March 29, 2012

File under: Things that should be illegal.

-Me alone with peanut butter.

-That grace period after the season of 16 & Pregnant ends and Teen Mom begins.

-Girls calling other girls "hun". Just stop it.

-White leggings.

-Pregnant Jessica Simpson. Actually, just Jessica Simpson in general.

-Boys that include an excessive amount of wink faces in their texts. Here's a good rule of thumb when it comes to wink faces: don't.

-NOT making these cookies.

I have finally found it. After 25 years of tirelessly searching. Sleepless nights. An endless quest to no avail up until this moment. Ok that was dramatic. But a lifelong search shouldn't be taken lightly. And no, I'm not talking about the meaning of life or anything of remote intellegence. I'm talking about the absolutely most perfect peanut butter cookie in the world, of course.

What started this crusade, you ask? I was tired of eating flat, hard peanut butter cookies. I said enough is enough, someone needs to stop the madness. Someone needs to take a stand.

This one comes out puffy and soft, yet dense at the same time. Magic?? I wouldn't argue that.

If you are one of those people that enjoys hard cookies, this recipe isn't for you. Actually, this blog probably isn't for you. And on that note, who are you? I've heard people like you exist, but I almost don't want to believe it.

I probably just insulted a good 50% of my readers. If I do my math correctly, this equates to 3 people.

Now go make these, players.

Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from How Sweet it Is <--- have you been there? amazing blog.
Makes 18 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
7 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Add butter and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30-second increments until melted. Let cool completely.

3. Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, mix the cooled butter/peanut butter and sugars until they are combined.

5. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir until mixed.

6. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms. It might be a little crumbly at first, but keep mixing. It will come together. If necessary, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk. I didn't need to.

7. Fold in the chocolate chips.

8. Shape the dough into a ball the size of a golfball. Place on a baking sheet two inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. The centers should be soft and puffy. Let cool completely.

The only problem I have with this recipe? It didn't make nearly enough. Sounds like a personal problem.

March 26, 2012

...and I was like baby, baby, baby, ooohh

I recently got the fever. Bieber fever.

I somehow managed to avoid it up until this point, which is something I once took great pride in. Anytime someone made a sexual inuendo that involved Biebs, which actually happens more than you would think, I was all "pfffffff you guys are so immature. Pick on someone your own age, why don't you." But last week I drank the Kool Aid. I fired up his documentary, Never say Never, to see what all the hype was about. 10 minutes in I was drooling and could hardly think straight. Boy is fine. I can only imagine what he will look like when he's actually an adult.

In his honor, I made these baby cookies. The theme is "pedophile".

Jay kay, these are actually cookies I made for someone who placed an order through my Etsy shop. Yes, I'm officially a businesswoman. And in true business fashion, here is my plug: You guys should buy some shit. What, you don't need expensive cookies? Throw a party then. In all honesty, these cookies are worth it. You know how sugar cookies tend to take on a flavor that is reminiscent of cardboard and corn syrup? Well these ones don't. They are actually good. Generally people eat one to be polite, and then are pleasantly surprised. That's a lie, usually they try them because I badger them relentlessly until each individual has eaten at least one. But that's just me being passionate about my product. Good thing I'm not selling cocaine, because that could get dangerous. In my defense, they are then thankful for my aggression, and usually say something like, "wow, these are good! I was totally expecting them to taste like shit". Is that a backhanded compliment? I'll take it.

And let's not ignore the fact that I wrapped them up in the most ador packaging ever. Packaging so cute it is not much unlike J. Biebs himself.

March 22, 2012

Peanut butter banana bites from heaven. Or Pinterest.

My roommate said something extremely offensive the other day.

"I'm just not crazy about peanut butter and chocolate."

I asked her to repeat herself. I surely must have heard that wrong? I then remembered she drenches her Chipotle in sour cream to the point that it's a soup-like consistency and drowns everything in ketchup so I immediately dismissed the comment. This is funny because you are now probably picturing her very sloth-like and perhaps obese, when in actuality she is a stick. Stickle, as we like to call it. That should be copyrighted.

As a peanut butter/chocolate fanatic myself, I generally assume the rest of society is as obsessed with the combo as I am. Just as I assume everyone shares the same passion for Jersey Shore and other quality television.
el oh el.

In any case, this is an extremely advanced recipe. Not sure if average town folk like yourselves will be able to handle it. But just try to comprehend this complicated list of ingredients because these little suckers are worth it.

Peanut Butter Banana Bites

2 large bananas (that's what she said)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tbl milk

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice bananas into coins about 1/2 inch thick.

2. Spread a dollop of peanut butter on top of each. Don't even think about using the healthy shit. Jiff all the way, baby.

3. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave in 30 second increments until you can whisk them together. Wanna know something messed up? I don't even own a whisk. And here I am telling you to use one.

