Oreo Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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When I was in high school, John Mayer came out with a song called Stop the Train. It wasn’t a hit single, and I doubt it ever played on the radio, but it is still a song that I relate to even now. It touches upon the fear of growing older and drifting further and further into the unknown of the future. I’ve had quite a few moments that I quietly dubbed “stop this train” moments. Times in life that are so wonderfully perfect that you wish you could hold onto them…but in the back of your mind, you know they can’t last. And that might be a bit sad, but the fleeting property of those moments is what makes them so sweet. The first time I ever experienced a “stop this train” moment was only a few months after I had first heard that song. It was the summer before college. The summer I had spent every waking moment with three of my best friends. I remember sitting in the car with the three of them, days before we were to head our separate ways in college, and just wishing I could hit the “pause” button and stay in that period of my life forever. Young, naive, and surrounded by those three kindred spirits. But time went on, and life happened. Two of those wonderful friends now live across the country and we only get to see each other a few perfect times a year. And sadly, I lost touch with the third friend years ago. But I like to think that our friendship, with all four of us together, lives on in that perfect memory. And as life continues to move forward, I’ve experienced more and more “stop this train” moments. Late night conversations while eating Ore Ida french fries with my best friends from college. The last Christmas my family had with my Grandpa. Countless moments from our wedding day, when Eric and I were surrounded by every person that we love. Moments like that don’t happen often. And as much as we long to hang on to them as long as we can, they pass quickly. But that’s ok. Because if every moment in life was a “stop this train” moment, those special memories wouldn’t be as special, perfectly preserved in the backs of our minds.

This post doesn’t perfectly tie in with one of my recent recipes. It’s just a collection of thoughts that came to me while baking cookies. Oreo Peanut Butter Chip Cookies to be exact. My coworkers had pointed out that it had been quite a while since I brought baked goods into the office, so I knew I couldn’t come into work on Monday empty handed. This recipe uses a classic chocolate chip cookie base, but has an extra sweetness with the addition of crushed Oreos and peanut butter chips. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 24 cookies

  • 1  1/4 cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 2  large egg whites
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 6-8 crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips

Preparation:

  1. Cream butter & sugars together
  2. Add egg whites (one at a time) & vanilla extract
  3. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda
  4. Gradually combine wet & dry ingredients
  5. Add in crushed Oreos and peanut butter chips
  6. Place tablespoon sized portions of the dough on a greased cookie sheet.  (Make sure the dough is evenly spaced, as the cookies do spread a bit while baking)
  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

 

 

Breakfast Cookies

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I’ve never been particularly good with change. I was that delightful child who cried at the beginning and the end of every school year. My poor parents. I have always been someone who has thrived on a set routine, so any major life change typically throws me for a loop. When most of my peers looked forward to high school and college with excited anticipation, I was busy mourning the loss of the  current state of life that I’d just gotten used. And though I looked forward to the new chapters in my life, I still dreaded the changes that those looming graduation days brought. I hated the thought of saying good bye to precious parts of my life that encapsulated the current season of life- be it a hobby, a job, or a friendship, I was always scared of what would happen if that goodbye turned out to be permanent. Even when unhappy phases of life came to a close, I still feared what would happen next. When I left my first full time job, a job that was marked by stress and anxiety, I still left with a slight sense of regret. Because I didn’t know what would happen next. Yet here I am, only a a week away from the biggest life change I’ve ever experienced, and there isn’t a trace of sadness or dread in my temperament. I can’t wait to begin my married life with Eric. I can’t wait to experience the ups and downs and the changing tides of our life together. I’m excited to make plans for the future, but change them as we go. Because we’ll be partners in it all, and that is pretty fantastic.

But luckily, the best parts of my current phase of life, get to come with me in my next chapter as a “Mrs.”One of which is going over to my Mom’s house and spending the afternoon chatting and baking. We made these breakfast cookies last weekend as a nice little break from wedding planning, and I realized that baking with my mom has been something I’ve carried with me through each phase of life. From the time I was a 1st grader standing on a stool to help her make cookies, to the times I came home for weekends in college to cook dinner, time in the kitchen with my mom is ever present. And though I’m excited for changes to come, this is one thing I am so happy will never change.

