Skillet S’More’s

It’s the last day of June!

Which means……holy smokes…………. 82 days until MY birthday.

*** big grin ***

Yes, I’m going to start counting down, because this birthday is going to be really special. I mean, last year, I was in Italy on my birthday – which, by far, was the best birthday EVER!

Thank you Mom and Dad :)

But this year, I’m in a new state, with my posse and my beloved J……. all that’s missing are my parents, but hopefully I can persuade them to come out, because I think know we will all have an epic time.

P1000368

I’m already planning my cake….. and you can bet your last dollar that it will contain mass quantities of chocolate :)

Skillet S’More’s – adapted from cookies and cups

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (Or cut large marshmallows in half, which is what I did)
  • 8-9 Giant Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°
In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla and mix until evenly combined, scraping sides as needed. Add in baking soda, continue mixing until incorporated. Whisk together the baking soda, graham cricket crumbs and flour, then stir into the butter mixture.

Spread half of the dough into skillet, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough. Top with mini marshmallows. Cover marshmallows completely with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While cookie is baking cut your giant marshmallows into thirds. Remove cookie from oven and top with marshmallows. Return to oven for 10 more minutes. If the marshmallows aren’t browned enough, turn oven onto broil and toast for 15-20 seconds until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

With our impending move imminent on the horizon, my next task (aside from not losing my mind) is to use up as much stock in the pantry as I can.

Operation throw-out-all-the junk-I’m-not-moving was a complete and total success – and quite frankly, I am giving myself a well-deserved pat on the back for being so organized and so productive this early in the game. The way things are progressing, it appears that my house may have sold much faster than I anticipated.

As in, the first people that looked at it put in an offer.

However, until there’s a signature on the bottom line (and the cash in the bank), I am not going to fret unnecessarily or alter the current course of action.

So ….. back to my plan. My freezer currently resembles a bachelor pad, which is a nice way of saying it contains ice….. and not much else….

P1000196

Well, that’s not entirely true. Now, residing on the shelf at precisely eye-level, is a batch of these exceptionally tasty, soft and chewy mmmmmm mmmmmm good cookie bars. Which, based on how easy they are to make (and consume), will definitely be made again using chocolate chips to appease the non-raisin eater in the house *Alexander*.

Of course, the fact that I have a 5 pound bag of oatmeal to use up is a contributing factor as well…..

Oatmeal Raisin Bars – adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two sides; spray foil with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour, oats, and raisins; fold in just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 bars.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

Oh boy, am I in trouble.

Big trouble.

No, I didn’t blow up another appliance (although that was a good guess).

The source of my predicament? I am weak sometimes. Very weak. You know, I’m not perfect. Never claimed to be. I have lots of flaws. I do my best to hide them, yet sometimes they escape to the surface.

An unavoidable addiction to chocolate is one of my biggest flaws.

The chocolate craving hit me last night. I couldn’t resist. After pushing myself with a 15 mile bike ride, and a Cross-fit workout (don’t say it!), I caved in big time. I made myself this single serving chocolate chip cookie in a mug. It was delicious.

And then I had to shield my eyes from the envious glare of someone that could not partake in the craving with me.

I felt bad.

But not bad enough to not eat it.

IMG_6262

And how I have to suffer the consequences, because she isn’t speaking to me…..

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug – adapted from Sweetest Kitchen

  • 1 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs. dark brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbs. all purpose flour
  • 2 heaping tbs. dark/semisweet chocolate chips

Choose a microwave-safe mug/ramekin/small bowl. Place the butter in the mug and melt in the microwave; do this in 15 second intervals at about 70% power (it should be melted, not boiling). When you have small bits of butter remaining, take it out of the microwave and gently swirl, or stir, the butter until the bits have melted. To the melted butter, add sugars and vanilla. Stir well. Add the egg yolk and stir well to combine. Add the flour, and stir until combined. The consistency of the dough should be similar to real cookie dough; if it’s too runny, add a touch more flour until the consistency is firmer, or if it’s too stiff, add a splash of milk. Add the chocolate chips and stir to evenly distribute throughout the dough. Flatten the surface of the dough with the back of the spoon. Microwave at about 70% power for 30-40 seconds. Do not overcook.
If you overcook it, it will be become dry and hard, so always err on the side of less cooking time.

My favorite Pizzelles

So here we are, 8 days into the New Year… and inquiring minds want to know…

Have you kept up with your resolutions?

I have.

insert wicked grin here...

Let’s just say that someone (no names mentioned) is learning the hard way that I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

IMG_6177

Pizzelles – adapted from Villaware

3 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat a pizzelle iron and grease it lightly with nonstick spray.

Using an electric mixer, eat eggs and sugar together at medium high speed until light yellow and thick ribbons fall from the beaters, 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and vanilla and beat until blended.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder and fold into the egg/butter mixture.

Place about one tablespoon of batter into the center of each grid (my appliance has space for two cookies), close the lid and cook until the steaming stops, about 1 minute. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

LWK’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

So…. I have this friend……. (doesn’t every great story start out like that?)…. who possesses an unequivocal, unabashed and austere passion for cookies.

Not cake. Not ice cream.

Cookies.

Drop, rolled, filled….you get the idea. However, they must be texturally correct (read: crisp, not too thick, not too much chocolate – why do I feel like I’m dealing with Goldilocks some days?) …otherwise, *pfffft* ….out they go….. to the dungeon more commonly referred to as the trash can.

