Monday, December 15, 2014

Biscoff Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was pumped to do the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again this year! It's so fun to try other people's baked goods from all different places in the US! I got the most delicious cookies from Liz, Kathi, and Sue! Thanks ladies!

And it's also fun to try a new recipe and hope that it doesn't turn out horribly since you are making 3 dozen cookies to ship out the next day and this was the only night you could bake them! Not that I'm saying that from experience.

I might have tried to make Biscoff Snickerdoodles on the first try and they were DRY, so I didn't ship those and instead made these delicious Biscoff Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies! I'm kind of glad I messed up the first round :)

Since I had to brown the butter, these cookies were a little crispy, but had a good buttery taste unlike when you use room temperature butter. I also was really wanting to use Biscoff in a recipe because it is AMAZING and would like all the world to know. I eat it at least 3 times a week for breakfast.

As you can see, I'm not the best photographer, especially since I have to use my phone for pictures! Something weird happened with this picture, but I didn't notice until later when the cookies were all gone :( One day, I will get a nice camera and take a photography class so I can properly put pictures on my blog without looking like a newbie!

Wyatt had to sniff test the cookies of course, and don't mind the Popeye's trash on the floor.... 

Biscoff Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (also called Cookie Butter at Trader Joe's)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until it foams and froth. The butter will begin to sputter and crackle. Allow the butter to become fragrant with brown bits beginning to form on the bottom of the pan. Once the bits are amber brown, remove the pan from heat and pour the butter into a small heatproof bowl. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Allow to cool until just warm, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and oats.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cooled butter into very well combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in the Biscoff. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Beat in the chocolate chips.

Drop 3-tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges. Let cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from Handle the Heat and Cooking Classy.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

All kinds of exciting news!

September 5th weekend was the best weekend ever! Turned 30, got a dog, and got engaged!!! Cool, huh?

 I LOVE my ring! It has a vintage look, but it's nice and simple which is what I wanted.

We had reservations at Table 52 for my birthday dinner, which is a place that I've been wanting to try for years! It's a little on the expensive side, so it was a perfect place for a special dinner. Art Smith is the chef (used to be Oprah's personal chef!), and his food is southern cooking with awesome flavors. The complementary goat cheese biscuits that came out first were so good, I almost missed getting a picture of them.

I had my heart set on the fried chicken, and it was pretty darn good. I wouldn't say it was THE best fried chicken I've ever had, but still really good!

We also got the mac and cheese in a cast iron pot, which was SO rich and creamy. I loved the top slightly burnt parts of the cheese the most. The best thing we ordered was actually the prime rib that you can kind of see behind the mac. It melted in your mouth and has the best flavor! It wasn't cheap, but it was a really, really good steak.

I also ordered the Hummingbird cake with blueberry sauce to bring home because we were so stuffed! It was pretty delicious, but I almost thought it had too much icing!

So after we got home, we went on a walk in the park near our house, and B got down on one knee and asked me to marry him :) It was the best birthday present I've ever gotten.

We had already planned on going to the shelter and looking at dogs that next day, and we said we were just going to "look", but if we saw a dog we liked we could decide then if we should adopt it.

And of course we found a black lab that we loved! We named him Wyatt, and he is 1-2 years old. He had only been there a week, so if we didn't take him home that day, he would've been gone the next week I'm sure.

That night we were going out with friends for my birthday, so we got to tell everyone our big news! It was a pretty crazy few days of telling everyone and getting used to the doggie, but now it's all soaking in and it's awesome.

The next weekend, my brother and niece came up to visit and go to my company's annual picnic! It was so much fun riding the Frog Hopper, and I made sure there wasn't a weight limit!

P had a blast doing all the activities without waiting in line or anything! It was pretty cool. We went to Ed Debevic's for dinner because I'd never been, and I figured P would like that the servers yell at you and and dance on the tables. She definitely liked it there. The food was pretty average though. Definitely a tourist spot!

So now we're just getting used to having another thing living with us, and having more responsibilities like feeding and walking him 3 times a day!

His favorite hobbies so far include looking out the window at squirrels, stretching in downward doggie, and chewing on shoes and potholders. We're trying to give him antlers and treats to chew on instead, so hopefully he will learn!

Just look at that face! Now I understand why people take/post so many pictures of their pets! I might start to become one of them...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Biscoff White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I don't think I will ever get sick of Biscoff. I know it's not healthy to eat for breakfast twice a week on my toast, but it tastes so much better than peanut butter! I need to stop buying it, but it's really really hard not to! I might need an intervention. 

I saw these cookies on Sally's Baking Addiction, and was so excited to make them. They turned out pretty much as good as I expected, but I'm not a huge white chocolate chip fan. So next time I might take those out.

Biscoff White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (194g) Biscoff spread
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (160g) quick oats
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) white chocolate chips or chunks


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the Biscoff until combined. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft and slick. Fold in the oats and 1 and 1/4 cups white chocolate, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for later. The cookie dough will be thick and heavy.

Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. I highly suggest using a cookie scoop to make it easier. Place 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Remove from the oven and lightly press down on each cookie to slightly flatten, since the cookies will not spread all the way in the oven. Press a piece or two of the remaining white chocolate chips/chunks into each cookie as described above in the post. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies stay soft and fresh for 7 whole days at room temperature. Baked cookies and/or cookie dough balls may be frozen up to 3 months.

*Note about the oats:
Do not use old-fashioned style oats (aka whole oats) in this cookie recipe.
You need quick oats, which are more finely ground (and smaller) whole oats. I usually only keep whole oats in my pantry. When I need quick oats, I pulse whole oats in the food processor or blender 4-5 times to make homemade quick oats.

Summer is coming to an end sadly, and it's JUST now getting hot outside. I can't believe it! It's like it didn't even happen, and there's already stuff out for Halloween and fall and Pumpkin Spice everything.

I got to go to Lollapalooza this year! I wanted to go while we still live here and wouldn't have to make a special trip for it. I saw lots of good bands, including Bombay Bicycle Club, Chvrches, and Zedd! I was the only one who wanted to see Zedd, so I felt old standing in the crowd of 18 year olds, but I didn't mind cause that music is so fun :)

I was really impressed how organized Lollapalooza was, and how big it was! They even had an area with hammocks for people like me who get so tired of standing at concerts.

One of the main things I was excited for was the Lobster Corndogs! They are a Lolla special that Graham Elliot has every year, and it lived up to the hype. There was plenty of lobster to corn breading ratio, and the sauce was a good, creamy addition.

Let's see, so I also got to go on a boat! My work had an afternoon outing on the lake, and it was so lovely and relaxing. I love going out on a sailboat or canoeing.

We went to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform the score to LOTR! It was at Ravinia, and they had a huge lawn area where we brought chairs and food and had a picnic while they played the movie. It was really a cool thing to experience. I just wish we could've seen the orchestra better, but that's what we get for getting the cheap lawn seats :)

It's officially my last few days of being in my 20's! Can you believe it? I don't feel like I'll be 30. So I'm making a few friends go out for my birthday so we can dance all night and get it out of my system before I'm too old!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bananas Foster Cupcakes and NYC Cookies!

I always bake things that I find on other people's blogs, and never end up posting about them! I'm a slacker. But sometimes they don't turn out as good as I'd hoped, so then I don't feel like sharing a recipe that I'm ehh about.

I made these Bananas Foster Cupcakes from Cookies and Cups blog a few weeks ago, and they were SOOOO good! The frosting was something that I could have just eaten with a spoon. So much sugar.

I think Bananas Foster is one of my favorite kinds of desserts, like when we go to a restaurant and they have Bananas Foster cake or something like it, I always want to get it. Caramelized bananas are the best.

I took these to work, and they were pretty messy once they sat out all day, but people still took their half of a half to try.

Bananas Foster Cupcakes

    Brown Sugar Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Bananas Foster Frosting
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 large banana)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dark rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Garnish with banana slices and caramel sauce.
How to Make
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  6. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
  7. Add about a third of the dry mixture and half milk mixture in alternating portions beginning and ending with dry mixture until incorporated and smooth.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes until cupcake springs back when pushed or toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool before frosting cupcakes.
  10. Frosting
  11. Mash banana in a small bowl with lemon juice.
  12. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter for 2 minutes. Add in banana and beat for 1-2 more minutes until well mixed. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time on low speed. Add in brown sugar, cinnamon, rum and vanilla.
  13. Turn mixer up to medium and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  14. Assembly
  15. Spread or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  16. Garnish with a banana slice and drizzle with caramel.
Recipe taken from Cookies and Cups Blog 

I went to New York City for work the other weekend, which was kind of exciting since it was my first traveling for work experience. Our flight didn't arrive until 1am because of bad weather, so I hadn't eaten any dinner and was starving when I got to the hotel!! So I ordered the cheapest thing on the room service menu, which was tomato soup and a sliver of grilled cheese. The soup was ehh, but the grilled cheese was so delicious! I wish I had gotten the full sandwich instead, but it was 1am so I probably didn't need all that in my belly since I was going straight to sleep.

