Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

You guys, I have some big news: I finally got the KitchenAid stand mixer I’ve been dreaming of for years! So naturally, I had to put it to use right away, and what better way to do that than to whip up a batch of big, cake-y and super-indulgent Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (as requested by Harrison)?

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Whether it’s all thanks to my new mixer or not, this recipe ended up being surprisingly simple to pull off, and it made nearly 20 thick, rich and delightfully peanut buttery cookies that I ate way too many of. (No shame.)

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Because they’re pretty dense and cake-y, they’re best right out of the oven or within a day of baking, which keeps them from tasting a little dry. And even though you’re going to want to eat the entire batch at once, their flavor is so intense and delicious that one (or two!) at a time is more than enough.

Check out the recipe below, then bake these up for your first fall get-together. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

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Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Yield: 15-18 cookies (Recipe via The Baker Upstairs)

1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups coarsely chopped peanut butter cups

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment.

2. In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, then set aside.

3. In large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Add egg, vanilla and milk, and mix until combined.

4. Add dry ingredients and mix to form a thick dough. (If the dough is very dry and crumbly, add an extra tablespoon or so of milk to help it come together.) Gently fold in peanut butter cups, reserving about 1/4 cup.

5. Scoop large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle with remaining peanut butter cups.

6. Bake 12-14 minutes, being careful not to over bake. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.

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Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Something amazing happened this weekend: I went into my kitchen, started baking up a batch of cookies and not once ran out of counter or oven space while doing so. Hallelujah for a full-sized kitchen! But even if I had still been working in the cramped cooking space from my last apartment, it would have totally been worth it for these ridiculously delicious Chocolate Brownie Cookies.

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I featured these goodies last week in my Friday Four, where I promised they would be the first dessert I baked in my new kitchen. And I seriously couldn’t have picked a better recipe. As with all of my favorite sweet treats, these were surprisingly simple to whip up and turned out to be so rich, fudgy and indulgent, with just the perfect amount of crispness around the edges. If only for the smell of the dough alone, you’ll seriously want to bake these up ASAP!

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The recipe makes for a huge batch of cookies, so they’re the perfect dessert to make for your next summer barbecue or work event (though I’m sure you could save and freeze the dough, using a little at a time when you get a craving for something insanely sweet).

Check out the recipe below, then thank me (or hate me) later when you become absolutely addicted.

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Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies (recipe via Food & Wine)

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips

1. In large bowl, melt chopped chocolate and unsalted butter in microwave in 20-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring between each interval.

2. In another large bowl, use electric mixer to beat eggs with sugar at medium speed until thick and pale. Beat in vanilla and salt.

3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in melted chocolate, then fold in flour and baking powder. Stir in chocolate chips, then scrape batter into shallow baking dish. Cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or tin foil. Working in batches, scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top.

5. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before serving.

Red Velvet Cookies

Decorating the tree, shopping for (and opening!) presents, spending time with family. These are all things I love about Christmas. But my favorite part by far: holiday baking. From cookies and cakes to breads, truffles and more, I love to whip up lots of sweet stuff that brings joy to everyone (myself especially) during the holidays.

Harrison’s stepdad was in town this past weekend and, like me, he has a total sweet tooth. I wanted to send him home with something special, so I decided to make my first holiday dessert of the season: Red Velvet Cookies. And seriously, I am so glad I did.

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The best part? With one batch making so many cookies, I had plenty to give out and to keep for myself. Check out the recipe below, and tell me: What’s your favorite holiday cookie to bake or eat?

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Red Velvet Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies (via Whipperberry Dish)

1 box red velvet cake mix

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 sticks butter, softened

1 large egg

2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In mixing bowl, beat butter until soft and fluffy. Slowly add cake mix and flour, and combine.

3. Add egg, and mix completely. Add white chocolate chips, and mix until well combined.

4. Form dough into 1-inch balls, and place onto non-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then let cool on wire rack.

