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Monday, January 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies


These are fantastic. I've had a similar recipe at the back of the list for some time- peanut butter cookies with peanut butter cups. When I finally got around to deciding to make them, it was only a week or two until my mom came to visit, so I had to wait- she is a special appreciator of peanut butter and chocolate combinations! And these did not disappoint. It doesn't hurt that I used dark chocolate PB cups instead of regular- that's what we like, just use what you like!

Let's get to these cookies. Easy, delicious, and they look so cute too!

Start with your (regular and peanut) butters and sugars.

Once creamed, add the egg, vanilla, and milk.

Mix that all together really well before you...

...add the dry ingredients on top!

Mix it all together until well incorporated and uniform.

Place dough or balls of dough into your mini muffin cups- I used a cookie scoop with great success.

And here they are just out of the oven and still very hot... you can press the PB cups in! Then let cool at least halfway still in the tins.
spoiler alert... pressing the PB cups into the just baked cookies is definitely the most fun part of the whole process!

PB Cup Cookies
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 tablespoons milk
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-about 40 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped and frozen
Grease a mini muffin pan for these little pb cup cookies.
Cream together the butters and sugars. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Put about a tablespoon or so of dough in each mini-muffin tin.
Bake at 375 F for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and press peanut butter cups into the tops immediately. Let cool about halfway. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Eat warm, room temp, or as my mom likes them- frozen!

Your finished PB cup cookies. So delicious and so simple!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Hey there everyone!

Today is a super super super simple recipe. You can count the number of ingredients on one hand. You put it on a tray, roast, then they're ready to be served. It's hard to beat!

So, roasted Brussels sprouts I've had many times, but adding bacon? Best idea ever. Let's go!

Here are the sprouts pre-baking. They've been trimmed and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then each is topped with a piece of bacon!

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
-Brussels sprouts
-bacon (thick cut is best!)
-olive oil
-salt and pepper
Wash sprouts and remove outer leaves. Trim the bottoms then slice in half from root to tip.
Slice up a few slices of bacon into little strips.
Toss the sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Place sprouts on a baking sheet and turn them all facing down.
Place bacon strips on each sprout.
Bake at 425 F for 15-20 minutes or until crispy on the outside.

Crispy, yummy, bacon-y goodness. And easy as pie.
These are completely fab in every way. Give them a try!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fudge Drops

Hi everyone!

If you like chocolate (and if you don't, I really don't understand why), this is a recipe for you. This is also a recipe for you if you like brownies, but hate dealing with the age-old issue of having to wait an hour for them to bake, then having to wait several hours for them to set so you can eat them! These cookies are brownies in cookie form. Very very chocolatey, chewy, and delicious. They also don't take long to whip up and you could really take them in lots of different directions- think of all of the different versions of brownies there are with different icings or add-ins! Let's get started!

Your ingredients, minus the chocolate chips- very simple!

If using bar or block chocolate (you can also use chips), chop it up prior to melting and it will be much faster.

Add together your sugar and eggs, beat well.

And here's your chocolate-butter-sugar-egg-vanilla mixture- looking like brownies, eh?

Add your dry ingredients on top!
Mix well, and try not to eat it as you go!

If using, pour those chocolate chips in, and, you guessed it, mix it on up!

Your finished batter, prior to refrigeration.

Refrigerate dough for an hour, then place about-tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Fudge Drops (original recipe from King Arthur Flour)
(These have chocolate chips, but could easily have walnuts or other add-ins, get creative!)
-8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
-3 tablespoons butter
-1 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 teaspoon instant coffee
-1 cup flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Melt the butter and chocolate together either over a double boiler or in the microwave.
Meanwhile, beat together the sugar and eggs. Add in the melted chocolate mixture, mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well- I recommend adding the vanilla, mixing well, then adding the dry ingredients and mixing those in.
Add in your chocolate chips, if using, and mix well.
Refrigerate for about an hour.
Place approximately-tablespoon-sized balls on baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bake 11-12 minutes at 325 F, until the tops are cracked, but just- don't overcook!
Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then move them to a rack to dry- these are a little fragile on first leaving the oven.

Your finished cookies: beautifully cracked on top, and nice and chewy and chocolatey- yum!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, January 7, 2013

The (adapted) Baked Brownie (with caramel and sea salt!)

Hello and welcome to the new year! This will be a great recipe to start with if any of your resolutions included "enjoying yourself" or "having a good quality of life" or "enjoying what you eat". Let's face it, people, it's not going to work to try to starve yourself of things like homemade brownies. Just consume in moderation and don't forget to move your body a little! Dance around the kitchen at how good these are!

Again, this is not completely my recipe, it's adapted from The Baked Brownie, and I added caramel and sea salt to the mix. The Baked Brownie recipe is available everywhere all over online if you want to take a look at "the real thing". This is pretty darn close.

Here are all of the ingredients- pretty simple, and none of the ingredients I used were special (no fancy chocolate or cocoa, no espresso powder).
Here's your butter and chocolate about to go into the microwave. Breaking up this much chocolate is really fun!
Melt butter and chocolate completely. You don't need to keep microwaving once the butter is all melted and the chocolate halfway there- just keep whisking and it will all melt out smooth.
Add your sugars. This is one of the few brownie recipes that uses brown sugar- I'll have to try this with other recipes!
Crack those eggs in and add that vanilla.
Mix until well incorporated but no more- don't overdo it.
Add all those dry ingredients on top!
Then fold them in gently until just incorporated and no more.

Pour your batter in the pan, add the caramel and sea salt, top with the rest of the batter, sprinkle a little more sea salt on top, then into the oven they go!

The Baked Brownie (with caramel and sea salt)
-11 oz. dark chocolate (I used Safeway (the store) brand)
-1 cup butter
-1 teaspoon instant coffee
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-5 eggs
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons cocoa
-caramel sauce for drizzling, homemade or store bought
-sea salt for sprinkling
Melt the butter and chocolate together, either in the microwave (what I did) or in a double boiler. Whisk in the instant coffee. Add sugars and mix well.
Crack in eggs and add vanilla and whisk together well, but do not over beat or the texture will be more cakey than fudgey.
Add the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to fold them in until only slight traces of the dry ingredients remain- you want to keep this batter light.
Pour 2/3 of the batter into a greased (and parchment lined if you have it) 9x13'' or 8x8'' pan. Drizzle with a good amount of caramel sauce (just go by what seems good!) and sprinkle with roughly cracked sea salt. Top with the rest of the batter, then sprinkle a little more sea salt on top.
Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes for 9x13'', and 40-45 minutes for 8x8''.

The brownies should come out looking like this- crackly top, just starting to pull away at the edges.

And here's a look up close at all that fabulous. Anything with this much chocolate has to be good and these do not disappoint! They are fudgey and chocolatey and fantastic with a perfect crackly crunch crust. yum!

Savor it!
love, rue