Dessert: Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Bites

Source: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweet-salty-peanut-butter-bites/

I opted to try something different for this recipe, so I made these! They’re very easy to make and require very little effort and prep time.

I apologize in advance, I had to use my DSLR camera for these pictures instead of my phone, so the pictures might look a bit off.

The first think you’ll need to do is freeze 1/2 cup of semi-sweet morsels and 4 peanut butter cups.

The freezing will help when it comes to cutting the peanut butter cups into…pieces. As for the morsels, not really sure.

Set those two ingredients in the freezer and get the other ingredients ready. You’ll need the following:

  • creamy peanut butter
  • granulated sugar
  • light corn syrup
  • salt
  • crisped rice cereal
  • emotionally broken pretzels
If you’re wondering, yes, that is 4 cups of crisped rice cereal.

In a saucepan, combine the peanut butter, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and salt.

You’ll see why later I would not recommend using this style of pot.

You’ll need a bit of time to stir this up. This felt like it took about 15 minutes, but I didn’t properly time it.

Finally, it’s ready.

After the mixture is easy to stir, remove it from heat, and add the crisped rice cereal and the emotionally broken pretzels.

This is why I regretted using this pot.

Somehow, you have to mix all this up, which was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. You’d need something much larger to make this recipe.

One sore arm and nearly broken mixing spoon later…

While this is setting, pull the peanut butter cups out of the freezer and chop them up.

Resist the urge to eat any of the pieces.

Once all chopped up, add it to the pot along with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Not sure if the mixing spoon can handle another round…

Mix all this stuff up again, but I’d recommend something that isn’t plastic for the mixing.

I’m honestly surprised my plastic mixing spoon lived another day after this.

Next, we’re going to line some cookie sheets with wax paper. Instead of making small bites, we’re going to make large bites, using our trusty 1.5tbsp cookie scoop.

I love this thing!

Using your cookie scoop, scoop large balls and put them on your cookie sheets.

For reference, these things are the size of golf balls.
…and look worse than golf balls.
Tasty…

Overall, this is a pretty fun recipe that can be made on impulse with little prep time required. The only things you might need to get are the peanut butter cups, pretzels for breaking, and the light corn syrup, along with the crisped rice cereal.

If I was to do anything differently, I’d use a larger pot so it was easier to mix everything up. Also, I’d definitely use the 1tbsp cookie scoop next time, as these were way too big to be considered a “bite”.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 peanut butter cups (3/4 ounce each), chopped
  • 1-1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1 cup broken pretzels

Directions:

  1. Place your bowl of semi-sweet morsels in the freezer, along with the peanut butter cups. Leave them in there for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare a saucepan with the peanut butter, sugar, light corn syrup, and salt. Cook everything on low heat until everything is combined. This might take some time.
  3. After everything is combined, remove the pot from heat.
  4. Cut up the peanut butter cups and add to the pot with the semi-sweet morsels. Combine everything together.
  5. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
  6. Using your scoop, place the balls on the cookie sheets, and let them sit for about 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Source

Cookies: Rainbow S’moreo Cookies

Original recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/rainbow-s-moreo-cookies/

I was in the mood to try something different, and I wanted something related to summer. I came across this recipe, and thought I would give it a try.

I tried making this once before, but I forgot the crucial step of flattening the cookies before baking them. I left them in balls, and wondered why they didn’t flatten, and then I realized my mistake. Plus, I didn’t photograph anything that I did, so I had to make it a second time, and correctly.

Let’s start off with the usual first step: combine butter and sugar.

Make sure your butter is softened.

After mixing them up for about a minute, drop in your egg and vanilla.

Happy cyclops?

After those are mixed up, add your cocoa powder and mix.

I almost ate this part, lol.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt.

The usual fun of whisking the dry ingredients together.

Slowly pour in the dry ingredients into the stand mixer as it is running.

Raw Oreo cookie mix…

Next, you should refrigerate the dough for a while, about 30 minutes. This is actually necessary as you will need the dough to be scoopable, and be able to flatten it. If the dough hasn’t been refrigerated, this becomes very tedious.

It’s actually pretty chunky.

At this point, you will want to preheat the oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using your 1tbsp scoop that actually works, make some 1″ balls with it.

Our trusty and reliable 1tbsp cookie scoop!
Something like that.

Next, using some small glass, dip the bottom in sugar and squish the balls of dough.

As it turns out, these cookies don’t flatten on their own…
They’re not perfectly pretty, but they’re going to be tasty!

Bake these in the oven for 10 minutes if you’re using an aluminum cookie sheet.

Baked and ready!

Let them cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to your cooling rack.

