Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars

Hello there.

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I feel like I haven’t posted a recipe on here in a kagillion years.  And yes, that is a real measurement.  It comes right after bagillion and kagibagillion.  Anyhoo, if you look it’s only really been about a week but it feels so much longer for me.  Finals isn’t really conducive for cooking and when I do find the time and energy to cook, the last thing I want to do is attempt to take semi-appetizing pictures of it all.

So, yes I made some dijon-crusted porkchops.  Yes, they were da bomb.  Yes, I DID just use the phrase “da bomb” and if I were able to post that recipe you’d be using it, too.  You’d all be going, “These pork chops.  They be da bomb.”  And apparently we’re all from one of those Barbershop movies, too.

Aannndd, I’m going on a very long tangent that is meant to lead to this cookie recipe, which is a repeat from the old blog.  I know it’s sort of lazy to repost, and I admittedly don’t really have a defense for the laziness argument.  But, I can tell you these are delicious.  And they will make you gain about eight pounds, but you won’t care because they are JUST THAT GOOD.  If those all-caps don’t make you believe, I don’t know what will.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars

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Ingredients:
 
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 8×8 baking dish.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
 
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and peanut butter.  Add the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides.  Put the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture.  Fold in the chocolate and coconut.
 
Pour the batter into the baking dish, smoothing it evenly.  Bake 30 minutes, or until the center is browned and the edges darken.
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Source:  Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
** Btw, I apologize if this post or any forthcoming posts over the next two-three weeks are scatter-brained.  Finals has done bad things to my mind.  Like completely obliterating it.  **
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Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cookies

This recipe brought out the Paula Deen in me.

2 sticks of butter?  Yee haw!

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I love shortbread cookies because they are unapologetically unhealthy.  Yep, there’s about half a creamery in them but they aren’t giving any excuses.  You want a healthy cookie?  Go bake something with oatmeal.

These cookies take regular old shortbread to a whole different level by adding melted chocolate and toffee bits.  It results in a delectably sweet and rich cookie.  Double chins be damned.  Jiggly thighs take a number.  These cookies mean business, and I am more than happy to partake.

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cookies

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Ingredients:

For the shortbread base:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 oz semisweet chocolate chips

For the topping:

6 oz semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups toffee bits

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.  Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugars.  Blend in the vanilla.  Carefully add the flour mixture and process until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into a prepared 9×13 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the shortbread is bubbling.  Remove from oven and put on a wire rack.

Sprinkle the shortbread with the chopped chocolate, cover with foil, and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly across the shortbread.  Sprinkle on toffee bits and press down lightly to adhere.  Let bars cool at room temperature.  One cool, remove from the pan and chop into squares.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Peppermint Bark

A funny thing happened last week, and it wasn’t me almost walking into the wrong apartment.

(That happened too, though.)

I ran out of eggs.  You’re probably like, “What’s the big deal?  You can go a day or two without eggs.”  My response to that would be, “Yes, a normal person could.  Emphasis on the word normal.”  Bakers and food bloggers are not normal.  Nope.  And we can’t go a day without eggs.  Oh no.  That would mean a day without frittatas.  A day with baking.  I mean, you might as well just stay in bed all day and consider it a lost cause.

Dramatics aside, (I know, crazzzyyyy thought for this blog) I did have to make something for softball and with no eggs, my options were pretty slim.  It also had to come together in about an hour.  Talk about a tall order.  I scanned the blogs for any no-bake recipes, but most of them required hours of setting.  I needed something quick.

Cue the peppermint bark entrance.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner.  I always make it for my holiday baskets, and they are an absolute cinch to make.  I guess they just seem too seasonal for me.  Just like you don’t break out velvet until winter, it felt a bit early for peppermint.

Well, I ended up saying, “Screw you, seasonal” and made it anyway.  And it was a complete who-cares-that-it’s-still-October-hit.  This is seriously one of the easiest desserts to make.  You just melt white chocolate, pour some crushed peppermint candy on top, and you have a fantastic dessert that goes a long way.  Barks are great because they can be a vehicle for a whole bunch of toppings.  Nuts and cranberries would be great on this instead of the peppermint, or even a different candy.  Let your imagination run wild!

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

2 lbs white chocolate, melted

1 cup crushed peppermint

Directions

Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate.  Do it in 30 second intervals, stirring at each interval to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.  Sprinkle the crushed peppermint on top.  Place in freezer to set for 40-60 minutes.  Break into pieces and serve.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting

I’ve been sick here for the past week.  Which, you know, pretty much sucks.  I miss being in grade school when being sick was the BEST thing ever.  I would stay home from school and spend the day watching all those terrible mid-day-talk-shows.  My mom would make me cinnamon-and-sugar toast and make sure my tea had just the right amount of honey.  Being sick was a call for rest.  For slowing down.  For Maury Povich.

