Category Archives: Cookies

Perfect Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies–and My New Site!

I’m beaming with the power of a thousand and fifty-two suns as I type this, so here it is:

Wallflour Girl has moved to a self-hosted site and domain! Ta-da! *drums bells and whistles*

Everything you see here–the new layout, design, even this beautiful new visual recipe index–I created. I know, right? Scary.

So if you were wondering why it’s been so quiet around here lately, it’s because two weeks’ worth of late-night CSS/HTML epic battles were happening in this tiny madhouse apartment. You might like to take some time to browse around all the new menu pages and content, even, if you catch my drift!

***Please make sure you update your RSS feed/email subscription on the right-hand sidebar! I’ve also finally got my social media groove on, so please follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter while your mouse is clicky-clicking over there.*** (I’m especially obsessed with tweeting at the moment, sooo you have been warned #honeymoonphase #relationshipwithTwitter)

Done? Great! Can’t wait to see y’all on the social side–now, read on!

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After nearly two years of blogging, I finally built a snowman up the courage and cyber-smarts to purchase my own domain. My awesome, computer-savvy friend Shawn helped me transfer my site and set up my new self-hosted blog, which has been going through tons of exciting design/format changes these past weeks, as you might have noticed. How do you like them so far?

I especially want to apologize to you fantastic folks who have been emailing me all week frantically asking for recipes since all of my links were down during the crazy domain move. I have to admit, I was panicking a bit myself from all the technological hubbub that tried to eat my brains a la zombie (I’ve survived–barely–thanks for asking). I’m so glad so many of you reached out to me about it, though! That is exactly the right thing to do, and I’m grateful to be reminded just how many eyes come across this blog every single day.

I’m back now and ready to write again, though–boy, am I ever!

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Apart from blogging, there are a few other pretty exciting things are in the works as well that I haven’t told you guys about. Continue reading

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The Chocoholic Bomb Cookie

You are never going to need another thick, chewy, fudgy, bomb, sink-your-teeth-in rich chocolatey cookie recipe again, so before you read on, you’d better Pin/share/print/make this. Because I’ll be honest, just looking at these photos makes me want to ditch you all right now and hightail for the kitchen. But I won’t because #readerlove.

Done? Good.

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This is the chocoholic bomb cookie. As in, this cookie will explode any attempts to recover from chocoholism, so you’d better watch out.

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I am not kidding. Part of me almost wishes I was, because my chocolate cravings have gotten 10.85743 times worse since I started researching my dissertation prospectus two weeks ago. Continue reading

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My Favorite Puffy, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know what’s crazy?

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This week has been. Absolutely. Nuts. <3 Kind of in an awesome way though.

Oh, and these cookies are pretty cuh-raay-zee as well, so let me start with these because I know that’s what really you came here for  (and okay, can I just say that I honestly love the photos you’re about to see: these are such puffy, tall, photogenic cookiesTry and tell me you’re not drooling/pinning/sharing right now as you ogle!).

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My very best friends are also my very best taste-testers. I am particularly lucky in this respect because I happen to have quite a few very best friends–you know, the ones who, when you ask them if they want to try a cookie for your blog, immediately raise their hands and shout with all the bravado of a District 2 citizen, “I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!” I’ve gotten at least seven texts this week from friends who, after seeing this post, wanted to know if I had any cookies left on my counter to share, and I can’t blame them… Continue reading

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My Favorite Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

I am so sorry to do this to you. Really, I am.

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If you are reading this post in a public place where licking your computer screen or sprinting out of the room while making inarticulate animal noises of ravenous taste-bud activation are frowned upon, I am so, so sorry. Maybe you should wait until your boss has stepped out of the room or your meeting has ended before you read this.

Or, you know. Don’t.

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These cookies are really, really good. Did the title give it away? I realize as I’m typing this out that all I really want to do is blubber on some more about my upcoming qualifying exam on Friday. I won’t. It’s tempting, but I won’t. You’ll see me on the other side of Friday and if I’m a melting hot mess–well. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the text I got from my friend right after I sent her home with a half dozen of these cookies. 

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I admit, I nearly had a heart attack when I read the first few lines. She wrote:

Just wanna let u know there may be something wrong with ur cookies…”

In my emotionally reeling brain, I could hear the panicked screams of a fire alarm firing off with every neuron and the crash of self-confidence plunging into the icy deeps below. I had sent my friend home with defective chocolate chip cookies from an original recipe I had carefully tested, re-tested, and re-retested. What–HOW?

