Banana Nutella Waffles

We are back to breakfast in the rotation today! Much like my Perfect French Toast recipe, these waffles are delectable and definitely not the healthiest of breakfast options… but when it’s a lazy weekend morning, who cares about diets anyway, right?

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This recipe is for two. There’s a few tips and tricks here, so bear with me!

Start by cracking an egg into a medium mixing bowl and whisking it vigorously until it’s bubbly and sort of fluffy. (Hat tip to Betty Crocker for this little tidbit of info!)

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To this, whisk in one cup of flour, half a teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda, a tablespoon of canola oil, a teaspoon of vanilla, and 3/4 of a cup of buttermilk. (Buttermilk really makes all the difference, but if you don’t have buttermilk, regular milk will do. You can find buttermilk in any grocery store in the dairy section!)

Whisk it until just combined. It should still look a little lumpy.

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Finally, fold in one mashed banana and 1/4 cup of Nutella to the batter. (It will help if the banana you use is fairly ripe and spotted – it will mash a lot easier!) This should turn the batter a nice chocolate color.

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Carefully pour the batter into a heated and greased waffle iron. I did about 3/4 cup of batter for one waffle in a Belgian-style waffle iron and that turned out to make two full waffles. Cook according to the instructions for your particular waffle iron, then serve topped with powdered sugar and sliced bananas!

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This is perfect for a romantic breakfast for two, or you can double it to feed four! 🙂 Enjoy with a chocolate hazelnut coffee, if that’s your style. 😉

Full Recipe:

Banana Nutella Waffles

Yield: 2 Belgian-size waffles

Ingredients:

1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Nutella spread
1 banana, mashed
1 banana, sliced (for topping)

Process:

1) Spray a waffle iron with cooking spray and turn on to preheat.

2) In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg until it becomes bubbly and fluffy.

3) To egg, whisk in flour, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, canola oil, and vanilla until just combined. (Batter should still be a bit lumpy.)

4) Fold in mashed banana and Nutella spread until combined and batter is a chocolate color.

5) Pour 3/4 cup of batter into Belgian waffle iron and cook according to waffle iron directions until batter is used up.

6) Serve topped with powdered sugar and sliced bananas!

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Skillet Chicken with White Wine Cranberry Glaze

I often have occasions where I stare into my pantry/fridge and I see a couple of different things and think, “Hm, I wonder if I could make this work together…”

Perhaps I just watch Chopped too much, but this dish was born out of that type of experience. I knew I had chicken in the fridge and dried cranberries in the pantry, so I got to thinking, “What if…” and thus, this dish was born. And boy, was it delicious.

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Bonus, I’ll also include a recipe at the bottom for that amazing spicy and sweet succotash you see with the chicken. 😉

Preheat the oven to 350. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium-low. While the pan is heating, sprinkle both sides of two chicken breasts with salt, pepper, oregano, cilantro, and thyme, then add them to the pan.

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Let them cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. While they are cooking, roughly chop about 1/4 cup of pecans and spread them out on a small baking sheet. Then dice 1/4 of an onion and mince 1 clove of garlic.

Once the chicken has browned on both sides, put it in a baking pan coated with non-stick cooking spray and allow to bake while you prep the sauce. (About 15 total minutes in the oven should do it.) You can also put the chopped pecans in the oven now – just remember to take them out after about 5 minutes.

In the same pan that you cooked the chicken (still over medium-low heat), add your diced onion and toss to coat in the remaining olive oil. Allow these to saute for a few minutes, then add the minced garlic and about 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.

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Toss to combine and allow to simmer for another two minutes or so, then add 1/2 cup dry white wine to the pan. Allow this to reduce down (3-5 minutes) and then add 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir this in until it melts, leave on the heat for one more minute, and then remove from the heat.

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Plate your chicken once it’s cooked through and top with the glaze and a handful of chopped pecans. Serve with the spicy-sweet succotash listed below!

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Recipes:

Skillet Chicken with White Wine Cranberry Glaze

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, cilantro, oregano, thyme (to taste)
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp butter

Process:

1) Preheat oven to 350. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.

2) Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, pepper, cilantro, oregano, and thyme, then place in the heated oil. Cook for 5 minutes per side, then place in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes. Put the pecans on a small baking sheet and also put these in the oven – bake for 5 minutes.

3) In the same pan used for the chicken (still over medium-low heat) add the onions. Toss and saute for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cranberries. Saute for another 2 minutes or so, then add wine and allow to reduce for about 3-5 minutes.