Cooled down and ready for spreading!

Using marshmallow cream, spread it on the bottoms of half of the cookies.

This gets really messy…
It ain’t pretty…
Honestly, you could just stop here and make your own oreo cookies from here…

Make your cookie sandwiches with them. Using a bowl of sprinkles, roll the cookie sandwiches in it.

Don’t eat the sprinkles yet…
They definitely look homemade!
The utter magnificence!

There’s just one problem with using marshmallow cream…

It expands and gets really messy very quickly…

I think the cookies in this recipe are meant to be enjoyed right away, like an actually s’more.

Overall, this is a good recipe that requires some extra ingredients to make it happen. You’ll need some graham cracker crumbs as something extra to make this happen. Also, the marshmallow cream is extremely messy.

If I was to make this again, I probably would use a frosting for the filling, or make my own because the marshmallow cream is tasty, but extremely messy. Plus, it seems to continue to expand like crazy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

  1. In your stand mixer, mix together the softened butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix for another two minutes.
  3. Add cocoa and mix for yet another 2 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
  5. On a piece of parchment paper, slowly pour the dry ingredients into the stand mixer as it is mixing.
  6. After thorough mixing, refrigerate for a minimum of half an hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F
  8. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Using your trusty 1tbsp cookie scoop, scoop 24 1″ balls and place them on the cookie sheets.
  10. Using a glass dipped in sugar, flatten all your cookies.
  11. Bake each cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
  12. Let each sheet of cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cookie sheet.
  13. Spread some marshmallow cream on the bottom half of 12 of the cookies. Make your sandwiches with them.
  14. On a small plate, dump some sprinkles, and roll each cookie into them.
  15. Enjoy them before the marshmallow cream expands and makes messes in your kitchen.

Source

Dessert: Zucchini Muffins

Original Recipe: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/zucchini_muffins/

I normally don’t bake in the middle of the week, but I didn’t want the zucchini to go bad, so I decided to make some zucchini muffins on a Tuesday.

First, we need to use our cheese grater to grate all the zucchini that we have on hand.

I wish there was an easier way to grate them.

I had to use 6 small zucchini to make the 3 cups necessary for this recipe. I recommend doing this first because how much grated zucchini will have will determine how many muffins you make (if you want to maintain the right ingredient ratio).

After grating the zucchini, you need to remove all the water by putting itin a towel that you don’t care about, and squeeze all the water out of it. Then you can measure how much you still need. Luckily, I got the 3 cups necessary.

Not sure what to make of this…

Next, you need to add a couple of eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer.

Yep, I took a picture of this.

Then you need to measure your sugar. Luckily this recipe gives you the weight in grams of how much sugar you need.

I didn’t need to pull out the 1/3 cup measuring cup for this…

Add the sugar to the stand mixer and then add your 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

This mixture will mix better than just the eggs.

While this mixing is taking place, prepare your 1.5 sticks of butter. The butter doesn’t have to be at room temperature since you’re going to melt it in the microwave anyways.

I’m not really sure why I took a picture of butter.

Melt that in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add your shredded zucchini to the stand mixer, followed by the melted butter.

Plop

Mix on low for about 2 minutes.

At this point, you will want to preheat your oven to 350F.

While the stand mixer is…well, mixing, prepare your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Start off with your 400 grams of flour.

I love exact measurements!

After the flour is weighed, add your baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.

Yeah, just throw it in there…

Whisk it together.

Smells like…nutmeg…

Once the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, pour it onto a sheet of parchment paper. Also, attach the feeder cover for your stand mixer so the dry ingredients don’t go all over the place.

Ready for action!

As the stand mixer is on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the mix.

Forbidden guacamole…

While the ingredients are mixing in the stand mixer, prepare your muffin pan, and add some cupcake liners for good measure.

Why make your job difficult later when you can make it easy?

Fill all the cupcake liners with the zucchini dough.

Messy and tasty. Mesty?

Once the oven is ready, place these in the middle rack for 30 minutes. After the time has passed, check with a toothpick to make sure it’s clean.

The utter magnificence!

Let them cool off for about 10 minutes before taking pictures for your blog or social media.

Ready to serve!

