Caramel Apple MilkyWay Stuffed Cookies

I’ve been drooling over so many Stuffed Cookie recipes lately, I had to try it.  With bloggers stuffing Oreos, Candies, Caramel, and god knows what other delicious treats into their cookie dough left and right… I just couldn’t help myself!

I was doing a quick food shop at the store on Saturday and picked up a roll of cookie dough and a bag of the new Milky Way Caramel Apple flavor.  Normally, I’d try to make the cookies from scratch but let’s face it… with the dinner I was making (get excited for the recipe btw… it’s naughty) the last thing I wanted to do was stand there longer and bake cookies.

Once my Crabcake Mac and Cheese (oh yeah… I went there) went into the oven, I took out a baking sheet and my silpat and went to work.

Crabcake Mac and Cheese. Recipe coming soon!

Here’s all I did:

1.  Unwrap 8 mini Caramel Apple Milky Way candies.  

2.  Break cookie dough roll into 16 pieces.  Roll a piece with my hands, smush it, then place the milky way in the center.  Roll and smush another piece of cookie dough and place it ontop of the candy.  Roll into a ball (they were pretty big) and place on the silpat on the cookie sheet.

3.  Repeat.

4.  Place in an oven preheated to at least 350.  Set the timer for 8-10 minutes and check on them.  When they are starting to get brown ontop, they’re done.  Dig in… OMG.

They were freakin’ amazing!  Besides the fact that we rarely make dessert for after dinner (anything more than Fro Yo that is) and the fact that the cookies were huge… they were SO GOOD.  Baking the candy inside the cookie turns it soooo chewy and all kinds of yummy deliciousness.  So. Freakin. Good.  You could totally taste the Caramel Apple in the candy, well done Milky Way.

As for stuffing my cookies- two thumbs up!  This is a great idea.  I’m in.

Love these!

That’s one big cookie!

I wanted to show you the ooey gooey middle!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes

Okay, so if you’re following me on Facebook and saw this picture this week…

You’re probably pretty excited to see this recipe by now!

If you don’t follow me on Facebook… you should do it now.  Go ahead… click it!  While you’re at it, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest too 🙂

Mom made these cookies a few months ago for the first time, but I totally forgot to take pics or write down the recipe… so I had to try to find them again.  This recipe is the FIRST one that comes up on google, and there is totally a reason:  they are awesome.

They rock for a few reasons:

1.  They take under 15 minutes to make

2.  They are less than 130 calories a piece 

3.  You probably already have all of the ingredients at home

4.  They’re addictively delicious

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

Recipe based on:  Food Network

Makes:  24-30 cookies (I halved their recipe)

1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
1.5 cups oatmeal

1 handful Salted Peanuts

Waxed paper or Silpat

Directions:

1.  In a saucepan, boil the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk.  Keep an eye on it, you don’t want the sugar to burn.  Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla, peanuts, and oatmeal.

2.  On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by Tablespoon, until cooled and hardened.  Or you can make them smaller for an even cuter, lower calorie little bite-sized snack!

Apricot & White Chocolate M&M Cookies

Dave is away for a week and a half!  He is in Vancouver with his family and I am home… and this weekend I was home ALONE!  BUT… it was fantastic.  I went to the gym, walked the dogs, caught up on True Blood, Big Brother, Weeds, AND watched GIRLS for the 2nd time around!  What a relaxing weekend.  While I was vegging out, I decided to clean my parents candy cabinet.  While doing this, I found a bag of White Chocolate M&Ms from Easter that i had bought and never did anything with.    

I found this to be the perfect opportunity to make a new type of M&M Cookie – I lovvvvve them!  I started off with a Southern Living Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe… halved it… and added some chopped up dried apricots.  We had a huge bag of apricots in the house… it was such a good batch I figured it would be AMAZING in cookies.  I was right.

Apricot & White Chocolate M&M Cookies

Adapted from Southern Living’s “All Time Fav Choc Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons Butter, softened

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Sugar

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons packed Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Cup + 2-3 Tablespoons Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon + sprinkle of Salt

1/2 Cup Dried Apricots, chopped

1 Cup White Chocolate M&M’s (or regular M&Ms or … white chocolate chips!)

Parchment Paper

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper (2 if you want smaller cookies and 1 if you want bigger ones)

2.  Beat the butter and sugars in a mixer until creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until it’s blended together.

3.  Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Take the flour mixture and add to the butter mixture a little at a time until it’s just blended together.  Add the dried apricots and continue to blend with the mixer.

4.  Stop the mixer, get out all of the dough from the beaters, and with a rubber spatula or spoon, mix in most of the M&Ms.  For larger cookies, use a Tablespoon to drop the cookies onto the parchment.  For smaller cookies, use a heaping teaspoon to drop them.

5.  Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how you like them and the size.  I put mine on timer for 8 minutes, then added a few M&Ms ontop and let them bake for another 5 minutes or so.  Remove and let them cool completely on wire racks.

