Thursday, August 22, 2013

S'mores Bites

After the Blaze s'more earlier a couple of weeks ago, I wanted more s'mores! I made this quick bite sized treat. It was a little messy, but that makes it taste even more delicious!

3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
8 graham cracker squares, crushed
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Stir together marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbs. 
Melt chocolate in microwave.
Dip spoonfuls of the marshmallow mixture into the chocolate. 
Refirgerate for 15 minutes. 

Yields 5 servings

Monday, August 19, 2013

Double Chip Pecan Bars

I needed a quick treat to make for a birthday celebration potluck at work, and these bars were both easy to make (only needed one saucepan) and popular (gone before lunch time!).  This recipe was inspired by Triple Chip Toasted Pecan Bars from Cookie Madness.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray or line with non-stick foil.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and add brown sugar. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
Add in vanilla and egg. The stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Finally mix in the pecans and chocolate chips.
Spread dough into the pan, and bake for 30-32 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting with a plastic knife.

Yields 16 bars.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

fancypants Bakery and Sheila G's Brownie Brittle

If someone in your family has a nut allergy, then the beautiful (and delicious!) nut-free cookies from fancypants Bakery are for you. I first found them at Whole Foods ($3.99 for a gift-worthy butterfly shaped frosted sugar cookie), but their online store introduced me to even more items. The decorated sugar cookie I tried was buttery and not overly sweet and sugary. Also, I can tell they spend time making a quality cookie and aren't completely focused on the decorations only. I won't by the decorated cookie for me again since $3.99 was a lot for an average tasting cookie, but I would love to bring a few to a baby shower or as a small thank you gift.

I also found Sheila G's Brownie Brittle at Whole Foods during my most recent visit. It's almost like eating brownie chips. I tried the chocolate chip variety (walnut and toffee also available), and I'm glad I did since without the chocolate chips, the brittle base did have the rich chocolate flavor I was craving. If you crave crunchy treats, this is a dessert for you. I normally want chewy, so I will stick with regular brownies.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe produced a chewy and thin cookie that didn't have any gritty peanut butter flavor like some peanut butter cookies have. I used jumbo chocolate chips for some added texture and richness.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter and sugar. Add in egg followed by baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets.
Bake 12 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet.

Yields 18 cookies

Monday, August 5, 2013

Corso Cookies & Blaze Pizza

A few weeks ago, I received a lovely gift basked from Corso Cookies. The arrangement was beautiful and wrapped very, very well. Nothing broke during shipment, and all it required me to do was unwrap and enjoy. The frosting decorations were well-done, but the frosting tasted like food coloring. The cookies themselves were crumbly and mostly buttery tasting. I would send this to someone as a gift if I cared more about the looks of the gift more than the taste.

I heard about the amazing s'mores at Blaze Pizza and didn't much believe the hype until I had one myself. The s'more wasn't that large and wasn't overly stuffed with marshmallow or chocolate. The McVitie's cookies were what made the difference. At $2.00 the price was a little steep, but it's worth it for an occasional treat.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dark Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Pecan Cookies

Inspired by a visit to Christopher Garren's, I decided to make my own version of their ultimate chocolate chip cookie. For my cookie, I used dark chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and pecans. The cookie was soft and chewy with just the right amount of nutty crunch.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in dark chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields 4 dozen