Law school doesn’t allow sick days, though.  Alright…it probably does, but if you don’t want to get behind and be the pariah in your study group, you really better buck up and get yourself to class.  This means your purse becomes a moving trashbin for used kleenexes.  You become that person in the library who blows their nose and everyone hates.  And then you sort of hate yourself, too, because you’re sitting in the library feeling like death and all you want to do is sleep, but you just need to finish this last case and it’s going on forever because the Judge wants to turn this opinion into the next (not) great American novel.

And, basically, being sick when you’re a pseudo-adult sucks.  A lot.

Due to my walking around as a human germ ball, I haven’t done a lot of cooking.  I’ve basically had no appetite and when I do all I want to do is eat things like BBQ chips and these cupcakes.  It’s a rich chocolate base with a thin layer of ganache and a frosting peanut butter cookie nestled on top.  I made them over the summer for my birthday, and have been itching to make them again.

So…anyone want to make me these cupcakes??

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips

For the ganache:
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the peanut butter cookie frosting:
9 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix together the cocoa powder and coffee in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and two sugars.  Add the eggs on at a time.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  


Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the coffee-cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in the peanut butter chips.   Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 of the way.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the ganache:

Bring the heavy cream to a boil.  Pour over the chocolate and let stand for two minutes.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.  

For the peanut butter cookie frosting:

Mix together the peanut butter and butter.  Add the powdered sugar, mixing until a thick frosting forms.  With clean and dry hands form round disks and press the tines of a fork on the top to make it look like a peanut butter cookie.  Place on a piece of parchment paper.

To assemble the cupcakes, use an offset spatula to smear a layer of the ganache on the cupcake.  Press a “peanut butter cookie” on top.

Source:  Annie’s Eats

The Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

I have such high hopes for my time spent in the law library.  I go in with my coffee and snacks and imagine all the reading and case briefing I’ll get done.  I’ll be so productive.  I’ll read ahead.  I’ll get all my work done and not have to schlep those eighty-pound casebooks home.

Then I end up on Facebook.

And email.

And this awesome Tumblr page that features famous guys with tiaras.

How is this not the greatest thing you’ve ever seen?!

Three hours later I leave with little accomplished and the usual, “Great, now I have to carry all of these books and commiserate over all the work I could have gotten done if I hadn’t been looking at pictures of men wearing tiaras.”

Then I go home and avoid more work by starting dinner at 4:30 and claiming that I HAVE to bake a batch of cookies.  Because, clearly, having sweets on hand is more important than being prepared for classes where you get called on randomly and potentially berated if you don’t know the answers.

Anyway, despite my waxing and waning on my lack of productivity, I actually do manage to get my work done every night and still have time for cookie-making and cookie-eating.  I made these last week and am just finishing off the batch.

The Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  

In a medium saucepan, melt 10 tbsp of butter.  Stir constantly and remove from heat when brown specks form at the bottom of the pan.  The butter will be golden in color and smell nutty.  Pour over the remaining 4 tbsp of butter and let come to room temperature.  

Mix with the sugars.  Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Don’t over-mix.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  

Drop roughly 3 tbsp of cookie dough for each cookie onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let the cookies rest on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source:  Eat, Live, Run

Brown Butter Chocolate-Stuffed Toffee Cookies

One of the things I looked forward to most about law school was joining the softball team.  When I was choosing between this school and Loyola, I literally made a pro-con list with soft ball on the U of I side.

Tonight was the first set of games and it was everything I thought it would be and more.  I have to admit I was a little nervous at first, especially when you realize there’s this relatively hard ball flying at your face.  Once you realize that the hulking-forty-three-dollar-glove protects your face from the ball, though, it gets better.  And then you find out there’s a keg and things get EVEN better.

We played my roommate Sarah’s team, and we totally won.  I’d like to say I contributed to the win, but all I did was yell out kitschy phrases and making “in the hole” jokes.

In retrospect, I totally contributed to the win.

In the upcoming weeks, I want to start bringing cookies to the field.  Basically so that I can become a Team Mom and force my baked goods on people.  Because really, what is better than forcing people to ingest large amounts of sugar?

Speaking of large amounts of sugar, these cookies are ridiculous.  RIDICULOUS.  I think eating just half could rot most of your teeth, but they’re so delicious you don’t even care.  Not even a bit.  I’m sure these will be made again some time in the future for a softball game.  Hope my teammates don’t like their teeth too much.

Brown Butter Chocolate-Stuffed Toffee Cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups + 2 tbsp flour 

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup toffee chips

chocolate chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.  Stir constantly, until brown bits form on the bottom of the pan.  It will smell nice and nutty.  Remove from heat immediately.  Let the butter come to room temperature and then  stir in the sugars.  Stir in the flour mixture.

Fold in the toffee chips.  Take the dough and form two tablespoon size mounds.  Wedge chocolate between the two tablespoons and press together.

Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove gently to a cooling rack.

Source:  How Sweet Eats