Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 40: Gluten Free Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

I am getting a lot of requests to pass along gluten free cookie recipes. The only problem, I don't know a thing about baking gluten free. I have tried to use basic gluten free baking mix and still haven't found one that works well for cookies. 

I have two friends that both are much more experienced in baking gluten free. I have been picking their brains, and am hoping to have them guest blog soon.

One of the few successes I had were these Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies. They were so good! Moist, creamy, nutty and delicious!

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

2 cups of natural chunky peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1/4 cup sugar to roll dough in

Mix peanut butter, sugar and eggs together.

Refrigerate for an hour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into a ball then roll in sugar. Place on the cookie sheet. Using a fork make criss cross pattern.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet, move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I baked one dozen of these and decided to freeze the rest of the dough. When freezing your cookie dough make sure you put it in a sturdy container.

And LABEL (I love my label maker)!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 39: Lemon Bars

My husband has always had a thing with lemon bars. I say "with" not "for" because at sometime in his life he stated he liked lemon bars. Since then, he has been gifted them on birthdays and for a long time my in-laws would bring over lemon mirage pie because they thought he liked it. Funny thing, he didn't. Don't get me wrong, he loves a good lemon bar, but they are far from his favorite.

It was a Monday and beautiful outside and I couldn't get the thought of bright yellow delicious lemon bars out of my head. So I decided that would be the cookie of the day. I started gathering my ingredients and supplies, preheated the oven, and dumped the ingredients for the crust (butter, sugar, flour) into my new pretty lemon bowl.

Since this recipe is easy and not much heavy mixing is involved I decided to give my Kitchen Aid mixer a day off.  All I needed was a few pulses to break up the butter. This may have worked if the butter was a little softer. It wasn't. The butter got stuck in the head of the blender.

At this point my brain must have turned off, because I thought it would be a good idea to stick my finger in there to remove the butter. FOR THE RECORD the blender was off. Then as the butter was unstuck the blade let loose and finished a rotation, cutting my finger at the top knuckle. See that sharp blade below? Don't put your fingers by it!!!

I was home by myself. Quickly ran my hand under cold water and cleaned out the cut (it was full of butter!). I kept pressure on it and held it above my heart. About 30 minutes later I realized I should probably go in to have it looked at. I called Adam and let him know what had happened and a friend to see if she could pick Noah up from school. Then drove myself to the William Beaumont Hospital's Urgent Care. I was stitched up and given a tetanus shott and in record time! I was even still able to pick Dane and Ian up from school.

And as they say in the theater...the show must go on!

I enlisted the help of Noah and we completed the lemon bars together and they were the best lemon bars ever!!!!

I found this recipe on It's simple, as long as you don't injure yourself while making them. Perfect mix of lemon and sweetness.

Lemon Bars

1 cup of butter SOFTENED
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 lemons, juiced
Plus some lemon zest for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium sized bowl mix together crust ingredients together. Second time around I used a pastry blender. Two knives would work just as well.

Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Then bake for 15-20 minutes.

While the crust is in the oven juice the lemons

Mix in eggs, sugar and flour. Pour over the hot crust then bake for 20 minutes.
Once the lemon bars are cooled dust with powdered sugar and lemon zest. Cut once they are cooled completely.

A special thanks to Noah who really stepped up and helped me make this COD. He was the sweet to a sour day. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 38: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

It's peanut butter jelly time!! PB&J as a very popular sandwich at the Zielinski house. I have even made the boys literally "sing" in order to have their sandwich made. Even today, while Ian is making his lunch for school he is singing and dancing around the kitchen. See...

Turning this family favorite in to a cookie was a fun task. This COD had everyone smiling.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie

2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup of peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup jelly (flavor of your choice, I used grape)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and peanut butter.

Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
Slowly add in dry ingredients.
Roll dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet then use a back of a spoon to make small hole in the middle.

