Friday, September 22, 2017

Caramel Oatmeal Pecan Cookies



So I am a sucker for the seasonal baking items that come out each year. I love going to Target and seeing if they have any interesting sprinkles or some other baking item that I can’t live without. The other day I was there and I came across Ghirardelli caramel chips. They are like chocolate chips, but are caramel flavored instead of chocolate. I figured that I couldn’t live without them and knew I could find some cookie recipe that would be just perfect.

The recipe on the bag of chips was for a pecan cookie, and I certainly thought that pecan would be a good pair with the caramel chips. I went online looking for recipes and I came across this recipe for oatmeal, pecan, and coconut cookies. I knew that caramel would pair nicely with those ingredients, which all have a nice buttery flavor. I slightly decreased the quantity of pecans and coconut to account for the addition of the caramel chips.  

This recipe makes 4 dozen, which is a nice big batch. A couple of the cookies spread a bit around the edges. I don’t think that there’s too much butter, but I don’t know why just a couple of cookies spread. The rest were just fine! These is a great cookie for fall, with the pecans, coconut, and caramel chips giving these cookies a wonderful buttery flavor.

Caramel Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups old-fashioned oats
¾ cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
10 ounces caramel chips

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

In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix on medium until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir on low, mixing until just combined. Add the oats, pecans, coconut, and caramel chips. Mix on low until the dough comes together.

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, and shape into balls, about 1-1/2 inch in diameter.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges and the cookies are set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Watch, Learn, Eat

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies



The weather is finally starting to turn cooler, school is starting, and I am more than ready for fall. I am fully back at work now after working fewer hours in the summer. I decided I wanted to bring cookies the first full day back, which is a long day full of meetings, and having a treat helps a lot. I couldn’t figure out what to bake, some of the recipes were too Christmassy, others too fussy to make. I had pinned this recipe a while ago, and you can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.

I thought that I had sprinkles like the original blogger, but I ended up only having purple bat sprinkles or something odd like that. I did have the fall leaves sprinkles, which I figured would work well. You don’t really have to use sprinkles, but they add a nice touch. This recipe as written here is double the original. The original recipe said it had a one dozen cookie yield. If I’d read further I would have realized that their cookies must have been very large. Doubled, this recipe made 4 dozen cookies.

This dough is very soft and fluffy, and don’t even try to bake these before refrigerating. I refrigerated the dough for 6-7 hours, and it was still quite soft. They bake up nicely, and these cookies are better a little underdone rather than over baked. I think that I would prefer these cookies with more peanut butter cups, so next time I would add the entire 8 ounce package of mini peanut butter cups. These were enjoyed at our first day meeting and it was great to be back at work with anyone.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
2-1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 ounces Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis, cut in half
Seasonal sprinkles

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until light. Add the eggs, instant coffee, and vanilla and mix again on medium until combined. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture, stirring until just mixed. Stir in the peanut butter cups with a spatula.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

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

Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 1-1/2 inch mounds. Sprinkle the cookies with seasonal sprinkles and then slightly press down with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from The PKP Way

Friday, September 8, 2017

In the Chips Cookies: Toffee, Butterscotch and Chocolate



This is another recipe that I found recently in a cookbook of slice and bake refrigerator cookies. They are great for a number of reasons: you can make the dough ahead and bake them when you want to. It makes two logs of dough so you can share them with others. They use a couple of different types of chips, so it’s a good recipe from cleaning out the cupboard.

The recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips, 1 cup butterscotch chips and 4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) of toffee bits. I had all of those ingredients, perhaps not in the exact perfect quantities, but it all works out ok. I used instant espresso powder rather than instant coffee, as that’s what I have around. I use a little less than a teaspoon as it is much stronger.

This dough is very sticky, even after overnight refrigeration. I think the dissolved coffee in the dough makes the dough extra wet and sticky. The dough may look a little curdled after adding the coffee, but it does come together. The cookies bake up puffy and cakey, which is very unusual for a refrigerator cookie, which is typically more shortbread-like. I baked one log in my oven and one at my cousin’s house where I was visiting. They turned out about the same, despite being different sized ovens and using different pans. I don’t often have time to experiment when baking, but it’s fun the little I can do. These cookies are soft and decadent, and the combination of flavors is a winner.

In the Chips Cookies: Toffee, Butterscotch and Chocolate
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon water
¾ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cup toffee bits

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in the water. In a large mixer bowl, bear the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and dissolved coffee and mix on medium to incorporate. With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and the toffee bits and stir on low to distribute throughout the dough.

Divide the dough into halves. Shape each half into a log, about 11 inches long. Wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least three hours, or overnight. You can also wrap the dough in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. If baking from frozen, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

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

Unwrap the dough and slice into ½” slices. Place on the prepared baking sheets. If the cookie is misshaped, press the dough into a rounder shape.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the baking pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Recipe from Slice & Bake Cookies by Elinor Klivans