Soft Pants, Baking, and Comfort Food

It was a great day for soft pants! 

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After an early morning yoga class and my typical Monday errands, I happily climbed into my comfies for an afternoon at home.

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My mom signed me up for Thanksgiving baking, so I spent yesterday searching for new recipes to try.  My parents are leaving for New York next weekend so I figured I could bake cookies ahead of time, freeze them, and they could drive them out.

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My first batch was a seasonal cake-like cookie full of delicious pumpkin and sweet butterscotch chips.

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I was so excited to bake that I brought out the big guns…my mixer.  Oh mixer, how I love thee!  I wish I was able to see pictures of the dough because I was a little nervous when I poured it out onto my baking sheet.

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But my cookies baked up puffy and bright.  Actually, they would be perfect to make sandwiches if you stuffed them full of frosting or ice cream…Mmm!  The cookbook doesn’t lie as they are some really BIG cookies!

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They aren’t the most attractive looking batch, but totally worth giving them a try this fall!

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I ended up with more than enough cookies for Thanksgiving and a few for the BOY and I this week : )

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He has wants me to add that they should be called ‘muffin tops’ but I tried to explain that might make them even less attractive…ha ha!  Before this batch was cooled, I had already whipped up a second bowl of dough…

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But I’m going to leave you hanging on that recipe!

With the weather turning cool, I was craving a comfort style meal.  Blame it on this weekend’s trip to the city for fried chicken (the BOY’s favorite chicken place just opened in Chicago) or the fact that Thanksgiving is next week…I dunno!

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But, I have a hearty chicken and veggie recipe in the crockpot now, so I’ll let you know how it turns out!

 

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

I LOVE Sweet Potato Pie (which we had with our fried chicken this weekend)!

Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies

From Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment, then butter the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer for about 1 minute on medium speed, until it’s smooth and a light yellow color. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the oil, pumpkin and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add in the flour mixture until incorporated, then stir in the butterscotch chips.
  5. Use a 1/4-cup capacity ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the dough into mounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Space the mounds about 2-1/2" apart. Smooth the tops of the mounds with a spatula if desired.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 16 minutes, switching racks and rotating the pans about halfway through the baking time. When done, the cookies will feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean and dry. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. If desired, dust the tops with powdered sugar.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, if they last that long.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

I teased you with a picture last week and then never got around to sharing the recipe.  That was mean, and I am sorry!

Nothing says spring like cookies!

 

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Well, not really!  But with a relaxing day, the breeze flowing through our open windows, I really wanted to bake cookies last week!  I pulled out butter before going to the gym and hid it on top of the fridge where Cooper (hopefully) wouldn’t find it.

 

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The BOY is a big oatmeal cookie fan, so I decided to make these Loaded Oatmeal Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Her cookies are always the BEST!  For my add ins, I went to the pantry to see what I had open and leftover.  I came up with the diverse but mouth watering combination of raisins, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips.

 

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The combination was AMAZEBALLS!

 

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Don’t judge me for using the term AMAZEBALLS : )

These cookies are soft, chewy, and perfect for sharing!

 

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Which is what I did!  And they were a huge hit with everyone!

 

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Happy Spring Baking!

 

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar

1/4 cup  (50g) granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon (20g) dark molasses

1 and 2/3 cups (140g) old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups add-ins (I used butterscotch morsels, raisins, and chocolate chips)

 

Directions

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, toss the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Fold in the add-ins. Dough will be thick. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Baked cookies and rolled cookie dough freeze well, up to 3 months.

12 Days of Recipes {Day 2}

Here is the first cookie recipe in my 12 Days of Recipes series.

 

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And it is a keeper!  The creamy butterscotch blends beautifully with the salted pretzels.

 

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And pudding makes everything better.

 

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I baked up a storm this weekend and have everything hiding in my freezer to pass along to friends this holiday season.

 

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As usual, I spent today making food and getting prepped for the week ahead.  I took all of your suggestions from last weekend’s post when planning this week and definitely kept things simple.

