The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t believe I’m over stating it when I say these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

I affectionately call these “Tessa’s cookies” because the recipe comes from a former coworker named Tessa. She brought these to a work potluck once and then she was required to bring them to every following potluck. And then she gave me the recipe and I’m hooked.

They are the perfect mix of salty and sweet, jam-packed with chocolate chips. Plus they are firm around the edges and then soft and gooey in the middle. What more could you ask for from a chocolate chip cookie?

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

I’m not even going to give you the ingredient list for a single batch. No. I’m just going to double it outright. This makes a little more than 4 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 scant teaspoons salt
A little over 4 cups of chocolate chips
Coarse Kosher salt

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Waiting for the butter to soften is the hardest part of this recipe. I usually cut it into smaller pieces and let it sit on my counter for awhile.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is warming up, cream together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla and egg until fluffy.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt (not the course salt).

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Add sifted dry ingredients and mix until combined. I do them in shifts. A couple spoonfuls at a time.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

 

Then you are going to need to fold in the chocolate chips. Do this by hand with a spatula and not with your mixer.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

I bought the industrial sized back of chocolate chips from Costco. It was worth it.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Spread the chocolate chips throughout the mixture until all combine.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

I use a tablespoon scoop so all the cookies are roughly the same shape and size.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Drop onto a greased sheet or nonstick foil. Do them all at once. I end up with four pans worth. You aren’t going to remove the cookies from the pans until they set up.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Sprinkle with the coarse salt. Then bake for 6-10 minutes. I’ve found the perfect time for me is 8 minutes.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies | Craftingandcooking.wordpress.com

Leave the cookies on the pan until they cool down! They set up on the pan and become firm yet soft.

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Rolo-stuffed sugar cookies

I’ve wanted to try stuffing cookie dough with something else for awhile now. A trip to the grocery store this weekend provided an excuse to try. The tube of cookie dough was 50 percent off.

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I’m sold on the awesomeness. Look at that! Yum.

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Two ingredients: sugar cookie dough and Rolos.

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I unwrapped two dozen candies (photo taken before I was done in case you count the number in the bowl).

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Slice your dough into even pieces. About half an inch thick is good. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

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Take one slice of cookie dough and one candy. Roll up the Rolo in the sugar cookie dough.

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Space out the cookies on a large baking sheet. Stick it in the oven for about 11 minutes.

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After cooking time is done, let the cookies sit until they are pretty cool on the baking sheet. Don’t try to move them or they will smush or break.

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Look at how gooey that is! So good.

 

Honey Beer Bread

I am not a fan of beer. I just don’t get it. The taste has just never appealed to me. However, beer bread? That’s something I can get behind. I never stock beer in my fridge, but I usually can snag a leftover bottle from a family party. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe (originally from gimme some oven) and it’s super tasty and filling.

Plus, it’s a no knead, no rise, no yeast dough. It takes no time to make!

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Doesn’t that look delish? It’s a bread that can be eaten as a side to a savory meal or sweetened up for breakfast or a snack.

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Ingredients:
– a 12 oz. bottle of beer
– 2 tablespoons of honey
– 3 cups flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 4 tablespoons melted butter

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and greasing a loaf pan. Then, whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar and baking powder).

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Stir in the honey and the beer to make a dough ball.

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Pour half of the melted butter into the bottom of the loaf pan.

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Spread the dough into the loaf pan.

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Pour the rest of the melted butter on top of the dough. Now, I put the loaf pan onto a baking sheet and then into the oven for about 50 minutes or until a knife stuck into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let it cool slightly then serve!

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Ooo some melted butter and a drizzle of honey? So good. And check out how deliciously golden the bottom of the bread came out.

Chocolate, cream cheese cake bars

I brought the pan of these (ok… I hoarded about three for myself) to work. They got rave reviews, although I had a hard time trying to figure out what to call them. I kept saying dessert bars. I got the recipe from Averie Cooks and they were originally called “White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars.” A mouthful! And I mean… these are a mouthful too. A deliciously, gooey and amazing mouthful.

