- Le Vain Knock Off : Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
- These are a tried and true favorite of mine. I love getting these cookies whenever I’m in NYC and they’ve quickly become my most made cookie recipe. Be sure to check the ingredients on this one because it could feature some things you don’t keep in stock in your house!
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- I never make plain banana bread anymore. Because, why not have dessert banana bread? (This isn’t the exact recipe I use but mine is hand written so i’m not sure where I got it from!)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- like eating Reese’s pb cups in cookie form. even better when you use dark cocoa instead of the regular!
So I was really trying to think about what my next Books & Baking should be. I had a few ideas but in the end it was the weather that made me choose this one. I’m so ready for this warm weather- and here in KC it’s already been in the 80s! Dream summer weather for me! So without further ado, this months post is all about Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch.
What are we making? You’d think it would be gelato… but I actually have no idea how to make that, and I’m fairly certain it doesn’t actually include any baking. So we are making homemade ice cream sandwiches! Let’s take a look, shall we?
I know, you’re wondering- how will I ever make these super professional looking ice cream sandwiches?! Fret not, dear friend, I will make you the hit of your book club this Spring/Summer!
Here’s what you’ll need…
Cookies & Cream Ice Cream (or the ice cream flavor of your choice- you can even get fancy and use a few different flavors for a neapolitan spin!)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg – room temperature (hold it in your hands to speed the process up!)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract if that’s what you have!)
1 1/2 cups flour (if you have cake flour, use that!)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (don’t eliminate this, salt haters! This makes a difference in baking!)
1 heaping cup of dark chocolate chips
I know that’s a lot of ingredients but it will go quickly I promise. Ready to get started? Good, I love a lady (or gentleman!) that’s prepared.
- Scoop your ice cream into a small pan. Mine actually a Pyrex container but you can use an 8×8 glass dish. (The purpose of this step is to get the ice cream to be an even thickness when you put it into the middle of the cookies).
- Use a knife or an offset spatula and smooth over the top of the ice cream so it’s all even on top. Cover with plastic wrap, then place the whole dish in the freezer for it to freeze back up again.
- Preheat your oven to convection 325 or regular baking 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut your (freshly removed from the refrigerator) butter into roughly 3/4 inch pieces and put it in your mixing bowl.
- Add both sugars to the bowl and start mixing. (My rule of thumb for creaming butters is 4-5 minutes. I stick it all into my KitchenAid, turn it on, set a timer and then start working on my next steps!)
- While your butter/sugar mix is creaming, get out a separate bowl for your dry ingredients. I know, how annoying that you need to use two bowls. I promise it’s worth it! Mix up all of the following in your second bowl: cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
- By now your mixing timer should have gone off. Add in your (room temperature) egg, and your vanilla paste.
- Then grab your dry ingredients bowl and mix those suckers all together!
- Last step for the cookies! Add in your chocolate chips!
- Next place them onto your parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. You’re gonna wanna smush them down and make sure they’re a uniform size. I used my cookie scooper but then just smashed them all down. (Trust me, I tried NOT smashing them and they were fluffy little delicious clouds but didn’t work well for these sandwiches).
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes. Remove and place onto a cooling rack. (Didn’t believe me before about smashing the cookies? Here’s my compare and contrast proof)
- Once the cookies are cool (feel free to put them into your freezer to speed up the process), you’re ready to make your sandwiches! Take your Pyrex container of ice cream out of the freezer and take the plastic wrap off. Put a cookie on the top of the ice cream and take your offset spatula (or knife) and cut out the ice cream around the shape of your cookie. Sandwich it with another. Voila! You’ve made a sandwich!
- Store these by sticking them all in a big Tupperware container, or wrapping them up individually in your freezer!
Need a reminder about how awesome these are going to be? Look no further, I’ll remind you!
– Lorenzo went by the nickname Ren, not Enzo. If you had to choose a nickname based off of your name, what would it be?
– Pick your dream cast for this book to be turned into a movie! (A girl can dream right?)
– Describe yourself as a flavor of gelato and explain why!
– Who was your favorite supporting character in the book?
– What was your favorite scene in the whole book?
Do you remember recently when I upgraded my rating of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine from 4.5 stars to 5 stars? It’s because I couldn’t stop recommending it and I thought of Eleanor so often that she was a total fictional friend! Our friendship is so strong, in fact, that I decided she needed her own themed Books & Baking post! So without further ado, I present Tea time with Eleanor Shortbread cookies.
P.S. If you want to read this book in your book club and are looking for questions at your meeting, scroll to the bottom of this post!
Click here: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
So the base recipe that I followed for this post is from Ina Garten. Feel free to laugh with me about the spot in the directions where you can’t trust your microwave timer.
