Peanut Butter Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

When a friend comes to visit from across the country, they deserve a treat.  When a friend says she wants a dessert with bacon, you oblige and make these:

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My friend Liz loves bacon more than anyone I know.  We have that bond of former roommates so I know the lady loves meat  (no pun intended, get your mind out of the gutter).

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Lucky for her, bacon in dessert is totally having a moment, or is that just me?  If you haven’t had bacon in a dessert yet, you need to try it asap.  Start with these cookies…

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Peanut Butter Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 slices of bacon, fat reserved
1/4 cup softened butter
*
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted PB)
1 cup chocolate chips

In a pan, fry bacon over medium heat until very crispy.  Reserve fat and allow to cool completely.  Chop bacon and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Beat together butter, peanut butter and bacon fat (*note if you don’t want to use bacon fat, you can just use 1/2 cup of butter and omit the bacon fat).  Add sugar and beat for an additional minute or two.  Add egg and beat for an additional minute.  Add flour and baking soda (and salt if using) and beat until almost combined.  Lastly, fold in chopped bacon and chocolate chips.

Form dough into walnut-sized balls, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Allow to cool completely and serve!  Makes about 2 dozen cookies (or maybe more… I wouldn’t know because I ate a ton of the cookie dough).

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If your friend loves bacon but isn’t a fan of peanut butter… not to worry, I have a solution for you:

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Bacon Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not into cookies (we won’t talk about how blasphemous that is…) but feeling the need to put bacon in a dessert?  How about this Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse and Maple Candied Bacon?

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Equally delicious and bacon-y.

How do you feel about bacon in desserts? Do you love it? Hate it? Is it over-rated? Never tried it?  Tell me!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Until about 5 days ago, I thought “brown butter” was a crock of shit.

I hate to be crass, but let’s be honest, food bloggers are some of the best bullshitters I know.  Don’t worry, I’m include myself in that sweeping comment.

I mean really, we love to make basic things and give them a fancy name that hipsters will repin like crazy and drive traffic to our sites.

Examples:

Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse and Maple Candied Bacon = Chocolate Pudding with stuff sprinkled on it

Spinach-Quinoa-Peach Salad with Honey-Sage Vinaigrette= a salad with fruit and grains

You’re welcome.

I’m just calling it like it is.  And you know what hipsters love?

Butter.  Especially brown butter.

butter

So for a long time, I avoided anything with brown butter, because it just sounded sort of silly, but then on Friday I was bored and I needed to make dessert for the next day.  So I thought to myself, why not give it a shot?

At worst it, it’s still just a damn cookie.  At best, it’s an amazing cookie.

I won’t lie.  It’s a pretty amazing cookie.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Food and Wine

1 stick of butter
1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips

In a pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Allow to brown, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, transfer to large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.  In the meantime, combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

Once the butter has cooled, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add 1 egg at a time, then vanilla and continue to be beat for about a minute.  Add in flour mixture.  Mix until almost combined. Fold in chocolate chips until dough is just combined.

Place dough in the freezer while oven preheats to 350F.

Once oven has pre-heated, form dough into walnut sized balls.  Place on parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden around the edges.

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Remove from oven, leave on pan for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack until cool.  Then serve!  This recipe makes about 20-24 small ish cookies.  If you want larger cookies, bake longer and you’ll probably get about 10.

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So I’m going to go ahead and tell you that these are great.

I’m going to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong.  Brown butter is pretty tasty.  They weren’t lying when they said it gives it a nice nutty flavor.

Ok now be a hipster and…

Orange-Pistachio Biscotti

Sometimes I wish I had a fashion/style blog like Kendi Everyday, but then I remember I lack a unique sense of fashion (hence why I feel the need to text pictures of my outfits to my friends for approval).

I simply cannot accessorize. If you can, bless your heart.

More importantly, I’ve noted that these style bloggers all have fabulous significant others (or something or other) who can take fantastically flattering pictures of them in random parts of cities.  No luck there for me either.

