Saturday, 31 October 2015

Thick and Chewy Reese's Chocolate Chip Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 18


This weeks cookies come from Deliciously Yum and in the spirit of Halloween I choose some halloweeny looking ones (because there is orange in them and brown and yes that's really the only way these are halloweeny.

 I'm trying something new with my highly unprofessional pictures.  What do you think?... if you're like me you don't really care much either way!

Anywho... I was skeptical about these cookies whilst making them for one reason.  IT WAS SO DRY!  Maybe I did something wrong (I don't think I did anything wrong) but when I went to put the dough in the fridge (I stuck it in there overnight - as per usual) the dough looked like sand and I thought to myself "this is the perfect recipe for if I need to make edible sand"... only now that I think of it the "sand" wouldn't be very edible because there is raw egg in there.

So yeah, it was dry.  While forming the balls for the cookies I really had to smash the dough together and a bunch of the Reese's Pieces fell out.  Every. Single. Time.  At first I was all "hmm... I don't think I have enough in here" but then they kept falling out and naturally I kept eating them.

But I digress... the changes I made were few and simple

1)  I bought the regular candy sized Reese's Pieces and then later found a bag of smaller sized ones in the baking aisle (but I already had the regular sized ones at home so I just stuck with these).  Maybe if I would have used the smaller version they wouldn't have fallen out everywhere!

2)  I don't know what kind of chocolate chunks were in the picture on the recipe page but I didn't look for them at the grocery store.  I had regular semi sweet chocolate chips in my house so I used those.

3)  This isn't a change... per say BUT when forming the balls I had great difficulty (as previously mentioned) and so I just really mashed them together into balls.  Then, they pretty much stayed in those balls and didn't spread out because if I would have smashed them down even just a tiny bit I imagine they would have fallen apart.

The good news is that they were still very much edible when I got them out of the oven and even quite good.  I wouldn't say they were "chewy" though.  I'm not sure what "thick" is like either... but they were tasty.

HOWEVER, I think I could remake these with a better peanut butter cookie recipe and be a little more successful at it.  For this reason I'm just going to go ahead and give these guys a 7/10  and I'm not really sorry for it... they shouldn't have been so crumbly!

Last week I made something that the chocolate lovers will really love Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Life Lately

Lately my computer has been acting REALLY slow when I plug my phone into it to put some pictures in here and so I just haven't been so into sharing with you about my oh so fabulous life (I was being sarcastic).  But I promised on Saturday that a post like this was coming soon.  And so... here you go!

1)  We went to a play.  I don't remember what it was called but we clearly weren't expecting a 2 person play where they played multiple people.  PLUS, I wasn't the one who read or looked into it at all... that was all John.

 2)  John and i have these popsicle sticks that we wrote down a bunch of ideas of things we could do when we have nothing else to do on them.  Then when we need something to do together we pull one out of the jar and do it.  The thing is we know what we wrote on them so we usually just say "hey, we should go for a bike ride" and do it instead of surprising ourselves by pulling a popsicle stick and it saying "paint pictures for each other" instead.

Anyways, I'm telling you all of this because one of the popsicle sticks says something along the lines of "mystery ingredient dessert".  For this one we go to the grocery store and pick out an ingredient that the other person has to make a dessert out of.

So I picked up some aloe drink for John (mostly because I was curious about the taste... kind of like a flat 7up for those of us that were wondering) and he got me some Indian Karela (see photo)
We decided we were allowed to look up a basic cake recipe or cookie recipe or brownie recipe but nothing like "Indian Karela Brownies" - which by the way is what I made.  I was also allowed to look up what indian karela is because I had no clue what it was or what part was edible.  For those of us that are interested it is a bitter melon.

So yes, I made mine into brownies and because I wasn't sure what it was going to taste like I loaded it with extra cocoa and chocolate drizzle on top.  As well as some pecans and marshmallows.  It turned out not too bad.  I won for presentation!
John made a vanilla cake with his and then made a chocolate mousse for icing.  He decided a little too late that a nice vanilla and cinnamon icing might have been better.  His won for taste.

