Double Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling

Today’s the day! Today is the last recipe I have in my arsenal. So after today I won’t be posting until I try something new. Sadness. I know you’ll all miss me.

But! Today’s recipe is a good one! I made these with my friend at her house when I was in Singapore. You can just just from the name that these cookies are intense. For those of you out there who don’t like coffee, don’t worry I couldn’t even taste the coffee… in fact, I’m pretty sure it can be omitted. For those of you who like coffee (or are addicts like me), don’t worry chocolate and peanut butter are a good enough combination to make up for the fact that you can’t taste the coffee.

I ended up making a decent amount of changes, mostly to simplify/shorten the preparation, but they were still delicious!

Recipe adapted from Jules Food.

Ingredients
For the cookies:
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee
¾ cup milk chocolate chips

For the filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preparation
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars with a hand mixer. Fold in egg and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and coffee. Stir in chocolate chips.

On a greased baking sheet, spoon out heaping teaspoons of dough and form flat discs. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix all ingredients for filling together.

When cookies have cooled, assemble sandwiches.

Makes around 20-25 sandwiches (40-50 cookies).

Butterfinger Brownies

I made it to Madison on Wednesday evening and since then I’ve been running around trying to get things ready. I opened a new bank account (since my bank back home doesn’t exist here), I got a car (!! more to come later on that), got a car insurance/renter’s insurance policy (ugh), and furniture to be delivered later to my apartment.

It’s super weird to think that I’m starting work on Monday. That my parents leave on Sunday and I’m on my own. That I won’t be going back to school in the fall. It’s all very exciting/scary…

Ok. Onward to the recipe, which is the second-to-last recipe I have in my collection (gasp). It was this recipe that caused me to calculate volume and discover that by doubling a recipe for an 8×8 pan, it’s about right for a 9×13 pan. Of course I made some adjustments. I didn’t have enough chocolate chips so I ended up using some white chocolate chips, I decided to use 1 1/2 stick of butter instead of 2 whole sticks, and other small adjustments like that.

The result was really thick, chewy brownies. Definitely a recommended recipe.

Recipe adapted from Becky Bakes.

Ingredients
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz white chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks butter
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp salt
a little less than 2 cups flour
16 fun-sized Butterfingers coarsely chopped

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter (cut into pieces) for 45 seconds. Mix and microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing in between until completely melted. Stir in cocoa powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, peanut butter and salt together. Whisk in melted chocolate mix. Stir in flour until just mixed. Fold in Butterfinger pieces.

Pour batter into the 9×13 pan and spread until even. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.

Cool (30-40 minutes) and cut into squares.

Em & Em Cocktail

I’m currently lying in bed in a hotel in Cleveland (well, North Olmsted really). It took us about 10 hours, of which I drove 4, to get here and we had another 8 hours or so ahead of us tomorrow.

Haha. About the drink. I don’t really know what to say about this drink. I made it with my friend who shares my name… hence the name of the drink. I actually looked up the ingredients to make sure the drink didn’t exist already. I doesn’t. How did we come up with it? We just put in whatever we could find and it was pretty delicious. I’m usually not that into vodka or rum (I’m more of a gin fan) but raspberry vodka is really sweet and combined with ginger ale, and lemon/lime juice, you can barely taste the alcohol. But be careful… even though you can’t really taste it, there are 2 shots in there! Drink responsibly!!

Ingredients
1 shot raspberry vodka
1 shot rum
ginger ale
ice cubes
lemon juice
lime juice

Preparation
Fill glass with ice cubes. Add vodka and rum, then top off with ginger ale.

Add a splash of lemon and lime juice, and serve immediately.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I’m leaving MA tomorrow for Madison, WI. I start work on Monday, August 1. I’m going to be a real person… so soon. I’m mostly packed, but I have this nagging feeling I’m forgetting something important…

As for the bread, I’m not sure why I decided to make it. I have seriously no recollection of how I found it or why I made it. My best guess is that I wanted to bake something and I happened to have all the ingredients. Which probably means I didn’t have any chocolate.

What I remember about the recipe:
– I baked it too long, so it was slightly dry
– cinnamon sugar doesn’t bake well (should have made streusel instead)
– despite the things mentioned above, the bread was still good

Recipe from Recipe from Mangio da Sola.

Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a bread loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine 1/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Using a whisk, stir in milk and oil. Add to the dry mix and stir until just mixed.

Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mix on top. Pour the rest of the batter in. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar. Using a knife, swirl the batter and cinnamon sugar mix together.

Top with last 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mix. (Although a streusel like this would probably work better.)

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until done. Cool in the pan, then remove and slice.