Overall, this is a pretty simple recipe that you can make on impulse, as long as you have all the ingredients. You don’t really need to prep any ingredients ahead of time for this, so it works well if you’re in the mood for a different type of muffin. Plus, it’s very tasty, and they taste good with a bit of butter after being reheated.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup (270g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups packed grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 3/4 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your shredded zucchini with your cheese grater. After grating the zucchini, squeeze the water out of it with a towel you don’t care about. Place it in a small bowl and move to the side.
  2. Break open two eggs and place them in the stand mixer. Mix up the eggs.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla and mix on low for one minute.
  4. Melt your 1.5 sticks of butter and pour into the sand mixer.
  5. Add the grated zucchini and mix on low for about 2 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven for 350F.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg).
  8. Place the dry ingredients onto a sheet of parchment paper, and slowly feed into stand mixer while it is on low.
  9. While mixing, prepare a muffin tin and place your cupcake liners in it for easy cleanup afterwards.
  10. When all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, slowly fill the muffin tins with the mix.
  11. Place in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Ensure it is baked completely with a toothpick.
  12. Let sit for 10 minutes before eating.

Source

Cookies: Monster Cookies

Original Source: https://cookieandkate.com/monster-cookies-recipe/

So it has been a while unfortunately. I caught COVID-19, and I don’t recommend it honestly. It put me out for a while, and I’m now getting back into the swing of things.

I was in the mood to make some cookies again, and I wanted something related to summer, so I found this recipe for Monster Cookies. I’m not sure why they’re called Monster Cookies honestly; maybe it’s because it’s a monstrosity of ingredients, or maybe it’s just because they’re huge. Either way, let’s get right to it!

Have to resist…

So this is a pretty easy recipe that doesn’t require any planning of ingredients. As long as you have all the ingredients, you can make these on the fly.

For this recipe, we’re going to make the standard batch and use the ingredients to make it taste good.

First things first: prepare a minimum of two aluminum cookie sheets, and line them with parchment paper. Also, preheat the oven to 350F.

Let’s start off the recipe with our peanut butter. You can use either creamy or crunchy peanut butter for this recipe. I’m going to use creamy since I keep it on hand in case of emergency. You never know when someone is going to want some Buckeye Brownie Cookies.

Plop!

Next, add in the brown sugar, because we want these cookies to actually taste good.

Trust me, there’s peanut butter under there.

Next, melt your 5 tablespoons of butter. It doesn’t need to be at room temperature beforehand, so you can cut 5/8ths of a stick of butter and just melt it in the microwave.

That’s a lot of saturated fat…

Mix this on low in your stand mixer for about a minute.

Even creamier peanut buttery goodness…

After your minute, throw in your eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.

This just makes it better.

Mix that on medium-low for about a minute or two.

This looks even creamier than before…

Alright, so now we start to add some of your dry ingredients. This is where you would add in the oatmeal. I just used regular old-fashioned oats.

Yeah just throw it all in there.

Next you, add your, ahem…candy-coated chocoate pieces into the mix, along with your pieces of bittersweet chocolate. Not sure why the recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but you can probably get away with using regular semisweet morsels.

They look like M&M’s, but they’re not M&M’s due to copyright infringement law!

Mix it all up in your stand mixer for a couple of minutes.

The dough binds together very well, and it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl as much as you would think.

When it’s done, get your 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the dough.

You could spray this with cooking spray if you feed like it. I didn’t really need to.

Scoop your 1/4 cup portions onto the parchment-paper lined aluminum cookie sheets. I put 6 of them on a cookie sheet since they will expand quite a bit.

They’re called Monster Cookies, not Perfect Cookies, lol

With the aluminum cookie sheets, bake these for 14 minutes in your oven. You’ll see some browning on the tops.

Sweetness!

Let them cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Overall, these cookies are really easy to make, and can be made on impulse, as long as you have all the ingredients on hand. No flour is needed, and if you use gluten-free oats, you can essentially make a gluten-free cookie if you so desire. They’re very tasty and don’t take up a lot of your time.

Beautiful…

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup candy-coated chocolates (like M&M’s) or additional chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Prepare two aluminum cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix on medium-low for about a minute.
  4. Add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla, and mix on medium-low again for about a minute.
  5. Add oatmeal, candy-coated chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate to the box and mix on medium-low for about 2 minutes.
  6. Using your 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough onto cookie sheet. Place six of them on a cookie sheet at a time.
  7. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes.
  8. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.

Source

Dessert: Cookies & Cream Brownies

Original Recipe Here:
https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/cookies-cream-brownies/

This weekend, I decided to make brownies, but I wanted to do something different. I was in the mood for something along the lines of cookies and cream, and I wanted something with Oreos in them, so I found this recipe for a cookies & cream brownie.

Alright, so we need to start with a brownie base:

Here we go! Regular good ol’ fudge brownie base.

