Tag Archives: chocolate chip

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. Now that I’m finally back at school for good instead of prancing around the globe like a vagabond unicorn, I’ve been spending ample time these days researching and writing papers for not one, but two upcoming children’s literature conferences–which is always a blast because children’s lit scholars really are the coolest kids-at-heart on the block.

This means I’ve been hard at work meeting professors, reading secondary texts, and preparing my critical study of believability, fantasy, and knowledge systems in Stuart Little. I know what you’re thinking. Work, eh? If you said that my job sometimes rocks harder than a 7.1 earthquake, I would have to agree with you 117%.

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I’m also taking my first ever photography lessons from this amazing man Raiko Hartmawho (as it turns out!) actually taught in the same media/digital program I taught two years ago…and I didn’t even remember it. D’oh! Anyway, you’ll want to keep your eyes banana-peeled for some fun shots these upcoming weeks, because the stuff this guy does and teaches is amazing.

The final thing. I’m going to be spending a lot of time on these weeks not only posting recipes, developing recipes, and giving updates on a much more regular basis but praying super fervently to the Cyber-Gods of Everything Internetty brushing up on my web design, social media, content, and marketing as well. Wallflour Girl has been pining away for a makeover since Miley Cyrus chopped off all her hair two years ago. No wait, when was that even? Never mind–I stopped paying attention to pop culture since relevant celebrities suddenly became wayyyy younger than me (see #20 here). I considered hiring a designer for a while, but in all honesty I blog because I love every aspect of it: the writing, the photographing, the baking, and now–designing. I’m fairly new to this type of thing, so I’d love to hear what you guys think as you continue checking back here for more updates!

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Speaking of major excitement, though, it’s high time to share these perfect pudding chocolate chip cookies with you. I know you know that I know that you’ve heard everything there is to hear about the fabled pudding cookie. No? Well, just in case, here’s the run-down…

Puffy. Like, insanely puffy. The dry instant pudding mix acts much in the same way as cornstarch (it does, in fact, contain cornstarch!), making these cookies super pillowy but still…

Chewy. Yeah, no cakiness in this cookie! Even though it’s puffy as heck, not a dry crumb will be found in them cookie parts. Annnd it is also…

Thick. Because are we looking at the same photos here or what.

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It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally caved into the hype and tried making this pudding cookie. Bingo and shebam–knocked the socks and shorts right off my friends. And while I’m still heels-over-head with My Favorite Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, the visual drama of these pudding cookies is great for eliciting those coveted oohs and aahs when you walk in the door with your cookie plate and the Lord of the Rings theme song drumming with all the fury of Mordor behind you. At least that’s how I like to imagine myself when I walk into a room. And these cookies basically taste like what the LotR theme song would taste like if it were edible, i.e. EPIC. So. If you’re like me and have waited all this time as a Pudding Cookie Skeptic, learn from my mistake. Bookmark. Pin. Bake. And bake again. And again. This is for your own good, little Hobbit. As our dear friend Benedict says in his sultry bass voice….Promise.

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Since everything’s been so crazy around here with blog moving and designing, I’m going to let you guys off early as long as you promise to head to your kitchen and make these pronto. Oh, and next week’s post will deal with another pretty big event that happened recently, and that has got me really excited to expand my blog (as well as my baking/blogging resume–but more on that with photos then!). Because you have subscribed, right? Right. Just thought I’d put that out there as a little nugget to look forward to….

^ And okay, I was going to end my post there but couldn’t stop cringing over the dangling participle at the end of that sentence. Because that’s what being an English grad student has done to me. But it would be awkward to say “as a little nugget to which you should look forward,” so now I’m just going to shut up and go back to reading Stuart Little over a pan of these uh-may-zing cookies.

Happy baking!

Ala

How do you like my new blog layout? Any suggestions/comments? :)

Perfect Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies–and My New Domain!!

