Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

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If there is one truth in the universe that everyone can agree on, it’s that chocolate and peanut butter is a holy combination. A divine duo, if you will. Any dessert utilizing this decadent pairing will be an inevitable hit. It’s science!

Unless, of course, you happen to be allergic to peanuts, in which case I offer my most sincere condolences. It truly is that good

Which is why today I have yet another PB/chocolate recipe for you all today (see chocolate party bark, no-bake pb & chocolate cereal bars,  classic puppy chow, peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread,  peanut butter cup cheesecake bars, baked peanut butter cup s’mores dip) Chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups!

That’s right. 

Chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups. 

Chocolate stuffed peanut butter cookie cups

A chewy, rich, peanut-buttery cookie, cooked until golden and soft, filled with creamy milk chocolate and garnished with a drizzle, should you so desire. Goes well with a tall glass of milk and a smile. πŸ˜‰ 

As if that weren’t good enough, these bad boys get even better–there’s only six ingredients. That’s it! Right now, you are five ingredients away from your own chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups. All they take are a cup of peanut butter, a splash of vanilla, a cup of sugar(s), one egg, your milk chocolate of choice, and a tablespoon or so of coconut oil. 

You probably have all of those ingredients in your pantry, too. Simple and delicious. That’s how I like ’em!

To make these, you combine the peanut butter, sugars, and egg in a medium bowl, mixing until fully combined. The dough for these is rather sticky, so I recommend either chilling the dough for an hour or two before baking, or rolling the dough after running your hands under water so they’re slightly wet. It helps the dough to not stick so much!

You then put about a tablespoon of dough into each mini muffin pan divot, pressing it into the sides to leave room for the chocolate. Once that’s complete, you melt your chocolate and combine it with the coconut oil, which gives the chocolate a smoother, creamier texture without affecting the taste. You then add in your desired amount of chocolate into each cookie cup, leaving some for garnish. 

With the remaining dough, you seal the tops of the cookie cups, stamp with a fork to make the signature peanut butter cookie crosshatch, and then bake for fifteen-twenty minutes until the edges are golden and the middles are set. 

Now comes the tough part. 

You have to let them cool  c o m p l e t e l y  before taking them out of the tin, or the melted chocolate will cause the cookie cups to fall apart. Once you do get them out of the pan, however, you can drizzle with the remaining chocolate and enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk. 

I can practically taste it now. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? πŸ˜€

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Baked (Peanut Butter Cup!) S’Mores Dip

smoredip2DSC_0399I love a s’more as much as the next person (as evident in this post, this postand this post), but they’ve never been my absolute favorite

That is, until someone suggested I put peanut butter on them. 

Magic, I tell you. Irresistible with a capital “i”. πŸ˜€

So naturally, when my mom Facebook messaged me a short little video demonstrating the recipe above, it was calling my name. Super-duper easy, bakes up quick, looks kinda gorgeous, tastes amazeballs, and is perfect for parties. What’s not to like? Plus, if you’re allergic to peanut butter (or don’t like it :P) you can substitute your favorite brand of chocolate instead (*cough* Ghiradelli *cough*). 

If you’re still not convinced, just look at the pictures above. Yep. Keeeeeeeeep looking. Those golden, melty marshmallows mixed with gooey chocolate and peanut butter, served warm on a crispy graham cracker with a tall glass of milk. Mmmhmm. That’s about right. 

Recipe below! πŸ˜‰ 

Oh, and feel free to comment your favorite way to make a s’moreCharred marshmallow, or barely toasted? Milk, dark, or white chocolate? Chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers? A rolo instead of a square of chocolate? The possibilities are endless! πŸ˜€

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Chocolate Party Bark

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Hello, lovelies! I come to you on a bright Saturday morning with an equally bright, colorful recipe (and a fun name to boot!)–chocolate party bark.

That’s right, folks. 

