The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 24 Cookies

The inspiration for this recipe comes from my Grammy Carl—she was the queen of homemade cookies. They are so good! For a little something extra special, I put a dollop of jelly in the center after baking. While the cookies are still hot, I make an indentation the size of a thumbprint in the center of the cookie, which I fill with jam.


1 cup creamy peanut butter

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup vegetable shortening

1¾ cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2¾ cups all-purpose flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

1 cup peanut butter chips

Any flavor fruit jam – I used Strawberry Rhubarb

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 375°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter, butter, and shortening and beat on medium speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Beat in the vanilla and combine until mixed. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour in 3 additions to the peanut butter mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop and scoop balls of dough onto a baking sheet. Bake the cookies on the middle oven rack on a greased baking sheet for 13 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. Don’t forget to make an indentation in your cookies for the jam. Repeat to bake the remaining cookies.

Miele Experience Center – Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Serve these individual steamed cakes while still warm so that the soft chocolate center oozes when cut into.


8 ounces (1 1/3cup) semisweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup brewed espresso

4 large eggs

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 large pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

Vanilla or coffee ice cream, for serving


Combine chocolate, butter, and espresso or cream in a medium saucepan.  Heat over low heat just enough to melt chocolate.  Remove from cooktop and cool slightly.

Whisk whole eggs, yolks, and sugar together in a medium bowl.  Sift flour and salt over the eggs and whisk thoroughly.  Whisk in melted chocolate and vanilla.   Pour mixture through a strainer if lumpy.

Distribute chocolate cake mixture evenly among 8 espresso cups or small ramekins.  Time may vary based on size of dish.  Place in small perforated steam tray and slide in over.

Steaming Directions

Select Steam Cooking and set cooking time for 6 minutes.  When tone sounds, check that cakes are puffed and dry and toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist batter attached.  Steam for an additional minute or two, if necessary based on the quantity your are steaming.

Serve warm in the espresso cups or ramekins with ice cream.

Miele Experience Center – Pignoli Cookies


Pignoli Cookies


16 ounces almond paste (two 8-ounce cans)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting

4 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

6 tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups pine nuts


Preheat the oven to 325F, with racks in center and lower third.  Line two glass trays with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat almond paste and both sugars on medium (2-4) speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 2 minutes.  Add egg whites and vanilla, and beat on medium-high (4-6) speed until a smooth paste forms 3-4 minutes.  Add flour and salt; beat until combined, about 1 minute.  Dough will be very soft and tacky, almost like a batter.  This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day until ready to shape and roll in pine nuts.

Bake until edges of cookies and pine nuts have turned golden brown, about 13-15 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Using an offset spatula, carefully loosen from parchment paper.  Using a fine sieve, dust cookies with confectioners’ sugar.  Cookies can be kept, stacked between layers of waxed or parchment paper, in an airtight container for 4 days or frozen for 2 months.

Yields 30 cookies

Dough can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated.  Almond paste is available in most supermarkets; do not substitute marzipan.

Miele Experience Center – Lebkuchen – German Gingerbread


Lebkuchen – German Gingerbread


6 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed

4 teaspoons ground ginger

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp finely ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 cup unsulfured molasses


In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  Set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses.  Add flour mixture; combine on low speed.  Divide dough in thirds; wrap in plastic.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350F.  On a floured work surface, roll dough 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes.  Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes.  Let cookies cool on wire racks, then decorate as desired.

For Icing Cookies you may brush with a Lemon Glaze made from:

1 egg white

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s (powdered or icing) sugar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl with mixer or by hand, beat egg white, powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Brush onto still warm cookies, and decorate with a candied fruit.

Miele Experience Center – The Kiss Cookie

The Kiss Cookie


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 bag milk chocolate candy kisses


Preheat Convention oven to 350F.  Sift flour, baking soda and salt together; set aside.

Beat butter and peanut butter together in a large bowl, until well blended.  Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well.  Gradually add dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture until well blended.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place on Miele Perfect Clean baking tray.  Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Immediately press a chocolate kiss candy into the center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.  Remove from baking tray to a wire rack.  Cool completely.

Yields approximately 36 cookies

Friday Night Soup!

Friday night soup!

Remember to clean out the refrigerator on Friday and make a soup or a stew or a casserole.

This Friday I had left over chicken stew, two onions, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, spinach and Romain. And 3/4 of a quart of chicken broth and about a 1/4 quart of heavy cream. I put ALL those ingredients in a pot…. Medium heat until it simmers, 3/4 box of orzo! Done.

