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Sunday
Nov202011

Peanut-butter-cup-stuffed ginger cookies

I'm going to start referring to myself as Crazy Baking Lady. My desire to bake delicious treats has surpassed my desire to get sufficient sleep. I find myself wondering on occasion whether or not one can actually die from being too tired. Because most days, I feel like a zombie. A very tired zombie with a baking fetish. It's a good thing my husband is around to monitor the oven. 

Here is yet another cookie recipe of Rachael's (from EveryDay with Rachael Ray) that intrigued me. Ginger+cookies+peanut butter+confectioners' sugar?! Whoa. I had to make it. So, of course, I did. I filled the bellies of those I live with and of those I work with. I got a wide array of comments on these cookies:

"There's a peanut butter cup in there? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" (my favorite)

"They remind me of ginger snaps! With a surprise!"

"Do you ever sleep?"

To make these gems, here is what you will need to do:

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream the following ingredients together using an electric mixer:

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 light brown sugar

Beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in 1 egg for 30 seconds, then mix in 1/3 cup molasses. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined.

Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the wrap to help, form the dough into a disk and seal tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, mold the dough around each (of 36 total) peanut butter cup to enclose completely.

Place 12 dough balls onto each prepared pan. Bake until the tops are just set and slightly cracked, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Roll the cookies in a small bowl filled with confectioners' sugar, then return to the rack to cool completely. Roll the cookies in the sugar again before serving.

These are definitely unique, but quite delicious! Enjoy!

Click here for a printable recipe!

Friday
Nov182011

Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

My husband and I adore our slow cooker, especially in the winter-time. And guess what? It is winter-time! I had to bust out my fluffy pink driving mittens yesterday morning for the first time since, well, since last May. Last winter was a long, cold one here for us in Minnesota. Hopefully this winter won't be quite so brutal!

To help ease some of the pain involved in facing winter again so soon (it seems), we threw some ingredients into our slow cooker for a comforting, delicious meal. And listen, friends, I have never eaten such tender chicken in my life! I was pretty much able to shred it by just looking at it. And the flavor? Mmmmm, the flavor. Delicious! There is plenty of room to turn up the heat on this recipe, if that's what you prefer, and it's also easy enough to keep it on the mild side. Tailor it to your liking!

In a slow cooker, mix together:

One 24-ounce jar medium or mild salsa

Juice from one lime

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

One 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Add 4-6 boneless chicken breast halves (completely defrosted) to the slow cooker and coat with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

Serve the chicken with the salsa mixture spooned over the top. If you're feeling crazy, throw a dollup of sour cream on top with some crushed tortilla chips.

This is also delicious as a taco filling or in a taco salad. 

Gotta go find my Snuggie!

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

This chicken is my most popular recipe for good reason! It is flavorful, delicious and EASY to make!

Serves: 1

Total time: 6 hrs 15 min

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
Ingredients: 
  • 24-oz. jar medium salsa
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning
  • 2 jalapeños peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves, defrosted
Instructions:
  1. In a slow cooker, mix together the salsa, lime juice, cilantro, taco seasoning and jalapenos. Add the chicken and coat with the salsa mixture.
  2. Allow the chicken to cook, covered, in the slow cooker on Low setting for 6 hours. Serve chicken with salsa mixture spooned over top, or shred and use as a taco filling.

 

 

Wednesday
Nov162011

Blueberry-sour cream muffins

This is Week #46 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

I feel like a bit of a two-timer. I've had a favorite muffin for years, and now I'm suddenly dreaming of another. My old muffin still has a special place in my heart, but this new one gives me butterflies. I'm one of those people who goes to a restaurant and doesn't stray much from the usual order. When I find something I love, I stick with it! So when it was time to make this muffin recipe, I almost felt like it was a waste of time. Like any other muffin than my usual would be a huge disappointment.

And I could not have been more wrong! I am now feeling inspired to order something besides the Spinach Veggie Wrap (for the 273rd consecutive time) at Jason's Deli!

First, make the topping:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Rub with your fingers to form coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Now make the mufins:

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat 1 large egg at medium speed until frothy. 

Add:

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Beat until pale yellow, 1 minute.

Beat in, until blended:

1 rounded cup sour cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until almost blended. 

