Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies.

It’s been a little while since I posted a cookie recipe here at The Creative Life in Between. 

I tried to focus on watercolor painting for most of July in honor of #WorldWatercolorMonth – being an Ambassador and all.   < curtsy bows 😉 >

But those that know me well know that I almost always have some kind of fresh baked cookies in the house – for “just in case!

In fact…. I’m kinda known  – – in some very small, insignificant circles – –  for my creative culinary cookie craftiness.

This and my fluent grasp of the Ubby Dubby language are the talents I always say I would use if I were in the Miss America Pageant – HA!!!!

Well – I’ve been saving up and have a couple really good recipes to share!  So this week is going to be cookie recipe week.

I made this cookie recipe for a recent party at my house, and they were a huge hit!

This cookie is a wonderful chewy, but crisp on the edges dream of milk chocolate, toffee, oatmeal, and a hint of coffee for good measure!  O….  M….  G….  !!!

Get ready for a new addiction!  This is one I have trouble passing up and is dangerous to keep in my house!  Bake them if you dare!

Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee (cooled)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups Quaker oatmeal (either quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 8-oz. packages milk chocolate toffee bits
  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled sugar ice cream cones (about 5 cones)

Directions:

In large bowl with electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy.  Add egg; beat well.  Beat in coffee and vanilla.  Add salt, baking soda, and flour until combined.  Remove from electric mixer and stir in 3 cups oatmeal with wooden spoon.  Stir in toffee bits and crumbled sugar cones just until well incorporated.  Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight to chill.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll tablespoons full of dough into round balls (golf ball sized) and place on baking stone or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes just until golden brown.  Allow to cool on baking stone for additional 5-10 minutes.  Transfer to cooling wire racks to cool completely.  Freeze well.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*slightly adapted straight from the Quaker Oats recipe!

Salted Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Salted Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

Oh My Stars!

These fudgy, brownie-like, dark chocolate, chewy, but crispy heavenly bites may just have you seeing stars!

I saw a photo of these stop-me-in-my-tracks, make-me-wanna-bake, longing-to-get-in-my-belly cookies on ButterandBrioche, but alas the recipe was in metric measurements.

Thank goodness for Convert-me.com!

I’m not quite sure what the addition of ground coffee scientifically does to these, but I do know coffee somehow enhances the true flavor of coffee.

And the sprinkling of flaked sea salt that is just enough to balance the fudgy, chocolately amazingness…. well – all I can say is – you really want to try these!

Here is how I made them after converting:

Salted Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 22-24 oz high quality dark chocolate (I like Moser Roth 70% Dark Chocolate, which I find at Aldi)
  • 8 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp instant or fresh ground coffee
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Flaked sea salt (Maldon is my fave!)

Directions:

Melt chocolate and butter in microwavable bowl for 1 minute on high.  Stir.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring, until melted and blended.  Cool.

Mix brown sugar and eggs with electric mixer until thick and doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.  Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate.  Mix until well incorporated.

Add flour, coffee, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until combined.  Add water, and mix until combined.

Refrigerate the fluid batter for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop batter with a cookie scoop onto baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet.  Once sheet is full, tap lightly 2-3 times on counter to slightly flatten cookie dough.  Sprinkle with a little flaked salt.

Bake for approximately 11 minutes.  Open oven and tap sheet lightly to flatten a bit.  Return to oven for 2 more minutes.  Repeat until cookies are firm around the edges and set in the middle with plenty of crinkles.

Cool for at least 10 minutes on baking stone or cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake.

What is a girl to do when a bestie friend comes home after a long time away?!

Well…. run over and visit and hug as soon as possible!  Right?!

But you can’t go empty handed!

So – what to bake to take?  I needed something quick, but yummy, that my sweet friend Janet and her Mom and Dad would enjoy…

I had some amazing fresh blueberries in the fridge I had recently bought at a local farm market, so I decided to make a blueberry cake.

And OH was it yummy!  (I know because I kept half for hubby and me and took half to them.  She is that kind of friend!  The best kind – that you can take half a cake to – LOL!)

I arrived just in time to serve it to them for dessert!

Oh the joy of friendship!  Oh the joy of baking and sharing!

Make this for yourself!  Make this to give away!  But make this amazing Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake today!  (oh dear – am I still rhyming?! )

Welcome home sweet Janet!  Looking forward to our time together.

Here is the recipe I made as I adapted from LifeLoveandSugar:

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

Streusel:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (light sour cream works fine)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used Skim)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare an 8-9 inch cake pan by greasing bottom and sides with shortening and then placing a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.

Prepare streusel by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork.  Set aside.

Prepare cake batter by beating sugar and butter in electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add sour cream and milk  until well incorporated.  Add egg and vanilla.  Finally, add baking powder, then flour just until thoroughly combined.

Spread half of the batter in prepared pan.  Top with half of the streusel mixture, then  3/4 cup blueberries.  Repeat batter, streusel, then 1 cup blueberries.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan.

Prepare glaze by  by combining powdered sugar and milk until a glaze consistency is achieved.  Add more powdered sugar or milk as needed.

Drizzle cooled cake with glaze, and top with remaining 1/4 cup fresh blueberries.

Serve warm or cold – plain or with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream!

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Cinnamon Pecan Crumb Cake

cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece

BEWARE:  This Cinnamon Pecan Crumb Cake is only for the most serious crumb cake lovers!  Are you one like me?  Do you love more buttery, sugary, nutty crumbs than cake?  If so, this is the cake for you!  And I dare say it should not be consumed without a large steaming cup of coffee to wash down the “crumby” goodness.  Be still my coffee crumb cake lovin’ heart!

Let’s take a closer look at all that “crumby” deliciousness…

cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece-2

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  This is a seriously “crumby” cake!

cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece-3

With buttery, nutty, cinnamony wonderfulness, this cake is a serious indulgence justified as breakfast when served with coffee…. but Hubby discovered it works very well as an evening snack when topped with a scoop of Vanilla Caramel Gelato!

If you don’t like your cake quite so “crumby,” you could double the cake batter or half the crumb topping.  Also – be careful not to overbake and dry the cake out – –  unless you are eating it with vanilla caramel gelato or dunking it in coffee.  In that case – who cares!

Diet shmiet – this cake is worth the calories!  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Pecan Crumb Cake

Ingredients:cinnamon-pecan-crumb-cake-piece-2
  • Topping
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
    • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
    • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • Cake
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
    • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Prepare  8 or 9 inch square baking pan by spraying with vegetable spray and lining with parchment paper so it overhangs sides of pan. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable spray and set aside.

Make topping by combining flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the melted butter. Stir to combine, then add the pecans using your hands to thoroughly mix. Topping should have a loose, crumbly consistency.  Set aside.

Prepare cake by whisking milk, oil, egg, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Add sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour.  Stir until just combined.

Pour the cake batter into prepared pan. Add all of the crumb topping evenly over the batter.

Bake approximately 30 mins.  The cake will rise, and the topping will bake into the cake batter.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 mins. in pan. Run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen cake and lift it out to a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to garnish if desired. 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*recipe adapted from Garlic&Zest

A Charlie Guest Post: Malaphors

charlie daisies

Charlie Stopping to Smell the Daisies

On a little walk the other day,
Mom made me pose for a
Stop and Smell the Daisies” photo.

Now, I know I am only a dog,
but isn’t the saying supposed to be
Stop and Smell the Roses?”

Daisies don’t even really smell that good.
I guess they are kinda pretty if you’re into flowers
and that kind of stuff….

But when on walks,
I’m a sniffin’ for rabbits and chipmunks
and squirrels and deer.

I’d rather smell what another dog
left behind for me to find.
Now THAT is a smell worth stopping for!

Daisies are for “pushing up,”
and that is NOT
a place I want to go.

I think Mom better
Wake up and smell the Bacon!”
(which I think smells much better than COFFEE!)

Hey – Did you ever imagine a handsome dog like me
was smart enough to understand malaphors too – eh?!
Heck – Mom just learned that word herself!

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: https://lifeinbetween.me/.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti

lemon poppy seed biscotti cover

Yesterday was the first day of Spring…

lemon poppy seed biscotti

and it snowed here in Mars!

lemon poppy seed biscotti 3

So I decided to make something bright and sunny and lemony…

lemon poppy seed biscotti 2

to dunk in my steaming cup of coffee by the warmth of a fire.

I’ve never made biscotti before, so decided it would be fun to try.  I love poppy seed, and it is so wonderful with lemon.

I found and slightly adapted a recipe from Lynn at FreshAprilFlowers, and I really enjoyed it.

