Tag Archives: cookies

Five Favorites Friday – 6/3/11

3 Jun

Hello there!  Who’s ready for the weekend?  I know I am.  Even though this was a short week, it was still incredibly busy.  Alex and I had something to do every night this week and tonight I’m flying home to Buffalo.  My mom, sister, and I are going to do more wedding planning and shopping.  I’m so excited as I love all things wedding.  The goal this weekend is to find my sister a dress!

So, as I mentioned before, I’m trying to incorporate more protein into my diet.  At lunch and dinner, it has been easy as I can add cottage cheese to a salad or incorporate chicken into a dish, for example.  However, I tend to have a harder time finding high protein breakfasts and snacks.  This week I’ve compiled some of my favorite recipes as well as a couple I’d like to try.

My five favorites for Friday June 3, 2011 (btw, I must be in denial as I just typed May instead of June!):

  1. Whey Protein Cookies (from Fat Loss School)
    This is one of the recipes that I have yet to try but it sounds great!  Since protein powder is the main focus of this recipe, it’s important to find a powder that tastes good.  I’m still working on finding a powder I love but once I do, I plan to make a batch of these cookies!
  2. Protein Truffles (from Peas and Thank You)
    These vegan protein truffles sound like a great way to refuel after the gym or a nice way to curb hunger before dinner.  Either way, I can’t wait to give them a try!
  3. Microwave Protein Muffin (from Smoothie Girl Eats Too)
    I know I’ve mentioned this recipe before but it bears repeating because it’s that good!  You can follow Deb’s version exactly or adapt it to your liking.  It’s quick too, which helps on busy mornings or late night snacks!
  4. Lemon Yogurt Chia Seed Protein Muffins (from meals & moves)
    This is another great one!  I used this recipe as the base for my Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins, which I just loved.  But sometimes you just can’t beat the original :-)
  5. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
    The last item on the list is something I’ve been having as dessert all week.  It’s incredibly easy and so tasty.  I wish I had tried it sooner!  I throw the following into a blender and blend away; 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 2-3 organic frozen strawberries, 1 small frozen banana, and 1/2 Tbsp strawberry fig jam.  This is so refreshing on a hot summer night.  I can foresee this becoming a summertime tradition.

What do you do to incorporate more protein into your diet?  Any favorite recipes?

Jelly Bean Cookies

26 Apr

Today was a great day!  The sun was shining, Alex and I got to sample the menu for our reception, and I got a chance to bake some really fun cookies.

The morning started off like most mornings; with a yummy yogurt parfait.

Today’s parfait included:

  • 6oz of Fage Total 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of Kashi GoLean cereal
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • a sprinkle of granola
  • a healthy spoonful of homemade peanut butter

After breakfast was devoured, Alex and I walked to our respective offices.  It was gorgeous outside!  Spring is most definitely here and I’m more than ready.

At work I plugged away and booked some flights for a couple upcoming trips.  I’m very excited.  There is just so much going on over the next few months!

Eventually, it was lunchtime!

Today’s salad included the following:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Chickpeas
  • Grilled Tuna
  • dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
To be honest, this salad wasn’t so great.  The tuna was very undercooked (as you can probably tell from the picture) and most of it tasted very fishy.  I know that sounds like a dumb thing to say but there is such a thing as fish tasting too much like fish, and that’s what happened today.  Oh well, my next “meal” was pretty awesome!
 
Alex and I got the chance to taste a sample of what we’ll be serving at our reception.  I don’t have any pictures because I don’t want to give anything away but I will say that I think our guests are going to be more than pleased with our choices.  Each day I just get more and more excited about our upcoming wedding!
 
After some much-needed relaxation, I decided to bake some cookies.  Even though I’m 27, I was lucky enough to be visited by the “Easter Bunny” this weekend.  What a coincidence that my mom was visiting this past week, no?!  Included in my goodies was lots and lots of Jelly Belly jellybeans.  I love Jelly Belly’s!  If I’m not careful, I can eat my weight in jellybeans, haha.  As I was munching away this weekend, I thought it might be fun to make something with the jellybeans.  Insert Jelly Bean Cookies here!
 
