Tag Archives: Chocolate

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:

To-Die-For-Brookies
(Recipe courtesy of Debbie Net)
Ingredients
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

Directions
-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!

Advertisements

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)

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CAKE
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
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
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

DIRECTIONS
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 4 – Chocolate PB Crescent Rolls

12 Mar

For this week’s page out of John’s Cookbook, he picked something simple (which I appreciate), that also managed to incorporate Chocolate and Peanut Butter (which EVERYONE appreciates!)

Chocolate PB Crescent Rolls
(Recipe Courtesy of Stockpiling Moms)

Ingredients
1 pkg of Crescent Rolls
8 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
¼ cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Roll out Crescent Rolls to form 8 triangles.
-Spread 1 Tbsp. of Peanut Butter on each triangle.
-Sprinkle Mini Chocolate Chips amongst triangles.
-Roll up Crescent Rolls and press ends together.
-Place on 13X9 baking sheet and cook for 10 mins.
-Let cool and enjoy.

Prep work (with some help from Dad and Auntie)

Before and After oven glamour shots

John loved them so much he ate 2! 

Crescent Rolls are such a great base for a lot of things – like the Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls John helped make a few weeks ago, and of course Crescent dogs (crescent roll/hot dog/cheese) are a favorite at our house, and now these dessert rolls, and of course they are great by themselves alongside Thanksgiving Dinner, too!

While there was nothing special about these taste-wise (they tasted exactly like you would think – a crescent roll stuffed with Peanut butter and chocolate), they were really easy for him to do basically by himself, and they can really be customized with add-ins too – jelly, mini marshmallows, nuts, other flavors of chocolate chips, raisins/craisins – you can use whatever you have on hand to whip these up – and they are pretty tasty (especially warm out of the oven!)

John’s Cookbook – Page 3 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

7 Mar

I have been LOVING having my little sous chef in the kitchen with me – he has been helping me bake since he was a wee little 1 year old, and I am really enjoying having him help pick and “reading” the recipes with me.

This week, he picked cookies – because who doesn’t love cookies? I think he saw that there were Reese’s involved and that had him hooked, and I don’t blame him – there’s a reason I had saved this recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies, and I couldn’t WAIT to try them:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies
(Recipe Courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life)

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 3.4 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups halved Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, divided
1 cup mini Reese’s Pieces, divided

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Beat the butter until creamy. Add the peanut butter and sugars and beat again.
-Add the eggs, honey, and vanilla and beat until mixed in.
-Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix. Slowly add to the butter mixture until everything is mixed in.
-Stir in the chocolate chips, 1 cup peanut butter cups, and 3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces gently.
-Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop to make 36 dough balls. Press the remaining candy into the tops of the dough balls.
-Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let rest on the hot cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then gently move to a piece of parchment paper.
-Let the cookies cool completely before storing in a tightly sealed container.

He’s ready to bake!

Loves doing the mixer all by himself – and he has gotten pretty good at it, too

Wet and dry ingredients – ready to be mixed together

These got the John seal of approval for sure!

These are some serious cookies – they remind me a bit of these other pudding cookies I made – the best soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, which are also large, dense & intense!

They were easy to make, and the only change I made to the recipe was I didn’t save some of the candy to put on the top before baking – I just mixed it all in – and they turned out plenty pretty (at least – I think so!)

I actually am not a big fan of peanut butter based cookies, but these didn’t overpower with the PB flavor (I think the pudding helped offset it!) and the chunks of chocolate chips/Reese’s in every bite were awesome. Would make again, for sure – these are perfect for all you peanut butter lovers out there!

These “Fork & Knife” Cookies & Cream Brownies Have It All – Frosting, Chocolate Galore, Brownie – And Did I Mention FROSTING?!

19 Feb

Any other brownie lovers out there? I don’t know what it is about them, but I am always drawn to them – at potlucks or picnics, at restaurants or bakeries – what can I say – brownies complete me!

These Cookies and Cream brownies are just – so very extra. So much going on – and when my girlfriend made them and I tried one, I knew that I had to make them for myself – because – they really have it all (you had me at brownie, and hooked me at frosting!)

