Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies

Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies - with vanilla ice cream -

Have I got something for you today!  This is a put-your-diet-on-hold treat that is worth every bite.

It was a sad day in the Boulder Locavore household when the last bit of the four layer Rose-flavored Cake with Pistachio Cream and Whipped Cream Frosting was done.  And though we don’t have desserts hanging around the house usually, it’s been a pretty grueling week of late night homework and lots of driving for my husband and me.  The type of week that makes Friday night look like an oasis in the midst of a steamy hot desert.

Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies  -

It seemed a fun time to have something unexpected to eat.  I’ve made loaded brownies before for the holidays and a reprisal seemed in order but taken up a notch.  Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies; sound good?  And they can be made gluten-free or with gluten.  Chewy, chocolatly gooey brownies atop chocolate chip cookie with Snickers melted in between.  Can you imagine anything better?  Well there is….

Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies - with vanilla ice cream -

These brownies are whipped up in merely minutes with the help of prepared mixes!  It would be great if we could make everything from scratch.  I love scratch baking but candidly not everyone (including me) has the time and wouldn’t it be great to create a wonderful dessert in far less time using quality mixes too?  As a gluten-free household I’ve tried many mixes.  I like to have reliable, delicious options in my pantry in case of a last minute need when I’m short on time.  Sometimes it’s fun to put one’s time and creative juices into a great idea instead of preparing everything from scratch too.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make the brownie and cookie dough from scratch if you want to!  It is a very flexible recipe.  You can make one or the other component from scratch and use rolled cookie dough or brownie mix for the other component.  The recipe will work with you as you need and prefer to make it.

Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies - with vanilla ice cream -

For this batch I chose to use a favorite deep chocolaty brownie mix from Pamela’s which produces fantastic gluten-free mixes.  I’ve served the end result of several of the products to gluten-free and gluten eaters with rave reviews.  Somehow ‘you’d never know this is gluten-free’ from a gluten-eater seems the highest compliment possible!  I also used gluten-free cookie dough from Immaculate Baking CompanyChocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Gluten-Free’ which is fantastic.  It’s readily available across the U.S.  They have a long list of delicious ready-to-bake gluten variety cookie doughs, three gluten-free doughs, some organic and natural varieties, and they are involved with the non-GMO project.  A very sweet company (no pun intended).

I don’t need to say anything about Snickers bars as they speak for themselves!  Chocolate, caramel, peanuts.  Perfection.  I did make a second batch of the brownies using 3 Musketeers bars for my braces-clad son who cannot have nuts.  They too were delish though the Snickers bars hold their form a bit better.  The trick with these loaded brownies is paying attention to cooking time.  Every mix is different so I’ll give some tips in the recipe to ensure they come out perfect!  They also need to cool for a few hours before eating to be in the best form!

You be the judge.  Whip up a pan and pop on a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and see what you think!

Cookie Dough Snickers Brownies - cookie dough layer -

{continue reading}

Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Sweet Peppers -

Perhaps a vestige of the 1970’s dinner table, but I do love a good Stuffed Pepper.  This is a perfect time of year to dabble in stuffed peppers.  Grocery stores are brimming with beautiful peppers.  I personally struggled to choose between green, purple, red, orange or yellow for this dish!  Such a dilemma to have, right? I could not resist these huge yellow, orange and red sweet peppers; at their prime and begging to be stuffed with delicious harvest ingredients.  The peppers are so naturally sweet that pairing them with colorful, seasonal, savory ingredients is the way to make them irresistible.  They truly can provide a full meal options containing protein, carbohydrate in the form of pasta and vegetables.  The limitations of stuffing peppers is only restricted to your … {continue reading}

DIY Milk Carton Herb Gardens {tutorial}

Milk Carton Herb Gardens - Tutorial -

This post is shared as part of Boulder Locavore’s ongoing partnership with Silk, exploring healthy lifestyle choices and exciting plant-based dietary options. As much as I love fall and the slowdown from summer, I really miss not being able to hop outside into my garden for fresh produce or herbs once the snow begins to fall.  Fortunately I have a fun project anyone can do to keep herbs available for clipping all winter long:  DIY Milk Carton Herb Gardens.  It’s a quick, easy project and one kids will love as well with a bit of help from parents.  The gardens are not limited to planting started plants either; they are a wonderful way to start windowsill seeds in the spring to transplant in a garden.  Also a fun gift idea for teachers, neighbors or Grandparents. I will confess … {continue reading}

Pear-Ginger Oatmeal with Candied Maple Pecans

Pear-Ginger Oatmeal with Candied Maple Pecans -

Fall is here and though we in Colorado are ping-ponging between our first snow last week back to the mid 80’s this week, the season for comfort food has arrived! I love incorporating seasonal ingredients in classic dishes to give them a twist.  Weekday morning breakfasts can be a bit lack luster I find, and perfect candidates for a bit of seasonal tszujing up. Oatmeal for me definitely falls in the comfort food genre; probably more from the childhood nostalgia of it than the actual flavor……since by itself there isn’t any, right? As I was cooking up the breakfast I’m sharing today I had an unexpected flashback to my childhood remembering a bowl of simple oatmeal served with a pat of butter, sprinkle of brown sugar and a bit of milk that forms a moat around the edge of the … {continue reading}

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Lasagna -

With football season in full swing and having had our first snow (yes, you read that right), the timing seems right to share some unexpected, mouthwatering comfort food in the form of Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Lasagna.  I shared another lip-licking lasagna last weekend (Mexican Lasagna with Hatch Chilies) and don’t usually share something similar so quickly but the time seemed right for Buffalo Wings in a reinvented form! I have loved blue cheese for as long as I can remember.  And after discovering Buffalo Wings I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  The piquant sauce slathered on the chicken wings is a perfect mixture of spicy and tangy, and when then dipped in blue cheese…..perfection! As much as I love ‘wings’ they don’t play well for all occasions.  Football parties with … {continue reading}

Chateau de Versailles and Rose Cake for Marie-Antoinette {recipe}

Palace of Versailles gate -

During our summer stay in Paris, a day trip to the Château de Versailles was without question a high point.  A short thirty minute train ride lands one in a different world all together.  Almost defying description, the sprawling estate which was once the hunting lodge of Louis XIII, the property has been expanded over the years rendering one of the most magnificent examples of 18th century French art.  It has been inhabited by three French kings, all of whom left their mark with building expansions and opulent décor until the French Revolution.  The government of France was moved to Versailles in 1682 leaving its walls with many stories to tell of the historically significant events and rich personal dramas which unfolded there. Louis XIV was responsible for the … {continue reading}