Monday, November 30, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bars

I made these for Jenna's 24th birthday "cake"  These were easy to make and tasted great!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bars

For the brownie bottom:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
⅓ cup cocoa
4 eggs
1½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
For the cookie dough:
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter almost melted
¾ cup granulated white sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of chocolate chips
additional chocolate chips to put on top (if desired)
Hot Fudge (optional)

Soften butter and blend in sugar and cocoa. Beat together and add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one. Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix well.

Spread in a 9X13 greased pan. Bake 22-25 minutes at 350.(let the brownies cool all the way)

Prepare the cookie dough layer:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugars and salt until soft and creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Mix in the milk and vanilla. Put in the flour and mix in until combined.

Carefully stir in the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Scoop the cookie dough onto the top of the cooled brownies and spread onto the brownie layer. If the cookie dough is sticking to your knife, spray your hands with non stick spray, and spreading will work like a charm! Then sprinkle as many chocolate chips on the top as you would like. (optional).

Cover and stick the brownies in the refrigerator for 2 hours before cutting. If you like the brownie and cookie dough layer to be the same thickness, I would suggest doubling the cookie dough recipe. Beth did not double and had plenty Because really, who doesn't love cookie dough? I then drizzled each piece with some hot fudge.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

5 Ingredient Easy Chili

I put this together for a dinner for Jenna and Don.  Next time I will use only 1 can of rotel tomatoes and 2 cans of diced.  It was spicy!
5 Ingredient Easy Chili

1 lb. ground beef
3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 (15 oz.) cans beans, drained (black beans, kidney beans, a combo, or whatever you like)
1 small white onion, diced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
(optional toppings: shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, cilantro, etc.)

In a large stockpot, cook ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently. Drain the excess grease. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the onion is cooked and softened.

Serve warm with additional toppings if desired.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Bars

I tripled this recipe and sent it to work with Jenna.  I SHOULD have gone with my gut and put the last bit of batter into a muffin tin.....They tasted great!
Peanut Butter Banana Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and mix well. Mix in bananas and peanut butter, mixing just until combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth evenly. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until edges are browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan before cutting into bars.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Chili for 1--No Beans

This is a quick chili with no beans that I make for a quick lunch.  I usually double it, using 1/2 pound of meat and use 1 can of diced tomatoes.
Chili for 1 No Beans

4 oz lean ground beef
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs. minced onion
2 cloves garlic crushed and minced
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Pinch of oregano
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in a small frying pan, add onions and garlic. Stir in tomatoes and water. Add spices an simmer slowly until liquid is reduced. The longer it cooks, the more tender and flavorful. Add a little water as needed to prevent burning

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Michelle had posted this tip/recipe on her facebook page back in October.  I was making egg salad this past week and decided to give it a try.  I could NOT believe how easily the eggs peeled.  No tiny shells to pick off! 

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
Michelle Shocklee

boiling water
ice water

Start with boiling water(enough to cover as many eggs as you are using)  Carefully add eggs to the water--with a spoon so as not to crack the eggs.

Boil on medium heat--not a roiling boil for 13 minutes.  

Put the eggs in ice water for 5 minutes.  Shells will come off in 2-3 big pieces!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Almond Sheet Cookies

These were the other treats I took to school as my birthday treats.  Don tasted them and said they tasted like a butterscotch cookie.  Everyone liked these, too.
Almond Sheet Cookies
Dawn Baranek (Community Church of the Nazarene cookbook)

1 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1 t caramel flavoring
1/4 t salt
2 c flower
1 c butterscotch chips
1 c slivered almonds

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in vanilla, caramel and almond flavorings.  Gradually add flour and salt.  Press mixture evenly in an ungreased jelly roll pan(Beth had to wet her hands to spread this)

Sprinkle the chips and nuts over top and press lightly.  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.  While still slightly warm, cut into 2 in squares.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chunky Chocolate Cheerios

I made these to take as my birthday treats to my former school for the kids.  They loved these!
Chunky Chocolate Cheerios
adapted from

6 oz white chocolate Beth used almond bark
6 oz plain chocolate Beth used chocolate bark
2½ oz crunchy peanut butter(1/4 c)
2¼ cups Cheerios
Line a shallow tin with greased baking parchment.
Melt the plain chocolate in a microwave proof bowl for 1 minute, stirring at 30 seconds. Stir until smooth
Melt the white chocolate in the same way and remove from the heat. Add the peanut butter to the white chocolate and stir well until smooth.
Add 1 cup of Cheerios to the melted dark chocolate and stir thoroughly until all the hoops are covered with chocolate. Add the remaining Cheerios to the melted white chocolate and do the same.

Drop alternate spoonfuls of each chocolate mix into the prepared tin, then tap the tin to level.  Chip the mixture. Chill for 2-3 hours until firm. Beth just put alternated white chocolate and dark chocolate on a jelly roll sheet and broke apart after chilling.

Turn out on to a board and break the chocolate into manageable chunks for people to nibble on. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.