4) Add the mascarpone and butter to the pan and stir until they’ve melted. Remove from the heat after an additional minute.

5) Plate chicken and top with glaze. Sprinkle with toasted pecans. Serve immediately.

Spicy-Sweet Succotash

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 & 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup frozen corn
3/4 cup frozen lima beans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
Salt, pepper, cilantro, cayenne, to taste

Process:

1) Add frozen corn and lima beans with water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes.

2) After the initial 7 minutes, add the cranberries to the water and cook for an additional minute or two.

3) Drain, then put the succotash back in the sauce pan over low heat and stir in butter, sugar, and spices. (The more cayenne you add, the spicier it will be. A safe bet to not be overwhelming is about 1/4 tsp.) Serve immediately.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Okay, so I’m kind of on an apple kick here lately, but I think I’m moving on to something else after this one! Apples are just so versatile and definitely one of my favorite fruits, so I just always have some on hand.

If you’re looking for something a little different and wonderfully delicious for breakfast this weekend, look no farther. These pancakes are absolutely divine and way better than the traditional, boring ones you’d make with (horror of horrors) the pre-made just-add-water-and/or-eggs-and-milk mixes.

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That’s right, these are made totally from scratch. No mystery white flour-like substance full of who knows what in these. More than likely, you have everything you need right in your house already. If not, it’s all just a quick trip to the grocery store away. This recipe makes about 6 pancakes, but it’s very easy to double or triple if you’re serving more people!

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Pancakes sit in this wonderful hybrid area between “baking” and “cooking,” but they start off like most other baking recipes: mix the dry ingredients first, and then add the wet.

So, in a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Dry Ingredients

To this, add your first wet ingredients: a scant 1/2 cup of milk and 1 egg. Whisk to combine.

Wet ingredients

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Don’t over-whisk! The key to light, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes is to not beat the mix to death. Whisk it until your ingredients are just combined, and then STOP!

Now comes the flavor ingredients: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup apple butter (or apple sauce, but I prefer the denser, sweeter flavor of apple butter; if you’re using apple sauce, you may need to add more of it to give a comparable flavor), 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Again, whisk until just combined.

Flavor Ingredients

** For those who are unfamiliar with apple butter, it’s sort of like a very fine, sweet apple jelly. It’s called apple “butter” because there’s no chunks of fruit in it like there is in jelly. Imagine a really finely processed apple sauce, with more flavor and sweetness. It’s dark brown, unlike the golden color of apple sauce.

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt about a tablespoon of butter on it. Not only does the butter help the pancakes not to stick, it also adds a flavor element.

Butter

Use a spatula to ensure the entire cooking surface is covered in butter, and then pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the skillet. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan – you don’t want the pancakes touching each other.

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Wait until the pancakes are bubbling and there is a darker edge around the pancakes before attempting to flip them. Trust me, they aren’t ready to be flipped until there’s bubbles. I promise.

Bubbles

It’s usually a couple of minutes for the first side and only about a minute or so for the other side. You should never have to flip them more than once! They will be a little darker than what you’re probably used to seeing, simply because the batter is darker due to the apple butter.

Once they’re done, stack them up on a plate and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sugar! Top with your favorite pancake syrup.

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I also tried these topped with banana slices and powdered sugar – hoo boy was that delicious, too! But the apple slices complement it best, I think. The crispness and tartness of the apples gives a nice balance to the sweet pancakes.

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I also have a great banana pancake variation – perhaps I’ll tweak that a little and post it someday soon. 😉

Full Recipe:

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Yield: About 6 Pancakes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Scant 1/2 cup milk
1 egg

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp butter

Apple slices and cinnamon sugar, for garnish.

Process:

1) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium size bowl.

2) Whisk in milk and 1 egg until just combined.

3) Whisk in sugar, apple butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until just combined.

4) Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter on it, ensuring entire skillet is covered.

5) Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes or until pancakes are bubbling and the edges are darkening, then flip. Cook 1 additional minute after flipping, or until pancakes are cooked through.

6) Remove from heat, garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sugar, and serve!

Handheld Apple Pies

Believe it or not, I grew up hating apple pie. Yes, I know, I was a horrible child and clearly not a natural born American. After all, there’s nothing more American than apple pie, right?

