Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
It’s no secret that I have a lot of recipes (anyone remember the New Recipe Challenge?) Well, this recipe for Oat and Chocolate Cream Bar Cookies is one I found in my recipe box and I’m not really sure of its origins. It’s handwritten (by me) and most likely one that I copied from my mom or grandmother or who knows where. It’s just old. Which is easy to tell given the amount of sugar in it. But since it makes a large bar pan’s worth and I cut it into small bars, I feel a little better about indulging in this sweet treat. That is if you can stop at just one (I couldn’t). This is one of those recipes you’ll want to make for a group or hide deep in your freezer because if you have them just sitting around, I promise, you won’t be able to stop. I made some for a teacher’s luncheon and to give to a friend who I was bringing dinner to and they all loved them.

Can you believe we’re already to the 10th week of our 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop? I hope you’ve been baking along with us, or at least collecting lots of recipes to try for your holiday baking this year! I love a good bar cookie. These are super easy to put together and what’s great about bar cookies is that you get all the great homemade goodness without the same effort as individual cookies when you’re short on time. I hope you’ll give them a try!

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars

Yield: 3-4 dozen bars

Ingredients

    For Crust & Topping
  • 2 ½ C all-purpose flour
  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 1 ½ C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 C butter, softened
  • For Filling
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
  • 2 T butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (you can leave these out if you’re not a fan but I really liked them in there!)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients; mix at low speed of mixer until crumbly. Press 4 cups crumb mixture into ungreased 15 x 10 jelly roll pan.
  2. In medium sauce pan, combine first four filling ingredients. Heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour filling over crumb crust. (work quickly as when it cools it becomes more difficult to spread).
  3. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over filling.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars.
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Simple ingredients come together easily in these bar cookies.

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.

These bar cookies are so quick and easy to make!

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!
And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

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Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Better late than never on my 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats post. I’m not sure what it is but this school year seems busier than ever. I may have mentioned it before now, but I’m PTO President for our school and I guess I underestimated how much time it would take up. I’m enjoying it though!

Let’s get to this week’s treat. These Cherry Oatmeal Bars are a perfect blend of tart and sweet. They are so easy to make up and with the oatmeal and cherries, I guess I feel a little better about them being a little bit of a healthier treat. I discovered this recipe in a fun little kids cooking book from Cooking Light that I got free when I subscribed to their magazine last year. It’s called Cooking Light The Ultimate Kid-Approved Cookbook: Delicious Food Kids Will Eat, Nutritious Meals Moms Will Love. Included in the book are lots of tips about how to include kids in the cooking and baking process and tons of great, healthier recipes. You can find this book in my Shop.

I love a good bar cookie, too. I feel like you get more bang for your buck with a treat. Mix up the dough just like other cookie recipes but there’s no coming and going for all those batches of cookies. Perfect when you want a homemade treat but are short on time. These bars freeze well and are just fancy enough to grace your holiday table (although, I think they might be a great year-round treat too!). I bought a bag of the dried cherries at Costco so I know I’ll be looking for more uses for them (well, they are good just for snacking on too!)

Can you believe we’re already at the 9th week of our 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop? Thanksgiving and Hannukkah are next week and Christmas is just a few short, weeks away. I hope you’ve been baking along with us (or will be soon) so that you can have some homemade treats for the holiday season and not be too stressed trying to get them done at the last minute. What are your favorite holiday sweet treats? Let us know in the comments below. I hope you’ll these bar cookies or some of the other recipes in the series a try!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Simple, whole ingredients for these bar cookies!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

These bar cookies come together quickly and easily!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients

  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 (5-ounce) package dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces flour (about 1 cup) into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring with a fork until moist (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into bottom of an 11 x 7?inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  3. Combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add egg white and next 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in cherries. Spread cherry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling.
  4. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
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Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

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Vanilla Chai Cookies

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
This summer we were on vacation in Washington on our way to see Mt. Saint Helens and stopped at this tiny little roadside snack shop. I ordered the vanilla chai milkshake and I have been dreaming about it ever since! Oh my, it was SO good.

