The Best Oatmeal Cookie on Earth

I love oatmeal cookies so recently I decide to experiment a little.  As a result of that experimenting I came up with what I consider as the best oatmeal cookie on earth.  This cookie is moist and tender, not too sweet, and is loaded with delicious dried cherries and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.    

If you are not a raisin fan then using dried cherries is the answer.  Cherries are a healthy filler that gives your cookies the flavor, texture, and heartiness they deserve.  

Chocolate Chip Cherry Oaties

1 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1 large egg

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 c. dried cherries

1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies.

In a large mixing bowl, cream margarine, sugar, vanilla, and egg together.  Stir in remaining dry ingredients and mix completely.   Using a dining sized teaspoon, drop cookie dough onto the prepared sheets about an 1 1/4” apart.  Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until a light golden brown.  Cool before transferring to baking rack.  Store in airtight container.

What is your favorite dried fruit?

Help From Betty Crocker and Jell-O = French Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes

Every now and then I call upon Betty (Crocker) to lend me a hand in the kitchen.  While I typically bake from scratch, there are times when I just don’t feel like dragging out all of the ingredients to whip up a batch of cupcakes.  Can you say lazy?  Can you relate?

Now, just because I’m a little lazy and decide to use a cake mix doesn’t mean I can’t be creative.  Take these French Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes for example,  I decided they would create a perfect ending to a delicious home cooked Valentine’s Day dinner we have planned for this evening.

And if you’re like me, there are also times when you’re looking for a flavored cake that is nearly impossible to find.  When this happens I find myself in the Jell-O isle at the grocery store.  Cake mix + Jell-O pudding or gelatin = endless possibilities. (This is not a sponsored post.  I just happen to like both of these products.)

To make these cupcakes you will need:

1 Super Moist Betty Crocker French Vanilla Cake Mix

1 Box of Jell-O Coconut Cream Cook & Serve Pudding

A batch of your favorite homemade vanilla buttercream frosting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line cupcake tins with cupcake papers (makes 24)

In a large bowl, add cake mix, pudding mix, 1 1/4 c. water, 1/4 c. olive oil, and 3 large eggs.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.  Fill cupcake papers about 1/2 full.  Bake for about 19 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

I decorated these with some finely grated dark chocolate.

What would your favorite flavor combo be if I asked you to pick a cake mix and a box of Jell-O?

I shared this recipe over at the blog The Country Cook – Weekend Potluck #162.  Check out all of the other great links that shared there with me.

Create and Share! Best of the Weekend Party at littlemisscelebration.com

Paul Bunyan Sugar Cookies In Time For Valentine’s Day

 

It’s the name that won me over. 

Who in their right mind could pass up making a cookie named Paul Bunyan Sugar Cookies?  As you can see I couldn’t.  These huge sweet cookies are a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day – imagine how creative you could be in decorating them too.   I chose simplicity with this batch, but I wouldn’t be opposed to decorating some with some pretty pink icing and some colorful sprinkles ether.

I found this recipe while snooping through the cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies.   The name alone was enough to inspire me to give the recipe a try and I’m glad I did.

These cookies are soft on the inside, but are durable enough for decorating, packaging, and/or easy transporting.  You will also need very inexpensive tool if you decide to make these giants – a large mouth tin can.  I used a large soup can about the same diameter as a one pound coffee can.

Paul Bunyan Sugar Cookiesadapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies Cookbook

1 c. butter  or margarine

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar, plus additional sugar for topping

2 eggs

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, cream shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing well.    Chill dough for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

On lightly floured surface roll out dough to about 1/4” thick.  Cut out cookies with can and place on prepared cookie sheets about 1 “ apart.  Bake for about 9-10 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Be careful not to over bake.   Remove from the oven and sprinkle sugar on top. Cool before moving.  Makes about 14 cookies. 

I did sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on some of the cookies as soon as they came out of the oven – yum!  You can also put raisins in the batter – completely optional.

