Mom’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These. These are the chocolate chip cookies I grew up eating. See, in our house growing up, the chewier the better. While it’s probably not the recipe that I first made growing up (Mom – which recipe did we use then?!?), this is the recipe I made time and time again when I lived with my parents. The recipe that Mom used to bring to the track meets in college.

The recipe that I temporarily lost… I have a bunch of home/family recipes saved as .pdf documents on a laptop that won’t currently turn on. So, as you can imagine, I’ve been calling and texting my parents recently asking for several different recipes. I really need to get those files off that computer and onto something more secure!

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The secret in this recipe is the use of pudding mix in the dough. You’ll notice the recipe calls for much less sugar than a typical recipe because it gets some of the sweetness from the mix. It also keeps the cookies soft and chewy. These cookies are suppose to be soft, so if you’re going to error on a side while baking them, error on underbaking. After the first batch or so, Mom has been known to only leave them in the oven for 6-7 minutes sometimes! On a similar note, you’ll want to leave them on the pan to cool for several minutes before removing them to a rack or papertowel to cool completely. Otherwise, you’ll end up with what we called a “trainwreck” cookie. And those… they just have to be eaten immediately 🙂

I added some butterscotch chips into the dough this time as I was craving them. We’ve used all kinds of combinations throughout the years, and any combo of milk, dark, white, and/or butterscotch chips has all been delicious.

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Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Mom’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Mom

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour, or more to consistency
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add pudding mix. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each egg. Add vanilla and mix.

Combine the flour and baking soda and mix. If the dough seems too sticky, you can add flour 1/8-1/4 cup at a time until you can form it into balls. Stir in chocolate chips.

Form into balls and press down slightly to flatten the dough once on the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies just appear ‘set’. Allow to cool on the pan for severeal minutes before removing to a rack.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake-Off: Doughmesstic vs. NYT

doughmesstic vs. N

Hope you’re having a happy hump day… I brought cookies!

A little later than promised, but I’m on to my next installment of our chocolate chip cookie bake-off. In case you’re curious, the original rules can be found here.

As I’ve eluded, the hubbs is convinced that we’re never going to find a recipe that “beats” the NYT recipe we’ve been carrying through this whole ordeal. It definitely is a great cookie! Maybe it’s my inability to be satisfied with a recipe. Maybe it’s only the fact that he wants it to “win,” but I’m definitely hoping we will find a recipe that  beats it. With that spirit in mind, I pulled out a recipe for this round with a few more stops – Doughmesstic’s My Go To Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Browned butter + dark brown sugar. I was hoping the flavor of these would par up to the flavor that we keep coming back to in the NYT recipe.

doughmesstic chocolate chip cookies after baking

I found Susan’s recipe to be really easy to make. If you have never browned butter, just keep an eye on it. It will seem like it is taking forever to start changing color, but once it does, it is really easy to go from browned butter to burnt butter. The dough for these cookies was a little different in texture. Almost a little more greasy, although it does start with melted rather than just softened butter. Nonetheless, it was really easy to work with, and I didn’t have any trouble with sticky dough when forming cookie dough balls. I’ve heard that melting the butter helps make for a chewier cookie, and the centers of these were definitely soft (just the way I like them). You can even tell the middle of these cookies is soft in the photos. I’ll admit, I didn’t chop the chocolate as she indicates, but these are definitely a solid cookie!

doughmesstic chocolate chip cookies

So which one wins… I feel like a broken record. It’s still the NYT recipe for both of us, although it serious took me ~24 hours to decide between these two recipes. There is just something about the NYT recipe that tastes like a “chocolate chip cookie,” and I’m not quite sure I can put my finger on it. One thing is for sure, the Doughmesstic recipe is a solid choice if I don’t have 24 hrs+ to wait for the NYT cookies. Until next month. Enjoy!

Cookies Already Baked:

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Baking Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
Alice’s The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies To Bake:
Alton Brown’s The Chewy
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies from Eat, Live, Run
David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Flour Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bouchon Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Top Chef: Just Desserts Chocolate Chip Cookie

So, I’m thinking the current list will take us through November. Any additional recipes I’m missing?

