NaBloPoMo: Post 2

Ever since I moved to San Francisco, and I have told people that I graduated from the CIA with a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, I have been asked what my specialty is/what my favorite thing to bake is. I have almost a different answer every time because I like to bake just about anything and don’t really have a “specialty”. I do, however, have a few favorite recipes that I like to turn to, and since this post is a part of the NaBloPoMo, and the theme this month is fan, I bring you a list of my favorite things to bake, and their recipes:

  1. Better Than Brownie Cookies. They are a great chocolaty cookie recipe that I found on another blog a couple of years ago and I like baking them every so often. I have come up with different variations of the recipe such as using butterscotch or peanut butter chips instead of the second cup of chocolate chips. I think, like brownies, these cookies allow you to have a very creative license. Last night I dreamed about making them with a sprinkle of sea salt on them. (Yes, I dream about dessert!)
  2. Pie Pops. Also found on a blog a couple of years ago. Every time I make them or bring them up in conversation, people get pretty excited about them. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s a mini pie on a stick.
  3. Chocolate chip cookies. I have always liked using the recipe from the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag for as long as I have been making chocolate chip cookies (which is a long time). I also like adding different things to them. This recipe has oatmeal and bananas in it.
  4. Ice Cream. I have yet to buy an ice cream machine/attachment for my KitchenAid (though my birthday is coming up in November; hint, hint, nudge, nudge) but I love making ice cream. I love that this is also one of those things you can get really creative with. By the way, while it’s not on my favorite list, it is National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day!
  5. Brownies/Blondies. So easy and so chewy and good. Love to make brownies in a smaller pan than what is called for. Usually, brownies are baked in a 9×13 pan and I bake them in a 9×9 or an 8×8. This makes them more fudgy and gooey and that’s what you want in a brownie, right? I know it’s kinda weird, but I also only like the middle-no edges for me!

So there it is. The top five things I like to bake. My turn to ask: what’s your favorite thing to bake/what’s your specialty? (you can answer in the comments)

it’s a hot, sticky mess…

…not the drunk kind, but the gooey, marshmallowy kind. I got a bag of marshmallows sent to me as part of a birthday present from my mom, and they were all stuck together, so I needed something to do with them, and I couldn’t just eat them out of the bag, because, well, they were literally stuck in the bag! So, I looked hard and long (ugh-get your minds out of the gutter!) on the interwebs for ideas and mostly found marshmallows added to brownie or blondies, so I thought a little longer, and I decided that I could probably caramelize the ‘mallows before adding them to the brownies, so that’s what I did. They turned out to be really good, and it was a literal explosion of a brownie.
I suggest melting/caramelizing the ‘mallows right before you add them to the batter, because otherwise, like me, you will end up having to reheat it to get it out of the pot, and that is what made the hot, sticky mess.

(look at the bubble of marshmallow peeking out!)

Anyway, they are really easy to make. Just follow this brownie recipe and caramelize one bag of marshmallows, then layer the brownie batter with the brown goop in your pot, and bake for like 30 minutes. The marshmallows smell so campfire-y and good when they are being melted, it is tempting to just eat that, and of course, you could stop right there, and add it to some ice cream. Or, you could add them to some graham crackers and chocolate for some s’mores. Again, all of these possibilities!

Brownies or cookies? How about both?!

Two posts in one day? Yes, I wanted to get right on baking things from my recipe binder, since there’s 101 recipes in there. (That’s no exaggeration, I counted and that’s really how many recipes there are.) So, I made the brownie chunk cookies…sorta. See, I was thinking about the Treasure Island Music Festival and I wanted to be able to bring some dessert to snack on while we are there, and well, there will be four of us, among the crowd of other SF/Bay Area locals coming together for this (awesome) concert. What better way to make some new friends than to share some delicious treats? (and make the friends I already have happy.) Therefore, I made the cookies into brownies. The original recipe

is for cookies with brownie chunks in them. (See picture) Since I wanted to make enough dessert for a crowd, I opted to make them brownies (blondies?) because then you get more pieces.  I also have leftover regular brownies. Hopefully, by Saturday, there will still be brownies (both kinds) left, since I know that my roommates like eating my treats really quickly. If not, I suppose I can make something else…

basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but instead of chocolate chips, it’s brownie chunks. I don’t like nuts in my cookies/brownies, so I didn’t add the walnuts.
  note: I did not refrigerate/cool the brownies before adding them to the cookie batter, which is why there is not that pretty cookie/brownie contrast.
 

this is the brownie-cookies in brownie (blondie) form…YUM!