Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Fall is here! As the weather gets chillier and the holiday season quickly approaches, it means more time for baking and trying new recipes. Recipes that taste like fall and remind you of happy holiday memories. Which is what these cookies entail–they are chock-full of cinnamon, pumpkin, and white chocolate. Three things that make up the most delicious fall treats.

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I made these goodies for a work event and within fifteen minutes all two and a half dozen cookies were obliterated. They’re perfect for any holiday function or after school/work treat. These cookies are soft, flavorful, and addicting. They won’t last long!

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Yields: 30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour or white wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave.Using a stand mixer, beat the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir  together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. You can even beat the ingredients together using the stand mixer on low power.  The dough will be very soft. Fold in the white chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed in the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Chilling is mandatory for puffy and extra tasty cookies.
  3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll the dough into balls. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll each of the dough balls generously in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Slightly flatten the dough balls with your hands because the cookies will only slightly spread in the oven.
  5. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out. Remove from the oven.  If you find that your cookies didn’t spread much at all, flatten them out when you take them out of the oven.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy!
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Pumpkin Pie Dip

It’s finally Fall! The leaves are changing, the air smells crisp, and people are starting to figure out what they’re baking next. Well for those of you who wish to not be constrained to your oven for dessert tonight, feel free to try out this easy no-bake dessert that tastes like the holidays! By the way, it’s only made up of three ingredients. You’re welcome.

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Please excuse my chipped fingernail polish, but instead feast your eyes on the deliciousness of this dessert dip! It’s super fun to eat! You can also use basically anything you want to eat it with so no need to rush to the store on this one; just use some of your favorite goodies and snacks that you have on hand and get to dippin’.

 

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Finally a pumpkin pie recipe that you can just eat by the spoonful (no judgement).

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Ingredients:

  • One 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • A 8z Cool Whip container
  • One 1.5oz package of Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat together all ingredients with a handheld mixer (stand mixer works great too) until well combined and fluffed up.
  2. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. Serve with your choice of goodies! Recommendations: marshmallows, pretzels, graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, and Oreos (weird but trust me it works).

Nutella Stuffed Oatmeal Bars

My husband and I have been married a little over three years now. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I found out that he liked Nutella. Nutella is amazing. Imagine living almost three years without it because your husband told you that he hated it. That was until he tried these Nutella Oatmeal Bars. Then our world changed forever.

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I baked a whole bunch of these for a church activity after I bought a huge jar of Nutella on sale at the grocery store (score!), and when I went to taste test the goodies my husband volunteered to try one. He fell in love instantly. His exact words were “I had no idea Nutella tasted like this. Can we buy more so you can make these again?” I almost sobbed with happiness. Unfortunately the goodies were gobbled up at the church event and I did not get to indulge any longer.

So I guarantee that you will love these bars. They’re delectable and super rich. The oatmeal adds a delicious texture to the creaminess of the Nutella. I am definitely planning on making these again in the near future!

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Nutella Stuffed Oatmeal Bars                                                    Yields 16 Bars

Adapted from http://celebratingsweets.com/nutella-stuffed-oatmeal-cookie-bars/

Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chocolate chips or callets

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 8×8 square pan  with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Place a little more than half of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the mixture into the plan until its one even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the Nutella and place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15-20 seconds or until slightly melted and soft (this will make it easier to spread).
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately add the  softened Nutella. Since the dough/crust will be soft, you don’t want to spread too vigorously. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, spread the softened Nutella into an even layer. Sprinkle the Nutella layer with chocolate chips or callets. Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top of the Nutella/chocolate layer.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the top is set and golden brown. Take the pan out and let cool. Do not cut them while they are hot, as the chocolate will ooze out. Serve them while still slightly warm and they’ll be perfect!
  8. Enjoy with a nice tall glass of milk.

