Homemade Peanut Butter Oreos

So there I was watching The Biggest Loser (so sad that Chism went home… Go Emily!); a show that should have motivated my palate to eat something healthy.  You know, something like carrot sticks, egg whites, or maybe Cheerios (because apparently they are a sponsor). 

This week each contestant had to go home for 18 days and lose 5% of their body weight in order to claim immunity when they came back to the ranch and weighed in.  They all had their struggles but for the most part they did pretty well.  And even I was doing well until Cassandra decided to make these scrumptious looking peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses in the middle.  For the record, she only had one!  Go Cassandra!  Self control is tough to master. 

Well, after that, I felt any ounce of self control I had left drain from me and all I could think about was a chocolate and peanut butter combo in any form.  I just needed chocolate and I needed peanut butter.  So the next day I was on a quest to scratch that chocolate/peanut butter itch that I had. 

I decided to concoct my own version of Peanut Butter Oreos.  They are WAY better than the ones you buy.  My family loved them and Anthony has asked me to make them for the people at work on Monday.  Hopefully they like them as much as we do!

I’ve made homemade Oreos before and they are great but I decided to try a different recipe for the cookie part and I think I liked it better! 

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Homemade Peanut Butter Oreos

1 chocolate cake mix (I like Devil’s Food, Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Fudge)

1 stick of butter, melted (1/2 cup)

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*.  Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon or stand mixer.  This makes a thick dough.  Roll into small 1 inch balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes.  Do not overbake!  If you make bigger cookies, you may need up to 10 minutes. 

Recipe Source:  One Good Thing

Peanut Butter Filling:

1 c. powdered sugar

1 c. creamy peanut butter

5 T. butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/3 c. whole milk

Mix all ingredients except milk together well.  Add milk and mix until creamy. 

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Ina Garten

Once cookies have cooled, spread frosting on the bottom of half the cookies and top with the other half of the cookies.

These are really good!  Betcha can’t eat just one ;)

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Applesauce Cookies with Caramel Frosting

This post is really more about the Caramel Frosting than anything else.  The cookies weren’t bad either but the caramel…

WOW!  The caramel… There are no words.

I’ve been wanting to try a caramel frosting recipe ever since I found one on Pinterest (it’s not the recipe I used, however).  And the recipe for applesauce cookies is in a cookbook I have called Worldwide Ward Cookbook Mom’s Best Recipes.  It’s a recipe that caught my eye long ago but I’ve just never made the time to make it.  Yesterday I was in a cookie making mood and decided to throw caramel frosting on these applesauce cookies.  Caramel apples… it’s perfect!  My kids devoured them.  I wasn’t sure Anthony would be fond of them.  I was pleasantly surprised when he ate several and kept telling me how good they were. 

apple caramel

Applesauce Cookies (slightly adapted)

  •  1/2 c. butter (or shortening)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 1/2 T. nutmeg
  • 1/2 T. cinnamon
  • 1/2 T. cloves
  • 1/2 T. salt
  • 1/2 T. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream butter and sugar together on medium speed in stand mixer.  Add egg and incorporate.  Now add applesauce and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.

Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Add a little at a time to wet mixture, mixing on low speed between each addition until all ingredients are combined. 

Drop onto lightly greased baking sheet by small, rounded spoonfuls and bake for 9-11 minutes.  (**This is a pretty wet, sticky dough.  Don’t make the spoonfuls too large or they will spread and run into each other.**)

These cookies are VERY soft!  Be gentle when removing them from your baking sheet. 

And now for the best part…

Caramel Frosting 

  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)  **NOT margarine**
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and add brown sugar, stirring frequently.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down slightly and let simmer for one full minute.  The sauce should be dark brown and thick. 

Remove from heat and add milk.  Whisk in carefully.  Add vanilla, whisk.

Add one cup at a time of powdered sugar and stir between each addition.  Once you reach 2 cups, start adding in 1/2 cup increments until you reach desired spreading consistency.  Mine was fine at 2 1/2 cups.  Remember, as it cools it will thicken and get stiffer so let it be a little runnier than you plan the final product to be.  If it becomes too thick, you can stir in one T. of milk at a time until it returns to the consistency you like. 

Spread on cookies, cupcakes, cakes, etc.  It’s absolutely delicious!! 

