Summer’s almost over. I’ve just finished my first few days of classes, and it’s been great. After taking a semester off of school, I’m so glad to be back, and content with my new major.
It’s been an incredible summer, and a great first 6 months food blogging. Here are some of my favorite recipes I’ve blogged this summer, as well as some reader favorites:
Death By Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches
Peanut Butter cookies filled with a peanut butter buttercream and peanut butter chips. I get so many requests for these cookies, and many people have told me these are their favorites.
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bars
My favorite, and Brian’s favorite as well- he keeps asking me to make these again! Fudgy brownies topped with a peanut butter cup filling and white chocolate and sprinkles.
Chocolate Oreo Rolled Cookies
Thick, brownie- like cookies rolled in crushed Oreos. Lily’s (My roommate and real-life BFF) favorite, and one of mine too!
Healthy Chocolate Cookies
A reader favorite, and by far the most popular recipe on my blog! These cookies taste just like a buttery, fudgy chocolate cookie, but are healthy with the use of a secret ingredient! There is NO butter or white sugar in these cookies!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies
The second most popular recipe on my website, these cookies use cream cheese instead of butter to produce the thickest and chewiest cookies I’ve made yet.
Snickers Puppy Chow
The first “puppy chow” (or Muddy Buddies!) mix I’ve made, and one of the most addicting I’ve ever had- chocolate caramel sauce, peanuts, and caramel bits!
Biscoff/Cookie Butter spread topped with apples and cinnamon, all on a pie crust.
If you thought the combination of peanut butter was mind blowing, just wait until you try apples and Biscoff (cookie butter.) A match made in heaven, indeed. Actually, I think chocolate and biscoff might top them all. But that’s a different post, for a different day. (Note to self, try said combination.)
Anyway, “What’s a Rustic Pie?!?!?” You may be asking. A rustic pie, or a Galette, is a freeform pie. So, you roll out your crust, top with cookie butter and apples, fold over the edges, and bake. it’s easier and less fussy than a pie, and my lazy self LOVES it. So easy, and so good. This takes so little time and is SO SO easy. If you have a ready made pie crust (I make my favorite homemade and keep disks in the freezer for easy access), then it’s less than 10 minutes of prep time and 25 minutes baking.
I can’t wait to make this pie again- and I don’t repeat recipes often.
Popcorn coated in a butterscotch chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.
I’m a snacker. Always have been, and most likely always will be. Especially at school, when I have a fridge and a shelf full of food less than 5 feet away from me in my dorm room. Freshman year I actually had a drawer full of snacks in my desk- I didn’t even have to stand up to get food. (it was wonderful.)(until i discovered that the “freshman 15” is real.)
So this popcorn is wonderful for me (until I discover the “junior year 15.”), because it’s perfect for snacking, and combines some of my favorite snacks- popcorn and muddy buddies. And butterscotch! You all remember my butterscotch obsession, right? It came back. This was originally supposed to be traditional muddy buddies, with peanut butter and chocolate, but then I found a 1/2 cup of butterscotch and found out I was out of peanut butter, so butterscotch they became.
And it was wonderful.
We melt together butterscotch and chocolate, and pour it over popcorn. I used 5 cups of popcorn (just under 1 bag; it was the leftovers from my kitchen sink 7 layer bars,) but I suggest that you use the full bag of 5 and 1/2-6 cups- there was a bit too much chocolate/butterscotch on each piece for my taste.
Next is the fun part. Pour some powdered sugar in a gallon zip top bag, and pour in the popcorn. Add some more sugar and shake it! (side note: does anyone else start singing Metro Station when they read directions like that? No? Oh…)
So easy, and no bake- which here in the Northeast isn’t a problem at this time of the year, but I know those of you in the southwest don’t want to turn on your ovens for another two months. Movie nights are common on my campus, so this is the perfect treat to make for those! I’ll finally be the coolest girl in school.
It’s time for another edition of Saturday Sunday Sprinkles that starts with apologizing for my posting being off schedule and weird.
And it’s going to be weird for a little bit longer, because I move back to school Tuesday and I’ll be working 7-14 hours a week as well as taking (hopefully) 18 credit hours even though I’m only registered for 15. I just need more to catch up from my semester off and changing my major and all that jazz. Sigh. But hopefully I can still pull out a post at least twice a week, although I really like this 3-times-a-week thing we had going. And expect a lot of cookies, because those are easy to develop once you have a few good bases, and I don’t want to waste a bunch of things because I’ll be using the student kitchen on campus that has like, nothing in it. #smallschoolprobs
Yesterday I published my 65th post on this blog– I like round numbers, and I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I’ve met some incredible people, grown a lot as a person, and grown a ton as a blogger. And I can’t wait to keep growing. I’m hoping to go self hosted by christmas, but I’m terrified of switching my blog over- fortunately I have a techie friend who can help me and hold my hand the whole time.
