Monday, October 26, 2015

Chocolate Pumpkin Kisses

These 4 ingredient (or 3 if you only want to use one type of Hershey Kiss) are super easy to make. I love cake mix cookies, and I love the ease of combining cake mix and pumpkin (and that's it!!) to make cookies. Once cooked, these cookies had a nice subtle pumpkin flavor and were really nice and chewy.


Firstly, you want to combine your cake mix and canned pumpkin. I used an electric mixer and it went really easily. I also used Betty Crocker's Triple Chocolate Fudge because it is by far my favorite type of boxed cake mix. I love the little chocolate chips in it and in my opinion, it really added to the cookie. 
Two main ingredients 
All mixed!
While my girls were busy licking the beaters, and with no egg it's totally acceptable, I got to work on the cookies. I used a #70 cookie dough scoop (see below picture), I think it's about a teaspoon of dough.
I dropped those onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I totally could have fit more on the baking sheet as the cookies didn't really spread, just puffed up. 
While the cookies were baking in a preheated 350 degree oven, I unwrapped some Hershey Kisses. For future reference, I would probably freeze some Hershey Kisses to keep them from completely melting when you put them in the cookies. I did this with my last batch and they came out much better than the first. 
Bake your cookies for about 9 minutes. They should resemble the below picture when done. 
Allow to cool for about a minute then place Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie like below. 
Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. I was short on time, and space, so I also popped mine in the fridge to help harden the Kisses back up. Once the Kisses have re-hardened, place them in an airtight container.

1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
1 can pumpkin (not pie mix)
Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses *I used 24
Caramel Filled Hershey Kisses *I used 24

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pumpkin using electric mixer.
Place cookie dough using cookie dough scoop or teaspoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake for 9 minutes
Remove pan and cool for 1 minute. 
Press Kisses into center of cookie and place on cooling rack.
Cool completely and place in airtight container once Hershey Kisses have set.

These cookies got a "Delicious" from Craig's co-worker Jason, so I consider that a total success! They stayed super soft and chewy too. I would say that the Pumpkin Spice Kisses were a little bit better with the cookie (they gave them that extra oomph), but the Caramel filled ones were not that bad :) 
Cookie closeup of the inside of the cookie!!

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love fall and anything Pumpkin, not necessarily Pumpkin Spice, related.  I also love making pumpkin cookies. My husband LOVES pumpkin so it's always fun to find new recipes to try. This one was a really good one for him since it combines his favorite cookie (oatmeal chocolate chip) and pumpkin.

The first step is to take your softened butter and add your sugars like below.
Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until nice and creamy.  Add your egg and mix well.  Then add the vanilla extract and pumpkin. Your mixture should resemble the below picture. 
Not all that appetizing huh?

Since we were making cookies for Daddy's work, I had some super special helpers! They have definitely inherited my love of baking and Craig's love of eating what I make ;) 
My big helpers

Once your pumpkin is all mixed in, add all your dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Lastly, add your chocolate chips 
When it is all done it should resemble the below mixture. 
You want to let your batter rest for a few minutes so that the oats absorb some of the liquids. I actually refrigerated my batter as I had to take my daughter to soccer practice. I would not recommend refrigerating it as long as I did, as my cookies ended up barely spreading (more on that later). 
I did about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough that I dropped onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Then I baked them for about 13 min (until the edges were slightly browned).  
Now as I said, my cookies didn't really spread all that much, but they did stay nice, thick and chewy. Which is NOT a bad thing!! Craig and his co-workers really liked these and the girls couldn't stop stealing them when we were at the Football game (shh don't tell!).

Recipe: (slightly adapted from Cooking Classy)
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (not pie mix)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 TB Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 cups (12 oz bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
Cream together softened butter and sugars with electric mixer
Add egg and mix
Blend in vanilla and pumpkin
Add dry ingredients (save chocolate chips) and combine slowly
Mix in chocolate chips.
Allow dough to rest about 10 min
Drop rounded TB (I did about 1 1/2) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets
Bake about 13 min or until slightly browned
Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack.
Store in airtight container.

