Peanut Butter and Strawberry Cookies

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I feel like I haven’t posted a cookie round these parts for some time now, but truth be told…we went on a bit of a chocolate chip cookie bender for a bit and maybe had to slow it down in the ‘zerts department. I mean, when you freeze cookie dough into portions and have them stashed in the freezer, there’s not much stopping you from treating-yo-self nightly to a warm cookie or two. Cookie binge was followed by an ice cream binge…so, we had to take it a little easy on the sugar intake.

Then, I decided to make these cute little numbers because they’ve been knocking around in my brain for days and I just couldn’t ignore them any more. I’m gonna have to unload them on Sean’s office mates or something, because I cannot resist these guys.Even Sean, who claims to hate peanut butter cookies, couldn’t stop eating these. They’re thick and chewy and full of peanut butter flavor with little bits of intense strawberry throughout–like a pb&j in cookie form. These are best served with a tall glass of cold milk–the cow kind or the almond kind, or whatever kind you like. I even had one with horchata. GOOD STUFF. Cookie magic, cue the sparkle emoji!

[recipe]

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Peanut Butter & Strawberry Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

Adapted from THIS recipe.

1 cup coarsely ground oatmeal, ground in a food processor so there are some large pieces and some powdery bits

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (4 ounces) softened, unsalted butter

2/3 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups freeze dried strawberries (plus more for topping)

1 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Beat in the dark brown sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the oat and flour mixture, all at once, and beat on low speed until just combined. Fold in the freeze dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, and peanuts until distrubuted evenly throughout the dough.

Using a large cookie scoop (about 2 heaping tablespoons), scoop portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing an inch or so apart. Pat down the tops of the cookies using your fingertips or the bottom of a flat glass as these cookies will not really spread. Bake the cookies in the center of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown when lifted from the baking sheet. While the cookies are still hot, carefully press a slice of freeze dried strawberry onto the top of each cookie. Cool about 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough. [/recipe]

Triple Lemon Streusel Cake

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Lemon is a total winter-time gem and its brightness is much appreciated during these dreary months. While I love the spices and rich flavors that speak to us during these cooler months, I really appreciate the bright zing of citrus. And when I make something with lemon I really want the citrus flavor to be punchy with lots of tart to balance the sweet.

This cake from Izy’s book is a lemon dream. I bought this book as a total treat-yo-self stle gift and I am so glad I did…I’ve got so many recipes bookmarked but this one snagged my attention immediately. I mean, I love all things streusel topped–texture for life!–but it also packs a ton of lemon flavor into a humble little cake. It punches up the lemon 3-fold with lemon juice + zest in the batter, a cream cheese and curd layer, and a tart lemon drizzle. It’s pretty much the perfect lemon-y treat–the topping is crunchy, while the middle hides a creamy, lemon layer reminiscent of cheesecake, and the batter has that zest plus little bits of oats that give this tender cake a pleasant texture. It’s the kind of snack cake that disappears piece-by-piece before you know it and leaves you pinching the final crumbs out of the pan. Which makes it a little dangerous, but totally perfect for sharing.

[recipe]

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Triple Lemon Streusel Cake

From Top with Cinnamon 

Serves 12

for the topping:

2 tablespoons demerara (raw) sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons rolled oats

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

pinch of salt

for the cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2/3 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup rolled oats

5 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons lemon curd

for the glaze:

2/3 cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl, rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly mixture is achieved. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan and line with parchment leaving an overhang on two sides (I like to secure the sides with metal binder clips).

In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese and lemon curd.

Begin making the cake batter by melting the butter. In a mixing bowl combine the melted butter with the sugar, lemon zest and juice, and buttermilk until well mixed. Beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats (the batter will be a bit lumpy from the oats). Spread 1/3 of the batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread the cream cheese and lemon curd mixture over the batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining cake batter over the cream cheese layer and spread it out evenly. Spread the topping mixture over the cake batter and bake the cake in the center of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Mix together the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cake once it has cooled.

[/recipe]

Chocolate-Malted Oatmeal Cookies with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt

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Happy Thanksgiving-Eve!!

Are you hosting or just contributing or, better yet, just kicking back and feasting? I’m not making a turkey. We aren’t hosting, so I’m just bringing mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and a pie. I’m basically on carb-duty and I like it.

Anyways, you guys! Joy wrote another cookbook! Homemade Decadence is full of brunch things, sweet treats, pie-talk, and even some boozed up dranks. It’s pretty fantastic and so, so beautiful, too.

So far, I’ve made her Chocolate Pound Cake with Chips and Chocolate Glaze–I served it as dessert when we had Sean’s cousin and her husband over for a “thank-you-for-watching-our-baby-while-we-went-to-dinner-and-kept-my-crazy-in-check-with-multiple-texts-and-updates” dinner a few weeks ago. It was a hit, super chocolatey with a perfect, fine textured crumb.

And, obvs, I made these cookies. The recipe in the book calls for salted peanuts, but I didn’t have any, though I did have hazelnuts in my freezer and flaky salt in my pantry. So, that happened instead. These cookies are seriously SO GOOD. Like, we could not stop eating them. Usually, I like my chocolate chip cookies a little underdone, but I let these go an extra minute-ish so the edges got a little more brown. UGH. SO AMAZING. The edges come out just crisp, with a buttery-toffee bite and chewy cookie bellies. I’m pretty sure the malt powder and the hefty dose of vanilla is what makes these cookies so addictive. They are extra chewy from the oatmeal, plus there’s chunks of dark chocolate and crunchy hazelnuts throughout. Just make them, please.

Also, get this book, add it to your holiday gift list, it’s a keeper.

[recipe]

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Chocolate-Malted Oatmeal Cookies with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt

Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

The original recipe calls for salted peanuts and milk chocolate chips. I subbed in dark chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts, and sea salt sprinkles instead.

Makes about 36 cookies.

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup malted milk powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup, 2 sticks, unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts, chopped

flaky sea salt for the tops

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat to 350ºF.

In a large bowl whisk together the oats, flour, malt powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Reduce the speed to medium low and slowly add the milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the oat mixture until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough, about 2 tablespoons per cookie, onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. Bake until they are just set and golden around the edges, about 12 minutes (I did about 14 minutes). Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. [/recipe]