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Despairing, my eyes quickly scanned the rest of the message for some redemption, an explanation, a giant pterodactyl that had swooped down from the heavens as my friend was walking home and barfed its Jurassic guts on my precious cookies before time-warping away again, something other than that they were a complete disaster:

Just wanna let u know there may be something wrong with ur cookies…I can’t seem to stop eating them! Just finished my last part! All are vanished in less than 2 hours! Simply Delicious!!!!”

Oh. Thank. God.

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So. If I’ve convinced you in no way about my sanity, I hope I’ve at least convinced you that these cookies are everything my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe should be: thick, chewy, soft, and simply delicious. They are also the first step in my diabolical plan to start transforming this blog into a self-sustaining entity. Have you met Miss Pandakins?

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I joked on my Facebook status yesterday that I had a batch of these cookies sitting on my kitchen counter (they have since been claimed, sorry folks!), and that while the cookies were freebies, Miss Pandakins appreciates visits. Yes, that’s a dime she’s grabbing in the photo. She lives in a mechanized money donation box, and my friend bought her so I could start collecting voluntary ‘donations’ for my baked goods and blog. Mandy Pandakins also greets you in Chinese as she takes your money away from you and stashes it in a safe spot for me. How cool is that?

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All joking aside, my inability lately to focus on studying any more has worked in huge favor of my blog. Operating under a self-imposed sentence of complete hermitage until I take my exam (hey, it’s flu season out there!), I’ve been able to really familiarize myself with my new apartment’s lighting, space, and atmosphere throughout the day, so I know the spot by my living room window is best for soft natural sunlight at 1 PM. I’m also loving the whitewashed walls and new white gloss kitchen table–the blank white canvas frees me up to fiddle with more fun text and effects. Dramatic, whimsical, playful text paired with dynamic photographs are fun, don’t you think? How do you like them so far?

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Miss Pandakins is also helping me collect for exciting things such as buying my own domain and revamping the layout of my blog. As Wallflour Girl has begun expanding and dear readers like you make my heart swell with your heart-warming visits, I find myself spending more and more time developing recipes, doing photoshoots, editing photos, and triple-checking everything before hitting that ‘Publish’ button. So thank you for being here!

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I’ve also had more time to actually experiment with my own original recipes like this one, testing and adjusting and retesting and all that jazz. I love it! It’s not all the time that I’m inspired to spend all day in the kitchen, but the Me Time gives me a chance to unwind from studying and really mull over the Bronte sisters as the wafting aroma of warm, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies peeks over my shoulder.Favorite Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 26--021014

A ton of research went into the creation of these cookies perfectly chewy, thick cookies. Sally wrote a great article last year about how to achieve the perfect chewy texture we all know and love in our chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made her cookies before and they are delicious. Averie also has a great recipe for soft-baked chocolate chip cookies on her fabulous blog. This time, though, I wanted a cookie that looked a little less underbaked and resembled more the bakery-style chewy thick cookies I used to buy from Safeway I used to buy from Safeway–no, I’m not going to apologize for that statement! Those soft, chewy-only Safeway cookies have a special place in my heart, even though I actually think this recipe is even better.  

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Half-melted butter to keep things chewy and not too spready. Extra extra brown sugar for heft. Two whole teaspoons of cornstarch, no less. Chill chill chill. These cookies are chiller than a polar bear in December. All of these extra-chew ingredients allow you to bake a perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookie without underbaking it too much. And that’s it: I’ve just told you all the secrets to my very favorite thick & chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe. But you’ll still want to Pin, share, print, and bookmark the recipe below!

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If you’ve reached this part of this post and are still at work/school/public place……I am truly sorry. One of these days, somebody will invent the Willy Wonka television or computer screen into which you can reach and grab a real chocolate chip cookie. Until then, though, I hope you’ll count down the minutes until you can dash out of your cube and back to your oven to make these chewy pieces-de-resistance. And I’ll be counting down the hours until the other side of Friday.

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See you on the other side (hopefully) of sanity and a chocolate chip cookie!

Ala

My Favorite Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ever on a quest to find the perfect thick, chewy chocolate chip cookie, this recipe finally hit the ticket. With extra brown sugar, cornstarch, melted butter, and chilling time, this cookie has all the chewy ‘oomph’ and soft bliss of a bakery-style cookie. My friends call this the ‘simply delish!!’ chocolate chip cookie, and we love making our own ice cream sandwiches at home with them!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I used dark–light will also work)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat your butter on HIGH until it is halfway melted. What this means: half of your butter should be pooled into a buttery liquid, while the other half of your butter should be incredibly soft but not quite melted down. (If you accidentally melt your butter all the way, don’t worry! This will also work, but in this case you’ll want to make sure to chill your dough extra well.)
  2. Transfer butter into a large mixing bowl. Add both sugars and beat in until combined.
  3. Mix in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  4. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon (optional), and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until just incorporated.
  5. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before baking. Note: I am the world’s most impatient person and have made these cookies after chilling the dough in the freezer for 90 minutes. Whenever possible, though, give your dough a chance to chill until completely firm.
  7. After your dough has chilled: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  8. Scoop out generous rounds of cookie dough (approximately 3-4 tablespoons). Mound them high rather than wide on your cookie sheet so that when they spread, they will remain nice and thick.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until outside has just set (light golden brown) but centers appear slightly gooey and underbaked.
  10. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet, on the stovetop. They will finish baking up, so make sure you don’t skip this step!
  11. Sink your teeth into these a la Dracula. Enjoy with a cup of milk if you wish.
© Wallflour Girl. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use without prior permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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Idiot-Proof Healthy Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

How do I know these one-bowl, hassle-free chocolate chip oat bars are idiot-proof? Please refer to the visual aid below…

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I made them. Me. In my current mental and emotional state of nervous wretchedness. And I’ve even started referring to myself in the plural first-person. And writing in fragments. Like Yoda, I is. But I still managed to make these without starting a local apocalypse. So. That’s how I know.

Some days I almost wish that was a joke.

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On the morning I baked these, I was not looking forward to baking. I had been in my brand spankin’ new apartment for exactly 2 weeks, gone through about 5 months’ worth of groceries and pantry items in that time to ‘fuel’ my studying brain, and had a mock exam for these coming up in 5 days. You could hardly find a less happy camper if you walked barefoot clear across the Alps in the middle of January looking for one. And the very last thing I wanted to do five days before my mock was trip into the precarious kitchen to bake instead of read about Romantic Irony, and to fuel my tummy pooch wayyy more than my noggin. And then the photographs. And then the editing. And then the inevitable snacking. Ugh. 

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But I had to make something as a thank-you for some friends who had helped me with moving, and so when I fumbled my way across Tieghan’s post from Half-Baked Harvest advertising that these bars were delicious AND idiot-proof (her phrase! Isn’t it such a hook?), I could almost hear the despair melting away like so many sunbathing snowmen.

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And I have wonderful news: these bars are really, truly, honest-to-madness idiot-proof. They’re perfectly chewy, crumbly, oaty, chocolatey, cinnamony–and did I mention healthy?–all at the same time. Oil only, folks–no butter here! Did I mention that my friends could not stop eating them and positively raved about them after the pan had been licked crumb-clean? And all at no additional cost to my sanity. I love it.

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Compared to making traditional bar cookies, these take zero thought and significantly less active time to throw together. Glutens? Don’t mind them. Overbaking? Not a chance. Even the dishes are easier to do after whipping a batch up, since the thick oat-y batter barely leaves a smidge on your mixing bowl! (And thankfully for me, this also meant I didn’t ‘have to’ lick the bowl afterwards, which saved me from another drastic snacking spree.) Yep, these were bars to feel good about when I had very else little about which I could feel good.

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The good news is that today is the fifth day since I made these bars–and I can satisfactorily report that I took my first mock exam this afternoon! It was an extraordinarily nerve-wracking experience, but after we finished, it felt surprisingly reassuring to know I survived it…and with affirmation from someone who was not the second voice in my head, too. If you’ve ever read or listened to The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch says that the lead-up to his qualifying exam was the second-most stressful period in his life. The first was leukemia. I can’t corroborate that last statement, thankfully, but I sure as heck cannot wait for this exam to be (hopefully successfully) done next month. 

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In the meantime, I’m going to make me some more of these bars. And hopefully offer some better proof that I’m not a complete idiot–yet…

Ala

Idiot-Proof Healthy Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

(Slightly adapted from Half-Baked Harvest)
Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups oats, old-fashioned or quick-cooking (I used the latter and they worked fine)
  • 2 cups flour (the original calls for 1 cup APF and 1 cup wheat flour; I used 2 cups APF)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canola oil OR coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, throw in ALL ingredients except the chocolate chips. Seriously. Just do it and mix away until a dough pulls together.
  3. Mix in your chocolate chips. Sha-bam! Done.
  4. Shove it all in your prepared pan. Like, evenly and stuff. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top if you feel like it, because you’re a grown-up and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise unless you’re not one, in which case pretend you are one while you’re making these. You can wear shocking red high-heels in the kitchen to facilitate this process.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until bars are lightly golden on top and they seem just slightly doughy–then pull them out and let them cool on the stovetop for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Cut these crumbly, chewy babies into squares, or just attack them with your fork. I did.
  7. Leave Ala a comment below to let her know that she doesn’t sound completely idiotic (yet). :) Enjoy!

