Peanut butter cookies with chocolate candies

These are literally the most giant, delicious, bakery style cookies ever. They will really amaze any person. The candies are so colorful. The size alone makes them irresistible.

1 1/3 cup all pourpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup softened butter (salted or unsalted)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg. Mix well. Continue to add the following ingredients in this order while mixing in between: vanilla, peanut butter, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Finally, add the flour. Mix fully. Roll into 2 tablespoon sized balls (very large). Leave 3 inches around each ball for spreading while baking. Place on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Press the top of each ball using a fork. Sprinkle with mini chocolate candies. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 11-13 minutes or until centers are set. Do not over-bake. Allow to cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes prior to removing.

Cream cheese kolache

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2/3 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups flour

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 egg yolks (keep the whites for later)

1/4 teaspoons salt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

egg wash – beaten egg white from above and a splash of milk

Make the filling by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix this until creamy and smooth with no lumps. Set it aside in the refrigerator after mixing fully. You will need this again but in over an hour. 

Warm the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds until warm. I use a Pyrex measuring cup for this.  Measure the temperature of the milk and microwave an additional 10 seconds until the milk reaches 110 degrees.  When it is 110 degrees, add the yeast, sugar, and 2/3 cups of baking flour. Do not add these ingredients if the milk is over 110 degrees. You must wait for it to cool. Once it cools properly, then add them.

Allow this mixture of milk, yeast, sugar, and flour to set in a warm place until it has doubled in size. 

In another large bowl, melt the butter. Allow it to cool. Add in egg yolks and mix fully.  Stir this mixture into the beginning dough mix that has risen.  Slowly add in the remaining flour and salt. Mix well. You do not need to use a mixer for this step.

Knead the dough for a full 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, the dough should not be sticky.

Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Place each of the 12 balls into a prepared baking dish. Allow this to rise until doubled in size (30-60 minutes). 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Indent the dough in the center. Add the filling. Brush the egg was over the dough areas and not the filling. 

Bake for 18-21 minutes or until golden brown. Test the center of the kolache by inserting a tooth pick into the center before removing them from the oven. The toothpick should come out clean. 

The kneaded dough
Add the filling and the egg wash.
After baking. Perfect!

Blueberry cream muffins

These are bakery style muffins. They are lightly sweetened, moist and incredible. I accidently made this recipe and then realized how amazing it was. The batter is thicker than you expect. Do not worry. It cooks perfectly. The blueberries do not sink because of the thickness. This recipe makes about 12-14 muffins.

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup salted butter, melted

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with crisco and flour or line with paper liners.

Mix the butter, vegetable oil, and sour cream. Add in the vanilla and eggs. Add in the sugar. One at a time, stir in the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and finally the flour. Stir just enough to mix but do not over-stir. Lastly, gently mix in the blueberries.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Remove from the pan as soon as done. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Place in a sealed contained once fully cool. These muffins become more moist after 24 hours.

Chocolate chip cookie cake

Surprisingly, this tastes almost identical to store bought cookie cake. This cake is much better the day after baking it. On the day it is baked, it is more gooey and less solidified making it much harder to cut and serve.

1 stick butter – room temperature

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 large eggs – room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Press the dough evenly into a 9×13 inch prepared pan or a circular shallow baking pan. Bake for 18-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting or removing from the pan.

Maraschino shortbread cookies

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These must be made using a mixer. Hand mixing will just not work. Also, the butter needs to be completely soft yet not melted. These cookies will not turn out correctly with melted or cold butter. I am also always a fan of being able to bake a whole lot of cookies on one sheet pan in 15 minutes. That alone makes these super cookies to make.

 

1 cup flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 jar maraschino cherries

2/3 cup salted butter – room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a mixer, cream the butter powdered sugar and cornstarch. Add in the salt. Roll 1 tablespoon sized balls. Place them about 1 inch apart on parchment paper. Indent the center of each cookie using a finger tip. Place 1 cherry of top of each cookie. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Do not allow them to brown. Best eaten when completely cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ultimate fluffy pancakes

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This makes about 6-8 pancakes.

1 1/2 cups flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

3 tablespoons melted butter
Mix the egg and milk in one bowl. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir after adding little bits to prevent lumps.

When mixed fully, stir in the melted butter.

Cook on a 350 degree griddle. Use a non-stick spray or butter to prevent sticking. Flip once the first side has bubbles that open and it looks like this.

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3 pepper casserole – stuffed peppers

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This meal cooks in about 45 minutes. It is a one pan meal so it does not require much clean up. It tastes best if made the morning before eating or even the day before. It warms really well in the oven.

 

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

2 large sweet banana peppers, sliced into rings

1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups beef broth OR 1 1/2 cups water with 2 teaspoons bouillon

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

 

In a large skillet, saute the ground beef until fully cooked. Break it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the garlic and onion. Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the peppers, cook another 3-5 minutes.

 

Add the uncooked rice. Saute another 5 minutes stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low or just above (maintain a slow simmer). Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not lift lid and stir while cooking unless it appears that the water has all disappeared.

 

After 25 minutes, lift lid and fluff. Test the rice to make sure it is tender. If it is not, cook another 3-5 minutes and add water if needed. When finished, remove the lid and allow it to sit without stirring much for 5-10 minutes. Stirring too much when just cooked with cause the rice to become mushy.

Place the mixture in a prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (optional). At this point, either move to the oven or refrigerate.

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Bake in a 350 degree oven covered for 30 minutes.

 

 

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

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1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick butter, softened

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mixer, combine peanut butter and butter until fluffy. Add the egg, then vanilla, then milk. Add the sugars. Next add the baking soda and baking powder. Finally add the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Roll into 1-2 tablespoon amounts. Do not flatten. Place each 2-3 inches apart. Bake 11-12 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes prior to removing from pan.

 

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Chocolate chip muffins

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2 eggs beaten

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup butter melted

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate combine eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients without over mixing. Bake in a prepared pan in a 375 degree oven for 13-15 minutes.


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Angel biscuits

These are the ultimate southern style biscuits that are perfect for a large covering of sausage gravy. They are dense but fluffy all at the same time.

 

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3 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 package quick rise yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup water – warm to 110 degrees

melted butter

 

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Heat the water and buttermilk to 110-120 degrees. Add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Add the yeast mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Kneed for 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rise for 10-30 minutes. Divide the dough into 1/2 cup portions. Roll into circles. Place with edges touching in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-25 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter when removing from the oven.

 

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