Cinnamon Cookies Rolled in Brown Sugar

On the spur of the moment (like six o’clock at night) I decided I needed to bake something sweet.  Something with cinnamon and brown sugar kind of sweet.  While a lot of ideas came to mind, many would take far more time and energy than I wanted to expend so I came up with the perfect solution – cinnamon cookies rolled in brown sugar – yes! score! win!

These cookies are quite popular  in our home right now, and I’m sure if you make a batch, they will be just as popular in yours as well.

Cinnamon Cookies Rolled in Brown Sugar (Recipe adapted from themondaybox.com)

1/2 c. vegetable shortening

1/2 c. margarine

1 egg

1 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. brown sugar (set aside)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream shortening, margarine, egg, and granulated sugar together.  Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.  Mix in flour one cup at a time until thoroughly combined.  Roll dough into 1” balls – here is a tip, if you want fat cookies roll 2” balls, roll each ball in brown sugar, place on prepared baking sheet, and press dough down with a fork leaving crisscross marks on the top of each cookie.  For 1” balls, bake about 8 minutes, or just until the cookies start to turn a light golden color.  If baking 2” balls, bake about 10 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool slightly before moving them.   Makes about 2 dozen cookies if rolling dough into 1” balls and makes about 1 dozen cookies if rolling dough into into 2”balls.

Have you tried any new cookie recipes lately?  If so, let’s hear about them!

A Simple Holiday Dessert

 

Are you planning your holiday festivities yet?  Or are you playing the role of the Grinch this season?  I’ve been thinking ahead and I’ve come up with a few delicious dessert ideas.  The tough part is picking just one sinful dessert to make and share on Christmas.

For those of you that are pressed for time, or don’t consider yourself very proficient at baking from scratch, I have a great alternative for you. 

This cake is made from a box mix but know one will ever know – unless you tell them!  And when it’s topped with peppermint ice cream it can only get better. 

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 chocolate cake mix

4 large eggs

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt

1/4 c. warm water

1/2 c. hot coffee

1/4 c. olive oil

1 package of instant chocolate pudding/pie filling

1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heavily grease a Bundt cake pan.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and beat with electric mixer until all ingredients are completely blended.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 50 minutes.  Check for to make sure the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into it in several places before removing from the oven.  Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container.  When ready to serve, top with your favorite ice cream, whipped cream, toppings, etc.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that there are only 17 days left until Christmas?  I thought so…

A New Recipe for Soft Peanut Butter Cookies–Brownie Style?

It seems like I always have 101 things on my list of “want to do’s”,  but today that list has been whittled down to just 100 things.   You see, I made a new peanut butter cookie recipe that I promised myself I would get around to trying sooner than later. 

Ah, to describe this cookie…  A soft interior encased in a crispy exterior.  Much like my homemade Triple Chocolate Brownies

Are you ready to see what I’m talking about?

No, I cannot take credit for this recipe.  I found it on Pinterest and immediately pinned it to my Cookies, Bars, and Mini’s board.   Thank you  Juliasalbum.com for sharing this yummy recipe.

When I made these cookies I followed the instructions to the letter and came out with very similar results.  I think her cookies look a little more gooey in the center than mine, but I baked mine for 13 minutes.  The recipe suggests  baking them for just 12 minutes.  I was using an oven that I’m not really use to and I wanted to make sure the cookies were done in the center. 

This recipe is a keeper.  I will make them again, and again!

I’m all for trying new recipes – how about you?  Have you made any recipes that you’ve found on Pinterest?  If so, were you happy with the results?

Easy & Irresistible M&M Cookies

 

 

It’s been a while since I’ve made cookies of any kind.  You see, I had this lame theory that if I didn’t make cookies then I wouldn’t eat so many.  A few packages of Nutter Butter’s later and one disproved theory…

I’m sure you don’t mind my lack of willpower.  Especially when I’m sharing pictures and recipes of cookies that you too may decide to make one day soon.

These M&M cookies are very good.  Trust me!