Eventually, I had a slice of my grandmother’s apple pie with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. And let me tell you, that was a tiny little piece of heaven, right there on a plate. I’ve been an apple pie lover ever since, but quite frankly, pie is pretty difficult to make from scratch, particularly the crust. I mean pie crust is like an art in itself.

The other night I really was feeling like having some apple pie. It was too much work to do myself, going to the store and buying the frozen kind and baking it would take too long (plus not be as good as grandma’s!), and I certainly wasn’t going to call my grandma into the kitchen to make me one. And then I got this brilliant idea to make small, hand-held apple pies… with crust that was already pre-made.

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I’m a huge fan of any kind of pre-made dough products – mainly because it means I have to do a lot less work, but also because they are so versatile. Puff pasty, pizza dough, biscuits, but especially: crescent rolls. You can roll those babies up to make just about anything. In this case, I repurposed them entirely and didn’t roll them up at all, but made them into little pockets of deliciousness.

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So, if the idea of apple pie is daunting but you just can’t shake that sweet apple-y craving, give these a try!

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with nonstick foil. Dice up a medium sized apple (granny smith is best for apple pie!) and set it aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter, add in vanilla (1 tsp) and then add the apples to it, stirring to coat.

Apples in pan

To this, add brown sugar (1/2 cup), cinnamon (1 tsp), and salt (maybe 1/4 tsp or so). Stir until all the apples are coated and it has started to bubble.

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Leave that alone for a little bit and get to work on your crust.

Open the package of crescent dough and flatten out the rectangles. Don’t separate them into the triangles that make crescents!

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MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Use your fingers to pinch together the diagonal gap so that the dough doesn’t separate in the oven.

Once the apples have started to become soft, maybe 5-8 minutes or so, remove them from the heat and spoon them onto one half of each of your rectangles, leaving room around the edges to seal it shut. A small to medium apple should be just enough for four, but use your judgement to make sure they aren’t overfull.

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Fold the dough over and use your fingers to seal up the edges by pinching them together.

Folded dough

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: To give them that true, golden, fresh-from-the-bakery look, brush them lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle white sugar on top just before putting them in the oven.

Egg wash

Bake for 12 minutes or until they are golden brown!

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It’s like making hot pockets at home, except they are sweet, and don’t have nearly as many preservatives, and are far more satisfying!

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Full Recipe:

Handheld Apple Pies

Yield: 4 Mini Pies

Ingredients:

1 package pre-made crescent dough
1 small/medium granny smith apple
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten, for eggwash
White sugar, for sprinkling

Process:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with nonstick foil.

2) Dice apple; set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, add vanilla, and then stir in apples.

3) Once apples are coated with butter/vanilla, stir in sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to coat and let simmer for 5-8 minutes.

4) Unroll the crescent dough, leaving it in rectangles, and flatten them out on prepared baking sheet. Pinch the diagonal gap closed to avoid separation when baking.

5) Spoon cooked apples onto one half of each dough rectangle, leaving room to fold it over and seat shut.

6) Fold over the empty half of each rectangle onto the apples and use your fingers to pinch the edges shut.

7) Brush each pie lightly with beaten egg and then sprinkle with white sugar.

8) Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve immediately.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Oh no, it’s another teaser post before the main course! 🙂

I PROMISE the showstopper is coming later today – but this sauce was so good, it had to have its own recipe post!

Hmmmm, coleslaw, potato wedges, and now BBQ sauce… I wonder what the entree will be!

Barbecue sauce is a tricky thing, and many people are picky about it. My house tends to prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s, and while I’ve definitely got nothing against Mr. Ray, it is… well, sweet! If you’re looking something with a little more of a bite, you’ve got to give this sauce a try. It’s surprisingly easy!

In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups apple cider vinegar, 2.5 cups brown sugar (the less sugar you use, the more of a bite it will have, so you could use even less than this for more tangy sauce), 3/4 cup ketchup, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp molasses, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Whisk it all together until everything is combined and the sugar is fully dissolved, and then put it over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to low so it stays at a simmer and let it reduce. A good long while. I did about 40 minutes – you might want to get cozy with a book in a kitchen chair, because you don’t want to leave it unattended (you’ll need to stir it every so often) but standing there staring at a simmering pot of sugary, spiced vinegar can get awfully boring if you’re not otherwise occupied.

Once it’s reduced down, turn the heat off and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes before transferring it to a storage container of your choice. I used a mason jar, but a plastic squeeze bottle would also work well! Bear in mind that as it cools, it will thicken more, so don’t be put off if it still seems to liquid-y to be barbecue sauce when you turn the heat off.

