I have wanted to make these cookies since the day I saw them.

And I figured that celebrating the release of Jenny Flake’s cookbook, The Picky Palate Cookbook was the perfect occasion to finally give them a try.  Jenny is the genius behind the Pumpkin Streusel Bread that I shared last week.  That recipe and the one that I am sharing today for Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies are just a couple of the must-make recipes that Jenny has included in her first cookbook.

If you don’t like a giant chocolate chip cookie with America’s Favorite Cookie, the Oreo stuffed inside it, may I suggest that you need to have your taste buds checked??  Obviously I am being dramatic and there is nothing wrong with you, but I think that combining arguably most people’s two favorite cookies into one dessert is sure to please most sweet lovers to say the least!

This really is almost the equivalent of two regular-sized chocolate chippers wrapped around a Double Stuf Oreo and let’s just recognize that that means you get to eat three cookies for the price of one!  Score one for the cookie lovers!!

The Picky Palate Cookbook is aimed to please cooks who are trying to make family-friendly snacks and meals that will win the approval of fussy eaters.  Jenny has included meals for breakfast, side dishes, main courses and of course, desserts.  She even has some tips for parents for how to get your kids to try and eat more foods such as challenging your child to see “How many different colors of the rainbow can we eat off our plate?”  Even though I don’t have kids or particularly picky eaters in my home, there are so many recipes I am excited to make from this book, such as the Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread pictured in the bottom of this photo from the cookbook.

Jenny has very generously offered to give one of her cookbooks to one of you sweet teeth!  Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of The Picky Palate Cookbook!  Happy Halloween!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Wiley Publishing provided me with a copy of this book, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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This week it snowed for the first time of the season!!!!  Yikes, I am so not ready for the extreme cold, but I do love cuddling up on the couch with a blanket and a hot cup of tea.  This week I had a major kitchen flop with some caramel rolls that I was sending to work with my husband that failed to raise.  Just when I thought I had conquered my fear of yeast, I have to have a mishap!  Oh well, you can’t win them all…

Here are the recipes that I shared with you this week:

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

and Pumpkin Streusel Bread.

I also am very excited to tell you about a wonderful tool that will be a valuable workhorse in your kitchen.  We already know that I would not know what to do without my KitchenAid Stand Mixer and I frequently use my regular KitchenAid Hand Mixer, but my new favorite appliance to use to blend soups, chop vegetables or mix pancake batter is KitchenAid’s 5-speed Hand Blender.

All of the attachments to the KitchenAid 5-speed Hand Blender are conveniently stored in the carrying case that has a perfect spot for everything.  One of my favorite features of this hand blender is that there is a blade cover that fits on top of each of the different blade attachments so that your pots are protected and will not get scratched as you are creaming  a soup or sauce.

How cool is the whisk attachment??  You can whip up fresh whipped cream for any dessert or have perfectly frothed egg whites for a meringue.  Even though the KitchenAid 5-speed Hand Blender is lightweight and easy to use, it has a very powerful motor so that you don’t need to worry about overworking the blender when you are blending up a smoothie or making fresh salsa.  Some small kitchen appliances can be a nuisance to clean, but not this blender.  All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe, but I always hand wash the different pieces because all of the blades and crevices are very easily accessible.  This KitchenAid 5-speed Hand Blender would make a great gift for a graduate heading off to college since it functions as multiple appliances or for anyone who likes efficiency and quality in the kitchen.

*KitchenAid provided me with the 5-speed Hand Blender for review, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

Butterscotch Chip Cookie Cake from Cassie at Bake Your Day.  I love butterscotch anything and the way she describes the buttery texture of this giant cookie made me salivate just reading it!

Loaded Apple Cider Oatmeal Muffins from How Sweet It Is.  The photo of this steaming apple cider instantly draws you in and these muffins just scream fall.

And last, but not least this Fall Chicken Salad from Emily at A Nutritionist Eats.  I love chicken salad, but sometimes feel guilty about the heavy mayo content.  In true, nutritionist eats’ style, Emily has lightened this salad up without sacrificing on kicked up, flavorful ingredients.

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There are just certain things that have to happen before my internal clock fully recognizes that it is offically fall.  The leaves changing color and falling off of the trees, the chill in the air that encourages me to bundle up in a sweater, waking up in the moring to a sky that is still dark and baking with pumpkin are a few of the cues that remind me that we will have to wait about 8 more chilly months for spring to come again.

Pumpkin is a great ingredient to bake with because it keeps baked goods extra moist for multiple days.  Many people have a pumpkin bread recipe, but this is not just any old pumpkin bread.  This pumpkin bread is incredibly moist and is topped with an extra special streusel topping.  Streusel-topped anything is enough to make me salivate, but this crunchy, brown sugary, sweet topping is an especially welcomed contrast to this soft and not-too-sweet bread.  I made this recipe into 3 mini loaves of bread instead of 1 larger loaf, but this recipe would be great as one larger loaf or even individual muffins.

