Chocolate Chip Cookies

A classic chocolate chip cookies made with ground oats, and tons of chocolate running throughout! Say  hello to your new favorite cookie recipe!

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One thing I love doing is taking far too many cookbooks at the local library. There is a whole section upstairs with endless amounts of cookbooks. It feels like shopping, only it’s free. Well unless you forget to return them, so in my case, not always free. On a recent trip I borrowed this cookbook. Perhaps it was the title, or the cover, or maybe I just had a craving for a good old fashioned cookie. Either way I found myself checking out this book immediately.

The cookbook contains 89 heirloom recipes from New York’s Milk and Cookies bakery located in Greenwich village. Perusing through the pages of tasty sounding recipes, I decided the first one I would have to make of course is the signature chocolate chip cookie the bakery is known for.

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What makes this classic chocolate chip cookie different from every other chocolate chip cookie I have ever made is that instead of using just flour, it uses a combination of oats and flour. The old fashioned rolled oats are ground up that gives the cookies a texture somewhere between chewy and crispy. Truly a texture that is unforgettable once you have had one bite. You could use oat flour, or simply break out your food processor and grind up some old-fashioned rolled oats.

The second thing about this recipe that will have you swooning and breaking out your mixer immediately. Instead of just stirring in some chocolate chips or chunks, it also includes (get this), ribbons of chocolate. Little curls of chocolate that creates threads of chocolate running throughout the vanilla-based dough that ensure that you get chocolate-y deliciousness with every bite. Are you swooning yet? Yea, I thought so.

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Now this recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. If you’re like me, that is one too many to have laying around the house. You can make them all and give some away to co-workers and accept all the thank yous between bites. Or you can scoop the dough and freeze for later. Perfect for when the cookie craving hits. If you have never freezed cookie dough for use later, oh boy, you are missing out. Simply scoop your cookie dough like normal onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes. Then simply placed them in a Ziploc bag and keep in the freezer for whenever you need one..or two…six. Hey I’m not judging.

So with finely ground oats that give an unmistakable texture and ribbons of chocolate running throughout you will definitely be making these cookies again and again.

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And me? I plan on returning my book on time and then quickly purchasing it for my own copy straight away so I can make even more cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2
A classic chocolate chip cookie made with finely ground oats and ribbons of chocolate running throughout!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  7. 1 cup granulated sugar
  8. 1 cup light brown sugar
  9. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  10. 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
  12. 2 cups bittersweet chocolate curls or shavings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment or nonstick silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Put the oats in the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade and process until finely ground. Transfer the ground oats to a mixing bowl. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Put the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Begin beating on low speed to soften. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or unti light and creamy. With the motor running gradually add the granulated sugar and then the brown sugar. , beating until very light and creamy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and when blended, slowly beat in the reserved dry mixture.
  5. Stop the mixer when the dough is still slightly streaky, and finish mixing the dough with a spatula so as not to overmix. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chunks and curls, mixing until evenly distributed. Do not use your mixer to stir in the chocolate. The mixer tends to break up the chocolate chunks and result in a dry texture.
  6. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, make mounds of dough. Roll the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the balls, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Using your palm, gently flatten each ball to make a puck-like shape about 2 inches in diameter.
  7. When the cookies are all shaped, place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and set in the center. Do not overbake; you want some chewiness in the center.
  8. Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire racks to cool.
  9. Store, airtight, at room temperature for up to a week.
Notes
  1. You can also freeze the unbaked dough. Simply scoop the dough, flatten, and freeze on a lined cookie sheet for about 30 minutes, then transfer to a plastic bag. Bake as normal (you may need an extra minute or two on the baking time).
Adapted from Milk and Cookies
Adapted from Milk and Cookies
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/
 

Pumpkin Pancakes

A stack of pancakes with a pumpkin twist, drizzled in maple syrup. Hello, breakfast!

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Once in a while I wake up with that craving for something sweet for breakfast. Believe it or not, I actually crave a egg sandwich dripping in melted cheese. But once in awhile, the pancake craving hits. And when it does, you have to answer it. There is no point in trying to ignore the call. This time, the pancake craving would come with a pumpkin twist.

Pumpkin has been a frequent visitor as of late. I just can’t seem to get enough. I made these cookies. And these cupcakes. And these muffins. I can’t promise that the pumpkin craze is done yet either.

I made these pancakes twice (no not all in one weekend!). The first time they came out super dense and kind of mushy in the middle, no matter how long they were on the stove! They found their way to the trash and I found myself making another egg sandwich. Second time around, I bumped up the baking soda and baking powder to really make sure these came out light and fluffy. With all the pumpkin going on, it needed some extra boost. I also swapped out the vegetable oil and used melted butter, which still made them tender but also gave that flavor that only butter can achieve. To get the right consistency as well, I added a little extra milk to the batter so it made that pourable batter you’re supposed to have.

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A couple other things:

1) Always let your pancake batter rest for about 10 minutes. You need to let the baking powder and baking soda start to do their thing. You know how people say the first pancake is always a throw away. I always thought it had something to do with the pan just wasn’t quite ready. After a few go rounds, I would put my money on that you haven’t. Let. IT Rest. It being the batter! Take a coffee break and then start flipping those flapjacks.

2) Not sure when to flip? See those little air bubbles popping up, wait for them to start popping and then you know. Get that spatula ready. Flip, baby, flip! Don’t worry if isn’t perfect. Just put that pancake in the middle of the stack. No one will be the wiser.

3) Sadly, I’m still baking pancakes on a small griddle one at a time. I know. I know. I need to invest something like this. Either way, if you are making a whole big batch like I do then do yourself a favor and stick them in the oven to keep warm. while you keep pouring and flipping. Simply pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Spray a cooling rack with non-stick spray and place on top of a cookie sheet. Then voila! Instant pancake warmer!

4) Last but not least, when making the pancake batter. You want to make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients into the well. Then using a spatula, stir just until combined. You don’t want to keep stirring and end up with tough pancakes in the end.

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So when the next craving hits, put a little happy in your Sunday morning and whip up some pumpkin pancakes. Throw some pecans in or chocolate chips if you so choose, or simply eat them as is. All pumpkin-y and drizzled in maple syrup.  These will definitely tame the craving.

Pumpkin Pancakes
A delicious stack of pancakes made with pumpkin and warming spices. Drizzle in maple syrup for a perfect weekend breakfast!
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Ingredients
  1. * 2 cups flour
  2. * 2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  3. * 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  4. * 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  5. * 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. * 2 cups milk (I used low-fat)
  7. * 1 egg
  8. * 3 Tablespoons butter, melted, cooled
  9. * 1 cup pumpkin puree
  10. * 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  11. * 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger
Instructions
  1. 1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, spices, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  2. 2. In another bowl, whisk to combine butter and egg. Add pumpkin and milk. Whisk to combine.
  3. 3. In the dry ingredients bowl, make a well in the center. Pour in the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Some lumps will remain. Do NOT overmix.
  4. 4. Heat a skillet with 1-2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. Take a paper towel and wipe out the excess oil. Using a 1/4-cup, ladle out pancake batter. Cook until bubbles rise and pop. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Keep warm in preheated oven, or serve immediately with lots of butter and syrup.
Notes
  1. I used a 1/2 cup to measure out my pancake batter, because I prefer my pancakes a little bigger! Do what you suits you! If you use 1/4 cup, you will get about 16 pancakes, about 8 if you make them 1/2 cup size.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/
 

Pumpkin White Chocolate Pudding Mix Cookies

A pumpkin cookie that stays soft for days due to the secret ingredient….pudding mix! Throw in some white chocolate chips for a real Autumn treat!

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So I have seen pudding cookies all over Pinterest, and finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. I mean could one ingredient really make that much of a difference?! Ok, yup it can.

But why? Maybe it’s the science teacher in me to ask questions. After a little poking around the internet, I found my answer. Pudding mix contains…(cue epic music)…cornstarch! Yup. Cornstarch. That’s it. That’s why pudding mix cookies are just so darn good and stay darn good for days.