These “cookies” are so healthy you could easily eat them for breakfast, but they are definitely sweet enough for dessert. They include entirely wholesome ingredients and are incredibly addicting.

Ingredients: Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, Makes 24 cookies

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 fig butter (The original recipe calls for apple butter, but since we couldn’t find any apple butter, we substituted with fig butter found at Trader Joe’s and it was delicious)
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried raisins

Preparation:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until just combined
  2. Place tablespoons of batter onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 15 minutes

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Fluffy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are spending the day with someone you love, whether that is a significant other, family member, or close friend. I will be spending it passing out candy grams at work (yes, Valentine’s Day does occur in some especially festive offices, including mine) and later Eric and I will be celebrating our 5th Valentine’s Day together with a dinner out. I remember the very first Valentine’s Day we spent together. We had only been dating a month but he managed to make it pretty special.The kid even made me cupcakes, so I knew he was a winner.

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Back in 2010

So this year I thought I would make a little Valentine’s Day treat for him. We happen to share a lot of interests, but one very important interest that we share is our devotion to Reese’s peanut butter cups. I don’t know what it is about that magical combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but anytime you combine the two, you are sure to have a pretty dynamite dessert. So I stuck with these two classic ingredients when whipping up a batch of cookies that we have been enjoying all week. The base is a classic peanut butter cookie, made extra light and fluffy with the addition of cornstarch into the mix. And with a sprinkle of chocolate and peanut butter chips, you have yourself one delicious cookie

Ingredients: Makes 24 cookies

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • Preparation:
    1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
    2. Beat in egg until just combined
    3. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla
    4. Add baking soda, cornstarch & flour and mix until just combined
    5. Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill
    6. Remove dough from fridge and stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips
    7. Place tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes

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Cherry Chocolate Crumble Bars

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Merry Christmas Eve! For me, this will mark the 3rd day of Christmas celebrations. On Saturday night, my parents, brother, Eric and I celebrated together by exchanging gifts and watching White Christmas and last night we celebrated with my Grandma, aunt, uncle and cousins. And because for us, Christmas is a week long celebration rather than just 1 day, we will be getting together again tonight with some more of the Berendt side of the family. And finally, on Christmas Day we will be celebrating with Eric’s side of the family. Whew! Even typing that makes me tired! But a marathon of Christmas celebrations is just how I like it. But today I have some downtime and am happily spending it in the kitchen. I was asked to bring some cookies to Eric’s family Christmas, so I have spent the day dusting my tiny kitchen in sugar and flour. I decided to bring a batch of my favorite Sugar Cake Cookies and a batch of this new creation. A few years back I worked at the cutest little bakery named Just Delicious. One of my favorite treats from Just Delicious was their White Chocolate Raspberry Crumble Bars. But as per usual, I thought I would switch this classic recipe up a bit. Rather than raspberry preserves I used some Michigan Cherry Jam. I also substitute the white chocolate for semi sweet chocolate as I am a huge fan of the dark chocolate and cherry combination. However, if you prefer the white chocolate raspberry combo, feel free to make your own substitutions. Well, it is almost time for me to get ready for phase three of Christmas 2013, so I will leave you with my Christmas wish for you. May your year be filled with sugar, butter, and all things sweet. Merry Merry Christmas!

Ingredients: Makes 12 bars

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Cherry Jam
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients (flour through salt)
  2. Add softened butter and egg into flour mixture and beat with an electric mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  3. Take 2 cups of the crumb mixture and place in a separate bowl, set aside
  4. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9×9 pan
  5. Place cherry jam (or your favorite flavor of jam) in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave until jam becomes slightly runny (about 30 seconds)
  6. Pour jam over the crumb mixture in the 9×9 pan and sprinkle 1/4 cup chocolate chips over the jam layer
  7. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the jam layer
  8. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until crumb mixture has slightly browned
  9. Place remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until completely melted.
  10. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