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American Dessert Bark

Okay so I know I haven’t published anything for quite a while, I’ve been busy with work and church activities for the past month or so. Plus my husband and I went on our first cruise and took other small trips to visit family during these past weeks. So now I’m back in baking mode!

I wanted to share this Labor Day recipe with you all (I apologize for the tardiness but you can always make it next year) because it’s so fun to make and super easy as well. Basically all you do is melt chocolate and add whatever mix-ins you want! Ba-bamm, you’ve got dessert!

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I made this treat with my sisters and they went a little crazy…we put everything sweet we could find into this recipe.

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I promise you that you will scarf these down without any hesitation. Go big or go home I always say 🙂

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American Dessert Bark

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of white chocolate chips (or do 6 oz of milk chocolate with 6 oz of white…that’s what we did. All white would look prettier)
  • 1 package of mini oreos
  • 1 large bag of Patriotic M&Ms (or regular M&Ms if they aren’t in season)
  • Red, White, and Blue sprinkles-for extra pizazz
  • Any other mix-ins you want!

Directions:

  1. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the chocolate into a glass bowl and place in microwave. Microwave in 30 second intervals until almost all chocolate is melted. Stir the the mixture vigorously to ensure all is melted.
  3. Spread the melted chocolate on the parchment paper. Use a spatula to ensure that the chocolate is smooth and even.
  4. Sprinkle the mix-ins on top of the chocolate.
  5. Once all the mix-ins have been added, place the finished product in the fridge until firm (30-45 minutes). You can keep in the fridge for longer if you want it more set, maybe 1-2 hours for the maximum needed “firm-up” time.
  6. Take the set chocolate out of the fridge and break it into pieces. Now you’re ready to get your bark on! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ever since I was a young girl I loved all kinds of chocolate chip breads: pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, and especially banana bread. Banana bread is still probably my favorite out of dessert breads. But let’s be honest here, anything with chocolate chips in it is my favorite. Chocolate makes everything taste better.

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A couple of days ago I decided to go rogue; I wanted to bake banana bread. I saw a Facebook video for banana desserts and all the recipes featured were very bland and uninspired. I wanted to give back to the banana dessert community with a fun banana bread recipe. This is something I have never made before and I was determined to try. So, I got some bananas and waited patiently for them to ripen. Once my bananas were ready, I was excited for the delicious task before me: to make drool-worthy banana bread. And since I’ve been on my peanut butter chocolate chip fix, I thought why not do a peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread??

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All said and done, I was very happy with the result. I had made my first homemade banana bread and it was delicious! The dark chocolate chips and peanut butter drizzle really makes this recipe standout in the crowd.

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Seriously, you have to try this! Grab some bananas now and let me know what you think!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Yields 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I used almond milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 ripe bananas. mashed with a fork
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter, warmed for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine butter, sugar, buttermilk, peanut butter, vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until combined, then fold in mashed bananas and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until golden brown and a fork comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes until serving.
  5. When ready to serve, drizzle with peanut butter (warmed in microwave).

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mmmmm peanut butter and chocolate, what a wonderful combination.

I’ve been on a peanut butter fix this month; I can’t control it, the heart wants what it wants!

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Now I think flour definitely has a place in the science of baking–measuring it accurately and efficiently is important. However, not all desserts require flour. This is one of those treasured recipes.

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The peanut butter is truly enhanced and stands out superbly when there isn’t any flour to distract from the delicious nutty flavor of peanut butter. I also used natural peanut butter for this recipe and it baked beautifully! I was a little cautious because some peanut butter recipes avoid using natural peanut butter, but I took a risk and was very pleased with the result 🙂

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You are going to love these bad boys!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                                                                                                  Yields 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark, but if you have light on hand that’s fine too!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, using a large spoon, mix together peanut butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, egg and baking soda until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by the rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 10 – 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (if you can wait that long ;)).
  5. Recipe Source: adapted from Cooking Classy.

Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Reeses Cups are one of my favorite candies. I love Reeses Cups in my ice cream, cakes, cookies, and more. You could say that I might have a slight obsession. But nothing beats homemade treats, am I right? Reeses are delicious but sometimes the combination of milk chocolate and peanut butter just doesn’t do it for me. Last night I craved  something a bit more sophisticated–Reeses with dark chocolate.

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All you need is dark chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and patience while this treat sets up in the fridge. This recipe was easy and totally worth the wait. You’ll have your dark chocolate fix in no time! And if you want it to be totally homemade, then use my recipe for homemade peanut butter. But even store bought peanut butter will create a delectable candy for you and others (if you’re nice enough to share).

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Homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups              Yields 36 mini peanut butter cups

Ingredients:

  • 1  and 3/4 cups 60% dark  chocolate or higher, chopped (I used 72% Callebaut chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter or Arianna’s Homemade Peanut Butter
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with 36 paper cupcake liners.
  2. Melt the chocolate  in the microwave for 30 second intervals, until melted.
  3. Distribute the melted chocolate into the 36 paper cupcake liners. I used a spoon to portion the chocolate at the bottom of the liner and coated the sides of each cup. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. While the chocolate is in the freezer, Mix the peanut butter, butter, and confectioner’s sugar together by hand with a wooden spoon until mixed and light. Taste it and make sure the sweetness is to your liking. Take the chocolate out of the freezer and place small amounts (1/2 tbsp or smaller) of peanut butter into each cup.
  5. If you need to warm up the melted chocolate then do so for a quick 10-12 second interval in the microwave. Then portion small spoonfuls of chocolate into the cups, one cup at a time Place the peanut butter cups in the fridge for 45 minutes to set the top layer of chocolate
  6. Once the top layer firms up then these goodies are ready! They can be stored on the counter top for 3 days or for 1 week in the fridge.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe means a lot to me because it reminds me of my mom, who passed on a few years ago. This cookie was one of my mother’s favorites. She couldn’t bake much and most of her food came out “Cajun” (meaning blackened and burnt), but oatmeal chocolate chip cookies was one of the few desserts she could make from scratch.

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These were the cookies that my siblings and I devoured as children. I remember her baking these for us on rainy days or as a special surprise when we came home from school. She made these a lot throughout my childhood and I didn’t complain; they were amazing. She always had the ratio of chocolate chips to quick oats down. I never knew that these were kinda healthy for me, I just loved the gooey chocolate chips in every bite! Even though it makes me a bit sad whenever I make a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I just think of how my mom would approve of me carrying on her recipe. I can almost hear her whisper “add more chocolate, trust me” ;).  I also grew up knowing that raisins didn’t belong in these cookies, but if you would like to add raisins then go right ahead. I’m just going to be over hear indulging on some chocolatey goodness.

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Don’t be alarmed if you keep going back to the cookie jar for these, the oats and the dark chocolate make them healthy! Ish! Also this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies                                    Makes about 20 medium sized cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light is fine as well)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups instant oats
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate callets or chopped dark chocolate bar (chocolate chips may be substituted)

Directions:

  1. Using a stand mixer, combine the egg, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed–about 4 minutes.
  2. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and beat on low until just combined.
  3. Once well combined, add chocolate and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  4. After the chocolate has been mixed into the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. If you can’t wait (like me) then place the bowl in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Take the dough out the fridge/freezer and using a spoon or a cookie scoop, make 20 medium sized mounds of dough and place on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the tops are set. If they look a little underbaked, then don’t worry because they will continue to cook while cooling. Allow cookies to  firm up on the baking sheet for an additional 10 minutes. You may use a wire rack or just leave them to cool on the baking sheet (which is what I did).
  6. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 1 week at room temperature or you can freeze them for up to 6 months.

