M & M Cookies

IMG_3038

Whom amongst us doesn’t love a good cookie AND M & M’s? Exactly. So, combined, they make the perfect treat. I used mini M & M’s because I found a big bag of them in the grocery store and HAD TO BUY THEM.

I’ve made M & M cookies before using the Toll House Cookie recipe. They were okay. This recipe is just different enough that it is better suited for M & M’s. The same ingredients are used, for the most part, in different proportions.  I like soft cookies. There, I said it. The secret to soft cookies is cornstarch. You only need a little. I also chilled the batter. This process helps keep them from spreading out on the baking sheet. I left them in the fridge for over an hour. They didn’t spread and were chewy. Perfection!

I made 1/2 the recipe, just in case, the first time. Next time I will make the whole recipe and freeze the cookies. I do this with chocolate chip cookies. You can freeze the balls of batter and cook them later. I prefer to cook them all at once and freeze the cooked cookies. They taste delicious frozen. Ha!

Let’s bake cookies!

Ingredients

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup butter at room temperature, salted or unsalted

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 cups M & M plain chocolate candies, I like the mini ones

If you aren’t going to chill the batter, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together. Add in the eggs and mix until the color lightens and batter seems to expand. It takes about 2 minutes. It will seem like eternity, and you can stop at 1 minute. You are trying to get air into the batter. Add the vanilla extract until combined.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer on a low speed. I’ve worn flour. It’s not a good look on me. When the dry ingredients are mixed in completely, stir in the candy with a spatula or spoon.

You can chill the batter now or proceed to baking them. Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough. Place on prepared pan leaving about 2 inches between the cookies.

Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes. Start watching them around 8 minutes. They are done when they start to become a light golden brown.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, so they can set. Then you put them on a rack or the inside of cut open paper bags. Paper bags are the old school method of cookie cooling! They absorb a little grease/butter too.

Here is the original recipe

Put on some tea water and grab a cookie or two. You deserve a break!

Note: You can gently press additional candies onto the warm cookies, for a prettier presentation. WHY?

The $250 Neiman Marcus Cookie

IMG_1866

Rumors, rumors, rumors. It was once told that the recipe for these cookies cost someone $250 from a Neiman Marcus clerk. The story supposedly has been debunked by the company. It made a good story, but it also makes a good cookie. The prep work takes longer than a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe. You blend the rolled oats in a food processor to make an oat flour. This cookie, cleverly, requires a “good” 4 ounce milk chocolate bar along with semisweet chocolate chips. Instead of grating the cookie into a melted grated mess, I chop it up with a knife. I find this to be the best method. I also replace the walnuts with raisins, that I’ve soaked in hot water. Totally optional, but I love raisins. I use a stand mixer as the dough is very thick. I have to mix it by hand for a bit, to get at everything left in the bottom of the mixing bowl. It’s a bit of a workout, but worth it. I keep some out in a container and freeze the rest. You will be happy to know, they taste great frozen too. Who has time to wait for a cookie to defrost? Not me! I like to fool myself into believing they are healthy. I mean, there are over two cups of oats in it, right????

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not one-minute oats)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup light or dark brown sugar

1 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

4 ounces grated or finely chopped milk chocolate bar

1 cup of chopped walnuts or raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Blend the oats in a food processor or blender, to a fine powder. In a medium bowl,, which together the blended oats with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and the chopped candy bar, with the walnuts and/or raisins.
  4. Roll the dough into balls, about 2 heaping tablespoonfuls. Place them on the parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time, until the edges of the cookie are set but the center still looks undone, about 10 minutes. The cookies will set up as they cool. Let them cool on the cookies sheets. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days (so I’ve heard). They can be frozen for up to 2 months (has never happened).

These make a great work snack, with that second cup of coffee. They will get you to lunch without hunger rumbles.

Enjoy!

Here is the recipe I have used.

IMG_1830

 

 

Funfetti-ish

 

It’s March madness and I had to slip away for some non-basketball talk. So I am going to share some recipes with your. Children of all ages will enjoy these tasty treats! They are sweet or salty or BOTH. They are colorful and delicious. Soon, it will be Student Appreciation week, so I am dusting off some old and trying out some new recipes.

One of my favorite snacks is Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn. Never heard of this? You are missing out on a sweet and salty treat. This recipe calls for melted white chocolate and cake mix. CAKE MIX. It’s kind of brilliant. There are many recipes out there using cake mix to make other treats like cookies, but using it with popcorn and chocolate is amazing. I have made this for my students a number of times, and they are always puzzled with the familiar tastes. I make them guess what’s in it. They never can figure it out.

1 ½ cups melted Almond Vanilla Bark or white chocolate
¼ cup vegetable shortening, NOT oil (like Crisco)
1 ½ cups white or yellow cake mix
6 cups popcorn (popped)
¼ cup of sprinkles

Melt the bark/chocolate in the microwave. Put it in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each 30 seconds until it is fully melted.
Add the vegetable shortening to the melted bark/chocolate and stir until it is melted. If you need to, you can put it back into the microwave to help melt it.
Add the cake mix to the bark/chocolate and stir until completely mixed.
Pour the coating onto the popcorn and coat evenly. I usually put it into a huge bowl and toss with either big spoons or spatulas.
Pour the coated popcorn onto cookie sheets to cool and harden. Immediately sprinkle the popcorn with sprinkles.
Wait until it’s hard. Store in an airtight container well cool. I put it in plastic sealable bags when I bring it to school.

Tasty Kitchen Recipe for Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn

Image

Soft-baked Funfetti Sugar Cookies

These cookies are yummy! They are soft and chewy and colorful! If you are going to a kid party, these will be your go to recipe. The trick to keep them from spreading while baking is to refrigerate them.

½ cup unsalted butter, softened *
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature**
1 ½ cups spoon filled & knife leveled all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
½ cup (8 oz.) sprinkles

With handheld or stand mixer, cream the softened butter for about one minute on medium speed. Cream it until smooth. Add sugar on medium speed and cream until fluffy and light in color. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down side of bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar. On low speed slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Dough will be thick. Fold in ½ cup of sprinkles.
Scoop about 2 tbsp. of dough and roll into a ball. Chill balls on a cookie sheet for at least 2 hours. I put them all on one cookie sheet to chill, but baked on 2 cookie sheets. They take up too much room in the refrigerator to put both in.
Chill dough balls for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Bake chilled cookie dough for 8 minutes. You do not want them to brown. The cookies will appear to be undercooked and soft. Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then finish cooling on wire rack.
Cookies freeze well and keep up to 3 months to bake later.
Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

*To soften butter, cut stick of butter into 6 pieces and microwave for about 10 seconds.
** Room temperature egg is required. Place in warm glass of water for about 10 minutes.

Sally’s Baking Addiction Recipe