Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘chocolate chip’

The little things, and bigger cookies.

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Food for thought before food for eating:

Have you ever thought about the possibility that today could be the best day of your life, and that you’ll have no idea until it’s passed?

As a society, I feel like we are all waiting for the “next step.” What happened to being present, living in the moment? It’s quite a humbling concept when you really stop to think about it.

I recently moved to Northern California (those of you who are more familiar with California geography, you might argue that I’m residing in central California – you’re right, smarty-pants). The distance from my origin, Orange County, is as follows:

45 minute plane ride
7 hour drive
146 hour walk
I was just curious, so thanks for the info, Google Maps. But how did they get that number? People walk at varying speeds, strides, etc. What about someone with a limp? Do they factor in sleep? What about eating? Did they hire someone to actually do this so they could provide this ridiculous information? Probably not. Anyway…

Unless I decide to hate myself for a few days, I’m just a hop, skip, and a very short flight away from what used to be my home. But let me tell you, my friends, it’s a whole new world up here. (Go ahead, sing it.)

I won’t go into specifics this time, but the change in environment has helped me open my eyes, and as cheesy as it may sound, my soul.

…hoookay Kate…

No, really!

I’m paying attention to details, subtle nuances, moments. And as a result of my awareness, I am appreciating the little things: How beautiful the trees are in the morning, the smell of crisp Northern California air after it rains, the simplicity of a smile from a stranger. These are the moments I breathe in. These are the moments that matter.

It’s easy to say, “Friday was a good day.” Why? What specifically made Friday good? Perhaps it was because you laughed until your face hurt over coffee with a good friend. Maybe it was because you found a blissful moment of solitude while reading on a rainy day. Or possibly because you spent your Friday night playing card games and drinking whiskey with your boyfriend on your living room floor, and you suddenly felt so much love in your heart that you thought it might burst. (My life is awesome.)

Thinking about thinking made me think, do we miss these beautiful moments because we’re dwelling too much on the past? I believe so.

So as I sit here, venturing back into the blogosphere after an extended hiatus, I have decided to let the past go. No frills, no fluff, no explanation or justification. I’m just going to let it go. (Go ahead, sing that too.) This doesn’t mean that I’m forgetting the past, because I certainly wouldn’t be who I am without those experiences. What it means is that I’m going to accept the moments in the past that are…unfavorable, and continue to appreciate the subtle moments that I’ve under-appreciated for far too long. Let ’em shine!

Okay, sounds good! But what does this have to do with baking?

Excellent question, lovely reader!

Appreciating the subtleties in life can be difficult, you really have to be patient and pay attention.

Appreciating the subtleties in cookies, however, well…yeah it’s kind of hard too.

I received a request from a dashing gentleman I am lucky enough to call my main squeeze. He asked me to bake something with protein powder. WTF why? Because he, much like Fergie, is always up in the gym just workin’ on his fitness…I’m his witness. (Sorry I couldn’t help myself.) Not only that, but he just so happens to work for a protein supplement company. Protein powders aplenty up in this biznatch.

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The texture of protein powder always deterred me from testing new brands, flavors, and recipes. Turns out, Isopure is the tits, and the texture-phobia I experienced for so long dissolved into a faded memory. Bye, Felicia.

After deciding on cookies (thought I’d start small), I jotted down basic cookie ingredients, cutting out a lot of the fat and sugar that usually makes sweets so dang-darn tasty.

**WARNING** NO BUTTER WAS HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE COOKIES
I’m not kidding. No butter. The fat comes from the one egg.

Wait…so you’re telling me these aren’t absolutely terrible for me?

That’s right! I mean I wouldn’t eat these all day every day, but they’re better for you than others.

Whipped ’em up, threw them in the oven, and voila…protein cookies! My only beef with these is they’re not really aesthetically appealing — kind of bland looking, actually. But I’m just going to chalk that up to the flavor of powder I used (banana cream). And really, this recipe would work with any flavor if banana isn’t your thing. The world is your little swole, protein-stuffed oyster.

I haven’t abandoned my traditional baking practices that keep sweatpants companies in business, don’t you worry. But you can expect a sprinkle of proteinified sweets, and I really do encourage you to give them a try. Who knows, you might appreciate the subtlety.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Protein Cookies

1 large egg
1/2 cup of Isopure Banana Cream Protein Powder
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
a scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine egg, protein powder, flour, baking soda, vegetable oil and milk in a medium bowl
3. Once thoroughly combined, add chocolate chips
4. Grease a cookie sheet and scoop dough into 1-1 1/2″ balls.
*These cookies rise and expand like nobody’s business! Make sure to keep them spread out.*

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5. Bake 12-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them while they bake. Cookies should be barely golden on the bottom.
6. Let cool for about 2 minutes on the sheet, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Boom. Protein Cookies.