(Printable Recipe)

Doughmesstic’s My Go To Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
From Doughmesstic

Ingredients:
12 Tbsp. browned salted butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips (1 pkg), mixed semi-sweet and milk chocolate
sea salt for topping

To brown butter, melt butter in light colored medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook. The butter will foam first and then browned specks will start to form at the bottom of the pan and the color will start to appear more brown than yellow. Remove and let cool slightly.

Add the sugars to the butter and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to the dough, mixing until just combined. Mix in the chocolate and place the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookies just start turning golden brown on the edges (the middle will still be soft).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake-Off: Alice’s Recipe vs. NYT

alice vs. NYT

Well, I kind of missed March for this. Sort of. I had the post ready to go, but it just didn’t seem right to post it up on Easter Sunday, so I kept it waiting until Monday. In fact, I like that idea. From now on, chocolate chip cookie bake-offs on the first of every month! In case you’re new to this bake-off, you can find the original rules here.

The contender this month, to the ever champion New York Times (NYT) recipe (pictured on the right), was a recipe that I saw across several blogs a few years ago – this recipe from Alice of Savory Sweet Life. The recipe Alice presents comes with a pretty fierce backing of her recipe, and I can tell you that her cookies were definitely well received by my coworkers. Including the oddest and likely most honest complement I’ve ever received on my baking, “These cookies have the perfect balance of salt.” Different, but as long as you’re enjoying them, I’ll take it 🙂

 alice's best chocolate chip cookies dough balls

alice's best chocolate chip cookies cooling

One thing I noted was that Alice’s cookies have pretty specific instructions. By the time the eggs and vanilla have been added to the dough, it has been going in the mixer for 5 minutes and definitely results in a “fluffier” cookie dough. I did vary from the recipe slightly in the amount of flour listed. I originally added the amount of flour listed in the recipe (by weight – exactly 12 oz), but my dough was definitely still too gooey to hold together a cookie when baking. I added more flour, probably almost another 1/4 cup (although I didn’t measure exactly) to help the dough a little, and I am thinking they almost needed a little bit more as my cookies baked up rather flat. My guess is that this is due to the extended beating time as that is definitely longer than I leave most cookie dough in the mixer. While flat, the texture of the cookies was still the gold standard – crunchy on the edges and rather soft in the middle.

alice's best chocolate chip cookies broken

So which recipe will be continuing in our chocolate chip cookie bake-off. We’re still NYT fan’s in this house. It’s the flavor that develops while the dough sits that seems to be what boosts these over other cookies. While I really like the NYT recipe, I tend to like my cookies a little thicker (tends to be chewier). The NYT cookies aren’t super thin, although I have definitely seen heftier cookies. This may be the place for another recipe to beat the NYT for me. Thinking I may need to try a recipe with either brown butter and/or dark brown sugar next time to see if we can get an even match on the flavor. We’ll see!

Cookies Already Baked:
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Baking Illustrated Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some of the Cookies Still On Deck:
Alton Brown’s The Chewy
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies from Eat, Live, Run
David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Doughmesstic My Go To Chocolate Chip Cookie
Flour Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bouchon Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Top Chef: Just Desserts Chocolate Chip Cookie

Any cookies I should add to the list? Here’s the recipe for Alice’s recipe.

(Printable Recipe)

Alice’s The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Savory Sweet Life

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3/4 cup (or 12 oz) all-purpose flour (I needed more than this)
3/4 tsp. medium course sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 pkg. each milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together with a stand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and very fluffy. Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour stirring until the flour is fully incorporated. Add more flour if needed to be able to form the dough into balls with your hands. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake on stoneware pans or on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are set on the outer edges. Cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake-Off: NYT vs. Neiman Marcus

neiman marcus vs. nyt1

Well, I guess the detox from Monday is over. I know it was short lived, but see today is February 27th. That means I only have approximately 32 hours to bring you the previously promised chocolate chip cookie bake-off for February. Bring on the cookies!

