Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I have been searching for a lemon cookie recipe that doesn't start with a boxed cake mix, and it has been a surprisingly difficult search.  Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place to use a boxed cake mix.  However, for these cookies I was just dead set on that flavor that only a fresh lemon can provide.  After scouring the internet, Pinterest led me to this little gem of a recipe.  The first time I made them I was a little heavy handed with the powdered sugar and I was not happy with the final appearance of the baked cookies.  This time I made sure that the powdered sugar was thin, shaking off any excess before placing the dough balls on the cookie sheet.  These cookies were a hit with both my husband and my co-workers.  I highly recommend this recipe if you are looking for a fresh, soft, and chewy lemon cookie.

Adapted slightly from Lauren's Latest

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray or line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice until fully incorporated into the batter. Gently mix in all dry ingredients until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. The dough will be fairly sticky. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Shake off any excess powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

3. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte (not melty or shiny). Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

You really can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate.  It is a time-tested, well-loved flavor combination.  I happen to be a huge fan of the dynamic duo, and I am always looking for recipes that showcase these flavors.  These cupcakes are fairly dense, moist, and the flavor resembles a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.  I really like these.  A lot.  If you store these cupcakes in the refrigerator make sure to set them out at room temperature 30 minutes before eating so the chocolate chips can warm up.

Adapted from Recipe Snobs

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. For the cupcakes - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups.

2. Combine the milk and vanilla in small bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Beat the butter and sugars in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend until smooth. Slowly mix in peanut butter. Add half the flour mixture and blend slowly. When fully incorporated, add milk mixture. Continue to blend slowly. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand.

3. Scoop the batter into lined baking cups and bake for about 22 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched and the edges are golden brown.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

4. For the frosting - Beat peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined. Gradually add in powdered sugar and heavy cream.  When the sugar and cream have been incorporated, beat the frosting on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5. Pipe or spread frosting onto fully cooled cupcakes.  Decorate with chocolate chips, sprinkles, or a chocolate drizzle, if desired.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday.