Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Before actually meeting him, I knew Alex as the guy whose face my boyfriend (at the time) had pretty much peed on.  But hey, let’s not dig up the past.  I knew I had to at least be nice to the poor soul forever out of sheer principle, and am so glad I gained a solid friend out of a weird introduction.

The Flair - Dark Choc Chips, Salted Peanuts, PB Chips

I have to say he is one of three reasons this blog exists today.  The night I decided to get off my ass and get this thing started was a night I’ll never forget with he and Lingie at Father’s Office over amazing beer, hilarity over some tough situations, and just talking about our dreams – big and small.  I think we (it was probably just me) also had a good cackle or three at the emo pedophile haircuts they both were trying out at the time.  This blog will probably never go anywhere and may even even fizzle out one day, but I’m forever indebted to both of you for being such amazing and inspirational friends throughout these many years.  Although, I’m pretty sure if I had said was thinking about getting a third nipple that night, you both would have tried to encouraged me to do that too.  For better or for worse.

Cookie Dough - Wet and Dry Ingredients Combined

I needed an excuse to bake last weekend and decided Alex was overdue to be celebrated on several fronts.  When I wrote my very first blog post about a year and a half ago, I had mentioned he was an up-and-coming artist.  He’s recently taken the leap to follow his dream and move forward full-time with his music career, leaving the desk job behind as of two Fridays ago.  His birthday was also this past Monday, so really – the guy deserved some friggin’ cookies!

Another MS Cookie Box

Instead of your average peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips in it, I decided to do the reverse – a chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips and salted peanuts!  I found a great recipe on this blog and made a couple adjustments (e.g., using more peanuts and only a half bag of pb chips).  I liked the texture and the postee liked them too!

The Reverse PB Choc Chip Cookie

Happy Birthday, friend.  And congratulations for taking the leap!!  Check out my new favorite band – Monsters Calling Home, and download “Growing Up” here!

Halloween Mummy Cupcakes

In honor of Halloween, I made these mummy cupcakes to bring in to work today.  They’re just chocolate cupcakes with a frosted mummy “face”.

What are you looking at?

I tried my hand at using a frosting tip for the first time, but the seemingly intuitive ziploc baggie method was a complete disaster.  Luckily, I found this YouTube tutorial for How to Make an Icing Bag using parchment paper and it really helped!

Ziplog Pastry Bag. #FAIL

As you can see, some of my mummy cupcakes look like they got TP’d instead.

Mummy or TP?

Since we’re on the topic of sweets, I had to post this video a coworker of mine sent to me last summer. Kirstin Lepore, you are a genius!  Happy Halloween, everyone!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

I would have to say my love of food is probably more fervent than the average person.  There is nothing I enjoy more than ordering 1.5 entrees when eating out, making enough food to last me a couple days and then eating it all in one sitting instead, talking about eating while I’m eating, stuffing my face til I can no longer formulate complete sentences . . . you get the picture.  I cook and eat mostly healthy fare, but I unfortunately inherited my dad’s sweet tooth and will probably inherit his diabetes as well.  I’ve learned by trial-and-error to only bake for other people and/or special occasions, because I end up eating the whole batch when I bake something just for myself.

I made these for a birthday dinner this past August, and the birthday boy was an avid cheesecake and peanut butter lover.  I had never made cheesecake before nor really eaten much of it, so this project was a bit of a challenge in that I didn’t know how to adjust cheesecake texture and flavor during the baking process like I know with cookies or regular cake.

I got the recipe for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes from Food Network, courtesy of Paula Deen.  Click on the photos below for a larger view!

I had no idea how to make cheesecake fluffy, so I thought perhaps just beating the cheesecake mixture extra long with would do the trick.  I think it paid off – when I had my first bite, my favorite line from Despicable Me came to mind.  Big thanks to baking/cooking connoisseur Jay Liu for letting me borrow his electric mixer!

Again, I’m not an avid fan of cheesecake, but I have to admit these were pretty tasty.  The birthday boy liked them too, so that’s all that matters in the end.  Thanks, Paula Deen!