So, far the recipes we’ve been through include the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie,  a copy-cat Levain Bakery cookie, and the Baking Illustrated recipe. In our house, the NYT recipe is the current champion, and you can find our take on that recipe as well as the original rules to my bake-off here.

chocolate chip cookie bake off neiman marcus vs. nyt

In the above photo, the Nemain Marcus recipe is on the left and the NYT cookies are on the right. I had a feeling this would be a tough round for me. The secret to the Neiman Marcus recipe is oatmeal. Not whole but ground up in a food processor until you basically have an “oat flour.” I am a fan of oatmeal in many forms, but I love how it changes the texture of a cookie. Unless you really overbake them, cookies containing oatmeal are always soft and chewy for days.

The recipe for the Neiman Marcus cookie comes here from an adaptation from the Brown Eyed Baker. I found that the cookie dough came together pretty quickly and easily (especially compared to the fuss of the NYT recipe), although after all the flour/oats were mixed in it seemed drier than most cookie dough I’ve seen. By chance, I let it sit for awhile prior to baking while I was doing something else, and it seemed to be easier to work with after resting. I’m not sure if the oats needed to “soak” in some of the wet ingredients? I should caution you that I’ve had this “dryness” issue with other recipes when baking in the desert, so I also wonder if this is a climate thing? The photo below is the Neiman Marcus cookies alone.

chocolate chip cookie bake off neiman marcus

Nonetheless, I was able to form the dough into balls and bake cookies! After baking them, you would be none-the-wiser that the dough was dry as the cookies are perfectly soft and chewy. As expected, I had a hard time choosing between these cookies. The hubbs was easy – he’s an outer edge crunchy guy, so he is all about the NYT recipe. I think that will be the recipe to beat for him. In the end, I did join him on the NYT train, but it took me a day or so. While I love the texture that the oats give the Neiman Marcus recipe, there’s a caramel flavor that develops in the NYT recipe that makes me swoon. Guess the NYT recipe still reigns in our house (at least for another month!).

(Printable Recipe)

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 pkg. milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, if using.

Blend the oats in a food processor or blender until they form a fine flour-like powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the blended oats and the remaining dry ingredients – all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in the vanilla extract. On low speed, gradually mix in the flour, beating until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

If the dough seems too dry, let it sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Form the dough into balls with about 2 tablespoons of dough in each ball. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cookies just start to set (they may be a little soft in the middle still). Let them cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Magic Bars

magic bars stacked

In this house, there is a relatively unknown but rather specific definition of game food. Whenever I end up trying to plan out food for a sporting event, he usually ends up defining about half of it as “not game food.” His definition lies somewhere along the lines of things like nachos and appetizers, but not everything there counts. A couple things I have determined, portability is good. The other – sweets don’t count. What?!?

I am the kind of person that loves to have some type of sweets available at game parties, and in my opinion, these bars would make perfect game food. The recipe for these originally comes from Edible Sound Bites, and it’s a fun variation on magic cookie bars. By the way, what is the real name of those bars? I’ve heard them called magic cookie bars, 7 layer bars, and hello dolly bars?

magic bars before baking

magic bars chips

Outside of the “game food” definition, these bars were a big hit. It is somewhat embarrassing to know how fast we consumed these. You know those recipes where you have to keep “evening out the edge?” This was one of those. With graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, coconut and sweetened condensed milk these bars are the perfect cross between a s’mores bar and a magic cookie bar. Of course, I could not resist swapping in some butterscotch chips for some of the chocolate.

Were they sweet? Yes. Gooey? Yes. They held together a little better when refrigerated. A repeat? My husband already wants me to remake them so he can bring them to work. Game food? Well, depends on who you ask, but I say yes!

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(Printable Recipe)

Magic Bars
Slightly adapted from Edible Sound Bites

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 1 pkg. inside the box)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8×8-inch square pan with nonstick spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour half the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut. Spread evenly over the pan. Layer the marshmallows over the chips-coconut mixture. Drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk evenly over the marshmallows.

