Sugar Rush

This past quarter, I have had the wonderful opportunity to get involved with YoungLife Capernaum. I’ve fallen in love with the ministry, the leaders, and all of the new friends I’ve made. It’s one of the most joyful and loving and humbling experiences I have had in my nineteen years of life. I cannot wait to continue to grow, meet more amazing people, and take any opportunity I can through this phenomenal organization. 

I brought snack for club this past week…and definitely caused a sugar rush. The reception of my baked goods was overwhelmingly positive and served as a reminder for why I love to bake so much: its a gift of love! There was an abundance of love, smiles, and sugar in addition to the heavy plate of cookies I had. 

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“Slutty Brownies” and M&M cookies were a huge hit with this group. To make the brownies, all you have to do is press cookie dough down in a greased pan, add a layer of Oreos (I used Mega Stuf, and yes, that is a real thing), then pour on some brownie batter. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, let them cool completely, and then cut them out and try not to drool. They’re rich and delicious and you should prepare yourself for all of the mind-blown people you’ll offer them to. For the M&M cookies, I made up a batch of Junk in the Trunk cookie dough and used semi-sweet and mini chocolate chips and M&M’s as my “junk.” You could call me a chocoholic. But you could also bake these and be the one to blame for an epic sugar rush. Your choice!

 

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Parent Trap Cookies

Remember these? They’re chocolate chip cookies with an oreo inside of them…so, magic, essentially. I decided to take this a step further an incorporate another magical ingredient: peanut butter. In the Parent Trap, the twins bond over the delicious, unconventional combination of oreo cookies dipped in peanut butter. If you haven’t tried it, you’ve got to. Before baking/assembling these marvelous, caloric cookies, I pipped peanut butter onto the non-cream side of an oreo, put the two sides back together, and popped them into the freezer until they were set. It’s an extra step that is so, so worth it. 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Oh, pumpkin, it is so wonderful to see you! Last Fall, I began to fully appreciate the power of the pumpkin, especially in baked goods. This twist on the classic snickerdoodle is a perfectly magical example of just that.

Snickerdoodles are already super yummy (primarily when they are the size of CD-roms), but changing up the game is pretty fun. By adding chocolate and nutella or pumpkin and extra cinnamon, you get a whole new cookie that is still held up by its true, doodley cinnamon sugar coating. Personally, though, I am enamored by any sort of pumpkin baked good. And it’s October for heaven’s sake! Naturally, pumpkin snickerdoodles made a comeback in the kitchen of 312. 

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Happy Fall, everyone! 🙂

Junk in da Trunk Cookies

Let’s find anything and everything cookie-worthy in Trader Joe’s elusively sinful snack section and throw it into dough with reckless abandon. Never look back, just dump it ALL in there. If there were a conspicuous voice narrating the meeting of these ingredients, I’d imagine it would sound something like this: “No, I don’t know what business chocolate-covered potato chips and peanut butter filled pretzels have with one another. While they’re at it, they should invite along some butterscotch chips. Just wait until the next cookie add-in summit, it’ll involve the rest of the kitchen sink. How divine.”

Hedy Goldsmith hits the nail on the head with this recipe (which is from her amazing book, Baking Out Loud). I really, really like making cookies. The more unconventional and random, the better (let’s throw things back to that one time I made Mexican Hot Chocolate “Snickerdoodles”). Once she gave me the go-ahead to add in whatever spoke to me and be creative about the junk that goes into this cookie’s trunk, I realized the possibilities were endless. For this batch, I chose to add in peanut butter filled pretzels, bittersweet chocolate chunks, mini peanut butter cups, and honey roasted peanuts. I was honestly somewhat doubtful (read: stubbornly hoping for the best but expecting the worst) about this combination. That’s a lot going on for one cookies. Could it handle all of that flavor? But all that doubt melted away once I tasted one of these. 

The recipe for the “trunk” of the cookie is very basic. All you’ve got to do is cream a stick of butter, add half a cup (each) of white and dark brown sugar (as well as a healthy pinch of salt), followed by an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla. Once everything is happily combined, slowly mix in 1 and 3/4 cup of flour and 3/4 tsp of baking soda. Now for the junk. Take whatever add-ins you’ve decided to incorporate and carefully fold those into the dough. Once all of your junk is in the trunk, scoop the dough out onto a plate (this recipe gave me 10 large cookies) and let it chill out in the fridge for at least an hour or so. Once you’re ready to bake, pop those guys into the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, give or take. Pull them out once the bottoms/edges are golden brown, let them cool, and then savor the fact that you can make an endless amount of different cookies from this recipe! I can’t wait to experiment with more junk 🙂

Nutella Cookies

Okay, maybe I have a problem. An obsession, if you will. Yes, you guessed it: Nutella. It, along with peanut butter, is the bane of my existence. Did you know that if you mix a cup of Nutella with brown sugar, an egg, and some flour, you get yummy cookies?? And with a dash of sea salt, it’s the most delightful combination of salty and sweet. Go on, come to the dark side. Open that jar of Nutella. You know you want to. 

http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/10/easy-5-ingredient-fudgy-nutella-cookies-with-sea-salt/

PS- this gal at Ambitious Kitchen has amazing recipes!  🙂

Dino Cookies!

RAWR!!

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I’ve got a thing for dinosaurs. I think they are fantastic. I’ve also got a thing for good sugar cookies. Thick, flaky, melt in your mouth sugar cookies are pretty fantastic, too.

So what happens when you put the two together? DINO COOKIES!! I got some Dino cookie cutters sometime during high school and they have been my favorite ever since. I mean, I love the baby whale and tiny elephant I have, too, but it’s kind tough to pass up a brontosaurus and a velociraptor.  After you exude enough patience to let your dough chill for an hour,  you can roll it out nice and thick and bake your ferocious cookies at 350 for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because if they bake for one minute too long you’ll end up with a dry and crumbly cookie. For the frosting, just mix together powdered sugar and water, then add in your desired food coloring. The recipe is beyond simple (1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 cups of flour). These are super fun to make with kids and can be adapted to any party theme or celebration! You should also tuck this recipe in your back pocket for Christmas time! Happy baking!