Looks Aren’t Everything – TASTE Is! (Also Known As – The Tale Of How I Botched These Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies But Ate Them Anyway)

24 May

I follow so many food sites/pages on Facebook that my feed is like 90% recipe videos – which is basically amazing, and also a curse – as it always makes me starving, and then cranky when I realize I don’t have a personal chef to whip up said recipes for me on demand (boo!)

But – luckily I DID have all the ingredients for these Buckeye Brownies on hand (Damn you Tasty – your recipe videos are the prettiest and most tempting of all!), so here goes nothing!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (AKA Buckeye Brownies)

INGREDIENTS

1 box brownie mix, with additional ingredients according to box instructions

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup butter, melted

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk chocolate chips

PREPARATION

1. Prepare brownie mix according to box instructions.

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2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and melted butter.

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3. Distribute scoops of the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie and flatten the mixture to achieve an even layer.

4. In a small bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips and butter. Microwave in 15-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval.

5. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the brownies, then evenly spread to achieve a flat, even layer.

6. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

Here’s the Step By Step Video to help you along – and to make you drool a bunch (You’re Welcome!)

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So – ok. A few side notes

I didn’t actually have any boxed brownie mix on hand – so I turned to the Best Brownie recipe I have made several times before – as I did have all that stuff on hand already – yay! However – that recipe makes an 8×8 pan – so – that’s where things got a bit dicey….

The brownies turned out amazing – but since it was a smaller pan, I decided to half the topping, and when I made the peanut butter layer it just seemed so dry and clumpy, that I ended up adding a bit of milk and some vanilla to give it a more frosting like consistency. Delicious? Yes. The best idea? Not really…

Clearly mine did NOT turn out as pictures/depicted on Tasty – and honestly, that’s my own fault entirely – as the “peanut butter frosting” layer (which seemed like the best idea ever at the time) was never going to fully set/harden up, so then the chocolate on top (which DID harden up in the fridge) cracked a bunch when it was cut up.

The End Result – a not so pretty brownie. That being said, it tasted AMAZING – the rich fudge-y brownie, the the smooth, sweet peanut butter, and then the chocolate topping – what a dessert! Next time I will definitely follow the recipe as written, but for now if anyone needs me I will be off sloppily devouring these gems

Cookie Dough Fudge (AKA The Stuff Of My Teenage Dreams)

18 May

Packages of “Slice’N’Bake” Cookie Dough were basically a staple for every sleepover I attended or hosted when I was younger. And of course, we were lucky if even half of the dough got made into actual cookies – because the best part was eating the dough! Was it unsafe? Marginally, yes – since it contained raw eggs. But did we care? NO. Are we still alive to tell about it? YES. And has the world come up with an amazing alternative that makes me feel like a kid again as a eat the whole pan? HELL TO THE YES IT HAS!!!!

Enter – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Bars. Thick, egg-less cookie dough topped with a rich layer of chocolate peanut butter goodness. Oh – and there’s no baking involved either – making these the perfect treat to whip up as the days get hotter (and the oven becomes a much less appealing option)

Ok. Must stop drooling long enough to actually make these beauties.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Bars (Recipe courtesy of Wishes & Dishes)

Prep time:  30 mins
Total time:  4 hours 30 mins
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 c. mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together butter and brown sugar until it is fluffy. This takes about 3 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and alternate the flour and the sweetened condensed milk until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
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When you’re making the dough and desperately want to try it – and then you remember you CAN because there’s NO EGG IN IT! Oh happy day

  1. Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the 8×8 pan that has been lined with parchment paper. It will be sticky so lightly flour your hands if needed.
  2. Cover your bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight until firm.
  3. To make the topping, combine the peanut butter and ½ cup chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
  4. Stir every 30 seconds until smooth.
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Here’s where that thing called “restraint” comes in – utilize it to not dig in with a giant spoon at this point. Must let chocolate set

  1. Pour and spread over the top of the chilled dough and chill for at least 1 hour until firm.
  2. Let sit out for 5-10 minutes to soften before cutting into.

