“Fully Loaded” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

IMG_0821

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

IMG_0823

Advertisements

Doubletree Cookies

IMG_0758

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

IMG_0760

Chocolate Chip Macaroons

IMG_0693

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

IMG_0694

M&M Blondies

One of my favorite reactions to Eric and my engagement came from Eric’s cousin, Katie. She said something along the lines of          “good job marrying someone who has a useful hobby- Colleen has to bring baked goods to all the family parties now!” And anytime I “have to” bring baked goods, I am totally game. Well last Saturday was one of Eric’s family parties, and I happily volunteered to bring some sweets. Per Eric’s request I brought his favorite Nutella Pretzel Cookies and these M&M Blondies. The blondies are based off of my favorite bar recipe, with a few new ingredients. As usual, these bars are dense and sweet and full of flavor. This time around the addition of M&Ms made the batch reminiscent of cake like chocolate chip cookies. And like most of the recipes I share, they come together quite easily. Enjoy!
Ingredients: Makes 12 bars
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup m&m’s
Preparation:
  1. Cream butter & sugars together with an electric mixer
  2. Beat in eggs & vanilla
  3. Stir in milk
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt
  5. Slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture
  6. Stir in m&m’s
  7. Spread batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan (batter will be similar to that of cookie dough)
  8. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until baked through

IMG_0677

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Coconut Cinnamon Streusel

DSC00723

Every morning, I follow the same routine. I get up around 6, and after I go for a run and shower, I sit down with my coffee and read the 6 or 7 blogs that I follow.  It’s such a relaxing start to my work day. My favorite blogs consist mostly of “healthy living blogs” which typically revolve around healthy recipes, race recaps and stories from the lives of other 20-something girls. But there are a few blogs that I read that have no mentions of exercise, vegetables or health food of any kind. Food Blogs. And in my opinion, one of the best ones out there is How Sweet It Is. This blog features recipe after recipe of indulgent and mouthwatering dishes. But I should warn you, perusing this blog will most definitely make you hungry. Well the other day, Jessica of How Sweet It Is posted a classic Liz Lemon “I want to go to there” recipe that I knew I would have to make in the coming week. This moist, flavorful banana bread is topped with the most delicious coconut cinnamon streusel I have ever tasted. The bread itself actually uses coconut oil, rather than your typical butter, as a source of fat. If you’ve never used coconut oil before, I highly recommend it. It is solid at room temperature, but a few seconds in the microwave results in a syrupy, lightly flavored oil that is delicious on toast. I’ve also heard it can be used as a lip balm or a hair mask. Personally, I prefer it in my recipes. Especially this recipe. It is a perfect sweet treat and will make your whole house smell absolutely heavenly. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Recipe from How Sweet It Is

  • 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Streusel

  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan thoroughly with nonstick spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, whisking thoroughly. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until smooth.

4. Add in coconut milk and coconut oil, whisking until combined.

5. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla and coconut extracts until mixed.

6. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter in the greased loaf pan.

7. Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until butter is well combined.  Evenly sprinkle on top of the banana bread batter.

8. Bake for 75-85 minutes, or until center is set. If the streusel begins to brown, tent the bread with aluminum foil.

9.Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

DSC00732

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

IMG_0593

I may have mentioned this before, but I am a huge sucker for seasonal items. During the fall, if anything is labeled “pumpkin flavored” I will buy it. Even though I know darn well that these “pumpkin” English muffins do NOT taste like pumpkin and are simply filled with orange food coloring …they will undoubtedly make their way into my grocery cart. And Christmas themed food? Forget about it. I won’t even think twice before I’ve purchased the “Gingerbread Pop-Tarts” that I probably won’t even like. But the one seasonal item that I know is worth it every single time is the seasonal Reese’s peanut butter cups. Why, you ask? Because these Christmas tree, Easter egg or Heart shaped Reese’s have twice the amount of peanut butter than their non seasonal cousins. And more peanut butter is always better in my book. So I thought it might be a good idea to create my own homemade peanut butter cups for the days that I’m craving a Peanut Butter Cup that is heavy on the peanut butter. And this recipe definitely delivers. And with 3 ingredients and a prep time of roughly 15 minutes it literally could not be easier. The only problem is that they disappear very quickly. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 10 mini peanut butter cups

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Preparation:

  1. Place chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds
  2. Stir mixture and microwave for an additional 45 seconds or until smooth and creamy
  3. Drop melted chocolate by the teasponful into a mini cupcake pan lined with paper liners
  4. With a pastry brush, brush chocolate up the sides of each cup, and repeat with remaining cups
  5. Place pan in the freezer for 5 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened
  6. Place a teaspoon of peanut butter in the center of each chocolate cup
  7. Cover with another teaspoon of melted chocolate
  8. Place pan in freezer for 2-3 minutes until chocolate has hardened
  9. Peel paper liners away from chocolate and serve

IMG_0591

Nutella Sandwich Cookies


IMG_0575

 

 

