Buckeye Brownie Cookies

You guys know I love an opportunity to amp up a boxed cake mix, right? How about turning a simple boxed brownie mix into something marvelous? A friend of mine recently linked me to these buckeye brownie cookies, and I knew I couldn’t live another second until I made them and got them in my mouth.

You will need:
1 box fudge brownie mix (19.5 ounce or family size)
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips for melting, and some shortening to mix in for smoothness

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Heat oven to 350 degrees. Start by beating the brownie mix, butter, cream cheese, and egg. As with all things made with a base of boxed treats, it’s hard to mess this up! Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet, making about 24 cookies.

In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar and the peanut butter until it is completely combined. It won’t look super smoothed, but it will roll well. Form the mixture into about 1 inch balls, making sure to have one ball for each cookie. Set aside.

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, keeping an eye out to make sure the cookies don’t overcook – you’ll know they’re done when you give the sheet a little jiggle and they don’t move as if they are liquid.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a peanut butter ball lightly into the center of each cookie.

While letting the peanut butter settle, melt your chocolate chips and shortening (if you choose to add it, about a tsp or two!) in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring between. Once melted and smooth, drizzle or dollop melted chocolate over each cookie (base this on how much more chocolate you want) and allow to harden and cool a bit before transferring them anywhere, and devour accordingly!

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Simple Blondies

I love a treat that is easily customizable, and blondies may be the best example of this. Chocolate chips? Sure. Peanut butter swirls? Yup. Coconut flakes? Why not! You can pretty much put anything into a sweet little blondie and know it’ll go well. This week I went with M&M’s — these are a great, delicious, and EASY treat to add some more pastels to your Easter table! This recipe is practically impossible to mess up :)

You will need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar (I used light because it’s what I had on hand, but feel free to use dark for some added sweetness!)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Optional: 1 cup of your add in(s) of choice

With my brother (and his nice camera) in town, I decided to actually take a jab at real pictures and not just use my iPhone as usual, so enjoy a rare case of actual pictures!

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Preheat your oven to 350, and grease a brownie pan. Start off combining your melted butter and brown sugar. Add your egg and vanilla and mix. Combine flour with wet mixture completely. Fold in your add ins. Doesn’t get much easier than that, right? Pour into your brownie pan and spread evenly, then bake for about 20-25 minutes, until corners are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out fairly clean. Allow to cool and slice ‘em up!

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Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

One of my favorite cookies to make are good old fashioned snickerdoodles — obviously I can’t enjoy a cookie that much without turning it into a cupcake :). These are moist, light, fluffy cupcakes with just enough cinnamon. Definitely a cupcake I will make again!

You will need:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Imitation almond extract (can be replaced with vanilla if you don’t have it on hand)
3/4 cup milk

And for the frosting:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk, as needed

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Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely between additions. Alternating from wet to dry, add flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Fill lined cupcake container 3/4 full with batter. Bake 14-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting — beat your butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until fully combined. Beat in milk. Pipe ontop of cupcakes and sprinkle with extra cinnamon, if desired :)

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Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is really nothing like a good warm chocolate chip cookie… Except a good warm chocolate chip cookie WITH M&M’s! Using cornstarch in these cookies makes for a REALLY soft treat that pairs great with M&M’s of any flavor. I chose pretzel M&M’s because I’ve been super into the salty sweet deal lately, but literally any flavor would be great!

You will need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate M&M’s mixed into the dough + about 1/2 cup for placing on top of dough mounds

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Preheat oven to 350. Combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
Add the chocolate chips, 3/4 cup M&Ms, and beat on low speed until just combined.

Scoop rounded tablespoons (or bigger! These cookies do well big also) into a cookie sheet, and press extra M&M’s into the top. Add about 1 tablespoon M&Ms to the top of each dough mound. Bake for 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.

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Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

If you’ve followed my blog in any capacity, you know I’m no stranger to cookies and cream flavored desserts. I’m not going to discount how delicious any of the previous recipes are, because they are wonderful and great, but these cupcakes, you guys… It’s a whole different level.

You will need:
1 box of Oreos
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mini Oreos for garnish (optional)

And for the frosting:
10 Tbsp butter, firm but not cold
10 oz. cream cheese, cold
2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with 24 paper muffin cups. Carefully split 24 Oreos into halves, leaving cream filling attached to one side (save filling free cookie sides to crush and sprinkle over frosted cupcakes). Place 1 Oreo half, with cream filling side up, at the bottom of each muffin cup, and set aside. Take your remaining Oreos and chop them, or have them aside whole and allow your standing mixer to chop them when mixing.

In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in egg whites, one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Again in a separate bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, and sour cream.

Working in two separate batches, add flour mixture followed by milk mixture to butter mixture, and mix just until combine after each addition. Fold in chopped Oreos. Evenly divide batter among prepared muffins cups (pouring it over the tops of the Oreo halves), filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven about 17-23 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare your frosting. Whip together butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth, light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes, garnish with crushed Oreos or mini Oreos or both, and ENJOY this seriously unbelievable cupcake!

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Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m always down for a way to make a recipe super simple, and obviously I’m interested in incorporating peanut butter into literally everything. I’ve done cake batter cookies before, with strawberry and funfetti, so naturally it’s time for me to share the peanut butter version!

You will need:
1 box cake mix of your choice (I used vanilla this time, but yellow cake works great too!)
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda

Also set aside 1/2 cup granulated sugar to roll your cookies in :)

I added about 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips to mine, too!

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Preheat your oven to 350. Because this is prepared with a boxed cake, it’s hard to mess up — go ahead and just throw everything into a bowl and mix until fully combined. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough, roll ‘em in the sugar, and place them on a cookie sheet. With a fork, press down to create the cross hatching on top (for classic peanut butter cookie look.)

Bake for about 8 minutes, until edges are slightly browned — be sure not to overbake these, the idea is that they should be CAKEY, and overbaking will definitely impact that texture :)

Allow to cool slightly before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. These soft, fluffy cookies are a perfect mix of peanut buttery and cake battery, and couldn’t be easier!

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White Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies

I’ve done pretzels in cookies before and definitely thought they were beyond delicious, so when I was eating some white chocolate covered pretzels this weekend I was really surprised it had never dawned on me to make a cookie with these. The delicious concept definitely didn’t disappoint– these cookies were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with enough sweetness from the white chocolate and a kick of salty from the pretzel. A+ in my book!

You will need:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate covered pretzels, chopped (I let my standing mixer do the chop job!)

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Preheat your oven to 325. Start off by beating your butter and sugars until smooth. Mix in your eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients except for the pretzels. Slowly add to your wet mixture and combine fully. Fold your pretzels in. Spoon rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

So simple, and soooo good!

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