I Can’t Bake-Off: Signature Biscuit

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Here’s my next bit of evidence for why I can’t go on The Great British Bake-Off. Of course, if you weren’t convinced by my chocolate celebration cake, I don’t know what else I could tell you.

If you made it through cake week on the first season of Bake-Off, your next challenge was to make your signature biscuit. Of course, being American, I’m much more of a cookie person, and my Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are definitely my favorite, but there are tons of others that I really love. Somehow, I didn’t think any of those would meet the criteria.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Then I remembered my Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies from an Alton Brown recipe. Their crunchy so seemed more biscuit like, and my love of peanut butter is definitely a defining factor in my life, so if I was going to present something to Paul and Mary, it would probably be these.

This is one of the more popular recipes on my site, so hit that link to get the recipe, as I haven’t changed a thing. The only variation is in how long you bake them for. The longer you bake them, the crunchier they’ll be, but don’t let them get too brown because then they verge on burnt.

I stand behind these cookies. Or biscuits. Whatever. But doubtless, Paul and Mary would find flaws. They have a nice crunch and are not overly sweet. They deliver on the peanut butter flavor, and I can’t seem to stop eating them. However, my cookies always come out with some variation in size, shape, and color. I’m not a professional baker, and I never will be.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you’re looking for a simple, classic peanut butter cookie, give these a go. They’ll get you through to the technical without any disasters.

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

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

I’ve been stalling on this post for weeks. For one thing, I have a broken finger, so a lot of my energy has been going in to feeling sorry for myself which I know I shouldn’t do. I haven’t been able to break that spell yet.

I also recently checked a book out from the library on aromatherapy, so I’ve become slightly obsessed with procuring essential oils to make and making magic potions. I’m going to solve all my problems with essential oils and start down the road of becoming a full blown witch. What could go wrong?

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

I’ve shared this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake before. A million years ago when I knew even less what I’m doing than I do now. This cheesecake has a chocolate cookie base, a rich and creamy peanut butter cheesecake layer, and a luscious chocolate sour cream topping. It’s heavenly, and I dare you to stop eating it.

Cheesecake can be a bit fiddly, but this one is very straightforward. Just be sure that all your cheesecake ingredients are at room temperature before you get started, and mix it a few seconds longer than you think is necessary to make sure you have a totally smooth mixture. No water bath needed. And don’t panic if there’s a crack or two because we’re covering the whole thing in chocolate. Everything will be more than fine.

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

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is absolute magic. Get in your kitchen and create something awesome.

Recipe by Nigella Lawson

Top 18 of 2018

Top 18 of 2018

Top 18 Recipes of 2018 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We made it through another tough year, but even though the world is a mess, we are finding ways to thrive. Before we jump fully into the promise of a new year, let’s look at your favorite recipes from 2018. First the top nine recipes published in 2018, then the top nine recipes for the year over all. It’s a tasty world, friends. Let’s get into it.

Top 9 Recipes from 2018 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 9 from 2018

#9 – Vanilla Ice Cream

#8 – Cheesy Chorizo Chili

#7 – BBQ Pulled Pork Stove Top Mac & Cheese

#6 – Creamy Sausage Dip

#5 – Herbed Biscuits & Creamy Sausage Gravy

#4 – Buffalo Chicken Burger

#3 – Spicy Chicken Chili

#2 – Welsh Rarebit Muffins

#1 – Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms

Top 9 Recipes of All Time from 2018 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 9 All Time Recipes in 2018

#9 – Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

#8 – Double Chocolate Muffins

#7 – Buttery Nipple Milkshake

#6 – Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

#5 – Passion Fruit Green Tea

#4 – Chicken Parmesan

#3 – Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

#2 – Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

#1 – Peanut Butter Fudge

You guys have great taste. What recipes would you most like to see in 2019? Let’s make it awesome, friends.

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
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

21 Awesome Cookie Recipes

21 Awesome Cookie Recipes

21 Awesome Cookie Recipes

My daughter is 17 this year, and we’re definitely making cookies for Santa. This is not something I force on her, but something she requests, year in and year out. Will there be a letter as well? I certainly hope so. I can’t remember who said it first, but I fully believe those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. 

Can magic come in the form of homemade cookies? I think it can. Especially at this time of year. Here are 21 awesome cookie recipes to bring some magic to your holiday season.

  1. Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
  2. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. No-Fail Sugar Cookies
  4. White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies
  5. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
  6. Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies
  7. Lofthouse Cookie Bars
  8. Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
  9. Chocofied Peanut Butter Cookies
  10. Cheater Shortbread
  11. Caramel Studded Snickerdoodles
  12. Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
  13. Jam Tarts
  14. Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
  15. Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  16. Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
  17. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel No-Bake Cookies
  18. Nutella No-Bake Cookies
  19. Monster Cookie Bars
  20. Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  21. Gingerbread Dudes

Life needs more cookies and more magic.



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