Have you ever had a craving for baked goods in the middle of the summer, or any other time when you don’t want to turn on the oven?
Me too. The struggle is real, isn’t it?
It always opens up this debate in my mind:
Option A. Give in and turn on the oven, making the whole house hot and uncomfortable in the process, even worse for Dave and me since we don’t have central air.
Option B. Forget about it, and “save” the calories.
Option C. Forget the calories, and go get ice cream.
Recently, the idea came to my mind to use my toaster oven to make a quick batch of cookies. I wouldn’t call this a brilliant idea, since I should’ve thought of it much sooner: my toaster oven is, in fact, an oven. A convection oven, at that. One with a little fan in it to simulate faster cooking.
Then again, I suppose my girlish figure is glad that I didn’t think of this sooner. A successful batch of chocolate peanut butter cookies later, I have now opened up Pandora’s box of small-batch dessert-making in the toaster oven that I probably should have just left alone.
Since this was a small batch and I left the butter out overnight before cooking, I didn’t bother with the mixer. It was super easy to make these cookies by hand in about 10 minutes or less. At the end of it, I had a plate of warm, fresh cookies, and only a few tools to clean up. Super win.
I have a relatively new toaster oven that’s pretty reliable on temperature and cooking times. It’s a Cuisinart brand with a convection bake setting (among other settings, including one for pizza) that heats to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If your toaster oven is older, or a little funky on its temperature settings, use a thermometer to test the heat before cooking. When the cookies are done, they should be slightly golden brown and firm to the touch; they’ll continue cooking after they’re removed from the toaster oven.
Here are a couple of other notes:
- This recipe will make about 10-12 cookies. My cookies were about 2.5″ in size and yielded 10. If I made a few of them just a hair smaller, I could’ve easily made 12.
- If you like your cookies on the soft and cakey side, scoop them and do nothing. Once baked, they will puff up into little sponges that are perfect for soaking up some coffee or cold milk.
- If you like your cookies a little crispier, flatten them to about 1/4″ before baking.
Feel free to use your favorite chips, if you don't like this combination. Simply using milk, semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (without the peanut butter chips), or butterscotch chips, would be fine. If you decide to use butterscotch chips, I'm always a fan of adding cinnamon, about 1/2 teaspoon, to my batter.
- 1 stick softened unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk chocolate chip morsels (Suggested: Hershey)
- 1 cup peanut butter chip morsels (Suggested: Reeses)
- 1 cup all purpose flour (Suggested: King Arthur)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat toaster oven or conventional oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla extracts until creamy.
Add egg and stir until well combined.
Add flour, salt, and baking soda; stir until a thick dough comes together. If dough is too sticky, add an extra 2 tablespoons flour.
Portion dough with a tablespoon (about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons per cookie) onto a small baking tray or toaster oven insert lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with your hands or the back of a spatula.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
The softer the butter is, the easier it will be to combine. Leave a stick on your counter for a few hours or even overnight.
Bonus! Mini-recipes using cookies
Of course, you can always eat a cookie alone, with or without milk, or you can also try these ideas that don’t even need a recipe to follow, they’re so easy:
- Ice cream sandwiches—two cookies, and a big scoop of your favorite flavor in between, like chocolate gelato with peanut butter swirl (now there’s an amazing idea…)
- Cookie sundaes—put one cookie in a bowl, scoop ice cream on top, then top with chocolate syrup or chocolate shavings, whipped cream, a cherry, and sprinkles or crumbled cookie on top.
- Cookie milkshakes—in a blender, add two cookies, 1 cup of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or your favorite flavor), and 1/2 cup of milk. Blend until smooth, then serve in a glass, topped with whipped cream and a crumbled cookie.