Cookie Bars

22 May

Hiii!!!! Is my absence no surprise to anyone? I am so so sorry, but I truly am lacking in all inspiration! I don’t know what is going on! Help me out people! Tell me what I should bake for you all! Bahhhh.

I am super low on cash- like- seriously broke, and thus it seems silly to go and buy baking supplies when I could instead use the money on, say, real groceries. Real food is nice. A meal here and there is helpful to surviving I hear…

ALSO! Has anyone else fallen into a crazy, absurd obsession with superheroes yet? I saw the Avengers, then saw them again, and now am anticipating the arrival of the new Batman, Spiderman, AND the sequels to Captain America and Thor. I kid you not, I have spent many an evening just researching all the plots and characters of the old comics, and feel a comic-nerd trait coming on. Why don’t kids read that stuff anymore? Some graphic novels are so beautifully illustrated that I want to collect them. Collecting graphic novels=breaking the bank hobby. Awww welll. Back to the baking….

I made these babies last night with Jess because we were craving sugar and chocolate and butter and all the good stuff. They started as a half brownie, half cookie type bar, but the layers mixed together somehow, and the texture came out as all cookie. They were great! You only need a couple bites to satisfy to cravings, but I still managed to eat two bars.

 

Cookie Bars

Cookie Layer

  • 1 cup butter, melted until browned then refrigerated and softened again (trust me it’s worth it)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Brownie Layer

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or 4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or canola oil or any other oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

For cookie layer, beat together butter and sugars, then add in eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together and slowly beat into wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips at the end. Spread an even layer into bottom of pan.

For brownie layer, melt chocolate chips and stir in oil. Beat in sugar and eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour and salt until a smooth batter is formed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour brownies batter over cookie layer, and drag a knife through to mix the batters up a bit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on how gooey you want your bars. We cooked ours for 45 min for a more cookie-like bar. For a more brownie like result, cook for 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on the oven and test done-ness by poking a knife into it and observe if crumbs stick to it when you pull it out.

Happy baking!! xxxx

 

 

Peanut Butter Banana Coconut Cookies

3 May

Holy moly I haven’t blogged in ages! Super sorry guys! I haven’t felt very inspired for the last couple weeks, and thought that I mine as well take a break until I felt like I could write a genuine post with a worthy recipe. Life is much different these days, with most of my roomies gone and a few new subletters moving in. No school work means that I have no real desire to bake- weird? Perhaps it was the stress from school that drove me release it in the kitchen.

Anyhow, today I finally felt like baking again, and was inspired by the flavour combination in How Sweet Eats banana and peanut butter cookies. I was lacking a lot of the necessary ingredients, but I think my substitutions worked out well! I had to use ground flax seed to replace the egg, a few tbsp of olive oil to replace the butter, and decided to throw in some left over coconut flakes and coconut sap to really enhance the flavours. Considering there is hardly any oil and sugar, these cookies are super healthy! The added flax adds omegas and the peanut butter provides protein. The coconut sap is low on the Glycemic index and the banana adds other nutrients like potassium. Woohoo!

If you want banana bread in a moist, cookie form, these are for you. They aren’t overly sweet, but very tasty. My new favourite comfort food!

toasted coconut!

Peanut Butter Banana Coconut Cookies

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil or coconut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut sap (or substitute brown sugar or honey)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanut butter cups (or chocolate chips)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the banana, peanut butter, olive oil, vanilla, coconut sap, and ground flax seed. In a separate bowl, mix together the baking powder, flour, and salt. Mix in flour mixture into wet mixture. Finally, mix in peanut butter cups and coconut flakes.

Scoop out 1/4 cup amounts of dough onto greased cookie sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart, and bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on how gooey you like them. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

Happy baking! xxx

 

White Chocolate Coconut Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

28 Apr

Hello, and long time no see! I am loving my break between school and work, and haven’t been blogging much lately! Paintball, skiing, drinks on the beach, froyo (you must go to Menchies if you never have!), and lots of time with friends. It feels great to be able to do whatever I want, and not worry about any commitments, even if it only lasts for a few days.

On Wednesday my friend Rachel celebrated her 20th birthday, and I made her this cake for her BBQ. I had no idea that about 5 other people were baking cakes, cookies, brownies and the such as well! W had so much food leftover that we decided to bring it to paintball the next day. I loved all the goodies, but I couldn’t help liking my cake as well. It is a denser cake, with a rich vanilla flavour that is enhanced by the white chocolate. The icing is white chocolate and cream cheese and super rich, and coated in sugared, shredded coconut. I thought it was quite cute and girly and perfect for a birthday celebration.

White Chocolate Coconut Cake with White Choco Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • half cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz white chocolate, melted

Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 3-4 drops red food colouring
  • 1-2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10 inch springfoam pan (or two cake pans).

For cake, mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in butter, then slowly beat in eggs. Slowly beat in the rest of the ingredients until a thoroughly mixed batter is formed. Pour batter into greased pan(s) and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake in golden.

Let cake cool for 20 minutes, then cool further in the fridge for a couple hours. While cake finishes cooling, make frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, then slowly beat in the sugar. As you require more liquid, add in vanilla and white chocolate. If still to thick, add in milk, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistently is reached. Finally, mix in red food colouring until a light shade of pink is made.

Frost cake with a spatula, covering all sides in an even coating. Top with coconut. Cool cake for at least half an hour to set, then serve.

Happy Baking!! xxxx

I’ve Been Nominated for the Sunshine Award!

24 Apr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Award!

Sunshine Award rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post on your blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • nominate 10 other bloggers.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Well, this is a surprise! I’m not even sure what a sunshine award is but I am happy to receive such a nomination from the lovely Jody of http://thriftshoppingbuzz.com/!

I guess I should follow the rules and go right ahead and tell y’all a little about myself. I didn’t quite like the original questions, so I made some of them up myself.

  1. My favourite season of the year: Summer weather suits me better, but I do love to ski
  2. Morning or night person: morning, all the way. I have so much trouble staying up and I hate wasting my day sleeping 
  3. My favourite form of exercise: running and skiing
  4. My favourite drink: Beer, or anything with gin
  5. Savoury or sweet: I like sweet first thing in the morning, then have to have savoury after, then sweet, then savoury….
  6. My passion: I don’t think I have just one, but I know that I love food, the outdoors, travel, and people
  7. Piercings or tattoos: I only have piercings, and find them addicting, and that is why I don’t think I should get a tattoo…I’d probably end up tattooing my whole body
  8. My favourite day: wake up around 7, go for a long run on the beach, eat peanut butter pancakes, lie in the sun and tan, have a ton of beer, go out for a seafood dinner (…lobster), then dance until the sun rises and fall asleep on a bed made of clouds….
  9. My favourite music: reggae and electronic
  10. My favourite flower: Orchid

Next step, my Nominations for the Sunshine Award:

1. The always cute and chocolatey Katie from http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/.

2. Emily of http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com/ was the first food blogger I ever started following!

3. The ever original and inspiring Megan of http://www.takeamegabite.com/.

4. Jessica of http://www.howsweeteats.com/ is absolutely hilarious and cooks up a storm!

5. Tessa of http://www.handletheheat.com/ is living the life I want, through culinary school.

6. Rose is the beautiful and multi-talented face behind http://www.thelondoner.me/.

7. Kath is a dietician and posts the most healthy and delicious looking meals on http://www.katheats.com/.

8. The creative and sugar-hungry Jessie of http://www.cakespy.com/.

9. The talented Becky of http://www.beckybakes.net/ has the most drool-worthy photos!

10. And last but not least, the one and only Joy of http://joythebaker.com/.

 

All these fantastic ladies fill my life with inspiration and joy. Each one is creative and talented in her own way and it is a pleasure to be able to view their sites each day.

 

Thanks! xxxx

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Icing

23 Apr

The end of exams is approaching, which means people are starting to pack up their things to fly back home for the summer. Two of my roomies are going back to Calgary for the summer and I am getting all sad and concerned over here. Two new people will be living in my house while they are gone, and I don’t know how I feel about it. Strangers! In my kitchen! In my bathroom! Obviously we all want to come visit each other, but we wont really be living together again until September. But wait! Even then, Riley is going to Paris for first semester! 😦

As sad as it is to see my friends leave Vancouver, I am also excited for life in Vancouver when I’m not in school. Afternoons on the beach, picnics and summer food, going out at night and not shivering my ass off…. it will be a good time.

I made these cupcakes for an indoor picnic we had the other day (rain=indoor). Wine, cheese, baguettes, wine, chicken, cold-cuts, chocolate, pate, wine….and these. Everything was delicious- so much so that I ate everything and had to lie down and spread out like a beached whale. Cute. These cupcakes are super moist and light, while the icing is rich and slightly savoury (salty and sweet). I stole the recipe from My Little Celebration.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Icing

Cupcake

  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a medium size bowl, add soymilk and vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk, then incorporate the oil, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

Pour batter into muffin tin, filling up 9-10 cups, and bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove and cool for a few hours.

For icing, beat butter until fluffy. Add peanut butter and confectioners sugar. when it gets hard to beat, add cream, then add cinnamon. Place icing in a piping bag and decorate cupcakes as you wish.

Happy Baking! xxox

Marbelicious Cookies

21 Apr

On campus, tucked away in a corner of the SUB, there is a little cafe/bakery known to most students as the best spot to grab the cheapest coffee, and the most delicious cookies. The shop is called Blue Chip, and is run by the AMS student society. The coffee is fair trade and organic, and the treats they offer include everything from pastries, to brownies, to cookies, to vegan goodies. My favourite cookie they serve, the Marbelous, is a dark chocolate cookie topped with white chocolate chunks. I have always called it the “Marbelicious” because I read the sign wrong the first time-woops.

Because I love this cookie so much, I decided to try and replicate it in my own kitchen. I have no idea what the real recipe is, but these are very good and close in taste to the original! A super thick and chewy cookie base, covered in white chocolate chunks-it is a treat for the taste buds! I will definitely be making these more often because they are just so easy to make! No chilling of the dough required, though I would like to try it to see what difference it makes. I adapted the recipe from The Very Best Baking.

Marbelicious Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2  cup + 1 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 1-2 cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add in flour mixture to egg mixture and mix with your own arm strength (the beaters cant take the thick dough very well).

When completely combined, scoop tablespoon sized portions (or bigger if you want larger cookies) of dough onto cookie sheets and top with white chocolate chunks. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how gooey you want them to be. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm.

Happy Baking!!!! xxxo

White and Dark Chocolate Layer Brownies

17 Apr

Helloooooo, it has been a couple days since I’ve posted anything! Exams are just getting the better of me! Today I made these fabulous bars and they totally gave me a pick-me-up. The bottom layer consists of a fudgey, intensely chocolate brownie. The second layer is a fluffy and creamy white chocolate layer, that has a bite of cream cheese and soaked in sweetened condensed milk. I finished it off with mini reese’s pieces cups, to add a little salty peanut butter taste to each bar.I’m glad I added the cream cheese because these bars would be too sweet without it.

I have never in my life had a white chocolate brownie so these bars intrigued me. I got the inspiration from seeing a lemon and blueberry brownie on foodgawker that had a white chocolate glaze. I thought that making the entire brownie out of white chocolate would be fun and unique.

Do I like white chocolate brownies better then dark chocolate? Heavens, no. I love chocolate chocolate. A true brownie will never be replaced in my heart. But these bars are a fun and delicious variation so give them a try!

White and Dark Chocolate Layer Brownies

White Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk ( 1 can)
  • 4 oz melted white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dark Chocolate Layer

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 packs of mini reece’s pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 baking pan. Line with aluminum foil and grease again.

For dark chocolate base, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Melt butter over medium-high heat until completely melted, then stir in cocoa powder. Mix in sugar, vanilla, and eggs until combined, then stir in flour mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan.

For white layer, mix together dry ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add condensed milk and white chocolate while beating. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour white layer on top of dark layer. Place reece’s pieces on top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden and center is just gooey.

Happy baking! xxx