anyways, I highly recommend trying out these recipes when you have the opportunity. I might actually play around the the vanilla recipe as a base for other cookies, because the addition of instant pudding mix makes a cookie just so decadently soft. Either that, or I need to figure out the magical properties of the contents of instant pudding mix. And now, without further ado, links to these two magnificent recipes!

Chocolate Pudding Cookies from 101 Cookbooks
Vanilla Pudding (Chocolate Chip) Cookies from Two Peas and their Pod

This week's batch went back to a childhood favorite: peanut butter cookies. Okay, the decision to make peanut butter cookies might have had something to do with the fact that I had been staring at pictures of the cookies all day at work. Anyways, since I also received a camera over the weekend, I was even able to take some pictures along the way! The recipe was flavorful and extremely simple, however I should have listened to the original directions when they said to pull the cookies out of the oven after 10-12 minutes, even if they still look undone. I instead put them on the top rack for an additional 5-8 minutes, which gave them a beautiful golden brown color to them, but also dried them out. (Truth be told, they were very soft and tender when they first came out, but they hardened in the cooling process.) In the future, I hope to modify this recipe with some of that magical instant vanilla pudding mix in order to achieve texture perfection!

Peanut Butter Cookies (from smitten kitchen with slight adjustments)

  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 c peanut butter, room temperature (I used half creamy, half chunky)
  • 3/4 c (white) sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c peanut butter or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper or silicone sheets (like Silpat)
Instructions (please mind the numbered pictures, they aren't steps so much as reference points!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butters until smooth.
  3. Once smooth, add in sugars until fluffy and creamy.
  4. Mix in eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add dry ingredients and combine with peanut butter mixture until well combined.
  6. Fold in chips by hand.
  7. 7. Make 12 tablespoon-sized drops of dough evenly spaced across lined cookie sheets (so that 2 sheets would produce 24 cookies). If desired, at this point, lightly press drops of dough with a fork in order to produce criss-cross markings.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and definitely, no longer than 15 minutes.
  9. Cool cookies on sheet until able to transfer onto a wire cooling rack without them losing form, then allow them to cool completely on rack.

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