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Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

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No-Molasses Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

With Christmas officially behind us, the mad rush to clear Target’s 90% Off shelves in full swing, and 2014 lurking like a hungry panther right around the corner, one question has been ringing even louder than all the choruses of Jingle Bells and Batman Smells this year. The question: What holiday?”

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Of course, I’m biased. Who isn’t? The skull-crushing exam for which I am supposed to be productibaking is a whopping 90 days away, in the gloom of which I am packing, applying for fellowships, trying not to lose it as my parents pack for me, studying, unpacking, repacking, despairing, and then making like a really badly-done Loreal commercial: rinse, lather, repeat. 

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Oh, and my mom thinks I’ve officially gone insane with the amount of baking I’m doing these days. This may or may not be an accurate reflection of my mental well-being right now, but somehow the holidays don’t sound quite as cheery when you’re belting out “DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF CRAZY” at the top of your voice.

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So. For the next 90 days or so, I may not be posting quite as much as I’d like to–but this may or may not be better for all of us. I’m not sure the internet needs another resident village idiot who spends her spare what-in-holy-heck-is-spare-time watching and reposting adorable baby animal memes like this Ocelot/Ocelittle and ridiculous Frozen gifs like this one (which just makes me hungry for pizza and other things I shouldn’t be eating right now, or so my post-Christmas thighs tell me). Or totally overthinking the fact that I am definitely the person sitting at the top of the seesaw in my precarious email correspondences of unequal power dynamics.

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What I really need right now is a giant T-Rex who will love me. And then one of these amazingly easy, no-molasses gingerbread cookies to remind me that every day deserves to be a holiday.

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I never keep molasses around the house, plain and simple. I don’t know what it is about molasses that scares me. I mean, it doesn’t scare me. But I never grew up with it, and I’ve never seen any reason to buy an entire whopping jug just so I can make gingerbread cookies one time throughout the year.

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If you’re like me and don’t hang around with the slowpokes (molasses–get it?), or if you’ve just happen to run out of molasses this season after going on a gingerbread house making binge: no problem. These should really be called no-problem gingerbread cookies because they are so forgiving, even a kitchen novice can make professional-looking and tasting cutout cookies that you can decorate with friends & family into the wee hours of 2014.

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The secret? Instant butterscotch pudding mix. Wait! If you don’t have that and don’t want to run to the store, you can whip up your own using a few simple ingredients (such as brown sugar, white sugar, cornstarch, and dry milk powder) that you’ll probably have hanging around your cheery cabinets anyway. Didn’t I tell you these were no-problemo wonder cookies?

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So whether you’re singing full harmony this season or battling the holiday existentialism blues like I am, these cookies are an easy must-make solution you won’t want to miss. Happy holidays to all, and to all a great cookie coma!

Ala

No-Molasses Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
Biscuit recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (light will also work)
  • 1 (3.5 oz.) package instant butterscotch pudding mix* (See Notes for a DIY alternative that I used)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

* Note: For a DIY alternative to instant butterscotch pudding mix, use 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white sugar, 2 tablespoons corn starch, 1 1/2 tablespoons  nonfat dry milk powder, and a tiny pinch of salt. Combine these ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside to use in place of butterscotch pudding mix.

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in butterscotch pudding mix OR the DIY alternative (see Note above).
  2. Mix in egg. Add remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon) and mix in until just incorporated.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour, until firm enough to roll out easily. You can also toss it in the freezer for 20 minutes to speed up this process.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.
  5. Break off 1/4 of the dough and place it on a well-floured cutting board. Return the rest to the refrigerator so that it does not soften too much in the meantime. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough until it is fairly thin, about 1/8-inch thin. Cut out shapes using cookie cutter and carefully transfer to prepared sheet. Repeat and continue this process until you have used all of your dough, or run out of room on cookie sheets.
  6. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they turn golden brown on the bottom and are pretty firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving, icing, or decorating as creatively as you’d like!

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The Amazing ‘Un-Relationship’ Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is the story of the Amazing Un-Relationship Cookie. Have you spent your whole life wondering when you would ever find that special something in your life? Well, stop looking. You’ve found it. And guess what? You found it a long time ago.
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This is going to be a long post. If you get tired of reading, feel free to skip through to the pictorial guide on 8 REASONS THE ‘AMAZING UN-RELATIONSHIP COOKIE’ WAS MEANT FOR YOU. But for those of you still with me, let’s start with the basics.
What exactly is an Un-Relationship? Un-Relationships are like relationships, but with truly no strings attached. This is because the relationship depends on you, the individual, and you alone. So if you have an Un-Relationship with food, for example, you are the only person who can define your attitude towards, and your satisfaction with, whatever food you happen to be have in mind. For me, these cookies symbolize everything that goes into a healthy Un-Relationship (more on that later).

