Savory Sweet Life’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s my 3rd Blogiversary! Well, it was actually on Tuesday, but I kind of forgot.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I live alone, I decided to make myself my favorite cookie to celebrate. I chopped up some chocolate and mixed it in a big bowl with semi-sweet chocolate chips. I creamed together some sugar, butter, and flour and BOOM! Heaven. It’s not that hard to make me happy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to go with Alice’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies, since it seemed relatively easy, but mostly since I had heard such rave reviews. These were a total hit! My friends kept asking for more, and now I’m cookie-less. Oh the pains of being a food blogger…

Chocolate Chip Cookies

To make these, preheat oven to 360 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes on medium-high speed). Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

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Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated.

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Add in those chocolate chips (or chunks) until well distributed. The cookie batter should be thick.

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Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown. Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pick up the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non-porous surface. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have a great weekend everyone!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe taken from Savory Sweet Life
Makes 36 Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. smallish-medium coarse sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes on medium-high speed).

Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated. Finally add chocolate chips until well distributed. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown.

Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Pick up the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non-porous surface. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana are one of those flavour combinations that can be enjoyed any time of year. And booooooy do I ever!

I love it when a smoothie can feel like a dessert, and this recipe totally hits all the right spots. It’s jam packed with chocolate, peanut butter, avocado and banana making my world complete one sip at a time.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!! I’ll be kicking back with one of these!

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Recipe lightly adapted from Baked Bree
Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup Chocolate Almond milk
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/4 of an avocado
1 tsp coconut oil
1 frozen banana
2-4 ice cubes, for desired thickness

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and garnish with a banana chunk.

Homemade Peppermint Patties

I’ve been making peppermint patties since I began baking and cooking on my own.

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

It seemed easy enough – make the filling (no bake!) and coat it in chocolate. But you see, coating a soft filling in chocolate when you’re not experienced can sometimes lead to ugly treats. And this is why I haven’t posted these delicious chocolate covered balls of love before.

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I’m happy to report that I made peppermint patties again this year with success. They are soft and chewy on the inside with an awesome chocolate coating on the outside. Perfect for the holidays!

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Let’s get started! Add condensed milk, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and peppermint extract to a large mixing bowl.

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Mix everything on medium speed using a hand mixer (or your paddle attachment) until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.

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Work until the dough is stiff but still pliable.

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Roll 3/4″ balls of dough between the palms of the hands.

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Press each ball down slowly and set the flattened disk on a flat cutting board or plate. Transfer peppermint disks to the freezer for no longer than 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, temper the chocolate coating.

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Place chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, making sure to stir after each time until chocolate is smooth. Stir in shortening to thin the chocolate. Remove patties from the freezer.

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Place a patty on the tines of the fork (or super duper dipping tool) and dip in the chocolate until completely covered. Allow excess chocolate to drip off the patty before setting each one on top of wax or parchment paper.

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Allow the chocolate coated peppermint patties to completely set up. This can be done quicker by placing the patties in the refrigerator.

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

The peppermint patties are ready when they are dry to the touch.

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Enjoy! They kind of look holy in this picture, don’t ya think?

Peppermint Patties // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Homemade Peppermint Patties
Recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life
Makes 32 candies

Ingredients
1 can sweetened condensed milk
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tablespoon peppermint extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons shortening

Directions
Add condensed milk, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and peppermint extract to a large mixing bowl. Mix everything on medium speed using the paddle attachment until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is stiff but still pliable.

Roll 3/4″ balls of dough between the palms of the hands.

Press each ball down slowly and set the flattened disk on a flat cutting board or plate. Transfer peppermint disks to the freezer for no longer than 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, temper the chocolate coating.

Place chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, making sure to stir after each time until chocolate is smooth. Stir in shortening to thin the chocolate. Remove patties from the freezer.

Place a patty on the tines of the fork and dip in the chocolate until completely covered. Allow excess chocolate to drip off the patty before setting each one on top of wax or parchment paper.

Allow the chocolate coated peppermint patties to completely set up. This can be done quicker by placing the patties in the refrigerator. The peppermint patties are ready when they are dry to the touch. Enjoy!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

When I think of Christmas baking my mind immediately goes to cookies. And hunny, I’ll take any kind!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

I am so pleased that I was able to participate in the 2012 Cookie Swap this year hosted by Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil and Julie from The Little Kitchen. I sent out 1 dozen of these chocolate gingerbread cookies to three different food bloggers (The Gourmet Housewife, The Goodie Girl, and Sweet Twist of Blogging) and I’m so happy I learned about them through this process.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

I was also sent 2 dozen cookies from 2 different bloggers. The first box to arrive was from The Yum Yum Factor. These were a compost bar filled with chocolate chips, pepitas and potato chips!!

