Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the blogs I read.  There are some I read strictly for photo or recipe purposes and others for the content.  More often than not, the blogs I read for content are based on someone’s life.  Apparently, I’m nosey.

So I started thinking about my own blog.  Is it one of those look at the photos and recipe blogs or more of a read the content and know the person type blog?

Once upon a time I wrote about my life, my semi-obsession with health and fitness, and school.  I had a different boyfriend, I was in grad school and I didn’t eat meat.  That was years ago.  Somewhere along the way, that stopped.

Nowadays, I don’t really tell you about things like wine and painting with my sister and my friend.

I don’t usually talk about the fact that last week I signed up for 24 Hour Fitness and was stared at for being the sweatiest person in the room.  I firmly believe if you still look cute after your workout you weren’t working hard enough.  True Story.

Or that I went to the Artisan Food and Arts Festival with my sister, brother-in-law, and this guy, who I have yet to give a blog nickname (not that I can’t just call him by his name, Jesse, like I do in real life):

and ate some amazing food from Kogi.

Recently, my blog has been all about the fatty and delicious recipes that are more fun to write about and photograph than sharing the healthy meals I try to consume on a regular basis, but sometimes I miss documenting the healthy, tasty things I make.

So lately, it’s been a lot of recipes like this

Because chocolate and peanut butter are winners, and because sometimes I like reading blogs just for the recipes.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

inspired by Epicurious

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar + more for rolling
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup oats

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl combine butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg.  Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and stir until just combined.  The dough will be pretty dry.  Add chocolate chips and oats and knead it all together until combined.  Form dough into about 30 tbsp sized balls, roll in sugar and lay onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Press dough down to flatten.  Bake about 8 minutes or until the edges are cooked but the center is still soft.

They key to these is to make sure they’re not over-baked.  If they’re over-baked, they’ll be hard and dry.  If slightly under-baked, they’ll be chewy and rich.  In other words, delicious.

Delicious is right, and I hope my blog stays that way, but it might go in a different direction too.  So maybe my blog will have to be both.  A little bit of Karla and a lot of food.  All mixed together.

Let’s just hope that as I approach my 400th post, I don’t decide to share 400 things about myself like I did on the 100th

What do you think?

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Lemon Cornmeal Muffins

There are a few things I really appreciate in life.

1. My ten o’clock telenovela.  I’m into it.

2.  The fact that even though my friends are far away they can give me fashion advice thanks to my iphone.

I can’t be the only one that does this… right?

3. Lemon flavored anything. All the time.

Like these.

I love the texture, the lemon-y-ness, the simplicity.  Make them now.

Lemon Cornmeal Muffins

adapted from Epicurious

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  In another bowl combine eggs, buttermilk, lemon zest, vanilla and melted butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Pour into lined muffin pan.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

While the muffins bake, make the glaze by combining powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Once the muffins are baked, remove from pan, place on a rack to cool.  While still hot, poke with a toothpick or fork and pour about 1 tbsp of glaze on each one.  Allow to cool completely and serve.

Then text your friends a picture of you eating one.  I would appreciate that.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling and Peanut Butter Butter Cream

I think this title has the record for the number of times “butter” is in a blog title.  I’m totally cool with that.

I’m also cool with this

Peanut Butter and Chocolate is pretty much one of the most amazing combinations on the planet.  My mother would disagree, but I think 90% of America would think these cupcakes are amazing.  Fact.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling and Peanut Butter Butter Cream

using Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used almond milk and it was a-okay!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 + 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Once it’s just about combine, stir in cup of boiling water.  Pour 1/4 cup batter into about each lined cupcake pan (makes about 30).  Bake 15-18 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from cupcake pan immediately and place to cool on a wire rack.  Allow to cool completely.

Make mousse filling.  Using a hand (or stand) mixer, whip heavy cream.  Gradually add in 1/4 cup powdered sugar as it starts to form soft peaks.  Beat until stiff, careful not to overwhip.  In another bowl, beat together cream cheese and 1/4 cup of peanut butter until smooth.  Fold in whipped cream.  Chill for about half an hour (you can put it in the freezer to speed this up).

Next make peanut butter butter cream.  Beat together peanut butter and butter.  Add in powdered sugar (and some vanilla if you’d like) until it reaches a thick enough consistency for frosting, add milk if necessary.  If you’d like you can also add some cream cheese to the frosting.  It turns out great!

Using a sharp pointed knife, cut out a small circle from each cupcake.  Transfer mousse to a ziploc bag and cut off an end to make a sort of piping bag (or put it in a piping bag if you’re fancy pants like that).  Pipe some mousse into each cupcake.  Next frost as desired (pipe or spread).

Keep them in the fridge until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate is a sure-fire crowd please-r.   I took them to an office party.  They were a hit.  Who doesn’t love a delicious chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter surprise?

Rum Layer Cake with Coconut Custard Filling

In addition to being obsessed with weddings, I’m also all about birthdays.

Yeah, that’s me… I love birthdays (along with any opportunity to bake a cake).

So…I know cupcakes are all the rage these days, but I have an unnatural love for layer cakes and let’s face it, birthdays merit layer cakes.  There’s something about a fully assembled and frosted layer cake that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I can understand why people don’t like making them.  Let’s face it, they’re sort of labor intensive, but in my opinion totally worth it, especially for a special friend.

My friend, Rachel, totally deserves a layer cake.  In fact, she got this one.

Rum Cake with Coconut Custard Filling

adapted from Bacardi Rum Cake

For Cake:*

1 box yellow cake mix
1 package instant pudding (4 serving size)
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup water or milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

For Custard:*

1 cup whole milk (I used 3/4 cup nonfat milk and 1/4 cup of cream and it worked fine)
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp corn starch
1 cup shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Food coloring (optional)

Make Cake. Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans (you can also put it in 3 pans, bake it for less time).  Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan.  Pour contents of cake mix and pudding mix into a large bowl. In another bowl mix together milk, rum, eggs and vegetable oil.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined.  Pour into the prepared cake pans, bake approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked in the center.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  You can make this a day or two in advance, just make sure you cover it in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

Make custard.  Heat milk on low heat in a medium saucepan stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.  In a separate bowl mix together egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and vanilla. Stir in half a cup of the warm milk, then pour the mixture into the saucepan.  Keep stirring over low-medium heat until thick.  Pour into a bowl to cool, cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate a few hours until completely cooled.

Make Frosting.  Beat together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla (and food coloring if you choose to use it).

Assemble cake.  Cut off the tops of the cakes so you have a level surface.  Lay down the first layer, then put down a layer of the filling in the center, don’t spread it to the edges, it’ll over flow.  If you only do two layers then place the top layer.   If not, repeat.  Cover in a thin layer for frosting, then chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Apply a thicker layer of frosting, decorate, chill again and serve.

*Note: For a taller cake, double the recipe.  I used 1.5 of this recipe (had oven issues and had to throw away one of my 4 layers).
**Note: If you only make a 2 layer cake, half the custard recipe is enough for one layer of filling.

I’m usually opposed to box mix.  I know I’m a total snob, but this was just sooo good, I had to give in and make it.  Honestly, I’ll probably make it again. In fact, I feel like this should be a birthday tradition.

It was a hit at the Birthday Dinner.

Happy Birthday Rachel!

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake?