Peanut Butter Blossoms

A peanut butter cookie rolled in granulated sugar, and topped with a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kiss!

This was one of my favorite cookies growing up. I think I first saw it in a magazine, a Betty Crocker Cookbook, or in a Hershey Chocolate Cookbook. I love milk chocolate so I made it, and again, and again.

I haven’t made it in a long time (maybe over a decade!) so since I was off for 5 days partly because of my second Covid-19 vaccine, I planned on baking a batch, excited to see if it still tastes the same as it did before. I wasn’t well after my Thursday vaccination (like the first dose, only not as bad) but was well enough on Valentine’s Day, so I made it then.

It didn’t disappoint at all. My son peeled the kisses but needed to do some math problems so I made the cookies myself. It was quick and easy, although I would recommend using an electric mixer because the dough is quite stiff.

For the peanut butter, feel free to use crunchy or smooth, whichever you like or have on hand. I like crunchy but keep some smooth PB in the pantry to use for sate sauce and Asian noodles. I used crunchy PB, as I like the crunch it lends to the cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sugar, to roll dough in

36 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. In a bowl, place butter,

3. Sugar,

4. Brown sugar,

5. Peanut butter,

6. And egg.

7. Beat well using an electric mixer , until combined and smooth.

8. Add flour,

9. Baking soda,

10. And baking powder.

11. Beat well until mixed.

12. Scoop up about a tablespoon dough and roll into a ball.

13. Drop into a bowl with granulated sugar. Roll to coat.

14. Place in an ungreased cookie sheet.

15. Repeat with remaining dough, making 36 balls.

16. Line them up 2 inches apart on 2 cookie sheets. They will spread a little as they bake.

17. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown.

18. Immediately press a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie.

20. Remove cookies from cookie sheets and onto wire racks.

21. Cool completely.

22. Serve! You can also drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate. Makes 36 pieces.

Portuguese Milk Tarts (Queijadas de Leite)

Beautiful to look at and a perfect bite sized dessert, Queijadas de Leite, will be your next favorite dessert!

They’re light, just sweet enough, creamy inside, and crunchy on the outside. I can’t stop at 1…or 5!

Lucky for me these are truly easy to make and I’m pretty sure you have all the ingredients needed in your pantry and refrigerator. Easy and delicious! My perfect combination!

Makes 24 muffin sized tarts

2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup melted butter

3 3/4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven 400F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray generously.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and flour. Make a well in the middle and add eggs, butter, and milk.

3. Whisk until blended and no dry chunks remain.

4. Fill prepared muffin pans with about 1/3 cup of the mixture (about 3/4 full). Bake 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown.

5. In the meantime, mix together 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl.

6. Remove from pans and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

7. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Meyer Lemon Bars

My coworkers know how much I love to be in the kitchen, dreaming up yummy things, so when one of them had a Meyer lemon tree full of fruits, guess what I got? A bag full of fragrant, beautiful, shiny Meyer lemons! Just look at the photo below..swoon!!

Since I tend to barter with baked goods with my coworkers, I asked her if she wanted a lemon cake or lemon bars and she said “lemon bars!” without hesitation.

I bartered a loaf of sourdough bread for these eggs!

Lemon bars it is! Meyer lemon bars! *lemon cake in the ELB recipe link here – https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/11/26/electric-lunchbox-72-lemon-cake/

I do have a dwarf Eureka lemon tree in the backyard that produces some lemons as it is still small but Meyer lemons are totally delicious! They have a floral scent, like orange blossoms, mixed with lemon that is just so refreshing and mild.

So, back to my lemon bars. This recipe makes a big 13” x 9” pan so you’ll have enough to share but I’d totally understand too if you eat half a pan while cooking dinner after the bars cooled off a bit… because I just can’t stop eating it! I do not like cloyingly sweet desserts so this has just enough sweetness to play up the tart, floral taste coming from the lemon juice and lemon zest.

Of course you can cut all the ingredients in half and bake this in an 8×8 pan. AND, if you do not have Meyer lemons, regular store bought lemons make the perfect substitute!

Ingredients for the Crust:

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Meyer Lemon Filling:

6 large eggs

2 3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons Meyer Lemon zest (from 4 – 5 lemons)

1 cup Meyer lemon juice (from 4 – 6 lemons)

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13” x 9” pan with non stick spray. You’ll have a cookie crust so there is no need to line the pan but feel free to do so if you want to.

2. Place butter and sugar in a medium bowl.

3. Cream together with a hand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. You can also use a stand mixer.

4. Add flour and salt to the bowl.

5. Beat until combined and texture resembles sand. See the texture in the photo above.

6. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan.

7. Press firmly onto the bottom of the pan. I use a measuring cup to press the crust firmly on the bottom of the pan, then my fingers for the corners and edges.

8. Bake at 350F for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned.

9. Transfer to a cooling rack while you prepare the filling.

10. Gather your ingredients for the filling.

11. Zest your lemons first.

12. Then cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. Inhale deeply as this is sweet, summery, all natural, refreshing aromatherapy for free! 😊 It’s the little things that count!

11. Wipe out the bowl you used for the crust (one less bowl to wash!) and in it, add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, and salt.

12. Add the eggs and beat until blended.

13. Pour the mixture over the crust.

14. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more, until middle is set and the top looks dry.

15. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into pieces. Hint: If you chill it overnight, it cuts cleaner and easier. The photo above are of the lemon bars I cut when they were still warm…so they didn’t look too pretty. Still delicious though!

