Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kid's Candy Cookies

So good.  Like I can't describe.  I've been looking for a way to bake with Pretzel M&Ms ever since they came out and these are delicious.  Seriously these may be my new favorite cookie.  I mean, there are technically 4 kinds of candy in these cookies.  What's not to love?

Another recipe from the Food Network Magazine (May 2011 issue), with name like Kid's Candy Cookies, it had to come from Adam Gertler from Food Network's Kid in a Candy Store.  I made these for my friend Lisa's birthday and also sent some to my Dad for Easter.  Then I happily ate the remainder (well, I did share with Dave).  These would be awesome for a kid's birthday, bake sale, or just any occasion.  They would probably be great for an upcoming summer BBQ because they're sweet and tasty, but not heavy considering they are loaded with different flavors.  The original recipe says you'll get "about 25 cookies" and while I even graduated to my medium cookie scoop and made big cookies, I actually got 4 dozen.

Kid's Candy Cookies


2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup Pretzel M&Ms
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup toffee pieces
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Using your stand mixer and paddle attachment, cream the butter, then add sugars and cream on low until incorporated and then on high until light and fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.

Add salt, vanilla, egg and egg yolk and beat until thoroughly combined.  Add Pretzel M&Ms and beat for just a few seconds until they are slightly crushed.

Gradually add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined.

Add bittersweet chocolate, toffee pieces and peanut butter chips.

Using a medium cookie scoop, mound dough onto parchment or silcone lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Slightly flatten each dough ball (I used the bottom of a glass, but you could use your fingers or the palm of your hand).

Bake at 350 degrees F for 11-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are set.  Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

Monday, April 25, 2011

Turtle Cookie Cups

These are amazingly good.  (So good I apparently forgot to take a display photo.)  Another very simple recipe using a prepackaged mix to have a great dessert or treat, plus it's a candy-cookie combo, so I know it's a winner.  I took these to work for a meeting and everyone loved them.  They are very chocolatey so be warned, but they certainly live up to their name with the caramel and pecan cutting through with a sweet/salty flavor.

Again, from the Betty Crocker website, these were easy to prepare and because I'm obsessive, I actually have all the ingredients in the house on a regular basis.  You could experiment with different candies and nuts, but just be warned--then they won't be turtles. 

Turtle Cookie Cup


1 pouch (17.5 ounces) Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix
3 Tablespoons oil (as called for on package)
1 Tablespoon water (as called for on package)
1 egg (as called for on package)
36 chocolate covered caramel candies, unwrapped
36 pecan halves

In a medium bowl, mix together cookie mix, oil, water and egg until all is moistened and you have a soft dough.

Grease the cups of a mini muffin tin (mine holds 24, so I worked in batches).  Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough into each muffin cup.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-9 minutes.  Remove from oven and press a chocolate covered caramel into the center of each cookie cup.  I found that pushing them in upside down gave me more of the effect I wanted.

Top with a pecan half.

Cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Makes 36 cookie cups.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bloggers Bake for Hope

I hope you'll join me in supporting this cause.

During the first week of May, a nation-wide, all volunteer virtual bake sale will take place to raise money for breast cancer research.  I am donating a batch of Banana Split Cookies.  Already there are a lot of yummy treats to bid on so I'm sure you'll find something that catches your eye and teases your taste buds. 

Beginning May 4th you'll be able to bid on the treat (or treats) of your choosing.  If you win, your treats will be shipped directly to you.  For more information, visit Bloggers Bake for Hope.

Happy Bidding,
The Cookie Princess

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monkey Bread

"Monkey's make good bread," said Dave.

Can't really get a much better description than that, huh?  Add to that, like the scones, Dave had never heard of or had monkey bread before.  Honestly, I'm not sure if I've had it--if so, it's been a long time and I'd never made it.  But last week I got several emails with recipes for monkey bread, so I figured it was an omen and time to give it a try. 

So easy.  This recipe came from Betty Crocker and used a prepared mix that I happened to have on hand, which is why I chose this version of the recipe.  And while it would seem the gooeyness comes from a similar process last week's Almond Toffee Bars, since these remained gooey and not brittle, the texture and taste were different, resulting in a very yummy snack/breakfast/dessert.  We may or may not have just eaten this standing over the counter and pulling off pieces of bread while the dog sat at our feet anxiously waiting for nuggets to fall.

