Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Chip Peanutty Goodness

So if you read my last few posts, you might be confused as to why a picture of a fresh-from-the-oven cookie is now before your eyes.

While I'm trying (and pretty much failing) to cut back on the sweets, that doesn't mean I can't share some of the goodies I've been baking, right?

Look at it. Isn't it beautiful?

I mean, who am I to deprive you of valuable information about a very delicious chocolate chip peanut cookie?

Not me. Never.

Ok, onto the good stuff.

So while I have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, I'm not above trying other variations from time to time.

This recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma Desserts which can't be bad given the title of the cookbook.

All I know is that every time I make these cookies, they are gobbled up quickly.

Though you may not need an official occasion to bake these, you could definitely brighten a special someone's day tomorrow with a plateful of these treats...your Valentine's, or just yours. Enjoy!

Peanut and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Desserts)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped, lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, and using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and peanuts.

Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake until just beginning to brown around the edges, 25 minutes. (Important note: I baked mine between 13-15 minutes, which was plenty of time.) Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. (If they last that long!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Surprisingly Fresh Lunch

Going on vacation always gives me renewed energy to try making new dishes. I was happy to discover last week -- tostadas. They are kind of like little Mexican pizzas. All I did was bake a few corn tortillas and then top them with refried beans, cheese, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, and tomato. (I did not use any chicken as the recipe calls for below and it was still delicious.) Paired with some homemade chicken tortilla soup, these tostadas made for a refreshing and simple lunch. Enjoy!

(Adapted from Whole Foods and

8 whole corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
Chili powder

1 cup refried beans
12 ounces shredded rotisserie chicken meat
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced into wedges
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (or any kind of cheddar jack or Mexican blend shredded cheese)
1 cup thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1 cup chunky salsa or diced tomatoes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush both sides of the corn tortillas with vegetable oil and sprinkle one side with salt and chili pepper to taste. Place in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes, turning them over once, and then bake them for another 5 minutes until they are crispy.

Heat the beans and chicken in the microwave.

Once the corn tortillas are done baking, spread a thin layer of beans on each, and top with some shredded cheese. Return to the oven for about 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Top each tortilla with chicken, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, and salsa (or tomatoes).