Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

One thing I love about #Choctoberfest is getting to know some new brands – like Davis Chocolates I showed off the amazing Cocktail Sticks on facebook last night, but they also sent these awesome (organic!) peanut butter baking chips  – and I knew they’d become cookies.

These cookies are so, so fabulous. They’re rich and chocolaty without being overly sweet – and then you bite into the pockets of chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips. It’s just seriously yum. I brought these to a meeting and as we were packing up at the end everyone was grabbing “just one more” – always the sign of a good cookie!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Davis Chocolate Organic Peanut Butter Baking Chips)
1 cup chocolate chunks

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet at bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and then let cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can see today’s other #Choctoberfest recipes here:

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Opa’s Gingerbread #FBLCookieExchange

My most vivid memories of my grandfather revolve around what he was baking for us. He was German and worked in a bakery and made the most beautiful, delicious treats. After he retired to Florida, he’d send up big boxes of Christmas cookies every year. BIG boxes. Like, 20 lbs. of Christmas cookies. These gingerbread cookies were always my favorite.

I shared these with a few of my fellow food bloggers during an early cookie swap last month, I figured that if they routinely survived the trip from Florida to New Jersey, they’d be the perfect cookie to mail.

OpaGingerbread

Opa’s Gingerbread
(a family recipe)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

16 oz. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
6 1/4 oz. light brown sugar
6 oz. butter
5 1/2 oz. unsweetened molasses
1 egg

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the molasses and egg until well combined. Mix in the spices.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out and cutting into shapes.

Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes.

What’s Baking: Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars

whatsbaking

I’m officially less than 2 months from my due and I’m starting to feel the crunch. I’m pretty sure by this point with Jake everything was mostly set up, the freezer was filling up with meals and I was (not so) patiently waiting for his arrival. This go, all the baby stuff is still in the basement, there’s list of stuff we still need to buy and any meals that make it to the freezer are retrieved within the week for nights I can’t keep up. I’m pretty much just praying I make it to my due date again because those last two weeks I may finally have some time to get things done.

ChocolateChipPecanCookieBars

One of the things that has been hitting me hard is that my days of me-and-Jake time are coming to an end. He’s at such a fun age right now and I really love spending the day with my little buddy. He’s been super into helping me in the kitchen lately so I’ve been trying to pick recipes that he can be really hands-on with.

The latest theme for What’s Baking was “bars” – and these are perfect for a toddler assistant because there’s no risk of over-mixing and if the quantities aren’t measured out perfectly, that’s just fine. And they only take about five minutes to throw together, which is pretty much how long his attention lasts these days.

TasteTesterJake

Besides being easy, they’re delicious. My little taste tester couldn’t wait to get his hands on one and then all I heard was, “Yum! YUM!” as I packaged them up. I’m sure they’ll be making repeat appearances at our summer barbecues.

TasteTestJake

Want more bar ideas for your summer baking? Check out our host for the month, Cookaholic Wife, for a roundup of all of the goodies the other bloggers made!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars
(adapted from South Your Mouth)
Makes 1 8×8″ pan

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan with non-stick spray and line with baking parchment. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until set. Let cool completely, then cut into squares. Roll each square in powdered sugar.

Whole Wheat Biscotti

This month’s What’s Baking challenge was to make biscotti. I wasn’t sure how this would go because I’ve never made it before – and the only biscotti I’ve ever eaten were really dry and unappealing so I didn’t think I liked it.

This changed my mind.

This biscotti is super simple, with just enough sweetness to make them the perfect holiday accompaniment to coffee or tea. Now that I have these under my belt, I’m sure I’ll be trying different varieties next year!

To see the biscotti other bloggers made for the challenge, check out Coleen’s roundup at The Redhead Baker tomorrow!

Biscotti

Whole Wheat Biscotti
(from Food.com)
Makes about 2 dozen

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add in the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and stir until well-combined and dough-like. Divide dough in half anf form into 2 logs about 2″x13″.

Bake for 25 minutes, then cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Using a bread knife, cut into 1/2″ slices and bake for 10 more minutes, turning halfway through.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Firecracker Cookies

I’ve been on a cookie kick for the last week or so. I mixed up batches of my favorites for a few parties last weekend so I wanted to try something new for this weekend’s festivities. These were super fun and super easy. You can make these with your favorite sugar cookie and buttercream recipes, or just use packages – whichever your schedule allows.

Adding pop rocks on top makes these firecrackers for your tongue but you want to add them right before serving or the moisture of the icing will activate all of the “popping” early.

FirecrackerCookies

Firecracker Cookies
(from momdot)

Your favorite sugar cookies
White icing
Strawberry or Watermelon PopRocks
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles

Prepare your favorite sugar cookies. Once cook, frost and decorate with sanding sugar and sprinkles. Add Pop Rocks right before serving.

Sprinkle Cookies

I, along with most of my friends from school, are turning 30 this year. It’s weird to think we’re exiting our 20s – mostly because that makes it painfully obvious we’re no longer “just out of college” or “just starting adulthood”. Hello, we’re here.

Adult doesn’t necessarily mean mature, though. We’ve had two 30th birthday parties so far this year: one involved playing dodgeball at a trampoline park and the other was a pizza party. Because, you know, my friends are awesome.

I made up these cookies as a 30th birthday gift for our friend, Douglas. I’d actually made them back in November when Jacob was baptized with blue and white sprinkles and Douglas was crazy for them. His wife held a Christmas cookie exchange in December and he was sorely disappointed I didn’t bring these so I knew they’d be a hit his birthday.

They remind me of the soft vanilla cookies my Mom used to get from the bakery. Just the right amount of chewy center with a slightly crisp edge. And switching up the sprinkle colors makes them perfect for just about any occasion. Or, any 30th birthday party you may be attending!

SprinkleCookies

Sprinkle Cookies
(from Grace and Good Eats)
Makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sprinkles

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and pudding mix. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined. Mold dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Roll the dough into 1″ balls, roll the balls in sprinkles and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges and just set in the center. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.