 

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OH HELLO LOVELIES

Ok – so – the original recipe states that there are 16 servings here – but I cut it into 36 squares – as it is pretty rich, and also when I think of fudge I think of cute little square pieces – and 36 is perfect for this size batch!

There’s definitely a “cookie dough craze” happening right now – with places like The Cookie Dough Cafe and Cookie DO NYC popping up all over – places that serve up safe to eat “raw” cookie dough with all kinds of flavors, toppings, and mix-ins. This recipe feeds into that craze – and I am MORE than happy to partake – as everyone knows the DOUGH is the best part!

Celebrate Your Next Birthday (Or ANY Day Really) With These Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

16 May

I have been making funfetti cookies for years – they are cheap, easy to make, and they taste delicious – so what’s not to love about that, right? I was actually about to make another batch of those to gift to someone for their birthday when I came across these online – Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies – basically a hybrid funfetti and chocolate chip cookie – all in one pretty, colorful treat!

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies  (Recipe Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix (I typically use vanilla cake mix – you just need the DRY mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup  chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup of white and 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
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Assembled ingredients ready for action! Side note – this is a perfect time to use up all those half empty containers of sprinkles you have sitting around!

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.

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    Various stages of dough-inc the hodge podge of sprinkles (Easter, Valentine’s, Christmas – all present and accounted for!)

  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days. This step is mandatory. The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much
  4. Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  5. Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, use about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Mine take 10 minutes exactly. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. You can also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point (the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies).

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    Obviously you can’t smell through the screen – but trust me – the smell that fills the kitchen as these bake is divineeee

  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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I love the look of these – all the colors of the sprinkles, and the dots of the white and semi sweet chips – so pretty and unique!

Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well – up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well – up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.

….Of course, freezing the baked cookies or the dough itself would mean that you would have to have some left after making a double batch…oops….

 

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My littlest critic approved of them (after intense pre-inspection!)

Needless to say – these were a hit – as a gift, and in my own house, too! One to make again, for sure!

Santa Brought Me Silicone Baking Mats (I Must Have Been On The “Nice” List!)

6 Jan

I have to say – I was pretty pumped when I opened up these bad boys on Christmas morning – so much so that I got right down to the business of testing them out!

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For those of you NOT familiar with what these are – they are silicone baking mats, which act as a non-stick tray liner for all your baking needs! They fit standard half sheet pan size trays (these are the ones I have – the mats fit perfectly on them), and are of course oven safe, and washable

There are a lot of different brands of silicone baking mats – and Silpat is probably the most widely known – but I had asked for (and was lucky enough to receive) the amazon basics version – which are basically the same thing

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I whipped up some classic Chocolate Chip Cookies to test out the mats – and they were perfect – just what I needed, and I can’t wait to use them again!

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*Note – this post was not AT ALL sponsored by amazon, silpat, or anyone else for that matter – I just really was excited to get these and share how well they worked with the world!

These No Bake Toffee Fudge Bars Are The Perfect Holiday Gift!

23 Nov

Well. It’s that time again – the holidays. It really snuck up on me this year, not sure about you – but suddenly it was September and fall, then Halloween, and now Thanksgiving, and Christmas is looming, too! 2016 is quickly coming to an end, and if you haven’t started Christmas shopping already, then you might want to get on it!

I love to incorporate handmade gifts whenever and wherever I can – I make applesauce and jar it every year to share with friends and family, and cookies are another item I love to give (and receive!). This year I plan to make at least two kinds to share (maybe more, time permitting!), and I came across a recipe that would make a perfect addition to my sweet gifts – these No Bake Toffee Fudge Bars. Whipped them up in no time and they were so easy and delicious! Check it out:

No Bake Toffee Fudge Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

2-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup (2 sticks) butter , divided
1 cup sugar
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 bag (10 oz.) miniature marshmallows
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup HEATH Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits
1 cup HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions:

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1. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with foil. Melt 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter; combine with graham cracker crumbs. Press crumb mixture evenly in bottom of prepared pan.

