May 30, 2018

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Marshmallow Cream Filling

Originally posted in 2014 - posting again for 2018.

Although I've made these numerous times, this time I made them because I left the cookies in the oven too long and they got a bit crisper than we like our cookies.  This was/is a great option to use when your family likes soft and chewy cookies but you over bake them for a few minutes.  

However!  This recipe is great with almost any cookie!  You don't have to cut them into perfect circles either - just make your cookies, make the filling and pop them together.  I cut these since the edges were overdone and the centers were perfect.

From 2014:
If you follow me on Twitter (AmericHousewife) you know I baked cookies yesterday;  One pan in the kitchen oven and one pan in the sun oven.  I was reading a news article when the timer went off on my kitchen oven to alert me my family's favorite homemade, chewy, chocolate chip cookies were done.  I thought to myself;  "I'll just quickly finish reading this news story and then get the cookies out...."   and 2 news stories later I remembered them!  Our family loves really, really soft chocolate chip cookies.  The cookies in the oven weren't burnt, but they were darker than our family likes.  We just don't care for cookies with a crunch (well, my husband does when he wants to dip them in milk...).  So I placed them on the counter to cool and went to get my cookies from the sun oven.  Coming back into the house with my soft and perfectly baked sun oven cookies (sun ovens don't burn things so you don't have to be as conscientious about timers) I looked at the flat, dark golden brown cookies and knew immediately that I would make sandwich cookies out of them.

If you've ever had a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookie or the chocolate chip version, then you know what I'm talking about.  Two cookies sandwiched together with a marshmallow frosting filling.  I've been making this kind of cookie for about 15 years now but I don't make it often, as sometimes I'm just too lazy (hey, I'm honest) and second, our favorite filling as marshmallow fluff in it, - which I don't always buy.  (This stuff - Either Kraft or any brand Marshmallow Fluff)

When you make oatmeal or chocolate chip sandwich cookies, you want to be sure you bake your cookies a little longer than you normally would, as the filling makes them 'soft' and if they are too soft and supple to begin with, they will fall apart.

You have two options for the cookies;  you can either use a round cookie cutter to cut them perfectly round, or use the cookies as they are - which is a nice round cookie anyway.  Size is up to you as well.  Larger, smaller, it doesn't matter.  Just use 2 cookies from your favorite recipe (I will put one here just in case you don't have one) and then sandwich them together with a bit of filling.  That's all there is to it!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter
1 c packed brown sugar
3 T white sugar
1 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
Half of a 7 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff (creme)
1/4 c white, regular shortening
1/6 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
dash of salt

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, powder, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets, greased or on parchment paper. Bake in a 375° oven until cookies are lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Bake them about 1-2 minutes longer if you think they may still be too soft.  Remember, the filling is going to make them very moist and soft after a couple hours.  A crisp cookie is good to start with!

Make the filling while the cookies are baking by mixing all in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy.  If it's a little dry, add just a teaspoon of warm water to it.  You want it to be stiff and not runny though.

When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven, let them set 2-3 minutes and then remove to cool completely.  If you are cutting them to be perfect circles, use a cookie cutter and cut them out while still warm (!).  If you want until they are completely cool they may crack or crumble if they are very crisp.  When completely cool, spread a bit of filling on the bottom of a cookie and sandwich it together with a second cookie.  Let set at least an hour or two so the filling can soften the cookie.  They will be perfect after about 6 hours if you can wait that long.   *if you 'cut out' your cookies you will have scraps.  I save mine in a Ziploc in the freezer to crumble and use as a cheesecake base.

Products related to this recipe:
Marshmallow Fluff
Good Cook Set Of 3 Non-Stick Cookie Sheet
Wilton Comfort Grip Round Cookie Cutter
Ateco 11 Piece Plain Round Cutter Set

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May 26, 2018

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - Soft and Chewy Delicious!

This recipe is one I've had for years... and years... and years.  The little index card it's wrote on was wrote out and tucked away in one of my kitchen 'go to' recipe books sometime around 1995 I think.  It's one of the first 'really good' cookie recipes I found when I was a newly wed and it was so simple and so good that it's kept it's place in my main 'go to' recipe book since then, when most others have long since been traded out for others.

About 15 years ago when our family started to go sugar free, lower carb, etc. I stopped making these very often.  But I've never found an almond flour, xylitol based cookie that is quite as amazing and delicious as the good old wheat flour based chocolate chip cookie.  So once in a great while I give in and make a version of them.

Our wheat flour based cookies today are made with the whole grain wheat I grind myself.  (I buy non-gmo, whole wheat berries from an organic farm in Oregon).  Fresh milled flour works great in these cookies but obviously most people will use store bought all purpose flour - as I did, back in the 90's too.  I substitute a healthier non-sugar sweetener for the white sugar and the taste isn't compromised at all.  I also use sugar-free chocolate chips.  Play with the recipe to make it your own.  You can also add 1/2 cup chopped nuts or a grated chocolate bar or M&M candies as well if that's your thing!

