Chocolate Chip Blondies

chocolate-chip-blondies

 

I have been on the search for that elusive recipe.  That recipe that is relatively easy, highly adaptable and tasty.  I may have found it.  I may not have.  This recipe is my second from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my Home to Yours.  But in reality, the flavor that she was going for isn’t how I made it.  Dorie envisioned a peanutty delight.  I?  Envisioned a big ass chocolate chip cookie.   

Interestingly, the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  I tried it once with the cinnamon and found that it overpowered the entire chocolate experience.  Perhaps if the recipe was prepared as originally created, the cinnamon would not be so strong. 

I have made this recipe 3 times.  Once using a 9 inch round (seen below) and twice using an 8 inch round (seen above) .  I wanted something to make this blondie seem special.   I ended up adding another layer of swirl on the edges of the one below to pretty it up a bit. 

DSCN2414 by you.

The only trick with changing the baking pan is the baking time.  I have not quite figured it out yet.  I prefer my blondie to have that ooey gooey factor that I like.   My suggestion is to watch them carefully starting at 40 minutes and even if the center does sink in, they still taste fabulous.  If you are planning on eating these at home straight out of the pan, don’t bother with lining the pan with foil.  If you want to remove the blondie from the pan and cut into slices, line with foil.   
The best part of the recipe is that ability to adapt it.  You could easily increase the peanut butter aspect by adding peanuts instead of chocolate chips like Dorie suggested or you could do half and half.  There is also the option of using any type of chip that suits your fancy, toffee chips, white chocolate and macadamia nuts or even all peanut butter chips.  There is a small amount of peanut butter in the recipe that is mildly noticable.  If you are a peanut butter lover like me, reduce the butter and increase the peanut butter in the recipe. 

The swirl and writing was created by mixing chocolate chips with peanut butter in a small dish and melting for 25 second increments then stiring until the chocolate was entirely melted.  It usually takes about a minute and a half total.  If you don’t have any fancy icing bags, just use a plastic baggie with a tiny snip in the bottom corner cut off.  It works just as well!

This recipe is best served warm with some ice cream on top.  Mmmm.  But then what chocolatey buttery confection isn’t?

Chocolate Chip

Blondies adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
5 tbsp butter (room temp)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 – 2 cups chocolate chips (I like to use a mix of regular sized and mini chips.  If you have any of the Reese’s peanut butter chips, throw some of them in too)
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, butter the foil and place on a cookie sheet.
3.  Whisk flour, baking powerder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
4.  In a seperate large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter together on medium speed until smooth.
5.  Add both sugars abd beat for one to two minutes until well incorporated. 
6. Add eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg goes in. Beat in vanilla extract. 
7. Reduce mixer to low and add dry ingredients.  Mixture will be thick. 
8.  Add chocolate chips and stir into dough.  Do not overmix.
9. Scrape into pan. 
10.  Bake blondies for 40-50 minutes or until they turn a deep honey brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool. If the edges are browning too fast, fold foil down to cover edges.
11.  When completely cool, carefully lift the blondies out of the pan using the foil as handles.  The foil should peel away easily.  Cut into bars. 

Chocolate Cookies

chocolate-cookies

Over the holidays I was looking for a basic chocolate cookie recipe.  I wanted something that would work well with any chip, chunk or candy bit I had on hand.  Luckily, this one fell into my hands.  Okay, not quite, but it was worth the internet search to find it. 

This cookie has a dough that is easy to work with and I have not found one person that didn’t love the cookies.  Okay,  not quite again, but that is my husband who is a freak and doesn’t like anything chocolate besides chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and turtle brownies. 

I like to divide the dough into two batches before adding whatever chunk, chip or candy bit I have on hand.  The first half might be made with mint chips and the second half can be made with chopped mini Reese cups.  The texture in these cookies is soft and chewy almost like a thick brownie.  When it first comes out of the oven, I always feel a little nervous that they aren’t baked enough because they are so poufy looking.  But then I slide them off the cookie sheet and let them cool for about twenty minutes and they are soft and delicious.   I find it easiest to use parchment paper on the cookie sheet and simply remove parchment paper and all from the sheet to allow them to cool.  You won’t ruin any cookies that way. 

When using something like a mini Reese cup or other mini candy I used 16 and chopped them into fourths.  That was a half batch, so if making a full batch I recommend using 32 mini candies. 

Storing these cookies is no problem.  They have lasted five days in an airtight storage container without tasting stale or dry in the least.  They only lasted five days because I made a double batch! 

 

Chocolate Cookies – adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peanut butter chips (or any chip of your liking)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  If not using parchment paper, grease 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 or chips of your choice.  Scoop approximately one tablespoon into a ball and place on parchment paper two inches apart.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool on parchment paper. 

Probably not the best healthy recipe to start the new year off with, but geesh!  Chocolate is essential.  Along with the two sticks of butter!

Yeild 2 dozen

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

If you are anything like me, you love peanut butter.  You love chocolate.  What about cheesecake.  Some people might be lost there, but not me.  I love cheesecake enough that it was our wedding cake.  Let me tell you that a cheesecake big enough to serve the very small wedding that we had cost almost as much as most people will pay for a cake for 150 people.  Ouch.  Oh weddings and how you pay out the wazoo for everything. 

Wait.  Focus.  Cheesecake.  Peanut Butter Cheesecake cups.  A good friend, close enough friend that I would consider her like family, celebrated her birthday last week.  She absolutely loves peanut butter and chocolate and typically I make chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing for her, but this time I wanted something different.  The original recipe was a full cheesecake, but I knew that one large cheesecake for two people is a bit much even if it is tasty, so I decided to try to adapt it to cupcakes.  Then I realized I was missing ingredients.  Then I realized I did not know what adding peanut butter to the recipe would do to it.  So I just began to wing it.  Then when I realized that I was using the crust up way to quickly and I had to make more mid baking.  The recipe was more of a guide.  But sweet mother.  I will make these sweet babies again and again.  I received rave reviews from both the birthday girl and folks at the office that received the remainders. 

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups- Eats and Treats

Yields 20 Cheescake Cups

Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Cheesecake
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup peanut butter 
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Additional mini chips for topping (1/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
For the crust, crush the graham crackers (approximately 8 crackers) and mix with sugar, cocoa and melted butter.  Using a cupcake pan with paper liners, press one and a half tablespoon into liners.   Sprinkle mini chocolate chip crusts on top of crust. 
In large bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream and peanut butter.  Mix in sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla.  Mix in chocolate chips by hand. 
Fill paper liners 3/4 full with cheesecake mixture.  Sprinkle tops of cupcakes with remaining chocolate chips.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire racks for one hour.  Cool in fridge for at least four hours before eating.