A smooth combination of some good ol’ Ghiradelli semi-sweet and dark chocolate over crunchy, salty pretzels, and topped with a motherload of all things sweet and salty–popcorn, peanut m’n’m’s (not advised if you have a peanut allergy :P), sprinkles, and, of course, some peanut butter (which, as I found out, does not freeze. It kinda just stays peanut-buttery). 

Par-tay, amiright? πŸ˜‰

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So I call this party bark for two reasons: 

1. Because of all of the texture and flavor and craziness that’s going on in one little snippet of this bark, it’s like a party in your mouth *cue party emojis*.

2. This kinda combines all of the snacks you’d find at a social gathering–a.k.a. a party–in one go–you’ve got your salty snacks covered with the pretzels, the quintessential popcorn, and your sweet treats (the m’n’m’s and the chocolate). It’s kinda mindblowing if you think about it–so much crammed into something so simple. πŸ™‚

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Random tangent, but on the topic of things that are mindblowing, I found this website that puts everything in perspective, if you know what I mean. Not in the moral way where you realize how you literally have no real problems because there are kids going hungry in the world while you’re sittin’ here with a bowl of party bark at your fingertips–

Ahem. There’s a time for all of that, but that time is not now. Back to perspective. πŸ™‚

It’s in the physical aspect, meaning that this website takes very smallest piece of matter known to man (the proton nucleus of a hydrogen atom, if you were interested) and the largest thing we know of (the observable universe, naturally) and puts both of these on a sliding scale with everything in between, from the Statue of Liberty to the Virgo Supercluster to a blue whale. It’s mind-boggling to me just how huge everything is and, at the same time, how there’s practically a separate universe underneath our fingertips that’s microscopically, almost inconceivably small. I love this kind of stuff, and thought I’d share it.

If you want to check it out, you can find that website here, and a video from Buzzfeed with a similar mind-boggling theme here. I recommend both! 

Now. 

If you’re anything like me, after watching these, your mind is utterly melted and you’re stumped by the complexity of it all. So, to give our fried brains a break, let’s get back to something a bit simpler–party bark! 

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Like I said, these are pretty darn simple to make–you’re looking at all of the ingredients you’ll need right here (minus the peanut butter. I added that later. Oh, and the sprinkles, too!). To make these, you need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, a bowl filled with 3 cups of your favorite chocolate chips (I used a combination of semi-sweet and 60% dark), some popcorn, a bag of pretzels, a handful of m’n’m’s, and some colorful sprinkles to make it look pretty. All you gotta do is melt the chocolate, line the parchment paper with a couple of pretzels, pour the chocolate over the pretzels, making sure it’s smooth, even, and not too thick, and then top with whatever you please until your heart’s content. You then pop it in the freezer for oh, half an hour or so, and bam. Chocolate party bark. 

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I mean. 

Can we just. 

Glorious. Simply glorious. 

Before we get into the recipe, I’d like to say something about the PB. I don’t recommend using it, because it doesn’t freeze right, and though it tastes delicious, it feels kinda greasy when you’re holding a piece. I’d recommend using white chocolate or something instead. That’s all. πŸ˜€

So. Let’s get into it, shall we? 

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Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Truffles

CDTcoverGood morning, lovelies! Today is a wonderful day. The sun is shining, I got my run in for the day, and I have these bad boys to keep me company. 

The ‘bad boys’ I reference are, of course, an inanimate combination of flour, sugar, and butter, amongst other things (and chocolate, duh). They are everyone’s favorite part of baking cookies (licking the spoon πŸ˜‰ ) without any of the worry that you might get salmonella from raw eggs (has anyone really? From cookie dough?) all in a bite-sized, chocolate-coated, crushed-graham-cracker-sprinkled bite. 

Delectably adorable, no? πŸ˜›

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I don’t know if y’all would notice (ha! I’m not Southern :P), but I did try and switch up the background a bit. Those red and blue checked cloths are nice, but a bit repetitive, dontcha think? I think this green and white paisley is kinda sophisticated–I digress. 

