Monday, June 24, 2013

Cookie Monday: Unicorn Poop

My birthday is on Friday. I will be 29. To celebrate, for this week's Cookie Monday I decided to bust out the best cookie recipe I have: Unicorn Poop.

This time, I made them much smaller than I have in the past. I used a different brand of glitter gel and didn't like it as much (not as sparkly, a little too sticky) but it still worked fine. I had so much fun handing these out today! Many people remarked how much they look like Play-Dough. It's true. They do. But it was such a happy time! Perfect Cookie Monday for a birthday week.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bacon Butter Cups

I know.

I don't even know.

Here's the thing: My gentleman has a pan here. It has a big B on the underside so we know it's his pan. He is a carnivore. He eats meat. You know this from the recipe I posted a little while ago about cooking steak in the oven.

Meat is cooked in my house now.

As a result, there are beef patties and chicken breasts in the freezer, bacon and pepperoni in the refrigerator. My gentleman's influence has taken over, and I am completely okay with it. For the first time in my life. Ever.


So my buddy posted a recipe on my Facebook a little while ago for "Bacon Buttercups" from the Facebook page "Occupy Bacon." These little treats were homemade reese's peanut butter cups with a surprise layer of bacon in the middle.

I know.

I told him, "I can't make this. I don't cook meat. I want to make these for you because it is an exciting adventure and a challenge, but I just don't think I can bring myself to do it."

Well, when I was making the cookies for Cookie Monday, I ended up with some extra peanut butter mixture... and some melted chocolate... and there was bacon in the refrigerator...

So I made the peanut butter bacon cups.

I don't have a picture. I only made six. I fed one to my gentleman and his parents at a barbecue Sunday night, and then to a couple of friends at work (including the one who'd asked for them in the first place). Only one person did not like them (I'm looking at you, Trevor) and the rest felt that they were insanely amazing. As a vegetarian/pescetarian, I can't imagine the combination of bacon and peanut butter and chocolate being good, but apparently it is. These went over so well (and were so fun to make!) that I would consider making them for things like parties or Christmas. I'm pretty proud of myself!

The original recipe's post is here: Post-Christmas Bacon Hangover

Here is the recipe:

Bacon Butter Cups
27 tons of Bacon, cooked
2 pounds of milk chocolate
14-16 ounces of creamy or smooth peanut butter (Lauren note: I mixed this with some confectioners' sugar to get the consistency of a Reese's)
2 1-dozen mini muffin tins with mini paper cups

Begin by putting the Bacon in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Place 24 paper cups in the 2 of the mini muffin tins. Next, melting 1 pound of chocolate in a double boiler. Once tempered, add a generous dollop to the bottom of each cup. Using the back of a soup spoon, gently push the chocolate upwards to coat the sides of the cup. Repeat until all 24 cups have been filled.

You may need to retemper the chocolate depending on how quickly you work.

Place them in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours to harden.

While they’re setting, remove the Bacon from the freezer and dice in to bit sized pieces. Pan fry them in small handfuls over medium to low flame. Place it off to the side to cool.

After the 2 hours, remove the cups from the refrigerator and add a cluster of Bacon to each chocolate shell.

Melt an additional 1/2 pound of chocolate and drop a modest dollop of chocolate on to the Bacon. Set it back in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.

Once set, begin mixing the peanut butter until it’s smooth. Add a small scoop to the cups and smooth out. Make sure to leave room for the chocolate top.

Melt the remaining 1/2 pound of chocolate and spoon it on top if the peanut butter.

Tip: work from the center out, pushing the chocolate to the sides rather than spreading it.

Place them in the refrigerator for approximately 4 hours.

Plate, serve, and devour.

Cookie Monday: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

As is becoming the trend lately, a friend posted this recipe to my Facebook. A lot of people do this now, largely because they know I'll probably end up making them eventually. (I will have another post later that is about another Facebook-prompted food project.) So these sound like everything amazing in life: chocolate cookies stuffed with peanut butter, topped with pretzels. I happened to have a bag of Trader Joe's Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzel bites so I used those for the topping.

I didn't love these, but a LOT of other people did. I personally felt that they were too dense and - surprisingly - not chocolatey enough. I had a huge amount of trouble with the dough - it wouldn't set up. It kept being too liquidy, like a brownie batter. I added sooooooo many more dry ingredients (trying very hard to keep up the ratios, but I'm sure this is what caused the density of the cookie) before it was even remotely malleable. It was really frustrating.

