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C is for cookie…

That’s good enough for me!  In fact, these were fabulous!

Two Words of Warning:
1. Make these near a sink.  I’m sure you know this, but ice cream melts.  I rinsed my hands off approximately 947 times.  (Have I ever told you that I just might exaggerate slightly?)
2.  Hide your pets.  The recipe involves mini chocolate chips and if you’re anything like me they will be all over your kitchen floor.  Kyra pounced on them like a jungle cat.  Seriously, there was no way I could stop her.

Last week I bought a gallon of ice cream as an addition to the strawberry sauce I was taking to my sister’s birthday party.  There were 6 of us and somehow my brain computed that a gallon of ice cream was necessary for that crowd.  Obviously I had a boat load of leftovers.  Hubby doesn’t love ice cream (I’m convinced he’s some sort of mutant.), but I could eat it every single day.  Probably every hour of every single day…  The devil must have invented ice cream, don’t you think?  I mean, can you think of anything more tempting than a darn-near full gallon of ice cream staring back at you?  Yeah, me either.  I had to get it out of my house.  The opportunity presented itself in the form of a work lunch potluck.  “I call dessert!”  Time for Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches from Delish!

Ice Cream not included due to melt factor

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Leftovers from buying far too much vanilla ice cream (The recipe says 1 pint…I have no idea how much I actually used)


Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
2.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Truth be told, I have no idea why this is necessary…I just listened.
3.  Read the directions wrong and add the granulated sugar to this bowl as well.  Yell out “Oh, crap!” and try to scoop out as much white sugar out from the white flour mixture as you can.  Fail miserably and move on.
4.  Re-read the directions (correctly this time) and add both sugars and the butter to a separate bowl.  Beat together.  Add sour cream, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
5.  Turn the mixer on low and gradually add in the flour mixture.  Mix in 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips. (The original recipe calls for 1 cup into the dough.  I usually reduce the amount of chocolate in cookies because I find it to overpowering otherwise.)
6.  Drop chunks of dough (about 1 TBSP) onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden. (About 10-12 minutes)  Move cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
7.  Here’s where I stopped listening again.  The recipe calls for softened ice cream…lies, I tell ya!  First of all I’m far too impatient for that, and second if you START with soft ice cream you will have a ginormous soupy mess by the time you get all the sandwiches made.  I used the ice cream right out of the freezer.  I used two large spoons (Are they called tablespoons?  That feels weird…) to form a flat looking ball on top of one cookie.  Then I just smooshed another cookie on top of it and rolled them/pressed mini chocolate chips into the exposed ice cream.  Place on a wax-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

The not-so-mini ice cream sandwiches

Verdict:
Everyone at work loved them, but I still had leftovers (I work in a small building) so I took them over to my in-laws during their pool party.  They disappeared in seconds and I got rave reviews.  Really, they aren’t very difficult to make and these cookies are A.MAZ.ING!  I’m storing this recipe away and will definitely make these cookies minus the ice cream as well.  They were so soft!  This is a 5 star recipe for sure!

I’m linked up over at Simply Sweet Home.  Check me out and say hi to some other loverly bloggers! 🙂

  It's a Keeper

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Gimme S’more of That!

This past weekend I had a party to go to.  Naturally, I decided to make a dessert.  I thought it would be a great time to try out individual mini desserts.  In my quest I stumbled upon these marvelous little gems: Caramel S’more Cups from Betty Crocker.  Personally I would change their name to “Little Cup of Heaven”.  Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies and caramel?  Throw some marshmallows and a little more chocolate on top and you’ve got yourself a winner!

These desserts were definitely easy to make, and I highly suggest that all of you lovely people give them a try.  My only word of caution is their calorie content.  One little cup is a whopping 132 calories.  I could easily scarf down 3 of them without even thinking.  As a comparison 396 calories is a bit more than a McDouble from McDonalds.  Add that to the list of things we never wanted to know, eh?

Caramel S’more Cups:

Ingredients:
1 pouch Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 egg
37 Rolos
111 mini marshmallows (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
2.  Make cookie dough as directed on package.  Shape dough into 37 balls about 1 inch.  (The original directions call for 36 balls but, for the life of me, I can never actually make the amount the recipe calls for.)  Place one ball in each muffin cup.
3. Bake 8 minutes (until edges begin to brown).  Remove from oven and firmly place one Rolo into each cookie.  Top each cookie with three marshmallows and place back in the oven for 2 – 4 minutes (until mallows puff).
4.  Once cookies are cooled, drizzle with melted semi sweet chocolate.  Serve!


My mom told me I could never make these again… Having these around is just far too dangerous. 

Oh…and don’t worry, there are plenty more than 37 Rolos in a regular sized bag.  Feel free to eat one (or six…) as you’re unwrapping them.

 

I linked up at It’s a Keeper!

Gone Bananas!