They’re pretty easy to make, too! I mean, it’s not exactly rocket science to whip up some chocolate chip cookies, and these take all of the complicated stuff out of an already pretty average task–no worrying about baking-soda-to-baking-powder ratios, or preheating the oven to exactly the right temperature, or having burnt edges and wobbly middles because your dang oven just can’t cook evenly–

I’m rambling, aren’t I? 

Whoops? πŸ˜‰ 

Anywhoo, if you’ve got a stand mixer (heck, even if ya don’t), you can make these bad boys. All it takes is a bit of butter, some sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, and some good ol’ chocolate chips. 

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P.S. The chocolate’s not fuzzy, it’s just the condensation from being in the freezer–I photographed them right after they came out because they’re best served cold (more on that later)–moving on!

Alrighty, so. To make these, you’ll take your somewhat softened (or slightly microwaved) stick of butter and some light brown sugar and beat it all together until it’s fluffy. You’ll then add in your flour, vanilla, and salt, mixing it together until it looks something like this. 

DSCN2778You’ll then take your preferred form of chocolate chunk–chocolate chips, m’n’m’s (how many apostrophes are there??), candy bars, or a giant bar of chocolate hacked into squares with a big knife (what I did because we didn’t have any chocolate chips and I didn’t feel like going to the store πŸ˜‰ )–and stir it in. Taste test. Add whatever needs adding–like milk, for texture purposes, or a splash more of vanilla–and move along. At this point you may want to stick the dough in the fridge for a bit so that it sets more and isn’t as sticky–easier to roll into balls later. πŸ˜€

DSCN2780After you’re good and happy with your dough (and if you can stop eating it enough to actually roll it into the truffles–will power!) you will do just that. You can use a spoon, or an ice cream scooper, or a fancy cookie dough scooper with an automatic release, or your hands (a la moi) to roll the dough into bite-sized spheres…nuggets…lumps…you get the picture. I recommend doing this on wax paper as opposed to tin foil or parchment paper because the dough will come off much easier and won’t freeze to the material (it’s a problem, I tell you). 

DSCN2788To make them look as good as they taste, all you have to do is melt two chocolate bars (who has time for fancy melting wafers or tempered chocolate?), and get some graham cracker crumbs. You’ll take the frozen nugget of dough, dunk it in the melted chocolate, and stick it in the graham cracker crumbs. Optionally, you can then try to be all artsy like that and drizzle them in some more chocolate. These will then go back into the freezer for at least half an hour (so that chocolate can set), and then are ready to be served. 

DSCN2798As far as storing them goes, I suggest keeping them in the freezer until you are ready to eat them–the cookie dough is still cookie dough, meaning that it’s still a bunch of uncooked butter, flour, and sugar that will get all melty and sticky if left out too long. The cold plays great with the texture of them, though, because the chocolate topping is hard, but then the dough is soft and thick, and the chunks of chocolate melding both perfectly. I would suggest using semi-sweet chocolate, because milk would be too sweet and bland, and dark chocolate would add a bitter edge to the truffle. I mean, who wants bitter cookie dough? πŸ˜›

DSCN2804Now that you have an upclose look at the glory of these truffles (they’re absolutely delicious–my siblings were fighting over them, I kid you not)…

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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homemade vanilla ice cream

Hello, friends!

With summer in the air and 11 miles under my belt today, I figured a good way to kick off the regular blogging season (!!!) would be with a recipe for some classic vanilla ice cream. 

