4th of July Cupcakes

…’Peanut Butter-Banana-Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting’…

Read More...
Advertisements

Chewy Cookie Bars

IMG_2120

On one my pinning adventures I found  this amazing cookie bar recipe from Pinterest that I had to pass on! I tried it right away and it was divine! Yes, past tense. That’s how quickly it goes! It’s a small recipe for a 9×9 or 8×8, it’s chewy, it’s sweet chocolatey, peanut buttery, and it’s irresistible! The recipe was for a basic chocolate chip, but I added peanut butter chips, oats and hazelnuts! I’m not gonna keep going on about how amazing it is because that would just be wasting your time. You need to make this asap!

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

IMG_2121

You will need:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar(not packed)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark or semi sweet choc chips

1/4 cup peanut butter chips (instead you can add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to the batter)

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

Place the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, or till the butter melts. Let it cool and add the sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix till everything’s incorporated. Mix in the choc chips, peanut butter chips, oats, and hazelnuts. Pour the cookie dough into a greased 9×9 or 8×8 dish. Flatten the cookie dough out so it bakes evenly. The cookie dough will rise a bit. Bake it for 20 minutes. The recipe said 25, but the cookie was turning dark brown on top, so I baked it for 20 minutes, then turned the oven off and left it in so it could continue to cook through with less heat (about 10 minutes). The center will still be a little soft. Let it cool completely before cutting it into tiny squares of heaven.

IMG_2129

 

Chocolate Silk Pie

DSC_0252

Yes, it seems to be chocolate week here, but in my defense, I didn’t make the Nutella pie or this pie, i’m just hoping one of you will. It’s one of those cream based pies I was talking about in my last post, and it doesn’t require any baking or cooking, just a fridge. Since the base flavor of this pie is chocolate, make sure you use good quality chocolate, not just any baking chocolate. You can even use hershey’s or galaxy chocolate bars, but I insist that you use nestle semi sweet chocolate chips if they’re available wherever you live! I know for a fact that they’re available in Lahore and obviously USA, but I haven’t found them yet here in Germany. Dr. Oetker chocolate is great though.

I have step by step pictures for this one! And before you start getting the ingredients together, here are a few tips that will make your pie turn out the same every time you make it.

Make sure that the chocolate you use is at room temperature.

The cream has to be chilled through.

Use an electric hand mixer. I didn’t when I made this, and it added 10 minutes to the prep time.

Always use semi sweet or dark chocolate.

Don’t over whip the cream. Stop when stiff peaks start to form. If you over whip the cream it won’t mix well with the chocolate and end up looking like scrambled chocolate eggs.

 

Here’s what you’ll need

12 graham crackers or digestive biscuits, crushed

2 tablespoon of softened butter

2 cups whipping cream

1 can of condensed milk,

1 heaping cup of dark chocolate chips (or a bar cut into chunks)+ 1 tablespoon butter

Start off by mixing the cookie crumbs and 2 tablespoons of softened butter. In a 9×9 or 8×8 inch pie plate press in the buttered crumbs evenly and up the sides. I used a ready made one and drizzled some chocolate fudge I had left over just to add some more chocolate. You can add caramel as well, but it’s not necessary, because the filling is rich enough.

DSC_0237

Then in a bowl whip the cream and condensed milk. Add the condensed milk gradually and start off at medium speed. Then once the cream starts to thicken increase the speed of the electric mixer. Whip the cream and condensed milk till stiff peaks form.

DSC_0217DSC_0233

Set the cream aside and place the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of butter in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for about one minute, stir, then again for 30 seconds. If the chocolate has melted after the first minute don’t heat it again. The chocolate has to be smooth and creamy, no lumps! If you think it’s easier you can melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan.

DSC_0219

Once the chocolate has melted add in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream and mix well so the melted chocolate loosens up a bit.

DSC_0230

Then add in all the chocolate to the cream mixture and fold together till well mixed.

DSC_0239 DSC_0240

Now all you have to do is pour the fluffy and smooth chocolate filling into the pie crust. You can decorate it with more chocolate, whipped cream, or just leave it. But i suggest using some whipped cream to make it look pretty.

DSC_0246 DSC_0239

Enjoy! Just remember, chill the pie in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but the more it’s chilled through, the better it cuts into slices.

Banana Bread

Who doesn’t love a slice of good old banana bread? The mashed bananas and chocolate chips keep it gooey, and the walnuts add a welcome crunch…

Read More...

Cookie Tales

I don’t think i’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t eat cookies. It’s just impossible. I mean, there are cartoon characters inspired from the love of cookies, songs even. Who hasn’t grown up singing and accusing everyone of stealing cookies from the cookie jar? (who me? yes you. couldn’t be. then who?!) SO anyways, it’s really important to have a basic cookie recipe written down somewhere, in case of emergencies, like when you’re craving cookies. And some of you might think store bought chocolate chip cookies are the answer, but they’re not. There’s no going back once you start making your own cookies. You can’t throw away that sense of accomplishment, or the fact that you can add any flavor possible to them. My favorites are peanut butter, nutella, oatmeal, walnuts, tons and tons of chocolate chips, and the list can really go on. The next thing on my baking agenda is trying to make banana nut cookies. but that’s after I come back from Paris (Yes I finally get to go to the land of croissants and macaroons!) wanting to bake everything I’ll have stuffed my face with there.

photo

 

DSC_0328

Just like with brownies, there are a few things you have to make sure you’re doing right when you make cookies. Never use an electric hand mixer. Always use a wooden spoon. Yes, a wooden spoon. It really helps make a good base for the cookie when you mix the butter and sugar together. Also, if you want that perfect crumb, use brown sugar. White sugar won’t change the taste too much, but the texture will be solid and dry, and no one likes a dried out cookie. Also, never use melted butter. Even if you’re in a hurry, just defrost the butter in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, or more if you’re butter is frozen, but never pop it in the microwave and heat it. It’s just like with brownies, except the opposite, actually. For a good brownie, you need melted butter. But for a good cookie, you need room temperature butter.

Also, when it comes to cookies, your oven has to be preheated. I sometimes put a cake in before the oven is preheated, and it doesn’t make much of a difference, even with brownies, but for a cookie you have to. The reason is because the baking time is only 8-10 minutes. If you don’t preheat your oven, it could make the cookies too thin, they could burn at the edges, or they could just turn into one big cookie, and you’ll end up with plate of broken up cookie pieces. So preheat your oven. Also, some people have trouble with the thickness of their cookies. If you want a big cookie that stay chewy and has the perfect crumb, make sure you add enough flour. The stiffer the cookie dough, the thicker the cookies will be.

DSC_0815

So here’s a basic cookie recipe that you can basically add anything to. Oh and one more thing, if you’re making a big batch of cookies, you obviously can’t bake them all at once. In between batches make sure you let the cookie sheet cool down completely before you put more cookie dough on it. If you don’t you’ll end up with cookies that look perfect on top, but they’ll be burnt on the bottom.

This has pretty straightforward ingredients.

You’ll need:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg*

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon*

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 cups flour

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Start off by mixing the butter and the sugar. Keep mixing till it’s fluffy and light in color. Add in the egg. Don’t over mix, because there’s baking powder in this recipe as well, and you don’t want cookies that rise up like bread. Once the egg is mixed in add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder. You don’t have to add the cinnamon or nutmeg, or you can just add one of them, depending on what you have at home. You can just add 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence instead. Their flavor is very subtle, but the cookies smell and taste delicious with it! Fold in the flour and the chocolate chips. At this point you can add any other flavor or ingredient you want. Then just drop tablespoons full of cookie dough onto your baking sheet and bake them for about 8-10 minutes, or till the edges turn golden brown. Take the cookies out then, and let them cool down a bit on the baking sheet. They’ll continue to cook a little, so don’t worry if the centers aren’t fully cooked when the edges turn brown, just take them out or they’ll burn!

This recipe makes one dozen large cookies. You can make smaller ones if you want too, but they’ll finish just as quickly!

DSC_0352

DSC_0214

DSC_0818