martha’s peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

we’re getting soooo close to being done with chocolate chip cookies! not that i’m not a lover of chocolate chip cookies in their many varieties but i’m ready for something new. like i just need a little vacation. then i can come back to my old friend all excited to see them again.

i’m also pretty sure my co-workers are ready for something other than chocolate chip cookies. which is why i’m making a surprise for them next week. for two reasons…

1) i need something sweet other than another batch of cookies.

2) because i feel like making something other than cookies.

so these cookies…. i like to consider them healthy cookies. i mean really… they’re about as healthy as you can get with a cookie without trying to get all fancified and actually make a healthy cookie. these cookies are held together with a teensy bit of flour and mostly oats. plus they’re chockful (i don’t know if that’s the correct spelling but i can’t spell to save my life so sorry if it’s not!) of peanuts and peanut butter and chocolate. all of which are totally good for you… (let’s just ignore the “in moderation” part ok?) so don’t feel bad if you need to eat one (or five) of these for breakfast. they’re healthy!!

martha’s peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

  • 3 c old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 c whole peanuts
  • 2 c semisweet chocolate chips
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl; set aside.
  3. cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. mix in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. reduce the speed to low and add in your oats / flour mixture. mix until just combined. mix in the peanuts and chocolate chips.
  5. using your cookie scoop, dish out scoops of cookie dough about 2 in apart on your baking sheets. bake 12-15 min. let cool on your cookie sheets 5 min before transferring to your cooling racks to cool completely.
  6. have one for breakfast!!

seriously. i mean they’re as healthy as a true cookie can get so don’t feel bad about having one (or three) for breakfast!

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook

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bacon caramel brownies

ok so you know how i literally just said that this year is flying by?!? well this week… not so much. this week has been moving so sloooooooooooooooooow. like slower than molasses during the wintertime. (not that i really know what “wintertime” is since it’s always hot here.)

but seriously…

this week has been super slow. and not just slow. it’s felt like an extended monday. i’m not normally one to complain about monday but i felt like friday would never ever ever get here.

but alas. friday finally came. and i don’t want the weekend to end. thank goodness for this monday being a holiday. it’s like a little something extra. know what else has a little something extra? these brownies. not only do they have the added benefit of caramel being baked in them but they also have bacon and bacon fat. i’m gonna let that digest in your brain for a little bit.

….

….

digested?

ok good.

let’s talk about these brownies.

oh where do i even begin other than the fact that they have bacon on every level and it’s awesomeness. i mean bacon just makes everything better right? let make sure you know the right answer to that question… yes. yes it does. the idea of having bacon in a brownie (or any baked good) kinda freaks people out. they’re not quite sure what to do with that information. others are intrigued. and then there are the people who know that bacon in sweets is awesome. it combines everything you could ever love. salty and sweet all baked into this super rich chocolate goodness. and these brownies are super rich and indulgent. and something you must make today.

bacon caramel brownies

  • 1.5 c (3 sticks) butter, divided
  • 8 strips of bacon, divided – to start you want 4 strips uncooked and 4 cooked and crumbled
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 4 c sugar, divided
  • 12 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  1. preheat oven to 350F. generously grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. first make your caramel: fry the 4 uncooked slices of bacon in a pan until crisp. remove the bacon and reserve the bacon grease. add the cream to the bacon grease and let cool completely. (you can also bake your bacon on a sheet tray and pour your bacon grease into the measuring cup with the heavy cream. your choice on bacon cooking method.) in a pot, heat 2 c sugar over medium heat until it liquifies and turns a golden amber color. add 12 tbs (1.5 sticks) butter and the bacon grease cream mixture. stir until combined and liquid. be super careful because this is scaldingly hot. set this aside.
  3. next make your brownies: in a double broiler, melt together the dark chocolate chips and remaining butter. remove from heat and add the cocoa and eggs (one at a time) until well combined. add the sugar and vanilla and stir until well combined. finally, add the flour and stir until just combined.
  4. now assemble your brownie batter: pour half the brownie batter into the bottom of your pan. top this with half the caramel mixture. scoop the rest of your brownie batter onto the top and pour the remaining caramel mixture. swirl the layers together. top with the crumbled bacon. bake for 40-50 min. you want to bake it until it just starts to set around the edges. let cool completely and cut into small pieces.

ok so a couple notes. first, next time i make these (because there will most def be a next time), i’m not going to use all the caramel mixture in the brownies. i’ll only use half for the actual brownies and reserve the other half to top the ice cream that i plan to put on the warm brownie. i really felt like using all the caramel made these brownies almost too rich. these really are super super rich brownies so i feel that my plan for saving half the caramel will help that out.

also. here’s another picture just to make you drool some more:

and while i’ve gotten some comments about all the stuff i’ve posted, i just had to share an email a coworker sent me about these brownies because it was the best ever!

