Chewy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

My friend Ann found this recipe for me.  I love the connections we have forged (or re-forged) on Facebook.  If it were not for new found connections with old friends, I wouldn’t know of her quest for a perfectly chewy oatmeal peanut butter cookie.  And I might not have been inspired to try to make one myself.  So, as I baked these today, I was counting my blessings in this dear friend.   Not sure if she tried this recipe…  Did you, Ann?

Ann and I went to high school together.  We were friends, but in a class of only 34 (36?), everyone is a “friend.”  We didn’t really know each other well.  She was always funny, and I enjoyed her.  I knew she liked to write, because she, Monica, and I won the “America & Me Essay Contest” in the 8th grade.  Our small town life was full.   There were walks uptown for lunch, which may very well have included chocolate covered peanuts from the glass candy counter at Morhart’s Dime store; for $1 we rode the bus to the away games  to root on our Mighty Bobcats, and home games were the best, with the band blasting our fight song.  There were dances uptown, various plays and musicals, and opportunities to play sports; we did it all.  Just a walk down memory lane here for me… the point being… even with all the things we did in school,  I know Ann so much better now.  I know more about the every day stuff, even though she is in Michigan and I am in Washington.  She cares fiercely about her friends, and I want to do that for everyone God puts in my path.  We should get to know each other better, however that takes shape.  I have found quite a few incredible people on FB.  I would not be connected to them at all otherwise, and I am so glad I know them.  Some I may only see face to face once a year, but we are connected.  Some of them are my neighbors!   What a blessing.  If someone makes you smile, or makes you think, or gets your joke, you walk through the day a little lighter.  We need to share our lives with each other (and not just on social media…)

Here is our recipe.  The original was done by weight, and in the metric system…not sure, but maybe Canadian, aye?  Luckily, there are online calculators for us to convert recipes from pounds to cups – and for temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit!  (9/5c+32?…find the conversion calculator… so much easier).  The recipe called for castor sugar, which is baker’s sugar.  It is a super fine granulation, and available in your grocery store.  I imagine it adds to the chewy texture.  These cookies baked beautifully.  I may be trying baker’s sugar in more recipes!

Chewy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies      350 degrees, 12-14 mins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup baker’s sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • optional: 2 cups milk choc chips (One of the only times I do milk chocolate – with peanut butter – and I liked Nestle for this – just a bit sweeter than Hershey’s – oooh, M&M’s would be good instead!)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream butters and sugars
  3. Add egg, vanilla, and water
  4. Mix well 
  5. Add the flour, soda, and the baking powder and mix well
  6. Add oatmeal & chocolate, mixing lightly
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes

Image

Original recipe found here:

http://baking.food.com/recipe/chewy-oatmeal-peanut-butter-cookies-240220?scaleto=36&mode=us&st=true&oc=linkback#

Caramel Candy Corn & Walnut Cookies

I love candy corn.  Super sweet, with that texture utterly unique to candy corn – almost fudgy, almost nougaty, almost sugary.  I always buy a small bag to enjoy at this time of year – and now they come in flavors like the caramel one I use in the cookie!  The candy is so sweet that I often eat it with some walnuts.  I love them together.  Therefore, this cookie has been playing in my mind for a couple of years.  Last year, I posted most of my “go-to” recipes, so this year, we are going to explore some new ideas.  I am trying to be creative here.  Hopefully, I can come up with some fun cookies.  This one is a winner!

I am making these as a pan cookie.  I had tried to use the candy corn before in a drop cookie, but if that candy touches the metal pan, it is going to melt and stick, and REALLY STICK!  So the theory is that if the candy is in the cookie, sticking won’t be so bad.

I made a batch to present to my new taste testers (VCS Algebra-1 Class).  In that batch, I put the cookie dough down on a jelly roll pan and topped it with walnuts and candy corn, and then baked the cookies.  The candy melted through in some areas, so it did stick to the pan.  However, the candy also takes on even more caramel flavor in the process.  The kids liked the texture & taste of the melted candy.

In the batch I made today, I mixed the walnuts into the cookie dough, and baked that for 10 minutes, then topped with the candy corn and finished the baking.  I will see if the taste testers like these as well as they did the first batch tomorrow.

