Sunday, December 19, 2010

tis the season to bake

this is the baking season.  it's cold out.  you drink a lot of hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.  you have filling stews and roasts and soups.  what better way to end dinner or compliment your beverage than with a baked treat?

i am notorious for making cookies (and good ones i've been told) and having josh yell at me for baking a ton.  so, granted these aren't recipes i've made up... they're still ones i've tweeked to be more delicious than the originals.

here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Nutella Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 small jar of Nutella
3/4 bag chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (I just have a hand mixer so I just grab a separate bowl), cream the butter, the sugar and the brown sugar. Add the eggs and the vanilla until combined.

Gradually add the flour until the mixture is combined.

Then mix in the chocolate chunks and the Nutella – it should look kinda "marble-y".... I just use my hands to mix it... It is much easier than trying to use a spoon....

Roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min and then cool on cookie sheet for 1-2 min and then on wire racks til completely cooled.
For smaller cookies only bake 5-7 min.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
24 mini Reeses, unwrapped
Mini cupcake wrappers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients, whisk and set aside.

Cream butter and peanut butter with sugars, then stir in egg, vanilla and milk, mixing until well-combined.
Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Put mini cupcake wrappers on cookie sheet. Roll dough into small balls and place into center of cupcake wrapper.  The ball shouldn't be too large...about the size of a pingpong ball maybe?
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops of cookies no longer look doughy and are beginning to turn golden brown. (This is a good time to unwrap your Reeses cups... this is TEDIOUS!)

Remove cookies from oven, and push an unwrapped mini Reeses into the center of each cookie. Let cool for a few minutes and move to wire rack to cool.  You might even need to put them on a plate and chill them in the refrigerator for a few hours or freeze for about 15 minutes.

that's all i have time for now... baby calls.  i will update with more cookie recipes soon.

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