Chocolate Toffee Slice and Bake Cookies

Hey there– Been a busy week getting ready for Grammy Camp!!  I’m just jumping up & down excited for 4 grand-girls to get here.  I’ve got little tubs of activities tucked away all in a row and the “Welcome to Grammy Camp” poster taped to the front door. And cookies.

Baked these girl friendly cookies for picnic lunches for the days they are here.  Tiny bits of chocolate and crunchy toffee in a buttery cookie.  I think they’ll be a hit.

CHOCOLATE TOFFEE SLICE AND BAKE COOKIES
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits*

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Then beat in the flour, baking powder and salt until the dough looks like coarse crumbs.  Then beat in the chocolate chips and toffee bits until the dough is a solid lump.

Divide the dough into two halves.  Roll the first half into a log shape about 2″ thick. And then set them in the fridge for an hour (or up to several days).

When you’re ready to bake the, slice the logs into 1/4 inch rounds and set them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them up at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are just brown around the edges.  Delish!

*the toffee bits I used were Heath “Bits O’ Brickle” — on the shelf were you buy chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

Hello Cookie Eating Friends–  You know there are some foods that just belong together– peanut butter & jelly,  peaches & cream,  bacon & eggs…  What’s your favorite pair??  Mine is chocolate & almonds!  When the occasional box of See’s candy comes in our door, I search the box for the little mound of perfectly chocolate coated almonds.  Heavenly!

So here’s a great little chocolatey almond cookie.  I made a big batch for an evening with friends and am sorry to say I ate almost I ate almost all the leftover cookies!!  Not too sweet, rich and buttery.  I think you’d like them as much as I do!!

CHOCOLATE CHIP ALMOND COOKIES
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature*
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tab. amaretto** (or vanilla)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup mini chocolate chips

With an electric mixer (start on low so ingredients don’t fly out of the bowl!), beat together the softened butter, powdered sugar, amaretto, flour and salt– until it is a bowl of coarse crumbs.  Be patient.  It takes 3 or 4 minutes to combine the butter and flour.

Then add in the almonds and mini chocolate chips and beat it with the electric mixer until the dough all sticks together.

Spread a thin layer of flour on the counter and roll out the dough until it is about 1/4″ thick.  If it sticks to the rolling pin, flour a tiny bit on top as well.

Use your favorite cookie cutter shape to cut them out and lay them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them up at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes until they are golden around the edges. Enjoy!!

*If you’re pulling it out of the fridge (like I did), just give the butter 15 seconds in the microwave.
**I use amaretto because it gives the almond flavor, but at a fraction of the cost of almond extract.  The recipe I worked from used vanilla instead, so that would be great too!

Chocolate Chip Crumble Top Cake

Hello Bakers– Here’s a sweet little cake.  Quick to put together, no frosting to make.  Just a touch of chocolate and all that crumbly topping.  With a scoop of ice cream –just right!

CHOCOLATE CHIP CRUMBLE TOP CAKE

Crumble Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup flour

Cake:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

To top it off:
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar

First make the crumb topping.  In a mixing bowl stir together the brown sugar, 1/3 cup white sugar, pinch of salt and 1 cup of flour.  Pour in the melted butter and stir it up til it’s blended.  Set aside.

To make the cake, in a mixing bowl, mix together the 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and the  1/4 tsp. salt.  Then stir in the canola oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk.  Next fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into a standard 9″x 5″ loaf can (or I used 2 smaller half size pans) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Then sprinkle the crumble topping over the batter with your fingers so it looks like coarse crumbs.

Pop it into a 350 degree over for 35 to 40 minutes.  When it comes out of the oven sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips over the hot cake.  When it cools, sprinkle on the powdered sugar through a sieve.  Cut into pretty slices & enjoy!

