Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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I started baking as soon I was able to reach my kitchen counter and the very first cookies I started to bake were Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from the Mrs.Field’s Cookie Recipe Book. Since my Dad is an almond grower I started to switch out the walnuts that the recipe called for and used roasted almonds. I also decreased the amount of sugar and incorporated honey as well. This is the recipe I used below and I think they are just perfect…they also brings back so many memories every time I take a bite into one!

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter; softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds (optional)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, and honey.
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2. Beat in eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extract until combined. image

3. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, oatmeal, raisins, and almonds (optional) until dough is formed.
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4. With a mini ice cream scooper, scoop cookies and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Pop in oven…bake for 15 minutes. The cookies might look a little under cooked but they will cook a little more when they are cooling.
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Place on cooling racks……….almost done!
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Finally!! Enjoy!
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Cranberry Almond Granola Bars

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I am a huge fan of granola bars, and I am not picky when it comes to all the different flavors and brands. When I was in college they were my grab-n-go breakfast or snack that I would take when I had class all day. Now that I am working full time and my schedule seems to be busier and granola bars are just so conveniently perfect for a healthy snack! This is my first time making them from scratch..because as much as I don’t want to admit it, there are all kinds of granola bars that are loaded with sugar therefore they aren’t as nutritious as you would think. I am proud to say I came up with a recipe that doesn’t have any added sugar in it–thats right, it’s all honey and it is delicious! I am definitely going to be making more granola bars with different flavors, fruits, and nuts so stay tuned!

Yield: 8

Ingredients:
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup krispy rice cereal
2/3 cup roasted dried almonds; coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon

Steps:
1. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine peanut butter and honey and stir until melted.
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2.Add in oats, rice cereal, and almonds. Stir in with a spatula until evenly coated.
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3. Then, (almost done!) add in dried cranberries and cinnamon. Mix until everything is combined.
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4.Lighly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish and evenly smooth granola mixture with a spatula until even. Let cool and set for one hour and then cut into 8 even bars. Enjoy for breakfast or for a perfect healthy snack!
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Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

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One of my favorite things to do after a long day is to come home and bake right after I workout…so ironic, I know! So today I really didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen and I had a box of brownie mix so then I knew exactly what I was going to bake. I always have peanut butter in my pantry and one of the most decadent combinations in this world is peanut butter and chocolate. These are extremely irresistible, just a warning!

Yield 36

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
Sprinkles (optional)

Yield:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl combine brownie mix, eggs, water, and oil. Mix with an electric mixer until combined.

2. Grease cupcake pans with nonstick spray and pour brownie mix half way into pans(the mix will make 36 brownie bites). Bake for 15 minutes or until brownies are cooked. After they are baked, place on cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

3. Melt peanut butter into small bowl in microwave for 30 seconds. With a small spoon, spread onto brownie bites with peanut butter until covered. The peanut butter will be slightly thick making it easy to frost without dripping. Top with sprinkles or any of your favorite toppings and enjoy!
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Red Velvet Chocolate Cookies

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This was my first time making any type of “red velvet” cookies and I am so excited to share the recipe! When I was at the grocery store the other day I couldn’t resist grabbing a bag of the Valentine’s Day pink M&M’s especially since pink is my favorite color.. plus, Valentines Day is just right around the corner.  If you don’t want to use M&M’s you can just use chocolate chips. I used a combo of M&M’s, white chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips..so its totally up to you!

Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter; softened or at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg; room temperature
1 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp red food coloring; or around 25 drops of liquid coloring
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup M&M’s
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Red Sprinkles (optional)

Steps:
1. In a mixer, beat butter, sugars, and egg until creamed. Slowly add heavy cream, vanilla extract, and food coloring.

2. Reduce mixing speed and add in flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until dough is formed. With a wooden spoon or spatula fold in M&M’s and chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
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3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With a mini ice cream scooper, scoop dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. *This is completely optional, but I sprinkled red sprinkles and placed 3 M&M’s and a few chocolate chips in cookies dough ball before I baked them. Bake for 11-12 minutes then cool on cooling racks. Cookies will seem a littles under-cooked but they will cook as they cool and they will be extra chewy, just how I like them!
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