For this recipe you will need the following INGREDIENTS:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 Tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste (you can use regular extract too)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp water
Dark chocolate melting wafers (or dark chocolate chips)
I also used a teapot cookie cutter that I got for 50 cents at Michaels!
- Using a mixer, cream together the 3 sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar.
- Next add in your vanilla bean paste. I got mine at HomeGoods/Marshall’s and it’s just a stronger taste of vanilla then regular vanilla extract. If you only have vanilla extract you can DEFINITELY use that, but maybe even add 1/4 of a teaspoon more!
- Add 2 tablespoons of water
- Next add the flour and the salt together in a mixing bowl and stir those suckers together! Add that into your mixer!
- Grab some wax paper and sprinkle that with powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar). You CAN use flower if you don’t have powdered sugar but the powdered sugar makes the cookies a bit sweeter!
- Roll the dough out as best you can on the wax paper. I used my hands a lot for this, and after I saw how crumbly it was I made the addition to the recipe of adding the tablespoons of water. Put the dough with the wax paper onto a cookie sheet and put in into your fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Take out the refrigerated dough and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If it’s not rolled out the way you’d like, let it thaw a bit and then use your roller again to roll it out. Next use your cookie cutter to cut out the teapot shapes and place them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. For the tea bag shape, cut lines into the dough like a grid with the size of rectangles you want. Then just cut off the corners of one side of the rectangle at an angle. When you put the tea bags onto the cookie sheet, use a toothpick to create a little hole in the top.
- Place into your oven at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack.
- While your cookies are cooling, grab your dark chocolate chips and put them into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave them for 30 seconds. Stir completely, then microwave in 15 second increments until mostly melted. Then stir until the remaining chocolate chips melt into the rest!
- Next dip your cooled off cookies into the chocolate. Put your bowl at an angle to get the teapots covered half way with the chocolate. Place the dipped cookies onto wax paper to let the chocolate set. Enjoy!
You did it! You’ve made cookies that Eleanor would love- even if she only ever accepts them from Raymond’s mum. Keep these cookies all for yourself or share them with your book club!
1. Did you see the twist coming for Eleanor?
2. Do you think Raymond and Eleanor would make a good couple?
3. If you could help Eleanor change one thing about her life (her job, her apartment, her hairstyle, etc.) what would you choose?
4. What’s one something that Eleanor did that you found funny/entertaining throughout the book?
5. Do you think Eleanor really believed she was talking to her mother every week?
6. What do you do when someone you know won’t help themselves but really needs help?
I hope you enjoy baking and reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as much as I did!
Welcome to episode two of books & baking! Oh, this isn’t recording? Well….
In today’s post we will channel our inner Ninas and make some gourmet waffles on a stick!
I read the Six of Crows duology and immediately wanted to join their crew. You know how you hear of hazing stories on the news and you think, who would want to join a group so badly that they would do any of those things?! Well, I now can answer that question. I would do a lot to get onto team SOC. Including making gourmet waffles on a stick. I mean, Nina would totally pay to have me in the crew simply to supply her with waffles right? Right. Well, now that I’m the seventh crow- let me make you my apprentice.
P.S. If you want to read this book in your book club and are looking for questions at your meeting, scroll to the bottom of this post!
Okay let’s get to it! This is what you’re going to make…
That’s right- Six of Crows Initiation Waffles will make you a hit at your next book club! The perfect title right?
So, this is the genius of waffles on a stick- you can do whatever you want! Put brownie mix in your waffle iron? Heck yes! Use up that last box of pumpkin pancake mix from Trader Joe’s in your waffle iron? Um…no I’m not going to waste that sharing with other people. Okay, I’ll give you one more picture for inspiration…
For this recipe I used the following INGREDIENTS:
1 box Kodiak Pancake/Waffle mix (I used the just add water kind, but you do you)
1 bag of dark chocolate chips
1 can of sprinkles
1 handful of rice krispie treats
1 bag of popsicle sticks
1 bag of peanut butter m&ms
1 jar of creamy peanut butter
I also got out shredded coconut and marshmallows, but I didn’t end up making those ones. But an idea for you in case you want a coconut marshmallow waffle of goodness.
Step 1: Mix your waffle mix as directed. It helps to have cute measuring cups.
Step 2: Cook your waffles in your waffle iron until desired crispness is accomplished. (That sounded official right?). While waffles are cooking, melt your dark chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave. Start at about 30 seconds, then stir. Then keep adding 10-20 seconds and continue stirring. Stop the process when 2/3 of the bowl is melted. Melt the remaining 1/3 of dark chocolate chips by stirring together in the bowl. (You can also accomplish this on your stovetop if you live life without a microwave).
Step 3: Remove from waffle iron and let cool on a plate. Cut the waffle into four quadrants.
Step 4: Drizzle your melted chocolate all over desired waffles. (For some of my waffles I used a knife and spread peanut butter all over the top of it).