Welcome to my very first post as a 26-year-old.  That’s right folks, I’ve gone and gotten older on you…

This afternoon I was sitting at work contemplating my plans for dinner.  At this point I had none…No clue.  I ventured over to one of my favorite websites, A Year of Slowcooking.  Let me just start by saying that I just might be obsessed with this website (and my crockpots).  My coworkers actually laugh when I mention that our supper, once again, came from the slow cooker. 

Before I discovered the beauty of the crockpot my husband and I pretty much stuck to three meals:  Spaghetti, Chicken Patties & French Fries, or Cereal.  I wish I was joking… 

Cooking was terrifying new territory for me.  I could follow recipes to the letter and somehow they would still always turn out tasting like cardboard.  Dan attempted to convince me that I was overreacting, but being the perfect wife I am… I told him to shut it.  So, back to the three meals we’d go.  I decided that I hated cooking, and I wanted to do as little of it as possible.  Enter, the crockpot.  It seemed like the perfect fix for me.  I could whip a bunch of crap into a pot and walk away.  Seriously, how hard could that be?  Thanks to the slowcooker, my dinners starting tasting good!  I gained more confidence in the kitchen, and now I have a blog!

So today when I was at a loss for dinner plans I, of course, leaned towards my crockpot…and A Year of Slowcooking.  (PS – If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading Stephaine O’Dea’s blog I would highly suggest it!)  I came across her posting for “Clean out the Pantry Minestrone Soup” and decided to give it a go.  With all of my rambling, I bet you’d guess this is going to be a blog post about making soup in the crockpot.  You’d be guessing wrong.  I just ramble.  Just ask my husband…  To tell you the truth I couldn’t even give you a recipe for the concoction I made today.  I whipped so many random things in that pot I wouldn’t even know where to start.  But, it tasted good and I have a cleaner fridge and freezer.  This is the part where I finally get to my topic.  You see, when I was rummaging through my freezer I found a bag of frozen-so-long-I-don’t-even-remember-freezing-them bananas.  I grabbed them out of the freezer and decided tonight would be a blog and wine kinda night.  (Aren’t those just your favorite!?)

Okay, down to business.  I had 4 bananas so I made 2 different recipes.

Recipe #1:  Banana White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I thought I was a genius today.  I have never had a banana oatmeal cookie, so naturally I thought I invented it.  Turns out that’s not the case.  Darn it…  I did add white chocolate chips, though!  I made the recipe up using my recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies as a guide.

Ingredients:

Plus 2 overripe bananas


2 overripe bananas
2 TBSP honey
3/4 cup cinnamon flavored applesauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup egg replacer
2 1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

 
Directions:
1.  Beat together the bananas, egg replacer, honey, applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
2.  Stir in the oats, flour, and flax.
3.  Drop 32 spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
4.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Verdict:
I don’t love banana nearly as much as Dan, and I found these cookies to have a bizarre texture.  They are actually kind of spongey.  You can squish them, and they’ll bounce back.  Dan found this texture to be amazing.  He said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I wish all cookies were like this!  It’s like mixing a cookie with a muffin top!  It’s perfection!” 
Then I couldn’t stop thinking about Seinfeld.

32 cookies at 96 calories a piece

 

Recipe #2:  Cranberry Banana Bread
I found this recipe at The Fresh Loaf and just made a few changes.

Ingredients:

And 2 overripe bananas

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup egg replacer
2 overripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP milled flax seed
1/2 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot water to plump up)
Directions:
1. Blend together the top four ingredients.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
3. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Verdict:
I’m actually surprised at how moist it is without the butter.  It’s pretty darn tasty, and I think it will be perfect for a morning snack.  Dan likes it too.  He didn’t rave about its texture like he did with the cookies, though. 

Each of the 12 slices will be 176 calories

 

My Blog Buddy. Don't worry...He's empty now.

Operation Oatmeal (cookie)

 

Tonight I decided to take a big step.  I walked into my kitchen prepared to make my very first batch of cookies with a recipe I created. *gulp!* I did some research, looked up some recipes, and pulled bits of information from them to create my very own Frankenstein…in cookie form.

Back when I was deciding on a name for this lovely blog, I figured that at some point I would have to blog about a complete and utter failure.  I decided on “Between a rock & a hobby” so I would have 2 labels for my different “experiements”.  We’d have the hobby for those things that went well and could happen again (thus creating a “hobby”) and we’d have the rock for the things that just didn’t turn out so well.  I was convinced these cookies would be my very first rock.  Dan says I’m wrong.  Whoo hoo!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 TBSP honey
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
3/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup white chocolate chips


 Directions:
1.  Heat up about 2 cups of water and pour over craisins.  The internet told me this will make them much more plump.  I would assume this is a desirable trait for craisins in cookies.
2.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
3.  Measure out the coconut oil and heat in microwave for about 20 seconds. 
4.  Stare into the microwave because you have no clue if this was a good idea. 
5.  Notice that 20 seconds was long enough to soften up the coconut oil and make a bit of it liquidy…perfect.
6.  Combine coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and 1 TBSP of the water from the craisins. (Also contemplate if that was a good idea.)  Blend with mix master until smooth.  FYI the consistency of this is different from other cookies I have made.
7.  Slowly add in flour.  Continue blending until mixed in.
8.  Add in the oats, craisins, and chips. 
9.  Try mixing in with a spatula, but give up and use your hands instead.
10.  Drop spoonfuls of mix on to greased cookie sheets and bake for about 15 minutes.

