popcorn cookies with chocolate chips

popcorn + chocolate chip cookies

ok, so imma be real with you.
i burn popcorn.

like pretty much every time i make it.
no matter how closely i listen to the microwave as it’s popping, i still burn it.
i follow the directions – i swear – and then stand patiently by the microwave as it pops, listening for the break in the popping… i pull it out as soon as i AM SURE i got it at just the right moment and without fail, i open the door to a slightly burnt smell. and see the little black flecks inside the popped kernels. poor things…
then i deliver the sad attempt to my husband, head hung low. every friggin time.
he can vouch for this. and yet he continues to ask me to make it for him. #smh #sorryhoney

so until i can learn to pop popcorn correctly – and this is not a paid ad – i will remain a HUGE fan of angie’s boom chicka pop. a friend and a client introduced me to it a couple years ago and i have kept it stocked in our pantry ever since. naturally when i came across the idea to put popcorn into a cookie – and it called for popping your own in the microwave for the recipe – i was all, SHYAH RIGHT, i got this.

i adapted a recipe from my favorite design magazine, canada’s house and home (like these maple pudding cakes) and these have quickly become a favorite in my house. the savory, salty element in these cookies is awesome.. and the combination of it with the melty chocolate chips is THE JAM.

popcorn cookies with chocolate chips
makes 28 cookies

ingredients

5 cups popcorn (pick through + remove any unpopped kernels)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1 stick butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup chocolate chips

directions

  1. preheat oven to 325. place top rack in lower third of the oven. line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until smooth. add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. with a spatula, stir in dry ingredients. then mix in the popcorn, and then the chocolate chips, until evenly distributed.
  3. with a 2-tbsp cookie scoop or large spoon, drop cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. with clean fingers or a fork, smash them down a bit. bake for 12-13 minutes, until cookies are browning around the edges.

the el grande chewy chocolate chip cookie

grande chewy chocolate chip cookies | via she likes to eat
once, i thought you should look for and keep only one chocolate chip cookie recipe. pretty sure my beliefs have changed and i now agree that life is too short to only make one recipe.

these cookies are the result of lots of advice, tips from others, and searching the depths of my soul. one friend of mine has always said a good chocolate chip cookie (CCC) is BIG, definitely not on the small side (although sometimes i am fine with a small cookie because i feel ok about eating more of them). another wise source, claims that CCCs come out best when baked at 360, and not 350. i personally love a little espresso powder in mine, but i added only a little in this recipe. it truly lends so much depth to the batter. lastly, there is a little “secret ingredient” that i have added, after just playing around with different ideas: ground pecans (these are the things i think about before i fall asleep at night). FOR REALS it makes these cookies crazy good, giving them this chewy but thick puffy texture and SO much flavor. (of course, if you’re allergic, you can omit the pecans.)

these cookies have a special place in my heart, as do these of course, for they are classic and perfect and ohmygoodness i have a hard time eating just one.
so maybe i should say they have a special place on my thighs in my smile!

the EL GRANDE chewy chocolate chip cookie
makes about 14 cookies

ingredients

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp espresso powder

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/3 cup pecans, ground

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)

directions

1. preheat oven to 360. line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. put pecans into a small food processor and ground until fine. set aside.

2. in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and espresso powder. set aside.

3. in a separate large bowl, beat softened butter and sugars on medium speed, until light and fluffy. add in vanilla and eggs. with a spatula, mix in ground pecans. add half of flour mixture and mix. add the rest and mix by hand until *almost* completely incorporated. add in chocolate chips and stir to combine.

4. scoop batter with a large cookie scoop, or spoon into balls about 1/4 cup in size, onto a cookie sheet. keep about 2 inches apart – you should get about 4-6 cookies per cookie sheet. bake for 11-13 minutes – they should be just beginning to brown along the bottom edge. bang sheet lightly on the counter after removing from the oven (this gives them the pretty lines on top that i just love). allow to cool a bit on a cookie rack – but not too long if you want them all melty & gooey 🙂

dark chocolate birthday cake with malted chocolate buttercream frosting

dark chocolate birthday cake with malted chocolate buttercream frosting | via she likes to eat

for her last 2 birthdays, the little she has requested a very specific dessert for her party. she has asked for “chocolate with strawberries“. as you know, if you read this blog, she is carazy about sugar. it has been said that sugar is her love language and i completely believe it.
chocolate is at the top of her sugar list, especially cake and frosting that is of the chocolate kind.

