Tag Archives: Baking

Ryan’s Peanut Butter Cookies

A few weeks ago Ryan and I were grocery shopping, and he decided he needed peanut butter cookies.  Instead of buying pre-made dough from the store, I promised Ryan that if he found a recipe online I would make him homemade peanut butter cookies.

So, when we got home off Ryan went to his office, with Murphy close on his heels, to research peanut butter cookie recipes.  Twenty minutes later my boys came back downstairs with a marked-up recipe.  Not only had Ryan found a recipe, but he had made revisions!!!!!  This had the potential to be truly horrible — the last “recipe” Ryan came up with was mixing Fritos with peanut butter for a snack.

Nevertheless, being the “good” wife I am, I followed his recipe as requested (and he says I am incapable of “obeying”).  Here is the recipe he found as a starting point, here is what we ended up with:

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
  2. Mix together butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add egg, milk, and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix tougher flour and baking soda.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the to the peanut butter mixture.
  6. Mix in Reese’s Pieces.
  7. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets (Specific Ryan Instruction: use parchment paper to make clean-up easier).
  8. Press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern (also a Specific Ryan Instruction because apparently peanut butter cookies must have a criss-cross pattern).
  9. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire-rack to cool completely.
  11. Eat a few (or all of them) while they are still warm.

 

Ryan and Murphy were both pleased with the end-product.  I am thinking I should put Ryan in charge of finding more recipes!!

 

Recipe Notes:

  1. You may need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I use dark, non-stick pans, so I always turn the oven down about ten to fifteen degrees.
  2. I intentionally omitted the salt because we are trying to use less salt.
  3. I like to refrigerate my cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before baking, but this isn’t necessary.
  4. Ryan thought that the cookies were better they next day when they were cool from being in the refrigerator.

 

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Homemade English Muffins

On Friday night, Ryan and I went to the grocery store (I know married couples sure know how to have fun), and Ryan wanted to buy English Muffins.  Instead of just agreeing with him, I made the mistake of asking him if he wanted me to just make homemade English Muffins.  Of course he said yes.

We tried this recipe once before over the summer, and it turned out great.  It does take a bit of work, but on a cool-fall Sunday morning, with a fresh cup of coffee in my hand I don’t mind.

Here is the recipe that I started with.  I pretty much followed it exactly, with only a few tweaks.  Most of my changes were because I used the stand mixer with a dough hook instead of kneading the dough.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (+ extra for sprinkling)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • Cornmeal
Instructions
  1. Add water to bowl of stand mixer.  Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and honey until the butter is melted. Cut the butter into small pieces so that it melts quickly. Let cool.
  3. Add milk mixture to the water/yeast mixture
  4. Add flour and salt.  Using a dough hook attachment mix in the first three cups of flour until most of the flour is incorporated.  Add salt and remaining flour, and mix until a ball forms.
  5. Lightly sprinkle cornmeal on two cookie sheet. 
  6. Split dough in two.
  7. Roll out the dough (you will need to add flour so that it doesn’t stick) until its a 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Cut out circles (I used  a water glass, so mine were a bit on the smaller side), place on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle the top with cornmeal.  Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.
  9. **Optional** If you do not have a warm/sunny spot for the dough to rise in, preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Place the cookie sheets in the oven, and turn the oven off.
  10. Heat a cast iron pan (or any other pan with a heavy bottom) over medium heat.
  11. Place each muffin the pan and cook on each site until browned (think medium brown/golden brown not dark brown).  Flip and repeat.
  12. Then eat!!!

I like to top my English muffins with either honey or peanut butter, but you can add whatever you like.

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Also, Murphy wants you all to see his new bow tie.  Someone loves him very much and made him a new knit bow tie!!!

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It isn’t the best picture, because Murphy loves napping about as much as he loves his bow ties!!! Murphy decided to try mixing prints – what do you think of the red bow tie with the blue paisley collar?? I told Murphy it was a little much, but Murphy insisted that the ladies would love it.

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Dutch Oven Bread

Yum Yum Yum!!!!

This may potentially be the best bread I have ever made.  The crust was amazing!!!!I have tried a few bread recipes over the last year or two – here and here – so I am thinking that we may need to have a bread cooking challenge to determine once and for all the best of the bests.  I am sure Ryan will not complain.    In case you haven’t noticed, this house will never be a carb free house.

I started with this recipe from the Lean Green Bean.  I needed to tweak the recipe because I didn’t have any bread flour or whole wheat flour.  I know that one should not mess with recipes while baking, but I have thus far been successful with changing recipes and not having any major catastrophes.

Here is the recipe that I ended up with:

***updated***
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1½ c warm water
  • 2¾ tsp active dry yeast
Instructions
  1. Pour the warm water into bowl of stand mixer.
  2. Add yeast and a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add salt and flour and stir until a ball of dough is formed.  Watch closely and stop the mixer as soon as a ball forms.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and spray with nonstick spray.  Place the dough back in the bowl and cover and let rise in a warm place for 3 hours. (I put the bowl by the window in the sun because it was nice and sunny outside, but otherwise I would have put the dough in a warmed oven).
  5. Remove dough from the bowl and knead for 5-10 minutes.  Place dough back in the bowl and let it rise again.
  6. While dough is rising, place your dutch oven (uncovered) in the oven and preheat to 430 degrees F.  Leave the dutch oven in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Carefully drop into the dutch oven.
  8. Cover and let bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Uncover and let bake 10 minutes longer.
  10. Remove loaf from dutch oven and let cool. (But do not let it cool too much because warm bread fresh out of the oven is the best!)

Enjoy!!

As soon as I sliced into the bread, I knew it was going to be delicious!!!!

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My only complaint was that it would be difficult to make multiple loaves at one time.  Ryan pointed out that this is probably a good thing because we would want to eat all of the bread right away!!!  That boy sure comes in useful sometimes!!!

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