Soft and Chewy Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are great. I love the simple ones cross hatched with fork tines and rolled in sparkling sugar. But sometimes you just need to add chocolate. This is a delicious recipe for big, fat, soft peanut butter cookies studded with semi sweet chocolate chips and salty peanuts.

When I make chewy cookies, I like to scoop out big (about 1/4 cup) cookies. I think they stay chewier this way.

Here’s the recipe (adapted from  All Recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips and peanuts by hand to prevent them getting broken up by the mixer. Scoop into big spoonfuls onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.

Easy recipe to bake on a weekend and enjoy with a glass of milk. Enjoy!

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who loved and shared my Teemo cake! I’ve had over 10,000 views since then!!! I’m so glad you all liked it, and I’ll try to design more nerdy cakes and desserts soon. Until then, here are the cupcakes I made to accompany us to a football tailgate during The Mr.’s birthday weekend. Although Teemo is cute and delicious, I can get more flavor into cupcakes and they are much easier to serve at an informal gathering.

The Mr specifically requested German Chocolate cupcakes, so I found a recipe from the legendary David Lebovitz to guide me. The ganache filling and the coconut pecan frosting are incredibly rich and delicious, but the cake disappointed me. I’m a fairly experienced baker, but the cake was a bit dry. To have enough cupcakes for the party, I’m ready to admit that I broke out a box of devil’s food cake mix, and a little sad to admit that it tasted better than the scratch cake.

Lesson of the day: cake mix is magic, and a $1 box that can be mixed in one bowl was better than the cake that took four bowls and required me to buy a $10 box of unsweetened chocolate. Live and learn, and always have cake mix in case of baking emergencies!

Now, don’t even think about buying a can of coconut pecan frosting. Don’t do it. This frosting (it’s actually used as filling in the cake, but it’s the unique part of German Chocolate cake, so I used it as frosting here) is the most delicious thing I have ever put on top of a cupcake. It’s loaded with toasted pecans and toasted coconut and held together by a simple custard base. You need a candy thermometer for this, but I bought a basic one at the drugstore for about $3, they’re not as scary as they look. If you’re planning on making these, please make the filling and the frosting the day before you want to serve the cupcakes, because I found that they needed to chill in the fridge overnight to set properly.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces butter, cut into small pieces (by weight, or about a stick and a half)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

Put the toasted coconut, toasted pecans and butter in a big mixing bowl. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, sugar and egg yolks. Heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the spoon (or reaches 170F). Pour the custard over the coconut and pecan mixture, and stir until the butter is melted. Refrigerate overnight, the frosting will thicken.

Ganache Filling

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a mixing bowl. Bring the cream to just under a boil, then pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate overnight, it will thicken.

 

As a final note, I want to share that The Mr’s birthday is September 11th.  10 years ago this date took on a new and somber meaning for everyone. It’s difficult to share your birthday with a day of mourning, and he’s often felt guilty to celebrate his day because of this. I am in no way suggesting that anyone forget that day, or the sacrifice of servicemen and women across the country. I do believe that part of surviving that horrible crime, is to live your life and not be crippled by fear or shame. Never forget, but also continue to live. For our family, part of living includes celebrations. As we have learned, life is short, so celebrate the milestones of your own loved ones, no matter the history of the day they occur on. It is important to honor the past, but we must also live in the present, and take all the joy each day can bring.

Teemo Cake – League of Legends

 

The Mr. and I are nerds, big nerds. Lately, one of our favorite games has been League of Legends. So, for his birthday, I knew I had to come up with a League of Legends cake. It’s pretty difficult to make computer game characters into cake, but this little guy, Teemo, fit the bill pretty well.

Here is what the actual character looks like for comparison. I left out some of the details and accessories, but he’s still cute 🙂

Happy Birthday, Mr! Good luck on the fields of justice!

Leave me a comment with your summoner name if you want to add me in game 🙂

Strawberry Sorbet

Even though it’s September, LA has decided to welcome the beginning of Fall with a brutal heatwave. Fortunately, I keep my newly acquired ice cream maker chilled and ready to go at all times. This simple sorbet came together from a bag of frozen strawberries and a little simple syrup. 20 minutes of icy churning later, this sweet sorbet is ready to enjoy!

Strawberry Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 1lb frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup (bring equal parts water and sugar to a boil, cool and save in the refrigerator to use as needed)

Blend strawberries and syrup in a blender until smooth. Let drain through a sieve if you’re really opposed to strawberry seeds, otherwise just chill the mixture for about half an hour then run through your ice cream maker. Eat immediately or transfer to another container to firm up in the freezer.

Also, thanks for the feedback on cupcake piping. I think I can put together something fun after next week. This Friday, I have a delicious cookie recipe to share, then next week is the big reveal of The Mr.’s birthday cake. I might have gotten a little ambitious in my design, I hope it comes out well!

Stay cool!

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

Any layer cake can be made into cupcake form! There was some extra batter from my cousin’s anniversary cake, so I made some little cupcakes. To make your favorite layer cake as a cupcake, just bake the batter in cupcake liners, use a little spoon to make a hollow to hold some filling, then use the frosting to make a big swirl. There wasn’t room for both lemon curd and a raspberry inside, so I used the fresh berries as decoration. It always helps to use some of a signature ingredient in the decoration, like some fruit, chocolate shavings, or toasted coconut.

To get the signature frosting swirl, use a pastry bag with a 1M (large open star) tip and pipe a swirl that starts at the outer edge and spirals to the middle. Would you be interested in seeing a post on cupcake frosting techniques? Let me know in the comments!