Tag Archive | chocolate chips

study bits and bites

Hey there!  I know I’m a few days late on this, but I can’t believe it’s October already! Sometimes I wish life would just.slow.down. A sure sign that time is flying for me is that my exams have begun. I feel like I just started fall classes here, yet somehow I had two exams last week, and I have two more this week.  Thankfully I did well on both of last week’s, and I’m attributing this mostly to the fact I had some trusty ‘study bites’ to get me through my long, late- night study sessions. Cookie Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites=greatest snack ever.

IMG_4636
Besides these energy bites, there’s a  few other things that consistently  help power me through study sessions, too. I thought it might be useful to share a couple of study habits I live by, in case anyone else out there is looking for a tip or two.  I have to admit, even though this will be my second degree, studying has not gotten any easier. Truthfully, I think in many ways it’s a lot harder the second time around because of additional responsibilities and time-management quandaries  that naturally occur as we get older. However, I also feel a major benefit of going back to school school when you’re older is that it’s likely you already know how to study. Knowing how to study is quite a talent if you ask me! To power me through daily study sessions, these are the top things that keep me in line and stop me from procrastinating: 

-Starting early
My mind is most responsive and most willing to learn in the early morning hours. By early, I’m talking 6a.m. to 3p.m. After that, my brain is toast. Since I know this, I don’t try to fight it. Instead, I just plan my study-times within those hours.

-White noise
I am so NOT a music-studier. For the life of me, I really wish I could learn while listening to my favorite tunes because I would be smiling the entire time if that was the case! However, its just never been that way for me. Instead, I turn my bedside fan on high and go from there.
fan
Source
Sidenote: I have a basic, boring black fan. HOW CUTE is this pink one?! Must find a.s.a.p!

-Keeping Hydrated
Staying hydrated keeps my headaches away, my hunger at bay, and  helps me focus. My line-up of beverages includes iced-coffee/water in the morning, hot chocolate and flavored water in the afternoon, and water/tea at night.
iced

-Having an organized ‘study-zone’
Since I haven’t studied at home (where I grew up) since I lived here in high-school, I knew my desk area in my old bedroom would need some revamping. I hit up Target for some inexpensive cork-boards, thumb-tacks, mail organizers, and other cute trinkets to spruce up my desk area a bit, and it did the trick! I don’t know about you, but when things look organized, I simply feel more organized too.
IMG_4585desk
-Satisfying snacks:
This is where the  ‘study bites’ come into play.  I love these bites because they’re simple to make, satisfying, no-bake, require one mixing bowl, and are perfect for snacking on-the-go which is what I (unfortunately) have to do most days of the week due to my class schedule.  These are full of protein (in the form of oatmeal, nut-butter, & protein powder)  but they are sweet too, and I always appreciate a small sugar-kick while studying. It helps my brain!

If you haven’t tried cookie butter, I promise you, you’re missing out. When I was in Australia, I had my Mom ship me a jar each month because I simply can’t live without it. I hope I never develop an aversion to it because I will be devastated! Lately I’ve been buying the ‘Biscoff’ brand, but whenever I get to pop into a Trader Joes, I buy their version, too.  If you don’t have cookie butter or would rather use something else, any type of nut butter will work in these bites. The best part of making these is that you can use the ingredients you have on hand. Here’s what I used in mine:

Cookie Butter Oatmeal Bites
IMG_4636
Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 scoop chocolate protein powder ( I used Arbonne)
1/2 cup cookie butter
1/3 cup light maple syrup
1 tsp.vanilla
2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. chopped pecans
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup raisins or craisins

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in one large mixing bowl, mix and combine until you form a large ball of ‘dough’.  
IMG_4608IMG_4609
Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Once chilled, roll into ball-formation and place in an air-tight container.
IMG_4612IMG_4616
Voila, study bites are ready when you need them!
IMG_4636

I’d like to say these lasted me all week but truthfully they only lasted about 3 days. Once my parents tasted them, that was the end of them!
Have a happy weekend : –)

Are you obsessed with cookie butter like me?

Do you have a favorite studying snack ?
Any fun plans this weekend?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

My pumpkin problem continues. I think I’ve had something “pumpkin” flavored every day of October…yikes. I figure I mine as well enjoy it while it’s still in season. I still had a remaining can of pumpkin in my cupboard last week, and I needed wanted to make a batch of something with it! Cupcakes? Cookies? I couldn’t decide…so I combined the two! I’ve had major success with making cookies in cupcake tins. I think the end result looks cuter than just a simple cookie, and it cuts down on washing those darn cookie sheets. It’s a win/win if you ask me! I made mine in orange/black cupcake liners, perfect for Halloween. I gave these to a friend and was told they were demolished in 2.2 seconds. Success! Bet you can’t eat just one….I couldn’t..

P.S. I halved the recipe below and it made 12-13 cupcakes (it probably would’ve made 14 but I ate an excessive amount of dough…oops). The regular recipe would make at least 24 cookie cupcakes. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup canned pumpkin puree ( I used Libby’s)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups (12-ounce bag) chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions
1) Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tins.
2) Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin.

After creaming the sugars and butter, add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin

prettyyy batter

3) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds.

Flour, etc.

in go the chips!

4) Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons into lined muffin tins and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until they are browned around the edges.

black n orange!

5) Remove from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Take the cookie cupcakes out of the muffin tins and cool them on wire racks (or on a fall placemat!)

cookie cupcakes!

Deliciously moist and the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor…I want to make these again already!

What’s your favorite pumpkin dessert? Please share!

The recipe behind my cookie addiction

It’s only fair that I reveal this recipe. After all, its put most of my friends and family into a cookie coma at one point or another. I’m going to claim that it’s my Mom’s fault, since it’s her recipe! Of all of the desserts she makes, this one is the most simple, and most likely will sound pretty average to you: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. But allow me warn you…it’s not average. I’ve had this memorized since I started to bake. It’s that good, and once you make these, you may never go back to pre-made cookie dough….you won’t want to! On a countless number of occasions, I’ve eaten so much dough that I haven’t been able to fill the baking pan…major oops.

I bake these at least once a week, mostly because I never get sick of them, and I typically have the ingredients on hand at all times. These are my go-to dessert for office parties, cookie swaps, and get-togethers with friends. Just make sure you keep one for yourself…they seem to disappear VERY quickly. A guaranteed hit for any occasion. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 stick butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 ¼ cups white flour
1 cup (or as many as desired) milk or dark chocolate chips (I used dark!)
1 cup heath-bar bits(optional)
cooking spray

Directions

1)Preheat oven to 350

2) Soften butter in the microwave on low power—do not melt.

3) Once the butter is softened, mix in sugars with a spatula.

4) Once mixed, add in both eggs and vanilla. Stir until mixed.

5) Add baking soda, and gradually add the flour.

6) Once mixed, add chocolate chips.

7) Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until browned. (I like mine slightly undercooked. That way, they stay doughy when they’re cold!)

 

freshly baked

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thick, dense, doughy, chewy.  Good luck eating just one :)