Instead, I oogle style blogs on a regular basis and stick to making food… like biscotti.  Biscotti is like the silky scarf of cookies, don’t you think?

Orange-Pistachio Biscotti

Better than the average cookie and even more divine when dipped in hot coffee.  The orange and pistachio combination.  Classic.  Like a black dress.

Orange-Pistachio Biscotti

Orange-Pistachio Biscotti

adapted from Allrecipes Biscotti

1/2 canola oil
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
zest of 2 oranges
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup shelled pistachios
2 cup white chocolate chips (plus more for drizzling)
1-2 tsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 375F.  Beat together canola oil, sugar, eggs, orange zest and vanilla until well combined.  Beat in flour and baking soda until almost combined.  Add pistachios and 1 cup of white chocolate chips.  Divide dough in half.  Form into two logs about 2 or 3 inches wide and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven allow to cool until you can handle it without burning yourself.   Reduce oven temperature to 325F.  Then slice at a slight diagonal into half inch slices.  Lay onto baking sheet again and bake 5 minutes on each side.  Allow to cool completely.

Orange Pistachio Biscotti

Once cookies are completely cooled, place white chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted.  Add a teaspoon or two of canola oil until the chocolate is a little runny (but not too much).  Drizzle over cooled cookies.  Allow chocolate to harden and serve with hot coffee or tea.  Makes about 40 cookies and can be stored in an air tight container up to 1 week.

Orange-Pistachio Biscotti

If you, like me, are lacking in the style department, don’t despair.  These cookies will distract anyone from noticing that your shoes don’t match your outfit and you’re missing an earring.

Orange-Pistachio Biscotti

Save the cash you would spend on a new pair of boots and get yourself a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  That’s what I did today…

…And oh yeah, Happy New Year!

Almond Joy Biscotti: Almond-Coconut Biscotti Dipped in Chocolate

Sometimes I have random cravings like a pregnant woman.  No, I’m not pregnant.  Trust me.  I’m not, but my sister is pregnant so this is my point of comparison.  At times, I think I crave things as often as she does.

Tonight, I really wanted crunchy, raw cabbage with lemon lime and salt.  It was wonderful (and pretty random, right?).

Last week, I wanted biscotti.

Also totally random right?  Except for that fact that biscotti is delicious, and really I can’t think of a time I wouldn’t want to enjoy some biscotti with a cup of coffee.

But this biscotti:

This biscotti is crazy-delicious.  Hard to believe but true.  So go ahead.  Write down the recipe and get in the kitchen….

Almond Joy Biscotti

adapted from All Recipes

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp oil

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in one egg at a time then vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt, until not quite combined.  Fold in almonds and coconut.

Line two baking sheets (or 1 large one) with parchment paper.  Flour your hands then take half the dough and drop it onto a baking sheet and try to mold it into a log-shape, more or less 3 inches wide and 12 inches long.  I say more or less because the dough will be very sticky and hard to handle but don’t worry it’ll all turn out fine once baked.  Do the same with the other half.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Once the logs have cooled, using a serrated bread cut slightly slanted into 1/2-3/4 inch thick cookies.

Turn oven down to 275F.  Lay on another parchment paper-lined baking sheets, bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden on the bottom.  Flip each cookie and bake another 5-10 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them you don’t want to burn them!

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Once the cookies have cooled.  Place chocolate chips in a bowl, microwave 30 seconds, then stir.  Microwave another 30 seconds, then stir.  Repeat until chocolate is melted.  Stir in 1-2 tbsp oil until the chocolate is slightly runny.

Dip one side of each cookie (Note: this makes about 40 cookies) in chocolate and lay on parchment paper.  Drizzle any remaining chocolate on top of cookies.  Refrigerate half an hour until chocolate sets.

Make a pot of coffee, serve and enjoy!

The good thing is if you’re not craving biscotti at this very moment, they stay good for about a week in an air-tight container.

So go ahead and preemptively give in to your cravings.

Make these, then snap a photo and send it to me!  No really, do it!

