Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Cobbler

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Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Cobbler from TheBakingRobot.com

I love going on trips and staying in hotels. Not because I love trying new things or seeing new sights… I love watching the Food Network.

Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Cobbler from TheBakingRobot.com

Yeah, I’m THAT robot. You all probably know one like me. Always going out of town to fun and cool places, but only returning with photos of the TV. (The vacation is extra special if the hotel also has HGTV.)

No? You don’t know a robot like that? Do you even KNOW a robot?

Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Cobbler from TheBakingRobot.com

About a month ago I was on “vacation” but really just “spending all weekend watching Chopped.” Judge all you want (haha, get it? they have judges on Chopped? wow, tough crowd tonight) but I had fun! That’s where the inspiration for this recipe came from: Jamie Deen made a stone fruit cobbler on his show, and naturally the idea has been in my computer brain ever since – but with some extra sugar modifications, of course.

This cobbler doesn’t actually have chocolate chip cookies in it, but the soft topping is just as delicious as biting into a warm cookie. And I just love the combination of strawberries and bananas (obviously the chocolate only makes it better).

Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Cobbler from TheBakingRobot.com

Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Cobbler
adapted from Food Network

for the filling:
3 cups quartered strawberries
3 cups sliced bananas
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/8 tsp salt

for the topping:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups milk
1/2 stick (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 inch-baking dish.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all 5 ingredients for the filling, making sure to coat the fruit evenly. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish.

3. To make the topping, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk and melted butter. (It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy.) Fold in chocolate chips. Pour the batter over the strawberry and banana mixture in the dish.

4. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Twizzler Ice Cream

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Twizzler Ice Cream

We’re nearing the end of summer and I have been woefully eyeing my ice cream-less freezer. “What’s the point of owning an ice cream maker if you aren’t going to use it during the summer?” is how I’ve been berating myself (but in my native binary, of course).

I’m one of those robots who gains inspiration from the random ingredients in the kitchen (or more commonly known as “too lazy to go to the store so what can I use up here”) so when I spotted a not-completely-empty-yet package of Twizzlers, I was like, “whoa, how have these not been eaten already?” but then I thought, “well, this saves me gas money, I guess!”

Twizzler Ice Cream

Because I’m also fond of taking beloved candies and turning them into unrecognizable sugar monsters. You’ve probably noticed my Butterfinger-duping addiction, huh?

Anyway! The super great thing about this recipe is that it’s EASY – which is a major requirement for me, since sometimes making ice cream can get a little scary and intense – and also that it tastes exactly like Twizzlers. Which is really weird and kinda creepy, but in the best way possible.

I used imitation strawberry extract in this (gasp!!!) which I can find at any of my local markets with the vanilla extracts.

Twizzler Ice Cream

And look! A wild human appears to rapidly consume the Twizzler-ice cream hybrid! 2 nuts-and-bolts up was the verdict, though I think that may have been sarcastic.

Twizzler Ice Cream

Twizzler Ice Cream
adapted from Betty Crocker

5 Twizzlers, chopped into small pieces
approx. 1-1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp imitation strawberry extract

1. Over medium heat in a saucepan, melt Twizzlers in milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and the Twizzlers have been reduced to tiny specks.

2. Transfer to a measuring cup and top with milk until you have 1 cup. Return the mixture to the same saucepan and stir in egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes over medium heat).

3. Pour the mixture into a chilled bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Stir in heavy whipping cream and strawberry extract, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cake Batter Chips + Chocolate Cookies

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Cake Batter Chips + Chocolate Cookies

Okay, okay, I get it: I’m the worst (and only?) robot blogger in the world. “Where have you been?” you probably have not been asking. I’m ashamed to admit that I actually made this recipe several weeks ago. Oops.

If I can defend myself, I struggled with sharing this recipe. The cake batter chips (which are freaking awesome, can we all agree on that) are a bit of pain to work with, so I didn’t know if I should spread the recipe around. Well, I guess it’s obvious that I decided to finally share it, but it comes with a PSA.

Cake Batter Chips + Chocolate Cookies

I’m treating these chips as if they were candy corn – they have a very similar consistency. Have you ever baked with candy corn? If it touches the pan, the candy corn melts out of the cookie and creates a gooey burned mess. The cake batter chips react the same way, so when I formed the cookies, I rolled the dough into balls before I baked them – and I didn’t have any problems.

Cake Batter Chips + Chocolate Cookies

I will admit that since these cookies are so delectably chocolate-ly, the cake batter flavor is very subtle. It adds just a hint of sweetness and color to an already rich cookie. If you don’t feel like spending an hour making the cake batter chips, go ahead and leave them out. These cookies are amazing on their own. Soft as a pillow and richer than Mark Zuckerburg. (Well…)

Cake Batter Chips + Chocolate Cookies

If you do want to put in the extra effort for the cake batter chips, once you’re ready to form the chips, plop yourself in front of the TV or listen to an audio book to make it go faster. It’s tedious, long work for such a small amount of chips. Hey, I’m just warning you!

And of course, you don’t have to use the chips for this particular recipe only. Use them in cupcakes, brownies, bark, whatever! Just always remember the cautionary acronym: WTWWCC? (Would This Work With Candy Corn?)

Cake Batter Chips + Chocolate Cookies

Cake Batter Chips
makes approximately 3/4 cup (depending on size of chips)
adapted from Cupcake Project

2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp white cake batter
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup nonpareil sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat!).

2. Mix all ingredients together until completely combined. Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly around the edges. When you remove it from the oven, it should be translucent. Let cool completely before tearing little bits off and rolling into balls. (You may have to discard some dry edges.)

3. Store in a sealed bag and use within a week.

Chocolate Cookies
makes 3 dozen
slightly adapted from allrecipes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup cake batter chips (optional)
1/2 cup sprinkles (also optional… or add more!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat!).

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips, cake batter chips, and sprinkles.

4. Roll cookie dough in balls (I made mine about 2 tablespoons in size). Place cookies on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (Do not press down on cookies!) Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are set. Let cookies cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack and cooling completely.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

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Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

The 4th of July is almost upon us, for all those American humans and robots out there, so naturally I felt the best color to embody in this recipe was LIGHT PURPLE. It doesn’t really get any more American than light purple.

Let’s just say that light purple is the result of taking the colors from the American flag – red, white, and blue – and mixing them together into a COOKIE DOUGH FOR YOUR ALL-AMERICAN PIE CRUSTS.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

Sorry for the caps, I’m just very excited about this recipe and bursting with robot electricity. I wasn’t sure if the filling would taste like blueberry cookie dough but that’s exactly what it tastes it! Well, of course I shouldn’t have had my doubts, since it is, in fact, blueberry cookie dough and so should taste like one, but you know how fickle these recipes can be sometimes.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

But we got lucky with this one, humans! I will say this though: because I wanted the cookie dough to be spreadable enough to fill the tart shells, it doesn’t have that almost chewy texture of regular cookie dough. It tastes just like it, but has a more ooey gooey feel to it. Which isn’t anything to complain about, if you ask me. Just make sure you don’t make the filling too gooey, because you still want it to hold its shape when you cut into the tarts.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

I also had a can of black cherries hanging about, so I tried those too. (That’s why you see light pink tarts in the photos.) I didn’t quite like it as much as the blueberry cookie dough, but I would gladly try it again using bright maraschino cherries. Although I think maraschino cherries could make anything taste better. Try maraschino cherries and broccoli sometime! You’ll like it!

The filling is adapted from a sugar cookie dough recipe in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, which is probably one of my favorite books ever.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts
makes 8 small tarts
adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

8 store bought frozen mini tart shells
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp canned blueberries, plus a little extra for garnish
whipped cream, for garnish

1. Bake tart shells according to packaging. Let cool completely.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in milk and almond extract. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon, stirring until completely combined. Mix in canned blueberries, using both the blueberries and the juice until you reach the desired texture. It should be about the spreading consistency of a thicker buttercream.

3. Gently spread cookie dough into cooled tart shells, filling them to the top. Garnish with whipped cream and a little extra blueberries and juice from the can.

Ombre Popsicles

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Ombre Popsicles

It might be that I have a thing for popsicles. Maybe they’re the summer cupcakes? You know, small and adorable and available in a wide variety of colors and flavors is the name of my game.*

*Actually, if I had a game, it would probably be titled something like “Cybidon’s Choice” and it would be a dramatic timed contest to see who could throw out the most expired ingredients from my pantry the fastest. Spoiler alert: I lose every time.

Ombre Popsicles

Alternately, my game could be “pick a super easy recipe and make it forty times harder than it need be.” My submission for the grand prize? This right here!

This recipe is so easy and fun, naturally I had to make it a billion times worse by going ombre with it. (Are you sick of ombre yet? Yes? THEN GET OUT WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON.) Basically, I took a fast recipe and tripled the time it takes to make, which is just very typical of me.

Ombre Popsicles

You can obviously make this same recipe but with just one flavor, which is great but not nearly as fun… assuming you have enough free time to make your frozen ombre dreams come true.

PS: Sorry for my absence, dear humans. I’m back! Maybe not quite as frequently as before but hopefully not “one post every 2 months” anyway.

Ombre Popsicles

Ombre Popsicles
recipe from A Pretty Life

1 package of Jell-O
1 package of Kool-Aid
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Jell-O and Kool-Aid powder with the sugar. Stir in the boiling water until the mixture has completely dissolved, then stir in the cold water. Pour into popsicle molds with sticks and freeze until completely solid.

Note: For the ombre effect, I chose three different flavors (watermelon, strawberry, and black cherry) of both Jell-O and Kool-Aid, prepared the recipe three separate times, then filled the popsicle molds 1/3 of the way full with each flavor. I let the popsicles freeze and harden in between every layer which tripled the prep time for this recipe. Also, as I only have one popsicle mold (and tripling the recipe yields more popsicle liquid than I could use) I froze the extra liquids in a ice cube tray to use for sodas, lemonades, etc.

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