Blessings & happy cookie making!!

(The taste testers confirmed that they preferred the candy corn completely melted – the texture is transformed in the baking and becomes very chewy.  Some of them also said I went heavy on the walnuts… but maybe they don’t like walnuts.)

Caramel Candy Corn & Walnut Cookies      350 degrees, 22-25 mins

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups Oatmeal
  • 1-1/2 Cup Rough Chopped Walnuts
  • 1-1/2 Cups Caramel Candy Corn
  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs and vanilla
  3. Mix in flour, baking powder, soda and salt
  4. Add Oatmeal & Walnuts
  5. Spray Jelly Roll pan with cooking spray
  6. Fill pan with scoops of cookie dough (much easier than spreading it in)
  7. Bake at 350, 10-12 mins
  8. Top with Candy Corn
  9. Return to oven for 12-15 more minutes (Total baking time 22-25 mins)

Coconut-Pecan with White Chocolate and Lime Sugar Glaze

Under the wire!  My September Auction cookie!

We have had a beautiful summer.  It really seemed to go on into our fall season, so I thought I could use my summer cookie for September..  So this is it.  And it is my new favorite!

In past summers, I have played with lime and coconut in cookies.  This time, I don’t need to look any further.  I made them for an event in June at church, but thought they lacked a bit.  I do love nuts.  Bought some macadamia nuts, but really found them to be a little off.  Anyone else feel that way?  If they didn’t come directly from Hawaii, and are really fresh, the oils seem to go bad.  Anyway, I did have pecans, and they were just right.

I have someone new to bake auction cookies for this year.  The Principal at Valley Christian!  Gloria’s daughter bought them for her.  What a sweet gift!  I got the seal of approval from her husband Loren this morning.  He said that he really enjoyed these cookies.

When I think of Valley, I can’t help but mention Marvalene.  Continue to keep her in your prayers.  She is still fighting that cancer.  I caught her in her office a couple of times recently.  She looked good, and was in good spirits, but of course chemo and the fight have taken a toll.

Coconut-Pecan with White Chocolate and Lime Sugar Glaze    375 degree oven, 8-10 mins

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • Lime glaze to be set aside –  mix all together:
  • lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. beat butter for 30 seconds
  2. add sugars, baking soda, and salt
  3. beat in egg and vanilla
  4. add flour
  5. stir in coconut, pecans, and white chocolate chips
  6. drop by rounded teaspoons – makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen
  7. bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes
  8. let cool somewhat before brushing on glaze, ok to glaze while slightly warm.

Over the Top Ranger Cookies

My favorite cookie.  For one of my favorite people.

Yesterday was a day to celebrate a dear friend’s life.  Our church always gathers close to a family that has lost a loved one.  Churches are good at this.  They have practiced it often.  A plan is made, and the sign up sheet makes its rounds.  All the needs are quickly filled…. main dishes, sides, salads, desserts… cookies.  I made my favorite cookie.  These are for Melvina.  Let me tell you about her.

Small in stature, it wasn’t like I saw her coming that day to speak to me.  It was as if she just appeared out of nowhere.  (She’s kind of stealthy!)  I looked down beside me to notice this little lady with gray hair and glasses, and a sweet voice saying, “Hello, I haven’t gotten to meet you yet.”  She asked me about life, about my son and my husband.  We talked about my faith, and how God had brought us to Washington.  Melvina made me feel welcome.  I instantly knew she cared.

I have spoken with a few friends, who, like me, did not grow up in this church.  Melvina was a first point of contact for most of us.  As we compared notes, there was a general consensus.  Our summary would be as follows:

Melvina had a way of getting to the truth.  Not that we were trying to hide anything, but she seemed to dive right into our lives (or our “business”… if you know what I mean!);  she intuitively tapped into areas in which we struggled, or in which we hoped and dreamed.  Week after week,  she sought us out, wanting to touch base and let us know she was waiting to see us each Sunday.  Because of her consistency, we got to know her, and she got to know us.

I swear, God put a “homing device” in that woman for newcomers, and he used her to touch all of us with his truth for our lives.  She talked to everyone.  I wonder what secrets she knew…  I would bet that she talked to at least 5-10 people  every Sunday.  I wondered if her special mission was encouraging young married women.  No, I bet it was to talk to every person God put in her path – or every path she could cross (remember… she’s kinda stealthy…).