If you love thick, soft, and perfectly pillowy but chewy chocolate cookies, you'd better get on board the pudding cookie bandwagon! The visual drama of these tall soft-baked cookies is sure to get oohs and aahs from your next cookie event audience.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark (or light) brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Optional cream cheese filling:
  • 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes of vigorous creaming by hand).
  2. Add pudding mix and mix until blended in.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in until dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  5. Cover bowl with cling wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least two hours.*
  6. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  7. Form 1-inch balls of dough using an ice cream scoop or your hands. Place dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, until the edges have just set and centers are still slightly jiggly. Remove sheet from oven and allow cookies to continue cooling/baking for 20 minutes on the warm stovetop--this will help you achieve that ideal thick, soft-baked quality in your pudding cookies.
  9. Serve these sinfully soft cookies and watch your audience melt like pudding in your talented baker hands!
  10. For the optional cream cheese filling:
  11. If you'd like to add an extra dimension to your standard pudding chocolate chip cookies, cream together all cream cheese filling ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. As you portion out your cookie dough balls (see above), spoon about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese filling into the center of the dough, then wrap dough around filling to form a sealed ball. Bake dough as directed above.

Notes

Be sure to use instant cook vanilla pudding mix, NOT cook-and-serve pudding mix. If you're in a pinch, you can chill your dough in the freezer for 30 minutes instead of in the refrigerator. If you decide to skip the chilling step altogether, note that this may result in slightly flatter cookies than pictured.

http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/04/11/perfect-pudding-chocolate-chip-cookies-and-my-new-site/

© 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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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

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…

And thank goodness I can share the pithy grad student wages wealth with so many awesome friends–otherwise, as they never fail to point out after I’ve fed them five variations of my latest peanut butter cookie recipe, expanding jean sizes would definitely be a big problem. Er, bigger than it already is, anyway. (Sorry, guys!)

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So when a few of my friends so graciously ‘volunteered’ to be my taste subjects a few weeks back, of course I had to take full advantage of the opportunity! They call peanut butter their ‘easy win’ dessert ingredient, so I started experimenting with all things peanut buttery and, after many tasty but textually wrong or kind of blah batches, I finally emerged with the victor: these, their and my favorite peanut butter (chocolate chip) cookie recipe. It’s puffy, tall, soft, chewy, not a bit cakey, and–well, everything you see in these photographs, really. 

Aren’t they gorgeous? They’re chock full of peanut butter flavor; I threw in a huge handful of chocolate chips for that great PB-CC pairing, and then….and then….

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Yeah. I did. You obviously don’t have to go the PB&J route if you don’t have these bars on hand or just don’t like PB&J we won’t talk about that, but it’s kind of an awesome surprise addition to your PB cookie recipe if you do.

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Since my first time making these, flocks of friends have come back to ‘volunteer’ themselves for the rigor of taste-testing in the Wallflour Kitchen. Plus, they’re so easy to whip together (you won’t need even a speck of cornstarch in these, although cornstarch really works wonders in My Favorite Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe) and are possibly the prettiest cookies I’ve ever had the pleasure of giving away…although at some point I’m really going to need to start putting out a donation tin, because the term grad school is really a euphemism for state-funded and endorsed poverty.

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Speaking of grad school–ah, grad school. If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I just passed a major milestone on Friday and am, one week later, still in full recovery mode. Well, on Tuesday morning at, oh, say, 3:30 AM, I checked my school email (thinking naively that I wouldn’t really need to check it until at least March–ha!) and found an unread message squatting in my inbox with the subject heading: “MEETING SCHEDULED FOR 2/18 WITH ALA S.”

Um. What?

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I won’t bore you with the details of all that happened at that surprise meeting 12 hours later, but basically a) it was a pretty good morale booster–we discussed my exam, next steps for my prospectus, and my promising professional future, and b) I came out of it with a pile of books. Like, enough to last me a month. And I currently have them sitting next to me. Because if my professors used hashtags, they would say that #RelaxationisfortheDeluded, and I sadly wiped away a tear as my 72-hour, short-lived Vacation Time drifted into a distant memory.

