Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You can’t beat a warm slightly soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie…I came across this amazing recipe by a fellow food blogger that I follow. This recipe really hits the spot when you are craving the perfect cookie!

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspooon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Steps:
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter is a golden brown..about 3-5 minutes. The butter will start to bubble and foam and then subside as the water evaporates and the milk solids start to turn a light brown color. Just as it starts to turn light brown, remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Place the egg, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is pale yellow and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

3. Once the browned butter has cooled for 15 minutes, whisk the brown sugar into it. Add the butter mixture to the egg mixture in the bowl of the electric mixer. Whisk on medium speed for about a minute.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer and mix on low speed until just barely combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low speed until dough comes together and chocolate is mixed throughout.

6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized portions of dough about an inch apart on the lined baking sheets. Lightly press down on the top of each one with the palm of your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

7. Position baking rack on the very top shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove one cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake on the top rack for 15-18 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes. Cookies should be crisp around the edges with some craggle and visible chew on top. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the other cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake the same way.

*You can skip the refrigeration step and the cookies will still taste great, but the refrigeration enhances the flavor and texture of the cookie so if you have the time, I would recommend it!

Recipe adopted from: The Baker Mama

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Vanilla, Honey, and Almond Granola with Dates

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I am a huuuuggge granola/granola bar junkie! I try to opt for the healthier granola bars so that’s exactly why I decided to whip up my own batch myself. Granola and granola bars (especially all of the good tasting ones) that you buy from the store tend to be extremely high in fat and sugar..it’s almost as bad as eating a candy bar in some instances.  Granola is extremely easy to make and you can add all of your favorite flavors and fruits. I love granola as a quick snack..I love putting it in my yogurt or even on peanut butter and apples. There will definitely be more granola recipes to come so stay tuned! 🙂

Ingredients:
4 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. honey
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
6 dates; chopped
1/4 cup almonds; chopped
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter and honey and microwave for about 30-45 seconds until the peanut butter and honey have melted together. Stir together and then add in the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Add in the almonds and oats and stir until everything is coated evenly.

3. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes…every oven varies so you will know when granola is ready when it’s golden brown. *I would recommend flipping granola every 5 minutes with a spatula for an extra crunch Enjoy!
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The Ultimate Cupcake Guide

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Cupcakes are getting trendier and trendier by the minute I feel like! It’s no surprise to me how many cupcake bakeries there are these days and they are even becoming popular on reality TV shows; such as “Cupcake Wars on Food Network. Often times, the quickest way to get ahold of cupcakes when you need them is at our grocery store bakery because we don’t want to make our own. Their cute size makes them so convenient to eat as well..so, what’s not to love in a cupcake? This chart is so handy because it gives an idea on how to create your own perfected cupcake. Use this recipe below for a perfect basic yellow cupcake mix. Chocolate, vanilla, buttercream, strawberry, and just about any-other frosting you love would be delicious with this recipe…I think it would be almost be impossible in my opinion for any frosting not to taste amazing with this. 🙂

Control Recipe: Basic Yellow Cupcakes
Yield: 12

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6.35 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour and milk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for one minute. Divide the batter between the cupcake cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adopted from: Relish

Vanilla Almond Chai Tea with Chia Seeds

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So I’ve been on a chia seed kick for the last few weeks and I can tell you they make me feel great! Chia seeds are so unbelievably good for you and it’s also another great way to detox. I also love all kinds of chai tea lattes (especially from Starbucks)  and I also love chia seeds for detoxing so that’s how I came up with the idea. The little seeds have protein and fiber in them so I always feel satisfied after drinking it and in addition, they are loaded with  antioxidants and many other vitamins. Try swooping out your morning cup of coffee for this natural energizing drink, it’s totally worth it and your body will thank you later.

Yield: 1

You you need is:
2 cups of brewed Chai Tea (I love Twining’s Chai Tea, it brews perfectly and has a smooth chai flavor!)
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Pour all ingredients in a large mason jar, stir, and let sit in refrigerator overnight. Just give the jar a shake, sip, and enjoy. It’s so easy and takes less than 5 minutes to make!
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Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast

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I came up with this creation today when I was debating on whether or not to have a piece of toast with peanut butter or to make french toast for breakfast..so why not combine the two?!

Yield: 4

Ingredients:
4 pieces of bread (I used whole wheat and removed the crust)
2 egg whites
1 whole egg
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp buter
2 tsp (or more!) powdered sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup

Steps:
1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. With a butter knife, spread each piece of bread with peanut butter. With a fork, poke bread and place in egg mixture for 20 seconds on each side until well coated. Butter skillet and place each piece of bread to cook for 3 minutes on each side. Coat with maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar!