Sunday, May 10, 2015

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies and other favorites!

I don't know anyone that doesn't like Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's definitely my favorite cookie and it may very well be the most popular cookie in America. We have many European friends and they all request them when they visit us or when we visit them.
There are those that prefer a thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie and those that like them thin and crispy. I happen to prefer the latter and here's the recipe.


This recipe comes from Betty Crocker. It's a great cookie to take to a Holiday Cookie Exchange.
They're green for Christmas!

Christmas Mint and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper

1 pouch (1lb. 1.5oz) Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/2 C Butter, softened
1/2 tsp Mint Extract
6 - 8 drops of Green Food Coloring
1 Egg
1 C Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
1 C Semisweet Chocolate Chunks

In a large mixing bowl:
Cookie Mix
Butter
Mint Extract
Food Coloring
Egg
Stir to create a soft dough.
Fold in Creme de Menthe Chips and Chocolate Chips, by hand.
Use a 1 1/2 " Cookie Scoop and drop the dough 2" apart onto the sheet pan.
Bake 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!










Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 1 1/2 " Cookie Scoop
A Sheet Pan lines with Parchment Paper


2 1/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 1/2 sticks of Butter  (20 TBS) or (1 1/4 C), softened to room temperature.
1 1/4 C Granulate Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/4 C Water
2 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 C Chocolate Chips, your choice.

In a small mixing bowl:
Flour Baking Soda
Whisk well , set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment on medium.
Butter
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Beat for 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low.
Add:
Salt
Water
Vanilla Eggs
Beat for 2 minutes.

Add:
Flour
Mix just until combined. Don't over mix.

Fold in Chocolate Chips by hand.

Use the cookie scoop and drop dough 2" apart on at the Sheet Pan.
Bake 12 - 15 minutes.

Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 2 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



The Chocolate Chip Cookie is an American Icon.
There are so many variations and Toll House is the Original.

We all have our favorites, thick and chewy, thin and crispy, a combination of the two, milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and the list is endless.

I just watched an episode of Ree Drummond's Pioneer Woman and she made this recipe.
I wanted to share it on my blog.
You can access her blog, on Blogs I Follow, on the right side of my blog.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C (2 sticks) Butter, softened
3/4 C Brown Sugar
3/4 C Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 C Flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 C (rounded) Malted Milk Powder
1- 12oz. bag of Milk Chocolate Chips

In a Stand Mixer:
Cream the Butter
Add both Sugars and Cream until fluffy
Add Eggs, beat slightly
Add Vanilla until combined
Add Malted Milk Powder until combined

Sift together:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt

Add to the Butter mixture and beat slowly until combined
Add the Chocolate Chips and gently mix

Drop with a cookie scoop ( a teaspoon size) , only 8 scoops per cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or Parchment Paper
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, up to 15 for a crispier cookie
They spread and will be very flat.

I love flat crispy chocolate chip cookies!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



I know that everyone has their favorite recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. We believe that the Original Toll House Cookie tops the list.
However, there are also decadent recipes for them and I honestly believe this recipe could be it!

This is another recipe from Rebecca Rather, The Pastry Queen from Fredericksburg , Texas.

Rebecca says..... " They are not too chewy and not too crunchy - they are just right".
This recipe makes about 5 dozen 3 1/2" cookies.


1 1/2 C walnuts
1 1/2 C pecans
1 C (2sticks) butter, room temperature
1 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 TBS vanilla
2 1/3 C all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 scant tsp salt
3 C chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 7 - 9 minutes.
Cool completely and coarsely chop

Line sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat
Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment

Cream, for 1 minute, until creamy:
butter
brown sugar
granulated sugar
Add:
eggs
vanilla

Add:
eggs
vanilla
Beat on medium speed for 1 minute

Add: (See Note Below)
flour
baking soda
salt
Mix on medium-low speed until well incorporated.

Stir in, by hand:
walnuts
pecans
chocolate chips
The dough will be very stiff...... use your muscles!

