Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

There is no such thing as too many cookie recipes.  So I’m sure I will forever be trying out cookie recipes to find more good ones.  And this one definitely goes in the good pile.
My girls love helping make these, and while we usually run out of kisses for all the cookies (some disappear during the unwrapping… strange…), it really doesn’t matter since they taste good without them as well.  And of course you could leave them off and press with a fork like traditional peanut butter cookies as well. 
We make them with or without rolling them in the extra sugar as well.  I kind of like them better without the extra sugar, but some like it with since it does give an extra sugary crunch.  Try it both ways to see what you like better.
PEANUT BUTTER KISS COOKIES
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
2 T milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
40 chocolate kisses, optional
In a large bowl or bowl of electric mixer, cream together the sugar, brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter.
Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix just until combined.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until well blended.
Make about 40 walnut-size scoops (my cookie scooper works perfect).
Roll balls in sugar, if desired,  and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
Immediately press a kiss into each cookie if desired after removing from the oven.
Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe very slightly adapted from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner by Liz Edmunds

GIANT (or not) Rainbow Cookies

You can never have too many cookie recipes.  Especially when you have kids.  Or a hubby.  Or… well, okay you can pretty much blame that one on whoever you want. : )
My daughters love, love, LOVE, to help make cookies. 
This is a great cookie recips because it is so easily adaptable to what you feel like throwing in.
We’ve made them with just chocolate chips, or a variety of chips, mini m&m’s, just regular m&m’s, all kinds.  They always turn out great, with whatever we throw in there.  Even gummy bears… okay, forget I said that, that one was a bad idea.. just trust me. : )
GIANT (OR NOT) RAINBOW COOKIES
makes 18 large or 3 doz small cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 T (or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup m&m’s
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or additional m&m’s)
Cream the butter and sugars together until well combined.
Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, stir until combined.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
Mix in the m&m’s and chocolate chips.
I did part of the dough with a large scooper, which is about 1/4 cup, and the other part with a small cookie scooper, about 1 1/2 to 2 T in size.
Scoop dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats, leaving a couple inches inbetween each.
Slightly flatten the large cookies if doing that size.
Bake at 325 degrees, 12-15 minutes for larger cookies, or 8-12 minutes for smaller.
When done the centers will be golden brown, and the centers still soft.  Let cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to completely cool.
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is, originally from Cooks Illustrated

Lemon Shortbread

Tis the season for sweets! I love shortbread for gift-giving, I haven’t met a soul who doesn’t love it.
This is my personal favorite, the creaminess of butter and freshness of lemon go together so well.
Sometimes I add a tsp of Penzey’s Spices powdered lemon peel for a little extra citrus zing as well.
For some reason the older I get, the more I love citrus and bitter flavors!
LEMON SHORTBREAD
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
Combine everything in a mixing bowl.
Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. (Don’t let it get too creamy.)
Pat dough evenly into an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan, transferring to a cutting board right side up.
Either cut in small shapes or use a large knife to cut in 1 1/2 inch squares.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
Lemon Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  • Combine everything in a mixing bowl.
  • Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. (Don't let it get too creamy.)
  • Pat dough evenly into an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
  • Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan, transferring to a cutting board right side up.
  • Either cut in small shapes or use a large knife to cut in 1 1/2 inch squares.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
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    Chocolate Chip Shortbread

    Nothing says “I love you” like shortbread.  Don’t believe me?
    Just put some of these in a little box and give to someone you love.  Trust me, they’ll agree with me. : )
    As I get ready for my annual Christmas Tea, I know I’ll be making a couple different batches of shortbreads.  I love that I can either quickly cut them in bite size squares with a knife (works well to serve them in some cute mini muffin liners as well), or I can use a mini heart cutter if I want as well.
    And that way you’ll have some scraps for…. well, you know.
    These are melt in your mouth yummy, buttery, and all around perfect!
    CHOCOLATE CHIP SHORTBREAD
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    2 cups flour
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
    Combine butter, powdered sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl.
    Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. (Don’t let it get too creamy.)
    Stir in chocolate chips.
    Pat dough evenly into an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
    Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan, transfering to a cutting board right side up.
    Either cut in small shapes or use a large knife to cut in 1 1/2 inch squares.
    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
    Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
    Chocolate Chip Shortbread

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

    Instructions

  • Combine butter, powdered sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. (Don't let it get too creamy.)
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pat dough evenly into an 8 or 9 inch square pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
  • Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan, transfering to a cutting board right side up.
  • Either cut in small shapes or use a large knife to cut in 1 1/2 inch squares.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/chocolate-chip-shortbread/