 

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Peppermint Pudding Cookies

I am so excited to share this recipe!  It’s slightly adapted from this recipe that I just discovered the other day.  I had to tweak it a bit because apparently the store that I shop at isn’t cool enough to carry Peppermint pudding mix.  But it really doesn’t matter because my version turned out delicious!!  Plus I tweaked a couple other things. 

pudding cookie

Peppermint Pudding Cookies

2-1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 c. butter (1 1/2 sticks)

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

1 (3.4 oz) package instant White Chocolate Pudding Mix (or Vanilla)

3/4 c. yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. peppermint extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. Andes ‘peppermint crunch’ baking chips (white chocolate chips will do)

1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy canes (or just buy them already crushed) ;)

Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream butter and sugars together in the bowl of your mixer (or a large mixing bowl). Add pudding mix and cake mix.  Blend well.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Blend until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Add to the wet mixture a little at a time until it’s fully incorporated.  Stir in baking chips and crushed candy canes.  Roll into 1” balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

**Below is a picture of the baking chips and crushed candy canes in case you want to look for them in your grocery store.

candy

I hope you love them!  My family sure did. 

 

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Sugar Cookies {Two Recipes!}

No holiday is complete without sugar cookies.  Wouldn’t you agree? 

My kids love to help in the kitchen and making sugar cookies is one of their very favorite things!  They love choosing their favorite cookie cutters for the season and pushing them into the dough, placing them on the cookie sheets and watching them bake.  Letting them cool is absolute torture for them.  Luckily, sugar cookies cool pretty quickly and we are able to frost them shortly after placing them on the cooling rack. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that sugar cookies are a very personal thing.  Some folks prefer them to be extra soft while others prefer them to be a bit crisper.  Do you have a personal favorite when it comes to sugar cookies, yet?  Or are you still searching for that perfect recipe? 

Here you’ll find two recipes…. the ever-famous ‘sour cream sugar cookie’ and the traditional sugar cookie.  The sour cream version (which I got from a ward cookbook) is much softer and tends to grow quite a bit in the oven.  The second recipe (from my sis-in-law) is still soft but is a bit crispier and seems to stay flatter in the oven. 

{Pictured is the Sour Cream version – K made the dough all by herself!}

sugar cookies

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies – Anthony’s favorite

1/2 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. sour cream

2 1/2 – 3 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. soda

Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg, vanilla, and sour cream.  Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to wet mixture a little at a time.  Once it’s thoroughly combined, cover and chill the dough for at least an hour. 

Roll dough on a flat, floured surface.  It may take quite a bit of flour.  This is a pretty sticky dough.  Roll to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into favorite shapes.  Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 8 or 9 minutes.  Do not over bake!

Decorate!

Delicious Sugar Cookies – Brooke’s favorite

1 c. butter or margarine, softened

2 c. sugar

3 eggs

6 T. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

5 1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375*.

Mix wet ingredients.  In separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add a little at a time until fully incorporated.  Roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut into favorite shapes.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.

**For the record, the kids just don’t really have a favorite.  They just like cookies!  Who cares what recipe is used, right?

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Homemade Oreos

A young man in my ward is leaving to go on a mission this Wednesday.  He is truly a remarkable kid and we’ve enjoyed watching him grow up for the past six years.  Back then I was still taller than him.  I think he’s a good foot taller than I am now.  That is NOT an exaggeration. 

His mom and dad held an open house for him at their home today for anyone that would like to come and wish him well.  We were happy to do so.  After all, it will be another two years before we see him again. 

I offered to bring something to the open house and I decided that Homemade Oreos would be PERFECT for the occasion.  Why?  Well, no particular reason really.  I just know that I love them and it’s been almost a year since we’ve made them.  Plus, Anthony was really in the mood to frost some of the evil little treats.  How do I know?  When you’ve been married for 11 years, you just know…  I could see it in his eyes.  Because he really is the master froster.  I try to frost them and make a mess all over myself and the filling ends up oozing out of the cookies.  It’s just a much cleaner process if I make the chocolate cookie part and let him handle the filling.  Teamwork!

This recipe comes from Christmas with Paula Deen.  She calls them “Chocolate Sandwich Cookies” but I still like Oreos!

You’ll love them.  Give ‘em a try!

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Homemade Oreos

Two pkgs. chocolate cake mix (I’ve used Devil’s Food, Chocolate Fudge and plain Chocolate… they all work great!)