BBQ Sauce

Full Recipe:

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Yield: About a pint, plus a few more ounces.

Ingredients:

2  cups apple cider vinegar
2 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Process:

1) In a medium saucepan, whisk together all ingredients until combined and sugar is dissolved.

2) Put on a medium high heat until sauce comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally, about 30-40 minutes.

3) Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring it to a jar or bottle. Keep refrigerated.

Chocolate Caramel Lava Brownie (In the microwave!)

So there I am. It’s 9:00 at night. I’m minding my own business, working in my home office, when suddenly… it hits. It’s silent, sneaky, and conniving… The dreaded…

Chocolate Craving.

Just about every woman, and maybe even most men, can identify. It’s cruel. It’s mean. It’s unstoppable. You need chocolate, and you need it RIGHT now.

Fear no more, my chocolate loving friends: this super easy, super fast, super delicious recipe is here to save the day.

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I think probably just about everyone has heard of this whole “sweet-delicious-chocolatey-concoction-in-the-microwave” business. And I confess, I have tried it before last night, and was disappointed with the results. It was just always lacking something. Usually sweetness. It always came out bitter, or dry, or just… tasteless. So, while I believe I have conquered all of those demons with this little gem, it goes without saying that this fabulous treat is not at ALL good for you.

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I did top mine with sliced bananas. And there’s no egg in it. So that counts for something. Right? Right. We’ll go with that.

Anyway, here’s the super simple process. Yes, it does involve making caramel. I PROMISE it’s easy. I’m going to list it out in the most time-effective way, which involves starting the caramel first and then doing everything else while the caramel is cooking, but if you’re really afraid of burning your caramel, please feel free to do everything else and then devote a few minutes at the end to standing in front of your stove and staring at a saucepan of boiling sugar.

So, for you brave souls, put 2 tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of water in the smallest saucepan you’ve got. Stir it around to dissolve the sugar, and then put it on a high heat.

Sugar in pot

Bravely walk away from the stove and commence with the main brownie component. Take two tablespoons of butter and put it in whatever microwave safe bowl you’re planning on using for serving your brownie in.

Butter

I used a 6 inch ramekin, but any mug, bowl, or other ceramic dish with high sides will do. Melt the butter by putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds. If it doesn’t melt the butter completely, just stir it around until it’s totally liquid. To this, add 2 tablespoons of milk and a half teaspoon of (PURE) vanilla extract. A whole teaspoon if you’re really feeling adventurous. Stir that up until it’s blended together, and then add 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of sugar (yes, really, that much), and a dash of salt. (A dash would be a couple of shakes of your salt shaker.)

Add dry ingredients

Carefully stir this up until everything is blended and it looks like… well, brownie batter. Try not to over mix it! Just stir until there’s no more huge dry clumps.

Batter

Restore your sanity and do a quick check on your sugar on the stove. Realistically only about a minute and a half should have passed at this point, so your sugar should be at a rolling boil but still decidedly white.

Boiling sugar

Give that a quick stir and then return to your brownie batter. Add a scant 1/4 cup of whatever chocolate chips you prefer. I used semi-sweet, but I expect milk or white (or even butterscotch or mint) would also fare well.

Get a 1/2 tablespoon of butter ready, and then check your sugar again. After about 3 minutes or so from the first moment you put it on the stove, it should be turning an amber color. Once this happens, IMMEDIATELY remove it from the heat and add your little pat of butter.

Amber sugar

Quickly stir in the butter – the liquid will foam up and then relax down into a lovely liquid caramel:

Caramel

Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Just be careful and work quickly, because once it’s in its caramel form, it will harden up pretty quickly unless you do something else with it. In our case, we’re pouring it right into our brownie batter and swirling it in.

Batter with caramel

Do yourself a favor and take a second to get your saucepan and spoon soaking in hot soapy water to prevent the caramel from hardening and making an awful sticky mess for you to clean up later!

Put your prepared bowl of batter in the microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. When it’s done, it WILL be boiling angrily. DO NOT PANIC. This is normal. Carefully take it out of the microwave and put it on a rack to cool for 2-3 minutes, then top it with whatever you like. I used banana and whipped cream with chocolate syrup, but that was only because we didn’t have any ice cream around. I’d bet a lot of money vanilla ice cream would be PERFECT on top of this. Someone try it and let me know!

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Once you’ve topped it with your sweet of choice, dig in! It might still be pretty hot, so be careful!

