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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Valentine’s Day White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Yesterday I had the day off from work, from my job in the restaurant, so I though what better way to spend the day then to be in my own kitchen!

Britt jokingly mentioned this weekend that her co-workers asked I was going to bring them in food one day, so I decided that I would surprise them and make their day today.  I saw a bag of Valentine’s M&M’s this weekend and wanted to get everyone in the spirit of the Holiday and knew I would incorporate them into a cookie.

I knew I wanted the cookie to be “normal” cookie, while including chocolate and peanut butter (is there any better mates in life)

However, I take my Peanut Butter pretty serious and if you have yet to get into quality Peanut Butter I highly recommend looking up Peanut Butter and Co..  They are a New York based company but started out as a small shop in the city and have now grown into a Peanut Butter super power Winking smile

With 6 different peanut butters, I delayed trying them out because I have had “flavored” peanut butters in the past and they were not even worth opening the jar. This offering from Peanut Butter & Co is certainly worth opening the jar for. For an adult “gourmet” PB & J’s, try the White Chocolate Wonderful with  There is also a a cinnamon raisin flavor that is outstanding with apples or bananas. The price is higher than JIF or Skippy, but this peanut butter isn’t meant for spreading on celery sticks. I use the cinnamon raisin for outrageous cookies. They also offer varieties with honey, spicy (the BEST for Thai food), dark chocolate (amazing cookies & bars), maple (pancakes never had it so good), as well as plain and chunky peanut butter (for purists). Their website also offers jams/jellies, baking mixes, gear like bags and shirts, and the quintessential peanut butter partner – marshmallow fluff. If you have never had a fluffer-nutter, you are missing out on one of life’s guiltiest pleasures. And for a health “nut” like myself, the best part there is no additives or fillers in the nut butters.  They try to keep it all local and as healthy as possible.

Back to the cookies, I wanted to make a cookie that was balanced between sweet, and also a bit healthier, while keeping a ton of flavor.  Thus, I looked at my options in the cabinets and choose to start the base of the cookie with this one out of my nut butter stash

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This may or may not be the best peanut butter I have ever eaten.  Again, this peanut butter is not your typical peanut butter and is far from the bland nut butters you ate as a kid.  Its on a level all its own.  The White Chocolate taste really comes though.  You first get the sweet from the chocolate taste, but its balanced very well by the saltiness from the peanuts.

I then knew I wanted to bump up the nutritional value of the cookies and choose to use half oats and half flour to make myself feel a little better about the amount of cookie dough I would end up eating while the cookies baked.  And this is the final group of items I needed to make perhaps one of the best cookies ever.

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Oatmeal White Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
*Preheat oven to 350F
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 Cup peanut butter (I used White Chocolate PB)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup Valentine’s m&m’s
1/2 cup of MILK chocolate Chips

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. (This should take 2-3 minutes.) Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the peanut butter m&m’s. Drop cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Your cookies should be large-about 2-3 tablespoons worth of dough.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. They may not look “done” when you take them out of the oven, but the edges should be lightly browned and just set and the cookies will be fluffy in the middle. They will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet after you remove them from the oven. Let cool nearly completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container or re-sealable bag.

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They turned out so well, and the addition of the Milk Chocolate chips, along with the peanut butter were perfect.  And the nuttiness from the oats, I feel they had so much flavor than an all flour based cookie.  Now…I will patiently await the finance’s return from work this evening to see if the co-workers thought the same thing.

Question of the day

Whats one food that reminds you of your childhood?

Mine for sure would be peanut butter.  I would eat a PB & J almost once a day, and still lived off that sandwich though college! 

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas Part I

Hello! I hope everyone had the best Holiday yet.  For our family it was a bit bitter sweet.  This was the first year my sister was not with us for all the festivities.  Currently she is traveling Europe and is Spain, which you can read about her crazy life going continent to continent here.  However, I was lucky enough to get back home to my parents home the Friday before Christmas and had the whole week after Christmas off from work.

As many know, we have a family Christmas tradition of going to an early Christmas Mass on Christmas eve, coming home, having a feast, sitting down after a food coma,  opening a few small gifts, and then opening presents Christmas morning.
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Again, it felt a little different than years past so this year we changed it up and after eating and opening some stocking stuffers, which I made my pops snicker doodles and peanut brittle, we headed to a Christmas party with a few friends and family where we got to have a Skype Christmas Eve date with my Sister.  It was nice, but lets just say she had done her fair share of celebrating at the local pubs for the evening.

Christmas morning started with a 6 mile run and these which is usually a staple every Christmas morning

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Then we commenced to have another Skype call with Maria while we all opened presents from the Fat Jolly Man.

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As you can see we were pretty blessed this year.  And most of my gifts were already unwrapped by Chrismtas morning.  My parents got me a remote Car Starter and also a ipod hookup for my car as well.  I can not thank them enough!

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I baked Dad his favorite apple time and also this Hoodie to help become one of the “hip kids”.  Many of you know that My parents own their own Bicycle Shop, and he collects old vintage bikes.  Thus I say this Schwinn Stingray hoodie and figured it would be the perfect first hoodie.

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I also got my my some much needed Paula Deen Kitchen Knives, lotion, some Easley Mulled Wine.  Easley is located right down town Indy and make some of the best wine I have tasted.  I hate wine but I can even handle a glass of their Reggae Red and White wine.   Along with the wine I got both my parents each a Trevis Tumbler Glass.

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And then got them each one of these for the glasses, sine they both use them as coffee mugs as well.  I will say Trevis Tumblers are perhaps some of the nicest glasses I have used.  They keep your beverage Super cold and also hot liquid hot.  They do not sweat or leave water rings on your table, and are dish water safe! Our cabinet is now full of them.  You can have them customized with writing if you would like and they will soon let customers customize the picture that is on you cup.  They come in various sizes 8,10,12, 16, and 24 oz. and have aton of accessories to go with them including the handles and lids! Perfect gifts for any occasions.

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Along with the Mugs Brittni and I got my parents an IU calendar.  Thanks to Britt looking all over Indianapolis for it.  They were sold out everywhere.  After their wins over number the 1 AND 2 ranked teams in the county I guess they were the hot ticket item this year.  On a side note, all the calendar stores had tons of Purdue Calendars Winking smile  Go Hoosiers.

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The last gift I gave my mom, I feel meant the most.  Many years we can’t remember what we even gave each other, which I guess has to deal with our obsession with materialistic things on Christmas, but this year I wanted to get something that they would remember.  So I had this frame made with my great grandmothers picture, surrounded by one of HER rosaries which my grandmother gave mom mother, aunts, and uncles.  Mom and the rest of the family loved it and I feel it’s a great way to honor such a great woman. Since I made my great grandmothers sugar cookies on a local TV show seen here, I figured I should not frame one of her famous sugar cookies so this was the next best thing!

Needless to say it was a great Christmas and loved all the family time and amazing food, as well as the time off work.  Even though we did not have snow ON Christmas, the day after Christmas we did get to wake up to this

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Hope you all were lucky enough to have as good as Christmas I we did!

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Uncategorized