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Soft and Thick Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies

Published January 30, 2014 by jenmatteson

I’m 100% positive I found my very favorite peanut butter cookie recipe!  I often find they get too crisp, or flatten out to chewy crackers or potato chips.  This is the second time I’ve used this peanut butter cookie recipe, and it was no fluke that I loved them the first time.  I honestly think the second time was better.  That could also be because it’s January, and we’re all watching what we eat now, right? 😉

Soft and Thick Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies

Let me go back to the first time I used this recipe.  It was for our drink tasting party, and I had a hankering for peanut butter blossoms.  I honestly thought my grandma made the best, but I was wrong.  I made half the batch with peanut butter cups – I didn’t have kisses and wanted to use up what I already had in my baking cabinet.  The other half I got kind of creative with.  I have almost a case of Nestle Crunch bars (thanks, Dad!), so I figured I’d try chopping a few up and putting them in.  Yeah, it was the bomb.

Soft and Thick Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies

I made a double batch for my husband and his boys, who left me for the weekend to go on his annual ice fishing trip.  Too bad for him it’s -20 degrees, probably colder where he is going.  But maybe the cookies will help keep him warm, or the booze.  You decide.  Anyway, these cookies stay nice and thick, but remain soft and chewy – and not just for the day you baked them.  They stay soft for days, which is awesome!

Soft and Thick Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies
Soft and Thick Peanut Butter Cookies

Source: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Servings: Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar at medium speed.  One at a time, mix in peanut butter, egg, then vanilla, scraping down sides as needed.  Slowly mix in baking soda and flour until just combined, careful not to over-mix.  **This is where I added two chopped up Crunch bars.  Use your own add-ins (chocolate or white chocolate chips, raisins, M&Ms, Kisses, caramel, or anything else you like) or just keep them deliciously plain.  Wrap dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare baking sheet with foil, parchment paper or cooking spray.  Roll dough into approximately 1-inch balls, about 2 tbsps., and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine took exactly 10 to be perfectly soft, but this will vary based on ovens and size of cookies).  Remove from oven, and if desired, press fork crosswise into each cookie softly.  Let cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Soft White Sandwich Bread

Published March 5, 2013 by jenmatteson

I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I want to dominate bread, so I’m just going to keep making it until I feel like it’s great.  I suppose technically, I should keep making the same bread over and over again, but that would be boring.  Everyone needs variety!  Although, after making this bread, I think I could easily whip up a few loaves over the weekend and store them in my new chest freezer!

Soft White Sandwich Bread

Today would have been a wonderful day to stay home from work and cook or bake all day, but alas, I do have a day job, and had to make the trek in.  It’s been snowing since late night on Sunday, with a brief interlude yesterday afternoon.  I’m not sure exactly how much we’ve got so far, but they were saying to expect about 14 inches.  Just when we think we’re on the way out of winter…I’ve once again underestimated the snowiest month of the year, and what a bitch she really can be.

But back to the bread.  I didn’t stay home and bake this today, but I did bake it on Sunday.  We flew through the sourdough bread I made last weekend, so I thought this weekend I’d give white bread a try.  Soft white bread.  Is there anything better than freshly baked soft white bread?  Not to mention the entire house smells like heaven, or at least what I think heaven should smell like.

Soft White Sandwich Bread

This turned out so great!  I had three slices that night!  I’ve yet to make a sandwich with it.  I’ve just been eating it with a little spread of butter or sometimes some good ol’ fashioned Skippy!  I was a little worried at first as the outside felt really hard, so I thought it might be more of a crusty bread.  Once it cooled though, it was nice and soft to the touch and melts away in your mouth.  This was simple and took very little effort since I used my dough hook on my Kitchenaid mixer, so I can easily see myself making this more often.  The original recipe made two loaves, but I only have one loaf pan, so I cut it in half.  After making and eating this, I feel as though I should invest in another loaf pan 😉

Soft White Sandwich Bread

Julia Child’s White Sandwich Bread

Source: Adapted from Dinner with Julie
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened

Directions:

1. Pour 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Stir in yeast and sugar.  Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the rest of the water and 1 3/4 cups flour.  Stir until well blended.  Add the rest of the flour (1 3/4 cups), salt and butter.  Turn mixer on and mix until well blended.  Use a spoon to scrape the flour from the sides if necessary.  I let the mixer run for about 8 minutes.  remove from bowl and knead a few times by hand to be sure the dough is evenly smooth.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return to bowl.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until dough doubles in size.

Dough after rising for 2 hours

Patting out into rectangle

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Punch dough down, remove from bowl, and form into a rectangle, about the size of a sheet of paper.  Fold the dough, lengthwise, in thirds, and place, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan.  Cover and let rise for another hour, until dough puffs up right over the top of the pan.

Rising in loaf pan

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake loaf on middle rack for 30-35 minutes, until the top begins to turn honey brown.  Remove from oven and immediately transfer loaf to wire rack to cool.

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