Crunchy Cookies Part II

What did you think of the Spicy Oatmeal Cookies???

 

Did they have you pre-heating your oven? 

 

Here is another fantastic cookie option that is super fun to make and allows plenty of room for creativity.

 

I used a recipe from this book for inspiration…

 

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I have never even heard of Cookie Brittle before, but I loved the idea.  Instead of toffee, I decided on dried cranberries, white chocolate, and walnuts.  What a fantastic combination!  But you can be creative here…the possibilities are endless!

 

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Here is my smooth, yet sticky dough…

Stir in your chips, nuts, fruits, chocolate, etc.

 

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Then press your dough out onto parchment paper in the shape of a rectangle.  Your hands work just fine for this, plus then you can lick of the tasty dough that sticks to your fingers!

 

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Bake your cookie brittle until the edges start to brown.  You want this to be a crispy and crunchy cookie so that it breaks up well.

 

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Breaking up your cookie is the fun party.  Don’t use a utensil, just use your hands!

 

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The best part is that you don’t have to be perfect, just break everything into big chunks of delicious cookie.  Feel free to sample all of the tiny pieces that break off along the way!

 

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Cookie brittle is my new favorite food!  Give it a try and you will totally agree!

It also makes a great gift, and I will be adding to the 2012 Holiday Baking Bonanza.

 

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Cranberry White Chocolate Walnut Cookie Brittle

Recipe adapted from Toffee Cookie Brittle in Big Fat Cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups flour

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

• 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup dried cranberries

• 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) walnuts, broken into large pieces

 

Directions:

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

-In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown and granulated sugars and vanilla extract until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using a large spoon, slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. The dough should appear to be smooth. Stir in the chocolate, cranberries, and walnuts. (You may need to use your hands if the dough is thick.)

-Spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of empty space on all sides. Use the palms of your hands to pat the dough into an even layer about 1/2 inch thick and 13 by 9 inches. The dough should be patted out slightly thinner at the edges.

-Bake the brittle until it turns golden and the edges turn light brown, about 19 minutes. The brittle may be fairly soft when warm but will crisp as it cools. Let the brittle cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

-Using a large metal spatula to guide it, slide the large cookie onto a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t worry if the cookie breaks; it will be broken into irregular pieces, anyway. Break the cooled cookie into 2- to 3-inch pieces. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

 

 

Looking for more crunchy cookies, try these Spicy Oatmeal Cookies.

 

What Do You Do with an open Cake Mix?

 

 

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To me, the most obvious answer is to scoop out some of the yellow crumbs and stir in just a dash of water to create Yellow Cake Batter Dip, which can easily be eaten with a spoon (perhaps the one you used to stir) or better yet, animal crackers or graham sticks.  However, this often leads to eating the entire contents of said cake mix box, because once you have tried this easy and surprisingly tasting dip, you will want to make more and more.  And although eating an entire box of cake is not the same (or as bad) as eating an entire actual cake, it is possibly going to derail your weight loss efforts and will most definitely cause a massive stomach ache.  Don’t ask me how I know this!!!

 

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So to prevent future you from ingesting way too much cake mix in one sitting, I have another recipe option that lends itself to better portion control…sort of!

 

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You may be wondering to yourself, why I have leftover cake mix.  It is because I find this Cake Batter Puppy Chow to be so festive and wonderful that I have already made it three times since March.

 

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So when I was left with a little extra mix, I found the PERFECT new recipe to try…

 

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This recipe is Super Duper Unbelievably Amazing. It is easy to make and even easier to eat. The BOY is already a big fan, and this may be my new all time favorite treat…although I am loving what is left in my freezer of these guys!

 

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If you were to tell me your mouth isn’t watering right now, I wouldn’t believe you!  Even this ugly guy looks appealing enough to lick the computer screen!

 

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So I know you are asking yourself…what are these things??? 

They are CAKE BATTER TRUFFLES from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

 

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Get ready to SAVE or LIKE this recipe immediately!  These sweet treats are white chocolate covered balls of cakey goodness!

 

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Does life get any better than that???  As previously discussed, my chocolate dipping skills leave much to be desired, and I thought these were the perfect example of my creative use of white chocolate.