Mix and mix and mix and mix!

BJ’s has my favorite dried apricots, they’re always really juicy and sweet.

You don’t want the M&M’s to break apart so stir them in, don’t use the blender.

Gotta love the Easter/Springtime colors in the summer! I forgot I bought these lol

I THOUGHT these would be small but they were pretty big!

They were so good!

These babies were awesome.  I somehow managed to only eat one cookie this weekend (besides the one-cookie’s worth of raw dough I ate before cleaning out the bowl) so I brought them to our family BBQ on Sunday night.  My Poppop ate one cookie then snitched a few bites of another!  They really were a big hit!

I will also share with you a really helpful hint I just learned from my sister:  Store fresh baked cookies with a piece or two of white bread underneath.  It will keep them nice and chewy and moist.  I did this for these cookies and it REALLY worked.  

Meanwhile, I ate another cookie tonight after our BBQ, and I can’t even let my favorite taste-tester try them!  He’s all the way across the country 😦  Dave’s family is from Vancouver, BC and he is spending some time with them.  I’m so jealous, Vancouver is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL city on earth, and his family is so awesome too… I wish I was there!  I am now obligated to finally write my “Travel” post about gorgeous Vancouver before Dave gets back next Sunday… get ready!

Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I LOVE Mint and Chocolate.  What a perfect combination.  I think it’s really only rivaled by the classic and my FAVORITE Peanut Butter & Chocolate.

I originally just set out to make something using Cocoa Powder.  Easy enough, right?  I spent a few minutes searching and found this recipe from Love From the Oven.  I actually didn’t even have chocolate chips in my house at the time, so I went with the Mint-Chocolate idea, which isn’t from the original recipe.  They turned out FABULOUS.  OMG!  I brought some to work, where my friend even told me it should be my “signature” cookie!  🙂

Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe adapted from:  Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
1 stick cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup Sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 bag Andes Mint Chocolate Baking Chips
Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
3.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt, baking powder slowly and mix on low speed.  Fold in the chips with a large spoon or spatula.
4.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, checking halfway to switch the baking sheets.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Can you smell them from here? YUMMMMM

They might be ugly but they are amazing. They were the perfect combination of mint and chocolate.

YUMMY!  These cookies inspired me to make more desserts- I haven’t in so long!

Chocolate-Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two things.

1.  Last week, my Mom commented that I hadden’t made any non-dinner recipes in a while.

2.  Dahv & his best friend Matt are going camping in NY this week.  Apparently Matt “requested” I make something for them.

Who am I to say no?  After rummaging through our pantry closet, I decided I wanted to do SOMETHING with the Cocoa Powder I had bought a while back.  What started as “something” chocolate turned into one of the best cookies I’ve EVER baked.  WOW.

Chocolate-Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe adapted from:  Love from the Oven.
Makes 25-30 Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold Butter, cut into Tablespoon sized pieces
1¼ cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
½ cup Cocoa Powder
2¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Shake of Sea Salt (or a 1/4 tsp. if you use Unsalted Butter)
1 tsp. baking powder
10 oz Bag of Andes Mint Chips
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare two baking sheets with a Silpat Mat or Parchment Paper.
2.  Combine the cold butter and sugar in a mixer for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until it’s completely combined.
3.  Add eggs, one at a time while it’s still mixing.  
4.  Turn the mixer speed down to low and slowly add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.  You want to do this slowly so it doesn’t get all over your table and yourself!
5.  Once the batter is well combined, turn off the mixer.  Now, mix the Andes Mint Chips into the batter.    
6.  Using your hands or a Tablespoon, spoon the cookies onto the silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Make sure you don’t put them too close together.  
7.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.  Cool on the trays for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until they are cool enough to eat.  

 

These babies were soooooooooooooo good.  They have the same mint flavor as Mint Choco Chip ice cream but with MORE chocolate flavor.  They turned out pretty ugly, so next time I’ll probably make sure I have some of my Mom’s Green Mint Chocolate on hand to drizzle them with.

My batch made 24 Cookies, which was the perfect amount to try some, give half to the boys, and bring some to work too! (I may or may not have saved a whole cookies-worth dollop of raw dough for Dave to eat… and may have eaten one myself… hehe)  The cookies were super soft and moist- the most important requirement when baking for Dahv!

Even though they’re ugly, try them I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

This was the first time I’ve been able to use the new Silpat Mats Mom bought… they are amazing. The Cookies slid right off and it wiped clean in seconds!

MMMMM! Had to try them when they were warm 🙂

Berry Coconut Macaroons

After raving and raving over the fancy French Macarons I’ve been devouring all over NYC this year… I decided to try to make the good-ole Coconut Macaroon instead.

My Mom did buy me a little cookbook for Macarons, but we’ll have to try that later.  Coconut Macaroons are a staple as far as Passover desserts go.