Add jelly. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for one minute then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 37: Chocolate Cookie with M&M's and Reese's Pieces

I mentioned before that our neighbor had given the boys some left over candy. Even after making the Candy Shop Cookies on day 31, we still had a ton left. Noah suggested we make a chocolate cookie with candy pieces. We had a bag of m&m's and Reese's Pieces that we all mixed together. Rather then pick out one or the other, we used both.

I started to make the cookies when I realized...I'm out of cocoa powder! I usually make the cookies during the day while the boys are at school so this normally would not have been a big deal. However, I made these on a very busy day! My day was packed and after school each boy had about  different places to be. I finally got to baking the cookie after dinner.

Luckily, we live down the street from a wonderful place called Hollywood Market. I am there so often that I know the layout of the store like the back of my hand. I even get greeted by the employees like I'm family. So I ran up there and was back home with in 10 minuted to finish this COD.

Chocolate Cookies with M&M's and Reese's Pieces

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 3/4 cup of flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup m&m's
1 cup Reese's Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream butter and sugars together for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients. Once dry ingredients are fully incorporated, stir in m&m's and Reese's's Pieces.

Place teaspoon sized dollop of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for one minute then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are a great cookie if you love chocolate. Personally, I could have done with out the chocolate candy pieces and stuck with the peanut butter ones. Noah, Dane and Ian however, thought they were prefect the way they were. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 36: Spice Snaps

I baked these on a rainy Michigan day. When the boys came home from school it was a perfect warm treat. Cousin to the popular ginger snap cookie, these spice snaps will leave your taste buds happy and wanting more.

The boys suggested making an ice cream sandwich out of them in the future, I think they are on to something! Maybe with cinnamon ice cream?

Spice Snaps

1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of butter (softened)
1 egg
1/4 cup of molasses
2 1/4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar (to roll dough in)

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, set aside.
Mix together 1 cup of sugar, butter, egg and molasses

Slowly add in dry ingredients. Mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into one inch balls.

Roll in 1/4 cup of sugar

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completly or until cool enough to eat :).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 35: Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Like most families, we are always on the go. Our weekly schedule is enough to give anyone calendar anxiety.  It often reminds me of  Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ. Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my! Quickly turns into soccer and karate and baseball, OH, MY!
One of the boy's favorite on the go snacks are granola bars. They are quick, easy and satisfying.
With that in mind I baked this Chewy Oatmeal Cookie.
My chewy oatmeal cookies actually taste like the popular granola bars! The key I think) was to use the mini chocolate chips.
Chewy Oatmeal Cookie

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cups of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a separate bowl.
Cream butter and sugars together

Add vanilla and eggs one at a time

Slowly mix in dry ingredients.
Mix in oats then mini chocolate chips.
Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Trust me, these cookies will not last!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 34: Baileys Irish Cream Cookies

This cookie is definitely for the older kids. By older kids, I mean those that are 21 and over.  In addition the the Kiss me, I'm Irish! Cookies I brought a special cookie for the adults. I added Baileys Irish Cream not only to the cookie dough, but made a glaze out of it too. We had to put a big sign: NOT FOR KIDS! next to these cookies to make sure one wasn't

Baileys Irish Cream Cookies

For Cookies
1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 1/4 cups four (I used bread flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of shredded coconut (optional)

For Glaze
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
3 teaspoons of Baileys Irish Cream
Melted Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugars, add egg. Beat until fluffy.

add vanilla and Baileys

Mix in dry ingredients and coconut
Spoon dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes (mine came out perfectly at 11 minutes). Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Mix Baileys into 1/4 cup of powdered sugar ONE teaspoon at a time.

Stir together until your desired consistency is reached.


In a small bowl, melt dark chocolate chips in the microwave (about 40 seconds).

Once cookies have cooled, drizzle Baileys glaze and dark chocolate over the tops.

I did attempt to make a four leaf clover on one cookie. That was as fancy as I got.

Who needs green beer on St. Patrick's Day when you can have these??!!