I let it cool and now I’m putting the soup/stew in quart containers and in the freezer it goes. Either a quick supper during the week, weekend or a lovely lunch!

It’s just so easy!

And SO delicious!

I love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven in Hibiscus!! Click HERE to gift yourself one today 🙂


Pecan Pie For A Crowd

Such an easy recipe…


  • Pre made Pillsbury pie crust.
  • 1 – 16oz bottle dark Karo Syrup
  • 2 cups granulated light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans


Mix first six ingredients until frothy. Add pecans and stir by hand. Pour in pie shell plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and reduce heat to 350• and bake additional 30 minutes. You will notice that there is room in the dish to add whipped cream if you prefer then and you’re done!



Just the BEST Apple Pie

My dad always said that apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze. And boy, did that cheese vary over the years! The first time my mother made this, she used Velveeta cheese (that was in the ’50s). Over the years, the cheese got progressively more sophisticated and now, a local Cheddar is my cheese of choice. Remember to bake the apple pie long enough— you don’t want the apples to be crunchy. Otherwise, why bother to make a pie? I’ve used a Pillsbury crust before, but the fresh, homemade cheese crust recipe here is best, unless you’re stressed!


2¼ cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese


2 pounds, or 8 large, Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch wedges

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into pats

3 tablespoons cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for sprinkling

FOR THE PIE dough, combine the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and give it quick pulses to blend the ingredients, until the mixture looks crumbly (crumbles should be the size of peas). Add the cheese and pulse again until combined and the cheese is worked into the mixture and cut into small chunks. Dump the mixture out into a bowl, drizzle in 6 tablespoons of iced cold water, and mix it in with a fork until the flour is moistened and comes together as a dough. Add another tablespoon of water, if needed, to bring the dough together. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a ball, and flatten to a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. For the filling, combine the Granny Smith apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and toss to combine. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Roll out 1 disk of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Add the apples and dot with the butter. Roll out the second dough round. Cover the top of the apples with the second pie round, pressing the edges of the two crust layers to seal. Trim the crust so you are left with a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the crust underneath itself so it’s flush with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges decoratively. Pat the pie with the cream and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Make 5 air slits in the center of the pie. Bake until the crust is set, about 25 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and bake 50 minutes more, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a rack before slicing.

Holiday Stuffing with Sausage, Pecans, and Apples

You can use any kind of firm, good bread in this recipe. I like Pepperidge Farm’s sandwich bread. You can even combine a few different kinds if you have some half loaves hanging around in the freezer. Leave the crusts on—it’s less work and gives the stuffing some texture. A tip to prevent soggy stuffing: Let the bread dry out before you cook with it. Either remove the bread from the bag and leave it out all night, or put it in a 325°F oven for a half hour. If you’re cooking for a crowd, make extra stuffing. You’ll be glad you did. This stuffing is versatile and can be used with the holiday recipes in this book or any season throughout the year—it’s great under chicken or fish.

9 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for the baking dish)

8 ounces sage pork sausage, removed from casings (a good-quality breakfast sausage will work)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch chunks

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

1 large egg

½ cup half-and-half

1 loaf day-old Pepperidge Farm sandwich white bread with crust, cut into cubes (about 14 cups)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 375°F. Generously butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, pour off about 3 tablespoons into a small bowl, and set aside. Add the sausage to the skillet and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly wilted, about 6 minutes. Add the apples, pecans, thyme, and sage and stir to coat everything with the butter. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the apples are just tender, about 8 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the half-and-half. Add the bread to the bowl with the sausage mixture and pour the egg mixture over it. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to moisten all of the bread, adding a little more broth if necessary. Spread in the prepared baking dish, drizzle with the remaining melted butter, and tent with foil (don’t let the foil touch the stuffing). Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is browned and crisp, about 30 minutes more. (Serves 8 or more).

Toasted Mozzarella & Boundless Bruschetta

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Toasted Mozzarella & Boundless Bruschetta



  1. Turn on the broiler for your oven.

  2. Slice baguette, or other bread of choice. Arrange slices on sheet pan.

  3. Slice mozzarella. Place mozzarella on top of bread slices.

  4. Broil until mozzarella is melted and toasted on the edges.

  5. Remove from oven, add dollop of Boundless Bruschetta on the mozzarella, and sprinkle a little fresh basil on top!