This would make a wonderful Easter or hostess gift for coffee and tea lovers.

Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti

Ingredients:lemon poppy seed biscotti cover
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of one lemon, divided
  • 1 and ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Egg Wash: 1 large egg, beaten with remaining lemon juice
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place sugar in a medium bowl and add the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until all of the zest has been incorporated and most of the sugar is pale yellow. Whisk in the butter, oil, egg, vanilla extract, and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.

In a large bowl, toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until combined.

Turn dough out onto baking sheet and pat dough into a rectangle about ½” thick ( approximately 6″ x 7 ½”.   The dough will be a bit dry and crumbly, but can be pressed together.

Brush egg wash on top and on sides of the dough.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the top and sides are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, but do not turn off the heat.

Place baking sheet on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Once the dough is cool enough to touch, cut into 1″ thick slices using a sharp knife. Cut these 1″ slices in half, making a horizontal slice down the center. Set slices cut sides up on the baking sheet. Return to the oven to bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, turn biscotti over, and bake the other side for 6 more minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet (cookies will become crunchy as they cool). Transfer biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store biscotti in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or in freezer for up to 3 months.

Enjoy dunking this delicious treat in a cup of your favorite coffee, tea, or hot cocoa!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Hand Painted Snowman Mugs

painted snowman mug 2

One of our Christmas celebrations last week was our annual McHendy Christmas get-together.

For this celebration, I painted some snowmen mugs and filled them with Rolo chocolate caramel candies, mini marshmallows, and the recipe for Rolo Hot Chocolate that I featured here a few weeks ago to give to everyone.

painted snowman mug

On white ceramic mugs purchased from the Dollar Store, I painted little snowman coal eyes and carrot noses with Sharpie Oil Based Paint Markers on one side, and wrote McHendy Mug and the year on the other.

painted snowman mug 3

After painting them all, I let them cure for 24 hours.  I then placed them in a cold oven, set the temperature for 350 degrees F and “baked” for 30 minutes.  I turned the oven off after 30 minutes and let them cool completely in the oven without opening it.  I hope this works as it is the first time I tried.  They are supposed to be able to go through the dishwasher.

Wondering what a McHendy Christmas Celebration is?

Well – when you take two besties and their families that have so much love they actually form one big family, you combine their last names to create a new one.

jill and jodi mchendy christmas 2015

And you celebrate every year watching the “kids” grow, marry and add to the family, and count your blessings dearly!

Mchendy family 2015

My BFF Jill not only had these shirts printed for all the McHendys this year, she even created the McHendy family crest, which is full of love and meaning to both of our families.

McHendy crest

We can be born into families, and we can be loved into families.  No matter which way it happens, celebrate it, and cherish the moments!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

 

If we were having coffee…


image

If we were having coffee, I’d be drinking mine (Starbucks Breakfast Blend or Veranda with Italian Sweet Cream) from this “Warm and Cozy” mug.

You see – I just received it as a special “just because” surprise gift from my daughter-in-law this past weekend.  I came home from a day out to find this in our mailbox.

The mugimage was filled with Hot Cocoa K-cups and a little bag of mini marshmallows tied with gold and white baker’s twine.  It was in an adorablimagee chevron pencil bag and had some matching binder clips too.

A sweet note was attached to “Mom M.”

It melted my heart. So – needless to say, I would probably gush a bit about our sweet Colleen.

I would undoubtedly offer you some cookies or whatever I had baked this week to go with our coff411bSsOqlBLee.  Current batch of cookies in the house this week is Bittersweet Chocolate and Almond Chunk made from a Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bittersweet Chocolate with Almond Candy Bar that hubby got as a gift recently (and I will be buying more of! O – M – G!)  I coarsely chopped the candy bar and stirred it into my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and Voila!

We would either sit by a warm fire in the living room or at the kitchen table.  Charlie would be laying on the floor beside us, watching for crumbs or waiting patiently for belly rubs and chin scratches.

We might talk about the latest books we are reading.  I am reading “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty.  It is a fascinating memoir of a twenty-something who got a job in a crematory after college.  She shares her experiences and how it actually eased her angst about death and dying and made her better able to appreciate and enjoy her own life.  I am only a few chapters in, but I am fascinated so far and somewhat perplexed by mixed reviews I’ve heard from others in our book club who are reading it.  Death is a topic I discuss daily in my full-time job in communications for a home health and hospice company, so it is not something I am as uncomfortable discussing as many.  As a matter of fact, there is a 100% guarantee death is something we are all going to face, so it is a subject worth discussion.

