4th of July Cupcakes

…’Peanut Butter-Banana-Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting’…

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Cookie Bars(Skillet Cookie)

These cookie bars are so heavenly, you need them in your life. They’re so easy to pull together, considering that they are a one bowl wonder, with no heavy whisking or creaming in sight. You have to under bake them just a little to achieve that gooey center. I always make these in a 8×8 pan but by all means, make these in a skillet and you have yourself the ultimate skillet cookie!

One problem I often find myself with is the lack of brown sugar. Brown sugar gives the cookie it’s softness and deep hue, but I have found a trick and it works just as well! I replace the 1 cup of brown sugar with 3/4 cup regular sugar, and add 1 Tblspn corn syrup to it. The corn syrup ensures you get that delicious chewy bite, and you won’t miss the brown sugar one bit!

You will need:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar(not packed)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

pinch of baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup dark or semi sweet choc chips or chunks

2 Tblspns peanut butter

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts*

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Place the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, or till the butter softens. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix till everything’s incorporated. Mix in the choc chips, peanut butter, and hazelnuts(I sometimes skip the nuts). Pour the cookie dough into a greased 8×8 dish, or skillet. Even out the cookie dough out so it bakes evenly. The cookie dough will rise a bit, but the center will sink a little once it cools. I bake these for about 20 minutes at 350F, then turn the oven off and leave them in for another 5 minutes. You want the center to not be fully set, with a slight jiggle to it. It sets while cooking and that gives you the gooey center you crave! Serve this with ice cream, or just eat it on it’s own cut into squares. This recipe is such keeper, and a great one to make with kids!

Chocolate Silk Pie

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Yes, it seems to be chocolate week here, but in my defense, I didn’t make the Nutella pie or this pie, i’m just hoping one of you will. It’s one of those cream based pies I was talking about in my last post, and it doesn’t require any baking or cooking, just a fridge. Since the base flavor of this pie is chocolate, make sure you use good quality chocolate, not just any baking chocolate. You can even use hershey’s or galaxy chocolate bars, but I insist that you use nestle semi sweet chocolate chips if they’re available wherever you live! I know for a fact that they’re available in Lahore and obviously USA, but I haven’t found them yet here in Germany. Dr. Oetker chocolate is great though.

I have step by step pictures for this one! And before you start getting the ingredients together, here are a few tips that will make your pie turn out the same every time you make it.

Make sure that the chocolate you use is at room temperature.

The cream has to be chilled through.

Use an electric hand mixer. I didn’t when I made this, and it added 10 minutes to the prep time.

Always use semi sweet or dark chocolate.

Don’t over whip the cream. Stop when stiff peaks start to form. If you over whip the cream it won’t mix well with the chocolate and end up looking like scrambled chocolate eggs.

 

Here’s what you’ll need

12 graham crackers or digestive biscuits, crushed

2 tablespoon of softened butter

2 cups whipping cream

1 can of condensed milk,

1 heaping cup of dark chocolate chips (or a bar cut into chunks)+ 1 tablespoon butter

Start off by mixing the cookie crumbs and 2 tablespoons of softened butter. In a 9×9 or 8×8 inch pie plate press in the buttered crumbs evenly and up the sides. I used a ready made one and drizzled some chocolate fudge I had left over just to add some more chocolate. You can add caramel as well, but it’s not necessary, because the filling is rich enough.

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Then in a bowl whip the cream and condensed milk. Add the condensed milk gradually and start off at medium speed. Then once the cream starts to thicken increase the speed of the electric mixer. Whip the cream and condensed milk till stiff peaks form.

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Set the cream aside and place the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of butter in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for about one minute, stir, then again for 30 seconds. If the chocolate has melted after the first minute don’t heat it again. The chocolate has to be smooth and creamy, no lumps! If you think it’s easier you can melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan.

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Once the chocolate has melted add in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream and mix well so the melted chocolate loosens up a bit.

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Then add in all the chocolate to the cream mixture and fold together till well mixed.

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Now all you have to do is pour the fluffy and smooth chocolate filling into the pie crust. You can decorate it with more chocolate, whipped cream, or just leave it. But i suggest using some whipped cream to make it look pretty.

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Enjoy! Just remember, chill the pie in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but the more it’s chilled through, the better it cuts into slices.

Brownies

I have been looking for the perfect brownie recipe since I was born. Yes. It’s true. And I have finally found it…It’s really simple, and it’s just the right combination of chewy and moist, but it doesn’t fall apart when you try cutting perfect little squares, and it definitely doesn’t leave a trail of crumbs when you try sneaking one.

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