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Sundays with Joy/Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Cookie

Well, this one is super late (five weeks!), but also I am going to skip last week’s Sundays with Joy (Seaweed Parmesan Popcorn) because I need to order a seasoning for it so I am just going to wait till I have other things to order from Amazon.  It actually may be sooner rather than later as the holidays approach so look for that to appear in a future post.  If anyone is thinking, “Ewww seaweed!  Why don’t you just skip it?” (cause maybe I was) it’s because all the really really good recipes in this cookbook start with me thinking “Really, Joy?  Are ya sure?”  I mean Orange Gingerbread Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting or Grapefruit Soufflé Pudding anyone?  So even though I’m a little wary of this seaweed popcorn, I’m still totally gonna do it.

Now, this particular recipe had me perplexed as well.  It was not the flavors.  It’s peanut butter and chocolate, a no brainer!  My issue was the “ball” part…on a cookie.  I just didn’t get it.  It didn’t really matter.  I made them anyway.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Cookies

Then as my family was trying to eat them it finally struck me what bugged me about them.  The ball makes it kinda hard to eat.  So since I was already late posting about my cookies, I decided to take the time and make them again.  Especially since the flavor combo was a big hit in this house, I wanted to see if I could go about making these cookies more practical to eat.  So I took the balls…and FLATTENED them, simple as that.  I also added a bit of melted chocolate just to make them a teeny bit prettier but they really don’t need it.  If you’d like the recipe be sure to pick up the Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

My GeekyLink for this week is all about the extention of the wizarding world that will be coming soon.  As a young wife with no kids, reading Harry Potter in real time, waiting and waiting years for new books, of course I bought Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  I wasn’t sure at the time how “real” they were (you know how some book and move tie-ins are barely legit).  Years later when it was revealed that J.K. Rowling herself wrote it and Quidditch Through the Ages I felt vindicated having bought them.  They were just bits of the world but it is a world I love and am eager to get back to, even 60 years before The Boy Who Lived or not.  With two kids yet to read Harry Potter and one that already loves it, I couldn’t be more thrilled.  But I’m also back to waiting…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Cookie1

Sundays with Joy/Mini Pumpkin Black and White Cookies

Sorry for posting my Sundays with Joy so late but I didn’t get around to baking my cookies till Saturday.  I got everything ready for the glazes. sifted all of the dry ingredients for my nephew’s birthday cupcakes, then took some time and went to my daughter’s soccer game.  Once my brood and I returned home I went full steam ahead on my nephew’s cupcakes for his party the next day.  Once those were done and cooling, I started on my glazes for the cookies.

The house smelled AMAZING even in the early mixing stages.

First off, just as a pumpkin cookie, I really adored them.  I made some pumpkin cookies last year and I like how much better these came out.  As far as the glazes, well, once I read that the “white” glaze was really a cinnamon glaze I knew I was going to like this cookie.  The pumpkin, cinnamon, and chocolate go so well together that I can’t even describe it.  Let’s try it this way…My son squished four rolls of toilet paper using a pack as a step stool to reach for his third (technically his fifth, his third with icing, only two were given to him, the rest were snuck but mommy sees everything).  I only let him have that many because that was one less that I would eat.  Luckily, the next day was my nephew’s party and I could share them.

Done and ready to cool…

I also finished the cupcakes for my nephew’s party, a soccer theme.  Can I just say that while I appreciate that the grass tip exists and I do use it, whoever invented it is a glutton for punishment.  Twenty four grass covered cupcakes means my arms hurt for quite a bit.  I also was out of my smaller icing bags and couldn’t get the pressure I wanted squeezing it out but it all got done and looked okay.  I figured I’d pipe some lines on the cupcakes into a sort of field without it having to become a cupcake cake.  It didn’t look that great but the kids liked it.  I also made some flags for the corners using Joy’s tutorial on How to Make: a Cake Banner.  Speaking of Joy, if you would like the recipe please buy her cookbook.  You can also check out some of our group’s creations at Bakeaholic Mama.

I don’t know if the piping could have been that much better though, being on top of the grass icing. Like the old school cupcake taker? I have way less casualties when I use a box like that. I have pastry boxes, and tupperware but they all come with more smooshes and falls.