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Well, not that distant. I’m clutching pretty hard onto that Vacation Time right now, blogging and whatnot. I have most definitely spent the week eating sweets and ice cream like, well, like the soulfully-undernourished English grad student I am. Ha!

Yesterday, my friend and I paid a dutiful visit to Disneyland, complete with crazy Space Mountain photos and a World of Color showing to top off the night. I’ve also spent the week eating (which is a good thing), cooking dinner for friends, hosting Disney movie nights, eating more (still a good thing), and, of course, baking & blogging. I’ve climbed into at least 5 cars filled with my friends this past week where I was deafened by a roar of congratulations that nearly toppled me out the door. And oh, the fun of enjoying fun again–at one point, the really sweet guys next door even came over at midnight and invited us over for warm homemade banana bread, and we ended up chilling for two hours finally getting acquainted! It’s like a scene out of a Friends episode. I can’t even explain how amazing it feels to be able to ‘do crazy’ without feeling insanely guilty about not burying your nose in a book for enough hours in a day.

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So of course, this week, to thank all of my gorgeous, wonderful very best friends for their support, undying enthusiasm, and taste-testing boldness, I made plenty more batches of my official new favorite soft-baked peanut butter cookie recipe. You’ll want to Pin/Share/print the recipe right this minute, because it’s the best of the very best. Just like my lucky taste-testing pals. <3

And now, if you’ll just excuse me for a moment…

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Make sure you print this recipe!

Ala

My Favorite Puffy, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Averie Cooks

You’ll never need another peanut butter cookie recipe after you’ve met–and inhaled–this one! Puffy, soft, and perfectly chewy without a hint of cakiness about them, these mounds of peanut butter goodness are my personal favorite. But don’t take my word for it: my friends have been raving about this recipe as the be-all PB cookie, and I can hardly make them fast enough!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup heaping cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened to the point of melting
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the heck out of your egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. The mixture should turn so fluffy you’ll want to die. When this has happened (about five minutes of vigorous beating), scream “It’s so FLUFFY!” and move on to the next step.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt–mix in until just incorporated.
  3. Fold in your chocolate chips like you would fold a baby’s laundry–gently, quietly, and gracefully.
  4. Cover your mixing bowl with cling-wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least two hours prior to baking. Tip: If you are like me and don’t wait for anything longer than it takes to watch an episode of Chopped, you can also stick the bowl in the freezer for 45 minutes prior to baking, watch Chopped, and come back.
  5. After your dough is chillier than a December penguin, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  6. Remove your dough from the fridge and use an ice cream scoop to create 2.5-inch mounds of gorgeous dough. You will want to mound these higher rather than wide in order to create that tall, droolworthy puffiness you desire. Place dough mounds 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake cookies in oven for 8-10 minutes, until edges and top of cookies are set but the centers appear slightly underbaked. Remove sheet from oven–allow cookies to cool for an additional 10 minutes on stovetop to create that awesome soft chewiness you’re looking for.
  8. Eat. Eat. Share. Eat some more.
© 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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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.

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

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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. 

Idiot-Proof Healthy Chocolate Chip Oat Bars 10--012214

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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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. 
The Amazing 'Un-Relationship' Chocolate Chip Cookie--14--111413
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.
The Amazing 'Un-Relationship' Chocolate Chip Cookie--17--111413
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.

The Amazing 'Un-Relationship' Chocolate Chip Cookie--26--111413

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.

The Amazing 'Un-Relationship' Chocolate Chip Cookie--29--111413

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.

The Amazing 'Un-Relationship' Chocolate Chip Cookie--35--111413

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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Soft, Chewy Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies

The results are in!

