Jul
18

Please excuse my mini absence from blogging! I’ve really wanted to bring you a recipe, but I’ve been quite busy demolishing chickpea blondies, working, and hitting the yoga studio. Every day I look at the clock and it seems to always be 11PM… I have absolutely no idea where the time goes. I do know that the weather in Minnesota has been OUTSTANDING lately, so instead of editing photos and cooking all the time I’ve been trying enjoying the sunshine (we only get 5 months of it).

And these cookies? Well I’ve been enjoying them, too.

Due to my recent yoga challenge, I’ve been trying to eat better but obviously my sweet tooth is ridiculous. I will admit that I’ve gone through a couple of batches of my black bean brownies, but I kind of wanted something a little different.

Cookies are always a great solution.

Read more.


Mar
05

Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!

Oh hey. I noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve given you a cookie recipe. Please forgive me as I made you these ridiculously good-looking, chewy, thick, fat peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Without flour or butter!

Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!

Wait… WHAT? I swear this isn’t a joke.

Thick, chewy peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made without butter or flour. Delicious!

First I need to confess that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter. In fact, I think if I was allergic I’d probably still eat it. I’m definitely one of those people who feels like it completes me in some way. Some of you may feel this way about Nutella and I totally get it; nut butters are creamy, addictive and awesome spread on just about anything. I usually do it animal-style aka straight out of the jar with a spoon.

Hmmmm I think I’m displaying signs of an addict. Are there any nut butter support groups out there?

Read more.


Dec
18

I’m turning the big 24 this Saturday. Do you think it’s normal to celebrate by eating cookies for the ENTIRE WEEK? 

Of course… because you know the world is supposed to end Friday or whatever. So I’m suggesting we all eat cookies this week (good excuse, right?).

But seriously, these cookies are essentially a mini, delicious birthday present to myself.

It occurred to me that this really couldn’t be just ANY cookie though; it had to be incredible. Kinda like those Nutella-stuffed cookies. Wait, what about the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies?  Or those sensational Brown Butter Snickerdoodles? Clearly if a man wants to know the way to my heart, it’s through cookies made with brown butter.

What? Baking your way to love is TOTALLY a thing you know.

Okay, enough about brown butter and man bait and such. Let’s talk cookies because that’s why you are really here. 

Read more.


Dec
10

When I fall in love, I’m head over heels. I’m the type of person who can’t get enough of a good thing.

And today I’m introducing you to the recent love of my life: brown butter.

I think it will be particularly helpful, as many of my cookie recipes use brown butter.

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is a crazy good thing. No really crazy freaking good. Basically unsalted butter is melted in a saucepan which separates the butter and milk. The milk from the butter sinks to the bottom of the pan, which essentially browns and turns a caramel color. The french call is beurre noisette, which translates to hazelnut butter. I believe it’s called this because once the butter is brown, it gives off a nutty aroma. I love it from the bottom of my heart… obviously.

What do you need?

Unsalted butter, a medium saucepan, and a whisk.

Read more.


Oct
26

 

 

 

Oh yessssssss. Yes I did.

I made you more cookies made with nutella. Because isn’t it obvious I love that chocolate hazelnut spread in, on, and stuffed in just about everything?

It’s evident that I really love baking you things to make your weekends happy, inspiring, and fun. Heaven knows that trashing the kitchen up on a Saturday afternoon is sort of a necessity at Ambitious Kitchen headquarters (aka my house). But before we discuss all the fudgy love packed into these cookies, I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorite things lately.

Ready?

1. I’m in love with colored pants aka fancy pants. I recently bought really cute wine colored jeans; they were cheap and fit perfectly! Now I’m on the search for a cranberry or wine colored coat, but can’t seem to find any I really like, so I guess painting my nails and wearing wine colored lipstick is doable in the meantime.

2. I was watching the Food Network (what else?) and Giada came on. She was making some gorgeous delicious Italian dish which made me realize that I can’t even remember the last time I had pasta. And then OMG I thought about how much I love melty lasagna and stuffed mushroom ravioli. Oh… and all that bread and cheese! Obviously that needed to fixed so I made this simple fast rotini dish with butternut sage sauce. I may or may not have ascended to heaven afterwards. Seriously, it was THAT good.

3. I went to this restaurant in Minneapolis, and I cannot tell you how impressed I was. It’s my new favorite; so if you ever venture up to the Tundra that is definitely where you should go. Order the scallops… or the meatballs!  To die for.

4. I’ve realized how important it is to never give up.  On life. On happiness. On love. Or… on eating Halloween Oreos. What? It’s just not possible. Especially when they’re covered in chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. Best halloween treat ever?

5. WAIT and here’s some SUPER EXCITING NEWS: I’m going to meet Bobby Flay in New York City! Yes, it’s true and I’ll have more details to share with you soon!!! I’ve been walking around with this ridiculous grin on my face for the past week. I need a good slap in the face. Maybe even with these cookies? Or just shove them in my mouth.