My GeekyLink for today is The 25 Most Devoted Fan Bases.  I actually only claim about eight of these but it is mostly because they range from Oprah to Phish.  I have to say that my guilty pleasure is #20.  I have mentioned him before and have always been a fan but for many reasons lately I have found myself becoming a much bigger fan.

Biscoff Pretzel Cookies

Sometimes the development of recipes comes easy, like my Mexican Chocolate Cookies. I was able to figure out how I wanted to adapt it, I tried it, and it turned out great! Others can take up to three times or so (luckily I haven’t gone past that, knock on wood) to get right like my Nutty Bar Cookies. This cookie was one of the latter. Don’t get me wrong, the ones that didn’t work were edible but with both attempts they were overall way too sweet. I changed tactics a bit and finally gotta cookie I was really happy with.

Now overall I am an optimist, that is why on the first two attempts I made full batches of cookies. After throwing out most of them, I became the pragmatist my parents raised me to be and on my third attempt I only made a half batch. It figures that’s the one that worked.   Also, I guess I had been slacking on bringing treats to my daughters’ dance studio so I ended up giving away about half of the cookies that I did make.

Whatever…I am going to make these again, and soon, and I am going to keep them all! Also, this is my second cookie recipe with pretzels in them and I have decided that there need to be more. I also want to thank Shutterbean and Joy the Baker for their wonderful and hilarious podcast that gave me the inspiration for these cookies. On one of the episodes a few months back, Tracy mentioned eating cookie butter (aka Biscoff spread depending on where you get it) with pretzels. Now, I was a newbie to cookie butter at the time, I was only eating it by the spoonful which actually ended up being much less than when I got stated with the pretzels. I am telling you now, DONT GET STARTED WITH THE PRETZELS! Just make some cookies.

Do not do this! If you find yourself doing this, put the pretzel down! Once you get started you cannot stop. You have been warned.

My GeekyLink for this week is The Walking Dead people!  I saw some new trailer this week but I can’t find it so I just put up the AMC link for the show.  You know what else comes with The Walking Dead?  Talking Dead, hosted by my favorite nerd woman crush, Chris Hardwick.  Another one of my favorite things that comes with The Walking Dead is the Watching Dead podcast from the guys at Bald Move.  I love these guys mostly just because they podcast about the best shows on TV: Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Justified, Breaking Bad, and  The Walking Dead (OK, so there was a short lived Jersey Shore podcast for awhile but everyone makes mistakes).  The only one of those shows I don’t watch is Game of Thrones and I was this close to watching once I found out these guys had a podcast around it.  They are critical but not mean (mostly) and love the shows but they are not by any means fanboys (except a bit with Breaking Bad).  Check them out, you won’t regret it. And have fun watching The Walking Dead on Sunday!

Recipe Follows

A Baby Shower…

So I am finally giving you a glimpse into all the stuff I got into two weeks ago.  Back before most of my kids were born, I was way more into crafting than baking.  Mostly because it is way easier to craft at night.  If I cook or bake at night for the blog my pictures turn out terrible.  However, it still is a good time if I have baked goods to take somewhere.  I still craft from time to time but mostly it is the odd barrette for one of my girls.  I used to take plain boxes and use wallpaper borders to decorate them and make little toy boxes, cut out shapes and decorate all over.  It would have worked better if I had Mod Podged them all but…no one complained (they were just for close family) and they still held toys so…  Then I started  painting them which for overall effect, worked out way better.  I think it ends up being just a bit more time consuming though because you want to paint a few coats for bright colors but you need to wait for colors to dry in between coats.  I mostly like painting because it is fun.  I feel like a first grader painting a school project.  I do it with an adult eye but mostly it is just fun.  Then I stopped.  I didn’t make one for one of my baby cousins or my son.  Things just got too busy for a few years.

Sugar cookies on top, chocolate chip on the bottom.

