Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are hands down the best peanut butter cookies I've ever had.

It's no surprise they come from the Baked cookbook. Have I raved enough about this cookbook yet? These guys are seriously geniuses. Everything I've made from the book is brilliant!

The way these cookies are described in the book is as follows: "neither too dry and crumbly, nor too moist and characterless; rather it is the perfect balance of crispy and chewy". I think that pretty much says it all.

The chocolate chips are the perfect compliment to the peanut butter cookie. The recipe calls for using milk chocolate chips and warns against using semisweet chocolate because that would taste bitter against the peanut butter. I'll take their word for it.

For once, I did not change a thing about this recipe. The recipe requires chilling the dough for at least 3 hours. I chilled mine over night. The cookies were amazing the same day, but I thought they were INCREDIBLE the next day.

Recipe: from Baked (go buy this book!!!!)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

  1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat teh butter and sugar together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and peanut butter until just incorporated.
  3. Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Mango Jicama Slaw

As Summer is nearing its end I'm trying to eat as many summery foods as I can. I'm looking forward to cooking with all the Fall flavors that I love (apples, pumpkins, butternut squash, ginger), but I am not looking forward to the cold weather the comes along with it.

When I was at the store the other day I have no idea why but I decided that I wanted to buy a jicama. The result is this delicious, fresh salad. It's really easy to throw together; it just involves a little chopping.

We ate this along side chicken tacos and it was a perfect compliment. When you're buying the mango make sure you buy one that isn't too ripe otherwise it'll be slipping all over the place when you try to slice it.

  • 1 jicama, sliced
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Half a jalepeno pepper (seeds removed), finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
Just combine all the ingredients and you're good to go!

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

If you're looking for a rich, decadent cookie that will satisfy your chocolate craving, this cookie will get the job done. The cookie has a chocolate base with pieces of toffee and toasted walnut studded throughout.

What's interesting about the recipe is that it only uses 1/2 cup of flour in the entire recipe. It's more like a brownie masquerading around as a cookie than an actual cookie.

The cookie was pretty easy to make. The whole thing came together in about 15 minutes. Then comes the hard part... the dough has to chill for 45 minutes before you bake it off. These are well worth the wait though.

I'm not usually a fan of nuts in my cookie but I decided to leave the walnuts in this time and they were a really good compliment to the cookie! As a matter of fact I didn't make many changes at all to this recipe except for increasing the salt content a little (shocking!) and making the cookies smaller than what the original recipe called for. The original recipe was titled "Giant Chocolate Toffee Cookies" and suggested using a quarter cup of batter per cookie. I wanted to get more than 18 though so I used about a heaping tablespoon per cookie. I also sprinkled the tops with sea salt and added a few toffee pieces on top to make them pretty. But, I promise they'll be just as good if you skip that step!

Also, don't be disappointed if you take a bite of these right when they come out of the oven. They are much much better once they've cooled and rested for a little while.

Recipe: Adapted from Epicurious
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Cappuccino Brownies

I had a talk with myself the other day. I told myself that I was forbidden from making any more recipes that I found on the internet until I started using the (many) cookbooks that I have. I have a tendency to gravitate towards recipes I find on the internet because there are pretty pictures and people have reviewed them and offered their critiques. (Of course, this doesn't stop me from buying cookbooks; it just delays my using them.) Well, I'm glad I "forced" myself to start using my cookbooks because this one is a real winner! So let this post be a reminder to those of you with neglected cookbooks on your shelf...

I started flipping through the book "Bars & Squares" that I have and marking pages of the recipes I wanted to try. Before I knew it half the book was marked! I highly recommend this book. Everything I've ever made from here has come out amazing. I have no idea why it has been neglected for so long. I ultimately decided on the Cappuccino Brownies because it was a rainy day and they just seemed like a good rainy day snack.

You see that corner piece on top? That one is mine!

