Nutella Brownies

Nutella in the brownie batter? And swirled on top?!

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups Nutella, divided
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips (optional)
  • Salt to sprinkle on top (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add 1 cup of nutella and mix.
  4. Add flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 9″ square baking pan.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup of Nutella on top. Swirl into the batter with a knife.
  8. Sprinkle the top with salt.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely before slicing for perfect squares! If you don’t wait and slice while warm, they’ll crumble a bit, but, in my opinion warm brownies > perfect looking brownies. If desired, sprinkle with more salt!

Raw Cookie Dough Balls, Dipped in Chocolate

These are, quite simply, amazing. Don’t worry, they are also egg and salmonella free!

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup and two tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (this is what replaces the eggs and holds the dough together)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

To coat:

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips, melted*

*This amount will coat 1/2 of each cookie dough ball. If you want to coat them completely, use 2 1/2 cups of chocolate chips!

Directions

Yields ~30 cookie dough balls

1) Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar.

2) Beat in the yogurt and vanilla, followed by the flour.

3) Stir in the chocolate chips.

4) Cover and chill the dough for one hour in the refrigerator.

5) Roll the dough into balls (1 to 1 1/2″), placing them on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper, wax paper, silicone sheet, etc). They can be close together since you aren’t baking them!

6) Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

7) Melt 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips using a double broiler or the microwave.

8) Jab the balls with a fork and use it as a dipping tool to coat with chocolate. You can coat the whole ball, or just half. (I preferred just half since they are so rich already.) Return the balls to the lined baking sheet.

9) Freeze until set, or another 20 minutes.

10) Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They should be good for at least a week! If you want them to last longer, you can freeze them.

Banana Bread with Cranberries & Chocolate Chips

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Sometimes I think that David deliberately lets bananas stick around past their prime so that I will make banana bread.

It works every time.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt (can substitute with more butter if you’d prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries*
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional…but not really!)

*You can use dried cranberries instead of fresh if it’s what you have, but I highly recommend the tart pop of fresh cranberries!  I keep a couple bags in the freezer.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

1) With a mixer, beat together the bananas, melted butter, yogurt, egg, and vanilla.

3) Add the sugar, baking soda, and the flour, mixing until smooth (it’s okay if there’s still a few chunks of banana).

5) By hand, stir in the cranberries and (if using) chocolate chips.

6) Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan (9×5 and 8×4 both work).

7) Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until top is browned and a fork comes out clean from the center.

8) Remove the banana bread from the pan and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

IMG_2402Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 325°F

>>Makes 3-3 1/2 dozen cookies

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the brown and white sugar.

2. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined.

3. Add the flour and baking soda.

4. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

5. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheets, then bake at 325°F for ~12 minutes, until lightly browned.

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Adapted from a recipe on a bag of Trader Joe’s oats

These cookies don’t just have a slight hint of peanut butter. They are full on, in-your-face, overwhelmingly peanut buttery. They are for peanut butter lovers.

Ingredients

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup apple sauce (can be replaced with butter, if you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 11.5oz bag chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips are really good in these!)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the white and brown sugar and butter until creamy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.
  3. Add the peanut butter.
  4. By hand, stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and seeds/nuts.
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  5. The dough will be really gooey, so this will be a little tricky, but scoop up a couple tablespoons of the dough, pack it in together to form a cookie, and drop it onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
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  6. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until edges are light brown. IMG_9335

Orange Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My parents and friends in New England are getting pummeled with snow. (Another 10″ today?!) Meanwhile, this afternoon I went outside barefoot and picked oranges off the tree in the yard…

IMG_8930Trying to figure out what to do with all the oranges in the yard, I decided to make some cookies. Feel free to leave off the glaze if you want, though it adds some extra orange flavor!

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons orange juice (juice of three large oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + extra to garnish
  • 12oz bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F    

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the orange juice (1/2 cup), butter, yogurt, and egg.
  2. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and orange zest (2 tablespoons).
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  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Use a spoon to drop the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Use 2-3 tablespoons per cookie.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°F.
  6. While the cookies are baking, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
  7. When the cookies are done, let them sit for five minutes. While still warm, drizzle the glaze on top.
  8. To garnish, sprinkle some extra orange zest and cinnamon.
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Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Quick Oats Cookies

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My sister works a full-time job and is a full-time grad student. She is in an MFA program and it has a been a crazy year for her: every day she leaves for work at 8am and doesn’t get home from school until 10pm. And then she has homework. Weekends are filled with her thesis project. My sister is a pretty awesome lady: smart, hardworking, and creative. But, understandably, she’s a little bit tired.

I wanted to send a Valentine’s Day care package full of snacks to her office. I am a firm believer that knowing you have a drawer full of tasty snacks at the office can make getting out of bed just a little bit gentler. It’s 2pm and you don’t know how you can make it through the rest of the day? Well, you’ve got a drawer full of snacks…

These cookies went into my sister’s care package.

Ingredients

Makes ~3 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • coarse salt, to garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and the salt. When the batter is well combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Roll 1″ balls of dough between your palms. Once a ball is formed, flatten it between your hands into a pancake-like shape. Place the flattened balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.IMG_6806
  3. Bake cookies at 375°F for approximately 8 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown.
  4. When the cookies come out of the oven and are still hot, sprinkle coarse salt on top.IMG_6830IMG_6845IMG_6888

Pumpkin Bread Cookies

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From September to November, it’s hard not to notice the pumpkin-flavored craze: lattes, muffins, granola bars, doughnuts, ice cream… This year, I even saw pumpkin-flavored vodka. I know it’s February, but personally, I’m a big supporter of year-round pumpkin consumption.

These cookies are soft and moist: a little cake-like, a little cookie-like. They are very fluffy right out of the oven, but they sink down a little bit as they cool. They are best if you let them sit for a little while; the pumpkin flavor (and orange color) becomes much more pronounced.

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (~6oz)

*can be substituted for another 1/4 cup oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Place all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Using a mixer, stir until well-combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  4. On a baking sheet line with parchment paper, drop spoonfuls of the dough.
  5. Bake the cookies at 350°F for approximately 12 minutes.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Carrots and Cranberries

>>Yields approximately three dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (one large carrot and one small carrot should be about right)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 375 F

1) In a large bowl, combine the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat with an egg mixer.

2) Add the egg and beat until smooth.

3) Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and vanilla.

4) Using a spoon, stir in the oats, carrots, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Stir until they are well-integrated.

5) Form into cookies and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes.