Sumbitch Cookies {How I Met Your Mother Series Finale}

The show: How I Met Your Mother

The recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (with my own addition of caramel)

The story: It’s hard to believe that the How I Met Your Mother series finale is tonight. After nine seasons, I still don’t feel tired of the story or the plot. For a lot of shows, it feels like the last season should have happened years ago, but to me that isn’t the case here. To How I Met Your Mother’s fans, there are still so many questions that need to be answered.

With its interesting method of storytelling, How I Met Your Mother references previous episodes and jokes constantly. Whenever I’m talking to one of my friends about the show who has never seen it, I always tell them to watch it from start to finish, or else it just isn’t as good.

The only bad thing I have to say about How I Met Your Mother is that there are not very many food references made throughout its 208 episodes. I knew I wanted to make something for the series finale, but there was just nothing that jumped out at me. I thought about making something with pineapple, cupcakes, or burgers, but none of them seemed important enough for the finale.

With the whole last season focused around the discovery of “The Mother,” I decided that a recipe from the season premiere, in which she’s first revealed, would be perfect. When the mother first appears, she and a distressed Lily are seated next to each other on a bus. In an act of stress eating, Lily and the mother go through an entire container of chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel cookies, which they dubbed “sumbitches.”

 

To make these, I started with a chocolate peanut butter cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour and stuffed them with baking caramels cut in half. While mine don’t look like the cookies they had on the show, the key ingredients are all there. After I made these, I realized their context within the show is perfect for tonight. I’m not ready for How I Met Your Mother to be over. As I watch the series finale tonight, I will most definitely eat one of these cookies to lament the end of one of my favorite shows.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (with Caramels)

Total time: 27 to 37 minutes      Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

16 baking caramels, halved

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

Beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter in another bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and water, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.

Flatten about 2 tablespoons of dough into the palm of your hand, and place a caramel half in the center.

Wrap the dough around the caramel, sealing all edges. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they’re set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

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Stuffing cookies with other desserts is always a good idea.

Bacon Banana Pancakes

The show: Gilmore Girls

The recipe: Banana Bread Pancakes (with one addition)

The story: My sister and I didn’t discover our love for Gilmore Girls until I was in middle school and she was in high school. In a pre-Netflix time, Sharon and I were forced to watch the entire series, disc by disc, through Blockbuster’s mail DVD delivery service. It took us over a year to get through all of the seasons, and it was so worth it. By the end, it just became a habit for us to sing the intro song as a duet.

Gilmore Girls is so unique because of its fast-paced dialogue and constant pop culture references. As we started each episode, I always had the expectation that I wouldn’t understand the majority of the references made by the characters. Another distinct characteristic of Lorelai and Rory was their eating habits. They both drink black coffee constantly, and neither of them knows how to cook. This leaves them eating the majority of their meals at Luke’s Diner in their town, Stars Hollow.

Luke is the on-and-off love interest of Lorelai, and his diner serves typical breakfast and lunch foods. In honor of Luke’s, I decided to make pancakes and bacon, but somehow things took a turn. The original recipe can be found here, but as the following pictures will show, breakfast got a little experimental in my ode to Gilmore Girls.

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These are a few of my favorite things

No, this post is sadly not about The Sound of Music. Rather than have another recipe post, I’ve decided to do a little summary of some things I’m excited about, which are (obviously) all related to food, TV, and movies. There’s a lot out there I want to cook and watch, soI thought doing a post purely dedicated to this would help my obsessively organized self keep them all straight.

True Detective 

I know, I know, True Detective is already over. Somehow I’ve still managed to not find out what happens, as I have yet to finish all. With episodes that are each about an hour long, it’s been hard for me to find time for them all. This show is addicting though, so I know I’ll finish it up soon.

Scandal

Same thing as True Detective… I hate being behind on TV shows! I have about 5 more episodes to watch before I’m caught up with season 3, which I will easily finish within the week. Every time I think they don’t have enough time to squeeze in an absurd cliffhanger ending, Olivia Pope proves me wrong.

Muppets Most Wanted

The Muppets! Tina Fey! I actually don’t know which I love more. I don’t really care that the movie hasn’t done that well at the box office, I still need to see it.

Maleficent

Keeping with a Disney theme on the movies, I can’t wait for Maleficent to come out. Even though I really don’t like Angelina Jolie (I can’t get over the whole vial of blood thing), the idea of this movie has me sold. It comes out May 30, and already seems to have generated quite a bit of attention.