Since then, I knew I had to come up with some sort of Vanilla Chai Cookies for the 12 Weeks of Christmas treats. I was flipping through the Crazy About Cookies cookbook that I had picked up at Kohl’s last year (if you have a Kohl’s near you, you know they have those books and plush toys at the front for only $5—that’s where I got it!) This book is a bit strange as I kind of wonder if the graphic designer who was setting it up kind of forgot about page breaks as all the recipes seem to flow together but imagine my surprise when I came across a masala chai spiced cookie. It was a perfect inspiration for my cookie quest! I changed up the original recipe to include vanilla and also adjusted some other ingredients to get the taste I was looking for.

Chai is the term for tea in many languages and masala is an Indian word that means spice blend. While the exact blend for chai can vary, the most commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and ginger and black tea. I found a blend from Kroger that I love to make just as a beverage (served with a touch of sugar and milk—yum!). So I used that for my cookies.
These are a lightly sweet cookie that are a perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of tea if you like. I hope you’ll give them a try.

Here’s the recipe:

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Simple ingredients are all it takes to whip up these cookies! You can use teabags or loose tea. I chose a scalloped round cookie cutter for my cookies.

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Brushing on the glaze is quick and easy! Just let the cookie glaze dry before you store them.

Vanilla Chai Spiced Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground chai-spiced tea (about six tea bags if you are not using loose tea)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • For glaze:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray two cookie sheets with non-stick spray or butter pans (I like to use my stoneware baking sheets so I don’t have to do any of that!)
  2. Combine the flour, salt and ground tea in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and powdered sugar until blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and lemon zest.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture until well blended. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten to a disc shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (flattening will help it cool faster)
  5. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter. Place on the cookie sheets 1 ½ inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to make glaze. Brush on cooled cookies and allow to dry.
  8. Enjoy!
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Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.
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Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
It’s not yet Halloween but here we are at the sixth week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats! The holiday season will be upon us soon. These Chewy Chocolate Cookies are so quick and easy, you’ll be able to whip up a batch anytime. The good news is they start from a basic brownie mix that you make from scratch. This year there are only three December weekends before Christmas so you’ll need to have your baking plan organized—adding some of the treats featured in this series is a great place to start.

My very first job in high school was in the bakery department of a local grocery store. Is it any surprise that I’ve loved sweets pretty much my whole life and I end up there? One of our best-selling cookies were the Chewy Chocolate Cookies. While this recipe is not quite the same, it is a close second and oh so easy!

What’s great about it also is that it starts with a homemade brownie mix as a base. I shared this recipe on the segment that aired last month on my local ABC affiliate television station. You can find the Brownie Mix Recipe HERE. This mix is great to make up and give as gifts. You can put two batches worth in one large glass canning jar. Put on a festive bow and add the recipe and you’ve got an easy gift to give for all sorts of occasions.

The cookie recipe is as follows. Enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup water, more if needed
  • 2 ¼ cups Brownie Mix
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease baking sheets. Combine butter, eggs and water in a medium bowl. Beat with a fork until blended. Stir in BROWNIE MIX, baking soda, flour, vanilla and optional chocolate chips and nuts. Add additional water, if needed. Blend well.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Makes about 3 dozen.
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Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.



Pecan Puffs Cookies

Pecan Puffs Cookie Recipe | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

It’s hard to believe we are already to the fifth week in our 12 of Christmas Treats. I’m excited to share with you a favorite recipe this week. There are lots of things that I love about these Pecan Puffs Cookies. First off, they are something my mom and grandma used to make every Christmas. It’s been a bit more sporadic lately in recent years, but they are still a family favorite! So I decided to pull out this recipe and give them a try again. And I sure am glad I did. Not only are they super simple, they are a delicious, slightly sweet bite of goodness. Pecans are a big deal here in Texas—it’s the state tree afterall! So it’s fitting that these cookies blend my family’s history and our Texas home.

