Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Puppy Chow Chocolate Chip Cookies

Puppy Chow Chocolate Chip Cookies
My question is: why haven't we been putting Puppy Chow in cookies sooner?  Or have we and I'm just missing out on a whole movement?  I'd like to believe I'm the one starting a movement here friends.

Take something deliciously sweet and chocolately and crunchy and encase it in buttery gooey cookie dough.  Bake 9-11 minutes.  JUST TRY TO IMAGINE THE RESULTS.  Let your mind go there.  Warm, melty, gooey, crunchy.

All in a cookie.
Puppy Chow Chocolate Chip Cookies, easy chocolate chip cookies
Would you believe this was my first time making Puppy Chow?  Not that it takes much culinary skill but I just never really got around to it.  And my mom certainly never made it growing up.  We were a Rice Krispie Treat family.  No exceptions.  If my mom was gonna dedicate approximately 15 minutes to making dessert once every 4 months, it was gonna be Rice Krispie Treats.

There was no room for Puppy Chow.
Puppy Chow Chocolate Chip Cookies, easy chocolate chip cookies
So whenever I tried Puppy Chow (mostly through friends at school during classroom parties), I was like "what is this wizardry?!"  I was mystified.  I seemed to think that the chocolate was somehow injected in the center of each individual Chex square.  It must have taken hours!

Yeah, that's not how it works.  I could not have been more incorrect.  Thank goodness.

So I'm now firmly riding the fence as a Rice Krispie Treat devotee and a Puppy Chow lover.  Let's all hold hands and find World Peace now.
Puppy Chow Chocolate Chip Cookies, easy chocolate chip cookies
Here's the recipe!

Puppy Chow Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes approximately 18 cookies

For the Puppy Chow

  • 4 1/2 cups Chex cereal
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
For the cookies
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.  First make the Puppy Chow: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Add the cereal and stir gently to fully coat.  Pour the powdered sugar in a large plastic bag and add the coated cereal.  Seal the bag and shake vigorously to coat well in powdered sugar.  Set aside.  
2. Make the cookies: Raise the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon mat. Set aside. 
3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and sugars until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thick. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed and glossy. Gradually add the flour and mix until a dough forms (it may look crumbly at first, but it will come together). Then add 2 1/2 cups of the Puppy Chow (there will be leftovers!). Gently fold into the dough.  It's ok if some gets crushed while others stay whole.  Texture baby.  
4. Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, divide the dough and shape each portion into a ball with your hands. Leave about 2 inches between cookies.
5. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and look slightly underdone. Do not over bake! Let cool about 3-5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 


Recipe an Annie's City Kitchen original

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Monday, January 12, 2015

3 Step Easy Hombre Lip

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Am I two years too late to this whole ombre trend?  Yes probably.  But guess what?  Don't care.  

Listen, what I'm about to tell you ain't no rocket science. In fact, you're probably already doing a version of this now without quite realizing it.  So this is really just an amped up version of something we've all been doing for awhile.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The "Gotta have a backup" Edit

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You know those products that you use every single day without fail?  The ones you reach for even when you're barely doing any makeup at all?  The ones that you cannot live without or so help you God?  

Yeah those.  I've got a few.  

They're my no-fail, holy grail (I'm a poet and I don't even know it) that are staples, no matter what look I'm stylin'.  They're so crucial that I even keep a spare on hand when I'm nearing the end of the product.  Because what if I run out and I don't have a backup?!  The risk is too great my friends.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I resolve...

Here we are again.  Is there anything else to be said besides"whoa"?  The year is over.  It's almost 2015.  That's like the future guys.  Where are the flying cars?  Back To The Future II lied to me.  Not cool Marty McFly.

2014 was a huge year for me.  I got married.  Both my sisters got engaged.  And one of them even got married this year too.  My grandma passed away.  I went on my dream honeymoon to London.

But somehow this year also just felt like a regular ol' year to me.  And I don't mean that those events weren't momentous and life changing.  They were.  They so were.  But they were just sandwiched between life.  Day-to-day, gotta-get-to-work, need-more-groceries, going-to-the-movies, are-we-out-of-toliet-paper, I-burned-the-cookies, kind of days.  Normal stuff.

The older I get though, the more comfort I find in realizations like that.  Yes, life can be huge and overwhelming and scary.  And yes, life can be normal and boring and mundane.  But in the end, I'm more resilient than I think I am and wadda'ya know, here I am relaxing on my couch reflecting on a big year and feeling hopeful for the year ahead.

So that brings me to the main event.  Resolutions.  Or mantras.  Or goals.  Or whatever.  Here's where my mind is at for 2015:

1.  Feed my body well- Well let's just get the standard one out of the way first.  Yes, I'm that person.  This resolution is on my list.  I'm not setting any goals on numbers or deciding on any strict lifestyles.  I'm just making a concerted effort to feed my body so that I feel nourished.  Sometimes that means hearty smoothies or soups.  Sometimes that means runny eggs and mushed avocado.  And sometimes that just means cheese fries damnit.

2.  Cook more- It should be evident that I'm an avid baker (otherwise this blog is really on the wrong tracks) but I've always had an interest in cooking too.  For most of my 20's though, I worked weird hours or lived with roommates or alone so getting the chance to really practice in the kitchen was tough.  Since living with my husband, I've been loving the opportunity to try new things and build new skills.  In 2015 I want to develop my cooking intuition and have a better understanding of flavors.

3. Move More: I'm basically a professional walker at this point so I know I do a good job of moving all year long (well, except when it's -2 degrees) but I'd like to focus more on strength training and yoga.  I don't feel as strong as I used to and I hate that.  I think a really easy way to get motivated is to get in the habit of using my FitBit again.  I was obsessed over the summer but it lost it's magic a bit when the weather got cold.  

4.  Learn Spanish-  Ok, so maybe I've had this resolution before.  In fact, I've mostly had all of these resolutions before but I digress.  I desperately want to learn Spanish and enough is enough.  There are plenty of resources available and now it's just a matter of staying motivated.  No problemo, si?  

5.  Become a clean freak- Ok, I'm actually a mostly tidy person aside from the odd habit or two (like leaving half full cups of water on literally every surface) but I tend to accumulate a lot of clutter.  Tidy clutter, but clutter.  I had a massive closet cleanout a few months back and I felt like a new person!  I want to make an effort to have mini cleanout projects every month or so to toss the stuff I really don't use.  

So what are your New Year's resolutions?

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Lipstick for: The Vamp

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Winter means an enthusiastic embrace of dark lipstick.  I tend to think that dark lipstick is the most flattering on me but it can certainly take some gumption to pull off.  It's bold!  It's dramatic!  It screams "Look at me, being all bold and dramatic!"

In my sizable lipstick collection, I've amassed a core collections of wearable vampy colors when the winter mood strikes. (In Chicago, that "winter mood" is September thru April but I digress).

And lah-di-da, they're all drugstore prices to boot!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Spirit is elusive to me in my old age.  When you're young, you don't go searching for it.  It comes to you.  It's about you.  You can't escape it!  

I remember being 7 or 8 years old and waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning and knowing it was slightly too early to wake up my parents and race downstairs.  But it was strictly forbidden in my house to peak at the presents without the whole family awake so I'd smash (and I mean really smash) my face into the wall so I could bbaarrellly get a glimpse down the stairs and around the corner to the tree.  I would do this in the early morning hours when the rest of the house was sleeping.  Just me, in my pajamas, smashing my face against a wall.  Quietly not breaking any rules.  Typical.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014