Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

"Just make something basic," they said. "SMALL cookies," they said. "I mean it Kayle-nothing weird or fancy," my mom said (let's be real....they're all my mom). These were my super subtle suggestions for the cookies I was tasked to bake for my grandma's 80th birthday party. Silly people. I can make basic. No problem.

...I mean....sure....the chocolate chip cookies I made were technically dairy-free because I used coconut oil instead of butter, but you can't tell! And yes....these cookies are also dairy-free AND gluten-free....but...again....YOU CAN'T TELL.

Seriously. I can't. They didn't. You won't.
These are going to taste like a classic, no frills, wonderful peanut butter cookie. A bit crisp, a smidge crumbly. And the perfect amount of peanut buttery deliciousness. It's our little secret that these cookies are made with only 5 ingredients. And they have no flour. Or butter.
This is one of those recipes that's sort of insanely easy. It's even easy to remember (just think of it as 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1 tsp. baking soda)! You mix it all in one bowl so there aren't even a lot of dishes! If you're trying to bake up a bunch of treats for the holidays I HIGHLY recommend these ones-you probably already have all the ingredients, super quick and easy, not too many dishes, and they're even good for pleasing certain dietary restrictions! And they're delicious and basic enough that my family liked them.

Nothing but good things!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted slightly from Joy the Baker

Makes about 52 small cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup peanut butter (any kind you like-storebought, homemade, natural, smooth, chunky, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, silicone baking mat, or just lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Beat together the peanut butter and sugars until well combined.
  • Mix in egg and baking soda for a couple minutes.
  • Using a small cookie scoop place small balls of dough about 2 inches apart from each other. Using a fork, create a criss-cross pattern on the top of each dough ball.
  • Bake 6-10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 6 days.

Hey. Guess what? Today, Michael and I are flying to NYC for a little visit. We're staying with my cousin Emily and will try to meet up with a few of our friends and mostly eat all the food we've missed! Plus we'll see all the Christmas-in-NY things and maybe hit up the American Museum of Natural History. We'll be coming back on Saturday and...I don't know...it feels a little weird to be a visitor there, you know? I guess we'll see how it feels once we're there. :)  I know we'll have lots of fun, that's for sure!


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Puffy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-Nestle Toll House #DelightFulls Review

Christmas is my favorite holiday.

There's pretty lights. Happiness. Jolliness. Colorful decorations. Gifts. Family. Friends. Fun.

AND COOKIES! SO. MANY. COOKIES! It's the cookie season!

And now we can have even more fun with baking and put a fun spin on favorite recipes thanks to Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels! Just when you thought chocolate chips couldn't be improved!
A couple months ago I spied a new fantastical thing---chocolate chips with...fillings?? It was one of those moments where you think to yourself "THAT'S LIFE CHANGING." and also, "Obviously-why hasn't this already been done?" All I know is when I found out that Nestle Toll House wanted me to play with their new DelightFulls I was SO EXCITED. 

Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels are the same Nestle Toll House chocolate we all love (I mean...guys....they invented the chocolate chip cookie. THAT MEANS SOMETHING.) filled with 4 different flavors! They're slightly bigger than standard chocolate chips (no complaints here) and they even hold their shape when baking. You can use them whole, cut in half, or even chop them up--the ways you can use these tasty morsels are endless (brownies, cookies, cake, candy, hot chocolate, milkshakes...etc.!)

Available in 9 oz. bags these are the 4 varieties of Nestle Toll House DelightFulls:
Pssst....Nestle peoples...you should totally make the peanut butter and caramel varieties in dark chocolate, too! Just a dark chocolate lover's opinion :P
Back to Christmas talk: I'm in that very frustrating stage of life in between being a child and having children. I'm unable to fully experience all of my old Christmas traditions, but I don't have any kiddos to create new ones with! That said, Michael and I are definitely already forming new traditions. And this year I will enjoy the last bit of my most time-honored and important childhood Christmas experience for the last time: I will spend the night at my mom's, wake up with my brother, and enjoy Christmas morning being all excited and happy (although we probably won't wake up at 3 AM like we used to--also...the presents aren't gonna be so overwhelming.) Next year Michael and I will be married and I'll want to wake up with him, so this is all a little bittersweet. The good news is, now that I'm home I can take part in other Christmas festivities! My mom and brother and I are actually going to a little Christmas village today. And next week we're going to decorate cutout cookies (which we always used to do as children and I haven't been able to participate in for a long time). And in the spirit of new things...I've been tasked to make cookies for other things. Like Michael's work party. And who knows what else!

I'm really looking forward to, in the next 5 years or so, having little chubby helping hands and seeing little innocent eyes light up and seeing chocolate smeared little smiles in the kitchen with me. I adore baking and I cannot wait to share that with my children, and to share all the love that I bake into every bite!
I could definitely see these cookies becoming a favorite for years to come-especially with little ones. They are a total classic--all the flavors of a peanut butter cup in a big, FAT, perfect cookie! Fresh out of the oven they're so soft and peanut-buttery and when you take a bite and see the peanut butter filling a little bit melt-y inside of the baking morsels....it's simultaneously cool and delicious. Michael loved them. My brother broke his strict diet to eat one and a half (and he forced himself to resist more). I dare any picky eater to not fall head over heels (unless you're not into peanut butter...then...well...not for you, I suppose. May I interest you in a different cookie?) 

Anyway. What I'm saying is: make these cookies. Especially for the holidays (I bet Santa would put you on the extra nice list for LIIIFE if you made them for him, btw.) Get your hands on some Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Filled Baking Morsels. Have some fun. Bake. Experiment. Make traditions! Eat. BE HAPPY.

Fa la la la la.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Something Saturdays (12/13/14)

After lots of stress and phone calls and texts and 3 months of waiting....I've mailed out all the Save the Dates! FINALLY. *sigh of relief*

And Michael I and sat down with his uncle to get all the invitation stuff finalized-we just need to approve the proof (which we got yesterday) and then hopefully they should be ordered within the next week. Woo!

I had another meeting with my alterations woman to work on my mom's dress and it is like...almost done. It's looking so good and we even figured out how to bustle it! I should only have 2 more appointments before me picking it up for the wedding (agh!)---and I have until mid April to lose weight and have the final fitting (because then we have to have it sent to be cleaned again because some of the stuff is starting to yellow again). So I must start hitting the gym and making better food choices. Pray for me.

And it's official--you can now buy your very own DVD of You Can't Kill Stephen King {amazon affiliate link} You Can't Kill Stephen King is the horror/comedy I starred in and that's been in theatres in Japan and on DVD and television in various countries around the world but has FINALLY come to the US & Canada! I'm super excited and I hope lots of people buy it and like it! It's been over 4 years since we finished filming but it was worth it :) 

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