Chocolate and Peanut Butter

We’re going to a New Year’s Eve party tonight, so I thought I’d make some cookies to bring.  I decided to try the peanut butter cookies that my mom made for Christmas and I also used my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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For the chocolate chip cookies, I used a recipe I found on Marsha’s Baking Addition.  I img_2907_croppedfound this recipe about two years ago and it’s the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve used since.  I like it because it makes 15-18 cookies and therefore I can whip up a batch real quickly.  They also have a secret ingredient (corn starch) that makes the cookies soft in the middle.  Everyone who tries them asks for the recipe.

I have to keep my cookies in the oven for the full 13 minutes and I also don’t bother with refrigerating them before baking.  I find that they’re plenty thick without it.

 

 

For the peanut butter cookies, I used a recipe from Rachel Schultz.  I don’t usually make img_2908_croppedpeanut butter cookies, but I really liked the ones my mom made so I wanted to make them too.  I like that they have a bit of a grainy quality to them. I’m not sure how they get like that – I think maybe this recipe calls for a bit more peanut butter than others.  I followed the recipe as written on her website except I have to keep my cookies in the oven for 11 minutes.  For the peanut butter, I used the Bee’s Knees which is a flavor made by the Peanut Butter & Co.  It’s organic (which I’ve heard isn’t ideal for making cookies), but they still turned out great.

I hope you enjoy whatever you have planned for tonight. Happy New Year!

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Christmas Delights

I hope the holidays are going well for you so far.  For Christmas, I made a few items I thought I’d share with you.

The first is pillow cheesecake that was inspired by this one from Tartelette. img_2898-copyInstead of their chocolate shortbread crust, I made a traditional crust (2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, mix and press to the bottom of a 10 inch spring form and bake for 8-10 minute at 350F).  I also did not use the caramel sauce.  I have used it previously, but I just didn’t want to mess with it this time.  I followed the directions for the cheesecake batter as written on the Tartelette blog except I think I cooked it an hour and a half at 350F instead of 325F.  I added chocolate and raspberries on top of a few slices, but the cheesecake is amazing served plain as well.  In fact, I think that’s how I prefer it.  If you like cheesecake, I recommend giving this recipe a try.

img_2837_copyThe next thing I made are these ranch oyster crackers which are a holiday tradition.  They’re super easy to make and most people to enjoy them.  I used this recipe posted on All Recipes website.  I did not use the lemon pepper or garlic powder which are optional ingredients. I put the crackers in a large mason jar and  I added a Christmas tag and twine to make it look more festive.

img_2842-copyNext, I made two loaves of zucchini bread following this recipe I posted on my blog last year.  After they cooled, I wrapped each loaf in plastic wrap and tied twine and a Christmas tag around them.

My mom made peanut butter cookies for my family’s Christmas but she had to make a second batch because she and my dad ate the original before everyone came over.  My mother-in-law made some really amazing spinach dip that had bacon in it.

Which holiday recipe does your family enjoy the most?

 

 

2017 Calendar

I’ve finally decided on the pictures I want to use for my 2017 calendar.

All pictures were taken by me in 2016 and here’s a description of each:

  • January – this picture was taken outside of our house after a snowstorm last winter
  • February -this was taken in February when I was out for a walk
  • March – this was at a local garden on a warmer winter day last winter
  • April – This is a neighbors tree.  I sat down under the tree and pointed my camera upward toward the sky
  • May – This was taken at the local garden one weekend morning
  • June – Also taken at the local garden (I guess I go there a lot!)
  • July & August – Also taken at the local garden (yikes!)
  • September – At a local university
  • October – My front porch after it was decorated for fall
  • November – this is a bush we have in our yard that turns red when the leaves start to fall.
  •  December – I took this when I was out for a walk on a warmer day last winter.

I used a fixed 50mm f/1.4 lens for all of the pictures except for January.  For January, I used a 18-55mm f/5.6 lens.  My camera is a Canon Rebel T3i.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!