Bake for 25 minutes until the tops of the marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars. The bars hold together a little better when refrigerated but can also be stored at room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake-Off: NYT vs. Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies - NYT vs. Baking Illustrated

So… a few months may have passed since I started this chocolate chip cookie bake-off series. While it has been on the back burner for awhile, I really would like to find my “go-to” chocolate chip cookie recipe, so I am going to commit to a bake-off at least once a month. If nothing else comes from it, I will have a happy husband as he loves freezing dough in mini pie pans so he can have hot chocolate chip “pizookies” topped with ice cream whenever a dessert craving strikes. I may need to invest in a few more mini pans 🙂

In summary, I started this off as a way to bake through all the chocolate chip cookie recipes that I’ve accumulated without having to bake 20 recipes in the same day (way too many cookies!). I am pairing two recipes up, side by side and baking them on the same day. The “winner” of the round goes on to face the next recipe, basically eliminating recipes until we are left with one at the end. As explained, this bake-off starts with the winner from last time, the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. The competitor (or second recipe) is the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Baking Illustrated. I was excited to see how this bake-off would turn out. We basically fell in love with the NYT recipe last time, but the description of the Baking Illustrated recipe is completely my type of cookie. I want my cookies to have some heft and to have just a bit of that underbaked goodness inside.

thick and chewy chocolate cookies baking

I won’t share or describe the NYT recipe again. It can be found in this post if you are interested. I used the recipe found on Brown Eyed Baker for the Baking Illustrated recipe. The Baking Illustrated cookies stay pretty true to their name as a thick and soft cookie. The differences in the recipe primarily are that it starts with melted butter and uses an extra egg yolk in addition to the whole egg in the recipe. Many of the ingredients are listed as weight measurements, and I made the recipe accordingly, using the weights. The cookies end up a bit raggedy on top, on purpose, due to the specific instructions on shaping them, and while it seems like a minor detail, I really like how they look. As far as storing, the cookies lasted well for a day or two but started to dry out significantly more as the days progressed. Here’s the recipe.

thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie

(Printable Recipe)

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Baking Illustrated, seen on Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. of unbleached all-purpose flour (10-5/8 ounces)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 Tbsp.), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup packed brown sugar (7 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3-1/2 ounces)
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or by spraying them with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer until lighter in color and thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the tips of your fingers with both hands on each side. Pull apart into 2 equal halves. You should now have 2 balls of dough with one jagged edge. Set the balls so that the jagged edge is up. Stick them back together to form one cookie being careful not to smooth the uneven surface of the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and place the cookies on the prepared pans.

Bake until the centers are light brown with outer edges that are starting to harden but with centers that are still soft and puffy, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheets for several minutes until they start to set-up. Remove and continue cooling on a baking rack.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bake-Off: NYT vs. Levain Copycat

So which recipe was the favorite? The NYT recipe won again for us. The depth of the flavor in those cookies was amazing. The Baking Illustrated recipe does produce a substantial chewy cookie, but the texture will begin to dry out as they are stored. I do like the Baking Illustrated recipe better as a quicker recipe, especially if it is one that will be eaten rather quickly after they are baked. I believe I said this about the Levain copycat recipe too, but I am favoring the Baking Illustrated recipe over the Levain one for quick purposes (although it truthfully has been awhile since I’ve made the Levain version). Overall, it is still the NYT recipe for us. Guess I better start planning ahead for those chocolate chip cookie cravings! 🙂

SRC: Nutella Brownies

nutella brownie sundae

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I am new to the Nutella camp. Like only a couple weeks new. I swear I had tried it before. My impression then was indifferent. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything I would go crazy over. Let’s fast-forward to the present – I bought a small jar a couple weeks ago for a baking group assignment. I am not sure what has changed, but man that stuff is addicting!

My new obsession played in perfectly to my blog assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Erin, of Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts seems to have a similar obsession. She’s even made homemade Nutella, and I can’t say I blame her! Erin has a great blog and must be a woman after my own heart with her list of desserts. I think I could have made each of them, but there was no getting past these Nutella brownies.

nutella brownies
nutella brownie

Similar to Erin, my brownies ended up on the longer side of the bake time. Despite taking what seemed like a long time to bake, the brownies emerged soft and gooey in the middle with the perfect crispy edges. Erin describes them as super fudgy with lots of Nutella flavor and I would have to say that I agree. My husband would tell you that they made great ice cream sundaes, but I can vouch for them being delectable on their own too. Enjoy! 

(Printable Recipe)

Nutella Brownies
Adapted from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup Nutella
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well. Add salt, cocoa powder, and Nutella and mix in slowly. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake 25-35 minutes (mine took the 35 minutes). The brownies will cut better once cool, but they make great ice cream sundaes while warm.