You’ll follow the recipe on the back of the box, which is illustrated below:

Yes, we’re going to follow instructions on a box for brownies…for the most part…

Alright, so you have your brownie mix in your medium-sized bowl, go ahead and throw in 3 tablespoons of water, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, and 2 eggs. It should look like the mess below:

Trust me on this…

Once it’s all mixed up with your spatula (or whatever mixing device you use, although a hand mixer would be overkill), it will look like this below:

You almost want to eat all the batter right there and then…

Set the bowl aside, and grab that 9″ x 13″ pan that we all totally have in our kitchens.

For the record, I’ve had this pan the whole time! Seriously! No joke!

After grabbing your giant brownie pan, preheat the oven to 350F.

Line the pan as best as you can with a giant sheet of parchment paper and then pour the brownie mix into it. Distribute it as best as you can while making sure the parchment paper lines up against all the edges.

This might be the most difficult part of the whole recipe…

After you’re satisfied with your distribution of brownie mix, slowly add in your double-stuff Oreos. For the record, you will need a total of 30 of them for this recipe, and 24 of them will go into the brownies themselves.

Try not to eat too many of them…

If you’re wondering, yes, someone at the factory put one of the cookies on the sandwich upside down. I had nothing to do with that.

Once that’s done, the oven should be ready for baking, so go ahead and throw it in the oven. I recommend about 35 minutes for these, despite what the box says.

Not done yet!

Alright, so once that’s done, you’ll have to let the brownies cool off. You will need a few hours to refrigerate the brownie mix so that you can spread the next layer of goodness on here.

*In a French accent* “Several hours later…”

Now we’re ready for the next layer of brownie goodness. First, you’ll need a stick and a half of butter to put into your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

It’s a buttercream base, so we need to start with…well…butter.

Soften it up as best as you can with your stand mixer.

Eh, close enough.

Next, you’ll add your sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, and then mix it up.

That doesn’t look right…

Did I intentionally put pictures of myself screwing up on my own blog? Yes I did. As it turns out, if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, you probably wouldn’t have realized that you didn’t read the recipe correctly and put in regular sugar instead of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar.

Alright, anyways, let’s start over, and put powdered sugar in there instead. Throw in a pinch of salt for good measure. I used about 1/8th of a teaspoon.

That’s more like it!

So now that you’ve been doing this correctly the whole time, and didn’t put in the wrong sugar, go ahead and turn your stand mixer on to low, otherwise you’ll get a cloud of powdered sugar in your kitchen. After it has started to mix up, crank the little booger up to maximum.

While the stand mixer is going, you’ll need to cut up the 6 Oreos I told you about earlier.

Almost…
There we go!

Once the frosting actually looks like frosting (and not clumps of sugar and butter), remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the Oreo bits.

Do your best to not lick the buttercream frosting as well…

After you feel satisfied with your mixing, go ahead and bring it over to your cooled-off brownie slab and evenly add the buttercream frosting to the brownie.

Yes I know I need to clean my stovetop…
It tastes better than it looks.

Refrigerate the pan for another half an hour for the buttercream to solidify.

After the buttercream is nice and solid, it’s time for the final layer of chocolate! This step is pretty easy, as you just need about 200g of semi-sweet morsels, and one stick of butter cut into quarters.

One heaping cup!
I feel like I’m channeling Paula Dean at this moment.

Throw the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, pull out, and stir.

I was a bit nervous about this as well, as I thought it was going to be way too much butter…

I put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds, and mixed it up again. This was the final result:

Yes that toothpick was for the brownies.

Go ahead and spread it on top of your brownie stack by just pouring it on and evening it out.

It’s not pretty…

Let that refrigerate some more, and then you’ll have a completed recipe!

Yep, pastry chef of the year!

Here’s how it looks on a cross-sectional view:

There’s an Oreo cookie in there somewhere…

All and all, this is a great recipe that requires a lot of time, so if you’re going to make this for a dinner dessert, start early in the morning, or make it the day before. These took a lot of time, but honestly they’re worth it. It’s actually pretty easy, and doesn’t really use anything weird. The only thing you might not have on hand are Oreos, but everything else is stuff you can find in a normal kitchen, even in my tiny apartment.

Ingredients:

Brownies

  • One box of brownie mix from your local grocery store (9×13 inch pan brownie batter)
  • 24 Double-Stuf Oreos

Cookies & Cream Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (one and half sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Double-Stuf Oreos, chopped (I use Double Stuf Oreos)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Chocolate Topping

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 heaping cup (around 200g) semi-sweet morsels (or melting chocolate)

Directions:

Brownie Base

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Prepare the brownie mix in a medium bowl as per the instructions on the box.
  3. Get your conveniently placed 9″ x 13″ pan and line it with parchment paper. This will make it easy to remove the brownies when done.
  4. Pour the brownie mix into the parchment paper-lined pan.
  5. After evenly distributing it, add 24 Oreos in a neat 4×6 pattern.
  6. Bake the brownie mix for about 35 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool for a few hours at minimum.

