I never had the honor of spending a lot of time with my Babci before she passed away. I was incredibly young at the time. But despite the short duration of life she had to spend with me, I know for a fact that she loved me very much.
Even though our time on Earth barely crossed paths, I still feel that my Babci and I have a bond. I think she is the main reason why I’m so into cooking and baking. She loved doing both. My creative side can hardly be explained when you look to my parents. In fact, we’re polar opposites when it comes to talents and interests. However, the similarities between my Babci’s interests and mine are uncanny.
My Babci is famous for a plethora of family recipes. She was not a fancy-shmancy chef who made complex confections and elaborate six-course meals; she was a simple cook and baker. “Simple” can have a negative connotation, but not in this case. When I say simple, I mean she didn’t over-complicate things. Her recipes were straight-forward and no-nonsense. She didn’t use frilly or unnecessary ingredients; she made food how it should be, and she didn’t mess around with it.
No matter how many fancy or extravagant recipes I try, they never compare to my Babci’s. Her seemingly simple food wins every time.
Babci’s Carrot Cake is the perfect example of how other-worldly here straight-forward recipes are. It’s carrot cake. Not bacon carrot cake or truffle oil-infused carrot cake or carrot cake with salted caramel; just plain old carrot cake. And you know what?
When winter winds down, you can feel it in the air. You can almost smell it coming. Your instincts take over, and you know.
It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season.
Girl Scout Cookies are America’s guilty pleasure. We all love to indulge in a few from time to time (or, you know, a boxful). I don’t know what it is about those Girl Scouts, but they sure know how to make tasty cookies. Plus, there’s such a plethora of tantalizing flavors that it’s impossible not to find one you like. Personally, my top 3 are Tagalongs, Samoas, and Thin Mints. I order a couple boxes of each to keep me going for a while (or at least a week).
Now, once you get past the initial stuff-my-face-oh-my-god-I’ve-missed-you-girl-scout-cookies stage, you start to crave more. Maybe you buy that Girl Scout Cookie flavored ice cream from the store. Or perhaps you find a way to work them into all three meals of the day. Me, I always aim to bake with the things I love. So really, the birth of these Girl Scout Cookie-Stuffed Brownies was only natural.
Who doesn’t love a good brownie? Fudgy, rich, and decadent, they are a truly beloved dessert. Make ‘em with dark cocoa powder, and you’ve got some seriously dark and indulgent treats. The only way they could be improved upon is to literally stuff whole Girl Scout Cookies into the brownies’ fudgy interiors. Oh, and a delicious glaze never hurts. This is the sweetest form of sin. Can dessert be heavenly and devilish? Try one of these brownies and you’ll know the answer to that one.
I used two of my favorites for these treats: Tagalongs and Samoas. However, just about any of the Girl Scout Cookies will work beautifully, so pick your favorite. Then, once my brownies were stuffed and baked, I topped them with coordinating glazes. So, for the Tagalongs, I did a creamy peanut butter glaze. For the Samoas, I did a caramel-coconut glaze. The topping acts as a little hint for the cookie you’re about to discover buried beneath the brownie’s dark depths. It’s the perfect finishing touch, like frosting on a cake or butter on a biscuit.
Love Girl Scout Cookies? Then you’re going to fall in love with these dark, decadent brownies. Two delicious treats fused into one, it’s almost too good to be true. Best of all, they’re so simple to make. And yet, anybody who tries one will be so impressed. It’s our little secret.
Excuse me, but I’ve got to go sink my teeth into one of these brownies. There’s a Tagalong just begging to get out.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
If you plan to use different flavored cookies for the filling, then you’ll need a different glaze.
If you’re using Thin Mints, do a drizzle of hot fudge. You can even add a drop of mint extract to it.
If you’re using Do-Si-Do’s, stick with the PB glaze.
If you’re using Tresfoils, you could do the hot fudge glaze, the PB glaze, or a plain caramel glaze.
Don’t feel like making the brownie batter from scratch? Go ahead and use a boxed mix.
You can make these using one kind of cookie or all of them if you wish. It’s up to you!
If you’re making multiple flavors, make sure you designate which brownies are which before baking. I had some issues with that and wound up having the cut into some of them to recall what kind of cookie they had before glazing them.
Watch the video above to see how to make these babies step-by-step!
