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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

February 21, 2010

Oatmeal raisin cookies might possibly be my favorite cookies. There’s nothing quite like a good oatmeal raisin cookie!

I’ve tried about a hundred recipes but I’ve never found one that I LOVE above all…today I gave Beth’s Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies a shot. They’re pretty tasty! Still not numero uno fantabuloso, but they’re very good! The boyfriend ate 6 of them in about a five minute span. 😉

These cookies are chewy but soft, with a nice blend of spice that’s not overpowering. I soaked my raisins to keep them plump and juicy, but I don’t think it’s vital to the flavor of the cookie. I think next time I’m going to chill the dough balls before I bake them, to see if I can’t get the cookies to stay thicker.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Adapted from Allrecipes)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins (mine were soaked in some water, cinnamon, and a tablespoon of rum)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container.


Punkin Pillow Cookies with Chocolate and Cinnamon Chips

February 15, 2010

I’m pretty sure that my little sister has never said the word “pumpkin”….it’s always been “punkin,” and it seems that it will forever be said that way. Hence, my recipe title!

I’m stuck in the house today; the boyfriend is at work and my car is still snowed in, so I had to use what I already had in the house to bake. A loooong time ago (well it seems like it, anyways!), I bought a few cans of pumpkin with the intention of making pumpkin cookies to send to a friend who lives across the country. I ended up sending him homemade nut butters instead! By the way Alex, you MUST make these!!! 🙂 But anyways, today one of those cans was calling my name.

The only question was, what kind of pumpkin cookies should I bake? Ones with a glaze? Chocolate chip? Spiced? Hmmm. I found a recipe I thought sounded good for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and I remembered the cinnamon chips hidden in my closet from Christmas. I wanted to use both chips. So I did!

These cookies are phenominal! They’re soft and cake-like, and I really think that the combination of chocolate and cinnamon chips adds so much to them.

Punkin Pillow Cookies with Chocolate and Cinnamon Chips
(Adapted from Deelish Dish)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (a 15 oz can is approx. 1 3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed mix in the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it.

Fold in the chips by hand.

Scoop mounds of the dough onto your prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. A little less than 1/4 cup per cookie.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 15 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Right off the sheet, these cookies are fantastic! When they’re cool, pop a couple in the microwave for a few seconds and serve with vanilla ice cream for dessert 😉

Valentine Bliss

February 14, 2010

I work at a gym. A gym where nearly everyone has one heck of a sweettooth. So no one minds one bit when I go into a baking frenzy and bring my treats in to share! For Valentine’s Day, I decided to finally try Bakerella’s famed Cake Pops. They’re fantastic! Absolutely lived up to the hype. They are a bit time consuming, but very fun once you get the hang of it!

I heard lots of “Mmmmmm”s and “Ohmagahhhhh”s when these guys were bitten into 😉

Valentine Cake Pops
1 box Red Velvet Cake mix
1 can Cream Cheese frosting (or about 3/4 cup homemade frosting)
1 package chocolate candy melts (I used chocolate and white chocolate)
lollipop sticks
sprinkles and candies for decorating

Cook your cake mix in a 13×9″ pan according to the box directions.

Once the cake has cooked completely, crumble it into a large bowl. Add the frosting and mix it all together with your hands (it’s way easier) until thoroughly combined.

Roll your “cake” into 1″ balls and place them on a cookie sheet. One cake mix should make anywhere between 50-70 balls, depending on how large you make them. Once rolled, place your balls in the fridge for at least two hours to chill.

Melt your candy coating per directions on the packaging, and remove a few of your cake balls from the fridge. Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the chocolate and insert that end into the flat bottom of a cake ball. Gently dip your cake pop in the melted chocolate to coat, tapping off any excess. Immediately decorate with sprinkles or other candies. Use a styrofoam block with holes poked in it to dry your pops.

Repeat until you’re all done! 🙂 I packaged mine in clear candy bags and secured them with twist ties.

A fan! 🙂

Apple Pie made much, much easier….

February 13, 2010

My Grandmother makes the best apple pie. This is not a discussion. This is a fact. She hand-picks the apples from her neighbor’s orchard, makes the dough from scratch, and grinds the cinnamon herself. It’s an art, and it tastes even better than it looks! She doesn’t have an actual recipe (the mark of a true Italian), so copying her talent is extremely difficult for me.

Fortunately, I discovered these bars at Beantown Baker…..they taste just like apple pie! If you, like me, are a sucker for appley-cinnamoney things, you have to try these ASAP!

Apple Pie Bars
(slightly adapted from Beantown Baker)
2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 peeled apples, cored and diced (about 2 cups) – I used one Fuji and one Braeburn
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick spray (I used my “Perfect Brownie Pan”, which was actually a little too small – it’s about 8×11″).

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pie spice. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of stand mixer (or by hand), beat sugars and butter on a medium high setting until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Turn the mixer down to slow and fold in your flour mixture a little bit at a time until just combined. Fold in the apples by hand.

Spread the mixture evenly into your prepared pan and sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon sugar.

Place in oven and bake until cooked through, when the top slightly bounces back to the touch, about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the bars from the pan, cutting and serving. Bars will be very soft (and delicious!) 🙂

Christmas Cinnamon Cookies

December 30, 2009

Alright, so these guys are good. I may be a HUGE sucker for cinnamon but my suspicions of cookie greatness were confirmed by several people that these were gifted to. I got this recipe from and twisted it a bit to fit my taste (and my cupboard contents) and it was a big hit! Definitely give ’em a shot if you dig cinnamon 🙂

A forewarning though: this recipe makes a LOT of cookies…I believe my final tally was 82. I did make them as Christmas gifts so that was perfect for me, but keep the yield in mind if you’re only baking for yourself.

Cinnamon Chip Cookies
(adapted from Allrecipes)
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup light molasses (I used maple syrup, didn’t have molasses!)
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground pumpkin pie spice
1 (10 ounce) package HERSHEY®’S Cinnamon Chips
1 cup white sugar for decoration

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees F).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups of sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and molasses (or syrup, in my case).

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Mix in the cinnamon chips. The dough will be stiff.

Roll your dough into walnut sized balls and roll each ball in the remaining sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops are crackled. Do not overbake! Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!! 🙂

Dog Days of November

November 5, 2009

I’ve been missing my Golden Retriever a lot lately, so I figured I’d post some canine videos that made me laugh! 🙂