Cherry Bit Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Hello all– We lived in Texas the first 4 years we were married. Larry was in seminary and I taught science all week.  So every Saturday it was the same routine.  He’d study– while I cleaned our student apartment (so tiny, it didn’t take long!) went with 3 friends to grocery shop together, did laundry and then made cookies. So many cookies!  Now days we don’t need weekly cookies…

But for some young friends coming in last Thursday, I pulled out this old recipe.  Homey and sweet and best hot from the oven!

CHERY BIT CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1  1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1  1/2 cups oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries, minced*

With an electric mixer beat the butter, 2 sugars and eggs until they’re creamy.  Then beat in the flour, salt, baking powder and oats.  Finally, use the mixer to blend in the walnuts, chocolate chips and cherries.

Drop the batter by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Flatten the cookies a bit with the bottom of a heavy glass.

Bake them up at 350 degrees for 11 or 12 minutes.  Be sure to eat at least one hot from the oven!!

*Whole dried cherries are too gummy for me.  I mince them to bits, for their cherry sweetness, but no gummy bites!

Oatmeal Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies

img_7088

Hello Cookie Lovers–  We have an old family favorite when it comes to cookies around here.  The page in my cooking notebook that has this recipe is stained and faded from so much use.  The original recipe from a friend in Spain called for granola (like here), but over the years we’ve thrown in any flakey cereal in it’s place (no Cheerios please!)  Sometimes we added in nuts or currants or dried cranberries white chocolate chunks.  It’a a basic recipe you can mix up to suit your cookie preferences.  Just trying to say– it’s a good cookie, soft on the inside an crispy around the edges. I think it could become a favorite of your family too.

OATMEAL GRANOLA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup while sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1  1/4 cup oats
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coconut
1 cup granola
2 cups chocolate chips

With an electric mixer, beat together butter, 2 sugars and eggs until they are smooth and creamy.  Then beat in the flour, oats, salt and baking powder.  Finally mix in the coconut, granola and chocolate chips.  It will be a stiff batter.

Then drop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Will make about 3 dozen medium cookies.  Put them in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes until they are beautifully browned on top.  Best eaten (at least one or two) hot from the oven!!

img_7090

Chocolate Chip & Pecan Bars

 

IMG_0724

Hello Cookie-loving Friends– To tell the truth, until now not a cookie has entered my oven this long hot summer.  Baking has been reduced to a few necessary cakes.  But there’s a tinge in the air– could baking season be far off?!  It’s down to the 80’s this week and I’m imagining fall around the corner with apple tarts and orange rolls and batches of brownies!

So when we had our Thursday night crew in last week, I cranked up the oven and made these chocolate-y cookie bars– all the better with pecans (because who doesn’t love pecans??).  They are easy and cut up into neat little squares.

IMG_0692

CHOCOLATE CHIP & PECAN BARS
4 tab. butter (1/2 stick)
2 tab. canola oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1  1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1  1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped

With an electric mixer blend together the butter, canola oil, white sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until they are smooth and creamy.  Then beat in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally add in the chocolate chips and pecans (I keep a small handful of both aside to sprinkle on top to make it prettier)

With your fingers press the dough into a 9″ by 13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through.

IMG_0715

Whole Wheat, Bran Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

IMG_4259

Hi cookie eating friends– Loving this new nubble-y version of chocolate chip cookies.  They are hearty and satisfying and really taste like the sort of cookies that should come out of a grandma’s oven.  Lots of nuts and chocolate wrapped in that whole wheat/bran cookie.

I know this is not the first chocolate chip cookie that has crossed paths with this blog– but I think it will the favorite for a long time.  If you are need of cookies, hope you give these a try…

WHOLE WHEAT, BRAN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup butter. room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup bran
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 cups chocolate chips

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the 2 sugars.  Then beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Next mix in the wheat flour, white flour, wheat germ, salt and baking powder. Then finally, beat in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  And bake them up in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies a beautiful browned around the edges.  And eat one while they are hot from the oven–delish!

