Tag Archives: recipe

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!

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Ritz Bars – An Easy No-Bake Treat

16 Feb

When I saw this recipe in my inbox, I couldn’t get it out of my head – admittedly, it got a bit obsessive, but can you blame me? Chocolate = delicious. Peanut butter = amazing. Ritz and pretzels = salty and awesome on their own, but paired with the other two, we are talking some serious yumminess. I was drooling just looking at the pictures, and finally was able to stop obsessing and make these awesome treats

Ritzbars babyMy pretzel helper is ready, so let’s get down to business!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Ritz Bars (Recipe Courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything)

Ingredients
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted
1 cup pretzels, crushed finely then measured
1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed finely
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1½ cups milk chocolate chips

Instructions
1. Line a 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil.
2. In medium bowl combine melted butter, crushed pretzels, crushed Ritz crackers, powdered sugar, and crunchy peanut butter.
3. Press mixture into the bottom of the foil lined baking dish.
4. In a small bowl, melt milk chocolate and ¼ cup peanut butter in microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stirring in between intervals. Pour over peanut butter cracker mix and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate has set before cutting into squares.

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Crushing up some salty snacks for the bottom layer

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I made a double batch of these (because – why not?) and luckily my division skills worked out pretty well and each pan had just the right amount of each layer (really lucky since I was definitely just eyeballing it…)

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*I recommend letting them sit at room temperature for a bit before trying to cut them/free them from the pan (trust me – as I learned this the hard way!)

Chocolate and peanut butter lovers beware – these are addicting! It’s that combo of salty and sweet that really gets me, plus I love the crunchy texture of the bottom layer and the sweet chocolate topping. Not only are these delicious and easy, but they are the perfect treat to let the kids help with, or to make on a hot day, as there’s no oven required – the microwave is all that’s needed to whip up these tasty treats!

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Personally I find them reminiscent of a Reese’s Big Cup – which is basically a big peanut butter cup with extra peanut butter in it. It’s a rich treat that has it all – salty, sweet, crunchy, and chocolaty- what could be better?

Turning A Cookie Into A Pie? Don’t Mind If I Do…

27 Apr

Ok – truth time. I am basically in love with cookie cake – and we aren’t talking some fancy made from scratch cookie cake – I mean the industrial, grocery store kind – with the super sweet frosting roses and balloons – there is nothing better – and I could eat a whole one on my own, I swear. I just love cookies – what can I say? And when I saw this recipe – a giant cookie in PIE form – I just knew I had to whip one up to try

Loaded Soft and Chewy M&M Cookie Pie (Recipe courtesy of Averie Cooks

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
about 1/2 cup M&Ms, divided
about 6 mini peanut butter cups
about 6 Rolo (or other mini/bite-size candy bar)

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish very well with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Add about 1/4 cup M&Ms and stir to combine; reserve remainder.
7. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
8. Evenly add the remaining M&Ms to the top of the batter, pushing them down slightly to anchor.
9. Evenly insert the peanut butter cups and Rolos into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.

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Ok, so only 6 rolos? But I bought a whole bag! Better add a few more…

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Caption: Cookie Pie – all ready to get baked!

10. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools. Allow pie to cool in dish for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Pie is meant to be on the soft and underbaked side in the center while edges are crisper, which is how I prefer my cookies. In general, if you prefer more well-done cookies, bake a few minutes longer. Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months (color may leech from the M&Ms if you freeze it).

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This tasted great – had the basic sugar cookie type base, and all those yummy candies were just the perfect addition! It had that slightly underbaked quality which I LOVE – and while it’s no grocery store cookie cake, I must say it is awesome!

Is it a cookie? Is it a pie? I don’t really care honestly – all I care about is that it’s delicious and a winner all around!

The Flourless Chocolate Torte – Gluten Free, Decadent, And Delicious

28 Oct

I recently hosted a girls night at my house – and we all know that women love few things as much as they love CHOCOLATE – so I decided I wanted to make something new, something almost ridiculously chocolate-y – so when I saw this recipe for a Flourless Chocolate Torte in my Food Network Magazine, I figured this would be the perfect chance for me to try something new!