These babies are delish!  It also couldn’t be easier to make.  They are even easier to  make than plain old Chocolate Chip Cookies.   I’m probably going to try out a million other flavors throughout the year.

Berry Coconut Macaroons

Recipe adapted from:  Smitten Kitchen’s Raspbery Coconut Macaroons
Makes:  50 Macaroons, 41 calories a piece.
Ingredients:
14 oz Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
2/3 cup White Sugar
3 Large Egg Whites
1/4 teaspoon leveled Table Salt (or 1/4 tsp heaping flaked sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 pint or 6oz Fresh Raspberries or Blueberries
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2.  In a food processor, blend coconut for one minute.  Add sugar, blend for another minute.  Add egg whites, salt, and vanilla extract and blend for another minute.  You can scrape the sides of the food processor about half way through.
3.  Add berries (if you washed them… make sure to dry them really well) and pulse the machine until they are almost fully broken down.  The original recipe called for about 13 pulses, but you could probably do even less.  *When you open the machine, it will look like the berries only mixed into half the coconut.  Don’t stir it together!  It will look really cool if you let it be*
4.  With a teaspoon, scoop the batter into small mounds on the parchment paper.  They don’t spread out so they can be placed close together.  You’ll want to scoop a little of the colored batter and a little of the white batter together to make them look tye-dyed or marbled.
5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until they start to toast on top and become just slightly browned.  Remove from oven and let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes.  They’ll become more firm as they fully cool.

I made this batch just a little too big... but you can how the raspberries aren't fully pulverized... so pretty!

See the separation between the blueberry mixture and the coconut that didn't mix? Don't stir it!!

The result:  WOWWWW!  These Berry Macaroons are fantastic.  They are much more moist and flavorful than the normal kind you buy in a can (i mean… duh).  I made both Raspberry and Blueberry ones, and the raspberry had a much stronger flavor.  I also thought they were prettier, they ended up being bright pink.  The original recipe also called for almond extract, which I didn’t notice and didn’t have… so I had to use vanilla.  Mine were definitely missing that almond flavor found in traditional macaroons, but I wouldn’t say it was worse for it… just different.

Ta-Da!! Beautiful macaroons! You can see the tiny spots where they got just a little bit toasty.

5-Star Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This weekend, we celebrated a VIB (very important birthday)!!  It was Dave’s Dad’s birthday, who happens to be one of my top taste testers when it comes to sweets.  He loves it all and is always willing to try any dessert I bring over.  I have been on a mission to try to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe so I decided his birthday was the perfect time to try a new one out.

This 5-Star rated Southern Living Recipe was simple and I didn’t even have to go to the store… all of the ingredients were already here in my house!  You can’t ask for much more.

All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted from Southern Living 2008

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 (12-oz.) package white chocolate morsels
1/2 (12-oz.) packages semisweet chocolate morsels
Parchment paper
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, beating until blended.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended. Beat in morsels just until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350° for 10 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely (about 15 minutes).  **Note:  Bake 10 minutes for a soft and chewy cookie or up to 14 minutes for a crisp cookie.

I baked ours for about 11-12 minutes so they were just browning on the sides but were still going to be chewy in the middle.  They were delicious!  I think I liked the super-vanilla chocolate chip cookie I made a little while ago better, but these were fabulous.  Also, the original recipe claimed to have made 5 dozen cookies, and I got about 2.5 or 3 dozen.

Love our mixer! Made everything so easy.

One tray came out prettier than the other... strange.

These babies were a huge hit!

The original recipe also included several different variations that I had to share with you… they all sound so good!  What to try next?

Flavor Cravings: All sorts of goodies can be added to Rebecca’s recipe to create other signature cookies. Here are a few of our staff favorites.
Chocolate Chip-Pretzel Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed, beating in 2 cups coarsely crushed pretzel sticks with morsels.
Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies: Substitute 1 (12-oz.) package white chocolate morsels, 1 (6-oz.) package sweetened dried cranberries, and 1 cup pistachios for chocolate morsels. Proceed as directed.
White Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed, beating in 1 (7-oz.) bag white chocolate-covered mini pretzel twists, coarsely crushed, with morsels.
Almond-Toffee Cookies: Substitute 6 (1.4-oz.) chopped chocolate-covered toffee candy bars and 1 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds for chocolate morsels. Proceed as directed.
Turtle Cookies: Substitute 1 (7-oz.) package milk chocolate-caramel-pecan clusters, coarsely chopped, and 1 (12-oz.) package dark chocolate morsels for semisweet chocolate morsels. Proceed as directed. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Nestlé Turtles.
Nutty Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies: Decrease salt to 1/2 tsp. Decrease morsels to 1 (12-oz.) package. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter with butter and sugars, and add 1 cup lightly salted peanuts with morsels. Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. Proceed as directed. (Dough will look a little moist.)