Circus Cookie Krispie Treats

Guys, these treats are the best.  I feel like I say this all the time, but these are REALLY the best, because they’re insanely delicious and come together in about fifteen minutes flat.  And you don’t have to turn on the oven.  And they’re crowd pleasers.  And I’ve also heard they cure cancer and have an answer to, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?”, but I can’t verify that.

IMG_0306

I bake for my SBA meetings every Thursday and I’m always looking for something fun and different to bring.  I get sick of making the same cookies over and over again.  I always tweak the recipe a bit so that I can post it on here, but it gets monotonous after a while.  Some rice krispie treats were exactly what I needed to break myself out of my cookie rut!

These are like rice krispies on crack.  You know, if inanimate objects were capable of doing hard drugs.  It’s your basic rice krispie treat loaded with coarsely chopped frosted animal cookies.  Each bite you get the smooth marshmallow, crispy puffed rice and then crunchy sweet animal cookie bits.  It’s one dynamite recipe, and one that definitely has me dreaming up new rice krispies treats!

Circus Cookie Krispie Treats

IMG_0304

Ingredients

5 tbsp butter

16 oz mini marshmallows

1 13oz bag frosted animal crackers, coarsely chopped

8 cups rice krispies

12 oz white chocolate

sprinkles, for decorating

Directions

In a large pot melt the butter.  Add in the marshmallows and stir until combined.  Remove the pot from heat and mix in the rice krispies and animal crackers until they are all coated in the marshmallow mixture.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and pat down.  Melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe container – zapping it for 30 second increments until it is melted.  Pour over the rice krispie treats and spread evenly.  Add sprinkles.

Let the chocolate set and then slice and serve.

Source:  Cookies and Cups

Advertisements

Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings

Every semester I have that sudden moment of clarity where I realize I don’t actually like going out.  It’s almost one of those things that I hype myself into thinking that I like.  I tell myself mantras like, it’s fun!  You deserve this!  Think of all the fun you’ll miss if you stay in!  Go get the fun!!!

image

All of this works me into this sort of entitled-FOMO-frenzy where I truly believe that: (a) Going out is a sort of reward, and (b) Squandering this reward will only lead to heartbreak and a subsequent case of why-am-I-not-in-this-story-blues.  You know what actually happens?  I end up with a twenty-five dollar cab fare home and a searing headache and slight nausea the next day.  To be honest, I think the first part hurts me more.  I miss the city where getting home from any bar cost you ten dollars tops.  Plus, you’re not surrounded by nineteen year olds all night.  I hate being surrounded by nineteen year olds.

My solution to the going-out-dilemma is simple.  I’m getting new friends.

Just kidding.  There’s no way I can do that in half a semester.  My plan is to host more dinner parties because they’re awesome. Seriously, I don’t know why I always don’t just throw dinner parties.  They’re fun.  They’re low-key.  You can still have wine and not worry about wandering hands and expensive cab rides.  In fact, being on a college campus, the single fact that you can have wine is exciting.  I have never ordered wine at a campus bar and never will.

This recipe is the type that I’d make for a dinner party.  In fact, I did make this for one that I hosted for two of my friends.  It’s great for a larger party and pairs wonderfully with wine.  Also – bonus points – it’s from my Harry Potter Cookbook.

I should warn you all that this recipe is a bit labor-intensive at the start, but really once it gets cooking it requires little attention.  It cooks for around three hours which creates the most succulent and tender beef.  The vegetables cook down beautifully and the little herbed dumplings are a delightful addition.

Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings

Image

Ingredients

For the herb dumplings:

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp each of salt, pepper, ground sage, ground thyme, dried marjoram

1 tsp baking powder

2 tablespoon fresh parsley

1/2 stick butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

2 tbsp milk

1 egg

For the stew:

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 pound chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp flour

1 14 oz can of chicken broth

3 carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

4 red-skin potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch cubes

salt/pepper

Directions

For the dumplings:

Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and herbs.  Add the pieces of butter and rub with your fingers until it forms a corase meal.  Whisk the milk and egg together in a separate bowl.  Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture.  Combine with a rubber spatula.  Press plastic down on the dough and put in the refrigerator.

For the stew:

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wide pot.  Add the meat and brown on all sides.  Remove the beef and add the remaining two tablespoons of oil.  Add the onion and cook until it’s softened.  Add the flour and stir until it is fully incorporated into the onions.  Pour in the chicken broth and stir.  Add the meat with its accumulated juices and salt/pepper and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce to a simmer and let it cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the carrots, celery and potatoes to the pot.  Simmer for one more hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove the dumpling dough from the refrigerator and form into 1-inch balls.  Drop into the simmering stew and let cook for another thirty minutes, until the dumplings have puffed up.

