Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

Peanut Butter Bird Nest CookiesThese Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies are a dream come true.  I often lie awake at night, tossing and turning for what feels like hours (and sometimes is!) before I am finally able to drift off to sleep.  I have struggled with falling asleep since I was young.  I’m usually thinking about all the things I need to do/want to do/didn’t do or my imagination is running wild thinking of flavor combinations and dessert ideas.  I actually started keeping a notepad on my dresser so I can jot things down so I don’t forget them the next morning.

Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

These  Bird Nest Cookies were one of those late night ideas that came to me last week.  I was thinking about all the cute little bird nest cookies and desserts I’ve seen lately (like these Bird Nest Cupcakes from Jessiker Bakes), but how I don’t like those crunchy noodles, and how I wanted them to have great texture and my favorite flavors.  It doesn’t get much more delicious than chocolate and peanut butter, does it?  Didn’t think so.  Now throw in some toasted coconut and we’ve got a winner!

Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

I’ve been wanting to try pudding cookies for some time and these bird nest cookies provided me with the perfect opportunity!  I looked around the internet and came up with a recipe (mostly adapted from these peanut butter cookies).  My first batch didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to; they weren’t as moist or chewy as I wanted so I upped the butter and brown sugar and made another batch.  It was perfect!  You could use your go-to peanut butter cookie recipe or even a store-bought mix.

Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

I dipped my cookies in semi-sweet chocolate, but I’m sure dark (or milk) chocolate would be heavenly too! I used Reese’s Eggs to add to the peanut butter and chocolate combination, for most of them anyway.  I ran out because I used the same bag for my Loaded White Chocolate Easter Bark, so I used Robin’s Eggs for the rest.  Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

The result was heavenly!  The cookies were soft and flavorful.  They weren’t super peanut buttery, so you could up that if you want, but if you up it substantially, cut back on the butter a little.  Once they were decorated, they were almost too cute to eat!  Almost being the key word there…I ate a lot of them.Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookieskizmos

Oh and have you heard of Kizmos?  They’re the cutest kitchen utensils I have ever seen, and I was lucky enough to win a set of them from a giveaway by Crazy for Crust a couple months ago!  I never win anything, so this was very exciting!  It was even better because I desperately needed new rubber spatulas – these were amazing!  The tops of the Kizmos spatulas don’t fall off when you’re using them to mix up something really thick; that is awesome!  And aren’t they so adorable?!?  Want to see more of Kizmos?  Like their Facebook page or Follow Kizmos on Pinterest!  Need some for your own kitchen?  I know you do; head over to Pfaltzgraff or Amazon and order whatever utensils you want need!

Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

Peanut Butter Bird Nest Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 package vanilla pudding
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 package of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 bag shredded sweetened coconut (~2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and mix.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture, and continue to mix until incorporated throughout.
  5. Scoop dough by the heaping tablespoon, form into a ball, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Use a glass to gently flatten each ball. Optional: Use a tablespoon to make a well in each cookie, you could also do this after they have baked.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Toast the coconut:
  8. Spread the coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  9. Bake at 325 for 5-10 minutes. Keep in mind that sweetened coconut flakes will take less time.
  10. To decorate:
  11. Melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil by the method of your choice.
  12. Dip each cooled cookie into the chocolate.
  13. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and place Reese's eggs in the center.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/04/01/bird-nest-cookies/

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie BarsI’ve got spring fever and I’ve got it bad.  I’ve had enough snow, enough cold, enough frosty car windows when I leave for work in the morning – enough already!  I even wore a dress last week because it was just above 40 (I’m not completely crazy, I had leggings on, too).  I’m not sure 40 degrees should be considered dress weather, but it needed to happen of I might have completely lost it.  Let me tell you though, I heard lots of birds chirping today, and I’m going to take that as an indication of warmer weather in my (hopefully immediate) future.  Until then, here’s a treat filled with fun pastel colors and deliciousness that will help satisfy your spring cravings.

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie BarsSpring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

These sugar cookie bars are fabulous and would be a perfect treat to make for Easter.  The recipe uses a sugar cookie mix as a base (Cheating, I know, but I made this with my two nieces, so anything to make it go a little more smoothly is nice).  Let’s be honest, we all need quick and easy recipes and it IS forgiveable to use premade mixes sometimes.  Don’t like store-bought?  Easy solution: homemade cookie mixes and make your own bulk baking mixes  (FYI I haven’t used the cookie mix recipe, but it looks promising.)