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2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and marshmallows in large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, stirring until chips are melted.

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3. Immediately pour over crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle surface with milk chocolate toffee bits and milk chocolate chips, pressing in lightly. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into bars. Store leftover bars covered in refrigerator. Makes 24 bars.

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These set up nicely and were easy to remove from the pan and cut after being in the fridge all morning

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These were loved by all – big and small!

And the great thing is the recipe makes 24 – so they are great to share (as they are pretty sweet so you only need to tuck a couple in each gift package!).  What’s better than an easy and delicious recipe that you can share with those you love this Christmas? Not much in my book!

Baking With Nutella – Soft And Chewy Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies

31 Aug

Ok, I’m just going to say it – I LOVE NUTELLA. I love it on a waffle, on toast, on an apple – but most of all I love it on a spoon right from the jar. It is chocolatey, smooth, and amazing, and before I discovered this recipe for Soft And Chewy Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies, I thought that there was NO WAY Nutella could get any better – but I was wrong. The pairing of Nutella with butter, sugar, flour, and yes- more chocolate – is a recipe for delicious success! Check out how I created these gooey, delicious cookies:

Soft and Chewy Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Recipe Courtesy of Averie Cooks)

YIELD: 11 large cookies
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: about 9 minutes
TOTAL TIME: about 3 hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
heaping 1/3 cup Nutella (stir well before adding)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, Nutella, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.

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So – I went ahead and made a double batch of these – because twice as many cookies is always better, right?

2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.

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Oh hello Nutella dough!

3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the white and chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.

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 In go the chocolate chips (yum)

4. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 11 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Tip – Strategically place a few chocolate chips right on top of each mound of dough by taking chips from the underside and adding them on top.

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  Dough balls – before and after chilling

5. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.

6. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.

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7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

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I can’t even look straight at this – it’s too glorious. Warm, gooey center with melty chocolate chips…this is heaven!

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I really enjoyed making these – it’s a nice break from normal chocolate chip cookies, something a little different and a LOT delicious. The Nutella doesn’t overwhelm the cookie, but you can definitely taste it. If you don’t eat them all right out of the oven, I recommend you warm them up a bit before eating – it just makes them that much better (trust me!)

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars = Cookie Heaven

26 Jul

What is better than cookies? Well, not much if you ask me – but I would say one thing that’s better than cookies is MORE COOKIES. I’m thinking like a cookie bar with cookies baked inside – now that’s basically perfection for a cookie lover like myself. I had saved the recipe for these loaded Oreo M&M cookie bars a while ago – and now that I have made them, I have no idea why I waited so long – as they were easy, tasty – and did I mention – cookie in cookie?

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars
(Recipe Courtesy Of Averie Cooks)
Yield: 8×8 pan (9-12 generous squares)
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20-25 min
Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
18 Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped (I used Oreo Chocolate Birthday Cake Sandwich Cookies
about 1/2 cup M&M’s (I used plain, use your favorite flavor or other chopped candy)

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Ingredients = assembled. Let’s bake.
Oh – and – I’m making a double batch. Because, well – why NOT?

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
-In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
-Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

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-Add the flour and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.

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-Stir in the Oreos.

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-Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
-Evenly sprinkle the M&Ms over the top, lightly pressing them down with your finger or a spatula.
-Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until done based on add-ins used. Top should be set and edges slightly firm. A toothpick inserted in the center (if you can find a bare patch to test) should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.

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-Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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NOTES: I decided to add some M&M’s into the batter too (in addition to putting them on top). I used peanut M &M’s – which tasted great but was kind of messy when it came to cutting them – the candy kinda fell apart – so I would recommend plain using plain or even mini M&M’s instead

In the original recipe, she states that you can really use anything – any cookies or mix in’s – so it might be fun to experiment with these – mini peanut butter cups and peanut butter oreos, chips ahoy cookies and cut up snickers…I could go on and on – but you get the idea. No matter what you use they will turn out delicious!