Step 5: Add your flavor! I added peanut butter M&M’s to the waffle with peanut butter on it. I added sprinkles to the chocolate one, and sprinkles AND rice krispie treats to another!
Step 6: Grab a popsicle stick and shove it through the waffle, making sure you’re at a good anchor spot right in the middle!
Tada! You have just made Six of Crows Initiation Waffles! Enjoy your power, revel in it! And then eat your heart out! Did it seem too easy? Good! You ARE making these to hang out with your book club, not to spend the whole day baking! And I promise, it was as easy as it seems!
1. What Dreg do you wish you could be out of all of them? (Nina, Inej, Kaz, Matthias, Wylan, Jesper)
2. Would you be able to be IRL friends with Kaz?
3. If you HAD to have any of the powers of the grisha, which power do you choose?
4. Plan your own heist! What are you stealing?
5. Are you rooting for Nina and Matthias?
So my love for The Hating Game is real and it’s true and there’s nothing you can do to talk me out of it! Remember when I started reading romance (Oh it was only 3 months ago? Well I feel like a seasoned pro after my romance read-a-thon!) and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Then lo and behold I fell in love with THG. So much so that it inspired me to make a cake in the theme of THG!
Also, this book is PERFECT for a bookclub. I recently participated in a readalong WITH Sally Thorne on her facebook group (it’s called the flamethrowers and if you become as obsessed with THG as I did then you should totally join!). The group was so great, and it was so fun to discuss the book. So trust me when I say, if you love romance, this is the perfect book club book for you! Ps. Scroll to the bottom of this post for some good questions to ask for your book club!
Click here : The Hating Game
Okay let’s get to it- this is what you’re going to make:
That’s right, a strawberry cake of goodness. That is the official title of this cake. If you HAVE already read the book, you’ll be wondering why you aren’t making strawberry shortcake. Well that’s because here at My Week Is Booked, we think OUTSIDE of the box. (Well, at least this time. Don’t hold me to that in the future). Also, this book mentions cake SO many times. The craving became a real thing. And this cake fulfilled that craving to the fullest!
Okay fine, I’ll give you one more picture to inspire you.
Yes, that IS in fact a Joshua Templeman (the main guy from THG) themed candle. I told you I was obsessed!
Ready for what you’ll need?
- fresh strawberries
- strawberry flavored cake mix (I used pillsbury because I think they’re the best)
- vanilla pudding mix
- blue frosting
- card stock
- x-acto knife
- red sprinkles
- matchbox car
- a smurf (or in my case, the troll because I couldn’t find a smurf anywhere)
- Put cake mix into bowl along with everything the box mix requires. Add an extra egg to the mix. Add the vanilla pudding. Mix together until smooth.
- Bake as directed on the box. (I used the circular pan option)
- Remove cakes from oven and let cool on cooling rack.
- Frost the cakes! Tip from me to you, if you want your cake to look smooth, you have to put on a LOT of frosting. I used 2.5 cans of frosting for my cake. That was not a typo. 2.5 cans…. In hindsight I wish I would’ve made the frosting instead of using cans bc I needed so many – but I use my time for reading!
- After frosting the cake- put it into your fridge for a few hours- you want it to be very cold before the next step!
- For the next step- I referenced this post by Studio DIY. I basically just googled a photo of lips and printed it out onto cardstock. Then I put the cardstock onto my cutting board and cut out a stencil of the lips with my x-acto knife!
- The cake has to be COLD for this next part- if the frosting gets too warm it will start melting and your stencil will stick to it! Put your stencil onto the cake. Grab finger-fulls (I’m really good at measurements, right?) of red sprinkles and put it onto your stencil. Remove the stencil with TWO hand holding it level so the excess doesn’t sprinkle all over your cake.
- Stencil the lips all around your cake. (it’s amazing how easy this was. I was legitimately shocked that I could do something this cool at home!)
- Wash and cut your strawberries vertically. Place them around the base of the cake.
- Place your smurf and your boxcar in the middle of the cake
- Enjoy your Hating Game Strawberry Cake of Goodness!
You guys, I had SO much fun making this cake and sharing it with friends. I even had a friend come over and hang out with me while I decorated. It is perfect for a book club evening!
I hope you enjoyed this first entry to my newest section on the blog!
I was talking to Life With Books who was reading THG in her book club and it inspired me to come up with some book club questions to add to this post! Keep me posted if you use them and how it goes!
1. What do you think of Josh’s ex-girlfriend bringing up her and Josh at her own wedding?
2. How do you think Josh went about winning over Lucy’s parents?
3. At what point in the book do you think Josh came up with the idea to switch jobs?
4. Do you think Helene and Bexley are actually an older mirror of Josh and Lucy’s relationship?
5. What would you have said to Josh’s dad during the encounter the morning after the wedding?