I’ve had a fantastic summer- spending almost every day with Brian, visiting my family in Arizona, exploring downtown with my dad, starting a new job, and of course, food blogging. I love you guys. Y’all really did make my summer.
I’ve started trying to use Google plus. I don’t get it, it’s confusing and weird. But you can add me to your circle, if you wish! I’ve also started tweeting more- if you want to read my stream of consciousness, follow me!
Obsessed with my puppy // favorite quote by joy the baker
baseball games with brian // zoku slush maker- new favorite toy!
we really like baseball… // can’t stop baking, even on vacation.
Seven Layer bars with peanut butter, Oreo cookies, Mini Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, and Popcorn.
So… I know you all just read that and are now thinking “Faith… what were you thinking when you developed that recipe? I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I had a bunch of stuff in my cabinets that I wanted to get rid of. I wanted 7 Layer Bars. They fit together wonderfully.
We start with a graham cracker crust, and top with melted peanut butter. You must spread the peanut butter carefully- it sinks into the crust a little and if you spread too quickly, you’ll pull the crust apart. Learn from my mistakes! On the peanut butter goes a few Oreo’s broken in half, marshmallow bits, chocolate chips, popcorn, and it’s all topped with a can of sweetened condensed milk.
If you’ve never baked with sweetened condensed milk, and you’re anything like me, you probably are a little weirded it out by SCD. Milk… in a can? I know, I know. It’s kind of weird. Just don’t think about what it is, and pour it over your bars and bask in the ooey, gooey, chewiness it adds to the bars. And don’t accidentally eat a whole spoonful of it before the bars bake… not that I did that. (Grossest thing ever!)
These bars are ooey, gooey, chewy, and moist. They’re perfect for when you have a bunch of random things sitting in your cupboards that you need to get rid of, and they’re totally customizable! Do you eat a lot of peanut butter, so you don’t want to use the last bit of your jar, but have a jar of butterscotch that no one is using? Just just butterscotch instead of the peanut butter layer! Feel free to use a different type of cookies if you’re not an Oreo fan, and and potato chips can work in place of the popcorn.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 7×11 pan with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray.
crush graham crackers in a plastic bag and mix in a small bowl with melted butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
Melt the peanut butter and spread on graham crackers. Top with Oreo cookies broken in half, marshmallows, chocolate chips, popcorn, and sweetened condensed milk.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (Until the middle doesn’t “jiggle” when you move the pan); after 15 minutes top with foil to keep from browning. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
Thick, soft-baked chocolate cookies with crushed Oreos mixed in.
I’ve done death by peanut butter, now time for death by chocolate. Soft baked chocolate cookies, stuffed with crushed Oreo cookies- nothing better! I took my chocolate cookie base that I used for my Nutella stuffed Chocolate cookies and adapted it- using browned butter, and adding more cornstarch to create soft, chewy, thick, brownie- like cookies.
The browned butter adds a hint of nuttiness that you can’t quite put your finger on, and because it’s melted you don’t have to drag out your mixer, and adds chewiness to the cookie. The cornstarch keeps the cookies nice and thick- just how I like them!
I was feeling lazy, so I browned the butter. Using a melted butter means no dragging out a heavy stand mixer, and I had a friend visiting and she wanted to know how to brown butter. Browning butter is super easy- simply melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it is completely melted, start stirring or whisking. It will bubble and foam, and brown specks will begin to appear. Remove from the heat so the butter won’t burn.
We’ll mix it into our sugars and let it sit; this will give the butter time to cool, and this also melts the sugar a bit and creates a caramel/toffee flavor. Then we mix in our eggs and dry ingredients. These are so easy- the hardest part is waiting for the dough to chill!
After the dough chills, we scoop them in 2 tablespoon size scoops, roll them into balls, and roll the balls in crushed Oreos. I used a 2 tablespoon size cookie scoop, but if you don’t have that, use a measuring spoon. Bake for 7-8 minutes (or until edges are “set up”)but not longer. They’ll look underdone when you pull them out, but they’ll finish baking as they cool. They’ll be puffy when you pull them out- gently press down with the back of a spoon, and press some more Oreo crumbs on top.