 
These cookies did not disappoint!  The jellybeans added so many fun flavors and the dough was soft and buttery.  If you’re looking for a way to use up the rest of your jellybeans, I highly recommend this recipe.  Heck, this recipe is good enough to justify going to buy a new bag of jelly beans!
 

Jelly Bean Cookies
(adapted from razzledazzle recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup jelly beans

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix butter and both sugars in a large bowl until smooth & creamy.
  3. Stir in egg, baking soda, baking powder, salt & vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Stir in flour & oats. Mix well.
  5. Stir in jelly beans, mix well.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of batter about 2 inches apart on a GREASED sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes and allow a few minutes to cool.
Do you like Jelly Belly jellybeans?  What’s your favorite flavor?  Mine is definitely the sour blueberry.  Makes my mouth pucker every time.  Love it!

 

Cookies and Cream Granola

13 Apr

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. 

This granola turned out so well that I had a hard time not eating it all before snapping some pictures.  But I knew I couldn’t do that to my readers.  I had to share!

If you do one thing today, you must make this granola.  Can you promise me that?  Pretty please?

Okay, I promise to stop begging.  It must be all the chocolate I consumed.  It’s making me do crazy things.  Like daydream about what this would taste like sprinkled over vanilla bean ice cream, or in a bowl with a little bit of milk, or just poured into my mouth straight.  I’m serious.  It’s that good.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because when there is chocolate involved you usually can’t go wrong.  But this recipe far surpassed my expectations.  The granola tastes like it was baked in chocolate pudding.  Some pieces turned out slightly chewy, some had a little bit more crunch.  My favorite pieces were the large clumps of chocolatey granola goodness.  Oh and the cookie pieces.  I can’t forget to mention the cookie pieces.

I used the vanilla bean sandwich cookies from Late July.  I’d never tried them before but the nutrition stats and ingredient list couldn’t be beat.  You know, because, when mixing crumbled cookies into chocolate granola, nutrition is of the utmost importance :-) 

By including organic cookies in this decadent granola, I was able to rationalize the five two bowls I ate last night.  Whatever allows me to consume more chocolate, am I right?

Cookies and Cream Granola

Ingredients:
(loosely adapted from Jessica’s Chocolate Gingerbread Granola)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tbsp flaxmeal
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup crushed cookies

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, wheat germ, flaxmeal, chia seeds and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine vanilla, butter, applesauce, brown rice syrup, and cocoa powder.
  4. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.  Fold in chocolate.
  5. Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake for about 20 minutes stirring every few minutes to make sure the granola doesn’t burn.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Once granola is cooled, add crushed cookies.

Have you ever made homemade granola?  If so, what flavor(s)?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

26 Feb

Alex’s favorite food of all time is chocolate chip cookies.  He typically eats them on a daily basis with a tall glass of milk.  I can’t bake him fresh cookies daily but when I do have time, I like to make them special.  I like for them to stand out against his everyday cookies.

Needless to say, in the four years we’ve been together, I’ve baked countless cookies.  Followed countless recipes.  And had countless results.  Some good, some not so good, but only a few great.  So, I continue searching.  Each time I come across another chocolate chip recipe, I bookmark it; adding it to my on-going list of “things to bake.”

Today I finally had time to address my list and choose to make the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies featured by the Brown Eyed Baker.  When I first found this recipe, I knew it had all the important aspects of a great chocolate chip cookie; a soft, chewy center, loads of chocolate, and they’re big enough to feed a small family.  I knew it would be love at first bite.

Let’s just say, the recipe did not disappoint.  The cookies turned out chewy, soft, and chock-full of chocolate.  Love.

The only thing I’ll change next time around (yes, I’ll definitely be using this recipe again) is the baking time.  The recipe calls for 15 to 18 minutes of baking.  I baked mine for 17 minutes but found that they were a little crispier than I’d hoped.  Next time I’ll bake them no longer than 15 so that they remain soft and chewy after they’ve cooled.