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

I adapted this Cran-Pistachio cookie recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  That might seem odd, but I wanted to add pudding to make it a little softer, and I liked the additional flour and egg, anything to make them a little fuller in the pan.  You could use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and press it into a pan, or use just the mix and follow the directions on the package, as well.

Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

On a separate note, did you hear about google reader?  I’m sure you did.  When I first decided to use a reader, it was an easy decision to go with google reader.  I already had a gmail, so NO extra work signing up or creating a profile, just one click…I call that a success.  I was happy with the layout and function of it, so everything was good!  When I found out it would no longer be available in a few months, I was  disappointed, but still eager to check out other options.  I’ve heard a lot of about Bloglovin, especially lately with the news about google reader, and decided to give it a shot.   Well, I love it!  My favorite aspect is that it displays an excerpt from each post (rather than the whole post), so you can quickly and easily scroll through new posts.  If you will be in the market for a new reader in a few months or are just curious, I urge you to check out Bloglovin!

Follow me with Bloglovin!
Spring Fever Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 9x13 pan

Ingredients

  • 1 17.5 oz pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 3.5 oz box vanilla pudding
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • sprinkles and m&ms for decorating, as much or as little as you want

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 in baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, pudding, and flour. Add the melted butter and eggs and mix until incorporated. A wooden spoon works very well, an electric mixer risks over-mixing. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
  3. Place sugar cookie mix in greased pan and use a spatula to spread it out. Sprinkle with m&ms. I used both milk chocolate and peanut butter Easter m&ms.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, being careful not to overbake. Let cool completely before serving (if you can!)
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/03/25/spring-fever-sugar-cookie-bars/

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I love caramel.  I love it so much that I often always put a spoonful of caramel sauce into my coffee, followed by a spoonful of caramel sauce into my mouth.  It’s one of those things I just can’t keep around for fear of my uncontrollable urge to eat it all in one sitting.

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate CookiesCaramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

These cookies were so amazingly delicious that before I knew it had happened, I had eaten three of them and they hadn’t even had time to cool.  Yes, I have a problem…and that’s why I happily gave them away to anyone who was willing to take them [an easy task].  The cookies had a great flavor and texture; they stayed pretty soft kept in an airtight container.  The rolos inside…well, that was the icing on the cake.  While they were still warm, the caramel was gooey, melty and a little messy; once they cooled, it was still soft and caramel-y, without the mess.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies: (Adapted from my baking addiction)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 24 Rolos, unwrapped
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter for a minute, then add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. For each cookie, flatten a 1 Tbsp sized amount of dough and wrap it around a rolo.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 7-10 minutes until set and slightly cracked.  Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Homemade Chocolate Graham Crackers

Chocolate Graham CrackersHow cute are these homemade chocolate graham crackers?  And they were pretty easy to make, too!  Chocolate Graham Crackers
I cut them into hearts for Valentine’s day, but you could do any shape, or just leave them rectangular!  They tasted pretty close to the store-bought ones as far as flavor goes.  They weren’t quite as crispy right out of the oven, but they hardened a bit after they were completely cool.  I think I can safely say I won’t be buying graham crackers again!Chocolate Graham Crackers
Chocolate Graham CrackersChocolate Graham Crackers: (from The Kitchenarian)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit in your cookie sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cocoa, sugar, and baking powder together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender.
  3. Combine the honey and milk in a small bowl, stir until the honey dissolves completely in the milk.
  4. Add the liquid into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix in with a fork until the dough comes together. Add a little more milk if necessary.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over gently 10 to 12 times, until smooth.  Divide the dough in half and keep the remaining dough covered in the bowl.  Transfer half the dough to a piece of parchment.
  6. Roll the dough into a rectangle shape until it is 1/16-inch thick. (It will be approx. 10 x 14 inches.) Trim the edges and prick the dough evenly with a fork.  Place the rolled-out dough pieces on the lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough. For the hearts, I rolled the dough, pressed the cookie cutter into it, and peeled up the scrap dough, and added it to the remaining half, which I shaped into a rectangle as instructed.
  7. Bake the crackers for 12-15 minutes, or until you begin to smell chocolate. Halfway through baking, sprinkle top of crackers with sugar.
  8. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little more sugar and immediately cut them into rectangles with a pizza wheel or knife if desired. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes: Be patient when cutting in the butter, don’t stop until it’s crumbly – it won’t stick together like a dough, but make sure the butter is well distributed.  I ran a pizza cutter gently across the top before baking so the paired pieces would break apart when cooled (and to make the break in the heart), and then cut them into squares after they’d cooled for a couple minutes.

