Evil Yumminess in the Land of Giant Cupcakes

October 28, 2010

Successful Candy Corn Peanut Butter Cookies

Finally, I have this silly cookie figured out! My wonderful co-worker, Tanya the Enabler, suggested that I try using the candy corn flavored Hershey’s Kisses. THANK YOU, TANYA!!! Not only do these taste really yummy, they are also melt-able! Regular candy corn does not handle being baked into things or being melted and cooled. It gets hard and nasty. The kisses, however, are perfect. There’s a recipe on the back of the candy bag suggests melting some and drizzling them over cookies. After reading this, I had to take a minute to calm myself down due to the possibilities that were running through my head!

Anyway, dorkiness aside, I was very please to find that I finally had a finished product that matched my initial idea.

I chopped up a package of Kisses (minus 18) and added them instead of the Heath bits that the recipe usually calls for. For whatever reason, perhaps over mixing, the cookies turned out a little flatter than I would have liked. Seems to be the trend for this week. Grrr. I would have also liked to had some of that chunky pretzel salt to add to the top of the cookie. Other than that…PERFECTION!!! You bite into the cookie and it you instantly get the candy corn taste. The candy corn flavor had gotten lost in other trial batches.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup Skippy Natural Super Chunk Peanut Butter
  • 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted peanuts (optional)
  • 1 bag candy corn flavored Hershey’s Kisses,  coarsely chopped

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup nuts and candy corn pieces

3. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Do not over bake (see note #1 at bottom). Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. About 3 dozen cookies.

5. If desired, melt some candy corn Kisses and drizzle over the top of the cookies.

NOTE #1: The original recipe recommends a cooking time of 7-8 minutes. I have have to bake my cookies, even the smaller ones, for 10-11 minutes. I recommend starting to check your first sheet of cookies at around 7 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges begin to brown ever so slightly. You will need to leave the cookies on the sheet for a few minutes since they are very soft. If you try to move them immediately, you’ll most likely end up with a huge mess.

October 27, 2010

Mmm…(Translation: Whoopie Pies)

Yes, it’s true…”Mmm” now means Whoopie Pie. Growing up near an Amish community meant that there were almost always Whoopie Pies close at hand. They are soft, sticky, yummy cake sandwiches. If you’ve never had one, you don’t know what you are missing. Traditionally, Whoopie Pies consist of  marshmallow fluff sandwiched between domed circles of chocolate cake. Recently, I saw a post that Pioneer Woman had made on Facebook regarding some spectacular-looking Pumpkin Creme Pies. Normally, I’m not much of a pumpkin person, however, these looked fabulous and I HAD to try them.

I went to the store, bought the ingredients, waited for my husband to go to work (key step in the process), and got busy. The recipe was easy to follow, but requires that you pipe the batter in concentric circles onto parchment paper. No problem for me, but if you’ve never wielded a pastry bag before it might be a bit of a challenge. The end result was tastier than I could have ever hoped. I was hooked and so was everyone else that came into contact with them.

Once again, I didn’t take pictures of the process, but I didn’t figure it was really needed since the original information was pretty dang complete. I ended up with WAY more finished product than the recipe said it should make, but that’s a good thing, right!

I periodically window shop at Amazon.com for new and interesting cookbooks. Not too long ago, I had come across a book dedicated to the Whoopie Pie. The day after I made the pumpkin creme pies, I bought the book. The next day it arrive and that same day I was baking from it. The book is called “Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix ’em, Match ’em and Eat ’em Up Recipes.” So far, I’m in love with this book. It has a ton of recipes for both the pies and for the fillings, as well as lots of pictures.

I really wanted to make the s’mores version of the whoopie, but didn’t have ANY of the ingredients. So I opted for the oatmeal one. I’ve been searching for an oatmeal cookie recipe that yields are really soft, thick cookie. Since the cake part of a whoopie pie is usually very moist and soft, I figured that the oatmeal recipe in the book would get me what I wanted. It did, almost. The cookie was very, very soft and yummy, but it was pretty dang thin. After doing some research, I think it would have been thicker if I had chilled the dough for a little while before baking it. We’ll see. I definitely plan on making them again. I opted for a maple buttercream filling since I had recently purchased a small bottle of pure maple syrup at the Covered Bridge Festival. I also added some vanilla bean paste, about 1 teaspoon worth.