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Just You, and You. No matter what your official relationship status is–whether you’re comfortably married or happily single, flirty & fun or settled & won–we all have our own special relationship with food. What do you love most about it? The thing I love most about food is that it will never judge you. Ever. This is essential for creating an UN-RELATIONSHIP. Others may judge you, and sadly they may judge your relationship with food, although I firmly believe we fixate on what we think other people think about us rather than what they actually believe. Goodness knows many of us judge ourselves for our relationship with food, and I have no doubt hails of self-judgment poured down on my head as I reached for my eighth cookie after finishing the photoshoot you see here. But food itself will never, ever judge you, which is part of why I love it so, so much, just like I love a fortieth rereading of Ella Enchanted or the giant killer whale stuffed animal that sleeps with me at night.
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Our Relationship with Food? While I was researching and comparing recipes for this post, I found that this cookie has been raved about all over the blogosphere in a whole lot of ways. The recipe I am sharing with you today is very similar to the Best Big, Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe you’ll find with over 6,000 glowing reviews on Allrecipes. Another original variation is called the “I Want to Marry You” cookie or, alternatively, the “Will You Marry Me?” cookie, and I thought it was the cutest-sounding thing ever when I first came across it at Bakergirl’s blog. And, like Bakergirl, I bookmarked these because who doesn’t want to dream about a cookie that will make McDreamy drop down on one knee and profess his undying love for you on the spot?
So I made these, and as I sat there sinking my teeth into the first, and second, and third test cookie, I started to think about what would name these cookies. Were they really ‘Marry Me’ cookies, or something else? Food, and relationships. What’s the relationship between them?
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Keeping Your Kitchen Clean From ‘Relationship Stuff.’ As a single, extroverted food-blogger-by-day/grad-student-by-the-other-24-hours, I grew up hearing the same questions over and over again: “Why aren’t you dating so-and-so?” and “What happened to guy XYZ who was ‘clearly’ interested?” Why wasn’t it enough that I simply wasn’t interested in guys X, Y, or Z?  I certainly wasn’t thinking along these lines when I first stumbled across the recipe for these cookies: amazing chocolate chip/white chocolate cookies with oats folded into a wonderfully chewy batter. Truth be told, the last thing I want to think about when I’m in the kitchen trying to escape from my humdrum everyday life is whether or not these cookies will be the impetus for a monogamous relationship with the man of my dreams. Because no pressure on this giant blob of cookie dough sitting on the counter, right? Might as well start my new fake and overwhelmingly bikini-tanned account on Match.com now. 
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Celebrating the Un-Relationship. As Mel Gibson says in all his worldly, product-placemented wisdom, food does not care what you wear or whether you make more money than it does. It also does not care whether you’re the young bride or “that token single girl” among your group of friends. It amazes me that there is not a single recipe I can think of off the top of my head that celebrates what many of us embrace, or trudge through, or tough out with a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, every single day. And that’s not just the fact of being happily single–which I currently am, without preference or anxiety about it. Every pair of eyes that has so much as glanced at this post (or any food blog out there) consents to the same, unacknowledged idea: we want an honest, beautiful, and judging-less Un-Relationship with our food.
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A Powerhouse of Enjoyment. How many of us have paused to think about how many empty calories went into battering and deep-frying the bejeezus out of those apple fritters you used to dearly love? I’ll raise my hand: I’m certainly much more conscious about what ends up on my plate than I was back in my high school swimming, devour-everything-in-sight days. But at a fundamental level, I also realize how important it is that I am the only one in control of what I eat, what makes me feel good, and what I enjoy. This last element is essential to a healthy Un-Relationship. If the food I eat makes me feel in control and makes me feel good, but at the end of the day I don’t enjoy it, I choose not to eat it. It’s as simple as that. I LOVE hummus because I enjoy it, but I would as readily eat a cone of ice cream because I enjoy that, too. And because there are no strings attached, no judgment that matters except my own, I love knowing I have the power to choose.