I have one more pumpkin cookie recipe that I will hopefully have uploaded either today or tomorrow, and then a savory pumpkin recipe in the next few days. Enjoy!
Cookie closeup!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chocolate Drops

When I was growing up in Virginia, there was a bakery called Brenner's Bakery. They made these chocolate drop cookies that we called POOPOO cookies because of how the chocolate frosting looked on top. I have wanted to try my hand at making these for a while. So, I finally decided to try it for St. Patty's Day. Don't worry, you can make these anytime as the only thing that makes them 'St. Patty's Day' cookies is the sprinkles.

Now, I only took pictures of making the cookies. I will include the recipe for the Dark Chocolate Buttercream I used at the bottom as well.
Start with softened butter. Add sugar and beat with electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Your mixture should resemble the following picture.
Add your egg and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add your dry mixture to your wet mixture and continue to mix on medium speed.  Once combined, add your vanilla and mix well. Your dough should look like the picture below.
Take a small amount of dough, around a tablespoon and roll into a ball. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing about 2 inches apart.
Slightly flatten dough with the palm of your hand just before baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-13 minutes or until just browned on the edges.
All done

Allow cookies to cool completely. My mom (who's house I made these at), has the best cookie cooling rack. I seriously need to purchase one!  Once cookies are cooled completely, you can frost and decorate as you like. 

I went with a Dark Chocolate Buttercream, though staying true to Brenners would have called for a basic Chocolate buttercream.  I just favor the dark chocolate more :)  Hope you enjoy this recipe and here is the cookie and frosting recipe:

 Butter Cookie
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cream butter and sugar using mixer until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  
Add egg and mix until combined.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Slowly add dry ingredient mixture to your wet mixture.
Mix until combined on medium speed.
Add vanilla and stir to combine.
Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. 
Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
Repeat with remaining dough, placing dough 2 inches apart.
Flatten slightly with palm.
Bake for 10-13 minutes until just browned.
Cool cookies completely.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
2 1/2 cups Confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add butter and cocoa to bowl of stand mixer (or bowl if using hand mixer)
Cream together until well combined.
Add sugar to butter mixture slowly. 
Add vanilla extract and mix well.
Add milk, at a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistency you want. If too stiff, add more milk.
*Pipe onto cookies using decorating bag or Ziplock with corner snipped off.

As I said in my previous post, I am trying to catch up on recipes and obviously I made these a while ago. Hopefully I will have the rest of my back recipes up on here soon!

Extreme Cookie Closeup

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, I know. I have been awful at updating my blog. You would not believe the amount of recipes I have that I need to put on here. Some are over a year old!!  These cookies though, I made this past week. They were so good. As with all my stuffed cookies, they came out extremely larger than I intended, but they were so worth it!

I made these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies for the first Bryant Football game of the season. It's been a long time since I've made cookies for Craig and his staff and it was fun to try a new recipe for them.

As  with a lot of cookie recipes, this one starts with some nice softened butter. Then you add your brown sugar and white sugar.

By the way, I have to show off my new favorite spatula. Pretty fitting right? 

Beat your softened butter and sugars for about 1-2 minutes until nice and fluffy. It should resemble the following picture. 
Then add your eggs and vanilla and mix well ( I did not take a picture of this).

Now it's time to add your dry ingredients. I rarely if ever use a seperate bowl. I just pile them on top of each other and mix. 
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. It should look like the picture below.
Then, my favorite part: CHOCOLATE CHIPS! 
 Mix the Chocolate chips in until combined (like below) 
Allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. While you are doing this, unwrap some caramels. I unwrapped way more than I needed as I only made 10 huge cookies. But my girls didn't complain.


Once your dough has chilled, you are ready to make your cookies.  Take about 3 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball. Repeat for a second ball of dough.
Stick a caramel partway into your ball of dough like the below picture.

Cover the caramel using the second ball of dough and form it into one large ball of dough like the following picture.  

I literally could only fit 5 cookie balls on a pan at once. I'm not sure, maybe next time I will try less dough, but my girls loved the HUGE cookies. Bake the cookies in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.

All Baked

You want to pop the cookies out while they are still soft and sprinkle them with sea salt. Because mine were so large, I actually popped them out at about 10 minutes, sprinkled them with the salt and popped them back in the oven until they were done.

Trying to get a view of the salt.