Cookies and Cream Buttercream

  1. Prepare your stand mixer and throw in your 1 1/2 sticks of butter into the bowl.
  2. Run the stand mixer on medium to get it softened up a bit.
  3. Add three cups of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, along with the 2 tbsp of milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  4. Start the stand mixer on low so it doesn’t throw powdered sugar all over the place and make a mess for you to clean up.
  5. After the butter and powdered sugar come together, add in the 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and turn the stand mixer to high. Let it run for about a minute or two.
  6. While that’s going on, get your 6 Oreos and cut them into pieces.
  7. Turn off the stand mixer after a minute or two, remove the bowl, and pour the Oreo bits into the buttercream. Mix it nicely with a spatula.
  8. After you’re satisfied with the mix, spread it on top of the giant slab of a brownie.
  9. When you’re done, refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Chocolate Topping

  1. Grab a microwave-safe bowl, and add in about 200 grams of semi-sweet chocolate for melting.
  2. Take a stick of butter, cut it into quarters, and put it in the bowl.
  3. Microwave the mix for 30 seconds on normal.
  4. Pull the bowl out and mix the butter and chocolate a bit.
  5. Repeat step 3.
  6. Pull the bown out again and aggressively until you get a picture-worthy bowl of melted chocolate.
  7. Pour on top of the buttercream and even it out as best as you can.
  8. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes at minimum.
  9. Enjoy!

Source of original recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/cookies-cream-brownies/

Dessert: Mini Chocolate Puff Pastry Rolls

I’m a day late since my schedule was crazy this weekend, and I made these last night.

My mom actually made these once before, and I decided I wanted to try to make them myself. The recipe only requires 5 ingredients, but the recipe does require some planning ahead. You’ll need to get a package of puff pastry sheets, but they need to be refrigerated, so I’d recommend you put them in the refrigerator overnight.

Alright, so now that your puff pastry sheets are refrigerated, put some flour on the work surface. Lay your two puff pastry sheets next to each other.

This is why it’s important that they’re not frozen: when you unfold them, you want them to still be in one piece.

Melt two tablespoons of salted butter in a small bowl. Using your brush, apply a fairly even layer of butter all over the sheets.

It’s hard to tell, but there is indeed melted butter on the puff pastry sheets.

Since we’re going to make 10 of these puff pastry rolls, grab a knife (or a pizza cutter in my case) and cut 10 pieces out vertically.

They don’t need to be exact. Plus, trying to divide something into fifths isn’t fun.

Once the cuts are done, take one cup of chocolate bits. I personally used dark chocolate chunks from Target because I thought they’d be better with these.

The good stuff!

Take one cup of chunks (which is about half of a package), and distribute them among the 10 strips, making sure to leave an inch on both sides for rolling.

One cup of chocolate chunks seems like a bit much honestly…

After you’re satisfied with the distribution of chocolate chunks (and eaten some to make sure there aren’t too many), start rolling each section, and place them on your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

I should have made this part look better.

Once the 10 strips are rolled up, you need to beat an egg, and brush it on each pastry roll.

Making breakfast…no wait…
Brush brush brush…

After all the pastry rolls are brushed with beaten egg, throw some dusting sugar on all of them.

There we go!

The sanding sugar is something you might need to find at a craft store. I found mine at a local Michael’s (no intentional coincidence).

Look for something like this.

After your oven has been preheated to 400F, place the cookie sheet in the oven. The recipe calls for 25-30 minutes, but because we’re using the aluminum cookie sheet, we’re doing the full 30 minutes.

Done!

They came out perfect honestly, even though they’re not consistent. They’re very tasty, and worth your time if you plan ahead. Unfortunately, everything you need does require some planning, since you’ll need sanding sugar, puff pastry sheets, salted butter, and some good chocolate chunks.

This might be the best picture I’ve taken of everything I’ve baked.

