Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter. Has a more perfect couple ever existed?

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I suppose a (ridiculously strong) case could be made for chocolate and hazelnut, as in, NUTELLA. Oh, and there’s also caramel and sea salt (YUMMM). Peanut butter and banana! Catherine Giudici and Sean Lowe (My obsession with The Bachelor is teetering on insanity right now. Why in the world did ABC nix Bachelor Pad from their summer lineup? Cryyyyy)!!! Continue reading

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

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Guys, I have really exciting news!!! This is huge. I mean, big time. Yeah, that’s right, the Playstation 4 was announced yesterday. Bring on the Killzone Shadow Fall.

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Okay, sorry, I can’t even pretend. I just had to look up “Playstation 4 games” to find out the name of some popular games of this generation. I mean, my last game console was actually the original gray Playstation. I can’t even remember the name of my favorite game (It’s the one where you shoot the spaceships that line up and dive down at you. . . any ideas?).

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But anyway, here’s the actual exciting news: My recipe was published in Cake Central Magazine this month! I contributed an article (quite similar to a blog post, actually) with a recipe and photos of a Strawberry Chantilly Cake inspired by my childhood. If you’re interested, you can check it out here (it’s the “strawberry sweetheart” mentioned on the front cover)!

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Junk in the Trunk Cookies

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Last week, my friend Ragini came over to hang out and bake. At this point in our friendship, I know to expect: 1) (Un)Healthy doses of Mean Girls quotes, 2) Sour candy, and 3) Ridiculous times in the kitchen. Items #1 and #2 seem pretty self-explantory, but I think #3 deserves some explanation. Let me start by telling you about the Baking Adventures of Tiffany and Ragini (she has no idea that I call it that).

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There have been three documented Baking Adventures. The first adventure, which actually took place at our friend Nisha’s house, started when Ragini brought a bag of marshmallows and a bag of chocolate chips . . . which went into cookies . . . which went into the toaster oven.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Thanksgiving Truffles

Approximately 12 years ago, I made pretty much the best dessert ever for my parent’s Thanksgiving dinner party: Mini turkeys. That’s right. Painstakingly hand-made mini turkeys consisting of a Hershey’s kiss and Oreo cookie body, candy corn feathers, and cut up Twizzlers for the wattle. Finishing those turkeys constituted basically the proudest moment of my life up to that point. Someone (besides my parents) even complimented me on them!

But then . . . no one ate them. Correction: I ate two. One brave adult ate one. And two of my friends, also around the age of 10, each ate one. Sad life. I’ve tried to block out that particular dessert experience from my mind for many years. Now, though, as I reflect back upon my first dessert rejection, I guess I (sorta kinda) get it.

I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily want to eat a mashup of store-bought candy masquerading as a dessert that had been touched and molded into shape with the possibly dirty (but I always washed my hands with soap – even under my fingernails!!!) fingers of a ten-year-old. I’m going on record now, though, to say that if I come across those lovely mini turkeys in my Thanksgiving festivities this year, I promise to eat one. Scratch that. I’m getting five of those suckers. Props to little kids who believe in their dessert craft!

In an effort to avoid the pain of rejection, though, I decided to create a more adult palate friendly dessert this year. And it’s still shaped like a turkey. Hah! Though it can be traditionally truffle shaped for those who so desire. As I considered different food combinations in my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about pumpkin and cream cheese. So, I didn’t. Instead, I used them, along with some powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and pumpkin pie spice as the filling for my truffles. Ermahgawd. I would most definitely eat this filling by itself. In a bowl – no melted chocolate covering or decoration needed. Continue reading

Cinnamon-Glazed Pecans and Two Cookie Recipes

Happy Halloween, lovely people!

Have I told you about my sister? I think I’ve let you in on some fun tidbits . . . like how I’m living with her this year, that she owns awesome kitchen gadgets (hellooo food processor), and that I learned all my baking skills from her. Though she’s a lot more organized in the kitchen, believe me. Somehow I missed that tutorial?

But the most important point about her today is that she loves holidays just as much as I do! Which is pretty ridiculous, considering my insane level of holiday cheer (I’m SO excited to break out my Little Miss Christmas shirt!). As lovers of the holidays, one of our favorite things to do is spread the holiday spirit through treat bags.

Why yes, I do actually own this sign. What can I say? I’m a festive person!

This has led to some pretty crazy baking (mis)adventures for us. One time, a day of testing molten lava cakes led to a sugar high for me, followed by a massive headache, resulting in my sister basically force-feeding me dumplings to stabilize my blood sugar as I tried to simply wallow on the couch. True. story. By the way, that was literally the first time I realized that consuming too much sugar could produce such a terrible result. Before that point, I thought people were weak when they talked about getting “sick” from too much candy. Yeah, point taken.

In celebration of Halloween, she decided to make treat bags for her co-workers! And by that I mean, we made treat bags for her co-workers. I may also have eaten some of the cookies (and I also tested the pecans just for quality purposes). However, that’s really not the point.

The point is, treat bags are delicious, sorta nutritious, and totally brighten the days of the recipients! Especially if they are bestowed with cute little treat tags tied on with ribbon. The treat tag pictures, by the way, are most definitely not my work. Way too profesh (from here). These are super adaptable for all seasons/holidays as well.

For the bags, we decided to make the cinnamon-glazed pecans that my best friend Hannah and I tested out this past weekend! If you’re buying these from a vendor/store, stop it right now. As Hannah put it, “Man, we’ve been getting ripped off for years!” Because these pecans are quite easy to make at home. Though we tried out a recipe using brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, I would actually recommend just using brown sugar and cinnamon. Hannah tried this simpler version at home and gave it mad props.

We also made two kinds of cookies. One cookie is based off these award-winning chocolate chip cookies that I adapted in my very first post. These are, as I said, my very favorite chocolate chip cookies – so ridiculous soft and melty! For the second, we tried out these amazing Peanut Butter Cup Pudding Cookies. There’s really no going wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, and these were just about perfect. Simply based on my own tastes, I’ve slightly increased the pudding amount in my version below (more chocolate always), and changed up the ratio of white to brown sugar.

What are you waiting for? Make treats, eat treats, trick or treat . . . whatever you do, I wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

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