But! Like I said, a lot of people liked them. And that's good enough for a Cookie Monday. I just don't plan on making these again. Boo!

As my mom pointed out, these look kind of like poop. Sorry.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cookies
Tasty Kitchen

8 ounces (weight) Baking Chocolate, Roughly Chopped
4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2/3 cup All-purpose Flour
3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 whole Eggs
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 cup Pretzel Crumbs
2/3 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Melt the chopped baking chocolate and the unsalted butter in a double boiler (or a makeshift double broiler: simmer water in a pan and set a glass bowl over the top). Stir frequently, and remove from heat as soon as it melts.

3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugars and vanilla until fluffy. Slowly mix in the melted chocolate. Gradually add the flour, scraping the bowl after each addition, until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

5. In a separate bowl, beat together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Set aside.

6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, and set on the parchment paper, then flatten with your hand. Drop about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling in the center of the dough, then fold the dough around the peanut butter. If the peanut butter comes out of the top, just grab some extra dough to fill in the gap.

7. Once you have a ball of dough with the peanut butter in the center, flatten the ball slightly and then drop into the pretzel crumbs. You can coat one side or all over. Repeat with remaining dough.

8. Bake for about 11 minutes. Watch carefully after 10 minutes, because you want these just a bit underdone.

Servings: 24

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cookie Monday: Butterfinger Brownie Cookies

Today for Cookie Monday I made these chocolate cookies with bits of Butterfinger crumbled up in them. The bigger chunks stayed put during cooking, but the tinier pieces seemed to melt into the cookie and were unnoticeable. Boo! BUT! The cookie itself is wonderful. It would be an excellent base chocolate brownie cookie to use for other combinations. Like Rolos! Or white chocolate chips! Or peanut butter chips! It was good with the Butterfinger, but I bet it would even be good as a standalone cookie recipe.

I doubled the recipe as usual and got about five dozen good-sized cookies. They are definitely on the larger side of the cookies I usually pass out during a Monday. I liked these a lot. Even my chocolate-haters enjoyed them so that's cool.


Butterfinger Brownie Cookies
From RecipeGirl via Pinterest

4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (1/2 stick) cut into pieces
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
1 tablespoon All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped Butterfinger candy bars

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.

2. Put butter and chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then microwave an additional 15 to 20 seconds if needed until the mixture is melted and smooth. (alternately, you can heat the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a metal pan set over a pot of simmering water).

3. Stir sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until they are completely incorporated.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda, then add the flour mixture to the chocolate batter. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Give it all you've got for a good 2 to 3 minutes of mixing. The batter should be smooth and glossy and thick. If the batter is cooled off, stir in the butterfingers.

5. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto your prepared cookie sheets- leaving about 2-inches between cookies as they'll need space to grow. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. They'll spread out and puff up. You want to take them out when they've crackled but they're still soft and gooey. They'll sink and become more firm as they cool. Wait a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat them up within 2 to 3 days (stored in a covered container).

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Cookie Monday: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had originally planned to make these banana cream pudding cookies, since I'm on this whole pudding cookie kick lately, but when I realized the entire flavor of the cookie came from an artificial banana pudding, I decided against it. I took to the internet to find a recipe that would use the actual bananas I had in my kitchen (especially since fresh produce is a rarity in my home!) but would still be tasty.

I decided on this recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies. All the reviews complained that the cookies were too much like pancakes. This did not sound off-putting to me; this sounded perfect! The cookies were very easy to make and baked well - I cooked them about a minute less than suggested and they turned out fine. Even making tiny cookies, though, I still ended up with only 3 1/2 dozen. I doubled the recipe! It had said it yielded 3 dozen cookies. Doubling it should have brought me to 6 dozen, but alas! Oh well. I think it was still okay.

The cookies are good. They do taste like little pancakes, which I used to my advantage to convince people to eat them. "You can totally eat one at 8:15 in the morning; it's like a pancake. It's breakfast." It was also pointed out to me that they are kind of like muffin tops, which is neat too. They're really good and have good banana flavor without turning into banana bread.


Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Taste of Home

1/3 cup butter -- softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips -- (6 ounces)

In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, banana and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 3 dozen (supposedly)