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Chocolate Peanut Butter S’mores with Homemade Graham Crackers

It seems every year, as the weather changes, my appetite does as well.  Set aside cakes and pies that take upwards of an hour to bake, and bring out no-bake desserts, ice cream, and everyone’s backyard favorite, s’mores!

I impulsively grabbed a (cheap! $2.29!) bag of Bob’s Red Mill graham flour last week and decided to try my hand at homemade graham crackers.  I doubted myself several times while making them.  Isn’t this dough too soft?  Shoot, I didn’t roll the dough thin enough.  How the heck are these going to end up crisp? 

Fortunately, the results were great – a nice, crisp cracker with a touch of flavor from the molasses.  Next time, I might use honey instead of molasses.

For a fun twist on traditional s’mores, I replaced milk chocolate with two types of peanut butter.  I spread the inside of one graham graham with regular, creamy peanut butter.  Then, I spread the other graham cracker with chocolate peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams).

Then, just toast your marshmallow, sandwich it between the two crackers, and you’ve got yourself an ooey, gooey, peanut buttery s’more!

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Pumpkin Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies

Happy Monday! Hope you had a nice weekend. Yesterday I ran the NYC Marathon – great way to relax on a Sunday, I know! I’ll probably blog about my experience soon, but in the meantime, let’s just have some cookies. K?

I’m sort of enamored with these cookies.  You know why?  Well, the short story has to deal with ice cream.  See, if I had to pick just two ice cream flavors to eat the rest of my life (I know, the horror), they’d be:

  1. Pumpkin – everyone’s seasonal favorite
  2. Cookies ‘n Cream – my all-time, makes-everything-okay, favorite

Needless to say, a lot of my thoughts, when it comes to baking/eating/life, involve pumpkin and cookies ‘n cream.

And after having so much success with pumpkin cookie mix (oatmeal cinnamon chip and candy corn M and M bars), I sort of might have gone to the store and snatched a few more bags of mix.

These cookies were everything I hoped they’d be.  The pumpkin flavor wasn’t really sacrificed by adding crushed Oreo cookies, yet at the same time, every single bite was filled with chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs.  And the texture was right on point – crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside.

 

I could probably think of a million variations based on this cookie.  I actually have a Thanksgiving recipe lined up to make, inspired by these cookies!  No, don’t worry, I won’t be setting mashed potatoes with crushed Oreos on the dinner table this year.  Although, on second thought, sweet potatoes and crushed Oreos…

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Sea Salted Caramel Toffee Cookies

There are some cookies that are just ordinary everyday favorites.  This is not one of those.   Because let’s face it, as simple and delicious as chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies can be, sometimes it’s just more fun to step outside of the cookie boundaries.  Let’s step outside the boundary!

A few weeks ago, in the midst of brainstorming random ideas for the Betty Crocker Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Contest, I somehow made my way to these cookies.  I was driving home from work and somehow caramel popped into my mind.  I’m not the biggest fan of caramel (relative to PB) so this was sort of strange.  I decided to go with it.  I went to the store and grabbed some caramels, a sugar cookie mix (contest rules), and toffee bits.  I was on my way…

Mix up your cookie dough, and then add melted caramels right into the dough!!  A-maz-ing.  I was a little unsure of how the dough would hold up with caramels in it.  Though it was a bit stickier than normal, it held up great!

Then it was time to add in the toffee bits.  Though I figured the caramels would give the cookie a lot of flavor, I wanted them to have some crunch, too.  Toffee bits are great for crunch.  And they also bridge the gap between sweet and salty perfectly.

 

Just let ‘em cool, and then drizzle with more melted caramel, and sprinkle (generously, if you’re a salt lover like me!) with sea salt.

What ‘outside the boundary’ cookie recipes/ideas do you have?

 

Sea Salted Caramel Toffee Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 package (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped

1 cup toffee bits

2 ½ tablespoons sea salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray.  Reserve half of the caramels.

In small microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining caramels on high for 45 to 60 seconds, stirring frequently, until melted.

In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, and egg until soft dough forms.  Stir in melted caramels and toffee bits.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place two inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake cookies 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely (about 20 minutes).

In small microwave-safe bowl, melt reserved caramels on high for 45 to 60 seconds, stirring frequently, until melted.  Use a spoon to drizzle melted caramel over cooled cookies.  Sprinkle top of cookies with sea salt.

Smarties Cookies

Woohoo, it’s already Thursday!  All in favor of the four-day work week, say I!  Actually, I’m a bit spoiled by the fact that Thursday is sort of like Friday for me, since I don’t have classes on Fridays.  But something tells me hours upon hours of reading and writing offsets that fact.  Anywho…

In juggling school, moving, etc., I still owe you a few final posts on my summer trip to Europe — including a tour of my own personal Disneyworld, Switzerland! — but while we wait, I thought I’d share these cookies with you, which I made with one of my favorite candies I brought back from my trip — Smarties!

My sister introduced me to Smarties years ago, which are Nestle’s oh-so-crisp-and-delicious version of an M&M… you can find them all of Europe, as well as Canada and Australia.  I snacked on them while walked everywhere around London during the Olympics (speaking of, how awesome is my Olympics oven glove?!), and made sure to bring some back with me to the US.

It should come as no surprise to you that a few of these little candies made their way into my kitchen and ended up in a chewy, delicious sugar cookie.

If you’ve ever had an M&M’s sugar cookie, these are just like those, except a billion times tastier because they have Smarties in them instead of M&Ms.

Does anyone know where I can find Smarties in the US?!  I might just need to take another trip back to the UK to stock up.

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Coconut Creme Pies

I’ve always had a tendency to become what I call ‘temporarily obsessed’ with various things.  I think it began with watching Peter Pan *every* morning at 5am before school in kindergarten.  That reminds me, I should watch that again soon…

I’m temporarily obsessed with coconut.  I bought coconut milk a few months ago, and I couldn’t believe I’d wasted so many years without it.  At Dunkin Donuts, I finally tried a coconut iced coffee… great decision.  And after finding those Hershey’s coconut creme kisses, I’ve been baking more and more with the sweetened flakes.

After making Coconut Kiss Cookies, I decided to use the same cookie dough to make creme pies.  Creme pies are something I should make more often.  I always loved those Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies.  Two soft cookies with creamy frosting tucked between them.  And perfectly portable!

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