Saturday, January 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Rounds

I know. They look rather unimpressive. This time I will not blame my camera, or my lack of photography skills. These cookies really were quite underwhelming. I had in mind when I picked up the recipe that they would have the chewy, toothy sweetness of an oatmeal cookie while incorporating some delicious peanut buttery flavor. These fell flat. Granted it may be my fault... the recipe calls for 1 cup and a quarter of flour and I may have lost count (using only my quarter cup since my full cup was eggy) and accidentally added a cup in a half. Or it may have been the fact that I used one of those "only contains peanuts" peanut butters. Perhaps the recipe assumed that my peanut butter would already be sugared and salted. Either way these cookies came out too dense in a dry peanut buttery way and I actually had to add a good amount of salt (considering it's a cookie) in order for the flavor of the peanut butter to come out. Still, the idea of a peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips still has a hold on me. Maybe next time I will try a different recipe.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Rounds (from The Ultimate Cookie Book)

3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 c. rolled oats
1 c. chopped cocktail peanuts or chocolate pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  5. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour, oats, and peanuts.
  6. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are light brown.
  8. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Amigurumi Owl

This little guy goes by the name Filbert. He is my latest creation from a book Favorite bought me of patterns called "Tiny Yarn Animals". I put this guy together as a gift for my mentor at Pilgrim station who took me under his wing and taught me the ways of nuclear. Little Filbert was shipped off along with some good old Tollhouse Cookies and some sugared molasses cookies the recipe for which I stole from the TWD Crowd. The molasses cookies tasted delicious, but I had a problem with the spreading and over baking just like the Cookies with Boys Blogger. I ended up adding an extra 1/2 cup of flour to the recipe to get the right texture and baked them for the minimum amount of time. Because of the trials and tribulations of those that came before me I had thankfully done a few single cookies as test batches. I recommend this approach until you find an amount of flour and bake time that works for you.

Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies
Dorie Greenspan

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup or so)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and pepper.
  2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for 2 minutes or so to blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour and spices disappear. If some flour remains in the bottom of the bowl, to avoid over-beating the dough, mix in the last of the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. You'll have a smooth, very soft dough.
  4. Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The dough can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
  5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Put the sugar in a small bowl.Working with one packet of dough at a time, divide it into 12 pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball between your palms. One by one, roll the balls around in the bowl of sugar , then place them on one of the baking sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass into the sugar and use it to press down on the cookies until they are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the tops feel set to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, if the cookies have spread and are touching, use the edge of a metal spatula to separate them while they are still hot.
  8. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature.
  9. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

Key Lime Shortbread Cookies

So, once again I have been away from the blogging world for a while. Let me catch you up to date. First off, I have been without a job now since December 18th, which is a little slice of heaven, and while enjoying my freedom I have baked these Key Lime Shortbread cookies. I know it probably seems weird to make such a tropical sounding cookie during the middle of the winter, but I was grasped by the Imp of the Perverse when I saw the bag of key limes in the store. There is no other explanation. The cookies themselves were tasty enough, light, crisp, with a little hint of tartness, but it was the icing that made them into little bursts of sunshine! The icing was made only of confectioners sugar and the fresh key lime juice and it just exploded with juicy flavor as it melted instantly on your tongue. This recipe came from my Land o lakes cookie recipe book.

Key Lime Shortbread Cookies

cookie dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp fresh key lime juice
2 tsp fresh grated key lime rind

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp fresh grated key lime rind
2 to 3 tbsp key lime juice

  1. Beat butter until creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to butter and stir on low until a dough forms.
  3. Shape dough into two-ten inch long rolls on a floured surface and wrap both logs in plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Cut logs into 1/4 inch slices and space one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to set for 1 minute before removing to racks to cool completely.
  8. Make glaze by mixing powdered sugar and zest with just enough juice to make the desired glazing consistency. Spoon glaze onto cooled cookies and allow glaze to set.