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Just look at that gooey, chocolatey goodness. Makes me want to go make another one!! If you’re exceptionally hungry or just really addicted to chocolate, go ahead and keep it all to yourself. However, I really think it’s the perfect portion size for sharing. You could even mix it up in one bowl and then transfer it to two mini ramekins to microwave it.

Full Recipe:

Chocolate Caramel Lava Brownie

Yield: 1-2 servings.

Ingredients:

Caramel:

2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp butter

Brownie:

2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
dash salt
Scant 1/4 cup chocolate chips (any variety)

Process:

1) Dissolve 2 tbsp sugar in 1 tbsp water in small saucepan and put on high heat.

2) Combine melted butter, milk, and vanilla in a small microwave safe bowl.

3) Add flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt to butter mixture. Stir until just combined.

4) Stir in chocolate chips.

5) When sugar turns an amber color, immediately remove from heat and quickly stir in 1/2 tbsp butter to create a caramel. Pour caramel into brownie batter and swirl it in.

6) Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Place on a rack to cool for 2-3 minutes, then top with your choice of sweets and serve!

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi! Welcome to Sweet, Spicy & Neat! I’ve been meaning to get a cooking blog together for a while now, and since the entire upper right quarter of the United States is currently covered in snow that rendered most productivity today absolutely impossible, I decided there was no better day than today to start!

In keeping with the snowed in theme, there’s not much better to do on a snow day than bake cookies! So, what a perfect place to begin – a fun, sweet twist on an old classic that everyone loves: Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Now, my cookies have long been lauded as the best among my friends and family (I’ve even turned folks against their own mom’s cookies!) but they aren’t the best because of a magical cooking fairy that sprinkles twinkle dust on my pans. No, no, it’s tried and true tips and tricks that are easy to overlook, but believe me, they make ALL the difference. I have several favorite “weapons” in the kitchen, and there are quite a few of them in this post alone!

So, let’s get to the baking, shall we? These cookies are a nice twist on the classic chocolate chip “drop” cookie, and are especially good for those with a strong sweet tooth!

Go ahead and start off by getting your oven preheated to 375 degrees and lining a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. The parchment paper isn’t ABSOLUTELY necessary, but it really makes clean up SO much easier, and the cookies come off the pan with no effort! But, if you don’t have parchment paper on hand, go ahead and use non-stick baking sheets and do NOT grease them with anything!

Next, mix up your dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Flour Mixture

It’s mostly just flour (2 1/4 cups) but you’ll also need to add a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt.

Baking Soda

Set this aside and then get out your stand mixer and use the bowl of that for your wet ingredients. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll have to use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl. Also, if you don’t have a stand mixer, buy one as soon as possible or ask for one for the next available gift giving holiday, because they are worth absolutely every penny, and you’ll see me use it a lot!) The wet ingredients begins with two sticks of softened unsalted butter and a cup of brown sugar with a 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar.

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: It is imperative that the butter be “soft” or room temperature – NOT melted! More on why in a bit. I find that two sticks of butter in the microwave for 25-30 seconds usually does the trick to make it soft enough, if you didn’t have the time to leave the butter on the counter for a couple of hours.

To measure out my sugar, I use one of my favorite kitchen tools ever, my Pyrex glass measuring cup. I think I use this probably at least once a day, every day, for all kinds of cooking and baking. The brown sugar has to be “packed” down (in order to make sure you’re getting a full cup of it, since brown sugar tends to be sticky and airy!) so I pack the cup of brown sugar in the bottom and then add the white sugar on top until it reaches the 1 1/2 cup mark.

Sugar

Put your softened butter and both sugars in the mixing bowl. If you’re using a stand mixer, make sure you use the paddle attachment for mixing! It looks like this:

Paddle Attachment

Mix this for about 15 seconds or so on the lowest setting (usually called “Stir” on a stand mixer), then for another fifteen seconds on the next highest speed, and then finally kick it up to medium for 2-3 minutes.

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Why mix the butter and sugar so long? It’s called “creaming.” Allowing the butter and sugar to “cream” together takes a bit of time, but it makes sure they are one cohesive unit, and makes ALL the difference to the softness and chewiness of your cookies in the end! This is why your butter has to be soft, and not melted, because it’s impossible to cream butter that’s in a liquid state!

In the final stages of creaming together the butter and sugar, you can add 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

Vanilla

Vanilla is another one of my secret kitchen weapons!