Julie and I watch the show “Intervention”, and all these addicts talk about is how they can’t stop thinking about the drug, how it feels and even tastes – they dream about it.   I never really understood what that was like until I ate these brownies. 

now if that doesn’t make you understand the absolute need for you to be whipping up a batch of these brownies tonight, i don’t know what else will convince you.

kisses.

recipe from: beth michelle

martha’s banana walnut chocolate chip cookies

ready for another batch of martha’s cookie madness?

i figured you’ve been waiting so anxiously.

so here’s the deal with this batch….

i have no idea what they taste like. not even the dough. normally i cannot resist cookies much less cookie dough but this has been a simple resistence. remember how i don’t like fruit? well not only does this have fruit in but that fruit is in the form of bananas, which i have a special hatred for. i cannot explain why but i can’t STAND bananas. like seriously cannot stand them. mashing them up for this made me nauseated. and it’s not just that i don’t like banana flavoring but if it has the slightest banana taste, i’m out. smoothies? don’t drink them. the only way you’ll see me at smoothie king is when i pass by the one in the gym. blah! i didn’t even create a “banana” category because this is probably the only time i’ll ever use them.

great way to begin the post right?

well here’s the second deal…. i was originally going to exclude these from martha’s cookie madness since i refuse to eat them and couldn’t give my opinion but then that almost defeats the purpose for me. see i set out to cook cookies from martha’s cookbook and i can’t not make something just because i don’t like it. in my schedule for the rest of the year, i’ve included some cookies that have flavors that i don’t enjoy so for those posts, you’ll have to rely on my coworkers’ opinions. and i’m happy to report that these were a hit at the office. i’ve been told that they are delicious and yummy and all that good stuff. if you’re not convinced, let me tell you… these cookies went faster than any batch of cookies i think i’ve ever brought to the office.

and here’s an added bonus… they’re kinda healthy. i mean i think they’re as healthy as cookies can really be. they have bananas, walnuts, whole wheat flour and oats so they have to be healthy.

martha’s banana walnut chocolate chip cookies

  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 c old-fashioned oats
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 in chunks – or you could do like i did a buy a bag of the semisweet chocolate chunks and use 1 c from the bag
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped, toasted walnuts
  1. preheat oven to 375F. line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  2. mix together flours and baking soda.
  3. beat together butter, sugars and salt until pale and fluffy.  add egg and vanilla, mix until just combined. add mashed banana, mix until just combine. add flour mixture and mix until just combined. stir in oats, chocolate and walnuts.
  4. using your cookie scoop, drop dough onto the baking sheets with about 2 in in between. bake cookies 12-13 min, or until just golden brown (mine baked about 10 min). let cool on the cookie sheets 5 min and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

so that’s the latest batch of cookies from martha’s cookie madness. we have 3 more chocolate chip cookies left to go before we move on to other kinds of cookies.

which cookies are you most excited to see?

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook

fried chicken dinner

omg. did you know that this weekend is memorial day weekend??! i mean i feel like just yesterday was new year’s eve/day. i mean i’m all for this year speeding by but goodness. i feel like the older i get the faster the years seem to go by.

(ugh. i hate that i just made that statement. i feel like an 90 year old for having said that.)

but for real.

i mean we’re already through 5 months of the year. craaaazy.

i know that memorial day is usually all about grilling and cookouts but let’s be real. i live in a second floor condo. i don’t have a grill on my balcony and i’m sure as hell not hauling one down the stairs. so what do i do? well i can do a beer can or rotisserie chicken. those are both fine options but i could also make something classically southern… like FRIED CHICKEN! plus who doesn’t like fried chicken? um no one that’s who. if someone tells you that they don’t like fried chicken they’re lying. it’s like people who don’t like bacon. liars. everyone loves bacon. and fried chicken.

so here’s the fried chicken deal… fried chicken is like gumbo…. everyone has their own version and method. i’m sure there are northern dishes that yankees would say the same statement about. i mean there are people who swear by brining the chicken. others who double dip the chicken in flour before frying. more who coat the chicken straight out the paper with just a rinse off. some fry in peanut oil. others in shortening. needless to say, you could survey 100 on the street of any good southern city and you would probably get 100 different ways to fry a chicken. since this is my blog and my world, i’ll give you my version.

fried chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up in 8 pieces – that mean 2 breast pieces, legs, thigh and wings for those of you who are unsure
  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • 1/4 c your favorite hot sauce
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/3 c pancake mix – this has been passed down to me from my mom, her mom, her aunt, her grandma so just go with it… you can leave it out if you absolutely must
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1.5 tbs pepper
  • 3 tbs paul prodhomme’s poultry magic
  • 1.5 tbs garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbs onion powder
  • vegetable shortening – i used about 3 c
  1. mix together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl. put your chicken pieces in the bowl and refridgerate 24 hours.
  2. the next day, drain your chicken pieces while you mix together the coating.
  3. on a large plate or large bowl, mix together flour, pancake mix, and seasonings. make sure it’s thoroughly mixed together. dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour mixture making sure that it’s well coated; shake off excess flour mixture. place each piece on a rack to hang out while you heat up your oil.
  4. in a large dutch oven or electric skillet, preheat your shortening to 350F. i say i used 3 c of shortening but really you want to use enough to come half way up your chicken pieces. when your shortening is heated, place a couple chicken pieces in there so that it’s not crowded. fry the pieces for 5-8 minutes per side until it’s golden brown and delicious. remove to a rack to drain the excess oil off and cool a little.

that’s it. it’s a really simple process that can seem really daunting.

ok so here’s a full disclosure…. i have no idea what my actual measurements are for anything other than the chicken and buttermilk. i just kinda go with my gut on the hot sauce and seasoned flour. you can use any type of seasoning you really want to; which is part of why there are so many variations to fried chicken. and yes, you really do need to soak your chicken in the hot sauce / buttermilk for a good 24 hours. this helps tenderize and flavor the chicken. some people perfer to brine the chicken in a salt water mixture saying it keeps the chicken juicy but i like the flavor the buttermilk gives the chicken (and bonus it stayed juicy!). oh and i actually don’t have a perfered fat to fry in other than paula deen says shortening and i like the idea that there’s not hint of peanuttiness and my mom was making milk gravy to go with it. you can use peanut oil or vegetable oil or canola oil or shortening. whatever floats your boat.

so make yourself a batch of good ol’ fried chicken. serve it with some macaroni & cheese and corn on the cob or some fresh green beans. throw in some biscuits and milk gravy… mmm….

what could be better than that??

kisses.

recipe adapted from: mom, maf (my maternal grandmother), john besh’s my family table, paula deen’s southern cooking bible

cherry lemonade

ugh.

it’s only may and i’m melting.

i don’t like it the hot. i don’t like it one single bit. and since we don’t really have a “spring”, i’ve gone from warm (like 70-75F winter) to 90F in may. this is bs. the only season i have is football. (and let’s be honest, that’s semi-ok with me… i’d like a fall/spring type season too.)

but if i have to suffer through an unbearable summer (trust me… the heat down here is unbearable), i’d like to do it with a nice drink in my hand. something light and refreshing please. something that’s easy to make and is ready in 2.5 seconds. something like cherry lemonade.

seriously though… this stuff is awesome. i happened upon it through pinterest and it’s from paula deen’s website so i knew it had to be good. and it was… just add a little splash of vodka (or your favorite liquor) and it’s a party!

cherry lemonade

  • 10 oz frozen sweet cherries, thawed – in full disclosure, i used 12 oz. hey, that’s the size the bag was and really what was i going to do with 2 oz of thawed cherries?
  • 1 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 qt seltzer (sparkling) water, cold – i used the lemon kind
  1. blend cherries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender until it’s well blended. pour into a strainer and strain the bigger solids out. pour into a pitcher.
  2. add seltzer water to the pitcher.
  3. pour over ice and enjoy!

drink some before you melt too!

kisses.

martha’s thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie

happy national chocolate chip cookie day!!

(a day late)

did you know that existed?

i didn’t and i’m kinda unsure why that is. i mean i know all about pie day. and then ice cream ups everyone with an entire MONTH dedicated to its cool self. but national chocolate chip cookie day?! i was totally unaware of this until yesterday…. which is officially national chocolate chip cookie day. also the day i was going to make martha’s thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies. so now i’m a day late and dollar short to the national chocolate chip cookie day party but i do show up bearing gifts.

see i originally planned to make all my martha’s cookie madness cookies on sunday so i can bring them to work monday. well seeing as sunday was mother’s day and i was busy showing my mom some fried chicken love (recipe coming soon!), i didn’t make the cookies then. (which apparently didn’t work out too well for one of the guys i work with who was thinking he could have cookies for breakfast – sorry!) and then i was going to make them monday after i volunteered at a golf tournament but apparently sitting under a tent all day at hole numero 7 whips your behind and i crashed out at 9P.

so that brings me to yesterday….

national chocolate chip cookie day.

well i may not have had them to post ON national chocolate chip cookie day BUUUUUT i did make them on the correct day. that has to count for something right?

martha’s thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie

  • 1 1/4 c (2 1/2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 c water – I KNOW! weird.
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line your baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
  2. whisk together the flour and baking soda in a bowl. set aside.
  3. cream together butter, sugars and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add vanilla, eggs and water; mix until well combined. slowly add flour and baking soda mixture until just combined. stir in your chocolate chips.
  4. using your cookie scoop, scoop out the cookie dough into balls about 2 in apart. bake cookies, rotating halfway – martha says to cookie for 20-25 min but mine only took 12. let cool on the baking sheet 1-2 min before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

next food holiday, i’ll hopefully be a little more prepared.

but i have some exciting things coming soon so i think that makes up for it….

kisses.

martha’s cakey chocolate chip cookies

this week has already been a really weird week and it’s only tuesday.  it feels like maybe i’m just dreaming and that all this is happening to someone else. and it’s nothing in particular that is happening. just all kinds of weirdness.

do you ever have one of those weeks?

well if you do… you should participate in martha’s cookie madness with me. it’ll give you something to look forward to… warm cookies right out the oven with a cold cold cold glass of milk. (yes. i did use the word “cold” three times. i like to drink really cold milk ok?)

so this is only week two of martha’s cookie madness which means we’re still in chocolate chip cookie land. which makes me happy. you should be happy too. (unless you’re one of my co-workers who is ready for me to move on to his cookie choice). too bad. he still has at least 5 more weeks… that’s right folks. for the next five weeks, we’ll still be visiting chocolate chip cookie land. (i’m hoping to have a couple detours to savoryville so there’s some additional scenery…)

this week we venture to the cakey chocolate chip cookie. it has less butter and brown sugar than the soft and chewy from last week. it reminds me of cake mix chocolate chip cookies – shocker huh? but these are like the yummier, homemade version of those – again, shocker right?

anywho…

they are yummy buuuuuut i’m going to keep my perference between all the versions until the very end… sorry to keep you hanging in suspense.

martha’s cakey chocolate chip cookies

  • 141 tbs (1 3/4 stick) softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c packed, light brown sugar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate or a mixture of both)
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line your baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
  2. mix together the flour and baking soda in a bowl. set aside.
  3. beat together sugar, salt and butter until light and fluffy. beat in eggs and and vanilla until well combined.
  4. slowly add the flour and baking soda mixture to the butter mixture. mix until just combined. stir in your chocolate chips.
  5. using your handy cookie scoop, scoop out the cookie dough onto your baking sheet leaving 2 inches between each cookie. bake 10-12 min, turning your pan halfway through. (most recipes in martha’s book call for this step and i usually blow right past it but not with these. these truly benefited, at least in terms of being evenly golden brown, from turning the pan.)
  6. let cool on a cooling rack.

that’s it for this batch of martha’s cookie madness.

oh… and if you decided you want to bake each batch and share your thoughts, i’d advise going to sam’s (or costco if that’s what’s in your area – not in mine) and buying the ginormous bag of chocolate chips they have there. seriously. it’s a 4.5 lb bag. or if i break it down a little more… it’s 6 12 oz bags. that’s 6 batches of cookies. fyi.

another oh… what’s your favorite type of cookie?? maybe i’ll bake you a box.

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook