Monday, August 31, 2009

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

No. Your mind is not playing tricks on you. This is not some weird blog miscommunication of sorts.

That is, indeed, a cookie in a cookie.
And the term "addictive" is an understatement for them.

Seriously, who came up with this? Who was the genius who came up with the idea of combining the two most deliciously dunked in milk cookies together in one?
Whoever it is, I want to give them the biggest hug ever and eat cookies with them. With lots and lots and lots of milk.

These cookies do not play nice. If you make them you might want to make sure that you are giving at least 90% of the batch away to other people and hoarding the 10% to yourself, 'cause these babies will break your diet in like, ten seconds flat, no doubt (which is why they went to sunday school instead of in my tummy :P).

Chocked filled with chocolate goodness. And the creamy center inside adds a texture and flavor that is so freakin' amazing you're gonna wanna get up and do the hokey pokey right there (or maybe that's just me).

When I got done making these cookies, I promptly showed my Birday (otherwise known as the man who eats all my food) the end results with a big smile on my face saying: "I put a cooke in a cookie." To this, he responded with "No, you don't do that to oreos. You do not put them in chocolate chip cookies." And when I affirmed to him that yes, I really did put a cookie in a cookie, a nice long darth-vader worthy "NOOOOOOOO" escaped him. Needless to say, I'm sure his mind will be blown when he gets to try them.

So, now that i've completely shattered your mind and tore a hole in the universe, I think you should totally make these. Their super, super easy! Just make sure you refrigerate the dough for an hour or two before you pop 'em in the oven. Trust me on this one. Oh, and leave these cookies on the baking sheet for a good 2-3 minutes before taking them off for maximum chewy-gooey-yummy-oh-my-god-another-please-ness. You'll thank me, if you haven't already.

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Adapted from


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 stick of butter)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
20 oreos, crushed

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets/baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. (I whisked mine together with a large whisk instead)
  3. In a medium bowl, melt the butter and wait for it to cool. When cooled, take our your hand-mixer and cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to blend in the dry ingredients until well blended.
  4. Add in the crushed oreos. Take your handmixer back out and beat on low speed for just a few seconds to break up the oreos in the dough.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon or spatula.
  6. Refrigerate cookie dough for atleast 1 hour.
  7. Drop cookie dough 1 rounded tablespoon at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. (I rolled mine into little balls and then flattened them slightly with the palm of my hand)
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. (DONT SKIP LETTING THEM COOL ON THE SHEETS. It produces a nice chewy cookie. And don't be worried if the top looks underbaked -- it will set once you let them cool. Also, mine only took 15 minutes.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Peach and Blueberry Bread Pudding

Dear pound of plums at the market,

I have to confess. Ever since passing you over, I've felt pretty guilty. I mean, you were just sitting there. On sale. Begging to be bought. Loved. Made into a beautiful plum and nectarine tart. And right next to you was a pound of bright, pink peaches. They screamed at me. Absolutely screamed at me. I have to admit, plums. The decision wasn't easy. But let's be honest... Not many people know a lot about you, plum. And not many people are willing to try you. And actually, you were kind of squishy that day. No offense, but I don't think you were as ripe as you should've been -- and well... You know how people are with fruit-gone-bad. It's nothing personal. Really.

I hope you know that I did think about going back to you, plums. But those peaches. I couldn't stop myself.

I mean, come on. Look at that shapely body. Plums, you may have some curves goin' on... but jeez. These peaches were just showin' all the right things to me. You understand, don't you?

I know, I know... I'm not making this any easier. But I'm sure that someone who deserved you more than I took you home and loved you a whole lot. Maybe they made a plum and nectarine tart out of you, too. Maybe they made an awesome plum barbacue sauce. Or maybe they just thought you were good enough on your own to eat. Either way, I'm sure that you got the attention you rightly deserve, plum. And I hope you can forgive me for picking peaches over you. Next time, I swear I'll pick you up instead. Cross my heart. For real.

Honestly, this peach and blueberry bread pudding was a breeze to make. I even made it a day ahead of time and it sat in the fridge just fine until I baked it in the morning. Cover it with some caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought... whatever you have on hand) and warm it all up... Man. I may not be a peach person, but I definitely was a fan about two munches into this stuff. Do I dare try to make a toffee sauce ontop next time? Maybe. Maybe not. Oh, and if you've never made bread pudding before -- don't worry. Neither have I. It's as easy as pie. Okay, actually, it's a lot easier than pie. Especially pie dough. That stuff is ridiculous.

So if you have a spare stale loaf of bread lying around... Make it. Do it. Eat it. Eat it warm and out of the oven covered in caramel sauce. In a bowl or a cup with a big spoon. Your tummy will thank you.

(P.S: This is really easy to make gluten free, too. Just use gluten free bread in place of the french bread. And for a fabulous twist, you can experiment with different kinds of bread -- I hear old croissants work lovely.)