 

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Well friends, Christmas is officially 1 week away! Since Thanksgiving was a week later this year, I have been trying my best to fit in every Christmas related activity I could in the  3 1/2 short weeks we have this season. I’ve been listening to Christmas music nonstop and watching every holiday movie I can. I even got a chance to attend quite a few holiday shows through my job. We got tickets to Cirque Du Soleil’s Christmas show and Elf the Musical. Both were fantastic but Elf was definitely my favorite. I was surprised how reminiscent it is to the movie! But as much fun as these Christmas activities have been, the one thing I have been slacking on is my holiday baking. My mom and I didn’t have our traditional marathon day of baking this year because we didn’t have as many holiday parties to bring them to. However, I couldn’t let Christmas pass by without baking at least a batch or two of Christmas cookies. I always try to bake a new recipe each Christmas and this year was no different. I have seen tons of recipes for the classic Chocolate Crinkle Cookies but hadn’t yet tried them myself. But boy am I glad I finally did. The cookies have a short ingredient list and do not take too long to whip up. The result is a rich chocolate cookie that is reminiscent of a brownie, which just so happens to be my favorite dessert. So here is my new favorite cookie recipe just in time for my favorite holiday!

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Ingredients: Makes 24 cookies

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
  2. In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to cocoa mixture until just combined
  4. Lightly spray a piece of tin foil with cooking spray and place dough in foil. Wrap and chill for 4 hours
  5. Once dough has chilled, use a teaspoon to divide dough into 24 portions, roll into rough balls
  6. Roll dough balls in powdered and place on greased cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

“Fully Loaded” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

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Around here, I tend to consider peanut butter a food group of its own. Whether its smothered on a piece of toast in the morning or its just a spoonful straight from the jar, I definitely manage to fit peanut butter into my diet every day. I love the creamy (or crunchy!) texture and the smooth peanut taste. So I kind of surprised myself when I realized I only have one peanut butter cookie recipe here on this blog. And although my Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie recipe is one of my favorites, I felt I needed to share another cookie recipe that features this delicious nutty spread. And what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate? I threw an assortment of chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins into this classic, fluffy peanut butter cookie recipe and was delighted with the results.  I added cornstarch into the batter, a tip I learned from Pinterest, and the result was incredibly soft & fluffy cookies. I brought these cookies into work with me because I knew it would probably be wiser to share 2 dozen cookies with my coworkers than to leave them in my own kitchen. Well, I think these cookies were a hit, because they disappeared within hours. Although I added chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins, you could definitely vary the mix-ins for a number of different peanut butter cookie varieties. (I think crushed pretzels or m&m’s would be delicious!) So have some fun and incorporate some peanut butter into you daily diet. It’s a health food, I promise.

Ingredients: Makes 24 cookies

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered raisins

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  2. Beat in egg until just combined
  3. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla
  4. Add baking soda, cornstarch & flour and mix until just combined
  5. Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill
  6. Remove dough from fridge and stir in chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins
  7. Place tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes

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Doubletree Cookies

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In my job as a Hotel Sales & Catering Manager, I’ve developed  quite the love hate relationship with a very famous hotel cookie. Although I love the delicious chocolate chip cookies that have become Doubletree Hotels’ signature, I hate the fact that some of the groups that are deciding between my hotel and the Doubletree will make their hotel choice purely based on that warm chocolate chip cookie presented at check in. And after tasting one of their signature cookies, I can definitely see why they are such a draw. The perfect sprinkling of chocolate chips and a warm carmel like flavor from the toasted oats, make these cookies a step above your typical chocolate chip cookie. So, like most other recipes I love, I decided to try and recreate the cookie at home. But I needed a little help, so I went searching on the blogosphere and stumbled upon FoodGeeks.com, a website devoted to copycat recipes. And although I don’t think this recipe is exactly the same as the famous Doubletree cookies, they are pretty darn close. So give this recipe a try… just don’t tell my boss who gave it to you.