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For this recipe, be sure to use instant pudding mix. I found some pumpkin spice pudding mix and that’s what sparked these cookies. I got so excited I grabbed a box and quickly got to make these tasty little treats.

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_MG_8209If you can’t find pumpkin spice pudding mix, vanilla I am sure will do just fine. Just add a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice and you should achieve the same tasty results that I did. If using pudding mix skeeves you out, then add in cornstarch instead and pumpkin pie spice. It really is the cornstarch that makes these cookie so soft. I think they even make organic pudding mix now if your heart desires.

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I threw in some white chocolate chips for good measure. I just love the combination of white chocolate and pumpkin, don’t you? I’m sure semi-sweet chocolate chips would be fine. I just LOVE the white chocolate mingling with pumpkin.

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So now that I have seen what all the fuss is about, I’m sure this won’t be the last time pudding cookies appear on this blog. Any one have any pudding mix cookies, you think I need to try? Let me know!

 

Pumpkin White Chocolate Pudding Mix Cookies
A soft pumpkin cookie made with pudding mix and loaded with white chocolate chips!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 sticks butter, unsalted, melted
  2. 2 1/4 cups flour
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 package instant pumpkin spice pudding mix
  6. 1/4 cup sugar
  7. 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 egg yolk
  10. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  11. 2 Tbs milk
  12. 2 cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. 3. In a standing mixer, combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. 4. Add the egg and egg yolk, mix until combined. Add the vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Stir in the flour mixture with the mixer running on low. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. 5. Scoop the cookie dough onto your prepared cookie sheets (I used a 1-inch small cookie scoop). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool on a baking rack before devouring.
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/
 

 

 

 

Caramel Apple Crisp

A comforting and easy dish to throw together! A traditional apple crisp with swirls of caramel sauce running through it.

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As Thanksgiving approaches, you might be looking for a great dessert to put on your table this holiday season. Ok, ok, I know pie is usually everyones go to and mine as well. But let’s not forget another apple dessert as American as ok well you know. Apple Crisp. Mmm, apple crisp. So much easier and just as satisifying if you ask me as pie.

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I had as you might remember a TON of apples sitting around staring at me on my counter. Yea, yea, they make great healthy snacks. They make even better desserts when covered in cinnamon and caramel.

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A couple things about this dessert:

* I doubled the “crisp” part of the dessert. Once is nice, twice is better, right? The crisp topping is what we are all here for isn’t it? The reason you go back in for seconds. So to ensure there is enough topping to hold up to the apples I doubled the usually called for amount. It is a traditional crisp topping with oats (old fashioned kind please), brown sugar, cinnamon, and of course some melted butter.

*This apple filling actually gets cooked on the stove beforehand so that means it only needs to be in your oven for a quick 15 minutes. This dessert will be on your table in no time. I also cooked the filling with some fresh apple cider to amp up the delicious apple flavor.

* Let’s talk caramel. I decided traditional apple crisp is all well and good, but I decided to invite caramel to the party. I melted a few caramels before hand, but feel free to make your own caramel sauce. Adding caramel to this apple crisp just adds another dimension to this crisp, that seriously is going to probably make you hate me the next day at the gym. An extra workout is totally worth this dessert. Trust me.

*This makes a generous sized dessert, so you can either split it between two dishes (which is what I did) or simply combine it all in one 13×9 dish. No one is going away with a sweet tooth unsatisfied here.

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So ok a dessert easier and just as delicious as apple pie with a caramel twist. Easy as pie. Well, even easier. Maybe the phrase should be easy as crisp.

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Caramel Apple Crisp
A traditional apple crisp with a swirl of caramel baked right in! Perfect for your Thanksgiving table!
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Topping
  1. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  3. 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  4. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 16 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling
  1. 2 Tablespoons flour
  2. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 6 cups of apples, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
  5. 1 cup apple cider
  6. 14-16 caramels, unwrapped, and melted
Instructions
  1. For the topping: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside.
  2. For the filling: Toss apples, sugar and cinnamon, and flour in bowl and set aside. In a large pot, combine, cider and apple mixture and heat over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until apples have softened. In a separate saucepan, combine caramels and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir until the caramels have melted all the way through. Stir into the apple mixture.
  3. Spread the apple mixture into a 13x9 dish (or two separate smaller dishes). Crumble the topping over evenly. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool slightly before enjoying. Eat with whipped cream, ice-cream, or just as is!
Notes
  1. I used Cortland apples, which tend to be a on the sweeter side. If you prefer to have a tarter version you could try using half Granny smith and half Cortland apples.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/
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Caramel Apple Snickerdoodles

A classic snickerdoodle cookie that has fresh apples folded in and then a surprise of a caramel center.  Cinnamon, apples, and caramel all in one cookie!

