Baking: Nutella Cookies

I’m finally back in the kitchen and baking. Nothing brings me back quite like baking some goods for events.  This time around its for Father’s Day and for my boyfriend’s dad. I may not know a lot of stuff but I do know that he loves chocolate.  After looking through my Pinterest boards for a long time and thinking thinking and thinking some more, I finally decided on this Nutella Cookies.

Nutella Cookies

I love simple, quick and efficient recipes, especially when my indecisiveness causes me to have a lack of time and I need to do this quickly.  These “One Bowl Nutella Cookies” are from Chew Out Loud.  You can find the recipe HERE!

Whats better than a recipe with 6 ingredients, right? You probably have most of the items at home.  Plus, 8 minutes in the oven ONLY!! Nothing like a simple recipe to boost my motivation and confidence in the kitchen!

Nutella Cookies

However, I did make slight changes:

  • Replace all-purpose flour with (Cloud 9) Gluten-Free Flour
  • Chocolate chips are semi-sweet

Another success for this one is that I managed to control dividing the dough to be a smaller portion so that it would not expand and merge into one big cookie while it baked.  I’m usually really bad with that but I’m quite proud of being able to take the extra time to get that right.

Nutella Cookies

I can’t eat Nutella due to dietary restrictions but the feedback from my boyfriend and his parents were great.  They really liked it and I could actually see them enjoy it.  That’s what its all about 🙂 Plus, they didn’t taste the gluten-free flour which is great.  I’m still the happiest with my baking experience with Cloud 9.

Easy, efficient, Nutella, chocolate, quick and delicious! This one is a definite winner 🙂

Do you like Nutella? Chocolate? All of the above?

Rhubarb season is officially upon us so expect some recipes coming up.  I’ll be baking up a storm this week (hopefully)!

Happy Monday!! 🙂

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Thick & Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Its been tough getting in time to bake but the past Tuesday was my boyfriend’s birthday, so the least I could do was bake him some goodies. His favorite is Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies.  All my cookbooks are at my new place so I dug around in my Pinterest and remembered that I had pinned this recipe from a blog that I’ve followed for quite some time called Chew Out Loud.  I still have a ton of recipes to try from this blog but these looked like quite the winner.  As usual, I made a few changes to it but this one is not gluten-free as my boyfriend isn’t so I don’t make him eat GF flour unless necessary 😉

Thick n Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick & Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe I used was this one: http://www.chewoutloud.com/2014/12/21/thick-n-chewy-oatmeal-dark-chocolate-cookies/

Makes 24 cookies

Suffice to say these aren’t quite Thick & Chewy and I only managed to get half the batter used.  My mom ended up transforming the second half the next day into muffins after adding in some cashew milk or something.  The cookies were quite good. My boyfriend seemed to enjoy it. Still, my issue was also that I forgot to flatten it and just kept it in a rolled up batter. Rushing to baking when I don’t do it frequent enough is hurting my little skills that I have.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Lets start with the changes:

  • Omit cinnamon: ran out
  • Unsalted butter instead of salted and less than required: I used the only bit left, maybe 14 tbsp, I just estimated.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chopped semi-sweet chocolate

The cookies was pretty easy to make.  Cookies usually are and that’s why I love making them.  Plus, the oven time is usually around 15 minutes so its quick as well.  Efficiency is definitely a plus for this recipe. I felt like there was a lot of sugar for this one but my boyfriend felt it was good. I can’t eat chocolate so I didn’t get a taste.  The looks are really good as well.  I could’ve waited for it to cool a little more because it would have settled a little more (as the recipe suggests).

This is definitely an easy and efficient recipe to try.  My boyfriend liked it quite a bit.  I absolutely love the smell of chocolate swirl around the air as it bakes.

Do you like chocolate chip and/or oatmeal cookies? 

Baking: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (with Chocolate Chips)

I’m starting to have gotten all those fresh cranberries.  I’m at the last stretch to try and finish it before it gets too ripe to make anything.  In heart of making cranberry scones, somehow I changed my plan as I was flipping through recipes and decides to make oatmeal cookies instead.

I adapted this recipe from Butter’s Baked Goods  by Rosie Daykins.  This originally was with pecans and white chocolate chips.  I removed the pecans from the recipe below but if you ever want to use it, just ask and I’ll send you the full recipe 🙂

Note that I made two different ones.  In the first dozen, I made it with just cranberries and in the second one, for my boyfriend, I added in chocolate chips.