These are the best, thickest, chocolate cookies I’ve ever made, and I am in love. You will be too, after just one bite!
1 and ½ C crushed oreos. (about 1 bag mini oreos or 12-14 full size oreos.
Brown your butter: Melt butter over medium heat. It will foam, bubble, and foam again. Once brown specks appear, remove from heat. Mix sugars together in a medium bowl and mix in browned butter. Let sit for a few minutes. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Slowly mix into wet ingredients. Mix in milk. Let chill for 1-2 hours and up to 24.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Scoop 2 tablespoon size scoops of cookie dough. Roll into balls and roll in crushed Oreo Cookies. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until edges are done and slightly cracked. Press gently with spoon to "deflate" and press more Oreos on top. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire wrack to cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
I’m super excited to be blogging with #SundaySupper this week! This week, we’re talking back to school. This week the kids in Baltimore are heading back to school, and college kids are getting ready to move back to school next week.
When I think of “back to school” food, I think of my elementary school lunch box. My mom packed me the same meal every day: A peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, applesauce, a rice crispy treat, and three homemade chocolate chip cookies. And yes, they had to be mom’s. I wouldn’t eat anything else, because a cookie just isn’t a cookie if it’s not homemade. (Yes, my mother raised me to be a cookie snob. No, I don’t mind at all.)
I decided to combine two of my favorite lunchbox treats, crispy treats and chocolate chip cookies with a rice crispy treat that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. I used a combination of butter, almond, and vanilla extracts to achieve the taste of a chocolate chip cookie that we all know and love.
Now, these don’t taste just like a chocolate chip cookie. But they’re pretty darn close. I’m sure you could use a bottle of one of those fancy syrups, but I didn’t want to spend that kind of money for just one recipe.
Measure out cereal in large bowl and set aside Mix in 1 and 1/2 C of the chocolate chips and set aside. (leave the remaining 1/2 c to sprinkle on top). Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and spray liberally with non stick baking spray. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in extracts. Mix in marshmallows until melted and smooth.
Quickly mix marshmallows into the the cereal. The chocolate chips will melt slightly. Press into the prepared 9×12 pan and let chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Be sure to check out the rest of Sunday Supper! Sandwiches, Wraps and Entrees:
I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times I sat down and tried to write this post.
These were supposed to go up Monday. And then Wednesday. But they’re going up today, Friday. As it does, life happened, and I got lazy, and went on vacation, and remembered that it’s important to blog for me and this is my place to do what I want but I do like keeping a schedule.
(Also, do you know how hard it is to write a post on a kindle app? It’s not easy. And the apple app isn’t any easier. I almost pulled my hair out this weekend.)
Back to the matter at hand- cupcakes! That look like Minnie Mouse! And are adorable! And I am super proud that I pulled this off and that these made it out of my kitchen!
I made these for Disney night at a friends house- Disney movie marathons clearly call for Disney themed snacks, and it’s at the point now where I’m basically expected to show up at parties and social events with a plate of food.
I don’t mind at all.
These look adorable, and are incredibly easy to decorate- all you need is some white nonparil sprinkles (available at craft and baking supply stores, mine are Wilton brand bought at Michael’s.), a Wilton 1M tip (or another open star tip) and mini (not to be confused with Minnie) Oreo cookies. Oh, and some gel food dye- I used Wilton Brand that I bought at Michaels- and frosting bags, but you can use gallon zip top bags if you prefer. (Side note: I’m not sponsored by Wilton. Their products are just really, really easy to get ahold of, and very affordable and trustworthy.)
Once the cupcakes are cooled and the frosting is prepared, swirl the frosting on with 1M tip and top with sprinkles. Scrape the icing off the Oreo’s and place on cupcakes. Done. Easy. Including the time to prepare the icing, these took 30 minutes to decorate. I don’t have a recipe for the cupcakes; I simply took my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and subtracted some flour and added some cocoa powder. The frosting recipe will work with any cupcake recipe that yields 12 cupcakes.
Minnie Mouse Disney Cupcakes:
What You’ll Need:
Chocolate cupcake recipe of your choice + ingredients.
Wilton 1M frosting tip
Red gel coloring
white nonpareil sprinkles
24 mini oreos
2 C butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 C confectioners sugar
Prepare cupcakes according to directions. Set aside and let cool.
