Friday, May 6, 2016

Vanilla Wafers

I like to know what's in my food.

My least favorite part about fancy restaurants is that the menu often doesn't tell you what foods you're getting. Sometimes they'll just tell you the entree and "seasonal vegetables." Um... I'm gonna need more info than that.

Along with this idea, I also like to know what's in the food I buy at the grocery store.

While I'm not one of those people who's scared by the word "chemical" (read more here), I do like to make my foods as naturally as I can. Mostly because I think it tastes better that way. It's fresher, tastier.

The first time (and every time since) I made my homemade banana pudding, I didn't have vanilla wafers. It was late on a Saturday night, and there was a 0% chance I was going to drive to the store just to buy vanilla wafers.

So I decided to search the internet for a recipe for homemade vanilla wafers, and lo and behold, I struck gold.

These vanilla wafers are perfect for using in banana pudding, making tiny cookie sandwiches, or just popping into your mouth as they are (that's what I've been doing this week)!

They're fast and easy to make, and your little ones can easily help you make them. Recipe adapted from Baking Bites. Warning: These are super addictive.

Vanilla Wafers

Yields: between 4-8 dozen, depending on the size

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with parchment or silpat.

2. Cream together softened butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla.

3. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add them to the butter mixture until well incorporated.

4. Transfer dough to a piping bag with a plain round tip (mine's 1/2"). Pipe little blobs of dough onto the sheet. Smooth the tops with your finger. Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on how dark you want them.

5. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Leftover brownies. Sounds like an impossible concept, right? How on earth could anyone ever have leftover brownies?

Before you think I'm too crazy, I didn't actually have leftover brownies. I made a 9 x 13 pan of brownies for me and Austin last week, and after 24 hours, there were 2 brownies left. 

Technically, I guess that means we had leftover brownies. But with only 2 people eating 80% of a 9 x 13 pan of brownies in less than a day, I'm not sure if I'd count that as "leftovers."

When I saw a recipe for brownie chunk chocolate chip cookies on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it out with our two "leftover" brownies. 

Man, am I glad I did!! These are INSANE. They're the perfect combination of brownies and cookies. 

Since I'm pretty sure leftover brownies are a myth, you might have to actually make the brownies to go with the cookies. But it's worth it. Totally worth it. Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 24 cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup brownie chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silpat.

2. Combine flour, baking soda & powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and brownie chunks and stir until combined.

4. Scoop using a spoon or cookie scoop onto the baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.

5. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.