Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Chocolate Chip Peanut Cookies with Cinnamon

The following recipe is always a hit whenever we make it. The last time we took these to a Superbowl party the plate was devoured before anything else was touched.  The hint of cinnamon mixed with the other flavors gives it a little something extra that I feel really adds to this recipe. This batch was baked for the next door neighbor’s children for surprising my wife with a beautiful snowman on our front lawn. Their 8yr old overheard her say that we have been in our house for ten years and have never had a snowman. A few days later we looked out and we had a snowman fully equipped with a hat, scarf, and stick arms.

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

⅔ cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Put butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add sugars; mix two minutes. Mix in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, peanuts and vanilla with a mixing spoon until well distributed.
  2. Scoop the dough with a soup spoon leaving them somewhat round. Space balls 2-3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (We use a pizza stone with no parchement paper). Bake until just golden, about 13 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. 


Blueberry Coffee Cake


 Everyone who knows me, knows that I am by no means a baker.  As a matter of fact, I’m not so sure anything that I have tried to bake in the past has ever turned out.  So for this recipe I consulted my Technical Support Staff (my wife) who is the dessert maker in the family.  The requests for holidays and potlucks usually go something like this. I bring the side dish or part of the main course and JoAnn brings the dessert.  I also have to say that this is by far the most requested dessert ever to leave our kitchen.  More copies of this recipe have been given out to friends and family than any other recipe that we have made. I gave this recipe to a friend at work who made it for her husband. A few short weeks later he actually requested it for his birthday cake. My wife took this to a potluck at her work for the second time the other day at the request of many co-workers. When the dessert table opened at 11am someone had already cut into the cake and had stolen a piece. This was obviously someone who had it the first time. I’ve also been known to gulp my food down at a potluck to get a crack at this before it’s all gone as well. This recipe was originally found in Womans Day magazine. Upon reading the recipe it was an Al Roker recipe (before he got skinny) so you know it’s good.  I apologize that the picture does not do this cake justice. However since it was for a potluck my wife would not let me cut into it to feature the best part of the cake.  According to the recipe this cake can be left at room temperature for three days. My recommendation however is to grab a piece while it is still warm with a strong cup of black coffee.


Ingredients for the Streusel

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into six chunks

 Ingredients for the cake

3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (buy the good stuff)

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups fresh blueberries (you can use frozen ones if you thaw them and drain them but we use only the fresh)  

 Directions for Streusel– Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut butter into the mixture until it forms a course  mixture. A food processor can also be used for this step. Stir in nuts and set aside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in the center position.  Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Beat butter and sugar in your mixing bowl until light and fluffy (about two to three minutes).  Add the egg, salt, and baking powder and mix for 30 seconds more. Mix in sour cream and vanilla until well blended. Add flour and mix until well mixed and stiff.

Pour 1/2 cake batter into pan and smooth. Sprinkle evenly with blueberries. Top with half the Streusel. Pour the rest of the batter into the pan and top with remaining Streusel.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes depending on your oven. Mine takes 55 minutes to get done (do the toothpick test). Cool on a wire rack before undoing the springform pan.

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