Bon Appétit!

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The most honest cupcake you will ever eat.

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Something weird happened this week. I’m talking borderline supernatural…

I played with a baby, and it was a lot of fun.

Umm…okay…what’s your point…

If you know me but at all, you know that children, specifically babies, make me extremely uncomfortable. I never really knew why, but the idea of holding a baby made me shiver. Yes, they’re cute, but I think it’s because they’re so freaking honest. And small.

As an adult, it’s hard to tell sometimes if other adults like you or not. They’ll tell you how adorable your skirt is, laugh at your jokes, and then go talk to Suzie Gossipsalot about how that is the ugliest effing skirt she’s ever seen, and how that joke wasn’t even funny…and that you’re probably a racist. Great. You’ll never know. Unless Suzie Gossipsalot comes back to tell you what a witch Patty is for talking about you behind your back.

I did say “adult”…right? *sigh*

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But babies…babies don’t hold back. If they don’t like you, they won’t go near you, they’ll glare at you, they’ll avoid you at all costs. That is, until someone hands them over to you, in which case they scream bloody murder.

I’m pretty sure I’d get the point if I walked up to someone and they started screaming and crying. It doesn’t get much more blunt than that. Awkwaaard.

But that was my fear with babies. What if they don’t like me?! And, what if I break it? <– Although that’s a different issue.

This baby, my cousin’s beautiful, happy, silly baby, was such a joy. And I realized how incredibly obsessed I am with her when I woke up this morning. Instead of repinning crafts I’ll never make on Pinterest, I was looking at baby clothes to send to this adorable little muffin. What has happened to me?!

Oh shiznit. I think I’m growing up. Yikes.

I’m not ready to grow up. I still want to live in my own little Kate world, do my own little Kate thing, and be my own little selfish Kate person…for now. Crap! There I go again.

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These cupcakes have the honesty comparable to that of a baby: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes. What you see is what you get. There’s even a cookie on top, for cryin’ out loud! If you don’t like chocolate chip cookies, you will not like these cupcakes. If you don’t like chocolate chip cookies…I can respect that, but…what the heck, man?

In all seriousness, though, these are pretty darn good. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, and I turned them into a miniature cake that tastes like you’re eating the dough right out of the bowl (without the risk of salmonella – score!). Tell me how that can be a bad thing.

They’re comfort food, they’re sweet, they totally hit the spot, and they won’t judge your adorable vintage skirt…

…because it’s a cupcake. Come on.

Be honest, you want these.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugars together until creamy and pale.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended.

5. Add vanilla.

6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with flour. Beat until combined.

7. Put about 1 tsp of flour in a ziplock bag with chocolate chips. Shake the bag around to ensure each piece is coated in flour. (This helps the chips from falling to the bottom of your cakes.) Fold chips into batter.

8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp milk
2 1/2 – 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

1. Beat butter until creamy.

2. Add sugars and beat until smooth.

3. Add flour and beat until combined.

4. Add milk and vanilla.

5. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until desired consistency is reached.

6. Frost!

I used my cookie recipe to make the miniature cookies on top, but I baked them for about 10 minutes, let them cool, and placed them on my cupcakes for an added treat.

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And, incase you’ve forgotten, Event Blossom’s blog is kicking butt! It’s full of great craft ideas, as well as tons of products to put that finishing touch on your next party. Look how adorable those striped cupcake wrappers are from the Cupcake MOD Party Kit! The blog has been up for ONE YEAR! Happy anniversary, and congratulations, guys!!

Bon Appétit!

I’m not letting the chips fall where they may.

There are so many things I want to accomplish in this adorable little life I’m living.

Learn how to surf.

Master the art of cooking pasta. (You may think it’s simple, but for me, it’s not. I’m a baker. Not a cook.)

Muster up enough courage to sing at a karaoke bar. (Liquid courage is not out of the question on this one…)

Move to another city, state, town, planet…somewhere. Anywhere.

Learn another language (or six). Italian would be awesome. French would be even cooler. Maybe I’ll master some ancient African language. I can’t imagine it would ever come in handy…but you never know.

Make one of those really awesome melted crayon paintings you see on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. (and you know you want to make one too.)

I want to sew a dress, knit a scarf, patch some jeans…something domestic that would put my dusty sewing machine to good use.

Learn how to swing dance. I can’t imagine that being rhythmically tossed around like a doll is a bad time.

Publish something. Whether it be a cookbook, novel, or a children’s book…I want my words out there, in print. There’s something so official and wonderful about it.

I want to be able to spell “Wednesday” without having to think of it as wed-nes-day.

Same goes for Feb-RU-ary.

And finally, bake a cupcake with chocolate chips that don’t sink to the bottom.

Well wait just a doggone baker’s dozen minute here…I just did that!

