Sunday, May 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

While transferring these cookie pictures from my camera to my computer right now I realized that I needed to eat another one.  Right now.  And so now I am stuffed with cookies.  For the second time again.  Guess that is not that rare of an occurrence.

Happy Memorial Day by the way.  :)  Are you waking up and in need of something fast and yummy to make using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry?  That was my dilemma this morning but luckily I found these.

Actually, I was just going to do peanut butter chocolate chip and while researching the best recipe, I came across this one that used oats too.

Uhm peanut butter, chocolate chips AND oats?  That's so much delicious in one cookie that I threw on my apron and ran to the kitchen.

The only thing that I would change from this recipe is to add MORE oats.  Cuz Oats are good.  And filling, so maybe you would be less likely to shove five of these babies in your mouth.  Not that I did that or anything...

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Bake at 350* for 8 minutes. Makes 18

1 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 stick (½ c) unsalted butter, at room temp
½ c peanut butter (creamy)
½ c granulated sugar
1/3 c light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temp
½ c rolled oats (next time I will up it to 3/4 c)
1 c semisweet chocolate chips

1. Sift flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
2. Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla on medium speed in a mixer.  Add egg.
3. On low, add in flour mixture slowly until fully incorporated.
4.  Fold in the oats to the peanut butter cookie dough yummyness.

5.  Fold in chocolate chips.

6. Scoop dough onto large baking sheet.  I used a medium scoop and was able to get around 18 full sized cookies out.

7. Flatten out with your hand.

8. Bake for eight minutes, these don't turn gold until around minute 10 but that's too long to leave them in, so do eight minutes and then leave them on the cookies sheet for another 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.  Chewy is better I learned with these.

While I was setting up the photo shoot for these I took four with me.  But when I was done, I came back with only three.  Too irresistible.  I am definitely going to make these again. 

Can you see the oats?  How can you not sneak a bite?

Is it bad that my tummy hurts from over eating Mexican BBQ and cookies but I would still REALLY like to have another one of these?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Classic Vanilla Madeleines

Madeleines are probably in my top three favorite cookies of all time. Ever. I discovered them at Starbucks while cutting P.E. class during high school and have been in love ever since.

This is the second round of plain vanilla madeleines I have made.  This recipe calls for a lot of butter.  A lot.  Haha.  That's what makes cookies so good after all, right?  Lots of melted butter.  A stick and a half to be exact.

Madeleines had always seemed so hard to make that it took me years to build up the courage to make them but I finally caved a few weeks/months ago and bought a pan.  The pan forced me to make them and now I admit they are so easy to make it is ridiculous.  (Does this mean I should move on and try the ever-daunting macaroons???)

Recipe taken from here.

Vanilla Madeleines 
Makes around 30 full sized madelines. Bake at 350* for about 8-10 minutes.

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for brushing molds
1 1/4 c. sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c granulated sugar
(Optional: confectioners sugar for dusting)

1. Melt butter in microwaveable bowl and set aside to cool.  Brush on additional mixture onto madeline pans.  (You literally brush it into the little crevices so that the cookies don't stick to the pan.)

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In mixer, beat eggs on high until foamy, add in vanilla.  Add in sugar and beat until mixture triples in volume.
4. Fold in flour to sugar/egg mixture, slowly and in additions until combined.

5. Fold butter in.
6. Fill madeline pans with batter and bake.

I know I love to talk about ziplock bags a alot, but seriously I cannot stress how awesome they are.  Have you tried this yet?

Spoon in the batter (or icing if you are frosting) into the bag... but put the bag in a tall cup first.  This prevents you from getting batter all over your hands.  I am an expert at that, by the way.

Then just gently but quickly squeeze the batter into the molds.

Nothing is more exciting than seeing a tray full of cookies just begging to be baked into something good.

I think they taste better the second or third day.  So make a lot, because they just get better with age.  :)  I made these for Mother's Day, actually.  I have a tendency to bake my mom things (read as cupcakes) for her birthday and have her not like them...  so i decided to go with Madeleines because she had liked a previous batch I had made.  Apparently my sweet tooth is not genetic because the reason she likes these so much is because they are not too sweet.  Strange, I know.

These are obviously, just plain vanilla ones.  Generously sprinkled with powdered sugar of course.

I tried strawberry ones but I need to make some tweaks before I post them on the blog.  I also have a few more ideas for next month -- I am preparing some sweet treats for our annual tail gating party.  You'll see some orange and black on here soon.  ;)


Monday, May 14, 2012

Banana Peanut Butter Pupcakes

Have I ever mentioned my dogs before?

