Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macarons

Yeah, these happened.

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Like, I woke up one morning and wanted to make macarons. But not just any macarons. The most ridiculous ones ever.

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And these definitely happened.

I mean, chewy-but-kind-of-crunchy macaron cookies making a sandwich around cookie-dough-that-you-can-eat-raw-and-now-care-because-it-has-no-eggs??! These happened and I almost regret it.

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I say that because now I know I can make these and it’s like an insatiable Cookie Dough Macaron monster has been unleashed and there’s no stopping her. I literally had to submerge the excess cookie dough in water so I would be forced to stop eating it by the spoonful, a classic Miranda-esque moment (all you Sex and the City fans, please tell me you’ve seen that episode).

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You guys, the only reason you should be intimidated by macarons is because you think you’ll eat half the batch in one sitting. This recipe and technique is tricky to mess up if you follow the directions, and does not take the 24 hours that most recipes call for. Thank god. It’s the perfect recipe for a budding Macaron Monster.

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So yeah…these will likely be happening again. Soon.

Recipe

Prep time: 1 hour and 15 minutes | Bake time: 15 minutes| Total time: 2 hours

Yield: approximately 18 macarons

Macarons

  • 3 room temperature egg whites
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs coco powder
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal

Cookie Dough Filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup brown sugar
  • 1 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 4 tbs milk

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside prepare a piping bag with a 1mm or greater round tip, or just have a 1 gallon baggie with a small corner cut off on hand for piping.

Wipe the bowl of a stand mixer clean so that no oil or residue is on the sides. Add the egg whites and whisk on low speed until frothy. While the mixture is still going, slowly add the gradual sugar. Then turn to high speed and whip until stiff peaks have formed, usually about 3-5 minutes. Your egg whites will be glossy and shiny and beautiful.

In a large bowl, sift together the remaining macaron ingredients. Gently fold in the egg whites and fold the mixture until homogenous.

Scoop the batter into your piping bag of choice, and pipe out approximately 1 inch sized rounds on to the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. I had approximately 36 rounds. Let the cookies rest at room temperature for about an hour, or until the tops of the cookies have slightly hardened.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325° F, placing the oven racks in the middle of the your oven. Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies have hardened and the bottom has formed “feet”. Remove and let cool.

To make the cookie dough, melt the butter and brown sugar together on medium heat, mixing continuously. When the butter and sugar begins to bubble, remove from heat and let cool completely. Add the flour, salt and vanilla, then add milk. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.

To assemble the cookies, place about 1 teaspoon of cookie dough in between two maracons and press down gently. Be careful, your macarons are delicate and can crack easily, so be extra gentle! Continue with the rest of the cookies and enjoy!

Adapted from bon apetite and Bakeaholic Mama.

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Cheesiest Pizza Dip

You guys, there was so much cheese going on here that I didn’t even know what to do.
Actually, me and no more than 6 other people knew exactly what to do.
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We took this thing down like it was our jobs.
We then suffered through cheese-induced comas for the next three days. And by “suffered” I mean loved every second of it. I would literally die for this dip.
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There’s no denying that this is NOT one of those lightned up recipes that I throw out there from time to time. This thing is a full on calorie bomb and I love it. I freaking love it.
It’s so simple to mix all the cheeses together, and I love the flavor that those sweet little cherry tomato morsels take on when you roast them. Toss some herbs and garlic in here and you’ve got a bowl of melted cheese that tastes like pizza. I couldn’t even contain myself   long enough around this dip to get decent pictures.
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This is 5 minutes in… Enough said.

Recipe

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 (12 ounces) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 16 oz italian cheese, shredded (I used a combination of mozzarella, provolone and parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
  • crackers, bread or chips for serving

Heat your oven to 400 ° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and evenly distribute tomatoes on the sheet. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and coat the tomatoes. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the skins of the tomatoes are wrinkled. Remove from oven and set aside.

In the meantime, simply combine all the cheeses together in a large bowl. Mix in the herbs. Then gently fold in the tomatoes. Spoon the entire mixture into a oven safe dish (mine was 6 x10 inches) and sprinkle  extra parmesan cheese on top. Bake in a 400 ° F oven for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let cool and serve.

I may have skipped the cooling step, and it was totally worth it.

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Farro with Pea Mint Pesto and Summer Vegetables

This another one of those fake fancy things like we talked about before.

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I mean, how fancy does Farro with Mint Pea Pesto sound? You tell people you made this for dinner and people with think a) that you’re fluent in at least two of the romance languages and b) be 100% percent convinced that you’re a master chef. Which you definitely are.