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


IMG_0555

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

IMG_0553

Engagement Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

IMG_0513

Memories are a funny thing. Some fade away instantly, falling into the corners of the mind as soon as the moment is gone. Others come back as fragmented pieces, allowing you to recall an event or a time, but leaving the details behind. And then there are the memories that stick with you. Perfectly preserved, as clear as the moment they happened. Like everyone else, I have my share of all three of these types of memories. But it is those few perfectly clear ones that seem to have had the most impact. One of my clearest memories occurred three yeas ago. It was a small moment between my Grandparents, my cousins and I, but it’s one I recall nearly every day. My grandparents were more in love than any pair I’ve ever known. They have the type of love story that you read about in books, the type of story that everyone hopes to have. And I remember, as clear as the moment it occurred, a speech my Grandma gave to her five grandchildren about the bond they shared. It was Christmas of 2009 when my Grandma shared her hopes for us. She looked adoringly at her husband, like she always did and said “This is what I want for all of you. For you to find someone that you love this deeply, and have this much fun with. I hope each of you finds your best friend to share your life with. Because when you find this… it is when your life really begins.” Her small speech struck me. Because although I never really considered myself a romantic, the words she spoke resonated with me, because I knew that is what I hoped for too. And then, much to my chagrin, a friend came to mind. Someone I had just met a few months earlier, but was quickly becoming quite smitten with. His name was Eric and even after a few months of knowing him it was clear that he was one of the kindest people I had ever met. I had never really felt quite as comfortable or at ease than when I was with my new friend Eric. And it wasn’t long after that night with my grandparents that it became clear that he was that best friend that my Grandma had described. People always say that when you meet your match you just know. Before Eric, I wasn’t quite sure if I believed that. I thought those amazing love stories were just for a lucky few, and for some reason I wasn’t quite sure if I would find that type of love. But after mere weeks of knowing this kind, generous man, I just knew that in Eric, I’d found my home. And after three wonderful years together, Eric asked me to be his wife. On the Friday before Christmas, he took me to Campus Martius in downtown Detroit, and proposed in front of the biggest, most beautiful Christmas tree around.

photo-7

We were standing in front of the tree, and Eric told me to look up at the lights. When I looked back at him, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. I was shocked and elated and immediately said “Yes!” He then surprised me yet again, by having both of our families meet us downtown to share such a special night with us. It was truly a night I will never forget.

IMG_0497

And since every New Year’s Eve we often celebrate the new year with  bottle of champagne, I thought Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes would be the perfect dessert to celebrate this new step in our lives. The cupcakes have a subtle champagne flavor and are the perfect dessert when topped with a touch of cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 36 mini cupcakes, recipe from The Cupcake Diaries

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a mini cupcake pan with 36 cupcake liners
  2. In a small bowl, soak diced strawberries in champagne and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together (flour through salt) and set aside
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until soft and creamy
  5. Add eggs, one at a time to butter mixture
  6. Combine vanilla, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup, set aside
  7. Add one third of flour mixture into butter mixture and beat until well incorporated. Follow by adding one third of the milk mixture. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture into batter until all is well incorporated
  8. Drain the strawberries of excess champagne and pat lightly with a paper towel
  9. Gently fold strawberries into cake batter until well mixed.
  10. Scoop batter into cupcake pan and bake for 10 minutes
  11. To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until well incorporated
  12. Slowly add powdered sugar to butter mixture until all is well incorporated
  13. Stir in vanilla
  14. Use a pastry bag to pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes

IMG_0515

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies

DSC00650

When my brother was five, he had his heart set on a Power Wheels Fire Truck. It had shiny red paint, a honking horn, and you could actually drive it. Little Sean added it to his Christmas Wish List, but my Grandma had to tell him it was a bit out of Santa’s price range. She said “If  Grandma and Grandpa win the lottery this year, we will buy you that fire truck” And sure enough…my Grandparents won the lottery. And rather than spending their unexpected windfall on themselves, my Grandparents bought each of us an amazing Christmas present. Sean got his fire truck, Kristen got a Barbie Dream House, and I got my very own Fisher Price Kitchen

IMG_0501

I spent hours “baking” cookies and “cooking” dinner in that plastic kitchen. I was only two, but I had already found my lifelong hobby. I never thought I could have a Christmas that would live up to that one. But sure enough, twenty-two years later, I’ve been blessed enough to have yet another, amazing and magical Christmas.

IMG_0490

But before I share that story (and believe me, it’s a good one) I thought I would share one last recipe with the wonderful readers of Miss Petite Sweets. These Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies are easy to make and require only a few ingredients. So I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas!

For the cookies: Makes 2 dozen, from Two Peas and their Pod

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the white chocolate drizzle:
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, melted

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and flour
  2. Add eggs, canola oil & vanilla and combine until well mixed, refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  3. To prepare the cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese until creamy and slowly add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until all sugar is well incorporated
  4. Stir in vanilla
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of cooled cookie batter onto a greased cookie sheet and spoon a teaspoon of cheesecake filling into the center
  6. Place 1 additional tablespoon of cookie batter on top and roll into a ball so no cheesecake filling is visible, flatten ball slightly
  7. Repeat with remaining batter to form 2 dozen dough balls
  8. Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes
  9. After  cookies have cooled completely, drizzle with melted white chocolate

DSC00651