Thursday, June 28, 2007

Double Delicious Bars... or, as I like to call them.. Naked Magic Cookie Bars.

On Monday, I met up with a friend of mine who was driving through Nashville on a road trip. He was making his way from North Carolina to Texas, so he would still have about 10 hours left on his trip after he left Nashville. I decided that this was an excellent opportunity to make some cookies. 1. Because its nice to give a friend cookies while they are in the middle of a road trip and 2. Because this means that I won’t end up eating them all. (Well, it means that I’ll only end up eating 2/3 of the cookies).

So, Friday afternoon I started thinking about what cookies I wanted to try. They had to be fairly basic cookies, as, I’m not sure if my friend likes nuts, coconut, fruits, etc… and they had to be sturdy as they would be in a Ziploc bag in a car for 10 hours. So, I decided on the previously blogged butterfinger cookies (luckily, he liked butterfingers). And I decided on these cookies that I originally saw on Bake or Break.

Anytime I see a bar cookie recipe with a graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk and toppings, I always think… Magic Cookie Bars.

I prefer magic cookies bars, because I love nuts and coconut, but, for people who don’t like nuts and coconut, these are a great bar cookie alternative. Yum.

Double Delicious Cookie Bars
Courtesy of: Eagle Brand Milk

1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter
1 14 oz can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used ¾ cup)
½ cup peanut butter chips (I used ¾ cup)

Preheat oven to 350 (325 if using glass dish). Line a 13x9 inch pan completely with heavy duty aluminum foil (makes for easy cutting and cleanup later).

In a small bowl combine graham crackers and butter; mix well.

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture and then evenly spread remaining ingredients over the sweetened condensed milk. Press down firmly with a fork.

Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned, but chips will not be completely melted. (I overcooked mine a little and they still turned out yummy). Cool. (I put mine in the freezer for a bit to firm them up. Lift up the edges of the aluminum to remove from pan. Cut into bars. Lift off aluminum foil.

Makes 2-3 dozen bars.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It has potential... Yummm.. butterfingers.

The butterfinger is one of my favorite candy bars (granted, I like just about all candy bars). And butterscotch is one of my favorite flavors. So, when I saw a recipe on Cookie Madness for BUTTERFINGER COOKIES WITH BUTTERSCOTCH MORSELS, I drooled on my keyboard. It wasn't pretty.

So, I read through the recipe and consulted with the other butterfinger cookies on RecipeZaar and decided to go with my gut and make the cookie madness ones.
They were good, but, I think I might actually like them better if they had a peanut butter flavor instead of so much butter. Granted, I did use the butterflavored crisco, which made a difference, i'm sure. I will try these again, but I think I'll mix regular crisco with butter and then use peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch morsels.

Tip: I found these cookies to be pretty dry, so the first batch turned out raggedy. But then after that batch, I measured them out and rolled them in my hand to make them smooth and they looked a lot better.

Butterfinger Cookies with Butterscotch Morsels
recipe from: Cookie Madness and Recipe Zaar

1/3 cup crisco
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup sifted AP Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 butterfinger candy bars (I used 6 mini ones).
1/2 cup butterscotch morsels

Beat Shortening and sugar until creamy (I found it to be pretty dry, not very creamy). Beat in egg and vanilla.

Stir together flour, soda, and salt and then mix into the sugar & shortening mixture until incorporated.

Chop butterfingers with a large knife. Add the butterfinger to the mixture and the butterscotch morsels (I added a few more morsels..). Chill for one hour.

Then roll the dough into balls and then pat down onto cookie sheets for about 12 minutes.

They turn into a pretty crunchy cookie with LOTS of buttery flavor. Very sweet, too. Good recipe, but next time I will try it with some peanut butter flavor, I think.

The first batch... not very smooth.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I admit it. When it comes to making chocolate chip cookies, I usually buy the tube at the grocery store. It's not that they are easier. It's that they are better! Whenever I tried to make chocolate chip cookies, they always turned out cakey. I don't like cakey cookies, I like chewy cookies. So, I stuck with the roll.

Until, while reading my favorite blog... Cookie Madness, I came across this recipe that was posted on epicurious. It made sense to me... I had melted butter for recipes in the past, and they turned out crappy, but it was because I never chilled the dough (which, the recipe doesn't specifically call for, but in the cookie madness post about the recipe, she recommended chilling the dough.

So, I made 4 cookie sheets worth (only about 26 cookies) and chilled a HUGE log to make the rest later. I wonder if I can freeze the cookie dough log? Anyway, the only changes I made to the recipe, were that I used a whole tbsp of vanilla and I used half milk chocolate chips and half semi-sweet and I added a few more chips than the recipe called for. They turned out perfect! They are a little crispier on the outside than I would like, but this is a great starting point! The best cookies I've ever made!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Biscuits... or as some friends of mine like to call them... "Bisthcuits"

Biscuits much like politics and religion, are a personal thing. Everyone has a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc that made the best biscuits. And after looking at tons of recipes, there really shouldnt be much difference in biscuits, because the recipes are all so similiar. Which means, that technique is imperative. Which also means, that they are likely not going to be perfect when you attempt them the first time.

When I was growing up, I hated breakfast. Every Saturday and Sunday morning my mom would make a big breakfast of homemade biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, bacon, etc... and I always fixed myself a bowl of cereal. Of course though, as I've gotten older... I've learned to love biscuits and gravy. Although, I still don't like my mom's that much. Sorry, mom!

I found this recipe on It had awesome reviews and claimed to be very easy. It is a recipe by Tyler Florence (who, created my favorite cheesecake recipe), so I figured, it's worth a shot.

I followed the recipe exactly... except when it came to folding with my hands, I needed a LOT more buttermilk to get the mixture to the sticky texture. I probably added another 1/4 to 1/3 cup of buttermilk (I didnt have any regular milk, or I would have used it). I also didn't roll out the dough as described in the recipe. I wasn't making them in my kitchen, so I was hesitant to make a huge mess (and I was in a hurry). So, the texture wasn't exactly what I like in a biscuit. But the flavor turned out right on. I'm anxious to try them again and roll them out properly.