*NOTE:  Anytime I change the size of container that I am baking in from what the recipe originally called for, I modify my baking time accordingly.  For example, if a recipe’s instructions are for 1 regular-sized loaf of bread but I would rather make multiple smaller loaves, I will check my smaller loaves after about 1/3-1/2 of the recommended baking time.  So if the regular-sized loaf is supposed to be baked for 50-60 minutes, I will check my loaves with a toothpick after ~25 minutes.  I use the same principle for cake vs. cupcakes.

This recipe was adapted from Jenny at Picky Palate from her brand new cookbook The Picky Palate Cookbook.  A full review of this amazing book is soon to come!

Pumpkin Streusel Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3 small loaves or 1 regular-sized loaf

Pumpkin Streusel Bread

Soft and moist pumpkin bread topped with sweet, crunchy streusel

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • For the streusel topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease three 5 3/4 X 3" loaf pans (or one 9X5" loaf pan).
  3. For the cake:
  4. In a large bowl, mix oil, eggs and vanilla.
  5. Add pumpkin and mix well.
  6. Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
  8. For the streusel topping:
  9. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, brown sugar and butter and mix with hands or pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form.
  10. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter.
  11. Bake 25-30 minutes for small loaves (50-60 minutes for one larger loaf) or until toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean.
  12. Cool completely before removing from pan, cutting and serving.
  13. Recipe adapted from The Picky Palate Cookbook

mix oil, eggs and vanilla

mix in pumpkin

add flour, sugar, baking soda and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and mix well

pour into prepared pans

make streusel topping by combing remaining ingredients and mixing until coarse crumbs form; sprinkle over batter

bake

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My mom is like my own personal Martha Stewart.  She can set a table that is worthy of being the head table at a fancy wedding.  She can whip up appetizers for a party or make an incredibly flavorful and beautiful dinner at the drop of a hat.  We always had company when I was growing up and my mom was always great at throwing something together even if the guests were unexpected.  One of her go-to snacks that she makes is Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus.

It doesn’t get much easier than this recipe, but the results are so vibrant in color and flavor.  This hummus is great with chips or veggies, or even smeared on a tortilla and topped with cheese and veggies as a healthy wrap for lunch.  I made my sick husband some chicken noodle soup last weekend and I stirred a spoonful of this hummus into my bowl to liven up the flavor of the soup.  You could even serve this in place of or in addition to guacamole with a Mexican spread.


Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack, Healthy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
A vibrant and flavorful twist on traditional hummus
Ingredients
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup packed cilantro, rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and cut in half
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor and pulse several times to process.
  2. While food processor is running, pour in olive oil and continue processing until smooth.
  3. Serve.
  4. Can be kept for 1 week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor and process

stream in olive oil and process until smooth

serve

 

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There have been lots of wonderfully chocolatey things going on in my kitchen lately.

Last week I shared these Triple Chocolate Brownies with you.  These are literally the BEST brownies I have ever tasted!

Since I loved that recipe so much and my brother saw a picture that I shared on Instagram of them but didn’t get any, I decided to try another variation of the same recipe to share with him.  My brother is a freshman in college and lives in the dorms and so we have this ongoing banter about me dropping him off baked goods.  We think it’s funny to make it sound shady, so I’ll usually text him telling him that “the goods are ready” and then again to let him know when “I’ll be making the drop”.  Oh we are so funny!  Not really, but it keeps us entertained.

I think he was pretty happy with “the drop” this week.  These Peanut Butter Brownie Bites are made from the same brownie batter that I used for the Triple Chocolate Brownies, except I mixed in peanut butter chips and milk chocolate chunks and topped each bite-sized brownie with a mini peanut butter cup.

These brownies are fudgey and dense with everyone’s favorite combination of slightly salty peanut butter chips to balance the rich chocolatey flavor.  You can certainly expect even more variations of this incredible brownie from me in the future.  I will try endlessly to convince you that this really is the BEST and only brownie you ever need to make again!


Peanut Butter Brownie Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack, Brownie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40
 
Dense and fudgey bite-sized brownies topped with miniature peanut butter cups
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 40 miniature peanut butter cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a miniature muffin pan.
  3. Melt butter and into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, microwave the semisweet chocolate in 30 second increments until melted, stirring in between heating.
  5. Add chocolate to melted butter and mix.
  6. Add sugars and salt and stir to combine.
  7. Add eggs and oil and mix well.
  8. Add flour and mix well.
  9. Mix in milk chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips.
  10. Fill muffin cups with a ball of dough and bake.
  11. Bake ~18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into brownies comes out clean.
  12. When removed from the oven, gently press a miniature peanut butter cup into each brownie.
  13. Cool completely before removing from pan.

mix together melted butter and melted chocolate

add sugars and mix

add eggs and oil and mix

add flour and mix

mix in milk chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips

fill muffin pan with a scoop of dough in each cavity and bake

top each brownie with a mini peanut butter cup when they come out of the oven

 

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