Cookie Palooza: Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to day 4 of Cookie Palooza. Today’s cookie is basically a kitchen sink cookie. Don’t worry, there are no food scraps in this cookie, but, there are a bunch of add-ins, hence the kitchen sink analogy. There are pecans, dried cranberries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, oatmeal and coconut. And while I know many people are not a fan of coconut (it seems people either love it or hate it) don’t fear, this cookie does not have a coconut flavor. The coconut adds texture to the cookie. And I am sure I may have lost some of you already as I know people are not always fond of a cookie with texture, especially a cookie like this that already has so much going on, but, trust me, all of the ingredients work so well together you will forget that there may be an ingredient or two you don’t like. Unless you have an allergy to one of them of course.

I got this recipe from Food Network’s 50 Chocolate Chip Cookies, and while there were quite a few among those 50 that sounded yummy I opted to make this one because it reminded me of another cookie I like to make around the holidays, a White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookie, that I just realized I have never posted about. I’ll have to do that this holiday season as I am sure I will be making it again. Something I did realize though going through some old posts, I need to stop taking pictures at night. Unfortunately I do a lot of baking at night, but, I will have to refrain from taking picture then because they just do not post well.

The recipe called for 1/4 cupfuls of dough (about an ice cream scoop size) to make about 10 cookies, I opted to use a cookie scoop to make mine. Which yielded about 30 cookies. A nice amount to gift or to have on hand for a holiday guests.

 

 

Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2/3 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup chopped pecans

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until set around the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This week for Slow Cooker Sunday I am bringing you something different… Dessert. Most people don’t think of making dessert in their slow cooker. I know I usually don’t. I tried making brownies once and it was a complete mess. Thankfully I had lined the insert of my slow cooker with aluminum foil so the clean-up wasn’t that bad. Thankfully this week’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding wasn’t a total mess and gave me hope that dessert is possible in a slow cooker. With Thanksgiving coming up this week this may be a good alternative to the customary pumpkin pie or a good addition to your dessert table.

First though let me introduce you to the newest addition to my kitchen… A smaller slow cooker. The slow cooker I normally use is  5 1/2 – quart and while it is a great size, I have a wonderful slow cooker cookbook with amazing recipes that call for a smaller one. Hence this 4 – quart one.

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Now back to the recipe… To begin I cubed a small French baguette and set it aside.

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Then in a large mixing bowl I combined eggs, granulated and brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger and beat them until smooth.

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To that mixture I added pumpkin, milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract and beat it until it was well blended.

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Before adding anything to the slow cooker I generously greased it with butter.

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Once I had done that, I placed half of the bread in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzled it with 2 tablespoons of melted better. Next I poured half of the pumpkin mixture over it and topped it with 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. I repeated the layers…

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Then covered the slow cooker and set it to cook on high for 2 hours.

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After some careful inverting I transferred the bread pudding to a platter. Now, you could just serve it from the slow cooker – especially if you are serving it to a large crowd – but, if you choose to transfer it don’t make the same mistake I did. Let it cool for a few minutes before trying to flip it. I did it a little too soon after it was done and part of it fell apart. I will say that this definitely doesn’t look like your traditional bread pudding; it sort of reminded me of Monkey Pull Apart Bread. Regardless it was tasty although it didn’t have a strong pumpkin flavor. So it would be ideal for those who like pumpkin but don’t love it!

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup milk

1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing slow cooker

1 small French baguette, cubed

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the eggs, sugars, cinnamon and ginger and mix well with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin, milks and vanilla and continue beating until blended.

Generously butter the slow cooker insert and cover the bottom with half of the cubed bread and drizzle with melted butter. Pour half of the pumpkin mixture over it and top with half of the pecans. Repeat the layers.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours until set and puffed. Best served warm.

From the book The $7 a Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook

 

Peach Streusel Cake

I tend to rip recipes out of magazines and file them away for quite some time before actually trying them. I recently made a turkey meatloaf following a recipe from a 2008 issue of a magazine. I wish I had made it sooner… It was quite good. So, when I was looking to make a cake to give as an anniversary treat for a friends’ parents I turned to a Peach Streusel Cake recipe that I had ripped out from a 2011 issue of Food & Wine magazine.

I started the cake by making the streusel. I combined flour, light brown sugar, salt, butter and pecans in a bowl…

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And mixed it together with my fingers to form small clumps with the mixture and then set it aside.

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Next up I whisked together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set this aside as well.

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In a separate bowl I began making the batter for the cake by beating together butter and sugar.

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I then added in two eggs one at a time.

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And then sour cream and vanilla extract.

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Once all of the wet ingredients were combined well I added in the dry ingredients.

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Once the wet and dry ingredients were mixed together it was time to pour it into my prepared pan.

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I started by spreading two-thirds of the batter into the pan.

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I then folded in chopped frozen peaches into the remaining batter. I had to go to about 4 different places to find frozen peaches. Each supermarket I went to had strawberries, blueberries and other frozen berries but no peaches. I ended up finding them at my local Target. It’s always the last place you check that has what you want.

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I then spread this batter on top of the non-peach batter already in the pan.

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And finally I spread the streusel topping on top.

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I baked the cake in a preheated 325F oven for 90 minutes, covering the cake with foil for the last 15 minutes so the streusel topping wouldn’t brown too much. It looked amazing when I took it out of the oven.

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I let it cool for a bit before placing it inside of a tin.

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And although it was meant for someone else, I did end up trying a piece and overall it was quite good, but, I think next time I’ll use fresh peaches instead.

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Peach Streusel Cake

Ingredients

Streusel

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Batter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

One 10-ounce bag frozen peaches, coarsely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325F and butter flour a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Make the Streusel: In a bowl using your fingers, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the butter and mix until smooth. Add the pecans; press the mixture into clumps.

3. Make the Batter: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time; beat in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed until incorporated.

4. Spread two-thirds of the batter in the pan. Fold the peaches into the remaining batter and spoon into the pan. Scatter the streusel crumbs on top. Bake the cake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; loosely cover the cake foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Transfer to a rack and cool for 30 minutes them remove the ring and let the cake cool completely before serving.