Serve over egg noodles or with some crusty bread.

Source:  The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies

I’m currently typing out this post while eating cold BBQ Pork Fried Rice directly from the takeout container.  I like to imagine that I look all cute like a scene out of Gilmore Girls where they eat amounts of food that would make a linebacker feel comfortably full.

I also fully ascribe to their dialogue here.  I’d take fried rice over a man any day.

While I’m shooting for GG, I’m pretty sure I look more along the lines of Jabba the Hut.  If I don’t post on here for a few days, it’s probably because I’m no longer on this earth due to death-by-fried-rice.  Man, that’s a way to go.  Or death-by-chubby-hubby-ice-cream.  I think I like that one better.

I’ve been getting an alarming amount of takeout lately.  I didn’t have time to cook while I was preparing for my final last week which has resulted in me doing a grand backslide into the world of fried foods and delicious grease.  Of course, I love it.  Who doesn’t love foods that’s terrible for you?  But, it’s time for me to reel it in.  Otherwise, I’m going to turn into Jabba the Hut and then no one will want to marry me.

JabbaPromo

I’m glad I don’t have these funfetti blondies in the apartment anymore because it would make it absolutely impossible to transition into healthy eating.  Granted, I always have cookies around, but these are on a whole different level.  I had some leftovers after I made them, and I literally ate three squares in a row.  Granted, I cut mine a lot smaller than recommended so that I could feed more people (so it probably amounted to one normal square) but still.  I shoveled three in a row into my mouth.  Oh, yeah, it was also nine in the morning.  With these cookies, I cannot be tamed.

2013-10-03 08.03.09

These taste just like cake batter.  One of my friends was literally in shock over just how spot-on the flavor is.  He also might have been in shock because I forced the cookie on him at softball.  But hey, forcing cookies on people isn’t a crime.  If it were, I’d have been in a jail a long time ago.

Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies

2013-10-03 08.05.17

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 large egg

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup white choco chips

1/2 cup semi-sweet choco chips

1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

1 tbsp rainbow sprinkles for the tops

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.  Mix together the melted butter, egg, vanilla and sugars.  Add the flour, salt and stir until just combined.  Fold in both chocolate chips and the sprinkles.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the last tablespoon of sprinkles over the top.

Bake for 18-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Source:  Averie Cooks

Seven Layer Dream Bar Cookies

Several exciting things happened this week.  First, I took my Business Associations final on Monday, and while it was an experience akin to being stabbed repeatedly in your eye with a bobby pin it does mean that I never have to think about the business judgment rule or dividends again.  That makes me very, very happy.  Second, I discovered Lana Del Rey which has led to me obsessively listening to her Born To Die album.   It’s very different than the usual music I listen to, but I think that’s why I like it so much.  I love show tunes, but sometimes you need a break from Patti Lupone shrieking.

Of course, I still love me some Patti Lupone shrieking.  She’s insane when she performs and I would have her no other way.

I listen to a lot of music when I bake or cook.  Usually it’s stuff from musicals, which translates into me dancing around my kitchen as I pretend to be whatever character is singing.  In case you’re wondering, I make a fabulous Elphaba.  I make an even more fabulous Phantom.   Whenever I listen to musicals I can’t understand how people don’t like them.  It’s like, do you have something against good music?  Or godlike singers?  OR AMAZING TALENT?

Alright, Broadway rant over.  Sometimes I get over-Broadway-excited.  Anyway — on to the cookies.  These are actually the second batch of cookies I made this week.  I made white-chocolate-candy-corn cookies last night and then promptly served them all without taking pictures.  This has become a habit of mine.  Which, you know, is not good when you have a food blog to run and all.  Luckily I got my act together for these, and it is majorly lucky because these are delicious.  It’s your classic dream bar (or Hello Dolly bar for those of you who know it by that name) stuffed into a cookie.  That means a cookie chock full of chocolate, butter scotch chips, graham crackers and coconut.  You know what else that means?  Lots and lots of people fawning over your cookies.

So, if you like delicious cookies and attention, these are for you!

Seven Layer Dream Bar Cookies

2013-10-24 06.00.48

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup flours

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp corn startch

pinch of salt

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup crushed graham crackers

3/4 cup butterscotch chips

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Cream together the butter and two sugars.  Mix in the egg and vanilla.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, corn starch, and salt.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Fold in the graham crackers and both candy chips.

Form two-tablespoon-mounds of dough and place on a large dinner plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  The edges will be set and center slightly puffy.  Let set on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Source: Averie Cooks