Except this is no ordinary vanilla–this is the best dang vanilla ice cream that you will evah have, lemme tell you. Cross my heart and hope to die, I promise–well, cross my heart and hope you enjoy it as much as I do, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Oh, you know what I mean. πŸ™‚

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So last year, we gave my dad an ice cream maker for Father’s Day, and this past week we realized that we’d only pulled it out once in the entire time we’d had it (which kind of makes sense, given that no one is really ever in the mood for some Rocky Road when it’s 20 below freezing outside–I digress πŸ˜‰ ) With a weekend promising 80 degree weather and only partly cloudy skies (we’ll take it!), we decided to bust it out. And we’re very glad we did. πŸ˜›

Now, you might be wondering what makes this particular ice cream so much better than regular ol’ Edy’s. It’s all frozen sugar milk in the end, right? But, as always, the fact that it’s homemade just makes all the difference. It tastes much richer and creamier than the tubs you can buy at the store, to start, so the texture’s just off the charts. It’s s-u-p-e-r smooth, almost like soft serve, and it coats your whole mouth with creamy, vanilla-y amazingness. 

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The other major (and I mean major with a capital M) difference is the vanilla flavor itself. After trying this, all of the storebought stuff will pale in comparison–you can tell that the homemade version is made from higher quality, fresher ingredients, and there’s no freezer burn to deal with! That’s always a plus, right? 

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The other thing I love about this is the simplicity of it all. No weird preservatives, no artificial flavoring or “diet” ingredients, just good, wholesome ice cream. Well. 

Never mind ;). 

Back to the ice cream and it’s beautiful simplicity. You take some whole milk, some heavy cream, a dash of sugar (alright, maybe a little more than a dash), and some pure vanilla extract. That’s it. You beat it all together with a handheld mixer, pour it in the freezer bowl, turn on the machine, and let it do what it was made to do. And, because of the ice cream maker we have (a Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2-Qt. Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet Ice Cream Maker, if you’re interested), you don’t need anything other than the machine itself. Simple! You’ll dump in the milk mixture and it will look like this

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…and half an hour later it looks like this <3…

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It’s magic, I tell you! 

The only complicated part of it all is making sure the freezer bowl is completely frozen before you try to make the ice cream. It sounds like it would be an easy thing to remember, but, knowing me, I managed to screw it up. πŸ™‚ You see, I am the queen of on-the-spot baking. I never know what I’m going to make in advance, so I usually have the recipe pulled up on my phone, generally know the ingredients I’ll need, and then I’ll just go. Y’know, instead of “letting the butter sit at room temperature for a couple of hours”, I pop it in the microwave for fifteen seconds. 

That doesn’t work when the freezer bowl has to stay in the freezer for anywhere from six to twenty-two hours before it’s ready to use…

…this post was supposed to be up yesterday…

Oops? 

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And then, once you have this ice cream, you can do anything you want with it. Top your favorite pie (when I made it the first time, I served it with this peach cobbler), make some ice cream Oreos , or make it into some sundaes like I did here! Plop a scoop of ice cream down, drizzle on a layer of chocolate syrup, and add another scoop (of course). Top with copious amounts of whipped cream and sprinkles. 

Lots. 

And lots. 

Of sprinkles. 

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Voila!

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

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Apple Pie Burritos

DSCN2518_FotorAren’t Mondays off great? No school, an extra day to do whatever you didn’t over the weekend (*cough* math homework *cough*), and the next weekend comes even faster. 

Plus, tomorrow’s Fat Tuesday. 

It’s going to be a pretty great week if I don’t say so myself. πŸ™‚

Since I had all this extra time this past weekend, I decided it was a good time to get a blog post up. And since my mom had just come back from Costco with enough apples to feed a small army (my family eats a l-o-t of apples), a dessert involving my favorite fruit was bound to happen. And thus, the apple pie burrito was formed. 

 

DSCN2526_FotorBeautiful, aren’t they? 

Unpopular opinion time: my least favorite part of the apple pie is the crust. I can’t get enough of the apples, though, all soft and warm and swimming in syrupy, spicy goodness, and the crust always tastes off. Too buttery and leaning too far towards the savory end of the spectrum to complement the apples for me. Most times I’ll pass on the crust and just eat a big ol’ pile of those baked apples. πŸ˜€

Not with these bad boys. 

To start, the filling is de-li-cious–you can use the canned apple pie filling you can buy at the store, but the homemade kind is always better. πŸ˜‰ And then, instead of a weirdly savory crust, you’ve got a cinnamon-sugar coated crispy-crunchy tortilla encasing the filling. 

