Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m constantly waffling back and forth about whether or not to continue with this blog. It never became successful, and I understand why. My photos are fine but not extraordinary, and the food I like doesn’t fit in with what’s popular. I’ve learned to accept that I won’t ever be a professional blogger. It’s not even close to my biggest failure. But I do keep asking myself, what’s the point? You’re probably sick of hearing about it. 

I recently got some encouragement to continue blogging from one of my all time favorite bloggers. This is someone who’s work I’ve admired since I first discovered food and baking blogs back in 2011. The fact that she even knows my blog exists is a certain level of success. It absolutely gave me a huge hit of encouragement to continue being myself and putting it out there.

So now that that decision is made, I’ve got a new problem. I’ve suddenly got the urge to completely redesign my site and give it a fresh new look. This could get messy. Stick with me, friends.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While we work through our midlife blogging crisis, let’s eat cookies. But not just plain old chocolate chip cookies, but really tasty chocolate chip cookies with a totally awesome surprise in the center, a mini peanut butter cup. Apparently this was a complete revelation in Glasgow because I brought these to school for an event I was hosting, and I got compliments for a week. I thought they seemed pretty basic, but non-bakers seem to find them quite impressive.

They’re super simple to make. The firs time I made them, I had two friends in my kitchen, so they don’t even require all your attention. You can put your friends to work unwrapping the peanut butter cups. Just make sure they don’t eat all of them before you actually put them into your cookies. And how do we get those peanut butter cups into the cookies, you ask? Simply press one into each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. Your cookies will continue to bake and set up for a few minutes after they come out of the oven, and once they’re cool, they will have set up perfectly.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It may be a bit untidy around here for a while, but it’s gonna be delicious. Have a cookie and just relax. Everything’s gonna be awesome.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 24
Beautiful chocolate chip cookies surrounding a peanut butter cup are so delicious and so impressive.
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Prep Time
20 hr
Cook Time
13 hr
Prep Time
20 hr
Cook Time
13 hr
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2-1/4 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 12 ounces chocolate chips
  10. 24 mini peanut butter cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and fish out your muffin pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and both kinds of sugar together with an electric mixer until combined and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on the lowest speed until just combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix briefly to incorporate them into your dough.
  6. Use a medium scoop to fill each muffin cup about a third full. You want there to be enough to cover the bottom of each muffin cup, but the dough will spread and rise a bit as it bakes.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookies just start to turn golden on top. They will still be a bit soft inside, but they'll firm up as they cool.
  8. As soon as your cookies come out of the oven, press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely. Get on with your second batch if you don't have another muffin pan.
  9. If you have any leftover cookie dough, obviously you can just make cookies with them.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

As I write this, it’s 7:55 pm, and I’m strongly wishing I could go to bed right now. I don’t even have work in the morning. I cannot possibly express how happy I am to have turned my alarm off and not have to get up at any specific time tomorrow morning. I’m definitely an old lady. 

I also can’t believe Easter has snuck up so quickly. It’s still absolutely frigid here, so that may be part of the reason it hadn’t occurred to me that the Easter bunny might be visiting soon. Or it could be that I’m so completely consumed by my work schedule that I’m lucky to know what day it is most of the time, let alone the season. I have a blessed four day weekend coming my way, and two weeks in which I will hopefully be able to work relatively uninterrupted by teen angst. I’m worried it won’t be enough. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Allow me to sneak in a recipe that ticks that Easter box and also helps us smother our stress in the most ridiculous chocolate situation you can imagine. These Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are just unreal. Not only does every piece have half a Cadbury Creme Egg submerged in its fudgy depths, but the brownies themselves are so gooey and dense they almost shouldn’t be allowed. Geoff and I ate this whole pan between us. It was hard work, but I don’t regret a single bite.

These brownies are really easy to make. You might want to bake yours a little bit longer than I did. I had to refrigerate mine in order to keep them from falling apart. I thought initially they were too gooey, but when I was actually eating them, it was amazing. So if you’re worried about salmonella or something stupid like that, take your brownies more into the properly baked zone. Chopping your Cadbury Creme Eggs can be a little bit tricky, so I recommend buying an extra one just in case one of yours gets crushed in the chopping process. The good news is, you get to eat leftover Creme Eggs while your brownies are baking then cooling. As these are by far the best Easter candy, this can only be a good thing. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope your Easter is filled with joy and chocolate and that you don’t think about work once the entire weekend. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies
Serves 9
Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are about to make your Easter chocolate next level awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 185 grams unsalted butter
  2. 185 grams chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 275 grams sugar
  5. 85 grams all purpose flour
  6. 40 grams cocoa powder
  7. a pinch of salt
  8. 5 Cadbury Creme Eggs, cut in half top to bottom
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and butter a 9x9 inch pan.
  2. Put butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for thirty seconds at a time, stirring after each interval. Continue until everything is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Crack your eggs into a bowl and add sugar. Beat them together until they're pale and fluffy and double in size. You can use an electric mixer or get your arm workout for the day by using a whisk.
  4. Pour your melted butter and chocolate into the egg mixture and fold to combine. Keep working until the streaks are gone.
  5. Sift your flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the batter. Gently fold this in.
  6. Pour your brownie batter into your prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the brownies from the oven and gently drp your Cadbury Creme Eggs, cut side up, into the the partly cooked brownies. They should sink in on their own.
  8. Return the brownies to the oven for 15 minutes or so, depending on your desired gooeyness level. They may take a bit longer if you want them completely cooked through.
  9. Torture yourself by allowing these to cool completely before cutting. Good luck.
Notes
  1. If you do manage do cut all your creme eggs properly, you can make each serving a bit smaller by dropping in three rows of four creme egg halves.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Shamrock Shake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Shake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I first got a car at the age of 16, it didn’t take me long to fully appreciate the many advantages this new found freedom had bestowed. Among the best perk was the ability to be able to go through the drive-thru of my favorite fast food restaurants without having to beg my parents. It was pure magic. I probably drank Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s until I turned green myself. 

Now I live in a place that doesn’t have drive-thrus, and even though we’re practically across the street from Ireland, they don’t pay any attention to St. Patrick’s day either. They definitely don’t know the thing about pinching people who don’t wear green, which is fortunate for me because my closet has a very limited color palette. 

Shamrock Shake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Luckily, I can make own Shamrock Shake in less time than it takes to go through the drive-thru (and yes, I do actually know how to spell through). To no one’s astonishment, all we have to do is add a splash of peppermint extract to a vanilla milkshake, then turn it green with some food coloring. And we can actually go one step further than McDonald’s ever will by adding whipped cream and sprinkles. 

So stay home, get out your blender, and don’t forget to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day. Or just drink green. That counts, too, right?

Shamrock Shake
Serves 1
Avoid the drive-thru, and make yourself a minty Shamrock Shake at home this year.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  2. 1/2 to 1 cup milk
  3. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  4. 4 to 6 drops green food coloring
  5. Whipped cream and sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food coloring in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.
Notes
  1. Please don't measure this, just add and blend until the milkshake is the consistency you love.
http://awesomeon20.com/
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