All and all, it’s worth it, and it’s tasty. I recommend you try it yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed but cold
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sanding sugar 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Lightly flour your work surface. Unfold the puff pastry sheets and lay the 2 pieces of pastry side by side with the short side facing you.
  3. Brush the sheets with the melted butter.
  4. Starting at the top, cut strips that are 2 inches wide by 10 inches long. You should end up with 5 strips from each sheet of puff pastry.
  5. Divide the chocolate chips evenly along the strips of pastry. Leave about 1 inch without chips on either end of each strip.
  6. Beginning at the skinny end of each strip, roll up the pastry. Continue rolling each strip of the pastry the same way.
  7. Place the pastry rolls seam side down about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Lightly brush the rolls with the beaten egg.
  9. Sprinkle each roll  generous with the sanding sugar.
  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The pastries should be a dark golden brown. If the pastries are getting too brown, cover lightly with a piece of foil for the final few minutes of baking time.
  11. Remove the pastries from the oven. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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Cookies: Butter Cookies

Funny enough, last year when I was doing my cookie challenge, I never once did a butter cookie, and someone suggested I try making on, so here’s my attempt at a butter cookie.

To start things off, we need two sticks of butter, and 140 grams of sugar.

Add the sugar to the butter, along with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Run them in your stand mixer.

Once you’ve got the butter and sugar mixed up, add in the two egg yolks and 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla.

The good stuff!

Also, on an unrelated note, I emptied out a container from Kirkland vanilla.

This is the second time I’ve done this in two years since I’ve started baking.

Next, you’ll need to measure out your flour. Luckily, we can measure out an exact amount of 283 grams. It’s always confusing when recipes tell you to “spoon and level 2 cups”. The weight makes it easier so there’s no discrepency.

I love these precise measurements!

Add it to your stand mixer as it is running, and make sure you have the cover on otherwise you’ll get flour all over the place. After the flour is mixed in, add 2 teaspoons of milk. If you feel it needs to be a bit softer, you can add a couple more.

I kinda want to eat it all before it is used for baking.

Once the dough is ready, get your two cookie sheets and line them with some parchment paper. While that is being prepared, set the oven to 350F.

Ready for easy cleanup!

Now, for the part that I failed miserably at: putting it in a bag and piping it out.

Yeah, it didn’t work…

I didn’t have the large enough tip for it to make the wonderful aesthetic of the cookies. When I extruded it out, it was about the thickness of a straw, and I didn’t feel like putting forth that kind of effort, so instead I took my trusty 1.5Tbsp cookie scoop and did it the old-fashioned way. Also, maybe don’t use a ziploc bag…

Can’t go wrong with trusty 1.5Tbsp cookie scoop!

The oven was ready to go, and each sheet was baked for 16 minutes. With aluminum cookie sheets, and their inability to retain heat compared to their steel counterparts, I usually put the cookies in at the maximum, or add a couple of minutes.

Done!

Once the cookies have cooled off, it’s time to dip them in some chocolate. Luckily my past self is much smarter than my current self, and I had some melting chocolate ready to dip the cookies in.

Melt the chocolate, and dip each cookie halfway.

A few of the cookies broke when I dipped them in because they weren’t baked enough. They were pretty flimsy and so I had to get the spoon to pull them out safely.

In the end, here’s the result:

The utter majesty!

In the end, this is a pretty easy recipe to make. The only thing you might need is a kitchen scale to ensure that your measurements are accurate. If you’re going to melt chocolate for these cookies, I’d just use a bag of morsels from the grocery store instead of some sort of specialty thing like these melting chocolates. If you always have milk on hand, along with a bag of morsels, you should be able to make these fairly quickly. There’s no need to refrigerate the dough, so these can be made on impulse in very little time.

If you don’t have any piping mechanism, a cookie scoop works just fine, and they still come out amazing, despite my utter failure of my piping setup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (226g, two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp (1/2 tbsp) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 2 – 4 tsp milk
  • Chocolate or candy melts, optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, sugar and salt until combined.
  3. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. Add flour and mix until crumbly then add in 2 tsp milk, if needed add in another 1 – 2 tsp milk for a more pipe-able consistency – add as little as possible for less spreading though.
  5. Transfer to a 16-inch piping bag fitted with a very large open star tip (or just using your cookie scoop).
  6. Pipe dough into rounds onto two ungreased baking sheets
  7. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven until golden brown on bottom, about 12 – 16 minutes.
  8. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 

Notes:

  • If you’d like to dip in chocolate or white chocolate, melt 10 oz chopped chocolate, chocolate melts, or white chocolate melts in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 20 second intervals until melted and smooth. 
  • Dip half of cookies into chocolate let excess run off (while also brushing some off bottom across bowl) then transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Immediately add sprinkles if using then let set.

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Bread: Keto Zucchini Bread

The guy I get lettuce from at Farmer’s Market had his first batch of zucchini for the season, and you know what that means? Zucchini bread time! For this entry, we’re going to make a zucchini bread that is not only tasty, but…keto-friendly!

For the record, I have made this previously in a post, but I wanted to go into more detail with some more pictures.