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 You know when you go apple picking and for some reason you think you need like 10 pounds of apples? In what world, have I ever needed that many apples? My recent trip to a cider mill, I bought a big bag of apples. Now I could have gone with that small bag (1/2 bushel). Oh no I thought that can’t possibly be enough! I panicked and bought the full bushel. I am not even sure if I even know what a bushel of apples means. Translation? A boat load of apples._MG_8111-2

So fast forward… I have had this big bag of apples staring at me on my counter for a few days now. I was able to use up some for these muffins and these scones, but there was still quite a few left. So I decided it was time for some apple cookies. Apple snickerdoodles to be exact. I mean hello, cinnamon and apples. You don’t need to be a pastry chef to know that’s going to be a hit. I didn’t stop there though I figured a caramel in the middle wouldn’t be a bad surprise either.

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A couple things about this recipe:
* This was definitely a sticky dough. Snickerdoodle dough is suppossed to be like that. Apples definitely add some additional moisture. You might want to add a little extra flour due to the extra moisture from the addition of the apples. So if your apples are extra juicy then go ahead and sprinkle in some extra flour.

* Chilling this dough is a must. Chilling your dough will help your cookies from spreading too much in the oven. I tried a batch after 30 minutes, 1 hour, and the next day. I found they were all delicious but chilling the dough overnight resulted in the best cookies.

* I also experimented with how to add the caramels. The first batch I simply stuck the whole caramel in the middle. Although it technically worked, I found the cookie spread out around and after the cookies had cooled you were left with a very chewy cookie center. I decided to take a little helpful advice from Sally on adding the caramels to the center of cookies. I cut the caramels in quarters and put two of the pieces in the center of the cookies. So you get a little caramel surprise when you bite in. Next time, I’m totally adding caramel bits through the whole dough so there is caramel and apple throughout the whole cookie. If you make them this way, let me know how this change turns out.

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Ok so maybe these cookies didn’t solve my bushel of apples problem, but it definitely took care of my cookie craving. So what should I make next? You tell me, What are your favorite recipes to make with apples?

Caramel Apple Snickerdoodles
Yields 24
A classic snickerdoodle cookie chock full of apples and filled with a caramel center.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  3. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  8. 2 large eggs,
  9. 2 apples, peeled and diced
  10. 24 caramels, unwrapped, cut into quarters
Instructions
  1. 1. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside.
  2. 2. In a second bowl, whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. 3. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
  4. 4. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Add your diced apples at this time and give your dough a couple final stirs to ensure apple pieces are mixed in evenly.
  5. 5. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes, up to keeping it overnight. While the dough is chilling, prepare your caramels by cutting each caramel into quarters.
  6. 6. When you are just about to ready to bake and dough is just about chilled long enough preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. When dough is ready, scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and press 2 caramel bits (or more, like I said if I did this again I'd put all of caramel bits in!) in the center and then scoop another tablespoon of dough over it to cover up the caramel bits. Roll into a ball, and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet spaced 2 inches apart, repeat with remaining dough balls.
  7. 7. Bake 1 sheet at a time (keep the other tray chilled!) until the edges of the cookies are set and just beginning to brown but centers are soft and puffy (my oven took about 10 minutes, yours may take up to 12 minutes). Your cookies may look raw between the craks and seem underdone.
  8. 8. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
Notes
  1. * Cream of tartar is essential for the classic snickerdoodle flavor. Do not substitute the baking soda and cream of tartar with baking powder!
  2. * Feel free to stir in caramel bits throughout or only in the center or heck even stir in caramel sauce. All I'm saying is the caramel flavor with the apples and snickerdoodle is one heck of a combination. Is that too many hecks?
  3. * Traditional recipe called for 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter. Because I used all butter, I felt that chilling the dough was necessary!
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/

Homemade Halloween Oreos

A homemade version of the famous chocolate sandwich cookies all dressed up for Halloween!