Kettlecorn

One day before I leave for Madison… I’ve been packing up my life… or rather the “essentials” of life. We’re taking a sedan, so I have very limited space. Anything non-essential will be shipped later. After I start work, I probably won’t be updating this for a while.

I am so not ready for real life.

So to momentarily procrastinate from packing, I’m posting my next recipe. I’ve actually had this recipe for awhile, but totally forgot about it. My friend and I both really like kettlecorn and wanted to try this recipe because let’s face it– microwave kettlecorn is pretty atrocious. So we got the ingredients (during Winter Study I think)… and then like 3-4 months later actually tried the recipe.

I actually ended up blending recipes from Dine & Dish and Tiny Urban Kitchen.

I used the ingredients and cooking technique from Tiny Urban Kitchen but the measurements from Dine & Dish… and have tried some other variations too. But this is what seemed to work best.

Thing to note:
-it is essential if you have a lid, that it fits tightly. The first time I tried with a lid that was too big and the popcorn kernels will start flying out the sides.
– if you don’t have a fitting lid, you can use a double layer of aluminum foil. It has to be a double layer because the popcorn kernels will start to fly and will actually poke holes in the aluminum foil.
– it’s a good idea to have oven mitts for the shaking, because it can get really hot. Especially if you’re using foil.

Ingredients
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
salt

Preparation
In a non-stick sauce pan or stock pot, heat oil with three kernels of popcorn, covered.

When the three kernels have popped, add the rest of the popcorn kernels and cover. When the kernels begin popping, add sugar, a few pinches of salt, and cover.

Alternate shaking pot for 3 seconds and letting the pot sit on the stove for 3 seconds until popcorn has mostly popped (you stop hearing popping for 5 or so consecutive seconds).

Remove from heat. Wait for any residual popping stops, then pour into a large serving bowl. When popcorn cools, break apart clumps.

Brownie Cookies

Brownie cookies? I don’t get it. Are they brownies or are they cookies? Well, they’re both. They’re chocolatey and chewy like brownies, but they’re in cookie form.

I made these brownie cookies before meeting up with some friends in Boston for a weekend. As I mentioned before, my parents aren’t huge fans of chocolate, so usually if I make desserts with chocolate, I make them before meeting with friends so I know they’ll get eaten.

As usual, they were a hit among my friends and we spent the entire day munching on them. The brownie cookies are extremely rich and chocolatey, and aren’t terribly hard to make. The most time consuming part of the recipe for me was taking bars of baking chocolate and chopping them… and seeing as I ended up using 8 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate and 8 oz of semisweet chocolate instead of 16 oz unsweetened baking chocolate like the original, I probably could have saved some time by just using semisweet chocolate chips. Oh well.

Recipe from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures.

Ingredients
8 oz unsweeted baking chocolate, chopped
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over a simmering pot of water. Stir occasionally until completely melted.

While chocolate is melting, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar together. In a separate, mix the flour and baking powder.

Add the melted chocolate/butter mix to the egg mixture and stir. Slowly add the flour mix and fold it into the batter. Add the chocolate chips.

Place tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 20-24 cookies.

Cream Puffs

I was chatting with a friend once online and she asked if she could make a request for my blog. I said yes, provided a) it didn’t look outrageously hard or burdensome to make and b) it was something that would actually get eaten in my house. The request was for a recipe for cream puffs. I’d never made cream puffs before, but I was a little nervous. Something about puffy, delicate pastry struck me as being difficult. But I looked up recipes and found a recipe from AllRecipes.com that had good ratings and looked simple enough. So check for part a. As for part b, my mom really likes cream puffs, so check on both accounts.

So I tried this recipe, and they were a hit in my house. I made 12 cream puffs, and they disappeared in 3 days. There are 3 people in my house, and I only had one or two, so that left around 10 that got finished by 2 people in 3 days. You do the math.

What I didn’t know was that my friend in Singapore also REALLY likes cream puffs. When I visited her over the last two weeks, I noticed that whenever we passed a cream puff stand, we would almost always stop to get one. So this post is dedicated to her and her love of cream puffs. I hope this recipe is up to your cream puff standards!

Ingredients
1 (3.5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

Preparation
Preheat oven to 425F.

Whisk pudding mix, cream and milk together and put in the refrigerator to set.

Heat water and butter to a boil. Pour into a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, sugar and vanilla extract and mix well. Allow mix to cool, then add eggs and blend with a hand mixer.

Use a teaspoon to place heaping spoonfuls of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. In the last few minutes of baking, use a toothpick to poke a hole in the back.

Cool the puffs slowly by leaving them in the oven with the door ajar. Once the puffs have cooled, split them open and spoon the cream in.

Makes about 12 puffs.

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