Flourless Chocolate Torte
Ingredients
• 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter or margarine, cut into small pieces, plus more for the pan
• 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 6 large eggs
• 1/2 cup sugar
• Pinch of kosher salt
• Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the chocolate and 1 1/2 sticks butter in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and stir until melted and combined. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let cool slightly.

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Here’s my slightly makeshift double boiler – kinda wobbly but it worked!

Combine the eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and thick, 5 to 8 minutes.
Gently fold half of the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until just combined, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is no longer shiny and barely jiggles and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan. Remove the springform ring and transfer to a platter; dust with cocoa powder.

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Here it is before and after baking – even with no flour in it, it still did “rise” or puff up some in the oven

Torte2The yummy finished torte

It may look crumbly, but it actually has a nice rich, deep chocolate taste, and I really enjoyed it – and so did everyone else because its already gone! Anyone who needs a gluten free dessert (or who just wants to enjoy some chocolate-y goodness!) should definitely try out this easy, tasty recipe!

Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch – So Easy Even I Can Do It!

26 Oct

I have been in the “baking zone” this weekend – yesterday I whipped up some Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies and a decadent Flourless Chocolate Torte (post to come on that beauty!) – what can I say? I love to bake, and to try new recipes – but there are some things I definitely consider to be out of my “baking comfort zone”. Namely, anything that requires a candy thermometer (not sure why, it just makes me nervous ha), and my second bug-a-boo is definitely anything that has yeast in it and requires rising. Bread is more my husband’s specialty – but I recently gotten it into my head that cinnamon rolls from scratch would be amazing – not only to eat, but a feat for me – defying my baking demons by making something that requires yeast and kneading and everything!

I decided on this highly rated Cinnamon Roll Recipe from AllRecipes.com for two reasons – one – I had almost all of the ingredients at home already, and two – it only requires one “rising” and no overnight fuss or muss. So here goes nothing…

INGREDIENTS:

For the Dough:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened

For the frosting
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the butter; stir until melted. Add water and let cool until lukewarm.
2. In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture, yeast, white sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3. Divide dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a 12×9 inch rectangle. In a bowl, stir together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread each piece with half of the butter, half of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough, using a little water to seal the seam.
4. Cut each roll into 12 slices using a very sharp knife or dental floss. Place rolls onto two 9×13 inch greased baking pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
6. To make frosting; combine confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add milk gradually until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Spread over warm (but not hot) cinnamon rolls.

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The various stages of dough – warming the milk, mixing, and adding the flour in batches

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My first attempt at kneading – what a great way to get out aggression!

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The rolls are all “rolled” and ready to rise, then bake!

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OVEN TIME!

The smell that fills the kitchen while these are making is completely unlike anything else in the world – the yeasty, cinnamon-y scent is the best!

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The baked rolls– ready for frosting!

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The delicious finished product

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When I finally got to sink my teeth into one of these, I was thrilled (and starving, as I hadn’t eaten any breakfast – I wanted to save myself for these beauties!) – and encouraged, as they were definitely worth the time and effort I put into them

The outside was nice and crispy, and the inside was doughy and sweet, with a perfect amount of spice from the cinnamon. The frosting added the perfect sweet glaze, and I honestly can’t believe I went this long without these in my life – that’s how delicious they were. They would be perfect for a holiday breakfast or to bring to brunch, or to just enjoy with a cup of coffee on a crisp fall morning!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Get A (Pumpkin-Y) Twist!

26 Oct

Who doesn’t love sitting down with a classic snack of Cookies and milk? There’s something comforting about a freshly baked cookie paired with a tall glass of cool milk.

I am always on the lookout for new cookie recipes – it’s probably one of my favorite desserts – you can change them up and add tons of different mix-ins, they generally freeze well, and everyone loves them!