Serious stuff.

Anyway, it is a constant search on my part for the “perfect for this person” cookie. I’ve already mastered oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles, so it is with great pleasure (and a little pomp and circumstance thrown in for good measure) to present this friend’s favorite chocolate chip cookie.

P1000037

One year ago: Potato Broccoli Croquettes

LWK’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from a recipe by lee napoli

8 tbs. unsalted butter
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs. flour
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a large bowl. When the butter cools to slightly warm, add the brown and granulated sugar. Mix well. Beat in the egg and yolk. Whisk together the flour and baking soda, then add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop dough (using a #30 cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten dough slightly using the palm of your hand. For best results, chill dough for at least an hour before baking. Bake until nicely browned, about 13-15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ranger Cookies – and where I’ve been..

As wonderful as it is to go away, it’s wonderful to be home. Especially after 3 planes, 15 hours of travel time, and a 9 hour time change.

What? Did I forget to tell you? Mi dispiace…… I was in Italy for 12 days.

** big grin **

Ahhhh…Venice, Taormina, Sorrento, Rome………. It was an epic, life changing adventure. How so? Let me count the ways:

Disconnecting myself and the posse from the internet/cell phones/twitter updates/Instagram/Snapchat (life change #1), pinpointing the exact cause of the majority of stress in my life - and how to change it (life change #2), the epiphany that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there are people you will never understand/come to common ground with and/or get along with (life change #3).

I feel better than I have in months :)

In the meantime, though, I’ve conquered 7 loads of laundry, completely unpacked, and now, I have to pack up the posse for school. I feel for those two – they missed 9 days of school and will have a TON of makeup work. But….. they received a historical education (The Colosseum! The Vatican!) and culinary experiences (pizza overlooking the Sicilian coast!) that they could never ever experience in a classroom.

And that, coupled with the time they spent with their grandparents (who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!), is priceless.

P1000033

Ranger Cookies – adapted from serious eats

1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Adjust two oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture to bowl and beat until just combined.

Stir in cornflakes and chocolate chips. Drop dough by the rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets, leaving a few inches between each cookie. You should fit about 16 cookies on each sheet. Bake until golden, turning halfway through baking, about 12 minutes. Let cool 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Soft Chocolate Molasses Cookies

T-Minus 21 hours and counting….

(please…. do yourself a favor and don’t check the math, I’m guesstimating here…)

What am I counting down to? Something so exalted, wondrous, and awe-inspiring , it is almost implausible. But it is, in fact, happening.

After two months of planning and prepping, the posse and I are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

And we can’t wait.

That is all for now. 

P1000023

One year ago: Oatmeal Raisin Bread

Soft Chocolate Molasses Cookies – adapted from serious eats

  • 12 tbs. (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl, whisk butter with brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until combined. Whisk in egg, vanilla, and molasses.
In medium bowl, whisk flour with cocoa and baking soda. Whisk into wet mixture until just combined. Chill until firm, about 10 to 20 minutes. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar in bowl.
Using scoop or 1/4 cup measure, portion dough into balls and roll in sugar. Space evenly on pans and gently press dough balls to about 3/4 inch thick. Bake just until puffed and beginning to crack, 7 to 8 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking.
Immediately after removing from oven, give pans a hard tap.  Let cookies cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Oatmeal Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Although these cookies are ….. well…… technically “cookies”, I suppose, through some form of moral obligation, I shouldn’t label them as breakfast food.

However, let’s take a quick look at what goes into making them – we have oatmeal, eggs, and blueberries.

Yep – all the components of breakfast food.

Perfect. :)

P1000333

Oatmeal Blueberry Breakfast Cookies -adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
Stir together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder , and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Gently stir in the blueberries. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Cookie Baker’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, people tend to be extremely vocal and particular with their preferences.

Thick or thin? Crunchy or chewy? Loaded with chips or standard amount?

Highly pressing matters indeed.

These cookies definitely fall into the crunchy / thick / standard amount of chips category – and they were made for a very, very, very good cause.

‘Cause my absolute bestest friend asked for them. Actually, here’s the way it was worded: “You know, I could really go for a crunchy chocolate chip cookie with an ice cold glass of milk right about now.”

Handled :)

P1000244

Cookie Baker’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from Cookie Baker Lynn

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbs. vanilla extract
3 and 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars with a mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl mix together the flour and baking soda. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Add the chocolate chips when there are still traces of flour showing. Mix until everything comes together.

With a medium (#30) cookie scoop, form balls of dough. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking baking sheets (At this point, I chill the dough for several hours before baking – to prevent the cookies from spreading out too much) Bake for 13 -15 minutes, or until the tops are set and the edges begin to brown.  Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Triple Ginger Cookies

As much as I love the mouth tingling bite of fresh ginger, I don’t utilize it nearly enough. I don’t know why, it’s not at all difficult to find – the Fresh and Easy market right down the street always has an ample supply.

But last week, I was inspired to try a new recipe of ginger scallion noodles (which surprise, called for fresh ginger!) and I found myself with an extra knob that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with.

P1000218

Clearly, I found a use for it :)

Triple Ginger Cookies – adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light (mild-flavored) molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup (about) sugar
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, crystallized ginger, and baking soda in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed just to blend between additions.Place 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon dough. Roll into ball between palms of hands, then roll in sugar in bowl to coat; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, spacing cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until surfaces crack and cookies are firm around edges but still slightly soft in center, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on rack.