The results for my birthday/FB page giveaway last week, of course. Annnnd…

Congrats to our two lucky winners, Crystall and Crescent!! :)

(Want to follow Wallflour Girl on Facebook for more fun giveaway & recipe updates? You know you do! Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest as well!)

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies 1--082013

The lucky pair will receive a homebaked batch of sweet goodies, straight from my kitchen to theirs <3 Congratulations again, girls!

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies 4--082013

Things have been so busy lately, from finishing up outside work to trying really hard to finish up at least one set of readings for my qualifying exams this fall. Finding time to sit down and do a proper photoshoot after I get home in the evenings is like trying to convince a five-year old that celery sticks taste better than these really, really amazingly soft and chewy graham cracker chocolate chip cookies…

Yeah. Good luck with that one.

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies 5--082013

(On my kitchen table: Adeline Mowbray, by Amelia Opie–actually, I’ll be honest. This was from sometime last month! Since then, I’ve read quite a few other books and long collections of poems, but I’ll have to post as it comes.)

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies 3--082013

If you’re looking for the softest imaginable chocolate chip cookies, the crushed graham crackers in this recipe are absolutely heavenly and add a great flair to your traditional CCC’s. Don’t wait–print this now!

Yours in semi-sane solidarity,

Ala

Soft, Chewy Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Bakergirl
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup margarine, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease cookie sheet and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream margarine and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in until just combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Roll into rounded tablespoonfuls and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden in color. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to wire rack (or consuming them right then!).
 

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Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies

BEST. BISCOFF. CHOCOCHIPCOOKIE. Trustmeyouwannamakethis.

I rarely ever use the appellation “best.” It’s such an absolute superlative! Unless you’re Chris Pine, you probably don’t run around saying you are the world’s best-looking man.

So let me tell you now: You don’t have the world’s best chocolate chip cookie recipe unless you are eating a Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookie. This cookie, in fact. But I’ll return to that in a minute.

Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies 1--061913

For those of you who have followed this blog recently, you’ll know that June has been a craaaazy month. In addition to finishing grading all of my students’ exams and moving all of my things out of my apartment, I’m in the semi-stressful process of revving up for the Part I qualifying exams in my grad program.

As a result, I’ve begun a regimen known as Productibaking. (You can follow my progress and learn fun things about each work I finish on my new Productibaking for Part One’s page!)

And guess what? It’s actually working!

Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies 3--061913

(On My Kitchen Table: Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen; Book #2 Romanticism Reading List)

And I’m pretty happy about it, just like this flower. See?

Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies 5--061913

My study schedule still needs massive work–but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the benefits of productibaking very much….

Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies 7--061913

These cookies really are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted, made, or otherwise encountered, ever. They are even possibly my favorite cookie of all time. Why?

Cookie butter in dough = softly spiced

Brown sugar = perfectly soft & chewy

Cookie butter squished in the middle = gooey burst of flavor

Smidgen underbaked = stays chewy

Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies 9--061913

I’m sure even Chris Pine would have to agree that these are the BEST. All my friends and family certainly do!

It’s back to the writing/studying board for the next few months, but I will continue updating on my productibaking progress for the Part One’s and eking by on my existence as a graduate student. Wish me luck!

Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies 10--061913

Ala

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Best Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Chef in Training
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups cookie butter or Biscoff spread, divided
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and 3/4 cup of Biscoff spread. Mix in sugars and continue creaming until light & fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll dough into one-inch diameter balls. Scoop a generous teaspoon-ful of Biscoff spread on top of a ball, then squish a second dough ball on top to form one large cookie dough ball. Roll the large dough ball again until it is round and the Biscoff spread is enclosed. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and repeat until you’ve finished your dough. (Note: These sizes make generously-portioned cookies–for smaller cookies, decrease size and baking time as desired).
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 9-12 minutes, until lightly golden on top but still pale & slightly gooey looking on top. Remove from oven and let cookies continue to bake on hot baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before removing.
 

