Posts tagged ‘Chocolate Chips’

Checking In + Faking Freshly Baked

Hello Everyone!

(Natalie Dee)

Story of my life.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been pretty busy. Well, sorta. My last day of classes was Thursday. Finals officially start on Tuesday, but my three finals are this Friday and Saturday. So, I have a week off to study and pack. The good news? Plenty of time to study and pack. The bad news? I’m not home.

I seriously cannot wait to get home! The suspense/wait is killing me. There are so many things I’m looking forward to at home: friends, family, home-sweet-home, home-cooked meals, eating at restaurants, relaxing, baking (!), and so much more! Of course, I’m seriously looking forward to anything food related!

I having a bit of a blogger’s block right now. All I can think about what I will make and blog about when I’m home but not here, right now in Boston. I’m also pretty busy studying and packing and doing other end-of-stay activities. So, this is me checking in. Hello! I fly home Saturday night, and I’ll have some new recipe posts soon after!

(Natalie Dee)

However, I don’t want to leave you now without anything food related. So here is a quick story and tip:

One food I’ve been missing with all my heart is freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. That fresh-out-of-the-oven flavor and texture (for one thing, because of the melted chocolate) seriously can’t be beat! Since I have no access to an oven here, I can’t get them here – except for the occasional Deep Dish Sundae from Uno Chicago Grill: vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream atop a giant chocolate chip cookie freshly baked in a deep dish pan. All I can say is foodgasm x 100!!

Any who, I recently found a way to not only get that freshly-baked flavor in the comfort of my own dorm but also in a healthy way! All you need is a Larabar and a microwave. My favorite Larabar flavors for this are  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Chocolate. Chip.

(Source)

First, remove the wrapper from the Larabar and microwave the bar on a napkin or plate for about 15-20 seconds. Then, enjoy!

It’s as simple as that, but it makes an amazing treat! The bar gets warm and doughy, the chocolate chips get melty, and the Larabar goes from good to amazing! Tastes very much like a freshly baked cookie! I sometimes only microwave a small chunk at a time, so each bite is ‘freshly-baked.’

Question: What’s your favorite type of cookie? What’s your favorite type of Larabar?

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May 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm 12 comments

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

I am very happy. I “baked” in my dorm. I made something “baked” with my two hands.

Okay, so I didn’t actually bake anything. I “no baked” something, oatmeal bars. The only appliance I used was a freezer (part of the MicroFridge in my dorm). The great thing about no-bake baked goods is that they are ready in no time. They are fast. You can eat the dough straight out of the mixing bowl (no need to wait for it to bake in an oven), or you can shape and refrigerate them for an anytime treat. They also require little clean up. The only tools I used was a (small) bowl, spoon, and sandwich-sized plastic bags.

To make my No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars, I started with a recipe by Averie from Love Veggies and Yoga for Vegan No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars and adapted it to my resources (my “pantry” foods, utensils, bowls, etc).

Here is what I ended up with:

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Ripe Banana
  • 3/4 c. Oats
  • 1/4 c. Shredded Coconut (I used unsweetened)
  • 1/4 c. Raisins
  • 1/4 c. Chocolate chips (I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 c. Honey
  • 1/4 c. Peanut butter
  • Optional: 1/8 c. Virgin Coconut Oil (Helps solidify the bars and adds healthy fats.)

Instructions:

Step 1: Mash half a banana in a bowl.

Super ripe (brown) bananas are perfect for this recipe because they are very sweet and their mushy texture doesn’t matter since they get mushed up anyway.

Squishy + mushy = Smushie! Banana + smushie = Delish!

Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients all at once and mix! Or, you can add them in in groups and mix after each set of additions.


I may or may not have snagged a few chocolate chips before adding the rest into the mix. 🙂

It’s already looking delicioso!

That white stuff is coconut oil. It’s rich in essential fatty acids, which are the “good fats” that doctors recommend, and is free of cholesterol and trans fat. Learn more about it here. It’s an optional ingredient but helps solidify the bars because it’s solid at room temp.

Now, you have a decision to make. Give in to temptation, and eat it all as is. (Super yum!) Or, go onto step 3. (Double yum!)

Step 3: Put into a sandwich-sized plastic bag and flatten. (If you double the recipe, you can flatten it into an 8×8 pan.) Then, stick it into the freezer, or fridge, for a few hours.

Step 4: Take out of the freezer and remove the plastic bag.

Step 5: Cut into equal-sized bars. I cut 8 rectangles. I suggest you use a sharp knife, if you have access to one. I used a dinner knife, which didn’t cut very cleanly.

Sorry for the bad lighting in the photo (and other photos). I took them on my desk where the lighting isn’t very good.

Step 6: Wrap them up individually in plastic wrap or plastic bags. Or, put a few in a bag together. Store in the fridge/freezer.

These bars came out way better than I’d hope. They are moist and chewy. Peanut butter is the strongest flavor and is wonderfully complimented by the other additions. They make a great snack, pre-workout energy boost, or post-meal sweet treat. They are great alternatives to store-bought oatmeal bars because they are made of wholesome, natural ingredients and they are not filled with preservatives.

These bars are also extremely customizable. Instead of making bars, you can also shape them into cookie or ball shapes. You can also add different ingredients to them or switch out ingredients for others to suit you likes. Some suggestions: add 1-2 scoops protein powder; add 1 tbsp flax or chia seeds; switch raisins for another dried fruit; switch chocolate chips for butterscotch, white chocolate, or carob chips; switch PB for another nut butter; add chopped nuts.

Just be creative with it! You really can’t go wrong.

Question: What’s your favorite no-bake recipe? What’s your favorite add-in combos?

February 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Quick & Easy “Crack” Cookie Bars

1. Do you ever have cravings for home-baked cookies but don’t want to dirty the entire kitchen?

2. Do you ever have events you need to bring something to, but don’t have the time to make something from scratch?

3. Do you have a bunch of chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, and other baking left-overs you need to use up and don’t know how?

4. Do you ever have a fresh-baked cookie craving you just need to satisfy (and quickly!)?

5. Are you lazy?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions (and even if you answered “no”), then this recipe is for you! I prefer baking goods from scratch, but sometimes I have to answer “yes.” Here is my quick fix. All you need is store bought (or home-made, if you have the time/preference) cookie dough, marshmallows, and any other toppings. The result? My friend, Katie, described it best: “These are like crack!” So good and so addictive!

Here are the directions to the QE cookie bars I made. The combination of butterscotch and chocolate pair perfectly but not as good as chocolate and peanut butter, especially with the sugary-crunch of the sugar cookie dough and the light bite of the marshmallow! This version is very sweet, but these can be made less sweet or even sweet and salty (one of my favorite combos of all time!) with other topping variations. After the recipe, I’ll give you tips on how to make your own variation!

Quick & Easy “Crack” Cookie Bars

Makes 16 bars (8″x8″ pan)

Ingredients:

1/2 roll of store-bough cookie dough (I used 1/2 of a 16.5 oz Pillsbury (r) refrigerated sugar cookie dough)

1.5 cup marshmallows

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. Break up cookie dough into even pieces and lay on bottom of an ungreased 8″x8″ pan. Wet or flour your fingers/hands (to prevent sticking!), and use them to spread the cookie dough evenly in the pan.

3. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown (and when an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean).

4. Take pan out of oven, and immediately and evenly cover dough with with marshmallows. Sprinkle evenly with rest of toppings. Lightly press toppings into marshmallows.

4. Bake bars for another 4 to 5 minutes or until marshmallows begin to puff. Remove pan from oven and cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Cut into 16 bars (4 rows x 4 columns).  Take out and ENJOY!

Tip: This recipe can be easily doubled! Bake in a 13″x9″ pan for equal time.

Variations:

Use your favorite (store-bought) cookie dough, such as chocolate chip, peanut butter, etc.

Other possibly toppings (1/4 to 1/2 cup of each or to taste): Peanut butter chips, toffee chips, trail mix, M&M’s, nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc), broken-up cookies (sandwich cookies, chocolate chip cookies, etc), raisins, dried fruit, shredded (dried) coconut, crushed graham crackers, and more!

Next time, I’m trying this combo: S’mores “Crack” Bars = 1.5 cup marshmallows + 3/4 cup chocolate chips + 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers

Note: The marshmallows act as a sort of “glue,” attaching the other toppings to the cookies. While toppings such as chocolate chips will melt and mold to the cookie dough, toppings such as nuts will not and will fall off the cookie without the “glue.” If you don’t want to use marshmallows (or don’t have any), here is a suggestion: When layering the toppings, put all the melt-able toppings (chocolate chips, pb chips, etc) on the cookies first and then layer the non-melt-able toppings on top. After baking for 4-5 minutes, remove pan and lightly press the top toppings into the melted toppings. Make sure there is enough melt-able toppings that cover most of the dough. Cool completely.

Health-ified:

While my version isn’t necessarily healthy, yours can be! Just add any combination (one, a few, or all!) of these nutritional toppings to “healthify” this recipe: nuts (protein + healthy fats), dark chocolate [antioxidants + serotonin (anti-depressant) + stimulates endorphins (feel-good hormone)], unsweetened shredded coconut (sweet  with no added sugar), dried cranberries (antioxidants + improves body circulation + reduces bad cholesterol + may decrease chances of getting cancer),  raisins, dried fruit (including dried banana chips), and/or more!!

All packed up and ready to be taken to school to be enjoyed by my friends! (PS. These bars were made about two weeks, so they’ve already been devoured.)

Hope you enjoy my happy little invention! I hope you give them a try! If you try your own variation, I’d love to hear from you. Even better, I’d love to see photos of what you come up with sent to my email: sixtimestheyum@gmail.com

Please leave me comments. Have questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Let me know!

~Lara

May 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm 3 comments


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