Use a 1 3/4" cookie scoop, spacing the dough 2" apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until medium brown around the edges.
As long as the edges are brown, the soft middle will disappear as they cool
The cookies will spread to about 3 1/2".

Cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooking rack until completely cool.

Note:
Here's Rebecca's Tip,
If you have a heavy duty stand mixer with at least 525 watts, Add the flour, baking soda, salt, walnuts, pecans and chocolate chips all at once with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on and off every 5 seconds or so until completely incorporated.

We have the Kitchenaid 6 quart, 590 Watt Mixer. It does all the work!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



This one is all over the internet under many different names. I chose to call them Chocoholic!
You can't get much more chocolately than this.
Here's an adaptation of an adaptation.........!
This may very well make it as an entry in the cookie contest next year.

Chocoholic Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C + 1 Tbs flour
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1- (8 oz.) bag semi sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 TBS butter, softened
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 C dark chocolate chips
1/2 C milk chocolate chips
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk:
flour
cocoa powder
baking powder
salt
Set aside

In a microwavable bowl, melt the 8 oz. of semi sweet chocolate chips until creamy smooth.
Set aside

In a small bowl, whisk:
eggs
vanilla
Set aside

In another bowl:
Beat butter until smooth, 1 minute
Beat in both sugars
Add the eggs and vanilla mixture, until well combined
Add melted chocolate chips
Beat well

Add dry ingredients that were set aside, on slow speed
Fold in all chocolate chips by hand
Chill dough for 30 minutes

Scoop 2 TBS of dough & form a ball , I use a 1 3/4" cookie scoop, equal to 2 TBS.
Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet pans at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet pans for 5 minutes
Transfer cookies to cooling racks and cool completely.

These will be soft, chewy and very gooey!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


I can't pick a favorite, but if I did, this would be one of my top choices. I love thin, crispy chocolate chip cookies.

Thin, Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1 1/3 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz. (1stick) butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
2 TBS corn syrup
1 large egg
1 TBS heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 C chocolate chips, your choice

Line sheet pans with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Whisk well.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Butter
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Corn Syrup
Beat 5 minutes.
Add:
Egg
Cream
Vanilla
Beat just until well combined.
Gradually add dry ingredients on low speed until incorporated.
Fold in Chocolate Chips by hand.
Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour.

Use a medium (1 1/2" cookie scoop), drop dough onto the sheet pan 2" apart.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove pan to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to the cooling rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




This is a spicy Chile infused Chocolate Chip Cookie created for The Central Market Hatch Chile Contest and the Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest.

Hatch Chile Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C + 2 TBS Flour
1/4 C Dark Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 TBS Ancho Chile Powder ( or your favorite Chile Powder) I use a Chimayo Chile Powder that we get from Chimayo, New Mexico)
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Instant Espresso Coffee (Medaglia D'oro)
8 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, melted
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
5 TBS butter, softened
3/4 C Light Brown Sugar
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 C diced Hatch Chiles (not roasted)


In a mixing bowl, Sift the following ingredients well:
Flour
Cocoa Powder
Baking Powder
Salt
Ancho Chile Powder
Cinnamon
Ginger
Instant Espresso Coffee

In another bowl, whisk Eggs, Vanilla and Set Aside.

In the bowl of a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Brown Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Beat until creamy smooth, 2 -3 minutes.
Add Egg and Vanilla, beat until combined well.
Add melted Chocolate, beat until combined well.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients.
Fold in all of the Chocolate Chips, by hand.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Using a 1 3/4 inch Cookie Scoop , scoop the dough 2 inches apart onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Kraft created Caramel Bits and baking with Caramel just got easier. No more cubes of caramel that have to be cut, chopped or manipulated to use in a recipe. There are many versions of this cookie so I have mixed and matched my favorite ingredients and here's my version.

Kraft Caramel Bits and Chocolate Chips Cookies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper 
A 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop

16 TBS (2 sticks) Butter, room temperature
3/4 C granulated Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Kraft Caramel Bits
1 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 C chopped Pecans

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Butter
granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Beat for 3 - 5 minutes

Add:
Eggs
Vanilla
Mix to combine.

