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I <3 Brownies

17 Feb

Ah, Valentine’s Day, that over-commercialized, dreaded-by-many, possibly-sappy, day of love and cupid and hearts…lots and lots of hearts. But I’ve never been one to complain, especially if there’s chocolate involved : ) Last year, I made truffles (quite successfully, though I spent entirely too much time trying to perfect and prettify them). This year, I was short on time yet still wanted to make something cute and valentine-sy, so on a whim, I grabbed what I had in the cupboard – brownie mix and sprinkles. There was also a block of cream cheese in the fridge (I usually keep some on hand) – perfect for cream cheese frosting.

In less than an hour, the apartment was filled with delicious smells, and as I waited for the brownies to cool, I whipped up a batch of frosting. Taking a cookie cutter to the brownies, I formed heart shapes, then frosted each and shook some mini heart sprinkles on top. Lastly, I placed the finished brownies into some plastic bento box containers so they could be displayed like showpieces.

The result was better than I had imagined. The final thing left to do was grab a piece of extra brownie, spread some frosting on it, and *om nom nom nom* cookie monster style : P

Thumbprint Minis

13 Oct

Mmm, peanut butter and chocolate…

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Bored and on bedrest this past weekend, I was inspired to bake after reading through some food blogs to help pass the time. I came across this recipe (from Elissa of 17andbaking.com), which I’d like to re-title “PB+Chocolate Thumbprint Minis” if I may (they sound cuter that way, and they reminded me of the thumbprint cookies my roomie made during Christmas). I know that some people might be turned off by the labor-intensity of the recipe, as the cookies are so tiny that many batches (we’re talking roughly 15-DOZEN) are required. But if you know me, I am a patient baker, and will willingly spend hours frosting cupcakes or making sure all the cookies are round – you can call it perfectionism, but I’ll just say it’s giving attention to detail ; ) Anyways, feeling well-rested, much-recuperated, and up for a challenge, I went ahead and baked these cookies this afternoon (I do admit though, that as much as I am patient, I had to stop a little after midway through and freeze the remaining dough for another day, as there was so much dough!).

Ingredients:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Granulated sugar for rolling
Chocolate chips (I used semisweet and white)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat peanut butter and shortening until well mixed, then beat in the two sugars until light. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, then add in 3 batches to the peanut butter mixture, beating well between additions.

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Using a 1/4 tsp, roll dough into 1/2 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on ungreased baking sheets. [I used parchment paper]

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Bake 5-6 minutes and remove from oven. Immediately press a chocolate chip into the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Here’s another shot of the finished cookies; such a cute little family : ) And btw, these tasted great! They are also hard to stop eating…

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Lastly, here’s a picture of my friend, Domo, eyeing the fresh batch…

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