Chewy, Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

I’ve baked plenty of cookies on this blog and when I had the craving for some chocolate chip cookies, I was about to whip up my staple White & Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip cookies. The thing with these cookies though? They’re a more cakey consistency, which I love, but sometimes you just want an ooey gooey, chewy cookie… So, I decided to modify my recipe a bit and hoped I would get the cookie that my heart desired. I tried, I succeeded! Now I will share this modified recipe with you.

First, I knew I just wanted one chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate) and I dug out some walnuts from the pantry. Swapping out the baking powder for baking soda was a must for that soft n’ chewy consistency. Then, in my last stitch effort to get it right, I modified the sugar amounts a bit. My original recipe called for equal amounts of white and brown sugar, 1 cup each; however, I figured more brown sugar and less white sugar would definitely create that perfect cookie for me!

A few scribbles in my recipe book and I was ready to get down to cookie business.

The ingredients for 36 cookies:
• 1 cup of butter, softened
• 1 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
• 3/4 cup of white sugar
• 1 tbs. vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 3 cups of flour (I used all purpose)
• 1/4 tsp. of salt
• 1 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set the bowl aside.

Cream together the two sugars and your softened butter. I used a standing mixer and had it on low/medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Pour in your vanilla extract and beat in one egg at a time, making sure you do not over beat the eggs.

Add about 1/4 of the dry ingredients into the creamy mixture, then beat until almost incorporated, then repeat with the 1/4 of the dry ingredients and so on. Once you have poured all of the dry ingredients into the creamy batter, stop beating once all of the ingredients are just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure a consistently combined mixture.

Now put some plastic wrap over the bowl that contains the batter and place into the fridge. This will create a firm dough that will be easy to roll and will keep the dough from flattening in the oven. Keep the dough in the fridge for about an hour, but you can keep them in the fridge overnight as well, if you forget about the dough or get distracted by other things (like I did…. oops).

Alright, the dough is firm and ready to roll! Preheat your oven to 350F.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet or use parchment paper.

I rolled my dough into 1-1.5 inch balls and spaced them about 2 inches apart from one another.

Pop them in the oven for 10 – 11 minutes, you will see that the bottom edges are a lovely golden brown.

Take the cookies out, allow them to cool and you have some delightfully chewy, buttery chocolate chip cookies.

Quora seems to think these are puppy friendly… they’re not.

I believe I may retire my old recipe and stick with this one! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 🙂

Neapolitan Cupcakes

I was feeling particularly cupcake deprived, when I realized that the Oven Mitt hasn’t seen cupcakes for a while! I knew the exact cupcakes I wanted to bake too… well, sort of. I’ve had “Neapolitan Cupcakes” in my head for ages, I just wasn’t sure which route I wanted to go with them. Vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and chocolate frosting? No, I’ve already made vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling. Strawberry cupcakes? Chocolate cupcakes? I couldn’t decide, when it finally hit me. I was going to put vanilla and chocolate into one cupcake, with strawberry frosting. This recipe made 12 cupcakes.
Neapolitan Cupcakes

Ingredients for vanilla cupcake portion:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup flour
• 34 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add the egg and vanilla extract.
Vanilla portion

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture, pour in the milk and beat until smooth.

Now whip up the chocolate batter!

Ingredients for the chocolate cupcake portion:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into one medium bowl.

One at a time, add the egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Beat the batter on medium speed until smooth.

In a small sauce pan, boil the 1/2 cup of water and add the cocoa powder to create a chocolate sauce. Add the chocolate sauce to the cake batter and mix well.

Prepare your cupcake liners in a muffin pan or a regular pan. Pour the vanilla cupcake into the liner about 1/3 of the way, then pour in the chocolate batter another 1/3.
Combine vanilla and chocolate

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While your cupcakes cool, it’s time to prepare the strawberry frosting!
Slice strawberries

Ingredients for strawberry frosting:
• 1 1/2 cups of sliced strawberries
• 1 cup butter
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the strawberries in a blender on high for about a minute or until there’s no more large chunks.

Pour the blended strawberries into a sauce pan, bring them to a boil on medium heat.

While stirring often, continue to heat the strawberries in the sauce pan for about 20-25 minutes. The longer they reduce, the more of a fragrant strawberry taste you will have. The puree will end up being about half the amount that you originally poured in.

Once finished, set the strawberry puree aside to cool.

Sift powdered sugar
On medium/high speed, beat the butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar and the vanilla extract to the butter until just blended.

Reduced strawberries
Now pour about a teaspoon of the strawberry puree into the frosting mixture, then alternate with another cup of powdered sugar. Repeat until all ingredients are combined. If you desire a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar.

Frost your cooled cupcakes and you’re all set! I stored my cupcakes in the fridge to keep the strawberry frosting on point. 🙂

Lemon Bars

I have a thing for lemon. The vibrant color and the sour taste, especially when mixed in with some sweetness… my perfect dessert. You may have guessed this already with my previous lemon recipes, the vanilla cake with lemon curd, the lemon cupcakes with kiwi frosting, I just can’t get enough. I decided to go with a classic, the lemon bar!
Powder sugared up

Ingredients for the crust:
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tsp salt
Preparing the crust

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Mix all of the above ingredients together until well blended.

Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch pan and press firmly to line the entire bottom of the pan.

So crumbly
Bake the crust in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, while you create the lemon topping.

Ingredients for the lemon topping:
• 4 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/3 cup flour
• 4 lemons
• Powdered sugar (optional)

Whisk the eggs, sugar and flour together.

Only use the zest of 2 lemons, but squeeze the juice out of all 4 of the lemons.

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the already semi-baked crust and smooth the surface with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. Cut the bars as you like and serve!
So lemony

I put a lid on top of my 9×13-inch pan and left the bars at room temperature. They held up nicely, even after a few days. 🙂

Key Lime Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

It has felt like ages since I last baked some cookies. I have a feeling it’s the Summer heat, who wants to turn their oven on with these high temperatures? Well, the cookies aren’t going to bake themselves, so it has to be done!

If I was going to be baking, they weren’t going to be heavy and chocolatey. I wanted to experiment with a lighter, zestier cookie. Hmm, what do we have here? Some limes hanging out, these will do. What could possibly go well with limes? Hopefully white chocolate because that’s what I had and it sounded like it could be an interesting mix. 🙂
Lime Cookies

• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 3/4 cup flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• Zest and Juice from 2 limes
• 1 cup of white chocolate chips

Start off by preheating the oven to 350F.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add in the eggs, zest and juice. Mix well.
Lime Zest

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the lime mixture, until all is smooth and well blended.
Cookie Mixture

Mix in the white chocolate chips.

I placed my cookie dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes, just to make it easier to roll the dough into little balls.

I rolled the dough into balls and placed them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until you notice the very bottom edges turning light golden brown.

Allow to cool and enjoy!
Cookies in a jar

Mini Cheesecakes

I was brainstorming on some yummy, simple, Summer-friendly desserts, when it hit me… Cheesecake! I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been the biggest cheesecake fan. It confused me, cake should be fluffy and sweet! Not mushy and cheesy! I’ve given it a chance though and it’s been growing on me. It’s especially delicious when it’s made from scratch.

I’d have to say, the crust is my favorite part. I wanted to make sure to create the crust as well, no matter how tempting those little pre-made crusts at the grocery store are. I could’ve just made one full sized cake, but I thought the little mini’s would be more fun and Summer picnic/BBQ ready. This recipe made enough for 4 medium sized ramekins.

Ingredients for the Crust:
• 6 Full sized graham crackers
• 2 tbs sugar
• 3 tbs butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325F.

If you have a food processor, place the graham crackers into it to create crumbs. Unfortunately, I don’t have one (yet), so I just put them into a Ziploc bag and punched them until they became crumbs. 🙂

Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter into a bowl and mix well.
Preparing graham cracker crust
Plop the cracker mixture into the ramekins, about 1/2 way in each. Press the mixture into the ramekins with your fingers, until the majority of the ramekin is “lined” with the cracker crust.
Pressed into ramekins
Place the little ramekins into a pan and put them in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Once they’re finished, remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

Ingredients for the Cheesecakes:
• 8oz pack of cream cheese, softened
• 2 tbs of lemon juice
• 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat on medium/high until smooth.
Cheesecake all mixed up
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the completely cooled graham cracker crusts.

Top with your favorite berries and enjoy!
Berries on top!
Just a tip, the ramekins I used came with lids as well. These little cheesecakes are even better when in the fridge for a few days!

White Chocolate Fruit Cups

This is the best time of year for fruit. The berries are leaving that amazing scent in the grocery store and I’m powerless against it! Good thing they’re dirt cheap. I loaded up on a ton of melons and berries, you name it, it’s in my fridge.

I wanted to put together a quick little treat that anyone could easily recreate and enjoy! No need to turn that hot oven on and it’s even a perfect dessert for a 4th of July get together.
Great for 4th of July

All you need is a few ingredients:

• Cup/bowl molds (I found these at Jo-Ann’s Craft Store)
• Chocolate chips, I chose white chocolate
• Your favorite fruits!

Prepare the molds by cleaning them out and drying completely.
Melt the chocolate chips, using either a double boiler or microwaving in 30 second intervals.
Plop o' chocolate
Plop a good glob of chocolate in the center of the molds and gently press the smaller mold on top. This will spread the chocolate throughout the entire cup/bowl mold. Unless you’re a master of measuring (I certainly am not), you will very likely have excess chocolate spread outside the mold. This isn’t a big deal as it will very easily break off once you remove the chocolate cups/bowls.
Ready for the fridge
Place the mold upside down and put it into the fridge until you notice the plastic becoming frosty. I left mine for about 2 hours, just to give them plenty of time.
As soon as I got the fruit out to cut, I took the molds out of the fridge and into the freezer.
Cut the fruit however you desire.
Easy to pop out
Take the molds out of the freezer and gently remove the top mold layer. The chocolate cup/bowls will pop out easily and you can take this time to break/cut off any excess chocolate on top.
Pack in the fruit!
Put the fruit inside and there you have a pretty, delicious little dessert!
Chocolate fruit cups

Chocolatey Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars

The weather has been heating up and Summer is about to smack us all in the face. I’ve been living in the Bay Area now for about 6 months and we were so excited to find our house, that we forgot to ask if there was air conditioning. As you can probably guess… I don’t have air conditioning. We didn’t think it would be a big deal, as Northern California is usually cooler than Southern California, right? Wrong. It’s been in the 80’s the past few days and we’re pretty much melting in our own house. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think Summer is the time for heavy cakes and warm pies anyway… it’s the time for quick snacks! Anything that keeps my oven turned off is definitely a treat I enjoy in the Summer.

I decided to make a good ol’ peanut butter bar, but toss in some salty pretzels and semi-sweet chocolate to make it more awesome. It’s super easy to make, you don’t have to turn on the oven and it requires very few ingredients.
Chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel time

• 16 oz. jar of creamy peanut butter
• 1 1/4 stick of butter (softened)
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• Pretzels
• 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by beating the butter and peanut butter until smooth n’ creamy.
Peanut butter and butter mixture
Slowly add in the powdered sugar, I beat everything on high for about a minute, just to make sure it was well combined.
Powdered sugar mixed in
I didn’t measure the amount of pretzels, but it looked to be about a cup. I placed the pretzels in a ziplock and punched them until they were all in small pieces.
I poured the beat up pretzels and half the bag of chocolate chips into the mixture.
Toss in the goodies
Stir it all up!
Line a 9X9 inch pan with foil and then lightly grease the foil.
Foil and grease
Pour the peanut butter mixture into the pan and then press it evenly.
Melt the remaining chocolate chips and smooth over the top of the peanut butter mixture.
Smash up some more pretzels and sprinkle them on top.
Heading to the fridge
Place the completed creation in the fridge.
Allow the ingredients to harden for about 2-3 hours. Pull up the foil from the pan and then cut them into as big or small of pieces as you like. I had my batch in the fridge for 2 hours and my poor bars were already softening as I cut them up… but I guess that’s what happens when it’s 88F in your house with no AC. haha.
No bake goodness
Luckily, they held up long enough for me to cut them and to get some photos! They’re really tasty and store very nicely back in the fridge.
Enjoy! Get ready for Summer!

Homemade Thin Mint Cookies

The Girl Scout Cookies are long gone, but that doesn’t mean my cravings for Thin Mints will stop! Luckily, they’re super easy to make and you don’t even have to be guilted into spending $5 a box from little girls flashing their big smiles at you. I will warn you, once these are made, they will be gone immediately. I only got to enjoy about 4 cookies before my visiting family members ate them all.
I guess I’ll have to bake another batch… oh no…

Ingredients for 30-40 cookies:
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 bag of mint & chocolate chips
The fixin's

Preheat your oven to 350F.
Cream the sugar and butter together.
Creamed butter and sugar
Add the egg and vanilla to the sugar mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture, until all is combined.
Slowly add dry ingredients
The dough will be quite dry.
Dry cookie dough
Halve the dough and roll two cylinders onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll 'em
Now that they’re looking quite unappealing, wrap the cylinders with wax paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Rolled Cylinders
Place the cylinders in the freezer for about an hour to harden.
Take one cylinder out of the freezer at a time and use a sharp knife to slice your cookies.
I wasn’t too careful about how thin/thick my cookies were, but if you would like your cookies to be more true to Thin Mint form, definitely cut very thin slices. The thinner you slice, the crunchier they will be.
Since the dough won’t spread much, you can place quite a few cookies on one sheet.
Ready to bake
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Right before you take the cookies out of the oven, melt the mint chocolate chips.
Take the cookies out and drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the warm cookies.
Drizzle some chocolate
Place the cookie sheet in the fridge and allow the chocolate covered cookies to firm up, I only had mine in for about 20 minutes before I placed them in my cookie jar. 🙂
Thin mints

Recipe Find! Chocolate Chip Cookies from Kelseys Apple A Day

As someone that loves to bake and think up new and interesting recipes… there are times where I don’t want to make my same ol’ recipe and am far too lazy to think of a new one. These are the moments I check out my Pinterest boards and bake someone else’s great recipe! I’ve come across some amazing and creative ideas on Pinterest, anyone that doesn’t have an account, I highly recommend it.

On this particular afternoon, I just wanted some chocolate chip cookies. I looked through the rows and rows of what looked like good cookie recipes, but one definitely caught my eye. With a caption like “The fluffiest, chewiest, most amazing chocolate chip cookies–all thanks to a very surprising ingredient!” I knew it had to be good. I was directed to the great blog of Kelseys Apple A Day on Blogspot.

Definitely check out Kelseys Best-Ever Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies! I gave the cookies a shot and they were a hit! I’m pretty sure this is one of my new favorite go-to recipes for chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were chewy and perfect, they were gone within 2 days. I mean, c’mon… look at these beauties…

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
barely adapted from Anna Olson, Food Network Canada

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.

3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.

4. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)

5. Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely. Makes approximately 3 dozen. Try not to eat them all.

Strawberry “Carrots” for Easter

I was visiting my family in Southern California and was thinking of ideas for Easter on the Oven Mitt. You wouldn’t believe who had the best idea, my 13 year old nephew. He said I should dip strawberries into orange chocolate, so they look like carrots… Brilliant!! So, I take no credit in this adorable, yet super easy idea for Easter!
I was in luck, as my local grocery store had just restocked their organic strawberries. They all looked and smelled perfect! It’s definitely that time of year again for some beautiful, red ripe strawberries. For the sake of them looking like carrots, I would recommend grabbing some larger strawberries. 🙂
A package deal

• Fresh Strawberries
• Orange Candy Melts(I got mine from Michael’s)

Strawberries and chocolate melts
Make sure your strawberries are clean and dry. I just rinsed mine off with cool water and patted dry with a paper towel.

Pour the candy melts into a microwave safe container. Set your heat to low, while doing 30 second intervals with the candy melts. Every time you go to reheat, stir the candy melts.

Once the chocolate is melted completely, gather the strawberry stems and gently dip into the chocolate.
Place the dipped strawberries onto a cookie sheet or plate that is lined with parchment paper.

As soon as you’re finished dipping all of the strawberries you want, place them in the fridge to harden.
Dip 'em
I left my strawberries in for about an hour and they were perfect, but I continued to store the remaining strawberries in the fridge.
Ready for Easter!