Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category


Can I set the record straight on something please? Just because I’m from Canada does not mean that I am used to cold weather. Vancouver is, on most occasions, a very mild city. It rarely snows and when it does the snow doesn’t stay around for more than a few days. Celsius temperatures dropping past zero? That’s also fairly uncommon. Think Seattle. Think even Portland. But please don’t think igloos, the North Pole or sled dogs.

All of this to say that I’m freezing my butt off in Chicago these days. Snow constantly on the ground coupled with wind from the lake and temperatures around -15C are not my idea of fun.

How am I coping with this ridiculous weather?


– drinking copious amounts of Bailey’s and hot chocolate

– Christmas movie marathons consisting of Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, and Love Actually

– never leaving the house (this might be an exaggeration)

– reading “City of Thieves” by David Benioff

– Baking. A lot.

– Eating. A lot. (see above)

So it should come as no surprise that when a half batch of these peanut butter pretzel bites were made and disappeared on Saturday that a full batch was made on Sunday. Embarrassing. But seriously these are knock your socks off delicious and only eating one at a time is the funniest joke/most difficult challenge I’ve ever heard of.


Christmas baking at its finest.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Recipe from Two Tiny Kitchens

1 cup creamy peanut butter     2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup icing sugar                  3/4 cup brown sugar

Pretzels                                   Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine the peanut butter and softened butter in a large bowl with a stand mixer.

Add the icing sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine.

If the filling will not roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands add more icing sugar until the right consistency is reached.

Use a teaspoon to scoop the filling.  Roll each portion into a small ball, then sandwich between two whole pretzels and place on an aluminum foil lined pan.  Place the completed pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted.  Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate.

When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely.  Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.


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Christmas cookies are serious business and a little bit overwhelming. There’s so much to choose from, so many new and amazing recipes to try while at the same time there’s always the old faithfuls that get made yearly. But why do those annual treats get made? And are they really as good as I think? Or is it the nostalgia that keeps us baking them year after year?


I love the fact that come Christmastime my father makes his yearly appearance in the kitchen and proceeds to go on a baking spree. Traditional Christmas puddings, brown fruit cake, white fruit cake, and crepes make up his repertoire, all recipes handed down to him by his parents. But let’s be honest for a minute. No one really likes the traditional Christmas pudding that gets doused in scotch and set ablaze. And the fruit cakes? It’s my favorite when they get pulled out of the freezer in June because we still haven’t finished eating them, because who even wanted to eat them in the first place?

Call me crazy, but I would be perfectly content with a refillable glass of egg nog and an endless tray of Nanaimo Bars for the entire holiday season. No other cookies or treats are necessary or required for me. That being said, I’m glad that there are always so many other options.

Like these for instance. I made these yesterday for a pot luck and they were a hit. Peanut butter cookies that are stuffed with mini Reese’s. And not only are they cookies, but they are baked in mini muffin tins, so it feels way more satisfying to bite into compared to a thin cookie.


My dad tried to convince me to put some of the dough into the jumbo muffin tins and then put a regular Reese’s into the center of each “cookie.” Jumbo size. I think he might be onto something. I think I might know where my sweet tooth comes from.

I like these and am mentally adding them to my Christmas baking list for future years. Now pass me the egg nog.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 3/4 cup flour           1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda       1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar   1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar  1 egg

1 tsp vanilla               2 tbsp milk

Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy.

Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk.

Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix well.

Shape into 35-40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball.

Cool and carefully remove from the pan.

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It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. Travels around Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and the Philippines have ended, another school year has begun, Thanksgiving has already passed and before I know it, it will be Christmas.

I feel like time isn’t my friend. I feel like I’m constantly looking ahead to the next exciting thing, or looking back to some other time that was more exciting than now. Maybe this is because a number of my favourite people don’t live where I live. Is it really too much to ask that all of my favourite people become my neighbours so that I can see them whenever I want? And maybe we could all live in Vancouver? Because you know, it’s kind of beautiful here.


Maybe this is why I love reunions so much. What’s even better than a reunion with some of my favourite people is a potluck reunion. Yes I call dibs on bringing dessert, why do people even bother asking?


So I made these for our mini education reunion. And they were delicious. And everyone loved them. Some people definitely had seconds, while others mentally ate at least 5 I’m sure. Soft and chewy brownie cookies that had the most amazing peanut butter icing sandwiched in-between them.

Make these. Because amazing people deserve amazing dessert.








Brownie Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Adapted from Bakers Royale

Brownie Cookies

5 oz. cocoa powder

3 oz. chocolate, chopped

3 tbsp butter      2 eggs

⅔ cup sugar       1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup flour        ¼ tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 5 oz. cocoa powder, 1 oz. chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.

Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and creamy.

Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate mixture, remaining 2 oz. of chocolate and mix to combine.

Set aside for 10 minutes.

Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment lined bake sheet.

Bake for about 8–10 minutes or until puffed and cracked.

Allow to cool completely on trays.

Make the Peanut Butter Frosting

Once cookies are cooled, spread the icing onto the cookies and assemble.

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Slutty Brownies

You know that you must be doing something right when it comes to baking if someone emails you a recipe and not so subtly hints that you should probably make said recipe and bring it in to work for everyone to enjoy.

