It’s sunny, it’s beautiful, but there is a decided nip in the air. The kind of slight chill which makes you reach for that cozy blanket even in the day. At times like these what is a girl supposed to do, but crave cookies. And when a girl wants a cookie what is she supposed to do, but bake some. If she has been baking for the bulk of her 35 years then she probably knows what kind of cookie she craves. Something choclatey (because duh), but with a cheesecake-y depth and tenderness. Something like these Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies below. Is she the stuffing cookies with bits of cheesecake filling type? Nope. Clearly she is the speaking in third person for no damn reason type. Ok then, will stop now.
There is no question in my mind that I am an emotional eater. I am not sure what the mechanisms there are – is it because chocolate floods your brain with all those positive feel like love chemicals or is there more to it? Note to self: ask husband, he knows everything.
The Story of Quick Strawberry Nutella Hand Pies:
Once upon a time there was a girl who is now a woman, but still calls herself a girl. In her head she is the kind of person who makes everything from scratch, it is her dream to make her own bread. The only reason she doesn’t is because she would eat it all. She pins the same Strawberry Nutella Hand Pie recipes over and over ooh-ing and aah-ing over the variations in crust. She has done this for two years.
And then one day she does something scary: she walks into a store and buys a premade pie crust. After that something wonderful happens – with five minutes of work she makes these delicious little hand pies, cute as a button, their flaky crust oozing with strawberry and nutella, their tops crackly and finished with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. One bite and she stops judging herself, but just to be safe she took two (hand pies not bites) and now plans to live happily ever after. The Beginning.
Jump to the Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
These cookies were born from a craving – I really wanted something chewy and peanut buttery, but the more I thought about it there have been few stand out peanut butter cookies in my life. These slim beauties are a notable exception. All the other cookies I have eaten have been more or less the same. That got me thinking about cookies in general and the ones I consider to be home runs and right at the top of that list are these Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Pecan Cookies . What makes them so special? The outstanding flavor combo aside it is that little sugar salt roll around and I knew that’s what my peanut butter cookies needed.
It is good to be right. These sweet salty chewy undeniably peanut buttery cookies with M&Ms thrown in are just so darn fun to eat. So much so that I even hid them from myself. True story.
Unlike the usual recipes which seem to make a hundred or so cookies these produce 2 dozen moderately sized cookies. I used my inch cookie scoop to scoop out the dough, but you can just as easily drop it off by the spoonful or go bigger and make a dozen huge cookies with a little under a quarter cup of dough per cookie.
This cookie dough like all others improves considerably after ‘resting’ in the fridge. If you are baking with kids though then cookery science doesn’t really resonate so I would suggest baking off a few cookies to appease little tummies and refrigerating the rest of the dough to bake another time.
When Oreos meet Rice Krispies magic happens. Okay so maybe that is a little dramatic, but I am happy to say deliciousness definitely does. This riff on a childhood classic is more delicious than you remembered it and with only 5-ingredients it isn’t so hard to convince yourself to make them. The fact that this recipes makes half the ‘usual’ amount of Rice Krispie treats is also a bit of a blessing.
This is also a kid friendly treat that is easy for kids to make. My 5 year old can measure the ingredients out, melt the marshmallows (with supervision) and help get the mixture in the pan. The pressing in is the only persnickety part where an adult will need to do most of the work. I like to get a mini oreo snack cup for these, that way I am not ‘forced’ to eat the better part of a box of oreos 😉
I wasn’t going to make this. Nope, not me. You see I usually like my christmas treats to be complicated and require at least an hour of labor. But then I had my second kid and she hit the terrible twos and now …well… now I am a lot more open to trying quicker things. But in all honesty I would not have tried this delicious recipe if it wasn’t for my all-things-food-person Marium. She made it and raved about it and then I had to. Yes folks, after all that resisting, all it took was someone I think is cool to make it and I turn into a big ol’ copycat.
The first time I made it I messed up a little (oops), but by the second I had learnt my lesson. The right sized baking sheet is key, otherwise the whole caramel to cracker ratio is off. The recipe is definitely very very sweet so adding instant coffee to the caramel helped temper that overt sweetness. Also please please stick to semi sweet chocolate or darker, anything sweeter is too much.
You could add anything you want to the top and I toyed with christmas-sprinkes, but then I decided that this delicious delicious beauty didn’t need to get any sweeter and I stuck to toasted flaked almonds as suggested by Deb at Smitten Kitchen.