Sunday, February 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Chip Cookies
So after making my trio of Haystacks last week, my chocolate chips were severely depleted. The only sweet things I had left in my pantry were some peanut butter flavoured chips, butterscotch chips and a few Skor™ bits. I rarely make any “chip” cookies other than chocolate but what’s a Mom to do when her 3 year old wants to make cookies?? I threw it all together and hoped for the best. The results are quite good though the butterscotch chips are very sweet so if you prefer your cookies less so then cut down on the amount or throw in another flavour of chips.

I have also included a “recipe card” that you should be able to print off on paper or as a 4x6 photo. Let me know if it works!


• 2/3 cup melted butter
• 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup peanut butter chips
• 1 cup butterscotch chips
• ½ cup Skor™ bits


1. Heat oven to 350°F .

2. In large bowl, beat melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth about 3-4 minutes.

3. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture until combined.

4. Stir in all chips and bits.

5. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes; remove to wire rack.

Makes about 5 dozen small cookies. Store in airtight container. Should last about a week…if you can keep your hand out of the cookies jar!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

No Bake Haystacks - A Trio of Goodness

No Bake Haystacks - A Trio of Goodness
I hadn’t heard of haystacks until I moved to the West coast. I first had them at a potluck and after trying them I immediately asked for the recipe. They are delicious and fantastic especially on the days that when you want a treat but don’t want to turn on the oven. Really, all you have to do is melt some chocolate and stir! Super easy and kid friendly!
From Haystacks

The kids and I spent the afternoon inventing (well, new to us) versions based on our original chocolate recipe.

The first version is the original recipe of peanut butter goodness but with added marshmallows. The 2nd is my son’s Chocolate “Chip” Haystack – hickory sticks (match stick potato chips), milk chocolate and butterscotch chips. The 3rd is my daughter’s “Snow” Stacks of pretzels, white chocolate and cranberries. The kids have many, many other ideas that we will save another day in the kitchen.

I highly recommend trying these or creating your own – in fact, I would love to know what you come up with! All recipes below make about 20 haystacks per recipe. These can be easily doubled if desired.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Haystacks
From Haystacks

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
2 cups chow mein noodles
1 cup mini-marshmallows

Melt chocolate chips in large sauce pan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in chow mein noodles. Add and stir in marshmallows. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.

Refrigerate until set. Once set, you can place them in a large Ziploc and freeze (yes, they do taste great right out of freezer!). Makes 20 stacks.

Chocolate “Chip” Haystacks
From Haystacks

Ok, there is no way I can even attempt to say these are in any way healthy or diet friendly but dang they are good! The sweetness of the chocolate and the saltiness of the chips make for a march made in heaven! My 3 year old also threw in some butterscotch flavoured chips for added flavour!

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch flavoured chips
3 cups hickory sticks or other match stick potato chip

Melt chips in large sauce pan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sticks. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.

Refrigerate until set. Once set, you can place them in a large Ziploc and freeze… if they last that long. Makes 20 stacks.

Snow Stacks
From Haystacks

My daughter does not like chow mein noodles and will not eat a potato of any kind (including the chip variety) so she chose pretzels as the base for her version. So really, between the low fat pretzels and cranberries she’s created a rather guilt free treat (yes the chocolate remains but I’m willing to forget those fat calories if you are!)

2 cups white chocolate chips
¾ cup craisins
2 cups thin pretzel sticks

I find white chocolate burns more easily than regular chocolate chips so I recommend using the microwave or double boiler method.

Using a microwave-safe container, place white chocolate chips in microwave at medium power (50 percent) for 1 minutes. Remove and stir. If chocolate is not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating step, stirring every 10 seconds to avoid burning When small lumps remain, remove and continue to stir to complete melting. If needed, transfer melted chocolate to bigger bowl to accommodate pretzels.

Stir in pretzels. If pretzels seem too long break them up as you stir. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.

Refrigerate until set. Freeze if desired. Makes 20 stacks.
From Haystacks

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The BEST Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER

From chocolate chip cookies
From chocolate chip cookies

The BEST Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER
Adapted from In the Sweet Kitchen, by Regan Daley

I am not lying to you when I say these are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever have the pleasure of tasting. EVER. The addition of coffee intensifies the chocolate. The other secret to this recipe is to use a small ice cream or dough scoop - I think the one I use is about an inch to an inch and half wide. This smaller sized cookie is enough to meet any chocolate lovers craving but if you do have to reach for another (and you will) you will not feel too guilty about it.

1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. tightly-packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 c. plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. instant coffee
16 oz. good quality milk chocolate chips (I use two full bags of chips)

What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  2. In large bowl, cream sugars and butter until light and fluffy - about 3-4 minutes if using stand mixer.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time.
  4. In small bowl, dissolve coffee into vanilla.
  5. Add vanilla into egg and butter mix and beat. Scrape down sides.
  6. In another bowl whisk the flour, salt, baking soda until combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
  8. Add the chips.
  9. Using hands (make size of walnut) or preferably small ice cream scoop place cookies on sheets.
  10. Bake approximately 12 minutes. They should be golden and not too firm.
  11. Cool 5 minuts and remove to racks to continue cooling.
  12. Enjoy!

From chocolate chip cookies

From chocolate chip cookies

Lemon Basil Pesto with Dungeness Crab

From pesto
Dinner on Saturday was going to be lemon pesto pasta and crab cakes... but who knew canned crab could go bad? Apparently about 4-5 years in my pantry was too much! Luckily we had bought a tiny bit of fresh crab as well. The small (but expensive - $9 for 100 grams!)amount was just enough to add to give a great deal of flavour and added colour to our pasta dish! If you don't have pine nuts, walnuts will also work well!

Pesto Sauce
4 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of one lemon
juice of four large lemons
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup or more grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Pasta for four

Crab Mixture
12 oz fresh or canned crab
1 small onion
1/2 red pepper

What to do

Wash and lightly dry basil (salad spinner works well).
Place basil in food processor.
Add zest and lemon juice.
Add garlic if using.
Pulse or mix or med low.
Slowly add oil.
Add cheese and pine nuts.
Pulse or mix until desired consistency is reached.
Salt and pepper to taste.
The pesto can be made in advanced if desired. When ready to use, heat sauce in medium sauce pan.

Cook pasta as directed.

Crab Mixture
Heat saute pan on medium heat.
Add 1 - 2 tbsp oil.
Saute onion and pepper until translucent - about 4 minutes.
Add crab and heat about a minute or two until heated through.

To plate
Place serving of pasta on plate, top with pesto, and crab mixture. Add additonal cheese and pine nuts if desired.
From pesto
Please note:
Using a food processor produces a very fresh tasting and course pesto. It definitely brings the basil to the forefront of the flavours.

If you prefer a smoother, more mellow pesto use a blender instead.

Also, if you want to cut the oil replace some it with water, more lemon juice or even vegetable or chicken stock!