Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

So I think I'm going to start calling these the "Peacemaker Cookies" or the "Something for Everyone Cookies". I don't know, I'm still comming up with a good name! But it cracked me up when I read the comments before that said something like "Want to make some cookies, but don't know what kind you want? Try these, they have it all!" Totally true!
1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz.)
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
2. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, and peanuts.
3. Drop dough in rounded 2-tablespoon portions, 3 inches apart, onto buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. With a lightly floured fork, flatten slightly into 2 1/2-inch rounds about 1/2 inch thick.
4. Bake in a 350° oven until cookies are golden and tops feel set when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes (they will feel underdone but will firm up as they cool); if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
5. Let stand 5 minutes on sheets, then, with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Recipe from Sunset Magazine

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

I am a HUGE bread pudding fan. I love finding great bread pudding {which if you ever are in Mesa, you just go to Cracker's Cafe and have theirs- it is to die for!} So anyway, the picture totally sold me on this and I had to try it. But it is kind of a mix of a couple of recipes so this is what I did!

1 loaf challah bread
4 large eggs
4 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup mashed overripe bananas, about 2 large
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped

Cut bread into 3/4-inch slices. Trim away crust, then cut bread into 3/4-inch cubes, to make 8 cups.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten.
Whisk in half-and-half, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Pour mixture over bread. Add chocolate.
Mix with rubber spatula until bread is well moistened. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Set rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Coat a 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray. Scoop soaked bread mixture into pan, filling it to top.
Bake until top is browned and puffed, and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Pour warm vanilla Sauce over and serve, with dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Vanilla Sauce:
In a sauce pan melt,
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Take off heat and add 1 tsp vanilla.

**So I thought this was delicious, but there are a couple things I may try next time. . .

1st: I may not mash the bananas, but chop them into chunks so the whole thing is not overrun with banana flavor.
2nd: I saw this recipe that was essentially the same, but they cut the half and half down to 2.5 cups and added 1.5 cups maple syrup. How can you go wrong with that?
3rd: I may try this caramel sauce next time:

2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, without stirring, 10 to 14 minutes, tilting pan occasionally to keep color even until Stir in evaporated milk (mixture will foam up); do not scrape sides of pan. One tablespoon at a time, add ¼ cup butter, stirring well after each addition. Stir in remaining butter and vanilla extract until smooth.