Being Mrs. Pierce

Life as a wife, hiker, wanna-be chef, book-lover, traveler, and now, mom

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie March 1, 2015

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 9:42 PM
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It is well established among my family and friends that I am a planner. I like to know, well in advance, what I am doing and when. The word “spontaneous” is rarely used to describe me.


So when the most recent round of winter weather got in the way of long-ago-made plans to drive to DFW on Friday night and go to The Avett Brothers concert in Dallas on Saturday night, I was not happy. Sure, John and I could have made a last-minute drive up Saturday afternoon once the ice had melted, but that would have been rushed and not according to plan.


So we didn’t go. Some lucky soul snagged our tickets for cheap on StubHub. I worked on grad school assignments. John wrote lesson plans.


In other words, we had the exact same weekend that we’ve had nearly every weekend this school year. Can I say how much I am ready to finish my counseling certification program?


Our change of plans at least allowed me to make one last chocolate dessert for my February cooking challenge. While both the Chocolate Pain Perdu and the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Brownies were huge hits, they also were decidedly guilty pleasures. Butter, eggs, whole milk, chocolate…they were delicious for good reason. With no one but John and me to eat this weekend’s dessert, though, I decided I had better go with something light. I picked the Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie recipe that I had recently seen on the Skinnytaste blog. Instead of flour, the recipe calls for white beans. I’ve had middling success with using beans in place of flour in desserts. These Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies were quite yummy, but these Black Bean Brownies were rather disappointing.


I used my 7-cup KitchenAid food processor to make the batter. When I pressed the “on” button to blend the dates and milk, I had quite a surprise. The machine gave a great lurch and the lid popped off, sending almond milk everywhere. Hmm. That was new. I resecured the lid, held it tight with one hand, and pressed “on” once again. It shook. It grumbled. My food processor made its displeasure at having to puree dates obvious. Frankly, I was a little scared of my machine. I hoped that adding the additional ingredients would soothe it, but no. It jiggled and gurgled for as long as I dared to keep it running. Hmm again.


For the beans, I used great northern. For the oil, pecan. And for the chocolate chips, milk. I only have a 9-inch springform pan, so that’s what I used instead of the 10-inch. For this reason, I should have baked my cookie pie for at least 40 minutes, but I baked it only 35. It seemed “firm” enough after 35 minutes, but when I cut into it 20 minutes later, it was still rather gooey. With the recipe being egg-less, though, I wasn’t too worried about it being slightly under-done.


I served the cookie pie warm with Blue Bell light vanilla ice cream, and it was fine. The melted chocolate chips tasted great with the cold ice cream. But it had the consistency and taste of a dessert made with beans. I gave it 3 stars. We will eat the rest of it, but I doubt I make it again.


While eating a piece of the cookie pie today, John discovered a date pit. Was this the source of my food processor’s discomfort? Or was it just mad at facing 2 cups of sticky dates?  Or is my machine on the fritz?  Hmm.


Chocolate Pain Perdu February 15, 2015



While growing up we teasingly called my sister “Sweet Tooth,” but really, I have always been just as addicted to sweets. So it’s safe to say that I have been most excited about this month of my 2015 Cooking Challenge. February is chocolate dessert month!


I kicked off the chocolate dessert challenge last Saturday night when we had my mother-in-law, Loveta, over for dinner. I had been dying to try Chocolate Pain Perdu from Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners cookbook. As a lover of both French toast and bread pudding (not to mention chocolate), this sweet treat had my name written all over it.


I never buy white bread, but I made an exception for this dish. My husband was rather thrilled to have a loaf of Mrs. Baird’s white bread on hand, as he’s mostly subjected to the loaves of light whole wheat bread that I typically buy for my work lunch sandwiches.


I was slightly unsure about how to arrange the bread triangles in the loaf pan. I ended up laying them flat and layering them atop one another, which worked fine. You can see the top layer of triangles in the baked pain perdu pictured below:



The recipe instructs you to whip 1/4 cup heavy cream for the topping, but I opted for light vanilla ice cream instead. I’m unable to resist serving cold ice cream on top of warm desserts. (This is why I have to limit myself to only having light ice cream in the freezer.)


With or without the ice cream, however, this is a stellar dessert. We gave it 4.5 stars that night, but it’s really a 5-star recipe. Need proof? I made it again last night to end our Valentine’s dinner at home. It’s that good.


Yippee Chippee Chocolate Chip Muffins (New Recipe #91) November 28, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 7:25 PM
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Muffins are among my favorite baked goods to make from scratch. They are slightly sweet, warm, and fluffy as they emerge from the oven in handy, single-serve portions. Best of all, they make the house smell like a bakery. So when I come across a new muffin recipe, I am inclined to try it. Thus it was with the Hungry Girl’s Yippee Chippee Chocolate Chip Muffins.


This particular recipe drew my attention because it gave me an excuse to buy a carton of Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I have seen Almond Breeze on numerous ingredients lists (most of them by Hungry Girl) and always have been intrigued. While this recipe calls for light vanilla soymilk, I substituted the Almond Breeze instead. I also used regular milk chocolate chips in place of the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, not having any of the latter on hand.


For being a “diet” recipe, these muffins turned out surprisingly delicious. They had just the right amount of chocolate in them and were light and fluffy, just as muffins should be. They are perfect for both breakfast and a sweet bite at the end of the day. John and I gave them 4 stars, and I promptly made a second batch a couple of days after the first, as John and I gobbled them up in record time.


Yippee Chippee Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
3 TB brown sugar (not packed)
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup light vanilla soymilk (I used Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
¼ cup sugar-free pancake syrup
¼ cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
2 TB light whipped butter or light buttery spread, room temperature
2 TB no-sugar-added applesauce
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used regular milk chocolate chips)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard 6-cup muffin pan (or 6 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan) with foil baking cups or spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, Splenda, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. In another large bowl, whisk all other ingredients except chocolate chips. Add the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Evenly distribute batter among the 6 lined or sprayed cups of the muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 22 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 muffin). Per serving, 5 PointsPlus.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins (New Recipe #72) August 15, 2013



My sister-in-law, Kalyn, made these muffins for John and me on a visit to Ardmore a few months back. She had found the recipe on the Tasty Kitchen website, and she and her family had grown to love the muffins. John and I did, too. I had assumed that the muffins would not be Points-friendly, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a muffin with chocolate chips could also be healthy. Ever since then, I have been wanting to make up a batch of my own.  This week, in which I’m trying to stock up my freezer with homemade goodies before the back-to-school rush begins, was the perfect time to try out this muffin recipe.


I did make one alteration to the original recipe in the interest of lowering Points. The original recipe calls for one full cup of chocolate chips, but I reduced that to ½ cup and thereby saved one Point per muffin. The ½ cup of chocolate chips was still more than enough to imbue each bite with chocolate-y goodness. These muffins are fantastic and earned a high, 4.5-star rating from the Pierces.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup low-fat milk, divided use
1 whole egg
⅓ cups packed brown sugar
¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cups flax meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup oats, and ½ cup of milk. Let the oats soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and brown sugar until smooth. Add applesauce and vanilla, mixing well. Mix in flours, soaked oats, flax meal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the remaining ½ cup milk. Fold in chocolate chips.

4. Fill muffin cups with batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Best served warm.

5. Store in an airtight container. Can easily be frozen.

Yield: 12 servings. Per serving, 4 PointsPlus.