_MG_8165    Happy Halloween everyone! I don’t know about you but I love Halloween, even more so I think as an adult! Does anyone else feel this way about Halloween? I love dressing up, the decorations, and ok I am a sucker for all the candy. 

If you are looking for a little homemade treat though to bring to that Halloween party or school party then this is the recipe.  And believe it or not, it’s fairly easy! I promise! And oh my word. Delicious._MG_8150

This recipe starts with a dark, dark cocoa powder. Oreos as you know is a BLACK cookie sandwich.  To achieve those results, you need a black cocoa powder. If you don’t have any, you can always get some here. You could also use a Dutch cocoa powder, but it might not be as black in the end. No less delicious, however._MG_8124

For these cookies, you want to roll the dough into 1-inch balls._MG_8126

Then flatten slightly with your hand._MG_8127

When they come out of the oven they will be slightly puffy but they will flatten out. Perfect for making sandwiches with. They would be delicious on their own!_MG_8130

Then you need to make your filling. I made an all butter filling. Most recipes I found were made with shortening. I am just not a fan of using shortening so I went with good old butter. The filling will be soft at first but then harden up if you stick them in the fridge for a bit.  The simply scoop, and smush two halves together.

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_MG_8135_MG_8137I also made my filling orange for the holiday.  I just couldn’t resist. These cookies could obviously be left white in the middle, or be dressed up for any holiday!

This dough was adapted from Smitten Kitchen (adapted from Retro Desserts). She suggested to achieve that slightly salty mildy sweet Oreo cookie taste we all know and love to reduce the amount of sugar. So that is exactly what I did and the Oreo taste was spot on. 

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I used the filling recipe from a beloved cookbook of mine and bakery, Flour. Flour is a local Boston bakery and every treat and recipe I have made or enjoyed from this place is amazing.  Her Oreo cookie recipe is a bit more complicated, but her filling was made with all butter so I used her recipe for the filling. It did not disappoint. Maybe that’s why there always lines out her door…

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These cookies are obviously even better when dunked in milk. 

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Dunk them or not.

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Color them or not.

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Heck,, roll them in sprinkles. Whatever you do you have to make these cookies. You will never buy another package of Oreos again.  No tricks. No lies.  They are perfect treat after a long night of tricking and treating or during a scary movie. Whatever your Halloween heart desires.

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Homemade Halloween Oreos
Yields 12
A homemade version of the classic cookie sandwich all dressed up for Halloween!
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For the cookies
  1. 1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup (45 grams, but cocoa weights can vary greatly) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 140 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  8. 1 large egg
For the filling
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1 tablespoon milk
  5. Pinch of kosher salt
Instructions
  1. 1.Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. 2.In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. 3.Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. 4.To make the filling, place butter in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy. If you are adding the orange coloring, add it now. I just kept adding it until I was happy with the color.
  5. 5.To assemble the cookies, using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop a tablespoon of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Eat immediately with a glass of milk.
Adapted from Cookies from Smitten Kitchen, Filling from Flour
Adapted from Cookies from Smitten Kitchen, Filling from Flour
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/
 

 

 

Chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting

A moist, rich chocolate cupcake topped with an irrestible mocha buttercream frosting. Coffee and chocolate together again!

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 I know the internet is flooded right now with pumpkin and apple recipes. And I am just as guilty. But sometimes you just need chocolate. Ok I ALWAYS need chocolate.

I don’t know about you but at the end of every dinner. Ok every meal. Seriously, even breakfast sometimes. I’m craving dessert and that dessert is usually chocolate

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This dessert, however, was requested by a co-worker. So obviously, I’m not the only one who craves chocolate after dinner. She was throwing a dinner party and asked for cupcakes. What kind, I asked? Chocolate. Ok, and frosting.  Mmm, can you do mocha? Can I do mocha? Of course I can!

