Thursday, January 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies

Since I had some PB chips left over from my recipe last week, I decided it was finally time for me to make a chocolate cookie with them in it. I'm surprised I have never made these before. I mean, chocolate...peanut butter...cookie! Seems right up my alley!

These were rather easy to make. In fact, once the butter was soft, I got off the phone with my mom to make them. Then, about 15 minutes later, I called my mom because I forgot to tell her something during our previous chat. I also let her know the cookies were really good.

I do have to say that these are best RIGHT out of the oven. After a couple of days they get rather hard and lose their flavor. And now you have an excuse to eat all the cookies right after they're made. You're welcome.
Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies (adapted from
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2.In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the peanut butter chips. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool on wire racks.
Bake well and prosper!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Banana Bread Muffins with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chips

I found a recipe online that called for cinnamon chips in banana bread. I was so excited to make the recipe! Alas, it was not to be. I couldn't find cinnamon chips in the two stores I went to. So, I bought peanut butter chips and improvised.

I really enjoyed the mix of pb & chocolate in banana bread. However, in the long run, I think I would just use peanut butter in the batter and add the chocolate chips in. NEXT time! :)
Banana Bread Muffins with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chips
(adapted from Amanda's Cookin')
2+ very ripe bananas
1/2 cup unsalted butter, butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour muffin tins.

Mashed the bananas with a fork and place in a mixer bowl with softened butter. Mix on medium speed until well blended. Add in the vanilla, eggs, sugar and buttermilk and beat on medium speed until well blended.

Whisk together baking soda, salt and flour. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture to banana mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

Scoop batter into muffin tins. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks slightly before removing and cooling completely.
Bake well and prosper.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Croissants (Julia Child Recipe)

While I was in cold Minnesota with nothing to do but keep warm and hang out, I figured I would try to make croissants a la Julia Child's recipe. When I made croissants last year, I was pressed for time and therefore used a "Time Crunch" Croissant Recipe.

I was so excited to finally be able to use Julia's recipe! But guess what?  They were awful! They look better than my time crunch croissants, but they were very bland.

Here's the story:
My brother and I couldn't find any pastry flour in the two grocery stores we went to so we used all-purpose flour instead of the recommended blend of all-purpose and pastry flour.

From the start we could tell the dough wasn't quite right. I felt like it should be sticker and a little more malleable.

We DID make a mess which usually means the end product will be a success.
But not in this case. While the croissants looked lovely, they tasted bad. Looks: 10 Taste: 2

They didn't even taste like butter, which is shocking because they contain a whole stick!

My brother and I blame the flour. Ah well. It was still a fun thing to do on a cold, winter day.
Here's the step by step guide to Julia's Croissant recipe on Mamaliga. I hope they go better for you than they did for me!
Bake well and prosper!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monkey Bread with Pecans and Apples

Oh. Hi there. It's been a while, hasn't it. Well, you know how in October I didn't blog much because I was so busy with an opera role, doing props for the opera, and training for a marathon (while also having my mom in town for 2 weeks)? Yeah, well life got even busier for me in December. I had a role in two different operas with two different opera companies. Oh, and, you know, that little day called Christmas which meant singing at 3 masses within 13 hours. And BOTH of my parents came for a week.

I do have to say that it was less stressful than October because my body wasn't exhausted from training for a marathon. As you can imagine, I was greatly looking forward to my vacation during New Years and the week after.

My first stop was to my brother's place in MN. He has a lovely house in the "woods." My apartment is the size of his living room and kitchen. Ha!

It snowed on New Year's Eve and stayed very cold for the rest of my visit.
That's me after bundling up accordingly.

It's funny when I leave the city for the country. I realize about all the things I don't have to deal with. Like, I don't have to worry about defrosting a car or shoveling a driveway. But my brother does! He has a cool machine to deal with the snow on the driveway.
My brother was the one who had the great idea to make monkey bread one morning. Since I woke up before he or his wife did, I figured I would help by making the monkey bread.
Well, you know me...
I guess making a mess with the sugar doesn't help much. But, if it's a mess, it's a success. And boy oh boy, this monkey bread was GOOD!

My brother wanted pecans in it and I added the apples. Mmmmm! Great combo.
It was a delicious way to start the new year. (And a messy way! Somethings never change!)

Here's to a wonderful 2012!
Monkey Bread (aka Pull Apart Rolls) with Pecans and Apples (adapted from Mom's Best Recipes cookbook)
2 cans of biscuits (I prefer the extra buttery and fluffy ones)
1 C sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 chopped apple
1/2 C chopped pecans
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 C brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
Generously grease tube pan with Crisco. In paper bag, put sugar and 2 t cinnamon. Using 1 can at a time, cut biscuits into quarters. Place in paper bag and shake to coat. Place in tube pan, sprinkling apple and pecan pieces over each layer except last one.
(Second Part)
Boil together butter, brown sugar, and 1 t cinnamon. Pour mixture over biscuits. Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before inverting. Let guests pull apart.
Bake well and prosper!