Make the Buttercream: Beat butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Add in the sugar a little at a time, making sure it is mixed in fully. Add the vanilla extract and cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add coloring with a toothpick slowly until desired shade is reached. (I added in 4 toothpicks of frosting to reach a bright pink.)
Add frosting to frosting bag fitted with a large open star tip. Swirl frosting on cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Divide the Oreos and scrape out the frosting. Add one Oreo half to each side of cupcakes.
Browned Butter sugar cookie cups with a dollop of Almond Butter in the center.
Remember last week when we made Homemade Almond Butter? And I said that we were going to make a recipe with it? This is that recipe, and it is amazing and you need to make it as soon as you’re done reading this. I hope your almond butter supply is holding up!
The best part, of course, is the use of browned butter. If you’re scared of browning butter (don’t be! It’s easy!) You can always substitute melted butter. I recommend using browned butter though. It adds a toffee, caramel-y flavor that can’t be matched. We’re baking these in muffin tins, so we don’t need to worry about spreading or bother with chilling the dough, making these so easy and quick to make!
There’s so much in these cookies- the caramelized sugar from sitting in the browned butter, the almond extract, the tiny size (so cute!) and they only take 30 minutes. They’re super easy to make, and if you don’t have almond extract, you can always just use more vanilla extract.
Brown the butter by melting it on a medium saucepan on medium heat. It will melt, foam, and boil- this is just the water vaporizing. Once it melts, start stirring and don’t stop, to prevent any burning. It takes about five minutes- it will start to smell nutty and you’ll see brown specks appear on the bottom. At this point, remove it from the heat. You’ll pour it into the sugars and let it sit and cool for a bit before adding the rest of the ingredients- especially the eggs. No one likes scrambled eggs in their cookies!
We then scoop 2-3 tsp size balls into a muffin tin, and press in a hole, and fill it with 1/4 tsp of almond butter, and bake for 8 minutes. Easy-Peasy.
Brian loved these- I even made a batch just for him!
They’re so easy, and perfect for those with peanut allergies- or anyone. I loved them, and I plan on experimenting more with this dough base in the future.
brown the butter by melting it in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, start stirring with a heat proof spatula. The butter will start to bubble, then foam. Once it foams, reduce the heat to low and wait for brown specks to appear. Once they do, remove from the heat.
Combine the sugars in a large bowl. Add in the browned butter and let rest. Once slightly cooled, whisk in the eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.
Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl. Mix into the wet ingredients.
Spray a mini muffin tin with baking spray. Scoop 2-3 tsp size mounds of dough into the muffin tin. Fill with ¼ tsp of almond butter. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool before serving.
Chex cereal coated in a chocolate caramel sauce and powdered sugar, mixed with peanuts and caramel bits. A family favorite!
Before anyone freaks out, this is not dog food! It’s chocolate deliciousness coated chex cereal- not suitable for dogs at all.
Puppy Chow (Or Muddy Buddies, whatever you prefer to call this) was always a staple at youth group retreats growing up. And while I loved the traditional chocolate peanut butter version, after seeing all the other different versions over the internet, I was inspired to create my own unique flavor.
Enter snickers bars. One of my favorite candy bars, and certainty one of the most addicting, why not use it to create a puppy chow flavor? Like mini snickers bars, this puppy chow is dangerously addicting! It won’t last long in your house. My dad told me to hide it so he wouldn’t keep snacking on it!
Instead of mixing chocolate and peanut butter together, we mix chocolate and caramel- another delicious combination! We’ll add some butter and milk to help the chocolate chips melt. Carefully (in a VERY large bowl!) pour the mixture over chex cereal, and stir, being sure not to crush the cereal. Then comes the best part- pour the cereal into a gallon zip-top bag, add powdered sugar, and shake until all the cereal is covered. Mix in chopped caramels and peanuts and you’re done!
It’s so easy and so addicting- perfect for beach trip snacks, movie nights, or really any time you need an easy, chocolatey- snack.
Chex cereal covered in chocolate and caramel, mixed with peanuts and caramel bits.
6 C Chex Cereal (1 11-2 oz box)
2 C Chocolate Chips
¼ C caramel sauce
½ C Milk
1 tbs butter
2 c confectioners sugar
1 C peanuts
1 C chopped Caramels
Measure out cereal in a large bow. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan mix together butter and milk. When butter is melted add in chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth. Add more milk of nessescary. Mix in caramel sauce. Immediately pour over cereal. Carefully mix to cover all cereal.
Pour into a gallon zip-top bag. Add sugar and shake until covered.