Oatmeal cranberries cookies

Just Cranberries

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients

Makes 24 cookies

*2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
*1 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/2 cups large-flake rolled oats
*2/3 cup white chocolate chips
*2/3 cup dried cranberries
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

With Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt  Set aside.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat briefly after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat again to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and the oats and mix until combined.  Add the white chocolate chips and cranberries and mix again to fully distribute.

6 Use the ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Use the palm of your hand to press down lightly on the top of each cookie to flatten slightly.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges and slightly soft in the center.

8. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

patmeal cranberries cookies

Lets start with modifications, as usual:

  • Omit baking powder and vanilla.  I really should remember to buy them when I do groceries…
  • Gluten-free flour instead of regular all-purpose flour
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips instead of white chocolate chips
  • Fresh cranberries instead of dried cranberries (I added about 1 cup instead of the 2/3 cup)

I haven’t made oatmeal cookies in so long that I forgot how delicious they were.  Plus, it is one of the simplest things to make.  These were perfect.  Plus, the whole fresh cranberries adds this tart taste to it which balances out the flavors a little.  My boyfriend isn’t a cranberry fan but the chocolate chips were great.  Next modification will be making a batch with just chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

The only change I would make is to add some nuts in.  I’m sure it would add an even better texture to it 🙂

Any oatmeal cookie fans? Any suggestions for what to make with fresh cranberries? 

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

I’m slowly picking up the baking momentum again.  Its making me extremely happy 🙂

The original plans was to make Chocolate Eclairs but I realized that I had shifted all my pastry baking utensils to my new place so after shifting through my book in search for something to make with my awesome lactose-free heavy cream, I landed on The Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie in my newest cookbooks, Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.

I made them a bit late on Sunday night so I ended up making the filling and putting it in the fridge to compile on Monday morning. Here’s how the final product looked like:

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

Here is the recipe from the book:

Ingredients

Makes 12 sandwich cookies

Cookie:

2 1/4 all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp pure vanilla

Filling:

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and peanut butter on medium to high speed until well blended.  Add the granulated and dark brown sugars and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg and beat briefly.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl.  Add the vanilla and beat again to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
5. turn the mixer to low and ad the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
6. Use the ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Hold your three middle fingers together and press down on the top of each to make slight indentations across the top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.
8. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
9. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the peanut butter and butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the icing sugar and continue to cream until well combined.
10. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the cream.  Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
11. When the cookies have cooked, turn 12 of them bottom side up.  Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of filling onto each.  Place the remaining cookies on top and press down lightly until the butter cream has spread to the edges of the cookies.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

This cookie here took a long time to make.  Its a two step deal because of making the cookies first and then making the filling then compiling but I’d say that the end result is worth it because its quite rare but I ended up with something very similar to the picture in the book.  The only thing was that I think that my cookies should have been in there for even less than 15 minutes because mine are on the crunchy side.

Also very rare is that there are no modifications to this recipe.  My heavy cream was lactose-free so that I could eat it and the only modification was that for the filling I halved the sugar because I’m not one to like the over sweetness of these cookies.

To me, these tasted great but still on the sweet side where I wouldn’t eat a lot of them.  I barely could finish one because I made them so big.  However, level of sweetness varies. My boyfriend thought they were perfectly balanced and ate one and even the part I couldn’t finish.  If I were to do this again, I’d definitely lessen some sugar in the recipe or maybe change it to brown sugar completely.

Are you a fan of peanut butter? What do you think of these peanut butter sandwiches?

P.S. I have lots of rhubarb soon to be harvested in my yard so I’ll be baking immense amounts of that probably, drop in the comments some suggestions please 😉

Christmas Baking: Shortbread!

Okay, Christmas is over but well, seeing as today is Boxing Day, I figured its not totally inappropriate to still use this title 😉 The final baked goods I made for Christmas was shortbread.

I am horrible at shortbread but every single time I do this, I change how I approach it a little and how that it’ll turn out better. This time, the taste was pretty spot on.  The cookies did not turn out how I wanted them to look though.  Hmm…I need to figure that part out. Here they are!

Shortbread

Shortbread!

The recipe is from Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook.

SHORTBREAD

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon almond extract, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon.  Stir in flour and almond extract.  (If dough is crumbly, mix in additional 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened.)

2. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares with knife or cut with 1 1/2 inch cookie cutters.  On ungreased cookie sheet, place squares or shapes about 1 inch apart.

