Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts

Friday, May 23, 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Brownie Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Brownie Cookies

James and I disagree on many things.

The most comfortable temperature for the apartment?

(Freezing cold, please.)

The comedic merits of Will Ferrell movies?

(The fart scene in Stepbrothers is funny, and I will cut you if you disagree.)

...and, politics. Let's just say that we'll both need to take a sedative on November 8, 2016 if we plan to be in the same room.

Fortunately, we're very compatible on most other things, particularly, that we're both weirdos who don't really need any alone time or personal space. When we're not working, we pretty much spend every waking moment together and neither of us would have it any other way.

White Chocolate Macadamia Brownie Cookies

So, when I found myself alone two nights in a row last week while James was out of town, I didn't know what to do with myself. Long story short, I made these super chocolaty cookies out of boredom and exercised a superhuman level of self control by only sampling two. I deserve a medal for that, because these are GOOD. They're extremely rich and fudgy with a bit of crunch from the macadamias, and stay soft for eons.

White Chocolate Macadamia Brownie Cookies

The weekend is about to begin, so that's enough about cookies.

To my U.S. readers, have a great holiday weekend! Drink lots of beer and eat lots of grilled meats!

That's my plan, anyway. (Lies! I will be at the beach in 8 days and am eating cotton balls and air all weekend.)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

No-Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

No-Bake Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Happy 2014, everyone!

It's been awhile since I've posted, so I hope your Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus celebrations were marvelous.

2013 was one of the best years of my life, and I'm super excited to see what this year has in store. As regular A Bitchin' Kitchen readers may have noticed, blogging took a bit of a backseat for me this past year. I'm one of those people who tries to squeeze 28 hours of living into a 24 hour day, and other activities became prioritized over maintaining this site.

Fortunately, I anticipate that things will start returning to a more normal posting schedule around here this month (hurray for improved time management skills!), so ten bajillion thank yous to everyone who is still actually reading this thing!

I made these bars on Sunday afternoon when my oven was occupied for 4 hours with a batch of my awesome pulled pork. James is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan, and I'm a lifelong fan of events that revolve around eating, so during their Very Important Game Sunday night, I tried to give us both heart attacks with a feast comprised of cheese and crackers, onion rings, pulled pork sandwiches, and these amazingly simple and delicious bars.

These are pretty much a homemade version of a Reese's cup, which is every bit as amazing as you're thinking.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

It's hard to believe this is my 5th fall in a row having this blog. In November 2009, I posted these pumpkin pie bars ('scuse the horrible photo) and outed myself to the world (aka the 3 people who read my blog back then) as a pumpkin-aholic. I feel like it's become such a food blogger cliche to lose one's shit over pumpkin, however, I do not care. Pumpkin is unarguably delicious, and I get super psyched to bake with it every fall.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Fortunately for me, James (the aforementioned boyfriend) also enjoys pumpkin, and he tracked down a case of the elusive Southern Tier Pumking last week. What I'm about to write next is very important: Pumking is the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. If you can find it in your neck of the woods, buy it. Unlike most pumpkin beers that only taste like spices, Pumking actually tastes like pumpkin pie. It's incredible. Anyway, I decided that we needed a pumpkin food to pair with our pumpkin, here we are. These probably make more sense for breakfast, but life is too short to be sensible. Have a donut with your beer. Or beer with your breakfast...your choice.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

Someday in the near future, I hope to begin a post with something other than an explanation of where the heck I've been. Today isn't that day.

My new excuse for being the worst food blogger on the planet is my recent move. I moved to the Clizzle-Dizzle at the end of July and took my sweet ass time unpacking my kitchen and otherwise getting my ish together. I've been wanting to live in this neighborhood for a long time, primarily because it's super walkable to about a bajillion restaurants and bars. Bonus: my new place is only 15 minutes from my office, has a huge balcony that I could do a cartwheel on if I knew how to do cartwheels, and so much closet space that I actually have a prop closet. Fellow food bloggers totally get how exciting this is. 

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

One of the first things I made in my new kitchen was this ice cream. As I mentioned back in February, I'm obsessed with Nancy Meyers' food-porny movie It's Complicated. Since I'm a weirdo, I decided that I want to make all the foods that Meryl Streep's character makes in the movie. I started with Croque Monsieur several months ago, and now I'm onto lavender honey ice cream.