this cake recipe and this chocolate buttercream recipe are my go-tos – i never stray from these when i want chocolate cake and frosting. i have never found better. the cake recipe is a jacked up version of making a box cake – it has a perfect base and then with these add ins, is just as wonderful as made-from-scratch. actually, it’s better.

and this chocolate buttercream recipe is adapted slightly from joy the baker.
you should look no where else EVER when you want to make chocolate frosting. promise me, mmkay?

dark chocolate birthday cake

ingredients

1 box dark chocolate fudge cake mix (i like duncan hines)

3 eggs, whisked

1/2 cup butter, melted (plus more for pans)

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

directions

1. position rack in the middle of the oven. preheat oven to 350.

2. coat 2 round cake pans with cooking spray (coconut oil spray is my favorite) or melted butter. line each on the bottom with a parchment round. then spray the top of the parchment round generously with the spray. flour both pans, patting out excess & making sure its covered evenly.

3. add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well. divide batter evenly among the 2 pans and bake for about 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

4. let cool on 2 drying racks for about 10 minutes. then invert the cakes into your hand, remove the parchment, and then return to rack to cool completely.

malted chocolate buttercream frosting
adapted via joy the baker

ingredients

3 sticks butter, softened

1 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp salt

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup ovaltine

directions

1. cream together butter, cocoa powder, and salt. scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. as the sugar begins to incorporate, raise the speed of the mixer. beat until smooth.

2.in a 2-cup measuring glass or bowl, stir together heavy cream and ovaltine. pour the cream and ovaltine mixture into sugar mixture in a slow stream, until you have reached your desired consistency. (you may not need all of the ovaltine mixture.)

3. now frost your cake!

enjoy:)

oreo brownies

oreo brownies | via she likes to eat

when i posted my chocolate chip cookie recipe, i said my life had been a quest to find that perfect recipe. like those little chewy wonders, i have also been on a quest for MY brownie recipe, my favorite from-scratch recipe. along that journey, i stumbled upon this genius thought – oreos IN brownies.
shyeah.

DUDEiLOVEoreos.
now i’m proud to say that most of the time i have some self control when it comes to sweets, and eating too much. but with oreos? they are totally my kryptonite. my husband and i can easily and quickly polish off an entire package right after opening one.

this recipe boasts the very best things about brownies: the lightly crispy top, the fudgy inside but still crumbly, and then a rich surprise when you bite into it. (unlike other recipes i found, mine has the oreos crushed or chopped up inside – i preferred this to the whole oreo inside.)

for reals, whoever was the very first to come up with the idea of putting these 2 together is a genius. it’s like wine & cheese, ice cream & root beer, crusty bread & hot soup, or will & grace… SO GOOD TOGETHER.

oreo brownies
adapted from crazy for crust

ingredients

2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs, whisked

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 tsp coarse sea salt

1 cup flour

15 (ish) original oreos, chopped (using double stuf oreos makes these oreos super rich)

directions

1. preheat oven to 350. spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray (i use coconut oil spray).

2. put both baking chocolates and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30-45 seconds, until chocolate is melted and smooth. pour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar. add in eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt – mix well. add flour and stir to fully combine.

3. spread half of the batter in prepared dish. sprinkle chopped oreos evenly over the top, then cover with remaining batter (easier if you use your fingertips to spread over).

4. bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before cutting. these are best served warm:)

enjoy!

my favorite chocolate chip cookies

my favorite chocolate chip cookies - she likes to eat
as every normal american girl, my life has been a quest.
a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

it’s not something i daily think about per se, but in the back of my mind, almost subconsciously, i have always been searching for my favorite. as someone who likes to cook, i have tried so many cookies and recipes over my life and loved so many. my grandma used to make some pretty great ones. phoebe’s mom’s friend mrs. nestle tollhouse has a pretty decent one. several of my close friends have really good ones too. but until recently, i wouldn’t have been able to say “i’ve found my favorite”. my go-to for picnics or to take to a friend. my favorite recipe that i always make when i just need some chocolate chip cookies.

this recipe is the one. it is a perfect chocolate chip cookie with a round buttery taste and a bit of saltiness, with just the right amount of chocolate chips that you can still savor the cookie that’s in between. i love adding the depth of the espresso powder but these cookies are just as wonderful if you choose to omit it. (interestingly, the espresso puffs up the cookies a little bit during baking. without it, they are a little flatter.)

recipe edited just a bit on 1.25.2015

my favorite chocolate chip cookies
makes about 30 cookies

ingredients

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp instant espresso powder  [see this page for where to get it]

1 heaping cup chocolate chips

directions

1. preheat the oven to 350*. line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. set aside. in a large bowl, with a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together, until light & fluffy. add egg and vanilla and mix well. add flour mixture and mix with a spatula until just combined. add in chocolate chips. (the batter is quite thick, so using your hands is helpful here.)

