New Friends

Wow, I’ve been slacking.

Sorry, guys…

Summer has been crazy so far, with summer school and starting work but, more importantly, spending time with relatives and meeting new people. Oh, did I mention that I’m in Hawaii?

Basically, I’m super blessed that I get to come to Hawaii more often than most, simply because we have so much family here. Sometimes I think I take it for granted, but I try not to, so I’ve been reading on the beach and jumping in the water and eating tons of good food (of course!). That being said… it’s still organic chemistry for the summer. Ick.

In the two weeks I was home before coming out here, I spent time with my family, but they forbade me to bake anything. “YOU NEED TO LEARN TO COOK,” said mom. “Don’t bake, Syd, you’re gonna get us all fat!” proclaimed dad. “….” commented Derek. So, I cooked jambalaya and chicken parm! Woo! ^_^ The recipes were from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, as was the recipe for the Dutch Apple Pie I baked. (Mom requested that one, though. The one exception.)

Apart from that, I’ve done little baking/cooking-wise since the last time I’ve posted. I have, however, done some DIY stuff!

For our first anniversary of dating-ship, I made some photo-canvases for him to use to decorate his bland walls. (Okay, one poster on your wall makes the walls look even more barren.) It was a simple craft I found searching Pinterest and the interwebs that only requires some printed pictures cut to size, canvases, mod podge, and black acrylic paint! I thought they turned out alright ^_^

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Photo on Canvas
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is very easy to do!
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Pretty and simple!

But apart from that, I didn’t do anything of interest…

EXCEPT WHEN I BAKED THIS WEEKEND WOOOOOOOO

Praise the Lord! I didn’t know my auntie (with whom i’m staying for the summer) had soooooooo much baking stuff! All the different pans and ingredients and ahhh *love* It made my nerdy baker self very happy, suffice to say.

I wanted to bake for my new friends at church. Some might call it bribery. Maybe it was. Heh. (“Here, eat this and be my friend!”) But really, it was just because I really like them and wanted to make them happy ^_^ And make me happy, too, because I didn’t realize how much I missed baking.

I had 1.5 hours to do everything because we were going to a Food and New Products Show in town, so I quickly narrowed my choices down to two things: Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake. Which to choose? Ahhh!

After much thought, I decided to combine them.

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My Messy Creation

Chocolate Chip Cookie! Brownie! Chocolate Chip Cookie! Cheesecake! All stacked on top of each other (in that order) to make a delicious, gooey mess of everybody’s favorites!

Of course, I could’ve used any cookie recipe (snickerdoodle, peanut butter, etc) and any brownie variation (oreos, blondies), but I stuck to the classics this time. Note to self: try variations next time. And yes, there will be a next time.

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Mmmm…

Here’s what I call the Best Friends Bar.

Best Friends Bar

Ingredients

For the Cookie Layer:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the Brownie Layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

Directions

Grease 8×8 pan generously with oil. Preheat oven to 350F.

For the Cookie Layer:

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.

2. Add and beat in the eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.

3. Dissolve baking soda in hot water, add to bowl, and mix in salt.

4. Stir in flour and chocolate chips.

For the Brownie Layer:

1. Mix melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in another large bowl.

2. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.

For the Cheesecake Layer:

1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg until smooth.

All together now:

1. Press a little more than half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.

2. Pour all of brownie batter on top of cookie dough, spreading to make sure it’s an even layer over the cookie.

3. Carefully spread the rest of the cookie layer on top of the brownie layer. This part might be a bit tricky, but this layer doesn’t have to be very even. If desired, you can put more of the cookie layer on the bottom layer and simply sprinkle the rest on top of the brownie.

4. Pour cheesecake layer on top, spreading out for evenness.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cookie and brownie layers are solid and come out clean with a toothpick. The cheesecake layer will still be soft but will solidify when cool.

6. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. These can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple days in an airtight container.

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Bite me.

How did yours turn out? Did you try any variations?

PS-speaking of new friends, here’s one I found at Goodwill. No judgement please! He’s cute and loves you!

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Any name ideas?

One thought on “New Friends

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