Girl Scout Cookie-Stuffed By the Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: about 18 brownies
One batch brownie batter, recipe follows (or use a store-bought mix)
18 Girl Scout Cookies of your choice (I used Tagalongs and Samoas)
For the brownie batter: Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Dark Baking Cocoa (like Hershey’s) or Dutch Process Cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin/cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and baking cocoa, but be gentle. Overmixing produces cakey brownies. Set aside.
In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar until completely dissolved. Stir warm sugar mixture into cocoa mixture just until combined. Gently stir in flour until just combined.
Using a ladle or an ice cream scoop, pour about a tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. It should be about 1/4-1/3 full. Then place one cookie into the center of each and cover with another dollop of brownie batter. They should wind up being 2/3 – 3/4 full. Note: if you are making different flavors of cookies, make sure you designate which brownies are which before baking so you know which glaze to use on them.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Let brownies rest for five minutes then gently remove them from the muffin tins and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
When the brownies are cool, make the glaze(s).
For Tagalong-stuffed brownies, make the peanut butter glaze: Whisk warm, melted butter together with the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Using a fork or a condiment dispenser, drizzle glaze onto brownies.
For Samoa-stuffed brownies, make the coconut-caramel glaze: Drizzle caramel syrup onto each brownie. Sprinkle with coconut.
For Thin Mint-stuffed brownies, make the mint chocolate glaze: Heat fudge in the microwave just until warm. Whisk in mint extract. Using a fork or a condiment dispenser, drizzle glaze onto brownies.
For Do-Si-Do-stuffed brownies, make the peanut butter glaze (see Tagalong-stuffed brownies above).
For Tresfoils-stuffed brownies, make either the peanut butter glaze (see Tagalong-stuffed brownies above), a plain caramel glaze (using the caramel sundae syrup), or a plain chocolate glaze (using the hot fudge).
Store in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before eating. Enjoy!
Picture swirling peaks of fluffy white chocolate mousse cradled in a cookie crust and crowned with bits of macadamia nuts. No, it’s not a dream; it’s my White Chocolate Macadamia Mini Pies.
I love me me some White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. That may be my favorite cookie flavor. Naturally, I took it upon myself to morph those tasty cookies into pie form. But not just any pie; mini pie, because I don’t want to have to share with anybody. I want this baby all to myself.
These personal pies start with a cookie crust. Literally. It’s the cookie dough from my favorite White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies pressed into a mini pan like a crust and baked. The only change I make is to cut down on some of the sugar and omit the white chocolate chips.
You see, instead of studding the crust with white chocolate chips, I fill it with the most incredible, fluffy white chocolate mousse. I think this is what a cloud in Heaven tastes like. Luscious and creamy, with just the right amount of white chocolate flavor, it’s rich yet light at the same time. This mousse will melt in you mouth. I didn’t even need the cookie crust; I could go to town on the filling alone.
Some of the most incredible foods in the culinary world are hybrids, a product of two foods fused into one. Take for example pumpkin pie cheesecake, buffalo chicken pizza, French Toast Cupcakes, or S’mores Ice Cream. It’s only natural to join two things we love together, especially when we as humans can be quite indecisive creatures (well…I am at least). One of my favorite food fusions is the brownie cookie. It’s everything you love above a fudgy brownie in the form of a handheld cookie. The two head honchos of desserts (the cookie and the brownie) decided they weren’t quite awesome enough on their own, and that they should work together as one.
Teamwork is such a beautiful thing.
My Tri-Chocolate Bookies are the lovechild of a fudgy brownie and a snackable cookie (brownie + cookie = bookie). They look like cookies, and you can hold them in your hand easily (unlike crumbly brownies). However, when you bite in, you find this crazy soft and fudgy center that perfectly resembles the interior of a brownie. It messes with your mind a little. Are you eating a cookie? A brownie? IS THIS REAL LIFE?
I am a cookie fiend. I love baking up the little devils, and I love devouring them even more. Cookies are just so fun. There are a myriad of flavors, textures, shapes, and sizes in the cookie world, a cookie for everyone. Plus, they’re generally pretty simple to make, a great choice for the beginner baker or for any foodie craving something sweet. They’re shareable, delicious, and addicting. Cookies are, dare I say, the perfect dessert.
