Brookies – A Perfect Marriage Of Two Amazing Desserts

30 May

The other day I was just dying for some cookies. But, I was also really in the mood for a brownie – dilemma, right? WRONG – enter – the BROOKIE. If you have never heard of it before, the brookie is a brownie/cookie bar that basically gives you the best of both worlds (both the cookie and brownie worlds that is!)

So I set to baking right away:

(Recipe courtesy of Debbie Net)
Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Cookie Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla exract
1 egg
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Brownie Layer:
-In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/8 tsp salt; set aside.
-In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract; stir mixture until it is well combined. Add 2 eggs and beat well. Stir in the cocoa powder until it is well combined. Add the flour mixture, stirring well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.

Cookie Layer:
-In a medium bowl, whisk together 1-1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt; set aside.
-In a large bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, the light brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; continue beating until mixture is creamy. Add 1 egg; beat about 2 more minutes until the mixture is light and creamy.
-Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until the dough is combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Carefully spread the cookie dough over the brownie layer in the baking pan.
-Bake in the preheated oven, about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the brookies comes out clean. Cool completely; cut into bars.

I love recipes where I have everything in my pantry already, and luckily this one fit the bill! I threw them together and in no time I was enjoying these warm from the oven!

They turned out great, the only thing I wish is that the brownie flavor came out a little more, it sort of gets overpowered by the cookie portion, but otherwise these were great!

John’s Cookbook – Page 9 – Peanut Butter Popcorn “Cake”

9 May

Peanut Butter Popcorn “Cake”
(Recipe Courtesy of Glitter On A Dime)

12 oz package marshmallows
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
5 oz bag of butter popcorn (10 cups)
1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy

-Melt the butter and peanut butter together in the microwave for 45 seconds
-Add the marshmallows and toss to coat. Microwave for another minute or until the marshmallows are melted
-Add the popcorn and mix well.

-Let the mixture COOL a little and then add the Reese’s Pieces candies (You don’t want to add them too soon because they will melt!)
-Stir in the candy and press the mixture into a GREASED bundt pan
-Let it set for at least 15 minutes before turning it onto a serving plate. You can press some sprinkles into the top of the cake if you desire.

My little sous chef had just woken up from a nap when I was getting ready to make this – hence his sassy little face in the one pic. But – he was on board once he realized there was peanut butter involved!

Truth be told – I did NOT have enough popcorn for this – I thought I had plain popcorn but it was White Cheddar – which I did NOT think would mesh well with the other ingredients, so I decided to use some plain popcorn I had, along with honey nut cheerios – it turned out basically like rice krispie treats with peanut butter, and I really enjoyed it! It looks so fancy too in the bundt pan – an easy no bake treat!

WARNING! Serious PB Lovers Only: Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake

7 May

I have been wanting to make this one for a WHILE – but I knew that it wasn’t something I could just randomly make for my husband & me – it looked insanely intense – so I waited until we had an occasion to bring a dessert to. Luckily, our friend recently celebrated his birthday, so I decided to whip this up to celebrate!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake
(Recipe Courtesy of Delish)

1 box devil’s food cake, plus ingredients called for on box
2 c. peanut butter, melted
1 c. chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 c. Reese’s Pieces
1 c. peanut butter
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. heavy cream

Bake cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9″-x-13″ pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. Prepare cake batter according to package instructions and pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cake cool completely.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over cake. Pour melted peanut butter over the entire cake, filling the holes. Set aside.
Make frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in cream to loosen frosting, if needed.
Spread frosting all over the top of the cake. Top with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces.

As I had predicted, this cake was INTENSE – the peanut butter both in the cake and on top in the frosting is super rich, and the chocolate cake flavor almost gets lost alongside all the PB-ness (which – for me is no issue, I don’t really care for chocolate cake by itself, but if you’re looking to have that choco-y flavor, it’s really not there in this one)

That being said, OF COURSE I loved it, and so did my husband, son and our friends – the fluffy frosting against the toppings and cake is a great blend of textures, and while it may be intense, it’s also tasty!

I HIGHLY recommend you have some milk on hand when you go to tackle this bad boy – trust me, it’s the perfect compliment!

John’s Cookbook – Page 8 – Bunny Butt Cookies

26 Apr

We really aren’t big Easter people, but since my son is in school this year, he learned more about the holiday (the non religious version that is!) and we did a bit more than usual to celebrate. A little egg hunt in the playroom, a nice Easter basket, and – of course – themed baking! Kids love bunnies, and butts make them laugh, so why not combine them and make these bunny butt cookies?