And, as if they weren’t irresistible enough, the hardest part about these is folding the tortilla. 

What’s not to like?

DSCN2509_FotorYou’re going to start with 10-14 flour tortillas, depending on how much filling you have. (I’ll include the recipe for the homemade apple pie filling below!). I rolled mine out as thin as they could be with a rolling pin because I felt they were a little thicker than I’d like, but it’s all a personal preference. You do you, bro. πŸ™‚

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 You’ll then spoon about 2 tablespoons of apple pie goodness onto the tortilla, far enough over that it’ll all be encased once you burrito your tortilla. 

Now, I didn’t want any of my filling leaking out of the tortilla while it baked, so I folded it like this: 

DSCN2511_Fotor DIAGRAMSo you basically fold the sides in, then the top over just enough to cover the filling, then the bottom two corners just a bit, and then you roll it alllllllllllll together until it resembles something like this:

DSCN2512_FotorOr you can always just roll it up normally without all the bells and whistles and make yourself some Apple Pie Taquitos. Whatever floats your boat. πŸ˜€

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After you’ve successfully burritoed your tortilla, you’ll either dunk or brush said burrito in melted butter. This not only helps the cinnamon-sugar to adhere to the surface, but it browns the tortilla nicely and adds a richness to the dessert. 

DSCN2514_FotorAnd then, my most favorite part–the cinnamon sugar. Bathe that buttered burrito in the cinnamon-sugar until it’s coated to your heart’s desire. In the above pictures of the finished burritos you can see that the sugar caramelized on top while it baked…h-e-a-v-e-n. 

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Pop your burritos in the oven for five or so minutes until they’re hot and golden. They’re amazeballs fresh out of the oven with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream– Γ  la mode, if you will. Of course, you can store them in an airtight container afterwards and heat one up in the microwave whenever you so please. It’s the best of both worlds: immediate and delayed gratification! πŸ™‚

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

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No Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cereal Bars

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These, my friends, are a classic. Growing up, no Christmas Eve party, or visit to Grandma’s, was complete without a heaping plate piled with dozens of these bad boys. In my family, we call them Nana Bars, after my great-grandma. They’re chewy, peanut-buttery base is slathered with a rich chocolate-butterscotch layer that keeps you coming back for more (and more!). Make ’em once, and soon you’ll find yourself making them at every possible occasion. πŸ˜‰

Like I said, they’re a classic! 

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The real reason I made these was because my younger sister wanted to bring them to school as her birthday treat (happy birthday, Annie!) , but I made a couple extra as a little treat to myself for getting through finals week. 

It was a lo-o-o-o-ng week, but I now have absolutely no homework, so I guess it’s kind of nice. πŸ™‚

 It is because of this fact (and a four-day-long weekend!) that I am able to bring this blog post to you, folks. Thank the school system that puts finals after (?) Christmas break. 

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One of the (many!) things I love about these bars is the little twists hidden in the simplicity of them. The main flavors are chocolate and peanut butter, but underneath that you’ve got a swirl of butterscotch and the syrupy shift the peanut butter has thanks to the Karo syrup. When you bite into one, the chocolate layer is smooth and creamy, and the rice crispie part is crunchy and chewy and all things delicious! All of the flavors and textures meld together into a bite size square that arranges just so nicely on a plate. Perfect for a party! 

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As the name says, they’re no-bake (you won’t need your oven), adding to their simplistic charm even more–although me, being me, managed to make them as complicated as I could (I may have set an oven mitt on fire. Shhhh). But seriously, you can make a pretty good sized batch in less than an hour with only 6 ingredients, a microwave, and a fridge. I’d call that impressive, no? πŸ˜€

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You’ll start with a cup of light-colored Karo syrup and a cup of granulated sugar. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but these are kind of a dentist’s worst nightmare–they’re exquisitely cavity-inducing. Cut ’em small, and you’ll be fine, right? Everything in moderation!