Verdict:
Me:  I think something is missing…but I can’t figure out what it is.  Part of me thinks it’s the butter.  I replaced the butter with coconut oil because I was aiming to make a “healthier” cookie.  Don’t get me wrong, they are still good.  In fact, I’ve had three already…and they came out of the oven only an hour ago.  It just leaves me wanting…something.  More cinnamon?  Some nutmeg?  I’m not sure.  If you figure it out, feel free to let me know.

Dan:  He’s raving about them.  He loves them.  Apparently they are really soft and have a great consistency.  I was pleading with him to help me figure out what was missing.  He looked at me, shrugged, and said “more chocolate chips?”  Somehow I don’t think that would help the “healthy” factor, but more power to you if you’d like to add more.

**Note:  I was able to make 42 cookies from this recipe.  Each cookie is approximately 98 calories.

***EDIT:  I change my mind.  I really like these cookies.  Like really, really.  I do have a plan to try and make these cookies with the addition of  cinnamon flavored applesauce.

*Proceed With Caution!*

I had to warn you.  This might be the most dangerous recipe I have ever tried:  Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They are made with things that are GOOD for you…and they TASTE good!… Seriously! 

Okay, there’s no turning back now….Run for the hills!!
Are you still here?….okay….whew!  I have to tell SOMEONE about my discovery!

Now, to start things off, I want to inform you that I am not a Vegan.  In fact, big greasy cheeseburgers are one of my FAVorite foods.  I.just.can’t.help.myself.  BUUUUUT… I keep the grease eating to a minimum, when I can, and I am more than willing to try a new recipe.  It just so happens this one is Vegan.

The recipe calls for 3 things that the average, run-of-the-mill home may not have on hand.  I understand that running out to the store to buy these ingredients isn’t going to top your priorities list, but I want to give you a few small facts about them just in case it is beneficial to you.  (All these comments can be found on www.webmd.com.  Feel free to click on the links to read more about it.)
Flaxseed –  “Research indicates that flax’s possible health benefits include reducing the risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease.”
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a good substitute for those who have a butter/dairy allergy. “Coconut oil is better than butter and trans fats but not as good as liquid vegetable oils.” 
Whole Wheat Flour “A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.”

On to the recipe!!!  (I received the original link to the recipe via tweet from @Snack_Girl_ )

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon flaxseed
6 tablespoons warm water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 chocolate chips

Directions:
Go ahead and turn your oven on to 375 degrees. 
In a medium bowl add the coconut oil, water, flaxseed, and vanilla and beat together.
Stir in the dry ingredients.
Drop spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake.

THAT’S IT!  It was suuuper easy!  So easy, in fact, that I even cleaned up the kitchen and washed all my dishes RIGHT away.  Aren’t you proud, Mom? 🙂

Verdict:
Me:  I think you can gather from my ranting and raving that I like these cookies.  I’m all for finding sweets and treats that won’t cause my “diet” to crash and burn.  More power to the sweets if they can get work some healthy foods in there!

Dan:  He says they’re really not too bad.  They aren’t all buttery and amazing like NORMAL chocolate chip cookies, but he likes them!

Mom:  For a “healthy” food, she finds them pretty tasty.  I think she might have even said “Wow!”

Dad:  He likes them, but not nearly as much as normal chocolate chip cookies…but he’d keep eating them anyways.

 

97 Calories of Granola Goodness

Dan spent the afternoon working on our bathroom remodel, so I felt obligated to accomplish something as well.  I stopped on over to visit one of my best friends (and a fellow blogger) over at the Pursuit of Ness.  She shared a recipe for homemade granola bars that she had found on Ehow.  I took some of Sarah’s suggestions and then altered it a bit for my own as well.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 Tbsp flaxseed
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries

 
 
Directions:
Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix together all the ingredients, and press the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.
Bake the bars for 20 minutes.
Let cool for 15 min, and cut into 21 bars.
Cool completely before eating or storing.
The original recipe calls for coconut, but my husband hates it so I left it out.  I think I should have added a bit more oats to compensate, but they were still pretty tasty!  I wanted to bake them longer than 20 minutes to see if they would crisp up just a tiny bit, but Dan yelled at me.  He loves them just the way they are!  Thanks to Sarah for a great recipe!  Oh, and you should go check out her blog.  Go ahead and click that link over there to the right, Pursuit of Ness. 

97 glorious calories