Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

pumpkin-snickerdoodlesLast weekend my friend called to borrow some cream of tartar.  Cream of tartar screams one thing to me: Snickerdoodles.  This call, of course got me thinking about snickerdoodles for the next few days, but I never got around to making them.  Then as I was looking for a recipe for No Bake Pumpkin Cookies I stumbled on a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles on Mom on Timeout.  I, being the pumpkin lover that I am, liked the sound of that and since the universe seemed screaming at me that I needed to make them, I did.  And then I made them again the next day. 🙂

AnneOpinion

Snickerdoodles are a simple cookie with a little tang from the cream of tartar and cinnamon sugar on the outside.  These snickerdoodles stay true to the original.  They are simple with that classic snickerdoodle tang, but the added bonus is that they have a mild pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin is very present, but doesn’t try to take over the cookie. Slightly chewy and a bit puffy, I love these cookies!  They immediately became a fall favorite around here.

I didn’t change anything about the recipe from Trish over at Mom on Timeout.  She gets two thumbs up on this one.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
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Ingredients
Sugar Mix
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar together. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, stirring until well combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove dough and form into small, 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool on sheet for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
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Morning Glory Muffins

Carrot-cake-muffinsWe’re going to be talking muffins this week.  With school starting and everyone being more “on the go,” I need to have some things on hand that are healthy and that everyone likes.  Those two things are the requirements for all three of the muffin recipes that I’ll be sharing this week.  My oldest is attending a church class at 6:00am before school and I am not getting up and making him a hot breakfast every day (sorry honey!), but I want to make sure that what he is eating is healthy, filling and most importantly, portable.  My solution has been muffins and so far they are being met with great applause.

AnneOpinion

If you’ve never had a Morning Glory muffin, they are kind of like a carrot cake in muffin form.  They’re very nutritious with carrots, apple, nuts and coconut.

These muffins are great right away, but even better the next day or after freezing.  The flavors get the chance to meld together and really complement each other.

I like to use coconut oil in these, but if that’s not your thing, melted butter or canola oil also work well.

If I’m making these for a brunch or a morning meeting, I put a dollop of frosting on them.  If they’re for my family, I just leave them plain.  They are bursting with so many flavors on their own I don’t feel like they need it and that would undermine the “healthy and nutritious” goal that I have for them.  With the nuts, and the coconut and the cinnamon and the orange, you don’t really need more; but if you add the frosting it’s like you’re eating a really good carrot cake for breakfast and nobody complains about cake for breakfast!

I love the little bit of orange that I added into these.  It’s a wonderful surprise background flavor that adds a fresh taste to the muffin. If you have any fans of carrot cake or spice cake around, you need to give this recipe a try!

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Morning Glory Muffins
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Morning Glory Muffins
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Muffin Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 18 muffin cups. Toast pecans for 5-7 minutes. Let cool and chop. Toast coconut for 3-4 minutes; let cool. Peel and finely grate carrots and apple and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla. Add carrots and apple and fold together. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, orange zest, pecans, and coconut and mix together until just moistened. Evenly divided batter between muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire wrack. Let cool completely. Eat, freeze or frost. Whatever you do, they're going to be good!!
Frosting instructions
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add a dollop to each muffin.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Joy of Baking

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S’more Cookies Please!

smore-cookies2If this seems like deja vu and you swear that you’ve seen S’more Cookies here before, you’re right you have.  I feel the need to share another cookies recipe because August 10 is National S’more Day and you need to be prepared with an awesome s’more recipe.  I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times in the last month and a half and since I was out of town for two of those weeks, you can tell how much we like it.  My friend Misty made them for a Cub Scout Pack Night in June and I was hooked!  I was craving another cookie the next day so I looked on her Pinterest board, found this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings and have been cranking them out ever since then.

AnneOpinion

This is just a good, chewy chocolate chip cookie.  It’s got a nice balance of cookie to chocolate with a touch of sweet, gooeyness from the marshmallows on top

I don’t feel like I can taste the graham in the cookies, but the crumbs give it a texture that I love.  Milk chocolate is the classic one used in s’mores so I always use it in these cookies.  If I’m doubling the batch I add a bag of milk chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chips.  I normally double it because these cookies go so fast at my house.

