Cookie Bonus!

Finals bring out the best in people. And by that, I mean not at all. Finals brings out the worst eating habits, a complete lack of discipline with one’s money (in my case, far too many coffees), and snippy attitudes. Woops.

Quite possibly the only positive side to finals, is productive procrastination. You know you’ve been there- when you have something pressing looming over your head, and all the sudden, the lawn you’ve been avoiding for two weeks gets mowed.

Welcome to the classic college mentality.

In my case, productive procrastination often takes the form of cooking or posting on the blog. Tonight however, instead of a normal blog post, I have something very exciting to share with you! (Drum roll please….)

I am about to offer you a chance to win a dozen free, fresh-baked cookies!!! (And who doesn’t love cookies?!)

Ever heard of Red Eye Cookie Co.? They’re a new small business that has opened up in Richmond, bringing late night fresh baked cookies and milk to your door past midnight! That right there peopel, is proof it’s a beautiful world. If you have not heard of Red Eye, no offense, but you’re behind the times, and should fix that immediately.

In order to win these delectable free cookies you must do one simple easy thing: Like ‘a rented kitchen’s facebook page. BOOM. done.

If you have already liked my facebook page, and you still want to be eligible to win a free dozen cookies, go to the facebook page and share the status about Red Eye Cookies. Both methods, liking the page and sharing the status, will be counted, and tomorrow evening one lucky person will be drawn to win one dozen free cookies!

It’s a really good day when free cookies are involved, so don’t miss this opportunity to both win a free snack, as well as to stay updated with what’s happening at A Rented Kitchen! It’s the best of both worlds.

And if all this cookie talk has inspired you to get into the kitchen, I’ve posted a few of my favorite cookie recipes below. I would love to hear what kind of cookie you all would like to see next!

Recipe Links:

In the mean time, go like the Facebook page! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Balls

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Sometimes you just need a little chocolate. Trust me, I know.  For those moments, this recipe is your new best friend. Let me introduce chocolate peanut butter rice krispie balls (insert halleluiah chorus here).  This recipe is super simple, with only 5 ingredients and 20 minutes of work. What’s not to love?

I made this recipe recently for a bake sale, and then again as a gift for my a cappella group, and these little guys were devoured at each occasion. There’s a pattern here…these bad boys are delicious.

I would not consider myself a chocolate-peanut butter fan (shocking, I know), but I absolutely loved these. If the photos and two above paragraphs have not already convinced you it’s time to go buy an enormous blue box of rice krispies, hopefully that will. Happy cooking, good luck not eating these all in one sitting, and come back soon!

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 4 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • Melting chocolate*

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the marshmallows to the pan and stir until melted.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and rice krispies, starting with the peanut butter, until completely mixed.
  4. Let cool for ten minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Form the rice krispie mix into 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet.
  6. Melt your chocolate and drizzle/dunk/pour over the top of your rice krispies. Allow the chocolate to harden, and try not to eat all of them in one sitting.
  7. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: approximately 60
  • In my grocery store I am able to purchase “candy coating” chocolate in a tray.  One can then microwave the entire tray and have melted chocolate in a few minutes! This type of chocolate remains very smooth in texture and hardens quickly- the perfect combination for this recipe! One tray was plenty for me, however if you prefer more or less/ do not have that as an option, regular chocolate chips will work as well!
  • Gluten free? Use Kelloggs gluten free rice krispies!
  • Source: Southern Curls & Pearls 
  • Like this treat? Try these other delicious snacks from ‘a rented kitchen’ as well! (Recipes below!)

Therapy Cookies (AKA Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt Bites)

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Sometimes, the world can be really lousy.  We all have those days where getting out of bed is a struggle, or when everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Or days when you get a parking ticket, it conveniently rains every time you step outside, and your accidentally lock your self in your bedroom- all hypothetical of course.

On days like that, some people exercise. Rumor has it that sports are a good way to relieve stress. Others drink.  Rumor has it that also has stress relieving potential- that and increased rates of stupidity, the giggles, and nausea.

Others of us pull every ingredient with baking potential out of the kitchen cupboards, haphazardly mix them up in a bowl, add extra chocolate, and make these therapy cookies.

Can you guess which scenario I am?

I don’t always bake when I’m low, but when I am down, I tend to forget recipes for the trial and error game; always resulting in an enormous batch of baked goods, an excess of chocolate chips, and happy roommates.

These cookies are the perfect example of the above scenario.

I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to post this recipe.  The cookies themselves taste delicious, but because I came up with the recipe all by myself in the late hours of the night, they don’t fit the stereotypical texture or appearance of a ‘normal’ cookie, if there is such a thing.

However as the week went along (and by week I mean days), and I continued to munch on these therapy cookies, I realized that I actually liked these little guys too much not to post! The combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and sea salt satisfies every normal person’s craving of sweet and/or salty, so I had no good excuse to hold back.