Add:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Continue mixing just to incorporate.

Add:
Caramel Bits
Chocolate Chips
Pecans
Mix well.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Scoop the cookies onto the sheet pan 2" apart.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!










Kraft Caramel Bits and Chocolate Chips Cookies

Kraft created Caramel Bits and baking with Caramel just got easier. No more cubes of caramel that have to be cut, chopped or manipulated to use in a recipe. There are many versions of this cookie so I have mixed and matched my favorite ingredients and here's my version.

Kraft Caramel Bits and Chocolate Chips Cookies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper 
A 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop

16 TBS (2 sticks) Butter, room temperature
3/4 C granulated Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Kraft Caramel Bits
1 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 C chopped Pecans

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Butter
granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Beat for 3 - 5 minutes

Add:
Eggs
Vanilla
Mix to combine.

Add:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Continue mixing just to incorporate.

Add:
Caramel Bits
Chocolate Chips
Pecans
Mix well.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Scoop the cookies onto the sheet pan 2" apart.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Friday, May 8, 2015

Lemon Cookies

Our family loves Lemon Bars. We make them often. I got inspired to post a recipe for a Lemon Cookie.

Lemon Cookies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper.


5 1/4 TBS Butter (3 cups)
1 C Granulated Sugar + additional for rolling the cookies after they're baked.
2 Eggs
4 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
2 1/2 C Self Rising Flour
1 tsp Lemon Zest

In the bowl of a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Sugar
Beat 3 minutes.

Add:
Eggs
Beat just to combine well.

Add:
Juice
Flour
Zest
Beat just to combine.

Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop .
Roll  each of them in the palm of your hand to create a smooth ball.
Roll each cookie in Granulated Sugar.
Place them 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the Pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Strawberry Supreme Cake with a Baked Cheesecake Center and Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

I was inspired to post this recipe after attending an amazing wedding in Rosemary Beach, Florida. Our best friend's daughter got married. The 5 wedding cakes and numerous pastries were incredible.
This recipe may be a bit decadent but that's one of the things I like about it. The addition of a center with a baked Cheesecake is indulgent. This is not the cake that was served at the wedding, but inspired by it.




Strawberry Supreme Cake with a Baked Cheesecake Center

Here's what you'll need:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees to bake the Cheesecake.
1 - 9" Springform Pan brushed well with Pan Release. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
Wrap the bottom and sides of the Springform Pan for the Cheesecake, with heavy Duty Foil so it prevents water leaks when it's baked in a water bath.
(this is a tip that I learned when I was a cake decorator)
You'll also need a Roasting Pan to bake the Cheesecake in a water bath.

2 - 9" round cake pans for the Strawberry Supreme Cake, brushed well with the Pan Release Mix.
1 - Sheet Pan to place under the Cheesecake as it bakes.
The Strawberry Cake will be baked according to the instructions on the Duncan Hines Box for 2 - 9" round cakes.

I think  that covers the basics for what you'll need.  Baking and assembly are actually quite simple.

Cheesecake Center:

2 - 8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese, softened.
2/3 C Granulated Sugar
A pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
1/3 C Sour Cream
1/3 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla

Icing:

12 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
8 TBS Butter, room temperature
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 C Strawberry Preserves, I prefer Bonne Maman
1 TBS Heavy Cream
3 C Confectioner's Sugar

Strawberry Cake preparation:

I recommend Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme Cake Mix.
Bake according to the box directions for 2 - 9" round cake pans brushed well with Pan release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
As soon as the cakes are done invert them onto a large piece of plastic wrap and cover completely. Be sure they are wrapped tightly. Put them in the freezer for 2 hours. This is a tip I learned when I was a cake decorator. It makes the cakes easier to apply the Icing without getting crumbs in the Icing.

Cheesecake preparation:
Read all of the notes at the top to prepare the pans.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle attachment:
Cream Cheese
Beat for 3 minutes.

Add:
Sugar
Salt
Beat for an additional 3 minutes.

