Monthly Archives: May 2015

May 2015 Wrap-Up

may-2015-wrap-up-1So yeah, it’s June 4 and I’ve just realized that I never put together my month-end wrap-up for May. If that tells you anything about my life.

It appears I am vastly more protective of my down time than I imagined I would be. I’m pretty sure that makes me lazy, but I don’t care. I’ll just be lazy. I will.

Lazy with cookies, though.  Who’s with me?

My favorite recipe of the month was the Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cake. Seriously, it was even tastier than I expected it to be. I love when that happens. I think the reader favorite this month was the Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops. Not that I blame you, they are totally fun!

 

We started off the month with the Cookie of the Month. This month’s cookies were all about chocolate chips, and I decided these cookie pops were the way to celebrate. I think they make super cute gifts and party favors. Plus, it gives you an excuse to eat two, because as any toddler knows, when you have a treat on a stick, you need one in each hand.

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The Lizard brought me this fun recipe for Chocolate Torte from school. He absolutely loved making it, and has made it about 3 or 4 times in the 6 weeks he’s had the recipe. He even made a butterscotch version, which was pretty darn good, if I say so myself. It’s basically a really rich and dense cake, and it’s ah-mazing with whipped cream and fresh berries.

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May 15 was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. I assume you celebrated privately? I celebrated by putting together a big-old list of chocolate chip cookie recipes on this site for you to have fun with. You might notice a chocolate chip theme to this whole month, honestly.

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Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins are up next. This is one of those cases where I realized I had some fun and fancy muffin recipes (like this TO DIE FOR zucchini muffin) but I had neglected to post a good, basic chocolate chip muffin recipe. Consider this situation rectified.

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I participated in Triscuit’s campaign to put 3 things on a cracker. I wanted mine to be tropical, maybe because I had just returned from a quick trip to California, and was dying to return. I topped my crackers with pineapple, coconut, and cream cheese. Get the details here.

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My sister’s contribution to the blog this month had a chocolate chip theme to it too. She made these awesome 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies, which she topped with chopped dark chocolate. Because WHY NOT?

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My last recipe for May was a Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cake, which my son requested for his birthday this year. He wanted something topped with berries, and this really did the trick. You guys know how much I adore a buttermilk cake by now, right?

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Wondering what to expect in June?  Well… there might be even more chocolate chips. One can never have too many, right?  And it will probably be a slow month here on the blog, since my family has got all kinds of things going on, which has pushed blogging down my long list of priorities, unfortunately. But never fear, I am not gone forever, and the blog will continue to churn out new fun and easy dessert recipes for you to try.

In the meantime, I’m always open to suggestion. You tell me… what would you like to see on Jen’s Favorite Cookies in the future?  Leave me a comment below!

 

See what else you missed in recent months!

april-wrap-up-2march-15-wrap-up-2feb-2015-wrap-up-2

 

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cake

The recipe for this buttermilk chocolate chip cake is a family favorite that stands the test of time. You’ll love this chocolate chip cake with ice cream, or just topped with whipped cream and fresh berries!

chocolate-chip-cakeI don’t want to date myself, but I can’t tell you this story without telling you that The Lizard (our oldest son) is graduating from high school next week.

I honestly don’t feel old enough to have an 18 year old. Maybe it’s just that I don’t feel smart enough to handle the situations and heavy life choices that are going on for him right now.

I don’t even feel old enough to handle my own life choices most days.

The Lizard likes just about everything, so when I ask him what kind of birthday cake he wants, I never know what answer I’m going to get. A couple years ago, he asked for a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, which ended up being a top contender for the best thing I have ever stuffed in my face.

buttermilk-cake

This year, he requested “something with berries.”

Uh… “something with berries?” I replied.  “Like a strawberry cake?”

Turns out, he just wanted fresh berries on it somewhere.  Not that I can blame him.  He was probably remembering how awesome his Chocolate Torte was when we added whipped cream and fresh berries to it.

We ended up deciding on a chocolate chip cake, topped with berries.  And I added buttermilk, because, well, you know me.

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The Lizard was thrilled with his cake.

I will say this… I would probably prefer this cake with regular old frosting rather than whipped cream.  If I had it to do over, I would probably use the frosting from this chocolate cake. But cake with fresh berries is never a bad idea!

It might make me feel better about having a graduating senior in my house!