So I was doing all the desserts for my cousin’s baby shower and I decided that I was going to make a toy box for her too…and a diaper cake…the week before the shower that I had to do all the desserts for.  Luckily for me the desserts were not too elaborate.  She wanted the pie that I had made for my Grandmother’s birthday in November.  She decided on Oreo cupcakes (sorry, no pictures) for everyone else and I decided I would make some cookies.  I used the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe which is my favorite for an event.  It requires that you make the dough ahead of time and so that helps if you have lots of things to do.  I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Angel Cookies too.  See, simple, a chocolate chip and a sugar cookie, some cupcakes and a pie.  Everything worked out really well and timed just right.  Except for one thing.  The caramel that went in the pie.  I tried that at least three times till I was almost out of sugar and for my last attempt typed “foolproof caramel” into my search bar then Alton Brown came to the rescue.  I don’t think I will ever use another caramel sauce recipe again.  Again as with my first attempt in November, the pie fell apart upon serving (this time I am SURE it was the heat) but was still AMAZING!  That pastry cream is just the best ever!  She took about a quarter of the pie home and so did I.  It didn’t make it another whole night in my house.

No pictures with the lovely pastry cream, sorry.

I love the way the toy box came out and so did my cousin and I could tell by her reaction when she opened it and that is always a good feeling.  The only thing I didn’t like was the lettering.  I wish I could have gotten wooden lettering and put those on but outlining the letters helped hide some of the flaws.  The painted animals I ordered from Hobby Lobby but they do have them at Michael’s (just not my Michael’s and they didn’t know when they would get more).  I had to pay extra for shipping but it is my own fault for starting a project last minute.  The lion on the diaper cake was from JoAnne’s Fabric. The diaper cake was way easy.  I used to roll them separately but found a way to make a spiral diaper cake on Pinterest.  It took NO time at all.  I would’ve decorated it more but by then I was out of money.  I still like how it turned out.

So not only do I bake but sometimes I get the urge to craft.  A great thing to do while crafting late at night is to catch up on some TV. My GeekyLink for this week is a Robot Chicken DC Comics Special coming up on September 9th.  Robot Chicken always cracks me up!  And of course let us not forget the premiere of Series 7 Doctor Who Asylem of the Daleks Saturday September 1st!  Also, don’t for get to check out the Nerdist Channel’s All Star Celebrity Bowling featuring the cast of Doctor Who, premiering on Friday August 31, and while you’re there check out all their other programming for Doctor Who premiere weekend.

Confetti Cake Batter Cookies

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This was the second time I made these cookies.  The first time, I messed with the leavening and got what I thought were awful looking (completely flat, no edges at all) cookies but they were all I had made and I had made lots so I sent them to school with my daughter for whatever it was she had asked me to bake them for.  All I got for the rest of the year, no matter what I had made since (along with a request for a small stash for herself) was her teacher telling me, “(insert recipe here) was great but you know what was really good?  Those first cookies you brought.”  While I LOVE that her teacher isn’t the kind that judges a book by its cover and in the same regard, a cookie for how awful it looks, I hadn’t liked how they turned out.  So once I decided that I was going to give her an entire batch for her end of the year gift, I had to fix it.

I figured, well this should be easy.  This time I will just follow the recipe.  Unfortunately, for me, this is what happened when I did… I am sure it was my fault, in fact you can see that this “ugly” one was overbaked but I needed to do something to get it to work for me.

If I MUST point out the wrong one for you, it is the one on the right.

Better than my first ever batch but not what I would want to give to an amazing teacher for an end of the year gift.  So as I made the first batch the night before the last day of school, I had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to make a new batch for her teacher. So I did and it worked.  Whew!  It is yummy, and chewy, AND pretty, yay!  Next time I might cut down on the sugar a bit but I am VERY pleased.

Well, really that is all.  I have got to go, I am in the throws of dance recital week here at my house and I have to get dressed before I start doing hair for opening night.  So before I go all Dance Moms on you, here is my GeekyLink for today.  It is a Geeky Bucket List put together by the ladies at GeekMom (a site that once I found it, I found myself on it all of the time!).  I have really only completed a handful, I am about halfway on another handful (like #38, I have bought the books, I just haven’t read them yet).  Another handful don’t really interest me but the rest I really need to get started on.

Recipe Follows

Nutty Bar Cookies and Old (in our 30s) Friends

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Finally, here is the cookie I have been working on for about a month now and I really like it.  Aside from oatmeal (which I think helps keep the crispy cereals stay crispy) I also have cornflakes and rice krispies in it.  I LOVE both of them in here but if you only want to go with one of those, go with the rice krispies.

So yep, these were the cookies that were for someone so I guess you are wondering who, right?  They are for my oldes friend, my best man, my oldest daughter’s godfather, my friend Guillermo.  Unfortunately for him, he won’t get any because he lives too far away and with the chocolate drizzled on top, it makes them precarious to send.  So he will need to come visit us to get some.  (hint, hint)

All baked!

He was in the Peace Corps some years ago and I either gave him some Nutty Bars once or twice before he left or I sent him some once he was gone (who remembers? jeez we are getting old).  I really never knew he was a big fan of the whole chocolate/peanut butter combo till after we graduated high school and we had met when we were freshman.  About a month or so after school had started, he walked right into our (my friend Kim and I) third period religion class.  We all still keep in touch. Some years more than others but still…

I know I have given him some Reeses over the years too, but the Nutty Bars have stuck with me because I actually never had them until he introduced me to them.  They are from Little Debbie and we had always been more of a Hostess family.

Melted and ready to drizzle!

I really just kinda wanted to see if I could pull it off or not and even though it took me multiple tries, I am really pleased with the results.  Plus, I know Guillermo will come and get them at some point.  We live pretty close to his family, so whenever he is in town he makes sure to come visit his goddaughter.  He is always here around Christmas, at the very least, and I am usually making Christmas goodies or something for my son’s birthday when he stops by and we have a good catch up over buttercream and wine.  Can you beat that?  I doubt it.

My GeekyLink for this week is Fashion It So.  It goes through all the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generations and goes through the fashions of each episode.  It is certainly hilarious but also a bit enlightening.  Also, I just finished Season 5 of The Guild and I don’t know how Felicia Day could have topped the first four seasons but she did.  TONS of nerd cameos and yet you still stay tethered to the story of the main six guild members.  Please watch this show!  Only 6 or so hours of your life will put you up to date with this wonderful series.  Streaming on Netflix or on the YouTube Channel geekandsundry (new episode every Tuesday).

Recipe Follows

Andes Mint Brownies and Cookies (and Fringe and Star Trek and Doctor Who)

O man, sometimes my husband’s job takes its toll.  Not just on him but on all of us as well.  He mostly works at night but one day of the week he works in the early evening and on his days off he tries to keep to his sleep schedule as much as possible while being awake with us in the afternoon, so basically his sleep patterns are all mixed up.

I would be fine with that.  I am a mom.  I get up with babies that need to be sleep trained or are sick, kids that need to get up for school, up early with three kids dressed and prepped for a random day at Disneyland or family function, and also on occasion try to stay up late and spend time with my husband.  When I am tired, I sleep.  He is not one of those people.  If he NEEDS to sleep, he feels the pressure of having to sleep and then he CAN’T sleep.  The weird hours he works just make it worse.  Some days it is not a problem, or mostly just a problem for me trying to keep the 3 and 4 year old as quiet as possible while he is sleeping.

Some days, the days that he can’t sleep, o geez, we are all in for it.  It will be quiet, for an hour or so and then he will come out of the bedroom to use the restroom.  Quiet for another hour and he will come down and get something to eat, saying that food will help.  Quiet for another hour, then just rail about how he is in for it and he will NEVER get to sleep.  At this point I know I am going to have to take my son with me to my daughters’ dance class (which I HATE because what is a 3 year old boy supposed to do in a confined space for 2 hours with limited distractions?), I know I am going to have to make his lunch, and feed him dinner after everyone else is finished.  It ends up being such a mess.  It has to be done, though.  I do feel bad for him but sometimes I feel like he makes it worse.  He claims this current schedule (his schedule also changes every 6 months!) is worse but actually I think he hasn’t had as many of these kind of days lately as he has in the past.  However, today is one of those days, ugh.

Overall this week has also been kind of weird (let’s not even talk about Valentine’s Day).  I usually have my kids chomping at the bit for the things I am baking.  This week was WAY different.  My nephew was the one that had asked for mint buttercream on his Despicable Me cupcakes, the cupcakes that my daughters wanted nothing to do with because of said (completely yummy!) buttercream.  No fun.  So I knew when I decided to use my Andes Baking Bits that I bought at Target about a month ago, that the bulk of these treats would be going to my sister’s house.  My baby boy had a couple of cookies and my husband sampled some brownies but my girls wanted nothing to do with them, I don’t know what their problem is.  As a mother and a baker, it is really disappointing.  Really? I can’t get you to eat a chocolate brownie or cookie, geesh!

Anyways, I was thrilled and happy with both.  If I had to pick a favorite though, it would have to be the cookie.  I adapted the recipe from one that called for peanut butter in it and replaced it with Nutella.  I just love the flavors of that cookie and it is a nice chewy cookie.

The plate that went to my sister's house.

I have a backup of GeekyLinks right now so you will get a few and also wanted to tell you about all the nerdy and exciting things that I have been doing lately.  First off, my Friday nights and Sunday lunches have just gotten FABULOUS!  I have been watching Fringe live on Fridays (as much as I can because Justin is trying to get out the door during the first 20 minutes and it is all “bye daddy” and “can you help me with my lunch”) and have been following along with The Fringe Podcast at the same time (Tweeting as well, whatever it takes to keep the show on the air!)  At the end of the show, you send in your Bunsen Burners (your ratings for the episode) and during the show you can try to figure out what the glyphs spell out.  Sundays, Clint and Darrell do the podcast live and you can chat and comment during it and sometimes they will ask the chat room questions and such.  If you sent them feedback about the show either Friday or Saturday, they may play it and comment on it during the feedback show immediately following the recap show.  It is a fun few hours if you are a fan of Fringe.

My other GeekyLinks just go to show how GREAT science fiction just goes together 10 actors with roles in both Doctor Who and Star Trek and Doctor Who/Star Trek – The Official Crossover.

Also, hopefully I will be able to go to this on Friday with my daughter who has the day off from school.

Recipe Follows

What I have been doing lately? Baking, I mean it!

Happy Birthday to Jesus

I know, I know, “If you have been baking where are your posts?”, right?  It is just tough, I want everything to be perfect and I just need to get it through my thick head that nothing is or ever will be.  However, some things come close.  Close when you have three kids under 8 and a BIG extended family is just going to have to do.

Just stick an Oreo right in the middle and we are all done here.

Like the Cashew Toffee…I did make my Cashew Toffee for Christmas but o boy was that harder than anticipated and it was all my fault.  Instead of experimenting with a small batch of toffee to try and make it more P-Nuttle like, I did it with a double batch and ruined it.  So off to the store for more butter and cashews.  Then instead of making two double batches so I could more easily control everything, I put all my eggs in one basket so to speak and somehow missed my 300° mark and I could tell that I was losing it (I had added more sugar too, to try and make it less greasy. Perhaps that is why it maybe didn’t make it to 300° before breaking up).  It was starting to separate and I was starting to panic.  I don’t know what made me think to do it, perhaps all my attempts at caramel this year, but I added just a smidge or two of whipping cream and kept stirring till it looked nice again.  The effect made it more like an English Toffee, less buttery brittle like, which was fine by me and totally yummy.  However, just as I thought “crisis averted” as I was dumping my huge pot of toffee on my sheet pan, I got a sugar burn.  Did I have water standing by like they tell you when you are dealing with sugar, no.  Will I from now on?  Hopefully that question can be answered by the soon to be scar on my right wrist.

The bright spot that day, my sourdough!  My sourdough had been giving me problems all year.  I still never gave up on it.  The same day as the toffee, instead of throwing out some of my starter before feeding it again (I must’ve just had a feeling, really, because until earlier that week I hadn’t had a successful loaf in over a month) I put it into a separate container and fed them both.  Later that night, I went for three loaves and they all came out beautifully!  Christmas presents!  I did it again the next day for more Christmas presents.  The only thing I can think of that I did differently is that I used some unbleached flour to feed it.  I found a small bag at the 99¢ store.  I had seen some sourdough recipes call for it and I never needed to use it last year (I still miss that darn starter), I figured that for 99¢ I would give it a whirl and see if that would do the trick.  It sure seemed to.  I can’t wait till vacation is over because I am looking forward to making my weekly sourdough on Monday mornings again.