Cookies & Cream Brownies
(Recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Ingredients
Brownies
homemade brownie batter OR 1 9×13 inch pan brownie batter
-24 Oreos (I use Double Stuf Oreos)

Cookies & Cream Buttercream
-3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
-3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
-2 Tablespoons milk
-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-6 Oreos, chopped(I use Double Stuf Oreos)
-pinch of salt

Chocolate Topping
-1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
-1 heaping cup (around 200g) semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Directions
Brownies: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished brownies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
Prepare brownie batter. Spread into prepared baking pan. My homemade brownie batter is very thick, so do your best to spread it to the edges. Doesn’t have to be perfectly neat. Press 24 Oreos down into the top of the brownie batter; you want 6 rows of 4 Oreos.
Bake for 32 minutes, then test the brownies with a toothpick. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My homemade brownies with Oreos on top take about 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely in the pan. Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Do not cut into squares yet. (TIP: It’s helpful to place the whole slab of brownies (parchment paper still underneath) on a baking sheet because you will need to chill the layers. The baking sheet makes transporting to the refrigerator easier!)
Cookies & cream buttercream: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 2 full minutes. With a spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the chopped Oreos. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. I like adding 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread buttercream on top of cooled brownies. Chill uncovered for 30 minutes and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
Chocolate topping: Cut the butter into a few pieces and place in a small saucepan with the chocolate chips. Melt the two together on low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and combined. You can also use the microwave– stop and stir every 20 seconds until melted and smooth.
Pour chocolate on top of the buttercream. Spread all over the top in an even layer. Allow chocolate to set at room temperature for a few hours or in the refrigerator for 1 hour before slicing and serving. See recipe notes for my tips for cutting neat brownie squares.
Cover and store leftover brownies in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

First step – homemade brownie base

…With oreos, of course!

To me there are few things better than whipping up frosting on a cold winter’s day (Or ANY day really)

Topping Time!

Good lord that’s a beautiful cross-section, isn’t it?

Approved by all – husbands, tiny sous chefs, and dogs too (don’t worry – Walter didn’t actually get any!)

I am going to be 100% real – there are a few things I actually DON’T like about these
1. The chocolate topping overpowers the frosting (a HUGE no no in my book)
2. The oreos in the brownies got SO HARD when baking – so I would probably roughly chop them and fold into the brownie batter next time
3. Overall – I want to taste more Oreo in the frosting, so I would probably not smash those Oreos so finely next time

But – overall – it’s truly a decadent experience – and if you love Oreos and Brownies – you should definitely try these show-stoppers

Men In The Kitchen – Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

15 Nov

My husband doesn’t often bake – he usually leaves that to me! But occasionally he does strap on an apron (my apron usually) and get in the kitchen for some epic recipe creation – this time it was some hugely amazing Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:

My handsome husband in the kitchen (and yes – his pants match his apron!)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 whole large eggs, 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped dark chocolate bar (like Hershey special dark or nicer)

Directions:
Melt 2 sticks of butter over medium-high to high heat 5-10 minutes until browned and smelling like toffee. Butter will melt then start to boil, then will rapidly foam after the water evaporates. Stir constantly with a silicone spatula and scrape up the browned fats off the bottom of the pot. When complete, it will be a rich nutty brown with a strong toffee/nutty scent. Transfer to a cold glass bowl and immediately put in fridge to cool to room temp.

While butter is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together with a whisk. Set aside.

Combine white and brown sugars and molasses in a stand mixer.

Crack eggs and separate one, keeping the yolk. Allow to come to room temperature.

Chop dark chocolate bars for irregular chunks. Measure chocolate chips and chunks and set aside.

When butter is approximately room temperature, mix with sugars and molasses until Incorporated. Add eggs and yolk one at a time until combined. Add vanilla.

Slowly add dry ingredients until well combined and smooth. Dough will be slightly wet.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chocolate.

Refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30-45 min before cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets. Scoop dough into balls slightly larger than a golf ball (approx 3 oz) and give plenty of space on the cookie sheet to allow the cookies to spread. Bake 12-14 min or until edges are crispy and middle is set but still moist.

Cool 2-3 min on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Brown butter spinning round and round

Dough before it gets an overnight chill session in the fridge

The glorious finished product

Aren’t they beautiful?!

He adapted the recipe using two different existing recipes, the links to which can be found Here, and Here
He made these once before – for me on my birthday, and truthfully I really did NOT want to share them – AT ALL. They are really amazing – a labor of love with the browning of the butter and all that, but worth it. They are the perfect thing to make for someone you love – as you can tell they are made with just that – LOVE!

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!