 

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But I will have some great new Crockpot recipes for you in the mix!

BTW, I am SO HAPPY that you guys are as excited about this recipe blitz as I am!

Or maybe I’m just happy because I made it to yoga this morning : )

 

 

Meal Planning 12/16/13

Monday: Crockpot Butter Chicken

 

Tuesday: Premade Turkey Burgers

 

Wednesday: Cajun Jambalaya

 

Thursday: The BOY’s Making Dinner

 

Friday: TBD

 

 

Butterscotch Pudding Cookies

From Sugar n’ Spice Gals

 

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup. quick oats

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 (3.4oz.) box instant butterscotch pudding

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup crushed pretzels

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugars and butter.  Add the eggs, vanilla and beat till light and fluffy.

Mix in the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and pudding until thoroughly combined, try not to overmix.  Stir in the butterscotch chips and crushed pretzels.

Roll into about 1 inch balls and drop on your cookie sheet*.  Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in a sealed container.

 

*Note: I recommend silpats for easy clean up!

Combination Cookies

When I told you that I had extra baking goodies from the holidays, did I mention all of these half used bags of chips???

 

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The thought of throwing all of these into one kitchen sink cookie DID cross my mind.  However, I just wasn’t sure how that would go.  Instead, I used the M&M’s to make these incredible cookies last week.  Check them out because the BOY is STILL talking about them.

 

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And then searched the backs of all my bags in search of a recipe, eventually deciding on a peanut butter recipe with Heath bits.

 

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This peanut butter dough is rich and creamy!  However, since I had limited amounts of Heath bits left, I threw in some extra butterscotch chips too.

 

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Great combination!!!

 

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Even the dough is delicious!

 

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Don’t trust me…try a bite when you make these cookies yourself : )

 

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And then make sure to bake them up because these cookies are soft, chewy, and addicting!

 

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The butterscotch chips add the perfect texture combined with toffee in a sweet peanut butter cookie.

 

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Ok, truth is that I am way too tired to type another line, so I will finish this post with the last few mouth watering pictures hoping they give you sweet eve-of-Valentine’s dreams!

 

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Did it work?  Are you craving peanut butter, butterscotch, and toffee yet?

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

Adapted From HEATH

Makes 3 dozen cookies

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter

1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1  egg

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup  HEATH BITS ‘O BRICKLE Toffee Bits

1 cup butterscotch chips

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F.

Beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in toffee bits and butterscotch chips.

Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved bits.

Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Scotcheroos

Yes, Hanukkah ended about a month ago but sometimes for our family, it takes a little while to get everyone in one place, so celebrations are postponed.  Which is why we are celebrating Hanukkah again tonight (and then one last gathering next weekend).  Yesterday, I got an email from my Mom with the time (expected) and a reminder that I am in charge of dessert (not surprising, but I totally forgot).  As I’ve noted, I have a plethora of sweet treats and ingredient options in my pantry leftover from the holidays, so a dessert, I can definitely do!

 

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With all the cookies I’ve made recently, you might be surprised by my choice.  But I had all of the ingredients in the house and a craving for this childhood favorite that my Mom used to make. 

 

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I always loved the combination of chocolate and butterscotch in the top layer and never knew exactly how my Mom created such a sensation!  And to also add peanut butter in the krispie treats.  Genius!  Who comes up with this stuff?

 

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I was slightly surprised to see that there were no marshmallows in this recipe, but I got started with the corn syrup and sugar combination as written.

 

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Until I realized that I didn’t have nearly as much corn syrup as I needed.  But, I did have marshmallows, so problem solved!

 

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At this point, the BOY walked by and commented on his surprise that I was making rice krispie treats for dessert.

 

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I explained that they are ‘special’ and here’s the exciting part…

 

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Butterscotch + Chocolate = Awesome!

 

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When the BOY re-entered the kitchen he was much more impressed with the final product!

 

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One of my favorite things about this recipe is how easy it is to make.