Peach and Blueberry Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups of stale, cubed french bread (note: if your bread isn't stale, you can easily stale it by putting it in the oven for a few minutes, or just by leaving it out unwrapped overnight/for a few hours)
2/3 cup fresh peaches, peeled and sliced thin (about 3 peaches)
1/3 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
Caramel Sauce (Like the kind you put on ice-cream)

1. If baking right away, preheat your oven to 350.
2. Beat eggs in a large bowl until frothy (in other words, all bubbly and foamy on top.)
3. Add brown sugar, salt, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix until well-blended.
4. Stir in bread and fresh fruit gently until just coated.
5. If baking right away, let sit for at least 15 minutes until the bread is well soaked. If baking the next day, cover with wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or at least 30 minutes before baking.
6. Spray an 8x8 pan (I used a 9x13 inch) with non-stick spray, or lightly butter it. Then spread mixture in pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

7. Warm caramel sauce in a microwave safe cup, then pour all over warm bread pudding. Eat while still warm (or, if you need to wait later to serve, keep it at room temperature and then stick it in a 325 degree oven for about 3 minutes or so to warm it up).

Tip: The longer the mixture sits, the better the texture.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars for a special someone.

Special someones.

Everyone has them.

It could be your dog. It could be your mom, or dad. It could be your sweetie-pie-poochie-woochie (okay, you probably don't call them that... hopefully). Heck, it could even be your best friend from second grade who still hasn't returned those flip-flops you lended her two summers ago. But either way, everyone has a special someone. That one thing that makes you smile, makes you happy inside and gives you that giddy feeling that only that person can give you. Whether it's spending time with them, talking to them, or just merely thinking of them; you always feel good when they're around.

For me, I have a special someone. A very special someone. And that special someone and I just happen to be celebrating a certain anniversary today. Without getting into all the gooey love-dramatic details, let's just say I'm glad for today, and every day, for this special someone.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I think about celebrating good things, I think about desserts. Yummy, delicious desserts. My special someone happens to be pretty addicted to the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. While I personally can't stand the combo (I know, you totally are about to exit out of my blog now), I thought it'd be pretty sweet of me to get up early and do something nice for my special someone.

And hey! I think you should do the same. Find out what your special someone likes. Go out. Spend time with them. You don't need an anniversary to do something nice for the person you love. Go out for coffee. Hang out at a park. And maybe, even, if you're up to it, bake these awesome Peanut Butter Swirl Bars with them. They're chocolatey. Peanutbuttery. And very chewy. Trust me. It's fun. But don't blame me for the stomach ache you get from eating the entire pan. That's totally on you.

Whatever you choose to do today, at least let that special someone know that you love them. Believe me, it makes all the difference in the world. :)

I so need a hug now.

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars
(courtesy of eat love jump)

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (I used creamy)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
100 gr chocolate bar, broken into chunks (or chocolate chips)

1. Preheat your oven to 350F and butter/flour a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Combine your butter (cut it up into chunks to let it soften faster), peanut butter, and sugars. Mix them together with your super duper hand-mixer on medium speed until nice and creamy.

3. Take your two eggs and take a pretty picture of you holding them. Then break them into the bowl along with your 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat gradually into the mix until just combined.
4. Use a cool little whisk (or a sifter) to combine your flour, baking soda, and salt.

5. Blend dry mixture into peanut butter/heartattack mixture.
6. Spread into greased, 13 x9 inch pan and then whip out your chocolate (I only had 4 squares, but feel free to use the recommended 100g, which is about 8 squares, I believe.)

7. Break your chocolate into little chips/chunks and then sprinkle them ontop.
8. Bake in your oven for 5 minutes.
9. Marbelize the chocolate by taking the tip of a knife and drawing squiggly motions across the surface (You better lick the batter off that knife).
10. Bake 20 minutes more, and then cut while still warm. Proceed to devour.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Newcomer oncoming!

Hey. Hi. Hello.

I'm no good at introductions. Seriously. That whole I-shake-your-hand-you-shake-mine thing just doesn't work for me at all. It's really awkward. Especially when people don't let go of your hand and then you don't know whether you should let go or what. Just awkward.

Thankfully though, this is a blog. So I'll make my introduction short, so we can get to the sweet (hah!). My names Alexandra, but I really prefer being called Alex. I'm the chick in the picture up there, eating my first ever homemade roll-out sugar cookie. And yes, it was freakin' awesome.

I'm an aspiring pastry chef who is trying to learn the tricks of the trade by practice and hard work. I'm also totally into cooking and writing. So you'll basically be seeing a lot of food, words, and crappy photography. If you can dig it, I can dig it.

While a lot of my posts will probably contain tutorials or step-by-step guidelines, don't be surprised if I get lazy and only do it every once in awhile or with certain recipes. For the most part though, I'll try to keep it on track.

So now that you know a little bit about me, we can get started on this crazy blogging thing and maybe, just maybe, you and I will both learn a thing or two. :)

- Alexandra

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