Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Breakfast treat or dessert?

I figure my stomach doesn't mind what time it digests certain foods. Well, within reason, of course. It does care about spaghetti sauce an hour or so before bed. But baked goods? No biggie. For about a year during high school, all I would eat for breakfast were those horribly sweet brownies from Little Debbie. Minus the nuts, though.

Thankfully, I've improved since then. ;) (I wouldn't touch those brownies with a ten foot pole!)

The evening after I made this, my mom decided to pair it with some caramel-swirl ice cream and declared it a hit. My dad has it as his after-lunch treat. I slip a slice in before heading to work. Or an after-work snack. It's gone by this point, I should add.

Sometime last week, I came across a recipe that called for buttermilk. Which I never really have on hand. When I bought some, I couldn't find the recipe. Doh! Thankfully, Baking Bites exists. :)

The recipe comes together in a breeze, with a very light, vanilla-y batter. Instead of chocolate chips, you could always substitute dried fruits or nuts. I like it's versatility, and will definitely save this recipe for the future.

1-1/3 cups flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
3/4 cup chocolate chips

For streusel topping:
3 Tbsp. flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, cold

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan or springform pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Follow with buttermilk, then remaining flour mixture, beating only until the flour is just mixed in. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in prepared pan.

Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnmon. Add the cold butter, using your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on top of batter.

Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan.


Nutella Ravioli

I swear, I don't fall off the face of the earth every other week or so. Sometimes I wish I could for brief moments of time, but that's a whole 'nother blog altogether. ;)

Having an 'extra' day off this week due to the paid holiday of Labour Day, I decided to make something this past Wednesday. And for some very strange reason, cookies kept coming to mind. (Something REALLY must be wrong, huh? LOL) Speaking of work, this upcoming week, Tasha and I were 'volunteered' to help out in another store. On a good note, an extra hour of pay each day since the store's an hour away. On a bad note, it means I'm back on the salesfloor, dealing with customers. Oy.

Anyways, happier things. Nutella ravioli is definitely a happy. Another recipe by the fabulous Peabody. Of course, mine didn't come out nearly as pretty. Or round. Somewhere in my semi-lost brain, spacing just didn't happen. So when they came out of the oven, it was pretty much a cookie sheet of sugar cookie dough. Oops. Yay for spatulas, right?

Oh, and the flavor? So yummy. I want to say there were somewhere between 24 and 30 cookies? There are six left. My dad's been sneaking them, I think, in an attempt to make the brownies last longer. ;)

18 oz. sugar cookie dough (store-bought or home-made)
½ cup Nutella

3 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

Roll out cookie dough to about a ¼-inch thickness.

Using a cookie cutter or a glass dipped in flour, cut out rounds. Place about a ½ teaspoon of Nutella into the center of each round. Fold rounds over to create half moon shapes, gently sealing edges. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350F for 9-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Once cooled, melt chocolate chips in microwave for about 1 minute. Using a fork, drizzle over cookies. Repeat with the white chocolate chips.


Chai-Spiced Bars

Motivation really isn't my friend lately. Not just here, but in general life, too. There is hope, though. There are only 30 more working days until vacation. ;)

This weekend was pretty yucky as far as weather goes. We kinda got sideswiped by the remains of Tropical Storm Danny, who was nice enough to give us about five inches of rain. Have I mentioned that the only time Dave and I have to do the grocery shopping is Saturday afternoon? So that included me running through the Target parking lot, attempting to avoid the big puddles and failing miserably. But as I neared the car, a giggle came out of me, that grew into full out laughter. Just for the feeling of running through the rain like I was a kid again. And that made me happy. Despite the wet socks. (My second biggest weather-related petpeeve is wet socks. Raindrops on the glasses takes first place.)

Oh, but wait! Before I continue, there's big, earth-shattering news!

Last Thursday, I (finally?) got the drivers' permit. Yes, you may all be thoroughly shocked now. ;)

I've always said that I'd get the license before I turned 30 or before I had kids. Well, I'm about a year and a half away from that number. So my friend Leslie, after much persuasion/harassment from our group of friends, went with me to the dmv. Of course, she later told me that if I didn't go willingly then, that next week, I'd be forcibly dragged there. :) I haven't done any driving yet, but it's a HUGE step for me.

Anyways, it was grey and gloomy on Saturday, yes. So I wanted something warming. Everyone knows my love affair with chai tea, and after some searching, I came across this site and, since I had everything it needed, went for it. It's not quite as chai-y as I'd like, but they're yummy. I think that if they were to be made again, I'd cut back on the cardamom; that seems to be the most prominent taste and that's just kinda... ehh. One day I'll find a baked good that has the chai taste I desire. ;)

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 cups flour
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. black pepper
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well combined. Add egg. Sift together flour and spices; gradually add to butter mixture. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack before cutting.