Tag Archives: recipe

Halfway Cookie Bars

17 May

Recently I’ve been reading Amy Thomas’s dessert-filled memoir, Paris My Sweet in which she describes her journey to track down the most delectable sweets in Paris. I am so impressed by how simply through her mastery of language, she can make my mouth water! I’ve had an insatiable desire for an indulgent treat ever since reading Thomas’s description of macarons as “firm but tender, shiny yet rigged ,with ethereally light shells and heavy middles [that make them] miniature studies of contrasts-and deliciousness.”

While these Halfway Cookie Bars definitely lack the delicate refinement of macarons, they make up for it with their melty chocolatey deliciousness.

Cookie Dough

Press it into the pan: Layer one done!

I’m warning you now…these cookies are addictive. Make them at your own risk. Luckily for me, I made them and then was immediately able to dispense them among ravenous friends, our high school’s victorious baseball team, and much-deserving teachers.

Chocolate: layer two

These things are ridiculously good! If chewy chocolate chip cookies and fluffy meringue cookies had a love child, this would be it. These bars consist of a classic cookie dough base topped with a layer of chocolate, and then finished off with a meringue coating. The lightness of the meringue makes it so that you can scarf down two or three of these bars without going into a butter-induced food coma.

Whipped Brown Sugar Meringue

Scoop all of that fluffy deliciousness on top of the cookie dough and chocolate…what could be better!

Three layers complete. Add the sprayed parchment, then into the oven they go!

My little sister helped me make these scrumptious treats, and while they do require quite a few steps, none of them are that difficult… except for the last one.

 

Halfway Cookie Bars

Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, separated
  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chunks
  • Canola oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving some extra foil to  hang over all four sides of the pan and spray the foil with cooking spray. This will ensure safe removal of the bars after they cool.
  2. Make the cookie dough by whisking together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. Then use a mixmaster to blend together the butter, the granulated sugar and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until it’s smooth and creamy. Slowly mix the egg into the sugar-butter mixture until it is completely absorbed, then mix in the water and vanilla. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough looks crumbly.
  3. Gently press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep the chips from moving when you add the meringue.
  5. Start making the meringue by whisking together the two egg whites in the mixmaster in a clean bowl with a clean whisk attachment. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining half cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds firm peaks.
  6. Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue on top of the chocolate layer. Star by dumping the meringue in the center of the pan, and gradually spreading it out towards the edges.
  7. Coat a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray, then lightly press it on the top of the meringue to protect the meringue from scorching. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment. Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  8. This is the most difficult step of the entire process, but do your best to wait until the pan is completely cook before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

Optional Variations:

  • Add some espresso powder or cocoa powder to the top merangue layer for a more pronounced flavor
  • Swap some or all of the chocolate chips for butterscotch chips or toffee pieces
  • Replace the chocolate layer with a fresh fruit preserve layer
  • Replace the classic cookie base with a peanut butter cookie base
  • Add old fashioned oats and coconut to the bottom for a bar reminiscent of Hello Dolly Bars

Or try anything else you can think of, the sky’s the limit!

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The Easiest Cookies You Will Ever Make…Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with M&Ms

15 Jan

Today I feel very fortunate to be celebrating my 2 1/2 year anniversary with my incredible boyfriend, Goose. He is not only my best friend but also the love of my life. Every month I try to cook something special to  show him how much I care, and this month I decided to cook Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with M&Ms (after his suggestion of something peanut buttery)

I almost feel like it’s cheating to give him so simple, but the delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate make these cookies addictively delectable without having to do any baking magic.

1 bowl + 2 types of chocoalte + 6 other ingredients = pure deliciousness

These cookies take a mere 10 minutes plus 12 minutes of cooking time so you could make them while watching the Golden Globes tonight without missing much.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with M&Ms

adapted from Divine Baking http://www.divine-baking.com/2011/04/best-peanut-butter-cookie-ever.html

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all natural, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup m&ms

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined
  3. Use hands to shape the cookie dough into 1 tbs size balls, and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes
  5. When cookies are firm enough to transfer, allow them to finish cooling on racks

These cookies are so easy that you don’t have any excuse to mkae them. They are the perfect thing to bake with your family tomorrow when eveyone has a day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

How are you spending your Monday off sweet readers?

Tasty, Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

10 Jan

Coming back from a relaxing two weeks of break has had some of ym loved ones down, so I decided to bake a batch of these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins to brighten up the morning.

These super moist and delicious muffins are as healthy as they are yummy, with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate chips, fiber-licious oats, and protein-full greek yogurt, and vitamin C-packed pumpkin.

The muffins take just a few minutes to whip up with this easy, one-bowl recipe.

I know that Valentine’s day is over a month away, but when I saw these cute heart-covered cupcake liners at the store, I just had to buy them. Besides, hearts are a good way to show people you love them year round…right?

So if you have a little free time on your hands, whip up these muffins for an easy weekday breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a healthy dessert. If they aren’t gobbled up immediately, they are great to freeze too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (regular or nonfat)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners
  3. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, oats, brown sugar baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) in a bowl and stir
  4. Add in all wet ingredients (pumpkin, yogurt, eggs, and milk), and stir until just combined
  5. Add in chocolate chips and stir gently
  6. Spoon in muffin batter until the liner is about 3/4 full
  7. Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes, then allow them to cool
This is a very versatile recipe, so feel free to play around with it! Here are some possible alterations:
  • Add nuts, cranberries, dried cherries, cocoa nibs, or pumpkin seeds in place of or in addition to the chocolate chips
  • Swap out the brown sugar for  1/2 cup cucanat or 1/4 cup honey + 1-2 tbs molasses
  • Use 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
  • Add almond milk instead of milk and flax eggs in place of the regular eggs to make it vegan

Namaste my lovely readers!