Friday, January 31, 2014

Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars

Yummm!  Made these for my first cookie party with my classmates. We technically had a cookie/PJ/movie party, but few people wore actual pajamas and we skipped the movie and just talked.  These cookie bars were soft, sweet-and-salty, caramel-y.  These are made of brown butter, dulce de leche, and brown sugar.  Mine came out lighter in color than the original ones here, but they still tasted good!  They're also very easy to make.

Salted Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars
Recipe here from Bakerita.
  • 1 ¾ cup (7 1/4 oz.) unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

    (1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 in pan w/ nonstick cooking spray.
    (2) In a sauce pan, melt butter until browned (takes about 5 minutes for butter to begin to brown). Once browned, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    (3) Add browned butter & sugars to the bowl of a mixer and mix until combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until completely combined, & then add the vanilla. Turn mixer off & add all  dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix until just combined. Turn mixer off & fold in chocolate chips and toffee bit (*I had caramel candies so I cut those up into tiny bits because I didn't have toffee bits*)
    (4) Press half of dough into the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/2 cup of dulce de leche over the dough. Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the top of the ducle de leche. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
    (5) Bake for 15-17 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting & serving.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Strawberry Honey Pudding Milk Tea @ Boba Tea House

Boba Tea House
767 W Blaine St, Suite A
Riverside, CA 92507

This is one of the coolest and yummiest drinks ever.  The one warning I have is that you have to like having different shapes and textures in your mouth while drinking.  I know that some people don't like to "eat [their] drinks," as one friend said.  I understand.  I thought boba drinks in general were so weird when I first had it, but now I love it.  I try to save money by not getting boba (usually it costs extra as an add-in), but this time I was studying with Michelle and decided to splurge a little and got the Strawberry Honey Pudding Milk Tea Smoothie.  A lot of people praise it on Yelp (seriously...go read the reviews), so I gave it a try!  It definitely is delicious.  I normally shy away from fruit-flavored boba drinks because they don't typically use fresh fruit, and I don't like artificial fruit flavors a lot of the time, but this one was very refreshing and wasn't overly fruity.  It even has an ombre effect going on with more white than pink colors.  At the bottom you can see the boba and pudding at the bottom.  I know hearing about pudding being inside a drink might sound odd, but it is so fun to drink/eat!

I'm going to miss this place when I leave Riverside.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Trader Joe's Popcorn with Herbs & Spices

Oh my goodness.  My family and I love this popcorn!  I actually like it more than Trader Joe's White Cheddar Corn Puffs.  Anyway, it is unique and flavorful without being too salty or too bland.  Dill and celery are the main ingredients.  I usually can't stand celery unless it's cooked in soup, but you can't even taste it in this popcorn.  Go try it!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chicken Salad Sandwich @ Great Harvest

I guess they changed their chicken salad recipe.  They used to make this with grapes (so good!), as I mentioned here, but this was still so delicious, and their bread is fantastic.  I love having chunks of meat in my sandwiches. I chose their Dakota bread because it is made of "Fresh Ground 100% Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Honey, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Millet, Yeast, Sesame Seeds, Salt, Eggs." (See their nutrition info here)