3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely about 30 minutes.

IMG_4613

Lets start with modifications.  I used vanilla extract instead of almond extract.  Which comes to the point that I could have done brown sugar shortbread by replacing the sugar with brown sugar but I didn’t read that far until after I poured the sugar in.  What could I say? Next time, right?

Regardless, I pulled out my new bite size cookie cutters that my mom bought for me in Hong Kong on her last trip, thats why its not completely Christmas theme but there was teddy bears and stars.  I do have to say, this is the most impressive batch I’ve made which makes this pretty sad.

The taste was very delicious: a nice balance between buttery and sweetness.  It was crumbly and melted in my mouth.  I loved it! Like I said, I’m quite proud of the taste.  Only thing I need to work on is the appearance. 🙂

I still have some potluck baking in a few days so I have more baking and cooking going up.  It’ll be a fun final run to bring in 2014. So come back for more, k?

Hope all of you had a great Christmas celebrations and enjoy the boxing day sales! 🙂

Christmas Baking: Pistachio Biscotti!

My holidays specialty and my mom’s favorite choice in baked good from me is this little one, biscotti.  My friend calls it burnt cookie and I guess it makes sense since you do have to bake it two times so its time consuming and the reason why I don’t do it as much as I should.

I did it about two years ago right HERE but with dried cherry.

So I decided to do Pistachio Biscotti, as you probably figured out.

Pistachio Biscotti

Pistachio Biscotti

I got this recipe from my Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook

PISTACHIO BISCOTTI

Makes about 3 dozen biscottis

Ingredients

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Pistachio Biscotti

Pistachio Biscottis out of the oven

1. Heat oven to 350F. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil, vanilla extract and the eggs with a spoon.  Stir in remaining biscotti ingredients.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth.  On ungreased cookie sheet, shape half of dough at a time into 10×3 inch rectangle.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet 15 minutes.  Cut crosswire into 1/2 inch slices.  Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet.

4. Bake about 15 minutes, turning once until crisp and light brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Pistachio Biscotti

This was supposed to have glaze but I excluded it completely.  This recipe is very crunchy and delicious.  Perfect balance in sugar and it tastes totally awesome.  All the hard work makes so much sense after making these because they are always a hit.  Plus, nothing was changed or modified for this recipe so makes it even easier.

Do you like biscotti? Any flavor in particular?

I’m gone for the rest of the day.  I’ll have a Christmas thing go up tomorrow if all goes as planned.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE! MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAVE LOTS OF FUN AND REMEMBER TO STAY EXTREMELY AWESOME! 🙂

Christmas Baking: Gingerdoodles

Who is huge on gingerbread cookies? How about Snickerdoodles? I, myself, are a huge fan of both so finding this recipe called Gingerdoodles and doing it was a no-brainer. How could this combination be wrong? It could only turn out to be epic and delicious 🙂

Gingerdoodle cookies

Fresh out of the oven!

The Gingerdoodle recipe I used can be found here: http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/2013/12/gingerdoodle-cookies/

I made a few modifications. First, I don’t have cream of tartar so I didn’t put any.  No substitute either, which makes me wonder all the time about what difference would it make. Do you know? Second, I don’t have ground cloves so I used allspice instead.  Its supposed to be able to substitute each other quite well.

Gingerdoodles

Gingerdoodles

The taste was pretty good, however, for me, since I don’t eat sweets a lot was verging on the sweet side. I’ll definitely do this again and I’ll put less sugar, probably granulated one.  The texture is wonderful though.  It has a gingerbread consistency with a stronger snickerdoodle taste with cinnamon and other spices.  Its pretty awesome. What I mean is that its chewy (like soft chocolate chip cookies), especially the day after.

Gingerdoodle cookie

I think I’ll be using this recipe more.  Snickerdoodles are fantastic but this combination is even better.  Although, I’m having a  crazy urge to make some gingerbread cookies since I have these ultra cute Christmas cutters, that I used last year HERE!

Of course, expect that this isn’t quite was easy since it has a lot more ingredients to do and mixing in different time, kneading the dough and then refrigerating it for an hour or two.  Its a lot more time consuming, but if you mixed with another recipe like I did, then it’ll work out great.  The wait time will feel really little.

What do you think of this combination? Genius? Crazy? Would you try it out?

Another recipe coming up in a few hours! 🙂 Drop by again if you aren’t busy with Christmas eve festivities.

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! 🙂