Anywhoo, mix those two together in a large bowl and microwave them until they’re melted together. You’ll then stir in a cup of peanut butter until it’s all melted together in a sugary concoction of deliciousness. It smells (and tastes) like the inside of a Reese’s peanut butter cup…

Go ahead. 

Try it. Lick the spoon or something (but please don’t put it back in!). 

No judgment here! πŸ˜‰ 

In a v-e-r-y large bowl, you’ll measure out 5 cups of plain rice crispies, and mix in the peanut butter mixture until all of the cereal is evenly coated. After that, press the rice crispies into a parchment-paper lined 9″x13″ dish. It should look a lil’ something like this. 

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The rice crispies on the edges might be a little crumblier than the ones more towards the center of the dish, but that’s all right. The chocolate layer on top will smooth out those rough edges!

The above-said chocolate layer is so simple that I managed to catch an oven mitt on fire while making it. To make it, you literally need to take a bag of butterscotch chips and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt them together in the microwave. Bibbidy-bobbidy-done

Instead of using the microwave, the little voice inside me that thinks its a culinary expert of some sort made the decision to melt them over the stove top, y’know, using a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water? Uh-huh. In trying to hold the hot glass bowl still with an oven mitt so I could stir, the oven mitt got tangled up in the fire and…well…

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Long story short, just use the microwave. Your poor oven mitts will thank you!

After you’ve got your butterscotch-chocolate mixture evenly stirred together, you’ll pour the chocolate over the rice crispies and smooth it over with a rubber spatula until all of the cereal is coated in a thick, glossy layer. 

Voila.

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Be still my beating heart. ❀

Then you’ll take this bad boy and pop it in the fridge for, oh, half an hour or so, until the chocolate layer is set. Watch an episode of Criminal Minds, get some laundry done, maybe finish up that English project you’ve had over a month to do–or do all three, like me! πŸ˜€

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Once they’re chilled and set, you can slice them into 1″x 1″ squares, so cute and perfectly bite-sized that they’re (almost!) guilt-free. πŸ™‚

Alright, not really, but a girl can dream, right? 

Shall we get into it? 

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Special thanks to my grandma for giving me the recipeβ€”they’re such a classic in my family, and I’m glad I can make them whenever I want now! Love you, Grandma!

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Fudgy Brownie Cookies

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Hello again, lovely peoples! 

I’m back for another post!

I feel like I’m behind on greetings…my last post was on the first of November (oh, goodness), so…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Merry Christmas!

And a very happy New Year! Oh my good Lord, it’s 2015.

Do you guys have any resolutions for the new year? Planned diets, exercise plans, stepping outside your comfort zone (even if it’s something as simple as swapping your nude lippie for a bright fuschia? No? Just me? ‘Kay.) As for me, I’m hoping to be a brighter, more optimistic person, and to try to live in the moment a bit more–I tend to focus on tomorrow instead of enjoying today. I need to do a better job of stopping and smelling the roses, y’know? 

That’ll be enough preaching from me. Shall I introduce la recette (ooh, French!)? πŸ˜‰

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I bring you fudgy brownie cookies today. Decadent, soft & chewy chocolate cookies are bursting with gooey chocolate chips. These cookies and milk are a match made in heaven, let me tell you. I told myself I had to stop after my fourth. πŸ˜‰ Fresh out of the oven, or heated in the microwave for a couple of seconds…there’s no other way. Not with this many chocolate chips involved!

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The ingredients are fairly simple, which is always a plus. Your basic cookie ingredients–all-purpose flour; an egg; a stick o’ buttah; some light brown sugar; it’s plain cousin, granulated sugar; pure vanilla extract; and baking soda–combine with some chunky sea salt, a bit of milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a cup of chocolate chips (the best part). You could use regular salt, but I prefer sea salt, just because I love the contrast between a sweet, gooey, chocolatey cookie and the chunky sea salt–it also provides a bit of texture, so between the thick base, the melted chocolate chips, and the sea salt, it’ll be like a cookie palooza in your mouth! πŸ˜€ Now who doesn’t want that? 