There have been a few people whom I have met that I have thought of as “truth-tellers.”  Melvina was definitely one of them.  She would not compromise God’s truth for herself, or for us.  She held us to a higher standard, she encouraged us to greater faith.

This past year, I had the joy of being in a Bible study with Melvina and many other amazing women.  One Monday night, Sandee came in and told us so honestly how her day had gone.  She may have mentioned a grumbly-ness in her attitude, and might have been a little growl-y about it yet – but she was trying.  Really, she was.  She told us the whats, and the whys, what she had done wrong and how (she knew) she did what she should not have done.  Melvina wasn’t having it.  Sandee agreed in an Eeyore-kind of voice, “I know, Melvina.”  Melvina shared more wisdom,   Sandee said again, “I know, Melvina.”   The conversation continued, Melvina did not seem 100% convinced that Sandee was on board.  We all laughed and laughed.  I loved that moment.  I still chuckle when I think about it.  It was new to me, but it obviously has been played out many times over the years and years this Bible study group has met.

At Melvina’s  service, I enjoyed hearing about her life and seeing her family honor her.  In the middle of photos being displayed, there was a brief video of Melvina talking about her family, commending them for living lives that honor and serve God.  The beauty of that moment, the heritage of faith being passed on, and the sound of our dear friend’s voice, struck me hard.  The tears began to fall.  All the times that voice has spoken to me, to my heart, to my faith… I don’t want to forget the voice of this little woman who served God so faithfully.

Her voice will forever remind me to not compromise God’s truth for myself, or for others.  Thinking of how she made a point to talk to me so often, I will seek others out and hear their stories.  I will listen to their hearts.

Over the Top Ranger Cookies         Bake at 350 degrees, 12 mins

(recipe adapted from Lorraine Dally-Briggs)

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1-1/2 Cup Sweetened Flake Coconut
  • 2 Cups Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes
  • 1-1/2 Cups Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 Cup Pecans

  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs and vanilla
  3. Mix in flour, baking powder, soda and salt
  4. Add coconut, cereal, butterscotch chips, and pecans
  5. Do not over mix
  6. Bake at 350, 12 mins

Molasses or Oatmeal? Both!

When I started this blog, I shared that the cookies I make each month are for an auction that supports Valley Christian School. Marvalene and Bob had the winning bid this year.  Marvalene had been trying to win the cookie jar for a few years, and finally she did.

This month, I wondered what cookie would taste best to Marvalene. I wanted to make something that would be comforting to her.  I could not decide, so I made both Molasses and Oatmeal.  You see, Marvalene has been diagnosed with cancer recently, and I wasn’t sure how she was feeling.  I don’t believe she has started any treatment.  I see on the prayer chain that today she was admitted to the hospital for more testing.  I hope this means answers for Marvalene and her family, and getting started with treatment soon.

Marvalene has worked at Valley Christian forever (ok, I don’t really know how long, but I think since it opened 30+ years ago).  She is the accounting department.  She wouldn’t have to have much contact with the kids, but Marvalene loves kids.  You don’t have to be at VCS very long before you find out about her candy drawer.  I often hear the kids begging mom or dad to go visit Marvalene.  That drawer is not just a treasure trove of candy, it’s an open door and a smile.  It is an invitation to come.  It lets the kids know that Marvalene is there for them.  They can come, have a piece of candy, and share their hearts.

This photo was taken on Grandparent’s Day a couple of years ago.  Marvalene’s  grand-daughter, Miranda is the tall one in back (she isn’t that tall – everyone else must be really short!)  The other girls’ grandparent’s could not be there, so they had a picture with Marvalene.  She is dearly loved.  Keep her in your prayers for us.