Nutella-Stuffed Browned Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella-Stuffed Browned Butter & Sea Salt Triple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies via elisebakes    These cookies will change your life.  I’m telling you, chocolate chip cookies will never be the same.  The recipe is from Ambitious Kitchen, I upped the vanilla and used vanilla flavored greek yogurt, otherwise everything else is the same!  Continue reading

Gingersnaps with Orange-Ginger Cream Filling

Cream-Filled GingersnapsThere is something wonderful about Christmas.  Do you know what it is?  COOKIES!  Okay okay…there are lots of wonderful things about Christmas, way too many to count actually!  It is my absolute favorite time of year!!  I’m not one bit embarrassed to start rocking out to Christmas tunes the day after Halloween,  I just can’t help it!   Cream-Filled GingersnapsCream-Filled Gingersnaps

I got this recipe from Recipe Girl; I doubled it and made a couple adjustments, but nothing major, then I dipped them in white chocolate. Yum!  The cookie itself is light and crisp around the outside and gets slightly more dense and almost chewy in the middle of the larger ones.  It has a wonderful flavor that is not too strong/overpowering. Cream-Filled GingersnapsCream-Filled Gingersnaps

The cookies were a little crispy at first, but after they were filled, they became much more soft (for that reason, I wouldn’t make the cookie alone without underbaking it a bit).  The orange-ginger cream had a very mild flavor that paired really well with the cookie and the white chocolate took it to the next level!  These are definitely something I will make again!Cream-Filled Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps:

Yield: 4-5 dozen depending on size

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla, and beat at medium-high until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Place remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
  6. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball (I did this for the first batch but I wanted them smaller so I did even tablespoons for the rest); roll in sugar to coat. Arrange about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Using the bottom of a glass that has been lightly greased, then dipped in sugar, flatten dough into 1/4-inch-thick disks.
  8. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until firm. Remove from oven and immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Orange-Ginger Cream Filling:

  • 1/4 cup (4 ozs) cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp heavy cream
  • 1/2  ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar , plus more as needed
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix until smooth, adding more powdered sugar as needed (filling should have consistency of very thick frosting).
  2. With a small spatula, frost bottoms of half the cookies (1-2 tsp depending on size of cookie); top with remaining cookie to make sandwich.

White Chocolate Dip

  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1-3 tsp vegetable oil
  1. Melt white chocolate chips and 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a microwave safe dish for a minute at 70% power.
  2. Stir well, then continue to melt in increments of 15-20 seconds until completely melted.  If your chocolate seems to thick, you can add more vegetable oil to thin it out.
  3. Dip cookies in chocolate and let set.

Christmas Spritz Cookies

Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakesI came across this recipe on Never Skip Dessert and thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to use the cookie press I’ve had stashed in my closet for over a year.  They turned out wonderfully!  They were light and airy with a sweet and mild flavor.  My Betty Crocker Cookie Press soo easy to use – I’ll definitely be adding this to my list of Christmas cookie keepers!
Spritz Cookies (makes 7-8 dozen)Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakes
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: sprinkles, food coloring
  1. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until well combined.
  2. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, making a smooth dough.  Do not chill.
  4. Place dough into cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
  5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges [baked 8-10 for me].  Remove cookies from sheet; cool on rack.Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakes

Spiced Sugar Cookies

Spiced Sugar Cookie via elisebakes

Christmas is closing in on us; time to start getting cookie recipes organized and stock up on butter and sugar!  These spiced sugar cookies are a great twist on the traditional rolled sugar cookie.  The spice was mild but added something interesting to the cookie.  Before they were iced, these cookies were a little dry – but once they were iced they softened up a little and were much better!

Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

Spiced Sugar CookiesSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes (adapted from Bake at 350)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and spices together.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter until incorporated.   Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended together
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.  If the dough becomes too thick, you can use your hands to knead in bits of flour from the sides or bottom of the bowl.
  5. Roll the dough out and cut with a cookie cutter.
  6. Place cut dough on a greased baking pan and bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

IcingSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup (or honey)
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a bowl, whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup,  vanilla and 1 Tbsp of milk together.
  2. Add food coloring until you reach your desired color.
  3. Add milk until you have a consistency that is thick enough for outlining your cookie (see picture below).  Then transfer to a piping bag or sandwich bag and pipe around outline of the cookie shape.
  4. When all cookies are outlined, add a Tbsp or so of milk to the icing to thin it out enough to flood cookie.
  5. Spread with a toothpick to flood the icing outward toward the outline.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles right away if you plan on doing so and then let them harden.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakesLinking up to Show me What Ya Got!