Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You can’t beat a warm slightly soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie…I came across this amazing recipe by a fellow food blogger that I follow. This recipe really hits the spot when you are craving the perfect cookie!

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspooon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Steps:
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter is a golden brown..about 3-5 minutes. The butter will start to bubble and foam and then subside as the water evaporates and the milk solids start to turn a light brown color. Just as it starts to turn light brown, remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Place the egg, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is pale yellow and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

3. Once the browned butter has cooled for 15 minutes, whisk the brown sugar into it. Add the butter mixture to the egg mixture in the bowl of the electric mixer. Whisk on medium speed for about a minute.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer and mix on low speed until just barely combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low speed until dough comes together and chocolate is mixed throughout.

6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized portions of dough about an inch apart on the lined baking sheets. Lightly press down on the top of each one with the palm of your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

7. Position baking rack on the very top shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove one cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake on the top rack for 15-18 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes. Cookies should be crisp around the edges with some craggle and visible chew on top. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the other cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake the same way.

*You can skip the refrigeration step and the cookies will still taste great, but the refrigeration enhances the flavor and texture of the cookie so if you have the time, I would recommend it!

Recipe adopted from: The Baker Mama

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Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

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The best part of watching any movie is the popcorn of course! I have had my favorite caramel corn on my mind  from a candy store on the wharf in Monterey. I finally have made some time to make my own version from scratch for the first time. This sweet crunchy snack tastes like a combination of caramel corn and the inside filling of a cinnamon roll….its amazing and addicting so be careful!

Yield: 6

Ingredients:
10 cups popped plain popcorn; or 1 1/2 microwavable popcorn bags
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter; cut into cubes
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup white melting chocolate
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl add popped popcorn and pecans. In a microwavable safe bowl add butter, cinnamon, and corn syrup. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. Once melted add in vanilla extract and baking soda and mix until combined and consistency is like a syrup.
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2. Pour syrup mixture in large bowl and with a spatula, mix until popcorn is coated evenly (about 3 minutes). Pour coated popcorn on a baking sheet lined with foil or a silpat ( what I used). Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

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3. Once baked, let cool for about 15 minutes. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over cooled popcorn. Sprinkle white chocolate chips and let cool for another 15 minutes until chocolate is cooled. Enjoy with your favorite movie or just as a perfect sweet snack!
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Cinnamon Streusel Almond Banana Muffins

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I love buying too many bananas sometimes because I know I will have a good excuse to make treats like these muffins. These little muffins will melt in your mouth..the cinnamon streusel topping really puts these little guys into a different category. The cream cheese adds an extra rich and creamy texture that makes them extra moist. You will have to try one to know what I’m talking about!

Yield: 2 dozen (24 muffins)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter; softened
8 oz. cream cheese; softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs; at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 medium mashed bananas (make sure they are ripe)
1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the streusel topping:
1/4 cup butter; softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup oatmeal

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in sugars and honey beating until light and fluffy.

2. Add in eggs (1 at a time) and blend until combined. Add in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until blended. Stir in mashed bananas, almonds, and vanilla.
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3. For the crumble streusel topping..in a medium bowl, add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Mix with a fork until its crumbly.
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4. Heavily grease muffin pans and scoop muffin mix into pans about 3/4 of the way full. Top muffins with streusel crumble and bake for 25-30 minutes or insert tooth pick until center comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes and enjoy! These also make a great morning snack or breakfast.
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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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Cowboy Cookies

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Yield: 8

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter; room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 cup rice crispy cereal
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut*optional (I personally don’t like coconut but I heard it would go great with this recipe!)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With a mixer, beat together butter, sugars, honey, and vanilla until combined..texture will become creamy.
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2. Reduce speed on mixer and add in oatmeal, rice crispy cereal, flour, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Mix until cookie dough is formed.image

3. This is a little trick that works great and makes all of your cookies the same shape! With a mini ice-cream scooper, scoop dough balls and place on an cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place 1 inch away from eachother and bake for 14-16 minutes. Let cool and then serve! These are also delicious for dunking in a cold glass of milk 🙂
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