Cookies & Cream Blondies

Cookies & Cream Blondies

We all know cookies & cream as an ice cream flavor, but have you ever tried it in blondies? You should—it’s outrageously good. Like, I love a good Basic Blondie in all it’s butterscotch glory, but I think I might be a Cookies & Cream Blondie person now.

Cookies & Cream Blondies

These chewy, vanilla-scented squares are filled with big chunks of Oreo, along with some white chocolate chips for good measure. And when I say “filled,” I do mean filled—there might be more mix-ins than batter!

The batch comes together in one bowl, bakes up in half an hour, and slices like a dream once cooled. You’ll notice that the base for these blondies is lighter in color than the usual brown sugar batter. That’s because I only used granulated sugar in this recipe—because of their lighter color and flavor, I think of these as “platinum” blondies. This flavor profile is more in line with traditional cookies & cream, but feel free to swap the base for the brown sugary original, if that’s more your style.

Cookies & Cream Blondies

I cannot overstate how delicious these are. The blondie batter is basically only there to hold the ample amount of Oreos and white chocolate together, so every bite is filled with cookies & cream! There are so many textures here: soft blondie, crispy cookie, smooth white chocolate—these are proof positive that you can have it all. Or at least you can when it comes to dessert.

Cookies & Cream Blondies
Cookies & Cream Blondies
makes one 8- or 9-inch pan, about 16 bars

1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
16 Oreos (or other chocolate sandwich cookies), sliced into quarters + more for topping
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan and line with parchment, leaving overhang for bar-removal. Set aside.

Make the blondie base. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla, followed by flour and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in Oreos and white chocolate chips.

Spread the blondie batter in prepared pan. Top within more Oreos, if desired. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (no raw batter). Let blondies cool in the pan on a rack until they reach room temperature.

Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan, then use parchment to lift them onto a cutting board. Discard parchment. Slice blondies with a large, sharp chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Serve.

Blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Cookies & Cream Blondies
Cookies & Cream Blondies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

Back to school season always puts me in the mood for peanut butter and jelly. This classic sandwich combo was my favorite school lunch growing up, and is quickly becoming a favorite dessert flavor, hence today’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

These two-bite treats are for those of us who like a little jelly with our peanut butter. The cookies themselves are just miniature versions of my favorite soft peanut butter cookie recipe. It’s a quick no-mixer, no-chill recipe that bakes up in a flash. Truly, the most tedious part of the entire process is rolling the tiny cookie dough balls, and that’s really no trouble at all!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

While the cookies are baking and cooling, whip up a small batch of sweet & salty peanut butter buttercream filling. This stuff is irresistible—light and smooth and about as peanut buttery as it is possible to be! I have big plans to use this recipe for future layer cakes, but today it’s going between two tiny peanut butter cookies with a little bit of jelly for maximum late-August nostalgia.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies are everything great about the classic psandwich, just smaller and for dessert! The cookies are peanut buttery and tender, and the filling—I mean, do I need to describe the majestic deliciousness of peanut butter buttercream?! A hint of jelly rounds it all out. Basically, they taste like nostalgia feels, but better. All the flavor and none of the studying.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies
makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:
Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe below)
heaping 1/2 cup jelly of choice (I used strawberry)

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Combine butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. This may also be done in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat.

Transfer butter/peanut butter to a medium mixing bowl and whisk in brown sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, stirring until a combined.

Scoop dough in 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) increments, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 8-9 minutes, until puffed and no longer raw looking. Let cool on the pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let baking sheets return to room temperature before rolling and baking any remaining dough.

While cookies are cooling, make Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe below). There are two options for filling:

1. To assemble a sandwich cookie by piping, apply filling by pipe a circle in the middle of the underside of one cookie, leaving about 1/4" around the edge. Top with 1/2 teaspoon jelly, then a second plain cookie with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat until all cookies have been used.

2. To assemble a sandwich cookie by spreading, use an offset frosting knife to spread 1/2-1 teaspoon on the underside of one cookie. Top with 1/2 teaspoon jelly, the a second plain cookie with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat until all cookies have been used.

You may serve cookies immediately, but for best structure (minimal filling escaping during bites) let cookies rest at room temperature for an hour.

Sandwich cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Layer them with parchment or wax paper when storing.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
makes enough for 1 batch of sandwich cookies

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)

In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and peanuts butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Mix in confectioner's sugar and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla, followed by heavy cream (or milk). Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies​

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies​

I have a couple of new peanut butter recipes coming up in the next few weeks, so I thought I’d do a peanut butter round-up today. That is, until I then I went through my recipe index and realized that I have written a lot of peanut butter recipes. Like…a lot. I just really like peanut butter, I guess. So, instead of doing an endless round-up, I’m sticking to peanut butter cookies today.

I mean, what’s better than a homemade peanut butter cookie?! From soft to crunchy to vegan & gluten-free to loaded with oats and candy, there’s no wrong way to get your peanut butter cookie on this weekend! Here is some inspiration from my archives.