 

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4.5 from 2 reviews
Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cake
 
Cook time
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A rich, dense chocolate chip cake with whipped cream.
Author:
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 pint whipping cream *(see notes)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • fresh berries *(optional)
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, and baking powder and mix well. Add flour and buttermilk alternately, mixing just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Divide batter evenly between two greased and lined 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cakes cool before frosting or topping with whipped cream.
  5. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whip to combine. Spread whipped cream between layers of cake, and on top. Top with fresh berries.
Notes
While this cake is pictured with whipped cream, I wish I had used regular frosting instead. The dense richness of the cake is in stark contrast to the light whipped cream. I think the frosting used in this chocolate cake would be a great match. http://jensfavoritecookies.com/2014/09/03/grandmas-chocolate-cake/

 

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

These simple peanut butter cookies take just 3-ingredients to make! Gluten-free, small-batch, fun to make with kids.

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My sister and I come from a peanut butter loving family, and it shows. (Remember when my sister came up with these peanut butter and jelly cookies?) Just use the search bar on this site, and search the phrase “peanut butter,” and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m totally not surprised she came up with something this awesome. It’s just like her. I’ll get out of the way now, and you can read what Em has to say!

***

Honest question: at what point does eating peanut butter straight out of the jar stop being a snack and start being a meal?

I don’t know why, but whenever I’m home by myself and I feel like I want a snack, I open the fridge and stare in it for about three solid minutes before I decide to have a spoonful of peanut butter.  I guess it’s because when you have peanut butter, you’re never really alone.

It’s like…peanut butter just gets me.

The only thing I like more than peanut butter is avocados and the only thing I like more than avocados is being lazy and there is nothing I’m willing to do to prove it.  To that end, I have what seems to be this affliction where every time I feel ambitious enough to bake something elaborate, I’m always out of just ONE ingredient.

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Given my aforementioned laziness, you know I’m not going to the store for one stupid thing.  So I’ve taken to developing a habit of mitching and boaning for a few minutes, eating a spoonful of peanut butter, then sitting in front of the TV and foregoing any baking aspirations that may have cropped up in my subconscience.

Mr. Nation and I were simultaneously experiencing a hankerin’ for something sweet the other night (who says we don’t do things together?).

If I’m going to exert the energy to actually make something, then I’m going to go a step further and write a potential blog post about it.  Enter the universe trying to have its way with me by declaring my entire house devoid of flour.  If you’re contributing to a baking blog, a flour shortage is a mighty big challenge to overcome, but again…too lazy to go to the store.

I stood in the middle of my kitchen for a minute, looking down the mouth of an open jar of peanut butter and realized that I also have a few squares of dark chocolate in my fridge.  Knowing that nothing can go wrong with this combination helped me summon the confidence I needed to come up with a solution.

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That’s when I MacGyved these delicious little cookies.

They seriously take next to no time and about the same amount of effort.  I especially enjoyed haphazardly wrapping my chocolate squares into a piece of parchment paper and breaking them up with a meat mallet.

 

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies
 
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Easy 3-ingredient cookies topped with chocolate.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 1 dozen
Ingredients
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • 4-5 squares dark chocolate (about 2 oz.), broken into pieces *(optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, egg, and sugar.
  2. Using two spoons or a cookie scoop, form small balls of dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle chocolate pieces on top of each cookie. Bake at 350F for 12-15 min.

 

Tropical Cracker Topping

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Crackers and cream cheese have long been a favorite at our house. Plain old crackers, and plain old cream cheese.

But for you, something better. Something sweeter. Something one step above.

This week, I opted for Triscuit crackers.  They’re just better than a plain old cracker. They’re all wheaty, with texture and flavor.  And they just beg for interesting toppings.

You can put practically anything on them and they taste awesome.

I bought some of the whipped cream cheese. I like this kind because it is so easy to spread, it’s perfect for crackers. Then I spooned on some crushed pineapple and a little pinch of coconut, and voila! The Tropical Cracker Topping was born.

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On a recent trip to California, I dipped my toes in the ocean, and promptly realized just how long it had been since I had been to the beach.  I had forgotten the smell, and the feel of the sea breeze, and the sand in my toes.

It’s an experience I would love to have more often, but living two states away from the ocean makes it a bit difficult.

The pineapple and coconut remind me of that. The beach. The pier. The sand. The breeze. It actually makes me wish I was back there right now.

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I love that Triscuit is more than a plain old cracker. There are tons of ideas out there for toppings for Triscuit, so if you’re looking for more ideas, check out their Pinterest boards, their Instagram, or their Twitter feed.  (And remember, the suggested serving size is 2 crackers.)