If you don’t feel like crushing up the graham crackers, you can buy a box of graham crumbs in the baking section of the grocery store.  How cool is that?

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S'more Cookies Please!
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S'more Cookies Please!
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Cream together butter and sugars; mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips . Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and quickly press 3 marshmallows into each cookie. Return to oven and cook until done, about 1-2 minutes.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion from CarlsbadCravings.com

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Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups

firecracker-cookiesLast fall I was thrilled to hear about my cousin Kristen winning a prize for her Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups at the San Diego County Fair.  I was even more excited when she got to share her recipe on television in Kansas City!  I thought that I would have to wait until next July to make them because Trader Joe’s normally only carries the Firecracker chocolate bar for the Fourth, but when I went into my local store last week they said that they had just gotten another shipment in.  Score!!  I apologize to those of you without a Trader Joe’s close by.  Maybe you could have a friend or relative mail you one?  You can promise to share with them a really good recipe in exchange. 😉

Anne Opinion

If you’ve never had a Fireworks Bar before you are in for a treat!  Trader Joe’s describes the bar this way, “Trader Joe’s Fireworks Bar is crafted for us by a stateside chocolatier known for adding intriguing flavors to high quality chocolate. Here, they start with smooth, rich dark chocolate—always a good beginning. And then come the fireworks, in the form of popping candy. You remember the stuff; it “sparkles” on your tongue, tingling and tantalizing with every bite.  But that’s just the beginning. The bar is also spiced a bit, with chipotle and pasilla chiles, a touch of sea salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. It’s not hot hot, but it’ll definitely give you a warm feeling inside. Just like fireworks.”

I love the way they describe their food.  I know it’s dumb, but I always get excited when I see the Fearless Flyer (Trader Joe’s grocery ad) because every description makes me want to try their food right now.

Now that we’re done with my unsponsored crush on Trader Joe’s, lets talk about the cookies.  This is a very hearty cookie.  It not only has ground oatmeal, but it also has 1 1/2 cups of walnuts that you grind up very fine.  Having both of these ingredients gives these cookies a nice solid shape with a chewy texture and a wonderful nutty flavor.

In addition to the Fireworks chocolate you also use a Symphony bar with toffee that is in the cookie.  This bar needs to be chopped up so you get lots of it’s goodness in every cookie.  Tip: make sure and freeze it for at least 30 minutes.  This will make it easier to chop into pieces.

This cookie is so fun to eat!  The pop and fizzle in your mouth as you chew is truly a one of a kind experience.  Thanks for sharing the recipe Kristen!!

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Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups
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Firecracker Chocolate Cookie Cups
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend butter with sugars for two minutes to incorporate air, then eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, oatmeal and walnuts. Slowly add to butter mixture, mixing well in between. Stir in the chopped up Symphony Bar. Chill dough for 1 hour minimum. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch round balls (just smaller than a golf ball). Press thumb in center to create deep indentation. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Add square of Fireworks chocolate into indentation and let sit additional 5 minutes. Delicious served warm or chilled.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion Recipe by Kristen Sowell

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

cinnamon-roll-cakeMy friend, Vanessa, asked me to make a Cinnamon Roll Cake for her daughter’s birthday.  Her little girl is not a fan of cake, but adores cinnamon rolls.  Vanessa found this cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction on Pinterest and forwarded the pin to me.  I had seen it before but had never looked into making one.  I decided I’d better try it before the actual “birthday cake” was needed, so I tried making it a couple of times.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make.  Sally had some great tips in her post and I discovered some things that helped me.

AnneOpinion

cinnamon-roll-cake2This is made just like a cinnamon roll until the assembly time begins.  When rolling the dough flat it is very important to use a ruler and measure a 12×15 rectangle.  You will also want to keep the ruler handy (warning: it will be food on it!) for measuring the 2 inch strips.  Having the strips the same size will help with the cinnamon roll looking uniform in height.  That said, I still have never had mine end up looking completely uniform on the top.  Sally suggests taking the cake out during the baking process and pressing raised areas down gently with a spactula to give the top uniformity.  I like the beauty of the imperfectness that mine has so I have not done that.