This might lead to us talking about hospice care and final wishes and experiences we’ve both had with losing special loved ones.  This would ultimately lead to me talking about my Grandma, Grandpap, my in-laws, my sister-in-law – all very special people I have lost, but have fond memories of to share.  We would surely laugh too, because they all brought such joy and fun to my life.

We might talk about what we did last weekend.  I would tell you what a fun time I had hiking around McConnell’s Mills with a sweet friend, about the awesome hot spiked cider we had afterwards at a local restaurant, and how we got recorded three times doing the “whip/nae nae” for a scavenger hunt while exploring a little gift shop after our hike.

royal flush spades halloween costume tshirtsI might show you the t-shirts I painted for my youngest son and his girlfriend and their friends who are going to be a “royal flush” for a Halloween party in Chicago.

I’d probably also tell you how proud I am of my oldest son, who had his first DJ gig this past weekend and how my younger son was there to help and support him.  I’d tell you it warmed my Momma’s heart to think about them that evening.

We might talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win this weekend and how we did it with our third string quarterback.  We’d probably also talk about the fact that we saw our first snow flurries in Mars this past weekend.

Then we might talk about plans for the upcoming weekends.  I might brag on my cousin Nikole Brugnoli-Sheaffer, Director of Innovation, Environmental Charter School, who is being honored as one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40, a program to recognize 40 people under the age of 40 who are committed to shaping our Pittsburgh region and making it a better place for everyone to live, work and play.   I can’t wait to honor her at the upcoming event.

I would probably tell you I’m feeling sad that one of my besties is leaving soon to winter in Florida with her folks who she cares for full-time and how much I am going to miss her.

But I would tell you my other bestie is going to be a first-time grandma in a few months and how excited we all are!

Mostly though, I would want to ask you how you are.  How you really are…   What is going on in your life?  Are you taking time to enjoy doing the things you love “in between?”  Are you taking time to enjoy the people you love?   Are you “cherishing the moments?”

Hubby says I’m “nebby.”  (pouty face)

I contest I am just truly and genuinely interested in people.

As much as I love to talk, I adore listening.  I treasure hearing about people and what matters to them and what makes them tick.  Everyone has a story.  And I love hearing them.

We would surely cherish our time together, and we would undoubtedly hug.  It would be a real hug, and I might likely tell you “I love you” when you leave, because if we are having coffee in my house, there’s a good chance that IS how I feel.

I think I’ll go have another cup of coffee.  Hope you are enjoying some too. pumpkin cinnamon spice cookies And maybe a cookie…  (like this one?  Pumpkin Cinnamon Spice – which I will be featuring as a recipe here tomorrow!)

Or maybe you are having tea if that’s your thing?

And if it’s after 5….  maybe a glass of wine….. or two….

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

Thanks a Latte! (and a Free Card Giveaway)

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend

Any coffee lovers out there??  Do you ever sigh after that first sip of joe in the morning like I do?  Does anything taste better?  (with the exception of red wine after dinner?)  I love my coffee pretty bold (like my wine) with a nice splash of Italian Sweet Cream in it.

I created this card for The Paper Players PP246 Sketch Design Challenge.

pp246

The design was inspired by an awesome card I saw done by Paula Sievers at Stamping with Paula. I don’t often use Designer Series Paper, but I loved how Paula framed and layered it and then cut out the coffee cup and embellished the cup holder with chevron.

I have been wanting to use the StampinUp Perfect Blend Stamp Set and thought it would be so fun to put a lipstick mark on the cup like us ladies get so often.  Can you relate?

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend

I had another stamp set from Fiskers with this sentiment on and the coffee beans that I thought complemented it and went well with the sketch challenge theme.  Some Gorgeous Grunge “coffee splatters” added just the right finishing touch.

I’d love to give this card away to one of you lovely “lifeinbetweeners” out there.  Leave a comment with your favorite coffee brand, flavor, shop, or how you like your morning java to be entered into a random drawing to win this card.  I’ve left the inside blank so you can write your own special thank you message to the person you choose to send it to.  (Winner will be drawn Sunday, 5/31/15.)

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend 3

Cheers & Happy Friday Hugs,

Jodi