4. Using a fork, dip the bites into the chocolate. Or you can be like me and drop a spoonful of chocolate onto each until it runs down the side. This may be interpreted as lazy, but I like to think of it as efficient. Place the coated bites onto your prepared baking sheet.

5. Place in the freezer for a couple hours, or until completely frozen. Remove bites from the sheet and place in a freezer container. What is a freezer container you ask? A container you place in the freezer. It seemed right to dub it 'a freezer container'.

There is one issue with these. They are way too easy to eat. Which in turn makes it way too hard to pass by the freezer without snagging one. I'm pretty sure I've eaten four in the amount of time it has taken me to write this.

March 21, 2012

Nobody likes a square. Unless it involves caramel and chocolate.

Which is exactly why you should make these. Because they are shortbread caramel chocolate squares for god sake. But more importantly, I heard they are popular all over Britain. And who doesn't want to eat what British peeps eat? They probably eat these with their afternoon tea. While dressed all proper and shit.

Last summer my roommate and I went to a random barbecue at a friend's of a friend's of a friend's house. In short, we knew no one. On that particular afternoon, said roommate decided she wanted to talk in a British accent. I mean, why not? We are just at this party with people we don't know. Trying to fit in...and make friends. British accent it is! But as the night wore on it, it turned into a sloppy rendition (booze may have been involved). Then it just turned into one line. Over and over again. "I feel 'eaps beh' a now!" Translation: "I feel heaps better now." Translation: "This statement has nothing to do with anything and I'm just super hammered."

This turned into her permanent response for all interactions during the remainder of the night.

"Where do you guys live?"
"I feel 'eaps beh' a now!"

"What are you up to later?"
"I feel 'eaps beh' a now!"

"Do you want another beer?"
"I feel 'eaps beh' a now!"

Surprisingly, we didn't make many friends that day. Not sure why. Jury is still out on that one.

Moral of the story: Feel free to make these so you can sound like you're from Britain LON DON.

The bottom layer of shortbread is dense and buttery. The middle is HOMEMADE caramel <----super impressive.
I got a tad crazy with the caramel, though. I felt it necessary to double the amount, because I live on the edge like that. You know when people say, "oh em gee this cake is soooo rich, I can't eat the rest!" Yeah that literally makes zero sense to me. I've never had that problem in my life. I'm not sure if that's really cool or really unfortunate, considering I can inhale large quantities of molton chocolate cake topped with ganache frosting and maybe even peanut butter without a second thought. Ok yeah it's unfortunate. 

For the sake of this recipe, and so you all don't go into a sugar coma, I left the amount of caramel the same as the original recipe. I did double the amount of shortbread though, because 1) it's magical, and 2) it won't get crunchy aka gross when baked.

Shortbread Caramel Squares
Adapted from
Makes 25 squares

For the Shortbread:
7 ounces butter
6 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces cornflour, sifted
6 ounces plain flour, sifted

For the Caramel Filling:
4 1/2 ounces butter
3 ounces brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the Chocolate Topping:
8 ounces chocolate, melted (I used semi-sweet. Dark chocolate would be good too)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. To make the base, place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
3. Mix in the cornflour and plain flour, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
4. Press into a greased and lined 7'' x 11'' shallow cake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until firm.
5. To make the filling, place the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts and the ingredients are combined.
6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 minutes.
7. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla essence.
8. Pour the filling over the base and bake for 20 minutes longer.
9. Set aside to cool completely.
10. Spread the melted chocolate over the filling and set aside until firm, then cut into squares.
11. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

March 20, 2012

That one time the Internet was totally wrong.

Did you guys know cupcakes are totes 2011? As in they are no longer the "in" thing? They have been replaced by cake pops, which I think is complete BS because I heard cake pops are ridic hard to make. Rude.

The Washington Post published an 'in' and 'out' list at the beginning of 2012. And at first I was totally down with it. Because everything that gets published on the Internet is true, yeah? Ok, they say Google+ is out, Pinterest is in (duh). Bandage dresses are out, wide-leg trousers are in. Groupon is out, coupons are in. I can handle this.

So there I am, just innocently scrolling down the list, checking things off, making notes to myself. Then BAM. Out of nowhere they try to tell me Ryan Gosling is out, being replaced by Michael Fassbender. Who is this old man, and why is he replacing my boyfriend? Is this a sick joke? No, the source is totally legit... It's not April 1... Ashton Kutcher is nowhere to be seen. This is seriously messed up.

In addition to being completely wrong about RG, The Washington Post seems to have forgotten a few others. I helped them out with a little list of my own.

out: Discovery channel's Shark Week
in: AMC's Mob Week (gang sta. gang gang sta.)

out: Hot yoga
in: Any other form of exercise that doesn't make me feel like I'm burning in hell

out: Dudes that are proper
in: Dudes that know the proper use of 'your' and 'you're'

out: Pretend life via Facebook
in: Real life

out: Jeggings
in: Pajama Jeans

Kidding about the last one. Or am I.....................