 

Apple Pie Bars

This past weekend was full of fun Memorial Day celebrations. Yesterday there was a picnic that I volunteered to bake something yummy. I wanted to go with a “patriotic” theme and what is more American than apple pie for dessert? Well I didn’t want to bring a whole pie because I thought it was too cliche and would be too time-consuming as well as messy to have hungry people cut up their own slices. So I did the dirty work for them.

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I decided to make apple pie in a bar format. That way there would be no mess but plenty of yummy goodness to go around. 008.JPG

These bars turned out quite yummy! I would make a few changes the next time around though, like not letting them sit so long in the fridge (I had it sit over night) or allow them to melt in the sun–which wasn’t entirely my fault, it was really hot out this weekend.

But anyways, these apple pie bars are delicious. They are full of cinnamon and apples and butter. You can’t go wrong right? I suggest you try them out and if you love them, make them for an upcoming July 4th party!

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Apple Pie Bars                                                                                                                   Makes 16 Bars

Ingredients:

For Shortbread:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

For Apple Pie Filling:

  • 3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used red apples, but use any apple you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter –room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. For an easy lift out of the pan later on, make sure your parchment paper goes over the edges.
  2. For the Shortbread: First you have to cream your butter. Place butter into your mixer and turn on high for 5 minutes or until the butter turns white, which means it’s done creaming.  Next mix in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once combined, add in the flour and stir well. The mixture will look like lumpy playdoh. Press the mixture into the parchment lined pan and bake in the  oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Apply Pie filling: In a bowl, combine by hand the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until the apples are well coated.
  4. Topping: Mix flour, 3/4 up brown sugar. Cut in the butter with a fork and knead together.Set aside.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle one half of the Topping over the short bread, then layer the apples on top. Layer the apples until all used up–keep the apple slices level so that the bars come out evenly. Drizzle lemon juice evenly over the top layer of apples. Once this is finished, sprinkle the remainder of the Topping evenly on top and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before placing in the fridge to set for 1 to 2 hours. Once it’s set, remove from the baking dish by lifting out the parchment paper and cut into 16 squares.
  7. Drizzle white icing or powdered sugar on top before diving in!

 

Copy Cat Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies

Ahhh Little Debbie. She takes me back to the days of peanut butter jelly sandwiches, Lunchables, and chicken nuggets. I remember gleefully smiling when my mom came back from the grocery store with Ding Dongs, Ho-Hos, and of course Cosmic Brownies!! I’m a girl who loves frosting and chocolate, so this treat was definitely on of my favorites as a little girl.

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I knew I had to try to make these. I wanted something that would bring me back to those nostalgic times of my youth. I found a great recipe that totally delivered! I did tweak it a bit to fit my palate and also to what I had available in my cupboard (hint I only had sprinkles, not mini M&Ms), but sprinkles did not disappoint in the slightest. My  photos do not do this recipe justice. They look a lot yummier in person, trust me.

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These brownies are chewy, chocolatey, and scrumptious. One bite will take you back to those simple days when people didn’t care about Non-GMOs or gluten-free products. Also, these are healthier, I’ll be it slightly, than the ones found in the grocery store. Plus you get to lick the batter!

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Copy-Cate Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownies                                                          Makes 32 Bars

Recipe adapted from Handle The Heat

Ingredients:

For the brownies:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • Mini M&M’s, sprinkles, or other candy

Directions:

  1. For brownies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan  with cooking spray.
  2. In a large glass bowl, melt the butter for about 45 seconds on high power. Stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder.
  3. If still very hot, let cool slightly before adding in the vanilla, eggs and egg yolk, and corn syrup. Stir until very well combined.
  4. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
  5. For the Frosting: place the half and half or cream in a small glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Add in the chocolate chips. Let stand for 3 minutes before stirring until smooth. Pour over the cooled brownies and smooth evenly. Sprinkle with the your choice of topping (i.e sprinkles!). Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until the frosting is set, before cutting.
  6. For storage: these brownies can last for 4 days on the counter or up to a week in the fridge.