3)  I've been subbing a lot lately (in fact I haven't had a single day off yet - other than last Friday but it was a division wide inservice so I didn't have an option to work).  So I've been bringing this book along with me to read to my students.  One day I planned a writing activity around this book because the teacher had left me extra time to fill.  Basically we made our own monsters for scary street.

4)  I've got two Christmas presents bought... and plans to buy at least one more (and I know exactly where to go to get the stuff for that one) and part of another (which may turn into John's birthday present instead... I haven't decided).

Not sure what my plans for Halloween are yet... John and I have been looking at pumpkin carving stuff... so maybe we'll do that and hand out candy at his place.  And maybe watch some kind of Halloween movie too.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

SalteD Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 17

Confession:  I was in a rush to make these and so I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients.  Later on I thought to myself  "I could fake it and just put them all out afterwards"... but I didn't want to go to the trouble of having to somehow re roll those Rolo packages that I completely destroyed.  So no ingredient picture for you.  Get over it.

Today's cookies come from Sally's Baking Addiction

a couple of things:

-  I thought these cookie balls were MASSIVE... but this is coming from a person who uses a teaspoon to scoop out her cookie dough usually.  
-  I attempted to sort of count the number of Rolo's inside one of those packages in the store... I can't remember how many I guessed were in there but now I know, there are 10.  So you'll need to packages of Rolo's... Sally could have just said that and saved me some time but whatever.
-  My batch, probably because I got concerned about the size of the cookies, ended up making 19.  So I had 19 cookies to eat and one extra Rolo to enjoy.
-  Only one of my Rolo's broke while trying to smash those two cookie balls together.  They are impressively strong little guys.  The broken one I just formed the cookie around and called it done... I wasn't giving up my unbroken Rolo that I was going to enjoy once they went in the oven for it!
-  The picture on Sally's Baking Addiction was not accurate at all for me.  How come my caramel didn't ooze?  Actually, I don't recall what it looked like the first time I had one right out of the oven (because I always have one right out of the oven to base my ratings on... slightly cooled of course)... but they weren't oozing yesterday when John and I were eating them.

Anyways, I basically followed the recipe except I chilled the dough over night.

John LOVES dark chocolate almost as much as he loves me so he REALLY liked this cookies.
I on the other hand don't enjoy dark chocolate quite as much and do believe there is such a thing as too much chocolate *gasp*... and I'm afraid to tell you I thought these cookies fell into the category of "too much chocolate".

BUT based on the fact that John really did like them instead of giving them a 6 I'm going to give them a 7/10.

Last week I made some Carrot Cookies.

and I know, I know I've been failing to blog about anything but cookies lately but that's because I'm working on something BIGger for December... and I've been working.  So just bare with me... I'll post a non cookie post this week sometime... hopefully.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Carrot Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 16

I've had the website for these cookies preloaded on my phone (and no, not simply bookmarking it) for at least a couple months now.  So I figured it was high time I made them.

You can find this recipe on All Recipes

Plus, everyone is digging up their gardens around these parts and perhaps that means that in addition to an abundance of tomatoes some of us also have quite a few carrots... here is one way to use them!
The dough

the cookies
I served these to my friends and I think most of them (maybe all of them) loved them.  I'm not so sure though.  They taste more like orange than carrot and maybe that is what has thrown me off.  However, they are definitely better than the Strawberry Cookies I made in the summer (which tasted more like a muffin).  So I'm going to give these an 8/10

For those of you wanting to make a fall type cookie, last week I made some pretty good Pumpkin Cookies.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Pumpkin Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 15

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian Readers!
In honour of this very special long weekend I needed to make some pumpkin cookies and my cousin insisted these ones were delicious!