 

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

It is hard to believe, but I actually have many more dinner recipes than dessert recipes sitting in my files waiting to be shared. I feel like this is a complete 180 from when I started the blog where almost all my posts were dessert related. You’d never know I have a sweet tooth 🙂

Despite the odds, I am bringing you a dessert recipe today. In fact, a classic dessert recipe in that. These actually came about one night because the hubbs was wanting to make a cookie ice cream sundae. Not wanting to spend too long baking on a weeknight, I remembered these cookie bars. Perfect.

thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars whole

So, if you find yourself in a rush needing a dessert for a certain holiday next week or just have a killer chocolate chip cookie craving. Look up these bars. I promise they’ll be well received. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated) 

Ingredients:
2-1/8 cups (10-1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 Tbsp. (1-1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup (7 oz) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups (1 pkg) chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, if desired for easy removal from the pan. Spray either the pan or foil with non-stick cooking spray (whichever you are using).

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from the sides of the pan, 24-28 minutes. Do not overbake, if needed err on the side of slightly underdone. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. If using the foil, you can remove the bars from the pan by lifting up on the foil. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Club: Baked – Mississippi Mud Pie

One of my new goals for myself this year: bake with my groups more often! I really don’t know why I don’t do it more often as it seems more often than not the recipes we make are amazingly delicious. This one being no exception…

This time around, our Club:Baked recipe is hosted by Jess at The Saucy Kitchen. Her choice: Mississippi Mud Pie. I feel like I say this a lot, but without this group, I never would have given this pie a chance. Me. Dark chocolate and coffee? Na… give me some caramel and milk chocolate, and I’m a happy girl 🙂

Nonetheless, both my husband and I found ourselves really enjoying this pie. I made a half version in a little 5-inch pie tin since it was just the 2 of us, and everything seemed to come together really well. There are a lot of steps in this recipe, but most of it is melt, freeze, repeat. I am thinking that this pie could be the perfect solution for when I need a dessert in the middle of the summer. The no-bake factor certainly wins points in the Phoenix summers category. A couple people mentioned on the message board that they had trouble finding chocolate wafers. I have some leftover chocolate animal crackers from when my brother made this cheesecake, and they seemed to work just fine here.

Stop by the Club: Baked page today to check out the pies from the other bloggers, and be sure to stop by Jess’s blog for hosting! Enjoy!

Chocolate-Chip Toffee Cheesecake

Delectable. Phenomenal. Decadent. 

I really wish that I could claim this one as my own, but my only claim to it is that it was made in my kitchen. The true chef behind this one – my brother. He stayed with us for a few days last week for an interview and decided to make dinner one day while my husband and I were both at work. We came home to homemade bread bowls, soup, and this cheesecake as dessert. I could get used to this!

Words aside, this cheesecake is definitely a show-stopper. I am not sure that any of these words can really describe how delicious it was. Decadent, but totally worth it. I am sure it would be well received to finish out any holiday party that you may encounter. Enjoy

(Printable Recipe)

Chocolate-Chip Toffee Cheesecake
Barely adapted from food.com

Ingredients: 
Crust:
1-1/4 cups chocolate animal crackers, crushed
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling:
2 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups Skor English toffee bits (from 2 8-oz bags)

Topping:
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
caramel ice cream topping 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix the cracker crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and butter. In an ungreased 9-inch springform pan, press the crumb mixture in the bottom and 1 to 1-1/2 inches up the side. 

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and the vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Reserve 2 Tbsp. of the toffee bits for garnish. Gently stir remaining toffee bits into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until set. Turn oven off; leave door open 4 inches. Cool the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. 

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Without releasing or removing the sides of the pan, run a metal spatula along the sides of the cheesecake to loosen. Cool 30 more minutes. Run metal spatula along the sides of the cheesecake to loosen again. Refrigerate uncovered until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours.

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/2 cup chocolate chips and whipping cream uncovered on high 20-30 seconds or until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Spread the topping evenly over the cheesecake. Sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of toffee bits around the outer edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips over the middle of the cheesecake. Refrigerate until the topping is set, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping. Remove the sides of the pan and serve.