In a small bowl, toss together:

1 rounded cup frozen blueberries (I used fresh, and mmmm!)

1 tablespoon flour

Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full of batter and sprinkle with the topping.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to cool on a rack.

You'll be two-timing your favorite muffin in no time!

Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

The sour cream makes these muffins so moist and tasty! (source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

Serves: 12

Total time: 50 min

Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 rounded cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 rounded cup frozen blueberries
Instructions:
  1. MAKE THE TOPPING: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Rub with your fingers to form coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. MAKE THE MUFFINS: Butter a 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 ½ cups of flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the egg at medium speed until frothy. Add the sugar and melted butter and beat until pale yellow, 1 minute. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest until blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until almost blended. In a bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold the blueberries into the batter.
  3. Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full of batter; sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan; let cool on a rack.

 

 

Monday
Nov142011

Hot cocoa cookies

I am a teeny bit obsessed with the cookies from the most recent issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine. This recipe is the second of many cookie recipes on my list to make this holiday season. Sweets are taking over my life! Just ask my coworkers. They get my leftovers, and I think they are starting to resent the way I am forcing them to eat sinful treats. 

I don't think I need to tell you that these were tasty. The photos sort of speak for themselves..

Ooey gooey chocolatey marshmallowy deliciousness. Hot cocoa in a cookie!

In a medium saucepan, melt together:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

12 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate (bars)

Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Using an electric mixer, beat together:

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange about 16 balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 7.5 ounces of semisweet chocolate (bars) into 1-inch squares. Snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes.

Grate 5 ounces of semisweet chocolate over the hot cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, marshmallows and chocolate. Bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

Enjoy! More cookies to come!

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot chocolate, magically transformed into a cookie. BEST. COOKIES. EVER.

Serves: 3-4 dozen

Total time: 2 hrs, plus chilling time

Hot Cocoa Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 7 bars (3.5 oz. each) semisweet chocolate – 12 oz. chopped, 7.5 oz. cut into 1-inch squares and the rest for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 30 marshmallows
Instructions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla at low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange about 16 balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.
  6. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven; gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 4 minutes.
  7. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes; grate the remaining chocolate over the hot cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks; let cool. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, marshmallows and chocolate. Bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment.

 

 

Saturday
Nov122011

Double chocolate cookies with a peppermint patty surprise

If you haven't noticed, I've been on a bit of a sweet kick lately. A few nights ago I felt a strong urge to make these peppermint-chocolate cookies when I got home from work. I saw the recipe in Rachael Ray's EveryDay magazine and fell intensely in love. And that was before I bit into them.

Then. I bit into them..

The gates of heaven opened up, music began to play, I danced in perfect circles, until...I needed another bite. This went on for the first three cookies, when I realized that I needed to stop. I had to dig deep within myself to find every ounce of self-control. I could have eaten both pans. All 24 cookies. I'm not kidding. 

(adapted from: Rachael Ray's EveryDay magazine)

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together on low speed:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Beat in:

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened

1 egg

Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk; seal. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with approximately 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, use your fingers to evenly encase each of 24 miniature peppermint patties (unwrapped and chilled) with the dough.

Place on the prapared pans and smooth the dough with your fingers, if needed.

Bake until just firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, microwave 6 ounces of white chocolate chips on high in 30-second bursts until it is creamy and completely smooth when stirred.

Using a large spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the cookies. Let cool completely before serving or storing.

Be prepared to get a glimpse of heaven upon biting into these cookies. Just wait, you will see what I mean!

Double Chocolate Cookies with a Peppermint Patty Surprise

You will SWOON upon biting into these cookies. (source: EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine)

Serves: 24-30

Total time: 1 hr, 30 min

Double Chocolate Cookies with a Peppermint Patty Surprise

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 egg
  • 24 miniature peppermint patties, such as York, unwrapped and chilled
  • 6 oz. white chocolate chips
Instructions:
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, cocoa powder, both sugars, salt and baking soda on low speed. Beat in the butter, then the egg. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk; seal. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, use your fingers to evenly encase each peppermint patty with dough. Place on the prepared pans and smooth the dough with your fingers. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until just firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, microwave the white chocolate on high in 30-second bursts until creamy when stirred. Using a large spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the cookies. Let cool completely before serving or storing.