Chilled Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

A recipe from the July 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “Simple to make and costing less than 10¢ per serving, dessert does not get any cheaper than this! For variety, you can use a different type of cereal, or swap chopped nuts for the coconut.”

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed

Directions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Place a small skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add coconut and toast, stirring constantly, until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a bowl; let cool.
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, corn syrup and peanut butter.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and cocoa.
  7. Continue stirring until chocolate chips have melted, then stir in cereal and toasted coconut until well coated.
  8. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Makes 40 cookies.

Raspberry Blondies

A recipe from the August 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains that “These blondies will smell amazing when they’re fresh out of the oven, but resist the urge to jump right in. For easier cutting, cover and refrigerate blondies for at least 1 hour or up to overnight before slicing into bars.”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans or mixture of nuts
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on all sides.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  5. Stir in brown sugar until moistened.
  6. Let cool slightly.
  7. Off heat, whisk in egg and vanilla.
  8. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  9. Stir in nuts.
  10. Scrape batter into baking pan, smoothing top with a spatula.
  11. Scatter berries over batter.
  12. Bake until blondies are set in center, about 30 minutes.
  13. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  14. Grasping overhanging foil on opposite sides of pan, lift out blondies and place on cutting board.
  15. Cut into 16 squares and serve.
    Note: For easier cutting, cover and refrigerate blondies for at least 1 hour before slicing into bars.

Graduation Caps

Just found this very cute recipe online, from Graduation Caps published in Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005, p213. Check out the website for a photo. It looks so much like something my friend Lisa would make for her girls.

Ingredients

  • 24 miniature peanut butter cups
  • 1 tube (6 ounces) decorating frosting in color of your choice
  • 24 After Eight thin mints
  • 24 milk chocolate M&M’s in color of your choice or 24 semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Remove paper liners from peanut butter cups.
  2. Place upside down on waxed paper.
  3. Place a small amount of frosting on each peanut butter cup, and center a mint on each.
  4. Using frosting, make a loop for each cap’s tassel.
  5. Place an M&M on top of each loop.

Time Required: 30 minutes

Servings: 2 dozen

Monster Cookies

For Christmas day, there’s nothing like Monster Cookies, the best in over-indulgent cookies. I found the recipe five years ago in Paula Deen & Friends: Living It Up, Southern Style. I made them for the cookie exchange at work that year, and have returned to the recipe whenever I want the perfect treat. Monster Cookies are the twenty-fifth of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ½ cup M&M’s
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4½ cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix eggs and sugars in large mixing bowl.
  4. Add salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add baking soda and oatmeal, combining well.
  6. Stir in M&M’s, chocolate chips, and raisins.
  7. Drop cookies onto prepared cookie sheets.
  8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
  9. Let cool 3 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in tightly covered container.

Time Required: 45 minutes

Servings: about 3 dozen

Oatmeal Carmelitas

This recipe comes from someone I worked with at NCTE, Sharon. She brought them to a cookie exchange we had at the office, and I became thoroughly addicted. Oatmeal Carmelitas are the twenty-fourth of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups margarine or butter, softened

Filling

  • 6 oz. pkg (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • 12 oz jar caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 tbsp flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease 13" x 9" pan.
  3. Measure flour by dip-level method into large mixing bowl.
  4. Blend in remaining crust ingredients with electric mixer at low speed until crumbly.
  5. Press half of crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Set remainder aside for topping.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes
  7. Sprinkle warm crust with chocolate chips and nuts.
  8. In small bowl, combeing caramel topping and 3 tbsp flour.
  9. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over chocolate chips and nuts.
  10. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture.
  11. Bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.
  12. Cool completely. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set.
  13. Cut into bars.