One of my favorite things to do with cookies is shake up a classic. I love me some Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are honest-to-chocolatey-goodness the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t think they could get any better, that is, until I added some chunks of orange-toffee chocolate into the batter.
I apologize in advance for the epic amounts of girlishness crammed into these cookies. It just sort of happened.
I’m not five-years-old, I SWEAR.
I am, however, a kid at heart. As I explained to you while discussing my latest Wegmans finds, I am, and will forever be, a Disney girl. When I saw that Pillsbury had dished out Princess Valentine Shape Sugar Cookies in honor of good old February 14th, I just about lost my marbles. Disney Princess cookies? Is this a childhood dream come true?
On their own, these pre-made cookies are cute and girly enough. I mean, they’re pink with a little purple high heel printed on the center. Plus, the white heart surrounding the shoe makes them quite Valentine’s Day appropriate. I, however, cannot bake pre-made cookie dough with good conscience unless I jazz it up a little.
No typo here, my little cookies. This is a bookie: a cookie-brownie hybrid. I’ve also seen these referred to “brookies,” but that’s not a very linguistically pleasing word. Bookie is much more fun to say.
If you’re anything like me, then choosing between cookies and brownies is tough. Cookies are so snackable* and delicious, but brownies are so chocolatey and decadent. How does one choose? The better question is, why should you have to?
That is why this Giant Triple Chocolate Bookie and I are BFF’s. I get the best of both worlds: a giant cookie that’s essentially the size of my head stuffed with two kinds of chocolate chips and chunks, and yielding such fudgy, soft, rich qualities that I can’t decide if it’s truly a cookie or a brownie.
If you are blessed enough to live near a Wegman’s, then you know just how truly magical the place can be. The moment you walk through the doors, you are greeted by a wonderland of sublime grocery goods and more. Wegman’s doesn’t just sell food, they sell the best food. Everything that comes out of that place is amazing. Moreover, they sell a plethora of other goodies like gifts, kitchen equipment, home decor, and more.
Basically, they have everything.
I made my bi-monthly trek yesterday. It was actually an impromptu trip because I happened to be in the area. I was only going to grab a few things, but what I found were treasures galore.
Wegman’s was ready for Valentine’s Day. They had a whole section of the store devoted to all things red, pink, and chocolate. Any kind of candy your sweet tooth could desire, they had it. Loving teddy bears and various plushies? They had those too. They even had an entire floral shop to buy flowers for your sweetie. However, what I really enjoyed was all of the romantic-themed eats and treats.
1. Love Bug Cupcakes
These may be the cutest cupcakes in existence. Your choice of chocolate or vanilla cupcake is topped with mounds of fluffy frosting to uncannily resemble a cute little lady bug (or, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, a love bug). Two mini chocolate curls act as edible antlers and amp up the adorableness. The best part is, unlike most elaborately decorated cakes and cupcakes, the love bug itself is all frosting, no chewy fondant or other edible but undesirable medium. So, like all of Wegman’s baked goods, these cupcakes taste amazing. They’re delicious AND cute as a bug!
Is there anything better than a warm chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven?
Yes, actually, there is: a warm, over-sized chocolate chip cookie, fresh from the oven, topped with cold vanilla ice cream, light whipped cream, and rich hot fudge, all homemade.
I’ve seen chocolate chip sundaes on restaurant dessert menus many times. But I can promise you those won’t hold a candle cookie to this masterpiece. I start with the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever: so thick, chewy, and abundant with chocolate chunks. I make it about 3 times the size of an average cookie because it’s got to be able to stand up to the ice cream. That heavenly cookie, delicious enough on its own, gets baked in the oven until it reaches the point of warm, ooey, gooey perfection.
Then, while the cookie is still soft and warm, I top it with a mountain of rich and creamy homemade vanilla ice cream. Upon contact, the ice cream begins to melt, and a river of vanilla runs across the cookie’s crackled surface, seeping into every crevice. A dollop of freshly whipped cream is like the snowy peak that caps the ice cream mountain top. Finally, rich hot fudge is sent gushing over top of the entire creation like molten, fudgy lava. If you can hold out this long, it is now time to dig into this beautiful creation. I suggest bracing yourself before diving in. The complete joy that is about to overcome you may be too much to handle.