 

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But the absolute best thing about these bars is the response you get when you bring them to a party.  They were met with RAVE reviews tonight as they disappeared one slice at a time.  One person even called them ‘addicting’!

 

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These will disappear quickly so make sure to grab a bite or two for yourself before you go!

 

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Scotcheroos

From Rice Krispies

 

Ingredients

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 package(6 oz., 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate morsels

6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal

1 cup butterscotch chips

 

Directions

1. Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm. Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars when cool.
Note: Before measuring the corn syrup, coat your measuring cup with cooking spray–the syrup will pour easily out of the cup.

 

 

The Marshmallow Variation

Melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.  Add one 16 ounce package of marshmallows, stirring until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract and one cup of smooth peanut butter and mix well.  Stir in 6 cups of rice krispies until well coated.  Press mixture into greased 13×9 inch pan. 

Continue with step 2 above.

Holiday Barks

Along with these adorable Chocolate Pretzel Rings, I made a few holiday inspired barks this year.  This is a tradition that I started a few years back (these are last year’s barks), and I love how creative you can get with melted chocolate. 

Warning: this post has a lot of recipes and fun ideas!

 

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First Up…

Peppermint Bark!

 

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This recipe seems to be everyone’s favorite, especially this time of year.

 

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It’s so simple that I can’t believe I haven’t made it before.

 

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But I will definitely be adding it my yearly list!

 

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This bark makes a beautiful holiday gift, so I recommend making 2 batches…one for yourself and one to share with your friends!

 

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Moving On…

A new and innovative recipe from Crazy For Crust for Scotch Krispie Bark.

 

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Starring butterscotch chips…yum!

 

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Covered in Rice Krispies, chocolate, and then smothered with peanut butter!

 

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It was hard to wait for this one to harden because I was eager to taste it!

 

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I’m a huge fan of the sweet butterscotch and crunchy krispie combination!

 

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And although I love peanut butter, it wasn’t my favorite for this bark, so next time I will probably just omit it.

 

Getting Back to Peppermint…

 

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I was inspired by these Peppermint Pretzels to create an original bark.

 

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I stirred the chopped pretzels into white chocolate and then covered it with Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips and crushed candy canes.

 

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Super festive…right?

 

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This mish mash actually turned out pretty awesome!

 

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Lastly…

Who doesn’t love S’mores?

 

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This mixture of mallows and grahams creates a complex texture.

 

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That I guarantee you will enjoy!

 

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All of these barks make for easy, fun, and mouth watering gifts.  And because they store so easily in your freezer, there is always something for you to snack on.  I recommend storing them in freezer safe ziploc bags and remove as much air as possible.  Chocolate barks and candies are really forgiving, so you can use all of your leftover baking supplies to create your own sweet treats!  No measuring required!

 

 

Peppermint Bark

From Back to Her Roots

 

Ingredients:

8 peppermint candy canes

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

12 ounces white chocolate chips

 

Directions

Cover a large cookie sheet in aluminum foil. Set aside.

Remove candy canes from wrapper and place in large plastic, ziptop bag. Using a mallet, bottom of a glass or rolling pin, mash the candy canes until they are in small chunks.

In a double boiler (or microwave) melt semisweet chocolate chips. When completely smooth, pour onto cookie sheet and spread into a thin later (about 1/8"). Don’t worry if chocolate doesn’t spread to edge of cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in freezer.

Using a clean double boiler, melt white chocolate chips until smooth. Mix in all but 2/3 cup of the candy cane pieces.

Remove cookie sheet from freezer, carefully spread white chocolate over the dark chocolate in a thin layer. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of reserved candy cane pieces on top. Place cookie sheet in freezer.

Once bark is completely cooled and hard. Remove from cookie sheet and break into large pieces.

 

 

Scotch Krispie Bark

From Crazy For Crust

 

Ingredients:

1 bag butterscotch chips

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups Rice Krispies Cereal

½ cup peanut butter (I’d say this is optional)

 

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 1 minute, stir, and then add increments of 30 seconds until chips are melted and smooth. Spread on cookie sheet.