Bunny Butt Cookies
(Recipe Courtesy of Pillsbury)

1roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
1container (12 oz) fluffy white whipped ready-to-spread frosting
Pink gel food color, if desired
22 miniature marshmallows
Assorted size candy sprinkles

-Heat oven to 350°F
-Cut cookie dough into 33 slices
-Cut 11 slices into 4 equal wedges; shape each wedge into ovals for bunny feet
-Place cookie dough slices and bunny feet on ungreased cookie sheet.
-Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
-In medium microwavable bowl, stir frosting and 1 to 3 drops pink food color until well blended. Microwave uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until soft but not translucent.
-To make bunny butt, frost 1 whole cookie slice and 2 bunny feet with frosting. Place bunny feet on bottom of cookie as shown in photo. Place 1 marshmallow in center of each cookie for tail. Decorate bunny paws with candy sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cookie slices and bunny feet.

John really enjoyed making these with me, and I have to say – they turned out super cute!

Hope you all had a very “Hoppy” Easter! I know I did!

John’s Cookbook – Page 7 – Oreo Dirt Cups

9 Apr

Signs of spring have finally sprung – birds. Flowers. And so so much mud. Mud everywhere, and sticks and leaves and all the things that homeowners just love. Well. Forget that noise – no more adulting. The yardwork can wait. Spring inspired desserts though – those cannot wait!

Is there anything cuter than some good old fashioned kid friendly dirt and worms? I think not!

Oreo Dirt Cups
(Recipe Courtesy of Shari Blogs)

2 cups cold milk
1 package (4 oz) chocolate instant pudding
1 – 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
1 package (16 0z) Oreos (crushed into crumbs)
Gummy Worms
10 plastic cups (8 oz. size)

-Pour the milk into a mixing bowl and add the pudding mix.
-Beat with a wire whisk until well blended (about 2 minutes), Let pudding stand for five minutes.
-Stir whipped topping into the pudding very gently until it is all the same color.
-Place about 1 Tablespoon of the crushed cookies into the bottom of each cup , Then add a 2 Tablespoons of pudding to each cup.
-Then repeat another layer of cookies, then pudding, and then cookies.
-Finish up by adding 2 gummy worms cut in half to the top of each of the cups.
-Put cups into the refrigerator for about one hour to chill them.

* I usually wait and add the gummy worms when I am ready to serve, rather than put in the refrigerator.
* Can pipe green buttercream on top to look like grass, then add Peep Bunnies and candy eggs to it for an Easter look, too!

These were a perfect thing to make with John – no baking or oven needed, and he got to use the meat hammer to smash the Oreos!

I made an executive decision while prepping these to skip the “layering” part – too ambitious with a little one helping. We did Oreos on bottom, pudding, then more Oreos on top. We also added some green frosting “grass” to some of them so that we could add peep bunnies, eggs and carrots in addition to the worms

These are such a cute thing to bring to a spring gathering, the layers look so fun in the cups.

It tastes just like I remember – awesome. Pudding plus Oreos = the best

If you want to skip the cups and make more of a “large batch” version of this classic – check out my Dirt N Worms

Happy Spring!

Amish-Style Apple & Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal (Because I Love Oats & Apples)

7 Apr

I have written about various baked oatmeal recipes that I have tried, and they have all turned out awesome. But when I found this one that included my favorite fruit – apples – I knew I had to try it – because you really can’t ever have too many baked oatmeal recipes, can you?

Amish-Style Apple & Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

(Recipe courtesy of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar (more to taste if you like things a bit sweeter)

2 1/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted

2-3 large tart, sweet apples (like Honey Crisp or Gala), peeled, cored and diced


Lightly grease a 8X12-inch or 9X13-inch baking pan or 9X9-inch (for super thick oatmeal) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (don’t preheat the oven if making ahead of time and refrigerating overnight).

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar.

In a large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.

Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and add the melted butter or coconut oil. Stir or whisk to combine.

Arrange the diced apples evenly over the bottom of the baking dish and pour the oatmeal mixture over the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden and the mixture is setup and not super jiggly.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a little milk poured over the top, if you want.

This was easy to throw together – but it took a lot longer to bake for me – not sure why. It took about an hour in the oven for it to not be super jiggly.

I love the way it tastes – crispy on top, creamy underneath. It’s the perfect thing to warm you on a lazy Sunday morning!

John’s Cookbook – Page 6 – PB&J Brownies

2 Apr

It is a well-known fact that Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches are basically the only food that ALL kids like. Seriously – if you don’t know what to feed your kid, or if you ask them what they want and they have rejected all of your suggestions – simply suggest good ole’ PB&J – and they will agree. It’s just like – a law of the world or something, they all love it, and I have to say, even as an adult, I love it too!

So I thought, why not add that goodness to something else most kids (and adults!) love – BROWNIES? So, that’s what we did:

 Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies
(Recipe courtesy of me – I made it up)

-Brownie Mix for 9×13 pan (plus ingredients called for on brownie mix box)
-1 cup Peanut Butter
-1 cup Jelly (any flavor will work!)

