Sunday, January 31, 2010

Several hundred calories later.

Trying to come up with compelling blog material these days is downright painful. Not that it was all that compelling to begin with, but at least it was something. I don't know what the problem is. I'm not mad or sad or bored or lazy.

(Well, maybe a little lazy.)

The words just. won't. come. I sit down with a vague idea, write and rewrite the same sentence eighteen times, never managing to get it quite right and, eventually, quit.

It’s possible I just have nothing to say. It's possible probable I'm spending too much time reading. Maybe if something were actually happening, I’d be able to write about it, but alas... nothing.

Nothing is happening.

I work. I read. I bake. I sleep. I start over. The only thing causing me any angst is whether or not my book club selection will be a success. And let me tell you, there’s something unsettling about having nothing to worry about. It's been a while. I don't know how to handle it. I know, I know. I should stop before I jinx myself.

So, here are a few things to come out of my kitchen recently...

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

Yes. Bacon. These were awesome and totally delicious, but as I was editing the photos, I realized they looked like, well... poop. I know, I'm ruining the idea of these cookies, aren't I? I'm sorry. But once the idea pooped, I mean popped, into my head, I couldn't get rid of it and suddenly I didn't want to share the recipe because I was afraid that everyone would see what I saw and... yeah. But you should definitely try them. They were soft and sweet and chocolatey... and the bacon added a little something special. Actually, you could leave it out and make some seriously divine chocolate chocolate chip cookies, if you're so inclined.

Ingredients | Printer-friendly recipe
6 slices maple-cured bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon according to preference and crumble. (I cooked mine to a nice crisp and crumbled finely.) Beat the sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until fluffy and smooth. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the chocolate chips and bacon. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Oreo and Nutter Butter Cookie Balls

Why it took me so long to get to these, I'll never know. Crushed cookies... mixed with cream cheese... covered in chocolate. Need I say more? I was surprised, though. I enjoyed both, but the Oreos were, hands down, my favorite. And yet everyone else preferred the Nutter Butters. Weirdos.

Ingredients | Printer-friendly recipe
1 package Oreo or Nutter Butter cookies (the ones with the cream center)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
chocolate bark (I used white for the Oreos and milk chocolate for the Nutter Butters)
(By the way, I love parenthesis.)

Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later. Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to mash the two together. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on lined cookie sheet. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate. Tap off extra and set aside on cookie sheet to dry. Decorate with reserved cookie crumbs, sprinkles, your mouth, etc. To store, keep refrigerated. (If they last that long.)

S'mores Bars

Now in a cupboard near you.

I've been looking at this recipe on the back of my graham cracker box for a while now. I finally caved. They were certainly tasty, but I walked away with mixed feelings.

Ingredients | Printer-friendly recipe
12 whole graham crackers
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups mini marshmallows
4 milk chocolate candy bars, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15" by 10" jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on ends; spray foil with cooking spray. Place graham crackers onto foil so sides touch. Melt butter and brown sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and mixture just comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Pour evenly over crackers. Bake 5-6 minutes or until bubbly. Remove pan from oven; sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate. Continue baking until marshmallows begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Cool completely. Lift from pan and cut into bars.

Okay, here are my issues:

First, the butter/brown sugar mixture, while one of my favorite combos, was just too much. I tried the recipe twice and only used half the second time. Much better.

Second, the marshmallows don't really set and I found that when I took a bite, all of the marshmallows and chocolate would come sliding off. Like the cheese on a pizza. That bugs. I don't really want to hold my food in place while I eat.

They're very tasty and perfect while the marshmallows are still warm, but they don't store well. Just a little tip from me to you.


Last night, I got the incredible urge to bake. I wanted to make this, but I didn't have any lemons. Then I wanted to make these, but didn't have any kisses. I had everything for these brownies, so I made them and they were amazing. Go check out the recipe. You won't be disappointed. (But do yourself a favor and do not over bake them. You'll be sorry and I'll be saying I told you so even as we stuff our faces because they're that good.)

And why are there no pictures? Well, I tried. Honest. But I just could not get happy with 'em. I'm an anal perfectionist. Sometimes I get over it and sometimes I just can't. Today I just can't. (I don't think I've ever taken a decent photo of brownies. I'm going to start obsessing about that.)

That's all. The end.

(Is anyone else in need of a nap now?)

Your ever-expanding friend Stephanie


  1. Alright, I'm trying not to think of poop when I look at these cookies, but I can't stop! Even so, I think I'll try the recipe! I'm not sure about the bacon part, I might make them without. When does your book club start reading your pick?

  2. Yes, I'm in need of a nap - but not because your post was boring. Quite the contrary. It kept me up for a few more minutes. Now I'm going to bed and dream about those cookie balls and lemon cupcakes below. And, BTW, you are never, ever boring - even when you're talking about how bored you are.

  3. Man your killin me here!

  4. Wow, that's a whole lotta baking posting! All these recipes look amazingly delicious and the photos are beautiful. I'm definitely going to try those cookies balls soon!

  5. holy delicious recipes! a little disappointed on your take re: the smores bars...i love anything smores. I just might have to try them anyways! But wow, those truffles? I must make ASAP!

  6. Food blog, Stephanie. Dive in to a full on food blog. Your photos are amazing, what you write about the stuff you make is great. Won-der-ful!

  7. Oh, yummy, yummy, yummy! This is the first time the whole chocolate/bacon combo has had any appeal - a salty bit of bacon sounds tasty in these cookies. My favorite bacon cookin' tip? Chop it up before you fry it - it's much more uniform than crumbling after and cooks very evenly. I am so with you on the Oreo cookie balls (known as Oreo truffles 'round here). But I will always choose chocolate over peanut butter and definitely Oreos over Nutter Butters.

  8. Bacon? Did you say bacon?? The cookies don't look like poop at all. Beautiful pictures.

  9. Bacon and chocolate.Are ya kiddin'?That sounds as good as a massage on a warm day.Go for it the foodie blog like kerryanne said.Do it.

  10. I absolutely LOVE your food pictures. They make me want to make and eat what ever it is you just posted about. But, I have to say it's a little unfair. When I make them, they are not as beautiful looking. My stuff comes out looking like something vomited on something else. Unfortunately, it all tastes really good! ;)

  11. Yum...I don't even know where to start. I love oreo balls...they are a staple for holidays and special occasions and life. :) I enjoyed reading your blog today...I discovered you through BlogHer btw. :)