This time, I ended up with fewer of the finished product than the recipe indicated that it would produce. The book said it should make about 48 2-inch cakes, meaning 24 completed whoopie pies. I ended up with 16 completed pies. I used a 1 tablespoon scoop to keep the size uniform. One tablespoon was the amount suggested in the book to get the 48 cakes; however, it just didn’t work out that way. It worked out in the end, though, since the recipe for the maple buttercream out of the book only made just enough to fill the number cookies that I had made.

Once again, Mmm…

September 20, 2010

Candy Corn and Peanut Butter Cookies

Filed under: Candy Corn,Cookies,Halloween,peanut butter,Uncategorized — by queenofevilyumminess @ 4:44 PM
Tags: , , ,

Ever had candy corn and salty peanuts mixed together like a trial mix? Well, this post is all about the cookie version of that combination. There was a little bit of trial and error, but I ended up with a pretty good representation of the flavors I was seeking!

I knew from previous experience (Urg!)  that when you melt candy corn, it cools into a hard mass of sugar. You basically turn it from a soft chewy piece of candy into hard candy. Not exactly what I was trying to accomplish here. Still, I wondered what would happen if I put it inside cookies. So, I baked my first batch of cookies with chopped candy corn in the batter. As I expected, the candy corn that was outside the batter turned into hard candy. The candy corn that was inside the batter, got really chewy. The visual result of the cookie was not good at all and the taste of the candy corn was almost completely lost. Now, obsessed with getting the proper result, I consulted with my mother, and decided to make another batch of cookies.

This time, as per my mother’s advice, I decided to put the candy corn on top of the cookies immediately after I removed them from the oven. I had some minor complications, mainly the peanuts not letting the candy corn be pressed down into the cookie and some of the candy corn pieces not sticking to the cookie, but over all the result was very good.  There is only a small window of opportunity to get the candy corn onto the cookie since they flatten out as they cool. Sadly, I was running out of candy corn at this point since the local grocery store only sold the “Autumn Mix” and not just a big bag of regular candy corn. I had to use pieces of candy corn instead of the full specimen, and some of the cookies ended up with half a pumpkin candy on them, which also turned out looking rather nice.

Without any further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup Skippy Natural Super Chunk Peanut Butter
  • 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (I usually use a pinch of salt since I use salted butter)
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • candy corn

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup nuts. DO NOT ADD CANDY CORN AT THIS POINT!

3. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Do not over bake (see note #1 at bottom). Place candy corn onto cookies as soon as you remove them from the oven. Press each piece of candy gently into the cookie. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. About 3 dozen cookies.

NOTE #1: The original recipe recommends a cooking time of 7-8 minutes. I have have to bake my cookies, even the smaller ones, for 10-11 minutes. I recommend starting to check your first sheet of cookies at around 7 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges begin to brown ever so slightly. You will need to leave the cookies on the sheet for a few minutes since they are very soft. If you try to move them immediately, you’ll most likely end up with a huge mess.

NOTE #2: These cookies were quite as salty as I would have liked. The next time I bake them, I may try sprinkling the tops of the unbaked cookies with some of pretzel salt and see how that turns out. Might be good, might not.

April 9, 2010

White Velvet Cookies

Filed under: Cookies,Red Velvet,Root Beer,white chocolate,white velvet — by queenofevilyumminess @ 11:21 AM

Ever experience on of those moments where something seems so obvious that you feel silly for not seeing it before? Well, I had one of those moments the other day in my pre-sleep mental shutdown process. I was laying there pondering how to make Easter colored Red Velvet Cookies. You have to add so much dye to the cookies to get the color to overpower the chocolate, so it is next to impossible to get a pastel colored cookie. And then it hit me… why not substitute white chocolate for the semi-sweet chocolate. And THEN, I got really excited about the possibilities this substitution would open up for these cookies. Not only could I make them in any color I wanted, I could also add pretty much any flavoring I wanted to. Let’s just say, after this epiphany, it took me a while to shut my imagination down so I could get to sleep!