So I took my favorite vanilla buttercream and changed it up a bit. 

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Mocha is simply coffee and chocolate. So naturally of course I added some chocolate. I used 1/4 cup cocoa powder added to my frosting recipe. I used natural cocoa powder but I don’t see why any kind can’t be used. 

For the coffee I used instant espresso. Have you ever baked with this stuff before? It’s fantastic. All you have to do it dissolve a tablespoon of the crystals in a cup of hot water. And voila! Instant espresso! Perfect for adding to recipes. Coffee (or espresso) always bring out that chocolate flavor. So they are a perfect pairing. I added 4 Tablespoons of the (cooled) espresso to my buttercream frosting. You can add less or more depending on your fanciness for coffee. I definitely wanted a STRONG kick to my frosting._MG_8110-2

For the chocolate cupcakes? They are Hershey’s simply chocolate cake recipe. When I went back through all my recipes, I realized I have only ever posted two times (here and here) about these cupcakes and I can’t count how many times I have made them! So it’s high time they show up on this blog again! They are that good. They are also cinch to throw together. (No mixer required!) and I have had success every single time. Never a bad cupcake. These chocolate cupcakes are my go-to for sure.  They come out perfectly chocolate-y and moist. Every. Single. Time.  Do you have a go-to chocolate cupcake you think I should try then please let me know! I am always looking for an excuse to eat more chocolate.

So if you need a break from pumpkin and apple (ok a short break I’m sure) then these are perfect for that chocolate craving that no matter what time of year is always sure to strike.

Chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting
Yields 24
A perfect chocolate cupcake topped with a mocha buttercream. Coffee and chocolate- a perfect pairing!
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For the cupcake
  1. *2 cups sugar
  2. *1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  3. *3/4 cup cocoa
  4. *1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. *1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  6. *1 teaspoon salt
  7. * 2 eggs
  8. * 1 cup milk
  9. * 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  10. * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. * 1 cup boiling water
For the frosting
  1. 2 1/2 cups butter, softened
  2. 2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
  3. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 4 Tbs. espresso, cooled
  6. 1 Tbs. Heavy cream
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. Prepare cupcake pans with liners.
  3. 3. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. 4. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be very thin at this point.
  5. 5. Pour into cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 full.
  6. 6. Bake about 22-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before adding the frosting on top.
  7. 7. For the frosting: Cream the butter first until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner sugar and cocoa powder and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes until combined. You may want to scrap down the bowl at this point. Then add the vanilla extract, espresso, and heavy cream. Then mix on high speed for 8 minutes until light and fluffy.
  8. 9. When cupcakes are cooled, then using a pastry bag and tip swirl the frosting on top. Decorate with sprinkles!
Notes
  1. * I used an Atecco tip #874, closed star tip, to achieve the swirl on top.
  2. * For the espresso, follow the directions on the container to make a cup of espresso. Allow it to cool so you don't melt your frosting! You can always add more or less (just be careful of the consistency if you decide to add more). You could always just use good strong coffee if you don't have (or can find) espresso.
  3. * If you find your frosting is too soft to pipe. Just throw it in the fridge for a 1/2 hour or so and you should be good to go!
Adapted from Hershey's chocolate cake, Cook's Illustrated Vanilla Buttercream
Adapted from Hershey's chocolate cake, Cook's Illustrated Vanilla Buttercream
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/

Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins

Miniature Donut muffins made with fresh apple cider and then dipped in hot melted butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. No need to stop at the donut shop now!

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Back home there is this great little cider mill that I have to visit every single time I go home to see the fam. It’s a must visit tradition for my family. I always make sure to get a big heaping bag of apples, a dutch apple pie, cheese curds, and of course wait in a ridiculously long line for some homemade donuts. These workers are working tireless each day to pump out HOT fresh donuts. There is seriously nothing like them. I’m wiping drool of my keyboard as I think about those donuts.

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This cider mill also makes fresh cider before your very eyes with this (what I can only imagine) is at least a 100 year old cider press. The young and old cram around this press to watch as fresh cider comes whirling out of the machine. They hand you free samples to go along with your hot donuts. Is there anything better for a crisp Autumn day? I think not.