Time Required: 45 minutes plus cooling time

Servings: about 3 dozen

Pineapple Cookies

Another cookie from my great grandmother, Pineapple Cookies are a special treat. They’re the kind of old-fashioned cookie that you’re not likely to get unless you can make them yourself. The recipe was passed to us by my mother’s father’s mother, Kate. Pineapple Cookies are the twenty-third of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  2. Grease and flour cookie sheet
  3. Cook sugar, cornstarch and pineapple over medium heat until thickened. Set filling aside to cool.
  4. Cream together sugars, shortening, and eggs.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.
  6. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
  7. When the sheet is full, drop a smaller spoonful of the pineapple filling into the center of each cookie.
  8. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

S’mores Snackin’ Cups

Want s’mores, but don’t have a campfire handy? This oven-warmed treat is an easy alternative (and a good bit less messy). S’mores Snackin’ Cups, another Girl Scourt recipe, are the twenty-second of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) package graham crackers
  • 6 Herskey’s chocolate bars
  • ½ (10.5-ounce) bag mini-marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Line two muffin pans with muffin cups, or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Break the graham crackers into pieces and place a layer in the bottom of each muffin cup.
  4. Break up the chocolate bars and put a layer on top of the crackers.
  5. Add another layer of crackers and chocolate.
  6. Evenly distribute the marshmallows over each muffin cup.
  7. Bake in preheated oven until the chocolate melts and marshmallows brown slightly.

Variations

  • Make one giant pan of S’mores by layering treats in a cast iron skillet or pie plate and then baking according to the instructions.
  • Substitute Teddy Grahams and chocolate chips for fun alternative.
  • For the original campfire version, use a cast iron skillet. Place the skillet in a corner of the campfire, rotating the pan ¼ turn every 3 minutes, until the chocolate is melted and the marshmallows are golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Time Required: 20 minutes

Servings: about 2 dozen

Paula Deen’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies

These aren’t exactly the kind of cookie that you typically associate with Paula Deen—they’re sugar-free, and there’s not a stick of butter in sight! I have no idea why the recipe works (where is Alton Brown to explain it?), but it does. The original recipe is available from The Food Network. Magical Peanut Butter Cookies are the twenty-first of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1⅓ cups Splenda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Mix peanut butter, 1 cup Splenda, egg, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, combining completely.
  4. Roll the dough in your hands, into about 1″ balls.
  5. Place on cookie sheet.
  6. Dip fork in remaining Splenda, and press on balls to create criss-cross design.
  7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle cookies with some of remaining Splenda while still warm.
  8. Cool several minutes on pan before removing (to avoid breaking).

Variations

  • For a crunchier cookie, stir ½ cup chopped peanuts into the batter.

Chocolate Chipped Brownies

On our last trip to Sam’s, I saw a box of cookie mix that inspired me to create this recipe. The cookie was basically part brownie and part chocolate chip cookie, assembled like a marble cake so that each cookie includes a little of each. I thought it would be easy enoug to create that on my own, using a few shortcuts of course. Here are Chocolate Chipped Brownies, the twentieth of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 box Brownie Mix, and ingredients listed on the package
  • 1 roll of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Refrigerator Dough

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on brownie mix.
  2. Prepare 13″ x 9″ pan according to the instructions on the brownie mix.
  3. Prepare batter for brownie mix according to directions, and pour into prepared pan.
  4. Chop chocolate chip cookie dough into chunks. Don’t worry abourt uniformity.
  5. Spread chunks over the brownie batter, and press down into batter.
  6. Bake and cool according to instructions on brownie mix box.

Variations

  • Rather than chocolate chip cookies, substitute peanut butter cookies.

English Cookies

My great-grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother) made this wonderful cookie and passed the recipe on. Her mother, Mary Brown, came across the ocean from somewhere in England to settle in the United States. We think that is where the name came from. English Cookies are the ninteenth of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup Crisco
  • 2 eggs (3 if small)
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in ½ cup cold coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup cooked raisins
  • 1 cup nuts (Optional)

Powdered Sugar Frosting

  • ½ box powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F.
  2. Combine all ingredients and spread thin on two cookie sheets (jelly roll pans) with sides.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Cool completely on wire racks.
  5. When cool, ice with powdered sugar icing—Mix powdered sugar with enough milk to spread. Be careful not to use too much milk.
  6. Cut into squares.

Variations

  • To cook raisins, place raisins in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from burner and allow to cool completely before adding to batter.
  • We cut these into fairly large, brownie-sized squares. I’ve cut them into smaller 1″ squares for a petit fours look. The smaller size is perfect for cookie exchanges.

Time Required: 30 minutes (plus cooling time)

Servings: about 40 cookies