With only five ingredients and a couple of tablespoons of sugar, they’re a healthier cookie too, right? They will store for at least a week in an airtight container and even longer in the freezer (a few months at least). This recipe can be easily doubled but don’t let the small ingredient list fool you—the recipe yields about three and half dozen bite-sized cookies.

Pecan Puffs Cookie Recipe | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Here’s the recipe:

Pecan Puff Cookies

Ingredients

  • Pecan Puffs
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until well blended.
  3. Chop nuts until finely chopped. Stir the pecans and the flour into butter mixture. Roll the dough into small balls (I like to use a small scoop to help make them uniform). Place balls on greased baking sheet (I used a stoneware baking sheet).
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (yes, 30 minutes). Roll in powdered sugar. To glaze, put the sheet back into the oven for a minute. Cool on wire rack. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to a week or longer in the freezer.
  5. Makes about 3 ½ dozen 1 ½” cookies.
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Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.
Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars  | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

I was cleaning out my recipe collection recently and came across this recipe for Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars.  If you ask me, chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. You might remember a couple of years ago, I shared the Buckeye Delights during the first year that I hosted the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats. This is actually a recipe I received from a cookie exchange party years ago. I call these a bit of a ‘cheater’ recipe because usually I go all out and make things totally from scratch, but sometimes you need to have something quick and easy up your sleeve.  These fit the bill just fine! And they are delicious too. I do love a good cookie bar type treat. When I’m in a time crunch, bar cookies are the way to go because they are easy to make up in a hurry so you don’t have to spend a ton of time in the kitchen waiting for different batches to bake.  These are no exception. They’d be a great addition to any holiday treat table!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumb
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 up peanut butter baking chips, divided
  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Combine baking chips in a bowl and set aside. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and ¼ cup sugar in medium bowl. Remove 1 cup mixture and reserve for topping. Press remaining mixture on t bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup morsels over crust.
  3. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, flour and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Pour over crust and morsels in pan. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping and remaining morsels.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minute or until set. Cool complete in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
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Just a few ingredients is all it takes. Sprinkle baking chips on crust then add remaining ingredients, bake and you’re done!

Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to  CLICK HERE  so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com



Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies

Cocoa Peppermint Prtezel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

These tasty little Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel cookies are a delicious way to kick off this year’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop! Yes, I know, I know. It IS only September but  before you know it, the holidays will be here.  Over 20 other bloggers and I (and counting) will be joining up each week to share with you delicious recipes for our favorite sweet treats. The idea is that not only will you get a lot more recipe ideas but ideally you can make up these treats ahead of time and freeze so that you will have goodies ready to go for gift-giving, hostess gifts and even your own holiday tables.

I discovered this recipe when flipping through The Cookie Party Cookbook that I had picked up from the library. Not only are there a ton of terrific looking cookie recipes in this book, the author also gives all kinds of tips on how to host a cookie exchange party. These cookies may look difficult but they’re really not and even kids will have fun rolling out the dough, crushing the peppermint and making the pretzel shapes. These will be a fun addition to any holiday cookie tray. I hope you’ll give them a try!

Cocoa Peppermint Prtezel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

The ingredients might seem too dry at first but they will come together to form a soft dough. My cutting board has a built-in ruler that makes it easy to see how long my dough ropes are!

Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com

I melted the candy melts in the microwave and dipped the cookies first in that then in the crushed peppermint. Easy!

Cocoa Peppermint Pretzels

Adapted from "The Cookie Party Cookbook" by Robin Olson.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate candy melts (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until a soft dough forms. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
  3. Using about a tablespoon of dough, roll into 9-inch ropes about 1/2-inch in diameter. Shape each rope into an upside-down U. Bring the ends together and twist in the middle. Take the ends to the top of the pretzel and press the dough to secure. Place the pretzels 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until set. Cool completely on baking sheets.
  4. Melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Use shortening, if needed, to make smoother dipping consistency. Dip one side of pretzel into the melted chips, then roll the dipped side into the crushed candy. Place the pretzels on wax-lined baking sheets and let dry completely before serving.
  5. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Layer in container with wax paper between layers to prevent breakage.