The first time I made one I left a two inch space at the top where I didn’t put any butter or cinnamon sugar, just like I would do with regular cinnamon rolls.  This turned out to not be necessary and I liked it better the next time when there weren’t spaces where there was less cinnamon sugar.

Sally says to loosely roll up the first strip and she means it.  I even rolled it loosely, then unrolled it and tried it again two more times, rolling it as loose as I could.  You want room for the roll to expand as it rises and if it is rolled too tightly it will rise up instead of out.  If you would like to see step by step pictures, click on this link.

I decided that I liked making this in a 9 inch spring form pan best.  That way you can take off the sides and have a beautiful giant cinnamon roll.  So fun!

I preferred a cream cheese icing on my cake.  I’m sure that the maple/vanilla glaze that Sally used would be amazing too.

I think the thing that I loved the most was the ratio of inner cinnamon roll yumminess to the crust.  On a regular cinnamon roll you have lots of edges (unless you’re the lucky dog that gets the center one) and with this cake there is only a little bit of edge on the outside.  Even better for me, 9 out of ten times when I’m having a piece, a kid will come and ask for some and I pawn the outer edge off on to them.  They’re happy that I gave them some and I’m happy because I only enjoyed the best part.  Don’t you love it when everyone is a winner?

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Cinnamon Roll Cake
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Servings
12 pieces
Servings
12 pieces
Cinnamon Roll Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
12 pieces
Servings
12 pieces
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch (30 seconds-1 minute.) About 115-120F degrees. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Form a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover tightly and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough will slightly rise. After 30 minutes, roll the dough out in a 15x12 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Brush a 9-inch spring form pan with melted butter. Set aside. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it in the center of the pan. You're rolling it up loosely so the dough has some give as it rises. Coil the remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large rolled cake. Some of the filling may spill out as you pick up the strips, but I just sprinkled that on top of the cake after I was finished spiraling. Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap or a damp teal towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes. (Mine only took 60 minutes, but I live in Arizona where a warm room is never a problem. 🙂 After the cake's dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the ring of the spring form pan. Cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar together. Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cake. Cake is best enjoyed the same day, but will remain fresh covered tightly for up to 4 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion- from Sally's Baking Addiction with slight changes

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Salted Caramel Cups

salted-caramel-cupsI love a good cookie and these are a really good one.  In fact, I had hide these from myself after I finished making them for this picture.  They are so simple and good that it’s easy to eat 3..4…5 of them and not even notice what you’ve done.  These have been a favorite of mine for the last 10 years and they are always a hit where ever I serve them.

AnneOpinion

I like that these are made in a mini muffin tin.  It makes them look fancy and perfect for serving at any get together or as a treat to have around the house.  Warning: they won’t be around long!

These are incredibly easy to make.  They start with making the Nestle Toll House cookie dough (minus the chocolate chips.)  Dough is then scooped into each muffin cup and cooked.  After they come out of the oven, the middle will be sunken in showing the perfect place to put the Rolo.

Sprinkling the Fleur de sel salt on the Rolo adds the perfect finish.  Fleur del sel is a salt that is hand gathered in Brittany on the coast of France.  The delicate flakes are perfect for balancing with the chocolate and caramel.  I’ve tried using Kosher salt and it blends in too much and doesn’t have noticeable affect.  Fleur de sel is my favorite salt to add to any dessert that I’m wanting give a “sweet and salty”’ contrast to.  I purchase it off of Amazon.

