Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 15: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Clusters

Here I am 15 days into this challenge and I already had a day where I didn't know if I could fit in making cookies. Work, doctor appointments, martial arts for Ian, soccer for both Dane and Noah, homework and just craziness all around. It only took one Puss in Boots look from Dane and Ian to get me into the kitchen and quickly whip these up.

I looked in the pantry and made quick no bake cookie with what I had. Theses turned out surprising good :)

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Clusters

1/2 sick of Butter
1/2 bag of Mini Marshmallows
1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
2 Cups of Corn Cereal

Melt the butter over low heat
Add Mini Marshmallows

Once the mini marshmallow are melted add mini chocolate chips

Stir mini chocolate chips until melted

Add two tablespoons of peanut butter, stir until melted

Turn off heat and add cereal, stir

Using an ice cream scoop place cookies on a greased (Pam works great) piece of tin foil

Let the cookies cool.

Total time from start to finish 10 minutes!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 14: Magic Cookie Bars

I have never attempted this seemingly easy recipe until today. The boys were all on board to help with this cookie of the day (COD) so I let them read the recipe and bake these cookies themselves. With proper supervision, of course. Watching the three of them bake these together was awesome!
I tried to get them to type this post, but that was pushing it.

Magic Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place graham crackers in a zipper bag and crush using a rolling pin

(try not to have too much fun while doing :)

Measure butterscotch chips (and make sure to taste)

Measure Chocolate Chips (and If your are Dane try not to get caught eating more butterscotch chips)

Pour melted butter in a 9x13 baking dish.

Pour crushed graham cracker in to the baking dish.

Pour chopped walnuts into baking dish 

Pour butterscotch chips into baking dish  

Pour Chocolate Chips into baking dish. 

Pour coconut into baking dish.

 Evenly cover with sweetened condensed milk.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Let the cookie bars cool for 20 minutes before cutting.
Plate and enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 13: Nutella Cookies

When Noah was in third grade Adam took him to his first college football game. Noah was instantly smitten with the University of Michigan and the Big House. He took a camera to the game and took pictures of everything. The crazy college kids, the big blue M sign, the football players, and a lot of pictures of the cheerleaders :)

That night Noah was so excited about the day he just had. Then something unexpectedly turned. He looked at Adam and I and said: " Why did you wait so long to introduce me to college football??!!"

He thought he had been missing out on something. He has since turned into a University of Michigan super fan and has his sights on becoming one of those "crazy college kids" in the near future. 

I felt a lot like Noah did after his first college football game, the first time I tried Nutella.
Nutella in my opinion, is one of the best culinary discoveries of our time.  One of our favorite ways to enjoy this chocolate hazelnut spread is on toast with sliced bananas....yummm!

When I started sharing this blog on facebook, my cousin suggested to bake a Nutella Cookie. Yes!!! A Nutella cookie would be perfect!!!

I found this Chocolate-Hazelnut Smooches recipe by Giada De Laurentiis on food networks web site. I some minor changes...like adding crushed graham crackers and orange zest sugar...and omitted the "smooch" (the candy kiss).

Nutella Cookies
(adapted from Chocolate-Hazelnut Smooches by Giada De Laurentiis)

1 cup of flour
3/4 cup crushed graham cracker pieces
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar mixed with the zest of one orange

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, place the chocolate hazelnut spread, butter, and both sugars.
Cream the ingredients together, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and blend until incorporated.

Stir in the dry ingredients.
Shape the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls.
Roll the balls in the orange zest sugar pressing to adhere.

Place the cookies on a heavy cookie sheet about 4 inches apart.

Bake 10-12 minutes

 Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Dane: "MMMM!!!!"
Ian: "Nutella = an awesome cookie!!"
Noah: "Wow!  Can I take some of these to school tomorrow??" 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 12: S'MORE Cookies

I wouldn't say that camping is one of my favorite things to do. The thought of sleeping on the hard ground in a tent and having everything I packed smell like campfire actually makes me want to avoid camping all together. However, there is one time a year when I am a willing and excited participant in this outdoor activity.

In about two weeks about 50 families from our kids schools will all be logging on to Michigan's DNR website to make reservations for our annual Crazy Camping trip. For this one weekend in August the kids get to ride around on their scooters, participate in activities like doughnut eating contests, watch out door movies (I never said we were roughing it) and spend days at the beach with their friends.

Hanging out on Lake Huron

Night time entertainment

 Overpacking for 4 days of camping :)

 In honor of Crazy Camping, I give you the S'more Cookie. I wanted to find a cookie that had a great graham cracker flavor. This one did not disappoint! I found this recipe by Maureen Worman on Allrecipe.com, delicious!

S'more Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 milk chocolate bar broke into pieces
1/2 cup of mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Blend in egg and vanilla, mix well.
Place teaspoon sized drops of dough on the cookie sheet.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and place mini marshmallows and chocolate pieces on the cookie.
Return to the oven and bake for 3-4 more minutes

Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Dane: "It's like a little piece of heaven."

Ian (on his way to martial arts): "Yummmm!"

Noah: "Spectacular!"

Since we will be Crazy Camping again this August I would love to hear your suggestions or recipes for making cookies while camping. Please leave your suggestions/recipes in the comment section. Thank you!