The recipe I used to make theses White Velvet Cookies is the same as the one listed on the Green Velvet Cookie post. I simply substituted white chocolate squares and chips for the semi-sweet ones.

I also decided to make a couple of variations. I added root beer extract trying for a root beer float taste…

and raspberry extract and a little pink food coloring for the other.

I about passed out when I tried one of the first cookies out of the oven. It was SO good! And the flavor possibilities are endless. On my list to try are: blackberry (with fresh blackberry, strawberry, lemon, orange, and mint.

March 17, 2010

Green Velvet Cookies

Filed under: Cookies — by queenofevilyumminess @ 3:22 PM
Tags: , ,

In honor of St. Patrick’s day, when everyone is a little Irish, I decided to make some Green Velvet Cookies. These are exactly like Red Velvet Cookies or cake, but you add green food coloring instead of red. My enabling co-worker had brought some of these wonderful cookies in several months ago, and I thought they were fabulous! I tried making them with a cake mix instead of doing them from scratch…the results were less than satisfying. I mean, they weren’t terrible cookies, but they weren’t great either. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of these cookies, but they were much flatter and drier than this from-scratch recipe.

So, with no further ado…Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Mmm…green velvet cookies chocked full of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and topped with cream cheese icing. I’m sure there is something that is better than this, but I haven’t found it yet!

The recipe is pretty simple, even if it does have quite a few ingredients. Personally, I hope to never have to make another batch of cookies where I have to stir them by hand. I’m in love with my Kitchenaid stand mixer and couldn’t live without it. Although, I think it wouldn’t be bad to mix these cookies up by hand. They aren’t too stiff like come cookie dough can get. This is more like a firm cake batter instead of a stiff cookie dough. Depending on the size of cookie you make, you can get 2 or 3 dozen cookies out of on batch. It is also very easy to make a double batch.

I used about a tablespoon for each cookie. This makes a nice bite-sized cookie. Sure, it looks huge in the picture, but in reality, each cookie was only about 1.5 inches across (2 inches if I got a little crazy).

They don’t spread out very much as they bake, so you can cram them onto the cookie sheet if you want. It is also very hard to tell when the cookies are done. My co-worker recommended just baking them for the full 11 minutes and said they should be firm when touched. I used a toothpick like you would with a cake on the first couple of sheets to test for doneness and that worked pretty good. If it came out clean, then they were done. I also found that she was correct on the time…it took about 11 minutes for them to be done. After the second cookie sheet’s worth, I just set the timer and took them out when the buzzer went off.

I’d never made cream cheese frosting before and was really surprised that you don’t have to add any liquid. You have to add milk or cream when making butter cream (thus the name butter…cream) icing. This icing came out nice and creamy, not to mention yummy! There was just the right amount of icing, too, which was nice. I hate it when I run out of icing half way through a batch of cookies. Very annoying!

To summarize, this is one instance where you just can’t use a box cake mix as a substitute and expect to get the same result. I’m sure might be able to come close, but I just don’t have the patience to mess with it. I’d much rather just make this recipe from scratch!

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1.5 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and then spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt chocolate in microwave. Start with 30 seconds, then stir. Then do 15 seconds and stir until the chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the butter, crown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add the baking soda and salt, and resume beating on medium until incorporated. Add the egg and beat until batter is smooth. Add the food coloring and mix for about 30 seconds or until evenly distributed.
  5. Scrape down bowl. Then add the melted chocolate and mix for about a minute at medium speed. Scrape down bowl again.
  6. At low speed, add half the flour (1 cup). When the flour is incorporated, mix in the sour cream.
  7. Scrape down the bowl again and add the rest of the flour. Beat until the flour is fully incorporated.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  9. Use a teaspoon to spoon the dough onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets. 12-16 cookies per sheet, depending on the size of the sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 9-11 minutes, or until they rise and become firm. Slide parchment from the cookie sheets and onto a wire rack. Let cookies cool on the rack before icing. (Note: You can reuse the parchment paper if you want).

Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Mix the softened (but not melted) butter with the room-temperature cream cheese. Add vanilla and beat until smooth.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in half-cup increments (at low speed) until the frosting is of proper spreading consistency.

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