Recipe Rundown: S’mores-Inspired Sweet Treats

This morning, Philly got its first snow of the season (OK, it was just a few flurries, but that still sends me excitedly running around the house like a 5-year-old)! It hardly ever snows in North Carolina anymore, so even the slightest showing of snowflakes is a big deal to me. Naturally, I spent half the morning fighting the urge to curl up on the sofa under a cozy blanket with a Christmas movie on TV and a mug of apple cider in my hands. Fortunately (or unfortunately, maybe) I resisted, but that doesn’t mean my craving for cold-weather treats disappeared entirely. Instead, I found myself daydreaming of steaming cups of hot chocolate, sticky-sweet butterscotch haystacks and, my favorite, S’mores.

Now, I know some people like to enjoy S’mores poolside throughout the summer, but it’s a winter treat all the way for me, conjuring up memories of cozy bonfires and cold nights shacked up in a lakeside cabin with my college friends. And though you just can’t beat the original S’mores—toasted marshmallows, melted Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers are a match made in snacking heaven, right?—I thought it’d be fun to scope out a few new twists on the treat. From French toast to truffles, I think it’s safe to say I found a handful of delicious S’mores-inspired options:

Clockwise from top left: S'mores rice crispies via 17 and Baking; S'mores-stuffed French toast (recipe via BS' in the Kitchen); Chocolate chip cookie peanut butter S'mores via How Sweet It Is; S'mores truffles via Just a Good Recipe; and S'mores milk chocolate mousse-filled chocolate cups with marshmallow frosting via Half Baked Harvest.

Clockwise from top left: S’mores rice krispies via 17 and Baking; S’mores-stuffed French toast (recipe via BS’ in the Kitchen); Chocolate chip cookie peanut butter S’mores via How Sweet It Is; S’mores truffles via Just a Good Recipe; and S’mores milk chocolate mousse-filled chocolate cups with marshmallow frosting via Half Baked Harvest

Do you prefer good ol’ S’mores or a new twist on the classic treat? And what are some of your other favorite cold-weather sweets?

Go-To Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have to come clean: We’re officially three days into fall, and I have yet to have a pumpkin-flavored anything. No Pumpkin Spice Latte, no fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin bread, no pumpkin ravioli, nothing. (OK, I did have a Pumpkin Spice cookie when they were sent to the office last week, but that was technically summer, so it doesn’t count, right?)

In any case, a pumpkin recipe is way past due, and I know the perfect treat to cure my craving: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I haven’t made these in a couple of years, but my friend Sara used to whip these up any time we had a fall/winter get together, and people went crazy for them. They’re the definition of sweet and spice, and paired with an ice-cold glass of milk or even a warm latte, you couldn’t ask for a better fall sweet treat.

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (via my sweet friend Sara Klein)

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, and mix well.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir into butter mixture until well blended. Add nuts and raisins.

4. Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment-covered baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe for fall?

Go-To Recipe: Oatmeal Crispies

Last Thanksgiving, a co-worker brought these delicious, crunchy cookies to our office Thanksgiving party, and I immediately fell in love. She passed along the recipe to me pretty soon after, but it wasn’t until just a couple of weeks ago that I finally tried it. I’m kicking myself now because they’re not only an insanely yummy and addictive crowd-pleaser, but they’re also ridiculously easy to make.

Since trying the recipe for the first time, I’ve already made them for my fantasy football draft and last week’s wine-and-paint night, and they were a hit at both. It’s a great recipe to make ahead of time and freeze for whenever you need a simple sweet treat that’s ready in 20 minutes.

Oatmeal Crispies

Here’s the recipe:

Oatmeal Crispies

Yield: 50 cookies

1 c butter, softened
1 c packed dark brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 t vanilla
1½ c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
3 c old-fashioned oats
1 c pecans (or walnuts or hazelnuts, if preferred)

1. In bowl, cream butter with both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix well.

2. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, oats and nuts. Add to mixture and mix just until blended.

3. Shape into long rolls and wrap in wax paper, saran wrap, or parchment. Put in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freeze until ready for use.

4. Slice into ¼-inch pieces, and bake at 350 for 10–15 minutes or until nicely browned.