    Spider Whoopie Pies

    These are a great kid’s project for Halloween, especially since even the cookies are super simple to make.  My kids thought these were more fun than scary, and while I loved the jointed legs, the “hairy” legs were pretty fun too.
    Make sure you don’t do too sharp of an angle on the leg joints, or it will be a little tricky to place the other cookie on top without having a big gap.
    DEVIL’S FOOD COOKIES
    1 pkg devil’s food cake mix
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1 cup chocolate chips, optional
    Mix everything but chocolate chips together in a large bowl using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until well blended.
    Stir in chocolate chips if using.
    Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper and drop dough by tablespoonfulls onto sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
    To make spiders:
    Chocolate frosting (I use my easy recipe)
    Pretzel sticks
    melted chocolate or almond bark
    Chocolate jimmy sprinkles
    candies for eyes, like M & M’s, mini M & M’s, or something else suitable
    To make hairy legs dip 3/4 of the pretzel sticks in melted chocolate and sprinkle with jimmys.
    Lay on wax paper to set.  Make 8 for each spider.
    For jointed legs break pretzel sticks in half and dip each piece completely in chocolate.  Lay on wax paper to set, butting up 2 pieces together for each leg.
    Frost half the cookies with frosting, lay out legs and top with another cookie.
    Dot back of candies with frosting or melted chocolate and place on top cookie.
    Spider Whoopie Pies

    Ingredients

      For Devil's Food Cookies:
    • 1 pkg devil's food cake mix
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup chocolate chips, optional
      To make spiders:
    • Chocolate frosting (I use my easy recipe)
    • Pretzel sticks
    • melted chocolate or almond bark
    • Chocolate jimmy sprinkles
    • candies for eyes, like M & M's, mini M & M's, or something else suitable

    Instructions

    To make cookies:
  • Mix everything but chocolate chips together in a large bowl using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) on medium speed until well blended.
  • Stir in chocolate chips if using.
  • Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper and drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  • To make spiders:
  • To make hairy legs dip 3/4 of the pretzel sticks in melted chocolate and sprinkle with jimmys.
  • Lay on wax paper to set. Make 8 for each spider.
  • For jointed legs break pretzel sticks in half and dip each piece completely in chocolate. Lay on wax paper to set, butting up 2 pieces together for each leg.
  • Frost half the cookies with frosting, lay out legs and top with another cookie.
  • Dot back of candies with frosting or melted chocolate and place on top cookie.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/spider-whoopie-pies/

    Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

    I love snickerdoodles.  They remind me of being 6, helping my mom in the kitchen, and licking the beaters.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like helping roll balls of cookie dough in sugar?  I haven’t met a one.  And now it’s even more fun to make them with my girls. 
    These are a yummy variation, and the pumpkin flavor isn’t so strong that kids that don’t even like pumpkin would be detered.  The spiced sugar coating goes perfect with the pumpkin. 
    You aren’t sick of pumpkin recipes… are you? : )
    PUMPKIN SNICKERDOODLES
    3 3/4 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    2 tsp vanilla
    For the sugar coating:
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ginger
    dash nutmeg
    dash allspice
    Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
    In another bowl, or in the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed for a couple minutes, until light and fluffy.
    Add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until combined well.
    Add dry ingredients while mixing on low.
    Cover and chill dough for at least an hour.
    Mix together sugar coating mixture in a small bowl.
    Drop scoops of dough (about the size of a heaping tablespoon) into sugar coating and roll to coat, forming balls.  Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.
    Dip the bottom of a glass in some water, then the spice mixture, and slightly flatten cookies.
    Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 mintues, until just set.
    Cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.
    Recipe source: slightly adapted from annie’s eats

    Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

    What is it about homemade whoopie pies?   I love all the variations and flavors they can take on, and these were a perfect pumpkin fix.  They have a great spicy flavor, balanced with the milk cream cheese filling.  In Martha’s original recipe it states it makes a dozen whoopie pies (or 2 dozen cakes before assembling), I thought little miniature ones would be fun, and it turned out to make quite a bit!
    But they whip up so easy, I think I’ll be making these for potlucks and parties, so the larger amount will come in handy.  Stay tuned for lots more pumpkin recipes every day this week!
    PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES
    Makes 4 1/2 dozen miniature whoopie pies (about 9 dozen cakes)
    Whoopie cakes:
    3 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 T ground cinnamon
    1 T ground ginger
    1 T ground cloves
    2 cups packed brown sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    Cream Cheese Filling:
    4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
    4 oz cream cheese
    3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1-2 T milk
    Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl.
    In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined.
    Whisk in pumpkin until combined.
    Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
    Add flour mixture and stir in well.
    Drop by heaping tablespoonfulls onto baking sheets lined with parchment or silicone mats.
    Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Let cool before removing from pan.
    (OR make large whoopies using a large scoop or ice cream scoop to measure them. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in their centers comes out clean.)
    Make filling:
    Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.  Add in powdered sugar until combined.
    Add vanilla and start with 1 T milk.  Mix for about 3-5 minutes until creamy.  Add more milk if needed to make spreadable.
    Assembling:
    Spread half the whoopie cakes with filling, top with other halves.
    Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