Banana Coconut Bars

I’ve been on a bar kick recently.  Not the party kind of bar, like the cookie-that-you-cut type bar.  Like this:

As for the other type of bar, I’m not cool enough to hang out in bars.  You’re more likely to find me in a park.

A few weeks ago I had decided I wanted to open a bar.  Not just any bar, I wanted it to be an outdoor bar (think park meets bar, see where I’m going with this?).  I think it’s ridiculous that Southern California has awesome weather but very few places where you can enjoy the weather with a beer/wine in your hand.

Sure, there are bars with patios, but those are usually small and there’s no grass involved.  Grass is really essential to the full outdoor enjoyment. I still want to open that bar.  Would you come?

But enough about those types of bars.  Let’s talk about this sort…

I’m a fan.  You will be too.  Unless you’re like my friend Emily who hates cooked fruit, in which case you should make this instead… or this.

But if you love cooked fruit (I do!) and more importantly bananas and coconut and sweet goodness, then you should probably give these a try!

Banana Coconut Bars

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (or just 2 cups all purpose)
3 ripe bananas, sliced
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Cream together 3/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar.  Beat in egg.  Add flour and mix until just combined.  The texture will be pretty crumbly, press into a 9 x 13 baking dish (I used a jelly roll pan and pressed it into about 2/3 of it) lined with parchment paper.

Lay banana sliced on dough.  Next spread shredded coconut on top and chocolate chips if desired.  Drizzle with 4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk.

In a bowl combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup oats, 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar.  Use your hands to work it into coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the mixture over the bars.  Drizzle with remaining sweetened condensed milk.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool complete.  Cut into bars and serve!

In case it wasn’t obvious, everyone is cool enough for this bar.

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?

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Caramel Surprise

Who doesn’t love a surprise?  Especially around the holidays.

Okay so the surprise is caramel.  I gave it away.  I’m terrible at keeping secrets.  And let’s be honest sometimes it’s not even a surprise but a gooey caramel mess.  You can’t really go wrong.  Either way, I’ll keep calling them a surprise cookie.  I sounds more enticing that way.

Caramel in a sweet and salty cookie.  I know, it’s exciting. Definitely surprise-worthy.

You’re probably going to want to make these for your next Holiday gathering and/or potluck.  They work for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; clearly, they’re really equal opportunity cookies.

Did I mention they’re fun to make? And more importantly fun to eat.

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Caramel Surprise

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp heavy cream, room temperature
pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups pretzel pieces

First make the caramel filling.  Put 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan.  Turn heat on to medium and wait til the sugar starts to melt.  Carefully keep stirring until all the sugar is melted.  If you get clumps, smash them with your wooden spoon.  Push them to edges, they’ll melt faster.  Once your sugar is a light brown color, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter.  Once the butter is incorporated, add the pinch of salt and stream in the cream and you stir.  Keep whisking/stirring until it’s one thick, uniform texture.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together 3/4 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Next add try ingredients  (including chocolate chips and pretzels).  The key is to work the dough as little as possible.  It’ll be a little sticky but that’s okay.

By now, your caramel should be pretty cool.  If it’s not then hang out for a few minutes until it’s cool enough to put in a ziploc bag.  Once you can, put it in a ziploc bag and cut off a bottom corner so you have a make-shift piping bag.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and get ready to assemble your cookies (note: the dough will be pretty sticky!  This is sort of a messy cookie making extravaganza, but get into it!  It’s fun!).

Grab a small amount of dough and sort of flatten it into a disk shape.  Using your finger, make a small well.  Pipe about a tsp of caramel into the well. Then fold the edges around to cover the caramel.  Put some more dough on top to make sure the caramel is completely coated with cookie (you might have to use bits of dough to patch up holes).  Repeat until you have 36 dough balls (depending on how big you make them) or you run out of dough.

Bake for 12 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Then surprise your fella, co-workers, siblings with these cookies.  They’ll appreciate them.  Mine did.  I can almost guarantee yours will too.