Caramel Corn

Over spring break I went to Disney World, where I spent a weird amount of time obsessing over the caramel corn in all of the gift shops. They had incredible varieties like cinnamon bun, chocolate covered, and almond toffee. I’ve made caramel corn before and was surprised at how easy it is, and seeing all the amazing options at Disney World made me really want to make it again. There are just so many kinds out there, I’m struggling to pick what I want to do first. All of them look so good!

Here's an example of how pretty Sugarland cupcakes are.

Here’s an example of how pretty Sugarland cupcakes are, via their Instagram account.

Cupcakes with filling

Earlier today, I had a Sugarland cupcake that had a salted caramel filling, and it was amazing. I’ve tried (quite unsuccessfully) to do cupcakes with filling in the past, and Sugarland’s cupcake has inspired me to try again. These Reese’s cupcakes seem like my kind of project.

Baking with Troop Beverly Hills

The movie: Troop Beverly Hills

The recipe: Thin Mint Brownies (inspired by Smitten Kitchen and Baking Bites)

The story: I remember watching Troop Beverly Hills when I was little, and for some reason my sister and I just loved the movie. The movie, from 1989, was kind of out-dated for our Girl Scouts experiences, and it definitely wasn’t relatable. Looking back on it, I’m sure a lot of the humor in the movie went right over our heads, but we still loved to reference it. In the film, the “Wilderness Girls” put in lots of effort to effectively sell their cookies to Beverly Hills residents.

As Girl Scout cookie season is wrapping up, I somehow managed to have an unopened box of Thin Mints, which were just begging to be used in a recipe. After searching through Pinterest and all of my favorite blogs, I just couldn’t seem to find a recipe that I wanted. Instead, I combined the crust from Baking Bites and Smitten Kitchen’s brownie recipe to get a brownie bar with a Thin Mint crust.

To really amp up the mint flavor, I threw a few chopped Andes mints into the brownie batter and sprinkled the reserved Thin Mints on top. The most time-consuming part of the recipe was reducing the cookies to crumbs without the help of a food processor, as I don’t have one here at school. Luckily I did have a gallon-sized bag and a large measuring cup to get the job done.

I was a little concerned the crust was too crumbly, but as the buttered cooled in the pan, it held together nicely. When they came out of the oven, the crust just blended right in with the brownie, in both taste and appearance. With the Andes mints and Thin Mint crust, the mint flavor is obvious but not too strong. A few years ago I made chocolate cookies with a heavy-handed amount peppermint extract, which my siblings dubbed “toothpaste cookies.” Luckily, that was not the case with these brownies.Ready to go in the oven!

The brownie had a great texture and tons of flavor, especially for containing cocoa and not unsweetened chocolate like most brownie recipes. My Thin Mint experiment worked out really well, and I will definitely be turning to this brownie recipe again in the future! Overall, this recipe was a success.

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Ingredients

1 box Thin Mints (32 cookies), divided

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 Andes Mints, chopped

Directions

Reduce 24 cookies to crumbs, either with a food processor or by hand. Add two tablespoons of melted butter to the crumbs and combine until butter is equally distributed.

Press crust mixture into a foil-lined and greased 8×8 pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the remaining butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined and hot. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. The mixture should be fairly gritty.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Stir in the Andes mints. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, which for me was around 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. (I waited overnight to cut mine, just to be sure they would cut cleanly.)

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Baking with The Big Bang Theory

The show: The Big Bang Theory

The recipe: Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake

The story: I started watching The Big Bang Theory in its first couple of seasons, and was ecstatic when it started to receive critics’ acclaim. With half the dialogue in scientific terms most people can’t understand, I find it impressive how popular the sitcom has become. I think this shows just how much people enjoy Sheldon, Leonard and the rest of the cast as characters, making these details not really matter. My favorite character is Sheldon, as his quirks and lack of social cues are done perfectly by Jim Parsons.

I also like Penny’s character, because she provides a little bit of normalcy to the show. While she’s often featured as the dumb blonde, she usually says what the average person would think in a room full of geniuses. Penny is a struggling actress who works at Cheesecake Factory, where the group often eats dinner.

In honor of Penny’s job, I made a lemon-raspberry cheesecake that is most likely nothing like what you’d order at Cheesecake Factory. I chose a basic recipe from MyRecipes.com, and used gluten-free graham crackers for the crust and a gluten-free flour blend so that my Celiac sister, Sharon, could have some too. As far as we could tell, these easy changes didn’t have any effect on the end result, so give it a try if you’re gluten free!