My favorite oatmeal cookie.  The recipe is from Snoqualmie Falls Lodge.  I only bought the Snoqualmie Falls Oatmeal once, but I am so glad I tried this recipe.  (I go a little lighter on the cinnamon, and I skipped the raisins)

The molasses cookie is from allrecipes.com, submitted by Marjorie Jenkins.  It is a great cookie:

Oatmeal Dream Cookies                                  375 degrees     8-10 mins

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups Snoqualmie Falls Lodge® Oatmeal
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  1. Cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla on low-speed until smooth
  2. Stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt until blended
  3. Add oatmeal and raisins 
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes

Favorite Molasses Cookies           375 degrees     8-10 mins

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
  1. cream butter and sugar
  2. Beat in molasses and egg
  3. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture
  4. Chill for 1 hour or until firm
  5. Shape into 1-in. balls
  6. Roll in sugar 
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned
  8.  Cool on wire racks

My Snickerdoodle Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

One Valentine’s Day, years ago, I made a batch of snickerdoodle cookies and put them in a heart-shaped box for my son.  I was looking for an anti-chocolate treat.  (Every holiday seems to be filled with chocolate.  Not that I don’t like chocolate.  OH, I DO!!  That year, I had just had enough.)  Levi enjoyed the cookies.

The next year, I had forgotten about the snickerdoodles, but Levi had not.  Evidently I had started a new tradition!  Kids love tradition.  There is something special in having family traditions, and we need to make the most of them.  Traditions  create stability and sense of family identity.  They add to our memories and our family’s story.  It says something about who we are.

The boy had to ask for the snickerdoodles that second year, but I happily whipped up a batch, loving that he remembered.  Now I always think of  snickerdoodles for Valentine’s Day.

I cherish the memories my own mother made in my childhood.  She has only gotten better at creating tradition over the years.  We start building tradition as moms, we perfect the process as grandmas.  I am sure of it.   You should see my mom’s at Christmas!  I wish so much that we could be home to celebrate every year.  We live too far away! …but that is another story.  Mom is an amazing creative force.  She is an artist in everything she does.  This year she sent an old-fashioned valentine.   It is just a pretty doily and some stickers, but it is so sweet.  I included it in the photos of the cookies so I can remember it forever.

Have a Snickerdoodle kind of Valentine’s Day!!

And, finally, because I am silly, a cookie haiku:

A quiet moment.

Snickerdoodle Valentines.

My world, full of love.

Snickerdoodle Cookies          400 degree oven      10 minutes

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar + 1/4 cup for cinnamon-sugar mixture
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, mixed with 1/4 cup sugar (or a bit more) for coating
  1. Cream butter and shortening
  2. Mix in sugar, scraping sides to incorporate
  3. Add eggs, mix well
  4. Mix dry ingredients, then add to wet
  5. Use mixer to combine somewhat, then finish mixing gently by hand
  6. Roll into balls, coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, these cookies will be pale, not browned

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.  http://www.marthastewart.com/260640/snickerdoodles

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Busy, busy, busy!  And a little tired!  I meant to post this recipe earlier.  I meant to bake cookies for the neighbors before now.  I meant to send Christmas cards (ok, since I haven’t actually done that for years, maybe I didn’t really mean that one).  I will keep the blog short today as I need to get baking on this Christmas Eve Eve!

This is my all time favorite Christmas cookie.  Over the years when ever one has crossed my lips, I have thought, “Oh, MAN!  Cookie Heaven!”  I have never made them before, and in looking for recipes, I saw many that were made with shortening or lard.  I don’t always have those ingredients.  I ALWAYS have butter.    And with thoughts of butter we always turn to…. Paula Deen!  Ya just gotta trust a woman who loves butter that much.

Paula made them into crescents, but I think the less we handle the dough, the better, and I am lazy so I rolled them into balls.  But the crescents are cute…

Roll in powdered sugar… I think the word “dredge” fits better.  I like lots of powdered sugar!  Fill a plastic bag, and made sure they are really covered.  The butter soaks through and the sugar becomes like frosting.  A dusting on top once they have set for a while is nice, that way they won’t stick to your fingers.  And a dusting on the bottom of the cookie tin is a good idea, too.

Merry Christmas!!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet, or line with parchment (parchment also keeps your pans in better shape).

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low-speed until it is smooth.

Beat in the vanilla.

At low-speed gradually add the flour.

Mix in the pecans with a spatula.

With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent or ball.

Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies.

Place onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 40 minutes.

When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional confectioners’ sugar.

Cool on wire racks.

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