Sprinkle Rice Krispies cereal on top of butterscotch layer. Press down with your hands.

Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave, again using 50% power, stirring after 1 minute and continuing to heat at 30 second intervals until chips are melted. (If chocolate doesn’t seem smooth, add about a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil and stir.) Spread over Rice Krispie layer.

While spreading chocolate layer, melt peanut butter in microwave. Drizzle over spread chocolate and swirl with the back of a spoon.

Chill to harden bark, then break into pieces and serve.

 

 

White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Bark

 

Ingredients

1 bag of TJ’s Peppermint Pretzel Thins, crushed

8 ounces White Chocolate

Candy canes, crushed

1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips

 

Directions

Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Melt white chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.  Do not over heat!

Stir in pretzel thins and Andes Peppermint Chips.

Spread over cookie sheet and sprinkle the top with candy canes.  Use a spatula or your hands to push the candy canes into the chocolate.

Freeze or refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.

Then break into pieces.

 

 

S’mores Bark

 

Ingredients

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

8 ounces candy melts or chocolate

Marshmallows

 

Instructions

Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Melt chocolate and mix in your graham cracker crumb and half of the marshmallows.

Pour and spread across a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Sprinkle on the remaining marshmallows and press them into the chocolate.

Freeze or refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.

Then break into pieces.

 

 

What is your favorite chocolate bark? 

I’m always looking for new ideas recipes!

I’ve been Holding out on you Guys

Somehow in the past (almost) 2 years, I have not posted one of, if not, the best butterscotch recipe out there.  I’m not sure how I left this happen, but I promise to be more diligent moving forward.

 

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I just hope you can forgive me…this recipe will help!

 

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But first, a little history…

My best friend introduced me to these cookies.  The recipe is easy to find as it is written on the back of the package.  Since then, I have baked these cookies countless times.  One time, I totally forgot the eggs.  Although dry, they turned out okay.  Another time, I under baked the cookies and when I put them on a plate to serve, they turned into one huge cookie mountain.  Not fancy looking, but absolutely delicious!  I’ve baked the cookies and I’ve made the bars and everywhere that I bring them, people are always impressed.  Even those who don’t like butterscotch, which is the sign of a GOOD recipe. 

 

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I searched my entire blog and couldn’t find these cookies or this recipe anywhere. I’m not even sure how that is possible!

 

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I had some leftover butterscotch chips, not an entire bag, but knew I needed a batch of these cookies.  I also had some pretzels and thought that together they could make one tasty cookie.

 

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I followed the recipe as written, but I used 1 cup of butterscotch chips and 2/3 cup white chocolate chips.

 

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Then I stirred in ~1 cup of crushed pretzels.

 

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I know that salted caramel is the big thing right now, however, I am loving the salt and butterscotch combo!  The toughest part of the recipe is resisting the urge to sit down on the couch with the bowl of cookie dough and a spoon to watch the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother.

 

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But you won’t have time because this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies, so it is all hands on deck in the kitchen scooping dough, moving cookie sheets, and clearing space on your cooling racks.

 

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Having over and under baked these cookies in the past, I can tell you that 9 minutes is the magic  number for a crispy edge with a soft, chewy middle.

 

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It’s one of the best oatmeal cookies out there!!! 

And I am totally digging the addition of white chocolate and pretzels.

 

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Below is the original recipe.  I would start there and then get creative with you add ins!  It won’t be hard to share 4 dozen of these delightful cookies.  Trust me…I’ve done it before!

 

 

Oatmeal Scotchies

From NESTLÉ®

 

Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    3/4 cup packed brown sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange

    3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

    1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

     

    Directions

     

    PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

    COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

    BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    PAN COOKIE VARIATION:

    Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

     

     

    MY Variation: Stir in 1 cup butterscotch chips, 2/3 cup white chocolate chips, and about 1 cup of crushed pretzels.  Bake for 9 minutes.