Easy Irresistible M&M Cookies

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. shortening

1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. M&M candies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar, shortening, eggs, vanilla, and butter.  Add baking soda, salt, and flour; mix well.  Fold in M&M candies.

Drop by the teaspoon full onto prepared cookie sheets giving them enough space so they won’t bake together.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, don’t over bake.  Cool before transferring from cookie sheet to a baking rack.

Store in airtight container, or freeze in Ziplock bags and pull them from the freezer as needed.

What’s the last cookie you made?  Or bought?

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This spring I’ve been thinking about all the projects that will keep me busy throughout the (hopefully) warm summer months.  Of course my list is forever growing, but one thing I’m particularly excited about is planting our garden.  Last year we enjoyed fresh vegetables in and out of season.  I froze lot’s of veggies and made a gazillion jars of homemade dill pickles.

I figure somewhere around mid March we ran out of our frozen French cut green beans.  Can I tell you how much I miss them?  My favorite way to cook them is in a little garlic and olive oil with a touch of parmesan cheese  – oh yum!

One thing I haven’t run out of yet is the grated zucchini I froze.  I usually freeze enough to make zucchini bread all winter long.  Since I already have posted my recipe for Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread  here before, and today I was in the mood for chocolate, I decided to get a little crafty in the kitchen and come up with a for Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.  And as luck would have it, I succeeded and these turned out great!

What I like about these muffins is… the zucchini is barely visible.  If you’re trying to pass off some veggies to your picky eaters I can assure you that this is one way to do it.  Also, these muffins are moist, not greasy, and have just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy my taste.  As with most baked goods that I make, I also share, and the recipients of these muffins have given them great reviews.

And now for the recipe…

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

2/3 c. canola oil

2 c.  grated zucchini

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. dark mini chocolate chips, plus some for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325.  Line muffin tins with cupcake papers (makes 1.5 dozen muffins).

In a large bowl, add eggs, sugars, oil, and grated zucchini; beat with an electric mixer until completely blended.  Add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.  Beat in flour, and lastly, fold in mini chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared muffin tins – filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Immediately sprinkle some mini chips on the muffins once they are removed from the oven, and cool completely before removing the muffins from the tins.

Do you plant a garden?  If so, what is your favorite veggie to grow? And do you have a favorite?

That’s The Way The Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbles

Here I was, all excited that I was (finally) going to share a new cookie recipe I’d found with you, and then… I started looking through my archives and I found that this recipe wasn’t quite as new to me as I had thought it was.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I had made these chocolate chip cookies before – in 2013, as a matter of fact.

What threw me off?  The first recipe I followed came from the blog An Apple A Day, and the second recipe I followed came from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  I never realized the two recipes were identical –  with the exception that one recipe calls for 1/4 cup more of chocolate chips than the other.

I decided to go ahead with my post because these cookies are definitely worth making. 

And I dare say this is my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to date.

Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?  Where did it come from?

An Easy Chocolate Valentine’s Day Dessert– Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Today is Valentine’s Day.  In celebration of this romantic holiday, I made homemade chocolate pudding that we will have for dessert after a delicious home cooked meal.  It’s not fancy; it’s just good.

If you don’t like the sound of some of the ingredients that are listed on the packages of store-bought pudding, have no fear!  You will most certainly recognize each of the ingredients that go into this delicious, easy to make, creamy and chocolaty pudding.

I found this recipe at the Taste of Home

The only thing I changed? I omitted 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  And next time, I’d cut the sugar by 1/4 cup.  It is a tad bit to sweet in my opinion. 

I opted to serve the pudding individually so I used my mini glasses from Libbey Glass. I think these glasses make desserts look so much more fancy (even when they aren’t). 

This recipe makes a generous amount of pudding so I am planning on making homemade cream puffs and filling them with it.  Stay tuned…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m linking this post up at The Novice Garden’s Fiesta Friday #3.  If you get a minute, check out all of the other great posts that have been shared there this week.  And please join in!