3. using a cookie scoop or your hands, form dough into balls and place on cookie sheets. bake sheets one at a time in the oven. bake first sheet for 5 minutes, then take cookie sheet out & bang lightly on the counter (this gives you the yummy-looking lines on top of the cookies). then rotate the pan (so they bake evenly) and put it back in the oven. bake another 4-5 minutes, until the sides are set and golden brown, but the center is still under-baked.

4. repeat with the other 2 cookie sheets. once you remove each sheet from the oven, bang the pan lightly on the countertop to create more lines on the tops of the cookies. cool cookies on wire racks.

enjoy!

recipe adapted from the vanilla bean blog
*sometimes my cookies spread better when cooked at 375 – depends on your oven and how hot it gets.

chewy chocolate spiced molasses cookies

download-1

the other night i attended my first ever cookie exchange.
super fun & super yummy.. except. a party where there is a large table covered with loads-o-cookies and you can’t eat any of them?! not right.

the good part came when i got to take a big plate home and share them with the hubby, who happens to have a devoted & unhealthy attachment to sugar cookies. (read: i didn’t get to eat any sugar cookies that night).

the reigning winner of the cookie exchange for the past few years just happened to be a lady whose husband made the winning cookies for her (you know who you are:) so i probably don’t have to tell you there were a lot of sweet ladies at the party who were out to take him down this year.

the competition is pretty much based on looks and not taste, so i knew i wouldn’t take the gold medal home this year (not with all the “melted snowmen” and reindeer cookies with pretzels for antlers) BUT as for when each lady got home and tasted these babies – yeah, i felt good about that. these cookies are a grown up, holiday version of everyone’s favorite chocolate chip cookie and are simply yet complexly (is that a word?) delicious! (adapted from an old martha stewart recipe)

chewy chocolate spiced molasses cookies
makes 18 large cookies

ingredients

2 tsp baking soda

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 cups all purpose flour (just a little heaping)

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup molasses

one 12-oz bag mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)

directions

1. preheat oven to 325. line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. in a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 3 tsp boiling water; set aside.

3. in a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until combined. in another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. slowly add to butter/sugar mixture & mix until almost combined.

4. add baking soda mixture and molasses; mix to combine. stir in chocolate chips. mix well.

5. using a 2 inch cookie dough scoop, scoop dough and then roll in granulated sugar. place cookies on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 18 minutes. let cool 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

enjoy!

brownie crackle cookies



so i guess my food blog might turn into a desserts-only blog.
well, at least for the duration of my pregnancy. i’m telling you, it’s ALL i crave.
and i am OK with that.
i hope you are too.

i messed with this recipe a little bit, one i found over at the craving chronicles. and sorry, but i changed the name, once i experienced these babies. they really do taste like a brownie in cookie form. the little sugary crackles on top are just like a hostess opening the front door, saying “come on in… enjoy… EAT LOTS”.
don’t mind if i do.

brownie crackle cookies
adapted from cook’s illustrated and craving chronicles

ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar (plus about 1/2 – 3/4 cup for rolling)
4 tbsp dark chocolate (or regular) cream cheese
3/4 stick unsalted butter (6 tbsp), melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tbsp half & half or milk
2-3 tbsp brewed coffee
1 tsp vanilla

directions
1. preheat oven to 350. line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. in a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. in another large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, chocolate cream cheese, and melted butter and stir until smooth. whisk in oil. add in egg, milk, coffee & vanilla. whisk until smooth. add flour mixture. mix with a spatula until incorporated and a soft dough forms.
3. place remaining 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar in a bowl. using a 2 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop dough into your hands, roll each into a ball and then roll in sugar. space each cookie about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. (if the dough is too soft to roll, set it in the fridge for about 10 minutes.)
4. bake (1 sheet at a time) for 11-13 minutes, until cookies have set and the tops have cracked. let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. (store in an airtight container or ziploc bag at room temp for up to 1 week.)

enjoy!!