Alright, let’s start with the most annoying part of the recipe: grating the zucchini.

My rotary cheese grater wouldn’t have been very useful for this recipe.

Because this requires one and a half cups of grated zucchini, I ended up using two of them to get the necessary amount, and that is after squeezing all the water out of it.

Zucchini doesn’t look as good in this form…
It took two zucchini to make this happen.

Once the zucchini is ready, put it aside. In a medium bowl (I used a large bowl, and it was a bit much), mix the 2 cups of almond flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup sweetener, and 1 teaspoon baking soda together.

Once the dry ingredients are whisked together, then you’ll go ahead and add the grated zucchini to the mix.

Plop!

Once the zucchini is in place, you’ll need to beat a couple of eggs and pour them into the bowl.

I think I need to use a bowl that is a little less like a mirror and something more solid. That polished surface is a little distracting.

The last ingredient you will add is some melted butter. Take half of a stick of butter, melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and pour it in.

Sweet, all the ingredients are in. Now for the fun part…

Once everything is together, mix it all up with a spatula of sorts.

Ignore the spoon.

Once it’s mixed up, get your 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and coat it with cooking spray.

Take my word for it, it is lined with cooking oil.

Once you have your loaf pan ready, pour the mix into it and level it as best as you can.

Do your best to smooth it out on top.

With your oven at 350F, place the pan in the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour, it should be ready.

Handle with care.

After you have let it cool off, make sure you gently remove it from the pan. You might have greased it well, but it might not unstick easily.

Zucchini bread!

This recipe is pretty simple, but it requires quite a bit of effort to grate the zucchini. As for ingredients, Costco seems to be amazing when it comes to a ketogenic diet, as I was able to find my almond flour and monkfruit sweetener there. It’s also very tasty and makes for a great breakfast with some butter in the morning. This can be made on impulse, but you will need to put in some extra effort to make it happen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups almond flour (click here to see my favorite on Amazon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Granular Sweetener (Click here to see my favorite on Amazon)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/4 Cup Melted butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Grated Zucchini with peel

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 9×5 loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, swerve, and baking soda.
  3. Wrap the grated zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard liquid and add zucchini to the dry ingredients followed by the eggs and melted butter. Stir batter until combined. See notes for instructions on adding walnuts, chocolate chips, or blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake in the 350F oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving. Slice into 12 slices. See notes for freezing, making muffins, and for a savory bread.

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Cookies: Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cream Pies

It’s been a while since I’ve done a cookie, but these ones were so good that I needed to try them out. This is another one of those cookie recipes you can make on impulse if you have all the ingredients.

Alright, let’s get started with the fun stuff.

You will need two and a half sticks of butter for this recipe, so make sure they’re at room temperature already.

Paula Dean would approve.

Make sure you mix your white and brown sugar before adding it to the butter. Mixing the sugars ahead of time ensures good cookie consistency.

Once the sugars are mixed up, dump that bowl into the stand mixer and mix them up!

Once the sugar and butter are mixed together, add the egg, vanilla extract, and molasses.

Mix it all up.

That’s the good stuff…

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and your quick oats..

Whenever I need to add dry ingredients to the stand mixer, I always take the mixture and put them on a sheet of parchment paper and slowly pour it into the stand mixer as it is mixing. I don’t have video of this because I don’t have a tripod for this kind of thing. Plus, I don’t have a YouTube channel to show how all this is done, since I’m a one-man crew.

Believe me, this is flour mix.

After mixing for a while, you can stop the mixer and gaze at the magnificence that is the raw cookie dough…

This is some tasty dough, lol.

Scoop it out using your trusty 1.5Tbsp scooper from Oxo, unlike their crappier 1Tbsp scooper. Make sure your cookie sheets are lined with some parchement paper for easier cleaner up. To make your life easier, I’d recommend using two cookie sheets to get the baking done quicker.

Our favorite cookie scoop!

Make sure your oven is at 375F. I baked the cookies for 12 minutes despite the recipe calling for 10 minutes. The aluminum cookie sheets require a little longer since they don’t absorb heat as much as their steel counterparts.

While cookies are baking, it’s time to get the filling ready.

For the filling, beat the butter with your hand mixer.

Next, add the powdered sugar.

To thicken it up, we need to add some heavy cream.

Now that’s the good stuff!

Once the filling is complete, it’s time to make the sandwich cookies!

I don’t think I’ve ever used those BB-8 measuring cups in the back…

I had a lot of filling left over, and had to do my best to not eat it with a spoon.

In the end, this is the result:

Tada!

