Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ever Ready Revisiting and Updating Recipes

M & M Monster Cookie Bars
Cook's Notes:Monster cookies baked into bar cookies - peanut butter dough loaded with oats, chocolate chips and M & M's. Need I say more-absolutely delicious!!! Recipe adapted from and previously posted at 
This go around I added holiday M & M's and updated the ingredients-the recipe is as follows

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp.vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M & M's + additional for top of bars
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 glass baking dish and line with parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the oats, chocolate chips and M & M's by hand.
  • Turn the dough out into the prepared baking sheet and press/spread into an even layer (use a floured sheet of wax paper for this step). 
  • Press additional M & M's onto the top of the dough. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until the edges are set and lightly browned and the top still looks slightly under cooked. Remove from the oven.
  • Cool in pan 30 minutes. Lift bars still on parchment paper to a wire rack for cooling. 
Puff Pastry Hearts
Cook's Notes: The recipe for Puff Pastry Hearts is so simple with lots of possibilities. Who would have ever guessed one heart shaped cookie cutter could create these savory snacks. They make a wonderful garnish for soups and stews with a few modifications. I added sesame seeds, finely grated Parmesan cheese and herbs. The size of these snacks depends on size of cookie cutter used. Original recipe link below
Updated: I experimented with a variety of cookie cutter shapes to create these savory treats. I made hearts, shamrocks and in case you're not from Minnesota I used a state shape for some of the pastry shapes. 
One of my to go spices which worked well for this pastry recipe. 
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed (but still cold to the touch) 
  • sesame seeds
  • egg wash
  • finely grated Parmesan cheese, Gruyere cheese or sharp white cheddar 
  • optional mixed herbs (e.g. dried parsley, basil, herbes de Provence) 
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter or small knife, cut out 6-7 hearts from the pastry. Place on parchment paper.
  • Whisk one egg with 1/4 tsp. water.
  • Brush each pastry shape with the beaten egg wash , sprinkle with sesame seeds, generous amount of Parmesan cheese or a sharp white  cheese and sprinkle with herbs if using.
  • Place cookie sheet in freezer and freeze pastry until firm, about 5 minutes.
  • Bake until puffed and golden about 9-10 minutes. Serve warm.
Put it all together and you have one very fine meal. 
Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Chili Soup (previously posed) 


  1. I just love your enthusiasm for all things food and appreciate the many recipes you share here. If only I was trying to no longer eat sweets.

  2. well maybe one little splurge on Valentine's Day


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