    Chocolate Chip Whoppie Pies (Chipwich)

    I like to bake.  What?  You didn’t know this?   Problem is, we don’t eat all I bake.  Both my hubby and will have a little to try, then the rest goes stale waiting around.  (Except for a few things that don’t take long to be gobbled up) : )  Luckily, Amelia’s therapist and Jared’s co-workers and various friends are always good about taking it off our hands so I don’t have to feel wasteful and can keep experimenting in the kitchen. 
    These were the perfect baking project.  They were so cute!  I threw some in the freezer and they were even better frozen so there wasn’t any waste.  (Plus they were super cute in little boxes for friends too).
    Who could resist these cuties?
    For the cakes:
    2 1/4 cups flour
     1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    4 T unsalted butter, at room temp
    1/4 cup shortening
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 T milk
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 cup mini chocolate chips
    Beat together the sugars, butter, and shortening in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle.
    Beat for about 3 minutes, till light and creamy.
    Add eggs and buttermilk, mix till combined.
    Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a bowl.
    Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.
    Add both the milk and flour mixtures to creamed butter and sugars.
    Mix on low just till combined.  Add vanilla, beat about 2 minutes, or until completely combined.
    Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
    Drop batter by tablespoonfulls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
    (Space about 2 inches apart).
    Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.
    Makes about 48 (2 inch) cakes.
    Marshmallow Filling
    1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff or cream
    1 1/4 cups shortening
    1 cup confectioners sugar
    1 T vanilla
    Using a stand mixer with a paddle attatchment, beat the fluff and shortening on low, then increase speed to medium and beat about 3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
    Add sugar and vanilla on low, beat until well mixed.
    Beat on medium for about 3 minutes.
    To Finish:
    miniature chocolate chips
    Spread half the cakes with marshmallow filling, sandwich with another cake, roll ends in mini chocolate chips.
    Serve frozen or at room temp.
    Recipe Source: adapted just slightly from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell

    Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Best ever!)

    I have made my fair share of chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime.  And I’ve always been in search for my absolute favorite recipe.  And then I made these.  The end. 
    Oh, you want more of an explanation?  They are perfectly soft and chewy and buttery.  (Please don’t substitute margarine in cookies.  please.)  I sometimes switch it up and do half peanut butter chips with half milk chocolate chips too. Yum.
    Last week our double wall ovens were finally up and running and the first thing the girls wanted to make was cookies.  Luckily I had some dough in the freezer so I could whip em up really fast (since our kitchen was still a bit of a disaster).  Talk about some happy girls (and hubby) when they came out of the oven!  Hopefully our kitchen remodel will be over soon, this little project has turned into one big ordeal! We’re entering the 4th week… and hopefully the last! : )
    SOFT AND CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
    2 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 tsp kosher salt
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 eggs
    2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips (semisweet, milk or a combination)
    Cream the butter and sugars together for about 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
    Add the salt, vanilla, and eggs, mix until well blended.
    Mix in flour and baking soda, then stir in chocolate chips.
    Drop heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.
    Bake for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden at edges but still soft in center.
    Let cool for a couple minutes on cookie sheets, then cool on wire racks.
    Recipe very slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
    FREEZER TIP:
    I NEVER make cookies without doubling.  I always make double batches, then freeze some.
    Just put some dough in freezer bags, flatten out a bit and label with name, date, and baking temp and bake time.
    When ready to use, just cut bag open with a knife and cut into squares.

    Pizzelles

    While I usually make these for Christmastime, they really are a nice spring cookie as well.  They are light and crispy, and I love the design the iron gives them.  Sometimes we crumble them into ice cream or I’ll shape them into little cones while warm.  This is the iron I have.  I had been admiring them for awhile and I happened to see them on sale at Sur La Table for only $30.  I’ve had it for a few years now and I’m still really happy with it.  This may cost an initial investment to acquire an iron, but for us I use it enough I think it’s worth it!
    PIZZELLES
    3 eggs
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 3/4 cup flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl.  Add cooled butter and vanilla.
    Add flour and baking powder.  Batter should be stiff. Refrigerate batter for later use or make now.
    Cook according to your pizzelle iron directions.
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