Peanut Butter Oreo Blondies

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Peanut Butter Oreo Blondies

  • Servings: Makes about 24 bars
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Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup soft butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup cream
  • 16-24 Oreo cookies depending on size of pan
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish for thicker bars, or a 9×13 baking dish for thinner bars.
  2. Cream the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well mixed.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder and mix for less than 1 minute with an electric mixer or stir with a wooden spoon until all flour is incorporated (batter gets tough to work with if you mix it for too long). Add the cream and use electric mixers or wooden spoon to stir until incorporated. Batter should be thick but spreadable.
  4. Spread half the batter in the prepared dish; layer Oreos evenly over the batter; top with remaining half of batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your pan (less time for a rectangle, more time for a square) and whether or not you like them to still be a little soft and doughy. I baked mine for 40 minutes or until the edges were browning and the middle was just a little soft.

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Expresso Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Who ever came up with the combination of both chocolate and coffee must be greatly rewarded. Who can ever resist having to chow down a dessert like this? The bittersweet chocolate is paired fabulously with the warming coffee that makes you feel like you had just entered a world of wonders. The crunchy outside of this cookie is matched with a soft and chewy inside. Two thumbs up for baking the perfect cookie. Anyone want seconds? I’m first in line. Happy Eating~ 🙂IMG_0762

Snow had finally fallen in where I live right now. It is disappointing that I am forced to stay indoors and be in a classroom where the teacher’s lecture goes from one ear to the other ear. The only upside to the situation is the fact that we are freely able to use the plugs in the room to charge our phones. Just kidding. Not really. Anyways, being trapped indoors for the next 8 hours is long enough. And as soon as I open the door that leads to the outside world . . . It feels as if a meteorite is shooting straight into my eyes. The bright snow blinds me from where I am going, that I have to do the cha-cha dance for a bit to catch my balance. Moral of the story? Children need recess during school hours to prevent doing the cha-cha dance to regain balance. The end. IMG_0761

Expresso Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: about 3 dozen
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, ground coffee, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Slightly adapted from All Recipes

Green Tea Matcha Macarons

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After tasting my very first macarons while in France, Paris for my Travel for Teens field trip, I was in love! The crisp and crunchy outside with a chewy inside filled with fillings such as ganache, buttercream, or simple jam, these delicate cookies are something to rave about. It takes patience and a careful hand to create the perfect macaron cookie. If this is your first time making macarons, I would recommend researching on the specifics and basics before doing this. Here are a few tips that I recommend when making the perfect macaron cookie:

  1. Make sure that your egg has been aged overnight or else your cookies will turn out hollow
  2. Be sure to mise en place and scale/measure out every ingredient before beginning!
  3. When beating the eggs, make sure that it turns into stiff peaks and careful not to overmix! If you do not have stiff peaks, your cookies will not have those cute little feet at the bottom.
  4. When mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, make sure to FOLD the batter with a spatula. This causes the batter to not lose too much air when you mix everything together.
  5. Double check that your batter is not too thick and not too liquidy. It just flow like lava when you tilt the bowl side to side.

Green Tea Matcha Macarons

  • Servings: 12-15 cookies
  • Time: 2 hours
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For the macaron cookie:
  • 100g aged egg whites (at least 12-24 hours)
  • 110g almond meal, at room temperature and well sifted
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Optional: 1 tsp powdered egg whites (available from The Essential Ingredient), helps to stabilise egg whites but is not necessary
  • To decorate: black food colouring (I used Wilton’s black gel icing colour)

For the matcha buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1 tbsp green tea matcha powder
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (or milk but it will be less fluffier)
  1. Prepare the macarons first; line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place icing sugar in food processor and pulse for a minute to remove any lumps. Stir in almond meal and pulse for about 30 seconds to combine. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and egg white powder in a medium mixing bowl until the egg white powder dissolves and it reaches soft peaks. With the mixer on high speed, gradually add sugar and beat until it reaches stiff peaks.
  2. Add meringue and a small amount of black food colouring (to tint the mixture light grey) to your dry mixture and mix, quickly at first to break down the bubbles in the egg white (you really want to beat all the large bubbles out of the mixture, be rough!), then mix carefully as the dry mixture becomes incorporated and it starts to become shiny again. Take care not to overmix, the mixture should flow like lava and a streak of mixture spread over the surface of the rest of the mixture should disappear after about 30 seconds. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a 1cm round tip and pipe 3cm circles, leaving a 1 inch space between each piped macaron.
  3. Tap baking sheets carefully and firmly on the benchtop a couple times to remove any large bubbles. Leave to dry for at least half an hour, so that when you press the surface of one gently it does not break. This will help prevent any cracking and help the feet to form on the macs.
  4. Preheat your oven to 140-150°C (285-300°F), depending on your oven. Place on top of an overturned roasting tray or another baking sheet if your sheets are not professional grade, for better heat distribution. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your shells. Carefully test if the base of the shell is ready by gently lifting one and if it’s still soft and sticking to the baking paper, then it needs to bake for a few minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then gently remove from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Prepare the matcha buttercream while the cookies are cooling. First, in your electric mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, on medium speed, add in your butter until smooth. Then slowly add in your powder sugar and matcha green tea powder on low speed until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is too thick to your liking, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk into the mixture to fluff it out. Put the buttercream in a piping bag with a narrow round tip and pipe just inside one side of a macaron. Sandwich macaron with another shell, repeat with remaining shells. Chill in the fridge in an airtight container overnight, serve at room temperature.