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies​

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

If you’re looking for a dreamy soft & chewy peanut butter cookie recipe, this is it. You won’t need a mixer or to budget time for a chill, and you can swap in any mix-ins you like (or leave them out entirely). If you’re the kind of person who likes peanut butter with their peanut butter though, I highly recommend getting your hands on some Reese’s Pieces.

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies​

Crispy, Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

The polar opposite of my Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies, this old-fashioned recipe was inspired by the cookies at my family’s favorite road trip stop. Made with simple ingredients, crosshatched with a fork and baked until crunchy, these are a classic.

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies​

Peanut Butter Cookies {Vegan, Grain-Free}

Peanut butter’s texture, protein, and fat content mean it works extremely well in gluten- and grain-free baking. These cookies have a short ingredient list and include a vegan egg substitute that you likely already have: aquafaba! And that’s to say nothing of that glossy chocolate drizzle.

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies​

One Big Peanut Butter Cookie, Two Ways

Here are not one, but two more vegan, gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipes! Either way you bake this recipe, you’ll end up with a single cookie big enough for just one or two people. If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t share your peanut butter, these are for you.

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies​

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies are a peanut butter cookie classic! Made with oats, chocolate chips and M&Ms, they’re chewy, sweet and salty—so good.

What’s your favorite way to make peanut butter cookies? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Like so many of my favorite recipes, these Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes came to be on a whim. There were no plans; I was just playing around with cornmeal leftover from making Blueberry Corn Muffins on a Wednesday morning when shortcake inspiration struck.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

I set to work making a batch of my trusty Cornmeal Biscuits, which are somewhere between a buttermilk biscuit and cornbread. They’re tender and a touch crumbly, but still pretty sturdy—perfect for shortcakes. I added a little extra sugar and cut them larger than I normally would for maximum surface area.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

I baked them up and let them cool, spending the lag time digging through my fridge for seasonal fruit. I sliced up a couple of perfect nectarines and tossed in some blueberries, then added a few tablespoons of sugar and let them macerate. I also whipped some cream.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Then I assembled the whole lot. The cooled biscuits were sliced into two thin disks and piled high with whipped cream and fruit, only to be quickly demolished with forks and fingers.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Oh my goodness, y’all, these Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes are so good. Sweet, but not too sweet. Fluffy, tender, just corny enough. Creamy, fruit-forward. Full-on late summer vibes. Not bad for Wednesday morning baking improv.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes
Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes
makes about 10 shortcakes

2-3 ripe nectarines (or peaches or other stone fruit), thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 batch Cornmeal Biscuits for Shortcakes (recipe below)

In a small-medium mixing bowl, toss together nectarines, berries and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit (macerate) at room temperature for up to an hour.

When the biscuits are cool and the fruit is ready, make the whipped cream. In a large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Assemble shortcakes. Use a fork to gently split biscuits in half equatorially (it’s okay if they’re not perfect). Gently move the bottom half of a biscuit to a plate. Top with whipped cream and fruit. Place the top half of the biscuit over the top. Garnish with more whipped cream and berries, if desired. Serve immediately.
Cornmeal Biscuits for Shortcakes
makes about 10 shortcakes

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk, very cold

For finishing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and use a pastry blender (or two forks or very clean fingertips) to break it down until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir in buttermilk until a dough forms.

Flour a surface and your fingertips. Turn dough onto the surface and pat until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Make sure to cut directly down—do not twist. Place cut biscuits a couple of inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Chill dough/baking sheet if anything becomes too warm/sticky at anytime in this process.

Bake biscuits 12-15 minutes, or until puffy and golden. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter.

Let biscuits cool until you can handle them. Cool completely before using for shortcakes.

Cornmeal Biscuits are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes
Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Late summer means stone fruits are out in full force, and while I won’t turn my nose up at apricots, plums and nectarines, none is more iconic than peaches! Anywhere I go right now, I seem to run into them. Peach cakes, scones, cobblers, pies—they’re inescapable, even in my own kitchen. Not that I’m complaining. Here are some of my favorite peach desserts from the archives.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Pie

It doesn’t get much more classic than peach pie! Mine is made with a just the barest hint of spice and wrapped up in a delicious whole wheat crust.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Tart

What’s easier than pie? This Peach Tart! It’s a sheet of rough puff pastry topped with a fresh peach mosaic and the tiniest amounts of sugar and butter, assembled in no time and baked to golden peachy perfection.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Crisp

And what’s even easier than a Peach Tart? Peach Crisp! This classic dessert begins with sweetened fresh peaches, gets topped up with an oaty, nutty crumble and is baked until bubbly and begging for vanilla ice cream.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Here, a mosaic of ripe sliced peaches are baked underneath a brown sugar batter, then inverted to reveal a sweet, sticky, summery upside-down cake.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peachy Paleo Cheesecake

This delicious cheesecake is completely vegan and gluten-free, and sweetened with maple syrup. It’s chilled until firm, then crowned with sliced fresh peaches and another drizzle of maple syrup. It’s non-traditional, but delicious—a no-bake dessert for everyone.

What’s your favorite thing to make with peaches? Let me know in the comments or on social media!