Three pretty sourdoughs for Christmas!

I did come out of the holidays with some great recipes.  For Angela’s school party, I made these really interesting cookies that I will share with you soon.  I actually didn’t think they would go over well, but I heard the kids couldn’t get enough of them and all of us sure liked them.  I made three cakes for Christmas because we were celebrating three birthdays: my brother, my cousin, and baby Jesus of course.  None of which I technically got to eat because we didn’t have dinner with my family but I mean, I baked them, I pretty much knew how they tasted.  For my brother it was a Cookies and Cream cake which I heard was a little on the sweet side and I probably should have made it with just chocolate cake instead of cookies and cream cake, that probably would have helped.  However, I came out of that with a whole new buttercream recipe and technique which I will share with you soon.  I loved it and have never had a more whipped creamier buttercream.  For my cousin, I made a chocolate cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I have to be honest, I am not a fan of cream cheese frosting so I cut down on that a bit and switched it out for some whipped cream and there is a secret ingredient in this frosting which just boggled my mind.  I will make this frosting again and share.  The cake was awesome, so moist!  However for me as the baker of it, that made it a bit temperamental and I had to do it twice (it could be because the recipe was for a three layer 8 inch cake and I made some cupcakes and was going for just one 8 inch cake).  I am still searching for the perfect chocolate cake.  For Jesus, I just made a vanilla bundt with a chocolate glaze.  I heard this one was too sweet and that was my fault, I made the glaze more sweet than the recipe called for.  I was making it as if I was going to eat it, instead of how it was supposed to be and how I know my family would like it.  I also came upon a really good apple cake recipe that would have been great if I hadn’t added so many apples.  The recipe called for 3 apples.  Well, I had some BIG apples.  It just made it impossible for it to cook in the middle, although you could tell that the cake itself was lovely and the outsides looked AMAZING!  It was just a nice little cake.  I am going back to that one and will let you know the exact amount of apples, in cups.

Fan out a fresh strawberry on top and we are done here.

So no recipes today.  I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t been sitting on my hands.  I do have things I want to share I just want to do it in the best way possible.  Not perfect, but close.  My next post is my son’s 3rd birthday cake which will have that new buttercream technique I told you about.

Cupcakes for the kiddos!

My GeekyLink this week is in regards to Doctor Who.  The Christmas special was good.  Nothing too great but not awful that is for sure.  Perhaps they make us wait so long so no matter how it is, we think it is good.  My one qualm is that (“spoiler alert”) the dad lived.  I mean I know it is a Christmas special and all but lately there haven’t been many deaths on Doctor Who.  I mean there used to be so many references about how many deaths he was responsible for and some we would even see, some minor side character that was there for one episode or something.  Which is why this headline distresses me, Doctor Who’s Amy Pond set for “heartbreaking” exit.  I love Rory till the end of 2000 years and Amy is OK too.  I am ready to move on in companions, though.  In fact, I wouldn’t be sad if they left pretty much at the beginning of the new season.  However, I am wondering if the lack of peripheral deaths on Doctor Who will make them want to kill off one or both of the current companions and that distresses me.  I can deal with a parallel universe like Rose or just leaving like Martha (I thought they did but apparently not) but please no deaths or no Donna heartbreakers.  I hope the “heartbreaking” they are speaking of is just the fact that they are leaving and not the way they will leave, but I sincerely doubt it.

P.S. Happy New Year!

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies and Trek Nation

To call these cookies simply Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies, is really just wrong.  These cookies are infinitely adaptable and I love them, not only for that reason but that they are, especially this time of year, mostly guilt free, just 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of butter.  You would think a guilt free cookie might turn kids off but my eight year old loves them.  She has been asking me to make them.  Unfortunately, I wanted to jazz them up a bit but she wasn’t having any of it.  So I made half for her with raisins (yummy, but boring) and half for me with craisins, semi-sweet chocolate chips (they now have dark chocolate chips which would be awesome in this but I didn’t have any on hand), and almonds.  O man, I couldn’t be happier with my jazzed up cookies and she was so excited when she came home from school and the cookies that she had been asking for were waiting for her.

Angela's batter, with just raisins

I can’t apologize enough for not posting more.  I know everybody is just as swamped as I am right now but I don’t want to post things that I just cook or bake.  I mostly want to post stuff that I cook or bake FOR YOU, so that takes a bit more time.  This weekend I hope to post a recap of some of the stuff I made for Thanksgiving and the Saturday following for which I baked some stuff up for my Aunt’s and Grandma’s birthdays.  I don’t think I’ll be posting recipes though, just pictures and links.  We’ll see…

They bake up so nice and clean and come off the pan so easily.

If you live out in Southern California you know that the last few days have been windy (to say the least).  Some of you may not know that my husband is a truck driver and he works nights (when the wind likes to blow harder).  The first night it was so bad that I couldn’t sleep.  I had major anxiety about him driving.  When he got home he says, “What is the worst that could happen, I tip over.”  I said, “OK, I guess you are right, but what if you take the mountain?” (He likes to take the Big Bear route.)  He says, “I did.”  Well, if he tipped over while driving a mountain route, that would be bad, right?  Which is precisely why I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up to watch Trek Nation, which is my GeekyLink for this week.  It was on the Science Channel and will be on twice more this weekend.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  Mostly, it made me want to expose my Angela to Star Trek: The Next Generation.  It is streaming on Netflix and she loves Doctor Who and Harry Potter and doesn’t mind watching Fringe.  Growing up it was sort of a big deal for me.  My brother and sister and I would watch it together and even my mom liked it too.  I just would like to share that whole history and future with her, I think she would dig it.

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Mexican Chocolate Cookies

With Thanksgiving upon us and with the prospect of apple and pumpkin baked things in the forefront, I just really wanted some chocolate.  I have seen recipes using Mexican Chocolate in cupcakes but not cookies.  I have seen a recipe for cookies with this type of flavor profile but it didn’t use any Mexican chocolate.  So I found my new favorite chocolate cookie Pretzel Coated Chocolate Cookies and set out to adapt it (I still want to make those cookies as is though, it seems like a great idea).  It was super easy.  My cookies look flatter than hers but they have a nice soft chewy texture that is just pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Abuelita chocolate, I prefer Ibarra but Costco had a mega size container so...

I don’t know how familiar you all are with Mexican chocolate, but it is awesome.  It is slightly spicy and cinnamony and it comes in big circles that you place in a saucepan with milk and you let it slowly cook on the stovetop till it melts and makes THE BEST hot chocolate ever!  I always dip my Mexican cookies and Pan Dulce in it and yes, suck out the warm chocolate milk that gathers in the crevices before biting into what has now become a warm softened and chocolatey cookie or bread.  It is like dipping a donut in regular milk or hot chocolate but ten times better (my husband would disagree but he is WRONG!).  It is just magic food.

Ground up, with added sugar and cinnamon for topping.

So making a cookie that can taste like that was such a personal victory for me.  Although, give me Pan Dulce and a mug of Abulita and I will pick that over anything anyday, mostly because of the whole sensory experience.  Even just smelling these cookies though, it is like sniffing the chocolate milk as it is cooking, I couldn’t even believe it.

Right out of the oven!

My GeekyLink today is all about Fringe.  I listen to the The Fringe Podcast, if you are a fan, I highly recommend it.  I am sorry, I have been watching Fringe since season one and never knew till listening to the podcast that the pictures, going into commercials, were a FRICKIN CODE!  Here is the link Fringe Glyphs to decode it if you want or you can just listen and they will tell you what it is each week.  Now I want to go back and decode all the stuff from previous seasons.  I feel like such a moron!  Also, they mentioned that there is going to be a Fringe/Spongebob Squarepants crossover coming in February.  Yup, you read that right, Fringe and Spongebob Squarepants!  No official pictures or anything yet, just an IMDb page.  IMDb can be wrong sometimes, O but I hope, I hope this is right.

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