Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This Christmas break did not leave much time for baking since I have only been home and had access to my kitchen for 1/3 of the time. It being Christmas and all, I had to try a new cookie recipe. So before my family headed off to Florida for a week, I baked these delicious peanut butter cup cookies.

I probably ate half of the cookies in the week we were in Florida, and trust me, it is not hard to do when you have cookies that taste this good. I would recommend these over my old peanut butter cookie recipe for sure. This is also a good way to use up any leftover peanut butter cups you have from the holidays.

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
2 cups quartered mini peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter until well mixed. Beat in the brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla until blended. Beat in the flour just until blended. Stir in the peanut butter cups carefully in order to not break them up too much.

Scoop out the batter onto the cookie sheet(s) and bake at 375°F for 6 minutes.

This higher temperature and lower baking time made my cookies stay moist and delicious for a week after I made them! Yum! I'm sure they would have lasted longer, but they were all eaten after a week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Since I had the chance to come home for Thanksgiving, I just had to take advantage of the fact that I had a usable kitchen at my disposal and bake something. My boyfriend had come home with me for the break, and I didn't want to make something he wouldn't help me eat. I definitely didn't need a whole batch of cookies to myself after the Thanksgiving feast we just had.

Herein lies the dilemma. There are very few cookies that my boyfriend actually enjoys, and oatmeal raisin is one of them. However, I avoid raisins like the plague. They have always tainted my view of oatmeal cookies. So I decided to make a compromise and substitute cranberries for the raisins. That way, we both could enjoy some festive cookies! (These would even be a good cookie to make for Christmas. Perhaps substitute pistachios for walnuts? Then you could have red and green flecked oatmeal cookies...yum!)

For the recipe, I pulled out my mom's trusty red notebook full of holiday cookie recipes since I knew she would have a good oatmeal cookie recipe in there somewhere. This recipe made the best oatmeal cookies I have ever had! This, of course, could be due to the fact that I didn't have to pick out the raisins, but you should be the judge.

3 eggs
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, dried cranberries, and vanilla and let sit to plump up the cranberries.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the sugars and shortening.

Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and beat just until combined. Add the oatmeal and walnuts and beat just until combined.

Scoop out the batter onto the cookie sheet(s) and bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.

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