Bourbon Brownies

bourbon

After indulging in the brown butter bacon ice cream served with a bourbon fudge brownie at Carson Kitchen, Rob and I attempted to recreate this decadent dessert. Step one: the brownie! I’m not much of a bourbon fan, but mixed with chocolate it is delicious! The flavor is subtle and really enhances the cocoa. I like to serve these sweet treats while they are still warm and top them with ice cream (brown butter bacon recipe coming soon). Fresh brownies with melting ice cream—what’s not to love?

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Bourbon Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat 9″ x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the bourbon to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine sugar and butter, mixing on medium speed until well combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.
  5. Spread into prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan on wire rack.

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Friday Five

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Wahoo it’s almost the weekend! I think I actually enjoy Friday more than the weekend itself because you are in a relaxed, excited mindset knowing that you have two days of freedom ahead of you. Plus, casual Friday dress codes allow for some flexibility with your fashion decisions. I love being able to wear jeans instead of a skirt or dress pants! To start off a fun-filled weekend, I decided to share five of my favorite photos from the week.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

zucchini

For a summer-inspired dinner yesterday, I grilled zucchini slices to have as a side with our barbecue chicken. We still had one left over, so I decided to mix it up and make a sweet treat instead. Since it would only be for the two of us, I didn’t want to make a batch of two dozen. Instead I created this chocolate zucchini recipe that only yields eight muffins, which is a much more manageable amount. Although I could probably finish a dozen myself, I would prefer to be able to fit into my jeans.

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If you’re looking to sneak some vegetables into your diet, this is a good way to enjoy some zucchini. It’s not exactly healthy, but I guess you have to start somewhere. The zucchini flavor is hardly noticeable as the chocolate is the dominant flavor. You can vary the amount of chocolate by using more or less cocoa powder and by adding or omitting the chocolate chips.

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The muffins turned out nice and moist with a firm top, creating a nice texture. Next time I might try the recipe with bananas or apple sauce instead of the oil and substituting the all-purpose flour with whole wheat to make it a little healthier.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

{Makes 8 muffins}

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with paper liners (I found these cute parchment paper cups at Target).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg. Beat in sugar and oil, until combined. Add cocoa, vanilla and zucchini, stirring until fully incorporated.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mixing until just moist. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling them 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

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Chocolate Thin Mint Ice Cream

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Shockingly, we still had a box of Thin Mints sitting in our kitchen cupboard. I don’t know how it has lasted since Girl Scout cookie season in March. I would like to credit it to my strong self-control (yeah right…), but most likely I have just been preoccupied with other sweets. We decided to put our ice cream maker to use once again and make this chocolate treat. With the cookies melted into the batter, the mint flavor can be tasted throughout the creamy dessert, not just from the crushed pieces. Chocolate and mint is the perfect combination for a post-dinner treat. I like to think it helps sooth the stomach… maybe not, but it is delicious :)

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Chocolate Thin Mint Ice Cream

Yields 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 box Thin Mints, divided
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add cocoa powder and whisk until no lumps remain. Gradually add whole milk and heavy cream, whisking constantly. Finely chop 10 Thin Mints and stir into dairy mixture. Pour into saucepan.
  2. Heat dairy mixture on medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and reaches 180°F. Remove from heat and mix in chocolate chips, stirring until fully melted. Add salt to taste, then pour into a medium-sized bowl. Cover with cling wrap, pushing it all the way down so that it touches the surface of the ice cream base to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. When fully chilled, churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Roughly chop remaining Thin Mints. When only a few minutes remain, add chopped cookies. Transfer ice cream to air tight container and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Or serve immediately if you like it softer, similar to the consistency of a Blizzard. Enjoy!

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Brown Sugar Bourbon Ice Cream

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One of our favorite Christmas presents has been the ice cream maker that Rob’s parents gave us this year. Since it’s officially ice cream season, we finally decided to give it a try this week and made some vanilla ice cream with bites of Tagalongs, creating a peanut butter and chocolate flavor. It was good, but I wanted to try something more flavorful and unique.

After raving about our fun ice cream maker to my mom, she sent me a recipe that she saw for brown sugar bourbon ice cream with Theo chocolate from Floating Kitchen. It looked amazing, so we decided to give it a go.

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The bourbon is the focal flavor, but not overpowering, while the brown sugar makes it buttery and sweet. This recipe was softer and creamier than the first batch of ice cream we made, which I really enjoyed. It didn’t last long – between the two of us it only lasted five days. We will definitely make it again!

Brown Sugar Bourbon Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. bourbon
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Ice cream maker

Directions

  1. To make the ice cream base, combine the milk, heavy cream, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar in a separate bowl, until the egg yolks become pale yellow and slightly thickened.
  3. Temper the egg yolks by whisking about a 1/2 cup of the boiling milk mixture into the egg yolks. Then add tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and pour into medium-sized bowl. Cover with cling wrap, pushing it all the way down so that it touches the surface of the ice cream base to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Add the bourbon and churn until the mixture is nearly frozen, about 20 minutes. Add chocolate and churn for additional 5 minutes, until evenly distributed.
  6. Serve and transfer remaining ice cream to a freezer-safe container to store in freezer. It makes 1 quart.

 

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It’s hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie, but I decided to sprinkle on some sea salt to create that salty, sweet flavor and it was a hit. I made them for a pool party that we went to this weekend and I was happy to take home an empty container – success!

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I have tried numerous recipes on my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, but my mom suggested that I try this foolproof recipe. The cookies stay thick and fluffy because of the cornstarch, which is exactly what I was going for! Flat, crispy cookies are not my idea of a mouthwatering sweet treat. It’s safe to say that I found my new go-to recipe!

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Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix on medium speed until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop a tablespoon of dough onto baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The tops will not brown, but don’t cook longer than 10-11 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos

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Oreos + Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough = Cookie Heaven

When it comes to desserts, my favorite flavor combination is chocolate and peanut butter. It’s hard not to like, right? That’s why I thought these chocolate peanut butter cookie dough sandwich cookies would be perfect to make for a little dinner party at our house. A meal isn’t complete without some sweet treats!

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The recipe is surprisingly simple. It uses ingredients that I already had in my kitchen and wasn’t too time consuming. I like to “test” the dough as I bake. Let’s just say not all of the eggless peanut butter dough made it to the cookies…

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg

For the peanut butter cookie dough filling:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars and mix until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and mix on low speed until dough forms.
  4. Take rounded teaspoon of dough and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 8 minutes, until set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Add sugars and beat until combined. Add the milk and vanilla, beating until fully incorporated. Gradually add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until dough forms. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

To assemble the cookies:

  1. Drop 1 tablespoon of filling onto half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to create a sandwich.

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