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The mint pesto is actually very elegant, but it’s just as easy as regular pesto to whip up. Literally just throw ingredients in the food processor and it’s done. You can’t mess this up, I promise. Farro, although totally hot right now in the foodie world, is one of those grains similar to quinoa that is still starting to catch on with all us normal people out there. But I’m really glad it is… it has a great, hearty texture and is, like, ridiculously good for you. You guys, you’re totally cutting edge if you serve farro.

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You’re cutting edge AND fancy when you serve farro with mint pea pesto. Yup, you.

Recipe

Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

  • 3/4 cup farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup mint
  • 10 oz frozen peas, thawed
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Spring veggies of choice, prepared as desired (I used 1 bunch of asparagus and  8 0z shiitake mushrooms)

In a large sauce pan, add the vegetable broth and farro and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until the farro has absorbed all the liquid, about 10 minutes. If not using a quick-cook variety of farro, simply prepare according to the directions on the package. They’re there, I promise!

In a food processor, blend mint and peas until fine. Add in garlic, parmesan cheese, then slowly add the olive oil until pesto is desired consistency (I used about 1/2 a cup!).  Spoon desired amount of pesto on to the farro while it is still warm and mix until farro is covered.

Prepare vegetables as desired. I my tossed my asparagus and mushrooms with a tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt and pepper, then roasted  at 400 °F for about 15 minutes.

Once veggies are prepared, simply mix in to the warm farro and sprinkle some goat cheese on top. Serve warm, room temp or cool… it’s delicious no matter what!

Blueberry and Corn Salad

Ok, I know this sounds weird.

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Blueberries and corn? Jalapenos? Onions? Honey? Whhaaattt?

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But oh my gosh you guys this salad was out of control delicious. I had seconds and thirds and maybe even tried to lick the  dressing off the bottom of the bowl. I’m legitimately proud of myself for sharing this with anyone else.

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The sweetness of the corn and blueberries was cut perfectly by the spiciness of the jalapenos. The cucumbers were super refreshing and the honey, lime and cumin dressing added a just little warmth. This salad is basically the definition of summer.

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Make this for you next party, or just keep in it your fridge and eat it for your next 6 meals in a row (you will not get sick of it, I swear). This summer salad is so unique and addicting, and will be a huge hit no mater what you do with it.

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Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating time

Yield: about 6-8 servings

Salad

  • 5 ears of fresh corn, steamed and cut off the cob (grilled would be delicious, too!)
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 cucumber, sees removed, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced, seeds removed

Dressing

  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1.5 tbs honey
  • 1.5 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic salt

Cook corn on the cob and then remove from cob and place in a large bowl. Add blueberries, cucumber, onion, cilantro and jalapeno and mix.

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad. Let salad marinate for a few hours before serving, up to 24 hours.

How easy is that? (Love ya, Ina)

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

 

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars ~ Lightened Up!

I’m a firm supporter of the whole “treat yo’ self” movement (Parks and Rec, ya know?).

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We all deserve some indulgence every once in a while. We work hard, we deal with people, its like a million degrees out today… sometimes a little treat is just 100% necessary to make sure we don’t lose it when they run out of K-Cups in the break room. I know I can’t be the only one who this has happened to, right? You guys?

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These bars let you treat yo’ self with feeling the need to eat dry lettuce for the rest of your life. Yeah, they’re definitely still cheesecake bars, notorious for being rich, sweet and laden with calories. But they’re also are made with low-fat cream cheese and greek yogurt, both of which cut calories significantly and add protein and probiotics. Basically they just add good, which is a thing these days.

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Raspberries instead of chocolate or candy make them refreshing and prefect for a hot summer day, and are more or less 100% full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are also totally a thing right now.

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So, you guys, if you are in serious need of a treat yo’ self situation,  you should probably gomake these. Light, refreshing, and oh-so-delicious, I promise you can enjoy them without feeling you have to deprive yourself later on.

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Treat yo’ self.

Recipe

Prep Time: 30 mintes | Bake Time: 45-50 minutes | Total Time: 4 hours (mostly cooling)

Yield: about 24 bars

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cheesecake

  • 2 (8 oz) packages of reduced fat cream cheese- room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 (8 oz) container of greek yogurt (I used Chobani Vanilla)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pints of fresh raspberries that have been frozen (to keep them intact while mixing!)

Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil or parchment. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients for crust until combined. Pour contents in to the bottom of your pan and distribute evenly, pressing down until firm.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While crust is baking, add the cream cheese and sugar in to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in your flour, eggs, yogurt and vanilla and mix until well combined. Gently fold in berries. Pour this mixture over the pre-baked crust and evenly distribute.

In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for the topping until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the cheesecake mixture.

Place the pan back in the oven and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, until edges are slightly golden brown  and the middle no long jiggles when gently shaken. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes at room temp, then place in fridge and cool for an additional 2 hours. Slice up and treat yo’ self.