Chewy-Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know when you spend a lot of time and hard work baking something only to burn it?  Yeah, this is what happened the first time I tried out this recipe.  I don't know what went wrong, but 7 minutes after I put the cookies in the oven they came out a little crispier than intended.  

I was really excited when I made these.  I was going to come into my class on Monday with a tupperware full of chewy chocolate chip cookies.  Everyone would be happy and class would be wonderful.  That backfired.  I took the trays out of the oven and the cookies I expected to be buttery and golden were dried up and blackened.  Our old oven wasn't doing my cookies any good.

After that incident I decided to tweak a few things to come up with the final result.  They are now buttery and golden like I intended, and perfectly soft and chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.  They are great to pack in a lunch and make a delicious after school treat.  It is worth opening up your lunch box to see the golden cookie and the sweet, sweet chocolate chips staring back at you.  Just make sure to keep an eye on your oven!

Chewy-Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serves: 32

Time: 1 hour (including chilling)

Ingredients

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

In a medium bowl cream together the butter, sugars, and oil with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until fluffy.  Add an egg and beat to combine.  Mix in the baking soda and salt.  Slowly incorporate the flour while the mixer is running until a dough is formed.  Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  Place spoonfuls of dough onto parchment lined baking trays 2 inches apart and flatten slightly.  Freeze the trays with dough for at least 30 minutes to chill.  10 minutes before baking heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on the outside.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie

I love fall.  Ok, maybe it is just the food, and the weather, and back to school, and Halloween.  Yes, fall is awesome.  The desserts that come with it make it 100 times better.

Pumpkin pie is just one of those classic Halloween treats.  That flaky crust with the spiced filling, warmed, topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, oh it is delicious!  I took one of the best desserts of autumn and amped it up with sweetened condensed milk.

I have thing for sweetened condensed milk, and the organic unopened can of it from Trader Joe's was calling me.  I knew that I wanted to top my pie off with it, but I decided to sneak it into the filling as well.

You might notice the darker color of the crust.  That comes from the whole wheat flour I used.  I used whole wheat flour for three reasons.  A, it is a little better for you, B, I wanted something a little more suitable for breakfast ;), and C, that is what I have on hand.  If all you have on hand is all purpose flour, try a different, white flour based crust instead.  Make sure to keep the filling!

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pumpkin Pie

Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsps cold water
  • 1 can (29 oz) of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk + more for topping
  • 3 tbsps agave syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl stir together the coconut oil, canola oil, salt, flour, and maple syrup.  Slowly add in the water starting with 1 1/2 tsps untilthe dough forms.  Press firmly into a pie plate.  Bake for 8 minutes and let cool for at least 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the filling by beating together the rest of the ingredients with an electric mixer.  Pour into the cooled crust and smooth with a spatula.  Bake 45 minutes, and check it with a toothpick about an inch and a half from the crust.  If it is not done bake an additional 10 minutes, watching carefully.  Once done, let cool, refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and serve warm with sweetened condensed milk on top.

 

Frozen Whips (3 Recipes!)

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I found out what a frozen whip was when I was searching Pinterest the other day.  Ever since then, I have been cranking them out daily.  Seriously they are awesome.  Chocolate, vanilla, green tea, there are so many possibilities!

A frozen whip is essentially frozen whipped cream.  You might say that it isn't exactly a recipe, you can just squirt some whipped cream on a plate and freeze it.  Yes, but I more wanted to tell you what is so great about frozen whips.

With frozen whips, you will no longer crave a double scoop of chocolate ice cream after having a few.  They are small but satisfying.  Also, they are really low carb (less than 1 carb per piece).  They are a great snack for diabetics and people following a low carb diet.  While I am personally not eating frozen whips for any of those reasons, they are great for someone with food sensitivities or carb restrictions.

I often talk about versatility with my recipes.  It is so important to me.  I am the kind of person who gets bored with certain flavors fast, so this is another recipe that allows you to experiment.  Try flavored extracts, or different kinds of topping (i.e. sprinkles, shaved chocolate).  Word of advice; I once tried lavender extract in a recipe, and yikes, it's strong!  If you are more careful with the extracts, you can recreate some of your favorite frozen treats!

Frozen Whips

Time: 35 minutes (May vary for the green tea flavor)

Serves: 4

Vanilla

In a small bowl, whisk together 6 tbsps whipping cream, a splash of vanilla extract, and 2 tbsps powdered sugar.  Whisk until stiff peaks form.  Spoon into a piping bag with a star tip, and pipe small piles, about 24 in total, onto a wax paper lined tray.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Serve frozen.

Dark Chocolate

Follow the recipe for vanilla whips, but omit the vanilla extract and add 1 1/4 tbsps cocoa powder and a small pinch of sea salt.  Whisk, pipe, and freeze like normal.

Green Tea

Follow the recipe for vanilla, but heat the cream in the microwave until very hot and add 1 green tea bag.  Let steep for 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you want it.  Squeeze all excess liquid out of the tea bag before disposing.  Refrigerate until completely chilled.  Whip, pipe, and freeze like normal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Bars

If you have ever looked on Pinterest, you might have seen recipes for seven layer bars.  They look pretty good, with their layers of coconut, chocolate chips, and condensed milk.  There is one problem with those bars though; they are not really layered.  Any picture will show you that it is just a bunch of ingredients tossed into a pan.  I have to admit, they are tasty, but I wouldn't exactly considered them layered bars.

My chocolate peanut butter graham cracker bars are the true layered deal.  It starts out with a chewy oat and chocolate bottom, then comes a mildly sweet peanut butter filling, finished with a crunchy graham cracker and chocolate topping.

I first made my chocolate peanut butter graham cracker bars for a neighborhood potluck.  They are super easy to make, and don't require any utensils making them the perfect handheld treat.  I served them chilled, but the hot summer air brought them up in temperature quickly.  They were yummy served both cold and at room temperature, so you don't need to worry about them sitting out for a little while.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Bars

Time: 45 minutes (without chilling)

Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 6 graham cracker sheets
  • 1 ½  tbsps. flour
  • 1 ½ tbsps. oil
  • 2 ½ tsps. oil
  • 2 ½ tsps. water
  • ¾ cup oats
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tbsps. Cocoa powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter (salted, no sugar added)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsps butter, softened
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the graham crackers in a zipper top bag.  Crush with a rolling pin.  Add the flour and 1 1/2 tbsps of oil and shake.  Spread on a baking tray, press down a little, and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  When cooking, pulse the 2 1/2 tsps oil, water, oats, honey and cocoa powder in a food process until oats are in very small pieces.  Press into a greased 9x9 glass baking pan, and bake for 8 minutes.  Let cool.  In a medium bowl, beat together the peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Spread evenly on top of the baked oat layer.  Set aside.  In another small bowl, melt for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Stir, and microwave in 15 second increments until melted.  Stir in the cooled graham crackers, and spread on top of the peanut butter.  Freeze the bars for at least an hour, cut into 16 squares, and serve.

 

Whole Wheat Blueberry Mini Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry Mini Muffins

Time: 25 minutes

Makes: About 2 1/2 dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsps butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tbsps plain yogurt
  • 6 tbsps sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk + 1 tbsp
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup + 3 tbsps whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbsps all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 3 mini muffin trays and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, yogurt, sugar, and egg.  Add in the milk and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly stir in the whole wheat flour and all purpose flour and whisk until a smooth batter is formed.  Stir in the blueberries.  Spoon generous tablespoons of batter into the mini muffin trays, and bake 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool before removing from trays then serve.