The Best Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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My summer days are very unpredictable. One day I could be at home, working on my summer assignment for next year’s AP course (yay… not.) and then baking up a storm as a reward for completing a chapter of that boring history book. Or, I could be out and about, shopping or walking around San Francisco and enjoying the peaceful noise of waves crashing on the beach. I love getting out of the house and strolling around or visiting a new town. I just need to be out. My mom always gets annoyed whenever I use the phrase, “I’m bored”– (her common response is, “Then clean the house!”). I’m sure there are plenty of things to do around the house, there’s no doubt about it. But there’s nothing that makes me happier than going somewhere and exploring.

However, the days when I am at home, I will whip up a recipe and blog about it, hoping that someone reads my ramblings and enjoys a recipe. 🙂

This particular recipe is one to treasure. This cookie stays moist and soft for days– definitely resembles a “bakery cookie”. Yum. The peanut butter cups aren’t overwhelming, so you get a subtle hint of peanut butter flavor amid the pillowy center and gooey chocolate chips.

The Best Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies   lightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 10 – 12 mini peanut butter cups, halved

Directions:

1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

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DSCN08903. Mix in egg and vanilla.

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4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstach, baking soda and salt.

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5. On low speed, combine flour mixture with the wet ingredients. Dough will be slightly sticky.

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6. Carefully stir in chocolate chips and halved peanut butter cups. The peanut butter cups may fall apart, but don’t worry about it. 🙂

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7. Chill dough for 30 minutes (at the least).

8. Preheat oven to 350℉.

9. Once chilled, roll dough into the size of 1 tablespoon (mine were larger) and place onto the cookie sheet.

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10. Bake for 8-9 minutes until edges are barely golden brown. Do not bake for more than 10 minutes!

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11. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container once cooled completely. If the cookies are too puffy for you, you can lightly press down on them.

Unfortunately, the pictures didn’t turn out very great. Let me know if you try the recipe– it’s very simple and trust me, you’ll be glad you made them.

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Thank you all for your support! Keep looking for more recipes to try out this week. 🙂

~Sydney

The Best Lemon Bars (Ever)

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I was craving a citrus dessert- who isn’t this time of year? Yesterday I made these beautiful, delicious lemon bars by merging two recipes. These bars are cakey and thick, with a subtle (but not too subtle) lemon flavor. Next time I would add just a tad more lemon juice, but other than that, I think this recipe has been perfected. 🙂 (Note: It’s crucial to use FRESH squeezed lemon juice! The artificial stuff just doesn’t cut it). 

Sydney’s Best Ever Lemon Bars lightly adapted from both sugarwinzy and citronlimette

Ingredients:

For the crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest

For the lemon filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (If you want a more bold lemon flavor, add 3/4 cup)
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Spray a 9″ by 13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Zest the lemon! DSCN0731
  4. For the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 (or 3) teaspoons powdered sugar and lemon zest. Slice the 1 cup butter into the mixture and cut until crumbly.DSCN0733

    The mixture will appear crumbly after cutting in the butter.

    The mixture will appear crumbly after cutting in the butter.

  5. Lightly press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. DSCN0736
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is lightly brown.
  7. For the filling: First, use a juicer to squeeze approx. 2 1/2 lemons. I used my mom’s old (but trusty!) juicer. DSCN0742
  8. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Then whisk in 1/2 (or 3/4) cup fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 – 3 teaspoons of lemon zest until well combined. Finally, whisk in the 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.DSCN0743
  9.  Pour the well-combined mixture over the hot baked crust.
  10. Bake at 350℉ for 20-25 minutes, or until filling is set.DSCN0758

11. Allow to cool completely, then sprinkle powdered sugar on top. DSCN0753

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You will not regret making these delicious, refreshing treats! It’s also a fairly simple recipe that experienced bakers could whip up in 15 minutes (minues the baking time). Anyways, let me know what you think if you decide to bake these! Thanks again for your support. 🙂

~ Sydney ~

Angel Food Cupcakes with Strawberries & Cream

DSCN0699Last Saturday, I searched and searched for a simple, “spring-y” dessert to make for Mother’s Day. And voilá! I found this easy and super tasty recipe. At first, I was skeptical because I had never made angel food cake before, but everything worked out. 🙂 The strawberries add the perfect refreshing touch to it– almost like a modified strawberries and shortcake.

Angel Food Cake Cupcakes with Strawberries and Cream adapted from design. bake. run. 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar – i added 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 egg whites – note: it is best to use fresh egg whites not from the carton. most of the store-bought egg whites will not form stiff peaks due to the pasteurization process
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla – i used 2 teaspoons (i love my vanilla!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Strawberries & Cream Filling

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  • 12 strawberries, washed and sliced (you can use more or less, depending on how many you’d like per cupcake)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar – i like my whipping cream a little sweeter, so i changed this to 4 1/2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 1 cupcake pan (12 count) with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugars (1/2 cup granulated + 1/2 cup powdered).
  3. Using a mixer, whip the egg whites for approx. one minute, until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, vanilla and salt. Whip for 5-6 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. note: this is where I became worried! it took longer than 6 minutes for the stiff peaks to form, but it worked out. be careful not to over-whip the egg whites. 

    After whipping the egg whites for 6-7 minutes, they should look like this.

    After whipping the egg whites for 6-7 minutes, they should look like this.

  4. Pour 1/4 cup of the flour mixture into the egg mixture and gently fold in. Repeat until all of the flour is incorporated.

    Step 5 - Add 1/4 of the flour mixture and fold in the egg mixture. Repeat until all of the flour mixture is incorporated into the egg white mixture.

    Step 4 – Add 1/4 of the flour mixture and fold in the egg mixture. Repeat until all of the flour mixture is incorporated into the egg white mixture.

  5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way (i only poured the batter in halfway- still works fine, just makes smaller cupcakes) and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cupcakes are lightly golden and springy to the touch.

    Step 6 - Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners.

    Step 5 – Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners.

  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

    The finished product.

    The finished product.

For the whipped cream:

  1. Add the heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla to a medium-sized bowl and whip for 3-4 minutes, or until light and airy. Store the whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    The ingredients adore their creation of the amazing whipped cream.

    The ingredients adore their creation of the amazing whipped cream.

To assemble the cupcakes:

  1. Carefully take off the cupcake liners and slice the cupcakes in half.
  2. Spread a generous portion of the whipped cream on the bottom half, then add the sliced strawberries on top. Top the strawberry layer with another spoonful of whipped cream.DSCN0693
  3. Place the top half of the cupcake back on (don’t press down too hard or the strawberries will fall off on the sides). If the cupcake is about to fall apart, place a toothpick in the middle to hold it together.
  4. Serve right away, or refrigerate until ready to consume.

Thanks again to design.bake.run. for this simple and perfect summertime treat! This weekend I’ll be posting another surprise recipe… (hint: I’ll be using the egg yolks that I got from the egg whites in this recipe, and it also has to do with summertime). If you try the recipe, let me know how it works for you. 🙂

~ Sydney ~