These cookies freeze amazingly well.  They’re a great thing to make a head and have on hand for when a cookie emergency arises. (that happens at least once a week for me.) 🙂

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Salted Caramel Cups
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Servings
34 cookie cups
Servings
34 cookie cups
Salted Caramel Cups
Print Recipe
Servings
34 cookie cups
Servings
34 cookie cups
Ingredients
Servings: cookie cups
Instructions
  1. Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and mix. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Grease mini muffin pan. Using a cookie scoop, put dough in each of the muffin cups. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Immediately after taking out of the oven, place a Rolo upside down in the center of each. Sprinkle each with Fleur de sel salt. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before removing.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion- adapted from Nestle Toll House recipe

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The Chocolate Chip Cookie

chocolate-chip-cookieMy poor family.  Normally I make cookies at least once or twice a week, not because I’m a super cool nice mom but because I love cookies and that’s how often I want to have them.  As you can tell from my 10 Diets Foods I Need post and my Brownie Batter Oatmeal post I have been working on trying to lose weight (making cookies so often may or may not have contributed to the problem) and so to keep temptation away I haven’t made cookies for a couple of months.  This last week I decided to briefly end the moratorium on cookies and make some to take to my kids teachers.  It was parent/teacher conferences and I know that the teachers appreciate sustenance as they stay at school all day and into the evening, and I appreciate any excuse to be able to make cookies and get them out of my house quickly.

I ran across this recipe for Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies on The Merchant Baker and wanted to try them right away.  I have always had a weakness for all things made with malt. Is there a greater joy in life then biting into a Whopper and then sucking on it until the middle has completely disintegrated or ordering a chocolate malt and getting that tiny pocket of powder that didn’t get mixed all the way in and having it fizzle away in your mouth?  No?  Just me? Well, even if it is just me, I still think that you’ll like these cookies.  Here’s why.

AnneOpinion

I loved these cookies.  They had a perfect hard on the outside, chewy on the inside consistency that I look for in a good chocolate chip cookie.

They were thick and originally they didn’t spread out very much, they more just puffed up.  I decided to fix this by dipping the bottom of a glass into sugar and using it to flatten each of the cookie balls before baking.  This gave me a thick, flat cookie like I was looking for.

I  loved the taste of this cookie dough.  I ate way too much of it.  It had the perfect balance of chocolate and malt that I was looking for.  Unfortunately this did not carry through after baking.  Something happened that made the malt flavor nonexistent.  I looked through several other recipes online and saw that most had used more malt.  I then tried a batch with double the amount of malt; the flavor was still lost.  I then tripled the amount; same thing.  I have concluded, for now, that it is very hard to get a true malt flavor into a chocolate chip cookie.  My husband and neighbor both felt the same way I did.  Even after being told that the cookies had malt, neither of them could detect the flavor.  If anyone has a recipe that really does taste just like a chocolate malt, please share!  I’d love to try it.

That being said, I do love these cookies and after upping the amount of malt and not finding the results any better, I have decided that it’s best to just leave it the same as the original recipe.  I believe that the malt does add a nice texture to these chewy chocolate chip cookies even if it doesn’t provide a “malt” flavor.

I appreciated the mild chocolate flavor that the 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder added.  It gave it a nice hint of chocolate with out making it a chocolate cookie.

I thought that using the 2/3 milk chocolate chips to 1/3 semi sweet chips was perfect. I also used Ghiradelli chips.

Would I/will I make these cookies again? Yes!  Would I call them a “Malt Chocolate Chip Cookie?”  No.  I will just make them as really good chocolate chip cookies and leave people to wonder what is giving them that awesome texture and nice chew.  Malt, it’s my new secret ingredient.  Shhh!

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Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
45-50 medium cookies
Servings
45-50 medium cookies
Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
45-50 medium cookies
Servings
45-50 medium cookies
Ingredients
Servings: medium cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until incorporated. Add flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together slowly until dough is formed. Add both kinds of chocolate chips and stir in with lowest mixer speed or by hand. 5.Gradually add flour mixture, using lowest speed on mixer or stirring in by hand. Scoop cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. I used a medium sized cookie scoop. Place glass with a flat bottom into the bowl of sugar and use it to flatten one of the cookies. Repeat for each cookie making sure to dip into the sugar between each flattening. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks. After cooling completely, store in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

 The Merchant Baker slightly adapted by AnneOpinion

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