4 eggs

2/3 cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer.  The batter is very thick and stiff.  Pinch off pieces and roll into 1-inch balls.  Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 8-10 minutes.  {This makes a lot of cookies – great for parties – , you could half this recipe if needed.}

**8 minutes is always perfect for my oven.**

FROSTING:

one 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. (1 stick) of butter

3 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter together.  Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  Stir in vanilla. 

Once all the cookies are cooled, frost half the cookies and top with the other half to form ‘sandwiches’. 

Store cookies in the refrigerator in airtight container.

We usually only end up using half of the frosting.  The other half goes on our cinnamon rolls that I am forced to make in an effort to not be wasteful.  We wouldn’t want to have to throw that extra frosting away…  Cinnamon rolls, here I come!

Oreos

**Anthony’s little tidbit… He frosts the cookies in a unique way.  He uses a spoon to dollop the right amount of frosting on each cookie in a heap and ‘spreads’ it by taking the other cookie, setting it on top of the frosting and twists it with gentle pressure until the frosting has come almost to the edges but not quite.  This technique works well for him.**

{Affiliate link used.  If you choose to purchase by clicking on my link, I will receive a small percentage.  Thanks so much!}

 

 

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… Really, Brooke?  Doesn’t everyone already have their ‘perfect’ recipe for chocolate chip cookies? 

Well, maybe so but there might be someone out there looking for just such a recipe and I just may have it for them… right here! 

We’ve all tried dozens of different variations of chocolate chip cookies, right?  I know I have!  It seems that everyone has their own recipe that they just absolutely love and go back to time and time again.  THIS is that recipe for me.  And chocolate chip cookies are a very personal thing.  Some like them chewy, some crispy, some fat and some flat!  This one is just the right combination of an ever-so-slight crunch on the outside {especially around the edges} and a perfectly chewy middle.  YUM!  And besides, the dough itself is worthy of an award! 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried a whole lot of delicious chocolate chip cookies but many of them contain shortening.  Nothing wrong with that at all but around these here parts, we’re trying to stay away from hydrogenated oils and such.  And since this recipe calls for butter {or margarine, but really… please stick with butter}, it’s a recipe I love having around.

It’s a recipe I got years ago from a friend who had adapted it just slightly from a chocolate chip bag {I don’t recall the brand} and the rest is history!  Since then, I have found that there are a couple of tricks to getting this to be the perfect cookie.  So, let’s get started!

 

Start out by beating the butter for about 2 minutes on medium speed. {super soft butter… as in out of the refrigerator for 24 hours}

cookie1

Next, add the brown sugar and beat for about a minute.

cookie2

 

Now add the white sugar and beat for another whole minute, or longer. 

cookie3

 

Notice the beautiful color… don’t you just want to paint a wall that color? 

cookie4

 

Add the vanilla and mix well.

cookie5

 

Add the egg and mix until incorporated.  {this is the point that you don’t want to overmix.}

cookie6

 

In a separate bowl, you’ll need to combine the flour, salt and baking soda.

Then you’ll add it, a little at a time, to the wet mixture.  Mix each ‘little bit’ on low speed.  {Unless you like wearing flour! Winking smile}

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Once it’s all incorporated, you’ll have a ball of dough that looks similar to this {after scraping the sides, of course}.

cookie8

 

Stir in chocolate chips!  {I prefer semi-sweet}

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Roll into golf ball sized balls, placing them on a cookie sheet lightly coated in non-stick spray.

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Mash them down about halfway.  {Trust me on this, if you don’t do it they will end up looking like half spheres… we’re going for perfection here!}

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And once you’ve rolled 2 dozen cookies, you have just enough dough left over for yourself.  C’mon, you know you want it!

cookie12

 

Place in a 375* oven for 9-12 minutes {11 is usually perfect for my oven}

And they’ll come out looking like this… except that they’re still on the cookie sheet, not the cooling rack.  Remove from the cooling rack about 2 or 3 minutes after removing from oven. 

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Not too dark, not too light… PERFECT!

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Do you like milk with your cookies?

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. butter (or margarine if you must) – ** very soft butter!! 

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 c. chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 375*

Cream butter for 2 or 3 minutes on medium speed.  Add brown sugar and beat again for another minute or so.  Then add white sugar, beat again.  Add vanilla and egg, mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Pour a little bit at a time into the wet mixture(about 3 parts), mixing on low speed between each addition until fully incorporated. 

Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll into golf ball sized balls and place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet.  Smash each ball halfway (this is important unless you want half-spheres!)

Bake for 9-12 minutes (ovens may vary)…

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