ChoPeaOa Bars

I had to give it an interesting name, right? *cough* It just stands for chocolate-peanutbutter-oatmeal. Not so exciting.

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I haven’t written since January something, so it’s been a while, but life sometimes gets the better of you. I’ve been experimenting with recipes and have had a lot of success (as well as some failure), and I remembered I had these photos on my phone (so excuse the quality!) that I took along the way for this, so I thought I’d share. I think I was waiting to show you what a cut piece look like… they got eaten too quickly (6 times…), maybe next time. Scratch that, apparently I did have a picture, it’s just not the best, and I decided I wanted to use a weird frame… oh well, you get the gist for now.

Chocolate and peanut butter, anyone?

What do you need, what do you need?

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups quick oats + a bit
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I usually have semi-sweet on hand and it’s delicious, but milk would probably be better)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (use whatever you want, I just wouldn’t suggest a natural one, as they’re very oily)

You know, it’s been very windy here the past few days. The rest of North America seems to have snow and ice, and all sorts of dreadful weather. Here, here it’s just been windy and rainy. We actually got hail a few days ago, that was neat.

What to do, what to do?

  • Grab a 22x33cm (9x13in) pan and grease it. Butter it, oil it, spray it, put parchment paper in there… whatever you prefer to do.

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  • In a large bowl, mix together the oats, butter, and sugars. Next time I make these, I want to try adding honey instead of so much sugar, not just because it’s sugar, but because honey is delicious. It should be kinda crumbly.

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  • After you mix it, you’re going to want to press it flat into your pan. I like to use the back of a spoon

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  • Bake it at 180°C (350°F) for about 15 minutes, or until it’s golden brown (err, more golden brown?).
  • As that’s baking, melt your chocolate and peanut butter. It doesn’t really matter what method you use. You can melt them in a microwave, a double broiler, or if you’re like me, use a bowl over a pot of boiling water, just remember: don’t let the water touch the bowl!

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  • After everything melts, your result should look something like the picture above.
  • After your oat mixture comes out of the oven, you’re going to want to spread the chocolate mixture over it, as evenly as possible. I like to let it cool on the counter for a bit, then set the pan in the fridge. If your pan is still really warm, I suggest using a hot pad before you put it in your fridge. I’ve found what works best is letting this set at least 12 hours, so I tend to make it after dinner and leave it in the fridge until morning, which is usually enough.

And… there you have it. They’re pretty simple to make, easy to store, and a great snack… just don’t eat too many, they’re incredibly rich. 😉

Enjoy, and happy baking!

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Apple Crisp

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How do you salvage apples that are starting to go bad? You make apple crisp, of course! …then steal a piece while it’s still really hot… shhh.

I think apple crisp is a recipe everyone should have in their arsenal. It’s one of my favourite things to eat, whether it’s hot or cold, and the cool thing is you can control how sweet it is based on your personal taste. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sized apples (despite what recipes say, you can use any apple you like, cooking time will vary)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

*Optional*

  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup +  1 Tbsp softened butter
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ all purpose flour

Directions:

  1. You’re going to want to core and slice your apples. You can peel them if you’d like, it’s all a matter of taste! Then throw them into a casserole dish. If you’re picky about browning like I am, before you start cutting your apples, fill the dish with cold water and a bit of salt, no more than a teaspoon though, you don’t want them to taste like salt!
  2. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).
  3. Optional: Coat apples with white sugar and half a teaspoon of cinnamon
  4. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix with your hands. *Note: If you’re doing the optional part and adding a crumble bottom, you’re going to have to make this twice. You will either double the recipe and eyeball half of it on to the bottom, or use two mixing bowls, put one half on the bottom, and the other half over the apples. If you’re doing the bottom, make sure to use butter or some sort of spray to stop sticking* Sprinkle evenly.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, uncovered, or until apples are soft.
  6. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

You can eat this hot, cold, room temperature, with ice cream, whipped cream, or whatever your heart desires. I didn’t use much sugar so the apples would be the main focus. I also used a bit more oats for the crumbly part… I always add extra though, I enjoy it more that way.

And don’t be afraid, because apple crisp is easy peasy. It’s almost impossible to mess up. 

Try it! And enjoy!

Disclaimer: Friendly Giant, do not attempt this. I will gladly make it for you, but make no attempt to use the oven… 😛

D&D Night – Chocolate Cupcakes & Peanut Butter Frosting

Are you noticing a theme here? 😉

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Our D&D nights are already sporadic. People working here, events going on there… but our friends are moving at the end of the month, so we decided to have another night before that happened. I got bored and decided to make something.

So here we go… Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting!

For the cake…
*Use any chocolate cupcake/cake batter you prefer!*
Ingredients: 

  • 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

Step 1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a muffin pan with papers. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

Step 2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (it’s not going to be like normal, as this is a weird recipe). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in intervals with milk and beat well. Fill cupcake liners ¾ of the way full.

Step 3. Bake for 15-20 minutes (I ended up baking for 22) – ’til toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: 18 cupcakes.

*I found this recipe and tried it. It’s alright, but not the greatest. I don’t think I’ll be using it again, it’s a bit dry, it’s just what I used.*

For the frosting…
Ingredients:

  • 3 cup icing sugar
  • 6 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp milk (you may need more!)
  • *Optional: Instead of using that 3 Tbsp of milk, we ended up using 2 “and a bit” of milk, and adding vanilla in the mix to make that 3 Tbsp of liquid.*

Ice your cupcakes and eat! I added some chocolate sprinkles and Reese’s minis (I must love my friends, because I don’t like sharing my Reese’s!).

They’re incredibly rich. I ate one and was like uuuuuuuuu, comaaaaaaa. So think of that when you make them!

Enjoy! Time for D&D!
Oh crap, I need to find my dice!

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Cupcake Cones!

Have I ever mentioned that I love baking? I do, I love to cook, but more than that, I love to bake. I’m really quite good at it too, not to brag, but it’s a talent that I’m glad I have. I’ve even sent M baked goods for Christmas and birthdays – he’s enjoyed that.

Today (well, I BAKED them last night) I made…

CUPCAKE CONES!

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I got this idea in my head quite a while ago, to put batter in ice cream cones. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever done this, but I thought it was fun. And since it’s close, I kind of gave them an Easter theme.

So what do you do?

Grab your favourite cake/cupcake recipe, or if you’re lazy, grab a boxed cake mix.

This isn’t the recipe I used, but it’s a pretty simple vanilla cake recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250mL) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup (375mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
  2. In medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

You can use any cake recipe you want though (you could even colour the cupcake different colours to look like ice cream!). You’ll want ice cream cones with flat bottoms – it doesn’t matter how big or how small or the colour/flavour.

Inside of your ice cream cone, you’ll want to fill the batter just before the line. There is a line in the cone where the bottom, round part is and the curved part begins. Basically, you want to fill it up until you reach “the cup”.

You’ll bake these for 20-25 minutes (I found 25 was better, but everyone’s oven is different).

Wait for them to cool… then the fun part… decorate away!

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I had been using a new tool to ice, so you can see it starts messier then gets neater and neater…

These are a lot of fun, especially for kids! I gave my neighbour’s kids a cone each and their faces just completely lit up. Hopefully they weren’t too bad, I cheated and used packaged icing because we were out of icing sugar… shhhh.

These are also better served the same day unless you find a way to wrap them up. It doesn’t affect the flavour or anything, but the cones have the tendency to get a bit stale, which is fine by me, lol.

So… yeah!

Enjoy!

Happy baking!