Chime in! Leave a comment below and tell me what you put on your Triscuit!
 

Tropical Cracker Topping
 
Triscuit crackers topped with tropical flavors.
Author:
Recipe type: Snacks
Ingredients
  • 2 Triscuit crackers
  • Whipped cream cheese
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Spread cream cheese on each cracker. Top with pineapple and coconut.

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins

These easy chocolate chip muffins use quick oats for great texture, butter for great flavor and chocolate chips to make them over the top delicious!

easy-chocolate-chip-muffinsYou should see the amount of chocolate chips we go through at this house. And butter. It’s obscene.

But seriously? Chocolate chips are SO good.  I’ll put chocolate chips in just about anything. I mean, this blog has a chocolate chip dip, chocolate chip brownies, chocolate chip scones, truffles, cake, blondies, not to mention a bunch of kinds of chocolate chip cookies, and of course, these muffins.

My kids even ask for chocolate chips in their waffles.

Let’s face it. Everything is better with chocolate chips.  It’s worth having a few packages hanging out in the pantry… just in case!

easy-chocolate-chip-muffins

When it comes to muffins, I am super proud of this Banana Bread Muffin. I added some quick oats to give them some awesome texture. They are dense enough, but not too dense.

I did the same for these Chocolate Chip Muffins. A little bit of quick oats makes for an amazing texture. It makes them just a little fluffier.

I’ll tell you, I was super happy to start my day with these.

easy-chocolate-chip-muffin-recipechocolate-chip-muffin-recipe

My son, The Fruitarian, even made bets for these muffins. I told him if he won the bet, he could have a warm muffin right out of the oven, rather than waiting for me to photograph them.  That made him happy!

He lost the bet, of course. He apparently hasn’t learned the cardinal rule of betting, which is, never bet against me.  Ha!

He and I both had quite a few of these gorgeous muffins.  I predict they’ll disappear fast at your house too.

Especially if you eat them warm!

 

Also try these!

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Crazy for Crust
Perfect Chocolate Chip Waffles from Mommy Musings
Chocolate Chip Pancake Poppers from Deliciously Yum

Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
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An easy chocolate chip muffin recipe with great texture!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 15-18
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup quick oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, baking powder, and oats, and mix well.
  3. Add flour and milk alternately, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Prepare a muffin pan by greasing or lining the cups. Fill cups about ¾ full with batter. Bake at 425F for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and bake 15-18 minutes more.

 

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day today!  It might be the greatest food holiday EVER.  At least, it’s the only one I get truly excited about celebrating.

I don’t know how many chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip cookie inspired recipes are on this site. Not sure I can count that high. Let’s just say, it’s a lot.  So today, I’m celebrating by sharing some of my favorites with you.

chocolate-chip-cookie-pops-4

Ever tried your chocolate chip cookies on a stick?  You’ll want a cookie pop for each hand!

brown-sugar-cookies-recipe

The extra brown sugar makes these cookies SO soft and chewy. They have an awesome rich flavor, and of course, taste great with milk!

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Sometimes a girl wants her chocolate chip cookies with a little extra chocolate. Or a lot of extra chocolate.

chocolate-chip-cookies-without-eggs

These are so creamy and tasty, you won’t even miss the eggs. Trust me.

Coconut-Chocolate-Chip-Bars-5

We’re huge fans of coconut around here. And coconut tastes awesome with chocolate chips!

butter-peanut-cookies

It’s like chocolate chips and peanut butter were made for each other.

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This is our family favorite, and the one that landed me a ribbon at the county fair.

three ingredient cookies

These super easy cookies are made with condensed milk, and have a texture similar to shortbread. My most popular recipe!

chocolate chip cookie

The fudge layer is gooey stuff, but I’ve never heard anyone complain.

smores-cookie-recipe

These are a summertime must, especially if you don’t build fires in your own yard.

chocolate chip cookie

The graham crackers give these cookies a kind of surprising, sweet edge. These are definitely near the top of the favorites list!

chocolate chip banana bread cookies

These taste amazingly similar to banana bread. Except they’re cookies!

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Chocolate chips AND Kit Kat Bars. These chocolate chip cookie bars are heavenly!

cookie-dough-dip

This cookie inspired dip isn’t exactly like eating dough, but it’s darn close!

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Turn this egg-free cookie dough into easy candies! Your family and friends will thank you.

