Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Triangles

What a mouthful!

A very long time ago (this could be over a year ago, we can't remember), Dave said that he was interested in oatmeal cookies... but with certain, um, prerequisites.

1. No raisins. He's one of those "get those raisins out of my cookies" kind of guys.
2. It had to have peanut butter.
3. It had to have chocolate chips.

When I set out to find something to make yesterday, I had Dave in mind. It was his first day back to work after a week of vacation/work around the house, so something peanut buttery was a must. Out of accident, really, I wound up clicking on a link I've had bookmarked since the first conversation of oatmeal cookies happened. The Canadian Baker posted a yummy-sounding recipe back in '05. (Does this date the conversation? Perhaps.) But you guys all know that I don't like making cookies all that often. So bar form was created. And then I decided to cut 'em in triangles for a change of pace.

The end results? A chewy, sturdy bar that packs a lot of flavor into a bite or two. More positive reviews than negative, at least. Dave's kinda ehh on them (poo!), but they've also been "reborn" with ice cream, both as a base and crumbled over the top. Yum! :)

1¼ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups oats (I used the old fashioned kind)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Beat butter, peanut butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until completely incorporated. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined. Stir in oats and chips. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake at 375F for 22-27 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in pan before cutting into triangles.


Happy Thanksgiving

And with the turkey placed in the oven with care
And hopes that some of the family will soon be there...

But I heard him exclaim, before the thermometer said done
Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good one!

(Yeah, obviously poetry isn't my strong suit early in the morning!)

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and lots of happy eating. :D

I'm really happy to be home this year. It's my first Thanksgiving at home since I moved to CA in 2001, so my mom's mashed potatoes will be especially welcome. I have mentioned that she makes the world's best, right? :)

So, with that, enjoy the Parade and all the great food and family. :)


Thanksgiving Preview: Caramel Apple Cake

As of right now, I have a pretty set menu of baked goods for Thursday. Pumpkin cheesecake is a must, Nutella brownies, pumpkin oats bars (per request), and the newcomer to the group: Caramel Apple Cake.

Found on the King Arthur Flour website, it sounded great. But, just in case, I wanted to do a test-run. After all, some new recipes need... tweaking. I did keep in mind some of the comments that were left: lower temperature, less baking time, maybe pushing some apples inside the cake instead of just on top.

My mom couldn't stop raving about it. With a denser cake base, it's not overly sweet. Dave said it'd be a good after-dinner, with-coffee sort of treat. My dad just said it was really good and wondered how much would be left for tomorrow. :D I'm slowly getting him to actually like food. (He's one of those "eats because he has to" kind of guys. I obviously took after the Portuguese side that is my mom's)

So, yep, this will be on the table on Thursday. I still need to work out exactly what's getting baked when (I figure the kitchen will be mine on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, leaving it to my mom and Dave on Thursday), so hopefully everything will work out well. :)

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
½ tsp. cinnamon
1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
½ cup sour cream

2 large apples, peeled, cut into wedges
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Homemade caramel or the jarred variety

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9-inch round cakepan.

Beat sugar, butter, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, beating until incorporated completely. Alternately add flour and sour cream. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Toss apple wedges with sugar and vanilla, coating completely. Press apples into and on top of the batter.

Bake at 325F for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about an hour before transfering to a wire rack. Spoon caramel on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Chocolate Mascarpone Pie

Quiz time!

What do you do when handed an Oreo cookie crust?

A. Run away screaming obscenities about the blasphemy of pre-made crusts.
B. Place it on your head and start tap dancing.
C. Make the best of it, eat it, but still complain about the sweetness and taste of the crust.

While the first two sound fun (and possibly believable lol), I decided to go with option C. That old adage about the mouth of a gift horse, after all.

After some researching, I remember the mascarpone cream filling that I made for some tartlets back in the summer. Somewhere along the way, the idea of using chocolate in it got involved, and, as they say, the rest is history.

The texture wasn't the light and fluffiness that was the non-chocolate version, but it was definitely well-received. Maybe a little bit less sugar would have been better; Dave and I found it to be sweet. My mom, ever the chocoholic, loved it, and my dad happily ate the remaining two pieces after lunch the next day. :)

Chocolate pie crust (pre-made or your own)
8 oz. mascarpone, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Beat mascarpone, cream, and sugar until stiff peaks are held. Add chocolate, beating until completely combined. Spread into crust. Top with cream, fruit, or whatever else you may desire. ;)


Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookie Bars

This was filed under the "baking endeavors to re-do" folder. Which basically consists of a bunch of stuff I made four to five years ago that I'd like to give another try, to see if it's any different or if I could make any improvements. The only thing I did different this time around with these is that I used the (remaining) butterscotch chips, since somehow there were no peanut butter ones to be found. Hmph.

Anyways, these are super-simple and take no time to whip together. I do prefer it with the peanut butter, though. The butterscotch makes them very sweet, so perhaps lessen the sugar a little bit? My dad's a big fan, not surprising; he's already blamed the dog for some of them disappearing. LOL And Penny just sits up, looks around confusedly, then lays back down on the couch. It's tough being her. Really. ;)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups peanut butter morsels

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan.

Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until blended; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Experimental Baking

The other day at work, we discovered one of those limited edition bodywashes that smelled EXACTLY like butterscotch. Which naturally led me to "Ooh! I want to make butterscotch cupcakes!"

Did you know that there aren't really many recipes for that? The only one I found used a cake mix and melted butterscotch chips.

So what did I do? A yellow cupcake that I've used as a base many a time and added the melted chips. And it came out... wonky. The top is far sweeter, and far crunchier, than the rest of thecake. And it's all rather crumbly.

Therefore, I pose this question before you: Have you a GOOD butterscotch cupcake recipe? And would you be so inclined to share it with me? :D


Pear Cake

This weekend threw my normal Saturday morning routine out of whack.

Yep, Dave had the day off. He's been doing six days a week for, well, a while, and I had grown very accustomed to my way of doing things on the Saturday AM: wake up around 9, bake two different things, do some laundry - all done before noon. But, as much as I love the guy, my morning all kinds of thrown off. (Love you, honey!) ;)

So I only made one thing yesterday morning, and it never even got photographed. Hmph. On one hand, that's a good thing, but at the same time... again, hmph.

A while back, when in CA still, my best friend Johanna told me that while I don't like pears, that I might enjoy asian pears. I always kept that in mind, just never acted on it. So when they were spotted at Whole Foods, it was obviously meant to be. And it turns out, Jo was right. I do like the asian pears. :)

The recipe is originally from Culinate, I switched out the apples in their cake for my pears. And what with the lack of time, no frosting, as yummy as it sounded. The cake came out well. Very fruity, and the pears towards the top get caramelized and yummy. :)

2⅓ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups pears (about 2 large apples), peeled and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices; set aside.

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix for another minute, until the eggs are blended into the butter and sugar. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. The batter will be very thick and stiff. Fold in the pears and stir just enough to evenly distribute the apples and nuts through the batter. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake at 325F for 40-50 minutes. When the top of the cake is firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool on a wire rack.