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: I cannot possibly stress enough how important it is to use PURE vanilla extract. If it says “imitation” anywhere on the bottle, throw it away and buy the good stuff! Vanilla is one of those places where substituting in the fake stuff simply cannot be done if you want really good food. This gigantic bottle was only $7.00 at BJ’s, so don’t try and tell me it’s too expensive!

Once you’ve got the butter, sugar, and vanilla all blended together, STOP and scrape off the paddle and the sides of the bowl!

Paddle

Use a rubber spatula for this – it’s the only way to cleanly scrape everything off and get all the way to the bottom of the bowl!

Spatula

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Stopping to scrape off the bowl may seem unnecessary, but it’s so important for ensuring everything blends together properly! Trust me, it’s worth the extra 30 seconds to do!

Once you’ve scraped off the bowl it’s time to add your binding agent. This recipe uses two eggs, but you can check out the bottom of this post for an amazing egg substitution in a variation I’ll give at the end!

Add the eggs one at a time, blending them in after each addition.

Add Eggs

Once the eggs are blended in, STOP again and scrape the paddle and bowl!!

Now that all your wet ingredients are blended and your dry ingredients are combined, it’s time to put them together! Grab your set-aside bowl of flour mixture and turn the stand mixer to “stir.” (For those of you using a regular hand mixer, unfortunately this is where you and the mixer must separate and you’ll have to do this part by hand with a wooden spoon.) Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, allowing the flour to be totally mixed in before adding more.

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This will take a little bit of time, but you have to add it little by little or else you’ll have flour everywhere and the dough will seize up!

Once all the flour is mixed in, it’s time for the best part… the chocolate chips! What makes these cookies so unique and sweet is the blend of chips that I chose to use. You can stick to my version, or use your own combination. (The classic recipe calls for all dark chocolate chips, but be creative!)

I used my handy dandy Pyrex cup again and filled it to the brim with dark, milk, and butterscotch chips.

Chips

I tried to divide it evenly into thirds, but a little more one way or the other won’t hurt! As long as it ends up being a bit more than 2 cups worth.

Take the paddle attachment off the mixer (we can’t use it to mix the chips in, as the dough becomes too stiff) and set it aside. And try not to lick it clean. I dare you. Then dump that whole glass of chips into the batter and fold them in with a strong wooden spoon.

Add Chips

This will take a bit of elbow grease, but when you’re done, the chips should be evenly distributed through the dough and it’ll look like this:

Finished Dough

It’s handy to leave the bowl attached to the stand mixer for this, as it helpfully holds the bowl in place while you stir!

By now your oven should have fully preheated, so go ahead and drop the cookies onto your baking sheets with a mini ice cream scoop (1-inch diameter). If you don’t have one, use a teaspoon, but I’m telling you, that little scoop is awesome for making sure all your cookies are the same size. You can get them from around $12-20 depending on where you look.

Mini Scoop

Drop the balls of dough about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheets. I can usually fit 13 comfortably on a 17×11 baking sheet, or 8 on a 15×10 baking sheet.

13 cookies

8 cookies

Bake them for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes.

On cookie sheet

Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. And try not to eat them all in one sitting.

DSC_5302

Warning: Making these in a house with children may cause unwanted flooding of young ones into your kitchen. Proceed with caution.

Cookie Rack 2

For those who patiently waited for the egg substitute version I promised, try this out: Instead of two eggs, use 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. (NOT pumpkin pie mix! Make sure the can says 100% pure pumpkin.) It doesn’t alter the flavor too much to just use the pumpkin puree, so if you really want to give them a pumpkin kick, add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice syrup (I use Torani) and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice at the same time that you add the vanilla extract.

Full Recipe:

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: About 60 cookies.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Process:

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

3) Cream together softened butter and sugar using a stand mixer with paddle attachment. (“Stir” for 15 seconds, speed 1-2 for another 15 seconds, and then a medium speed for 2-3 minutes.)

4) Scrape off paddle and sides of the bowl, then blend in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, on medium speed.

5) Scrape off paddle and sides of the bowl again, then add in flour mixture little by little with the mixer on “stir” setting, allowing flour to completely blend in before each new addition.

6) Remove paddle attachment and add chocolate chips to dough, folding in with a wooden spoon.

7) Drop dough balls with a 1-inch ice cream scoop onto baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each one, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are golden brown.

8) Allow to cool for a couple of minutes outside the oven on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. (If they last that long!)