The recipe comes from The Food Network

The dough
The cookies (sans icing)
The cookies - with icing and cinnamon
 I used a different pumpkin cookie recipe last year and I must admit these are better.
In fact, I'm currently enjoying one right now with some homemade pumpkin spiced latte
(I guess today I'm having dessert before dinner)

My rating: 9/10
They are delicious and the cookie/cake part is really good.. I don't think you'll be disappointed in these!

Last week I made some basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, 5 October 2015

Life Lately

So I'm a little (a lot) behind... what else is new?

I'm sure I'm forgiven though?

I've been busy subbing lately.  Today I got home by 4pm... it's kind of nice.
Subbing has FINALLY picked up 

Last weekend we had Thanksgiving and as it is with most big family events... I managed to get a cold just for the weekend.

it was a lot of lying in bed and Watching Modern Family.  

Can you spot the super moon?  John and I watched it!
Super moon

I had one day off last week, luckily it was a lovely day!
More walks in the park
I made John and I breakfast for dinner one day (don't worry, we also had some slightly over cooked bacon and fruit salad)

Pumpkin Pancakes
But the highlight of the last couple of weeks was that last week John and I went to see Odysseo!
I thought it was great!

After the show we went to the stables to see the horses (we weren't allowed to touch them though)

This just seems like a slightly better than ordinary breakfast but in reality it was dinner.  John was away and normally he has to make the omelettes because, well... I can never seem to get it right.  But on Saturday that all changed.. it was delicious!

Probably about 6 months ago my friends and I made some bowls with what was pretty well paper mache and balloons. But there was never a time when we could all get together to paint them... until Saturday evening.  
Mine is the purple one in the front.  It now holds my keys by the door.

paper mache balloon bowls!
All summer John and I have been reading The Scorch Trials and we finally finished it!  Then yesterday John and I spent a couple hours at the mall waiting for Scorch Trials to start at the theater... and about an hour  before the movie was set to start alarms started going off at the mall.  Shops started closing and firemen were walking around with a hose and an axe... but no one seemed to be in any kind of panic so we kept wandering.  Then we got trapped inside Chapters which was when they said we had to leave the mall.  
But don't worry!  We just took a drive to the next theater and caught it somewhere else.
And that's been my last couple of weeks!  

Looking forward to more Thanksgiving festivities (this time with John's family) this weekend.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 52 Weeks of Cookies: Week 14

No link for where I got the recipe for these guys because it came off the back of the chocolate chip bag
fun fact: there is also a recipe for brownies on there that I've made and taste delicious

I figured it was time to do something basic.
No caramel
No bits of chocolate bars
And no special trips to the grocery store needed to make these cookies.

These used to be a huge hit when my friends and I would get together for games and then I stopped making them because they just weren't turning out the same.  I always blamed the different ovens I was using and well I am happy to report that I have an oven that bakes these cookies to perfection once again!

Here is the recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 regular sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375

Beat softened butter, shortening, brown sugar, and sugar in a bowl.  
Add in eggs and vanilla and continue to beat.
In another bowl stir flour, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir together
Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and let sit in fridge overnight.
Using a teaspoon scoop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet (feel free to make that teaspoon a heaping one).  Roll the dough into balls.
Bake for 10-12 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

The actual recipe calls for 1 cup of butter and no shortening... I could have sworn it used to give shortening as an option and I've always done it half and half... but feel free to use only butter.
The actual recipe does not say to let the dough sit in the fridge overnight but that's what I did.
The actual recipe also recommends using a tablespoon to scoop the dough but I never do... this way I get smaller cookies and can eat at least 2 and only feel the guilt of eating one (except I never feel guilty eating a cookie).

There is really nothing special about these cookies but I've never strayed from this recipe when making chocolate chip cookies (that may have to do with the fact that the recipe is conveniently located on the back of the bag though).
I know I'll be making these again and again so they get 10/10

Last week I didn't have to bake my cookies.  
Click here to check them out!