Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Cookie Conundrum!

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your weekend has been fabulous like mine has. I got up fairly early this morning, considering that I didn't get to bed until almost 2am, and decided that I wanted to bake up some cookies. I got up, made my oatmeal for breakfast, and enjoyed every bite of it. After breakfast I got everything ready to start baking and then Davey came home from Ryan's house. I made him something to eat and started snapping some pictures. He then asked if I wanted to go with him to run an errand. Since he rarely asks me to go with him, I figured I would take him up on the offer and decided to head off on a road trip with the hubs. By this time it was lunch time and I told him that I was hungry and wanted to make myself a quick "on the go" lunch to take with me. I quickly made a sandwich, grabbed some veggies, and packaged up some hummus. Then filled up my tea cup and off we went to the Pala Raceway!
Here is my lunch for the drive. A chicken sandwich on a high fiber bread, raw broccoli and cauliflower, and some super delicious cilantro & jalapeno hummus! This stuff seriously is the best stuff ever!
I would pay the $50/year membership fee at Costco JUST to buy this stuff! It's THAT good. It's so good that if I have any left over after eating my veggies, I will eat the rest with my finger (like we used to do as kids with those cheese and cracker package things....hehehe).
Total yumminess!!!!

Once we got back to the house, I immediately started baking my cookies. I decided to try something super fabulously awesome.......S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. I found this recipe on Picky Palate. I had found some exciting new marshmallows at Walmart the other day and decided, that since it was pumpkin baking time, that I was going to use them in these cookies. 
I was so stinking excited to see these that I let out a squeal in the middle of Walmart before snagging a bag! As soon as I got to my car I opened the bag to try one! OMG!!!!! That's all I can say. They have the perfect amount of pumpkiny flavor and spice. Mmmmmmm........

So these were going to be the marshmallows in my s'mores. I got everything together and started baking!!!!!

Pumpkin Spice S'more Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

(as adapted from Picky Palate)

2 sticks softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 graham cracker quarters (or 12 full sheets separated at perforations)
3 Hershey Bars, broken into rows of 3 bars
12 large marshmallows cut in half lengthwise (I used one whole pumpkin spice marshmallow in mine)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner (I used my new Silpat!!!)
-In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy

-Add eggs and vanilla; continue to beat until well combined

-Place flour, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl; mix to combine, then slowly add to wet ingredients

-Add in the chocolate chips and mix some more

-Ok, so now here is where it gets complicated.......construct a s'more:
     graham cracker
     graham cracker
-Place one large scoop of cookie dough on baking sheet
-Place s'more on top of that cooke dough and then top with another large scoop of cookie dough
-Press around to cover s'more completely with cookie dough
     *They will be LARGE!!!!

-Place cookie sheet in oven for 15-17 minutes (mine were done in 15 minutes using a Silpat mat)
-Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack

So, you all want to see the finished product, don't you!?!?!?! I know you do, so here it is!

Ta-dah!!! So wonderfully beautiful, aren't they!?!?! So large and delicious looking! 

So how many smarty pants are out there and are thinking to themselves, the picture above showed 6 cookies being placed into the oven, she only shows 3 in the final product.......
Yeah......FAILURE!!!!!!!!! 3 out of the 6 cookies actually made it to the finish line and baked perfectly! The other 3......
Can you see them? Numbers 1, 4, and 6 didn't quite make the cut. No matter which way the cookie crumbles, 3 out of 6 = 1/2, which equals 50% which of course means I get an F for this baking project. Hey, we all can't be wonderful bakers like the lovely lady at Picky Palate, but shoot, I gave it one hell of a shot. They were still yummy, none-the-less, so I guess it wasn't a TOTAL failure.

I gave up after that batch and decided to try something different. I was still wanting to use my pumpkin spice marshmallows and decided to make regular chocolate chip cookies and press a marshmallow onto the top. Here is what I got:

Not the best looking things, but didn't taste bad. They had just a hint of pumpkin spice flavor. Not enough, though, to make a second batch, so I ended up just finishing off the batter with plain old simple chocolate chip cookies. Now, I have had issues with cookies in the past with them being flat and crunchy. Davey likes soft, chewy cookies, and wouldn't eat my "cow patties" when ever I would make cookies. I was really hoping things would be different this time around.....and boy was it!!!!

These are the most beautiful and perfect chocolate chip cookies I have ever baked in my life! I couldn't be any happier!!!!!!!! I give thanks to Pillsbury flour and my Silpat mat! If you never have used one or don't own one, do yourself a favor and go buy one! They are the best things ever! Go on the link above and order one, or head to your nearest Williams-Sonoma and get yourself the most awesome baking mat ever created! I will wait for you to get back! :)

Ok, so you got one, right? I hope so! If not, well, you're just missing out. I had no idea what I was missin' til I got one. 

Anyway, after baking I knew I had to start prepping tomorrow night's dinner. You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out what it is. I am just hoping it doesn't disappoint. While getting it all made up (one's a crock pot recipe) I looked down and saw my adorable little doggies!!!! <3
 <3 Scrappy <3
 Scrappy again! He's telling you to go get a Silpat!!! 

 <3 Zoey <3

<3 Billy <3

They were just too darn cute to NOT photograph!!!!

After all the dishes were cleaned up and the kitchen was tidy once more, I headed to the workout room and jumped on the treadmill for a run. After my run, and once I had cooled off/dried off, I had a very yummy dinner consisting of half of a ruby red grapefruit and a bowl of Cheerios with skim milk. Yummmmm!!!! 

So, with today being October 2nd, this means two things:
1) Day 10 of the photo challenge 
2) I have less than a week now until my triathlon!!!!!
I have my bags packed and ready for the race! I am so excited to be competing in my 4th tri!!!! <3

It's almost time for bed. Gotta get up bright and early for a workout and then head off to the grind at work, but before I go, I cannot forget about the photo challenge!!!!

Day 11: Something Fun

The desert! I love fall season for the desert! We always have so much fun with friends hanging around a fire at night or riding in the truck or our dirt bikes/quads during the day! Halloween weekend marks the first trip of the season and I cannot wait!!!! :D

Well, off to bed I go! Have a wonderful night and sweet dreams all!!!
<3 mucho!

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