I've been a baking fool lately and wanted to get some of the things I've been doing posted--for your viewing pleasure. First of all, Pillsbury just had their latest bake-off contest and this is the winning recipe, which just happened to be a cookie. This recipe won $1 million! Go to Pillsbury Million Dollar Bake Off Winning Recipe. I made them today and they are quite yummy and addicting, especially if you love peanut butter. The recipe is called Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies. It uses refrigerated store bought cookie dough, which is what I used, but I'm guessing you could make a peanut butter cookie recipe and use that dough (a lot of people are doing this in the baking/cookie lovin' blog world). I played around with some of the cookies and tried different things and here are some pictures of my cookies.
This is the cookie done exactly as the winning recipe. Actually this top picture is different from the Pillsbury winner's in that I tried a few with cinnamon/sugar sprinkled on top and didn't really care for the cinnamon, so I made the rest of them with just sugar (and the chopped peanuts). Next is an inside view--if you haven't looked at the recipe yet, there is a ball of peanut butter/powdered sugar mixture hidden inside each cookie. When baked it melts into a yummy additional peanut buttery...well, delight--just as the winner titled it.
I also played around with a few of the cookies and decided to freeze the peanut butter ball because I didn't want it to melt quite so much into the cookie. The following picture is the results of using a frozen peanut butter ball inside.
While I think it's not quite as nice looking of a cookie, they rocked in taste. Scottie went absolutely "nuts" over it. Too bad I only made two cookies this way. Although that's probably a good thing for me or else I'd have eaten a lot more than the half Scott and I shared. I will make these again--someday--and use a homemade peanut butter cookie recipe and probably do the frozen peanut butter ball again. YUM-O!
My baking fun doesn't end there. I have recently made another GREAT chocolate chip cookie using a recipe from the great chocolate expert Jacques Torres. The recipe I used can be found, along with just about every other cookie and goodie out there, on a great food blog at www.cookiemadness.net. I've been spending too much time visiting this site lately, but I just really enjoy it and the baking! This, so far, might be my favorite version of chocolate chip cookies and though it does take a few extra ingredients that you might not always have on hand, it's worth it!
Jacques Torres’s Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies--as made by Anna from Cookie Madness
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound good quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside. Don’t grease the baking sheets because this might cause extra spreading.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla, then add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate; mix until well combined.
Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, (I used a very generously rounded tablespoon) scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. If you use a rounded tablespoon, check your cookies at 12 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you use a very generously rounded tablespoon or a 1 scoop, you’ll get about 4 dozen cookies.
Here are some of the pictures from the cookies I made.
While you can tell in the above picture that the chocolate is no longer warm and the cookie is still really yummy that way, these are SO good warm from the oven and I didn't take pictures of them at that point.
I can't stress enough to use a really good quality chocolate for these, try it at least once, it's worth it. I found some called World's Finest Chocolate and chopped it. I also used some Hershey's Special Dark Chips. I also discovered, from my Cookie Madness cyber-pal, Anna, that you can make pastry flour by mixing 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour and 2/3 cup cake flour (which is easier to find in your grocery store than pastry flour). Those who know me well are probably wondering how in the world I'm on The Biggest Loser Diet/Life Change Plan AND doing all this baking at the same time--well, I've probably slowed down my progress and success a bit, but AM still losing and having more fun in the kitchen doing something I love. Somehow I can talk myself in to only tasting a small amount of these delectable treats and still stay within--or close to--my suggested calorie range. I made this first batch a good week ago, and actually have since made them again a few days ago. They didn't spread out as much the second time, but still taste GREAT!
I actually have more baking I want to post, but since it's almost midnight and I have to get up by 6 a.m. to get on the treadmill, I really need to get to bed......zzzzzz