IMG_4247

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

IMG_1930Hi breakfast eaters– There’s a walk we like to take down across Balboa Island, over the channel on the ferry and then along Newport Beach.  And there we end up at that “fine dining establishment”– Mutt Lynch’s.  Long rustic wooden tables, lots of hustle & bustle, blaring sports from multiple tvs, views out to the beach, and pancakes,really great pancakes– my favorite being their banana chocolate chip pancakes.

So here’s our at home version, whipped up when the grand-girls came to stay.  I could eat these things all day.

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
2 smashed bananas
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 stp. salt
3/4 cup unflavored yogurt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Smash those bananas to a pulp in a large mixing bowl.  Then stir in the oatmeal, flour,brown sugar, baking powder & salt.  Mix in the yogurt, milk eggs, vanilla and oil.  And finally fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter (it will be fairly thick) onto a medium heat griddle that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Will make about 15 fluffy, sweet, thick pancakes.

Just typing this up, makes me want to go stir up a batch!

Chocolate Chip Amaretto Cake

IMG_0884Hi there– Every Monday a whole raft of girl friends come through the front door.  They don’t knock, just come in, set their stuff down and make themselves at home.  We’ve been at it together for about 15 years now.  We’ve told all our stories and prayed with each other through crazy children, major illnesses, job upheavals, marital woes.  We’ve celebrated kid’s weddings, new grandkids, photo worthy vacations, new homes…  There’s pretty much not anything we can’t say to each other.

And when they come in, I like to give them cake. With a mug of tea.  It gets us going.  Here’s last Monday night’s cake of the week…

CHOCOLATE CHIP AMARETO CAKE

Cake:
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
5 eggs
2 tab. amaretto
1/4 cup cream (or whole milk)
2  1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unflavored yogurt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. amaretto
1/2 tsp. cream or milk

DSC02470

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, eggs, amaretto and cream.  Then whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally stir in the yogurt and chocolate chips.

Stir just until it’s all blended and spoon it into a bundt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Set it into a 325 degree oven and bake about 1 hour — just until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool before you invert it out onto a plate.

Then whisk together the powdered sugar, amaretto and cream.  You can add  a couple more drops of milk if you need to, until it’s the right consistency to drizzle onto the cake.  Be careful– it’s so easy to add to much milk!

P.S. — The cake in the photos is just half a recipe, since I don’t have a real honest to goodness bundt pan, just this little mini one.  But the recipe is for a standard bundt pan, which I’ll bet most of you do have at hand.

DSC02479

Crispiest Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_8359Hello there fellow cookie lovers–  I know.  I know.  There are definite preferences when it comes chocolate chip cookies. Some people like them thick, doughy and soft.  But not me.   This is an old family fave–and this version is crunchy crispy.  Delectable!

Whipped them up with the grand-girls this afternoon– for a good munch while we watch the new Tinkerbell movie.  Simple pleasures.

CRISPIEST OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup butter*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flake cereal**
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and egg with an electric mixer.  Then blend in the flour, oatmeal, salt and baking powder.  Finally mix in the cereal and chocolate chips.

Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto a baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray– about 1 1/2 ” apart–these guys spread!!

Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until they are nicely browned around the edges.  Immediately eat 2 or 3 straightway not from the oven.

*If you a getting the butter cold from the fridge, microwave it 4 or 5 seconds to bring it down to room temperature.
**Any flakey cereal will do– We had Special on hand, but corn flakes of oat flakes are A-OK.

IMG_8349

Rocky Road Oatmeal Bars

IMG_5216Hi friends– Since we are deep in to baking season, I want to recommend these oaty nutty little cookie bars.  They’re made of oatmeal.  Could you eat them for breakfast?  I think you might like them a lot…

ROCKY ROAD OATMEAL BARS
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups of old fashioned oats (oatmeal)
1 1/2 cup mini-marshmallows
1 cup walnuts, chopped  ( or almonds or pecans)
1 cup chocolate chips

IMG_5208With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and oats.  Spread the mixture in a 9″ square pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Pop it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Finally, sprinkle the marshmallows, chocolate chips and nuts over the almost baked cooked bars and then put them back into the oven for 10 minutes.