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Now if you can’t make it to a cider mill, hopefully you can pick up a gallon of local cider at your grocery store to make these donut muffins that I was inspired to make after my recent trip to the cider mill. Now I don’t have a donut maker at home, so I took home a gallon of their freshest cider to pour into this recipe and make “donut muffins” It’s donut meet muffin meet MY STOMACH.

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These little round cinnamon sugar bites are moist, tender and bursting with apple and cinnamon flavor. I made them small so that way when I devoured four without breathing I didn’t feel as guilty. It’s how I feel about eating fun size candy bars. It doesn’t count as much calorie wise right?

These donut muffins start with a basic muffin recipe. For a typical muffin recipe I would add usually milk as my liquid component. I added part buttermilk for the richness and tanginess but also of course that fresh apple cider. I then decided to up the apple flavor by adding applesauce. Applesauce will add flavor but also moisture to these little guys.

I also wanted a muffin recipe that had that tender crumb you would expect from a good muffin from your favorite bakery. Although oil would achieve this desired result I also wanted that undeniable deliciousness that butter adds. How do I get both tender crumb and flavor? Melt the butter! And that’s what I exactly did.

The end result with this muffin is a tender muffin loaded with apple flavor. Then when you roll in even (yes bust out those stretch sweatpants) more melted butter and cinnamon sugar that is reminiscent of that cake like doughnut from your favorite doughnut shop. Part doughnut. Part muffin. One hundred percent awesome.

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So with this recipe you can have your donut and your muffin too. No need to decide!

Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins
Yields 36
The best of both worlds- a donut muffin bursting with apple flavor and covered in cinnamon and sugar
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Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cup flour
  2. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  7. 1/4 cup apple cider
  8. 1/4 cup applesauce
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1/4 nutmeg
  13. 1/4 cloves
For the coating
  1. 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini muffin pan. (If you have multiple pans, good for you- go ahead and grease them up! This recipe will make about 36 mini muffins).
  2. 2. In one bowl combine the flour, and both sugars, and spices. Stir to combine.
  3. 3. In another bowl, combine the milk, cider, applesauce, eggs and butter. Whisk to combine.
  4. 4. Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Do NOT overmix.
  5. 5. Scoop the batter into each muffin well and fill each about 3/4 cup full. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. 6. While they bake, melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter in one bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon in another bowl.
  7. 6. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack. Then take each muffin and dip in the melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Notes
  1. A little helpful hint if you use one hand to roll in butter and the other for the other cinnamon sugar mixture, you can make the dunking and rolling process fairly a quick and clean (sort of!) process.
  2. Your brown sugar may not combine completely with the other dry ingredents leaving small chunks of brown sugar. Don't worry those will melt in your batter in the oven, creating little pockets of brown sugary goodness.
  3. If you have only one mini-muffin pan and leftover batter as your first batch bakes. Pop the leftover batter in the fridge while the first batch bakes. This will slow down that whole reaction that is happening with batter and you won't lose any lift in your muffins in your second batch.
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/

Pumpkin cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

A tender, moist pumpkin cupcake swirled high with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

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 Before we talk about these cupcakes! I just discovered (yes apparently I do live under a rock) www.bloglovin.com. This site is a fantastic way to follow all of your favorite blogs and their recent posts.  So I’m asking if you like mine, then Follow my blog with Bloglovin I would love the support!

Ok if it isn’t clear yet, I love pumpkin. I love when the weather starts to turn a little, and the leaves start turning their vibrant shades, because then I can indulge in everything pumpkin. I think I have had a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks almost every day this week (hello, pocketbook!). I just can’t help myself though. Soto  keep the pumpkin craze going, I indulged in making these guys…

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Pumpkin Cupcakes.

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And a cupcakes is really just a muffin isn’t it?…unless piled high with frosting? I agree. So I swirled these with some seriously cinnamon-y (that’s a word in blog world I think right?) cream cheese frosting.  D-I-V-I-N-E.