-Preheat Oven per Brownie Mix Directions
-Prepare Brownie Mix per Box directions
-Spread half of the brownie mix into a greased 9×9 pan
-Melt the Peanut butter slightly and pour it over the brownie mix
-Repeat with the jelly layer
-Top with the rest of the brownie mix
-Bake per Brownie box directions
-Let cool completely, then slice and enjoy!


I know I said I made this recipe up – but let’s be honest, it’s hardly a recipe – it’s basically just brownie mix with peanut butter and jelly added in. Might be simple, but dang is it good! I love the addition of these to the plain brownies – makes me wonder – what else can we add to brownies? Hmm…

Two Thumbs Up For This Insanely Easy Churro Dip

1 Apr

There are few things better than spending time with close friends. Add in some snacks (and wine!) and you have the perfect girls night!

My Best Friend from college came to town last week and we were able to take a girls trip to Ithaca NY where we met attending Ithaca College. I saw this a few days before she arrived and since we both adore Nutella I knew I would have to make it for us

Nutella Churro Dip


1 can refrigerated biscuit dough

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 c. cinnamon-sugar

2 c. Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an oven-safe 10” skillet with cooking spray.

Cut each biscuit in half and roll halves into balls. Dunk each ball in melted butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place around the perimeter of skillet to form a ring. The biscuit pieces should be touching!

Dollop Nutella into the center of the biscuits. Bake until biscuits are golden and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm

Assorted prep pics – we actually ended up using a smaller cast iron skillet. And we also skipped the butter – the biscuits were sticky enough that the cinnamon sugar stuck to them well without adding in the butter component

We also didn’t add the Nutella until the last 5 minutes or so of baking – didn’t seem to be any reason to put it in for the whole time (probably could have burned or boiled it, and wasted Nutella is to tragic to tempt fate in my book!)

My BFF, husband and I ate it all and it was damn good. Biscuits. Sugar. Cinnamon. Nutella. Nothing to hate there. Here’s to awesome friends, desserts, and fun!

This Two Ingredient Chocolate Buttercream Blew My Mind

1 Apr

I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while – I pinned it forever ago thinking “two ingredient frosting? Yeah right” – but never foe around to making it

Curiosity (and my always burning desire for frosting) got the best of me last night when I decided to give it a go:

Two Ingredient Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

(Recipe courtesy of Cookies & Cups)


2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 lb (2 cups) butter


1 In medium saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over medium low heat, whisking frequently.

2 When melted, cool completely and chill until solid.

3 Remove from fridge and allow to come up to room temperature.

4 Put all the chocolate in a mixing bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes until light in color and fluffy.

Various melting phases. I placed it in my Kitchen Aid mixing bowl before placing in the fridge overnight – since I knew I would ultimately use that bowl to whip it up, I figured it would be easier to transport while liquid

It did look kinda gross coming out of the fridge – and even after two hours on the counter it was still pretty hard. Nevertheless, I persevered and scraped it up in preparation to whip it into oblivion

The recipe states to mix it for 2 minutes, mine took a lot longer to transform – more like 5-6 minutes, but once it did, oh my was it beautiful. Fluffy and light colored, and the taste was great too – hard to believe its only butter and chocolate chips!

So – now I am a believer. You really can make awesome frosting with just two ingredients. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and see!

John’s Cookbook – Page 5 – S’mores Dip

19 Mar

The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and Spring is here! It may not feel like it for sure yet, but warmer weather is on its way, and I for one can’t wait to get out there and enjoy it. Admittedly, I am NOT much of an outdoor girl AT ALL – BUT – when you have kids that have been cooped up inside for the past several years (months really – but feels like years), you gotta embrace the wonder that is the great outdoors

One of the best things about warmer weather is having campfires and roasting marshmallows for S’mores. It may not be S’more weather yet – but it is S’more dip weather (which – is really anytime!)

S’more’s Dip
(Recipe Courtesy of Wine & Glue)

8 oz cream cheese room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup fudge sauce
7 1/2 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

graham cracker sticks for dipping
mini chocolate chips/marshmallow bits for topping

In a large bowl, blend together with a handheld mixer: the cream cheese, powdered sugar, fudge sauce, marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth

Transfer to a serving bowl, top with mini chocolate chips and marshmallow bits and serve with graham crackers

John’s favorite part? Anything marshmallow related – he loved the fluff, and the tiny little marshmallows blew his mind!

He looks oddly like the Joker while “taste-testing” the ingredients


As with most dips – this wasn’t exactly hard to make, and I love the idea of a dippable S’more!

It was enjoyed by all, big and small – and while it was great, it just made me want a REAL s’more even more! Still – a worthy winter time substitute, and I personally enjoyed it right off the spoon (no graham crackers needed!)