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Ingredients:

For the cake layer:
– 1 box of chocolate cake mix
– 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1-2 tablespoons water

For the top layers
– white chocolate chips
– semi-sweet, milk or dark chocolate chips (I used dark)
– 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
– 4 oz. of cream cheese, softened
– 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars 1

Before you start this, line a 9×13 in. glass pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray or wipe it down with vegetable oil. Also preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In your mixer, add in the box of cake mix, the egg, the butter and vanilla. It’ll be a thick batter. I added 2 tablespoons of water so that all the batter/dry ingredient would be incorporated.

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Take the dough out of the mixer and use your hands to flatten it out in the pan. Try to make it as even across the entire pan as possible. You’ll also need to wash your hands at this point. You’ll be covered in cake dough.

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In the mixer, empty the can of condensed milk and put in your cream cheese and vanilla. Start mixing.

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Take your chocolate chips and spread them across the bottom layer.

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Your condensed milk should be smooth.

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Pour the condensed milk over the chocolate chips. You may need to spread the milk over the chocolate chips with a spatula.

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Bake for about 25 minutes. The middle of this won’t be set up. It’ll jiggle a bit. Try not to let the top layer get too brown. Let it cool. The more it cools, the more set up it will be. But I can tell ya, the very next day, this cake bar is still totally gooey.

Yum!

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Raspberry Hug, Pretzel and an M

Doing a twist on this recipe for Valentine’s Day.

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Hershey’s released a raspberry hug for the holiday and I happen to love raspberry. This is such a simple recipe, and it lasts a while.

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Ingredients: raspberry hugs, Valentine’s Day M&Ms and the Snaps Pretzels in the waffle pattern (or pretzel Os if you can find those)

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Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. On a baking sheet, layout a bunch of pretzels.

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Unwrap the hugs and place them on top of the pretzels. I think I had six hugs left from the bag and used the rest.

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Stick the baking sheet into the oven. These seem to have a lower melting point than the peppermint and regular Kisses. So at 3 minutes, look at them. These were at 4 minutes and it’s almost too melted.

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Quickly, put an M on each of the hugs/pretzels. Stick them in the fridge for a bit, so make sure they cool stay in their right form. Then enjoy!

 

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Please tell me I’m not the only person who sees mozzarella sticks on a menu and considers eating a plate or basket full of them for their main meal. It’s pretty simple to make some of your own with the help of good ol’ string cheese.

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I’ve used string cheese before to add cheese to a meal, like with the pizza crescent rolls. A nice melty cheese.

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Start by chopping up a bunch of mozzarella sticks in half. Take the sticks and put them into the freezer. I left them in there for a few hours. This helps keep the cheese from becoming a big cheese puddle.

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I took bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and a packet of Italian salad dressing mix and stirred it all together. I would play with this mixture until you find the right breading combo. This ended up a bit on the salty side. I’d probably cut the dressing mix and the cheese down and add more breading.

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Set up your station. One bowl needs some flour. The second bowl needs at least one beaten egg, depending on how many mozzarella sticks you will be making, you may need one more. Third bowl is your breading. And then you need your baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees before you pull the string cheese out of the freezer.

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Coat the stick with flour.

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Then coat it in the egg.

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Then cover it with breading.

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Lay all your sticks out on the baking sheet. My sticks were really frozen. So I ended up baking them for 10 minutes, then flipping them and baking them for another 4 minutes. But if yours aren’t that frozen, they may only need 10 minutess total. You’ll need to watch them.

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There we go. Nicely browned mozzarella sticks! Not too melty. Serve with some marinara sauce.

Lazy Cake Cookies

I tried this recipe on a whim. My sweet tooth got the best of me one night. But I actually wasn’t sure if this would work. It seemed way too simple… but maybe that’s why it ended up working so well.

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I really have to thank I’m a Lazy Mom for this great little recipe. I actually think it’s easier and faster than the Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup. Plus, there’s more than one cookie here.

Lazy Cake Cookies 1

Ingredients:
– one box of cake mix (I used a white cake)
– two beaten eggs
– 5 tablespoons butter, melted
– Chocolate chips (I used a 10 oz. bag of dark chocolate chips, but they are larger than semisweet)

That’s it. I have these ingredients in my pantry and fridge all the time!

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the beaten eggs, cake mix and melted butter.

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Stir in the chips.

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Grease a 9×13 pan and spread the batter out as best you can. My batter didn’t reach the edges, or spread that easily. I decided to just go with it. Put the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

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Voila! Really simple and quick cookie bars. Takes half an hour total. How great is that?