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Monthly Archives: May 2012

soft chocolate cookies w/peanut butter frosting

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April was a busy month with visitors for J and me.  Blake and Amanda were here during J’s Birthday in the middle of the month.

Philip visited the following weekend, and then my parents were here at the end of the month/beginning of May.


I loved being busy with visitors!  I got to try out several new restaurants, bars, and bakeries.  I also tried expresso for the first time- thanks Phil!


Unfortunately for J, I didn’t have time to bake him a Birthday cake, so I made these cookies as a belated B-day dessert.

I did surprise him with a slice of red velvet (from across the street) the morning of his Birthday, but he still deserved a homemade treat.


J loves his Reeses peanut butter cups, so that was the inspiration for these cookies.  The peanut butter is his favorite part- crazy person!  He also is a soft cookie person.

I, personally, am an any-kind-of-cookie girl.

Soft, hard, chewy, crunchy.  I love them all.  Except for stale cookies…


Which brings up another weird thing about J.  He prefers his Oreo cookies stale… stale!

He will intentionally leave the bag open so they will get stale… and soft.  I prefer Oreos crunchy-  aka not stale!  The way they were intended to be consumed!


These cookies tasted great on their own, however, as far as J is concerned, everything is better with frosting!   The frosting has a nice fluffy consistency- perfect with the soft cookies.

Chocolate and peanut butter-YUM!  Can’t really go wrong with that combo.

Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Soft Chocolate Cookies   


Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Beat in vanilla.
  2. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix well.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and combine well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate dough for about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes.  Cool cookies for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack.  **Optional** Instead of frosting cookies, dust warm cookies with confectioner’s sugar.

Peanut Butter Frosting

Adapted from

Double recipe if frosting cookies individually (not making cookie sandwiches) or if extra icing desired.

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk (use more milk as needed to reach desired consistency)

  1. In medium bowl, beat butter and peanut butter with mixer.  Gradually beat in sugar.
  2. Mix in vanilla.  Add milk (one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached).  Beat frosting for ~3 minutes.
  3. Holding cookie bottom-side up, spread about 1-2 tablespoons of frosting on cookie.  Top with another cookie to create cookie sandwich.  Repeat with remaining cookies and frosting.



s’mores bars

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One of J’s friends requested these for his Birthday.  He remembered them from the assortment of Christmas cookies I gave him in December.


My mom, sisters and I go a little crazy with baking at Christmas time.  We always start out with the intention of being organized, however, no matter how much planning, phone calls or lists we make, our annual Christmas baking ends up being a bit chaotic– and I love it that way!

It wouldn’t be nearly as fun if everything went smoothly and exactly as planned.  :P


Sometimes one of us introduces a new recipe to try.  After serious taste-testing, the recipe will be eliminated, added to the “every few years” list, OR  if it’s a really good recipe, it will be added to the permanent list of annual Christmas cookies.


This s’mores bar recipe was added to our rotation a few years ago.  My mom got the recipe from a co-worker at church, and we have been winning over peoples’ hearts with it ever since.

I’m pretty sure my brother’s girlfriend is still dating him just for the s’mores bars she knows she’ll get at Christmas.  ;)  Just kidding Dave!


This is one of the recipes that will be baked every year no matter what.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s a bar cookie, so it’s super easy to make too.


These aren’t always the prettiest cookies, but you forget about that once you taste them.


By lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, you’re able to transfer the bars to a flat surface for easier cutting.  It also helps if you wipe the blade off in between cuts.


Gooey, sticky sweet deliciousness.

S’mores Bars

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (=8 whole graham crackers or 1 package)

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I normally use fat free)

¾ cup chocolate chips

¾ cup butterscotch chips

1 ½ cup miniature marshmallows

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, making sure the left and right edges stick out for easy removal later.
  2. Combine butter and graham cracker crumbs; mix well.  Press into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Carefully pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips and butterscotch chips over condensed milk.  Top with marshmallows.  Using your hands, firmly, but carefully, press down on bars.
  5. Bake about 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Cool completely.
  6. Move bars from baking pan to a cutting board by gripping the edges of parchment paper sticking out on both ends.  Refrigerate or freeze bars for ~1hr to make cutting easier
  7. Cut into bars.  Store in air-tight container at room temperature.