Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Brownies

Typically any brownie no matter its size or shape is delightful and heavenly. Gone before you can even tell what type of brownie they are and what went into them. Melting chocolate down mixing in sugar, flour, and other delightful things and then shoving cookie dough into the middle...baking and then shoving a reese's peanut butter cup on top and letting it melt just enough to melt into each bite.

Did I mention this recipe is a two-fer. You get two recipes for one dish. You have to have the recipe for the perfect brownies first before you can make the Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Brownies.

Slap some chocolates in a bowl with pieces of butter and melt them over heat, stir slowly until completely melted.

Look at this delightful chocolate that glistens and shines and ugh! I just want to eat the whole thing!

After you've gotten your brownie mixture somewhat prepared continue on to the remainder of the recipe...aka Cookie Dough...then oven...then cooling rack...then peanut butter cups.

Cookie dough! Oh my lordy! I used dark chocolate chips that made the slightly sweet dough a bit more delightful.

So I don't know about anyone else, but I will tell you I really struggled with molding the brownie batter to my baking tins to allow me to not smoosh the cookie dough into the brownie. End result...a scoop and smooshing!

Before the smoosh

Before the smoosh
If you don't like getting your fingers in your dough, you should probably grab a spoon or use the back rounded edge of your scoop and try and make the surface of the cookie dough meet the surface of the brownie mixture. I have no problems sticking my fingers in the batter, I'm sweet so therefore it makes life and things I bake that much sweeter. ha!

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Brownies
Add a Pinch


    For the brownie crust:
  • 1 recipe Chewy Fudgey Cakey Brownies
  • For the chocolate chip cookie dough layer:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • For the peanut butter cup layer:
  • 12 peanut butter cups
A full tin of scrumptious brownies!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter muffin tin and set aside.
  3. For the brownie crust:
  4. Melt chocolates and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until well-combined and smooth. Reheat in 10 second increments if needed.
  5. Whisk in sugar and vanilla.
  6. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
  7. Add dry ingredients, whisk until just incorporated.
  8. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin. Lightly butter your fingertips and lightly press to form a crust, causing the sides to be higher than the center of the brownie dough.
  9. For the chocolate chip cookie layer:
  10. Cream butter then add sugars and mix until light and fluffy.
  11. Add eggs and vanilla.
  12. Mix until well-combined.
  13. Add flour, sea salt, and baking soda to butter mixture.
  14. Mix well and then stir in chocolate chips.
  15. Scoop chocolate chip cookie dough into the center of the brownie crust.
  16. Look at how puffy and delightful they look while baking!
    Baking instructions
  17. Place muffin tin in preheated oven on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs.
  18. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 3 minutes.
  19. Run a knife alongside the edge of each muffin tin to assist in the release and then invert the muffin tin on top of a parchment lined wire rack.
  20. For the peanut butter cup layer:
  21. While the brownies are still warm to the touch, turn back right side up and place a large peanut butter cup on top of each brownie.
  22. Serve with a big glass of cold milk and a smile.

What a real brownie with no regrets looks like before you sink your teeth in and make it regret not being bigger...

I ran out of peanut butter cups...shoot...shouldn't have been snacking on the products again...

Check out the melty goodness of those peanut butter cups when they sit on the fresh from the muffin tins. This is the stage where they are slightly melty and adhering nicely to the brownie muffin to make for an even bigger and better chocolate taste...

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ugly Cookies: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip w/ Marshmallows

Remember about a week or two ago when I posted a really scary picture of oatmeal cookies and called them ugly cookies? Well, here's the dilemma of everyone who loves food. Sometimes you just make the most delicious and delightful tasting concoction ever, but it looks like baby vomit, poop, some indistinguishable toxic waste, or something that resembles just happens. I've decided to somewhat embrace the ugly side of food, because we all know that even though it may not look 100% fantastic, it's all about taste.

I took a classic Chocolate Chip Recipe out of our Pillsbury Kitchens' Cookbook, see picture below, and somehow managed to make it look horrible but taste really good. It's still beyond me how I managed this, but there it is.

Original Recipe

Adapted from Pillsbury Kitchens' Cookbook

3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c margarine or butter, softened
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 c All Purpose Flour
1 c Quick Cooking Oats
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
6 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz marshmallows
1/2 c nuts or sunflower seeds (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 365.
2. In large mixing bowl combine first 6 ingredients; blend well.
3. Stir in flour, oats, soda, salt; mix well.
4. Stir in Chocolate chips, marshmallows and nuts (again these are optional); mix well.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and immediately remove from cookie sheet.

* note: do not use muffin tins or anything that will not contain a very quick spreading cookie dough. It will bake over and burn on the bottom of the oven (yes, I did that. ha).
Pretty much all of the ingredients you'll need

The dry ingredients mixture, yummy check out those delicious rolled oats!

A rough idea of spacing on your cookie sheet.

Hey looky there, Marshmallows!

The results of an attempt at using a mini muffin tin for a super spreading cookie dough, not a wise move...