Cool and cut into homey little cookie bars.  A cup of tea on the side is recommended.

Apricot Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

IMG_3902Hello there cookie eating friends (that should include about everyone!)–  I know. I know.  It’s traditional to put raisins in oatmeal cookies.  But any recipe that calls for raisins, automatically gets currants substituted in, as far as I’m concerned.  Currents are good (raisins just too darn smooshy).  But dried apricots, even better.

And I happens that I have piles of dried apricots because I mentioned in class that I like them a lot and my little 3rd graders brought me bags of bags of those things for teacher appreciation day!!  I’m all stocked up!  So anyway, all that to say, I think you’d love this crispy, tender, apricot-y little cookies.

APRICOT CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES
1 cup butter (2 sticks)*
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup flaky cereal**
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, diced to small bits
2 cups dark chocolate chips***

IMG_3895With an electric mixer beat together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and the eggs.  Then mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and oats.  Finally beat in the cereal, walnuts, apricots and chocolate chips.

Drop blobs of cookie dough with a spoon onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Leave about 1 1/2″ between cookies because they do spread!  Bake them up at 35- degrees for about 12 minutes until the a browned and crispy around the edges.  Eat at least one hot from the oven.  You know that’s when they are best!

*If the butter is coming straight from the fridge, microwave to 7 or 8 seconds to soften it just a bit.
**Any flaky cereal works– like corn flakes or raisin bran or even granola.  No cheerios or sugar smacks!!!
***I like the Hershey’s dark chocolate chips because they are nice a rich and oversized to make the cookies prettier.

IMG_3897

Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_2268Hello all– Larry had some friends over for a quick planning meeting a couple nights ago.  They sat out in the backyard, the coolest spot on a warm evening, and bounced ideas back and forth.  And maybe you’re like this– I can’t have people over without feeding them a little something (it’s a neurosis I deal with!) .  So I set out these big nutty granola cookies.     They liked them.  And I liked nibbling up all the leftover cookies this week.  Crunchy, nutty chewy good.

GRANOLA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups granola*
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz. pkg.)

With an electric mixer beat together the butter, sugars and eggs.  Then mix in the flour, granola, baking powder and salt.  Add in the chocolate chips last.  Scoop out spoonfuls of cookie dough onto baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray and pop them in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes until they are browned and crispy.

IMG_2258
Makes about 3 dozen large cookies (or 5 dozen smallish ones)

*I use a granola that I like to make with maple syrup– https://thethankfulheart.wordpress.com/?s=granola

It has lots of nuts, but if your granola doesn’t have a lot of nuts, you can stir in a half cup or more of walnuts or pecans.

One Chocolate Chip Cookie

IMG_0849Hello there cookie fans–  OK, it’s Saturday afternoon and you’re reading (if you’re lucky) or ironing (if you’re not) and suddenly you have an urge for a chocolate chip cookie.  Just one big piping hot chocolate chip cookie.  Here’s one you can whip up in 7 minutes (I timed myself) plus a few minutes to bake– just enough time to brew up a substantial mug of tea for your cookie break.

ONE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE*
1 tab butter
1 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. white sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 egg
1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
2 tab. chocolate chips
2 tab. walnuts

Soften the butter a couple seconds in the microwave.  Then stir in the sugars and vanilla.  I mixed it with a fork to blend it well.  Beat an egg in a cup and then pour half the egg into the cookie dough.  Add 1/4 cup flour, salt, chocolate chips and nuts.  Spoon all the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 -14 minutes.  Makes one lovely, large, hot, chewy chocolate chip cookie.

*I have to confess I doubled the recipe and made 2!  Larry was home on Saturday afternoon and I didn’t want to share.