You guys. Can you even believe the title of this post? I know, it’s nuts. I made a mental note of these cookies when I saw them on Smitten Kitchen, and then the other day Joy posted them…but with the genius addition of chocolate. And like a siren song, they just called to me. You know I’m a fan of the sweet-and-salty, but these cookies take it
to a whole ‘nother level. The cookie base is not unlike a chocolate chip cookie, with dark brown sugar and butter. Then, a whole slew of buttery popcorn is folded in—it crumbles and crunches until it’s fully incorporated into the dough, and then we amplify that deliciousness with bittersweet chocolate chips. And then, after we scoop out the dough, we sprinkle each ball of dough with a smidge of Maldon sea salt just before baking. Can you handle it?!
The best part is, I simplified the heck out of these by using microwave popcorn. You know those single-serve 100-calorie popcorn packs they sell? I picked up some of the butter-flavored 94% fat-free ones at the store, and I popped two packs to use in this recipe. It took approximately 2 seconds of my time and effort to make them, and I liked that a whooole lot. However, you can certainly pop some on the stove top. Basically, you just need about 7 to 8 cups of your favorite buttery popcorn. Make it your way, but make it delicious, and these cookies will follow suit. And as a bonus, these cookies are only 74 calories a pop. Amazing. Get on it!
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Remove and discard any unpopped kernels from popcorn and set popcorn aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add in popcorn in three batches, allowing mixer to run on low and break up the popcorn or fold in by hand with a spatula. Fold in chocolate chips until just combined.
Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop dough out onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving two to three inches between scoops. Sprinkle a few coarse sea salt flakes on each dough ball. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a big pumpkin fan. I don’t get excited when Starbucks brings back the pumpkin latte—in fact, I was just mad the mocha coconut Frappucino went into hibernation for the winter. I don’t run out to the store as soon as pumpkin season hits and stock up with 50 cans to last me until next fall. It’s rare that I even like something made with pumpkin. That’s why the pumpkin recipes on this blog are few and far between. But today, I saw the recipe that inspired this recipe on Bake at 350, and for some reason, it just sounded so good. Probably the chocolate.
But ohhh, the chocolate. These bars are full of gooey, chocolatey deliciousness. But that’s not all! I mixed it up. I added pecans. Whoa! I also did a number of things to up the health factor, like using white whole wheat flour, using just one egg white, reducing the amount of butter and adding applesauce, and reducing the amount of sugar. Still, decidedly not health food, so try not to eat the whole pan. But they’ve got lots of good-for-you stuff, and some just-plain-good-stuff, too: warm-fuzzies-inducing fall spices, toasty pecans, and of course, chocolate. They’re super soft with a nice contrast in texture from the pecans. Love that.
My Labor Day was blissfully free of labor. Some of you probably had super fun barbecues or hung out on the beach, or maybe you travelled to see family out of town. I did none of that. Nope. Too much work for me. In fact, the only laboring I did was over my KitchenAid mixer, and it took all of 5 minutes.
This is one of my very favorite recipes from How Sweet It Is. The first time I made these bars a few months ago, I promptly made them about 5 more times in rapid succession, never stopping to take photos for this blog. A pan of these never lasts long in our house. They’re perfect for snacking, desserting, breakfasting—anytime-ing. Not too sweet, super peanut-buttery, chewy, soft, and chocolatey. They take mere minutes to throw together, so there’s no excuse for you to not make these right now.
I’ve been a little absent for the past couple weeks, as you may have noticed. I had a little streak of kitchen fails (not really fails, per sè, but recipes that I’ve been a little disappointed with), so I hadn’t made anything blog-worthy for two weeks. Then, thankfully, I got a ton of kitchen inspiration all of a sudden and started cooking up a storm! I finally have some new recipes for you lovely people. This one, while not healthy by any means, is definitely worth making. Holiday cookie swap? Gotcha covered. Want to make a treat for your co-workers? They’ll love you forever.
Have you been to the famous Levain Bakery in NYC? I made a point to visit the bakery when in the city two years ago, and it was so amazing that we had to make a special stop on our trip last year. Any time I’m in New York for the rest of my life, for as long as Levain is open, you can bet that I won’t skip it. Their cookies are ridonkulous. They’re giant, first of all. They seem like they could weigh a pound; easily split between two people, though you probably won’t want to share. They’re super thick and they somehow manage to retain their gooey, melty, warm deliciousness no matter how long they’ve been out of the oven—even several days later. It’s magic. They have several varieties, but my favorites are chocolate peanut butter chip and double chocolate, which is what I’ve made here.
I actually made these a while ago to send to my sister, but for some reason, I didn’t post them. I have no idea why, because these might be some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. Or had. I love sweet and salty combos, and these cookies epitomize that in the best way. .
These amazing cookies are actually just my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, plus crushed pretzels. The cookie base is just the perfect match for the pretzels—soft, chewy, rich and buttery, with just the right balance of sweet and salty. They were just screaming for pretzels to be added, so of course, I abided. And the result was glorious.
Hi everyone! I’ve been living in Chicago for two weeks now and I’m loving it. However, since I’m only in a temporary apartment right now, I haven’t been doing much cooking. I’ve mostly been surviving on big batches of corn chowder (no complaints here—that stuff is always amazing and it’s so easy to make with just a few ingredients) and eating out a lot (no good, I know). But I’m super excited because in just four days I will be moving into my new, non-temporary apartment! And it has a real kitchen. Ok, this temporary apartment has a real kitchen too, but I swear these appliances were manufactured before I was born. .
The biggest obstacle I’ve encountered when trying to cook these past couple weeks is that it doesn’t really matter if I have a kitchen, what matters is that my kitchen isn’t stocked with the basic ingredients that I’ve always taken for granted when throwing together a meal. I don’t want to go out and buy a big bag of flour, a collection of spices, a bottle of olive oil, and the other essentials I use all the time knowing that I won’t be in this apartment long enough to justify the expense and my kitchen stuff is arriving on Friday. So, when cooking, I’ve had to stick to things that require very few inexpensive, fresh ingredients that I can buy in small quantities. .
Not to mention that my freezer doesn’t freeze and my refrigerator is more like a sauna. Oh, and the miscalibrated knobs on the stove that almost caused me to burn all 48 stories of high-rise down to the ground. But enough complaining. .
I’m super excited to get back in the kitchen for real next week and have all my kitchen supplies and basics back! And rest assured more posts will be coming soon. .
I made these just a day or two before I left to move. I wanted to make something sweet, quickly, that was also light. So, based on a recommendation from reader Ciara, I checked out EatingWell.com and found this recipe—for cookies made in the waffle iron! Doesn’t even require you to turn on the oven, which is perfect for hot summer days. These were quick, easy, and tasty. They’re really just like mini chocolate waffles (which isn’t a bad thing in my book). Give ‘em a try!
Last night around midnight, I got the baking bug. Since it was a Saturday and I had nowhere to be in the morning, I decided to roll with it. I did a quick search on a few of my favorite blogs and came across these muffins on Annie’s Eats. However, they didn’t really have much redeeming nutritional value (something I try to avoid as much as possible when I’m baking just because I’m bored), so I modified them a bit to use whole wheat flour and throw in a banana to use up an overripe one I had lying around.
Results: fantastic! My boyfriend and I gobbled some up right out of the oven (he had two!) at 12:30, which probably wasn’t the wisest life decision, but I have no regrets. These are best warm, so if you can resist shoving them all into your face just after baking, try heating one up in the microwave for about 15 seconds before eating so the chocolate chips are nice and gooey. .
These muffins are pretty much my perfect muffin. They’re perfect as part of breakfast or as a late-night snack. Chocolatey, peanut buttery, sweet but not overly so, and absolutely gorgeous with their perfectly rounded tops. My favorite way to eat a muffin is to pull off the top and eat that first, so I’m always disappointed when muffins are too small or flat to do that—not a problem with these! The banana flavor in these is extremely subtle, which I like—it adds a little something extra but you might not be able to pinpoint it right away if you didn’t know it was banana. You can use a larger banana or even two bananas to get a more pronounced banana flavor. Let’s do it!
As I mentioned in this post, yummy treats can be a part of a healthy diet. In fact, I don’t think I would have been able to lose weight and maintain the loss if I deprived myself of baking and enjoying the tasty results—I’d be too miserable! That’s why I’m going to be sharing some of my more indulgent, sweet recipes here too. However, I always try to add a little nutritional value in when I can. .
That’s why I was especially excited to make these brownies when I saw them on Brown Eyed Baker. These brownies are actually whole grain—they’re made with one of my pantry staples, white whole wheat flour. Yet, they’re every bit as tasty as your run-of-the-mill, delicious, chocolatey brownie. . Continue reading →