This fall has been the busiest fall that I can ever remember.  The busyness started immediately after Labor Day when my husband and took the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand and Bora Bora.  We road-tripped from Queenstown through the South Island and saw the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring scenery that made me feel so very small and grateful.

 

NZ2

NZ1

Then we sat on the beach for a week reading books, chasing tiny sand crabs and dipping into the bathtub-like perfectly warm and calm water of the lagoon as needed to cool off.

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Returning from almost three full weeks of vacation, I felt refreshed and excited to get back to work and back into the kitchen!

I have been squeezing in as much kitchen time as possible since my return and I couldn’t wait to share these Brookies (aka brownie cookies) with you.  I bet if you took a poll of Americans’ favorite sweet treats, more than 75% percent of Americans would answer either “chocolate chip cookie” or “brownie”.  My answer is always chocolate chip cookie.

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

With these Brookies, you get a brownie on the bottom and chocolate chip cookie on top, so you don’t have to choose between your two favorites, you get both!  It’s sort of like the mullet of desserts.  I mean that in the best way possible (you know, business in the front, party in the back : brownie on the bottom, cookie on top?).  What could be better??

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I made these Brookies in a muffin pan and I loved the size and consistency that they turned out to be.  I mean you are eating two desserts at once, so they don’t need to be ginormous and I love that the muffin pan helps you make perfectly equally-sized Brookies.  Both the cookie and brownie components stay so soft and chewy which is exactly the way that I want my cookies and/or brownies to be.  And although the chocolate chip cookie is melded right on top of the brownie, you can still fully appreciate the individual flavor of both dessets.  Brookies are the perfect lunchbox, game day or after-school treat because no one has two choose only one of their two favorite desserts!

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brookies (aka brownie cookies)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes

Yield: 15 brookies

Why settle for one or the other when you can have both a brownie and chocolate chip cookie in one dessert?!

Ingredients

    Brownie layer
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Chocolate chip cookie layer
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

    Brownie layer
  1. Liberally spray a regular-sized muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place chocolate chips and butter into a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir with a spatula to combine.
  3. Stir in both sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix until just combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon fill each cavity of the prepared muffin pan 1/3 full of brownie batter. Place the pan into the refrigerator while you mix the cookie dough.
  6. Chocolate chip cookie layer
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. In another medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until well combined.
  9. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well blended.
  10. Mix in chocolate chips.
  11. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop a heaping Tbsp-sized ball of cookie dough out, roll it into a ball, flatten the ball slightly and place one cookie dough ball onto each cavity that is filled with brownie batter.
  12. Bake 16-18 minutes or until the cookie is lightly browned.
  13. Recipe adapted from Baked
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fill muffin pan 1/3 full with brownie batter

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

shape cookie dough into flattened balls and top each cavity that has been filled with brownie batter with the flattened ball of cookie dough and bake

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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We all need a little pick-me-up after school or work and these Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies are just the cheerful treat to give you a boost around 3:00pm.

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

A good sugar cookie ranks right up there for me as one of my absolute favorite treats.  I love that sugar cookies are so customizable with different frostings and sprinkles and honestly, doesn’t a colorfully sprinkled cookie just make you smile inside?  These Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies are just that:  light and pillowy little delights that are not overly sweet.  I added both almond extract and some vanilla bean seeds to my cookies, but you could easily add lemon or any other flavoring that you enjoy.

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Without a doubt, the very best part of these Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies is that this blog post is part of a partnership with OXO to support pediatric cancer research.  For each #OXOGoodCookies post, OXO is donating $100 to Kids’ Cancer research!  And not only that, but you have the chance to do your part too!  Look for specially marked OXO products that have this sticker on them

CFKC Sticker

and OXO will donate 25¢ for each product sold!  OXO is committed to donating up to $100,000 to pediatric cancer research just by us making cookies!  Now that is a cookie you can feel good about!

#OXOGoodCookies

For your convenience, here’s a list of all of the OXO products that you can purchase that will contribute to this great cause and also a link so that you can find the retailers who are carrying these products.  I love working with companies that support such worthy causes!

So pick up a specially marked OXO product, make these Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies and feel good about supporting a great cause while enjoying a delicious treat!

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 50 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grape seed oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, eggs, oil, extract and water. Mix together using an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and mix until well blended. With mixer on medium speed, add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well.
  4. Roll dough into golfball-sized balls and place onto cookie sheets leaving 2 inches in between the dough balls.
  5. Use a small juice glass to gently flatten the balls of dough until they are about 1/4" thick. Place sprinkles on top and press them into the tops of the cookies gently.
  6. Bake 10-11 minutes or until tops of cookies feel set.
  7. Recipe adapted from Creme de la Crumb
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*For every stickered item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000* pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Look for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers in September.
* In 2014, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
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I just don’t know how it can possibly be the end of July!  I feel like I just can’t fit enough s’mores, lake time, patio happy hours and barbecues in before the snow will be flying again!!  Lucky for you and me, I have The Best S’mores Bars to fit in some quality summer flavors before he heat is gone.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Every night that we are at the lake cabin, even if I make a different dessert, at some point after dinner we always end up around the fire toasting marshmallows to golden brown perfection and slapping them on top of a graham cracker with chocolate to make a s’more.  And every time I eat one, I just can’t get over how perfect that roasted sugar is with the creamy chocolate and minimally sweet graham cracker.  I have never met a form of a s’more that I didn’t like.  There are very selective times when I tell you that something is “the best” I have ever had, and these, sweet teeth, just might be the best s’mores dessert I have ever had!