Notes

Recipe printed from www.mealplanningmagic.com

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Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to  CLICK HERE  so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.



Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe with Zulka Sugar #ad

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe--uses Zulka Morena sugar (non-GMO)
I was contaced a few weeks ago by Zulka® Pure Cane Sugar to see if I’d like to receive a sample and do a little review on their sugar. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but just the thought that it is minimally processed and non-GMO appealed to me so I happily said yes.

Zulka® Pure Cane Sugar is real, unrefined granulated “Morena” sugar made from freshly-harvested sugar cane that is a better-tasting and less-processed cup-for-cup replacement for refined white sugar. You can see in my ingredients picture that it looks a little bit like brown sugar but its texture is granulated like white sugar. Morena sugar is a term used to describe granulated sugars that do not undergo conventional refining processes, which remove the complexity and depth of flavor present in raw sugar cane after it has been pressed. Zulka Pure Cane Sugar preserves the natural properties of the sugar cane plant, while retaining flavors as close to fresh sugar cane as possible. This makes it a better alternative to white sugar for baking, cooking and beverage recipes and much more. When you try this sugar, you will discover that it has a pure taste with rich color and aroma. You really can tell the difference!

Let me tell you, I am SO glad to have discovered this sugar. It is reasonably priced (about the same as the granulated sugar I usually purchase) and it actually has a great flavor. I’d say it’s flavor is much deeper than the regular white sugar I am used to baking and cooking with. So I decided to put it to the test on a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve been making for year. Well, it did the job and I am a convert to Zulka sugar because these cookies were so delicious! You really can taste the flavor difference.

I’m sharing my cookie recipe here for you. It is one of our very favorites!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe with Zulka Sugar #ad

Yield: About 4 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulate sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Measure flour, then resift with baking salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugars, water and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer about two minutes until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the sifted ingredients and beat with mixer for about two minutes until very well blended.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. On middle oven rack, bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven when lightly browned and slightly crispy on bottom. They may seem slightly undercooked. Cool one minute on baking sheet then transfer to paper towels (or lightweight dish towel) to cool completely.
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Simple ingredients come together easily for these delicious cookies.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe | Meal Planning Magic

Using a stand mixer makes adding ingredients easier!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe | Meal Planning Magic

Using a measuring scoop makes it easy to have evenly sized cookies that bake up evenly too.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe | Meal Planning Magic

I took some of the cookie dough and placed balls on a cookie sheet lined with a cutting mat (instead of wax paper) and then placed in the freezer until firm. Then I transferred the dough balls to a zip top bag so that I can bake up a few cookies at a time whenever I want fresh cookies!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe | Meal Planning Magic

Cookies on a lightweight dish towel cool until ready to store (or eat!)

Zulka can be found in many major retailers like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Alberstons and many others so it is relatively easy to find. I hope you’ll give it a try too.

Disclaimer: I received a bag of Zulka sugar but all opinions are my own.

Crinkled Fudge Truffle Cookies

This is our last week of the 12 Weeks Of Christmas Treats! Can you believe Christmas is less than two weeks away? Wow, the time sure has flown by! I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes I’ve shared over the weeks as well as those from the other participating bloggers. Next week I’ll do a wrap up post of all the cookies and you can always find the recipes by visiting my Recipe Index Page or the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Pinterest board!

My very first job as a teenager was in the bakery of a local grocery store. I don’t remember getting to actually bake much (they had bakers that did that) but I do remember I got to write on cakes. And I remember that one of the most popular cookies we sold were these double chocolate cookies. They were super soft gooey chocolate cookies and I made sure to sample them as often as I got the chance (I would buy them to eat on my break!)