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About the Amazing ‘Un-Relationship’ Chocolate Chip Cookie: Believe it or not, it took sitting down, tasting, writing about, and re-tasting these {AMAZING} cookies to make me realize this. Alongside my favorite Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies, the Amazing Un-Relationship Cookie I’m sharing with you today is crowd-tested, and both mom AND me-approved (which is rare!). It reminds me about everything I love most about having an Un-Relationship with food: as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well, I love these cookies, plain and simple. I love their warming chewiness, I love their decadent melting chocolate, I love that I love to reach for a fourth and a fifth straight from the tray. I love sharing them with others, and most of all I love how they transport me away from all of the exhausting day-to-day relationships we grapple with every single day (because as much as we embrace our loved ones, relationships are still complicated pieces of work!) and let me indulge the here & now. Single, married, taken, loved–everything set aside, for the sake of a single cookie. Pun intended? Maybe.

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So forget about the stigma. Forget about the judgment or the fear or the criticism. I realize that we can have amazingly complex, sometimes even painful attitudes towards food and its relationship with our bodies or self-image. BUT FORGET ALL OF THAT FOR A MOMENT THE NEXT TIME YOU COOK, OR PICK UP YOUR FORK, OR PULL THESE COOKIES WARM AND MELTING FROM THE OVEN, OR WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO DO WHEN YOU STEP INTO THE KITCHEN. Every judgment-less bit or bite can be an exhilarating experience if you let it. Of course, you can build amazing relationships through shared connections with food, and I would definitely vouch for testing out that hypothesis by serving up a batch of these chocolate chip cookies at your next get-together. But most importantly, if you choose to make these cookies just for yourself to enjoy at the end of a long day, that’s okay, too. Because that’s what Un-Relationships are about. Right now, a cookie, and you.

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And maybe a tall glass of milk.
AlaThank you for reading!

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The Amazing Un-Relationship Chocolate Chip Cookie
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats (rolled will also work fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together melted butter and both sugars until smooth.
  3. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  4. Gently stir in flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in both chocolate chips. Make sure not to overmix, or your cookies will toughen up and you want them to stay chewy!
  6. Scoop out 1-inch cookie dough balls and place two inches apart on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, or until they look just set but not overdone (they will have begun to crisp and turn golden around the edges, but seem slightly underbaked in the middle). This is perfect for keeping the cookies chewy–just set your baking sheet on top of the stove for at least 15 minutes to cool and ‘finish baking’ completely before removing to a wire rack.

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Peanut Butter Lovers’/Converts’ Chocolate Oat Squares

Today, I want to introduce to you a new, critical, and really important new photoseries called:

TEN REASONS TO GET JIGGY WITH PEANUT BUTTER RIGHT NOW (MAYBE EVEN WHILE YOU READ THIS):

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We all have that friend (or two, or ten) who, for some godforsaken reason, does not like peanut butter. Hopefully, you are not that friend (and if you are, I would recommend paying close attention to Reason #9 in this photostory–ahem).  I personally LOVE PEANUT BUTTER.

If you are adverse to this creamy concoction of the nut butter gods, however, or you have that friend and want to be an exceptionally nice friend and convert them into the ways of Peanut Buttery Enlightenment, I would recommend sharing any or all of the banners I have created for this sole purpose below. Here in Peanut Butter Kingdom, we do not judge–except, of course, if you don’t like PB. Then we treat you like the lost cause you are and send straight to Peanut-less Purgatory.

SO, without FURTHER ADO:

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TEN REASONS TO GET JIGGY WITH PEANUT BUTTER RIGHT NOW (MAYBE EVEN WHILE YOU READ THIS):

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #10:  It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single person in possession of a good palate must be in want of a Peanut Butter jar.

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At least we all know that’s what Jane Austen should have written, bless her soul.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #9: Peanut Butter serves as a great way to test–or seriously question–your friendship choices.

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How the Peanut Butter Friend Test works:

SCENARIO A: “Do you like Peanut Butter?” “Yes.” “Then I think we can be friends.” <3

SCENARIO B: Conversely, “Do you like Peanut Butter?”

“No.”

“…….I have never said this before, but I hope this means you are deathly allergic to it.”

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #8: When it comes to eating Peanut Butter from the jar, spoons are always optional. In case of emergencies, however, fingers will also do.

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And nobody here will judge you for it.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #7: Peanut Butter is GOOD for you. If G.O.O.D. = Goddamn Overly, Obnoxiously Delicious.

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And it contains protein. Or something like that.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #6: Peanut Butter fans are particularly good finders.

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I hope somebody out there got the A Very Potter Musical reference that just went fo shizzle up there, because I am not doing that again.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #5: Peanut Butter pairs well with basically everything.

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Apples, jelly, chocolate, bosses, emotional turmoil–existential crises…

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Reason #4: Most of us grew up eating Peanut Butter–and even if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start.

