Our Top 5 Recipes for Cookie Exchange Season!

Our Top 5 Recipes for Cookie Exchange Season!

posted in: Desserts, Food | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Tis the season of holiday cookie exchanges. A wonderful time of year! If you are still on the lookout for cookies to bake, checkout some of our favorite cookie recipes.


Peanut Butter Cookies
This recipe is from one of our grandma’s cookbooks and the cookies are soft and chewy! Perfect to satisfy those sweet and salty cravings.

All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies
Whenever we crave chocolate chip cookies, this is the recipe we turn to. We have been making them for years and they are delicious.

Oatmeal Apple Cookies
If you love oatmeal cookies but not the traditional raisin variety, give these cookies a try. The apples in these cookies keep them moist, while the oatmeal plumps up to give them a chewy texture.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin spice has overtaken the food market, and we’re joining the trend. The spice mix in this recipe is perfection. The addition of mini chocolate chips make these cookies extra sweet and warming.

Date Pecan Cookies
Pecans add a delightful crunch to these cookies. The chopped dates are marvelous morsels that add moisture and soak up the warm spice flavors.

We hope you give these cookie recipes a try! Let us know how they turn out!

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Our Favorite Cinnamon Apple Cake

Our Favorite Cinnamon Apple Cake

posted in: Desserts, Food | 8 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Thanksgiving week is here! Are you still undecided on what to serve for dessert? We are big fans of the traditional pumpkin pie while others are fans of apple pie or pecan pie. But what do you do choose if you don’t like any of the traditional choices? This terrific cinnamon apple cake might be the perfect solution!

apple-cake-15

It is a moist cake since it has both butter and cream cheese in it, plus yummy apples. We love to use Granny Smith apples whenever apples are needed in a recipe, however any type of baking apple will do. If you like Rome or Honeycrisp, use those instead. We have been making cinnamon apple cake for years and have yet to tire of it.


This may be an unconventional tip, but this cake is even more delicious if you eat it cold. Sure it’s good fresh baked and at room temperature, but straight out of the fridge, this cake tastes divine! We feel that if you want to maximize the tastiness of this cake, eat it cold. So if you desire a non-traditional dessert, give this cake a try this week! Now, let’s bake!

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
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Peel, core and thinly slice three Granny Smith apples and place in a medium mixing bowl.
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Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this mixture for later. Pour the remaining cinnamon sugar over the sliced apples.
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Stir to coat all of the slices.
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In a large bowl cream together 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined.
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Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
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Add the dry mixture.
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Stir in apples, taking care to make sure batter gets between every slice.
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Pour into greased 9 inch springform pan.
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Top with reserved cinnamon sugar.
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Bake at 350°F for 60-65 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
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Let cool in pan for 15 minutes then release outer ring to let cake cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers.
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Serve warm cake with ice cream. Or enjoy a slice straight from the fridge. Delicious!
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Our Favorite Cinnamon Apple Cake

Our Favorite Cinnamon Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 medium granny smith apples
  • 1 3/4 c granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Special Equipment: 9 inch springform pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9 inch springform pan.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples and place in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. In a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside for later. Pour the rest of the cinnamon sugar over the sliced apples and mix thoroughly.
  6. In a large bowl cream together 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, butter, vanilla and cream cheese. Mix until completely combined.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  8. Carefully stir in flour mixture.
  9. Stir in apples. Take your time, making sure to get the batter between the apple slices.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with reserved cinnamon sugar.
  11. Bake 60-65 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes in pan then release the outer ring. Cool completely then store in fridge.
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

posted in: Desserts, Food | 4 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

These days, it seems that the arrival of fall means the arrival of pumpkin spice flavored everything at the supermarket. Pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice cereal, even pumpkin spice lip balm. While some may bemoan this trend, we love pumpkin spice!

However, we’ve noticed that the homemade pumpkin spiced goods seem to taste better than many of the commercial options. This might be because when you make them yourself, you can control how much and which spices are included, tailoring the mixture exactly to your tastes. Commercial options are generally under-spiced for our tastes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This pumpkin cookie recipe meets all the requirements to be a great cookie. It is moist, well-spiced and still tastes great after a couple of days. The twist to this pumpkin spice cookie is the addition of mini chocolate chips. The small size chips are great in this cookie and are, in our opinion, preferable over regular sized chips. The larger chocolate chips can take away from the pumpkin and spices, which throws off the flavor balance of the cookie.

Try this recipe out this week to celebrate a couple of food holidays: Wednesday, October 26th is National Pumpkin Day and Friday, October 28th is National Chocolate Day!