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Sharon, helped me make the crust and then played photographer as we finished the rest of the recipe. The cheesecake filling is basic, with some lemon juice and zest added to give it some flavor. The recipe also called for raspberries to be sprinkled on half of the filling with the rest of it covering them, which gave it a pretty pink layer in the center.

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After cooking for nearly two and a half hours, the cheesecake (kind of) cooled and was ready to taste. Cheesecakes can sometimes crack in the center when they come out of the oven, and luckily mine stayed together. After taking it out of the springform pan, I added some more raspberries to the top.

For my first time making a cheesecake, I was pleased with the final product! The only thing I would have done differently would be to start baking earlier, so it could have more time to cool. Making cheesecake kind of freaked me out before, but it’s really not that complicated. I can’t wait to make another!

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Ingredients

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (can use gluten-free version)

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

3 tablespoons sugar

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (can substitute gluten-free flour)

4 large eggs

1 pint fresh raspberries

Directions

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Press into bottom of an 8-inch springform pan; set aside.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with raspberries; pour remaining batter over raspberries. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set. Turn oven off, and partially open door; leave cake in oven 1 hour.

Remove from oven; run a knife around edge of pan, and release sides. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Store in refrigerator.

Here’s some other cheesecake recipes I want to try out!

Praline-Crusted Cheesecake from MyRecipes.com

Maple Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake from Bakers Royale

New York Cheesecake from Bakingdom

Cooking with Forrest Gump

The movie: Forrest Gump

The recipe: Sweet Jalapeno Glazed Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Rice from Peppered Salt

The story: This recipe was actually made by my older brother, Brian, who wanted to get in on the Edible Entertainment action. Brian was able to immediately select a movie to go with dinner, which was a shrimp recipe. The obvious choice was Forrest Gump, and soon after, there were many attempts to reenact the scene below.

 

I think it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t seen Forrest Gump, and even harder to find someone who doesn’t like it. Although the movie is long (142 minutes), its great storyline makes the time fly by. I personally love Forrest Gump because of the historical context the movie has, in both its plot and music. Much like one of my favorite shows, Mad Men, Forrest Gump laces actual events in American history into the characters’ lives, like one of my favorite scenes where Forrest meets JFK.

Forrest’s best friend, Bubba, is from a bayou in Alabama and from a family in the “shrimpin’ business,” and can famously rattle off over 10 different ways to prepare shrimp. In my brother’s case, the shrimp was grilled with a great citrus glaze that I would love to try myself. It didn’t require tons of ingredients, but delivered a very unique flavor. To go with the citrus flavor, Peppered Salt paired it with a simple coconut rice.

Served with grilled peppers and onions.

Served with grilled vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 10 large shrimp
Marinade
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 jalapeno (finely diced)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Coconut Rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup water

Directions

Devein, peel, and clean your shrimp, leaving the tail in tact. Bigger shrimp work best on a grill, but if you plan to stir-fry the shrimp, buy whatever looks good at the grocery store, even smaller shrimp.

Marinade

Combine ingredients and blend in food processor or puree until smooth . Add mixture with cleaned shrimp in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Glaze

Combine juice from lemon, lime, and orange then whisk in marmalade and mustard. Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking to create an emulsion.

Add finely diced jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper. Cool in the refrigerator. Reserve ¼ cup for dipping grilled shrimp.

Rice

Heat butter in medium sauce pan until melted and bubbly. Add rice and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat so mixture barely boils. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Grilled Shrimp

Heat grill. You can use a charcoal or gas grill, just be sure the grates are hot. Run an oiled paper towel or cloth over grates to lubricate the surface. While grill gets hot, skewer shrimp, about 5 to a skewer. If using wooden skewers, soak skewers in water first to avoid burning.

Grill shrimp over direct heat for about 1-2 minutes per side. Brush or drizzle the shrimp with glaze throughout cooking process. Shrimp are done when they are pink and firm to the touch.

Serve grilled shrimp with coconut rice, fresh vegetables (try marinating some red peppers and grilling them with the shrimp), and herb garnishes like cilantro and green onions.

 

Looking for more shrimp? Here’s some other ways to prepare it!

Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Poblano Salsa from Two Peas & Their Pod

Easy Coconut Shrimp Curry from Simply Recipes

Asiago Shrimp Bisque from How Sweet Eats

Baking with Anchorman

The movie: Anchorman

The recipe: Butterscotch Scotchies 

The story: When thinking of all of my favorite movies for this blog, Anchorman was one of the first ones that popped into my head. But for some reason when I tried to pinpoint exactly why I liked it so much, my mind went blank. Anchorman is just funny. The real challenge in picking Anchorman was that Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 News team do a whole lot more drinking than they do eating.