Just so everyone knows I had a very hard time keeping people from eating these tasty morsels. I took quite a bit of them to work and our department munched and enjoyed them all day and then my family ate quite a bit of the leftovers over the course of the week. So remember just because our treat may look burnt or ugly or really just unappetizing, doesn't always relate back to the taste of it. Happy cooking!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Paula's beef stroganoff

In all honesty this recipe caught me by surprise. I love beef stroganoff and all of the gloriousness that comes along with it...and I thought quite honestly, Paula Dean's recipe and uh not a lot of butter...Love you Paula, honestly I do, but you're known for butter and let's face it, only 2 tbsp makes one feel not representing Paula.

Anyway, on to the cooking...

First order of business is slicing up the cut of beef into manageable strips. I say manageable because you want to be able to eat this without a knife.
Next mix up the House Seasoning. It seems a bit odd to do something like this, but it's a really wonderful smelling blend that smells and tastes yummy.

Close up of the blend. Yum!

Meat, glorious meat, covered in our delightful blend of house seasonings.
Now add enough flour to coat well the beef strips
Two swirls of Olive Oil and 2 tbsp of butter melted in the pan, before adding the beef to brown. Remove beef after cooking through

Depending how you like your onions, slice or chop them large or fine, then add them to the already heated pan that you just removed the beef from.

Add your 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms. I did Portabella mushrooms as I adore them. However you can use any mushroom that your heart desires.

After adding the steak back in to the mix. You'll add your beef broth and mushroom soup. I used garlic mushroom soup instead of plain cream of mushroom.

Noodles! Yummo!

Finished Product! Need I say more :)

Paula Deen via Food Network

  • 1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips
  • House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • All-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Cooked egg noodles

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yields: 1 1/2 cups

Season the steak strips with House Seasoning, then dust with flour. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter. Remove the steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Strawberry Poundcake w/ Strawberry Marsh Icing

Typically...I'm not that girl who reads the side of boxes for the suggested recipes and ideas from their "kitchen." However, I bought a Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme cake mix because I love strawberry anything and had no idea what I was going to do with it.

Peeking at the side of the box on a Sunday afternoon I saw a recipe for a Strawberry Poundcake. Oh dear lordy! My two loves thrown into one delicious cake. Score!
Reading the directions I see it calls for pudding mix...I know that it's been years since I've bought a pudding mix and the same for my mom, but I check the cabinets anyway...just in case.
No dice! After much pouting, thinking, pouting and thinking some more...I thought of an Idea!
I took a stick of butter and cream cheese...slapped those suckers into a bowl and softened so they'd be a bit more manageable for creaming together...
After getting those to a lovely creamy consistency I added 3 large eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. I added a bit of heavy cream to get a more whipped consistency, but it's not necessary. I also added about 1 cup of powdered sugar, again not necessary, but I wanted the batter a bit sweeter without the granulated sugar.

Next the fun part! Pour in the strawberry cake mix...I get messy when I add dry ingredients to wet so be careful.

After mixing well and making sure to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl pour into bundt pan or angel food cake pan, whatever you prefer. Make sure it is well greased. Then slide that puppy in the oven for heavenly goodness in 1 hour.

If you like your poundcake without a glaze or icing you're done and when it's cooked through and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean...I suggest enjoying while it's still warm.
If you like icing continue on.

I decided about 20 minutes left into baking that I wanted an icing for my poundcake because hey let's face it, I like strawberry....Pardon my shaky pictures, I clearly get excited and shake when I like things
I emptied both jars into a microwave safe bowl and then heated on 15 second intervals until I could easily mix the two together. 

Isn't it so pretty and swirly!
Once you've placed your somewhat cooled cake onto the desired plate start plopping that delicious concoction all over the top of the cake.

Now slice and enjoy!!

Nikki's Creamy Strawberry Poundcake
1/2 c butter
8 ounces cream cheese
3 large eggs
1/2 c Heavy Cream
1 c powdered sugar
1 box strawberry cake mix (your choice of brand or flavor)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray or grease your desired baking dish
3. Soften butter and cream cheese and cream together until smooth
4. Add eggs 1 at a time until well blended, being sure to scrap the sides of the bowl after each addition to get a well blended batter.
5. Add optional 1/2 c Heavy Whipping Cream and 1 c powdered sugar for taste and texture.
6. Mix in the Strawberry cake mix and mix until no more powdered residue remains.
7. Pour batter into the greased baking dish of your choice and place in preheated oven.
8. Bake for 1 hour or until reaches desired doneness.
9. Let set for 10-15 minutes to cool before removing from baking dish and glazing or icing.

Strawberry Diabetic Coma Fluff Icing
1 jar marshmallow fluff
1 jar strawberry icing

1. Empty both the marshmallow fluff jar and the strawberry icing jar into large mixing bowl (make sure it's microwave safe).
2. Microwave for 15 second intervals until the icing and marshmallow are easily mixed.
3. Drizzle or pour over the top of your cake.
Lumping icing on is gooood

Too much icing means you need a larger plate or less icing

Seriously this was soooo yummy!
I seriously hope you all enjoy my creation.