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According to the National Peanut Board (yes, that’s a thing), the average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he/she graduates high school. Also, the amount of peanut butter eaten in a year could wrap the earth in a ribbon of 18-ounce peanut butter jars one and one-third times.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #3: Peanut Butter has such a nutty sense of humor.

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You can go NUTS over peanut butter.

You can polish off a jar of peanut butter in a Jiffy.

You can beg me to stop making peanut butter jokes by saying, “Pretty, pretty, PB please?”

~*~*~*~*~*~

Reason #2: “Peanut Butter” means love in every language. (It is even the official phrase for “I Love You” in one language.

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That language is Baker-ese, most commonly spoken in…well, I’ll let you guess.

~*~*~*~*~*~

And finally……..

Reason #1: Peanut Butter is what makes these chocolatey, oat-filled squares so goddamn delicious. Pardon our language. But they’re that f*-in’ good.

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And what more proof do you need than that?

Print this recipe!

Ala

What makes you go NUTS over peanut butter?

Will Cook For Smiles
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Peanut Butter Lovers’/Converts’ Chocolate Oat Squares
Possibly the most insanely peanut butter-packed, chewy, satisfying squares I have ever invented, filled with plenty of brown sugar, peanut butter, oats, and chocolate. Perfect for an afternoon snack or a surprise dessert!
Yield: 9×13-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided in half
  • Assorted chopped candies or nuts, optional (but a great way to use up those Halloween leftovers!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar. Add peanut butter and mix in well, until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until mixture is no longer clumpy.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, and salt) and stir in until just incorporated. Be sure not to overmix–overmixing will result in tough batter and bars!
  5. Gently fold half of the chocolate chips (3/4 cup) into the oats batter.
  6. Place remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously between each interval to prevent chocolate from scorching. (Note: You will want to stop microwaving at the point when your chocolate is just melted–at this point, stir it vigorously some more until all of the chocolate is smooth and melted.)
  7. Scoop half of the peanut butter oat mixture into your prepared baking pan and pat into an even layer. Pour melted chocolate over this layer, then scoop the remaining peanut butter mixture over the chocolate layer. Pat down peanut butter oats as well as you can–it’s okay if some chocolate peeks through! (It’s actually cuter this way.)
  8. Bake bars in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until bars begin to set but are still soft and slightly underbaked in appearance. Remove bars immediately from oven and allow to cool on stovetop for an addition 15-20 minutes. During this time, your bars will continue baking for a nice chewy texture, and you will continue salivating while you stick your spoon into the peanut butter jar for yet another consoling bite.
  9. After your bars have completely cooled, cut into squares and enjoy the bliss!

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Chewy Brown Sugar Cookie Butter Graham Cracker Cookies

Recently, I took a two-week long trip back to school. It involved meetings with professors, tete-a-tetes with friends I hadn’t seen since the end of last term, and lots of sleepless nights. Maybe in CAPITAL LETTERS.

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It was a wild, tiring, crazy trip, but the amazing thing about having so many friends is the incredible support they provide. Sometimes I seriously think they could put Wonderbra out of business…and at other times, I’m tempted to give in to the overwhelming desire for us all to just quit grad school together and start our own company called WonderBrowse, the book fanatic’s haven and bookshop. Serving up double-D-good lit and baked goods (because you know we’ve got to worm those in there somehow) since the 300th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, 1st ed. (yes, that’s 1813!).

And the Queen of Digression strikes again.

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Of course, I’ve never been one to stay in one place for long twiddling my fingers–I am most definitely a work-hard, play-hard kind of gal. And, well, thanks to my very good friends, this trip witnessed the epic collision of playing and working.

For example:

Ellen and Alethia Studying at Disneyland Space Mountain

Reading Out of This Galaxy: Two English grad students poring over an epistemological novel on Space Mountain, Disneyland. Please note that the upside-down-ness of the book does not affect our ability to comprehend it–in fact, it actually augments our appreciation for the novel’s epistemological crisis. We even donned our hipster glasses.

STUDYING AT DISNEYLAND: One of my favorite parts about studying at Disneyland was that you get to sit in one spot for the entire day and watch the world of Disneyland whirl around you. Think about it–how many of us charge into Disneyland at 8 AM, hit up a Space Mountain fast pass first thing (the only way to do it), and then run clear across the park to Adventureland so you can make your way around the park clockwise and avoid most of the traffic that starts at Tomorrowland? (Yes, according to Chris Strodder, the author of the Disneyland Encyclopedia, most people do go through Disneyland counter-clockwise!)