These are truly brilliant! The brownie itself it amazing. Very dense and chocolaty. The coffee flavored filling is something else all together. This stuff is dangerously addictive! It would make a great cupcake frosting or filling between layers of a cake. The bitterness of the espresso powder cuts the sweetness of all the sugar so the frosting isn't sickeningly sweet like some are. And the ganache on top... well it's chocolate ganache people... need I say more? Individually all the components of this brownie are amazing, but when you put them together it's divine!

This takes a little while to make because you have to let it cool between layers but overall it's pretty easy. Feel free to cut these into small pieces because it is very rich and a little bit goes a long way.

I took a few liberties with the recipe. The recipe below includes the changes I made. First off, I changed the brownie to be a little more like the "baked brownie" that I'm absolutely in love with. I added cocoa powder (in addition to the melted chocolate) and I used part white sugar and part brown sugar. And of course I upped the salt because I tend to do that with almost every dessert I make these days. For the filling I almost doubled the instant espresso powder that it called for because I wanted a stronger coffee taste. The coffee taste is definitely there but it isn't at all overpowering.

In my opinion these are best served cold from the fridge. The filling is little firmer and I think it just brings out the taste more. But then again, I'm the person who puts every candy bar in the freezer before I eat it so my opinion may be a little biased. I'm sure these will be good any way you eat them!

Recipe: Adapted from: Bars and Squares

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 - 2 tbsp milk or cream
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  1. Brownie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking pan (or line with parchment paper).
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, untill the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and whisk in sugars and vanilla until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. Add in the eggs one, one at a time, whisking lightly after each addition.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. Do not overbeat! Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
  5. Frosting: In a bowl, combine espresso powder and 1 tbsp of milk or cream, stirring to dissolve. Add in butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to blend then on medium speed until creamy, adding more milk, if necessary to make a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over the brownie. Chill to harden, about 1 hour.
  6. Glaze: Put the chocolate chips and whipping cream in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Let cool to lukewarm. Spread over frosting. Chill until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars or squares.

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White Chocolate Key Lime Macadamia Nut Cookies

Yes, that's right... another post involving key lime. That's because I bought a bottle of key lime juice the other day to make key lime pie ice cream and I still have half a bottle burning a hole through my fridge (did that work?).

All day long I kept thinking about what I should make with my key lime juice. Key lime pie, key lime tartlets, key lime bars, key lime meltaways? I decided on the key lime cookies because I had all the ingredients on hand. But the good news is, I still have key lime juice left so I predict another key lime flavored treat in the near future. (Read: if you know any must make key lime recipes, send them my way please!)

These cookies are really good. They are basically just white chocolate macadamia nut cookies kicked up a little bit with the addition of lime juice and lime zest. The lime is subtle, not overpowering. It's not the first thing you taste when you bite into the cookie but the lime flavor creeps in as you chew.

I took my new favorite cookie base and subbed the chocolate chips with white chocolate, then added macadamia nuts and key lime. And let me stress again that I cannot say enough good things about this cookie recipe. It is hands down my go to cookie recipe, no matter what I'm adding in. I've tried the NY Times cookie recipe, I've tried AB's "The Chewy", I've tried the Nestle Tollhouse recipe, and I've tried countless other recipes... and you know what? They've got nothing on this recipe! Actually that's not entirely true. The NY Times recipe did teach me a couple valuable lessons.
  1. Salt. The only thing I changed to the base of the cookie recipe was to increase the salt content. And I'm sure a little sprinkling of sea salt right before they go into the oven wouldn't hurt either.
  2. Refrigerate the dough before baking. The NY Times article explains more of the science behind this, but it basically just adds to the depth of flavor. I also find that it prevents the cookies from being too flat and spreading too much. I didn't leave it in for a whole 36 hours (who could?), but even a couple hours does some good here!
Recipe: Adapted from AllRecipes
Makes about 36 cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line cookie sheets wiht parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, lime juice, lime zest, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts by hand using a wooden spoon.
  4. Chill dough in fridge.
  5. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

These turkey burgers are packed full of flavor. They have onions, garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta inside. And a generous helping of tzatziki sauce piled on top. This is not your average , dry turkey burger. This guy is moist and flavorful. You won't be missing beef burgers any time soon!