I have two.  Mochi, 6.  And Luna, 3.

I like to call them Mochi Monster and Luna Baby.  Mochi was a monster as a puppy, until she settled down and had her litter - which included Luna, the baby.

They're spoiled brats.  But they are really good, loving, girls.  With cute puppy paws and tails and wet little noses.

They spend their days getting in my way. Or basking in the sun.

And since I am trying really hard to not eat all the things I have had to cut down on baking all the things.  Which means 1) I have a fierce tan going on because I have spent my weekends outside in gorgeous sunny California weather and 2) In order to not let this blog die, I had to bake something I would not be tempted to shove in my face.

Obviously I made pupcakes! Cupcakes for dogs.  Originally I wanted to do this back in February for Mochi's sixth birthday but it was non stop raining and their hair was a mess. (See picture above)  This time the sun is shining but they got their ear hair cut too short and they look a little like lambs.  Baa.  And they were wet from a shower. Oh well.  I went for it anyways.  They're still my babies who deserve a treat.

Well, to be exact they are picky babies who don't eat most food.  In fact they have never ever touched one of my cupcakes.  I will literally be in some weird corner of the house or backyard trying to get something decent for the blog with cupcakes on the floor or on chairs and and they will be laying around, bored. Ignoring the cupcakes.

But I was determined this time around to MAKE THEM LIKE CUPCAKES.  I made them cookies once and they refused to eat them.  But this time, oh this time I had a secret weapon.


Banana Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Makes 6 full sized cupcakes and 15 mini cupcakes.  350* for 18 and 15 minutes respectively. 

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1.  Mash up bananas.  Add eggs, vanilla, applesauce and peanut butter to mixture.  No need for a hand blender.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Add flour to wet mixture and stir.
4. Scoop out batter into regular or mini sized cupcake tins.  Feel free to use liners but make sure that you take them OFF before you feed them to your dogs!
5. Once baked, stand back and admire the banana chunks floating about the puffy cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons natural, unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 a package low fat cream cheese
Topping:  Beneful dog food - but only the hearts and doggy bones!

1. With a hand mixer, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy.
2. Add in peanut butter and apple sauce in additions until it looks like you can pipe it on correctly.
3. Frost cupcake.
4. Add on toppings.

Yeah, I was literally on the floor picking out dog bones from my puppy's bowl. And then later I went back for the hearts.  Needed some color somewhere!  Don't judge.  

How did they turn out?   Not bad if I do say so myself.

But how did they TASTE?  (I tried the cupcake, no frosting, and it was like a banana-y dense muffin with no sugar.  I wouldn't think humans would dig it, but I'm an even pickier eater than the dogs so what do I know?)

Luna was up first.  She ate the frosting. Left the cupcake part. Typical. My heart sank as I chucked the discarded cupcake part in the trash.

Once Mochi was done with her bath I laid one out in front of her too, and hoped for the best.

After the obligatory sniff test was completed, she carried it out onto the grass to eat the frosting.  This had me worried a little.

I didn't want this to be another cookie incident.  But then something magical happened.  She ate it all!  Hoorah.  

After Luna witnessed this though, she wanted another one.  I guess it's okay to let her gorge on peanut butter every now and then?

I mean peanut butter tongues are just too hard to resist, amiright?  But in the end, once Mochi sniffed around her left over cupcake Luna TOTALLY remembered that she wanted to eat the bready part too.  Haha.  So they BOTH ate the whole thing!  Success!!!

Now if you notice, there are two sizes.

My girls got the small pupcakes.  Cuz they're little.  (Okay I lie.  Mochi is 9 lbs and little, Luna is almost 17 lbs and a beast.)  What did i do with the other ones?  Well i consulted with them and we decided to share.

I dropped some off at my friend Lacy's house.  She has three dogs and none of them had a problem eating them.  Actually, I was pretty sure that the two big dogs - Zoe a Siberian Husy and Jazzy a Rotweiler - were going to knock me over as soon as they smelled the peanut butter I brought into the back yard.   For the record my dogs took FOREVER to eat theirs, haha.

I also took Luna on a hike this weekend.  We met up with a friend who has a puppy.  And I use puppy to denote age, not size.  Because Chloe, a St. Bernard is a monster.  True story.  In any case, Chloe got some treats too.

(Treats plural because she ate her own AND the ones that were supposed to be for Luna.  I think she likes peanut butter too.  lol.) At least she was able to contain herself a little for some pictures.

Peanut butter tongue!!!

Hopefully I have gained more of my dog's love and approval after this.  If you want your dogs to love you even more, you should make them these too.