16. Enjoy!

Christmas Decorated Cookies: Happy Holidays Everyone! 🎄🎉🎊

This was supposed to post last Monday as a tribute to my dad’s 89th birthday (December 21 – Happy Birthday in heaven Papa!) but I got caught up making hot chocolate bombs this past couple of weeks that I wasn’t able to complete this post properly. Apologies to all. And thank you for your understanding!

Here is a recipe for Christmas Sugar cookies decorated with Royal icing! I made this a weekend activity with my 11 year old son, and surprisingly, my husband joined in, rolling out the cookie dough, cutting shapes out, and transferring them to the prepared cookie sheets. What a great day!

We did it little by little, it took basically all day but was totally worth it.

We had breakfast then prepared the cookies in the mixer, cut out and bake. Let them cool while I prepared lunch. Ate lunch. Prepared icing. Piped borders. Let set while we cleaned up the kitchen. Flood icing came next. Let them dry while we walked Yuki then prepared dinner. Details came last. Then let dry one last time while we ate dinner. Whew!

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the Royal Icing:

1 (2 pound package) confectioners sugar5 tablespoon meringue powder

3/4 cup warm water

1 teaspoon almond extract

To prepare the Sugar cookies:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line 3 big baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Scrape sides and add egg and vanilla, beating until well combined.

4. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. Slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture.

6. Mix until a dough forms.

7. Knead a few times to make sure everything is well combined. Press dough together into a ball.

8. Divide dough into two, wrapping one half in plastic wrap, or placing it in a covered bowl.

9. On a generously floured board, roll one half of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Flour top if necessary.

10. Cut out shapes using your desired cutters.

11. Transfer to prepared cookie sheets, placing them about 1 inch apart.

12. Bake cookies, 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

13. I baked all 3 sheets at once, moving the baking sheets half way through baking, top baking sheet to the bottom and the bottom sheet to the top, and turning them front side back. The middle sheet just got turned front to back.

14. Cool on pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

15. Prepare Royal Icing (and all the sprinkles, confetti, colored sugar, ryes, that you’ll need).

16. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder until combined.

17. Mix water and almond extract in a small measuring cup.

18. Carefully pour water almond mixture into the mixing bowl and beat for about a minute at low seed.

19. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is stiff, about 5 minutes. Set aside some of this mixture for border icing. Thin out the rest to use as flood icing. Divide into bowl and color as desired.

20. On cooled cookies, use the border icing to trace the outline of the cookie. Set aside to dry completely.

21. Use the thinner flood icing to completely fill in the cookie with icing. Let dry completely.

22. Use the thicker border icing to pipe details onto your cookies. Decorate as you want, using sprinkles, confetti, eyes, sugars….Let dry completely.

23. Enjoy your delicious cookies!

Chocolate Chip Sables

Chocolate chip cookies are the best kind of cookies in the world for me. It’s quick and easy to make, the ingredients are pantry staples, and it tastes great!

Having said that, I am up for testing any variation of this classic. I recently came across an instagram post about Chocolate Chip Sables, which then kept me up all night, searching for the recipe so that I could try it too. It is basically a shortbread cookie + chocolate chip cookie, combined in the most delightful, decadent way.

These are all you need for this recipe!
  • 255 grams total salted butter (2¼ sticks),cold, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup(100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup(55 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups(325 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces(170 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Demerara or Turbinado sugar, for rolling
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand held mixer, (I used the Thermomix) beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high till it’s light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes for a stand mixer; 6 to 8 for a hand mixer). Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, then add the chocolate chunks, and mix just to blend. If necessary, knead the dough with your hands to make sure the flour is completely incorporated. At this point, the dough should be smooth and feel like Play-Doh.
  • Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough to protect your hands from getting sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it perfect. Each half should form a 8 inch log, 2 inches in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the demerara sugar, to make the edges extra delicious.
  • Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds (if you hit a chocolate chunk, slowly saw back and forth through the chocolate). If the cookies break or fall apart, just press them back together — the dough is very forgiving. Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart (they won’t spread much). Sprinkle with flaky salt.
  • Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.

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DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe

It did turn out really good! Soft yet crisp on the edges!

Have you ever stayed at a DoubleTree hotel? If you did I’m sure you’ll remember the warm chocolate chip cookies that welcomed you upon arrival! It was truly something to look forward to!

There are a lot of copy cat recipes online but this recipe was officially released April 9, 2020. See this link https://newsroom.hilton.com/static-doubletree-reveals-cookie-recipe.htm for the full article.

I love chocolate chip cookies and would try any recipe I could get my hands on. I did try a couple of copy cat recipes for this particular cookie so now that I have the real recipe, I just had to whip out the ingredients (which I luckily do have on hand despite avoiding grocery store runs lately!) and try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes at the end of this article.

Makes 26 cookies

½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)

¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 ¼ cups flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch cinnamon

2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts 

1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

2. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.

3. With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.

4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

5. Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.

6. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

These cookies baked for longer than the 10-12 minutes I am used to baking cookies and came out of the oven after 23 minutes paler than most cookies I bake. After waiting for it to cool on the cookie sheet, I carefully took one and tasted it. It did brown up a little bit more than when I first took it out of the oven and flattened some. It was surprisingly crisp on the edges but soft overall. Full of chocolate chips and nuts, it’s really a delicious cookie!

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