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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I was flipping through one of my holiday cookie publications recently, when I stumbled upon a recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies.  Made with no flour and only 3 simple ingredients, I was intrigued by how seemingly easy these cookies were.  Not only are these Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies easy to make, they are super tasty too.  I was pleasantly surprised at how something so simple can be so incredible!  The result is a soft and chewy cookie that is perfectly peanut buttery.  While perfect as-is, a cup of chocolate chips or chopped peanuts would be a delicious addition to this recipe.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Yields: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar and egg together until blended. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  3. Drop dough by tablespoonful onto prepared cookie sheet and flatten with the tines of a fork, creating a cross-hatch pattern. (Tip: It is helpful to spray fork with cooking spray to keep it from sticking to cookie).
  4. Bake for 8 minutes (Note: Be careful not to overbake, otherwise it will result in a crisper cookie). Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home: Holiday Cookies

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Oreo cookie has been celebrating a big birthday.  As a result, our local grocery store was giving away a free package of Oreos.  That’s my kind of celebration!  I never buy Oreos, so wanted to make something special.  In the keeping with the festive spirit, I decided Oreo Cupcakes were definitely in order.

These Oreo Cupcakes were an indulgence, and an absolute treat.  The vanilla cake and the cream cheese frosting complement each other perfectly, while letting the Oreo cookies shine through in all their glory.  It doesn’t hurt there is half a cookie (the cream-filled half at that!) resting at the bottom of the cupcake, there are big cookie chunks studded throughout the cakes, and there is a dusting of chocolate cookie crumbs on the top.  These are the ultimate cupcakes for cookies and cream lovers!

So, back to birthdays…it just so happens today is my brother’s birthday. It’s a big birthday too ~ the kind with a 0 at the end. We can’t let a day like that go under-celebrated. He lives on the West coast, which makes an in-person cake celebration a bit tricky. So instead, we can celebrate with a virtual birthday cake, and these Oreo Cupcakes are posted in his honor!  Happy Birthday!

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
 
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • Cupcake:
  • 24 Oreo cookies, separated (carefully twist for 1 side with filling intact, 1 side just cookie)
  • 24 Oreo cookies, quartered
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for quartered Oreos
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used the ⅓ less fat variety), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. With the Oreos that have been separated: 1) Place each cream-filled half of the separated Oreos at the bottom of each paper liner. 2) With the chocolate cookie halves, cut 12 in half and crush the remaining 12, and set aside for garnish.
  3. Toss the quartered Oreos in flour and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add milk, sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until well-blended. Add the egg whites, and beat for 2 minutes. Fold in quartered Oreos.
  7. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add butter, and cream until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
  9. Frost cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and top with a half of the chocolate cookie halves.
Notes
There were a few comments on the original recipe that reported occasional cake sticking to the cupcake liners. While I did not experience this issue, I wanted to bring this to your attention so you carefully peel your liners. Also, I stored my cupcakes in the refrigerator, but do not know if that helped the paper liners release. They're good...enjoy!

Source:  Beantown Baker

Grandma’s Peanut Blossoms

Peanut Blossoms are a holiday cookie staple around our house, as well as many others.  This popular peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey’s Kiss is not only delicious, but it is such a cute addition to the cookie plate.  There are countless versions of this type of cookie, but today I have a special treat for you.  Today I am sharing with you this recipe from my grandma!  When she was alive, one of her favorite things to do was to make dozens of types of cookies, bars, candies, cakes, etc. for the holidays.  She put such care in the execution of each recipe she made.  It was impressive, to say the least.  She was always so excited and proud to show us the vast array of goodies she made for us each year.  So as I sit here right now, sharing one of my favorite Grandma recipes,…I know she would be excited and proud to share it with you as well.

Happy Holidays!

Grandma’s Peanut Blossoms
Yields 3 dozen cookies

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter (or regular butter, per the original recipe)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
granulated sugar, for rolling
36 chocolate Hershey’s Kisses candies, unwrapped

  1. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter until blended. 
  3. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar to peanut butter mixture – cream well.  Add unbeaten egg and vanilla – beat well. 
  4. Blend in dry ingredients gradually (Note: I do this step by hand using a wooden spoon) and mix thoroughly.  Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (Note: I typically chill overnight).
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Shape dough into balls using a rounded teaspoonful for each.  Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on baking sheet. 
  7. Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Top each cookie with a Hershey’s Kiss candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge.  Return to oven and bake 2 to 5 minutes longer until golden brown.  Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
chocolate mint crackle cookies {Alida's Kitchen}

Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies

How fun are crackle cookies ~  they are delicious and so festive!  The powdered sugar looks like a lovely dusting of snow on top of the cookies, putting me in a holiday frame of mind.  Considering we have no snow on the ground, a little winter reminder is very welcome.  (We live in Minnesota, it’s winter, where is our snow???)  So this year, at least for now, we all can enjoy our snow vicariously through these crackle cookies.  I could definitely get used to the powdered sugar variety of snow…especially on top of chocolate cookies.  Even better…on top of mint chocolate cookies.  These Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies are perfectly chewy without being cakey.  They are chocolate with a hint of mint.  They are classic holidays cookies at their finest.  This winter is looking better already!

Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies
 
Yields: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) light butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon pure mint extract
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water (or using a double boiler), stirring frequently.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and cocoa.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and butter. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and mint extract, until smooth. Fold in flour mixture until combined. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll in confectioners' sugar to coat. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly firm in center.
  5. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December, 2011

Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies

The baby was asleep. The husband was out to dinner. What’s a girl to do? Make Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies, of course!

I haven’t made cookies in ages, and these just happen to be one of Mike’s favorites. Actually, after one bite, they quickly become everybody’s favorite. These cookies are soft, chewy, and chocolaty with a hint of malted milk flavor.

The dough is quite sticky, but becomes much more managable after chilling it in the refrigerator. It is also key to either line your cookie sheet, or spray it with cooking spray. Otherwise the cookies have a tendency to stick. 

Despite the minor challenges presesented by a sticky dough, these cookies are worth every effort. They are delicious and the perfect accompaniment to a cold glass of milk!

Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies
Yields approximately 30 cookies

1 cup brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons chocolate malted milk powder
5 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, malted milk powder, butter, syrup, vanilla and egg; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda.  Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, stirring (or beating at low speed) until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Chill dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  [Cookies will appear puffy when first taken out of the oven]  Cool on pan for 2 minutes or until firm.  Remove cookies and cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light