Archive | October, 2018

Sometimes The Best Recipes Are Right In Front Of You (Or, In This Case – On The Peanut Butter Chips Package!)

30 Oct

A friend of ours has a birthday coming up, and as adults, most of us are at the point where we have most things we want/need, so shopping for gifts for such occasions is harder than ever! Instead of buying him something, I decided BAKING would be a better gift – as who doesn’t love to receive something handmade and delicious on their birthday?

I asked our friend’s wife what he might like, and when she said “the cookie recipe on the back of the peanut butter chips bag” – I was like WOW why have I never made that before? I have bought countless bags of those chips over the years, but never even thought to make what was right in front of me! And since I had everything on hand (minus the chips, and a quick trip to the store easily fixed that issue!), I got to work:

REESE’S Chewy Chocolate Cookies
INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-2/3 cups REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips (10-oz. pkg.)
1-1/4 cups butter or margarine (2-1/2 sticks) , softened
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Drop by
rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not over bake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly

Wet meets dry, plus peanut butter chips (minus the ones I ate – oops)

Luckily I have a strong husband to help with the dough mixing – it gets hard to mix once everything is in there!

These were so easy to make – and it made a LOT! The recipe says it makes 4.5 dozen, but I got a bit more than that out of it, like 5 dozen total. And they tasted SO GOOD too – I will be making them again FOR SURE – probably tomorrow ha

Spooky Bat Brownies – A Fun Halloween Treat For All

30 Oct

My son loves all things “Spooooooky” – from haunted houses to scary movies and everything in between! So when I saw the title of these Spooky Bat Brownies I knew he would love making them with me (almost as much I would love eating them – as they combine two of my lifelong loves – chocolate, and FROSTING)

SPOOKY BAT OREO BROWNIES
(Recipe Courtesy of Something Swanky)

INGREDIENTS:
-brownies, baked and cooled*
*Before baking: spread half of the batter in the baking dish. Layer 15 Oreos (5 rows of 3 cookies) over the batter, and then spread the remaining batter on top of the Oreos.
-vanilla buttercream (check out my preferred recipe Here)
-8-12 ounces store-bought hot fudge sauce, room temp
-30 Oreos (15 for inside brownies, 15 for bat decorations)
-30 candy eyeballs

DIRECTIONS:
-Spread buttercream on top of the cooled brownies.
-Drop small dollops of hot fudge sauce (NOT heated) over the buttercream. Use the offset spatula or a knife to swirl the hot fudge sauce into the buttercream.
-Split the remaining 15 Oreos. Layer the halves with the cream, cream side up, on top of the swirled frosting.
-Pipe two small dots of fudge sauce on the Oreo cream and place two candy eyeballs on the fudge sauce.
-Take the “plain” remaining halves of the cookies and cut them in half to make the bat wings. Press them into the frosting under the bat “heads” (as pictured).

Here’s the making of the brownie base layer – a simple store bought 9×13 mix, with oreos added in

Here are the finished brownies – cooled off and ready for frosting!

Some of the work in progress stages – all I can say is good thing I had extra cookies, as I had a lot of trouble getting the ‘wings’ to evenly halve without breaking

Frosting, meet fudge

Bat Creation! I didn’t have any candy eyes (plus I didn’t want my son eating them since they are usually pretty hard to chew anyway), so I just saved some of my buttercream, tinted it black, and used it for eyes/faces. As you can see – the results garnered mixed emotions (from the bats, that is)

My little sous chef helped make the frosting, and was also a big help at eating the “broken” and unusable bat wing pieces

I was actually lucky enough to have not only my sous chef, but his two apprentices – Walter and Buzz Lightyear – on hand for some on the job training. Buzz enjoyed tasting some frosting, and Walter enjoyed all the broken cookie pieces that little sous chef accidentally dropped

This guy is unsure of what is happening….

Overall, this was a great recipe for me – it was easy, fun for my son, and used ingredients I had on hand (including the boxed brownie mix – I love a good shortcut!). The ONLY drawback was how hard they were to cut – but that is probably my own fault, as I kept them in the fridge. Once I left them out for a bit the cutting became substantially easier

They are delicious tasting too, but pretty rich – I cut each “bat” in half as any bigger would have been too much (probably why this bat looks so scared – he knows what’s coming!). This would be a great treat to make and bring to a Halloween Party, as it has the super cute bat presentation going on. I think next time I do it, I might go nuts and make the buttercream orange and purple to give it even more of a Halloween-y vibe!