When this happened to me a few weeks ago I knew that today was the day to make that request come true. After all, it was a pretty epic request that fortunately didn’t disappoint.

Have you noticed a trend in regards to the names of recipes that I’ve been making lately? Sex in a Pan, now Slutty Brownies, I can only imagine (okay I’m not actually imagining) what the next recipe will be called…

But seriously. Slutty Brownies. One layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, a layer of whole Oreo cookies and then brownie to top things off. Pure over the top deliciousness.

Yes the recipe does take a bit of time to make, but all good things in life take time. Although, the process could always be sped up by using a pre made cookie dough and a brownie mix. Buuuut add me to the list of snobs who prefers almost all desserts handmade.

Ps. I think these should be called diabetes brownies, or cardiac arrest brownies, it might be a bit more fitting. But who am I kidding, hand me another piece.





Slutty Brownies

Adapted from Eat, Run, Read

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

1 cup softened butter        1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar         2 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla                    2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda              1 tsp salt

Mini milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.

Top the cookie dough with a layer of Oreos.

Brownie Layer

1 cup butter          2 ¼ cups sugar

3 large eggs           1 ¼ cups cocoa

1 tsp salt               1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp vanilla          1 ½ cups flour

In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter and sugar, stirring until the butter is melted. (Avoid allowing the mixture to bubble)

In a large bowl beat the eggs with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.

Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour, stirring until combined.

Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes.

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Soft Ginger Cookies

October 31st. Halloween. November 1st. Christmas preparations begin. Seriously, there’s no turn around time at all, especially here in Canada where we have already celebrated Thanksgiving.

November and I don’t really get along. The leaves have taken their final plunge, the winds are picking up and day light savings has robbed me of evening sunlight. The weather turns dingy, there aren’t any real holidays to celebrate, and all that I can think about is the coming of Christmas. To keep myself distracted I’m keeping my sights on Christmas, and a trip to see a good friend in Minnesota!

My mind has also been venturing to Christmas baking and these, albeit boring looking, ginger cookies have been right up there on my list. I made these last year, not thinking that they would have much to offer. I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong. Deliciously spicy and everything that I want when I have to have something to dip into my warm egg nog.

Christmas cookie exchange anyone? Please!?

Soft Ginger Cookies

Adapted from Baked Perfection

2 1/4 cups flour         2 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda       3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves             1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup margarine      1 cup sugar
1 egg                          1 tbsp water
1/4 cup molasses        2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.

Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.

Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

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For all of the sweets that I eat I probably should have had a zillion cavities by now. And yet here I sit, having never had a cavity all my life. Now that I’ve mentioned it I’ll probably have a major break out of them…

But here’s the thing, I’ve made up for my lack of cavities with other dental issues. Having an appliance that needs to be cranked tighter with a key every night? Check. Having more teeth than I can remember pulled out? Done. Braces? Please, those were a cinch. Getting a gum graph done where they cut some of the gum on the roof of your mouth off and then stitch it else where? That was probably the worst one of them all, followed closely by the bone graph, which is exactly what it sounds like…cutting a piece of bone out of your jaw and then graphing it in elsewhere. Fortunately that one was a walk in the park thanks to some pretty powerful drugs! And lastly, having a fake tooth implanted into my mouth? Also been there, done that. The upside? I don’t have any wisdom teeth to pull out! Such a bonus!

Where am I going with this? Rule number one of dental surgeries, when in doubt have a McDonald’s milkshake. It’ll fill you up and certainly goes down easy. Who wants to chew food anyway? Rule number two: eat soft foods.

This leads me to these cookies. Smushed banana (always a winner when it comes to eating soft foods) combined with oats and yes, even chocolate chips, make for a soft cookie that doesn’t require too much effort to eat and more importantly, they taste great.

After all of this talk about teeth, cue the trip to the bathroom to brush and floss away all of the Halloween candy that’s already crossed my path.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Recipe Girl

1 1/2 cups flour                        1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda                  3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar                           1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg                                       1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed    1 cup oats

Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour, slat and baking soda in a bowl.

In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer, mixing on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in banana.

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heating tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake 12-13 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and just set.

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How about something on the healthy side? Something that doesn’t include a ton of sugar and butter. I know, unlike me, but I figured I’d give it a shot…and it worked!

I surprisingly really enjoyed these cookies. But here’s the thing, I would never label them as cookies, even though that is what the recipe said. Instead let’s call them granola bar cookies, or granola bar-ish snacks. If you’re wanting a good dessert, this isn’t it. But maybe you want a healthy afternoon snack? These are definitely that. It’s all about changing your mentality!

These were enjoyed back in the summer when I was climbing mountains and exploring Whistler with the best friend. And then we went back to the place that we were staying and stuffed ourselves silly with other delicious foods. Such a good decision.

Adaptable. That’s what these are. I threw in raisins and craisins but I’m sure nuts would be a good addition, as would dried cherries or blueberries. Healthy. I like it.






Banana Applesauce Cookies

3 ripe bananas     2 cups oats

1 cup raisins        1/3 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, raisins, applesauce, and vanilla.

Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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