Ingredients: Makes 18 cookies, Recipe from FoodGeeks.com

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet, chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. Place rolled oats in a food processor or blender and grind until oats are finely ground, like the consistency of flour
  2. In a medium bowl, combine ground oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set Aside
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in vanilla and lemon juice
  5. Beat in egg
  6. Slowly add dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined
  7. Stir in chocolate chips
  8. Scoop batter by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet
  9. Bake at 350 for 16 minutes

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Chocolate Chip Macaroons

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There are billions of food blogs on the internet and hundreds of cookbooks on the shelves of the bookstore, but sometimes I’ll find a favorite recipe in the simplest of places. Like the newspaper. And I don’t mean the online version of the local paper. I mean the good old fashion black and white paper that is delivered to your doorstep a few times a week. When I was little I went straight for the comics. (Did you really expect a 10 year old to go for the finance section?) Later on I starting skimming through the Life & Home section to read the restaurant reviews and recipes. I still love relaxing on Sunday mornings and leisurely going through all the different sections of the paper. There is something wholesome and comforting about reading the actual newspaper rather than scanning the headlines online. It makes me sad to think the newspaper may soon disappear completely. But while the paper is still being delivered to my doorstep, I plan on taking advantage of the delicious recipes you can often find in it. Like these Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies. My mom saw these in the paper and we immediately decided to whip them up. And with only 6 ingredients and 15 minutes of baking time, they came together in a flash. The cookies are very sweet and chewy with a delicate crunch. And if you are a fan of the chocolate + coconut combination you will love these cookies. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 2 dozen, from Detroit Free Press

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut, egg whites,chocolate chips, vanill and salt
  2. Dampen hands with cold water
  3. Roll the batter into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown

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Nutella Sandwich Cookies


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So I may be one day late but…Happy National Nutella Day! Yesterday afternoon I saw an article stating that it was the day to celebrate Chocolate-y Hazelnut goodness , and seeing as I am a total sucker for “food holidays”, I rushed to the store to pick up a jar of this delicious spread.  And after a little perusing online I found the following recipe featured on a number of blogs and websites. And with only 3 ingredients, I wasn’t surprised at how popular this recipe seemed to be. A quick batch of cookies came together in 15 minutes… and that’s including baking time. You can’t get much better than that when a chocolate craving strikes. And I was recently informed by my husband-to-be that he has decided that we MUST have chocolate in the house at all times just in case. Fine by me! These cookies are a bit cake like and have a rich chocolate flavor. I added a little frosting in between two cookies to form a “Nutella Oreo” of sorts, but these cookies are delicious on their own as well. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 10 cookies or 5 sandwiches

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • Store bought frosting, I used Betty Crocker Vanilla

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer until well combined
  2. Roll batter into 10 balls and space evenly on a greased cookie sheet
  3. Flatten each ball slightly with a fork
  4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes
  5. Spread frosting between two cookies, if desired

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


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Hello again! So it has definitely been a while. And I’ll admit it…I haven’t stepped foot in the kitchen in almost a month. There haven’t been any Saturday afternoon baking sessions or new recipes feverishly typed on my flour dusted laptop. But in my defense, I have been a little busy. My last couple of weekends have been consumed with venue touring and wedding dress shopping. And I’m happy to say we have been incredibly productive in our first few weeks of being engaged. We have set a date, booked a venue, chosen a band and photographer and yesterday I said “yes to the dress.” And with all of those important (and incredibly fun!) tasks successfully checked off of our wedding to-do list, we can relax a bit and I can get back in the kitchen! Today I decided to use some over ripe bananas in a simple and sweet dessert. These Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies are rich in flavor and come together in a flash. And don’t you love recipes that come together in only one bowl? Less time washing dishes is always a major plus in my book. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Adapted slightly from Taste of Home, makes 24 cookies

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
  • 1-1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients (flour through nutmeg)
  2. Add softened butter into dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until mixture resembles course crumbs
  3. Add egg and mashed banana into mixture and beat until combined
  4. Stir in oats until just incorporated
  5. Stir in chocolate chips
  6. Bake at 375 for 13-15 minutes

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