So when I came across these Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies, I thought – what a great way to get to enjoy a new spin on the classic oatmeal cookie!

 

Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies (Courtesy of Budget Bytes)

Ingredients

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• 2 Tbsp butter (room temp.)
• ½ cup pumpkin purée
• ⅓ cup brown sugar
• ⅓ cup white sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1½ cup rolled oats
• ⅓ cup dried cranberries

 

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Various stages of batter

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Prepping the cookies for the oven (with a little Walter help)

 

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until very well combined.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter (room temperature), pumpkin, brown sugar, and white sugar on low speed. Once they’re well combined, add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined again.
3. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed just until a thick, creamy batter forms. Add the dry oats and dried cranberries and stir them into the batter with a spoon.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheet in 2 Tbsp portions, leaving about 1.5 inches between each cookie. The cookies will not spread much during baking, so gently pat them down into flattened circles.
5. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until slightly browned on the surface. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before eating.

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I did make one change to the recipe – I used raisins instead of dried cranberries – it was really just a personal preference, I don’t much care for dried cranberries

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What I liked about the taste is that it’s not a super dense cookie, it’s more of a light almost pumpkin bread-like texture, with a nice contrast between the dough/oats/fruit. My husband does NOT like raisins, especially in his cookies, but he agreed to try these, saying “My love for you outweighs my hatred of raisins” and he liked them too – so I guess they are a winner!

By the way – I highly suggest you head over to the Budget Bytes Website – they have tons of great recipes – and they have a cookbook coming out soon too (which I can’t wait to pick up!)

Sometimes, You Just Need To Eat Cake

12 Oct

I stumbled across this amazing looking Apple Pumpkin Spice Cake online and decided it was just the thing to whip up for a beautiful October day. It has it all: apples, pumpkin, applesauce – it’s a great fall dessert (and would be perfect for breakfast too!)

AppleCake Walter

My adorable sous chef is ready for action (and by action I mean “possibility of falling apple peels”)

 

Apple Pumpkin Spice Cake (Recipe courtesy of Once A Month Meals)
Ingredients:
• 0.5 cups butter softened
• 1.5 cups sugar
• 0.5 cups pumpkin puree
• 0.75 cups unsweetened applesauce
• 2 medium eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 cups all purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 0.5 teaspoons salt
• 3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
• 0.25 cups powdered sugar (for serving day)
• cooking spray or oil for greasing pan

 

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Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar 2-3 minutes until smooth and pale, then add pumpkin puree and applesauce and beat to combine
-Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla extract
-In another large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
-In a separate bowl, toss apples with 2 Tablespoons of the flour mixture (This will keep them from sinking in the batter) Set aside
-Gently stir remaining dry ingredients into wet ingredients by hand, only mixing until just combined, then gently fold in diced apples
-Grease 2 – 8×8 foil baking pans generously with cooking spray or oil and pour batter evenly into prepared pans
-Bake 45-50 minutes in preheated oven (skewer inserted in the center should come out clean)
-Check cake half way through cooking time – If the top is browning too much, spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover
-Cool cake 10-15 minutes in the pan. Cut into individual portions and garnish with powdered sugar

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Ready to hit the oven!

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The finished product – which has filled my kitchen with the most AMAZING scent

Oh, and did I mention – this recipe makes TWO 8×8 cakes? So you can eat one freeze one, freeze two (or eat two – no judgment)
Freezing Directions: Cook as directed above. Cool cake 10-15 minutes in the pan. To freeze whole cake, cover with foil, label and freeze. To freeze in individual portions, cut cooled cake, place parchment paper in between pieces and divide among freezer bags, label, and lay flat to freeze. TO SERVE: Sprinkle thawed cake with powdered sugar using a fine sieve or sifter and serve

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Sometimes, you really do just need some cake – the smell of it baking, the chance to share it with your loved ones, and the TASTE…speaking of taste, I’m off for a late breakfast of cake and coffee. Yum.