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Slutty Cheesecake Bars (from Bakers Royale)

Everybody loves watching a good action movie on the big screen. Everybody, except the two people sitting directly on either side of me, the unfortunate person in front of me whose chair gets pummeled every time a loud explosion occurs, and maybe anyone within shriek-audible range of me–which is basically everyone in the theater. I am not a dainty shrieker. I spent all of Star Trek: Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 doing weird spastic knee tucks in my seat and giving the front seat an extra-hard kick when its occupant turned around to glare at me.

Slutty Cheesecake Bars 16--051913

(Doesn’t this photo look like an adorable mini smiling wolf? Hehe, it makes me happy to look at it.)

That being said, I love watching action films in theater. If I have one weakness, though (aside from these “slutty cheesecake bars”–yes, we’ll get to these smexy bad boys and their seductive name in just a second), it’s an action film with plenty of eye candy. Speaking of which, have you seen Chris Pine in the new Star Trek movie? Never mind the fact that my Trekkie knowledge was limited to Spock’s horrendous haircut up until the first new movie in 2009. The hysterical prepubescent middle-school fan girl in me rares up every time young Captain Kirk flashes those sultry baby blues my way.

Slutty Cheesecake Bars 1--051913

As an added perk, he’s sweet-looking and smart. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in English in 2002.

Oh heyyy. Guess who else has an English degree from the big Blue and Gold? Shall we discuss our shared literary interests over a cup of Free Trade tea and vegan pulled pork, Chris? Yes? Yes?

Slutty Cheesecake Bars gif

Or maybe over a panful of these?

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I was so excited when I first stumbled across these at Baker’s Royale. She is known for inventing some insane bar cookies, with zany names to boot (like Man Whore bars, which I still need to try–um, yes, please?) These are no exception. No, sireeee.

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Bake up a soft, chewy layer of perfect chocolate chip cookies (even from a package if you’re in a hurry–I used one of my favorite chewy CCC recipes). Layer up your Oreos–16 whole, creamy chocolatey onesthen smother them in a smooth and rich cheesecake filling. Chop up some more Oreos and Whoppers and sprinkle them over the whole shebang.

Bam. Slutty bar cookies for slutty perfectly innocuous, intelligent motives to meet Chris Pine.

 Slutty Cheesecake Bars 5--051913

My coworkers and students thought I was insane when I brought a plate of these into the office last week. These reports can be neither confirmed nor denied. However, when I stepped back in half an hour later, these were completely gone. Completely.

These crazy-loaded treats (the only kinds I accept) make great conversation starters, apology/appeasement gifts, after-school sweet tooth snacks, and enticers of potential love interests. Slutty Cheesecake Bars 7--051913

I doubt even Chris Pine could resist them–but I’ll let you know after I test this theory out.

  Slutty Cheesecake Bars 11--051913

Print this recipe and beam them up, Scotty!

Ala

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Slutty Cheesecake Bars (from Bakers Royale)
Yield: 1 8×8-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
For chocolate chip cookie base (original recipe from My Baking Addiction)–one of the chewiest, most satisfying CCC’s you’ll ever make!
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and both sugars until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  2. Set bowl aside and make cheesecake layer.
  3. If you’d like to make these as individual cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop prepared cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on hot cookie sheet for at least 3-5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

For cheesecake layer:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat in until completely smooth, but be sure not to overbeat.
  2. Set aside cheesecake layer as you assemble the slutty cheesecake bars.

