omnomnom cupcakes

As someone who has a well documented penchant for cookies and an overall appreciation for yummy food it should not come as a surprise that I wholeheartedly relate to Cookie Monster’s unbridled enthusiasm for treats. I’ll bet everyone can in some capacity! Everybody’s got a vice whether it’s drinking, smoking, spending, gaming, gambling or whatever else… For me (and Cookie Monster) it is omnomnom-ing my way through a pile of goodies.

My love for food and regular practice of seeking too much comfort in its sweet nourishment have led me on my own personal journey. Over the years and with some help, I have learned to manage and maintain a healthy weight, enjoy indulgent treats in moderation and even make more informed decisions about what I splurge on.

All that being said, one thing that has NEVER wavered is my utter joy at the sight, smell and taste of a freshly baked good. Even though I have come a long way to feel in control of my cravings, it’s still not easy to eat just one! Nobody understands this and portrays this with more accuracy than my honest to goodness spirit animal, Cookie Monster.

Obviously I HAD to make this insanely adorable confection as a tribute:

omnomnom cupcakes

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First, I baked up a batch of Nestle Toll House cookies. I dropped them from a teaspoon measure and reduced the bake time by a couple of minutes in order to make perfectly delicious miniatures.

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Next, I made classic vanilla cupcakes. Any recipe would do but I knew I would be making a buttercream frosting and vanilla on vanilla always gets my vote!

I used a standard recipe for buttercream mixing in Royal Blue gel food coloring until it looked like muppet and adding sifted icing sugar in small increments until I got the right consistency for piping.

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Cookie Monster wastes no time on hair care so I went to town making his icing fur all haphazard and messy. I love when there’s no fear of messing up and such is the case with these little guys. The eyes were fashioned out of white candy melts and chocolate chips. I used a little frosting as an adhesive.

That knife in the background cut a slit so that the mini cookie could be inserted into the mini-monster’s “mouth”.

Et voila!

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sugar-bunny mini egg cookies

It’s almost Easter. Almost. But you know what’s happening RIGHT NOW? Mini Eggs! The beloved Cadbury bunny is clucking away on TV and Mini Eggs are back on the shelves of grocery stores and pharmacies everywhere! Yum Yum Yum!!! Can you tell I’m excited?

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That’s because these pastel colored beauties are my absolute favorite Easter chocolate. Given my deep and unending love for cookies it was only a matter of time before I would put the two together to create the ultimate Easter themed cookie treat.

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To make these I used my usual recipe for cut-out sugar cookies. I then placed about 2 to 3 cups of Mini Eggs in a large Ziploc bag and had myself a blast smashing them to smithereens with the back of a heavy ice cream scooper!

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I could have used my mini food processor but that only occurred to me once I was already in quite the groove. A mallet or rolling pin would have also done the trick but clearly I have a penchant for the unconventional…

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As I normally do, I rolled the dough out fairly thick because i prefer a slightly softer cookie that I can really sink my teeth into. I kept bake time the same as always and they turned out perfectly! Little bits of shell and tiny chunks of Cadbury chocolate are visible in the dough making the cookies look almost as ridiculously delicious as they taste. Almost.

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reese’s pieces be nice chocolate chip cookies

Today I am feeling totally out of sorts. The truth is I have been feeling sort of blue these days. Maybe it is pure coincidence but I have been hearing all kinds of deflating stories about mean people lately.

It seems that the same bullies we witnessed as kids in our elementary school classes rear their ugly heads again in a great many of our workplace settings today.  The passive-aggressive comments, back-stabbing and cliques appear to be cropping up in my friends’ stories and my own life.

Life is so short and offers up so many uncontrollable and unforeseeable  obstacles and heartbreaks – why must anyone go out of their way to make things worse for another person? The only consistent explanation I can come up with is that this bad behavior almost always comes from a place of deep insecurity.

I am certainly not perfect, but I am no bully. When I feel insecure but not quite ready to deal with my feelings – I EAT them! That’s right. I’m not saying that it’s a great coping mechanism but it is effective in extreme situations and far nicer than making someone else feel awful.

Getting home from work tonight I couldn’t even make it all the way into my pajamas. A silky sleep shirt and tights was the haphazard and incomplete look that reflected my mood perfectly. I decided to bake up a batch of cookies that I will bring to work tomorrow. Hopefully my crusty coworkers will benefit from my therapy of choice – cookies.

I had a bag of Reese’s Mini Pieces on hand and decided to mix them with chocolate chips and stuff them into GIGANTIC cookies. The kind so big and scrumptious that they make your mouth too full to say mean sh*t!

Here is the recipe I threw together for Reese’s Pieces Be Nice Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package Reese’s Mini Pieces, or about 2 cups of regular Reese’s Pieces
  • 1 package of chocolate chips, I used milk chocolate… and ate a bunch before they made their way into the dough…

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Mix flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Next, beat butter with sugars together. When this mixture looks light and creamy, add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add the flour combo in thirds and mix until flour disappears.

Dump the Reese’s and chocolate chips into the dough and work them in until they are evenly dispersed.

Use a quarter measuring cup to scoop uniform balls of dough onto a lined cookie sheet, leaving about two inches of space in between.

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Bake for approximately 12 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack … before taste testing at least one cookie from each tray that comes out of the oven:)

I made some smaller cookies by using a tablespoon to measure out a consistent size and baked them at the same temp for 9 minutes.

happy accidents and comfy classics

The history of the cookie is full of happy accidents. The cookie itself was an accidental discovery. It is said that bakers would use small amounts of cake batter to test oven temperature resulting in sweet little treats, the predecessors of what we lovingly recognize as cookies today.

The very first chocolate chip cookie was also invented by pure happenstance many years ago. A woman named Ruth Wakefield was baking cookies for guests staying at her Inn. She had run out of baking chocolate to make chocolate cookies. Out of sheer resourcefulness and necessity she broke up pieces of a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar, expecting it to melt into the dough.

This fateful substitution created the very first chocolate chip cookie. It was ultimately named after the Inn where it’s birth took place, giving us our all-time favorite, deeply cherished Toll House Cookie!

I’m totally inspired by the cookie’s delightful history. I love the idea that tiny mistakes, simple substitutions and going with the flow when your plan gets thrown off course can lead to such wonderful creations.

I had my plan thrown off course last year when I took off on vacation and left all of my pajamas at home! I plan and covet my sleepwear with the intensity that some reserve for… well I don’t know, but not pajamas. Anyways, I was not happy! Out of desperation I snagged a white cotton tee shirt to sleep in from my husband’s suitcase, and I have since become hashtag obsessed with.

I know I am far from the first person to sleep in a men’s tee shirt, much like I am far from the first person to enjoy a Toll House Cookie – but I must say – both are comforting classics that needn’t be messed with. Both are easily accessible and surprisingly perfect.

So every now and then I like to get back to basics, mix up a batch of these delicious treats and enjoy them in the cool comfort of a stolen Hanes.

In the off chance that you don’t have it already, here’s a link to the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you’ll ever really need:

https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/original-nestle-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/

reverse chocolate chunk cookies

Sunday night is almost always a baking night for me. I am usually bummed about the weekend being over and somehow the whole creative process and subsequent snacking process both work wonders, easing my transition to Monday.

Tonight’s creation is feeding a group of hungry artists. Seriously. I decided to make something traditional but unconventional, classic but unexpected. What could fit the bill more appropriately than a reverse chocolate chunk cookie?

There is nothing too extraordinary about this recipe but I firmly believe that oftentimes, the very best (not to mention yummiest) things are the most simple. These cookies boast big chunks of velvety white chocolate that burst through a rich dark chocolate base. They are a little puffy, a little chewy, and a lot delishy.

Mushy PJs? Check. Apron? Check. Here is  my recipe of choice for:

Reverse Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6-8 ounces of white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until the mixture is fully combined, light and fluffy.

Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix in vanilla and instant coffee granules.

In a separate bowl, stir to combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Slowly, adding in thirds, add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Fold in white chocolate chunks until evenly distributed.

Drop tablespoon-sized scoops of dough onto lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.

Finally, marvel at how incredible you are for turning ordinary ingredients into a delightful concoction, and celebrate that you did it all in the comfort of your jammies! Then, if you’re feeling so inclined, take a couple of them to munch on in bed and enjoy a sweet, sweet end to the weekend… …that is my plan anyhow!