Flash forward to last year and I received one of those mailers from Better Homes & Gardens for their annual holiday ideas and recipe book. I didn’t end up purchasing the book but I did hold on to the free recipe that came with the advertising. These Crinkled Fudge Truffle Cookies looked EXACTLY like those cookies that I used to sell at the bakery. So I HAD to try them!
The good news: these look and taste just like those cookies from the bakery. The bad news: they are so gooey that they can be somewhat tricky to work with. My first batch was somewhat of a flop. I tried to substitute chocolate chips for the baking chocolate and that was a bad move because my dough was way too melty. So I added more flour and baking soda (so they would rise a bit) and while the cookies actually turned out ok taste and texture-wise, they were a little difficult to get off the baking sheet without destroying their shape.

So with my second attempt, I followed the recipe exactly and used the right ingredients. One note: the batter looks a lot like brownie batter instead of thicker cookie batter but it actually kind of sets up as it sits. Also, these cookies do flatten out so be sure to let them sit on the baking sheet the couple of minutes that the recipe suggests so that they can set up a bit more. I also got interrupted during my baking session and had to put some of the batter in the refrigerator. That seemed to help a bit with the spread and “setting-up” of the cookies while they baked so my tip is to refrigerate the dough if you’re having trouble with spread.
All in all these cookies were a hit—both with my family and with my friends when I brought them for a cookie exchange party. hey were so full of fudgy chocolate-ness, it brought me back to my bakery job days. Yum!

Crinkled Fudge Truffle Cookies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

Ingredients

  • 3 4-ounce bars sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 T butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C chopped pecans
  • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Nonstick spray coating
  • Pecan halves (optional)
  • Powdered Sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan over very low heat, heat and stir chocolate and shortening until chocolate begins to melt and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add coffee. Stir until combined. Cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium to high speed, beat eggs and sugar until light and lemon colored (3 or 4 minutes). Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. On low speed beat in chopped pecans, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  4. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray (do not skip this step or your cookies will stick to the pan!) Drop teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. I used a cookie scoop to make them even. If using, place a pecan half atop each cookie. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until just set on surface (do not over bake). Cool for 2 minutes on pan then transfer to racks. Cool completely. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies.

Notes

My suggestion: Do not substitute chocolate chips for the bar chocolate. The ratio is just not the same. I hope to try this with butter instead of shortening but am not sure how that will change things.

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All the ingredients ready to go!

I used my Pampered Chef chopper to chop the chocolate easily!

I like the bars of shortening–makes it so much easier to measure what I need!

Use low heat to melt the chocolate and shortening slowly to avoid burning.

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” And be sure to check follow our Pinterest board.


Fudgy Ginger Shortbread


This week I was short on time—in just about every direction! So I knew I wanted a recipe for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats that I could whip up in a jiffy! I made most of my wait time at the orthodontist’s office while waiting for my daughter and thumbed through the many holiday magazine/books that I have and came upon this yummy sounding recipe for Fudgy Gingerbread Shortbread by Land O’ Lakes. I do love a good shortbread (like this chocolate peppermint shortbread I made last year). The ingredients looked simple enough and the time to make and bake easy too. I had a winner!

I ended up substituting the powdered ginger for the crystallized because that’s what I had on hand. Actually I *thought* I had crystallized ginger but I think I must have used it up because it had gone missing in my spice rack.

These delicate little cookies did not disappoint. With just a few ingredients–all of which I already had on hand–they went together quickly. Plus they have a terrific chocolatey flavor with just a hint of ginger. I think they would be great paired with a cup of tea or coffee. I hope you enjoy them too!

Fudgy Ginger Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • *Substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line 2 (9-inch) round pie or cake pans with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, ginger and salt in medium bowl until well mixed; set aside.
  3. Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Beat, gradually adding flour mixture and scraping bowl often, until soft dough forms.
  4. Divide dough in half. Press each half into bottom only of prepared pans. Prick all over with fork.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until firm and set. (Center will be slightly soft.) Cool 10 minutes. Lift shortbread out of pans using foil; cut each shortbread into 16 wedges. Cool completely.
  6. Combine powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Stir in enough water for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over shortbread wedges.
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Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop… you’ll have no excuse of “I don’t know what to make!” And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!