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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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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Happy Monday everyone!

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Woof Trekking Dispatch #5: Blue Mermaid, Rainbow Sequin Man, and Ghirardelli Square, July 2012

Woof Trekking Dispatch #5: Blue Mermaid, Rainbow Sequin Man, and Ghirardelli Square, July 2012

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The next stop on our very first Woof Trek was Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. This was another fun stop after our previous adventures at Angel’s Flight, the Pacific Coast Highway, Silicon Valley, and Japantown.

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The weather in San Francisco can be quite cool and wet, even in summer. Weather.com states that September is actually the warmest month. The day we visited Fisherman’s Wharf, the temperatures hovered around 60 degrees. It was a bit chilly for us desert dwellers.

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We had lunch at Blue Mermaid Restaurant, located in conjunction with the Argonaut Hotel. Yelp reviewers rank this seafood spot at 3 1/2 stars. We would tend to agree with this due to some fancy prices and fairly slow service. That being said, the food was delicious.

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Pictured above is the New England Clam Chowder. Pictured below is the Manhattan Clam Chowder. Both excellent choices if you decide to go.

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One of the most exciting things about this stop was the restroom. With a short jaunt into the Argonaut Hotel, you are in a natty and nautical Blue Mermaid-themed wonderland.

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A close-up of the wallpaper brings to mind the intro to a James Bond movie.

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After our delicious meal, we headed out to hang out with the doggies. Next, we ducked into Boudin Bakery’s flagship location at the Wharf for a little sourdough treat and some cans of Clam Chowder for home.


We didn’t get a chance to take a self-guided Bakery Museum Tour, but next time we will. It’s only $3. Boudin has locations all across California, so we’ll definitely have to stop there next time we are in LA.

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We returned to the Wharf and decided to stretch our legs. Not long into our walk we encountered this colorful character. Oh yeah.

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We tore our eyes away from Sequin Man and headed toward Ghirardelli Square. Ghi-rar-delli- that is a hard word to spell. It’s got two r’s, kind of like February, but we digress.

We arrived at the shopping center and popped into a little pet boutique, YAP, that featured clothes mostly for smaller dogs. A very cute store! Then we headed over to the main event: the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Café!

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Izzy, happy to hang out in Ghirardelli Square!

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When we visited in 2012, the café was quite cramped. Thanks to Google Maps, we now know that the Shop and Cafe has relocated next door and has expanded a lot! The previous spot is now occupied by Jackson and Polk, a lifestyle boutique, and Vom Fass, offering oils, vinegars and liquors. What a difference 4 years makes.

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Woof Trekking at Fisherman's Wharf

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All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies

All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies

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

There is something magical about baking. Not only the magic of chemistry but also the magic of soothing the soul. Baking has a way of decreasing the stress of everyday life.

All Time Favorite Mini M&M Cookies

As you can tell from previous recipes, we love baked goods. We have shared our recipes for Banana Oatmeal Muffins and Peach Muffins. Last week, we also shared a recipe for Blueberry Crumble. Today, we wanted to share our favorite cookie recipe.

To us, a cookie should be sweet, soft, and include some form of chocolate. Our favorite form of chocolate for these cookies is mini M&Ms but you can use any kind, semi-sweet, milk, or dark. Whatever suits your fancy.

Another important characteristic for the perfect cookie is to not be over-baked. The cookie should be slightly brown on the bottom and just barely cooked in the middle. This yields a soft, moist cookie instead of a hard crumbly kind.

This recipe is quite fast. From beginning to end, it only takes 45 minutes to make 3 dozen cookies!

ALL TIME FAVORITE MINI M&M COOKIES

Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) in a bowl and set aside.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 1

Place softened butter, granulated sugar, and packed brown sugar into electric mixer.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 2

Cream together until fluffy.
Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 3

Prepare vanilla and 1 large egg.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 4

Here is the batter after all wet ingredients have been combined.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 5

Add the previously mixed dry ingredients into the batter.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 6

Mmm cookie dough!

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 7


Get those Mini M&M’s ready!

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 8

Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the M&M’s.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 9

Scoop ’em out with a small ice cream scoop. Pop them into a preheated 350°F oven. Farewell, dear cookies. We shall meet again.

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 10

So much waiting!

 
10 minutes later…

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 11

Sweet Perfection!

Favorite Mini M&M Cookies - 12

All Time Favorite Mini M&M cookies

Yield: 36 cookies

All Time Favorite Mini M&M cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 6 ounces mini M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream butter and both sugars together.
  5. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  6. Carefully mix in dry ingredients.
  7. Using spatula, fold in mini M&Ms.
  8. Scoop dough onto prepared pan, about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake 9-10 minutes, until bottom is lightly brown.
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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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