Who doesn’t love surprises?  Especially ones that involve chocolate, pretzels and caramel.

That’s what I thought.  Get to the kitchen!

Double Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m a nerd, and I totally okay with it.

I like to think I’m at least a cool nerd, but realistically, I’m just a nerd, especially when it comes to food.  I read recipes for fun.  I talk about things I want to try to make (why yes, I do want to make a turducken and roast an entire goat.  No, I don’t usually eat meat.  That totally makes sense.).  I go on solo dates to grocery stores where I walk around looking at random ingredients and imagining what I can make with them.

That happened a few weeks ago when I was walking around my newest favorite grocery store, Sprouts.  (Sorry, Wegmans I couldn’t handle the distance.)

I came across crystallized ginger, and my eyes lit up like Christmas.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit that ginger is exciting, but honesty is the best policy so I’ll go with it.

I spend a lot of time thinking about ginger.

There’s something about crystallized ginger that makes me want to curl into my bed with a blanket, a cup of tea and a cookie.  Specifically this cookie:

These cookies feel like fall.  That seems to be a theme for me, recently.  But it’s November, and my body seems to have forgotten what less than 60F feels like, so let’s embrace the ginger.

Throw it in everything.  Start with these cookies.

Double Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
2 cups flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat over to 350F.

Cream together butter, sugar, egg and molasses.  Stir in crystallized ginger.  Add in dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

The dough will be sorta dry, but will come together when you form it into balls.  So don’t be discouraged or tempted to add more wet ingredients!

Place golf ball sized balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-14 minutes or until just golden around the edges.  Allow to cool a few minutes before removing from baking sheet.

Once they’ve cooled enough, put some on a plate, make a cup of tea, get into bed and watch something totally nerdy, like Star Trek… or Twilight… At least this way nerdy is tasty.

 

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today was one of the worst days ever.  I’m not going to talk about.  Instead I’m going to talk about cookies.

Fact: Cookies make life better.

There’s something I really love about a plate of cookies.   No it doesn’t matter what kind of cookies.  I just sorta find them pretty.

I gave these away.  The next day I received a few texts telling me they were popular with co-workers.  I won’t lie, I was sorta kicking myself for giving them away.  As I wrote this post, all I wanted was one of these cookies.  That’s what happens when you have a stressful day: you want cookies.

From what I recall, they were a little bit cakey (but less so than your average pumpkin cookie, which always seems more like a muffin top to me) and chewy.  I’m pretty sure that means they’re good.  Cakey but chewy?  Done.  I want it again.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.  Cream together butter, pumpkin puree, sugars and egg yolk.  Mix in dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in Chocolate chips.

Form dough into golf ball-sized balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from baking sheet.

Put on a plate and make someone’s day that much better.

Almond-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you hear that chocolate may reduce women’s risk of stroke?  In case you really needed a reason to eat more chocolate, now you have one.

I’m only looking out for you, and because I love you so much and I don’t want you to have a stroke, I’m going to share some ways you can eat more chocolate.

Like this

Champagne Brownies

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Wine Cake

Oh and don’t forget these

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling, Cream Cheese Frosting and Sea Salt Candied Walnuts

And most recently this:

Almond-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup almond butter (I used maple almond butter)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, heaping
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup chocolate chips (or more, if you’d like)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter, almond butter, and sugars.  Beat in egg.  Add dry ingredients (except oats) and blend together.  Fold in oats and chocolate chips.

Place balls of dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven, or until golden on the edges.  The center will be slightly undercooked but don’t forget they keep cooking even after you take them out of the oven, not to mention a slightly undercooked center is delicious.

I’ll be honest, these were amazing because of the texture.  Although I sort of wish I had used PB instead of almond butter, or maybe added some almond extract in there, and coconut.  Yes, coconut would have been divine. 

But really, the chocolate will suffice, after all that’s all that really matters right now.

So be healthy and go make some Almond-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and eat a few handfuls of chocolate chips while you’re at it.