The quantities, and ingredients, in this recipe are incredibly flexible. I'm just starting to acquire a taste for sun-dried tomatoes and olives so I decided to go a little easy on them, but feel free to add in more if want. If you're running short on time you can ditch the onions and garic in place of a litlte onion powder and garlic powder, and use frozen spinach.

I chose to cook mine under the broiler. If you want to throw them on a grill I would add in egg to help bind so they don't fall apart. Also, do not use 99% lean turkey breast. Make sure you go for the 93/7 ground turkey, otherwise your burgers will be really dry! Now go make these! They are easy, delicious, and healthy!

Makes 4 - 5 burgers

Greek Turkey Burger
  • 1.3 lbs lean ground turkey
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach (Fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 4 oz crumbled reduced fat feta
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Whole Wheat Buns
  1. Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are tender and transulcent.
  2. Add in the spinach and cook until it is wilted.
  3. Combine the ground turkey with the onions, garlic, and spinach. Add in the spices, sundried, tomatoes, olives, and feta and combine.
  4. Form into patties.
  5. Place in the oven on the middle rack and broil for 15 minutes, flipping once half way through cooking.
  6. Assemble with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce
  • 6 ounces plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Move over Oreo Cookie Cookies, I have new favorite recipe!

If you like key lime pie, you will love this recipe. It literally tastes like someone threw a key lime pie into my ice cream maker.

This recipe is seriously good enough to justify buying an ice cream maker if you don't have one already.

It is by far the easiest ice cream recipe I have come across. No stove, no blender, no strainer. Just a bowl, a whisk, and an ice cream maker. I had a few doubts about the recipe because it doesn't use any eggs, but the result far exceeded my expectations. It has a really great, almost light, texture. It's not super rich and creamy which pairs will the citrus flavor. It's perfect for summer!

The recipe calls for graham crackers to be added in, but when I made these ginger cookies the other day I saved a couple since I knew I'd be making this ice cream later in the week. The ginger cookies were the perfect match for the ice cream, both in texture and in flavor.

The original recipe also calls for 2% milk and fat free sweetened condensed milk, but I used whole milk and regular sweetened condensed milk. I think next time I'll try it the way it was originally written to compare.

Recipe: Adapted from Cooking Light
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice (such as Nellie and Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 graham crackers (1 1/2 cookie sheets), coarsely crushed, divided
  • Key lime wedges (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture into freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Stir 1/3 cup graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Ginger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Mango & Raspberry Sorbet

I love ginger almost as much as I love lemon. If it has ginger in it, i want it. Ginger cookies, ginger salad dressing, gingerbread, ginger with my sushi. I even had ginger ice cream the other day!

Ginger is normally one of those Fall/Winter only flavors. But this recipe caught my eye because it paired the ginger cookies with mango & raspberry sorbet which is a perfect excuse to eat ginger in the middle of Summer.

The cookies were really easy and quick to make. Plus they were fun to make because you get roll the balls of dough around in sugar and squish them with a glass. I really enjoyed the addition of chopped candied ginger in the cookies. Plus, now I have a bunch of leftover candied ginger to put to good use. (I'm predicting a homemade a ginger ice cream so stay tuned...)

These make great cookies for ice cream sandwiches because they're flat and sturdy. Just make sure you squish them flat enough before they go in the oven. (My first batch [below] was a little too poofy but they were delicious sans ice cream). The raspberry and mango were great flavor compliments to the ginger. Peach or lime would probably go together really well also.

Recipe: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 16 cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 5 teaspoons sugar, plus more for rolling and flattening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 pint mango sorbet
  • 1 pint raspberry sorbet
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk flour, ground ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in egg, then add molasses and candied ginger. Reduce speed. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate until slightly firm, 15 minutes.
  3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll each one in sugar, and return to sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, press dough to flatten into 3-inch rounds. Bake until edges are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.
  4. Sandwich one scoop of sorbet with 2 cookies. Repeat, alternating sorbet flavors. Serve immediately, or freeze in airtight containers up to 3 hours.