The culinary lavender required to make this is kind of a pain in the butt to track down, but it's worth the trip to a specialty store (I found mine at Dean and Deluca). Also, the ice cream container you see in the photo is from Sweet Bliss. I bought a pack of their disposable pint sized containers and a pack of their quart containers a couple years ago, and pretty much have ice cream storage for life. Homemade ice cream gets freezer burn much more quickly than commercial ice cream, and these containers buy you an extra couple days.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars

I suffer from a very unfortunate affliction known as secondhand embarrassment.

I can usually pinpoint when it will occur. For example, I know I'll cringe while watching the awkward antics of characters on Girls or The Office. I always feel it when I walk into the office bathroom and someone is pooping and goes dead silent in their stall until I hastily leave. When I'm stone-cold sober, and people around me are drunk and actin' a fool, the secondhand embarrassment is brutal.

You guys probably feel secondhand embarrassment all the time when you read the weird stuff I write here.

This quality isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm an empathetic person (humble-brag?), and feeling shame on behalf of others just goes with the territory.

Last Friday, I discovered a new situation where I feel a horrific level of vicarious embarrassment.

I was grabbing dinner at a bar in Arlington with my boyfriend*, and halfway through my french dip, I noticed something on my plate that was very out of place...

...because it had wings. That's right, nestled underneath my waffle fries, there was a greasy, crispy, deep-fried house fly.

Sidebar: I don't think I've ever mentioned here that I'm deathly afraid of bugs. A few years ago, I slept on my couch for a whole week because there was a spider near my bed that I was too afraid to kill (I finally killed it in a valiant battle involving a bottle of Windex and a giant wad of paper towels.) When I was five, my parents allowed me to watch Arachnophobia for some bizarre reason, and I'm convinced that it's the reason I've spent the past 24 years petrified of all insects. I don't even want a butterfly near me. Those bitches are creepy.

Anyway, I don't know whether it's my irrational fear of bugs, or the fact that finding a fly on one's plate is just plain gross, but I obviously lost interest in finishing my french dip. My disgust quickly devolved into a case of preemptive secondhand embarrassment for what our waitress was about to endure. I've been a waitress. I once waited on a table that found the finger of a latex glove in their chicken wrap, and was absolutely MORTIFIED even though I didn't make their wrap and had nothing to do with it.

Obviously our horrified waitress apologized profusely, whisked away the offending plate, and removed my food and beer from the bill. If only I'd had the foresight to pound half a dozen Miller Lights prior to finding the fly...

As is the case with most of the stories that precede my recipes, the fly incident has absolutely nothing to do with these blackberry pie bars.

Blackberry Pie Bars

These bars may be the best dessert I've made all year. They have a shortbread crust, an amazing blackberry and lemon filling, and a shortbread crumb topping. Those of you following me on Instagram probably saw that I brought them to a party a couple weeks ago, and it was extremely hard to avoid eating them all before I even left.

*Look at me just trying to slip in that little detail! So you know how I've barely posted for the last few months? you know why. My evenings and weekends have been quite busy. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lemon-Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Lemon-Lavender Shortbread Cookies

I'm having a bit of trouble focusing on this blog post, because I just got done watching the season finale of Girls for the second time. I have so many things that I could write regarding this episode, especially pertaining to Shoshanna's speech (which I won't elaborate on because I don't want to spoil things for those of you who haven't watched yet), however, my main bit of confusion stems from one minor detail of the episode: why the heck did Marnie steal the menorah? What was the point of that? Am I missing something here? Thank you Lena Dunham for messing with my mind, yet again.

Let's talk cookies. That's why you're here. These are my attempt at summoning spring weather. I love winter, but I'm at the point of the year where I'm over it, and I'm ready to experience the two glorious weeks of beautiful weather that DC gets before becoming disgustingly hot and humid.

Typically, I avoid using hard to find ingredients here on A Bitchin' Kitchen, because I want you guys to actually make the stuff I post. Half the fun of blogging is getting a comment from someone telling you that they made and loved your recipe (not that this one is my invention, credit goes to Kristin for that!) However, these are really tasty, and worth the pain of finding culinary lavender (there's a link to buy it in the recipe below.) The lavender taste is subtle in these, but don't be tempted to add extra. You want these to taste like cookies, not soap! The lavender gives these a nice, light, floral flavor and scent, and you mostly taste lemon and butter.

Lemon-Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

You know how you're supposed to bring new parents stuff like casserole?

That's not how I roll. Unless its my dad's awesome hash brown casserole, or has the words french toast in its immediate vicinity, casserole is usually not my thing.

However, friends of mine just had an adorable new baby, and when I went over to their house a couple weeks ago to snuggle her, and pet her soft hair, and inhale her new baby smell I wanted to bring them something edible. So, I brought them cookies using two of the most delicious flavors known to humankind: chocolate and peanut butter.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Thank God I gave these cookies away. You may not be able to tell from the photos, but that's a regular sized Reese's cup in the center of the cookie, and tiny peanut butter cups in the cookie itself. These suckers are 4-5 inches across each. Ginormous. If I'd made these for the heck of it without having a recipient in mind, it would've been super dangerous to have these sitting around.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

P.S. If you like these, you may want to check out my small-batch peanut butter cupcakes with fudge frosting, peanut butter and fleur de sel brownies, and my peanut butter cheesecake swirl brownies!

P.P.S. This is completely unrelated to cookies, but if you need a laugh, go read this hilarious post from Don't Quote the Raven. I found this a few weeks ago, and have been meaning to share it with you guys ever since. I sent it to one of my friends, and she started laugh-crying so badly that she had to leave her office. You've been warned.

P.P.P.S. I'm writing this at 11 p.m. Tuesday night, and I keep peeking out the window looking for snow. DC is about to get its first significant snowfall in 2 years, and I'm vacillating between excitement and annoyance. Mostly annoyance, since I'm mentally ready for spring, and don't feel like dealing with the power outage that will most likely accompany this storm. I wanted snow in December, not now! Blergh. I know this snowstorm is supposed to hit a lot of areas, so stay warm, friends!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snicker-Chip-Doodle Cookies

Snicker-Chip-Doodle Cookies

You may be wondering, what the heck is a Snicker-Chip-Doodle?

Allow me to explain.

When a Snickerdoodle and a Chocolate Chip Cookie love one another very much, they hug, and they kiss, and they fool around a little, and in 9 months 8 - 10 minutes they give birth to a Snicker-Chip-Doodle.

That's right. Cookies can get pregnant. Yay science!

Now, these cookies may not look like anything super special. However, they're addictive, and chewy, and chock full of flavor. Plus, they stay soft for eons, which is always a plus when you don't want to house 16 cookies in one day.

Not that I'll judge you if you do that. A Bitchin' Kitchen is a judgment-free zone, at least when it comes to cookie binges.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes

This Thursday will be my first Valentine's Day as a single lady in quite a few years. I know a lot of people who aren't in a relationship on this day get bummed out, but seriously, don't. Just don't. Celebrating Valentine's Day as a single person can be equally, if not more fun. Take the money you would have spent on a gift for your significant other and treat yo self to a fancy ass bottle of wine and some chocolate. Drink the bottle, eat all the chocolate, and revel in the fact that you don't have to share a single sip or bite.

Whether you're single or coupled-up this Valentine's Day, you should definitely make these little cheesecakes to celebrate. They're super easy to whip up, and look and taste like you put in way more effort than you actually did. Plus, if you have any Valentine's Day related rage to work out, you get to violently pulverize Teddy Grahams in a food processor to create the crust, which feels fantastically cathartic.

I'm going to keep this short today, because I'm writing this while watching the Grammy's. Specifically, I'm watching that guy from "Fun" bop around in skinny capri pants. Are those a thing for men now? If so, I probably have many single lady Valentine's Days ahead of me, because that is SO not cute.

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes

Monday, February 4, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

As a person who loves baking and cooking, there are a lot of garbage foods that people don't expect me to like.

McDonald's Quarter Pounders? Get in my face.

Cool-Whip? Guilty.

Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake Rolls? Until someone comes up with a way for me to bake these at home, Little Debbie will get two of my hard-earned dollars the one time a year I allow myself to buy these hydrogenated oil-laden treats.

Cake mix is another one of those processed junk foods that I like...kind of. I love that boxed cake mixes bake up consistently fluffy, moist, and light, but I don't love that they don't taste very strongly of chocolate. They just taste sweet, with a barely discernible chocolate flavor.

These cupcakes have all the wonderful qualities of a cake mix - the light, fluffy texture, the moist crumb, and the ability to stand up to a huge mound of frosting, while also actually tasting like real chocolate.

You can certainly make these as basic chocolate cupcakes, but I made them even better by following Emily's instructions to transform these into Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes. The center of the cupcake gets cored out and filled with salted caramel sauce, and then topped with a rich chocolate ganache, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. If you've been reading my blog for awhile you're probably aware that I'm a HUGE fan of sweet + salty desserts, and these were absolute perfection.

I brought these over to a friend's house for dinner Friday night, and one of the girls there brought a couple cupcakes home to her husband. I got this message from her on Facebook the next day (B = her husband). Sooo, ladies? Make these for the man in your life this Valentine's Day. Just sayin'...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cinnamon Blondies with Vanilla Buttercream

Cinnamon Blondies with Vanilla Buttercream

You know what's really awesome? I just wrote a whole blog post, and it inexplicably got deleted right as I was about to hit publish.

No, I lied. It's not awesome. It's a giant load of crap, and now I have to remember everything I wanted to tell you guys about these blondies from memory. Here are things I'm good at remembering: birthdays of everyone I knew prior to joining Facebook, lyrics to 90s pop songs, every line ever spoken in Friends, my locker combination from 5th grade (5-11-37, thankyouverymuch), and the password for all 85 email addresses and social media accounts that I attempt to keep track of.

So, basically I can remember ridiculously miniscule details from as far back as 1994, but can't remember what I wrote 30 minutes ago. My brain works in mysterious ways. I just realized that I addressed my very bad memory in my last blog post also. Maybe I need to see a neurologist, but...meh. I get by with day planners and checklists.

Cinnamon Blondies with Vanilla Buttercream

I don't even have any of these blondies left with which to console myself, since I made them 2 weeks ago and am just now getting around to sharing the recipe. I actually created this recipe with the sparse collection of ingredients I had on hand, since I didn't feel like venturing out to the grocery store for ingredients. I wasn't sure if they'd be blog-worthy, but they turned out to be shockingly delicious. 

They are generously spiced and perfectly chewy, and are topped with a layer of vanilla buttercream that takes the deliciousness to the next level. The worst thing you can do to blondies is over-bake them, so start checking these at the 20 minute mark. I think these would also be amazing with some chopped crystallized ginger mixed into the batter, or even some toasted walnuts. Someone play around with this recipe and report back!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Soft-Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft-Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

Usually when I bake something, it's for a specific event, a party, or someone's birthday. I didn't make these for any of those reasons. I made these cookies on a complete whim, for no reason at all, after finding Sally's recipe via Pinterest last Wednesday. As far as whims go, this one worked out extremely well for me. Whims that have not worked out well for me in the past can be filed under the categories of: tequila shots [subcategory: epic embarrassment], haircut [subcategory: bangs], and kissing [subcategory: former coworker]. Whims involving cookies usually turn out much more favorably.

These cookies are a peanut butter lover's DREAM. In addition to a hefty scoop of peanut butter, these contain honey roasted peanuts, peanut butter baking chips, AND miniature peanut butter cups. I was a little unsure about how I'd like the honey roasted peanuts in this recipe, but they add such a nice crunch to an otherwise super soft cookie. These stay soft and chewy for days, and bake up nice and thick! In case I haven't convinced you to make these already, I'll also mention that you only need to dirty one bowl for this recipe!

Soft-Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

I still have a lot of these left as I type this (sadly, woman cannot live on cookies alone) and I'm already thinking of ways to switch things up the next time I make these. I may add some Reese's Pieces, or peanut M&Ms. Or both. Oh boy...I think I got diabetes just thinking about that combination.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cookies

When I was a kid, Annie and I started getting revved up for Christmas in September. We went through a 5-Step Christmas spirit program, unintentionally designed to test the patience of our parents.

Step 1:
Blast Christmas cassette tapes on repeat. The ones full of really annoying Christmas songs such as the Twelve Days of Christmas (no good music involves counting, see also, 99 Bottles of Beer), The Little Drummer Boy (lovely message, but if I wanted to hear someone make instrument noises with their mouth I'd listen to a cappella), and The Chipmunk Song (if you need an explanation as to why this one sucks, I cannot help you) work best.

Christmas 1989 in Long Branch

Step 2:
Re-decorate the basement with paper snowflakes and red and green construction paper chains. Who cares that your parents spent thousands of dollars waterproofing and finishing the basement? It looks great when decorated with garbage.

Christmas 1989 in Long Branch

Step 3:
Time for Christmas movies! Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and A Christmas Story are best when watched thrice weekly beginning Labor Day weekend. Don't forget to watch videos of your Santa visits of years past.

Maggie the Elf, Christmas 1989

Step 4:
Make your parents rue the day they signed you up for piano lessons. Subject everyone to Christmas music performances, complete with vocal accompaniment from Annie.

Annie Christmas Tree 1989

Step 5:
Rummage around in the mailbox on a daily basis until you've assembled the ultimate Christmas catalog trifecta: the JCPenney Christmas Big Book, the FAO Schwarz Catalog, and the American Girl Catalog. Since Santa buys the gifts, think nothing of greedily dog-earring half the pages in each catalog. Silently ponder what the 6-foot tall stack of boxes hidden under a sheet in the utility room contained, but continue to believe in Santa until you're 11 anyway. (Don't be a hater; I was a trusting child. And maaaaybe a little behind in the deductive reasoning department.)

Christmas 1991, Ocean
(Apologies to my other sister who is 8.5 years my junior for excluding you the time you had the dexterity to make paper snowflakes, I was a surly teenager who wanted to sleep in Christmas morning.)

I get into the Christmas spirit much later in the year in my old age, but with arguably equal intensity. My "psych myself up for Christmas" methodology has significantly changed and matured over the years. For example...

I've replaced The Chipmunk Song with Michael Bublé's Christmas album and old classics from Bing, Frank, and Dean. Instead of Frosty the Snowman, I'm now more of a Love, Actually kind of girl. A Christmas Story isn't going anywhere. Some things never change.

Old traditions like paper-chain making with Annie have been replaced by new ones such as our annual Christmas Eve-Eve ritual of wrapping presents while drinking rum from teacups. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. 

While my parents are still very generous to me and my sisters at Christmas, I now love buying them gifts just as much as I once loved circling clothes in the American Girl catalog that would best suit Felicity Merriman's gingery-complexion. 

However, no amount of Christmas shopping or rum-drinking gets me in the holiday spirit more than putting on Christmas music, and making a batch of cookies. Do you put together a cookie tray at Christmas? These would be perfect a perfect addition. They're a simple chocolate cookie rolled in pecans, filled with caramel, and drizzled with more chocolate. After eating a few of these I found that a sprinkling of fleur de sel makes these even better, so feel free to add that before the caramel sets! Speaking of the caramel, it doesn't harden completely. The best way I can describe its final consistency is to compare it to peanut butter. Soft, but not pourable. In other words, perfect.

If you're looking for other Christmas baking ideas, look no further, as I have pulled some recipes from my archives:

Salted Maple Pecan Pie Bars
Soft Gingersnaps with White Chocolate
Monster Cookies
Bourbon Truffles
White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies
Cranberry Orange Walnut Tea Bread with Sweet Orange Glaze
Christmas M&M Cookies
Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hello Dolly Bars
Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping
Green Velvet and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Chocolate Pecan Turtle Cookies

Friday, December 14, 2012

No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Trifles

No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Trifles with Graham Cracker Streusel

So, remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I was going to Mixed Conference courtesy of the nice people at Lucky Leaf? Due to a last minute work obligation, I sadly couldn't make it to the conference, however, I still wanted to share what I created with one of Lucky Leaf's tasty products.

Blueberry and lemon is probably my favorite flavor combination next to peanut butter and chocolate. I know blueberries are a bit out of season right now, but I couldn't resist using them in conjunction with some of Lucky Leaf's lemon pie filling. I came up with this insanely easy trifle recipe, and you don't even need to turn on your oven to make it.  What you're looking at here is a layer of crunchy, cinnamon and almond graham cracker streusel, fresh blueberries, a super-lemony no-bake cheesecake filling, and cubes of moist pound cake. All of these flavors and textures work together so deliciously that I inhaled my jar of trifle in about 90 seconds flat.

No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Trifles with Graham Cracker Streusel

I have a minor obsession with consuming food and drinks from mason jars. Beer, iced tea, and all kinds of desserts simply taste better when consumed from one. It's science. Depending on the size of your mason jars, this makes about 8 servings. You can also make it a full-sized dessert in a regular trifle dish if desired, but it will be less delicious.

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