In honor of staying super hip, I have boycotted cupcakes as of late. Instead I made cookies cupcakes. They aren't technically cupcakes, so therefore I'm not violating any trends of 'cool'. Kind of like how Ryan Gosling isn't technically my boyfriend, but we all know he would build me a house if it came down to it.

Not sure if these even look like cupcakes. Let's just roll with it, yo.

March 17, 2012

It's St. Patrick's Day! Let's all drink green beer and pretend we give a shit about the Irish.

I mean, I'm not complaining.

This day provides freedom to start drinking at 10am without judgement. What?

I do have something I would like to take up with the government though. Why do we get days off for frivolous holidays like Washington's Birthday and Columbus Day, when we don't get work off for important holidays like Superbowl and St. Patrick's Day? This year I will let it slide, because St. Pat's is on a Saturday. But next year I'm going to take some real action. No, I won't. I will actually just continue to call in sick on the most obvious days of the year. It's actually pretty embarrassing. Me on Friday before: "Does everyone have their party pants on?! See ya lata suckas! Time to get it poppin'!" Me on Monday: "Wow, I've really come down with something, I'm not going to make it in to work today. I know, so weird. Not sure what happened. On second thought, I might not be in tomorrow either."

The creativity has really been flowin' around here, guys. I mean look at these super original shamrock cookies I made.

Yeah, pretty standard. How presh are these colors, though? Seriously diggin' the light green. 

Oh, and wanna know why I'm a badass? I'm not wearing green today.

March 12, 2012

Monday morning. Synonymous with death, misery, pain.

You know when you get back to work Monday morning, feeling like absolute hell? And everyone around you is chipper, practically glowing from 2 days full of rest and relaxation? Because they are 30 years old. And actually have their lives together. They then ask, "what did you do this weekend?" And at first it takes you a couple minutes to even remember what in the hell you did. It then takes a couple more minutes to come up with a lie, because the only thing you actually did do is participate in complete debauchery, spend entirely too much money at the bar, and eat Thai food on the couch in last night's makeup while suffering from a massive headache. Feel free to judge me at any point.

Cue homemade oreos.

People so easily get distracted by these little guys because they instantly get struck by nostalgia. They also get weirdly impressed. It's great. I'm like, "Yeah! I just spend my free time making good 'ol Oreos, people. I'm super wholesome and domestic like that."

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. As the original recipe states, this is a sweeet cookie. But as we all know, the wafers in actual Oreos are pretty un-sweet to contrast the super sweetness of the middle. If you want your cookie to be closer to the original, take out a half-cup of the sugar in the chocolate wafer. Be aware if you do this, I will think you are a total pansy. Just sayin'.

OH and don't forget to eat these with a huge glass of milk. Because, obviously.

Homemade Oreos
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons room temperate, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room temperate, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetables shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375F.

1. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

2. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

3. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

4. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. This is where it's totally chill for your inner fat kid to surface. Can anyone say Double Stuff?! Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue the process until all of the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies. Surprise! You're now fat.

Peanut butter/chocolate cravings are no joke.

This is real life shit, people.

And just a word to the wise, one thing you should most definitely NOT do is make these cookies while your roommate is out of town. As in, it's just you and the cookies. In the house. Chillin. If you're anything like me, soon enough you will be alone again.

These cookies are goooooooood. Soft, chewy chocolate outside. Creamy, BOMB peanut center. What could be better? Really though, that is a serious question.

They turn out kind of ugly. Just kind of brown and boring and mehh. But don't be hasty, my friends. They are worth it. Don't judge a book by its cover. I actually totally judge every book by its cover.

Would you like to hear about the time I realized my obsession with peanut butter was abnormal? One day in college not one but TWO of my roommates approached me and said I literally always smell like Jiff. I was slightly impressed with myself by this. I was also slightly confused how in the hell I had a boyfriend.

Btdub, this recipe is super cool because it uses a lot of half cups. Can you say convient?!?! Maybe you won't really think it's that cool. I am easily amused.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
Adapted from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coca
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugars, butter, and 1/4 cup of peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, beating to combine. Stir in the flour mixture and stir to combine, blending well. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together powdered sugar and remaining 3/4 cup of peanut butter until smooth. Now listen up, this is important. I found this mixture super hard to work with, so at this point I rolled it into little balls (using a heaping teaspoon) and stuck them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Do this. Ok proceed.
5. Pull off a heaping tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough and flatten with your hands. Take one of your frozen peanut butter balls. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter center, pressing to seal. Roll the cookie into a ball and roll the cookie in sugar. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
6. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie to about a 1/2 inch thickness.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes. Let stand on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.