Add:
Sour Cream
Heavy Cream
Vanilla
Beat until well combined.

Pour into the prepared Springform Pan.
Place the Cheesecake in the Roasting Pan and add boiling water half way up the Springform Pan.
Place it on a Sheet Pan.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove to a rack and cool completely.
Freeze the Cheesecake for 3 hours.

Icing preparation:

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Cream Cheese
Butter
Beat just until combined and creamy.

Add:
Vanilla
Strawberry Preserves
Heavy Cream
Beat until well combined.
Gently add the Confectioner's Sugar until well combined, thick and creamy.


To assemble the cake:

Remove the Cheesecake and the Strawberry Cakes from the Freezer.
Place one of the Strawberry rounds onto a serving platter.
Place the Cheesecake on top .
Add the last Strawberry Cake round.

Ice the entire cake and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!









Crock Pot Tex - Mex Chicken

My nephew posted a recipe for this and I adapted it. I added additional ingredients, changed the name and here's my version.
I also use a vegetarian chicken product from Quorn.
You can make it with 4 uncooked, whole Chicken Breasts.





Tex - Mex Crock Pot Chicken

2 Bags of Quorn Chik'n Tenders
1 Packet of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip
1 can of Black Beans, drained
1 can of Rotel Tomatoes with Diced Green Chiles
1 can of Corn,  undrained
1 - 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese, cubed
1 - 2.25 oz. can of Sliced Black Olives, drained
4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

 Warmed Flour Tortillas or Crushed Tortilla Chips.

Add all ingredients to a Crockpot and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours.

Serve individual servings in a bowl with a Warmed Flour Tortilla or Crushed Corn Tortillas.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pineapple Coconut Pie

My mother was well known for her Pineapple Cream Pie. The recipe is on the blog.
Here's another version of Pineapple Pie that includes Coconut and Pecans.
It's another nice light, summer dessert.




Pineapple Coconut Pie

Here's what you'll need:
1 - Pre Baked Crust
Or:
1 - Pre made Graham Cracker Pie Crust


1 C Sweetened Flaked Coconut
1 C well trained Crushed Pineapple
3/4 C Chopped Pecans (additional for garnish)
1 - 14oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
5 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
1 C of thawed Cool Whip

In a large mixing bowl:
Coconut
Pineapple
Pecans
Milk
Lemon Juice
Mix to combine well.

Fold in the Cool Whip.

Pour into the crust.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Strawberry Ice Box Cake

Summer is approaching and I love summer dessert recipes with Strawberries. Here's a great Summer Strawberry Dessert for a family gathering.


What you'll need:
1 - 9" X 5" Loaf Pan lined with Plastic Wrap.

10 Graham Crackers (they'll be broken as needed to fit the pan)
2 C Heavy Cream
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla
1 Pound of Fresh Strawberries , cut each berry in quarters. (reserve a handful to garnish the final cake)
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
2 TBS Vegetable Shortening
1/4 tsp Salt

In a large mixing bowl:
Strawberries (all but the reserved)
Granulated Sugar (Sprinkle over the Berries)
Gently stir and set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with the Whisk Attachment:
Heavy Cream
Beat to soft peak
Add:
Vanilla
Beat to stiff peak and set aside.

Spread 1/3 of the Whipped Cream in the Pan.
Gently spoon 1/2 of the Strawberries and 1/2 of the Juice from the Strawberries, over the Whipped Cream.
Top with a single layer of Graham Crackers.

Add:
Another third of the Whipped Cream and spread evenly.

Add:
Remaining Strawberries and Juice, spread evenly.

Add:
Remaining Layer of Graham Crackers.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and Freeze for 3 hours.

Whipped Icing:

In the Stand Mixer Bowl with remaining Whipped Cream:
Add:
Confectioner's Sugar
Shortening
Salt
Beat until well combined.

Remove the cake from the freezer and invert onto a serving platter.
Frost the entire cake with the Whipped Icing.
Garnish with Fresh Strawberries.
Freeze again until ready to serve.

To serve, slice the cake with a serrated knife.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!