One last thing, before I share the recipe; please do read the original post by Michelle, the Brown Eyed Baker.  Michelle takes the time to emphasize the importance of measuring by weight, instead of by volume.  I couldn’t agree more.  In fact, I invested in a kitchen scale not too long ago and it’s been a life saver.  All my baked goods have been better as a result.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from the Brown Eyed Baker)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar*
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips.
  4. Measure 1/4 cup of the dough and roll into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.
  5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

*When I was gathering my ingredients, I realized that I was out of brown sugar!  I had my heart set on making these cookies so I decided to forge ahead and make my own brown sugar.  I followed these directions set out by none other than Martha Stewart herself.  It worked very well however I’m interested to see if the cookies will turn out differently with regular brown sugar.  I guess I’ll just have to make them again.  Darn.

What’s next on your “things to bake” list?

Five Favorites Friday – 2/25/11

25 Feb

Hello Friday!  I’m so happy you’re here.  This week was a short one but I’m still battling last weeks illness so it wasn’t the best week.  But that’s alright because the weekend is here.  I’m looking forward to some relaxation and good food.  Maybe some homemade breadsticks, Olive Garden style?  You’ll have to keep reading for the recipe!

My five favorites for Friday, February 25th:

  1. Rustic Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Bread (from Garlic and Sea Salt)
    Not too long ago, Allie featured this bread recipe and I knew I had to make it mine.  I love the idea of incorporating sweet potatoes into a yeast bread.  And it’ll give me even more experience with yeast breads!
  2. Olive Garden Breadsticks
    In my opinion, there is one reason to go to Olive Garden; their garlic, buttery breadsticks.  However, since moving to the city, I hardly ever go.  In fact, I think I’ve only been once in the past five or six years!  But now, I don’t have to worry about never making it there.  I can bring the best part of the restaurant to my own kitchen.
  3. Doughnuts take NYC by storm
    Doughnuts are the next cupcakes.  At least according to the NYTimes.  The slideshow included with the article says it all.  It’s inspired me for my next foodie adventure.
  4. McDonald’s does oatmeal
    This article is an opinion piece by Mark Bittman.  His message is that McDonald’s has found a way to make even the most basic of breakfasts into a sugar-laden health disaster.  It highlights somethings that the food industry does wrong, such as adding unnecessary ingredients and chemicals and it emphasizes that the best “diet” for anyone is real, whole foods.  It is a well written piece on an important message that everyone should read.
  5. Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Lovin’ From the Oven)
    Lately I’ve seen several recipes for stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  I love the idea of a cookie within a cookie.  Next chance I get, I’m going to attempt making these cookies with Thin Mints in place of Oreos.  Think it’ll work?  Even if it doesn’t, it could be a tasty kitchen fail.  I’m willing to risk it.

Have a good weekend!  Any plans for your kitchen this weekend?

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks

21 Feb

This weekend was an extra long one for me.  Four. Whole. Days.  It started out with a sick day on the couch but ended with these cookies.  So, needless to say, it ended well.  Very well.

Inspiration stuck last week when I made a batch of Gabriela’s vegan pumpkin spice cookies.  I really like this recipe.  The cookies have great flavor and texture.  And they are healthy to boot!

While making these cookies for the second time around, I decided to add a few things to make them my own.  I love how they turned out!  The oats give the cookie a hearty texture and the white chocolate chunks add a nice amount of sweetness.

So dust off those extra cans of Libby’s in the pantry (I know you have some), and get baking!

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks
(makes 24 cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 chia seed “egg” (1 tbsp chia seeds and 2.5 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, create your chia seed “egg”.  Combine chia seeds and water.  Let it sit for a few minutes, until thickened.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix applesauce, maple syrup, pumpkin, chia seed egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry.  Stir until just combined.  Fold in white chocolate chunks.
  6. Using a tablespoon to measure, drop cookies onto a large baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown.

What did you do this weekend?

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