In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground nutmeg. Mix to combine and set aside.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add two eggs and mix.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Stir in pumpkin.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Carefully add the dry ingredients from step one. Stir until just combined.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add the mini chocolate chips.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bake 9-10 minutes at 375°F. Pumpkin perfection awaits!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Are you passionate about Pumpkin Spice? Let us know with a comment below!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, and ground nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and both sugars.
  4. Add eggs and mix.
  5. Mix in the pumpkin.
  6. Carefully add the flour mixture then stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Use small scoop to portion out dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake 9-10 minutes, until lightly golden.
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Peanut Butter Cookies (GIFT #7)

Peanut Butter Cookies (GIFT #7)

posted in: Desserts, Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs) | 8 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

We have loved peanut butter cookies since we were little. They are salty and sweet and they always have that lovely crosshatch pattern across the top. When our grandparents lived in a separate state, they would mail us a box about every 6-8 weeks. This was always exciting. Our grandma would include lots of different things in her shipments: interesting newspaper clippings, new recipes she thought we might like that she found in a magazine or the newspaper, some of her tomatoes if they were ripe. But the best part of her boxes, were the baked goods. She loved her sweets and loved sharing them with us. One of her favorite cookies was peanut butter cookies.

peanut-butter-cookies-2

We have tried making all kinds of recipes for peanut butter cookies, but they never were satisfactory. They would taste great fresh out of the oven, but the next day, they would be hard as rocks. Always a disappointment! Eventually, we kind of gave up on the perfect peanut butter cookie and perfected the mini M&M cookie to satisfy our cookie needs.

After we started our series of Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats, we were flipping through one of our grandma’s recipe books and found a recipe she had modified for peanut butter cookies. Could this be the recipe she used when we were little? Most likely yes, but who knows, we prefer to think yes. In the original recipe, it called for 2 teaspoons baking soda, but she had crossed it out and wrote down 1/2 teaspoon baking powder plus 1 teaspoon baking soda. Maybe this was the secret to great peanut butter cookies! We had to give it a try.

First, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
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Cream softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy.
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Add eggs and mix, making the mixture even more creamy!
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Add a cup of creamy or crunchy peanut butter to the batter.
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Incorporate the flour mixture into the batter.
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The batter is ready!
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Dollop out batter with a small ice cream scoop.
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Smoosh the cookies with a large fork to create the classic peanut butter cookie cross-hatching.
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Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
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The resulting cookies are the best peanut butter cookies ever. They are excellent coming out of the oven and still soft a couple of days later too!
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Peanut Butter Cookies GIFT

Peanut Butter Cookies GIFT

Ingredients

  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda, then set aside.
  3. Cream both sugars and softened butter together.
  4. Add eggs and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add peanut butter and mix until incorporated.
  6. Mix in flour mixture.
  7. Scoop balls onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. Use fork tines to mark the cookies with a crosshatch pattern.
  9. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly brown.
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Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping: GIFT #3

Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping: GIFT #3

posted in: Desserts, Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs) | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Every time we see peaches we think about our Grandma. Our grandparents had lots of different jobs during their lifetimes but the one that they most talked about was when they had a farm and ran a roadside fruit stand.

It was hard work but Grandma was a people person and the fruit stand let her chat up the customers. On this particular stretch of road, there were a couple of rival fruit stands, run by other families.

Grandma took great pride in her wares and took the time to set out her fruit carefully so the fruit were not bruised. She also believed that her customers should treat the fruit with respect and care. So when customers stopped by to pick out peaches, they thought the best way to tell if they were ripe was to squeeze them. This was unacceptable to Grandma and she scolded the customers for doing this.


Since it was a small town, she knew everyone and everyone knew her. Eventually, word spread that Grandma wouldn’t let customers squeeze her peaches and a rival fruit stand put up a sign that said, “YES, you can squeeze my peaches.” Grandma thought this was hilarious. She loved to tell us this story and we loved seeing her face light up with delight.