Therefore, I present to you my favorite therapy cookies, for those no good, very bad, horrible days. Hang in there. The sun will come out, of this I must believe.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cup oats
  • 2 Tablespoon ground flax seed
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon agave
  • 2/3 cup melted peanut butter*
  • ½ cup melted chocolate chips* + ½ cup un-melted chocolate chips for mixing
  • Sea salt for topping*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a 13 x 9 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl, whisking together until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, coconut oil, and agave.
  4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring as needed.
  5. Add the melted peanut butter and ½ cup melted chocolate chips to the mixture, stirring until completely mixed in.  Once mixed, fold in the room temperature chocolate chips.
  6. Using a spoon, drop small balls of cookie batter onto the lined baking sheet, and press each ball into a flatter circle using the back of the spoon.
  7. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt and bake for 7 minutes. (The cookies will be soft, but are much better slightly gooey than too firm! They will hold up and continue to firm as they cool, however if you hate soft cookies [who are you?!], allow them to cook for a few minutes longer. I do not strongly advise this however.)

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Notes and Tips!:

  • To melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips, I simply microwaved them in microwave safe bowls for 20-second intervals, stirring in between each 20 seconds, until melted to satisfaction.  You may also melt the chips and peanut butter in a saucepot on the stove- whatever you prefer!
  • Do not replace the sea salt with normal table salt, it will not have the same affect. True sea salt has a stronger taste and comes in larger size granules, which positively affects both the image of the cookie as well as the taste!
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other yummy treats by ‘a rented kitchen! (Click the links below for the recipes!)

 

 

 

The Best Car Snacks!

For some reason, in my head, car rides equal car snacks.  The two just go together perfectly! Rarely will you ever catch me making a trip without making or baking a snack for the road before hand, even if the trip is only two hours long. It’s embarrassing.

Over time I have found some treats and recipes that work really great in the car, and others that don’t work nearly as well. So, I thought I would compile the good list and share it with you, my trusty viewers.

I will continue to update the list with every new and delicious car snack, so check back often, and happy travels!

– Sarah

From Top (Right to Left): 

  1. Holiday Trail Mix
  2. Chewy Chocolate Cherry Vegan Granola Bars
  3. Roasted Chickpeas
  4. Homemade Clif Bars
  5. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
  6. No-Bake Energy Bites*
  7. Homemade Wheat Thins
  8. Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars
  9. Baked Kale Chips
  10. Greek Yogurt Fruit Bites*
  11. Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Cups
  12. Homemade Chocolate Granola
  13. Pomegranate Seeds

Requires (*), or would benefit (**), from a cooler on long rides!

Chocolate-Dipped Brownie Cookies

 

 

 

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Based solely off of the recipes I’ve posted in the last few weeks, it probably would appear that I am eating nothing but desserts and breads. That unfortunately is not true, but I have been doing lots of baking! I love baking, I love it just as much as I love cooking, and I love giving away baked goods.

Every time I travel somewhere I do this stressful thing to myself where I decide to make a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies the morning of the trip.  I always end up scrambling to ice, cool, or package my baked goods when I probably should be packing, taking out the trash, and getting gas.

I really love being able to share the gift of food, which is always what leads me to this hectic travel prep.  And if you’re like me, that gift is always appreciated in chocolate form.

These delicious brownie cookies are no exception to my traveling tradition mentioned above. I made these yummy treats for Memorial Day weekend, and enjoyed several on the car right up to see family (they don’t need to know that).

As an experiment I split the batch in two and made two cookie variations off of this recipe. The cookies photographed were the original batch, found in the recipe below. However, the ones I really loved, were the Chocolate Cinnamon cookie batch, inspired by Starbucks’ new Chocolate Cinnamon loaf bread. Simply add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the batter, and then mix together a few Tablespoons of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon to sprinkle on top of the dipped chocolate. They were soo good and very unique.

Whether or not you go with the original route or the chocolate cinnamon cookie route, you can’t go wrong with these soft brownie cookies. I promise you they’re great gifts, however I would advise making them the day before, not the hour before you go out of town. 🙂

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Cookie Ingredients:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • (To make chocolate cinnamon dipped cookies, add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)

Dipping Ingredients:


  • 6 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening, as needed
  • Optional toppings: Rainbow sprinkles, toasted coconut, crumbled cinnamon and brown sugar mix

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring constantly. Once melted and smooth, immediately remove from the heat.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until creamy (this should take several minutes), and then stir in the melted chocolate. Combine with the dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop the batter onto a cookie sheet using a Tablespoon (in order to get 3 dozen, the cookies should be fairly small- just less than 1 Tablespoon of batter). Bake for 7- 8 minutes and let cool completely.
  7. To dip the cookies, line a tray with parchment paper.  Melt the chocolate together in a small pan.  Melt the chocolate slowly, stirring constantly, and remove from heat as soon as melted. (If you can keep the chocolate below 88˚F it will harden smooth and shiny!)
  8. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, and immediately decorate as desired.  Let dry on the prepared baking sheet.  Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 3 dozen small cookies
  • Store in an airtight container. Are best enjoyed in the first day or two after baking, however can keep well for up to a week.
  • Source: Love & Olive Oil
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other delicious treats below: