Mrs. Bennett’s Peanut Butter Cookies

I have a collection of around 10,000 cookbooks or so – I refuse to know the exact amount because I refuse to count them – and I am always on the lookout for more. I love the history of food and the history of recipes and how and where they originated. I always tell people once I am retired I will become a “Food Historian”.

Back to the cookbooks though…

Browsing over a old Church cookbook I found a peanut butter cookie recipe, from Mrs. Bennett, that caught my eye. I decided to try it and after taste testing, I was immediately taken back to my childhood and the local “Egg Farm” where my family and I visited for cookies, cakes and pies. This recipe is a keeper! I went back and adjusted a few things, including the bake time, to get the finished results I wanted.

This recipe produces a light, crunchy almost “brittle” type cookie. Trust me – these are FABULOUS! 

Thank you Mrs. Bennett!

Mrs. Bennett’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar, light brown sugar, smooth peanut butter and solid vegetable shortening until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the 2 large eggs.

Add in the baking soda, pure vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Roll teaspoon size amounts of the dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Gently press down making a cross mark on each cookie with a fork.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 14 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/LwfuE8E

Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles

I have a recipe for “Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles” so I wanted to develop a recipe for those who loved the Snickerdoodle flavor of cinnamon-sugar but wanted a cookie that was crumbly and sandy in texture instead of soft and chewy. This recipe is a home run! It’s easy – flavorful and hits the crumbly and sandy texture so well that I named them my “Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles”. These are fabulous!

Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups + 3 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
Cinnamon and Sugar for rolling (below)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large egg.

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Finally fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Roll tablespoon sized balls into a mixture of 1/2 cup white granuated sugar and 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Lightly press down on each ball.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 18 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/F8KiZLR

Cookbook Corner – Gâteaux

“Gâteaux” By: Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq

This book is huge in content – size – photos – recipe and taste! A beautifully laid out book that draws your attention from page one. The photos are page big and are fabulously paired with some of the best recipes you will find for some of your favorite desserts! I can not tell you how much fun I had looking through this book! 

The sections that divide up this cookbook are – In One Bite – Sunday Brioches – Simple Cakes – Fruit Desserts – Celebration Cakes – Cakes of the World – Tarts – and Just for Fun. There are also wonderfully put together “step by step” photos that go with some of the more “complex” recipes. 

Some of the recipes that make up this fabulous cookbook are – Champagne Ladyfingers, Pears in Pastry, Coconut Cookies, Lemon Tartlets, Cinnamon Stars, Jam-Filled Donuts, Bee Sting Cake, Puff Pastry Brioche, Stacked Crêpe Cake, Breton Buckwheat Cake, Parisian Cream Flan, Chestnut Cake, Lemon Mousse Cake, Red Berry Tart, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Mousse Cake, White Rose Cake, Pineapple Baba with Lime Meringue, Lime-Raspberry Macaron Cake, Black Forest Cake with Chocolate Cream, Speculoos Cookies, Fruit-Topped Cheesecake, Caramel-Chocolate Tart, Cherry Tart with Streusel Topping and Light Cheese Tart. 

Some of the recipes have a couple different recipes that go with the finished product but those who may be wondering if the book may be to advanced – my answer would be no! Anything delicious takes time and patience and I love how there is nothing processed in this book and how the finished desserts have a fresh and familiar flavor – but unexpected and new at the same time. 

Highly recommend this for those who love baking and beautifully done cakes, cookies and desserts. 

To buy “Gâteaux” click here…

https://www.amazon.com/Gateaux-Large-Small-Cookies-Desserts/dp/0847858650

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise 

Chew This! Spring Celebration Cookies 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday!!! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I’ll be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com 

The first day of SPRING is tomorrow and I just can’t believe it! It seems winter lasts SO LONG compared to the spring and summer months. Enjoy every second of the spring and summer because it’s fleeting for sure. Why not start the celebration with my delicious and fabulous “SPRING CELEBRATION COOKIES”!? The cookies are tender inside and stable outside while the frosting on top is thick and flavorful! 

Feel free to leave the frosting off these cookies and serve as is – but part of the fun and celebration is the colorful frosting! Use any food color you desire – and any color that you want to match your mood. Experiment and enjoy!

Also in this column is my “Ask and Answer” feature about how you can make “steak house style” baked potatoes at home! No wrapping them in foil, poking the outsides – just follow my recipe and you’ll love it! The skins are flavorful and crispy and the inside is fluffy and tender. 


Spring Celebration Cookies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_43048498-019b-5792-99f0-575ac046db52.html

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/7tUw2_r 

Chew This – Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you already know, I write a twice monthly column that appears in “The Courier-Times” on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month. I LOVE it and it is such a great opportunity for me to share my love of food, recipes, family and memories with all of you! If you live in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy! If you don’t – you can subscribe online! Visit http://thecouriertimes.com for more information or email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com and I would be happy to help you set up an account! 

Today’s column is all about taking a classic cookie and giving it a “twist”! My “Chocolate Snickerdoodles” were born out of an idea I had to add chocolate to your traditional Snickerdoodle cookie recipe. After many trials and errors I found the perfect combination of chocolate, texture and familiar “Snickerdoodle” flavor. My taste testers and I found these to be incredible! 

Also in today’s column, my “Ask and Answer” feature answers your questions on the “perfect pie crust”! I have some tips and tricks that you’ll need to read and follow for that “foolproof” pastry! 


Chew This! – Chocolate Snickerdoodles

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_6305cea3-73f8-55ac-b326-214679c89d1b.html

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/UGBkxQI

Snickerdoodle Blondies 

I love Snickerdoodle cookies and these blondies may be even better than the cookies! These are buttery, chewy, full of flavor and full of cinnamon burst! Highly recommend you make these for the upcoming “Cookie Swap” parties for something different, new and delicious! 

Snickerdoodle Blondies

For the Blondies…
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture…
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the 2 large eggs before adding in the pure vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour, being careful not to overmix.

Spread the dough, evenly, into the prepared baking pan.

Evenly spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the dough and place into the preheated oven for 31 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/vFG3sC1

Sweet Martha’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies 

There’s a sweet woman named Martha who owns and operates “Sweet Martha’s”. She specializes in chocolate chip cookies and sells them at the Minnesota State Fair for 12 days. In that 12 days she makes around $3 Million dollars! I had to find out more about this fascinating woman, and in doing so, I uncovered a “copycat version” of her cookies. I made them today and they are absolutely incredible! Her secret? Extra butter, CAKE FLOUR and extra egg yolks. Sound familiar!? For those of you who have my cookbook – you’ll know to what I’m referring. Highly recommend you try these cookies. The recipe I used is found below as well as a link to learn more about “Sweet Martha”. Thanks Martha!

Sweet Martha’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups cake flour
1 2/3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup white granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the cake flour, white all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a wire whisk to “sift” together the ingredients. 

In a separate large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the pure vanilla extract. 

Next, add in the dry ingredients a little at a time being careful not to overmix the dough. Gently fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Wrap bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Place the dough in teaspoon size amount balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Lightly press down on each cookie. 

Bake one sheet at a time, in preheated oven, for exactly 10 minutes. DO NOT over bake! These will appear “underdone” but they are not! Allow them to cool slightly before enjoying.

PIN IT: http://pin.it/aVdosVu

To learn more ahout “Sweet Martha” click here –
http://www.sweetmarthas.com/about.html

Recipe adapted from here –
http://m.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t–25035/marthas-chocolate-chips.asp

Black and White Cookies

These cookies shouldn’t be confused with the popular New York “Black and White Cookie” – a cakey cookie with two different colored sides. Think of this cookie as a white chocolate chip cookie with cocoa powder added to the dough. My friend Karen sent me a version of this recipe from a Mrs. Fields cookie cookbook and I couldn’t have been more excited. I love Mrs. Fields cookies but I really think this version beats their popular and familiar cookie. Stir up a batch and let me know what you think! Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

I’ve also opened up my “Blaise the Baker SHOP” on my Facebook page. Join me there at http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker Right now my only product available is my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” but stay tuned for additional items which will be added in the future.

Black and White Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, dark brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Once combined and throughly mixed add in the large eggs. 

Beat well before adding in the pure vanilla extract. 

In another bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this in small increments to the wet ingredients and stir well. 

Once all combined and mixed, stir in the white all-purpose flour coated chips. Be careful not to over mix the dough.  

Drop by rounded tablespoon size balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 23 minutes exactly.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool before removing them from the baking sheet. 

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/oLrcAaT

Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – Crisco 

I have fond memories of my Grandma Deloris and I making roll out sugar cookies for Christmas using “Criso” brand, butter flavored shortening. I still remember seeing the yellow tub on the counter and being inquisitive, mainly because I had never seen, or used it, before. She explained to me that this was her “secret ingredient” in making the cookies. That amazed me and every time I see that familiar yellow tub / container, I think of her and her Christmas sugar cookies.

I was, however, familiar with the blue wrapped version of this same product – which is just “Crisco” shortening. That was, and still is, my Grandma Barbra’s secret ingredient in her pie crusts and certain types of cakes.

While browsing the grocery store a few weeks ago, I decided to buy the butter flavored shortening, “Crisco” brand of course, just for nostalgic purposes. I was surprised that the labeling hadn’t changed that much. I put it into my cart and took it home to my pantry.

A couple weeks later I noticed there was a recipe on the side of the labeling for “Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I’ve never been one to turn down a chocolate chip cookie or a chocolate chip cookie recipe for that matter, so I decided to give these a try.

I was a little unsure at first, but after baking, and my first bite – I was a believer! They were, and are, absolutely fabulous! I changed a couple of things from their original recipe, but not much.

Their recipe can be found on their website or on the side of their butter flavored shortening container. My recipe can be found below. Whichever you decide to make, make them! They’re yet another delicious chocolate chip cookie that I’ll be adding to my “cookie rotation”. My test testers loved these and I think you will too. Don’t replace the shortening for butter because you won’t have the same taste, texture or results.


Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – Crisco

1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup “Crisco” butter flavored shortening
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the light brown sugar, butter flavored shortening, whole milk and pure vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

Next, add in the large egg and combine well.

Add in the white all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda. Be careful not to over work the dough.

Finally, stir in the white all-purpose flour coated semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Drop by larger tablespoon size amounts onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for exactly 12 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.

Enjoy!

For more “Crisco” pure vegetable oil recipes, please click here – http://crisco.com/recipes

PIN IT: http://pin.it/0-AkFfP

Chocoholics Dream Cookies

These cookies are a chocoholics dream! 

Simply amazing… Add in white chocolate for an even bigger punch of flavor!


Chocoholics Dream Cookies

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white granulated sugar, aside

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F. Line several large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In another large bowl cream together the soft unsalted butter with the dark brown sugar. Add in the large egg and instant coffee granules and beat until combined.

Add in the dry mixture and combine well, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the flour coated chocolate chips.

Roll dough into balls the size of large walnuts – about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and roll in the aside white granulated sugar before placing on baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly with your clean hand, or the bottom of a clean drinking glass.

Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on their baking sheet before enjoying.

PIN IT: http://pin.it/fhTh84W