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Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies…*
… hey, there’s a brownie in my cookie!

Jenny from Picky Palate has done it again—she’s taken one of my favorite desserts and stuffed it inside of a chewy gooey chocolate chip cookie. Before it was Oreos and candy bars, then it was s’mores and peanut butter fudge, and now brownies?! You’ve got to be kidding me. She’s genius! I just had to jump on this bandwagon immediately. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Now that I’ve succeeded in creating a ‘pillow cookie,’ you better believe I WILL be stuffing cookies with all sorts of goodies from this day forward—marshmallows, fruit, cake, caramel, frosting, fudge, pretzels, and maybe even cookies inside of cookies. I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but seriously—what a great idea! These cookies left me speechless. They are crispy on the outside, chewy and fudgy on the inside. Absolutely divine!
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Notice: the ginormous cookie is twice the size of the tall glass of milk---couldn’t even dunk it if I wanted to. Although in this case, I wouldn’t have it any other way J
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The Ingredients…*
(Recipe by Picky Palate)
1 brownie mix
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
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The Instructions…*
(Makes 12-16 VERY large cookies)
(1) Preheat oven to 350°F
(2) Prepare brownie according to package directions
(3) Let cool completely then cut into 1 1/2 inch squares
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(4) In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy; Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until well combined
(5) Place flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl; mix to combine then add slowly to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips
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(6) Place a large cookie scoopful of dough on top of a brownie square
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. . . and another large scoop on the bottom
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(7) Gently press and enclose brownie with dough adding pinches more dough to cover sides if needed
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(8) Place 6 filled cookies onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes or until edges are golden brown
(9) Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from baking sheet
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(10) Grab a tall glass of milk and dig in J
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M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies…*
… thick, overly stuffed, chocolatey cookies

When life gives you a 45 ounce bag of M&Ms, what do you do? No, but seriously, what do you do with all of that? No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t justify eating ALL of them. I had my fair share of snacking, and mix matching with salty snacks, but I wasn’t seriously going to finish all 850 M&Ms. Well, that’s a lie. I definitely could have, but I knew it was probably best for my heart and waistline that I didn’t. Instead, I decided to add a healthy amount to my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe by Katrina. If there’s anything I love more than chocolate and peanut butter, it’s a thick, overly stuffed, freshly baked, warm-out-of-the-oven, chocolate chip cookie. When you add M&Ms, it’s like you’re adding a whole new dimension of flavor and doubling the amount of chocolatey goodness in every bite. The cookie dough has a perfect salty flavor to go with the chocolate, and I love the crunch of the M&M shells in every bite. This colorful treat is sure to please all! I’m definitely going to make these again, but maybe I’ll substitute Peanut Butter M&M’s in next time, yum! :)
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....nice, round, colorful tush, hehe :)
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Dip. Dunk. Soak.
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Nibble. Bite. Crunch.  
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The Ingredients…*
(Recipe adapted from
In Katrina’s Kitchen)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco)
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package milk chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
1 cup plain M&M’s
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The Instructions…*
(Makes 3 dozen cookies)
(1) Preheat oven to 350° F
(2) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside
(3) Beat shortening and sugars until combined and creamy; add eggs and extract
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(4) Add the dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips and M&M’s
(5) Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to drop dough onto baking sheet
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(6) Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes, allow to cool completely and ENJOY! :)
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Peanut Buttery Snap Crackle ‘n Pop Brownies
…chocolatey, peanut buttery brownie delight

This has been one of the slowest weeks of my life—I swear today should be Friday, not Tuesday. I don’t know if it’s because the hotel is extremely slow, making my already dreadful 12-hour shifts even more unbearable, or if I’m just anticipating the weekend more than usual. Either way, I’m absolutely dreading my alarm clock tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. The only thing getting me through this week is the stash of brownies I have hidden in my freezer…and the extra-large jar of Jif peanut butter in my cupboard. Put the two together, and I can forget about anything and everything I have going on in my life. Add a chewy layer of Rice Krispies on top and I’m in heaven. Thanks to Kevin and Amanda, I was able to escape my midweek crisis with these delightful chocolatey, peanut buttery, ooey-gooey brownies. They are just enough to get me through the week until I can get back in the kitchen and bake something else ;) Enjoy!
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The Ingredients…*
(Recipe by Kevin & Amanda)
1 box brownie mix, prepared in a foil-lined baking dish
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/3 cups peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups Rice Krispies
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The Instructions…*
(1)Prepare brownies in a foil-lined baking dish
(2) Heat sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan over high heat until mixture reaches a boil; Remove from heat
(3) Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth
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(4) Pour over Rice Krispies and stir to combine
(5) Immediately press the peanut butter and Rice Krispies mixture over the brownies
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(6) Allow time to cool and set; cut into bars and enjoy! :)
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Snickerdoodle Blondies…*
…cinnamon, spice & everything nice