 They had some of the softest robes at the hotel.... I wish I could've brought one home with me.

Kevin!!!! Haha I just always think of Home Alone when I see the Plaza Hotel.

 This was the view of Central Park from our office. Pretty nice to look at while you're working!

For lunch, our co-workers took us to Tao. It was so dark inside! And the giant Budda was really cool. It was Restaurant Week so I got the 3 course meal for $25, awesome deal! The Chocolate pot dessert was the best course, followed by the Lobster Dumpling soup (didn't get a picture though), and it had the BEST broth, I was pretty much drinking it up. The sushi main course was just your typical sushi. Nothing special.

For dinner, we went to Villagio on the Park, which is a bustling Italian restaurant. It was pretty yummy, and of course we got 3 desserts to share!

I made sure to visit Levain Bakery while I was there! I went before work and grabbed some of the chocolate brioche and muffins for our breakfast, but of course I also got some chocolate chip walnut and chocolate peanut butter cookies for later.

 It's so tiny inside!

I really wanted to eat a cookie right then while it was fresh and warm, but it was just 8am and had all the other breakfast treats to eat, so I saved them. But now I am kind of regretting it! They were still just as delicious after, I just had to heat it up in the microwave a bit.

My brother and sister-in-law met me for lunch, and we had some NY style pizza and cookies from the Momofuku Milk Bar. I was also pretty excited about trying these cookies since I've heard so much about the place!

I got 2 cookies to take home with me, because I was still pretty full from the pizza.

My brother got the cereal milk soft serve ice cream, and I was really interested to try it! It had a very distinct flavor, which was confusing. It was weird at first, but then it was good, just like eating Captain Crunch cereal.

I'm not sure I could live in NYC, there are just people EVERYWHERE, but it's nice to go for a few days. I wouldn't mind walking through Central Park every day.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer is finally here!

Today it was above 80 degrees!! It's about time. The last few weeks, I've had to bring a light jacket to work just in case it was chilly when I come home at night, so it feels SO nice to not have to think about that.

Before it got warm though, I wanted to check out Eataly since it was semi-close to work. I went on a semi-warm day, and checked out the Nutella counter. I bought a croissant with nutella, and a brioche with nutella (they have fancy names but I can't remember them). I was actually a little disappointed! It was literally just someone cutting them in half, spreading Nutella on it, and putting it back together like a sandwich. I could have done that at home!

I also got some salted caramel gelato, and that was mmm good. I wanted pistachio too, but it was too much for just me to eat!
They have tons of good looking pastas and meats and cheeses, I wanted to buy it all and take home to cook. I did pick up some freshly made cheese ravioli for dinner that night, and it was so yummy. I love fresh pasta so much more than box!

My mom came to visit in June, and we went to Las Tablas Colombian steakhouse for dinner. I've been wanting to go to a steakhouse for a long time, and I was finally able use the excuse of visitors so we could go :)

They serve the steak, potato, yuca, and plantain on a grill plate. The steak was so juicy and flavorful, and the plantain was soooooo good. I was also excited to eat yucca again, but it wasn't quite as good as when I had the yucca fries in St. Augustine a few years ago.

We went to Shedd and saw some giant crabs.

Whenever I ride the train home on clear days, the sun is setting and it's so pretty! I just want to stare at it, but then people think I'm looking at them.

Last weekend, we went to Indiana for a picnic and engagement party, so I got to catch up with my favorite person and mini me. It was so nice to spend time with family, even for less than 24 hours!

We walked across the new walking bridge in Jeffersonville, IN to Louisville, KY, and then got my favorite chocolate milkshake at Zesto's. No pictures though because we drank it so fast! Then we drive some more to see my bestest friend for her engagement party. It made me miss just hanging out in the backyard with people and drinking beers.

So far the highlight of my summer (even though it was freezing outside) was doing this trapeze class!!! My friend and I and another friend who was there to cheer us on and take pictures went on a Friday night to the Belmont Harbor where the NY School of Trapeze is set up, and it was so scary but fun! The first time I did it, it was really freakin scary, but then you do it like 7 or 8 more times, and it gets a little better. But man, my arms were SO sore the next 4 or 5 days.

Now I want to go skydiving!

This is yummy stuff, if only it wasn't so expensive!