I always 'halve' the recipe now as we don't have a house bursting with kids and their friends to gobble these all up anymore.  If I make a whole batch, they'll all get eaten alright... but when there is only 3 or 4 of us doing the eating, that's not a good thing.  Ha ha.

Best Cookie Ever - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

1 stick soft butter
1/2 c sugar or granulated substitute
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 t vanilla
1 c flour (I heap mine a little)
1 1/4 c oatmeal - quick cooking style
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 bag chocolate chips or sugar free chocolate chips
options:  a grated bar of chocolate, M&M's, chopped nuts, etc.

Mix the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla together until blended smooth.  Add the flour, oats and dry ingredients.  Stir till blended.  Add your chocolate chips and other options. Stir. Scoop into 1 1/2" balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for about 6-8 minutes until the edges are starting to brown.  Let set on the pan for a minute or two to set up and then remove to a rack to cool.  If you over cook these by a couple minutes they will be crisper and harder if you wish.  If you bake for 6-8 and remove when they are just starting to brown, they will be chewy.  They are great the 2nd day and stay soft and chewy too!

You might be interested in these products available from Amazon, related to this post:

Hershey's Sugar Free Baking Chips, 8-Ounce Bag (Pack of 6)

AirBake Natural 2 Pack Cookie Sheet Set, 14 x 12in and 16 x 14in

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May 09, 2018

Orange Breakfast Rolls (Orange Sweet Rolls - like a Cinnamon Roll but orange flavored!)

I don't like cinnamon rolls - I've never in my life had (nor craved) one of the oh-so-popular cinnamon buns they sell at the mall. I don't eat many breads, I don't usually eat breakfast... but OH HOW I LOVE THESE.

Play with this recipe - use your favorite dough or even a store bought bread dough you've thawed and rolled out.  You can also use fresh oranges for the juice and zest if you wish.  I usually just buy a can of frozen concentrate when I'm going to make these.  

Orange Breakfast Rolls

Dough: You can use a loaf of store bought dough, thaw and roll out to a rectangle approximately 10X15 or make a simple dough like this one; You can use your own favorite bread dough for these.  Here is a basic dough recipe if you don't have a go-to.

1 pk. dry yeast (about 2 1/4 t)
3/4 c warm water
1/3 c sugar
1 t salt
1/3 c oil
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 c evaporated milk
4 - 4 1/2 c flour
Real butter, soft
Orange juice concentrate
White sugar
Dried orange peel (or fresh zest if you have fresh oranges on hand to use!)

Dissolve yeast in the water in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead either by hand or with the dough hook of your electric mixer. Use more or less flour so the dough is the right consistency and not too sticky or wet. Knead about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let raise until doubled. Punch down. Roll out on parchment paper or a floured surface to form a large rectangle. Aim for about 16-18 inches across and 12-15 wide.

  • Spread with real butter (about 3 T or so)
  • Drizzle with about 1 T orange juice concentrate or use about 2-3 T fresh juice
  • Spread liberally with white granulated sugar or sweetener
  • Sprinkle with dried orange peel or with fresh zest

Roll up the long way. Slice into 1 inch slices and place in a heavily greased baking pan or muffin tin. I used a 'lasagna' pan which is slightly larger than the traditional 13X9" so I made 16 of them (4 across, 4 down). You could make it into 12 - 16 depending on your pan and how thick you want them. Place them into the pan. Cover and let raise in a warm place until double in size (about 3 hours). Bake at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes until center rolls are done. If you want to make them ahead and freeze; let rise about 1 hour and then cover and place in the deep freeze. When you want to use them, remove from the freezer, let thaw and then let them raise about 1-2 hours past thawing until they double in size. Bake as directed.

Let them cool a bit and then cover with a simple powdered sugar glaze.
One idea is this;

1 stick butter
4 c powdered sugar
1-2 t dried orange zest
1-2 T orange juice concentrate or again, fresh juice if you prefer

Mix and spread on warm but cooled rolls.

Put into a greased bowl, cover and let rise

After rising and punching down, roll out to a large rectangle and spread with real butter
Sprinkled with dried orange peel

Drizzle with as much or little orange juice concentrate as you wish
Rolled up lengthwise and ready to slice into approximately 16 one inch slices to let raise and bake

If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon -  An American Housewife at Amazon

You might be interested in some of these products to make the recipe above;
Wilton Recipe Right 13 x 9 Inch Oblong Pan
Frontier Herb Organic Orange Peel Granules 1.92 oz.
McCormick Gourmet Collection, Orange Peel, 1.5-Ounce Unit
Wilton Parchment Paper

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May 04, 2018

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread for Sandwiches - (Great texture - excellent sandwich bread - and almost tastes like toast, even though untoasted)

Today I planned to bake a smoked ham in the solar oven and decided a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread would go very, very with the ham. (I use the - All American Sun Oven)  So out came the wheat berries and I had a beautiful container of freshly ground wheat to work with.

