Fudgy Salty Brownies

Brownies

These are the brownies.

The. Brownies.

Sure, it takes three bowls, but look at that fudgy layer under that crispy layer!

Brownies

And yeah, I added salted caramel sauce. It was the next logical step. If I’d had ice cream, I’d have done that too.

HOWEVER! These brownies are more than capable of standing on their own.

No extra flair needed.

Bowl #1

Brownies

Brownies

Bowl #2

Brownies

Bowl #3

Brownies

Brownies

Brownies

And done!

Brownies

Brownies

Fudgy Salty Brownies

 

1 cup butter
1 (heaping) cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I have used both Dutch processed and dark chocolate with great success)
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp extra course-grained salt for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350F, then grease an 8×8″ pan and line it with parchment paper.

Add about three inches of water to a sauce pan. Then place a heat-safe metal or glass bowl over the top, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath. Turn the burner on to medium heat, and then add the chocolate chips and butter to the bowl. Stir frequently so the chocolate doesn’t burn, and melt everything together until smooth. Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the pan.

In another bowl, whisk or sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together.

I use my stand mixer to beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together, but regular beaters will also do the trick. Slowly add the chocolate mixture while continuing to beat the eggs until it’s all combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and sprinkle the course-grained salt over the top.

Bake for 1 hour or longer. If you insert a knife into the center of the brownies to see if they’re done, the knife will never come out clean! You sort of have to go by sight, which I know can be frustrating. I know they’re done when the brownies just barely start to pull away from the edges of the pan. Just be careful not to over bake. Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan onto a flat surface. Allow them to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

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The Dangerous Bars

Dangerously Delicious Bars
“Why dangerous?” you may ask. “They can’t be that bad for you, right?”

They’re not!

“So then what’s with the overly dramatic title?”

I have these ingredients on hand 99% of the time.
ALL the ingredients.
And these bars are so fast to throw together that you can basically have them done before you give it a second thought.

Dangerous.

“Yeah, but I’m not a food blogger. I don’t have fancy ingredients around 24/7. I’m not in any danger.”

I see.

You don’t have things like…
Dangerously Delicious Bars
Butter?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
How about brown sugar and vanilla?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Oats?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
No uh, chocolate chips? Peanut butter?

Do you see what I mean?!?

Dangerously Delicious Bars
And friends? These babies are good. Like made 5 times in the last month good.

I took these bars to my son’s school for Parent Teacher night, and I was stopped in the hallway twice by someone who wanted the recipe!

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Layers of crumble…

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Chocolate…

Dangerously Delicious Bars
Followed by more crumble.

I swoon!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars
Adapted from allrecipes.com

Makes 1 9×9 inch pan

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups oats (quick cooking works best)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the oats and stir until everything is moistened. Turn heat to low and continue to stir this mixture until the chocolate is ready.

At the same time, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir often to prevent the chocolate from burning. When the mixture is completely melted and smooth, remove the pan from the heat.

Pour just over half of the oat mixture into the 9×9 pan. Use a spatula to spread and compress the oats. I used a sheet of parchment and pressed the mixture down with my hands. When you have a smooth surface, pour the chocolate over top, and use your spatula to spread and smooth the chocolate. Carefully drop the remaining oats over top to create clumps.

Freeze the pan for 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight. Allow it to sit out at room temperature to make the bars easier to cut.

And while you’re at it, you might as well make a double batch and keep one in the freezer.
You know, for emergencies.

Chia Cookies

Chia Cookies
Sometimes* I get these cravings.

*Who am I kidding? Always!*

Serious, serious cravings. For chocolate. Rarely do I crave anything besides chocolate.

Except coffee, grapefruit, and peanut butter.

I pretty much crave these things constantly. I’m sure I’m not lacking nutrients found in chocolate, it’s completely mental. What evs, dude. I like chocolate!

I have the most epic chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe ever, but it’s kind of an involved process.

These cookies, however, are very similar in texture and chocolatey goodness, but they come together in a snap.

So when it’s 7:30 on a school night, and I NEED some tasty morsels, I can whip these up and be in bed by 9:00.

As an added bonus, these cookies have chia seeds.
Chia Cookies

So we can basically call these healthy. Even though they’re chocolate chip cookies.

I love sound reasoning.