Oh my gosh, ok I wish there were some left in the fridge. There isn’t. There gone. ALL GONE. Yup they were that good.

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  Ok so let’s get down to business. Let’s talk about this recipe instead of just swooning over it (not that’s there anything wrong with that!).

First of all this recipe uses the basic muffin recipe. So we are still using this basic muffin method here of adding your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. And remembering to not over mix. Less is more people. Less is more.

For the frosting, use CHILLED cream cheese. Keeping your cream cheese chilled until you’re ready to use it will result in a frosting that holds up a little better. Otherwise,  you end up with wimpy frosting. If your frosting is too soft to pipe onto your cupcakes, simply throw it in your refrigerator for a few minutes to stiffen up a bit.

This frosting has a LOT of cinnamon. Yes you read right. Two whole tablespoons. If you want a little less cinnamon, feel free to add less. The pumpkin cupcakes are mildly sweet so they can handle this frosting on top. it’s a perfect balance.

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So what to do with the leftover pumpkin? You could always throw it in some macaroni and cheese to go with the cupcakes. Because let’s face it, is there ever really too much pumpkin in your life? I think not.

 

Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
Yields 14
A moist tender pumpkin cupcake swirled high with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
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For the cupcakes
  1. 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  8. 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 cup (227 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  11. 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  12. 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
  1. 8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  2. 6 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  3. 3 cups confectioner sugar
  4. 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  5. 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray two 12-count muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Add the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do NOT overmix the batter.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into 14 cups; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. *Instead of these spices, you may use 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead
  6. For the frosting, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add your confectioner sugar one cup at a time on low speed. Scrape down sides in between. Beat for about 3 minutes more. Then add your vanilla and cinnamon. Once your cupcakes are cooled, pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes. I used a 1M wilton star tip to swirl my frosting. You can always just use a spatula and cover in sprinkles. Trust me, no one will mind. These are delicious either way!
Notes
  1. * Use chilled cream cheese. This achieves a better consistency. You will just need to keep the mixer running a little longer.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/
 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Muffins

An easy versatile recipe for a pumpkin muffin!

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Here is a basic muffin recipe for you for this Fall season loaded with pumpkin flavor! The best part, this recipe can then be transformed any way you like. Love Nutella? Stuff some in the middle. Chocolate craving? Throw some chocolate chips in the batter. Halloween party to go to? Make some frosting, and swirl on top. That’s what I did, but that’s for a later post. I promise. Basically, the sky’s the limit for these muffins. Or simply enjoy as is. You can’t go wrong.

This recipe I borrowed from one of my favorite blog site, Sally’s Baking Addiction. I swear I get a toothache just looking at her photos. If you haven’t checked out her site, you seriously need to. Just be ready to having a sugar craving after.

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Here’s a couple notes about this recipe:

1) This uses cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If your pantry isn’t stocked with these items, you can always substitute pumpkin pie spice. I know growing up there was always a container of that stuff hidden in the spice cabinet. Keep in mind pumpkin pie spice has the addition of allspice and ginger.

2) Make sure to use pumpkin PUREE not pumpkin pie FILLING. The difference? Pumpkin pie filling is already pre-sweetened and pre-spiced, pumpkin puree is just pure good old pumpkin.  This gives you more control over your recipe.

3) As the recipe states this is a muffin- dress it up however you like with frosting and sprinkles but above all else it’s a still a muffin. So that means we will use the muffin method (good name for it), which means you will add your wet to your dry ingredients and just be sure to NOT overmix. Get all stir crazy and you will without a doubt (I bet you a thousand chocolate chip cookies) a TOUGH muffin. And nobody likes a tough muffin. Yech…

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So make this your go-to muffin recipe and play dress up with it however you like.

Pumpkin Muffins
Yields 14
A versatile go-to pumpkin muffin recipe that can be turned into cupcakes or loaded up with chocolate chips. Dress up however you want and enjoy :)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  8. 1/2 cup (100 grams) dark brown sugar
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 cup (227 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  11. 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  12. 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray two 12-count muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Add the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do NOT overmix the batter.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into 14 cups; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. *Instead of these spices, you may use 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Boston Girl Bakes http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/