Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hey! You Got Peanut Butter in my Chocolate (Chips).

Hopefully, you're old enough to remember that commercial.  Remember the person walking down the street eating peanut butter from a jar?  I mean, Nutella I get, but peanut butter?  Anyway...the commercial is still burned in my brain.
soft peanut butter cookies with PEANUT BUTTER-FILLED chocolate chips!!!

You know when you see something at the grocery store and you don't think twice, you just buy it.  Well, when I saw these peanut butter-filled chocolate chips, that was exactly the case. (Note the caramel-filled chocolate chips behind them.)

peanut butter filled-chocolate chips!!! taste like mini peanut butter cups (cookie recipe in post)
What do they taste like?  Tiny peanut butter cups.  In other words, they're dangerous.  Baked into soft, puffy peanut butter cookies, they are irresistible.

I'm thinking you need to go pick up a bag right now.  Yes, you in your yoga pants.  Go.  You, in your pjs.  Well, change out of your pjs, then go.

soft peanut butter cookies with PEANUT BUTTER-FILLED chocolate chips!!!

  print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Chips

{makes 24-ish...honestly, we ate them so quickly, I forgot how many}

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 & 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, cut into chunks
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 TBSP corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 & 3/4 cups peanut butter (I use Jif Natural)
1 (9-oz) package Nestle Delightfulls peanut butter-filled chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt.  Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, both sugars, and corn syrup for a few minutes until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs and vanilla; mix until well combined.  Beat in the peanut butter.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to dollop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the cookies are done.  Remove to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

soft peanut butter cookies with PEANUT BUTTER-FILLED chocolate chips!!!
What are you waiting for?  Are you heading to the grocery store to get those chips?!?

gifts for her

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday: Cowgirl Bark

Our very first Trader Joe's review was Cowboy Bark, so when I spied this bag of CowGIRL Bark on our last visit, I just had to pick it up. 

trader joe's cowgirl bark review
To tell you the truth, I felt a little bad about buying it.  The base is white chocolate, and I am so not a white chocolate girl, but...the bag is PINK and the name is so cute.  I couldn't help myself.

trader joe's cowgirl bark review
Trader Joe's describes this as "Cowgirl Bark offers you an unexpected and adventuresome treat...white chocolate with crisp rice, triple ginger cookies, pretzels, cranberries, almonds, and peanuts."  The 8-ounce will set you back $3.69.

trader joe's cowgirl bark review
A mom's (my) take: As I said before, I am not a white chocolate girl.  This Cowgirl Bark might have just converted me.  I LOVED it.  It's the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  The crisp rice gives extra crunch, while the cranberries add some chewiness.  The ginger cookies and the white chocolate play nicely together.  I'm sold.
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teenager's (kiddo's) take: I love white chocolate. I like the texture and overall feel, but there's something about the fruit mixed in that doesn't agree with me. I guess I'm not a big fan of fruit and chocolate together. Or maybe it's because I'm not a "cowgirl". :)
Overall rating 3.5 out of 5 stars

trader joe's cowgirl bark review
Trader Joe's Cowgirl Bark: mosey on over to TJ's and rustle some up for yourself!

Want to read more of our Trader Joe's dessert reviews?  Click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quebec City...pack your bags, people.

It's not easy to surprise your husband with a 50th birthday trip. 
Heck, I could barely click "purchase now" for the airline tickets without asking his opinion on the prices and flight times.
visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour
Quebec City has been on our "maybe someday" list of places to visit every since my cousin and her husband (remember their engagement cookies?) honeymooned there.
(Also, they just had a baby girl yesterday...named Bridget. I cried. Hi, baby Bridget!!!)
I remember seeing the pictures and thinking that Quebec City looked magical.  It is.

So many people have asked, "why Quebec City?"  Since I was sold on it through pictures, that's what I'll share with you, too.  Mainly pictures and a few tidbits.  (No, this is not a sponsored post.  Yes, Quebec City...consider this an open letter.  We're available for relocation. ;))

I could talk all day about these yellow shutters...
visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour
Utterly charming.

visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour
{Yes, that is a water fountain for horses. I TOLD you...QC is SO cute!!!}

Quebec City likes its statues...
visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour

The food. Oh my gosh. This is from a bakery called Le Croquembouche. Mr. E ordered an ice cream. Kiddo ordered a sandwich. My order is below: quebec city bakery ...
That little pastry with the heart is chocolate mousse with a praline crust covered in dark chocolate.  I'll remember that forever.

Before the trip, I tried to learn a little French on the sly. My French app really seemed to understand me. french language app
Also, every time I spoke French to someone, they answered me in English.  Hey, I tried.

visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour
No trip out of the country is complete without a parking ticket.  Just ask my dad who has a 20-year-old outstanding parking ticket in Ireland.  (PS: we paid this one.)

Montmorency Falls, just outside Quebec City
There are lots of cool things to see outside of the city, too.  Like Montmorency Falls.  Not as wide as Niagara Falls, but taller.

Montmorency Falls, just outside Quebec City
Y'all.  We rode a cable car to the top...walked across a bridge over the top of the falls, and walked down about a million steps to get back down.  It was cool.

The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.  Beautiful.
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, just outside Quebec City

Let me tell you about the hotel where we stayed:
Le Chateau Frontenac.
It's easy to see why it's the most photographed hotel in the world.  I could NOT stop taking pictures of it...from every angle. (It's in the first picture of this post and a few of the collages, too.)
visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour (Le Chateau Frontenac)
{Again, this is not a sponsored post...but if you visit, think about staying here, or at least have a drink in the bar.}

visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour (Le Chateau Frontenac)

visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour (Le Chateau Frontenac)
Gorgeous bar.

visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour
I knew we had breakfast included with our stay, but let's be honest, hotel breakfast are usually a let down, right? Not this one. I contemplated staying there all day. Four (4) kinds of croissants, fresh crepes, eggs, CHOCOLATES (!!!), and a million other goodies, PLUS juice in the cutest glass bottles. There was even a big bowl of Nutella! It was dreamy. 
{Yes, the longest paragraph of this post is about a breakfast buffet.}

We were totally smitten with Le Chateau Frontenac...and so glad that my cousin & her husband recommended it.

visiting Quebec City ... a photo tour
There are SO many things to see, and do, and EAT.  The museums, Ile d'Orleans, etc., etc. If you go, will you take me with you?

quebec city boys photo quebeccitycollageboys.jpg
PS...Mr. E was totally surprised with the trip! Maybe we'll go back for his 51st. ;)

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