Chia Cookies

Chia Cookies

Chia Cookies
Lined up and ready for consumption!

These cookies taste best on the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep pretty well in an air tight container for a few days.

Chia Cookies
from YummyMummyKitchen.com

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips with excellent results)

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix together the oats, baking powder, flour and chia seeds.
In a stand mixer or with a beater, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the peanut butter, eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.
Add the oat mixture to the butter mixture, and add the desired amount of chocolate chips. Mix until well combined (with a wooden spoon or your hands).
Scoop dough onto stoneware pans or lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Serve warm with coffee (or grapefruit or peanut butter ;)) or milk.

So! What do you crave?

Chocolate Cups

Chocolate Cups

This recipe has chocolate in it.
Chocolate Cups

It also has eggs.
Chocolate Cups

You don’t bake it in the oven.
Chocolate Cups

But it won’t kill you. Or even make you sick.

Because it also has coffee in it.
Chocolate Cups

HOT coffee!

The hot coffee cooks the eggs for you. No worries.

Chocolate Cups
Look at me, being all fancy and stuff. Like I do it every day or something.

Chocolate Cups

Chocolate Cups

Chocolate Cups
And then a dollop of whipped cream or whipped coconut milk makes them even fancier.

Ok, so here’s where I need your help. The Pioneer Woman calls these “Pots de Creme.” When I served them to my friends I called them “Chocolate Mousse.” However, both pots de creme and chocolate mousse have cream or milk involved.

So what is it really? Is this custard? Is the Pioneer Woman correct? Did I lie to my friends?

Help!

Ambiguous Chocolate Cups
from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 6

12 ounces chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsps vanilla
pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp)
1 cup HOT coffee (too hot to drink)

Place chocolate, room temperature eggs, vanilla and salt into a food processor. Start blending ingredients. As the processor is still running, carefully pour coffee into the mixture. Blend until smooth.
Pour the chocolate into individual serving dishes, or one bowl that you will serve from. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving with whipped cream or whipped coconut milk.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

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These are a very special treat.
That I’ve been making just about weekly this month.

Let me explain.

I’m spacey. Flighty. Some may say forgetful, I say I just get excited sometimes.

So excited that I forget to take pictures.
And then I forget to take pictures of the final product when I make them again.

So, third time’s the charm, right?
And may I just say how sad it is that I’ve just had to make these treats three times.

So, so sad.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Serves 16, overnight freezing recommended

1 cup butter (just cooler than room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oats, ground into flour (I’ve used blenders and food processors to grind, both work well)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 or 2 pints of your favorite flavors of ice cream

Preheat oven to 375F. Cream butter and both sugars, then add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. I like to mix the baking powder and baking soda into the batter before the flour, just to make sure they get incorporated fully. Add the flour and ground oats, then the chocolate chips. Mix fully until everything is evenly disbursed.

Scoop cookie dough onto stoneware pans or cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through if you’re using two racks. Allow cookies to cool completely!!
Place one cookie upside down on a sheet of plastic wrap. Drop a small scoop of ice cream on top, then spread it gently with a butter knife. Place another cookie on top, and then wrap with the plastic wrap. Continue until all the cookies are gone (or you realize it’s 10:30 and you have to work the next day).
Allow sandwiches to freeze overnight or at least a few hours before serving.

And because I worked so hard to get the step by step pictures, here they are!

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Butter + sugar = magic

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Oats becoming

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oat flour

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Workin’ the dough

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I did not eat the dough. Much.

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Big Dipper coffee ice cream. Possibly the best ice cream on the planet!

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So, how has your August been?

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

Yes, I said salted caramel peanut butter cups.

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I make some things that impress me, but I know it’s a really great sign when my husband is impressed.  It hardly ever happens.  I mean, he likes the things that I make, but he doesn’t really get excited about them like I do.  It’s just the difference in our personalities.  I get excited about every thing, and he gets excited only when it’s truly excellent. I can live with that, especially because it’s a good indicator that I’ve just made something that needs to be shared.

Except I can’t share these with you. Because we ate them. So I’ll do the next best thing and tell you how to make them.

I started with the Pioneer Woman’s Caramel Sauce Recipe.  I love that I can pretend it’s healthier because it’s made with half and half, instead of cream.

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Just ignore the butter. Because it’s really not that much.

