Monday, September 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I took Friday off of work to try and catch up on life. Fun stuff like dry cleaning, pharmacy, oh and let's not forget laundry and dishes. In the middle of all the fun I decided to take another stab at some Oatmeal cookies, I found this recipe on Pixie Baker and I thought it sounded and looked like one worth trying and I was right. These cookies in my opinion are better than the last batch. Rather than light and fluffy these are more thin and dense. Don't get me wrong, the last batch had it's perks but these are more my style. The addition of the peanut butter isn't overpowering, in fact you can hardly tell it's there. It does however add a level of gooey sweetness that really makes this cookie a winner. If you don't want to use chocolate chips raisins would work beautifully as well. I hope you guys try this one out this fall, I promise they will not disappoint.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used reduced fat and it worked very nicely)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Ghiradelli's 60% cocoa chips are great here)

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium speed. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Using a wooden spoon stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Pour dough onto plastic wrap and form a disk, wrap tightly and chill for at least 3 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use a small ice cream scoop or your hands to form about 3 tbl of dough. Drop onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 min, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on a wire rack. Note: The cookies should appear slightly under baked when you take them out of the oven, remember they will continue to cook as the cool and harden up on you.

Makes about 16 cookies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am on a mission to perfect the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. To be perfectly honest I have never attempted to make this type of cookie, I make oatmeal whoopie pies all the time but never a oatmeal cookie on its own. Maybe its the thought that oatmeal is healthy that scares me away? I basically just had fun with this recipe and added in ingredients that I thought would taste good. I use vanilla pudding in some cookies rather than a full cup of sugar because it makes for a light fluffy cookie that isn't overly sweet. I think these came out really nice with a great nutty flavor from the hazelnut and walnut oils without weighing the cookie down with actual nuts. If you prefer your cookies to be flat and crispy this is not the recipe, if you like light and fluffy this is a winner. Enjoy.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 pkg of Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp walnut oil
  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  1. In a bowl mix flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar, vanilla pudding, spices, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, and eggs beat on medium for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add in flour and baking soda mixture until well incorporated.
  4. Using a wooden spoon mix in the chocolate chips and oatmeal.
  5. Form dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  6. On a well greased cookie sheet dollop 3-4 tablespoons of hand shaped cookie dough balls about 2" apart from each other. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 min or until tops are just slightly brown, don't over cook these, they will continue to cook as they cool.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Birthday Cake

My birthday is coming up this week and to celebrate a few of my girlfriends and I got together and had a potluck dinner. I of course made dessert, some might say it is sad to make your own birthday cake but not for me, I loved every minute of it. The dinner was a huge success and I had so much fun. Here is a photo of what is left of my early birthday cake - Raspberry lemon coconut cake. It's a bad photo taken from my iphone but I thought I would share anyway :-) Thank you girls for celebrating with me!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache

I was inspired by Coco Cake and decided to make a cake last week. I am all about using what I have in the cupboard these days and since I had made Nigella's Peanut butter chocolate fudge sauce the day before and had a good amount left over I thought I would use that as inspiration for my cake. I decided to make a regular chocolate cake, you can use which ever recipe you like best here. I used my classic go to chocolate cake that for now remains my secret. To make it special I made peanut butter buttercream, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. It was so creamy and light I could eat an entire bowl. I used the chocolate peanut butter sauce in between one layer and then I topped the cake with the last little bit, this makes it look and taste extra special. It is a nice way to elevate a simple cake from the normal cake and icing to cake, icing, and ganache!

One thing I like to do is make sure my cakes are nice and high, I always double my cake recipe and in this case I used 8" cake pans and made 3 layers. It makes the cake look professional and the more cake the better, right?

Peanut Butter Buttercream: (I am giving you the doubled recipe since you will need almost all of this for the filing and to ice the cake, feel free to half it if you make a smaller cake)
  • 2 cups butter softened (you can do 2 sticks salted and 2 sticks unsalted)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the sugar slowly until well combined. Add in the vanilla and cream.
  3. Beat in the peanut butter until creamy. That's it!

To assemble:
  • Place the first layer of the cake on a clean plate that is easy to ice on. I like to put a cardboard cake round down on a lazy susan so that I can spin it as I ice. Take about 3/4 cup of your buttercream and spread it evenly on the layer.
  • Put the next layer of cake on top of that and pour the cooled chocolate sauce on top, just enough to cover the top of the layer and not drip out over the sides. Top that with the last layer of cake.
  • Take a flat icing spatula and start your crumb coat - this is just a thin layer of your butter cream icing to cover the entire cake. Don't worry about the crumbs. Once your cake is completely covered put it in the fridge for 30 min.
  • Now you have a nice layer of cooled icing so when you put the rest of your buttercream on you won't get any crumbs. Ice an even layer of Buttercream over the entire cake.
  • Take the rest of your icing and put it in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe large balls around the bottom of the cake and three layers of round balls on the top. Starting on the outside and working in.
  • All that is left now is to drop about a quarter of a cup of your chocolate sauce right on top, use a small flat end spatula to spread it evenly or if you use a lazy susan you can just spin it and it will flow out evenly on its own.

first 2 layers of the chocolate cake - buttercream on bottom layer, chocolate sauce on middle layer

Crumb coat ready for the fridge for 30 min.

using a round tip on a pastry bag pipe three layers of round circles on the top and 1 layer around the bottom of the cake

drop the chocolate sauce in the middle and spread evenly (spinning the lazy susan will help a ton)

Voila, Enjoy!
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