Two – for – One

Today is your lucky day.
Not only am I posting two cookie recipes, which is basically the greatest two-for-one deal since Domino’s did that 2 Times Tuesday Deal (that was a thing, right?). But, in addition to that, I’m so friggin’ tired from workouts and working a long shift today that I’m keeping this short and sweet.

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Chocolate and Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies

I have a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my shin. I’ve been bumping into the corners of walls. I missed a step going downstairs and felt like I was going to plummet to my doom for a split second.
Coming back home has thrown me a bit off kilter. I’m happy as can be to be back where I belong and away from school, but it’s taking some getting used to. My body is used to the dimensions of my apartment. It remembers the feel of the floors. The layout of my kitchen.

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Peanut Butter S’mores Cups

This is it.

These s’mores cups are my last attempt to grasp hold of summer. To enjoy the fleeting heat and streaks of sun. To ignore the fact that it’s already September (woa) and already Labor Day (double woa).

I love fall. It is my favorite season. But I’m not quite ready for it. I want the boots and the sweaters and  the caramel spice and the falling leaves just as must as anyone else, but not right.this.minute.

I am done with work for the summer. I am putting offpacking for school. I am looking at reading lists and scavenging for used books. I am dragging my feet.

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Dark Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Marshmallow Coffee Buttercream

I get a lot of things from my dad. My brown eyes, olive skin, and “solid” build all come from him. My annoyingly obsessive attention to detail, dry sense of humor, and predisposition to mornings go to his credit too. While some of the traits I have gotten from him are genetic, I’ve also picked up a lot of learned behaviors from him over the years. Since I was a little girl I’ve been watching him and studying him and mimicking him – it’s only natural that some of his habits and traits would eventually become mine. For better or worse.
There’s one thing he does though that I will just not do. Never, ever will I be okay with doing this. Never, EVER. It is a habit so disgusting, so repulsive I can barely bring myself to write it (I’m really making you want one of those cupcakes up there, aren’t I?).
My father reuses day-old coffee.
There. I said it. And may have gotten a little queasy.

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Chocolate Barbecue Sauce Cupcakes with Browned Butter Brown Sugar Frosting…and Honey Cream Cheese Frosting…and Barbecue Chocolate Ganache

I was shopping the other day. As I am prone to do. I was just browsing, looking for a few things for my apartment for next year. Walking into the briskly air-conditioned store, seeking a soap dish and refuge from the 90+ degree heat and the inevitable thigh sweat it brings (there’s a mental image no one needed), I was flabbergasted by the sight of fall and even winter décor lining the aisles.

I stood there, upper lip glistening with sweat, wondering how people could be preparing for the winter months already. Wasn’t it just the 4th of July a few weeks ago? Aren’t we in the throes of our umpteenth heat wave this year? Aren’t there still beaches to go to and tan lines to acquire?
And the kicker? Majority of the summer items were marked down by 50%, if not 75% or more! While that enabled me to nab an adorable plate for mere pennies, it did leave me with a sinking feeling that the seasons will change, no matter how hard I will them not too. August will follow July and leaves will change from green to gold. The thermometer will plummet from 97 to -17 and we will all be complaining about how cold it is instead of how hot it is (part of the human condition, I suppose).

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A New Job and Brownie Cookies!

I finished my first week at a local bakery today. I applied for the job in March and didn’t hear anything until nearly June. But I was so excited to start! In only a few days, I have noticed a difference in the items I’m baking. My rolls are more symmetrical, it takes me half the time to measure out a batch of dough, I can frost a cupcake faster and smoother than I thought possible.
The thing I was the best at though, even from the get go, was portioning out cookie dough. No matter the dough – a sugar cookie, a chocolate crinkle, or an oatmeal and craisin – I haven’t been off by more than .01 ounces. Holding a ball in my hand and knowing even before I put it on the scale whether it will be high or low is an exhilarating feeling, and probably my favorite part of the job thus far.
After a couple of long shifts at the bakery followed by even longer ones at the restaurant, I finally had the day off yesterday. Even after spending countless hours in a hot, cramped kitchen the only thing I wanted was to be back in the kitchen. My kitchen. Without a hat or stuffy tennis shoes or a rolling pin permanently attached to my hand – just my sweat pants and flowered apron to keep me company.

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Thursday Things

1)     My birthday is tomorrow! My birthday is tomorrow! My birthday is tomorrow! WOOHOO!
2)     I’m so mature, what with almost being 20 and all.
3)     This is what my kitchen back home looked like after a day of recipe developing. Yes, that is maple syrup next to salsa next to spinach. There’s some BBQ chicken and eggs in the back too. I miss this.
4)     My camera charger has currently grown legs and walked off leaving me helpless to get the awesome picture of pesto I made at home off of it. My plan is to combine it with some cheese, cream, noodles, a lot touch of butter and throw them all into these guys, a birthday present from my best friend, and bake up some mac and cheese for myself.
5)     A flowered apron and sparkly earrings make me feel like a super classy lady. The dirty jeans and tshirt underneath the apron keep me honest.
6)     I was totally off my game today while baking. I tweeted how first I didn’t have eggs like I thought I did, then I used the wrong amount of butter, and then my cream cheese wasn’t soft enough.
7)     The finished product still turned out somehow. And it was mighty tasty.  
8)     P.S. – I’m super obsessed with this nail polish right now, it’s called Guava. Juicy right?

Puppy Chow Cupcakes and a Blogiversary!

366 days. That’s how long I’ve had this blog. One year and one day. That’s a long time.
I had initially wanted to do this post yesterday, on my actual blogiversary. But I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and right. I tried, as I’ve done so many times before, but the words just wouldn’t come. I wasn’t going to force them to, I know that doesn’t work.
We can just consider these cupcakes fashionably late – and completely delicious! I thought of them ages ago while I was sitting in class (my tuition money hard at work right there). I have always had a soft spot in my stomach heart for puppy chow. When my mom made it when my sisters and I were little it was like a holiday, a day that should have been nationally recognized! We would eat cup after cup of it, watching the layer of powdered sugar get thicker and thicker on our fingers, refusing to lick them clean until our mom cut us off from the goods.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Today is the day. February 14. The day when we have to shower our loved ones with gifts and adorations and goodies, the bigger the better. If there isn’t a horse-drawn carriage, diamonds the size of tennis balls, and an acoustic band quietly playing Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” in the background while doves fly overhead then I’m not interested.
Unless there’s dessert.

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Mini Valentine’s Day Cheesecakes: A Trio

Good things come in threes. My sisters and I. The Lord of the Rings movies. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Appetizer, entree, dessert.

And cheesecakes! At least in my world.

These cheesecakes are sweet, decadent, and small enough where you can have a sample of each without feeling like you have to unbutton your pants stuffed! A perfect Valentine’s dessert for two, or one, if you’re not into that whole sharing thing.

Head over to North by Northwestern to check out my full post and get the recipes!

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