Blondies

This recipe came to me from my friend Lily who adapted it from a Bobby Flay recipe.  These blondies are chewy and delicious and will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth craving.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you could substitute milk chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp toffee chips (you could also chop up 3 Skor bars)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Butter and line a 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang – butter the lining, too
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add in both sugars and whisk until combined and the sugar is melted
  • Transfer the mixture to your mixing bowl and allow it to cool slightly
  • Mix in the eggs and vanilla until combined
  • Add the flour and mix until just combined
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and toffee chips and pour into the prepared baking pan
  • Bake at 350°F for 24-27 minutes or until the top cracks slightly, is firm to the touch and a cake tester come out with moist pieces clinging to it (definitely make sure you bake this until you see the crack on the surface, even if it means going over the 27 minutes)
  • Let the blondies cool completely – once they are cool, remove the blondies by lifting out the parchment paper “handles” and transfer to a cutting board
    • If you want the blondies to firm up more quickly, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes
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Samoa Bars

This is another treat that I found on Pinterest.  I combined a couple of recipes to get this one… it tasted like a grown-up Samoa to me, which was delicious.  However, after doing some research I found out that Samoas and Caramel deLites are actually two slightly different cookies.  The latter is made with less caramel and milk chocolate… I think I’m just going to have to whip up a batch to do a little taste-test.

INGREDIENTS

THE COOKIE

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • Up to 2 tbsp milk (I didn’t need to use any)
TOPPING
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 12 ounces good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate- plus more for drizzling (I used a whole bag of chocolate chips)

HOW TO MAKE IT

COOKIE

    • Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder
    • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and lastly add in the vanilla; and milk if you feel as though the mixture is too dry
    • Once the dough is mixed, press it onto a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet – you should have an even layer about 1/4″ thick
    • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned – cool completely on a wire rack
TOPPING
  • Preheat oven to 300°F and spread the coconut evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (you should use one with sides)
    • Toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until golden – cool on the baking sheet
  • Unwrap the caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl with the milk and salt
    • Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring the caramel every minute or so to make sure it’s evenly melting
  • When the caramel is smooth, stir in the toasted coconut
  • Place spoonfuls of the carmel mixture on top of the cooled shortbread and spread it into an even layer using a spatula and your fingertips
  • Let the topping set until cooled and then cut it into bars of desired size using a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter
  • Once the bars are cut, melt the chocolate in a small bowl (you can either do this in a glass bowl over a small pot of boiling water, or in the microwave by heating on high for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is just melted – be careful not to burn the chocolate!)
  • Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet
  • Once all of the bars have been dipped, transfer the remaining chocolate (if you don’t have enough, melt some more) into a small Ziploc bag – cut a tiny corner off the bag and use it to pipe the chocolate drizzle on top of the bars
    • Allow the chocolate to totally set before storing in an airtight container

Magic Squares

This cookie is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s unbelievably easy to make and although the recipe itself isn’t original, my method makes them extra chewy and delicious.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Also try adding…
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup butterscotch, white chocolate or peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup M&M’s

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Melt the butter and combine it with 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk and the remaining graham cracker crumbs
  • Press the butter and graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8×11″ baking pan
  • Pour the condensed milk mixture over the first layer and use a spatula to smooth it out
  • Top that with the flaked coconut and press down with your fingertips
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips (and other toppings, if desired) on top of the coconut
  • Bake at 350°F (325°F for a glass baking dish) for 25 minutes or until slightly browned
  • Allow the pan to cool before cutting the squares

Lil’s 24-Hour Cookies

This recipe comes from a good friend of mine… it’s honestly the best homemade chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had – something special happens during those “24-hours.”    

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups minus 2 tbsp of cake flour (i.e. Pillsbury Softasilk)
  • 1  2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp salt
  • 2  1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1  1/4  lb. semi-sweet chocolate chips or disks (you can use less if desired and/or mix half white chocolate, half dark chocolate)
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes)
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg
  • Stir in the vanilla
  • Reduce the mixer to low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours
  • When you’re ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or just spray the pan with a nonstick cooking spray like Pam)
  • Scoop golf ball sized cookie dough balls onto the cookie sheet 2 in. apart and sprinkle with sea salt
  • Bake at 350°F for 18-20 mins
    • Makes about 18 cookies

Cowboy Cookies

These cookies pretty much have everything but the kitchen sink in them…  the hint of cinnamon and chewy coconut make them really hard to resist.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup shortening (i.e. Crisco – or you could substitute butter)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Feel free to use as many or as little of these ingredients as you want… I like to use all of them!

    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1 cup coconut

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Using a mixer, cream the shortening and sugars
  • Add the eggs and vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon – then add them to the mixing bowl
  • Fold in the pecans, chocolate chips and coconut
  • Form the cookie dough into round dough balls as large as you desire and place on an ungreased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart
  • Flatten the dough balls a bit with your fingertips
  • Bake at 375°F for 8-10 mins

Colossal Cookies

These oatmeal cookies are unbelievably good.  They’re basically a “healthy” peanut butter cup – at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups Quaker quick oats
  • 1  1/4  tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Using a mixer, cream the margarine and sugars
  • Add the eggs and vanilla; and then the peanut butter
  • In a separate bowl, combine the oats and baking soda – then add them to the mixing bowl
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Form 1/4 cup of the cookie dough into round dough balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 4 inches apart (this will make a fairly large cookie, if you desire smaller cookies only use a spoonful of dough and place 2 inches apart)
  • Flatten the dough balls a bit with your fingertips
  • Bake at 350°F for 10-12 mins