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How to Make Perfect Plump Peach Muffins

So for today’s Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treat, we made some delicious Peach Muffins. Peach season is in full swing. According to Reference.com, peaches are in season May through September, peaking in July.

peach, peach chunks

Peeling and dicing up the peaches can take awhile to accomplish, we usually allot 30-45 minutes to do this. You can blanch them for easy peeling, but we usually just use a knife.

crumble, muffin crumble

The yummy crumb topping, a mix of brown sugar, quick oats, flour and butter.

brown sugar, flour, spices

The dry ingredients, looking sweet and spicy.

brown sugar, flour, spices

The dry ingredients are now prepped, awaiting the wet ingredients.

eggs, milk

Milk, eggs and vegetable oil all whisked and foamy.

batter

Tempted to eat some of this batter.

batter with fruit, peach

Now gently folding in the peeled and diced peaches.

batter with fruit, peach, cupcake pan, cupcake liner

We use an ice cream scooper to portion out the batter into prepared muffin tins.

batter with fruit, peach, cupcake pan, cupcake liner, crumb topping

The crumble topping finishes off these muffins and they are ready to go into the oven at 350°F.

finished peach muffins, muffin top, crumb topping

Lovely, golden brown peach muffins. Let cool and store in refrigerator.

Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping

Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping

Ingredients

  • For Crumb Topping
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 c butter, melted
  • For Muffins
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground allspice
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 5 peaches, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 24 muffin cups.
  3. Combine ingredients for crumb topping: brown sugar, flour, quick cooking oats and melted butter. Mix to combine and set aside.
  4. Combine dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  5. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, oil and milk. Stir into dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in peaches.
  7. Scoop batter into prepared cups. Cups will be be full.
  8. Sprinkle prepared crumb topping on top of each muffin
  9. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  10. Let cool. Store in fridge.
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Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

I love the flavor of bananas. It has been a lifelong obsession. Banana Runts are my favorite. I also love banana Laffy Taffy. I even love the banana flavored Circus Peanuts despite their kind of squishy texture. Bananas and chocolate are yet another perfect pair, which brings us to our recipe today.

Scones have always been a weird baking conundrum for me. No matter what I did, they ended up being dry and never sweet enough. The other day, it dawned on me that substituting brown sugar for granulated sugar would help. This, in combination with the mashed bananas, would make the scones more moist and sweeter. My finishing touches included some warm spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) and mini chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Add butter and use fingers to blend butter into the dry ingredients.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Mix vanilla into the mashed bananas.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture and heavy cream.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated, the batter will be very wet.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

The batter is quite moist and a little hard to work with, however the end product is also very moist and tasty.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Flour a cutting board and scoop out half the dough. Form into a disk and cut into 8 scones. Place scones onto cookie sheets, repeat with second half.

banana, chocolate chip, baking, breakfast, dessert

Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes.  

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl mix first seven ingredients until well combined.
  4. Add butter and use fingers to blend butter into the dry ingredients. You can use a pastry cutter for this process if you have one.
  5. Mix vanilla into the mashed bananas.
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture and heavy cream. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated, the batter will be very wet.
  7. Add chocolate chips.
  8. Flour a cutting board and scoop out half the dough.
  9. Form into a disk and cut (alternatively you could use a scoop to portion out).
  10. Place pieces onto cookie sheets, repeat with second half.
  11. Bake 12-15 minutes.
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Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 4 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Mmmm, muffins.

Whenever we go on vacation, I eat muffins every single day from the free breakfast at the hotel. They are one of my favorite foods. I am to Muffins as Bubba Gump is to Shrimp (⇠click to see Bubba GIFs on imgur) or as Buddy the Elf is to Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup (⇠click to see Buddy the Elf GIFs on imgur).

I like bran muffins, corn muffins, poppy seed, chocolate, blueberry, cranberry orange, cinnamon crumble, pumpkin chocolate chip and… today’s special:  BANANA OATMEAL!

I made 14 muffins with this recipe, but you could make 12 with larger tops.

banana, oats, muffins, breakfast, snack

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
¾ cup milk
1 t vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
½ t salt
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line muffin tins with paper cups.

Mash bananas in medium bowl.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Add milk, egg and vanilla to bananas.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats, salt, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

May need to use whisk to break up chunks of brown sugar.

Add liquid ingredients and mix.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

 

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Use ice cream scooper to put batter into prepared tin.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Bake 15-20 minutes.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Tops will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out dry.

Store leftovers. Here is a link about How to Store Muffins by Food Pyramid. They recommend covering with a towel for overnight storage, in an airtight container at room temp for a few days, and in the freezer for longer periods.

I store them in the fridge in a container (which they tell you not to do, meh) and then zap them in the microwave for a couple of seconds to reheat. I like ’em that way me-self, but just do you.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you will try out the recipe. Happy Wednesday!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Yield: 12-14 Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ½ t salt
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper cups.
  3. Mash bananas in medium bowl.
  4. Add milk, egg and vanilla to bananas.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats salt, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
  6. Add liquid ingredients and mix.
  7. Use ice cream scooper to put batter into prepared tin.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  9. Tops will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out dry.
  10. Store leftovers.
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