I made banana chocolate chip cupcakes. I put some Tiger Butter buttercream on top.

For those of you who don’t know what tiger butter is…it’s my favorite candy in the fudge category. Peanut butter and chocolate. I’m all about it. You should be too.

Fresh out of the oven, they fit the description of a muffin. A perfectly warm, melty, banana scented muffin. I would not judge you if you decided to nix the frosting and try to get away with having these for breakfast. They have bananas! It could work.

Told ya.

That’s something I seriously considered. In fact, I’ll probably whip these up as muffins in the future, but for the sake of the blog and the fact that I do love buttercream and decorating cupcakes, I moved forward. I’m glad I did.

These are seriously the bomb.com. Even when they’ve cooled, you get a perfect amount of banana flavor. Crazy. I was worried they’d come out too…potassium-y. It’s a thing.

Oh and the secret to having the chocolate chips not fall to the bottom? Lightly coat them in flour before you add them to the batter. Who knew?!

Well actually…Google knew.

These week’s theme for the Event Blossom party kits is Jungle Safari! Check out what Kim did with the other great stuff in this wild kit here.

This theme was the main reasoning behind the banana flavor this week. Jungles have animals. One of the animals you can find in the jungle is a monkey. Monkeys eat bananas, and so do I. Hence, this cupcake was born.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Tiger Butter Buttercream

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 ripened bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.

3. Beat butter on high until light and smooth.

4. Beat in sugar until fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

5. Beat in vanilla until combined.

6. Beat in bananas well. Make sure it’s completely incorporated.

7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the half and half. Beat until just combined.

8. Toss the chocolate chips in a little bit of flour. You may use a ziplock bag and shake it around or be fancy and toss ’em around in a bowl.

9. Fold the chips into the batter.

10. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for approx. 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

11. Try one without frosting. I dare you to tell me it isn’t amazing.

Tiger Butter Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
4 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1. Beat butter until fluffy and pale yellow. About 2 minutes.

2. Beat in powdered sugar in increments, until desired consistency begins to form.

3. Add vanilla.

4. Transfer half of the buttercream to another bowl.

5. For one half, add the cocoa powder until completely combined.

6. For the other half, add the peanut butter until completely combined.

To create the swirl effect

3 pastry bags (or ziplock bags)

1. Put a small amount of each frosting in its own bag. Cut the corner off the bottom.

2. Cut the corner off of the third bag, and set up with desired decorating tip.

3. Place both of the frosting bags in the third bag, so the cut-off corners are feeding into the third bag’s tip.

4. Gently squeeze the bag, and do a few test runs to make sure it comes out even.

Voila! Gorgeous decorating that will impress anyone.

Bon appétit!

Gluttonous and gluten-free!

I was literally trapped in my house today. Well not literally. I know how to open a door. But my car has a flat (second one in a month, mind you), and long story short, I can’t do anything about it until tomorrow. And until about two hours ago, it was super gloomy outside.

My options were these:

1. Watch movies all day. Which I hardly have the patience for.

2. Clean. (haha…yeah, okay…)

3. Staring contest with Kitten.

4. Waste my hours and dollars online shopping.

5. Bake chocolate cookies.

Realistically, cleaning probably would have been the most productive thing to do. But let’s be honest. I’m on spring break. That sh*t ain’t happenin’.

If you’re familiar with my blog, you’re well aware that cookies are my fave.

Well actually chocolate cake is my numero uno, but I’m saving that for…I don’t know, a really great Wednesday or something. It’ll be amazing, and now my mind has officially started fantasizing about a huge slab of chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. Ooh maybe it has sprinkles too. And a mousse filling! AND STRAWBERRIES ON TOP!!!

That got a little out of control. My apologies.

Cookies. We’re talking about COOKIES today, not cake.

Flourless cookies, actually. Don’t freak. These are made for both the gluten-embracin’ and gluten-avertin’ cookie lover. They are not, however, made for anyone who doesn’t like chocolate. When I say chocolate cookies, I mean chocolately, chocoholic, chocolicious, chocolate cookies. It’s serious.

Believe me when I say that the cookies are about as delicious as…a really good chocolate cookie…

I’m sorry, my creativity really escaped me on that one.

I am definitely glad they turned out so well, because I had to do math to figure this recipe out. And math is the bane of my existence.

I’m a Communications major for a reason.

The few grueling minutes it took me to punch some buttons on a calculator was totally worth it, though.

Just as a side note, because I was seriously amused by this and must share, this batter is SUPER thick. Look:

Right-side up...

Upside-down. I kid you not when I say this picture was taken after the spoon was held this way for about a minute.

Cray.