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Who needs frosting? Top these awesome brownies with chocolate chip cookie dough!

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These easy buttermilk drop scones will have you wrapped around their little finger!

Keep your eyes peeled, because there are more chocolate chip cookie – inspired recipes coming up this month!  In the meantime, be sure to stock your pantry with high quality chocolate chips, and find even more chocolate chip recipes on this Chocolate Chip FAVORITES Pinterest board.

And don’t forget to check out this awesome collection of 100 chocolate chip cookie treats!

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Chocolate Torte

chocolate-torte-cakeThe Lizard (our oldest child) has been taking a culinary arts class at school, which he has loved. He found running the cafeteria strangely satisfying. He came home with onion-cutting skills and salsa-making skills, but his favorite experience from the class was making this torte.

He was super excited to make it for the family. It’s a rich and dense chocolate cake, so naturally, I was in love with it immediately.

He even made us a butterscotch version of the torte by using butterscotch chips in place of the chocolate chips. By the way, butterscotch torte? Also good.

He talked me into blogging it this week, but I feel I should be upfront with you and let you know that this is not a recipe of my creation. This is the recipe straight from the culinary class.

chocolate-torte

Normally, we eat this cake plain. No frosting. No ice cream. Just cake.

But today? I added whipped cream and fresh berries. Mostly because we were in the mood for berries. We were surprised how much it added to the torte to have the berries there. You could say they took it to the next level.

I highly recommend it.

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You know what else I recommend? Having a teenager make this for you while you have some quality couch potato time. The cake tastes even more amazing when someone else makes it and brings you a warm slice!

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Print

Chocolate Torte

A rich, dense, easy to make single layer chocolate cake.

Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 slices
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • fresh berries (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line and grease one 9-inch round cake pan.

  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, corn syrup, and chocolate chips. Stir until melted and smooth.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture slowly. Add flour and mix just until combined.

  4. Spread batter evenly into the prepared 9-inch pan. Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

  5. Let cool 5-10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a cooling rack to continue cooling. If desired, serve with whipped cream and fresh berries.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

chocolate-chip-cookie-pops (6 of 1)You guys, May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. I mean, how can I NOT celebrate that?

It’s basically the Holy Grail of cookie holidays.  (And because I know you’re going to ask, yes, there are other cookie holidays. Like Cookie Day Dec. 4, and Oatmeal Cookie Day March 18, and National Macaron Day May 31, and a few others.)

This year I wanted to make it easy for everyone to get in on the fun, so I put my chocolate chip cookies on a stick.  The kids thought they were really fun, and they were excited to show my creation to their friends and cousins.

chocolate-chip-cookie-pops

Let me tell you the key to putting a chocolate chip cookie on a stick. You can’t just use any old recipe. The cookie has to be kind of stiff and crunchy in order to hold its shape. This cookie uses powdered sugar to help with that.

They also work best if you roll the dough out kind of thick (about 1/4-inch) and cut circles.

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I know what you’re thinking… isn’t it hard to get the cookie cutter through those chocolate chips?  Why yes, yes it is. How smart of you to notice. In fact, I often found myself digging through the dough to remove an offending chip or two, so I could get the cookie cutter through the dough.

And you may have to finesse those sticks through the dough a little in order to avoid the chips, but this part was not as difficult as I anticipated.

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My favorite thing about this cookie is how dang stinkin’ cute it is. You could hand these out as little gifts or prizes, and everyone would be thrilled!

Or you could eat them yourself and be thrilled alone. I did some of that, too!

 

Celebrate Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in style with these awesome recipes!

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies from Kelli’s Kitchen
Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches from Tastes of Lizzy T
Corn Flake Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bake or Break
Brown Butter Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies from A Cookie Named Desire
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Avocado Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies from Posed Perfection

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Print

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

A crispy chocolate chip cookie on a stick.

Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Cream shortening, sugar and powdered sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

  2. Add salt and baking powder and mix well. Add flour and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.


  3. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or overnight.


  4. Roll chilled dough on a well floured surface, to ¼-inch thickness. Cut 2-inch circles (or other shapes).


  5. Push sticks into the circle from the side toward the center. Carefully place cookie and stick on a lined baking sheet. (If desired, you can chill these in the freezer for 2-3 minutes to help them keep their shape.)


  6. Bake at 375F for 13-15 minutes, until edges are sightly brown. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then use a pancake turner to carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Do not pick up cookies by the stick until they have cooled completely.