These cookies are a lot of work, but they’re so good and worth the effort. As long as you have the 4 sticks of butter at room temperature, this won’t take too long to make.

Do I recommend these? Absolutely! This is definitely something worth your time, and they’re so good. The recipe calls for each cookie size to be 3Tbsp, but using the 1.5Tbsp size makes the cookies just right. Plus, at 1.5Tbsp, it’s still chewy.

Ingredients:

COOKIES

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened at room temperature (2.5 sticks)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats NOT whole-rolled oats

CREME FILLING

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature (1.5 sticks)
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt, as needed

Instructions:

Instructions

  1. For the cookies: With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together at medium speed until light and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and molasses, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk it all around. Add the quick oats and combine.
  3. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. The dough will be quite thick and you may have to mix it all by hand after a few seconds in the mixer.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat. Drop dough with a large cookie scoop, or make sure each ball of dough is 3 tablespoons in measurement. Cookies will spread in the oven, so drop each ball of dough 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the filling: With a stand or handheld mixer, beat butter for about 1 minute until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Mix on high for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Taste and add a pinch or two of salt, as needed. If filling is way too thick, add a couple more teaspoons of heavy cream.
  7. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream filling on the bottom side of half of cookies; top with remaining cookies, right side up.

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Bread: Pretzel Buns

My phase of making bread/biscuits continues, and today we’re going to talk about something fun and tasty: pretzel buns!

This isn’t as time consuming as the Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks, but some work still needs to be done. It’s actually pretty simple to make, and I’ll give some tips on how to make it easier for yourself if you decide to make this recipe.

It first starts off with getting a large mixing bowl (you’ll see why later). Once you have your bow, you need to warm up 1/2 a cup of water. While the water is heating, measure out your white sugar and active dry yeast. To make it easy, use two packets of the active dry yeast that comes in the 3-pack.

To save yourself the frustration, use two of these packets for 4 1/2 teaspoons.

You’ll put the warm water in the bowl and add the sugar and yeast together. Let them do their thing in the bowl for 5 minutes.

After the five minutes are up, add in the milk, shortening, eggs, vegetable oil, flour, more sugar, and salt.

All ingredients added together.

Then you need to get your hand mixer and start it up while adding the rest of the flour (1/2 cup at a time). This will get a little messy, because the dough will bunch up in your mixer.

This isn’t going the way I had hoped…

Once you’ve had enough of your hand mixer, you’ll need a surface that is lightly floured, and you’ll need to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

I had to wash my hands to get this picture.

Once you have kneaded the dough enough, spray another bowl with cooking oil and place the dough in there. Cover it with plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm environment for an hour.

Ready for action!

After an hour, the dough should look like this:

The dough has risen!

The recipe tells you to pull out dough balls the size of baseballs, which will make them large (I guess hence the name “buns” instead of “biscuits”).

It’s about the size of a baseball.

You’ll need to make the dough lengthen like a breadstick, and then you roll it like a cinnamon roll.

This picture makes me slightly uncomfortable.

Do this so you end up with 12 buns.

I’m making snail shells!

Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degress for these. If you’re like me and put the oven on at the last minute, preheat the oven while you do the next step.

Get 4 cups of water and heat it up. Put that in a bowl and mix it with 1/2 cup of baking soda. With the water-baking soda mix, dip the buns into that water before placing on the cookie sheet. Put 6 on a cookie sheet at a time, and use aluminum ones so you don’t burn the bottoms too quickly. Once on the cookie sheet, spread melted butter on each bun and top with a little bit of sea salt.

My very basic setup.

Bake each set of 6 for about 22 minutes in the oven.

Fresh out of the oven!
The Instagram picture.

Overall, I would say that this is a keeper. I’d recommend this recipe for anyone, but just make sure that you have an extra hour set aside for the dough to rise. These are delicious and very fluffy. One of my coworkers saw me eating one, and was extremely jealous. Now they want me to make them some, although if I were to do this again, I would make them smaller and more along the lines of a pretzel biscuit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs 
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • sea salt

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
  2. Add milk, shortening, eggs, oil, 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in remaining 3 cups of flour by hand, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (80 to 95 degrees F (27 to 35 degrees C)) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Uncover the dough and punch it down.
  4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Pull off baseball size portions of dough and roll into “snakes” about 6 inches long. Roll each “snake” into a spiral to give the tops some texture. Set each formed bun aside.
  6. Mix the baking soda and 4 cups hot water in a bowl. The baking soda does not need to dissolve completely. Dip each bun in the baking soda solution before placing on a baking sheet. Brush each bun with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the preheated oven until brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack or brown paper bag.

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