Cookie Swap

The second box was from Strawberry Ginger, and she made a totally awesome and chewy classic oatmeal cookie. Thanks guys!

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I was actually supposed to receive three boxes off cookies, but either the 3rd person sent their cookies late or not at all. Big time sad face if it’s the latter!! Anyway, this process was so fun and I sure hope it happens again next year!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Let’s make some cookies, shall we?! Gather all of your ingredients.

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Sift the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa together into a medium bowl.

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Place the butter and grated fresh ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat (with paddle attachment) on medium until the butter is fluffy and light-colored (3-4 minutes). Beat the brown sugar into the butter until combined. Beat the molasses into the butter until combined.

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In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the boiling water until dissolved. Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture and mix until combined. Add the baking soda-water mixture, beat and then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until dough is uniform in color and texture.

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Mix in the chocolate and candied ginger.

Cookie dough

HELLO!

Cookie dough

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.

Cookie dough

Place another sheet on top and flatten the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Wrap it up and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Cookie dough

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and tear off chunks of the dough to roll into balls – about 1 1/2-inches in diameter (move quickly!). Set each dough ball on a plate. Refrigerate the finished dough balls for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat completely.

Cookie dough

Set on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Cookie dough

Bake for 10-12 minute Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack (they will be very soft just out of the oven and fall apart easily).

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Waiting is hard…

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Enjoy!

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies {Warm Vanilla Sugar}

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Makes 2 dozen big cookies or 4 dozen small cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp (220g) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 lb. (4 oz. or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (peeled)
1/2 cup (120g) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (190g) unsulphured molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsps boiling water
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
Sift the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa together into a medium bowl. Place the butter and grated fresh ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat (with paddle attachment) on medium until the butter is fluffy and light-colored (3-4 minutes). Beat the brown sugar into the butter until combined. Beat the molasses into the butter until combined. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the boiling water until dissolved. Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture and mix until combined. Add the baking soda-water mixture, beat and then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until dough is uniform in color and texture. Mix in the chocolate and candied ginger.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Place another sheet on top and flatten the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Wrap it up and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and tear off chunks of the dough to roll into balls – about 1 1/2-inches in diameter (I made mine 1-inch diameter). NOTE: work quickly! The dough can get sticky! Set each dough ball on a plate. Refrigerate the finished dough balls for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat completely, then set on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minute Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack (they will be very soft just out of the oven and fall apart easily).

Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Fudgy Graveyard Brownies

Oh boy. This Wednesday is not only Halloween, but it’s also the first Halloween where I get to give out candy to kids in my adult life. MY FIRST TIME!

Don’t you wish you could give out hand baked treats to Trick or Treaters without it being creepy or allergenic or a potential poison? That is definitely my ideal world.

I want to see a cute little princess, and be like “Hey little Princess, want a hand made graveyard brownie?”, without her parents giving me a death stare. Not possible.

So I’ll give out Kit Kat bars and share my Halloween baked treats with my adult friends who like me, wished so badly that they had the metabolism of those little kids who will probably eat chocolate until they’re sick Wednesday night. I used to. I think I need to make some 4-year old friends.

Have a happy and fun Halloween!

Fudgy Graveyard Brownies
Recipe lightly adapted from Picky Palate
Makes 6 giant brownies

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite Brownie Mix
6 Milano Cookies, (for grave)
3 Oreo Cookies, crushed
6 Pumpkin candy corns and 6 normal candy corns

For icing:
1 cup milk chocolate, melted
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup icing sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Bake brownies according to box instructions and let cool completely. Cut into 6 rectangles.

Mix the frosting ingredients together and then melt them either over a double burner or in the microwave. Frost brownies with icing reserving 2 Tablespoons for piping the cookies.

Cut one of the rounded bottoms off of the Milano cookie, and pipe RIP onto it with the chocolate icing. Press a Milano cookie into the back of each brownie.

Crush your Oreos and sprinkle a tiny bit in the center of each cookie for the “dirt”. Top with a candy corn pumpkin and candy corn. Serve!

Happy Hallowe’en!

Rolo Brownie Cake with Caramel Filling

Cake is by far my favorite thing to make, but doing the dishes after cake baking? Humf.

The time spent cleaning up at the sink and trying to find all the random ingredients I spilled all over my kitchen are all worth it when I get to share the finished product with friends. This Rolo Cake was actually made this summer for one of my best friends 25th birthdays, but I wanted to share it now since it’s one of those cakes that can be made any time of year!

This beauty has a thick caramel filling sandwiched between two chewy, brownie, cake layers with a milk chocolate whipped cream frosting. OH! And Rolo topping! Good heavens.

I’d like to tell you that my friends and I ate this entire thing in one sitting, but it’s not THAT kind of cake. It’s thick and rich and awesome and a small piece goes great with a glass of milk (or in my case almond milk)…or wine. Wine is good with everything.

To make this grab your Rolos, and open 2 tubes of them. You can open a good 4 tubes for the decoration now too if you’d like! Also, preheat the oven to 300°F and grease and line 2 x 8-inch round cake pans.

Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering, stirring occasionally until smooth.

There it is!

Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (about 3-5 minutes).

Fold in chocolate mixture and then fold in flour.

Mix until just combined. This. Is. Drinkable.

Pour batter into the prepared tins, smooth top.

Press the two tubes of Rolos over the surface of each cake (1 pack for each) and bake until just firm to touch (25-30 minutes).

Cool completely in pan.

Now, very carefully transfer one cake to a serving dish. Whisk dulce de leche to remove any lumps, then spread a generous layer of caramel over the top of the first cake. Refrigerate this for at least 30 mins, this will keep your dulce de leche firm.

Carefully sandwich the second cake on top (upside-down). It might drip…this is more than ok.

Prepare the ganache; place chopped chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to the boil.

Remove from heat and pour hot cream over the top of chopped chocolate and leave in bowl for 5 mins.

Use a whisk to bring mixture together. Chill in the fridge until thick but spreadable and just under room temperature.

Using a spatula, spread ganache over the top of the cake. Now spread it over the rest of the cake. You can decorate the beauty however you would like. I just made some fun stars around the edges.

Decorate cake with extra Rolos, I chopped half of them in half so you could see the caramel innards.

Can be served immediately, or stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Rolo Brownie Cake with Caramel Filling
Makes one double layer 8-inch round cake
Recipe barely adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes

Ingredients:
Cake:
400g (about 3.5 sticks) salted butter
1 scant cup good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used big dark chocolate chips)
4 large eggs
1 scant cup sugar
1 2/3 cups AP flour
2 tubes Rolos + (optional) 4+ tubes Rolos to decorate the top of cake
1 can (395g/14oz) dulce de leche or another store-bought thick caramel

For the chocolate ganache:
1 3/4 cups good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300°F, grease and line 2 x 8-inch round cake pans (or you can bake one cake after another if you only have one tin).

Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (about 3-5 minutes), fold in chocolate mixture and then fold in flour until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared tins, smooth top and press Rolos over the surface of each cake (1 pack for each) and bake until just firm to touch (25-30 minutes).

Cool completely in pan, then very carefully transfer one cake to a serving dish.

Whisk dulce de leche to remove any lumps, then spread a generous layer of caramel over the top of the first cake. Refrigerate this for at least 30 mins, this will keep your dulce de leche firm.

Carefully sandwich the second cake on top (upside-down).

Prepare the ganache; place chopped chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to the boil, then remove from heat and pour hot cream over the top of chopped chocolate and leave in bowl for 5 mins. Use a whisk to bring mixture together.

Chill in the fridge until thick but spreadable and just under room temperature. Using a spatula, spread ganache over the top of the cake. Decorate cake with extra Rolos, I chopped half of them in half so you could see the caramel innards.

Can be served immediately, or stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Happy September! This past weekend the boy and I packed up our car, and moved all of his stuff from Ottawa to Montreal. It was certainly a strange move, one I wasn’t expecting to do a few years ago. But I’m looking forward to when I finish my diploma in Ottawa, and I can move there too.

I got back to Ottawa about an hour ago, and looked around at all the packing I need to do for myself, and I can’t help feeling overwhelmed. Moving is simply the worst. And unless my kitty decides to grow opposable thumbs, I’m packing on my own. The good thing about the move I’ll be doing is that I’ll end up living closer to school AND will be living in a house with a big kitchen!! So much is about to happen in this new kitchen, that it won’t even know what hit it.