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Along with already-in-your-pantry ingredients, it won’t take rocket science to make these. You whisk together your dry ingredients, beat the butter, add in the sugars, the vanilla, the eggs, and the milk, pour in your dry ingredients, measure out a generous cup of chocolate chippies, and then chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. While you’re waiting, feel free to have a dance party in your kitchen, watch a couple of episodes of Criminal Minds (great show), or catch up in the book you’re reading (a la moi–I’m reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, because I want to see the movie, and oh my goodness gracious…cookies are necessary when reading a book this intense. Take my word for it.)

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After an hour is up, roll out about a tablespoon and a half of dough into little balls, 9 per cookie sheet. The dough is much easier to work with once chilled! They’ll cook in the oven (which as been heated to 350 degrees, of course) for about 10 minutes. They’ll look puffy, and slightly underdone–that’s a good thing! As they cool, they’ll settle, and if they’re still too puffy for your liking, you can press down on them with the back of a spoon. Take advantage of this cooling time to stick in a couple (or a lot) more chocolate chips. They’ll melt and make the cookies even more irresistible (is that possible?). 

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These bad boys are fresh outta the oven. Yes, please!

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I wish I’d made these for Christmas Eve–I bet good ol’ Saint Nick would’ve left a couple extra gifts underneath the tree if he’d had some fudgy brownie cookies! When I was younger, that’s what boggled my little mind about Santa–not the whole flying-around-the-world overnight business, or making gifts for billions of people and then fitting them all on one lil’ sleigh, or the tags on the gifts that were written in handwriting suspiciously similar to my dad’s…no; how on earth did he eat so many cookies? 

The world may never know. πŸ˜‰ 

Let’s get into it, shall we? 

 

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I just wanted to apologize for the weird square-2015-Sweet-Gra at the bottom of my pictures. I was trying out a new watermark and obviously…it didn’t translate well! Thanks πŸ™‚

Original recipe here.

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Halloween Candy Cookie Bars

 

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Hello, friends. 

I can guess what you’re all thinking: 

Oh my goodness! She’s back from the dead!

In the spirit of a belated-Halloween…muahahahaha. 

Just kidding! I actually had a day to myself…as well as a bucket of leftover Halloween candy, which is why this post is coming to you today. Surprise!

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Onto the very colorful subject of this post (literally)…

Halloween Candy Cookie Bars! Yay! πŸ˜€

A complex, chewy, buttery cookie base is dotted with a plethora of chocolatey Halloween candy that makes for an irresistible treat. Plus, it comes in bar form, which I seem to have developed an affinity towards…

And why not?

With cookies, you have to worry about them spreading in the oven and them being too flat and cookie sheets being too hot between batches and chilling the dough and spacing them 2-inches apart, blah, blah, blah (not saying that I don’t love a good cookie). With cookie bars, you plop le batter into le pan, pop it in le oven, and BOOM–le cookie bars. 

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For today’s bars, you’ll start out with an armful of Halloween candy, preferably of the chocolate variety–I mean, if Nerds and Sour Patch float your boat, by all means, go ahead, but if I found a Skittle in my bars, I think I’d be kinda grossed out. Just sayin’.

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You’ll then roughly chop the candy into small chunks. Make sure to grab a couple packets of m’n’m’s (which I’m almost positive you have laying around somewhere) and dump ’em in. They’re what give the bars their colorful pop! Plus, unlike the other chocolates that melt all over the place while they’re baking, the candy coating keeps m’n’m’s shape pretty well. By the end, you should have cut up about two cups worth of candy. 

 

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After doing so, you’ll want to gather your other ingredients–flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, some salt, some vanilla, some honey, two eggs, a cup of melted unsalted butter, and a pinch of instant coffee. Now, you may be thinking, instant coffee? Whaaaa? but it helps to cut the sweetness of these bars. The original recipe I was following called for molasses (which I conveniently didn’t have), so I substituted honey for texture and consistency purposes, and a teaspoon of instant coffee to give it a deeper, more complex flavor–which it totally did! It adds a subtle espresso note when you first take a bite, but before you can even place your finger on what that might be, the buttery, salty notes of the honest-to-goodness cookie base take over. That, or you hit an m’n’m, and are absorbed in candy-coated-chocolatey goodness. πŸ˜‰

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As per usual, the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt (of which I used coarse), and instant coffee are whisked together. Piece of cake (or cookie bar). 

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Next comes a slightly more hands-on (literally) part. You’re going to take the honey, vanilla, and sugar, and work it all together with your fingers so that there’s not any sugary-honey clumps. The sugar will be lightly tinted yellow. It smells a little strange, but bear with me. Baking is an art! 

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After that, you’ll stir together the melted butter and the eggs until it’s even. You’ll then mix the butter mixture and the sugar mixture into the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick, wet, and kinda sticky. Measure out a rough cup of the chopped candy and stir it into the batter before plopping it in a 9×13″ pan and topping it with the remaining candy. 

DSCN2389_FotorMmmmm….

Yes. So much yes. 

Can you see the thickness of the batter? The dark dots of coffee? The chunks of nougat and caramel and peanut and deliciousness

As far as baking times go, the recipe I was following said to bake it for up to half an hour, but mine took at least 40 minutes to set enough that it wasn’t gooey in the middle. Then again, our oven’s sorta messed up (the door doesn’t close all the way), so baking times may vary. Watch it while it bakes, and after the 25-minute mark, poke it in the middle with a toothpick to test for consistency. 

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Once it’s done baking, you get this glorious hodgepodge of melted candy and cookie. See the rivers of gooey chocolate, the splotches of multicolored candy coating. Gorgeous. 

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These bars, due to all of the melted candy–and the chewy nature of the cookie base–are thick and they’ll stick to your teeth. They taste AH-MAZING paired with a tall glass of cold milk (as most cookies do). The taste is pretty complex, what with the espresso and the caramel and the nougat and the chocolate and the peanut and the cookie base all melding together into this amazing combination that just rocks your world! 

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Seriously, though. It’s hands-down the best way to eat up leftover Halloween candy. πŸ˜‰ Let’s get to it, shall we? 

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***I’d like to dedicate this post to my great-grandma, who passed away this morning. She led a wonderful, long life and had a very big heart–and a sweet tooth to match. We love you, Nana.*** ❀ 

Adapted from this recipe here

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Yet Another Note on Scheduling

Good evening, everybody! This little update is coming to you late(r) at night (than usual). 

And that’s sorta because it’s the only time I could fit it in. 

Which is kind of the reason behind this post. 

πŸ˜€

If you remember last year at this time, I put something out there called “A Note on Scheduling”, and proceeded to not blog for 6 months. 

I don’t really want a repeat of that!

What there may be a repeat of is the time-crunch insanity. School started again, and I am pretty much booked Monday-Friday from 6:45 in the morning until at least 8 at night, homework and projects and practices all factored in. Saturdays are eaten up, too, so that leaves Sunday afternoons for blogging (Sunday mornings are spent at Church). 

So. 

You see my dilemma. 

I don’t have a complete plan all figured out yet, because I don’t have all of the information yet. What I do have is a promise that I will try my hardest to keep blogging, and whether that means dropping SLBW for now (I know 😦 ), or only updating once every two weeks (I know D: ). I’m not sure. I love this little corner of the interweb a lot, so I’ll keep posting…but there will definitely be some post irregularity. I’ll keep you guys updated (I promise!) and will definitely continue to stay active via Twitter, Instagram (maybe I move SLBW to Insta? Thoughts?), etc. 

There’s a muffin recipe in the works, FYI. πŸ˜‰ 

See you guys soon!