While it may be kind of a stretch, I settled on making Butterscotch Scotchies in honor of the above quote. Despite its redundant name, the Butterscotch Scotchies recipe makes for good, basic cookie bars. They were very easy to throw together, and received rave reviews from my taste testers. The oatmeal in these  is what makes them stand out from other cookie bars. The recipe doesn’t specify what kind of oatmeal to use, so I used old fashioned. Quick oats are cut much smaller than old fashioned, so using these gave the bars a great texture.

I made a few modifications to recipe that didn’t impact the final product. I substituted butter for shortening, as I didn’t have an shortening on hand. I left out the grated orange peel for the same reason, and they still tasted good. I am curious, though, as to how butterscotch and orange would taste together, so maybe I’ll have to try these again some time.

Finally, the 15×10 pan in my kitchen was nowhere to be found as I started baking (yay college), so I had to switch to an 8×8. I did my best to adjust the temperature and baking time since the bars were much thicker than they should have been, but they still came out a little underdone (which to me is a good thing…). Unlike the Banana Tarte Tatin, these bars did not make for an attractive dessert. Luckily they were gone so fast that it didn’t really matter. I would definitely make these again!

I know, they kind of look like chicken nuggets.

I know, they kind of look like chicken nuggets.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel, (1 medium orange)

2 tablespoons water

3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) Butterscotch morsels

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat shortening, sugar, eggs and orange peel in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and water. Stir in oats and morsels. Spread batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack and cut into bars.

Looking for more butterscotch recipes? Check out the ones below!

No-Bake Cashew Butterscotch Pretzel Bar from Bakers Royale

White Chocolate and Butterscotch Sunflower Seed Butter (WOW I need to try this)

Butterscotch Pull-Aparts from Butter With a Side of Bread

Baking with Beauty and the Beast

The movie: Beauty and the Beast

The recipe: Caramelized Banana Tarte Tatin

The story: As a lover of all things Disney, it seems impossible to me to not have a favorite Disney princess. Mine has always been Belle, because she’s not a helpless and needy as the others. Beauty and the Beast is also great because of its amazing soundtrack. Seeing as this entire blog is about food, I would think it’s obvious my favorite song is Be Our Guest. As the song includes tons of different foods, my goal for a recipe was to just make something French. I toyed around with the idea of cream puffs, macarons and other complicated desserts, but couldn’t pick one that really jumped out at me. Then I realized this was happening on my counter.

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I would say that almost every time I’ve baked something with bananas it is because I have no other option. These overripe bananas gave me some guidance in picking a recipe, and I landed on a simple Banana Tarte Tatin from Food & Wine. This recipe can be made with all different kinds of fruit and is very quick, making it a great recipe to have on hand. With so few ingredients, I’m sure a lot of people could make this without a trip to the grocery store.

In the recipe, the bananas are placed in concentric circles around a 10-inch skillet, which went surprisingly well for me. I’m not one for patience or fine motor skills, so I had very low expectations for the appearance of the tarte.

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Once the bananas cook in the oven with puff pastry on top, the entire skillet is inverted onto a plate, which I did not see going well. Luckily, I was able to flip the skillet without sustaining any serious burns. The recipe was really simple, but it also wasn’t very exciting. As easy as it is to make baked banana on a puff pastry, all it tastes like is baked banana on a puff pastry. Maybe I just don’t like fruit desserts as much as all things chocolate and peanut butter, but I just wasn’t too excited by this. At least it looked good!

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Banana Tarte Tatin

Yield: 1 10-inch tarte     Prep: 30 minutes     Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 cup water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 firm, ripe bananas

1 sheet puff pastry

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, stir the sugar with 2 tablespoons of the water.

Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until a light amber caramel forms. Remove the skillets from the heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter to each and stir until combined.

Slice the bananas 1/2 inch thick. Carefully arrange the bananas in the skillets in overlapping concentric circles, working from the edges to the center.

Carefully roll out the puff pastry and cut into rounds. Poke the pastry all over with a fork and lay the rounds over the bananas.

Bake the tart in the upper and lower third of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed and the filling is bubbling. Let the pans stand for 10 minutes.

Invert a plate over the skillet, then carefully flip both the plate and skillet. Tap lightly, then remove the skillet.

Cut the tart into wedges and serve.

Looking for a variation on tarte Tatin? Here’s a few other versions:

Apple Tart Tatin

Pear Tarte Tatin

Tomato Tarte Tatin