I’m still finding a lot of great zucchini at the farmers market, so I decided to bake up some muffins that will be easy to eat during the moving process. These muffins are jam-packed with chocolate chips and healthy zucchini, and are super moist! I definitely recommend these.

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Then in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In another bowl, beat the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Recipe taken from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1 small zucchini)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

This next month is going to be tough. Before every marathon or half marathon that I run, I always do a bit of a detox. Not a juice diet or anything wild like that…I EAT! I just don’t eat sweets or drink alcohol for a month. Simple sounding, but not for a baker like me.

Yesterday was my first full day off of sweets and I felt like a crazy woman. All I could think about was cookies. These Nutella cookies to be exact. I made them recently and they had me dreaming chewy, Nutella dreams (wait, what?) for a week. I seriously recommend these…but only if you’re not planning of going off of sweets any time soon. They’re addictive!

To begin, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat until extracts disappear….don’t mind the weird lighting in this picture either. Weird!

Add the Nutella and mix until batter is smooth.

Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. Or eat it all.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets. Take a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball (or use a medium cookie scoop if you’re lazy like me). Place on lined baking sheets and gently press down on the dough ball. Continue making dough balls until the cookie sheets are filled-leave two inches in between cookies.

Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until soft, but starting to set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Nutella Cookies
Recipe lightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod’s book Cookie Cravings
Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup milk

Directions:
1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat until extracts disappear. Add the Nutella and mix until batter is smooth.

2. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.

3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Take a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball (or use a medium cookie scoop if you’re lazy like me). Place on lined baking sheets and gently press down on the dough ball. Continue making dough balls until the cookie sheets are filled-leave two inches in between cookies.

4. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until soft, but starting to set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Banana Chocolate Smoothie

When there is chocolate in my smoothie I know I’m having a great day. You could tell me that I smell bad or that my shoes look like 1990’s high tops, but I won’t care – because hunny, I’ve had a wicked awesome smoothie today for 5 times cheaper than your shotty Starbucks frappuccino (yes, I had to google that spelling).

I’m really enjoying this whole smoothie-week thing. I’m making fun and fabulous smoothies every morning and have been feeling amazing at work! They have totally been carrying me through my day.

This smoothie in particular is filled with chocolate, banana and greek yogurt. Try it out! No disappointments possible! All you have to do is throw all ingredients together in a blender and give them a whirl! Easy, peasy.

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Saturday. Good luck!

Banana Chocolate Smoothie
Yield: 2 servings
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
3 frozen bananas, peeled
2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
¾ cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 tbsp. flax seed (optional)
½ cup milk, plus more as needed

Directions:
Throw all ingredients together in a blender and give them a whirl! Easy, peasy.

Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies

Whew, only two days after my marathon and I’ve been reading through webpage after webpage trying to decide on what run to do next…I’m obsessed, and super excited about racing to say the least.

I had an amazing day. The weather hovered at about 15*C (59*F) for the first half and then went up to about 22*C (72*F) by the time I finished. Spirits were extremely high too, and I knew from the beginning that the race would be a personal best for me. I finished in 3:41:36! And I firmly believe it was the fans that kept me going. The cheering really amps up my adrenaline and pumps me up big time. Along the way I saw some fun things…

I ended the race off with a big, delicious cookie. I had one for breakfast too. I love these cookies because they are chalk full of all the good stuff I have before a race anyway. Like bananas and peanut butter…my classic pre-marathon meal.

I like having breakfast cookies on regular days too. They’re light and chewy and make me feel happy. And isn’t that what life is all about??

To make these bad boys, preheat your oven and cream butter, brown sugar, banana and applesauce together in an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and mix until combined.

Add vanilla and peanut butter and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until combined.

Stir in rolled oats, chocolate chips and other add-ins.

Mmmm…

Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out 1/4 cup portions and place two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Press down on each cookie to slightly flatten.

Bake for 13-18 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies
Makes approximately 18 hefty cookies
Recipe lightly adapted from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth, but chunky would be really nice too!)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown crisped rice cereal (regular Rice Krispies would be good too)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or any other additional add-in)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream butter, brown sugar, banana and applesauce together in an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and mix until combined.
3. Add vanilla and peanut butter and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until combined.
6. Stir in rolled oats, chocolate chips and/or other add-ins.
7. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out 1/4 cup portions and place two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Press down on each cookie to slightly flatten.
8. Bake for 13-18 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
9. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Note: Cookies will keep up to three days in an airtight container, or up to one month in the freezer.