I’ve come to realize most of my go-to recipes involve one of two ingredients: chocolate or peanut butter. Although these are my favorite things inthe whole wide world, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that not everyone feels the same way as I do. As hard as it was, I promised myself (and a handful of my friends) that I would venture outside of the PB & C world I’ve been living in, and explore new flavors and combinations that appeal to the non-chocoholics. With that, I decided to start with something simple—something that uses common household ingredients and is pleasing to all. Snickerdoodles seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and when I found the Baker Chick’s recipe for blondies, I was intrigued. Not long after, I discovered that I have a love-hate relationship with these cookies. I love their simplicity and deliciousness, but just like most desserts, once I start, I can’t stop. I hate how addicting they are. But I’m not sorry enough to regret the absurd amount of them I consumed. They. Were. Amazing. And I enjoyed every last bite. Next time, I think I’ll serve these bars straight out-of-the-oven with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream :) Deeeelish!
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Crispy edges. Chewy centers. Cinnamon and sugar galore! Yes please :)
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The Ingredients…*
(Recipe by The Baker Chick)
For the Blondies:
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
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The Instructions…*
(Yields 24 blondies)
(1) Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside
(2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside
(3) Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
(4) Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined
(5) On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined
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(6) Spread the dough evenly into the pan; combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter
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(7) Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed; cool completely before cutting
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(*) Store in an airtight container at room temperature; Enjoy! :)
 
 
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Coconut Lime Bars…*
…refreshingly simple

Coconut and lime may or may not be my new favorite flavor combination. Although this citrusy duo could never replace or outshine the flawless (and rightfully so) peanut butter and chocolate combo, they sure know how to throw a party. The tasty twosome come together wonderfully in this easy-to-make, no-sweat dessert. The bars are loaded with coconut, lime zest, and lime juice. The graham cracker crust adds the perfect crunch to the cool, creamy filling. They are light, refreshing, and remind me of summer, and especially of being on vacation…gee, wouldn’t that be nice! The best part is that they require little ingredients, patience, and most importantly, time! Now what are you waiting for?! Whip a batch of ‘em up tonight!
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Put the lime in the coconut and twist it all up…”
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The Ingredients…*
Graham Cracker Crust
(Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart)
1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Lime Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
5 oz. fresh lime juice
9 oz. sweetened condensed milk
 
Topping
Shredded Coconut, lightly toasted
Lime slices, for garnish
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The Instructions…*
Graham Cracker Crust
(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
(2) Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl; Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish
(3) Bake for 10 minutes, or until dry and golden brown
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Lime Filling
(1) Place all ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
(2) Mix on low for 30 seconds; increase speed to medium and blend for 2 minutes
(3) Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula
(4) Top with toasted coconut
(5) Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight)
(6) Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars and garnish with lime wedges, if desired. Enjoy!
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S’mores Cupcakes…*
…s’more or less 

Happy 4th of July! It’s time to celebrate America’s Birthday with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, baseball games, and family reunions. One cannot have too large a party to rejoice such a momentous time in American history. This year, my parents rounded up the Ellis crew and threw an extravagant party in celebration of the fourth, and of my brother’s (long awaited) visit home. Knowing my mom, I knew she would be preparing for the party weeks in advance—crafting homemade decorations, stashing up on (adult) beverages, and prepping enough food for an army. There was not one thing that I could contribute that she didn’t already have. However, I didn’t feel right showing up without something to offer—especially now that everyone knows me as the ‘girl that always brings dessert.’ I thought long and hard about the treat I wanted to make and finally came up with my version of a s’mores cupcake. There’s so many ways to make a s’more, but the ingredients remain the same: graham crackers, chocolate, and toasted marshmallows. The tricky part is using those ingredients to craft a cupcake that resembles the flavor and texture of the famous bonfire treat. With a toasted graham cracker crust, a rich, chocolatey cupcake, and a smooth, creamy marshmallowy buttercream, this cupcake screams s’mores, in a distinctively indoor-friendly sort of way. Everyone at the party was incredibly pleased and slightly obsessed with these cupcakes. They were the perfect ending to yet another wonderful weekend. Enjoy! :)

Oh, and for those of you that want
s’more bonfire-inspired recipes, make sure to check out:  

* S’mores Stuffed Brownies
* S’more Cookies [please]
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Marshmallow topped graham cracker and chocolate cupcakes. Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Gooood.
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The Ingredients…*
Graham Cracker Crust
(Recipe by Culinary Concoctions)
3/4 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/8 cup granulated sugar
3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 

‘One Bowl’ Chocolate Cupcakes
(Recipe by Martha Stewart)
(Makes 24 cupcakes)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Marshmallow Buttercream
(Recipe by Baked Bree)
 (Makes 2.5 cups)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean (optional)
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The Instructions…*
Graham Cracker Crust
(1) Prepare two muffin pans with liners
(2) In a food processor, blend together graham cracker crumbs and sugar
(3) Add 3 Tbsp. melted butter; pulse a few times. If it seems like it needs more butter add the remaining Tbsp.
(4) Distribute evenly among cupcake liners and press to form a shell using a spoon
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‘One Bowl’ Chocolate Cupcakes
(1) Preheat oven to 350°F and line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside
(2) Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl
(3) Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed
(4) Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (pouring directly over graham cracker crust), only until about 2/3 full
(5) Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed; transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely
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Marshmallow Buttercream
(1) Using electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy
(2) Add the marshmallow cream and whip for 2 minutes
(3) Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes
(4) Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean; if needed, add more confectioners’ sugar or milk until desired thickness is reached
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S’mores remixed--ooey gooey super yummy!
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This is a great way to bring that campfire feel indoors, so what are you waiting for? Get baking!
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little shortcake...*