To assemble slutty cheesecake bars:

Ingredients:

  • 21 Oreos (16 whole Oreos and 5 chopped Oreos, divided)
  • 5 oz. Whoppers, chopped

Directions for assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  2. Spread cookie dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking pan (or drop them by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet if making cookies). Your cookie dough layer should be about half an inch thick–if you have leftover dough, you can bake it immediately as individual cookies or simply toss it into the fridge for baking at a later time. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the dough is just cooked through and firm. Remove from oven.
  3. Layer 16 whole Oreos on baked cookie crust. Pour cheesecake filling evenly over Oreos. Sprinkle 5 chopped Oreos and 5 oz. chopped Whoppers over the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until cheesecake is pretty well set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan before cutting. Best served chilled from refrigerator (but make sure you store it in the fridge either way).
  5. Note: If you eat these warm straight out of the pan–as I did–you might be alarmed to find that the Whoppers are almost impossibly chewy! Don’t worry; if you wait like you’re (ahem) supposed to, they will regain their crunchy texture after chilling in the fridge. 

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Cookie Butter and PB Cookie-wiches

Let’s talk about Commercialized Holiday Mania.

Funflour Fact #1: Did you know that according to some studies, the number one fear in the world is not death, but public speaking? (I totally empathize!)

It’s catching. It’s contagious. And it’s extremely, rampantly…

Annoying.

You can probably guess who’s been receiving copious amounts of unseasonable (literally) emails as of late.

The great big Disney corporation has been sending me notices about its Halloween Bash since July. July, as in, the month of summer sunshine and the-only-place-that-sees-anything-remotely-autumn-like-is-Australia-where-it-SNOWS. And snow is considered winter, folks, not autumn. Don’t get me wrong: I love Disney. If I had to get a tattoo in an unnamed place, it would probably pay tribute to the cartoon version of the 100 Acre Woods inhabitants (sorry, A.A. Milne!). But when I get emails with a royal fanfare that trumpet at me, “Get your Halloween Bash tickets now, before time runs out!” while I still have my air conditioner blasting and sweat is dripping off the edge of my nose…

I don’t know what it is. Sometimes the holiday season cheer just feels sort of, you know–lacking.

Flour Power: I just signed up for a 1.5k open water swim to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness this weekend. What have you done lately to help your community?

I say this as I drink out of my Disney-sponsored mug with a great ol’ picture of Grumpy on it and the caption: “BENEATH THIS GRUMPY EXTERIOR BEATS THE HEART OF A DASHING HERO.” I stole this mug from my dad…to whom I had given the mug as a birthday present earlier this year.

Did I mention that my life ambition is to become either the world’ greatest pirate who only steals gifts she’s already given to other people, or else a bigger grump than everyone else around me? So far I’m pretty well on track on both counts, thanks for asking!

It’s actually a bit like baking cookies. I’m really good at stealing back the things that I make and hand out to other people. You know that moment when the cookies just come out of the oven and you think to yourself, Oh god, those smell delicious–I can’t believe I’m giving all of these away! I’ll just try one and see how it tastes?

And then you try one, it melts in your mouth like a grand pile of epic gooey-ness, and that little cookie fiend in the corner of your mind screams for you to grab the cookies and run like all the furies of hell are on your tale.

Yeah. Think about that moment carefully, because you’re on track to become a pirate, too. We can even be ship-mateys, if you like. Arrr.

And the best part is, pirates and grumps (or grumpy pirates) don’t have to worry about getting a zillion and one emails in big glittery font telling them about how Christmas is “right around the corner.” Because it’s not. And unless you’re going to send me a present for every single day leading up to “almost-Christmas,” it’s not Christmas until I say it is. Until then, though, enjoy these! Ahoy, mateys!

What treat have you made for other people and ended up keeping because it was too good to give away?

and…

What’s your favorite/least favorite part about the holidays?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe adapted from Allrecipes Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Filling Ingredients:
  • For cookie butter filling: 1 cup cookie butter
  • For peanut butter filling: 2/3 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup softened butter, 1 to 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients and spread as a filling.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Roll into small cookie balls (about 1″-diameter) onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.
  4. Using desired filling (or one of your own creation!), spread onto a cooled cookie and sandwich on top with another cookie. Serve your cookie-wiches and prepare to delight your guests!

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