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Outside the Lines: We stayed at the fountain in Disney’s California Adventures reading for nearly four hours. During that time, we were winked and waved at by dozens of performers who kept coming back to the spot–one friendly worker even came over to inquire about what we were studying! A perfect moment in time and place.

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SURPRISE, SURPRISE!: I also flew down to surprise my good friend for his birthday, which basically meant I spent the entire lead-up to the trip squirming like a ticklish inchworm because I couldn’t announce my visit to the world via social media, and I love plaguing my entire f-list with that sort of thing (speaking of which, you should check out Wallflour Girl’s new Facebook page!). But despite my near-implosion from secret-keeping, we ended up with a great surprise and, what’s more, a great homemade vegan chocolate raspberry cake that nearly melted because I lit the candles wayyy too early before my friend walked in the door:

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A Sweet Surprise: Despite not having my own oven for the full two weeks, I was still able to get my bake on at least four times during the trip, including for my friend’s favorite dee-lish chocolate birthday cake!

CAMERAS, SUN, INACTION! Did I mention the day I spent with a friend reading at the beach and getting massages afterwards? We even stopped by an adorable place called Lenny’s Diner on our way back to his place for the night, and had the most amazing matzo ball soup.

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Literary theory and beach bums.

Before I left for my trip, though, I made sure to step into my kitchen and whip up a batch of perfectly transportable, perfectly storable sweet treats for all of my hosts. These were probably the most popular cookies I have ever baked and distributed among my unsuspecting guinea p–I mean, my friends. And the best part is, it’s an original recipe!

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The keys to a perfectly chewy cookie in this recipe are:

1. Cornstarch: Believe it or not, the addition of this strange ingredient prevents cookies from getting too crumbly or dry.

2. Underbaking: Allowing cookies to finish baking on the cookie sheet on the stovetop rather than in the oven keeps them nice & chewy!

3. Brown sugar and extra cookie butter: Using LOTS of brown sugar gives these cookies a great, soft caramelized texture and taste, while swirling in an extra generous dollop of cookie butter before baking keeps them gooey and chewy. You might even fold an extra spoonful of cookie butter into each cookie dough ball before baking, like I did with my Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Whether you’re embarking on a long voyage like a Senior Wilderness Explorer (there is, by the way, a really fun story that I will save for next time’s post!) or simply looking for a simple way to leave your friends more impressed than an 18th-century English navy sailor, these perfectly chewy cookies are it. Print this!

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Off to rest up–these two weeks really did take a toll on me. Whew! See you on the flip side of lucidity!

Ala

Have you checked out my Pinterest and Facebook pages yet? <3

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

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Chewy Brown Sugar Cookie Butter Graham Cracker Cookies
Adapted from my Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies and Best Chewy Biscoff Chocolate Chip Blondies recipes–check them out!
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup cookie butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • extra 1/3 c. cookie butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup graham crackers, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, 1 1/4 cup cookie butter, and both sugars.
  3. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, until well combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg). Stir into wet ingredients until just incorporated to avoid dry or stiff cookies. Note: Your dough will be very crumbly at this point. Just keep working with it! If you have trouble holding it together, add a bit of margarine or butter in teaspoons until the dough comes together, but avoid adding too much or the taste of the recipe will change.
  5. Gently fold in melted 1/3 cup cookie butter and chopped graham crackers. You’ll want to swirl gently in order to keep nice cookie butter ribbons in your cookie dough.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place them, evenly spaced, on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until edges are set but centers are still nice, fluffy, and slightly gooey. Remove sheet from oven and place on stovetop so that the cookies continue to cook on baking pan for at least another 10 minutes. This last step is important, and will ensure that your cookies are both fully cooked and chewy!

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Best Chewy Biscoff (Cookie Butter) Chocolate Chip Blondies

Best Chewy Biscoff Chocolate Chip Blondies 19--091713

(Did you know: this is the 100th blog post to appear on Wallflourgirl–thanks to all my readers for helping make this possible!)

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With love from,

Ala

Do you have a particularly special photograph that tells a story about a person, place, or event? Please share!

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What's Cooking Love?
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Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!
Will Cook For Smiles
Have you seen my Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe? It uses a similar dough and is the perfect cookie version of this recipe.
Best Chewy Biscoff (Cookie Butter) Chocolate Chip Blondies
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 heaping cup cookie butter (What is cookie butter?)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and cookie butter spread. Add sugar and continue creaming until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon (optional), and salt. Mix until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven’s temperature. You will want to remove them from the oven while they still look soft and slightly underbaked–place baking pan on top of oven and allow blondies to cool. They will continue baking in the pan for that great, perfect chewy factor.
 

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