Category Archives: Baking

Recipe #53: Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are my very favorite and thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest I have a brand new source of new recipes, which is where I found this recipe. As soon as I saw that the recipe has vanilla pudding powder in the mix I knew it was going to be good. That is a sure sign that a cookie recipe will taste amazing!

Ingredients

  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour and baking soda. Stir in the chocolate chips, trying to spread evenly through cookie dough. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

I liked that this made a massive amount of cookies. Something like 4 dozen cookies. I don’t like to mess around with little cookie recipes that only make 12 or so cookies because in my house 12 or so cookies will only last 12 or so hours. The only change I made to the recipe was adding white chocolate chips instead of using all chocolate. The cookies taste a lot like another cookie recipe I use that also has pudding powder in it. There are some recipes that don’t double well and the recipe I had been using is one of those, so I like that these cookies taste the same, but that the recipe produces such a large batch.

Will these cookies grace my table again? I think they might be a new favorite!

Advertisements

Recipe #49: Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars

Earlier this week my friend Carrie linked to my Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, which then alerted me to this recipe for Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bars. Last night my friend Joselyn had a BBQ supper for some friends so I decided to try making these cheesecake bars to take along for dessert, because you can never go wrong with cheesecake – a point that was proven three times over at supper last night as three of us brought some kind of cheesecake.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature (about 3 pkgs.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Preparation Instructions

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang so you can lift the bars out after they’ve baked.  Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in the flour until just incorporated – the mixture will be soft, that’s fine.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  Let cool completely.  Turn the oven down to 325 F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between.  Transfer 2 tablespoons of this batter to the 1/2 cup of caramel sauce and stir to incorporate.  Pour the remaining cheesecake batter over the cooled crust and spread evenly.

Dollop the caramel sauce mixture over the filling.  Use a toothpick to gently marble the caramel – be careful not to scrape the crust while you are doing it.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and the center is just barely set.

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let come to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably 24.  Use the foil sling to lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into squares with a long sharp knife.  The bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

I love that cheesecake tastes rich and creamy without tasting overly sweet. These bars were a perfect mix of sweet and salty, which is a nice combination after an indulgent supper. The base is a lot like shortbread, so you’re mixing cheesecake with some crunch. They seemed to be a hit according to all who tried them.

I didn’t make my own caramel sauce as candy thermometers scare me (not the actual thermometer, but the process involved in using one – I’m into trying new things but making candy isn’t one of them yet). I used store bought caramel ice cream topping, but I wanted it to be a bit salty so I just sprinkled in a little bit of sea salt. I used the full half cup of caramel sauce that the recipe called for, but it was too much so most of my cheesecake ended up being covered in caramel sauce instead of just a bit here and there like I wanted, but really, you can never have too much of a good thing can you?

Is this a repeat recipe? You bet!

Recipe #47: Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I saw this mention numerous time around the foodie blogosphere but hadn’t had a chance to try making them yet. They don’t exactly seem like the type of cookie you make to just have on hand for lunches considering one cookie is basically like eating two chocolate chip cookies plus an Oreo cookie, so I had been waiting for a special occasion.We had friends over for a BBQ on the weekend and it seemed like the perfect time to try making them. Oddly enough earlier that day a friend had asked me on Facebook where my recipe for stuffed cookies was because he was sure it was something I had already made.

All the recipes I had seen called for using Oreos but when I went to the Coop for supplies Fudgee-O’s were also on sale, so I made my cookies using both Oreos and Fudgee-O’s. The recipe I used came on suggestion of the friend who had been looking for my non-existent recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 oz bag chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg. Oreo cookies

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE cookies.

These were delicious. I thought they would be tooth rotting sweet, but they actually aren’t that bad. The chocolate chip cookie part isn’t as sweet as some chocolate chip cookies can be, so they don’t give you a sugar headache, although I don’t think I’d want to eat too many in a row! They are definitely gigantic though, and were well received by our BBQ supper guests.

As my friend Sara described them, “its a cookie, inside a cookie!!!”

Will I make these again? Oh yes.