Like I said, these were REALLY good.  I love Salted Caramel and I thought they really added an extra kick to a basic chocolate chip cookie. Even eaten the next day they were still very good. Just not as gooey. Hope you guys enjoy this recipe and I hope to try a new pumpkin cookie next month (when my husband has his next home game). But until then, I will try to update my other recipes!

Recipe: Adapted from: Salted Caramel CC Cookies
12 TB softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 3.4 oz box Vanilla Instant pudding mix
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 12 oz bag Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Soft caramels (I used 10 Kraft square caramels), unwrapped
Sea salt

Soften Butter
Add Sugars and beat with electric mixer until fluffy
Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Stir in Chocolate Chips
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Unwrap caramels
Take 3 TB of dough and roll into ball, repeat for second ball.
Place one caramel square into one ball and press in slightly.
Cover with second ball and roll to form one large ball.
Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet
Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake 10-15 minutes, take out when still soft and sprinkle with sea salt.
Allow to cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Happy Anniversary to ME!!!  Doesn't this cake look delish? I made this cake for my husbands and my 8th wedding Anniversary. It combines my favorite things: cake and cookies (or cookie dough for that matter). Though truth be told, the idea for this cake came from our friend Erv who jokingly requested cake and cookies for dessert. I was half thinking of making those cookie dough stuffed cupcakes I've seen everywhere, but man, sometimes making cupcakes just takes way more time. And given the fact that we are still unpacking from the move to our new house, I didn't want to spend all day making and decorating cupcakes. 
Now, I used a boxed cake mix for this and just prepared it as the box entailed. So I don't have directions for that. I used a yellow cake mix, but this recipe could go with any cake (yellow, white, chocolate) mix that you want.  Make your 2 layer cake, bake and allow to cool. While it is cooling you can start on your cookie dough filling.

Butter and sugars

Take 1 and a half sticks room temperature (softened) butter, place in a bowl and add your white sugar and brown sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat until creamy. Your mixture should resemble the following picture. 
Once your mixture is well beaten, add your vanilla and flour. I used salted butter, so I did not add extra. If you are using unsalted butter, you would add a pinch. 
Dry ingredients added

 Once all those are in, mix until well combined. It will be crumbly like the below picture.
 Add milk, by the tablespoon, until creamy. I used about 3 tablespoons. Once it is nice and creamy (like cookie dough) you can add your chocolate chips!

All mixed
Take one of your cakes out of the pan and place it on a whatever you are serving it on. Then take a knife and cut the top off the cake to even it out (this was the first time I ever bothered with that). Then spoon the filling onto the cake and spread evenly. I didn't do the best job with this as I ended up with way more filling in the middle of the cake. Which was ok with me! Then place the other cake on top. Now you are ready to start the frosting! 
Seriously, I could eat that filling with a spoon

For the frosting, you want to take softened butter and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add your confectioners sugar and brown sugar.
Beat with hand mixer until creamy. Add your flour, salt and vanilla and mix until everything is combined. Add milk if need be until your reach the desired consistency of your frosting. Mine looked like below. And then I forgot to take the picture once I added the chocolate chips. OOPS! 

Once your frosting is done you are ready to frost your cake! I just used a butter knife and spread it on, making sure the separation between the cake was covered. I was a little nervous about this recipe I found because I thought that for the amount of butter (2 sticks), there wasn't much of the other ingredients. But it tasted really good. I may try a bit more powdered sugar next time. 
Finished Cake!
This cake ended up being really good. My husband (who isn't the biggest fan of cake) said it was probably his favorite tasting cake by far. SCORE! Now if you have leftovers, I would recommend refrigerating it. When you go to eat it the next day, just leave it out of the fridge for about a half an hour to take the chill off before eating. Though cold dough is yummy so.... Either way, ENJOY!!

1 box cake mix *I used yellow*
For the cookie dough filling
 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened *i used salted*
 3/4 cup brown sugar
 1/3 cup white sugar
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Pinch of salt *do not use if using salted butter*
 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
 2-3 tablespoons milk (use as much or as little to thin out)
For the cookie dough buttercream frosting
 2 sticks butter, softened
 2 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
 1/3 cup brown sugar
 2/3 cup flour
 pinch of salt
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Milk if needed to thin frosting (add by the tablespoon)

Another cake view!