Monkey Bread


3 cups Biquick mix
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

Note: Penzey's Baking Spice is pictured, but I ended up not using it. I thought I would add it to the batter and didn't.  Next time I would add a teaspoon to the batter to give the bread another level of flavor throughout.

In a large bowl, stir Bisquick, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, milk, vanilla and eggs until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a flexible cutting mat and divide in to 24 pieces.  Don't worry if they aren't exactly even.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Spray a fluted pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Note: I used a silicone pan and still sprayed it, just in case.  A little extra spray won't hurt anything in this situation.  Also, note that my pan has a design to it.  For this recipe, it doesn't really matter if it's flat sided or not because the bread will make it's own shape.

Roll dough pieces into balls and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Scatter the coated balls in the prepared pan.  Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the dough in the pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt 1 cup of butter, then stir in brown sugar and heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Pour  caramel mixture over dough balls in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool in pan for 3-5 minutes and then turn out onto a plate.

Cool 10 minutes and serve warm.

Makes 1 loaf.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Mini Egg Scones

I completely stole this recipe from We Are Not Martha and they are awesome.  Cadbury Mini-Eggs are pure bliss that are one of the few candies that have maintained their amazingness by being elusive and not infringing on all the other holidays.  (Yes, I'm aware of the Christmas version, but those are hard to find, so they are still elusive and don't count.)  While you only need a cup of Mini Eggs for this recipe, which is a little less than a regular 8 ounce bag, do yourself a favor and buy two bags.  Because inevitably you'll open the bag before you're ready to bake and have one or two.  And then you'll have one or two more.  And then one more.  And then you leave the kitchen, come back and have two more.  And by the time you go to bake you'll have just less than a cup of them.  So you'll open the other bag to make up the difference.  I'm sure you'll figure out what to do with the rest of the second bag.

A coworker shared this recipe and I just had to make it because I love this candy so much.  Plus I mentioned them to my mom and her mouth started to drool, so the Easter Bunny had to send some to her.  Dave really liked these, too, which surprised me because he didn't know what a scone was.  Like Sues did in the original recipe, I decided to melt a Cadbury Creme Egg to drizzle over half the scones.  Unfortunately I thought my microwave melting technique (described below) would result in a chocolate sauce but instead I got a chocolate spread.  So I spread it on half of them.  Next time, I'll probably do it the right way over the doubleboiler and use 2 creme eggs instead of one.  And I'd probably read the recipe correctly and add the milk Sues suggests to thin out the chocolate.

Mini Egg Scones


2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, chilled
1/4 cup sugar
6 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Cadbury Mini Eggs, crushed or chopped
2 Cadbury Creme Eggs (optional)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Dice the butter into small pieces.

Add to flour mixture.  Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until you get coarse crumbs.

Add the sugar, vanilla Greek yogurt, vanilla and milk.  Stir gently, but not completely.

Chop up the Mini Eggs.  This is actually pretty hard to do with a knife (even the super duper ones I have) because of the crisp sugar shell and their shape.  I actually chopped each one individually.  Next time I would either use a mini chopper and pulse it 2 or 3 times or I would toss them in a zip top bag and bang at them with a mallet a handful of times.

Add the mini eggs to the batter and stir completely until all the wet ingredients are incorporated and you have a soft dough.

Divide the dough into two pieces and put on two parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheets.  Work each piece into a roughly 8 inch circle. 

Cut into 8 triangles (I used my pizza cutter for this).  Don't separate the pieces!

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.  Remove from oven and recut the triangles.

Return to oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until lightly golden and firm on the edges, but with a little softness in the center.

Cool on the pan for a few minutes, then move to complete cooling on wire racks.

Cut a Cadbury Creme Egg into quarters and put in a microwave safe dish.

Melt in microwave for 20 seconds at 30% power.  Stir and repeat until chocolate is completely melted and spreadable.

Smear on half the scones.

Note: You can melt chocolate in the microwave, but you can also burn it.  The trick is to go low and slow, using very low power (30 or 40 % max) and short time periods (in this case, 15-20 seconds at a time.) It's a great alternative to a double boiler and often faster.

Makes 16 scones.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess