Decadent Delites

Chocolate Chip “cookie-muffins”

Since the end of fall quarter, I have been in Southern California visiting one of my best friends. She and her family have treated me so well — like their own daughter. After an amazing day spent at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure yesterday, today we decided to take it easy by spending time at a couple shopping centers near her house and then baking for the rest of the day. Aside from baking chocolate crinkle cookies and rainbow sugar cookies, we decided to make chocolate chip cookies. Using the recipe from the back of the Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips and some slight baking modifications, we came up with these cookie-muffins.

Enjoy!

Very fortunate that tonight I got to bake with a friend for a friend’s birthday celebration.
Chocolate cake is what was made, though sadly due to time constraints and resources, we weren’t able to make the cream cheese frosting so we used store-bought frosting instead.
Overall, I would say this was a very successful baking adventure!

Very fortunate that tonight I got to bake with a friend for a friend’s birthday celebration.

Chocolate cake is what was made, though sadly due to time constraints and resources, we weren’t able to make the cream cheese frosting so we used store-bought frosting instead.

Overall, I would say this was a very successful baking adventure!

Baking in College

Yes. I am baking in college. How, you may ask? For the past two years, the university I attended did not have kitchens for residents to access (if you lived in university housing).

However, for the remainder of my undergraduate schooling, I am attending a different university which, you guessed it, has kitchens for their residents to use. I am very fortunate that the kitchen in the basement of the dorm I live in is there because I needed to bake. Transferring is stressful and adapting to a new environment takes a lot of strength and drains a lot of emotion from you.

So this morning at 6 AM, I headed downstairs and preheated the oven. I measured out a cup of Nutella and beat two eggs into it. I then added 5/8 cup (10 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour to the mixture, crafted a makeshift brownie pan from aluminum foil, placed it on a cookie sheet and let it bake away for 15 to 18 minutes. What did I end up with? Nutella fudge brownies. Simple ingredients. Easy to prepare. And delicious to devour.

(Read more for photos)

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Peanut Butter Cookies: 2 Ways

I leave in 3 days. I have 3 days to bake all that I can. Because in 3 days, I will no longer have a kitchen and oven to play in.

It just so happens, too, that my cousin’s birthday is on Saturday. Taking into account shipping time (she is on the other side of the country), a batch of cookies should arrive just in time to help her celebrate her birthday. 

So that is where this comes into play. Peanut butter cookies. 2 ways. I found 2 recipes that I wanted to try and it just so happens we have a 40 oz. jar of creamy peanut butter at home (okay so I bought it on purpose, but who says you can’t have a little extra peanut butter around the house?). 

Here they are, the two recipes for peanut butter cookies. Each has it own unique flavor. I like the first one because of the strong peanut butter flavor. My sister, on the other hand, likes the second one because of the light, fluffy texture. So which one do you prefer? Let me know!

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

As I promised in this post, here is the first of two recipes for peanut butter cookies.

The recipe I found is simple and very easy to make. In 15 minutes, a cookie dough was made and ready to be rolled into small cookies. This recipe is also kid friendly; have young children help measure the peanut butter and roll out the cookies into small balls. 

Ingredients

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Step-by-step

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone cookie sheet liner (Silpat).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the peanut butter with the whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy. Next, add the brown sugar, baking soda, and vanilla extract to the peanut butter and whisk until well combined. Lastly, beat in the eggs just until they are combined with the rest of the ingredients.

WIth the dough prepared, use your hands (or a spoon) to form the dough into small balls. Once done, place them on the prepared cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Just before baking, use a fork and press down on the balls to flatten the cookies and create a nice criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy~

Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe, in contrast to the other one I made this morning, is much more complex in nature, requiring many more ingredients in order to create the dough. However, it is something different and just gives you more options when it comes to pleasing a crowd!

Ingredients

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups brown sugar, loosely packed

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/3 cup all purpose flour

Step-by-Step

Preheat oven to 375F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone cookie mats (Silpat).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Next, add in the brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Once well incorporated, add the egg and vanilla extract. Lastly, add in the flour and beat until well incorporated.

The dough might be a bit sticky but go ahead and continue with making the cookies. Scoop out small balls of dough about 1 inch in size, and place onto the prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch between each cookie to allow for expanding while baking,

Sprinkle a little granulate sugar on the top of each cookie. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy~

Chai Tea Cupcakes

From the time I decided to make cupcakes this morning until the batter was baking away in the oven, no more than 15 minutes passed.

I first was introduced to chai tea lattes in high school, when I started to go to the local Peet’s Coffee and Tea to study. Not feeling like having just tea one day, I asked the barista for a non-coffee drink recommendation. And since then, I have been drinking a non-fat chai tea latte each time I go to study or meet with friends.

I found this recipe looking through my starred recipes on Foodgawker. There were several others that I could have used but all called for spices, not the actual brewed tea or tea leaves. I didn’t have the spices on hand, but I did have a box of Tazo organic chai tea bags. So I opened up 6 bags, poured out the contents, and started on my way to make these delicate little bite-sized wonders.

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold (I used a bit less than 1/4 cup)

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons tea leaves (6 Tazo tea bags)

1 large egg

1/2 cup almond milk or regular milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step-by-step

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line cupcake trays with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray. Mini or regular size work just fine.

In the bowl of a stand mixture, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, and tea leaves until the mixture becomes powdery and a bit coarse. 

Then, in a separate bowl, beat together the almond milk, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined. 

Lastly, pour the egg mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer while beating on low speed. Once all combined, turn onto medium speed and mix for a couple minutes while the batter becomes smooth.

Divide the batter into the prepared baking tray, filling each cupcake about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way filled. A neat trick I learned many years ago, when making cupcakes, is if you have extra cupcake molds and not enough batter, fill each about halfway with water to prevent burning during baking.

If making mini cupcakes, bake for 12 minutes or when the tops of the cupcake are pressed on, they bounce right back up (toothpick should come out clean). If making regular sized cupcakes, bake for 15 to 18 minutes, though you will have to do some experimenting with the time since I didn’t try them (yet!).

Let the cupcakes rest on a cooling rack before serving.

They have a very unique flavor to them — my mom didn’t like them at all but I love them! Try it out. What do you think?

Decided on a whim to make crumb/coffee cake today :) 

Decided on a whim to make crumb/coffee cake today :)