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This sauce only gets better as it cools in the fridge. If you can wait a day before making the peanut butter cups, you won’t regret it.
I couldn’t wait. They turned out fantastic.

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This is my double boiler. MacGuyver style. All you have to do is make sure that the water in the sauce pan doesn’t touch the bottom of the heat safe bowl.

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Pour a cup of chocolate chips into the bowl, and set the heat to medium.

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Stir pretty constantly, and line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers.

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Spoon a thin layer of chocolate into each paper, spreading it out to make sure it covers the bottom. Then put it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Just until the chocolate is really solid.

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When the chocolate is ready, grab your peanut butter. You’ll also need a spoon.

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I found that the back of a small spoon worked the best to spread the peanut butter over the chocolate. It allows you to use as much or as little peanut butter as you’d like, and the shape of the spoon allowed me to leave the chocolate in the paper.

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At this point, you’ll want to add another cup of chocolate chips to the double boiler and melt it. You can simultaneously keep an eye on the chocolate and perform the next few steps.

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Caramel sauce. Mine still hadn’t totally thickened yet. I had it in the refrigerator, and then the freezer for a minute, so it was cool enough to not melt the chocolate.

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If you had told me two years ago that I’d be putting salt in a sweet treat, I’d have cried. “Salt doesn’t go in chocolate or caramel! That would ruin it!” No, Past Me, it only makes it better. I promise! Something about the salt really enhances the flavor of the caramel and the chocolate. And you don’t use very much.
You really do need a course grain for this though. Table salt would get lost very quickly, and you run the risk of over salting. With the big grains, you only need a few granules on each. Sprinkle a few right in the caramel.

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Add another layer of chocolate, gently pressing to make sure that is spreads all the way out to the very edges.

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Then add another few granules of sea salt. I only went with four or five per cup, since these won’t dissolve. You get a great zippy bite with each one.

Get those babies in the freezer, but only for about five to ten minutes this time. You don’t want to break your teeth.
The first time I made these, I didn’t have caramel sauce. They were good, but these…These are just over the top delicious! Store them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. And don’t forget to share!

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Peanut Butter Cups with Salted Caramel
Makes 12 individual cups

2 cups chocolate chips, separated. Dark chocolate would be heavenly, so I’ll try that someday.
1/4 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1 tbsp sea salt (course grain)

Melt one cup of chocolate in a double boiler, stirring often to prevent burning. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. When the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, spoon a thin layer into each cup. Gently press the chocolate to the edges of the paper.
Place chocolate cups in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
Add the other cup of chocolate to the double boiler. Stir often.
When the cups are set and hard, use a spoon to spread peanut butter over the chocolate. Then drizzle the caramel sauce on top of the peanut butter.
Sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on the caramel, and then spoon another layer of chocolate on top. Garnish with a bit more salt, and place the cups in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.

No Bake Cookies

No Bake Cookies have been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.  Perfect for when you’re absolutely dying for chocolate and peanut butter but are too lazy to put things in and out of the oven (read: PMS).  Also perfect for when you’re craving the absolute unhealthiest cookie ever.  It happens sometimes.  Everything in moderation, right?

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We were having one of those days, and my sisters were kind enough to do the “hard work” while I took photos. See if you can tell whose hands are whose…or whom’s…or hoooos…

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Lots of sugar

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And butter

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Cocoa powder

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And melting

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This is making me hungry

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Oh man, and the peanut butter

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And then the peanut butter melts in the chocolate, and it smells amazing

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And then it gains volume

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Vanilla just makes everything better

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Oh goodness. I know what I’m doing later.

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This is too easy

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They even make your refrigerator smell good

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If you have the patience to wait for them to cool, they peel right off the parchment. I don’t always have the patience. It’s chocolate and peanut butter! Don’t judge, you know you do it too 🙂

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I like looking at the bottoms, because they’re so perfect compared to the haystack-like tops

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And in my mouth it goes!

1 3/4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup  Butter
1/2 cup Milk
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 cup Peanut Butter
3 cups Oats
1 tbsp Vanilla

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, milk and cocoa powder.  Bring this mixture to a gentle bowl, then add the peanut butter and stir until just combined.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Drop spoon fulls of batter onto parchment paper and place in the refrigerator or freezer until chilled.

Happy no-baking!