Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  With a stand or hand mixer cream together the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined, about 1 minute.

Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and beat on medium speed until combined.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips by hand until just combined. Chill overnight ( if you can wait!) If not chill the dough at least 20 minutes.

Scoop dough into 1 inch balls that are about 1-inch in diameter, and place them on a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just set.

Enjoy!

Chips Ahoy Thins Icebox Cake

I’ve been making Icebox Cake for my husband since before we had kids! It turns out his grandma used to make it for him all the time and he could never figure out the name of it, until I made it one evening and I could see the nostalgia in his eyes! Icebox cake has to be THE easiest (no bake) dessert to make and always is a crowd pleaser. You can use plain chocolate wafers, as the original recipe calls for, but I like to mix it up a little! These double chocolate chip Chips Ahoy cookies are an amazing substitute! I love the chunky bits of chocolate. Also, the original recipe calls for heavy whipping cream and sugar, but I opt for store bought whipped topping.

Ingredients:

2 packages of Chip Ahoy Double Chocolate Chips ( plain chocolate wafers can be substituted)

2 small containers or 1 large container of whipped topping

Spread a bit of whipped topping on the bottom of a deep round dish to hold the cookies in place. You can also use a loaf pan if you wish.

Directions:

Place one layer of cookies on top of the whipped topping….

And then another and another…until you have no more cookies left.

You can top the last layer with shaved chocolate or leave it as is. Refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip & M&M Pudding Cookies

So we may have bought just a bit too much candy on our Hershey Park trip (oops!).

I’ve always loved the softness of pudding cookies, so the addition of chocolate chips and mini M&M’s make them extra special!

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 package vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4oz)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup mini M&M’s

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

2 Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3 Using a stand or an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and creamy, at least 4 minutes. Once combined, add the pudding mix, vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat on high for 2-3 minutes.

4 Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer up to high and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips and M&M’s and stir until incorporated.

5 Drop cookies by 1/4 cup onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a minute and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

My husband planned a last minute Memorial Day Weekend trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. It was so much fun, but the kids are still on a sugar high from all the chocolate! Here’s a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust and pieces of peanut butter cups the bottom to commorate such a sweet trip!

Ingredients:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. good quality vanilla

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

4 packages of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (1 package for decoration)

How to Make:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, microwaved for 10 seconds

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Line bottom of spring form pan with foil and place in pan with 3/4 inches of water to create a “water bath.” Mix crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

Cut up 3/4 Reeses cups into small pieces and place on top of crust. Then, beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set; cool completely for 4 hours in the oven with the door half open. Refrigerate over night.

Enjoy!

French Macarons

French Macarons are my all time favorite dessert! They may take a couple times to perfect if this is your first time making them, but it is worth every second!

They can be filled with many different types of fillings, but I prefer raspberry filling (recipe below).

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INGREDIENTS
  • 3 Egg Whites (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon Salt
  • Food Coloring (pink or 1/2 drops red)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Flour
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 TBSP raspberry puree/compote

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  2. Put powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt in a food processor and pulse several times until all of the ingredients are fine and well combined. Pour in large bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the whisk attachment on mixer, and beat the eggs on medium speed until stiff and glossy, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer running,  add the granulated sugar, slowly one tablespoon at a time until the sugar is combined, the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute. Do not over whip!  Transfer the meringue to a large bowl.
  5. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the dry mixture with the egg whites in 1 cup increments until the dry ingredients are just combined.
  6. Spoon half of batter into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe batter onto each prepared sheet in 12 walnut-size mounds, spaced about 3″ apart because cookies will spread slightly.
  7. Gently tap the pan on the counter to get any possible air bubbles out of the cookie batter.
  8. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm to touch in center, about 12-14 minutes.

Raspberry Filling:

  1. Using a mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla and raspberry jam. Beat until combined. Place in a piping bag with a small round tip.
  3. Assemble your cookies by matching cookies with similar size.  Pipe a small amount of raspberry filling into the center of one cookie, and sandwich with it’s other half.
  4. Continue with all cookies.

Enjoy!