I can't honestly say how this recipe works with store bought flour or if you were to use white flour instead of fresh ground whole wheat - fresh ground wheat flour is primarily the only flour in our house except at Christmas time when I do 1000+ different cookies and bars for gift-giving.  We also don't have regular cows milk in our home so I make it with a mixture of unsweetened almond milk and heavy cream.

This bread is a GREAT TEXTURE.  Easy to slice straight, even slices that are great for sandwiches or grilled cheese or even just toast.  The cool thing about this bread recipe that it not only makes a great slice, but it almost has a 'toast' flavor to it... even before it's toasted!  It's not a sweet bread at all but if you are used to store bought breads, which have a lot of sugar or corn syrup in them, you may want to put a teaspoon or so of sugar in yours if you wish. 

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread for Sandwiches

1 1/3 c milk - (1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 c heavy cream)
1 heaping T instant yeast
1/4 c molasses or honey (3 T molasses with 2 T sugar free honey sweetener)
1 3/4 t sea salt
1 1/2 T canola oil
4 c fresh ground wheat berries (hard white ground on bread setting)
2 heaping T vital wheat gluten

Microwave your milk or mixture of milks for a minute to take the chill off and warm.  Put the yeast and milk in the mixing bowl and let set 5 minutes until foamy.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in an electric stand mixer with a bread hook, on low, scraping down the sides if needed.  When it comes together, increase speed to high (9 or 10 on a KitchenAid) after a couple minutes, take it out of the bowl, knead it by hand on the counter or on parchment paper for a minute, then return to bowl and continue to beat a couple more minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl, form a ball and place it in a well oiled bowl.  Cover lightly with a clean towel, plastic or parchment and let rest until it doubles.  Punch down.  Roll into a loaf shape and place in an oiled loaf pan.  Cover and let rise to double.  Bake at 375 approximately 28-30 minutes or at 350 about 35 minutes or until it's dark golden brown and sounds hallow when tapped.  Remove from oven, rub butter over the top of the bread.  Let cool in pan about 2 or 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

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May 02, 2018

Cheesecake Bars Made Easy with a Cake Mix - both original and sugar free

Back in 2007 I posted this recipe for really easy and delicious cheesecake bars. At the time life was crazy with our family schedule - the kind of crazy parents of a handful of active, busy kids know well. It's a great recipe but one I haven't made in this exact style in years because we usually eat sugar free and little to no wheat or flour products. However, I've often tweaked this, using whatever products we have on hand at the time to make a lower carb count crust and obviously we don't use sugar so I use a healthy, natural substitute.

This week I specifically picked up a package of sugar free pecan shortbread cookies at the grocery store to use in either a cheesecake, or cheesecake bars or parfaits... I knew I wanted cheesecake 'something' this week. This is what I ended up making - because it's always a favorite.


Cheesecake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
1 egg
1/3 c oil

Mix until crumbly. Save 1/2 cup out and put the rest into a 9X13 inch pan you've sprayed with Pam or greased. Bake the crust at 350 for 15 minutes. While it's baking make the filling. (Note: if you normally make your cakes from scratch and the cake mix taste is something your family doesn't care for, just substitute a cup of flour for a cup of the mix to tone it down.)

8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1 t lemon juice
1/4-1/2 t dried lemon zest (optional)

Beat until smooth. Spoon and spread over the baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumbles on top and bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool completely by chilling in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Lower Carb, No Sugar Cheesecake Bars

1 box sugar free yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/3 c oil
options: substitute part of the cake mix with almond flour and/or whey protein powder and/or crushed sugar free shortbread cookies or almondette cookies. (In my case this time I used 1 cup sugar free cake mix, 1 cup almond flour and about 2 cups crushed sugar free shortbread pecan cookies).

12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 packages of 8 oz.)
1/3 c Ideal sugar substitute
1/4 c Truvia substitute
2 t lemon juice
1/2 t dried lemon zest

Mix until crumbly. Save 1/2 cup out and put the rest into a 9X13 inch pan you've sprayed with Pam or greased. Bake the crust at 350 for 15 minutes. While it's baking make the filling.

Beat until smooth. Spoon and spread over the baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumbles on top and bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool completely by chilling in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Related products available through Amazon if you can't find them locally;

TruvĂ­a Cane Sugar Blend 24 oz - Pack of 2
Voortman Iced Almonette Sugar-Free Cookies, 8 oz (Pack of 3)
Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix - 16 oz
Ideal No Calorie Sweetener 10.6 Ounce Baking Bag

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