Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread

I have been overwhelmed in the past week or so to the response to my Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars. God bless Pinterest. As a thank you to everyone who’s expressed their delight at the peanut butter/chocolatey goodness of those treats, I bring you another equally decadent dessert.  These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are infused with rich peanut butter and a smattering of sweet chocolate chips. Oh baby.

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Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

You’ve heard me say frequently that I don’t have a crazy passion for peanut butter and chocolate. Bizarre, I know. I feel this is a total deficiency of character. I would blame my maker, but I’m pretty sure He knew what was best for me in not giving me that particular food obsession. What God did not keep me protected from is an overwhelming love of Lofthouse sugar cookies. Oh how I adore them. Soft and thick, perfectly tender and don’t even get me started on the frosting. Given that I know my inability to refuse these cookies, I must have experienced a complete mental lapse when I decided to make them at home. I’m pretty sure I assumed the recipe wouldn’t come close to exactly imitating my favorite treat. I was wrong. These cookies are beyond perfect. I’m a big fan of the original pink frosted ones. I don’t go for all the colors for each holiday/season – but if you are a custom dessert kind of person, these are great. Dye the frosting whatever color suits your fancy. They’ll still taste amazing.

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Orange Creamsicle Cookies

What’s orange and white and delicious all over? Ok. Besides candy corn. Creamsicles!! Fresh orange sherbet with creamy vanilla ice cream. Cold and melty and just perfect. For summer. So why am I making a creamsicle cookie in the midst of a snow threat? Well, it’s simple really. During the winter I keep my house at around 65 degrees (if you are cold, put a sweater on!), which means as much as I love it, I don’t eat much ice cream. Brrrrr! Sure, I could turn the heat up like a normal person, and indulge in a frosty treat instead of frosty breath, but I think I’m hard-wired to be a crazy-control-freak about the thermostat. It just kills me to turn it up even a couple of degrees. We wear a lot of socks and slippers around here.  Not to fear! These soft puffy cookies with my favorite summery flavors packed inside warmed me right up. They were like warm sunshine and the sound of children splashing in a pool.

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Butter Pecan Cookies

Any recipe that starts with “butter” can only be awesome. Add in pecans and you’ve hit cookie nirvana. I got turned on to the idea of making a pecan cookie last week when my friend over at Rumbly in My Tumbly made some Pecan Sandies. I always get great ideas from her and the cookies looked delicious, but they were a rolled dough and since I just made some rolled cookies a couple of days ago, I was looking for something that wouldn’t require me busting out my big red rolling-pin again.  I have a Costco sized bag of pecans sitting in my baking cupboard just begging to be used and this recipe sounded just perfect. A butter filled, airy pecan delight. [Read more…]

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

I love good cinnamon rolls. So it only stands to reason that I’d equally adore a cookie made in the image and likeness of my favorite sticky bun.  However, I had no clue how much these adorable little cookies would strike my fancy.  Like a flat cinnamon roll, without the guilt of eating a pastry the size of your head. Unless (I suppose) you eat the whole batch because they are so amazing. Which, I’ll admit, I’m in danger of doing. [Read more…]

Crushed Cookies

Note to self. A three-year-old plus a platter of cookies = temptation beyond measure. Every single cookie — about 20 of them. Mangled. A little finger print right thru the top. Actually, it kind of looks like what my sister’s boxes of chocolates look like after they’ve tested them to see which ones are cremes/caramels and which are just yucky nut filled things. Maybe Donovan was just checking to see what was inside. Good thing they were wrapped in plastic I suppose. Otherwise, he probably would have eaten them instead of only playing with them.

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Here’s another example of how Pinterest has changed my life. I never would have thought to chop up maraschino cherries to use in cookies. These decadent rose hued shortbread are so beautiful, they’re almost too pretty to eat. My daughter flipped out when she saw that I was making PINK cookies! They are sure to stand out on your platter of Christmas goodies because of their lovely color.

Beautiful and delicious

They would also be great for Valentine’s Day or at a birthday party for your little princess. Sometimes really beautiful cookies don’t taste all that amazing. Not these! They are buttery and rich with a hint of almond and the sweetness of chocolate. Absolutely delicious! [Read more…]

Sweet Spritz

Finally! I have found the ultimate solution to my spritz cookie dilemma. You may remember that last year when I posted this recipe, I admitted that I have a little trouble with the cookies flattening out. That I thought it might be the recipe, but as I’m the fourth generation to make them (and they taste AH-mazing) – I could not mess with the recipe. Well, I’ve discovered the problem. My spritz maker. For the past 5 years or so I have purchased a new spritz maker every year. For whatever reason, they just do not stand up to the abuse I dish out when making cookies. I’ve salivated over my mother’s electric model every year. The thing must be 30 years old and still just keeps on tickin’. I’ve purchased just about every brand/model out there and none of them created the beautifully shaped cookies of my youth.  I almost gave up all hope of ever recreating the perfectly shaped trees, wreaths and poinsettia my mom cranks out until this year I found the Sunbeam electric spritz maker at my local Target. Oh joy!! Same recipe as before, but with my new cookie press – every single buttery morsel is perfectly formed! Hallelujah!

Sweet Spritz

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks, well beaten for 3 minutes (eggs should be light-colored and frothy – drag a spoon thru them, it should leave a trail that doesn’t immediately close up)
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
colored sprinkles/food coloring – if desired

1. Cream butter well. Add powered sugar, extract and eggs. Beat until incorporated.
2. Add food coloring if desired. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated.
3. Using a cookie press, press cookies out onto ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate as desired.
4. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes.

*Pay close attention to these as they bake. You should not allow them to brown. Keep in mind that the 2nd/3rd batches to go into the oven will probably bake a little faster than the first batch did.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

There’s a girl I know. She bakes a lot of wonderful things. She says these are her favorite cookie. If, of all the delicious things she creates, these are her top pick, they must be awesome. I had to try them for myself. But just one. I’m selling the rest tomorrow at our garage sale. If they last that long. Because they are absolutely delicious. Peanut butter and oatmeal are a fantastic combo. Why didn’t I ever think to do a cookie combining them before? Thanks Shan! [Read more…]

Samoas Bars

Girl Scouts, and their cookies are evil. Little girls in little outfits, their adorable patches and vests and all those delightful rectangular boxes of deliciousness. Eager smiles and bright eyes saying “Would you like to buy some cookies?”. I managed to avoid them this year. I hid my face, pretended to be deaf, did all I could to find an entrance not blocked by a table loaded with treats. Why did I do that? Now they are all gone. And I don’t have any boxes stashed in my freezer. Woe is me! Whatever will I do? (breathe Tonya, just breathe) Ok. I found this idea for homemade Samoas Bars and knew I’d found a perfect solution. Shortbread base, topped with caramel coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. All the awesomeness of my favorite Girl Scout treat, and from my own oven. Hooray! Oh joy! Rapture! [Read more…]

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