At the last-minute I threw in some butterscotch chips. Twas a good decision, if I do say so myself. It’s a nice contrast to the fudgeyness of the cookie, and because I didn’t add a whole lot, it didn’t make them overly sweet, which butterscotch can easily do.

Pour yourself a glass of milk and dunk these in your glass like there’s no tomorrow! Or eat them milk-free, because milk is gross. (In my opinion.)

Flourless Chocolate Butterscotch Chip Cookies
What a mouthful…literally 😉
Sugar Therapy original

2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
5 tbsp baking soda
pinch of kosher salt
3 egg whites
3 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp instant coffee, brewed and cooled
1/4-1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.

2. Add egg whites and whisk until batter begins to thicken.

3. Add vanilla and coffee. Whisk until combined. The batter will be very thick.

4. Stir in butterscotch chips.

5. Chill the batter in the fridge for about an hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

7. Bake cookies for 8 minutes.

They’re super soft when they first come out of the oven, but you’ll see that they’re crispy on the outside. The best part? They stay that way! Yum.

Just wait a minute or two before transferring them to a wire rack, so they don’t fall apart mid-move. Although if one just so happened to break, I’m sure you’d find something to do with it…you sneaky little gluten-free genius, you.

Bon appétit!

Brookies? Crownies? Whatever, you need these.

I am a girl with simple needs.

I need a cup of coffee (or three) in the morning.

I need big obnoxious gaudy rings.

I need to belt out a Michael Buble song in my car every once in a while, despite how ridiculous I might look to other drivers.

I need to watch sitcoms. Friends, Big Bang Theory, The Nanny, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, etc. I don’t know why, but they just put me in such a good mood.

I need big bear hugs. They just make everything better, even if everything is perfectly fine.

I need to talk to my cat like she’s human. You think that’s weird? That’s unfortunate, because you’re missing out on quite an interesting conversation…

I’m going to end up an old cat lady thanks to her.

I need solitary time. Not that I don’t fully enjoy spending time with others, and no, I’m not a sociopath. After discussing this with a good friend of mine, he and I decided it’s an only child thing. We’re selfish sometimes, especially when it comes to our free-time.

I need to see my grandma on a pretty regular basis. The woman is my favorite person. <– That’s a bold statement, people.

I need someone to buy me a ticket to Greece, Spain, Australia, and France. If they wanted to throw the Bahamas in there as well, I would not object. (That’s a simple need…right?)

Oh, and I need to tell you about these brownies…

Chocolate chip cookie dough brownies, to be exact. I made these for a bake sale, and it’s a good thing, too, because I probably would have gone up five pant sizes had they stayed in my house.

I saw this concept on a few different blogs, and thought I’d give it a whirl. These babies are rich. One is more than enough, which is great because:
a.) You [probably] won’t eat them all. And…
b.) You can share them with everyone you know and look totally generous.

It’s a dense, fudgey brownie with an egg-free cookie dough layer on top. You read that correctly, I said egg-free. Which means these fall in the same category as the cookie dough truffles. This is excellent news, because those were pretty fantastic and wildly popular among my coworkers. I can’t decide if I like the brownies or the truffles better. The brownies are like the adult table on Thanksgiving – slightly more sophisticated, full of discussions about politics, modern art, and a few dirty jokes; while the truffles are the kids’ table, where you’re coloring and talking to six-year-old Madeline about how Johnny Johnson is a poo-head. Neither one is necessarily better than the other – they both bring good things to your life. The adult table will expand your knowledge about the world and make you a more well-rounded person (minus the dirty joke part). Madeline reminds you that simple things like coloring and gossiping about boys is pretty damn fun. And that “poo-head” is actually a fairly decent insult.

For today, let’s sit at the adult table. It’s fun there, I promise! 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Brownies:
5 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9×13 pan.

2. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water. Make sure to stir the chocolate frequently to prevent burning. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl.

4. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

5. Stir in melted chocolate until even.

6. Add flour, and mix in until it is just combined. Don’t over mix because this will change the consistency of your brownies.

7. Pour batter evenly into the greased pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

8. Allow brownies to cool completely.

Cookie Dough:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tbsp milk (any kind, doesn’t matter)
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits

1. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl.

2. Mix in the vanilla and milk until just combined.

3. Add flour 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until all the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the batter.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips and toffee.

5. Sparingly sprinkle toffee bits over the brownies, and lightly press them into the top.

6. Spread the dough over the cooled brownies, making sure to evenly distribute to all four corners.

7. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. (The cooler the brownies get, the easier they will be to cut.)

8. Try one. Die of happiness.

So let’s see, to sum up: These brownies help you stay thin, make you look fantastically selfless, and will probably get you a few extra friends who will think you’re a genius for giving them a way to eat cookie dough without getting sick. If that isn’t good enough logic for you, let me put it this way…

You need these brownies in your life. It’s that simple.

Bon appétit!