 

Read more.


Oct
12

Oh hey there. It’s finally Friday and I couldn’t be happier!

Why? Um, because it’s the weekend which means I can cook the five butternut squashes sitting on my counter, drink wine, definitely bake a cake or something, YouTube Joe Biden’s laugh during the debates, catch up on Dexter, go to the apple orchard and make pie, get a pedicure, run until my legs fall off because my best friend just told me we’re running a race in TWO WEEKS, eat a kale salad because I’m trying to be healthy, and do the obvious stalking of Trader Joe’s for a good two hours. No biggie.

One more thing that needs to be added to my giant to-do list? ABSOLUTELY making more of these cookies. Seriously, snickerdoodles… with brown butter! We need to have a conversation about these babies.

These are extraordinary snickerdoodles. And when I mean extraordinary, I mean that they taste like no other snickerdoodle in the world.

IN THE FREAKING WORLD.

Update: Here’s a fun video I made with Gold Medal Flour on how to make these Brown Butter Snickerdoodles!

Okay… I apologize for that writing in caps, I just drank a shot of espresso and watched the political debates so I’m a little hyped up and I don’t even follow politics. I usually just make cookies for political watching parties and pretend like I know what’s going on. But I don’t know was it just me, or was that debate seriously entertaining?

Read more.


Sep
06

Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

I know that the title of this recipe is a little absurd and dramatic, but I couldn’t think of any other way to present this cookie to you.

Quite frankly, this is a chocolate chip cookie that will change your life.

Updated: Here’s a fun video I made with Gold Medal Flour. This video doesn’t include the stuffing of the nutella, but it’s still fun to watch how they’re made.

 

These cookies came about when my friend asked me to bake something that he could bring to an event he was going to. Of course, anytime someone asks me to make a dessert I usually end up baking my famous brown butter + sea salt chocolate chip cookies (because they are absolutely phenomenal); however, I wanted to do something a little different with the cookies that would be surprisingly unexpected and delicious.

So off to the grocery store I went, where I proceeded to pace the baking aisle for a good hour. I kept putting things in my basket and taking them out. No real surprise there, the grocery store is my sick obsession. I think I want to live there.

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies from ambitiouskitchen.com

Then I realized that there is one delicious little nut butter that isn’t featured in any of my recipes: NUTELLA! I put a jar in my basket and ran to the check out lane absolutely giddy about what was going to take place. I mean, was I really going to stuff Nutella in the middle of a cookie?! I couldn’t wait! I’m not kidding… I really couldn’t wait; I ate some Nutella on the way home from the store. After all, taste testing is really important.

Once I got home, I popped the jar of Nutella in the fridge so that it would be easy to scoop out and place in the middle of the cookies. Next I begin to brown some butter. I should note that browning butter is a crucial part to the flavor of these cookies; it brings out a nutty, caramel flavor. The French even call call brown butter beurre noisette, which translates to hazelnut butter. How perfect is that since these cookies are stuffed with a chocolate hazelnut butter!?

If you aren’t familiar with how to brown butter, I’ve created a step-by-step tutorial for you.

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies from ambitiouskitchen.com

After letting the brown butter cool, I mixed my cookie dough and let it chill for two hours in the refrigerator –another VERY important step when it comes to making cookies!

Now you are probably wondering why you have to wait so long when all you want to do is devour a cookie. I’ll explain: putting warm, gooey dough in the oven will result in a thin and crispy, spread out cookie. Also the longer the dough spends in the refrigerator, the longer it has to relax and absorb the flavors of the butter, which in turn will result in a better tasting, chewier cookie.

Read more.


Aug
17

I have to tell you something.

It’s kinda weird.

Here it goes…

I keep having dreams about cheeseburgers! Seriously… juicy burgers hot off the grill are haunting me every single night.

I’ve had these dreams consistently over the past two weeks. The strangest part is that I haven’t had beef in over two years, so I don’t know what’s going on in my subconscious. It’s translating over to real life too! For example, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself staring at a piece of steak on the grill like a freaking lion about to attack its prey; I almost had to wipe my drool.

I decided it was best if I tried to clear my mind of burgers and all things beef. Dessert always helps.

Sometimes a classic chocolate chip cookie brings an unexplained comfort to the soul. The aroma of butter browning in your kitchen; blending the smooth texture of the peanut butter with eggs, sugar and vanilla; the mess of flour and the delicious flavor of sweet cookie dough in your mouth. Of course, I love baking cookies. And of course I can’t think of anything else when they come out of the oven. Not even how much I’d bake cookies for somebody special if they were here with me. Well, maybe I thought about that a little, but baking cookies always gives me a little romantic feeling.

When it comes to cookies, simple is good. Oh yes, simple is perfect sometimes. But! when you want something unforgettable, then you NEED extraordinary. That’s why we add peanut butter and sea salt.