 

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In this case, it wasn’t totally my fault.  My chocolate started getting hard creating an extra thick layer and making it challenging to dip the cake balls.  Hence, the not so cute guys, but no worries…they all taste just as incredible as they look. 

 

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Next time, I will definitely use almond bark for easy dipping and a smoother finish.  But for this time around, I will store the rest of these guys (the ones the BOY didn’t get his hands on) in the freezer until tomorrow where they will star along with the Thin Mint Truffles in a fun celebration at work.

 

Looking for more cake mix ideas??? Check out Fun with Cake Mixes (part 1)

On a truffle kick like me??? These Mint Chocolate Thin Mint Truffles are exactly what you need!

 

 

Cake Batter Truffles

Recipe created by The Girl Who Ate Everything  (NO modifications needed)



Ingredients

1 ½ cups flour

1 cup yellow cake mix

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

3-4 Tablespoons milk

2 Tablespoons sprinkles

 

Truffle Coating:

16 ounces (8 squares) almond bark (or white candy melts)

4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix

sprinkles



Directions


Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.


While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, quickly stir in cake mix until incorporated completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished.

 

Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

Recipe Flashback-Cranberry Bliss Bars

As I was making the White Chocolate Puppy Chow for today’s work party, it got me thinking about what I made last year for the winter party.  Another winter white chocolate dessert, these indulgent Cranberry Bliss Bars, based on the Starbucks bars.

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The fresh ginger is the place to start and adds the perfect amount of zing.

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It nicely compliments the white chocolate and dried cranberries in these cakey bars.

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The bars are drenched in cream cheese frosting, which adds the perfect amount of sweetness and topped with even more cranberries and a white chocolate drizzle.

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Absolute perfection!  I must confess that I have never tried this Starbucks sweet, but I’m betting these are just as good.

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Cranberry Bliss Bars

From Mr. Breakfast’s Collection
(15 servings)

  • For Cake Base:
  • 2 sticks margarine (or butter if you want to indulge) – softened
  • 1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar – packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup minced dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Lindt or Perugina or other quality white chocolate – coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced candied ginger
  • For Frosting:
  • 4 ounce cream cheese – softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter – softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For Garnish:
  • 2 Tablespoons minced dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips (e.g. Ghiradelli or Guittard) — melted

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
Beat butter and sugar together for the cake base, and add eggs/vanilla beating until fluffy. Sift together flour, ginger, and salt and then add to the butter/sugar mixture beating well. Fold in the cranberries, chocolate and ginger. Spread thick batter in pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden.
When cake is cooled, mix all frosting ingredients together and spread a thin layer over the cake. Immediately sprinkle with the minced cranberries. Then use a cake decorating bag of melted white chocolate with a tiny decorating tip (like the size used for writing on cakes) and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.
Cut this into bars immediately because the white chocolate hardens pretty fast and makes cake cutting messy.

Cranberry Bars

I love a good deal, especially at the grocery store.  I found this HUGE bag of Craisins at Costco for not much more than the tiny bag I usually get at the grocery store (plus I had a coupon).  Now that I have a years worth of dried cranberries, the fun thing is determining what to do with them, besides making trail mix and adding them to salads.

I know everyone talks about the Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks, but I have never tried them. However, I accidentally came across the recipe and knew I had to make them for an upcoming work party.

I started by blending my butter and sugar.

Then adding eggs and vanilla, blending well.

Combine dry ingredients.

Then add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until well blended.

The next step is stirring in the ginger, cranberries, and white chocolate.  I found candied ginger at whole foods and bought the 365 white chocolate chunks.  I chopped everything up and added it in.

I always take a lick off the spoon while I’m cleaning up and the dough tastes promising!

Bake the bars for 25 minutes and then cool before frosting.

The cream cheese frosting is simple to make.  Just beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla.  The frosting was delicious and I will use that recipe again for sure!

I frosted the bars with a thin layer and melted white chocolate to spread across the top, then sprinkled with dried cranberries.

I was so excited to try them that I had to cut a tiny triangle for myself.  Unfortunately white frosting doesn’t photo well on a white plate, but the bars tasted fabulous.  The candied ginger is the perfect addition.  Next time, I might add some on top of the frosting as well.  I’m looking forward to serving them at the party  today!

Find the full recipe on the Mr. Breakfast Website

Stay posted for more exciting cranberry recipes!