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Don’t get me wrong, the S’mores Ice Cream Cake that I shared earlier with you this summer was pretty spectacular, but the texture contrast and flavors of these S’mores Bars are pretty hard to beat.

S'mores Ice Cream Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I began these bars with a traditional graham cracker crust that I lightened up by using less butter and sugar than most graham cracker crusts.  I love the flavor of graham crackers and don’t feel like they need to be overly sweetened to be enjoyable so I wanted to cut out the extra sugar where I could and there was no downfall to this modification.  The fudgey chocolatey filling that tops the graham cracker crust in The Best S’mores Bars is obviously my favorite layer, because I am a chocolate nut but it is just so perfectly contrasted in texture with the crunchy crust.  Since one of my goals for this recipe was for these bars to be something quick and easy to put together, I simply topped that thick, gooey chocolate layer with Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits.  Everyone loves the look of these tiny bits and it just adds to the fun of this perfect summer recipe.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S’mores Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 25 bars

Crunchy graham cracker crust topped with a thick fudge layer and mini marshmallows makes for The Best S'mores Bars

Ingredients

    Graham cracker crust
  • 8 whole graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9X9-inch square baking pan with foil allowing the foil to overhang the edges of the pan. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Graham cracker crust:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  7. Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  8. Stir together and pour over graham cracker crust.
  9. Immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits
  10. *Chocolate filling recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups (http://cookiesandcups.com)
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combine all ingredients for crust in a small bowl and mix to combine

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
for the chocolate filling, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth, stir, then pour over crust

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Whether or not you get the magazine, chances are you recognize Better Homes and Gardens as a reputable source when it comes to all things home, food and outdoors.  Leave it to one of the leading experts to come up with a new version of their baking book that will give you a recipe idea for any occasion from a picnic with friends to a fancy dessert for a special dinner party.

Better Homes and Gardens Baking:  More than 350 Recipes Plus Tips and Techniques is the book that I adapted these Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies from

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

as well as these Bourbon Pecan Brownies.

Bourbon Pecan Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I would love to bake my way through this entire book that is filled recipes for cookies, tarts, breads, cupcakes, you name it, this book has it.  There is a whole introductory chapter that is a great education for any baker about things like what each ingredient’s purpose is in a recipe, proper mixing techniques, and different types of bakeware and equipment.  This chapter is filled with photos just like the rest of the book, so it is very helpful for learning techniques.

Each and every recipe has an accompanying photo and one of my favorite features of this book is that for recipes such as oatmeal cookies and blondies there is a “Make-It-Mine” recipe page for all kinds of ways to make the recipe original.

Whether it be various mix-ins you want to add or you want to use a different type of fat or flour than the original recipe calls for, Better Homes and Gardens Baking walks you through  how to totally customize the recipe, so the combinations are endless!

The Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book would be such a great book for someone who is just learning to bake or someone who is looking for new twists on classic recipes.

 *Better Homes and Gardens provided me with a review copy of this book but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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I hope you all had a festive and fun-filled July 4th weekend!  I had a great time with family and friends at our lake cabin and I am back to help you get through the post-holiday work week with Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Is there anything more perfect than the sweet and salty combination of a chocolate-covered toffee bar?  Heath bars have always been a favorite of mine because I am such a texture person and I love their crunch.  When I saw a recipe that reminded me of this famed candy bar, I couldn’t wait to put my own twist on it!  Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies have the texture of a perfect sugar cookie:  slightly crispy on the outside edges while thick and soft in the middle.  I couldn’t resist tossing in some miniature chocolate chips in addition to Heath bits because there has never been a case of too much chocolate.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The fact that these Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies only have brown sugar in them coupled with the mixed in toffee bits give these cookies such a rich buttery flavor that dunking them in a cold glass of milk just may be the ideal way to eat them.  Or I mean it is summer after all, why not sandwich some vanilla ice cream in between two Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies for a hot summer afternoon treat?

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Buttery sweet and slightly salty toffee flavors shine through these crackled cookies that are slightly crisp on the edges but soft in the middle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Heath Bits
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  4. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until combined.
  5. Finally, mix in Heath Bits and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  7. Place the granulated sugar into a small, shallow bowl. Press the bottom of a small juice glass into the bowl of cookie dough (to grease the glass so that the sugar sticks to it) and then into the sugar.
  8. Gently press the sugared glass onto a ball of cookie dough to flatten lightly. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
  9. Bake 14-18 minutes or until edges are firm.
  10. Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking
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Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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