Mmmm salty sweet peanut butter and chocolate in a warm little cookie; it’s an undeniable magic. I can’t explain how much I love them! They’re crisp on the outside but chewy in the middle. Eating them straight out of the oven is an outrageous experience you must try.

It’s really like this: they’re the type of cookie you want to bring to a party, the perfect cookie to bake for your boyfriend (and his parents), and most definitely the best solution for getting rid of cheeseburger dreams.

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Creamy peanut butter, chocolate chips, and sea salt combine to make one delicious, unforgettable cookie.
Ingredients
  • 11/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the softened butter and peanut butter together until thoroughly blended. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Next beat in the egg, honey, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes-1 hour, or place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Once ready to bake, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes (depends on size of your cookie) or until cookies begin to turn a tiny golden brown and crisp up around the edges. Do not overbake! Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes and sprinkle cookies generously with sea salt. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely or just inhale them like I do. Repeat with remaining dough.
Notes
-Cookies may appear underdone in the middle, but they will become more firm as they cool. It's important to allow them to cool a few minutes before removing them from cookie sheet.
-You may require less or more baking time depending on the size of your cookie.
-If you are using all-natural peanut butter, try adding in another 1/2 tablespoon of flour, as cookies tend to spread too thin when baking with all-natural peanut butter.


Jul
13

I’ve always loved being around kids.  First of all, they’re hilarious. The questions they ask, the stories they come up with — they make me laugh and I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of their sweet personalities and those chubby cheeks.

During college I had a job as a nanny. In between my classes on sometimes on the weekends, I spent my time reading stories, playing hide and seek, going to the park, and of course… baking with kids.

It’s still one of my favorite things to do.

Meet the two adorable twins: Milly and Remy.

I can’t believe how old they are getting… they just turned 5!

Since I’m not a nanny anymore I don’t get to see them as much as I like, BUT when I do get to spend time with my two favorites I try to make it as special as possible.

Everytime we’re together we do two things: bake treats and have a ‘popcorn party’. The popcorn party is usually just a trick I use to get them to clean up their toys fast, get in PJs, and settle down for a movie and a bowl of popcorn. I tell them that we can never be late for the popcorn party and it works everytime!

Last week I attended a book signing for fellow food blogger Shaina Olmanson’s new cookbook Desserts in Jars and was sent home with  a jar full of monster cookie mix. Of course since it was Milly and Remy’s birthday, I knew we’d be baking them right away!

I wanted to share with you how much fun we had making these cookies. Remy even decided to rename them ‘dinosaur cookies’.

The cookies turned out perfect!

I’d say they’re definitely kid-approved.

Want your own Desserts in Jars cookbook? I’m giving a book away to one lucky reader!

From cakes and cookies to puddings and pies, this cookbook is full of inventive dessert ideas, all presented in gorgeous jars. Even if you aren’t entertaining, you can certainly use the recipes to impress your family or friends, as there are recipes for gift giving (I’m SO doing this for Christmas this year).

So how do you enter to win? Head on over and like my Facebook page, then leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite cookie is! I’ll randomly pick a winner next Friday and announce their name on my Facebook page.

BUT seriously even if you don’t have kids to bake with, these cookies are MAJORLY good. Feel free to switch up the candies and nuts; next time I’m using Reese’s Pieces!

Want to know the best part about these delicious cookies? They are flour free (you use oatmeal) and only called for two tablespoons of butter! I’m pretty certain you could get away without using the butter though. Let me know if you give it a try.

Have a great weekend!

Monster Cookies from Desserts in Jars

Makes 1 jar of cookie mix, to yield 24 large cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup candy-coated chocolate candies or chocolate chips

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Note: If you are making the cookies, see the additional ingredients below.

Directions

1. Mix together the granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Pour into a 1-quart Mason Jar.

2. Top with a layer of half of the oats. Add the candies in a layer, and top with a layer of brown sugar. Top with a layer of the remaining oats and then a layer of walnuts. Seal with the lid, decorate the jar if you like, and attach a label with these instructions:

To make monster cookies

3/4 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (not natural)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla. and eggs in a bowl. Add the contents of this jar. Form the dough into 2-inch balls and set on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops of the cookies begin to brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.


Feb
21

I have been wanting to bake chocolate chip cookies that taste like pure luxury, and while I’ve tested many, I have never quite perfected my own recipe… until now!

I knew I wanted to create a cookie that would make anyone want to savor that exact moment when they first bit into it. They had to be a little unique too! I don’t know about you but my perfect chocolate chip cookie is a little crisp on the outside but still chewy and moist in the middle. It’s not overly chocolatey, and certainly not too sweet.

Through trial and error, spoonfuls of cookie dough, and scribbled recipes, I’ve finally created a cookie that I’m proud to share with you. These brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies are now my go-to cookie.

In fact, I’m actually considering them to be one of life’s essentials. You should too.

Read more.

 
 
Simple Share Buttons